Deciding how much auto insurance to carry presents some difficult issues. The most obvious reason to carry auto insurance is to protect yourself if you cause injury or property damage to another due to your negligence. None of us expect to cause an accident, but they do happen. It can be as minor as a fender-bender backing out of a parking space to as serious as causing the death of another because you briefly took your eyes off the road.
Ohio law requires you to carry at least $12,500 in liability coverage. This isn’t nearly enough to cover most accidents. Liability coverage protects you up to your policy limits for damages caused by your negligence. So what should your policy limits be? They should far exceed any assets you have to protect. If you own a house, car, and have money in the bank, the only way to protect it is by adequate insurance coverage.
The other aspect to auto coverage is uninsured motorist coverage. This protects you to some extent if the person who injures you in an accident is either uninsured or underinsured. In Ohio you can’t buy uninsured/underinsured motorist limits higher than your liability limits so you need adequate liability limits to get adequate uninsured/underinsured motorist limits.
Probably, the best and most economical way to protect your assets and loved ones is to buy an umbrella policy over your liability limits. Make sure the umbrella coverage includes uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. For most people I would recommend a $1,000,000 umbrella over your auto liability coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and homeowner’s coverage.