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It is hard to believe that Ohio only requires proof of $12,500 in liability insurance coverage to be able to drive a car in Ohio. This minimum insurance requirement was passed in the early 1970’s, and has not been increased one penny in over 30 years. At that time a gallon of gas cost 30¢, a new car could be purchased for $3,000, and a dented fender could be fixed for $25. It is time to increase the minimum insurance limits to at least $100,000.

While medical expenses have soared, and incomes have increased with inflation during the last 30 years, minimum insurance coverage has remained stagnant. Here is how the problem affects all of us. If you are injured in an accident caused by another driver, that person is responsible to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent injury. If your injury causes you to go to the emergency room, your family doctor, and physical therapy, your bills could exceed $12,500. That means the party causing the accident gets off without paying for all the damages. If your costs exceed $12,500, either your own insurance has to pay (underinsured motorist insurance), or your health insurance will pay, or you will pay out of pocket. These are all bad choices. The only way to protect yourself is to purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Don’t carry less than $250,000. A one million dollar umbrella is recommended. Just be sure your agent includes uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage with the umbrella. There are a lot of bad drivers out there and most have state minimums for their insurance coverage.

Contact your state senator or state representative and tell them to raise the minimum liability coverage in Ohio to at least $100,000. There are bills pending in the legislature now to increase the required coverage. You can do something about this problem.

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