Ohio Auto Insurance Laws

You just moved to Ohio. Or maybe you bought a new car, or your driver’s license situation changed. Whatever the case, it’s time to revisit your car insurance and get up to speed on Ohio insurance laws.

Ohio Car Insurance Requirements

Driving without car insurance in Ohio is illegal. All drivers must have proof of insurance or financial responsibility. It’s also unlawful for any car owner to allow another motorist to operate the owner’s vehicle without proof of financial responsibility.

If you end up buying car insurance to satisfy the state’s requirements, you must obtain Bodily Injury Liability Coverage and Property Damage Liability Coverage:

  • The required minimum for Bodily Injury Liability Coverage is $25,000 per person injured or killed in an auto accident and $50,000 for two or more people injured or killed in an accident.
  • The required minimum for Property Damage Liability Coverage is $25,000 per accident for damage to or destruction of someone else’s property.

Ohio law allows these four alternatives to car insurance:

  1. A certificate issued by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) showing that money or government bonds totaling $30,000 has been deposited with the state treasurer’s office.
  2. A “certificate of bond” issued by the BMV amounting to $30,000 that’s signed by two people who own real estate in which they have equity of at least $60,000.
  3. A certificate of self-insurance issued by the BMV to anyone with at least 25 motor vehicles registered in their company’s name.
  4. A $30,000 bond issued by an authorized surety company or insurance company.

Ohio Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Ohio motorcycle insurance requirements are similar to auto. Ohio requires the same levels of Bodily Injury Liability Coverage for motorcycle insurance as it does for car insurance. That means $25,000 per person in an accident, $50,000 for two or more people in an accident and $25,000 Property Damage Liability Coverage per accident.

Ohio Commercial Vehicle Insurance Requirements

As you’d expect, insurance requirements for business vehicles differ from those for cars and motorcycles. 

Here are the basics for commercial vehicle insurance coverage in Ohio: 

  • At least $1.5 million in liability coverage for a passenger vehicle with a capacity of up to 15 people, including the driver.
  • At least $5 million in liability coverage for a capacity of 16 people or more, including the driver.
  • At least $750,000 in liability coverage for intrastate for-hire carriers that don’t have passengers (such as movers or freight haulers).
  • $1 million or $5 million for vehicles that haul hazardous materials.

Ohio SR-22 Requirements

If you’re considered a high-risk driver in Ohio—you’ve been convicted of drunk driving, for example—you might be required to get SR-22 insurance to have your driver’s license reinstated. This insurance is minimum-liability and only covers the person named on the policy. 

To get SR-22 coverage, an Ohio driver must apply to and pay for a policy issued by a state-licensed insurer. The insurer then files the SR-22 paperwork with the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Looking to get SR-22 or cheap car insurance in Ohio, "The Heart of It All?" Call, click, or come into a Direct Auto location in Ohio. We can help you with personal auto, commercial auto, and motorcycle insurance quotes.


Ohio Auto Insurance Laws