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Ohio car insurance rates

We studied auto insurance quotes in cities across Ohio to determine which companies were the most affordable (and most expensive). Car insurance rates in Ohio can cost $417 or $35 per month for our sample drivers with a liability policy just above the state minimum. Our study also found that the most expensive insurers cost nearly 3.3x the cheapest auto insurance company in Ohio. In order to get the good rates for themselves, drivers should obtain quotes from at least three companies before deciding which to insure with. Read more below, or enter your zip code above to see a list of companies to begin shopping from.

  • Cheapest Auto Insurance Companies
  • Best Car Insurance Rates: by City
  • Best Auto Insurance Companies in Ohio
  • Average Cost of Car Insurance: by City
  • OH Minimum Coverage Requirements

Cheapest Auto Insurance Companies in Ohio

As part of our analysis, we compared quotes at 21 auto insurers for four different drivers (two single males ages 30 and 65, and two married couples ages 30 and 65) in the state of Ohio to find the ones with the lowest costs. Our benchmark policy adds uninsured motorist coverage to a auto insurance policy with Ohio's minimum requirements. Here are the insurers ranked from the cheapest to the most expensive in Ohio from our analysis:

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Based on our analysis, the best rates came from Motorists Mutual, Erie, Grange Mutual, Cincinnati Insurance, and Westfield – both Grange Mutual and Motorist Mutual are Ohio local companies – which make up the five overall cheapest auto insurance companies in Ohio. Motorists Mutual had the lowest insurance prices coming in at $273 annually. Erie's rates were just $17 higher. Rounding out our cheapest three were Grange Mutual, also with rates just slightly higher at $324 a year. Merchants Insurance Group, Farmers, Western Reserve, Atlantic States and Liberty Mutual also had rates that were cheaper than the state average for our benchmarks.

This list might be different depending on where you live in Ohio, and your actual quotes will reflect your driving profile, the liability limits you choose, as well as the kind of car you drive, etc.

Most Expensive Auto Insurance Companies

How about the most expensive companies? We found that four our four single motorists and married drivers, Ohio Mutual, Encompass, and State Farm actually had the higher rates in the analysis. Together, these carriers averaged $533 a year for a policy with liability limits of 25/50/25 for both BI and UM for our four Ohioans. They cost about 28% more than what the typical company charged in Ohio for our profiled drivers.

Here is a list of all the Ohio auto insurers we have looked at, compiled into a table for your convenience. Companies are listed from the cheapest average annual rate (for the benchmark drivers we studied) to the highest.

RankAuto Insurance CompanyAverage Annual Rate
1 Motorists Mutual $273
2 Erie 290
3 Grange Mutual 324
4 Cincinnati Insurance 339
5 Westfield 348
6 Merchants Insurance Group 349
7 Farmers 356
8 Western Reserve 398
9 Atlantic States 404
10 Liberty Mutual 414
11 General Casualty 430
12 Hastings Mutual 440
13 American Family 444
14 Central Mutual 446
15 Celina Insurance 453
16 The Hartford 455
17 State Auto 483
18 Titan 510
19 State Farm 522
20 Encompass 536
21 Ohio Mutual 541

Cheapest Car Insurance in Ohio: by City

As we mentioned before, costs are quite different when comparing one city to another. In this section, we'll review premiums and the cheapest companies at the city level, starting with the biggest cities in Ohio.

Columbus, OH

The largest city in Ohio, Columbus is home to 787,000 residents and a number of other institutions. The Ohio State University, the nation's largest university, is located here, as well as Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company's headquarters. In terms of auto insurance, the average cost here actually is about par with the state average, running around $419 a year. 

If you're looking for cheap auto insurance quotes in Columbus, you might want to start with Erie, Motorists Mutual, and Westfield, which had the lowest rates in our study. Their premium quotes averaged $292 a year - that's a savings of 30% off of the citywide average. However, if you are married and living with your spouse here, check out Cincinnati Insurance as well. For our sample married motorists, Cincinnati came in second lowest at $312 a year.

