Looking for cheap car insurance rates in Ohio? Compare multiple plans in a minute, and view the best offers. With prices as low as $25 per month, and discounts that reduce premiums by as much as 40%, there are many affordable options from the top-rated companies. Recently, Ohio was recognized for offering the lowest prices of all 50 states. Our website provides Buckeye residents with free online auto insurance quotes from the top companies with no obligation or cost. Minimum liability and full coverage options are available.
Why Are Rates So Low?
Although prices are not low for every driver, the average premium is the lowest in the country. Why are there so many affordable policies? We have our own theories, based on 37 years of experience as a broker here in Ohio (Just North of Kings Island). After comparing, reviewing, and writing thousands of policies, it's not surprising that we are considered the state's primary trusted resource for property and casualty products. Perhaps what's so astonishing is that despite so much road construction (and orange barrels!), we have fewer accidents per driver than most other Midwestern states. Snow removal services are also very efficient, which allows highways to clear very quickly after a heavy snow.
Ohio car insurance rates are determined by many variables. One of the biggest components is the cost of repairing vehicles in the area. Fortunately, in most parts of the state, the hourly labor cost is comparably less than the rest of the country, which saves money. The difference in hourly labor costs is as much as 15% in some areas. Also, consumers tend to keep their vehicles longer, which, of course, can reduce prices. Other than the northern portion of the state, the Winter season typically is slightly milder than other area states. Lake-effect snow wreaks havoc in the Cleveland, Euclid, Lakewood, Willoughby, Mentor, and much of Northeast Ohio. But in Cincinnati and most of the southwestern portion of the state, major snow accumulation is rare.
The five states with the lowest average total repair cost (labor and parts) are Ohio, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Maine. Connecticut and the District of Columbia have the highest costs. Labor and parts expenses are based on several factors, including age and make of vehicle, availability of parts, hourly wages payed to technicians, type of repair required, and complexity of the job. A higher percentage of used vehicles are driven here than most other states. With improved maintenance, older vehicles can often last for up to 150,000-200,000 miles. A higher percentage of vehicles only need liability coverage (and not collision and/or comprehensive), and the average premium reduces.
However, there will always be certain luxury models that are going to have hourly labor prices higher than most other vehicles. Independent repair shops often will have lower hourly charges than dealerships. If your vehicle is still under warranty, utilizing the dealership is recommended. The cost of parts and labor will be insignificant if another insurer is paying for damages. Note: Vehicles with the highest lifetime maintenance costs are: BMW, Cadillac, Audi, Volvo, and Mercedes-Benz.
Also, Buckeye drivers are involved in less accidents than most other states. Yes, we find that hard to believe, especially when driving on I-75 through Dayton or Cincinnati, or I-71 around Columbus or Cleveland. And as many of you know, a mere inch or two of snow brings out the worst in Buckeye drivers. But weather is more brutal in many other states such as Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and North Carolina. It's not uncommon for roads to be snow-covered and icy in the early morning, and slushy and easily passable in the afternoon. Tornadoes are rare, and the Ohio River seldom floods.
Our neighbor to the east, Pennsylvania, has the snowy I-76 Turnpike to deal with in winter months, along with the always-treacherous Schuylkill Expressway in the Philadelphia area. Add the hilly areas of Pittsburgh, the blizzard conditions of Somerset, and all of the icy roads, its easy to understand why they need more dollars to spend on vehicle and road repairs. Although they aren't our unofficial "pothole" state, the Keystone State is getting close, especially in the southeastern part of the state.
The projected Ohio auto insurance expenditure for 2018 is about $820, which compares quite favorably to the national average of more than 1,000. When 2018 figures are completed, most reputable surveys will rank Ohio as one of the 10 cheapest states to cover a vehicle. But perhaps the most surprising point is that in 2003, the Ohio average was $672, which means that prices have remained fairly stable for more than 10 years.
Companies, by law, can not increase rates in an attempt to recover previous-year losses. Any rate increase (or decrease) requests must be submitted to the Oh Department Of Insurance In many situations, an increase is only partially-approved, although if a national disaster recently occurred, approval of an increase is more likely. For example, hurricanes often inflict tremendous damage to property, and the resulting losses can be staggering. Listed below are the 10 US hurricanes that caused the most damage (in dollars). Only Hurricane Ike impacted the Buckeye State.
