The Best and the Cheapest Car Insurance in Ohio
[2021 Expert Comparison]
Are you looking for high-quality and affordable auto insurance in Ohio? We are here to help you. We researched 24 different companies to determine the best one and started by getting car insurance quotes in Ohio to discover who offers the most affordable coverage.
Our next step was to take a look at the most reliable rankings in financial strength and customer satisfaction departments. Last but not least, we went to each insurer’s website to verify which discounts and optional coverages they offer.
However, we did not stop at ranking the best insurers. We have also studied Ohio auto insurance regulations and tested different tactics for getting a lower premium. If you apply them, you may save up to 60% on your premium.
What’s even better is that you’ll be able to buy coverage that’s vastly superior to Ohio’s bare minimum. That way, you’ll drastically reduce the possibility of adding any money out of your pocket if an accident happens.
The Best Car Insurance Quotes and Insurers in Ohio
- Overall Winner: Erie Auto Insurance
- Runners-Up : Auto-Owners Car Insurance
- Best for Optional Coverages and Additional Benefits: AAA Auto Insurance
- Cheapest Option: Progressive Car insurance
- Best for Dividend Policies: Amica Car Insurance
- Best for Military: USAA Auto Insurance
The Overall Winner: Erie Auto Insurance
Erie is a frequent winner of our state-wide studies, and it takes the first place in Ohio too. Put simply, its combination of dirt-cheap policies and superior customer service cannot be found anywhere else.
To start with the latter, Erie scores full five stars in J.D. Power’s 2019 regional study. It also beats larger corporations such as State Farm, Geico, and Allstate. Furthermore, Erie’s NAIC ratio is 0.64, indicating that the company receives 34% fewer complaints than other corporations of its size.
Speaking of costs, out of all car insurance companies in Ohio, Erie and Progressive are the cheapest. This means that you do not have to overspend for high-quality coverage if you select Erie.
Nonetheless, like all US insurers, Erie has downsides. The one that may drive away tech-savvy customers is Erie’s lack of mobile app. Almost every major competitor has one. Additionally, while being quite strong, Erie’s AM Best rating is the second-best possible — lower than Geico’s, State Farm’s, and Auto-Owners’.
However, these are only minor drawbacks. What you are getting with Erie for such an affordable price easily makes it the best car insurance in Ohio.
Choose Erie for affordable prices and outstanding customer satisfaction.
Look elsewhere if you want an insurer that offers a mobile app.
Runners-Up: Auto-Owners Car Insurance
Auto-Owners doesn’t do as well as Erie in the customer service department. Nevertheless, its record is much better than many other prominent companies, including GEICO, Progressive, and Nationwide. The insurer gets the eighth rank among 24 insurers reviewed.
However, what truly makes Auto-Owners one of the top insurance companies in Ohio is its rates. The company is among the cheapest options in the Buckeye state.
Furthermore, Auto-Owners’ AM Best rating is the highest possible — “A++.” This demonstrates that the company is perfectly capable of paying the customer’s claims.
Nonetheless, Auto-Owners has a major downside – the company does not offer an online quote option. It prefers to work exclusively through its network of agents. This may be less convenient, but a highly skilled agent can tailor an ideal coverage for you. Just beware of them trying to upsell insurance.
There’s something worth keeping in mind if you like to customize your auto insurance quote in Ohio. Auto-Owners does not offer as many optional coverages as competitors do, such as Allstate, Progressive, or State Farm.
However, despite these minor flaws, Auto-Owners is still among the best options in Ohio for regular customers.
Choose Auto-Owners for top-notch customer satisfaction and financial strength, coupled with low premiums.
Look elsewhere if you prefer to get quotes online.
The Cheapest Option: Progressive Car insurance
Those looking for cheap auto insurance in Ohio should start their search with Progressive. This insurer turned out to be the most affordable in the Buckeye state, followed by Erie as the close second. However, unlike Erie, Progressive also specializes in high-risk drivers, meaning it will not overcharge them as most insurers do.
And it’s not just the low prices even for riskier drivers that make Progressive a smart choice. The company is the third-largest insurer in the US by market share, suggesting Progressive knows a thing or two about running a financially successful and stable business. Its A. M. Best rating (“A+”) only confirms this fact.
Additionally, those who prefer buying car insurance in Ohio from the convenience of their home can count on Progressive’s fast quote system. It lets you customize your policy and obtain a custom-tailored coverage in no time.