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Cleveland, OH

Home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, Cleveland comes in as the priciest city on our list. Citizens of Cleveland can expect to pay an annual auto insurance premium that's roughly $505, or 21% higher than the average Ohioan. Even if it is the most expensive for car insurance in the state, there is still room to save with some comparison shopping.

We found that Motorists Mutual, Farmers, Merchants Insurance Group, Grange Mutual, and Cincinnati were the five cheapest car insurance companies in Cleveland with an average annual cost of $377. Compared to the Cleveland average cost, these insurers were 25% cheaper. If you are a single Ohioan, we recommend adding Westfield and State Farm onto your list – they came in as the third and fourth cheapest among 21 insurers for our sample single drivers, and averaged $369 a year.

Group one insurance cars 2012

Cincinnati, OH

With nearly 300,000 residents, Cincinnati is the third largest city in Ohio. It is the hometown of the Cincinnati Reds, and the headquarters for a wide array of corporations, from Procter & Gamble and Macy's to insurance groups such as American Financial Group and Great American Insurance Company. The cost of insuring a vehicle in Cincinnati can average $415 annually, which is just below the state average. 

Erie, Motorists Mutual, and Cincinnati Insurance (a local!), were three of companies with the lowest car insurance rates in Cincinnati. They were 31% lower than the rest of the city with an annual average of $287, or near $24 a month. If you live with your spouse in the Queen City, definitely check out Erie too – our sample married motorists found Erie quotes that were just $294 at Cincinnati Insurance.

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Toledo, OH

Toledo, "The Glass City", is the 4th largest city in Ohio and is bordered to the east by Lake Erie and to the north by the state of Michigan. We found car insurance quotes in Toledo found to be 7% higher than the state average although they were much cheaper than the second most expensive city, Youngstown (13% above OH average). Our benchmark drivers found that insuring their car in Toledo cost $447 a year for a minimum policy.

Nevertheless, there are chances to save. The most affordable quotes for insuring our drivers' car were found at Motorists Mutual of $346 a year on average, which was 23% lower than the mean city cost. Erie, Westfield, Cincinnati Insurance, and Merchants Insurance Group round up the rest of the five least expensive companies. On the higher end? Encompass can cost as much as $552 a year for a similar policy, more than 1.5 times the costs of these lower cost insurers. Compare at least 3 insurers before making your choice.

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Akron, OH

Located in the Great Lakes region near the Cuyahoga National Park, Akron is the fifth largest city in Ohio with 199,000 residents. Every summer, it hosts the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational and the All-American Soap Box Derby. The annual cost of auto insurance here is $403, which is 3% lower than the Ohio mean.

With Motorists Mutual, Erie and Westfield, we found low-cost car insurance in Akron for as low as $286 a year. If you are a single motorist living away from family members in Akron, you may save even more by going with Grange Mutual; our sample unmarried drivers found great quotes of about $270 a year with the insurer for their Toyota.

Frizzells car insurance reviews

Brunswick, OH

Located in Medina County towards the south side of the Cleveland metro area, Brunswick is the 34th largest town in the state. In our study, Brunswick ranked as the cheapest city in Ohio. Brunswick's average auto insurance prices were 20% cheaper than the state average at $557 annually.

Findlay, OH

The 'Flag City' comes in as the 2nd cheapest on our list at only $12 more expensive than Brunswick. From a population standpoint, Findlay ranked as the 32nd largest city in Ohio with a population around 40,000. Beyond having cheap auto insurance, Findlay is also home to one of the top 100 hospitals in the US and lays claim to being one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People.

Bowling Green, OH

Home to Bowling Green State University, the 7th largest University in Ohio, this town of 30,028 sits 25 miles south of Toledo, OH and has the third cheapest auto insurance in the Buckeye State. At $48 per month on average, or $581 annually, Bowling Green's insurance rates only missed out on the top spot by $24.

Mentor, OH

Fourth cheapest in the state was the city of Mentor. Located 25 miles northeast of Cleveland in Lake County, OH, Mentor is home to 47,000 residents. Amongst other awards the city has won is a 'Best Places to Live in America' ranking of 37 back in 2010. Mentor residents average paying $595 per year on their auto insurance.

