Ohio broad form car insurance can save you money. In the short run.

In the long run, choosing broad form car insurance may prove to be a very, very expensive mistake.

But first, let’s discuss what broad form car insurance is and how it works.

What is Broad Form Car Insurance? 

“Broad form” insurance – sometimes called broad form named operator insurance – isn’t very “broad” at all. In fact, it’s extremely limited.

Which is why it doesn’t cost very much.

But it doesn’t cover very much, either. Still, it has a place for people on a very tight budget, who don’t let anyone else drive their cars.

Broad form car insurance provides only  the state minimum liability coverage (if that!) and only for the driver named on the policy.

It does not cover any other driver. It does not cover collision damage to the policy owner’s car, and it doesn’t provide comprehensive coverage. You can’t buy additional liability, collision, or comprehensive coverage and add it to your broad form policy, either. It’s about as limited as car insurance comes.

However, you may be able to add PIP (personal injury protection) and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, in some instances. For an additional premium.

Unlike other types of car insurance forms – standard and and limited – broad form coverage follows the driver rather than the car.

So if you frequently drive different vehicles, you can get a single broad form insurance policy that covers you in whatever car you’re driving. And you don’t have to pay extra money to cover any other drivers.

It also means you should not get broad form insurance if you have more than one driver in your household.

If all you have is broad form insurance, and someone else drives your car and has an accident, the insurance company won’t cover the claim. Even if it’s your spouse.

What States Have Broad Form Car Insurance?

Ohio is one of just eleven states that allow broad form car insurance. The other eleven states:

  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Tennessee
  • Washington


Does Broad Form Insurance Provide Enough Coverage?

I’ll level with you: Almost certainly not. 

In some states, available broad form coverage doesn’t even meet the minimum liability insurance levels required by the state.

In any case, the state minimums are grossly inadequate to provide meaningful protection either to you or to someone you may injure in a car accident.

Suppose you accidentally hit a bicyclist while driving, and cause $150,000 worth of medical bills and lost wages.

But your Ohio broad form insurance policy only covers a maximum of $25,000.

Your insurance will pay the $25,000 limit. But that still leaves you owing $125,000. 

Meanwhile, the bicyclist and her family are still faced with daunting medical bills, Maybe even life altering injuries.

If you can’t pay the full amount, the victim will likely sue you. And will probably win a judgment.

With a judgment in hand, they can petition the court to garnish your wages and seize assets in your financial accounts.

You will be liable even if someone else was (improperly) driving your vehicle at the time of the accident.

But in that case, broad form coverage won’t cover you at all.

That’s the peril of having inadequate insurance coverage: Without enough insurance, in large amounts, there’s no money available to compensate victims and their families. And you put at risk not just your current assets, but also your future income, because you could be getting your wages garnished or paying out a settlement for years.

So broad form insurance may look cheap at first. If all you’re looking at is the premium.

But if anything should happen, you’ll find that holding a broad form policy rather than a standard form policy is very expensive, indeed.

Broad form vs. Non-owner car insurance

If you don’t own a car of your own, but you frequently drive other peoples’ cars, you will probably be better off getting a non-owner car insurance policy instead. These are much less expensive than a full coverage policy.

Non-owner policies typically cover damage to other people’s vehicles and properties, but not to the vehicle you’re driving. That goes to the insurance the vehicle owner chose for themselves.
It usually covers liability, medical payments and uninsured motorist coverage.

Also, unlike broad form car insurance, non-owner car insurance usually covers liability, medical payments, and coverage against uninsured/underinsured motorists.

While broad form policies are pretty much one-size-fits-all,  non-owner car insurance is much more flexible. We can generally customize a n0n-owner policy to include the coverage you really need to protect yourself as well as others on the road.

Note: Non-owner insurance applies to situations where you don’t own a vehicle but borrow someone else’s occasionally for personal use. The coverage won’t protect you when driving another vehicle in your household.

It also doesn’t apply when you’re using an automobile for your employer, or for commercial purposes. Your Non-owner car insurance  also won’t apply when operating a rental car. So if you do rent a car, you’ll need to spend a little extra and buy their coverage.


Who needs Ohio broad form car insurance?

Ohio broad form car insurance may be appropriate if these conditions apply to you:

1. You drive multiple cars and need a single policy that follows you, the driver, and not the car.

2. You don’t drive any passengers.

3. You drive a clunker and can easily afford to repair or replace the car if it’s in a wreck or stolen

4. There are no other drivers in your household

5. You are single and have no significant assets of your own to protect

6. You absolutely can’t afford to carry a decent amount of liability insurance.

7. There’s no bus service in your area and you need the car to drive to work (so you can buy better insurance next month!)

If you don’t own a car, you should probably consider a non-owner policy instead.


Get Multiple Car Insurance Quotes With One Call

Before you buy a Broadform or minimum coverage policy, click here and fill out or easy online form. or give us a call directly at

Because we’re an independent car insurance broker and not a captive agent who can only sell for one single carrier, one phone call or email query to us will get you quotes from as many as 10 or 12 different Ohio car insurance carriers – all competing for your business!

Chances are excellent that we can get you some serious coverage – for less money than you thought!

Spotty driving record? SR22? Prior DUI conviction? No problem! We specialize in people with less-than-perfect drivers records.

Bad credit? It’s even MORE important that you use an independent broker to shop multiple insurance companies. You should do so every year or so, to keep the insurance carriers honest!

Let us help you get the financial protection you need – at a price you can afford.

See you on the road!

Steve “Mr. Insurance” Ludwig

CEO, Select Insurance Group

For Further Reading

Ohio SR22 Non-Owner Car Insurance

How to Reinstate Your Drivers License after a DUI in Ohio

What Does an Ohio SR22 Bond Cover? 

Can I Get a CDL with a DUI on My Record in Ohio? 

How To Avoid an SR22 in the State of Ohio