- The best way to find the cheapest car insurance is to compare quotes from multiple providers.
- Car insurance rates are highly personalized and agents use a number of different factors to calculate your quote.
- Be sure to ask insurers about any available discounts you may qualify for.
It can be difficult to shop for car insurance. Between comparing car insurance quotes, providers, and coverage options, you must consider a lot of information. This article will help you navigate the important details and explain how to find the lowest car insurance quotes for the coverage you need.
Our review team has researched dozens of providers and compiled a list of the best car insurance companies in the business. We rank insurers based on price, customer service, and financial stability. When you’re ready to shop for car insurance and start comparing options, this list is a good place to start.
Methodology: How We Rate Insurers
To help you get a better understanding of how to compare car insurance companies, we first need to explain how we rate providers. In order to determine which insurance companies are worthwhile, we consider industry standing, availability, coverage, cost, customer service, and technology.
This rating takes into account a company’s longevity in conjunction with the rating given by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The company’s market share according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) as well as its AM Best financial strength rating give us a good indication of the provider’s stability. The financial rating from AM Best shows an insurer’s ability to pay out claims.
We don’t weigh this factor quite as heavily, as some insurers aren’t available in all parts of the country but still offer excellent service. It is important, however, to note if an insurance company imposes any restrictions on membership.
The kinds of coverage options a company offers are hugely important. Beyond the six standard types of insurance, which all insurance companies should offer, we look at what optional coverages a company may provide. These additional types of coverage may include:
- New car replacement
- Accident forgiveness
- Roadside assistance
- Trip interruption
- Gap insurance
- Rideshare insurance
- Rental car reimbursement
- Telematics insurance
Cost And Discounts
The cost research we use in this article comes from data provided to us from Quadrant Information Services. We also factor in what kinds of discounts and how many a company offers in order to decide on a rating.
Customer service is a very important factor when it comes to choosing the right insurance company. For this rating, we looked at customer ratings and reviews on the BBB and Trustpilot, as well as NAIC complaint ratios. We also took data from our own customer survey, in which we asked nearly 7,000 respondents about their satisfaction with their insurance company and the customer service it provides. Finally, we include scores from three different J.D. Power studies:
- J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study℠
- J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study℠
- J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Study℠
To determine a technology score, we first check to see if a provider offers insurance quotes on its website. Though this is quite common, some companies only sell insurance coverage through agents, which makes it more difficult to compare against other providers. If a company has a mobile app or a usage-based insurance app, we look at customer reviews for each.
What Does Car Insurance Cost?
Below are the 10 cheapest car insurance providers, according to average costs from Quadrant Information Services. These cost averages are based on the profile of a 35-year-old driver with a clean driving record and good credit history. Our rate data also includes the top 100 zip codes from each state by population.
Cheapest Liability Car Insurance Providers
Below is a table showing average rates for the 10 companies that offer the cheapest liability insurance on the market.
|Car Insurance Provider||Average Annual Cost||Average Monthly Cost|
|American Family Insurance||$685||$57|
Cheapest Full-Coverage Car Insurance Providers
The table below shows both annual and monthly average rates for the insurance companies that offer the cheapest full-coverage insurance in the country.
|Car Insurance Provider||Average Annual Cost||Average Monthly Cost|
|American Family Insurance||$1,537||$128|
Best Car Insurance Coverage
The best car insurance coverage may not necessarily be the cheapest. While cost is an important factor to consider, you should also make sure your insurer offers the coverage you need and has an excellent reputation for meeting customer claims obligations. Compare car insurance companies on more than price to find the best option.
Car Insurance Coverage
One of the first things you need to decide when shopping for car insurance is the type and amount of coverage you’ll need. While each state except Virginia and New Hampshire has minimum coverage requirements, most people purchase more than the minimum for adequate financial protection.
Below is a breakdown of the main types of car insurance:
- Liability coverage is a combination of bodily injury liability (BI) and property damage liability (PD). This type of insurance covers you against costs associated with damages to other people and their property. It’s also an insurance requirement in most states.
- Collision insurance covers the cost of damages to your car in the event you get into a collision with another car or an object. Some lenders may require that you carry collision insurance before financing your vehicle.
- Comprehensive coverage protects your car against damages that aren’t from a collision. Examples include theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and civil disturbances. Some lenders may require you to carry comprehensive insurance before financing the car.
- Medical payments insurance (MedPay) covers the costs of medical bills for you and your passengers, regardless of who was at fault in the case of an accident (not available in all states). Some no-fault insurance states require this coverage.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) covers medical treatments similarly to MedPay but also covers other injury-related losses, such as lost wages from days you couldn’t work. Some no-fault insurance states require this coverage.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) covers you when you get into an accident with a motorist who doesn’t have sufficient insurance and can’t cover your expenses. This Uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in some no-fault insurance states.
