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If you compare car insurance quotes from a dozen companies, you won’t see the same price twice. That’s because each provider evaluates you in a different way when setting car insurance premiums.
Your insurance rates are calculated based on several factors, such as your age, driving history, ZIP code, credit history, and more. And different providers weigh these factors differently. Comparing auto insurance quotes from multiple insurers allows you to see which ones offer you the best rates.
Our team put together this guide to comparing offers from insurance carriers to help you find the cheapest rates from the best car insurance companies quickly and easily. We’ve also included some key information about insurance costs, coverage, and companies to help you make a more informed decision about your next policy and provider.
This article takes an in-depth look at some of the finer points of car insurance and auto insurance quotes. But for quick reference, here’s a step-by-step guide to getting and comparing auto insurance quotes:
Choose your desired coverage level: Decide if you want to get minimum coverage, full coverage, or something in between. If you’re financing your vehicle, your lender may require you to purchase a full coverage policy. Also, think about any extras you might need or want, like roadside assistance or rideshare coverage.
Gather your information: You’ll need to include your social security number and the birthdays, driver’s license numbers, addresses, and employment information of anyone who drives your vehicle. You’ll also provide your driving record, basic contact information, vehicle identification number (VIN), and vehicle make, model, and mileage.
Request quotes: With your information handy, pick your top choices for providers and go online, call, or visit an office location to get a quote.
Compare car insurance quotes side by side: The key to finding the best rate is to get at least three quotes and compare them side by side. Make sure to pick the same deductibles, coverage, and limits for each. Check out what extras the companies offer as well.
Choose the best plan: Lastly, pick the car insurance policy that offers the best prices, discounts, and extra options for your situation.
Where Can I Compare Car Insurance Quotes?
You can compare car insurance quotes by getting them from several providers. Our experts recommend comparing offers from at least three insurers.
There are a few ways to get quotes to compare, including:
In-person: You can always visit a few local insurance agencies in person. This is a good way to spend time with an insurance agent going over your options in a face-to-face setting. However, this is very time-consuming unless you happen to live near several insurance agencies.
Over the phone: Rather than make the trip in person, you can also just call around to local agencies and request quotes over the phone. This is certainly faster than visiting physical agencies, but it is still a lot of time and effort.
Use a broker: Insurance brokers can represent you as a buyer and help you find the best deals. But these brokers usually charge a fee for their services.
Go online: These days, the easiest way to compare car insurance quotes is to do so online. You can use one of the many quote comparison tools online, but most companies have a tool on their website for requesting an online quote. Some even offer a discount for using it.
The Cost of Car Insurance
The national average cost of auto insurance across all providers is $1,732 annually for a full-coverage policy. That number is calculated for a 35-year-old driver with good credit and a clean driving record. However, your own rates will vary greatly.
Car Insurance Cost Factors
Car insurance companies use complex methods to determine how likely drivers are to file claims and what to charge them. That means no two drivers will find exactly the same prices.
As you compare car insurance quotes, you’ll find different rates from each provider. The secret recipe of car insurance pricing involves a number of ingredients:
Coverage options: The types of insurance you add to your auto insurance policy play a large role in your premiums. Plans that only fulfill your state’s requirements will have the lowest auto insurance rates. Additional insurance like collision coverage and comprehensive coverage will cost more.
Coverage limits: The amount of coverage you have on your plan also drives the price of your premiums. Higher coverage limits mean higher premiums, and vice versa.
Driving record: Your driving history is a big factor in your insurance premiums. A recent car accident or speeding ticket can cause your rates to spike. Serious offenses like a DUI can cause them to go up exponentially.
Deductible amount: You can lower your car insurance premium by choosing a higher deductible. But that means you’ll need to pay more out of pocket in case of an accident.
Age: Young drivers and especially teen drivers pay the most for car insurance coverage. Senior drivers also pay higher rates than middle-aged drivers.
Credit history: People with bad credit scores will have to pay more for car insurance than those with good credit scores.
Vehicle information: The type of car you drive affects your rates. Larger vehicles and more expensive vehicles typically cost more to insure.
Location: Different states have different average rates for insurance. For example, the average rate for car insurance in California is more than twice what it is in Maine. Rates vary within states too, as urban drivers often pay more than rural ones.
Cost of Car Insurance in Each State
The average insurance rates between states vary, depending on the type of coverage and amounts of coverage required. Other factors like population and environmental conditions influence these rates as well. Only New Hampshire and Virginia do not have state minimum insurance requirements.
