To legally drive in Ohio, you have to carry certain kinds of insurance. The state requires liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage. You have to carry a similar amount of coverage for property damage and injuries in the event that you get into a crash with a driver who doesn’t have insurance.
All of that coverage and add up to a pretty hefty bill for a product that you ultimately hope you will never need. If you are like many drivers, you might try to keep your costs as low as possible by minimizing how much coverage you have. However, buying underinsured driver coverage to complement your uninsured driver coverage could save you from future financial hardship.
Drivers in Ohio may not have enough coverage to repay you
The mandatory coverage in Ohio includes $25,000 worth of property damage coverage. Most newer model vehicles cost substantially more than that these days, and even repairs could exceed that cost if you drive a luxury vehicle, an import or a vehicle retrofitted for disability access.
Medical coverage is often where people discover that the other driver’s policy falls far short. If the crash leaves one person injured, the driver may only have $25,000 worth of coverage for medical bills and lost wages. In a crash with multiple people suffering injuries, that coverage goes up to just $50,000.
Requiring surgery or an extended leave of absence from work might mean that your losses double or triple the amount of bodily injury liability coverage that the other driver has. Underinsured driver coverage—also known as underinsured motorist coverage (UIM)—will protect you in that case by covering the losses not paid for by the other driver’s policy.
What if you don’t have underinsured driver coverage?
There is a saying that hindsight is 20/20. The meaning is essentially that it is easy to realize you made a mistake after you have already suffered the consequences. Foregoing underinsured driver coverage often doesn’t seem like an issue until someone gets into a crash with thousands of dollars of expenses involved.
If that describes your current situation, the good news is that you still have options under Ohio law. Even without underinsured driver coverage, you can still potentially seek compensation. A personal injury lawsuit could help you cover your costs when someone else’s negligence or bad driving habits leaves you with big bills.
Learning about insurance and reviewing your own policy can help you better protect yourself after a car crash with an underinsured driver.