Car Insurance Add-Ons
While you shop for car insurance, you may also see roadside assistance plans, accident forgiveness insurance, gap insurance, and rental car reimbursement.
|Roadside assistance||This provides assistance if you suffer a breakdown on the road. Usually includes towing, jump-start, lockout services, and flat tire changes.|
|Accident forgiveness||This waives your first at-fault car accident and doesn’t raise your premium.|
|Gap insurance||If you have an auto loan and your car is deemed a total loss, gap coverage can help pay the difference between your car’s value and the loan balance.|
|Rental car reimbursement||This helps pay for a rental car if your vehicle’s in the shop, usually while you’re a certain distance away from home.|
Not every insurer offers these types of coverage, but no reputable insurance company will sell you a policy that doesn’t meet your state’s minimum insurance requirements.
Comprehensive and collision coverage aren’t required but are a good idea for most drivers. These policies are worth the cost if you can’t afford to replace your car in the event of a worst-case scenario. In our January 2022 car insurance survey, about 67 percent of respondents reported buying a full coverage insurance plan. Full coverage includes the state minimum requirements as well as collision and comprehensive coverage.
If your vehicle is not especially valuable, the cost of comprehensive and collision insurance may not be worth it. Generally, you should consider skipping this coverage if the amount you pay for coverage each year exceeds 10 percent of your car’s total value. When you compare car insurance quotes, you can see a price breakdown for each type of coverage.
Car Insurance Quotes
An auto insurance quote is an estimate of what you will pay for a car insurance policy. Car insurance quotes are based on several factors related to the driver, the vehicle, and the location. Pricing differs among providers and is subject to change based on your specific information.
When shopping for car insurance, you’ll want to compare free quotes from several providers to see which offers the best deals for your state, vehicle, and driver profile. You can request a quote in the following ways:
- Contact an insurance agent: This is a good idea if you have questions about the process or want assistance. An independent agent can also make sure you’re getting all the discounts possible. An agent can work for one company or be a broker and connect you with several insurance companies. If you use an insurance broker, you might have to pay a brokerage fee when you buy a policy.
- Use an online quote comparison tool: This option is great for anyone who wants to compare multiple quotes. These quote forms give you insurance rates from providers in your area.
- Go to the provider’s website: If you already have a provider in mind, you can go directly to the provider‘s website and use its quote form.
What Information Will I Need When Getting A Quote?
As mentioned, you will need to provide some personal information to compare car insurance quotes. The more information you provide during the quote process, the closer the estimate will be to your actual car insurance premium.
Here’s what you’ll need to shop for car insurance:
- Information about you: You’ll need to supply your date of birth, address, and driver’s license number. You’ll answer questions about your driving record and your insurance history. You might be asked about your military service, student status, and corporate affiliations for discount purposes.
- Information about other drivers: You’ll have to list family members who live with you, including spouses, partners, and teenagers on your policy. You’ll need to provide their date of birth, driver profile, and insurance history.
- Information about your vehicle(s): You’ll need to provide vehicle information, including your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) and the address where you keep it. For discount purposes, you’ll answer questions about safety and anti-theft features on the vehicle.
Factors That Affect Car Insurance Rates
When shopping for car insurance, it pays to understand average prices as well as how insurance costs are calculated. Car insurance rates vary widely based on many factors related to the driver and vehicle being insured.
Every company uses a different formula to calculate rates, meaning car insurance quotes won’t be the same from insurer to insurer. Different drivers will find the lowest rates with different companies, which is why it’s important to compare car insurance quotes before purchasing a policy.
Let’s take a look at some factors that car insurance providers commonly consider when setting rates.
Teen drivers and young drivers under the age of 25 typically get charged more for auto insurance. Drivers will start to see lower rates after the age of 25. Rates tend to decrease until around age 50.
A better credit score can net you better car insurance quotes in most states. California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey have banned the practice of using credit scores to determine auto insurance rates.
Every state has minimum coverage requirements, but drivers can always purchase more than the state-required coverage limits. Higher policy limits and more add-ons will increase your premiums compared to basic liability insurance.
Collision and comprehensive car insurance policies typically come with a deductible you must pay before the insurer will reimburse claims. The higher this deductible, the lower your monthly premiums will be.
Drivers with clean driving records receive the lowest rates. Speeding violations, at-fault accidents, and DUIs can drastically increase your rates. However, your rate won’t increase the same amount with every provider, so compare car insurance to find the best option.
In some states, men pay more for car insurance than women. In other states, the opposite is true. California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania have banned insurers from setting rates based on gender.
Every state has different insurance regulations and requirements. Premiums are also different from city to city. If you live in a ZIP code with high rates of car accident or theft, expect the auto insurance rates to be higher.
The more you drive, the higher your rates may be. People who don’t drive often are often eligible for low-mileage discounts. You may see a low-mileage discount on a car insurance quote, or you may need to call an agent and submit an odometer statement.
The value, safety ratings, and theft rates for your vehicle may influence your rates. Expensive cars are more costly to replace and therefore will have higher collision and comprehensive premiums. Cars more commonly involved in accidents or that have high theft rates are also more costly to insure.
Use A Price Comparison Tool For The Best Rates
The quickest way to compare car insurance from several insurers is to use a price comparison tool like the one below. A price comparison tool will only provide estimates, but it’s a good way to begin shopping for car insurance.
