We studied auto insurance quotes in cities across Ohio to determine which companies were the most affordable (and most expensive). Car insurance rates in Ohio can cost $417 or $35 per month for our sample drivers with a liability policy just above the state minimum. Our study also found that the most expensive insurers cost nearly 3.3x the cheapest auto insurance company in Ohio. This illustrates the importance of comparison shopping - in order to get the good rates for themselves, drivers should obtain quotes from at least three companies before deciding which to insure with. Read more below, or enter your zip code above to see a list of companies to begin shopping from.
- Cheapest Auto Insurance Companies
- Best Car Insurance Rates: by City
- Best Auto Insurance Companies in Ohio
- Average Cost of Car Insurance: by City
- OH Minimum Coverage Requirements
As part of our analysis, we compared quotes at 21 auto insurers for four different drivers (two single males ages 30 and 65, and two married couples ages 30 and 65) in the state of Ohio to find the ones with the lowest costs. Our benchmark policy adds uninsured motorist coverage to a auto insurance policy with Ohio's minimum requirements. Here are the insurers ranked from the cheapest to the most expensive in Ohio from our analysis:
Based on our analysis, the best rates came from Motorists Mutual, Erie, Grange Mutual, Cincinnati Insurance, and Westfield – both Grange Mutual and Motorist Mutual are Ohio local companies – which make up the five overall cheapest auto insurance companies in Ohio. Motorists Mutual had the lowest insurance prices coming in at $273 annually. Erie's rates were just $17 higher. Rounding out our cheapest three were Grange Mutual, also with rates just slightly higher at $324 a year. Merchants Insurance Group, Farmers, Western Reserve, Atlantic States and Liberty Mutual also had rates that were cheaper than the state average for our benchmarks.
This list might be different depending on where you live in Ohio, and your actual quotes will reflect your driving profile, the liability limits you choose, as well as the kind of car you drive, etc.
Most Expensive Auto Insurance Companies
How about the most expensive companies? We found that four our four single motorists and married drivers, Ohio Mutual, Encompass, and State Farm actually had the higher rates in the analysis. Together, these carriers averaged $533 a year for a policy with liability limits of 25/50/25 for both BI and UM for our four Ohioans. They cost about 28% more than what the typical company charged in Ohio for our profiled drivers.
Here is a list of all the Ohio auto insurers we have looked at, compiled into a table for your convenience. Companies are listed from the cheapest average annual rate (for the benchmark drivers we studied) to the highest.
|Rank||Auto Insurance Company||Average Annual Rate|
|6||Merchants Insurance Group||349|
As we mentioned before, costs are quite different when comparing one city to another. In this section, we'll review premiums and the cheapest companies at the city level, starting with the biggest cities in Ohio.
The largest city in Ohio, Columbus is home to 787,000 residents and a number of other institutions. The Ohio State University, the nation's largest university, is located here, as well as Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company's headquarters. In terms of auto insurance, the average cost here actually is about par with the state average, running around $419 a year.
If you're looking for cheap auto insurance quotes in Columbus, you might want to start with Erie, Motorists Mutual, and Westfield, which had the lowest rates in our study. Their premium quotes averaged $292 a year - that's a savings of 30% off of the citywide average. However, if you are married and living with your spouse here, check out Cincinnati Insurance as well. For our sample married motorists, Cincinnati came in second lowest at $312 a year.
Home to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, Cleveland comes in as the priciest city on our list. Citizens of Cleveland can expect to pay an annual auto insurance premium that's roughly $505, or 21% higher than the average Ohioan. Even if it is the most expensive for car insurance in the state, there is still room to save with some comparison shopping.
We found that Motorists Mutual, Farmers, Merchants Insurance Group, Grange Mutual, and Cincinnati were the five cheapest car insurance companies in Cleveland with an average annual cost of $377. Compared to the Cleveland average cost, these insurers were 25% cheaper. If you are a single Ohioan, we recommend adding Westfield and State Farm onto your list – they came in as the third and fourth cheapest among 21 insurers for our sample single drivers, and averaged $369 a year.
With nearly 300,000 residents, Cincinnati is the third largest city in Ohio. It is the hometown of the Cincinnati Reds, and the headquarters for a wide array of corporations, from Procter & Gamble and Macy's to insurance groups such as American Financial Group and Great American Insurance Company. The cost of insuring a vehicle in Cincinnati can average $415 annually, which is just below the state average.
Erie, Motorists Mutual, and Cincinnati Insurance (a local!), were three of companies with the lowest car insurance rates in Cincinnati. They were 31% lower than the rest of the city with an annual average of $287, or near $24 a month. If you live with your spouse in the Queen City, definitely check out Erie too – our sample married motorists found Erie quotes that were just $294 at Cincinnati Insurance.
Toledo, "The Glass City", is the 4th largest city in Ohio and is bordered to the east by Lake Erie and to the north by the state of Michigan. We found car insurance quotes in Toledo found to be 7% higher than the state average although they were much cheaper than the second most expensive city, Youngstown (13% above OH average). Our benchmark drivers found that insuring their car in Toledo cost $447 a year for a minimum policy.
Nevertheless, there are chances to save. The most affordable quotes for insuring our drivers' car were found at Motorists Mutual of $346 a year on average, which was 23% lower than the mean city cost. Erie, Westfield, Cincinnati Insurance, and Merchants Insurance Group round up the rest of the five least expensive companies. On the higher end? Encompass can cost as much as $552 a year for a similar policy, more than 1.5 times the costs of these lower cost insurers. Compare at least 3 insurers before making your choice.
Located in the Great Lakes region near the Cuyahoga National Park, Akron is the fifth largest city in Ohio with 199,000 residents. Every summer, it hosts the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational and the All-American Soap Box Derby. The annual cost of auto insurance here is $403, which is 3% lower than the Ohio mean.
