2021: The Cheapest Car Insurance Available
- Cheap Car Insurance from the Best Providers
- Cheap Car Insurance by Driving Record
- How Your Credit Score Affects Car Insurance Rates
- Finding the Cheapest Car Insurance in Your State
- How to Lower Your Car Insurance Costs
- Factors to Consider When Choosing a Car Insurance Provider
- When to Look for New Car Insurance
If you’re looking for car insurance quotes online, cost is most likely your top concern. Car insurance rates can vary from company to company based on a lot of factors, including your driving record, credit score, and other circumstances. This can make it hard to find affordable auto insurance.
Fortunately, it’s easy to get cheap car insurance if you know what to look for. In many cases, it’s as simple as comparing quotes from companies online. Plus, you can take active steps to ensure that you qualify for the cheapest auto insurance available.
The different types of car insurance available depend on the state where you live and the minimum amount of insurance required by law in that state. So, how can you get the cheap car insurance? Read on to find out more.
Cheap Car Insurance from the Best Providers
When searching for affordable car insurance, the most important thing to know is that there really is no single company that always has the cheapest rates. Prices can vary according to how the company judges your risk factor as a driver alongside other important criteria when setting rates.
The best cheap car insurance tips always focus on comparing car insurance quotes online and picking the most cost-effective insurance. Below are some of the most popular car insurance companies and the average current annual car insurance cost for full coverage car insurance (from lowest price to highest price).
You can find out more information about these high-profile insurance companies below.
Erie Insurance: Available in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, Erie Insurance is a top-ranking insurance company, according to the 2020 J.D. Power Auto study.
Erie is known as one of the best insurance companies in the country for providing affordable car insurance for young drivers (18 years or older). In addition, the company provides insurance coverage for pets injured in an accident, a $10,000 death benefit, and a diminishing deductible, all for just about $30 more per year.
USAA Insurance: Designed primarily for current and former military members and their families, USAA receives the highest ranking for cheap car insurance according to the 2020 J.D. Power Auto study. The biggest downside to USAA is its unavailability to drivers outside of its normal military-related membership.
Amica Insurance: Ranked number two overall in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto study, Amica also has one of the best customer satisfaction scores in the country, with a 1.3 on the NAIC complaint index and a score of 907 on the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction study.
GEICO Insurance: Offering insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, GEICO may be most widely known for its great commercial ads. Ranked in the top five for overall customer satisfaction, GEICO offers a variety of discount categories to find insurance that best fits your particular circumstances.
Progressive Insurance: Another insurance company with great commercials, Progressive is known for its various discounts, including Snapshot, which rewards customers for driving safely. With more than 38,000 agents located across the U.S. and Canada, Progressive offers auto insurance for a wide variety of vehicle types.
State Farm Insurance: The largest of the private passenger car insurance providers, State Farm ranked number one in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Satisfaction study. The company also has an A.M. Best rating of A++, which is a testament to the financial strength of the company.
Nationwide Insurance: Ranking above average in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction study, Nationwide is available in 46 states and the District of Columbia.
One of Nationwide Insurance’s best discounts is the company’s SmartRide program, which can save drivers up to 40% simply for driving safely. The company’s SmartMiles program can also save you money by monitoring the miles you drive and adjusting your premiums accordingly.
Farmers Insurance: The first insurance company to offer comprehensive coverage in the U.S., Farmers offers cheap full coverage car insurance all across the country. Farmers currently offers more discounts than any other auto car insurance company, including a discount for sharing a family car, having daytime running lights, and for using alternative fuels.
Allstate Insurance: Available all across the U.S., Allstate offers other coverage options in addition to basic car insurance, including reimbursement for rental vehicles and coverage for sound systems and rideshare vehicles. The company is also ranked above average in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction study.
The Hartford Insurance: Offered under AARP in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, The Hartford is ranked number four on the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction study. While having the highest insurance premium on this list of cheap car insurance providers, The Hartford does offer a disappearing deductible for safe drivers.
Cheap Car Insurance by Driving Record
Many factors can have an effect on how much you pay for car insurance coverage. One of the most significant of these factors is your driving record and whether you have any wrecks, tickets, DUIs, or other red flags in your driving history. Here’s exactly how your driving record can influence how much you pay on car insurance:
Car Accidents: Following a car accident in which you are found to be at fault, expect your car insurance premiums to go up. Depending on the state in which you live, the amount of this auto insurance rate increase will vary. And while any increase will depend in part on the car make and model and your past driving history, state regulations also play a part.
