Both the Ohio House and Senate passed a bill today to increase the minimum amount of insurance every driver would be required to carry.
“The current limits are so low that they leave a lot of people very, very vulnerable,” said Rep. Mark Okey, D-Carrollton.
Okey is a primary sponsor of House Bill 278, which would raise state minimum coverage requirements for auto insurance.
Okey said no changes have been made to the minimum requirements since 1969.
He added that the cost to repair vehicles would be much more expensive than 40 years ago.
“A car might have been $3500 in 1969, brand new. I doubt if you could touch that same car for $25,000, $30,000 today,” said Okey.
The current state minimum coverage is $7500 toward property damage. Under the new legislation, that number would jump to $25,000.
The current required minimum for Bodily Injury Liability Coverage is $12,500 per person injured in any one accident and $25,000 for all persons injured in any one accident. The new legislation would double both of those figures.
Okey said you can't double the coverage without increasing some of the premium, but he said the increase cost of minimum coverage insurance won't be dramatic.
"It could be two to three dollars per month per policy,” said Okey.
George Haenszel, executive vice president of Professional Insurance Agents Association of Ohio, Inc, provided the following statement to 10TV:
“Our members (independent insurance agents) overwhelmly support increasing the minimum financial responsibility limits. While the majority of our members’ clients do not purchase minimum limits, many have had clients who were harmed by being involved in an accident with a motorist who carried minimum limits. We believe that the increased limits will help provide consumers with more appropriate insurance coverage and that the cost increase involved will be reasonable. The limits have not increased since 1969, while the cost of a vehicle and vehicle repair has increased many times over – making the $7,500 coverage for property damage inadequate based on the price of today’s cars.”
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