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Higher limits will cost some Ohio drivers 10 percent more

December 17, 2012 (Foster City, Calif.) –Higher liability limits would increase car insurance bills by about 10 percent for Ohio drivers who buy only the state-required coverage, analysis by CarInsurance.com finds.

  • In Columbus’ 43202 ZIP code, a young driver would pay about $430 a year under current state-minimum requirements and about $479 under proposed higher limits. (That is still cheaper than minimum-level coverage available in other states. See “The cheapest car insurance possible.”)
  • In Cincinnati’s ZIP code 45215, the same man would pay about $472 for a year’s worth of liability coverage at current levels. Raising the requirements as proposed would result in a rate of about $520 a year.
  • In Cleveland’s 44109 ZIP code, the cheapest rate under current limits was $478 a year. Under the revised limits that rose to $532.

CarInsurance.com compared rates for a 24-year-old male driving a 1997 Ford Taurus 12,000 miles a year with no violations or accidents, and previously insured under a parent’s policy under current limits and those recently proposed by Rep. Mark Okey, D-Carrollton.

Okey’s bill would raise liability mandatory coverage to $25,000 per injured person, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage.

Ohio’s current bodily injury liability requirement of $12,500 per person is lower than that of any other state, and the property damage liability requirement of $7,500 is higher only than the $5,000 needed in California, Massachusetts and New Jersey.

Though Ohio car insurance rates are comparatively cheap, rates vary widely from company to company and from ZIP code to ZIP code.  The same driver could shop around and see rates that differ by hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. (Ohio ranked No. 1 in CarInsurance.com’s “Best States to Save on Car Insurance” rankings.)

Older drivers and homeowners typically buy more than the required amount of liability coverage; their car insurance bills would be unaffected.

Drivers who don’t carry enough liability insurance are personally responsible for what their policy doesn’t cover. “It’s pretty easy to do $7,500 worth of damage to someone else’s car,” says CarInsurance.com consumer analyst Penny Gusner, “and the low limits mean simple fender-benders leave people exposed to lawsuits.”

Gusner says $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident and $50,000 in property damage liability is enough to protect most families. You can see how the cost of that coverage compares in every Ohio ZIP code with CarInsurance.com’s Nosy Neighbor tool.

The average new-car sale price in November was $30,832, according to analyst TrueCar.com.

About CarInsurance.com

CarInsurance.com has been offering drivers expert advice about car insurance and how to shop for it since 2003. Using a combination of industry expertise and information drawn from thousands of online quotes delivered without obligation each month, CarInsurance.com is a source for unbiased answers and data about what consumers should expect from an insurance policy. The site lets consumers compare multiple car insurance quotes online and purchase a policy online in minutes. CarInsurance.com is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs. The company is a leader in visitor-friendly marketing practices. For more information, please visit QuinStreet.com.