You can even use the company’s Name Your Price Tool to get insurance fast. You input how much you would like to pay, and the AI customizes the coverage for you.
Progressive’s performance in customer service is nothing to brag about. In Ohio, it gets three out of five stars in J.D. Power’s rankings. That’s why it’s maybe worth prioritizing Erie if you want an affordable coverage. In this case, however, you would have to live without Progressive’s sophisticated mobile app and online tools.
Choose Progressive for dirt-cheap prices and all the benefits that only the biggest insurers offer.
Look elsewhere if you want reliable customer service.
The Best for Dividend Policies: Amica Car Insurance
If you would like to profit from your auto insurance in Ohio, give a chance to Amica. It’s a mutual insurer owned by its policyholders. This implies that the profits either go back into the company or are distributed as dividends to the customers.
To qualify for these payments, you’ll need to select a dividend policy option in your quote. It’s higher-priced compared to a regular one, but it’s a more profitable alternative in the long run.
According to the Amica’s website, you may get up to 20% of your premium back. You can receive it in the form of a check, reduction of the future premiums, or an automatic direct deposit.
And it’s not just a chance to make a few extra bucks by paying premiums what makes Amica a worthy contender for your next automobile insurance in Ohio. As we noted in our Amica review, the company is also in the top tier when it comes to the quality of customer service.
While not ranked in the Ohio region, Amica earned the top spot in the national study. According to 2019 J.D. Power’s national rankings, it scored full five stars. Furthermore, Amica’s NAIC ratio is 0.46, indicating the company gets 54% fewer complaints than the average enterprise of its size.
In addition to top-notch customer service, Amica can brag about its excellent financial strength too. While it’s not the best possible, Amica’s AM Best rating is “A+,” indicating the company will cover the expenses if a claim happens.
However, before you put Amica at the top of your “car insurance quotes in Ohio” list, you should know that it’s among the most expensive companies in the state. Furthermore, while offering enough options to satisfy an undemanding customer, those that are picky may want to check other companies.
Nonetheless, if the price is not an issue and high-quality customer service is your priority, you should consider Amica.
Choose Amica for the extra benefits of the dividend policies and outstanding customer service.
Look elsewhere if you want the most affordable insurer or an abundance of discounts and optional coverages.
The Best for Military: USAA Auto Insurance
USAA is among the highest-rated insurers in each of our state-wide studies. The situation is not different in Ohio either. However, we should first note that USAA provides its products exclusively to former and current US army members and their close families. But for that particular category, it’s a stupendous choice.
To start with what the majority cares about, USAA’s Ohio car insurance quotes are among the most affordable in the state. In addition to inexpensive insurance, USAA offers a substantial number of discounts and optional coverages, and even investment and banking services, if that’s your cup of tea.
Finally, USAA receives the highest possible ratings in customer service and financial strength. In fact, USAA ranks so well that it would easily be our overall winner if it weren’t for its restricted availability. But if you can obtain a USAA policy, we urge you to give this company a chance.
Choose USAA for exceptional performance in each category.
Look elsewhere if you don’t qualify for USAA’s membership.
Best for Optional Coverages and Additional Benefits: AAA Auto Insurance
AAA is an automotive club that also sells car insurance to its associates. AAA membership is necessary to qualify for its policies, but you can get a quote and customize it before becoming a part of AAA.
Buying AAA auto insurance in Ohio has many benefits besides the protection for you and your car. As an AAA member, you’ll be able to qualify for free emergency roadside assistance, travel vouchers, and discounts at over 100,000 shops, restaurants, and hotels in the US.
You can choose from multiple membership plans, all of which are relatively inexpensive. The Classic package, for instance, costs only $56 year, which is a small price to pay for all you’re getting.
Unfortunately, unlike its membership, AAA’s insurance is quite expensive. For instance, in Cleveland, our reference quote came at $205, which is considerably above the average car insurance rates in Ohio.
Another downside of AAA is its weak customer service score. The company received only two out of five stars in J.D. Power’s 2018 regional rankings. However, AAA fares a little better in the financial strength department. It holds “A+” or “Excellent” AM Best rating.
The high prices and unreliable customer service make AAA insurance a mixed bag, which is why we cannot universally recommend this company. But it’s hard to deny the appeal of various perks that AAA membership brings.
Choose AAA for free roadside assistance and other benefits that AAA membership offers.
