If you are looking to get free, personalized car insurance quotes from top providers, we are here to help. We reached out to some of the best car insurance providers and compared the car insurance quote process.
Whenever you shop for car insurance, it's best to get quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and rates. In addition to the insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history can affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.
In this article:
- What Is A Car Insurance Quote?
- Are All Car Insurance Quotes Free?
- How Do You Get Car Insurance Quotes?
- Compare Car Insurance Quotes
- Top Car Insurance Providers
- How Often Should You Get Car Insurance Quotes?
- FAQ: Auto Insurance Quotes
What Is A Car Insurance Quote?
A car insurance quote is simply the estimate of what you will pay for a car insurance policy with a potential carrier. Car insurance quotes are based on several factors related to the motorist, vehicle, and location. Quotes differ between providers and are subject to change based on what information you choose to share. The more information you provide during the quote process, the closer the estimate will be to your actual car insurance premium.
Types Of Auto Insurance Coverage
During the quote process, you will be asked what kind of insurance you need. While each state has minimum coverage requirements, most drivers purchase more than the minimum coverage to make sure that they are financially protected in the case of an accident. Here are the most common insurance options:
- Liability coverage is the most common requirement when it comes to car insurance. It is a combination of bodily injury liability (BI) and property damage liability (PD), which protect you against costs associated with damages to other people and their property.
- Collision coverage protects you from having to cover the cost of damages to your car in the case that you get into a collision with another car or an object.
- Comprehensive coverage protects your car against other types of damages that are not due to a collision, such as theft, vandalism, natural disasters, civil disturbances, and more.
- Medical payments (MedPay) covers the costs of vehicle-related medical bills for both yourself and your passengers, regardless of who was at fault in a car accident (though this coverage is not available in all states).
- Personal injury protection (PIP) covers medical treatment like MedPay, but it also covers other injury-related losses, such as lost wages from days you were unable to work (this coverage is not available in all states).
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) protects you when you get into an accident with a driver who doesn’t have sufficient insurance and cannot cover your expenses.
What Factors Affect A Car Insurance Quote?
As mentioned, insurance providers consider several factors when providing you with a car insurance quote. While each insurer has its own set of criteria, the Insurance Information Institute claims that these are the top factors that affect the rates of your car insurance quotes.
|Age||Teen drivers often pay substantially more because they lack driving experience. On the other hand, seniors can also see an increase in premium costs as they age.|
|Credit Score||A high credit score indicates that you are responsible and less likely to file a claim. If you have poor credit, you are deemed a risk.|
|Coverage Needed||If you have liability insurance only, you will pay far less than if you have comprehensive and collision, but you will be responsible for more out of pocket.|
|Deductible Size||You can choose a low deductible to minimize out-of-pocket expenses, but this raises the cost of the auto insurance policy.|
|Driving Record||If you have no accidents and a clean driving record, you can expect lower premiums. Insurance companies assess the risk based on what has occurred in the past. Safe drivers normally receive a discount and access to perks, such as accident forgiveness. On the other hand, you'll pay higher prices if you have a speeding ticket or DUI on your record.|
|Gender||Statistically speaking, women receive lower-cost insurance premiums because they tend to participate in less risky behavior.|
|Location||Car insurance quotes are based in part on where you live. Urban residents pay more than those who live in rural settings. In addition, parking in a garage can sometimes help to lower your rate.|
|Miles Driven||If you commute long distances every day, you pose a greater risk than someone who only drives occasionally.|
|Vehicle||Providers have a list of the most expensive cars to insure and the cheapest. If the vehicle costs a lot and the parts are expensive, you can bet the insurance cost will be high as well.|
Are All Car Insurance Quotes Free?
You should never have to pay for a car insurance quote. If you do, you should look elsewhere. Insurance providers are looking to get your business, which is why you can receive free car insurance quotes. Most companies allow you to research free auto insurance quotes online or by calling customer service.
How Do You Get Car Insurance Quotes?
When looking to get quotes, you can use online tools, such as the one featured above, to get quotes from various providers in your area. You can also go directly to a provider's website to get an online quote. You may also choose to reach out to an insurance agent to get car insurance quotes.
When reaching out for car insurance quotes, we recommend the following steps.
- Research your state's car insurance requirements: Mandatory car insurance coverage varies from state to state, so it’s helpful to know what you need. While you are required to get your state's minimum coverage, it's a good idea to consider purchasing additional coverage.
- Get a copy of your existing car insurance policy: If you currently have an active car insurance policy, you can get a quote based on the same coverage limits to determine which provider is offering the best deal.
- Have your driver’s license handy: You will need the ID cards of anyone else that will be on the policy as well.
- Gather your vehicle information: The insurer will need to know the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN). All of this should be listed on your current policy paperwork.
- Choose coverage levels: Once you’ve shared all of your personal information, you will want to choose the level of coverage. Consider the various coverage options for bodily injury, property damage, comprehensive, and collision. You must fully understand the policies and know what the coverage levels mean. If you are underinsured, you could be liable in the event of an accident.
- Choose additional perks: Some companies will provide benefits for a cost. You can add coverage such as rental cars, roadside assistance, and gap coverage.
- Ask for available discounts: Many companies have a list of insurance discounts for things such as safe driving, good grades, and bundling policies. If these discounts aren’t automatically offered, be sure to ask. You can also get multi-policy discounts for bundling auto with another type of insurance.
