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With transportation costs higher than the national average, Cincinnatians are feeling the inflationary crunch. From vehicle maintenance to gasoline, drivers must balance car-related expenses with the rising cost of other necessities: one area where many can save is on car insurance. The average annual cost of car insurance in Cincinnati is $373 for Ohio’s minimum liability insurance requirement and $1,324 for full coverage. Looking at a combination of prices, coverage options, customer satisfaction scores and financial strength ratings, Bankrate’s insurance editorial team has selected five insurance carriers in Cincinnati that may be worth a closer look for Cincinnati drivers who want decent coverage at an affordable price.
Best cheap car insurance companies in Cincinnati
By examining average rate data provided by Quadrant Information Services, we’ve identified three leading companies to consider for the best cheap car insurance coverage in Cincinnati: Hastings Mutual, Geico and USAA. Because price may not be the only factor that’s important to you in your search for car insurance, we’ve also given each provider a more holistic rating to help you quickly compare each company. When determining Bankrate Scores, we consider an insurance provider’s customer reviews and J.D. Power customer satisfaction score (indicating quality and dependability). We then research the company’s financial stability and policy affordability, ranking the companies on a scale of 0 to 5.0, with 5.0 being the best.
|Insurance company||Bankrate Score||J.D. Power score (North Central Region)||Average annual premium for full coverage||Average annual premium for minimum coverage|
*Not eligible for official ranking with J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions.
Hastings Mutual, which offers the cheapest average rates for both minimum and full coverage on our list, is headquartered in Michigan and specializes in affordable coverage for area residents. Optional coverage types available include roadside assistance, gap insurance and new car replacement coverage. Hastings Mutual is not large enough to rank in the J.D. Power customer satisfaction study, which, along with a lack of other third-party endorsements we factor in, is one reason why its Bankrate Score is much lower than other competitors. Still, if you’re looking for affordable coverage from a company that is familiar with the region, Hastings Mutual may be worth a look.
You might find plenty of ways to save if you choose Geico as your car insurer in Cincinnati. Not only does it offer the second-cheapest average rates on our list, it also offers more than 15 potential discounts on its car insurance. The ones that might provide the biggest reduction in your premiums are vehicle safety equipment (up to a 23 percent discount) and multi-vehicle (up to 25 percent off). For drivers who want the cheapest car insurance in Cincinnati from a big company that also offers a solid digital experience, it may be worth getting a quote from Geico. The insurance company does not offer many customization options, however, so if that is important to you, you may want to consider another carrier.
Learn more: Geico Insurance review
USAA consistently receives high scores from J.D. Power for customer satisfaction, although it is not eligible for official ranking due to its eligibility restrictions, since USAA car insurance is only available to active military members, veterans and their immediate family members. Still, if you are eligible, such as a local veteran or actively serving at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base an hour north of Cincinnati, it’s a company worth considering. It offers average rates well below the citywide average for both minimum and full coverage. Additionally, USAA offers unique discounts geared towards the military community, such as a discount for keeping your car on a military base or storing it while deployed.
Learn more: USAA Insurance review
State Farm is the largest auto insurer in the United States, with a substantial presence of exclusive local agents in the Cincinnati area for customers who want in-person service. While its average rates are higher than some of the other carriers we reviewed, it still comes in lower than the citywide average for both full and minimum coverage. The company also scored well above average in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. While State Farm should be an all-around solid option for many Cincinnati drivers, customers who need gap insurance or want to purchase accident forgiveness may want to consider a different carrier as State Farm doesn’t offer either.
Learn more: State Farm Insurance review
Another well-recognized company, Nationwide provides robust coverage options with a variety of potential discounts available, including two different telematics programs, Smart Miles and Smartride. While the company has lots of coverage options and average rates below the citywide Cincinnati average for both full and minimum coverage, customers who value customer service may want to consider another provider–Nationwide scores below average on the 2023 Auto Insurance Study, both for the North Central region and for its usage-based insurance program, for which it received the lowest satisfaction score on the list.
Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review
How to get and keep the cheapest car insurance in Cincinnati
As one of Ohio’s largest cities, the Cincinnati area has plenty of options when it comes to car insurance companies, but what is the best way to get—and keep—and the cheapest car insurance?
- Shop around and get quotes: Car insurance rates depend on many factors, including your personal driving history, your vehicle and the discounts for which you qualify. Identifying your budget and getting quotes from several car insurance companies can be well worth your while when determining the best cheap car insurance for your budget.
- Drive safe and pay on time: Once you’ve landed a policy that works well for you, timely payments and safe driving habits could help you keep your rates low. If you’re a good driver, you may want to consider signing up for a telematics program to track your habits in real time for savings. If you decide to stay with the same company for a while, some offer longevity discounts for loyal customers, too.
Frequently asked questions
The best car insurance company is different for each driver, and varies based on your unique needs. You may want to look at several companies and consider factors like customer service ratings, average rates, available coverage types and potential discounts before narrowing down your choices and requesting quotes to compare.
What your car insurance covers will depend on the type of coverage you purchase and the company that provides your insurance. Minimum liability coverage is required in most states and is the least expensive option. Full coverage, which includes comprehensive and collision coverage for damage to your own vehicle costs more but provides you greater financial protection against accidents and other mishaps. Speaking with a licensed agent could give you the best sense of what kind of coverage (and how much) you need.
The minimum car insurance required in Cincinnati is at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per accident, and $25,000 in property damage liability coverage. If you are involved in a serious accident, these minimums may not be enough to cover claims, so you may want to consider higher limits and additional coverage options.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2023 rates for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:
- $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $50,000 property damage liability per accident
- $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
- $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
- $500 collision deductible
- $500 comprehensive deductible
To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2021 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.
Our 2023 Bankrate Score considers variables our insurance editorial team determined impacts policyholders’ experiences with an insurance company. These rating factors include a robust assessment of each company’s product availability, financial strength ratings, online capabilities and customer and claims support accessibility. Each factor was added to a category, and these categories were weighted in a tiered approach to analyze how companies perform in key customer-impacting categories.
Like our previous Bankrate Scores, each category was assigned a metric to determine performance, and the weighted sum adds up to a company’s total Bankrate Score — out of 5 points. This year, our 2023 scoring model provides a more comprehensive view, indicating when companies excel across several key areas and better highlighting where they fall short.
- Tier 1 (Cost & ratings): To determine how well auto and home insurance companies satisfy these priorities, 2023 quoted premiums from Quadrant Information Services (if available), as well as any of the latest third-party agency ratings from J.D. Power, AM Best and the NAIC, were analyzed.
- Tier 2 (Coverage & savings): We assessed companies’ coverage options and availability to help policyholders find a provider that balances cost with coverage. Additionally, we evaluated each company’s discount options listed on its website.
- Tier 3 (Support): To encompass the many ways an auto insurance company can support policyholders, we analyzed avenues of customer accessibility along with community support. This analysis incorporated additional financial strength ratings from S&P and Moody’s and factored a company’s corporate sustainability efforts.