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Car insurance in Columbus costs $1,597 per year for full coverage – $133 monthly. In 2024, USAA offers the cheapest car insurance policy at $86 per month. Columbus is the biggest city in Ohio, and the state’s capital city. It is the 14th biggest city in the U.S.

If you are moving to Columbus — or already live there — it is important to find the right car insurance policy. Fortunately, there are ways to get cheap car insurance in Columbus that will provide the coverage you need.

Key Takeaways

  • Full-coverage car insurance in Columbus costs an average of $1,597 per year, lower than the nationwide average of $1,895.
  • The cheapest car insurance company for a full-coverage policy in Columbus is USAA, at $86 monthly.
  • Car insurance rates in Columbus are reasonable compared to other large cities across the U.S.

How to find the best car insurance in Columbus

With the right tools and a little work, you can find the best car insurance policy in Columbus that marries the coverage you need with a cost you can afford. 

Before shopping for car insurance, determine the type of policy you need, including the amount of coverage necessary to protect yourself. Make sure you get quotes from at least three companies comparing similar coverage limits and options and ask about any discounts you qualify for. It’s always best to buy as much coverage as you can afford.

Cheapest car insurance company in Columbus

USAA provides the cheapest car insurance in Columbus, according to the latest data. It costs an average of $1,034 annually to purchase a full-coverage policy from the insurer. The next cheapest car insurance companies are Grange Mutual and Auto-Owners.

See other cheap car insurance rates in Columbus in the table below.

Average annual rates from insurers in Columbus

CompanyAverage annual rates for state minimum Average annual rates for full coverage
Grange Mutual$251$1,153
USAA$253$1,034
Erie Insurance$302$1,332
Auto-Owners$307$1,242
Westfield Insurance$447$1,892 
Travelers$453$1,477
Cincinnati Insurance$457$1,693
Progressive$507$1,725
Geico$527$1,629
Allstate$687$2,290
Farmers$698$2,099

How much is car insurance in Columbus per month?

Columbus residents can expect to pay an average of $133 per month in full coverage car insurance costs and $37 per month for the state minimum coverage.

Of course, some drivers pay less than this average, while others pay more. Factors determining how much you pay for car insurance include the insurance company you choose and your coverage levels. 

Other factors — including your age and gender, car type and history of accidents and violations — also influence car insurance costs.  

Monthly rates for car insurance in Columbus, Ohio

CompanyAverage monthly rates for state minimum Average monthly rates for full coverage
Grange Mutual$21$96
USAA$21$86
Erie Insurance$25$111
Auto-Owners$26$104
Westfield Insurance$37$158
Cincinnati Insurance$38$141
Travelers$38$123
Progressive$42$144
Geico$44$136
Allstate$57$191
Farmers$58$175

How do rates in Columbus compare to other large cities in the U.S.?

The cost of coverage in Columbus compares favorably to other major cities. Columbus drivers pay more than other Ohio drivers – the statewide rate is $1,417 annually, compared with Columbus’s $1,597.

See how much you can expect to pay for car insurance in several major U.S. cities in the table below.

Full-coverage car insurance costs in major U.S. metropolitan areas

CityFull-coverage cost
Chicago$1,930
Dallas$2,278
Houston$2,317
Los Angeles$3,149
New York$2,600
Philadelphia$2,782
Phoenix$2,251
San Antonio$2,181
San Diego$2,324
San Jose$2,406
Las Vegas$2,594
Baltimore$2,345
Boston$2,103
Charlotte$,1824
Columbus$1,597
Denver$2,337
Detroit$2,987
El Paso$2,112
Fort Worth$2,030
Indianapolis$1,627
Jacksonville$2,692
Memphis$2,161
Nashville$1,708
Oklahoma City$2,373
Portland$2,033
San Francisco$2,777
Seattle$1,910
Washington$2,157
Louisville$2,359

Here’s what you need to know when driving in Columbus

As Ohio’s most populous city, Columbus is no stranger to traffic. However, it is less congested than some other big cities. 

In 2022, drivers in Columbus lost an average of 18 hours in traffic, according to INRIX, which looks at traffic patterns. That places the city at No. 71 among all U.S. metros. 

If you are driving in the Columbus area during rush hour, you can expect to spend an extra 10.6 minutes in traffic, according to the website CoPilot. That places Columbus at No. 66 among all cities in the nation when it comes to losing time due to rush hour. 

Other things to remember when driving around Columbus:

  • Speed limits in Ohio are typically 35 mph on residential roads and 65 mph on urban freeways. 
  • Aside from the Ohio Turnpike – which does not come close to Columbus – toll roads are not common in Ohio. 
  • In 2022, a new distracted-driving law went into effect in Ohio. A first offense costs drivers $150 and two points on their license. However, fines double for those who use cellphones when they are driving in a work zone. 

How much car insurance do I need in Columbus?