Even if you’re not at fault, you might still see an increase in your insurance premium. If that’s a concern, look for car insurance with accident forgiveness, which means if you remain accident-free for a certain amount of time, you can have one accident forgiven so that it won’t count against you.
DUIs: Getting a DUI while driving or in conjunction with having a car accident will result in dramatically higher car insurance premiums. Some companies might outright cancel your policy. The end result of getting a DUI is that you have to get an SR-22 in conjunction with your insurance.
An SR-22 is a certificate that your insurance company has to file, and keep on file, if you get a DUI. The length of time an SR-22 is active depends on the state, but this is usually in the two- to three-year range. Having an SR-22 means you’ll have to pay a higher car insurance premium since you’re considered a higher driving risk.
Tickets: If you get a ticket, your car insurance might go up. The state in which you get the ticket will determine if your car insurance premiums go up and how much they increase. An increase mostly comes about for a moving violation, such as speeding, texting while driving, or running a red light. Parking tickets shouldn’t raise your premiums or prevent you from getting cheap car insurance.
So, how much will car insurance companies charge you for having an incident on your driving record? Below you can find the annual insurance rates charged to individuals with a single accident or DUI on their record by some of the larger car insurance companies.
- USAA: $1,229 (single at-fault accident), $1,683 (single DUI)
- State Farm: $1,487 (single at-fault accident), $1,681 (single DUI)
- GEICO: $1,802 (single at-fault accident), $2,958 (single DUI)
- Progressive: $2,324 (single at-fault accident), $1,793 (single DUI)
- Farmers: $2,446 (single at-fault accident), $2,640 (single DUI)
- Allstate: $2,673 (single at-fault accident), $3,252 (single DUI)
How Your Credit Score Affects Car Insurance Rates
Believe it or not, your credit score can also have a big impact on what you pay for car insurance. But the auto insurance industry doesn’t use a regular credit score. Car insurance companies use their own system, called a credit-based auto insurance score. This score helps them to decide whether you’re an acceptable risk or not.
If the auto insurance company does decide to give you coverage, then your credit-based auto insurance score also helps to determine the premium you pay. This means that having good credit plays a big part in whether or not you can get affordable full coverage car insurance.
Some auto insurance companies are better than others when it comes to offering lower premiums for those with bad credit. Here are the current premiums that some of the larger companies offer to drivers with a poor credit score.
- USAA: $1,653
- Geico: $1,855
- Progressive: $2,308
- Farmers: $2,669
- State Farm: $2,745
- Allstate: $3,025
Fortunately, credit isn’t the only deciding factor in whether or not you receive coverage and the amount you end up paying. Other factors that affect your car insurance rates include:
Zip Code: Where you live plays a role in how much you pay for car insurance. Considerations such as traffic, crime rate, and how far you have to drive to work each day all play a part in your insurance premiums.
Vehicle Year, Make, and Model: The type of car affects what you pay for car insurance, including the make, model, year, and trim level of your vehicle. In addition, larger cars with bigger engines and additional features will often cost you more to insure.
Miles Driven: The reasoning behind this factor is that the more you drive your vehicle, the more you’re apt to be in an accident. On the flip side, opting for a low-mileage insurance policy, under 7,500 miles, can save you money on your premiums.
Your Age: Age is a big factor in determining your car insurance premiums. Younger drivers pay more than more mature drivers. Lower rates for mature drivers stay in place until the age of 65, when they start to go up again.
Marital Status: Getting married is another way to get a discount on your car insurance. On average, a married driver pays 4% less on their insurance than a single person. A lot depends on the state in which you live; in the most extreme cases, married people could end up paying 10% less.
Finding the Cheapest Car Insurance in Your State
Each state has a minimum amount of coverage required by law, which makes a big difference in the cost of your auto insurance premium. You can find the average car insurance rate by state below.