Look elsewhere if you want dependable customer service or low rates.
Cheapest Car Insurance in Ohio (By City)
Columbus is the capital of Ohio, as well as the state’s biggest and most populous city. The town has a strong and diverse economy, which is why Forbes declared it as one of the top cities for business in the US.
Columbus is also home to the Ohio State universities, the leading universities in the US in the number of enrolled students. It is also home of Nationwide, one of the major US car insurers.
Those looking for cheap car insurance in Columbus, Ohio, should start with Progressive, Geico, and Erie. Out of those three, Erie is the optimal choice since it offers reliable customer service along with affordable policies.
Auto-Owners can also be proud of its customer satisfaction ratings and inexpensive insurance. However, the company does not provide online quotes, meaning you’ll need to get in touch with an agent to obtain a policy.
Cleveland is the second most populated city in Ohio and 52nd in the US, with 383,793 residents. However, in the 1950s and 60s, the city had over 900,000 inhabitants. The rapid decline of heavy industry in the following decades caused many to leave Cleveland.
Nonetheless, the population is now increasing, with a healthy economy based on manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and higher education.
Auto insurance in Cleveland, Ohio, is somewhat cheaper than in Columbus, with an average premium of $141 for full coverage for a 40-year-old driver. While Progressive is the most affordable option, we think Erie is the top choice. That is, as long as you can live without a car insurance app since Erie does not have one.
Geico is also an affordable insurer that’s worth considering due to its superior financial strength and intuitive online tools. Finally, if you can stretch your budget a bit, Amica and State Farm are also strong options due to their exceptional customer satisfaction ratings.
Cincinnati was the first town founded after the American Revolution, and also the first prominent inland city in the US. Its metropolitan area is one of the fastest-growing in the Midwestern US because of the city’s strong economy.
In the 1920s and 30s, Cincinnati was called the “Paris of America” because of its beautiful European-styled buildings such as Shillito Department Store or the Cincinnati Music Hall. Currently, Cincinnati carries a moniker the “Chili Capital of America” since it has more chili restaurants per capita than any other town in the world.
Progressive and Erie are the two most affordable auto insurance options in Cincinnati, Ohio, but the latter is a better choice. Erie outperforms Progressive in customers’ service by full three stars, according to J.D. Power’s regional study.
Besides these two companies, Auto-Owners is also worth your attention. It’s the best company in customers’ satisfaction in Ohio, and it offers affordable coverages. However, there’s no option of online quotes with Auto-Owners.
Toledo was a small town, but after 1845 it started to expand quickly. The main culprits were the construction of the railway between NYC and Chicago which passed through the city, and the completion of the nearby Miami-Erie Canal.
After these events, glass factories started to pop-up in Toledo, and it soon earned the nickname “The Glass City.” Nowadays, Toledo is the fourth most populous city in Ohio with 276,491 citizens.
Those looking for affordable car insurance in Toledo, Ohio, have plenty of options. However, treating the customers well also matters, and Geico, Travelers, and Progressive do not excel in that department.
That’s why potential customers should also consider Auto-Owners and USAA, and even Amica if they can stretch their budget a bit. Furthermore, while AAA does not excel in the customer service department, it offers various perks with their coverages, such as free roadside assistance. These alone may justify the extra outlay.
Akron was founded in 1825 at the summit of Ohio-Erie Canal, which was still under construction back then. The founders, Paul Williams and Simon Perkins, named it Akron after a Greek word for “summit.”
The city grew rapidly in the first half of the 20th century, especially its rubber industry. It soon earned the moniker “Rubber Capital of the World.” Leading automobile tire manufacturer Goodyear still has its quarters in the city.
Basketball aficionados will also note that Akron is the birthplace of LeBron James, the greatest player of his era.
With the average price of only $128 per month, Akron auto insurance is the least expensive in Ohio. Erie is the cheapest and the best company as long as you can live without an insurance app.
However, if you like to get your coverage from a more prominent insurer and enjoy all the bells and whistles they offer, check Allstate and Progressive. Geico is also a viable alternative, but the company does not provide that many optional coverages. Finally, if you can afford it, Amica is an enticing option that ticks all the boxes.
Dayton is the leading logistical center in Ohio for numerous suppliers, manufacturers, and shippers. The city also hosts the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The US military uses it frequently for avionic research. This does not come as a surprise since Dayton’s aeronautical legacy can be traced all the way back to Orville Wright, who was born in the city in 1871.
