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If you drive in Ohio, you’re in luck. The state is often among the least expensive for car insurance rates.

Population growth in Ohio has slowed since the 1960s, and the current population is skewed toward middle-aged and older drivers, who tend to have fewer accidents. There were 6.2 million registered vehicles as of 2009, and most people travel less than 30 minutes to work. Less time on the road means less chance of getting into an accident.

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Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Ohio

The rates shown here are based on a study performed by Quadrant Information services on behalf of U.S. News. The study examined rates from 10 largest car insurance companies in the United States, using certain driver profiles. Your rates will differ.

How We Found the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

At U.S. News, we’re all about helping people make life’s important decisions. Our college rankings, launched in 1983, set the standard in educational rankings. Our ranking in other fields, like healthcare, government, and the automotive sphere, help people and thought leaders make choices that make lives better. Now we’re continuing to empower you with the information you need to make the right choices for your life with our Cheapest Car Insurance Rankings.

Our Study Rates

For this study, U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to analyze a report of insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies, though not every company operates in every state Quadrant obtained publicly available rate data that car insurers file with state regulators. Our study rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford-F-150, with annual mileage ranging from 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations of certain driver archetypes. To get the state-wide study rates shown here, we computed the mean rate for male and female drivers ages 24, 35 and 60 who drive 15,000 miles per year, have medium coverage, good credit and a clean driving record.  The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only and should not be considered “average” rates available by individual insurers. Because car insurance rates are based on individual factors, your car insurance rates will differ from the rates shown here.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Ohio

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For the top ten national car insurance companies by market share, the average rate in our study in Ohio was $941.36.  The state has a very competitive market, with almost 250 different insurers offering coverage. One reason for having so many insurers is Ohio’s location in the American heartland. There haven’t traditionally been many storms and hurricanes causing major – and majorly expensive – damage here. Insurance companies tend to avoid risk if they can help it, especially smaller insurers. Our research focused only on the top national insurance companies, so the averages you’ll see in this article don’t include the other 200-plus insurers in Ohio.

Ohio Car Insurance Rates by Age

To find the average rates in or study based on gender and age, we created driver profiles for males and females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles also have a clean driving record, insurance coverage for 12,000 miles per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

When we dug into the rates for different types of drivers and coverage, we found that the competitive market in Ohio kept prices low. Study rates for our 25-year-old driver profile averaged about $1,100. When we increased the profile age to 35 years old, the average rates in our study dropped to about $900, and for a profile driver at 60 years old, the study rate dropped to about $800.

Company

25-year-old male

25-year-old female

35-year-old male

35-year-old female

60-year-old male

60-year-old female

Allstate

$1,422.96

$1,337.14

$1,274.44

$1,275.29

$1,233.30

$1,158.08

American Family

$893.52

$850.00

$718.65

$693.11

$642.94

$639.53

Farmers

$1,252.10

$1,184.34

$1,011.08

$1,014.28

$895.36

$831.72

Geico

$703.23

$824.81

$689.21

$710.87

$649.42

$646.82

Nationwide

$1,701.16

$1,397.29

$1,300.19

$1,290.03

$1,125.16

$1,114.95

Progressive

$1,278.93

$1,223.78

$917.87

$985.54

$811.18

$777.17

State Farm

$1,279.65

$1,118.39

$974.72

$974.72

$887.10

$887.10

Travelers

$869.22

$766.39

$738.44

$727.52

$671.34

$672.78

USAA

$809.97

$754.52

$576.92

$572.32

$538.30

$538.62

Ohio Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record

As you might expect, a person's driving record has a large impact on insurance rates, according to our study. To find out just how much of an effect, we compared driver profiles including those with a clean record, those with one speeding violation, those with one accident, and those with one instance of driving under the influence (DUI). These driving record representative profiles included 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles of mileage per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis are the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

According to our findings, a blemish on a driving record didn’t raise rates very much in Ohio. The driver profile with a clean record had an average rate in our study of $941. With one speeding ticket added to the profile, the study rate rose to $1,151. With one accident on the profile record, the study rate rose to $1,325. And with one DUI on the driver profile, the average study rate rose by more than $500 to $1,450.

Company

Clean record

With 1 speeding violation

With 1 accident

With 1 DUI

Allstate

$1,283.54

$1,428.68

$1,695.99

$1,746.18

American Family

$739.63

$776.95

$776.95

$776.95

Farmers

$1,031.48

$1,522.19

$1,498.28

$1,444.58

Geico

$704.06

$960.28

$998.74

$1,493.92

Nationwide

$1,321.46

$1,541.95

$1,940.75

$2,677.91

Progressive

$999.08

$1,368.08

$1,858.17

$1,149.82

State Farm

$1,020.28

$1,115.18

$1,210.10

$1,115.18

Travelers

$740.95

$951.94

$1,082.99

$1,664.22

USAA

$631.78

$696.77

$859.06

$985.15

Ohio Car Insurance Rates by Credit Score

Our study reviewed the effects of credit score on car insurance rates using male and female driver profiles with ages of 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. We created a profile for each level of credit score (good, fair, and poor) and assigned the profiles a clean driving record, a good credit score, a medium level of insurance coverage, and 12,000 miles of annual mileage. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 are the vehicles used in our analysis.