- Alabama: $1,672
- Alaska: $1,484
- Arizona: $1,587
- Arkansas: $1,912
- California: $2,012
- Colorado: $2,004
- Connecticut: $1,605
- Delaware: $1,716
- District of Columbia: $1,810
- Florida: $2,544
- Georgia: $2,000
- Hawaii: $1,200
- Idaho: $1,048
- Illinois: $1,425
- Indiana: $1,281
- Iowa: $1,234
- Kansas: $1,713
- Kentucky: $2,201
- Louisiana: $2,711
- Maine: $782
- Maryland: $1,783
- Massachusetts: $1,183
- Michigan: $2,375
- Minnesota: $1,582
- Mississippi: $1,714
- Missouri: $1,680
- Montana: $1,722
- Nebraska: $1,518
- Nevada: $2,058
- New Hampshire: $1,099
- New Jersey: $1,706
- New Mexico: $1,388
- New York: $2,205
- North Carolina: $1,308
- North Dakota: $1,303
- Ohio: $1,119
- Oklahoma: $1,878
- Oregon: $1,363
- Pennsylvania: $1,606
- Rhode Island: $1,846
- South Carolina: $1,427
- South Dakota: $1,668
- Tennessee: $1,364
- Texas: $1,800
- Utah: $1,290
- Vermont: $975
- Virginia: $1,259
- Washington: $1,211
- West Virginia: $1,642
- Wisconsin: $1,178
- Wyoming: $1,478
How to Lower Your Car Insurance Costs
In addition to the various factors listed above and their effect on your car insurance premiums, you can take some simple actions to lower the cost of your car insurance. Some of the ways you can lower your car insurance premiums include the following.
Raise Your Deductible: The deductible you pay when you have an accident can affect the amount you pay in premiums. The higher your deductible, the less you’ll have to pay each month, and vice versa. If you’re not prone to accidents, then raising your deductible is a great way to lower what you pay on insurance each month.
On average, drivers who change their car insurance deductible from $500 to $1,000 save between 8 to 10%. This amount can vary according to where you live, with Massachusetts offering the biggest savings at 19% and Michigan offering its drivers savings of only 4% when doing so.
The biggest considerations when lowering or raising your car insurance deductible is the value of your car, how much you make in a year, and how much cash you can get a hold of if you do need to pay for repairs to your car. A high deductible is no good if you can’t afford to pay it following an accident.
Opt for Liability Insurance Only: If your vehicle is paid for, you can also opt to get liability insurance only. While this won’t cover your losses in a car accident, it’ll pay for the other driver in an accident that you caused. Below are what some of the big-name insurance companies charge for liability coverage.
- USAA: $409
- Geico: $513
- State Farm: $660
- Allstate: $735
- Progressive: $724
- Farmers: $876
Car Insurance Discounts: Many car insurance companies offer a variety of discounts that can help offset the cost of your car insurance premiums. Some of the most common car insurance discounts include:
- Veterans/military personnel discount
- Full-time student discount (with a good academic record)
- Good driver discount
- Defensive-driving course discount
- Safety feature discount
- Professional discount (including for the military and professional organizations)
- Multi-vehicle policy discount
- Bundling discount (including home, car, or renters insurance)
- Auto pay discount (pay premium monthly or in advance)
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Car Insurance Provider
Finding cheap car insurance is great, but what about the company you’re buying it from? Is it reliable and does it have good customer service? These are important considerations when you’re shopping for car insurance. Below are some of the factors you should take into account about any company you’re considering buying insurance from.
Cost: Chances are the cost of your coverage will be the biggest contributing factor when choosing insurance for your car. Most people are even willing to forego a little bit of convenience to save money.
Customer Service: Customer service is up there when it comes to choosing a car insurance company. For the most part, you should look for companies that have at least a decent rating when it comes to dealing with their customers. Your state’s Department of Insurance website is a great resource to check on this.
Response Time/Reliability: When buying insurance, in addition to cost, you want a good response time when you have an accident. It doesn’t do you any good to save money if your insurance company leaves you hanging without a car after an accident, especially if that accident was not your fault.
When to Look for New Car Insurance
Knowing when to look for new car insurance coverage is just as important as knowing what to look for. Even if you already have cheap car insurance that you’re happy with, it’s still a good idea to get new insurance quotes now and then. Here are some life events that should trigger a search for new auto insurance.
When You Move: When you move, you have to notify your insurance company of your new address, which could result in a change in the premiums you pay. If your new premiums are higher than what you want, you can reduce your car insurance premiums by shopping around at this time.
When Your Driving Record Improves: You should also look for cheaper coverage if your driving record has improved recently, especially after the three- and five-year anniversary of your incident.
When You Pay Off/Get a New Car: When you pay off or get a new car might be a good time to shop around. Make sure to check with your current provider first, as they might be able to offer you a cheaper rate.
When You Get Married/Divorced: Getting married or divorced can affect your car insurance premium amounts. In general, single people tend to pay more for car insurance than people who are married.
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