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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Ohio for 2020

Jan. 2, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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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.


To help Ohioans navigate the car insurance market quickly, NerdWallet looked at rates from the 11 largest insurers in the state and found the five cheapest options for several driver categories.

Cheapest for good drivers in Ohio

For Ohio drivers with good credit and a clean driving history, these are the cheapest companies we found, ranked by lowest average rate for full coverage auto insurance:

  1. Grange: $605 per year.
  2. Erie: $662 per year.
  3. Geico: $700 per year.
  4. Auto Owners: $785 per year.
  5. Cincinnati Insurance: $968 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 minimum coverage in Ohio

For Ohio’s minimum required insurance, the cheapest companies and their average rates for a driver with clean credit and driving records are:

  1. Erie: $216 per year.
  2. Grange: $238 per year.
  3. Auto Owners: $294 per year.
  4. Geico: $310 per year.
  5. Cincinnati Insurance: $393 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.

Cheapest for good drivers with poor credit

Ohioans with poor credit and a clean driving record may want to get quotes from these companies, which showed the cheapest average rates for full coverage:

  1. Grange: $798 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,044 per year.
  3. Nationwide: $1,374 per year.
  4. Cincinnati Insurance: $1,439 per year.
  5. Erie: $1,600 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 for full coverage:

  1. Grange: $782 per year.
  2. Erie: $847 per year.
  3. Auto Owners: $1,125 per year.
  4. Geico: $1,132 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,346 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 insurance after a DUI in Ohio

For car insurance after a DUI in Ohio, the cheapest companies and their average rates for full coverage are:

  1. Grange: $966 per year.
  2. Erie: $1,005 per year.
  3. Geico: $1,404 per year.
  4. Auto Owners: $1,543 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,571 per year.
A conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, generally results in higher auto insurance premiums than before. NerdWallet analyzed rates for 40-year-old drivers and standard “full coverage” car insurance with a recent DUI conviction to see which companies were cheapest. Rates can vary by hundreds between carriers after a DUI, and some penalize for longer than others, so it’s important to shop around for the best price right after you see a price hike and each year after that.

Cheapest insurance after a ticket in Ohio

After a speeding ticket, the cheapest insurers and their average rates in Ohio for full coverage are:

  1. Erie: $689 per year.
  2. Geico: $866 per year.
  3. Grange: $867 per year.
  4. Auto Owners: $1,028 per year.
  5. Cincinnati Insurance: $1,137 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket will result in higher car insurance rates from most companies for three to five years. To see who has the cheapest rates, we calculated average car insurance rates for 40-year-old drivers with “full coverage” insurance and a recent ticket for speeding 16 mph over the limit. Though these larger companies were the cheapest we found on average, others may be cheaper for you, so be sure to get at least three quotes before deciding on a carrier.

Cheapest for couples and families in Ohio

The companies with the best car insurance rates for a single driver aren’t always the cheapest options for a married couple or family. That’s why it’s smart to shop around and get several car insurance quotes after a major life change like tying the knot or adding a newly licensed teen driver. We checked rates for a 50-year-old married couple, with and without a teen in the family, to see which insurers have the best prices in Ohio.

Cheapest for a married couple in Ohio

For a husband and wife in Ohio, both 50 years old, with clean driving and credit histories, the cheapest insurers and average rates for full coverage on two vehicles are:

  1. Grange: $843 per year.
  2. Geico: $922 per year.
  3. Erie: $1,019 per year.
  4. Auto Owners: $1,139 per year.
  5. Safeco: $1,244 per year.
Couples who live together can save on auto insurance by combining policies, whether they are married or not, because they can earn multi-car and multi-driver discounts. Once they tie the knot, rates can dip further, but not because of discounts — insurers see married people as less risky and so charge them lower rates. Our hypothetical 50-year-old couple’s clean driving record also earns them both a good driver discount.

Cheapest for families with a teen in Ohio

For a 50-year-old couple with an 18-year-old driver, these are the cheapest insurance companies and their average rates for full coverage on two vehicles:

  1. Grange: $1,647 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,783 per year.
  3. Erie: $2,150 per year.
  4. Auto Owners: $2,487 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $2,689 per year.
Taking that same couple and adding a teen with two years’ driving experience is sure to cause a big jump in rates. Since different insurers tend to see a teen’s inexperience in different ways, we analyzed rates to see which companies had the cheapest car insurance for teens. These rates are averaged for 50-year-old couples with male and female 18-year-old drivers across the state.

Cheapest for young drivers in Ohio

When you’re in your 20s, you can expect to pay higher auto insurance rates than more seasoned drivers, in most cases. But each insurer considers factors like age and experience differently when setting prices, so the rate you pay can vary widely. To see which companies are cheapest for young drivers, we looked at rates for 25-year-olds in Ohio.