Compare Car Insurance Quotes
We recommend getting multiple car insurance quotes and comparing the coverage. This helps you decide which company is providing the best plan. You want to look at the prices and coverage levels, but there is so much more to think about. As we did in our top insurance provider evaluation, it helps to compare providers based on several criteria, such as:
- Price: Even if you get one higher-priced quote, don’t automatically assume that every quote will be that way. Rates vary greatly from one company to the next.
- Discounts: Because there are often discounts available, the initial price isn’t all you want to look at. If you drive safely, have a good credit score, or maintain a good grade in school, you might get even larger discounts.
- Financial Stability: You want to work with a company that can pay insurance claims. Look for ratings through AM Best to ensure a stable financial reputation.
- Customer Service: When the time comes to file a claim, you don’t want the runaround. You want to work with a company that excels at customer support. To determine a provider’s standing, use tools such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), J.D. Power, and online reviews.
Do Some Providers Offer Better Car Insurance Quote Processes?
If you are planning to do comparison shopping, you don’t want to deal with clunky websites and hard-to-navigate screens. That’s why it’s valuable to look at the quote process itself to see which providers excel in this department.
Personally, we are fond of the Progressive Name Your Price Tool, which allows you to customize your plan to suit your budget. In addition, the auto insurance company is happy to share quotes from other top providers to help you determine which provides the most affordable car insurance quotes. This tool is handy if you are running short on time and can’t shop for car insurance.
Aside from that, the J.D. Power 2021 Insurance Shopping StudySM ranks providers for their shopping experience. The study polled over 12,000 insurance shoppers to measure satisfaction. This score was determined by factors including price, policy offerings, and distribution channels.
The top large insurance companies on the survey were Liberty Mutual and State Farm. Among mid-size providers, American Family, Amica, and Erie placed at the top.
It’s important to note that USAA would have ranked above the other national providers, but it was excluded from the ranking because it isn't available to everybody.
Top Car Insurance Providers
Among those companies, we have our own personal preferences when it comes to receiving free car insurance quotes. Here are the auto insurance providers we recommend.
|Insurance Company||Our Rating||Monthly Cost Estimate|
|1. USAA Car Insurance||4.8||$84|
|2. Geico Auto Insurance||4.6||$113|
|3. State Farm Auto Insurance||4.6||$112|
|4. Progressive Car Insurance||4.6||$116|
|5. Travelers Car Insurance||4.5||$135|
Car Insurance Quotes From USAA
If you are a military member, veteran, or family member, you can receive cheap auto insurance rates from USAA. According to our cost estimates, USAA full coverage insurance costs about $84 per month on average. This is very cheap compared to the national rate of $144 per month.
USAA not only excels at providing affordable plans, but is also known for superior customer service. Whether you are getting a quote or filing a claim, you will find that the company's customer satisfaction scores are high. The 2021 Auto Insurance Study done by J.D. Power indicates that this provider is a leader in the industry.
On top of that, the company provides a free USAA mobile app that you can use to manage your account and track insurance claims.
Additionally, you can opt for the following perks with USAA:
- Accident forgiveness insurance
- Rental car reimbursement
- Car replacement assistance (CRA)
- Gap coverage
- Roadside assistance
Unfortunately, USAA plans aren’t available to everyone, so you might not qualify for coverage.
For more information, check out our full USAA insurance review.
Car Insurance Quotes From Geico
Geico is one of the most popular names in the insurance world, but the company provides more than just a familiar brand. Auto insurance quotes tend to be low, even if you have a not-so-perfect driving record or poor credit.
Our estimates show Geico costs around $113 per month for full coverage insurance, which is lower than the national average of $144 per month. Geico also has an A+ rating from the BBB and high marks on multiple J.D. Power studies.
It’s worth taking the time to get a quote and see what rates you qualify for. With all of the available discounts, you will likely save on your policy.
In addition, you can choose some of these perks with your coverage.
- Ridesharing insurance
- Mechanical breakdown coverage
- Roadside assistance
- Rental car reimbursement
For more information, check out our full Geico insurance review.
Car Insurance Quotes From Progressive
If you want to try out the price comparison tool from Progressive yourself, you likely won’t be disappointed. It’s simple to use and can save you time. Progressive is also known for having lower rates if you have a tarnished record than some other companies.
We also found Progressive offers cheap rates on average. Full coverage cost estimates are around $116 per month with Progressive.
In addition, the auto insurance company provides some optional benefits, including:
- Roadside assistance
- Rental car reimbursement
- Loan/lease payoff
For more information, check out our full Progressive insurance review.
How Often Should You Get Car Insurance Quotes?
By now, you understand that getting car insurance quotes is essential to finding the best price. With that said, how often should you get quotes to see what the new rates are? We hate to recommend leaving a provider you are happy with, but it never hurts to shop around for auto insurance. With that said, don’t leave a company based solely on price, because good service is worth its weight in gold.
Still, we recommend shopping at every renewal. That doesn’t mean you need to jump at every lower rate, but it helps you determine where you stand and lets you know what’s available.
Many people find that their car insurance rates jump a little every time policies automatically renew. If you remain stagnant and never shop around, you might find out that you are paying far too much.
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of insurance available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews sample quotes for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.
Read our other insurance articles:
- How To Estimate Car Insurance
- New Jersey Car Insurance Quotes
- Texas Car Insurance Quotes
- New York Car Insurance Quotes
- Michigan Car Insurance Quotes
- Ohio Car Insurance Quotes
- North Carolina Car Insurance Quotes
- Car Insurance Quotes: Utah
- Tennessee Car Insurance Quotes
- California Car Insurance Quotes