This table shows the average car insurance rates in each state, based on a 35-year-old driver with good credit and a clean driving record. It also shows the cheapest provider in that state for the same profile, along with its average rate.
Click “show more” below to see the table.
State Average Cost Estimate
Cheapest Car Insurance Provider
District of Columbia
Texas Farm Bureau
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Cost of Car Insurance for Different Profiles
Other factors about you such as your driving record and age are also strong drivers of your insurance premiums. The following table shows the cheapest car insurance providers nationally for several different profiles along with the average national rate for drivers that fit those profiles:
Recent Speeding Ticket
Car Insurance Discounts
One of the best ways to save when you shop for car insurance is to look for discounts. When you compare car insurance quotes, look for companies that offer discounts that apply to your individual situation.
Common car insurance discounts include:
Multi-policy: You can often get a discount for bundling homeowners, renters, life, or other insurance products with your car insurance.
Multi-vehicle: If you cover more than one vehicle on the same policy you can often get a discount.
Good student: Students who maintain good grades in school can sometimes get a policy discount.
Student away at school: Insurance companies sometimes offer a discount to students who live away from home while in school.
Defensive driving course: You may be eligible for a discount if you take an approved defensive driving class.
Military: Several of the top car insurance companies offer discounts to active duty and retired military members. That discount often extends to their families.
Good driver: Insurers will sometimes reward you for staying accident-free and avoiding any speeding tickets or other violations for a specified period of time.
Homeowner: Some insurance companies offer discounts to those who own their homes instead of rent.
Vehicle safety features: If you have safety features like daytime running lights or additional airbags you can often save money on your car insurance policy.
New car: Some insurance companies offer discounts to new car owners.
Low mileage: Your insurer may offer you a discount if you don’t drive many miles each month.
You can find information about each provider’s discounts online. But all discounts may not be available everywhere. That’s why the best way to find out about which discounts are available to you is to speak to an insurance agent after requesting a quote.
You can also try usage-based programs for more discounts. Rather than a flat rate, these programs charge you based on how many miles you drive. If you work from home or don’t drive very much, usage-based insurance might be able to save you money.
But be careful. You could easily pay more than you would with flat-rate insurance if you drive too much. Make sure you understand the per-mile rate and how it compares to what you’d pay otherwise.
Telematics programs, like Progressive’s Snapshot, have become increasingly popular. Using a mobile app, these programs track your driving for safety and mileage.
These programs can be useful if you have points on your license because the discounts depend on your current driving habits, not your past driver profile. Be aware, however, that if you don’t practice what your insurer considers good driving habits, you could end up paying more for your insurance.
Types of Car Insurance Coverage
These days, car insurance companies offer a diverse portfolio of coverage types. While some of these coverage options vary from provider to provider, there are several types of standard insurance options that you can find at any provider:
Bodily injury liability insurance: Covers lost wages and medical costs for others involved in an accident you caused.
Property damage liability insurance: Covers vehicle and personal property damages to other drivers involved in an accident for which you are found at fault.
Uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage: Covers your damages and costs related to injuries in the event an at-fault driver in an accident doesn’t have sufficient coverage.
Personal injury protection (PIP): Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who is found at fault for the accident. Also known as “no-fault” insurance.
Medical payments (MedPay): Covers you and your passengers’ medical expenses only, but not lost wages.
Collision coverage: Covers vehicle damages to your vehicle regardless of who is found at fault for the accident.
Comprehensive coverage: Covers damages to your vehicle that aren’t accident-related, such as damages from floods, extreme weather, or fire.
Additional Coverage Options
While your state minimum insurance requirements will be some combination of the standard coverage options, you always have the option to buy more coverage. Insurers now offer a wide selection of additional coverage that can help you prepare for other costs related to owning a car.
Here are some of the additional coverage options you’ll find at insurance companies:
Emergency roadside assistance: Covers the cost of emergency services like towing, lockouts, tire replacement, fuel delivery, and more.
Guaranteed asset protection (GAP coverage): Covers the difference between the assessed value of your car and the amount that you owe on it—or a portion of it—if it is totalled in an accident.
Rental car reimbursement: Covers some or all of the cost of a rental car while your car is inoperable or being repaired following a covered accident.
Rideshare coverage: Covers drivers working for rideshare services like Uber or Lyft in between jobs—a period not covered by those companies.
Compare Car Insurance Quotes: Conclusion
Comparing auto insurance quotes from multiple providers is an essential step in shopping for a new policy if you want to find the best rates. Now, with most insurers offering online quote tools, getting offers is faster and easier than ever.