According to our analysis, a driver profile with good credit had an average rate of $941, while a driver profile with poor credit had an average rate in our study of $1,577.

Company

Good

Fair

Poor

Allstate

$1,283.54

$1,513.05

$2,057.46

American Family

$739.63

$866.92

$1,257.57

Farmers

$1,031.48

$1,177.91

$1,734.55

Geico

$704.06

$867.87

$1,031.66

Nationwide

$1,321.46

$1,544.26

$1,891.77

Progressive

$999.08

$1,243.76

$1,775.02

State Farm

$1,020.28

$1,292.25

$2,085.81

Travelers

$740.95

$921.19

$1,306.60

USAA

$631.78

$736.35

$1,050.59

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Ohio Auto Insurance Minimum Coverage Requirements

Ohio is one of the states that doesn’t require insurance. If you choose not to carry car insurance, you must have proof of financial responsibility, known as FR in Ohio.

Most people choose to have auto insurance. The state does set minimum requirements for anyone who goes the insurance route:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability for one accident and $50,000 for all persons in an accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability for one accident
  • Certificate of FR from Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles

These requirements are low, but they’re pretty typical for most states. Drivers may worry that this minimum insurance won’t cover them in the event of a crash, but that buying more coverage will break their budget. However, the Ohio Department of Insurance notes that insurance is less expensive thanks to the sheer number of coverage providers. It recommends calling around to find a rate you can afford for coverage that truly covers your car.

On the other hand, you don’t have to have insurance at all if you don’t want to. If you choose this route, you still have to have three things:

  • $30,000 money or bond on deposit with the Treasurer of the State of Ohio
  • Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles certificate for $30,000 signed by two individuals whose real estate equity is at least $60,000
  • Certificate of FR from Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles

If you are involved in a crash and a police officer arrives on the scene, you will be required to show proof of FR whether you’re insured through a company or have the $30,000 on deposit.

Cheapest Car Insurance in Ohio

Note: Due to USAA's limited membership, we excluded them from this segment evaluation.

Category

Cheapest Company

Drivers with a Military Affiliation

USAA

Single Male Young Adult Drivers

Geico

Single Female Young Adult Drivers

Travelers

Married Male Adult Drivers

Geico

Married Female Adult Drivers

American Family

Senior Drivers

American Family

Drivers with Good Credit

Geico

Drivers with Poor Credit

Geico

Drivers with a Clean Record

Geico

Drivers with One Speeding Violation

American Family

Drivers with One Accident

American Family

Drivers with One DUI

American Family

Low-mileage Drivers

Geico

High-mileage Drivers

Geico

Drivers with Low Coverage

Geico

Drivers with High Coverage

Travelers

Drivers with Used Cars

Geico

Drivers with New Cars

Geico

To find which car insurance company offers the lowest rates in Ohio, our study used representative driver profiles with good credit, medium insurance coverage, a clean driving record, and 12,000 miles of annual mileage. Our profiles included male and females with the ages of 25, 35, and 60. The vehicles used in our study are the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Finding the cheapest car insurance for your demographic and vehicle in Ohio is really a matter of shopping around. The average rates are so low here that there is little financial penalty for driving more, having an accident, or choosing more coverage. Choosing one of the 10 largest national insurers that we studied may give you more peace of mind that they’ll be around for the long haul, but if budget is your No. 1 concern, shopping a smaller insurer may make sense.

Kittisak Jirasittichai / EyeEm / Getty Images

You might be wondering which of these ten is the least expensive in Ohio. According to our research, USAA, Geico, American Family, and Travelers had average study rates for our driver profiles that were under $750. Progressive was the next cheapest, with an average rate in our study of $999. Other insurers in our study had average rates for our driver profile that were over $1,000.

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Why Car Insurance Rates Vary in Ohio

We checked our study's driver profiles in some of Ohio's largest cities to find out how city of residence can affect insurance rates. Our profiles are based on 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with a clean driving record, 12,000 miles of mileage per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis are the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

It’s the same story in Ohio as it is in other states: The largest cities with the densest populations have the highest rates. The more cars there are moving about, the more likely it is that at least two of those cars will have an unfortunate meeting. Those drivers will turn to their insurance companies (because most drivers in Ohio have car insurance rather than bonds) to pay for the repairs and medical bills. That also means the insurance company will have to pay out – and paying out raises rates.

There’s another factor at work in Ohio, though. It has large cities on the border with other states. Many of those residents commute into those states for work. That means potentially more time in the car, which raises rates, and it means that another state’s insurance laws can come into play.

Here are a couple of examples. Youngstown has about 500,000 residents, so it’s a good-sized city on its own. It also sits on the border with Pennsylvania, and it’s about an hour and a half to drive to either Cleveland or Pittsburgh. According to our analysis, Youngstown had the highest average study rate in the state, at $1,124.

