In Ohio, Higher Car Insurance Liability Minimums Go into Effect

auto insurance policy and car key with moneySome Ohio drivers could soon see changes in their auto insurance bills if they are one of the hundreds of thousands that carry the state’s minimum amount of liability coverage.

A legislative provision kicked in this week increasing the minimum liability coverage levels for Ohio policyholders. The minimum limits are now as follows:

  • Coverage for bodily injury or death of one person per crash: $25,000.
  • Coverage for bodily injury or death of multiple people per crash: $50,000.
  • Coverage property damage per crash: $25,000.

The new liability minimums, often stated in industry terms as 25/50/25, are higher than the previous limits of 12.5/25/7.5.

An Estimated 400K Drivers Could be Impacted

The 25/50/25 limits are applicable to Ohio auto insurance policies that are issued or renewed after Dec. 22. Any policies issued or renewed before Dec. 22 at the lower minimum limits would remain at those limits for the duration of the policy.

Any policy renewed after Dec. 22 will be renewed under the 25/50/25 minimums.

According to the Ohio Insurance Institute (OII), policyholders carrying minimum limits could see “an uptick” in premiums after renewal under the 25/50/25 minimums, though the exact amount of premium hikes will vary, depending on a number of factors ranging from the policyholder’s driving background to his or her insurer.

The increased minimums will impact about 5 percent of Ohio motorists, or 400,000 drivers, who have auto insurance policies at minimum levels, according to OII estimates.

Legislation’s Supporters Sought Higher Limits Matching Other States

The new liability limits went into effect as part of HB 278, a piece of legislation that lawmakers passed in 2012. In March, other provisions of the bill went into effect that changed the way Ohio car insurers rated their customers and handled policies found to be fraudulent.

HB 278 passed in 2012 by wide margins of support. The bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Gerald Stebelton (R-Lancaster), had pushed to increase minimum limits even before 2012.

Ohio’s previous liability minimums were established in 1969 and had been the lowest in the U.S., according to the OII, which said the new 25/50/25 minimums match those enforced in 38 other states.

The legislation did not alter any minimums for uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for Patch.com and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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