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Beth Swanson

SEO Content Strategist

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  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Beth joined The Zebra in 2022 as an Associate Content Strategist. She is a licensed insurance agent whose goal is to make insurance content easy to r…

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Nathan Foster

Agency Trainer

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  • Licensed Insurance Agent - Property and Casualty

Nathan is an insurance professional with a focus on creating positive customer experiences with more than 10 years of industry experience.

Nathan tra…

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Kristine Lee

Insurance Analyst

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  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty
  • 4+ years of Experience in the Insurance Industry

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

How much does car insurance cost in Columbus?

Columbus residents pay an average of $675 for a six-month car insurance policy or about $113 per month. According to our data, USAA offers the most cost-effective car insurance policies in Columbus in 2024, with rates starting at $473, or roughly $79 per month.

Columbus residents pay more for car insurance than the average in Ohio (at $587 every six months) but less than the U.S. average of $742. Despite the lower costs compared to other major cities in the region, some of our clients in Columbus are still concerned about their auto insurance rates. 37% of our customers said they're currently paying too much for car insurance. If you're one of them or if you want to learn more about coverage and options, keep reading to find out more about fair rates in Columbus and the factors that determine insurance costs.

Car Insurance in Columbus vs. Ohio

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Car Insurance in Columbus vs. Ohio Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
Columbus Average $675
Ohio Average $587

Source: The Zebra

The cheapest car insurance companies in Columbus

1st place medal
1st place: USAA

The cheapest auto insurance coverage in Columbus is through USAA, with a six-month policy coming in at $473, or $79 per month. Be aware, however, that USAA auto insurance is only available to USAA members.

2nd place medal
2nd place: State Farm

In second place for affordable car insurance in Columbus is State Farm, which costs $532 per six-month policy period ($89 per month).

3rd place medal
3rd place: GEICO

GEICO is the third cheapest option on our list, with rates at $99 per month or $591 for a six-month policy.

The Zebra's key takeaways about car insurance in Columbus:

  • The average cost of a car insurance policy in Columbus is $675 per six-month policy — $113 per month.
  • The cheapest company in Columbus is USAA ($473).
  • Columbus ranks as the 12th most expensive city for car insurance in Ohio.
  • 37% of Zebra customers in Columbus stated they used our product because they were currently paying too much for car insurance.

Are you paying too much for auto insurance?

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Columbus car insurance rates by company

Our analysis in 2024 shows that the most inexpensive auto insurance company for full coverage in Columbus is USAA, with a cost of $79 per month or $473 per six-month policy. USAA is open to military members and their families, so be sure to check your eligibility. GEICO is the second cheapest firm on our list, with a monthly cost of $89 or a six-month rate of $532. Learn more about the highest-rated car insurers as rated by The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey.

 

 

Cheapest car insurance companies in Columbus, OH
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Columbus, Ohio

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Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
USAA $473
State Farm $532
GEICO $591
Erie $597
Progressive $634
Ohio Mutual Ins Group $709
Allstate $1,095

Source: The Zebra

The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool data methodology

The Zebra’s Dynamic Insurance Rating Tool for home and auto insurance rates utilizes the latest ZIP code-level rate filings from across the U.S., sourced from Quadrant Information Services and S&P Global. These filings, typically updated annually or biennially by insurers, are verified through Quadrant’s QA process and then integrated into The Zebra’s estimator.

The displayed rates are based on a dynamic home and auto profile designed to reflect the content of the page. This profile is tailored to match specific factors such as age, location, and coverage level, which are adjusted based on the page content to show how these variables can impact premiums.

For a comprehensive understanding, see our detailed methodology.


Shop around for the best rates


The most straightforward approach to finding the best car insurance prices is to compare them. Insurance firms are not all created equal, which is why you should let The Zebra do the legwork for you. Enter your ZIP code to view rates from top insurers like Ohio Mutual, Nationwide, GEICO, and others in Columbus.

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Average car insurance in Columbus by rating factor

Your personalized car insurance rates are influenced by rating factors, which are bits of information about you that insurance companies use to evaluate your risk and determine your coverage costs. While most companies use the same rating factors, they may prioritize them differently. For instance, one company may focus on claims history, while another may prioritize credit score or ZIP code. Find out how these rating factors impact your rates in Columbus.

Your rating factors will change as your life changes, so it's important to keep this in mind. It's a good idea to get new quotes periodically to make sure you're getting the best rates and coverage as your personal situation evolves. For instance, the company that was the best choice for you in your 20s may not be the right fit for you in your 40s. Read on to learn how your rating factors impact your rates and coverage in Columbus.

