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The best car insurance rates have been on the rise nationwide, and this has also held true for the state of Ohio. That said, Ohio still has some of the cheapest auto insurance rates in the nation and was ranked as the 7th cheapest state for auto insurance in 2018. Nonetheless, auto insurance rates vary widely based on the insurer, city/county, age, driving history, type of vehicle, and even credit score. To get a clearer idea of how auto insurance works and how to find the best car insurance companies in Ohio, let’s first take a look at how Ohio laws regulate drivers, their insurance, and their vehicles.

cheap car insurance Ohio
Use this guide to find cheap car insurance in Ohio, then visit Cleveland Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The Best Cheap Car Insurance Rates in Ohio

Car Insurance Laws for Ohio

According to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, drivers must abide by the following regulations:

  • It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle without some form of auto insurance coverage in Ohio. Additionally, vehicle owners cannot allow others to drive their vehicles without insurance.
  • In Ohio, proof of insurance must be kept in the vehicle at all times.
  • Ohio requires all drivers to maintain minimum coverage of $25,000 for the injury or death of one person, $50,000 for the injury or death of two or more people, and $25,000 for property damage.

How Car Insurance Rates are Determined in Ohio

As mentioned above, Ohio is one of the cheapest states for car insurance premiums. As of the latest data, good drivers in Ohio pay an average of $984 annually for auto insurance or about $82 per month. Rates vary by the insurance provider, location, insurance type, and the level of coverage.

However, these rates are also highly dependent on drivers. When an insurance provider is calculating your rates, they will look at the following factors:

  • Location – Generally, if you live, commute, or work in an urban area (like Columbus, Cleveland, or Cincinnati), your rates will be higher, as accidents are more prevalent in densely-populated regions. However, other location-based factors are important, too, like adverse weather conditions and reports of vandalism.
  • Age – Statistically, younger drivers get in more accidents. This means that the younger you are, the more you will need to pay in insurance premiums. The average age in Ohio is 39, which is slightly higher than the national average.
  • Gender – Men are more likely than women to get in accidents, so your gender could impact your auto rates as well.
  • Marital Status – Typically, married couples take fewer risks than their single counterparts, and this holds true for driving. Married couples get in fewer accidents, and therefore pose a smaller risk for insurance providers.
  • Driving Experience – While this metric is similar to age, it is still slightly different. Usually, the older you are, the longer you have been driving, but that is not always true. Nonetheless, people who have held a driver’s license for longer are more experienced, and therefore pay lower premiums.
  • Driving Record – A driver’s record is one of the most important factors that insurance providers consider. If you have a history of frequent speeding tickets, DUIs, or other infractions, you will have to pay more. Ohio’s rate of traffic incidents is significantly higher than the national average, which contributes to higher premiums in certain areas.
  • Claims Record – It is also important to consider how many claims you have made to insurance providers in the past (if any). At-fault claims will cause your premiums to rise, while not-at-fault collisions will generally have no impact on your rates.
  • Credit History – Your credit is a good indicator of how financially responsible you are, but the research also shows that people with low credit tend to file more claims, making them a greater risk for insurance providers.
  • Previous Insurance Coverage – If you have maintained auto insurance without any gaps, your new insurance provider will see this as a good sign. However, if you went for several years, months, or even days without any insurance, you will be seen as high-risk.
  • Vehicle Type – Certain cars are driven differently, which means that certain cars are more prone to accidents. Some cars are also more prone to theft or vandalism.
  • Use of Vehicle – When you exclusively use your vehicle for personal use, you are less likely to get in an accident. However, if you take long business trips or frequently drive for your work, you increase your chances of a collision. 
  • Annual Mileage – How much you drive directly impacts your chances of getting in an accident. No matter how you use your vehicle (personal or business use), if you put a lot of mileage on your car, you are more likely to file a claim with your insurance provider.
  • Number of Policies – Finally, the type of insurance you want/need will help determine your rates. The more policies you have (liability, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, etc.), the more you will need to pay.

Best Car Insurance Companies for Ohio

When looking at rates across the entire state, there are 4 major insurance companies that consistently provide low rates for good drivers. Additionally, there are several other companies that provide low rates in certain cities and counties but do not consistently provide low rates statewide.

In any case, let’s take a look at some of the lowest auto insurance rates and best car insurance companies available in the state of Ohio:

 Provider Annual Rate Monthly Rate
 Grange  $726 $60
 Geico $733 $61
 Frankenmuth $784 $65
 Progressive $805 $67

 

It is important to note that the table above shows the average rates for the minimum coverage required by the state of Ohio. For standard or “full coverage,” the rates are significantly higher:

 Provider Annual Rate Monthly Rate
 Grange $1,018 $85
 Geico $1,062 $88
 Frankenmuth $1,160 $96
 Progressive $1,207 $100

 

These are approximate rates based on statewide polling for 40-year-old men and women with good driving records. Naturally, individual rates will vary. Additionally, insurers like Erie, Motorists Mutual, and Cincinnati Insurance provide low rates for certain areas.

So, in order to get a better picture of auto insurance rates around the state, let’s look at how rates vary by city.

