If you have an Internet connection and a few minutes to spare, you have almost everything you need to get cheap car insurance quotes. This means there’s no excuse for overpaying for coverage.
Where do you begin? This article outlines everything you need to know about finding the best car insurance quotes online in 2021.
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Car insurance quotes: state-by-state review
Where you live is one of the biggest determining factors you have to keep in mind when you’re shopping for cheap car insurance.
Here you can see the average annual costs of auto insurance by state. But remember that the actual price of an insurance policy is specific to the person purchasing the coverage. Your premium may be significantly higher or lower based on many factors.
- Alabama: $1,501
- Alaska: $1,521
- Arizona: $1,536
- Arkansas: $1,883
- California: $1,911
- Colorado: $2,012
- Connecticut: $1,791
- Delaware: $1,733
- Florida: $2,321
- Georgia: $1,820
- Hawaii: $1,049
- Idaho: $998
- Illinois: $1,397
- Indiana: $1,179
- Iowa: $1,151
- Kansas: $1,600
- Kentucky: $2,363
- Louisiana: $2,762
- Maine: $963
- Maryland: $1,872
- Massachusetts: $1,100
- Michigan: $2,387
- Minnesota: $1,418
- Mississippi: $1,636
- Missouri: $1,526
- Montana: $1,726
- Nebraska: $1,376
- Nevada: $2,161
- New Hampshire: $1,169
- New Jersey: $1,860
- New Mexico: $1,418
- New York: $2,131
- North Carolina: $1,212
- North Dakota: $1,195
- Ohio: $989
- Oklahoma: $1,748
- Oregon: $1,358
- Pennsylvania: $1,406
- Rhode Island: $2,043
- South Carolina: $1,652
- South Dakota: $1,455
- Tennessee: $1,298
- Texas: $1,610
- Utah: $1,390
- Vermont: $1,123
- Virginia: $1,248
- Washington: $1,234
- Washington, DC: $1,880
- West Virginia: $1,605
- Wisconsin: $1,160
- Wyoming: $1,369 per year
In the 12 states that have no-fault car insurance, claims are submitted at a higher rate since no one is deemed to be at fault in accidents. This results in car insurance prices that are far higher than the national average.
Here are the states with no-fault insurance:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Dakota
Unless you’re in Virginia or New Hampshire, car insurance is mandatory for drivers. Nationwide, there are insurers that will cover almost every driver, regardless of their state or situation.
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Top car insurance providers
While there’s no shortage of car insurance companies, the top 10 insurers account for roughly 70% of all vehicle insurance policies.
Here are the titans of the industry and some of the pros and cons of purchasing a cheap car insurance policy with them:
State Farm: This company has a 16% market share in the United States with $41.1 billion in premiums written. State Farm is a popular insurer because of their local agents, who provide personalized service, and their below-average rates for car insurance.
GEICO: This insurer has a 13% market share and writes $35.2 billion in premiums annually. GEICO offers competitively low rates. They also have the cute gecko mascot (aka, the darling of car insurance commercials) on their side.
Progressive: This company has a 12% market share and $32.3 billion in premiums written. Progressive tends to offer competitive car insurance quotes for higher-risk drivers with an accident on their record. But they aren’t well-known for carrying a wide range of coverage options.
Allstate: This insurer captures around nine percent of the car insurance business annually, with $23.8 billion in premiums written. Although their base car insurance rates run on the high side, a plethora of discounts and excellent claims ratings make them a competitive option.
USAA: This insurer underwrites six percent of the market—specifically for military personnel, veterans, and their families—to the tune of $15.2 billion. Founded by Army officers, it’s often the most affordable insurance for current and past members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Liberty Mutual: This company writes $12.1 billion in premiums, accounting for five percent of the market. Although they are more costly than some insurers, Liberty Mutual remains competitively priced in many markets.
Farmers: This provider has $10.7 billion in premiums written for a four percent market share. If you’re looking for an insurer known for outstanding customer service, Farmers should be at the top of your list. That being said, their prices tend to be on the higher end.
Nationwide: This company has a three percent market share with $6.6 billion in premiums written. Their bundling discounts can offer excellent value, but their prices for standalone car insurance are often higher than average.
American Family: This insurer accounts for two percent of the market with $5.8 billion in premiums written. Although American Family is limited to residents in just 17 states, they have an excellent reputation for service and pricing.