Cuyahoga Falls, OH

A northern suburb of Akron, OH, Cuyahoga Falls rounds out our Top 5 and solidifies itself as having one of the cheapest car insurance rates in OH. At 12% cheaper than the average Ohio town, Cuyahoga Falls residents pay around $50 a month for their car insurance coverage.

Youngstown, OH

Even having lost a large percentage of their population of the last 50 years, Youngstown is still the 9th largest city in Ohio. Unfortunately, they also have the most expensive auto insurance premiums according to our most recent car insurance study in the state. At $936 per year on average, Youngstown is almost 34% more expensive than the mean annual insurance rate in OH. If you're looking for affordable car insurance in Youngstown, include USAA, Grange Mutual, and GEICO Insurance in your comparison shopping. Based on our results, we found that these three insurers averaged $492, which was almost half the cost of the citywide average.

Euclid, OH

The first of four Cleveland-metro area towns in our bottom 5, Euclid sits 12 miles northeast of downtown Cleveland on the banks of Lake Erie. The average annual auto insurance rate in Euclid was $919 - second costliest in the state - which works out to just under $77 per month.

Lakewood, OH

Only a few miles west of the downtown area, Lakewood is our third most expensive city in Ohio for auto insurance coming in at $1 less than it's 2nd place predecessor, Euclid. Mean premiums in Lakewood can go for $918 a year.

Best Auto Insurance Companies in Ohio

Just looking at companies with the cheapest rates doesn't always answer the question as to which insurance provider to pick. For example, if a company has cheap rates but horrible customer service, it may not be worth the headache for certain drivers. Below you'll find a list of 31 major auto insurers in Ohio (measured by market cap) and the complaint ratio for each. The complaint ratio represents the number of complaints a company gets in 2013 in comparison to their total premiums written. The lower the complaint ratio, the better the company. Companies that are not on this list could mean that the Ohio government did not receive its consumer complaint report in 2013.

Based on this metric, Central Mutual, State Auto, and Motorists Mutual (also our third cheapest insurer!) are the three best rated car insurance companies in Ohio. Cincinnati Insurance, our second lowest cost insurer, followed right behind.

Rank Company 2013 Written Premiums OH Market Share (%) 2013 Complaint Ratio
1 Central Mutual $26,440,517 0.49 0.04
2 State Auto 69,644,140 1.28 0.07
3 Motorists Mutual 88,632,756 1.63 0.11
4 Cincinnati Insurance 128,477,590 2.36 0.12
4 Travelers 42,467,217 0.78 0.12
4 Western Reserve 40,102,403 0.74 0.12
7 Auto-Owners 30,341,579 0.56 0.13
8 American family 103,200,599 1.89 0.15
8 Nationwide 454,751,466 8.35 0.15
10 Westfield 148,615,095 2.73 0.16
11 Ohio Mutual 37,139,756 0.68 0.16
12 Erie 151,364,563 2.78 0.18
13 State Farm 1,029,509,479 18.9 0.19
14 Safeco 109,992,905 2.02 0.19
15 Grange Mutual 273,045,900 5.01 0.20
16 Allstate 461,036,052 8.46 0.22
17 USAA* 116,529,019 2.14 0.23
18 The Hartford 26,318,736 0.48 0.23
19 Liberty Mutual 95,000,409 1.75 0.24
20 Pekin Insurance 29,637,585 0.54 0.24
20 United Ohio Insurance 24,985,432 0.46 0.24
22 GEICO 299,214,594 5.49 0.25
22 Victoria 40,730,902 0.75 0.25
24 Progressive 691,877,871 12.69 0.26
25 Esurance 29,732,800 0.55 0.27
25 MetLife 22,080,105 0.41 0.27
27 Northbrook Insurance 29,560,235 0.54 0.37
28 Farmers 104,618,330 1.92 0.39
29 Safe Auto 54,951,026 1.01 0.66
30 The General 25,499,972 0.47 0.78
31 Alfa 25,315,071 0.47 1.11

*USAA only sells auto insurance policies to motorists with a military affiliation - they have to be either a retired or active personnel or officer in the military, or related to someone who is.

Car Insurance Costs in Ohio: by City

Here's a look at the some of the other largest cities in the state and where they stack up against other towns. The cities are listed from cheapest to most expensive and the number in the chart represents the average annual auto insurance premium.