Toledo is another city in a similar situation. It has nearly 300,000 people within the city limits and a very large metro area surrounding it. It’s on the border of Michigan, and it’s only an hour-long drive from Detroit. It came in second for the highest car insurance rate in Ohio, with an average rate in our study that’s only $10 less than Toledo’s. That said, Michigan has the highest car insurance rates in the country, according to our study, with an average rate of $2,444. So even if you pay the average rate in Toledo of $1,115, you’ll still beat the Michigan average by $1,329 per year. That might make the commute worth it.

How to Get Cheapest Car Insurance in Ohio

Rates for young drivers are lower here than in other states, but there’s still a big drop between 17-year-old drivers and 25-year-olds. Ohio’s rates are so low and competitive that after that age, rates stay pretty flat – under $2,000 on average.

Typical car insurance discounts can help keep those rates as low as possible. The large insurance companies that we looked at usually offer several types of insurance, such as home or renters insurance. If you bundle your auto policy with another line of insurance, the company will usually offer a loyalty discount. Also check with your insurer to see if they offer discounts for good students or military service.

Choosing a higher deductible will also lower your rate. That means you’ll have to pay more out of pocket in the event of a crash, but your regular check to the insurance company will be smaller. Of course, if you can pay $30,000 out of pocket, you can do without insurance at all in Ohio by having a bond and proof of FR.

The best way to lower your rate is to be a good driver. Some insurance companies have an app, like Allstate’s Drivewise, that monitors a few basic metrics as you drive: keeping speeds below 80 mph, avoiding late-night driving, and hard braking. Drive safely, and you’ll soon see savings on your insurance.

Important Laws Around Auto Insurance in Ohio

Ohio is an “at fault” state rather than a “no-fault” state. That means that whoever caused the accident pays. Its neighbors Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky are no-fault states, where each driver files claims with their own insurance after an accident, no matter who caused the crash. This contributes to the rates being higher in cities bordering those states.

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There are a few basics that Ohio has in common with other states. You can use a digital insurance card in Ohio on your phone or other device. And if your license is suspended, you may have to file an SR-22/bond for non-owner insurance with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. There are many ways to have your license suspended, but one of the most frequent is having a DUI conviction.

Ohio Driving Laws and Punishments

Texting While Driving and Distracted Driver Laws in Ohio

Texting while driving is a minor misdemeanor in Ohio. As in most states, it’s a secondary offense which means you can’t be pulled over only for distracted driving. But if you were pulled over for something else – such as speeding or having a tail light out – while you were texting, then the distracted driving citation can be added. Whatever the primary offense was, this adds a $100 fine to your bill.

DUI Laws in Ohio

Operating a vehicle under the influence, or OVI as it’s called in the Ohio law books, means a blood alcohol level or .08, or .02 if the driver is under 21. A conviction results in a mandatory sentence of three days in jail, and the judge can choose to require you to attend an intervention program. There’s also a minimum $375 fine, and your license will either be suspended for minimum one year or you’ll have an interlock device installed in your vehicle. 

Uninsured motorist laws in Ohio

As we’ve noted, you don’t have to have car insurance in Ohio, but you do have to have proof of financial responsibility. You must have $30,000 in reserve with the state treasury to pay your bills if you cause an accident.

Any time an officer pulls you over or you’re in a crash, the officer can ask to see your proof of financial responsibility, or FR, whether that’s insurance or the bond. If you don’t have that certificate, you have up to 90 days total to comply. After that, your license is suspended by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and you can no longer legally drive.

Ohio Car Insurance FAQs

Is car insurance required in Ohio?

No, but proof of financial responsibility (FR) is. This can be fulfilled with insurance or a bond; in either case, a certificate showing FR is required.

Which cars are required to be insured in Ohio?

Ohio doesn’t require that nonrunning cars or cars in storage be insured. If it’s not being driven, there’s no driver to be at fault in an accident. You may choose to retain comprehensive coverage in case something happens to the car, such as a branch falling on it while it’s parked.

When should I get car insurance in Ohio?

You should get insurance as soon as you get a car. Most drivers fill the financial responsibility requirement with insurance since it is relatively inexpensive in Ohio.

What happens if my car is not properly insured in Ohio?

Without proof of financial responsibility, your license can be suspended.

Is Ohio a no-fault state?

No, Ohio is an at-fault state, meaning that whichever driver caused the accident is responsible for medical and repair bills.

Do I need uninsured motorist coverage in Ohio?

About 9% of drivers are uninsured and have no proof of financial responsibility in Ohio. Rates are so inexpensive that it’s often less than $100 a year to add uninsured/uninsured motorist coverage, though it is not required by the state.

Is liability insurance required in Ohio?

No, liability insurance is not required in Ohio as long as you have a bond of $30,000 on file with the treasury department. Most drivers choose car insurance, in which case you do need minimum personal and property liability coverage.

Does Ohio accept digital insurance cards?

Yes, Ohio does accept digital insurance cards as of 2015.

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