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Driving in the Buckeye State

You’re a smart, savvy shopper. We get that. You don’t visit the airport when you need to book a trip, you use or Car insurance is no different. We’ll help you quickly figure out who offers the best car insurance in Ohio for your smart, savvy self.

We are carrier-neutral because our customer is you. Have no fear of the unknown after reviewing the data points provided here, especially when purchasing car insurance for the first time. You will be armed and prosperous! And then you can get on with your life. We get that, too. So, let’s do this…quickly!

Ohio Auto Insurance Rates

You’re on the go and don’t have time to answer our questions. Don’t worry, we’ve still got you. Below are the top three auto insurance companies in your state, all things considered (see the full list).

  1. Auto Owner’s Insurance
  2. COUNTRY Financial
  3. The Hartford

Some things considered. Where can I find the cheapest car insurance in Ohio? Which insurance company offers the best coverage? Which is the most popular in my area? Who has the most rejected claims or repeat business?

Click on your city to compare auto insurance rates where you live! Don’t see your city listed? Start comparing rates instantly.

Legalities 101

You’re on your way to finding a great car insurance rate, but what else do you need to know? Ohio auto insurance comes with its own unique set of laws. You are not only a smart, savvy shopper but a good citizen, so we have outlined the most important driving and insurance laws in Ohio for you.

Ohio Driving Safety Stats

  1. Don’t drink or drug and drive
  2. Don’t cell phone and drive
  3. Don’t anything-that-might-cause-distracted-driving and drive

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Fatal Accidents Testing Positive for Drug Involvement in Ohio
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Annual Distracted Driving Related Crashes in Ohio
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Years in Ohio Prison for Vehicular Homicide Caused by a Drunk Driver


Driving in Ohio with a blood alcohol content (including that from medications) at or below the set limits WILL put you at risk of being arrested for driving under the influence. The consequences are real, and they are as harsh as you would suspect. Visit our FAQ to learn the limits and possible consequences of a DUI conviction or refusal to submit a chemical test.


Texting and driving in Ohio can also have extreme consequences. Watch this video with your family to understand that what we often think is just a safe, quick glance could mean permanent damage, our own death or even homicide. The fact is, a one-second glance away from the road is what the Journal of Adolescent Health has deemed safe, but the average text message takes five seconds. You wouldn’t drink and drive, so don’t text and drive either.


While it might seem like all of these driving laws go without saying, the statistics tell us otherwise. SmartFinancial encourages you to avoid all non-driving activities while driving. Keep yourself, your passengers and other drivers safe by limiting your road activities strictly to driving while driving.

Do it because it’s your social responsibility, and because Oprah said so! Take the “no phone zone” or #itcanwait pledge and share this information with your social networks.

Driving Green

With more than 262,851 miles of scenic road to cover, there is a large amount of driving being done in Ohio. Here’s how you can do your part to “drive green.”

  • Smog

    Get your emissions checked in these counties every other year.

  • Littering

    Avoid litter cleanup duty from land or water by not breaking the Ohio littering laws.

  • Clean Air Cars

    Skip the emissions inspections if your vehicle is powered exclusively by electricity, propane or natural gas (after your first inspection)! Don’t forget to ask your insurance company of choice if they offer any green car discounts.

    For more information on Ohio’s efforts (and nationwide efforts) to promote hybrid and electric vehicles, visit

Car Insurance Laws

Being a Minimalist

You like to keep it simple, and so do we! Just don’t go too minimalist and skip the auto insurance altogether (see our FAQ for more information). In Ohio, you are legally required to obtain something called liability insurance. This is for your protection if you are deemed “at fault” in an accident that causes injury and lost wages to another driver or passengers in another vehicle. Liability coverage pays up to the amounts listed below. It also pays for damages to the other driver’s vehicle. Trust us, you’d want this coverage even if it wasn’t legally required!

Since Ohio is a “fault” or “tort” state, your carrier will pay for accident damages only once you are found responsible for causing the accident. You can also be sued by the other driver if found at fault. Consider this: $7,500 is the maximum payment for property damage but you collide with a $20,000 vehicle. If you are found at fault, you are on the hook for any damages beyond $7,500. Between this and the high cost of medical care, we recommend you carry more than the minimum required coverage!

Maximizing your Return on Investment

While not legally required, drivers can also elect to carry full coverage insurance. For more information, read the SmartFinancial blog 10 Things to Consider when Shopping for a New Auto Insurance Policy.

Since you are smart and savvy, you should know that there are instances where your lender will require you to carry one of the optional coverages listed below (typically collision and comprehensive).