If you want cheap, high-quality car insurance in Dayton, Ohio, it’s hard to look past Erie. The only downside of this insurer is the lack of a mobile app and a limited selection of optional coverages.
If that’s your cup of tea, consider Geico, Farmers, and Progressive. However, you’ll have to live with mediocre customer service if you opt for one of those three insurers. On the other hand, Amica provides both a mobile app and an excellent customer service, but it does not have many optional coverages and it’s expensive.
Ohio Car Insurance Laws
Ohio Automobile Insurance Plan (OAIP)
Similarly to Illinois, Ohio car insurance system helps the high-risk drivers to find coverage. If an insurer has rejected you in the past 60 days or the quotes you received had rates higher than OAIP’s recommended, you can ask your agent to submit the OAIP application on your behalf. If you do, you will be randomly assigned to one of the licensed auto insurance companies in Ohio.
Every insurer must participate in this program and take the number of high-risk drivers proportional to its market share. Once the government finds you an insurer, it’ll be obliged to provide you with coverage for the next three years.
Once that period expires, it’s more likely that you’ll find affordable insurance if you opt-out of the program. Additionally, consider getting quotes from at least five different companies before you enter OAIP. There are chances you’ll find an affordable high-risk insurer (such as Progressive) if you shop around.
Ohio State Minimum Car Insurance
In Ohio, you have a choice of posting collateral, buying a bond, or purchasing auto insurance. If you opt for the latter, as the majority of customers do, you’ll need at least these amounts of coverage on your policy:
- Bodily Injury Liability – $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident. This coverage pays for the injuries you’ve inflicted upon others in an accident you have caused. It may include other medical-related expenses too, like lost income or legal fees if the injured party sues you.
- Property Damage Liability – $25,000 per accident. This covers any damage you caused to another person’s property in an at-fault accident. Usually, that property is their car, but it can include personal belongings or stationary objects too.
However, as Nolo’s guide on insurance regulations in Ohio would suggest, it’s always more beneficial to purchase a policy with higher limits. By doing so, you’ll eliminate the chances of having to add extra money out of your pocket.
SR22 in Ohio
SR22 is a document that insurance companies have to submit to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). It serves as proof that your auto insurance policy carries sufficient limits after a severe traffic violation. You’ll need an SR22 form after infringements like driving under the influence, street racing, multiple smaller citations, or driving without a license.
Once you enter the program, the local authorities track your driving record for a minimum of 36 months. After that period, you can buy regular Ohio car insurance. Additionally, as BMV’s website notes, even if you moved to another state, you must still maintain SR22 for your Ohio suspension.
There is one important thing you should be aware of. The SR22 certificate is relatively inexpensive, but insurance companies tend to charge 40-60% more for their coverage if you require SR22. That said, you need to be careful when requesting a quote in such cases.
Ohio Car Insurance for New Residents
Ohio has no specific deadline for obtaining the state license, but the official recommendation is to do it as soon as possible. Furthermore, according to the AAA’s guide for out-of-state drivers, Ohio courts and police agencies usually give the maximum of 30 days to register your vehicle. Active-duty military personnel is exempt from this rule.
Ohio has a “fault” car insurance system, meaning that the driver who caused the accident is responsible for covering the damage. This pertains both to bodily injuries and damaged property.
In practice, it means that auto insurance companies in Ohio, which cover the at-fault drivers, will pay the expenses up to the policy limit. If their limits are too low to reimburse expenses, you can either rely on your uninsured motorist coverage or sue the at-fault driver.
Based on our research about car insurance prices in the US, no-fault states tend to have higher average premiums compared to “fault-states.” Florida, for instance, has the third most expensive car insurance in the US, mainly due to its no-fault system. That’s why Ohio drivers are better off with a “fault” system, despite having to make an extra effort to get a reimbursement after an accident.
Price optimization is the practice of utilizing non-underwriting factors in establishing premiums. In other words, Ohio car insurance companies will use the advanced AI tools such as Earnix to determine the maximum amount you are willing to pay for your insurance. Next, they will try to charge you that price.
Latest studies indicate that about 45% of the biggest US insurers rely on price optimization tools.
The wonderful news is that Ohio authorities took a firm stand against this practice. In 2015, the Ohio Department of Insurance issued Bulletin 2015-01. It noted that:
“Ohio insurance law prohibits charging unfairly discriminatory rates, requires that rates be based upon risk, and requires differences among risks to have a demonstrable probable effect on losses or expenses.”