1. Hurricane Katrina -- August 2005
2. Hurricane Andrew -- August 1992
3. Hurricane Sandy -- October 2012
4. Hurricane Ike -- September 2008
5. Hurricane Wilma -- October 2005
6. Hurricane Charley -- August 2004
7. Hurricane Ivan -- September 2004
8. Hurricane Hugo -- September 1989
9. Hurricane Rita -- September 2005
10. Hurricane Frances -- September 2004
Companies With Best Prices
This is a very subjective issue. The reason is that prices will differ from one carrier to another for a variety of reasons. Whether it's the area you live in, the type of car or truck you drive, your claims history, your credit, your driving record or several other factors, each company underwrites policies in their own unique way. Specific companies specialize in high-risk business, while others seek only preferred risks. Additional carriers will offer only commercial policies.
Thus, Company "A" might have the best rates when you live in Columbus, drive to work and have three other drivers in the household. However, when you retire, move to Toledo, change cars, and buy a condo, suddenly, Company "B" offers the best options while your old company charges 35% more! And if you own a few rental properties in Springfield, a completely different carrier may offer a discounted package!
So, as we provide a limited arbitrary list below of insurers that offer the most competitive prices in the state, remember that it is intended to be a simple guide, but not a final determination. The list is in alphabetical order (in case you didn't notice). And, as previously mentioned, prices can wildly vary, so you will still need to view our free quotes, where we can compare specific carriers in your County.
Which Carriers Write The Most Business?
Biggest, of course, is not always the best. But in case you're curious, here are the 20 largest writers of personal auto insurance policies in Ohio:
Top 5: State Farm, Progressive, Allstate, Nationwide and Grange
Next 5: Berkshire Hathaway (Geico), Liberty Mutual, Zurich, American Family and Westfield
Next 5: Erie, Cincinnati, USAA, Auto-Owners, Motorists Mutual
Final 5: State Auto, Ohio Mutual, Western Reserve, Travelers And SafeAuto
Recent Legislative Change To Minimum Liability Requirements
For many years, Ohio's minimum required vehicle liability limits were $12,500 per person, $25,000 pr accident and a paltry $7,500 for property damage. These low limits often resulted in many underinsured situations and accidents where the property damage limit was woefully too low. Thankfully, four years ago, these amounts were increased.
The newer financial responsibility requirements became $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident and an additional $25,000 of property damage. However, higher amounts should always be considered, especially if the value of your assets exceeds these limits. Unless you are a young driver, there's a good chance your assets are indeed higher than $25,000. Also, it's important to have some bargaining leeway in the event of litigation. The next level of coverage is $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident, and $50,000 of property damage. The cost of increasing to these limits is not substantial, and we strongly recommend that you increase liability coverage every 5-7 years.
If the damage you cause exceeds your limits, you are held legally responsible for many expenses, including damage to property, medical expenses, possible pain and suffering, and specific legal costs. If you're actively working, a portion of your income could be confiscated, and your home, car and other assets may be at risk. If the judgment is large, you could be obligated to make payments for the remainder of your life. As your income increases, the payments could become larger and quite burdensome.
In situations where you have accumulated significant assets (property, cash, investments etc...), adding a personal liability umbrella may be the best rider you ever added. In addition to extending your protection by $1 million (other amounts are available), settling a lawsuit without expensive litigation will now be a possible option, if needed. It could potentially save you hundreds of thousands of dollars. If your assets have not reached the $1 million level, selected carriers offer $500,000 mini-umbrella options. Libel and slander are also covered through these types of contracts.
Although most carriers offer "umbrella" coverage, typically, you are required to increase your liability limits to a minimum of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident, and an additional $50,000 of property damage. Benefits are offered from $1 million to $5 million, and you are also covered if you are outside the country, and often reimbursed for any required court appearances. The biggest benefit is the covering the cost of litigation and attorney fees, which can be incredibly substantial if the case is litigated by a jury. You will also be in a much better financial position to accept an out-of-court settlement.
