Learn everything you need to know to make smart decisions about buying car insurance in Ohio. We outline average car insurance rates for Ohio by age, gender and ZIP code and offer recommendations for coverage. We also provide details about Ohio car insurance laws and show you how much tickets and accidents will raise your rates.
To get an idea of what rates are for your area, enter a ZIP code to see the average premium for that location. You will also see the highest and lowest rates from the six major carriers surveyed. This way you can tell if your quotes are too high and if you should keep shopping for a lower rate.
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Liability insurance is sold with different levels of coverage. You can buy the state-mandated minimum, or you can choose higher limits, which offer more protection. Ohio car insurance laws require you to have at least the following minimum liability coverage, often written as 25/50/25:
Minimum bodily injury liability: Covers medical expenses for others injured in an accident caused by you or other drivers listed on your policy; $25,000 per person injured in any one accident and a total of $50,000 for everyone harmed in any one accident.
Property damage liability: Covers damages to other people’s property; $25,000 to pay to repair or replace others’ cars or property.
Cheap car insurance in Ohio
Buying just minimum liability insurance will help you get the cheapest car insurance rate for your ZIP code and driver profile. Here is what it will cost you, on average, broken down by age and gender:
Rate for women
Rate for men
Average rate for all ages
*The table shows the average annual rate of 10 ZIP codes in the state from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers. Data was provided for CarInsurance.com by Quadrant Information Services.
Why should I buy more than minimum car insurance?
The cheapest car insurance isn’t always the best car insurance if you have a home and other assets. State minimum coverage often isn’t enough to shield your assets from lawsuits.
Your savings and house can be taken or your wages garnished to pay for damage you cause in an accident if your insurance can’t cover the whole bill. Even minor accidents can add up to major bills and exceed minimum liability insurance pay outs. For instance, let’s say you have $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance. If you then cause an accident that costs $55,000, you’re on the hook for $30,000. Your assets may be seized to cover the expenses if you can’t pay it.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends liability coverage levels of 100/300/100 for sufficient protection.
Here are other optional insurance coverages that you can buy in addition to higher liability payouts:
Collision: Pays for damage to your car from an accident. In Ohio, $243 is the average annual cost for collision, according to the III.
Comprehensive: Pays to replace stolen cars and for damages to your car from fire, floods, hail, animal strikes and vandalism. In Ohio, the average annual cost for comprehensive coverage is $107, according to the III.
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Pays for medical, funeral and pain-and-suffering expenses for you and your passengers if you’re hit by an uninsured, underinsured or hit-and-run driver. Uninsured motorist property damage pays for damage to your car or property. This usually costs about 10 percent of your total rate.
Collision and comprehensive insurance come with a deductible. A deductible is the amount you pay before your insurer pays out on a claim. Typically, you can choose a deductible of $250, $500 or $1,000. Here’s how it works: If you pick a $1,000 deductible and it will cost $2,800 to repair your car, you will pay $1,000 and your insurance company will pay $1,800.
A higher deductible means a lower rate. That’s because drivers with high deductibles usually file fewer claims for expensive repairs, so insurance companies consider them a lower risk. If you decide on a high deductible, be sure you have the money set aside to pay the deductible if you have to file a claim to get your car fixed.
Is full coverage expensive?
When you compare car insurance rates for full coverage and minimum coverage, you’ll see that buying more protection costs more, but usually isn’t going to break the bank. Here are how rates compare for bare-bones coverage and full coverage of 100/300/100 that includes higher liability limits, uninsured motorist, comprehensive and collision.
Average Ohio car insurance rates for minimum coverage and full coverage
Full coverage with $1,000 deductible
Annual extra cost for full coverage
Monthly extra cost for full coverage
Car insurance quotes: Ohio
The cost for a car insurance policy can vary wildly from insurer to insurer. This is because car insurance companies use different formulas to set rates and weigh risk differently. Here is the difference between the highest and lowest quote among six carriers for the same policy for several ZIP codes in Ohio. You’ll see you can pay over a $1,000 if you don’t shop around and compare quotes.
Amount you may overpay
* Averages are based on insurance for a single 40-year-old male who commutes 12 miles to work each day, with policy limits of 100/300/50 ($100,000 for injury liability for one person, $300,000 for all injuries and $50,000 for property damage in an accident) and a $500 deductible on collision and comprehensive coverage.Data for CarInsurance.com provided by Quadrant Information Services.
How much will a speeding ticket raise your insurance rates?
Typically insurers review your driving record upon renewal, and will often raise your rates if you have a speeding ticket. This higher rate typically lasts for three years. A speeding ticket in Ohio will increase your rate, on average, by 6 percent, according to our analysis of rates based on Quadrant Information Services data.
Other factors that affect your car insurance rate
In addition to traffic violations, your credit, gaps in coverage, accidents and who you add to your policy can impact your rates. You’ll see that having poor credit and adding a teen driver can increase your rate much more than having an accident. Here is how average car insurance rates in Ohio compare to those for common mishaps, as well as for adding a young driver:
Clean driver rate
Rate after incident
One bodily injury accident
One property damage accident over $1,000
Coverage lapse of 60 days
Add 16-year-old female
Add 16-year-old male
*The table shows the average annual rate of 10 ZIP codes in the state from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers. Data was provided by Quadrant Information Services for CarInsurance.com.
