Consumers are always looking for a great deal, and when it comes to searching out the lowest auto insurance rates in Ohio, the case is no different. But how do you weed out the good from the bad, hype from fact, and latch onto not only the most inexpensive but also the right coverage for your needs?

Here we take a look at how to compare rates for auto insurance among companies licensed to do business in the State of Ohio. As a reference source, we go to the website of the Ohio Department of Insurance.

How it Works

The process is simple and straightforward. Simply enter the required information to obtain sample premium rates, including about you, where you live, how you plan to use your car, and the type of coverage you’re interested in obtaining. After you enter the information, click “Get Sample Premiums” and a database of the insurance companies and their sample premiums will be displayed.

One note about the insurance companies listed is that they voluntarily supplied data to the Ohio Department of Insurance. As the ODI explains, there are other insurance companies that are licensed to do business in Ohio, but they are not listed on the ODI site.

In the “Where you live” box, choose the one most representing where you live. The choices are City of Athens or other rural areas or small towns, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Marion or other North Central Ohio city, Medina or other North-East Ohio city, or Toledo.

Indicate whether you are single or married, male or female, under 25, 25-64, 65 and older, and whether you have a good, average or bad credit rating. Coverage is minimum liability of 100/300/100 with $5,000 in medical payments and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage of 100/300. Select “Yes” or “No” for physical damage coverage.

Under type of car, the field is pre-selected with one automobile a couple of years old, but you choose how you use your auto: pleasure only, or to/from work 15+ miles each way. You also indicate your three-year driving record: either no violations, or one at-fault accident.

Sample Rates

Now, let’s see some sample rates. We’ll take the example of a married male, 25-24, living in Cleveland, with good credit, yes on physical damage coverage, drives to/from work 15+ miles each way, no violations in three years. There are 16 auto insurance companies returned in the display with sample premiums that range from $467 from United Services Automobile Association (USAA) to $2,412.64 from Grinnell. Erie, Progressive and Allstate are all right around $1,000.

Switching around a bit, we’ll take the scenario of a single female, under age 25, average credit, living in Dayton, driving to/from work 15+ miles each way, yes  on physical damage, one at-fault accident. The same 16 auto insurance companies provide sample premiums, ranging from $1,822 from USAA to $3,964 from Grange Mutual.

How about a married female, 25-64, bad credit, living in Toledo, yes on physical damage, pleasure only, no violations. The sample annual premiums range from $795 from USAA to $2,442 from Allstate.

One last example (although it’s easy enough for you to do): a married male, 65 or older, good credit, living in Cincinnati, pleasure only, no violations. The sample annual premiums range from $722 from Buckeye State Mutual to $1,974 from Allstate.

Other information provided is the website URL, toll-free telephone number, and a direct link to the insurance company’s website.

Using the guide and taking your time to follow up and get price quotes from two or three companies you identify should give you success in finding the lowest auto insurance rates in Ohio for your particular situation.

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