Q: I didn't have an accident — Why is my insurance going up?

A: In most cities, including Columbus, end-of-year earnings (revenue of premiums versus the cost of paying insureds' claims) is a crucial rating factor for determining how much you will pay for car insurance. Even if you are an excellent driver with no claims, if the cost of doing business in your area has increased, this may not matter. Some companies just pay more to operate in certain areas, and this expense is passed on to their customers in the form of higher rates.

Auto insurance premiums by age in Columbus

The more experience you have driving safely, the less you typically pay for car insurance, which can be a nice perk as you get older. Age is a key factor in determining car insurance costs, and teenage drivers typically pay substantially higher premiums than older drivers because data indicates they are more likely to be involved in accidents. In Columbus, for instance, residents see a $2,392 difference in rates per year when comparing premiums for teens to those for individuals in their 20s.

It can feel harsh to new drivers and their parents, but insurance companies must weigh such risks when calculating prices because it's just business, not personal. To reduce some of the extra expenses for teens, we suggest adding them to their parent or guardian's policy versus having them start their own policy in Columbus.


Cheapest car insurance companies for teen drivers in Columbus, OH
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Teen Drivers in Columbus, OH

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Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
USAA $1,291
Erie $1,616
GEICO $1,754
State Farm $2,091
Ohio Mutual Ins Group $2,144
Progressive $2,404
Allstate $2,655

Source: The Zebra

Age Bracket Cheapest Companies Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
20s USAA $634
30s USAA $450
40s USAA $407
50s USAA $379
60s USAA $393
70s USAA $481

Zebra Tip: The cheapest companies for Columbus drivers between 20-40 are USAA, GEICO and Erie


Our research indicates that the majority of road users in Columbus are aged between 20 and 40. On average, this group pays $803 every six months for their car insurance, but drivers in this age group could potentially save 21% by opting for one of these insurance companies.

Auto insurance premiums for minimum coverage in Columbus

In Columbus, our data indicates that 33% of drivers are carrying minimum coverage. Carrying the minimum can save you money, which we understand, but it can also leave you vulnerable to financial difficulties in the event of an accident. While it may be tempting to choose the cheapest policy, investing in collision or comprehensive coverage can offer added protection and security.

Raising your car insurance deductible for collision coverage and comprehensive coverage can be a cost-effective way to save on monthly payments. While you'll have to pay more out of pocket in the event of a claim, it can be a worthwhile trade-off for those looking to make their coverage more affordable.

Don't forget about optional extras like roadside assistance and uninsured motorist coverage; these extras provide extra peace of mind behind the wheel even though they will raise your rates slightly. 

Q: Can I lower my car insurance coverage?

A: Possibly — if your vehicle is paid off.

If you finance or lease a car, you may need to have a particular level of coverage on the vehicle. However, if you own your car outright and want to save money, it may be worthwhile to consider eliminating comprehensive or collision coverage. We recommend obtaining an accurate appraisal of your car's value from a trusted source like Kelley Blue Book, and the general rule is that collision coverage isn't necessary for cars valued at less than $4,000. However, it's important to remember that if you choose to eliminate collision coverage, you'll be personally responsible for any necessary repairs following a crash.

Cheapest car insurance companies for minimum coverage in Columbus, OH
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Minimum Coverage in Columbus, OH

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Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
USAA $160
GEICO $194
State Farm $200
Erie $203
Ohio Mutual Ins Group $228
Progressive $257
Allstate $344

Source: The Zebra

  • Minimum: State liability coverage only
  • Basic: State liability + collision and comprehensive (full) coverage
  • Better: Better liability limits at 50/100/50. Full coverage included with towing and rental car benefits. May include additional personal medical benefits and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Best: Best liability limits at 100/300/50. Full coverage included with better towing and rental car benefits and better personal medical benefits and increased uninsured/underinsured coverage.

33% of our customers in Columbus opt for the minimum level of coverage, but this may not be the best option for everyone. Saving money is also important, but keeping only the minimum coverage can also put you at risk for damages that exceed your liability limits. Ohio's 25/50/25 liability limits provide coverage for damage you cause up to $25,000 per person in bodily injury, $50,000 per accident in bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage. While this may be sufficient for most standard car accidents, it might not be for bodily injury claims or multi-vehicle accidents.

Learn more about insurance laws in Ohio.

