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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

For the top ten national car insurance companies by market share, the average rate for drivers in Ohio is $2,829.  That rate is 28 percent lower than the national average for the same insurance companies.  That’s because 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.

There are a few other factors that contribute to these low rates, though they’re smaller factors. Population growth in Ohio has slowed since the 1960s, and the current population is skewed toward middle-age 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

Liberty Mutual car insurance rates are not currently available.

How We Found the Cheapest Car Insurance in Ohio

U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies. The rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 17, 25, 35, and 60 years. Vehicles used include the 2018 Honda Civic, 2018 Toyota RAV4, 2018 Ford-F-150, 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford-F-150 with annual mileage of 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. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only and individual rates will differ.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Ohio?

See the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

When we looked at the top 10 insurance national insurance companies, we found that their average rate in Ohio is $2,829. That’s higher than the average of all 250 or so companies operating in the state, but these companies usually offer more services to more people nationally. Of the top insurers, the two with rates close to Ohio’s across-the-board average were USAA and American Family, with rates around $1,500 per driver.

When we dug into the rates for different types of drivers and coverage, we found that the competitive market in Ohio still kept prices low. Younger drivers – those under 25 years old – saw rates that are significantly lower than some other states on average. Both male and female drivers who are 17 years old see average rates of less than $7,000.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Ohio for a 17-Year-Old


Single 17-year-old female

Single 17-year-old male




American Family















State Farm









Liberty Mutual car insurance rates are not currently available.

Choosing a higher amount of coverage barely raised rates compared to lower coverage. Rates for low coverage averaged $2,770, while high coverage was $2,900, a difference of less than $200. Given how expensive an accident can be – especially with costs like medical bills and property damage – paying an extra $200 per year for more coverage may be worth it.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Ohio Based on Coverage Level









American Family




















State Farm












Liberty Mutual car insurance rates are not currently available.

Even blemishes on your driving record don’t raise rates very much in Ohio. There is less than $1,000 difference between having a clean record and having one accident, one speeding ticket, or even one DUI on your record. 

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Ohio Based on Driving Record


Clean record

With 1 speeding violation

With 1 accident

With 1 DUI






American Family

























State Farm















Liberty Mutual car insurance rates are not currently available.

Having poor credit will add about $1,300 on average to your car insurance rate, but that’s still less expensive than many other states.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Ohio Based on Credit Score









American Family




















State Farm












Liberty Mutual car insurance rates are not currently available.

Those who drove 6,000 miles per year paid almost identical rates as those who drove 12,000 miles, so commute distance isn’t much of a factor in Ohio. (Commuting to another state, though, does make a difference. Read on for more.)

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Ohio Based on Miles Driven


6,000 miles annually

12,000 miles annually




American Family















State Farm









Liberty Mutual car insurance rates are not currently available.

Larger cities – including Cleveland, Columbus, and Toledo – had higher rates, which is typical in every state. Smaller cities, like Mansfield, had the lowest rates.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates in Ohio by City


Average Rate







Cuyahoga Falls






















Cleveland Heights












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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.


Cheapest Company

Drivers with a Military Affiliation


Teen Drivers

American Family

Drivers with Low Coverage

American Family

Drivers with High Coverage

American Family

Drivers with a Clean Record


Drivers with One Speeding Violation

American Family

Drivers with One Accident

American Family

Drivers with Good Credit

American Family

Drivers with Poor Credit

American Family

Low-mileage Drivers

American Family

High-mileage Drivers

American Family

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.

You might be wondering which of these ten is the least expensive in Ohio. USAA, American Family, and Geico have the lowest rates. All three are on average under $2,000. Curiously, Nationwide’s rates for high coverage are almost $600 lower than their rates for low coverage. That’s good to know if you know you want more than the most basic insurance.

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If you have poor credit, you will pay more than someone with good credit for insurance, even in Ohio. Most of the top ten insurers add about $700 on average to the rates for drivers with poor credit.

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Why Car Insurance Rates Vary in Ohio

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. Youngstown has the highest average rate in the state, at just under $3,500.

Toledo is another city in a similar situation. It has nearly 300,000 people within 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 comes in second for the highest car insurance rate in Ohio, with an average rate that’s only $10 less than Toledo’s. That said, Michigan has the highest car insurance rates in the country, with an average rate of $10,498. So even if you pay the average rate in Toledo of $3,462, you’ll still beat the Michigan average by $7,036 per year. That might make the commute worth it.

Smaller cities have cheaper rates, which is common. It’s worth noting that many residents of these smaller cities, like the 50,000 or so people in Mansfield, are likely commute to nearby Ohio cities rather than out-of-state cities.

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 FR requirement with insurance since it is relatively inexpensive in Ohio.

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

Without proof of FR, 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 FR 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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