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 40 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 Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. 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. Newer technology and features also help keep vehicles from sliding off the road in adverse weather. Note: Typically, The Ohio roads and highways with the most fatal accidents are I-70, I-71, I-75, US20, US6, US35, US62, and I-77.
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 and I-79, 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 2020 is about $850, which compares quite favorably to the national average of more than 1,000. When last year's 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 15 years ago, the Ohio average was $672, which means that prices have remained fairly stable for more than 10 years. The "sweet spots" for the lowest rates are ages 48-62. 16-18 are the ages with the highest premiums.
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 12 US hurricanes that caused the most damage (in dollars). Only Hurricane Ike impacted the Buckeye State.
1. Hurricane Katrina -- August 2005
2. Hurricane Harvey -- August 2017
3. Hurricane Maria -- October 2017
4. Hurricane Sandy -- October 2012
5. Hurricane Irma -- September 2017
6. Hurricane Andrew -- August 1992
7. Hurricane Ike -- September 2008
8. Hurricane Ivan -- September 2004
9. Hurricane Wilma -- October 2005
10. Hurricane Rita -- September 2005
11. Hurricane Michael -- October 2018
12. Hurricane Florence -- Florence 2018
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
Ohio Auto Insurance Consumer Complaints
Listed below are the most recently-published complaint ratios provided by the Department of Insurance. The carrier market share and complaint ratios are shown. Complaint ratios are based on the company's state market share and total complaints. The insurers are listed in order of market share, and the largest 20 are shown.
State Farm -- 17.41% Ohio Market Share and .63 Complaint Ratio
Progressive Specialty -- 7.17% Ohio Market Share and .64 Complaint Ratio
Progressive Direct -- 7.14% Ohio Market Share and .83 Complaint Ratio
Allstate Fire And Casualty -- 6.86% Ohio Market Share and 1.02 Complaint Ratio
Erie -- 3.59% Ohio Market Share and .34% Complaint Ratio
Nationwide Mutual -- 2.75% Ohio Market Share and .31 Complaint Ratio
Safeco -- 2.36% Ohio Market Share and .94% Complaint Ratio
Geico Advantage -- 2.33% Ohio Market Share and 1.23% Complaint Ratio
Grange Mutual Casualty -- 2.04% Ohio Market Share and .83% Complaint Ratio
Cincinnati -- 1.92% Ohio Market Share and .41% Complaint Ratio
LM General -- 1.81% Ohio Market Share and 1.22% Complaint Ratio
Nationwide General -- 1.76% Ohio Market Share and .85% Complaint Ratio
Grange Indemnity -- 1.72% Ohio Market Share and .95% Complaint Ratio
Geico Choice -- 1.64% Ohio Market Share and 1.35% Complaint Ratio
Nationwide Mutual -- 1.62% Ohio Market Share and .73% Complaint Ratio
Geico Casualty -- 1.52% Ohio Market Share and 1.29% Complaint Ratio
Farmers -- 1.39% Ohio Market Share and .61% Complaint Ratio
Home-Owners Insurance -- 1.29% Ohio Market Share and .25% Complaint Ratio
State Farm Fire And Casualty -- 1.25% Ohio Market Share and 1.51% Complaint Ratio
Allstate -- 1.24% Ohio Market Share and .79% Complaint Ratio
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, six years ago, these amounts were increased. Commercial and group plans already used higher amounts. Personal excess-liability contracts also required higher benefits. Most brokers and agents rarely wrote minimum-limit policies unless requested.
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. 100/300/50 limits are often required when leasing a vehicle.
The cost of increasing to these limits is not substantial, and we strongly recommend that you increase liability coverage every 5-7 years. Although tort reform in selected states may help reduce the need for sharply higher limits, utilizing state minimum limits should only be used unless absolutely necessary. Increasing deductibles at the time of increasing liability limits helps offset the rate increase. Older vehicles may no longer need collision coverage, unless an existing lien has not been payed off. Comprehensive (fire, theft, and vandalism) benefits are routinely retained on many older vehicles.
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, which will also eliminate substantial legal expenses incurred by the insurer.
Your Ohio Auto Insurance Rights
You can not be denied coverage because of discrimination against your race, creed, religion, or physical handicap that does not impact your driving. You have the right to receive a copy of your policy and any application and forms that you sign. A free quote for your coverage must be provided, although the actual rate may differ because of differences in the provided information needed for underwriting. This includes undisclosed tickets and accidents, and hidden modifications to a vehicle. If a policy is non-renewed or terminated, you must receive prior written notification of the reasons. Policyholders can cancel a policy at any time, although a penalty may be imposed by the carrier. Coverage should never be canceled on a vehicle you will continue to drive, unless another policy has been secured.
When your vehicle is getting repaired, you may choose the body shop, unless specially forbidden by your policy. Your estimate for repair must be in writing, and the amount is negotiable. Arbitration may also be available, depending upon the terms of your policy. Ohio has a comparative negligence law that his been active for more than 40 years. The responsibility of fault can be shared by multiple parties. This can help determine the amount of damages each party must pay. If "reasonable and prudent" care is not present, generally, you are considered to be negligent. "Pattern" settlements (routinely assigning a percentage of negligence) are not permitted in the Buckeye State.
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." Collision and comprehensive coverage will not be required, and the resulting premium will be more affordable. When the driving record improves, a newer vehicle will be much less expensive to cover.
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 may be able to sell the individual parts. If your credit is not above-average, securing the lowest available rates on a new policy may not be possible.
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 the 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, 43220, and associated zip codes will result in better offers than 43204 with some carriers. Several carriers charge a countywide rate, which does not distinguish between rural and suburban areas.
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, Maumee, Perrysburg, Ottawa Hills, and Shaker Heights. Homeowner's insurance rates are also lower in many of these areas. Lower incidences of thefts and vandalism help keep prices stable. Buckeye State zip codes with some of the highest rates include 44504, 44507, 44510, 43420, 44844, and 45816.
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 shop so you save! Get your free online quote now at the top of the page. Homeowner's, boat, rental property, RV, and mobile home insurance rates are also available. Many carriers offer substantial discounts when property and casualty policies are bundled.
Ohio State Highway Patrol
The OHSP keeps Buckeye State roadways safe and provides statewide traffic services. Investigations of criminal activities and offering emergency services are additional benefits to all state residents. More than 2,500 officers and support staff provide assistance. Nine districts cover the state with help from vehicles, SUVs, and aircraft. Multiple bulletins are provided to drivers, including the following topics: distracted driving, safety belt, teen driving, impaired driving, motorcycle, move over, pedestrian safety, winter driving, summer driving, and school bus safety,
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, feature attractive pricing. Leasing or purchasing generally does not impact your insurance costs, unless your existing liability and deductible amounts don't meet the lien's minimum requirements.
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.