Columbus car insurance rates by credit score

Similar to many other states, credit score is one of the main factors that is considered when setting auto insurance rates in Columbus. Drivers with poor credit history may face higher rates because they are deemed riskier to insure, with a higher likelihood of claims, risky driving behavior, and lapses in coverage.

To lower your car insurance expenses, improving your credit score can be an effective first step. Columbus drivers with poor credit (300-579) are charged 112% more than those with excellent credit (800-850). The majority of Columbus drivers have an "Average" credit score. In 2024, the most affordable option for drivers in this category is USAA.

car insurance in columbus by credit score
Cheapest car insurance companies for bad credit in Columbus, OH
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Bad Credit in Columbus, OH

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Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
GEICO $801
USAA $850
Progressive $1,080
Ohio Mutual Ins Group $1,167
State Farm $1,190
Erie $1,464
Allstate $1,691

Source: The Zebra

Zebra Tip: If you recently improved your credit score, shop around for car insurance!


Credit scores can have a substantial impact on the cost of car insurance. Columbus drivers with "Fair" credit save $782 annually compared to those with "Poor" credit. Keep in mind that even small changes to your credit score can make a big difference in the rates you're offered, so it's worth monitoring your score and shopping around for the best deals.

Auto insurance rates with an at-fault accident

Every time you hit the road, you run the risk of being involved in an accident, which is why it's essential to have adequate insurance coverage and information. At-fault accidents and collisions are the most common type of insurance claims, and having either on your driving record can cause a significant increase in your insurance rate. In Columbus, our 2024 data shows that at-fault accidents raised insurance rates between $29 and $54 per month. If you're searching for affordable auto insurance after an accident, State Farm is a top choice.

The optimal way to evade rate hikes is to steer clear of accidents. We recognize that this is not always achievable, but operating your vehicle safely is a critical element that you have the ability to manage most of the time. Try your best to stay away from infractions and tickets — behaviors such as speeding, reckless driving, and DUI or DWI will lead to increases in rates that can last from three to five years. In some situations, a DUI may have a longer-lasting impact on your rates.


Cheapest car insurance companies after an at-fault accident in Columbus, OH
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies After an At-Fault Accident in Columbus, OH

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Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
State Farm $689
USAA $689
Erie $778
GEICO $906
Progressive $967
Ohio Mutual Ins Group $1,151
Allstate $1,793

Source: The Zebra

Columbus car insurance rates by violation

Below you can see how different violations and claims will affect your rate in Columbus.

Car insurance rate increases after violations and citations in Columbus, OH
Car Insurance Rate Increases After Violations and Citations in Columbus, OH

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Accident/Violation Avg. 6 Mo. Premium % Rate Increase $ Rate Increase
None $675 0% $0
One Med/PIP claim $693 3% $17
Not-at-fault accident $699 3% $23
One comp claim $715 6% $40
Two Med/PIP claims $718 6% $43
Two comp claims $734 9% $59
Driving without lights $754 12% $78
Failure to show documents $759 12% $84
Failure to wear a seat belt $763 13% $88
Child safety restraint $768 14% $93
Driving with expired registration $780 15% $104
Speeding 6 - 10 MPH over limit $807 20% $132
Speeding in school zone $807 20% $132
Driving too slowly $808 20% $132
Speeding 11 - 15 MPH over limit $808 20% $133
Wrong way/wrong lane $812 20% $137
Following too closely $813 20% $137
Failure to yield $813 20% $137
Illegal turn $813 20% $137
Cell phone violation $814 21% $138
Texting while driving $816 21% $141
Failure to stop at a red light $818 21% $142
Improper passing $819 21% $144
Speeding 16 - 20 MPH over limit $822 22% $147
Passing school bus $838 24% $162
At-fault accident - less than $1000 $851 26% $176
Speeding 21 - 25 MPH over limit $880 30% $205
In 65 MPH zone $926 37% $251
Operating a vehicle without permission $976 44% $300
At-fault accident - $1000-$2000 $990 47% $315
At-fault accident - greater than $2000 $998 48% $323
Open container $1,072 59% $397
Reckless driving $1,261 87% $586
Racing $1,278 89% $603
Refusal to submit to a chemical test $1,341 99% $666
Driving with a suspended license $1,350 100% $675
DUI $1,354 101% $679
Leaving scene of an accident/hit and run $1,391 106% $715

Source: The Zebra


Why is car insurance in Columbus so expensive?