Travelers: This company also has a two percent market share with $5.5 billion in premiums written. They’re known for their outstanding customer service and competitive car insurance discounts.
Insurers with competitive discounts
Base rates aren’t the sole determining factor of a competitive insurance provider. In other words, when you’re shopping for cheap car insurance you can’t forget the discounts!
Which car insurance companies offer the best discounts? It depends.
Insurance rates are based on many factors, including your driver profile, vehicle, and financial situation.
Here are some of the great discounts you may be offered when you shop around for car insurance.
Good payer discount: You might qualify for this car insurance discount if you don’t receive a cancellation notice from your insurer over the course of 12 months. Allstate, Farmers, and Travelers offer versions of this discount.
Good student discount: You can qualify for this car insurance discount if you are an unmarried student driver under age 25 years who maintains good grades (as defined by the insurance policy). Allstate, Progressive, GEICO, State Farm, Farmers, USAA, Liberty Mutual, American Family, and Travelers offer versions of this discount.
Pay in full discount: You will qualify for this car insurance discount if you pay your premium in full upfront. Allstate, Progressive, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, American Family, and Travelers offer versions of this discount.
Early shopper discount: You can qualify for this car insurance discount when you sign an insurance policy in advance of the effective date (commonly seven days or more). Allstate, Liberty Mutual, American Family, and Travelers offer versions of this discount.
New car discount: You can qualify for this car insurance discount if your car is either the current model year or the prior year’s model. Allstate, Progressive, GEICO, USAA, and Travelers offer versions of this discount.
Online car insurance quote discount: You can qualify for this car insurance discount if you obtain a quote online before purchasing an insurance plan. Progressive, Liberty Mutual, and American Family offer versions of this discount.
Online signature discount: You can qualify for this car insurance discount when you complete the required paperwork online rather than in person. Progressive, Farmers, and Liberty Mutual offer versions of this discount.
Safe driving discount: You can qualify for this car insurance discount when you maintain a collision-free and driving conviction-free record. Allstate, Progressive, GEICO, State Farm, Nationwide, Farmers, USAA, Liberty Mutual, American Family, and Travelers offer versions of this discount.
Multiple policy discount (aka, bunding): You can qualify for this car insurance discount if you have more than one vehicle on your auto insurance policy. Allstate, Progressive, GEICO, State Farm, Nationwide, Farmers, USAA, Liberty Mutual, American Family, and Travelers offer versions of this discount.
Teen driver discount: You can qualify for this car insurance discount when you add a teen driver to your policy. Allstate and Progressive offer versions of this discount.
Automatic payment discount: You can qualify for this car insurance discount when you set up automatic billing. Allstate, Progressive, Nationwide, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, American Family, and Travelers offer versions of this discount.
Car insurance: online quotes by smaller providers
Although picking a car insurance provider that has a significant market share can provide stability, that doesn’t mean other insurers aren’t worthwhile options.
Many smaller providers are just as competitive as the big ones, and they could offer the same coverage for a better price. If you’re looking for free car insurance quotes, consider looking up these small insurers.
CSE Insurance Group: This company has a one percent market share and operates in just nine states. You can expect affordable prices on common types of insurance policies with CSE, along with a healthy range of discounts and a good experience should you need to file a claim.
Mapfre: This insurer has less than one percent market share. Mapfre provides car insurance quotes online in 14 states. They offer customer-approved add-on options like accident forgiveness and disappearing deductibles.
AIG: If you own a luxury car or an expensive customized or classic vehicle, AIG could be a great option. Known for taking on high-cost policies, AIG remains a small niche player in the auto insurance market.
Kemper Preferred: This insurer accounts for 1.33% of the auto insurance market. Kemper Preferred is a relatively well-known name. They’ve become a go-to option for high-risk drivers who can’t obtain cheap car insurance elsewhere.
Amica Mutual: Accounting for 0.5% of the market, Amica is a small provider with excellent customer service ratings. They’re a great option for low-risk drivers, but they could be limiting for those with a marked driving history.
Factors that impact insurance rates
In the U.S., the average driver pays anywhere from $124 to $240 a month for car insurance.
What goes into calculating that number?
The coverage you choose
Cheapest does not always equal best.
And, when it comes to car insurance, cheaper could actually equal more expensive if there are big gaps in your policy.