That’s why price optimization is illegal under the current Ohio law.
How to Find Cheap Car Insurance in Ohio
Make a Quote Comparison
Since price optimization is illegal in Ohio, you may think it’s worth sticking with your company to benefit from loyalty discounts. While there’s undoubtedly some truth to this, we believe it’s still prudent to explore different options when the renewal comes.
That’s because each insurer has its methods of calculating the premiums and assessing risks you present. For this reason, depending on your profile, you may get considerably different offers.
There’s another reason to compare auto insurance quotes in Ohio frequently — each insurer has a unique market strategy which they change regularly, depending on their profits and losses.
For instance, Progressive and Geico are currently among the most affordable companies in the US, while State Farm and Allstate are more expensive. However, if State Farm, the largest insurance company by market share in the US, would start losing customers, it would slash its prices to stay competitive.
For these reasons, when comparing car insurance quotes in Ohio, we suggest making a shortlist of at least five insurers that seem suitable for you. After that, obtain quotes from all of them and add a couple more if you don’t fancy the results. The whole process shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.
Study Car Insurance Reviews
When you are comparing different insurers, you want to know how each company scores in departments such as financial strength and customer service. Obviously, this guide lists the best-rated car insurance companies in Ohio, but there are many more insurers you may be interested in.
Our car insurance rankings will help you discover different companies and learn how they perform. We compared more than 24 most prominent US insurers and ranked them based on the seven most relevant metrics.
These included prices, discounts, optional coverages, online tools, customer service, availability, and financial strength. This means that no matter how picky you are, you’ll find the perfect insurer for you.
Check the Discount
The most straightforward route to the cheap auto insurance in Ohio is to take full advantage of discounts. The easiest way to do this is by getting a quote online. The system will automatically prompt you to select the rebates you may qualify for. Some of the most common auto insurance discounts are:
- Good Driving Discount – Awarded to customers who have been without violations for an extended period (usually five years).
- Bundle Discount – If you’re protecting different cars or purchasing various types of policies from the same company, you’re bound to save.
- Good Student Discount – Teens and students are especially in need of cheap auto insurance in Ohio given the rising costs of tuition fees. Those with a GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher can save up to 20%.
- Safety Features Discount – factory-installed safety mechanisms like airbags, anti-lock brakes, or even theft-prevention devices can get you lower rates for collision/comprehensive coverage.
- Tracking Driving Habits – This type of discount can result in the highest premium reduction – up to 50%. You’ll need to enroll in a program where your insurer uses either a GPS device or a mobile app to track your driving habits. They’ll monitor how safely you drive and whether you frequently drive at night. If your results are good, your Ohio car insurance rates will soon become lower. However, keep in mind that some insurers, such as Travelers, may increase your premium if the results are subpar.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Ohio a no-fault insurance state?
No. Ohio is entirely a “fault” state. This means that the driver who caused the accident is fully responsible for any property damage and bodily injuries. Her insurance will cover the expenses up to her policy limits.
If this is insufficient, the victim would need to sue the at-fault party or seek compensation from her underinsured motorist coverage (optional in Ohio).
2. Who has the cheapest car insurance in Ohio?
This depends significantly on your profile and hometown. Nonetheless, Erie and Progressive stood out as the least expensive insurers in most situations. Furthermore, Geico and Travelers also frequently charged below the Ohio average.
3. Is it mandatory to have insurance policy in Ohio?
Yes. You have to provide some form of guarantee that you are financially capable of paying the damage you may cause in a car accident. You can do this by posting collateral, buying a bond, or purchasing auto insurance. We assume the majority of drivers will opt for the last option.
4. What is the average cost of car insurance in Ohio?
This depends on the policy limits and your profile. That’s why various average price reports in Ohio tell you only how much a particular type of driver would pay for a specific kind of policy.
Nonetheless, all reports, including ours, indicate that insurance quotes are affordable in Ohio. An experienced driver with a clean record can expect to pay around $80 monthly for a standard policy.
5. How much is full coverage insurance in Ohio?
Based on our research about car insurance quotes in Ohio, the average price for a full coverage policy is $169. Our quote was for a 40-year-old driver with a clean record. Our reference vehicle was a 2018 Honda Accord EX 4D, with 10,000 annual mileage.