The best car insurance in Columbus, OH

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By

Kacie Goff

Kacie Goff

Insurance Writer

Kacie Goff is an insurance writer for Policygenius. Over the last five years, she’s covered both personal and commercial coverage, with specializations in auto, home, renters, and life insurance. She runs her full-service content agency, Jot Content, from Ventura, CA.

Published November 17, 2021

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Ohio is one of the most affordable states for car insurance. The average car insurance premium in Ohio is $1,038. The average driver in Columbus pays just a smidge more, at $1,183, but many Columbus drivers can probably find a policy for less than $1,000.

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Finding the most affordable coverage requires some legwork, but Policygenius can help you compare quotes from multiple insurers. Put your ZIP code into our car insurance calculator and we’ll handle the rest.

Key Takeaways

  • USAA offers the lowest average rate for Columbus drivers, followed by State Farm

  • Columbus drivers with bad credit can find the best average rates with GEICO or USAA

  • Per Ohio state law, all drivers need at least $25,000 of property damage liability coverage, along with $25,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per person and $50,000 per accident

Cheapest car insurance companies in Columbus, OH

Your car insurance premium varies depending on the insurance provider and some factors that are specific to you, like what car you drive and where you live. That said, the average rates below will give you an idea of the companies that offer the most affordable policies.

Company

Average cost

JD Power Rating

USAA

$756

890

State Farm

$885

881

GEICO

$898

871

Auto-Owners Insurance

$900

890

Erie

$942

880

Cheapest car insurance rates by ZIP code in Columbus, OH

One of the main factors insurance providers consider is where you park your car (parking in a garage most nights might even save you money). When you input your address into quote forms, you’re not just telling potential insurers where to mail your bill. You’re also giving them data to use. 

If you live in a ZIP code with high crime or a major risk of serious natural disaster, for example, you’ll probably pay more. Fortunately for people in Columbus, rates stay pretty steady — and pretty affordable — across all local ZIP codes.

ZIP code

Average cost

43004

$1,132

43110

$1,128

43119

$1,102

43137

$1,109

43201

$1,216

43202

$1,181

43203

$1,266

43204

$1,177

Choosing the right car insurance company in Columbus, OH

The different factors car insurance providers consider mean the premiums you get quoted will probably vary from insurer to insurer. The only way to know you’re truly getting the cheapest car insurance is to compare rates from several insurance providers.

That doesn’t have to mean a ton of work for you, fortunately. With our Policygenius tools and resources, we can help you shop your options and make the best decision for yourself and your wallet.

Car insurance rates for drivers with driving violations in Columbus, OH

If you’ve got an issue on your motor vehicle report (MVR) — whether it’s a hiccup like driving without lights or a major violation like a DUI — insurance companies will likely find out about it. They’ll factor that into the risk level they assign to you, and more risk means paying more in premiums to make up for it. 

Whether you caused an accident, ran a red light, or had some other trouble on the road, knowing which insurance providers care least can help you score more affordable coverage.

Violation

USAA

State Farm

GEICO

Auto-Owners Insurance

Erie

At-fault Accident

$1,174

$1,071

$1,667

$1,337

$1,394

DUI

$1,218

$984

$2,137

$1,857

$1,676

Driving with a suspended license

$1,178

$984

$1,158

$1,857

$1,676

Driving with an open container

$1,095

$984

$2,137

$1,857

$1,111

Driving with expired registration

$1,019

$984

$1,158

$915

$1,111

Driving without Lights

$810

$984

$1,158

$915

$1,111

Failure to show documents

$1,019

$984

$1,158

$915

$1,111

Failure to stop at a red light

$1,019

$984

$1,158

$915

$1,111

Cheapest car insurance for drivers with bad credit in Columbus, OH

Some states, Ohio included, let insurance companies give you an insurance score, which is a mix of the factors that impact your credit score along with key features from your insurance history. Basically, bad credit can mean a bad insurance score, which means paying more for your policy. Find out which companies offer lower premiums to people with lackluster credit below.

Company

Rates for drivers with bad credit

GEICO

$1,322

USAA

$1,393

Nationwide

$1,454

Grange Insurance

$1,629

State Farm

$2,008

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Buying car insurance in Columbus, OH

Ohio state law requires you to have at least some level of car insurance on your vehicle. Specifically, it mandates that you have both bodily injury liability, which pays for injuries you cause, and property damage liability coverage, which pays for (surprise) property damage you cause.

Both of those coverages can save you from getting sued after you cause a problem behind the wheel, and they prevent you from having to dip into your life savings to correct that issue. But they don’t pay to fix your car if you caused the accident. That’s why most Ohio drivers opt to add optional coverages to their policies:

  • Collision coverage will pay to repair your car (or replace it, if totaled) after an accident in which you were at-fault.

  • Medical payments coverage steps in for your medical expenses — along with your passengers’, when applicable — after an accident.

  • Comprehensive coverage pays for non-driving related problems. If someone steals your car, for example, your comprehensive coverage can pay to replace it.

  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages help if you get hit by someone who has no insurance or insufficient insurance to cover the damages.

Some of these coverage types, including collision and comprehensive coverage, come with a deductible, which is a flat sum of money you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket to cover a portion of the claim.

How to get cheap car insurance in Columbus, OH

Beyond comparing quotes, there are several different things you can do to score lower premiums:

  • Ask about discounts. You might get a discount for being a loyal customer, having a history of safe driving, or putting your premiums on autopay, for example. 

  • Choose only the coverage you need. If you have robust health insurance, you might not need MedPay coverage

  • Increase your deductible. Just make sure you can comfortably cover the cost in case you need to pay out of pocket.

  • Bundle your insurance. Buy your car insurance from the same company that issues your home or renters insurance. Most insurance companies offer a discount for bundling.

Frequently asked questions

Is car insurance required in Columbus?

Yes. Per state law, you need to at least have property damage and bodily injury liability coverage to pay for any accidents or damage you cause while driving.

Who has the cheapest insurance in Columbus, Ohio?

Rates vary depending on factors that are unique to you but, on average, we found that USAA offers the most affordable coverage for families who qualify. If you’re not from a military family, State Farm, GEICO, and Auto-Owners Insurance all offered similarly low rates.

Will a ticket increase my car insurance premiums?

It depends on the infraction. A basic fix-it ticket might not even cross your insurance provider’s radar, but something more serious like a speeding ticket will probably mean an increase in the cost of your coverage.

Will an accident increase my car insurance premiums?

If you didn’t cause the accident, your car insurance shouldn’t get more expensive. But if you were the at-fault driver, yes, your auto insurance premiums will almost definitely go up after.

Methodology

Policygenius has analyzed car insurance rates provided by Quadrant Information Services for every ZIP code in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C. For full coverage policies, the following coverage limits were used:

  • Bodily injury liability: 50/100

  • Property damage liability: $50,000

  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: 50/100

  • Comprehensive: $500 deductible

  • Collision: $500 deductible

In some cases, additional coverages were added where required by state or insurer.

Rates for overall average rate, rates by ZIP code, and cheapest companies determined using averages for single drivers ages 30, 35, and 45. Our sample vehicle was a 2017 Toyota Camry LE driven 10,000 miles/year.

Rates for driving violations and “Poor” credit determined using average rates for a single male 30-year-old driver with a credit score under 578.

Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries. Rates provided are a sample of costs. Your actual quotes may differ.