Who Has the Cheapest Car Insurance in Ohio: Rates by City

Aside from your driving history, your location is one of the most important factors when calculating the cost of your auto insurance. Population, crime rates, weather conditions, and the cost of living can all affect the amount you pay each year.

As you may expect, individuals who live and work in rural areas typically have the lowest rates. However, the majority of Ohio residents live in urban or suburban areas, where rates tend to increase. 

The table below shows the average yearly auto insurance rates for 50 of the most populated cities in Ohio. These are approximate rates based on statewide polling for 40-year-old men and women with good driving records. Additionally, this data is taken from all of the best car insurance companies in Ohio.

Here is what the data shows:

 City Average Yearly Rate
 Findlay  $972
 Van Wert $987
 Bowling Green $992
 Brunswick $997
 Mansfield $1,003
 Marion $1,019
 New London $1,020
 Wellington $1,032
 Mentor $1,035
 Cuyahoga Falls $1,044
 Elyria $1,051
 Lima $1,073
 Stow $1,075
 Tipp City $1,075
 Strongville $1,081
 Kettering $1,090
 Beavercreek $1,096
 Lorain $1,104
 Delaware $1,106
 Lancaster $1,118
 Middletown $1,128
 Athens $1,133
 Newark $1,135
 Massillon $1,136
 Fairfield $1,138
 Parma $1,142
 Hamilton $1,155
 Austintown $1,157
 Warren $1,158
 Springfield $1,160
 Boardman $1,164
 Canton $1,170
 Huber Heights $1,175
 Westerville $1,176
 Akron $1,180
 Dublin $1,191
 Dayton $1,193
 Hilliard $1,197
 Grove City $1,199
 Upper Arlington $1,201
 Gahanna $1,204
 Reynoldsburg $1,208
 Columbus $1,217
 Cincinnati $1,219
 Toledo $1,225
 North Royalton $1,233
 Westlake $1,240
 Euclid $1,247
 Lakewood $1,261
 Cleveland $1,292

 

Now, let’s take a closer look at the top-5 largest cities in Ohio and compare their respective auto insurance rates:

Columbus

In Columbus, the average annual premium is $1,023 for minimum liability insurance and $1,217 for full auto coverage. However, as with most large cities, these prices can vary by district or neighborhood.

For example, residents of neighborhoods like South Lindon will pay an average of 4% more in insurance premiums than residents of Upper Arlington.

In any case, close to half of the major roadways in Columbus are rated as either “poor” or “mediocre,” and these subpar road conditions can lead to additional wear-and-tear on vehicles, which also means higher insurance premiums.

Cleveland

In Cleveland, the average annual premium is $1,037 for minimum liability insurance and $1,292 for full auto coverage. Cleveland does not have as much price variation by neighborhood as some other major cities in the state. That said, weather and road conditions play a central role in the city’s relatively high insurance rates.

Cleveland gets an average of 68 inches of snow every year. Its proximity to Lake Erie also leads to lake-effect snow. Additionally, almost 50% of the roads in Cleveland are considered to be in “poor” condition, making Cleveland one of the most expensive places in the state to own and operate a vehicle.

Cincinnati

In Cincinnati, the average annual premium is $1,025 for minimum liability insurance and $1,219 for full auto coverage. On average, Cincinnati drivers get in accidents once every 7.2 years, which is much more frequent than the national average.

That said, traffic congestion is not as much of an issue in Cincinnati, and it does not experience as much snow as some of the cities in the north of Ohio.

So, while Cincinnati has relatively high auto insurance premiums compared to the rest of the state, this is largely attributable to the cost of living and the frequency of collisions.

Toledo

In Toledo, the average annual premium is $1,027 for minimum liability insurance and $1,225 for full auto coverage. Toledo drivers are some of the safest in the state, averaging one accident every 9.1 years.

Additionally, Toledo is not as densely populated as Columbus or Cleveland, so traffic is not a huge issue. That said, the city still gets its fair share of snow, and more than 40% of the roads are in “poor” condition.

As a result, auto insurance premiums are higher in Toledo than most cities in Ohio.

Akron

In Akron, the average annual premium is $998 for minimum liability insurance and $1,180 for full auto coverage. While Akron gets almost 50 inches of snow every year, it has some of the lowest auto insurance premiums of any major city in the state.

This is partly due to the fact that the city has invested heavily in fractures, which in turn cut down on traffic congestion and collisions. Akron is also known for its safe drivers, who average only one accident every ten years.

So, in order to get a better picture of auto insurance rates around the state, let’s look at how rates vary by city.

Finding Cheap Car Insurance Auto Rates in Ohio

As you can see, there are a lot of variables that affect the cost of auto insurance in Ohio. Additionally, the figures provided above are averages based on adults with good driving records, so the exact rates you pay may differ. Nonetheless, hopefully, this information helps you when you’re ready to obtain a new policy or upgrade your current one with one of the best car insurance companies in Ohio.

If you’d like to learn more about acquiring auto insurance in your state, consult our other car insurance guides and resources. If you’re looking for more information about Ohio auto insurance, consult the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles for the most up-to-date information.

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Matthew Jones