Compare Best Ohio Auto Insurance Companies With Lowest Rates

by Edward Harris on December 3, 2020

Who are the best companies in Ohio to buy your auto insurance from? Although rates are low here in the Buckeye State, the answer is not simple, since many of the carriers offer affordable rates, handle your claims efficiently, and give you plenty of perks and premium reductions if you are loyal to them. Often, by bundling your home with your vehicles, a substantial discount reduces your premium. Additional Senior and student discounts are also offered by all carriers.

We judge companies based on expert ratings, costs and claims, complaint ratios, and our observations, based on more than 37 years as one of  Ohio’s most experienced and recognized car insurance brokers. Additional details and specific rates can be provided once you have completed the quote request. Additional property and casualty products are also offered, including coverage for motorcycles, rental and investment property, motor homes, mobile homes, snowmobiles, boats, and ATVs.

The Companies…

Cheap Ohio Progressive Car Rates Ohio Flo And Progressive Offer Competitive Rates In Ohio

Progressive. Any discussion about rating the top companies should include Progressive. And not just because they are headquartered here in Ohio, but because they charge competitive rates in most areas because of lower expenses and state-of-the-art underwriting software. Their offices are efficiently run and they handle claims quickly and usually without a hitch. As the third-largest vehicle insurer in the US, they also offer one of the top workplaces in the state (recognized by Cleveland Plain Dealer and other organizations). Note: the other largest US carriers are State Farm, Geico, Allstate, USAA, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Nationwide, Travelers, and American Family.

You also may have heard about Progressive’s  “Snapshot” program. It’s a very interesting concept that collects data and information about your driving habits. It’s designed to save you money (and the insurer too!). The small gadget is inserted below your steering wheel (the OBD-II port),  and it tracks and monitors how the vehicle operates. If you drive too fast, it will know. If you come to screeching halts at stop signs, it will know. Where you drive and how often the vehicle is driven are also monitored.

But if you avoid driving after midnight, and driving excessively fast, you may see your premium reduce, especially if you don’t put a lot of miles on your vehicle. There’s no waiting period to set up the device and you can remove it any time. By being aware the device is installed and tracking your habits (both good and bad), you’ll probably earn a lower premium. Your progress can be easily viewed online, and the device can be removed without any penalties or surcharges.

Recently, a new “Classic Car” class of rating was established, that offers very low premiums to vehicles worth less than $5,000, along with some less-costly newer models. A new partnership with “Hagerty” ( an industry leader in classic cars) has been established. Qualifications include parking the car in an enclosed garage at night and limiting your driving. Generally, prices for classic vehicle policies are approximately 35%-45% less than regular car policies. The value of the vehicle is not depreciated if you have a claim.

Local Ohio Employment

One final observation about Progressive, partly because they are domiciled here in Ohio, is that they provide many local employment opportunities. The Northeastern portion of the state has hired more than 300 persons for their corporate, administrative and customer service positions. Analyst, developers, and IT positions may also be available. As they continuer to expand their market share in other states, additional hiring is expected to continue.

Also, perhaps since they are based in Cuyahoga County, they offer cheap Cleveland car insurance rates. Many other large carriers offer extremely competitive prices in their home territory. Nationwide, for instance, typically features very attractive pricing in Columbus and Franklin County. Cincinnati offers an extremely competitive auto-home policy combination in Hamilton County.


LOwer Ohio Auto Insurance Rates Shopping Different Companies Saves Money

Nationwide is also based here in Ohio. With its headquarters in Columbus, they are truly on your side! Typically, wherever an insurer has its home office, you can count on rates being extremely competitive in that state. With hundreds of local locations conveniently located in large and small cities, both price and service are among the best in the state. Commercial coverage is also offered to many small business owners.

Although there may not be as many offices throughout the state as there were 20 years ago, the sites are more efficient and can handle claims issues far better than before. And of course, they will cover your home and many other items such as boats, rental property and classic automobiles. Previously, individual and family healthcare plans were offered, but the current marketplace is too fluid to expect a return. If catastrophic plans return to the marketplace for all ages, it’s possible Nationwide, or one of its affiliated companies, will consider this niche.

Note: Nationwide  is heavily investing (More than $80 million) in digital insurance startup “Next Insurance,” which markets flexible coverage to small businesses in selected states. Currently, they are only licensed to sell policies in eight states (Delaware, Utah, Maryland, New Mexico, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, and Oklahoma) , although it is hoped that within a few years, plans will be available in all US states. Currently, more than 30,000 policies are sold each year.

Some of the largest vehicle discounts offered are “New Vehicle” (10%),  “Home And Car” (10%), “Member Of Farm Bureau” (10%), “Prior Coverage” (Up To 15%), “Accident-Free 5 Years” (Up To 10%), “Good Student” (Up To 20%), “Quote In Advance” (Up To 10%), and  “Passive Restraint” (Limited 30%). Several of these reductions do not apply to the entire premium. Specific discounts may only be available in certain states.


