Let’s say you’re shopping for new Ohio car insurance. You provide all the details necessary to get a quote. The prospective agent does his thing and then contacts you and says, “We’ve run your Motor Vehicle Report (MVR for short) and there’s an accident that shows on XX/XX/XX. What happened?”
As you struggle to remember (and then finally do), the first question you ask is “That accident wasn’t my fault. Why is it on the MVR?” GREAT question. Here’s the answer.
Because the state of Ohio says so
HA! Does this remind you of something your mom or dad would say when you were a kid?….. “Because I said so!”
In this case it’s absolutely true. Section 5502.11 of the Ohio Administrative Code requires it for accidents that happen on public property. And Rule 4501-31-01 of the Ohio Revised Code provides additional detail, including the specific crash report form that must be completed by law enforcement and forwarded to the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
What about accidents that happen on private property? Not required. You can also read How to Handle a Car Accident on Private Property in Ohio for additional detail.
And being that the Ohio Department of Public Safety is the parent organization of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, it’s a pretty short leap to see how ANY accident (regardless of fault) ends up on your MVR.
So how does this car accident affect getting new car insurance?
When the accident makes the biggest difference is when you’re shopping for new car insurance. If you’re getting quotes, and you tell the agent the accident was not your fault, he can take you at your word and dispute the accident on the quote.
HOWEVER, it does become very important when you actually apply for the insurance (i.e. fill out the application).
Since the MVR only shows the words “Accident”, the date of the accident and the county it occurred in, it’s about 99% possible that a car insurance company may require some form of proof to show the accident as Not-At-Fault. The easiest proof is a copy of the accident report. So who gets that report and how?
At our agency, if the report is local or through the Ohio State Highway Patrol, we will pay for and obtain that report. If out of state, we will usually ask the customer to get a copy of that report so we can submit to the insurance company.
How does this car accident affect my existing car insurance?
Of course it’s possible that you are involved in an accident during the course of your existing policy. If the insurance company runs a new MVR near renewal time (and yes, insurance companies do this to see if you’re still eligible), that accident will appear and the same question will be asked, “…..there’s an accident that shows on XX/XX/XX. What happened?”
The same thing needs to happen as before- a copy of the accident report showing Not-At-Fault needs to be furnished.
How important is it to show that car accident as Not-At-Fault?
Any insurance company has guidelines as to what/who they will insure. If you don’t prove your accident was Not-At-Fault, any of the following could happen:
- You’re no longer eligible for the quote you got and will need to seek alternative quotes (perhaps high-risk now)
- Upon policy issuance- surcharge the premium for your driving record (this means add more premium)
- Cancel the policy altogether since you don’t meet their guidelines- this can apply to both newly issued policies and existing policies.
So yes, it’s a pain that all public property accidents show up on your MVR (regardless of fault). But by providing the accident report that shows a Not-At-Fault accident, the problem is solved.