Ohio car insurance laws
Credit score: Making sure your credit is used correctly
Some car insurance companies in Ohio use credit scores when calculating your rate. Companies that use credit scores develop their own credit scoring model that relies on information in your credit report. Ask your insurer if it uses this practice, and if so, you can request that it re-check your credit score annually. Additionally, if you find an error on your credit report and have it corrected, you can ask your car insurance company to recalculate your rates.
Tickets and accidents and your car insurance
Car insurance companies usually review your driving record (often called a “driver abstract”) when renewing your policy. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) sends insurance companies only your record from the past three years, but convictions never come off an Ohio driving record. However, most insurance companies only charge you higher car insurance rates for accidents and tickets for up to three to five years. To get a copy of your record, visit the BMV website.
Ohio Automobile Insurance Plan (OAIP)
If you have a poor driving record and can’t find an insurance company to sell you a policy, you can use the Ohio Automobile Insurance Plan (OAIP) as a last resort. The group is comprised of major carriers and is required by state law to sell you liability insurance. You must buy at least the state minimum, but you are free to purchase higher liability limits if you want. Because all OAIP policies are for high-risk drivers, who tend to get into more accidents and file more claims, you will pay steep car insurance rates. You can stay on an OAIP policy for three years. However, as soon as you’re able to buy a standard policy, you can do so.
To buy an OAIP policy, you must have an insurance agent file an application on your behalf. You will then be assigned to one of the companies in the OAIP pool. For more information call the Ohio Auto Plan at (614) 221-2596.
Discount for seniors
If you are age 60 to 70, you can get a car insurance discount if you pass an accident-prevention course approved by the BMV. You must give your insurance company the certificate proving you passed the course. You will then get a discount of 2 to 15 percent off the liability portion of your coverage for three years.
Comparative negligence law
Ohio’s comparative negligence law says the responsibility, or fault, for an accident can be shared. It helps determine how much you can collect from the other driver or the insurance company.
So how can fault be shared in an accident? Let’s say the other driver crashed into you and even got a ticket. That still doesn’t mean the other driver was completely at fault. Under the comparative negligence law, if you could have “reasonably” done anything to avoid the accident, you may be found partially responsible. That also means you may have to share the car repair and medical costs.
If you are 50 percent or less at fault, you can receive compensation from the other driver’s insurer. If you are more than 50 percent to blame for an accident, you can’t recover anything.
Let’s look at an example. When you file a claim against the other driver, the insurance company will determine if you should share the blame. This is done by asking you questions about your speed, if you were wearing a seat belt or not and so on. If the insurance adjuster deems that the accident or some of the damage or injuries could have been avoided if you were more careful, he or she will split the blame between you and the other driver.
If the adjuster decides the other driver was 80 percent at fault, this would be called 80/20. Under this instance, let’s say the damage to your car was $1,000. The other driver’s insurer would pay 80 percent of your damage, or $800. Because the other driver’s share of the negligence was more than 50 percent, you would not owe anything for his or her damages.
If you want to file a complaint or ask questions about your car insurance company or agent, you can do so online at the Ohio Department of Insurance website or by calling 1-800-686-1526. You can file a written complaint with the Department’s Consumer Services Division at:
Ohio Department of Insurance
50 W. Town Street, Suite 300
Columbus, OH, 43215
Penalties for being uninsured
If you’re busted for driving without insurance, your car may be impounded and your plates confiscated. Your license may also be suspended for 90 days. To reinstate your license, you must pay a $75 fee and buy insurance and file an SR-22 document with the state.
Random and not so random: Proof of insurance
Police can ask you for proof of insurance during the course of an ordinary traffic stop, but the Ohio BMV also has a "Random Selection Program." Under that program, a computer program randomly selects drivers who are mailed a request asking them to provide documentation of their insurance. You have 21 days from the mailing date on your notice to send in your proof of insurance.
Ohio OVI (DUI)
Here are the penalties and fines for a DUI, called OVI for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, in Ohio:
First offense: Minimum mandatory 72 hours jail; license suspension six months to three years; Fine $375-$10,500; reinstatement fee $475; 6 points on your license.
Second offense: Minimum mandatory 10 days jail; license suspension one to five years; vehicle immobilization; Fine $375$-10,500; reinstatement fee $475; 6 driver’s license points.
After a license suspension from OVI/DUI -- or other violation that results in losing your license -- you have to give the state proof showing that you have liability insurance to get your license back. This is done by having your insurer file a form with the BMV. It is called an “SR-22” form.
Special license plates for OVI violators
In Ohio, repeat drunken driving offenders are issued "restricted plates." The plates differ from standard ones in that they are bright yellow with red lettering. Offenders get these upon receiving limited driving privileges, for example, to commute to work.
Ohio OVI car insurance
Your rates will increase following a DUI conviction, typically for five years. The average rate increase in Ohio for a DUI is 53 percent, according to a CarInsurance.com analysis of data commissioned from Quadrant Information Services. Paying for car insurance after a DUI will certainly cost you more, but you can still shave money off your rates but shopping for the insurer with the lowest rate.
Ohio OVI rates by company
Clean driver rate
*The table shows the annual rate for Cleveland ZIP code 44102 from the following carriers, in no particular order: Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide, GEICO and Farmers. One company refused coverage for a DUI.
Largest car insurance companies in Ohio by market share
Company / Group
Direct Premiums Written ($)
Market Share (%)
State Farm Group
Progressive Insurance Group
Allstate Insurance Group
Berkshire Hathaway Insurance
Grange Mutual Casualty Pool
Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies
Amer Family Insurance Group
Erie Insurance Group
Source: A.M. Best market share rankings are based on direct premiums written in 2013.