Esurance is a relatively new kid on the block. Virtually all transactions, quoting, correspondence and claims are handled online. That’s not such a bad thing, depending if you prefer “old school” face to face meetings or not. You can print your policy, ID cards, declarations page, proof of insurance and just about everything needed. And yes, they do answer the phone too and have an A+ rating from A.M. Best Co. The company is growing, and is likely to expand into additional states within the next 36 months. Currently, they write business in 43 states and cover more than 5 million vehicles.

But what about Esurance car insurance rates in Ohio? They’re not bad, although it depends where you live. Typically, their prices are lower than popular carriers such as Titan, 21st Century and Safeco. However, other major companies are usually very competitive with Esurance. Their prices in the Cincinnati area are very attractive and can be viewed here. Of course, Columbus, Springfield, or Toledo will have a different set of rates. This Allstate-owned company doesn’t have a significant market share in the Buckeye State yet, but increased online advertising is continuing.

Their mobile app software is among the best of all major carriers, although we still recommend applying for coverage through a major website like ours. Although most transactions and communications take place online, they do have 17 actual offices throughout the US.  Also, although they “offer” life and healthcare products, quote requests are directed to “trusted partners,” so only property and casualty coverage should be considered.

“DriveSense” is their mobile app that monitors your driving habits, behaviors, and patterns. Easily, you can review results and recommendations that may help you drive safer. An enrollment discount is provided, with 50 or more trips required for each term. There are no fees and your privacy is protected. At any time you can discontinue participation in the program. Most smartphones are compatible.

NOTE: Esurance’s purchase price was $1 billion from Allstate eight years ago. And still, they are not a profitable company. Premiums and policies sold are increasing, but excess claims are keeping the numbers in the red. Market share should continue to slowly grow, which should bring profits to the company within five years.


Erie. No, not the lake. They are actually an insurer here in Ohio with very low auto insurance rates. They don’t advertise, and you may not have heard of them. But this Pennsylvania-based company has been around for a while and offers no-frills policies that are easy on your wallet. They cover homes, boats and a few other items, and are the 12th-largest auto insurer in the US. Claims seem to be settled  in a timely manner although the local agent can make or break your experience in that process. More than 100,000 agents are available in the US.

Erie does earn a few extra points for hosting their annual teen safe-driving tops contest. Young drivers earn points through participating in various activities, making their own videos, and posting related messages on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. Prizes are awarded to individuals and their schools that end up with the most points. Several of the qualifying categories are a slow drive skills test, written test, and perception test.

Cheap Erie Auto Insurance Quotes Erie Car Insurance Is Not Just For Pa Residents


Some of the discounts they offer are a bit unique and not available with many other carriers. These include reductions for completing an accident prevention course, owning an Erie Life insurance policy, and reduced usage of your vehicles. Availability of some discounts will depend upon where you live and age of drivers in the household. They will also pay up to $75 for a locksmith if you lock your keys in your car.

Customers also appear to be satisfied. In a previous US Insurance Shopping Study, Erie policyholders were the happiest with their shopping experience compared to other major carriers. This was the third year in a row they claimed the top spot. They currently have more than 5 million customers. Also, “Erie Rate Lock”  provides guaranteed level rates, regardless of claims. Underwriting is required and vehicle changes can impact the premium. Prices only increase when you add or remove a vehicle, add or remove a driver, or change your address.


State Farm. Everybody knows who they are. It may appear a bit trite, but customers seem to love them or hate them. Certainly, far more policyholders are satisfied with the service they receive. Agents seem to be established, although some young brokers have been recently making their mark. There is always a State Farm office close by and their administrative staff seems loyal and friendly. Cleveland (and Warrensville Heights, Garfield Heights, and Middleburg Heights) has an extremely large number of area SF locations, including offices on Detroit Avenue, Larchmere Boulevard, Euclid Avenue, Engle Road, W. 25th Street, Rocky River Drive, Richmond Road, Turney Road, and Commerce Street.

But what about their prices? If you have been a long-time customer with an exemplary  record and additional lines of business, then you’re probably happy with your rates. However, even State Farm can’t be competitive in all parts of the state, so while we don’t exclude them from our shopping list, we also recommend comparing other carriers as well.  Their rates for secondary homes and rental property are typically very competitive, with additional reductions when you bundle different products.

Although you are able to obtain medical and Medigap coverage through a State Farm office, plans are underwritten by a different company and often, prices are not competitive with other carriers, such as Anthem Blue Cross, Humana, or Medical Mutual. A better option is to purchase your healthcare coverage through a major carrier. Marketplace plans offer federal subsidies to qualifying households. Short-term plans provide an inexpensive alternative to Exchange options.

Banking (State Farm Bank)  and investment products provide additional financial products available for bundling, although typically, a discount would not apply. Annuities, mutual funds, retirement planning products, and funding vehicles for education are also available through selected financial advisors. Small business products are offered to many business-owners.


Geico  has limited “local” offices (see below), but they do seem to offer that local feel with many of their services. While it’s true that most of their business is conducted  on the phone or online, Geico is a very well-organized company with a good feel about how to run a company. Their apps are constantly updated, and changing vehicles or filing a claim is very easy. “GeicoMobile”  allows you to file claims in less than three minutes, and “Access Kate” provides 24/7 virtual customer service.