With Motorists Mutual, Erie and Westfield, we found low-cost car insurance in Akron for as low as $286 a year. If you are a single motorist living away from family members in Akron, you may save even more by going with Grange Mutual; our sample unmarried drivers found great quotes of about $270 a year with the insurer for their Toyota.
Located in Medina County towards the south side of the Cleveland metro area, Brunswick is the 34th largest town in the state. In our study, Brunswick ranked as the cheapest city in Ohio. Brunswick's average auto insurance prices were 20% cheaper than the state average at $557 annually.
The 'Flag City' comes in as the 2nd cheapest on our list at only $12 more expensive than Brunswick. From a population standpoint, Findlay ranked as the 32nd largest city in Ohio with a population around 40,000. Beyond having cheap auto insurance, Findlay is also home to one of the top 100 hospitals in the US and lays claim to being one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People.
Bowling Green, OH
Home to Bowling Green State University, the 7th largest University in Ohio, this town of 30,028 sits 25 miles south of Toledo, OH and has the third cheapest auto insurance in the Buckeye State. At $48 per month on average, or $581 annually, Bowling Green's insurance rates only missed out on the top spot by $24.
Fourth cheapest in the state was the city of Mentor. Located 25 miles northeast of Cleveland in Lake County, OH, Mentor is home to 47,000 residents. Amongst other awards the city has won is a 'Best Places to Live in America' ranking of 37 back in 2010. Mentor residents average paying $595 per year on their auto insurance.
Cuyahoga Falls, OH
A northern suburb of Akron, OH, Cuyahoga Falls rounds out our Top 5 and solidifies itself as having one of the cheapest car insurance rates in OH. At 12% cheaper than the average Ohio town, Cuyahoga Falls residents pay around $50 a month for their car insurance coverage.
Even having lost a large percentage of their population of the last 50 years, Youngstown is still the 9th largest city in Ohio. Unfortunately, they also have the most expensive auto insurance premiums according to our most recent car insurance study in the state. At $936 per year on average, Youngstown is almost 34% more expensive than the mean annual insurance rate in OH. If you're looking for affordable car insurance in Youngstown, include USAA, Grange Mutual, and GEICO Insurance in your comparison shopping. Based on our results, we found that these three insurers averaged $492, which was almost half the cost of the citywide average.
The first of four Cleveland-metro area towns in our bottom 5, Euclid sits 12 miles northeast of downtown Cleveland on the banks of Lake Erie. The average annual auto insurance rate in Euclid was $919 - second costliest in the state - which works out to just under $77 per month.
Only a few miles west of the downtown area, Lakewood is our third most expensive city in Ohio for auto insurance coming in at $1 less than it's 2nd place predecessor, Euclid. Mean premiums in Lakewood can go for $918 a year.
Just looking at companies with the cheapest rates doesn't always answer the question as to which insurance provider to pick. For example, if a company has cheap rates but horrible customer service, it may not be worth the headache for certain drivers. Below you'll find a list of 31 major auto insurers in Ohio (measured by market cap) and the complaint ratio for each. The complaint ratio represents the number of complaints a company gets in 2013 in comparison to their total premiums written. The lower the complaint ratio, the better the company. Companies that are not on this list could mean that the Ohio government did not receive its consumer complaint report in 2013.
Based on this metric, Central Mutual, State Auto, and Motorists Mutual (also our third cheapest insurer!) are the three best rated car insurance companies in Ohio. Cincinnati Insurance, our second lowest cost insurer, followed right behind.
|Rank||Company||2013 Written Premiums||OH Market Share (%)||2013 Complaint Ratio|
|20||United Ohio Insurance||24,985,432||0.46||0.24|
*USAA only sells auto insurance policies to motorists with a military affiliation - they have to be either a retired or active personnel or officer in the military, or related to someone who is.
Here's a look at the some of the other largest cities in the state and where they stack up against other towns. The cities are listed from cheapest to most expensive and the number in the chart represents the average annual auto insurance premium.
Here's a table of the 10 cities we looked at in Ohio, with cities listed in alphabetical order. You'll also see how much cheaper or more expensive rates are than the state average (negative numbers indicate cheaper than average places).
|City||Average Annual Rate||% Higher/Lower Than Avg|
Surveyed auto insurance costs in Ohio are for illustrative purposes only and actual quotes will vary based on your physical residence, driving history, and other factors.
Ohio's minimum liability insurance requirements are 25/50/25. We have used a slightly more comprehensive policy for the study, as detailed in the coverage comparison table below.
|Ohio Limits||Analysis Limits|
|Bodily Injury (BI)||$25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident||$25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident|
|Property Damage (PD)||$25,000||$25,000|
|Uninsured Motorist BI||Optional||$25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident|
|Uninsured Motorist PD||Optional||$25,000|
The sample quotes we obtained were for a 2010 Toyota Camry that the sample drivers own. Everyone’s credit is excellent and has clean driving records in the past 5 years. For purpose of the study, in a typical year, our hypothetical drivers log 12,000 miles in their vehicle which they primarily use to commute to and from work. Here are our 4 groups of sample Ohio motorists:
- Single Male, age 30
- Single Male, age 65
- Married Couple (2 drivers), age 30
- Married Couple (2 drivers), age 65
Finally, we looked at quotes from 21 auto insurance companies – including ones with national coverage and ones who are local – and averaged the sample rates to come up with a city average. Among the companies, these were Ohio locals: Celina Insurance, Cincinnati Insurance, Grange Mutual, Motorists Mutual, Ohio Mutual, State Auto, Western Reserve, Westfield, and Central Mutual.