Car Insurance Rates By State
The table below shows average auto insurance cost data from Quadrant Information Services. It includes average premiums for both minimum liability and full coverage in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Again, these cost averages are based on the profile of a 35-year-old driver with a good credit rating and no accidents or violations on their driving record.
|State||Annual Average |
|Average Monthly |
|Average Annual |
|Average Monthly |
Your rates may vary depending on your driver profile. Use the table above to find average rates you can compare to car insurance rates you may receive. Keep in mind that if you live in a densely populated city with a lot of traffic, your rates are likely to be higher than the state average.
Auto Insurance Discounts
While car insurance can seem expensive, many insurance providers offer extensive insurance discounts, which help lower the cost of your insurance premium.
Discounts vary among companies, but here are a few common discounts we found while researching the top insurance providers:
|Common Car Insurance Discounts|
|Safe driver||Military||Usage-based||Good student|
|Paid in full||Paperless billing||Student away at school||Company loyalty|
|Safety features||Multi-policy||Autopay||New car|
|Anti-lock brakes||Anti-theft device||Multi-car|
The next time you look at your insurance documents, see if you can find your original price before discounts. It might surprise you. If you’re looking for cheap car insurance, it’s always best to leverage discounts.
Keep in mind that the cheapest car insurance is not necessarily your best option. Be sure to pick a provider that has a proven history of paying customer claims.
How To Keep Car Insurance Rates Low
The best ways to keep your insurance rates low are to keep a clean driving record and not file claims. You can also reduce your car insurance rates by regularly shopping around and considering other providers, especially after a change in your location, marital status, or credit score.
While you can’t control everything that affects your rates, the following strategies can help you find the best price when you shop for car insurance.
|Shop around||The more quotes you get, the better you can compare them and see a realistic picture of what you should be paying.|
|Be a good driver||Auto insurance companies like to see that you are a responsible driver and have little to no at-fault claims or tickets. Claims will raise your rates, while a clean driving record will lead to a lower premium.|
|Work on your credit||Many states allow credit scores to influence car insurance rates. A poor credit history can increase your rate, while a good credit score can lower it.|
|Increase your deductible||A higher deductible will lower your insurance premiums but make sure your deductible is something you can afford to pay.|
|Bundle if you can||Depending on your situation, you could save by bundling your auto policy with a renters or homeowners policy.|
|Don't move to the big city||If you’re looking to move somewhere new, consider a suburb or metro area away from downtown. Drivers in middle-class suburbs usually get better rates.|
|Choose the right car||If you’re looking to buy a car, find out which cars are the cheapest to insure. Insurance companies often prefer family-oriented SUVs.|
|Choose the right provider||Some providers offering cheaper premiums may offer poor customer service or have a weak financial reputation.|
|Avoid a lapse in coverage||Prevent a lapse in coverage by always being enrolled in an auto insurance policy and paying your insurance premiums on time.|
|Don't write off the little guys||While there are many large, national providers, countless small, local insurance providers offer great auto insurance coverage at affordable prices.|
|Take a defensive driving course||Many insurers offer a discount if you complete an approved defensive driving class. In some states, insurers are required to provide such a discount. A defensive driving class is an especially good idea if you've recently gotten a speeding ticket or committed another violation.|
How Often Should You Shop For Car Insurance?
You can cancel your insurance at any time, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you’ll want to make sure to avoid a lapse in coverage. This means that if you shop for car insurance, your new policy should overlap with the old policy, even for just a day. Second, your insurer may charge a cancellation fee. If that’s the case, take that time to find a new car insurance policy that better fits your financial and coverage needs.
How Many Quotes Should You Compare?
There’s no limit to the number of quotes you can compare, and we wouldn’t recommend buying a policy without comparing at least three providers. You should shop for car insurance from multiple sources and compare car insurance rates rather than buying the first policy you see.
How To Buy Auto Insurance: Conclusion
When shopping for car insurance, we recommend comparing quotes from several different providers. Once you find quotes that fit your budget, find out what kind of optional coverages you may want to add to your policy. You should also inquire about what discount opportunities each provider offers.
Recommendations for Car Insurance
When you’re ready to shop for car insurance, we recommend getting a quote from each of our top car insurance providers. State Farm and USAA came out on top when we compared over 30 of the best car insurance companies.
State Farm Car Insurance: Best Overall
State Farm has become the biggest insurer in the country. It has over 19,000 agents across the nation, allowing it to handle claims quickly and efficiently. The company offers the six standard types of insurance, but also has plenty of additional coverage options to choose from. The company can insure your classic car, offer coverage to rideshare drivers, and has policies for alternative vehicles like ATVs and motorcycles. It’s important to note that the company no longer offers new policies to customers in Massachusetts or Rhode Island.
Read more: State Farm auto insurance review
USAA Auto Insurance: Best For Military
In our research into the top insurance providers in the industry, USAA consistently emerges as the most affordable provider with the best customer service ratings. The company is known for its below-average rates and a wide variety of discount opportunities. USAA also offers additional coverage options like car replacement assistance, accident forgiveness, and gap coverage. Keep in mind, however, that USAA policies are only available to current members of the military, veterans, and their families.
Read more: USAA auto insurance review
FAQ: Compare Car Insurance
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about how to buy car insurance: