Despite Increases, Ohio Home and Auto Insurance Rates Still Low

February 4, 2015

Combined, average homeowners and auto insurance premiums in Ohio are nearly $500 less than national averages, according to the state’s insurance department.

Personal lines premiums in the state are among the lowest in the country, Lieutenant Governor and Department of Insurance Director Mary Taylor reported.

Data for 2012 — the most recent year available — from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) showed Ohioans paid an average of $725 for homeowners insurance and $635 for auto insurance premiums, compared to national averages of $1,023 and $815, respectively.

Premiums were the 9th lowest in country for homeowners insurance and 11th lowest for auto insurance, according to the Ohio Department of Insurance.

“Ohio continues to have a competitive insurance market allowing consumers to find the insurance coverage that best meets their needs at some of the lowest prices in the country,” Taylor said in a departmental release. “I urge Ohio consumers to use the services of an insurance agent and shop around for coverage that best insures their risks and also fits their budget.”

While Ohio personal lines rates are comparatively lower than those in most U.S. states, they have been on the rise in recent years and are expected to increase slightly in 2015, according to the Ohio Insurance Institute (OII), an industry trade group.
Homeowners Premiums

The average U.S. homeowners insurance premium rose by 5.7 percent in 2012, following a 7.6 percent increase in 2011. In Ohio, homeowners premiums rose 12 percent in 2012, following a 4.9 percent increase in 2011, the OII said.

The insurance trade group estimated Ohio’s average homeowners insurance premium increased by $53 in 2013 and by $27 in 2014. It anticipates an average $29 increase in the state’s average homeowners premium in 2015.

States with lower average homeowners premiums than Ohio are: Idaho ($538), Oregon ($567), Utah ($580), Wisconsin ($631), Washington ($648), Nevada ($674), Delaware ($678) and Arizona ($691).
Auto Premiums

According to a December 2014 NAIC report, Ohioans pay $180 less for auto insurance than the U.S. average, the OII said.

States found to have lower average auto insurance premiums than Ohio are: Idaho ($535), South Dakota ($557), Iowa ($561), North Dakota ($576), Maine ($582), Wisconsin ($599), North Carolina ($611), Nebraska ($617), Wyoming ($619) and Kansas ($632), the OII reported.

In 2013, the average auto insurance premium in the United States rose by 2.3 percent, following a 0.6 percent increase in 2011. In Ohio, average auto premiums rose by 2.4 percent in 2013 and 0.2 percent in 2011.

The average auto premium rose by $17 in Ohio in 2013, by $13 in 2014 and will increase by $14 in 2015, the OII estimated.

According to OII estimates, Ohio’s average auto premium was less in 2014 than it was 11 years earlier. Ohio’s 2003 average auto insurance rate was $672 according to the NAIC; the average auto insurance premium in Ohio for 2014 is $665, the OII estimated.

Ohio experienced three weather-related catastrophic events in 2014, the OII reported. Those were:

January 5-8 polar vortex with estimated losses for Ohio at $152.6 million.
May 10-14 wind and rainstorm event with estimated Ohio losses at $172.7 million.
May 18-23 wind and rainstorm event with estimated Ohio losses at $34.66 million.

Catastrophe-related insured loss estimates for the five-year period of 2010 through 2014 came in at more than $2.4 billion (in 2014 dollars). All five years are included in Ohio’s list of the seven costliest years for insured losses.

The most expensive catastrophe event in Ohio to date was Hurricane Ike in 2008, which caused an estimated $1.380 billion (2014 dollars).

Ike crossed Ohio on Sept. 14, 2008, packing winds at speeds equal to a Category 1 hurricane (up to 74 mph).

The losses compiled by insurance companies and state government from Hurricane Ike topped the state’s previous largest natural disaster — the Xenia tornado of 1974. That tornado outbreak caused $1.1 billion in insured losses, estimated in 2014 dollars.

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