Best car insurance in Ohio in 2021

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With one of the highest licensed driver populations, Ohio is bound to have many car insurance options. USAA, Auto-Owners and Geico are among the best auto insurance companies in Ohio, based on Bankrate’s extensive research. Although each driver may have unique needs, we found popular options that are likely to fit the needs of most drivers. Based on Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums for car insurance, Ohio drivers pay $1,034 per year for full coverage, on average.

Although 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, they may also have more unique considerations. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team researched major insurance providers to help you find the best auto insurance in Ohio for your needs.

The best car insurance companies in Ohio

Bankrate’s insurance editorial team found that USAA, Auto-Owners, Geico, Erie and State Farm stand out among car insurance carriers based on our research focus areas. When choosing the best car insurance companies in Ohio, we reviewed numerous factors and assigned each company a Bankrate Score. This Score, calculated out of 5.0 total points, encompasses a company’s average premiums and performance across third-party ratings, such as those from J.D. Power and AM Best. We also considered each company’s coverage options and available discounts.

Based on our research, some of the best car insurance available in Ohio is offered by the following insurers:

Car insurance company Bankrate Score Average annual full coverage premium J.D. Power customer satisfaction score
USAA* 4.8 $820 890/1,000
Auto-Owners 4.6 $1,035 890/1,000
Geico 4.6 $843 871/1,000
Erie 4.4 $974 880/1,000
State Farm 4.4 $906 881/1,000

*Not officially ranked by J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions

USAA

Although it is not eligible for official ranking with J.D. Power due to its membership requirements, 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, making it a good option to consider if you qualify. USAA has the lowest average premium on our list and a host of discounts to help you save even more, including savings for loyalty and deployment. However, the provider may not be the best choice for Ohio drivers seeking robust policies, as the only optional coverages available are roadside assistance and rental reimbursement.

Learn more: USAA Insurance review

Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners is a regional carrier that is particularly well-known in the North Central region. The company’s exceptional customer service could be due in part to working exclusively through independent agents. Auto-Owners offers several optional car insurance coverages, including gap insurance and diminished value coverage. With the highest annual full coverage on our list, the company may not be the option for drivers seeking the most affordable coverage. Still, there are numerous discounts to help you save, including discounts for paying in full, paperless statements and being claims-free.

Learn more: Auto-Owners Insurance review

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 a trusted, household name and 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 personalize your policy.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Erie

Like Auto-Owners, Erie is a regional provider that may not be as well-known as other companies on our list. For Ohio drivers that prefer to stick with the same insurer regardless of where they move, Erie may fall lower on the list of the best car insurance companies as it only offers coverage in 12 states. 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 standard on its auto policy, like pet coverage and locksmith service coverage. The company also offers several discounts to help you save, including savings for safety features, youthful drivers and accident forgiveness.

Learn more: Erie Insurance review

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 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. However, State Farm’s digital experience may be lacking in some areas, as it ranks just under industry average in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study for service. Drivers who prefer to manage their policy fully online or through an app may find other providers to offer better capabilities.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

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Average car insurance cost in Ohio

In the Buckeye State, Bankrate found that drivers pay an average annual cost of $328 for minimum coverage and $1,034 for full coverage car insurance, based on 2021 quoted premiums from Quadrant Information Services. Ohio’s average rates are significantly less than the average cost of car insurance in the U.S., which is $565 per year for minimum coverage and $1,674 per year for full coverage.

The cost of car insurance in Ohio may be cheaper than other states for several reasons. Auto insurance rates are calculated based on various factors, including the incidence and 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. However, each driver’s premiums are unique and will also factor in details specific to them, such as their vehicle type, vehicle age and annual mileage.

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

How to find the best car insurance in Ohio

When choosing car insurance, Ohio drivers may consider a variety of factors to determine which provider offers them the most fitting coverage for their situation. Factors may include anything from location to individual driving records, but taking steps to consider the following points may help narrow down your options.

Consider minimum insurance requirements in Ohio

Like most states, Ohio mandates specific limits that each driver must carry as a minimum requirement to drive legally. Because Ohio is an at-fault state, minimum coverage requirements include bodily injury liability and property damage liability, with exact amounts noted on the state’s motor vehicle website. 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.

Consider lender requirements

While it is nice to own a car outright, 85% of all new car purchases in the U.S. are financed. Because a financial institution has a stake in the vehicle, drivers are typically required to purchase full coverage in these situations. As minimum coverage limits do not provide any physical damage coverage for your vehicle, collision and comprehensive coverages come in handy when facing repair or replacement costs. Drivers in Ohio may also want to consider purchasing gap insurance, which helps pay the difference between your insurance claim check and outstanding loan amount should your vehicle be extensively damaged or stolen.

Consider your individual needs

Many personal factors, like driver risk, influence the cost of insurance. Because insurance companies use driving records to gauge how likely a policyholder is to file future claims, they often charge higher rates for drivers with prior traffic violations. Having a speeding ticket, for example, could demonstrate high-risk driving behavior, potentially increasing average annual premiums by hundreds of dollars. In Ohio, the average annual full coverage increase for a single speeding ticket is 32%, which is considerably more than the national average increase of 23%.

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:

  • Young drivers: If you have a teen or young adult driver on your policy, you will likely find at least a couple of discounts offered to help mitigate the added cost. For example, full-time students who maintain a B or better average are usually eligible for good student discounts. If you insure a college student who attends school away from home without a car, you may also qualify for a discount.
  • Safe drivers: If you have not filed a claim for several years, you may earn a discount on your premium. The timespan varies by company but is usually three to five years. However, even drivers without spotless driving records may qualify for safe driver discounts through options like telematics programs, which track safe driving behaviors like soft braking and award discounts depending on how safe you drive.
  • Other discounts: Discounts may fall into a variety of categories, including loyalty and policy management style. For instance, most insurers offer discounts for bundling multiple policies with them, like home and auto. Other discounts may be offered for setting up automatic electronic payments, paying your premium in full or opting for a paperless experience.

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 savings opportunities 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, but our research found USAA, Erie and State Farm to be among the cheapest options in the state. It helps to consider your personal scenario, like whether you have a teen driver to insure, accidents to account for or a sports car that needs specialized coverage. To find the cheapest policy, it may be helpful to get quotes from several companies and compare them.

Am I legally required to have car insurance in Ohio?

Generally speaking, the answer is yes. 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. 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 usually 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.

How do I compare car insurance in Ohio?

There are multiple resources available to compare car insurance companies to find the best option available. Outside of getting multiple quotes, it also helps to consider how quickly an insurer responds to claims and how accessible its agents or customer service representatives are. For example, some insurers have phone lines that operate 24 hours a day while others may only be available during certain hours. You could also use the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) complaint index tool to see how frequently a company receives customer complaints compared to the industry average.

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.

Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base) and a single speeding ticket.

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.