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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Ohio for 2019

Sept. 26, 2019
Auto Insurance, Insurance
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Cheap car insurance in Ohio isn’t always easy to find. Prices vary quite a bit depending on the insurance company you get a quote from, as well as personal factors such as your age and credit history.

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To help Ohioans navigate the car insurance market quickly, NerdWallet looked at rates from the 10 largest insurers in the state and found the three cheapest options for several driver categories.

» FIND YOUR MATCH: Who’s the cheapest carrier for you?

Cheapest for good drivers in Ohio

For good drivers with good credit in Ohio, these are the cheapest companies we found, ranked by lowest average rate:

  1. Grange: $524 per year.
  2. Erie: $789 per year.
  3. State Farm: $928 per year.
  4. Geico: $997 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $1,080 per year.
Drivers with no recent accidents or violations can get cheaper car insurance rates for having good credit. For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record and good credit. In terms of driving and credit history, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard "full coverage" insurance, including comprehensive and collision, along with state-required coverage. Prices shown include a good driver discount, when available from the insurer.

Cheapest for drivers with poor credit

For good drivers with poor credit in Ohio, here are the cheapest auto insurers and their average rates:

  1. Grange: $831 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,448 per year.
  3. Nationwide: $1,515 per year.
  4. Cincinnati Insurance: $1,934 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,969 per year.
If you have a spotty credit history, it's important to shop around to find the cheapest auto insurance rates you can. Poor credit can have a bigger effect on car insurance premiums than even a DUI conviction or a recent at-fault crash, but prices vary by insurer. To calculate these figures, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-olds with a clean driving record and associated good driver discount, if the insurer offered one. They had poor credit as reported to their insurer, and standard "full coverage" car insurance.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

For Ohio drivers with a recent accident on their records, these are the cheapest car insurance companies we found, alongside their average rates:

  1. Erie: $992 per year.
  2. Grange: $1,018 per year.
  3. State Farm: $1,106 per year.
  4. Nationwide: $1,619 per year.
  5. Geico: $1,630 per year.
After a relatively minor crash, some auto insurers will charge a lot more than others for coverage. To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and one recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation. If you fall into this category, be sure to shop for new insurance rates just after the three-year and five-year anniversaries of your infraction.

Cheapest for low-mileage drivers

Low-mileage drivers in Ohio may want to look into the following companies, which are the cheapest we found for this group, along with average rates:

  1. Grange: $514 per year.
  2. Erie: $687 per year.
  3. State Farm: $786 per year.
  4. Geico: $918 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $1,080 per year.
The less you drive, the less likely you are to cause a crash and file an auto insurance claim. Whether you're retired, work at home or often use public transportation, you may be able to get cheaper car insurance simply because you drive less. The rates above are for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and a clean driving record who drive 5,000 miles per year instead of the standard 12,000.

Cheapest for minimum coverage in Ohio

For minimum coverage car insurance in Ohio, these are the cheapest companies we found, ranked by average rate:

  1. Grange: $175 per year.
  2. Erie: $261 per year.
  3. State Farm: $395 per year.
  4. Geico: $464 per year.
  5. Cincinnati Insurance: $488 per year.
We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers (earning them a discount if the insurer offers one) who have only the minimum mandatory insurance in their state. Such light coverage isn't typically recommended, since it might not cover all the bills resulting from a car accident, but it's better than nothing — especially if you can't afford much more. If you're looking for the cheapest possible insurance you can get, though, you'll still want to get quotes from at least three auto insurers.

The rates here are samples, and yours will be different. Each car insurance company evaluates your driving history, credit and personal information differently, so it’s possible none of these companies are cheapest for you. Read about the companies here and others in NerdWallet’s auto insurance reviews.

Minimum required auto insurance in Ohio

Ohio car insurance policies must include liability coverage, which covers others’ property damage or injury treatment if you’re responsible for a crash.

The minimum liability limits you must purchase are:

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

A serious crash could cause damage that easily surpasses these insurance amounts. To avoid having to pay accident bills out of your own pocket, consider buying more than the bare minimum. You may also want common optional coverages such as collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorist protection.

For more help planning your Ohio auto policy, visit NerdWallet’s guide to car insurance requirements by state.

Alternative car insurance in Ohio

Drivers who can’t get car insurance on Ohio’s voluntary market because of a checkered driving record, poor credit or other factors can apply for coverage through the Ohio Automobile Insurance Plan.

Or, you could forgo insurance altogether, if you can prove your financial responsibility to the state. Your options as an individual are:

  • Make a $30,000 deposit with the state treasury in money or bonds.
  • If you and another person own property with equity of at least $60,000, you can purchase a bond from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in the amount of $30,000.

For more help scoring cheap car insurance in Ohio, try NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool.

Here’s a summary of where you’ll find the cheapest insurance, by category:

Cheapest car insurance in Ohio

CategoryCheapest option
Good driversGrange Insurance
Drivers with poor creditGrange Insurance
Drivers with one at-fault crashErie Insurance
Low-mileage driversGrange Insurance
Minimum CoverageGrange Insurance

Methodology

For our base-profile driver with good credit and a clean driving history, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers for 40-year-old men and women in 20 ZIP codes. The policy includes:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with poor credit, we adjusted the credit tier from “good” to “poor.”
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash.
  • For low-mileage drivers, we adjusted the miles driven from 12,000 per year to 5,000.
  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.

We used a 2015 Toyota Camry in all cases. These are rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.