Optional coverage in Ohio

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Loan/Lease Payoff
  • Medical and Funeral Services
  • Rental Car Reimbursement
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury
  • Uninsured Motorist Property Damage
  • Windshield Replacement

Did you know? Some of the lowest insurance rates in the country are found in Ohio! Still, it’s important to shop around for the best rate.

Ohio car insurance companies

Auto-Owners Insurance
COUNTRY Financial
The Hartford
State Farm
Erie Insurance
American Family
Grange Insurance
Liberty Mutual
Automobile Club Group
The Hanover
Safeco Insurance

*Ratings for the North Central Region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin) in order of consumer rating as documented in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study,  which examined five key customer service areas: interaction, policy offerings, price, billing process and policy information, and claims. USAA is an insurance provider open only to U.S. military personnel and their families, and therefore, is not included in the rankings.

Car Safety for Ohio Kids

Ohio Car Seat Regulations

Until children reach 4 years of age and 40 pounds, Ohio law requires that they be secured in a car seat appropriate for their size. For infants up to 1 year old or 20 pounds, it should be a rear-facing car seat, which is then followed by a forward-facing car seat.

Children who are over 4 years and 40 pounds may use a booster seat. This is required until the child reaches 8 years of age and a height of 4 feet, 9 inches tall.

Once a child reaches this age and height, he or she may switch over to the vehicle’s seat belts. Keep in mind that kids are always safest in the back seat in the event of an accident or airbag deployment.

Leaving Children Unattended in a Vehicle

It’s risky to leave young children alone in a car, van, SUV, or truck. In addition to concerns about self-injury or victimization by a stranger, interior temperatures can reach dangerous highs or lows rapidly.

For example, on a warm or hot day (or even a temperate day if the vehicle’s in sunlight), temperatures inside can climb as much as 30 degrees in as many minutes, far exceeding the outdoor temperature. This easily leads to heatstroke, brain damage, and death in a young child, as well as a pet. Kids and animals don’t regulate their body temperature as effectively or efficiently as teens and adults, and of course they’re unable to remove themselves from the dangerous situation.

Ohio doesn’t have a specific law for this concern. However, if a young child suffers due to being left unattended in a vehicle, the parent, guardian, or caregiver can be held accountable for negligence and child endangerment.

Car Insurance FAQ

Will my credit score be used to obtain car insurance in Ohio?

Yes and, unfortunately, car insurance companies in your state do not have to reveal to you how they are going about setting your rate. Here are a few life events and other things you can do to keep your rate down.

Is there a good-driver discount in Ohio?

It is always best to ask your selected car insurance company about good-driver and other discounts to obtain cheap auto insurance in Ohio! Possible discounts include:

  • Good student
  • Multi-car
  • Homeowner’s
  • Safety features
  • Students with good grades
  • Ownership/title
  • Good driver
  • Anti-theft

Can I use my digital insurance card in Ohio?

Yes! Getting pulled over in Ohio is slightly less panicky since you don’t have to locate the hard copy of your insurance card for the officer. BUT, be mindful of unlocking your phone to access your digital insurance card before the officer has determined whether you were cell-phoning and driving!

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Ohio?

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from damage caused by other drivers without insurance and hit-and-runs. It is an optional coverage in Ohio!

What happens if I don’t have insurance or my coverage lapses?

The Ohio Department of Public Safety states possible risks as: vehicle registration and license plates impounded, driver’s license and registration suspension, and your vehicle may be immobilized or forfeited. Liability insurance is a minimum requirement in Ohio (and most others), so be sure to have coverage at all times!

What are Ohio's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) percentages limits under the driving under the influence (DUI) laws?

It is illegal for an individual to operate a motor vehicle in Ohio with the following BAC percentages:

.08%+ @ 21 years old or older
.04%+ for commercial vehicle drivers
.01%+ @ < 21 years old

What are the chemical test refusal penalties in Ohio?

Your license will be confiscated immediately and suspended for one to five years if you refuse to take a blood-alcohol test.

ou can elect to choose a qualified person of your choice to administer the test again after conducted by the police officer.

For more information on Ohio’s OVI (operating a vehicle while impaired) laws, refer to their Motor Vehicle Laws.

What are the consequences of being convicted of an OVI in Ohio?

If convicted of a OVI, say goodbye to being financially savvy, and quite possibly, to your freedom. If arrested, you’ll face varying degrees of jail time, fines of up to $10,500, driver’s license suspensions, community service, OVI school and reinstatement requirements. The financial obligations extend beyond the OVI ticket to court costs, attorney fees, higher insurance rates, SR-22 filing and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) to serve as a breathalyzer test each time you start your vehicle.

What is uninsured motorist coverage and is it required in Ohio?

Uninsured motorist coverage protects you from damage caused by other drivers without insurance and hit-and-runs. It is an optional coverage!

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