Cheapest full coverage for young good drivers

For a 25-year-old in Ohio buying full coverage, these are the cheapest insurers with average rates, assuming clean credit and driving histories:

  1. Grange: $655 per year.
  2. Erie: $796 per year.
  3. Geico: $852 per year.
  4. Auto Owners: $1,093 per year.
  5. Safeco: $1,147 per year.
Drivers in their 20s can have a hard time finding cheap car insurance, and that's even truer when they need full coverage. The rates above are averages for 25-year-old male and female drivers all over the state with comprehensive and collision coverages, which are often required for drivers with active auto loans or leases. These rates reflect a good driver discount, but no others. Young drivers, like all drivers, should check several quotes to find the cheapest for the coverage levels they need.

Cheapest minimum coverage for young good drivers

For young drivers with clean records who want to stick with Ohio’s minimum required car insurance, the cheapest companies and their average rates are:

  1. Grange: $254 per year.
  2. Erie: $260 per year.
  3. Geico: $360 per year.
  4. Auto Owners: $393 per year.
  5. Cincinnati Insurance: $469 per year.
Since young people often have fewer assets to protect with liability insurance, they can usually get away with lower coverage limits. For an age group with relatively high insurance rates on average, that's good news, keeping rates as low as possible. For this price set, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers living across the state who have clean driving records, good credit and bare-bones insurance coverage.

Poor credit and minimum coverage

A 25-year-old in Ohio with poor credit and a good driving record may want to consider these companies, which returned the cheapest rates for minimum coverage:

  1. Grange: $348 per year.
  2. Geico: $506 per year.
  3. Cincinnati Insurance: $697 per year.
  4. Allstate: $707 per year.
  5. Erie: $720 per year.
Poor credit is common for younger folks just starting out, who may still be building their credit files. That can increase rates further, so it's extra important to shop around and compare as many insurance quotes as possible to find the cheapest you can get. For these prices, we averaged rates across the state for 25-year-old male and female drivers with no recent accidents or violations (earning them a good driver discount), minimum coverage car insurance, and credit in the "poor" tier as reported to an insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a crash

For young drivers in Ohio with an at-fault accident on their record, the cheapest insurers and their average rates for minimum coverage are:

  1. Grange: $304 per year.
  2. Erie: $348 per year.
  3. Geico: $543 per year.
  4. Auto Owners: $596 per year.
  5. State Farm: $637 per year.
To get prices for this group, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers across the state with good credit and a recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Since car insurance is often pricier after a crash, and especially so for young drivers, we assumed minimum required insurance in the state to contain costs for our hypothetical driver. If you've caused a crash, no matter your age, be sure to check auto insurance quotes just after the third and fifth anniversaries of your incident, when insurers often adjust rates downward.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a DUI

For a 25-year-old in Ohio with a recent on-record DUI, these are the cheapest companies and corresponding average rates for minimum required insurance:

  1. Grange: $398 per year.
  2. Erie: $423 per year.
  3. Geico: $661 per year.
  4. Allstate: $670 per year.
  5. State Farm: $758 per year.
Young drivers with a recent DUI on their records will need to be diligent to find the lowest car insurance rates they can get — it's likely that many companies' rates will be quite expensive. But spending the time to shop around for quotes can help you find the lowest. For this analysis, we averaged rates for male and female 25-year-old drivers with a recent on-record DUI. They had good credit and minimum required car insurance, which helps keep rates down.

Cheapest for minimum coverage and a ticket

When a young Ohio driver has a recent speeding ticket, the cheapest insurers and their average rates for minimum coverage are:

  1. Erie: $273 per year.
  2. Grange: $364 per year.
  3. Geico: $417 per year.
  4. Auto Owners: $538 per year.
  5. Cincinnati Insurance: $550 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket is never fun, and neither is the higher car insurance bill you may receive months later. At that point it's time to shop around for better rates, and it wouldn't hurt to repeat on your third and fifth ticket anniversaries, when insurers may adjust rates downward. We analyzed rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with a recent speeding violation for going 16 mph over the speed limit to see prices for this group.

Recap: Cheapest car insurance in Ohio

  • Good drivers: Grange
  • Minimum coverage: Erie
  • Poor credit: Grange
  • After an at-fault crash: Grange
  • After a DUI: Grange
  • After a speeding ticket: Erie
  • Married couples: Grange
  • Families with a teen: Grange
  • Young good drivers: Grange
  • Minimum coverage for young good drivers: Grange
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers with poor credit: Grange
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a crash: Grange
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a DUI: Grange
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a ticket: Erie

» MORE: Compare car insurance

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.

Methodology

For our “good driver” profile, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers in the state for 40-year-old men and women in all ZIP codes with 12,000 annual miles driven. The policy includes:

  • $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 coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
If required, minimum additional coverages were added. Our “young driver” had all the same characteristics, but average rates were for 25-year-old men and women. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.
  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit.
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.
  • For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.
  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation.
We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE for all single drivers. Couples in our analyses were 50-year-old men and women with good credit and clean driving histories, averaged across all ZIP codes with the same policy outlined above. To see rates for families with a teen, we added an 18-year-old licensed two years ago, averaging rates for male and female teens. For couples and families we added a 2016 Nissan Rogue S to create a two-car household. These are rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.