States with lower car insurance rates

Here's a table of the 10 cities we looked at in Ohio, with cities listed in alphabetical order. You'll also see how much cheaper or more expensive rates are than the state average (negative numbers indicate cheaper than average places).

City Average Annual Rate % Higher/Lower Than Avg
Akron $403 -3%
Canton 376 -10%
Cincinnati 415 0%
Cleveland 505 21%
Columbus 419 1%
Dayton 382 -8%
Lorain 370 -11%
Parma 380 -9%
Toledo 447 7%
Youngstown 471 13%

Surveyed auto insurance costs in Ohio are for illustrative purposes only and actual quotes will vary based on your physical residence, driving history, and other factors.

Minimum Auto Insurance Coverage Requirements in Ohio

Ohio's minimum liability insurance requirements are 25/50/25. We have used a slightly more comprehensive policy for the study, as detailed in the coverage comparison table below.

Ohio Limits Analysis Limits
Bodily Injury (BI) $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident
Property Damage (PD) $25,000 $25,000
Uninsured Motorist BI Optional $25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident
Uninsured Motorist PD Optional $25,000

Study Methodology

The sample quotes we obtained were for a 2010 Toyota Camry that the sample drivers own. Everyone’s credit is excellent and has clean driving records in the past 5 years. For purpose of the study, in a typical year, our hypothetical drivers log 12,000 miles in their vehicle which they primarily use to commute to and from work. Here are our 4 groups of sample Ohio motorists:

  • Single Male, age 30
  • Single Male, age 65
  • Married Couple (2 drivers), age 30
  • Married Couple (2 drivers), age 65

Finally, we looked at quotes from 21 auto insurance companies – including ones with national coverage and ones who are local – and averaged the sample rates to come up with a city average. Among the companies, these were Ohio locals: Celina Insurance, Cincinnati Insurance, Grange Mutual, Motorists Mutual, Ohio Mutual, State Auto, Western Reserve, Westfield, and Central Mutual.

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Learn everything you need to know to make smart decisions about buying car insurance in Ohio. We outline average car insurance rates by ZIP code and offer recommendations for how much coverage you need. We also provide details about Ohio car insurance laws.

The average car insurance rate in Ohio is $771 a year – only Maine has a lower average annual rate. The severity and frequency of claims in your neighborhood, your driving record, the type of car you drive, your credit and other factors are used by insurance companies to figure out how much you pay. That’s why the price for the same coverage can vary significantly among insurance companies — and why you should compare rates. For example, $1,393 is the highest rate among six carriers for Toledo ZIP code 43611. That’s nearly three times as much as the lowest ($502). To get an idea of what rates are for your area, enter a ZIP code to see the average premium for that location. You will also see the highest and lowest rates from the six major carriers surveyed. This way you can tell if your quotes are too high and if you should keep shopping for a lower rate.

Cheap car insurance in Ohio

Ohio car insurance requirements

State law requires the following coverages:
Minimum bodily injury liability $25,000/$50,000
Minimum property damage liability $25,000

Ohio car insurance laws mandate that drivers carry minimum liability coverage limits of 25/50/25 on their vehicle. Buying the state required limits to drive is definitely the cheapest way to go. Everyone likes to save money, but buying cheap car insurance may not be the wisest option for many drivers. Your assets and savings are in jeopardy if you get into an accident and only have minimum coverage.

It does cost more to buy more protection, but as you’ll see in the chart below, additional coverage is typically affordable. Increasing your insurance from the state minimum to full coverage with a $1,000 deductible costs, on average, $656 more, or $55 a month.

Coverage limits Average annual rate
Liability Only – state minimum $579
Liability Only - 50/100/50 BI/PD $602
Full Coverage - 100/300/100 BI/PD
$1,000 Comp/Collision deductible
$1,235
Full Coverage - 100/300/100 BI/PD
$500 Comp/Collision deductible
$1,392
Full Coverage - 100/300/100 BI/PD
$250 Comp/Collision deductible
$1,524

*The table shows the average annual rate of 10 ZIP codes in the state from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.