Columbus has relatively low insurance rates compared to other large cities in the region. However, insurance can still be a high cost for many drivers. In Columbus, as well as other cities, insurance premiums can be costly for various reasons. One factor is the high cost of living in a popular city — just as Columbus residents pay more to live in this bustling metropolis, insurance companies also have to cover their operational expenses. This results in an increase in insurance rates. Auto insurance can also be expensive due to factors other than your credit score and driving history.

Let's explore why insurance rates can be high in Columbus, even for responsible drivers.

location
Location

Your location impacts your insurance rates, and it's not limited to just the city and state. Columbus has numerous ZIP codes, some of which are more susceptible to theft and crime than others. In some areas, there are more uninsured drivers as well. Drivers who reside in high-crime neighborhoods usually pay more than those in safer ones. Check out the most and least expensive ZIP codes for car insurance rates in Columbus below.

Expensive Columbus ZIP codes: 43211, 43224, 43219, 43203, 43205

Cheap Columbus ZIP codes: 43016, 43017, 43054, 43085, 73026

weather
Weather risk

The damage caused by tornadoes and other similar weather-related damage can and has bankrupted insurance companies. Ohio may not have to deal with hurricanes like some other states, but they experience their share of extreme weather and insurance companies have to account for that. Insurance companies will often raise rates in areas that experience severe weather to help offset the cost of weather-related claims.

Flooding is one type of natural disaster that can happen just about anywhere if the circumstances are right. If you're near a body of water and could be at risk, consider carrying comprehensive coverage to protect your vehicle.

drivers
Number of drivers

Columbus, with a population of around 900,000 in 2021 (the most populated city in Ohio) has a lot of vehicles on the road, leading to a higher likelihood of car accidents. Insurance companies take on the risk of insuring drivers, and this results in higher premiums for everyone. Sometimes, the increased costs have nothing to do with an individual's driving habits. In Columbus, approximately 33% of drivers are uninsured, which means that you may have to pay for damages if you're hit by an uninsured driver.

Zebra Tip: Use your comprehensive coverage to protect your vehicle against hail and UMPD to protect against uninsured drivers


If you carry only the state minimum, damages caused by weather-related events will not be covered under your insurance policy, and you will have to pay for the repairs yourself. If you're worried about the possibility of severe damage to your car due to hail, flooding, or other weather-related events, you should think about getting comprehensive coverage.

Another risk in the Columbus area is the number of uninsured drivers on the road. Carry uninsured motorist coverage (UMPD) to safeguard against a traffic incident with someone who lacks adequate, or any, insurance coverage. 


Bundling insurance policies in Columbus

Although car insurance prices are on the rise throughout the nation, you can still save on your coverage in Columbus. One of the easiest ways to receive a discount is through bundling. Most of us have a renters or homeowners policy as well as our car insurance policy. If they're with different insurance companies, consider combining them.

When you're searching for new rates, ask about bundling discounts — you could possibly save 10% by combining your policies with one insurer. It won't take long to ask your current insurance company about bundling or compare rates from others to discover what savings you may be missing out on.

bundling home and auto insurance in columbus
Cheapest car insurance companies for bundling home and auto insurance in Columbus, OH
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies for Bundling Home and Auto Insurance in Columbus, OH

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Company Avg. 6 Mo. Premium
State Farm $436
USAA $446
Progressive $540
GEICO $543
Erie $547
Ohio Mutual Ins Group $608
Allstate $909

Source: The Zebra

Although some factors behind your insurance rates in Columbus are beyond your control, you can do your best to maintain a good profile while shopping for insurance. Additionally, remember that you have options when it comes to your insurance company! Even if you've been with the same company since you bought your first car, it's worth exploring other auto insurance quotes to find the most affordable rate that also provides the coverage you need. While switching companies may feel uncomfortable, some tend to be more expensive than others, and you always have the option to switch.

Find the best rates for both auto and home insurance in minutes!

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Frequently asked questions

Compared to the national and Ohio state averages, auto insurance in Columbus is more expensive, with an average six-month policy cost of $675 or $113 per month.

If you're looking for the most affordable rates in Columbus, USAA is the carrier to choose, with an average of $473 for a six-month policy. Keep in mind that USAA membership isn't available to everyone.

The minimum required insurance for drivers in Columbus, OH, is liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $25,000 bodily injury per person, $50,000 bodily injury per accident, and $25,000 property damage per accident.


Find affordable rates in minutes!

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How much is car insurance near me? — explore more cities near Columbus, OH


Recently answered questions about car insurance in Columbus from real Zebra customers

Car insurance near me in Columbus

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About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance editorial content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.