They like to streamline tasks whenever possible, but as long as you don’t need constant servicing, there will be no reduction in effectiveness.  Rates will dramatically vary in different parts of the state, so while we include them in all quote requests, there will be instances where they aren’t an option to consider.  Several Buckeye State office locations include North Hamilton Road and Sawmill Road in the Columbus area, Mayfield Road and Great Northern Boulevard in the Cleveland area, and North Springboro Pike in the Dayton area.

Geico is now owned by Berkshire Hathaway, so Warren Buffett is on your side.  His propensity to streamline business operations and cut the “fat” from his holdings helps keep Geico prices low in many areas. They also continue to be awarded strong financial ratings from A.M. Best Company (A++ Superior). With strong operating results and steady growth in the number of policies issued, safety and reliability is definitely not a concern. Market share is increasing in the Buckeye State.


Rates Go Up With Accident Your First Accident Is Often Forgiven

Farmers is not the same as State Farm. Although they have many locations and offer similar products, Farmers has created a niche for themselves here in Ohio. Their prices are solid. But a funny thing happened in 2009. Farmers purchased 21st Century Insurance Group, which wrote much of its coverage online. AIG policies (auto) were also included in the deal.

Some of their rather innovative discounts include  an “alternative fuel” reduction when driving a hybrid or electric car, and an “early shopping” reduction if you request a quote more than a week before the effective date of the policy. You’ll also save money when you switch from your policy from another carrier, although many other companies have similar offers.

Farmers also utilizes  a “Risk Assessment Indicator,” which provides credit information that is partially used to predict future accident and claims activity. Reports from the largest credit bureaus, including late payments and collection history, give underwriters an extra tool to determine how much to charge. However, data is not collected on age, income, disability, religion, creed, ethnicity, nationality, or income.


21st Century uses websites like ours (and their own marketing) instead of the typical agent with an established office. It’s ironic because even though they are the same company, often 21st Century rates are lower than Farmers’ prices. We believe both carriers are reputable, although there are cheaper alternatives to consider. Additional insurance products offered include flood protection, manufactured and mobile homes, auto mechanical breakdown, motorcycles, power boaters and personal watercraft, ATVs, antique and classic vehicles, and specialty homes.

21st Century was created in 1958 and although they don’t have a large share of the Ohio market, their prices are fairly low for certain vehicles and age groups. When you file a claim, you can choose any body shop (licensed and bonded). And like most other carriers, if you let them choose where the vehicle is repaired, the work is guaranteed as long as you own the vehicle. An independent appraiser will be provided if there are no body shops in the area.

A unique aspect of 21st Century is the variety of products they offer, Included in their portfolio are coverages for flood, mechanical breakdown, antique automobiles, manufactured and mobile homes, and all-terrain vehicles. The three underwriting companies in the Buckeye State are Centennial, Premier, and Casualty Insurance Companies. However, their market share is not significant.


USAA started in the 1920s when several officers in the military started providing coverage for their own vehicles since no other company would insure them. The  concept of loyalty, trust and integrity is still there as evidenced by their high customer and claim satisfaction reviews. Just recently, the Disabled American Veterans Organization selected USAA as their choice for home and auto coverage. But they’re no longer offering coverage to only Military members.

Many available discounts are offered to keep rates competitive. In addition to the standard multi-policy, multi-car, good-student and Senior discounts, additional reductions include a family discount for children of active members, and a length of membership discount for loyal clients.  An additional 15% reduction is applied when the vehicle is parked on a base military installation. If the vehicle is uninsured, a 60% discount may apply.

To join, there are eligibility requirements. You must be a retired, active or honorably separated office or actively enlisted in the Military. Cadets and midshipmen are eligible along with any applicant whose parents have or had USAA coverage (widows and former spouses are also accepted). Members of the reserve (and their families) are also eligible. Upon request, we will furnish the complete guidelines.

USAA Life Insurance Company and Fidelity Investments also offer a single premium immediate annuity. A licensed financial representative should review the benefits, expenses, and suitability of these types of products.


Although we didn’t list all of the major companies (we did not forget about Prudential, Travelers, Liberty Mutual and others), we tried to concentrate on some of the more prominent carriers that in most areas, offer good prices on their auto insurance in Ohio.


If you own a boat in Florida and are covered by Progressive, you now have several additional options. “Sign And Glide” provides towing, gas and other items for your disabled boat on the water. “Propulsion Plus”  replaces or repairs the lower portion of an outboard motor. Amazingly, “wear and tear” is a covered expense.

The Nationwide Center for Advanced Customer Insights (NCACI) is working with Ohio State University Fisher College of  Business on several industry issues, including predicting consumer behavior, improving customer retention and satisfaction, predicting claims patterns, and marketing products. And why shouldn’t they collaborate?  They’re located in the same city!

Participating students in OSU’s advanced degree programs work part-time to help analyze data and make recommendations that will improve the insurer’s loss ratio. The students often work away from the campus and directly with Nationwide employees.

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