Recommended car insurance coverage

The cheapest car insurance isn’t always the best car insurance if you have a home and other assets. State minimum coverage often isn’t enough to shield your assets from lawsuits.

Your savings and house can be taken or your wages garnished to pay for damage you cause in an accident if your insurance can’t cover the whole bill. Even minor accidents can add up to major bills and exceed minimum liability insurance pay outs. For instance, let’s say you have $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance. If you then cause an accident that costs $55,000, you’re on the hook for $30,000. Your assets may be seized to cover the expenses if you can’t pay it.

Use our How Much Car Insurance Do You Need? tool to get a recommendation.

AGE STATE VEHICLE MODEL YEAR PRIMARY RESIDENCE OWN RENT VEHICLE FINANCING OWNED FINANCED LEASED

Liability

We recommend you buy more insurance than is required to legally drive a car in your state, especially if you have savings and assets. The more money you have, the more likely you are to be sued following a car accident should your insurance be insufficient to cover all the expenses. If your net worth is:

  • less than $50,000, choose at least 50/100/50
  • between $50,000 and $100,000, choose at least 100/300/100
  • more than $100,000, choose at least 250/500/100

If you're leasing or financing your car, you must get coverage of 100/300/100 or higher.

Collision and comprehensive

Collision coverage pays for damage to your car after an accident that you cause. Comprehensive insurance pays to replace stolen cars and for damages from vandalism, flooding, hail, fire and animal strikes. If your car is:

  • less than 10 years old, you should strongly consider buying collision and comprehensive.
  • more than 10 years old, only buy collision and comprehensive if your car is worth $3,000 or more, if you couldn’t afford to replace your car if it’s wrecked, or if you just want more protection on your policy.

If you buy comp and collision, check our guide to choosing a deductible amount.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist

Uninsured motorist coverage and underinsured motorist coverage pays for damages if you’re hit by a driver with no insurance or a driver with coverage that’s insufficient to pay for your repairs and medical expenses. It's optional, but with one out of eight drivers uninsured, it's a wise move. We recommend buying coverage that mirrors your liability amounts.

Medical coverage (MedPay)

Medical payments coverage can help pay for the medical or funeral expenses of covered drivers and passengers after an accident, regardless of fault, up to $25,000. In most states, including Ohio, it's an optional addition to your car insurance policy. MedPay does the following:

  • Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses
  • Pays for expenses after health insurance limits are exceeded
  • Offers additional protection to insured drivers who are hit by a car while walking or biking

If you and your passengers:

  • Don’t have health insurance, or have a plan that doesn’t cover car accidents or has low limits, we recommend that you add medical coverage of at least $5,000 to your car insurance policy.
  • Do have health insurance, it’s still a good idea to have medical coverage if you want the best protection in your policy, as it can pay out after your health benefits are maxed out.

Gap insurance

If you don’t own your car outright and have an accident, gap insurance pays the difference between the cash value of your car and the current outstanding balance on your loan or lease.

  • If you’re financing your car, your car is less than one year old and you’ve put less than 20 percent down on it, you should buy gap insurance. If not, you don’t need gap insurance.
  • If you’re leasing your car, it’s a good idea to buy gap insurance if you aren’t already required to in your lease agreement.
  • If you own your car outright, you don’t need gap insurance.

Car insurance companies in Ohio

Scores are based on Insure.com’s “Best Insurance Companies” customer review survey of 3,700 customers. Companies not in the top 10 of market share do not qualify. All scores are out of 100.

Best car insurance companies in Ohio

Best customer service:

  1. State Farm—92
  2. Allstate – 91.8
  3. Nationwide – 90.4
  4. American Family – 89.9
  5. Geico – 88.7

Best claims service:

  1. Liberty Mutual – 96
  2. Geico –93.9
  3. Progressive – 92.5
  4. State Farm – 91.8
  5. Nationwide – 91.6

Best value for the price:

  1. American Family – 89.7
  2. Erie – 88.8
  3. Progressive – 86.3
  4. State Farm – 84.6
  5. Nationwide – 83.2

Get Personalized Car Insurance Quotes Age Currently Insured I am married I own my home I've served in the military