Ohio law requires you to purchase a minimum amount of liability car insurance coverage. These amounts are: 

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
  • $25,000 of coverage for property damage

This is called “25/50/25 coverage.”

However, these minimum levels of coverage will not be adequate for most drivers. Many drivers will prefer to carry much higher levels of liability coverage so they are better protected financially. 

Drivers also might be interested in protecting their own vehicles by purchasing comprehensive and collision coverage. If you are unsure of how much coverage you need, consult an insurance agent.

Average cost of car insurance in Columbus

The average cost of full-coverage car insurance in Columbus is $1,597 annually. That compares to a statewide average of $1,417 and a nationwide average of $1,895. 

Annual average rates in Columbus for state minimum coverage and full coverage

State minimum coverage in ColumbusAnnual full coverage rates in Columbus
$444$1,597

How much does car insurance in Columbus cost with violations?

Moving violations on your driving record are likely to push your car insurance rates higher. Violations such as speeding tickets often cause a significant but manageable rise in rates. 

Other types of violations can make rates climb much higher. This is particularly true if you are convicted of a DUI. 

See rate increases in Columbus in the table below by violation.

Violation typeRate increase percentage
At-Fault accident60%
Bad credit85%
DUI81%
Speeding32%

Cheapest car insurance in Columbus by age

Your age will impact how much you pay for car insurance. The youngest drivers tend to pay the highest rates. Older drivers also are likely to pay more. 

“Insurance companies set rates based on many different driver attributes, including driver age, and the extensive amount of loss data associated with those driver attributes,” says Rick Kautzer, director of personal lines product management for Dairyland Insurance. “Certain driver classes are more expensive than others because the data shows those drivers have historically represented a higher likelihood of being involved in an accident.”  

See how much you can expect to pay by age in the table below.

Annual rates for state minimum and full coverage car insurance in Columbus, by age

AgeState minimum coverageFull coverage
18$1,515$5,040
25$523$1,958
40$444$1,597
65$443$1,507

Compare auto insurance rates in Columbus by ZIP code 

Where you live also plays a role in how much you pay for car insurance. Here are the Columbus area ZIP codes with the cheapest and most expensive car insurance rates. 

See the tables below for the cheapest and most expensive ZIP codes for car insurance in Columbus. 

Cheapest annual car insurance rates in Columbus, by ZIP code 

ZIP codeAverage annual rate
43119$1,449
43240$1,468
43235$1,480
43212$1,504
43137$1,505
43217$1,525
43110$1,531
43228$1,531
43214$1,538
43004$1,548

Most expensive annual car insurance rates in Columbus, by ZIP code 

ZIP codeAverage annual rate
43211$1,792
43224$1,746
43203$1,725
43219$1,708
43205$1,700
43227$1,659
43206$1,650
43201$1,649
43207$1,628
43209$1,626

Our recommendations: Car insurance for drivers in Columbus

If low prices are your top focus when shopping for car insurance, USAA might be your best choice. It has the lowest average rates in our survey. 

However, it’s often a mistake to shop by price alone. It is crucial to make sure you have exactly the coverage you need, even if you have to pay a little more for it. 

Shopping around and gathering quotes from several insurance companies is the best way to get the coverage you need at the best price. 

A full coverage insurance policy with liability limits of 100/300/100 is the best option for most drivers. Consider increasing your liability limits as you accumulate wealth and your net worth increases. Purchasing as much car insurance as you can afford will give you peace of mind as you navigate the roads of Columbus.

expert

What our expert says

Q. How can you save money on car insurance?

expert-image
Robert PassmoreAPCIA department vice president, personal lines with the American Property Casualty Insurance Association.
Find out if your insurer offers a telematics policy that rewards safer driving habits with reduced premiums.

Resources & Methodology

Methodology

In 2024, Insure.com commissioned Quadrant Information Services to pull rates for a 40-year-old who has a 12-mile commute and drives a 2023 Honda Accord LX 10k miles annually. The hypothetical driver has full coverage, carrying policy limits of 100/300/100 with $500 deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverages. We analyzed 51,088,003 insurance quotes from 167 companies across 34,588 ZIP codes in every state and Washington, D.C.

Sources:

CoPilot. “Cities That Lose the Most Time in Rush Hour Traffic.” Accessed February 2024.

Hertz. “Ohio driving guide.” Accessed February 2024.

INRIX. “Columbus, OH.” Accessed February 2024.

INRIX. “Inrix 2022 Global Traffic Scorecard.” Accessed February 2024.

Ohio BMV. “Mandatory Insurance.” Accessed February 2024.

The Columbus Dispatch. “Ohio traffic laws: Here’s what changed in 2023 and what could be coming.” Accessed February 2024.

author image
Chris Kissell
Contributing Researcher

 
  

Chris Kissell is a Denver-based writer and editor with work featured on U.S. News & World Report, MSN Money, Fox Business, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, Money Talks News and more.