Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Ohio: Do You Need It?

Uninsured motorist coverage is not legally required for Ohio drivers.
Written by Ethan Moser
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
According to
state legislature, uninsured motorist coverage is not legally required for resident drivers. That said, with 12.5 percent of Ohio drivers being uninsured according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), protecting yourself with UM/UIM coverage is a great way to protect yourself, your car, and your wallet! 
Drivers in Ohio are only legally required to invest in
liability insurance
—including $25,000 worth of
property damage liability
and a total of $75,000 worth of
bodily injury liability
. Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage are not required under state law. Investing in UM/UIM insurance, however, can save you from paying out of pocket for damages caused by an uninsured driver in the Buckeye State.  

Do you need uninsured motorist coverage in Ohio?

Uninsured motorist coverage
is not legally required for drivers in Ohio, though it is in many other states. While you won’t get into trouble with the law for not having UM/UIM insurance coverage in Ohio, why is it still a good idea to invest in coverage?  
According to the
Insurance Information Institute (III)
, approximately 13.0% of drivers in Ohio are uninsured. When you compare it to other states, that’s not a huge number—Ohio ranks 21st out of the states with the most uninsured drivers. Still, if you’re in an accident with someone else, there’s a one-in-eight chance they could be uninsured or underinsured.  
Without uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage in your back pocket, you could be left paying out of pocket for personal and property damages, particularly if you’ve already exhausted your liability insurance coverage. With UM/UIM coverage, however, you’ll receive assistance when it comes to paying for medical expenses as a result of your accident.
And UM insurance in Ohio is very affordable, in part because the state has fewer uninsured drivers. In Ohio, UM insurance coverage typically averages less than $100 per year
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How uninsured motorist insurance works in Ohio

To meet
Ohio’s car insurance laws
, you need to invest in $75,000 of bodily injury liability ($25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident), and $25,000 of property damage liability.  UM/UIM insurance, as we’ve reported, is not actually required in Ohio. 

What it covers

In Ohio, uninsured motorist coverage covers the cost of damages (personal and property) related to an accident involving an uninsured driver. It will also pay for damages in the event of a
hit-and-run accident
. However, you cannot purchase more coverage for UM insurance than you purchase for liability coverage in Ohio. For example, if you purchase the minimum required amount of liability insurance for Ohio drivers—$25,000 bodily injury coverage per person/$50,000 per accident, then your UM coverage cannot legally exceed these amounts. 
Here’s a list of everything that your UM/UIM insurance coverage will cover: 
  • Future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering (under certain circumstances) 
  • Lost wages
  • ER bills
  • Long-term rehabilitative or nursing care
  • Services such as yard work or cleaning that you’re no longer able to do
  • Medical devices such as wheelchairs
  • Surgical costs
  • Retrofitting your house to accommodate a disability caused by the accident
It might be scary to think about experiencing any of these
after a serious car accident
, but if you have UM/UIM coverage, you can at least have the peace of mind of knowing any medical bills and associated costs will be paid for through your insurance.

How to make a claim 

Each insurance provider will have its own process for filing a UM/UIM claim. Generally, though, here’s what you’ll need to do: 
  • Exchange information: Write down the names of anyone involved in the accident, including the other driver and their passengers. If the other driver has some form of insurance, document the name of their insurance carrier, along with their policy number and license plate number. 
  • Get a witness: Document the names, addresses, and phone numbers of anyone who saw the accident. Their statement could be important testimony to prove the other driver was the one at fault—not you. 
  • Call your agent: Contact your insurance provider. The process for this will typically vary depending on your provider, but you can typically call the claims processing number on the back of your insurance card.
After the accident, keep up with any relevant documents and send them to your insurance agent. This might include police reports, hospital bills, and medical records. The more documents you provide your insurer, the faster they can evaluate your case. 
If your medical bills are more than the limits set by your UM/UIM policy, they may be covered by your health insurance. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay for them yourself. 

How to save on uninsured motorist coverage in Ohio

Generally speaking, UM/UIM coverage is already very affordable in Ohio—about $50 to $100 per year. But with the right insurance carrier, that cost can get even smaller! 
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