Largest car insurance companies in Ohio

Rank Company Name Direct premiums written Market share % Overall Customer Review Ranking
1 State Farm Group 1,173,933 19.58% 90.4
2 Progressive Insurance Group 734,398 12.25% 89.6
3 Allstate Insurance Group 544,271 9.08% 87
4 Nationwide Group 544,271 9.08% 89
5 Geico 373,293 6.23% 88.1
6 Grange Mutual Casualty Pool 325,182 5.42% n/a
7 Liberty Mutual 275,704 4.6% 86.4
8 Erie Insurance Group 180,771 3.02% 85.4
9 American Family Insurance Group 160,618 2.68% 89.2
10 Westfield Group 155,952 2.6% n/a

Source: A.M. Best market share rankings are based on direct premiums written in 2015.

Customer review rankings based on Insure.com's 2016 "Best Insurance Companies" survey of 3,700 customers. Scores out of 100.

Ohio car insurance laws and resources

Credit score: Making sure your credit is used correctly

Some car insurance companies in Ohio use credit scores when calculating your rate. Companies that use credit scores develop their own credit scoring model that relies on information in your credit report. Ask your insurer if it uses this practice, and if so, you can request that it re-check your credit score annually. Additionally, if you find an error on your credit report and have it corrected, you can ask your car insurance company to recalculate your rates.

Tickets and accidents and your car insurance

Car insurance companies usually review your driving record (often called a “driver abstract”) when renewing your policy. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) sends insurance companies only your record from the past three years, but convictions never come off an Ohio driving record. However, most insurance companies only charge you higher car insurance rates for accidents and tickets for up to three to five years. To get a copy of your record, visit the BMV website.

Ohio Automobile Insurance Plan (OAIP)

If you have a poor driving record and can’t find an insurance company to sell you a policy, you can use the Ohio Automobile Insurance Plan (OAIP) as a last resort. The group is comprised of major carriers and is required by state law to sell you liability insurance. You must buy at least the state minimum, but you are free to purchase higher liability limits if you want. Because all OAIP policies are for high-risk drivers, who tend to get into more accidents and file more claims, you will pay steep car insurance rates. You can stay on an OAIP policy for three years. However, as soon as you’re able to buy a standard policy, you can do so.

To buy an OAIP policy, you must have an insurance agent file an application on your behalf. You will then be assigned to one of the companies in the OAIP pool. For more information call the Ohio Auto Plan at (614) 221-2596.

Discount for seniors

If you are age 60 to 70, you can get a car insurance discount if you pass an accident-prevention course approved by the BMV. You must give your insurance company the certificate proving you passed the course. You will then get a discount of 2 to 15 percent off the liability portion of your coverage for three years.

Comparative negligence law

Ohio’s comparative negligence law says the responsibility, or fault, for an accident can be shared. It helps determine how much you can collect from the other driver or the insurance company.

So how can fault be shared in an accident? Let’s say the other driver crashed into you and even got a ticket. That still doesn’t mean the other driver was completely at fault. Under the comparative negligence law, if you could have “reasonably” done anything to avoid the accident, you may be found partially responsible. That also means you may have to share the car repair and medical costs.

If you are 50 percent or less at fault, you can receive compensation from the other driver’s insurer. If you are more than 50 percent to blame for an accident, you can’t recover anything.

Let’s look at an example. When you file a claim against the other driver, the insurance company will determine if you should share the blame. This is done by asking you questions about your speed, if you were wearing a seat belt or not and so on. If the insurance adjuster deems that the accident or some of the damage or injuries could have been avoided if you were more careful, he or she will split the blame between you and the other driver.

If the adjuster decides the other driver was 80 percent at fault, this would be called 80/20. Under this instance, let’s say the damage to your car was $1,000. The other driver’s insurer would pay 80 percent of your damage, or $800. Because the other driver’s share of the negligence was more than 50 percent, you would not owe anything for his or her damages.

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Cheap car insurance in Ohio isn’t always easy to come by. Ohio rates tend to be cheaper than the national average, but prices can vary drastically depending on the insurance company or personal factors, such as age and credit history.

