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Laura Berry

Former Insurance Agent

Former Insurance Agent

Joshua Adamson

Joshua is a copywriter at Obrella who for more than 10 years has been creating content about insurance, health care, and more. He helps companies explain complex insurance subjects in simple ways so that customers can make smart buying decisions. He spends way too much time binge-watching Netflix, loves the outdoors and has a cat who tolerates him.

UPDATED: Dec 11, 2023

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider.

Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

We’re not like other insurance websites. We don’t copy and paste an entire dictionary of complicated information onto a page and expect you to interpret it yourself. We’ve done our research, analyzed the information, and broken it down into easy to understand terms for you. If you’re an Ohio driver looking for the ins-and-outs of car insurance in your state, this guide was designed with you in mind.

Auto Insurance Requirements in Ohio

You don’t have to have an auto policy to obey the law, but you do have to show financial responsibility. If you choose to get auto insurance, your policy must meet the following minimums:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury to or death of 1one person in an accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in one accident
  • $25,000 because of injury to property of others in any one accident

The second way you can meet financial responsibility is with one of the following options:

  • Certificate of Insurance (Form SR22) – obtained from a licensed insurance agency
  • BMV Certificate or government bonds totaling $30,000 on deposit with the Ohio Treasurer
  • Surety Bond in the amount of $30,000 – obtained from a licensed insurance agency

If you choose a method other than an insurance policy, you must have proof to the satisfaction of the Registrar that you could pay for damages at the price of state minimums if you cause an accident.
Having an auto policy is a easy way to ensure you have proper coverage because paying out-of-pocket for tens of thousands of dollars doesn’t seem reasonable.

Drive Uninsured And You’ll Get Caught

We don’t mean to scare you, but the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles randomly selects 5% of registered vehicles to prove they’re insured on a regular basis. If you’re selected, you’ll have to mail a copy of your insurance card, with your license plate number, to:

Ohio BMV Insurance Processing Center
P.O. BOX 209
Hudson, OH 44236-0209

Violation Fines and Penalties

If you get caught without insurance, here’s what will happen, according the state of Ohio Code Section 4509.101:

First Offense: If you don’t have insurance or proof of it, you’ll have your registration suspended until you pay $160 to get it back and prove that you’re insured with state minimums or more.

Second Offense: Get caught without insurance again within five years of the first offense and your license will be suspended for one year. Your registration will also be taken away until you pay the $360 fee and prove you’re insured.

Third Offense: This would be really bad if you get to this point, but if you’re caught uninsured for the third time within five years of the second offense, your license will be taken away for two years! You’ll have to pay $660 to get your registration back too and prove you’re insured before you can even do that.

Why Insurance Premiums Cost What They Do

For insurance companies to give you an accurate quote, they’ll need to determine how much risk they are taking on by writing you a policy. Each company places a different emphasis on varying factors, so no two agencies are the same. For example, one company may place the most value in your age, while a second puts the emphasis on your gender. Here are the factors that go into determining your rate:

  • Driving/Claims Record
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Address
  • Vehicle Make and Model
  • Driving Patterns
  • Commute Distance

What Ohio Drivers Pay For Auto Insurance

Curious about what your neighbors pay on car insurance? Our research shows that on average drivers in the Buckeye State pay roughly $1,386 a year. We found the cheapest insurance to be provided at the following companies:

Average Annual Rates
American Family$585.80

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Learn how much car insurance costs for drivers like you in our full analysis of the cheapest car insurance companies in Ohio.

Insurance Fraud in Ohio

Insurance fraud costs companies millions of dollars a year and raises your premiums to make up for it. Keep your eye out for fraud and report it if you see it, including:

  • Staged accidents
  • Fake insurance cards
  • Lying on an insurance application
  • Filing claims on accidents that never happened
  • Filing claims for stolen cars than weren’t stolen
  • Soliciting business for doctors, mechanics, or lawyers
  • Filing claims for accidents occurring prior to coverage
  • Exaggerating damages or injuries on insurance claims

Most Commonly Stolen Cars in Ohio

One bad apple always spoils the bunch. In this case, it’s the thieves who steal cars and make premiums go up. Here are the top stolen cars in Ohio so you’re aware if the one you drive could potentially cost you more:

  • Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
  • Dodge Caravan
  • Ford Pickup (Full Size)
  • Jeep (Grand) Cherokee
  • Buick Century
  • Chevrolet Impala
  • Chevrolet Pickup (Small)
  • Honda Accord
  • Ford Explorer
  • Oldsmobile Cutlass/Supreme/Ciera

Licensed Agents Can Help

Aside from knowing the ins-and-outs of Ohio car insurance, licensed agents can help answer your questions, compare rates, and get you multiple free quotes. Call [mapi-phone /] to see how they can help you.

Ohio Driver Resources

  • Ohio Department of Insurance
  • Ohio Department of Transportation

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