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According to the Ohio motorcycle insurance law, all riders must have proof of financial responsibility at all times. The state allows for several forms proof. These include:
- $30,000 bond issued by an authorized surety company.
- Certificate of financial responsibility.
- Certificate from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle showing at least $30,000 in cash or government bonds deposited with the Ohio State Treasurer.
- BMV-issued bond showing responsibility through real estate equity of at least $60,000.
- Insurance policy issued through a approved company.
Additionally, Ohio is an ”at fault” state. Motorists who are found at fault after an accident can face fines, penalties, license suspension, and potential jail time on top of being liable for all medical and property bills associated with the accident if they do not have insurance in place. To help you understand Ohio motorcycle insurance issues, let’s have a look at how the state defines a motorcycle for law enforcement and insurance purposes, some of the required equipment to make your bike street legal, as well as the coverage levels and types you may need.
Ohio Motorcycle Insurance Laws
The Ohio legislature has established the minimum motorcycle insurance coverage amounts to be:
$25,000 for death or bodily injury to one person;
$50,000 for death or bodily injury to two or more persons; and
$25,000 for damage or destruction of property.
The minimum coverages in Ohio are fairly average when compared to other states, but an accident that results in any type of serious injury could quickly exceed those limits. If you are at fault and your policy falls short, you will be responsible for all additional costs, potentially draining your life savings. Even if you are not at fault, but the at fault motorist is uninsured, the minimum coverages may not be sufficient.
Recommended Protections for Ohio Riders
The minimum coverages required in Ohio are reasonably high, but they may not be enough to fully protect you, a passenger, and your bike. That is why you should always carry additional coverage. If there is a lien against your bike, your lender will require better coverage as a condition of the loan. Even if you own your bike free and clear, you should still consider having additional coverages in place to protect your life savings. Some policy types that you should consider are:
Collision coverage: this protects your bike in an accident under nearly every circumstance. It may or may not include uninsured/under-insured coverage. If it doesn’t, take care to add it.
Uninsured/Under-insured motorist coverage: given that more than 13 percent of the motorists in Ohio are uninsured on any given day, you can understand the need for this type of coverage. The under-insured aspect of the policy protects you in case the other driver is from a state with lower minimum requirements or the injuries exceed the policy caps of an at fault motorist.
Comprehensive coverage: this protection covers items like fire, wind, water, theft, and vandalism.
Bodily injury coverage: this protection covers certain costs if you injure or kill someone in an at-fault accident. It also protects your passenger.
Medical payment coverage: this covers items such as prescription drug payments; dental care; medical co-payments and deductibles from other health coverage policies; home nursing care, or funeral expenses.
If you ride a custom bike, you should consider additional coverages. The two main policy types for custom motorcycles are:
Accessories coverage: this coverage protects items such as: saddlebags, backrests, seats, and chrome pieces, but not helmets. Some insurers require that you have comprehensive or collision coverage in force in order to have an accessories policy.
Custom parts coverage: this will cover items that are unique like handmade tanks and pipes.
Ohio Motorcycle Insurance Rates
The cost of motorcycle insurance depends on a wide array of factors:
- Make, model, age of bike
- Driving record
- Coverage limits
- Additional coverage
- Storage location
- Annual mileage
The only way to accurately estimate your costs is through a comparison of motorcycle insurance quotes from competing insurers. Luckily, we can help. All you have to do is enter your rider and motorcycle information to review rates and policies from trusted insurers like Progressive, Geico, Dairyland, and more.
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Ohio Motorcycle Laws
To many, defining a motorcycle seems a waste of time, but every state does so for law enforcement and insurance purposes. Ohio defines a motorcycle as:
”Any motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel with no more than three wheels in contact with the ground, excluding farm equipment; piston displacement larger than 50 cc; capable of more than 1 bhp; and able to travel at speeds greater than 20 mph on level ground without human assistance.”
The Buckeye State can be an interesting place to ride. One on hand you have some of the flattest terrain imaginable. On the other, the southern part of the state is quite hilly. You can also find frustrating traffic congestion if you ride through Columbus or Cincinnati. Whether you are competing with congested traffic or riding in rural areas, your bike needs to be street legal at all times. In Ohio, the equipment you and your bike must have includes:
- Eye protection: required, unless equipped with a windscreen.
- Handlebar height: no taller than shoulder height.
- Helmet: required for novice riders; required under age 18; and for any passenger when the operator is required to wear a helmet.
- Mirrors: one required.
- Turn Signals: required on all bikes manufactured after 1967.
- Passenger Seat and Passenger Footrests: required if carrying a passenger. No restrictions on a passenger’s age.
- Headlight: required, a modulating daytime headlight is approved.
- Muffler: required, not cutouts permissible. Acoustical limits include: Max A-weighted sound level based on measurement at a distance not less than 50 feet from center line of travel: 82dBA at 35 mph or less or 86dBA at more than 35 mph. Counties and Townships may adopt regulations that establish additional criteria, making it impossible to give a statewide sound limit.
- Safety Inspection: periodic inspections required and done randomly.