Best car insurance in Ohio for 2021

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As of 2019, the most recent year with available data, there were over 8 million licensed drivers in the state of Ohio. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were nearly 16,000 crashes in 2020, and there have already been over 17,600 in 2021. Having the best car insurance in Ohio for your needs can help alleviate the financial stress you could face if you cause an accident.

Ohio residents may want to consider several factors when shopping for car insurance, including average premiums, customer satisfaction scores, financial strength ratings, available coverage and discounts. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team has researched the major insurance providers in Ohio to find the best auto insurance options.

The best car insurance companies in Ohio

When choosing the best auto insurance companies in Ohio, Bankrate’s insurance editorial team reviewed numerous factors of each company and assigned a Bankrate Score. This score encompasses a company’s average premiums, third-party ratings, coverage options and available discounts.

Based on our research, the best car insurance companies in Ohio are:

Provider Bankrate Score Average annual full coverage premium J.D. Power auto claims satisfaction score
Auto-Owners 4.6 $1,035 890 / 1,000
Erie 4.4 $974 880 / 1,000
Geico 4.6 $843 871 / 1,000
State Farm 4.4 $906 881 / 1,000
USAA* 4.7 $820 890 / 1,000

*USAA is not officially ranked by J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions.

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Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners is a regional carrier that is particularly well-known in the North Central region. It is known for its exceptional customer service, in part because the company works exclusively through agents. Auto-Owners offers several optional car insurance coverages, including gap insurance and diminished value coverage. And although its average full coverage premium is the highest on our list, Auto-Owners has numerous discounts to help you save, including discounts for paying in full, paperless statements and being claims-free.

Erie

Like Auto-Owners, Erie is a regional provider that may not be as well-known as other companies on our list. However, it could still be a good fit for your needs. Erie received an above-industry-average score from J.D. Power and offers several extra coverages, like pet coverage and locksmith service coverage, standard on its auto policy. In addition, Erie offers a Rate Lock guarantee, which means your auto insurance premium will not increase at your renewal. The company does offer several discounts to help you save, including savings for safety features, youthful drivers and accident forgiveness.

Geico

Although it received a below-industry average claims satisfaction score from J.D. Power, Geico may be a good choice for you if budget is your primary concern and you do not qualify for USAA. Geico is known for offering low average auto insurance premiums, in addition to a wide range of discounts that could help you save even more. When it comes to auto insurance coverage, Geico offers the basics, with only a few options to customize your policy.

State Farm

State Farm is a household name, which is not surprising since it is the largest personal auto insurance company in the country, with just over 16% of the market share. State Farm uniquely offers two safe-driving programs, Steer Clear for teens and Drive Safe & Save for adult drivers. Both programs could help you save on your insurance while helping you or your teen driver learn safer driving habits. You can also save on your insurance by being a safe driver, having vehicle safety features and insuring multiple cars.

USAA

Although it is not eligible for official ranking with J.D. Power, USAA consistently receives high scores for customer satisfaction and claims service. The provider only sells insurance to current military members, veterans and their immediate family members. If you qualify for coverage, you may want to consider getting a quote from USAA. The company has the lowest average premium on our list and a host of discounts to help you save even more. USAA’s auto insurance combines excellent customer service with low premiums, giving you a lot of value for your money.

Average car insurance cost in Ohio

In the Buckeye State, drivers pay an average annual cost of $328 annually for minimum coverage and $1,034 annually for full coverage car insurance, which is significantly less than the average cost of car insurance in the U.S., which is $565 for minimum coverage and $1,674 per year for full coverage.

Ohio may be cheaper than other states for several reasons. Auto insurance rates are calculated based on various factors, including the incidence of accidents and the average cost of accidents in a given area. Because much of Ohio is rural or suburban, roads may not be as busy, leading to fewer accidents than in metropolitan areas, which tend to have higher premiums.

Average annual premium for minimum coverage in Ohio Average annual premium for full coverage in Ohio
$328 $1,034

State minimum insurance requirements in Ohio

Drivers in Ohio must carry at least the state-required minimum levels of certain auto insurance coverages to drive legally. The minimum required coverages in Ohio are:

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

Although there are other ways to satisfy Ohio’s Financial Responsibility Law, like posting a bond or qualifying as a self-insurer, most drivers likely purchase auto insurance. Although buying minimum coverage might mean you pay a lower premium, the limits may not be enough to protect your finances if you cause an accident. If the injuries and damages that you cause exceed your insurance limits, you will have to pay extra costs out of pocket.