To help Ohioans navigate their car insurance market more efficiently, NerdWallet researched rates from the nine largest providers in the Buckeye State and found the three cheapest options for these distinct driver types:

Good drivers

Young drivers

Drivers with one at-fault accident

Drivers with poor credit

Retired drivers

Also in this article

Minimum car insurance requirements in Ohio

Alternative car insurance in Ohio

Cheapest for good drivers

For drivers with no at-fault accidents, DUIs or moving violations; range of average prices: $701 to $2,891 a year

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The average for good drivers among the three cheapest insurers was $841 per year. Grange and Erie notched similar estimates — only about $6 a month difference between them — but as smaller, regional companies, they’re more limited in service area and discounts than State Farm, which is partly why the latter has a bit pricier quotes.

Cheapest for young drivers

For drivers in their early 20s; range of average prices: $241 to $1,036 a year

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Drivers in their early 20s are just starting out, and usually don’t need as much coverage as older motorists who have families to protect or have accumulated significant savings or assets. As a result, young drivers can find pretty cheap car insurance in Ohio. Erie had the lowest prices in our study at $241 a year, but shoppers can find relatively good deals at all three of the cheapest companies; each came in at under $35 a month.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault accident

Range of average prices: $1,001 to $3,475 a year

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In our analysis, drivers who caused an accident saw their lowest average quote go up by $300 a year compared to good drivers with no blemishes on their record. Prices for this category also increased sharply on the high end of the spectrum. The most expensive estimate we found was almost $3,500 a year, proving that drivers with at-fault claims can benefit more than most from shopping around and comparing as many estimates as possible.

Cheapest for drivers with poor credit

For drivers placed in the lowest credit tier as determined by the industry; range of average prices: $857 to $2,401 a year

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Many insurers consider credit-based insurance scores a useful indicator of a policyholder’s future claims, and could charge more from those with poor credit. Grange had the lowest estimate in our test at $857 a year — more than $150 above its sample quote for drivers of the same age with no credit problems. Still, this was by far the best deal we found, as both Geico and Nationwide charged around $500 per year more for the same policy.

Cheapest for retired drivers

For drivers in their mid- to late 60s who no longer use their car for commuting; range of average prices: $701 to $2,891 a year

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While older drivers might be worried about rising insurance premiums as they age, retired Ohioans may be able to rest easy. Of the three cheapest companies for this category, Grange had the same estimate as it did for 30-year-old good drivers, and Erie and State Farm both had lower average costs. Retired drivers should also look to take advantage of discounts that come with age; in fact, many companies even offer savings for reaching a certain number of years (usually 55).

Minimum car insurance requirements in Ohio

Ohio drivers must carry liability insurance, which covers others’ property damage or injury treatment if you’re responsible for the accident.

The minimum limits you must select are:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability per accident

Keep in mind, a serious incident could leave damages that easily surpass these amounts. To avoid having to pay post-accident bills out of your own pocket, consider getting more than the bare minimum. You may also want common optional coverages such as collision, comprehensive or uninsured motorist protection.

For more help planning your Ohio auto policy, visit NerdWallet’s guide to understanding state car insurance requirements.

Alternative car insurance in Ohio

Drivers who can’t obtain car insurance on Ohio’s voluntary market, because of a poor driving record or other factors, may be able to get coverage through the state’s high-risk insurance network. Learn more about eligibility requirements here.

Check out NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool to get the most competitive quotes in Ohio and see how much you could save.

And in case you missed anything, here’s a summary of where you’ll find the cheapest insurance, by category:

Cheapest car insurance in Ohio

CategoryCheapest option
Good driversGrange Insurance
Young driversGrange Insurance
Drivers with one at-fault accidentErie
Drivers with poor creditErie
Retired driversGrange Insurance

METHODOLOGY

For most categories, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers for 30-year-old men and women in 10 ZIP codes and with 100/300/50 liability insurance limits and 100/300 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. We used a 2012 Toyota Camry in all cases.

Our sample retired driver was 67 and drove 50% fewer annual miles than other groups. Our sample young driver was 22 and carried the minimum required coverage. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

Alex Glenn is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: aglenn@nerdwallet.com.

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