It’s essential to compare car insurance quotes if you’re hoping to find the best rates or reduce your monthly premiums. Since each auto insurance company seeks a different type of driver, you’ll likely pay too much if you don’t compare car insurance quotes from multiple providers.
We’ve reviewed the industry’s best car insurance companies to determine which ones offer rock-solid coverage at affordable rates. However, you’ll miss out on the best bargains if you don’t compare several car insurance policy options. Read on to learn how to find the best and cheapest auto insurance for your needs.
Why It’s Important To Compare Car Insurance Rates
It might seem like a major chore to compare car insurance premiums from providers before settling on a plan. You may already have your top choice in mind. However, it’s always worth getting multiple quotes to compare your options.
Auto insurance rates are always in flux, so there’s never a single provider that has the lowest prices. The cheapest car insurance company for your family members may charge astronomical prices for your policy. Worst of all, you won’t even know you’re paying too much unless you compare your options.
If you want quality auto insurance coverage at reasonable rates, it’s absolutely critical to take the time to do a thorough quote comparison between different companies. Below, we’ll look at factors that affect auto insurance prices to help you determine what a competitive rate for full coverage might look like for your car.
Compare Car Insurance By Provider
When you compare auto insurance policies, it’s important to have at least a ballpark estimate of how much each company charges. While there’s never a single provider that offers the cheapest rates across the board, some general pricing trends can emerge.
Generally speaking, you’ll likely find some of the lowest car insurance rates from USAA, Erie Insurance, Auto-Owners Insurance, State Farm, Geico, and Progressive. This may not hold true for every driver, which is why it’s necessary to compare car insurance policies from multiple providers.
USAA is only available to military members, veterans, and their families. Make sure you meet the company’s eligibility requirements before you compare car insurance quotes with USAA.
An easy way to get a lower car insurance rate is by checking what discount opportunities you may qualify for with each provider. You can often save by bundling liability coverage with your homeowners or renters insurance policy, taking a driver’s education course, remaining accident-free for a certain period of time, and more.
Compare Car Insurance By Gender And Age
Age is a critical factor in the cost of car insurance, with young drivers often paying much more than older ones. And in some states, the gender listed on your driver’s license may be as well. On average, young people listed as men pay the most for auto insurance coverage. Drivers of all genders generally see rates decrease after age 25.
Compare Car Insurance By Credit Score
Some states don’t allow insurers to adjust your car insurance costs based on your credit score, but most do. People with higher credit scores generally get cheap car insurance rates in comparison to drivers with a poor credit history.
Compare Car Insurance By Driving Record
Having a clean record can help you get the best price on car insurance. But any speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, and DUIs will increase what you pay for auto insurance. Your driving history is used to determine whether you’re considered a high-risk driver, which will be reflected in your rate.
Compare Car Insurance By State
The average cost of car insurance varies greatly between states. Part of the reason for this is that each state has its own minimum coverage requirements. For instance, you may need uninsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection in one state but not in another.
Compare car insurance rates for a full coverage policy below and you’ll find that drivers in Michigan, New York, and Louisiana tend to spend the most, while those in Maine, Ohio, and Wisconsin generally pay the least.
Compare Car Insurance By Major City
Drivers in major cities usually pay premiums that are much higher than in the rest of their states. One notable exception is Houston, where drivers pay slightly less than the average rate across Texas.
How To Compare Car Insurance Quotes
Now that you have an idea of how much you may spend on auto coverage, it’s time to compare car insurance rates yourself. Read on if you’re still a bit unsure about how to move through the quotes process.
1. Collect Personal And Vehicle Information
You’ll need some information about yourself to start getting car insurance quotes. Here’s what you should have handy before you start the process:
- Accidents or tickets
- Marital status
- Average number of miles driven each year
- Date of birth
- Car make and model
- Driver’s license number
2. Figure Out What Coverage You Need
Research your state’s minimum car insurance coverage requirements. Nearly all motorists will need bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance. Some states require uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Consider whether you want additional types of insurance and increased amounts of coverage. Most experts strongly recommended that you exceed minimum coverage by adding comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, and medical payments coverage. Full coverage car insurance may cost more, but it can help insulate you from serious financial risk.
3. Compare Car Insurance Quotes Online Or Over The Phone
Once you know what you want, you can start getting quotes from companies to compare before picking a policy. You can get a quote by visiting an insurance agency in person or over the phone. These days, most insurers offer quotes online, which makes the process much easier.
Make sure to compare more than just rates–compare car insurance companies, too. Some insurers are easier to work with than others. Reading online reviews for insurers to gauge customer satisfaction can give you an idea of whether your insurance company will be there for you when you need it.
Recommendations For Car Insurance
It’s always best to compare car insurance quotes before making a final pick, but you’ll also want to know which providers offer top-tier service. Our team recommends State Farm and Geico to drivers on the lookout for exceptional service and affordable insurance prices.
State Farm: Best For Student Drivers
As seen above, State Farm offers monthly premiums that sit far below the industry norm. Particularly impressive is State Farm’s coverage for student drivers, who normally pay some of the highest rates around. From good student discounts to savings for taking driver training courses, teen drivers can find affordable rates with State Farm car insurance discounts.
State Farm insurance reviews are also relatively positive, largely because of the company’s personal touch. Despite State Farm being the United States’ largest auto insurer, its local insurance agents place the company right in the middle of communities.
For more information about the insurer, check out our State Farm insurance review.
Geico: Best Overall Provider
Geico is known for offering some of the lowest rates to customers who compare car insurance. While you might expect Geico’s below-average pricing stems from low-quality service, that’s not the case. The company holds an A+ customer service rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and countless customers submit positive Geico insurance reviews.
You’ll also find some peace of mind from Geico’s A++ financial strength rating from AM Best. This score means Geico can easily cover any damages that might come up during your coverage period. Between its rock-solid reputation, superb financials, and quality customer service, it’s easy to see why our team selected Geico as the Best Overall Provider.
Read our comprehensive Geico insurance review to learn more.
How We Rate Insurers
Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car insurance providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a car insurance company successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:
- Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between insurers because so many factors impact annual premiums. The cheapest insurer for one driver may not be the cheapest for another. To determine our cost score, we look at insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, discount opportunities, and consumer reports.
- Coverage: To determine our coverage score, we look at the number of coverage options available as well as coverage limits and deductible options. Our ratings also take into account additional services and benefits like roadside assistance.
- Reliability: It’s important that an auto insurer is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong financial strength rating from AM Best score best in this category. Established insurers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
- Service: We comb through customer reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to learn about customer experiences. Insurers with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider the claims process, giving higher ratings to car insurance providers that offer easy-to-use claims apps.
*Data accurate at time of publication.