Factors such as your age, driving record, and the coverage options you choose all contribute to the cost of your premiums. But no two insurance providers weigh these factors the same. You won’t know what an insurer will charge you until you get a quote, and you won’t know which company offers you the cheapest insurance rates until you get a few of them to compare.
Compare Car Insurance Rates
Enter your zip code to shop for the best rates in your area:
Compare Auto Insurance Quotes: Our Recommendations
While it’s important to find a good price for car insurance, it’s equally as important to shop from providers that are reliable and that offer good service. After thoroughly analyzing the biggest car insurance companies, we recommend GEICO, State Farm, and Progressive for affordable and high-quality coverage.
GEICO: Best Overall
GEICO is one of the cheapest car insurance companies, and it offers plenty of discounts to help drivers find affordable rates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.. The company has been around since 1936 and is the second-largest car insurance provider in the U.S. GEICO’s highly rated mobile app makes it easy to view your ID card, start a claim, or pay your bill from your phone. GEICO auto insurance has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and an A++ financial rating from AM Best.
State Farm: Best for Student Drivers
If you’re under the age of 25, it’s a good idea to look into State Farm auto insurance. That’s because the company has the best good-student discount in the industry – you can save up to 25% for having good grades. State Farm’s Steer Clear® educational app can help drivers under 25 save up to an additional 20%. And, if you’re a good driver, you can enroll in the Drive Safe & SaveTM program to stack another discount on the pile. State Farm is the largest provider in the U.S. and has an A++ financial strength rating.
Progressive: Best for High-Risk Drivers
In our research, we found that Progressive car insurance is the best option for drivers with a less-than-perfect record. Drivers with recent at-fault accidents tend to find cheaper rates from Progressive than from other companies. The same goes for teen drivers and drivers with poor credit. Progressive’s features include the Name Your Price® tool, which lets you choose your desired budget and shows you auto insurance coverage within your price range. Founded in 1937, Progressive has an A- rating from the BBB and an A+ financial strength rating from AM Best.
Compare Car Insurance Rates: FAQ
Which comparison site is best for car insurance?
Many reputable sites offer car insurance comparison tools, and they all accomplish the same goal, for the most part. You can use the quote comparison tool on this page to get up-to-date pricing from multiple leading providers and compare car insurance quotes for free.
How do I get the best car insurance quote?
Simply compare multiple providers when you shop to get the best car insurance quote. Besides that, make sure you provide accurate information to qualify for discounts. You can also build your credit, concentrate on driving safely, and try out a usage-based program to further lower your car insurance costs.
How do I compare car insurance plans?
To compare car insurance plans, choose the same deductibles, coverage types, and levels of coverage from different providers when you get quotes. For example, choose the same bodily injury limits for each quote. This way, you’ll see an equal comparison of rates from different companies.
Which car insurance is the best and cheapest?
After a full industry analysis, we ranked GEICO as the best and cheapest car insurance overall. The company offers 16 discounts and cheap car insurance rates for many drivers. Also in our top five picks are USAA, State Farm, Progressive, and AAA auto insurance. Remember, your own rates will vary depending on a number of factors, so you may find cheaper rates with one provider based on your unique situation.
Who offers the best car insurance coverage?
Our research team found that GEICO offers the best combination of car insurance coverage options, policy add-ons, prices, and customer and industry ratings among providers we reviewed.
What is an auto insurance premium?
An auto insurance premium is the fee you pay in exchange for car insurance coverage. Your premium depends on a number of factors about you and the vehicle you wish to cover.
Our expert review team takes satisfaction in providing accurate and unbiased information. We identified the following rating categories based on consumer survey data and conducted extensive research to formulate rankings of the best car insurance providers.
Affordability: A variety of factors influence cost, so it can be difficult to compare quotes between providers. Our team considers auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services and discount opportunities when giving this score.
Coverage: Because each consumer has unique needs, it’s essential that a car insurance company offers an array of coverage options. We take into account types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
Industry Standing: Our team considers Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings, financial strength, and years in business when giving this score.
Availability: Auto insurers with greater state availability and few eligibility requirements are more likely to meet consumer needs.
Customer Service: Reputable car insurance providers operate with a certain degree of care for consumers. We consider complaints filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), J.D. Power claims servicing scores, and customer feedback.
Online Experience: Insurers with easy-to-use websites and highly rated mobile apps scored best in this category.