Additionally, minimum coverage does not provide you with coverage for damage to your vehicle. If you want your car to be covered, you will need comprehensive and collision insurance. You will likely be required to carry full coverage if you have a loan or lease on your car since the vehicle would still be the lender’s asset to protect.

How to get the best car insurance

Auto insurance is personalized to your specific rating factors, which is why it is not likely that two drivers will pay the same premium. Understanding your unique situation as well as the factors in Ohio that specifically affect your premium may help you choose coverages that fit your needs.

  • Evaluate your needs: Taking the time to understand what you need from a car insurance policy may help you narrow down your options when it comes to companies and coverage. If you have a teen driver to insure, you may want to get quotes from companies that offer numerous discounts for young drivers. If you prefer to handle your policy needs online or in a mobile app, you may want to look for a company that has strong digital resources. Everyone has different insurance needs, and once you know yours, you may feel more equipped to make decisions about companies and coverages.
  • Consider state factors: Your state, city and even ZIP code can impact your insurance premium. Thinking about the local factors that might affect your premium could be helpful. Are you in an area that has a high rate of vehicle theft or vandalism? You might want to purchase comprehensive coverage. Are healthcare costs rising in your area? You may want to consider higher liability limits, which protect your finances in the event of an at-fault accident, and medical payments coverage, which covers you and your passengers in a crash, regardless of fault.

Talking to a licensed agent may be helpful. If you are not sure where to start on your auto insurance search, an agent may be able to help you determine what coverage and options are most appropriate for you.

Car insurance discounts in Ohio

Car insurance in Ohio is already more affordable than it is in some areas of the country, but most insurance providers offer additional ways to save money on your premium. For example, some car insurance companies reward drivers with a lower premium if they pay their policy in full, have certain safety features installed in their vehicle and maintain a clean driving record. These are some of the most common auto insurance discounts in Ohio:

  • Claims-free discount: If you have not filed a claim for several years, you may see a reduction in your premium. The timespan varies by company but is usually three to five years.
  • Student discounts: If you have a full-time student on your policy, you might be able to get a discount if they maintain a B or better average. If you insure a college student who goes to school without a car, you may qualify for a discount.
  • Multi-policy discount: If you buy your home, condo or renters insurance from the same company you buy your auto insurance from, you may save on both policies. Some companies even offer discounts if you have other policy types bundled together, like a life insurance policy, business policy or pet insurance policy.
  • Paperless discounts: Many companies offer a discount if you sign up for paperless billing or policy statements. If you do this, you may be able to get your statements emailed to you, or you may have to access them in an online customer service portal.

Insurance companies operate differently, meaning they each likely offer a different set of discounts. If you are unsure what discounts you qualify for, you may be able to view a list of discounts on a company’s website, or you can talk to a customer service representative.

Frequently asked questions

What is the cheapest car insurance in Ohio?

The cheapest car insurance company in Ohio ultimately depends on your personal needs. You may have a teen driver to insure, accidents to account for or a sports car that needs specialized coverages. To find the cheapest coverage, it may be helpful to get quotes from several companies and compare them.

Am I legally required to have car insurance in Ohio?

Yes and no. If you own a car in Ohio, you must satisfy the state’s Financial Responsibility Law. For most drivers, this means you must have car insurance that meets the minimum state requirements. However, you can also post a bond or qualify as a self-insurer to meet the requirements of the law. However, you do have to provide proof of your financial responsibility in one of these ways. Driving without insurance in Ohio is a serious offense and can lead to fines and license suspensions.

How do I get car insurance in Ohio?

First, gather your information. You will likely need your name, date of birth, address, the vehicle identification number (VIN) of your car, information about your current insurance policy and an idea of the coverage you would like to purchase. You can then start to gather quotes. Many companies offer online quotes, but you can also work with local agents. Once you have selected a company to proceed with, you can resume your online quote or talk to your agent to start the policy. Make sure to give yourself enough time to get quotes from several companies before your current policy expires.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. 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 coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 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.

Bankrate Scores

Bankrate scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry-standard ratings for financial strength (AM Best, S&P, Moody’s) and customer experience (J.D. Power, NAIC), in addition to average quoted rates from Quadrant Information Services. The J.D. Power studies utilized include the 2020 Auto Insurance Study and the 2020 Auto Claims Study. Our Bankrate editorial team’s extensive research and analysis provided a secondary assessment of each insurer’s online and mobile resources and policy management options, which also contributed to overall ratings.

Written by
Cate Deventer
Insurance Editor
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in professional and technical writing from Indiana University East. She began writing for Bankrate in January 2021 and has nearly a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent. Cate has worked with over a dozen insurance companies and is experienced with auto, home, flood, umbrella and life insurance.