Ohio SR-22 Bonds
We help you find the cheapest option from the major providers. The SR-22 Bond In Ohio provides coverage only for the named driver on the contract. You don't want this type of coverage unless you are forced to buy it, since benefits are low, it's more costly than a regular policy, and it provides no collision or comprehensive to your own vehicle. So if you are financing or leasing, a separate policy will be needed to be filed. It's also important to understand that only YOU are covered and not any other driver. Therefore lending your vehicle must never occur (see below).
Tip: If you are required to file an SR-22 Bond, purchasing a non-financed vehicle will save a substantial amount of money compared to a newer financed or leased vehicle. The difference in cost is greatly magnified if you have multiple violations on your MVR, or are considered "high-risk."
When filed electronically, often the paperwork can be processed within 24 hours. If received through the mail, the wait time can be an additional 2-4 days. It's important to remember that the policyholder can not file the bond. Only an insurer or broker can. Once it is filed, each 6-12 months you do not have an at-fault accident or moving violation, there's a good possibility your rate will reduce. And of course, you do not have to keep the bond for an extended period of time. Once the MVR is clean, preferred discounts should reduce your rate.
With this type of Bond, you also do not want to lend your vehicle to anyone. As this article shows, lending your car to another person (regardless of how well you know them) can result in significant damage that is not covered. And that means you have to pay for the repairs, which can be quite costly. If the car is totaled, there also will be no payout, although you are free to sell the individual parts.
Which City Has Better Prices? Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland Or Columbus?
Historically, Columbus and Cincinnati have featured better rates, followed by Dayton and Cleveland. However, recently, many companies have altered some of the demographic factors they use in determining costs, resulting in very competitive options for all four major cities (including several other big cities, such as Toledo, Canton, Springfield, Akron, Youngstown, Lorain, Hamilton, and Kettering.
For example, specific zip codes in all four major cities often receive very cheap rates because of a lower number of claims and car thefts in the area. Some of these zip codes include 45458, 45459, 45440, 45342, 45429, 45005, 45419, and 45066 in the Dayton area. Also, 45241, 45240, 45242, 45140, 45244, 45230, and 45243 in Hamilton County (Cincinnati area). In Franklin County, 43221 and associated zip codes will result in better offers than 43204 with some carriers.
Also, nearby suburbs often enjoy extremely competitive rates, compared to their larger nearby cities. Several examples include Centerville, Beavercreek, Oakwood, Springboro, Madeira, Montgomery, Loveland, Wyoming, Gahanna, Upper Arlington, Worthington, Sylvania, Beachwood, and Shaker Heights.
Regardless of which county or city you reside in, we will find the top offers, and show you which companies feature the lowest rates and the best deals. Your free online customized quote only takes moments, and the savings may be substantial. Whether you are currently insured, or driving without coverage, we really do shop so you save! Get your free online quote now at the top of the page.
Additional Information From The Past:
Future prices are expected to remain fairly stable. Comprehensive claims (fire, theft and vandalism) are reducing in many areas and repair costs are not increasing as rapidly as in previous years. Also, many of the newer vehicles that are available for under $20,000, also feature attractive pricing.
National Teen Driving Safety Week just ended and the Department of Public Safety reminded us of some startling statistics. In the last three years, teens were involved in more than 135,000 accidents (our state only!) and more than 40,000 injuries occurred along with 288 fatalities. This is also always a good time to review the State distracted driver law, which bans any driver under age 18 from texting or using an electronic wireless communications device while operating a vehicle.
An electronic file on your cell phone or Smartphone may soon be used to verify you have current and compliant insurance on your vehicle. Legislation SB 255 was unanimously passed by the Ohio House and only needs to be signed and approved by the Governor to become law. When passed, providing proof of financial responsibility will become much easier, especially when updating or renewing your license. More than 30 other states have already enacted similar legislation.
Despite the record-setting snowfall in the Northeast this Winter (especially Boston), we have had a relatively mild Winter (snow accumulation) here in the Buckeye state. Last year's Winter was the coldest in three decades and this season is seeing slightly higher temperatures.
For drivers, that means better road conditions, especially in the Northern counties where the Lake-effect snow can wreak havoc on both major highways as long as less-traveled back roads. If this trend continues through March, auto insurance prices will likely remain more stable throughout the year.