To know whether or not a car insurance rate is worthwhile, you have to know your coverage needs and the coverage the plan provides.
Here are the types of insurance coverage an insurance company could factor into your quote:
Bodily injury liability: This provides coverage up to your policy’s limit for other people’s medical treatments and other costs related to injuries if you are the responsible party in an accident. Mandatory coverage limits are minimal; however, higher limits help protect you should you be sued by the complainant.
Property damage liability: This provides coverage up to your policy’s limit if an accident you’ve caused results in property damage.
Collision insurance: This provides coverage up to your policy’s limit for repairs and/or replacement if your vehicle is damaged in a collision.
Comprehensive coverage: This provides coverage up to your policy’s limit for repairs and/or replacement if your vehicle is damaged by unexpected and unavoidable circumstances, such as falling objects, theft, vandalism, civil disobedience, or a natural disaster.
Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage: This provides coverage up to your policy’s limit if your car is damaged in an accident where the at-fault driver has inadequate or no insurance. UIM will protect you against financial losses due to vehicle damage and medical costs.
Guaranteed asset protection (gap) insurance: This provides coverage up to your policy’s limit if you’re in an accident where your car is a total loss and your car loan amount is greater than your car’s worth. Gap insurance will pay the difference so you don’t have to keep making payments on a car you can’t drive.
Other factors that impact insurance rates
While shopping for cheap car insurance, once you choose your coverage, the formula that determines the cost of your policy has only just begun.
Beyond your coverage choices, the factors that contribute to your insurance rates include:
Your driving record: If you have a driving record that is less than squeaky clean (don’t worry about a few speeding tickets here and there), you will definitely see that reflected in the high cost of your policy.
Your age: Drivers under the age of 25 pay some of the highest insurance rates. Shopping around for an insurer that factors the driver’s age at a lower rate can help save on premiums.
Your gender: Men tend to drive more in a year than women do and are more prone to reckless behavior, especially younger men.
Location: Rural drivers tend to pay less than urban drivers. Insurance rates also greatly vary by state.
Credit score: Your insurance company weighs your credit history when deciding how likely it is that you will maintain consistent payments. Someone with a lower credit score will often pay higher rates based on that risk.
Coverage limits: How much coverage you choose impacts the cost of your car insurance.
Vehicle type: As vehicles age, their make and model can contribute to the risk of an accident or loss. Typically, the more expensive the vehicle, the higher the risk and associated insurance rate.
Car insurance quotes online: 2021 guide
Plans, discounts, and providers—oh my!
With so many things to take into consideration when choosing a car insurance plan, it’s hard to know where to start.
Whether you inquire directly with a captive car insurance agent, an independent agent, or an insurance broker, you can skip the phone calls and get the details online instead.
Here are a few ideas on how to get free car insurance quotes online. (Psssst … the best one is last.)
Go directly to the insurance provider’s website
Most insurers have an online form readily available on their site where you can enter your details, driving history, and financial situation. Once filled out, the websites will generate a quote based on your details.
The benefit is, obviously, a fast and hassle-free quote in just a few minutes. However, you’ll be missing out on the market comparisons so it will be impossible to know whether the company is offering you a good deal without doing independent research.
Contact a captive car insurance agent
If you know which insurer you want to go with, you can visit the website of a captive insurance agent in your region. A captive agent works exclusively for a single insurance company.
In other words, shopping for a car insurance quote this way also won’t provide you with comparable policies from multiple providers to help you choose the cheapest option.
Compare quotes with an independent agent
With an independent car insurance agent, you’ll fill out your request for a quote on their website and they’ll shop for a quote on your behalf. This is especially helpful if you have unique needs like a high-value car.
An independent agent’s earnings are based on the policies they sell. It’s possible they’ll direct you to an insurer that pays them a higher commission, and not the ones that save you the most money.
Shop with Jerry
Jerry.ai is a free app that provides you with the most competitive insurance policies from the top competitors in under a minute.
By using Jerry, you bypass countless online forms, back-and-forths with agents, and time-consuming comparison shopping.
Jerry collects and analyzes the information from your existing plan and offers you competitive policies that cut costs—without cutting coverage.
If you decide to switch, Jerry does all the paperwork for you. Just give them the green light and your policy will be switched with no legwork required on your part.
If you value car insurance shopping with a personal touch, Jerry’s agents are always standing by to answer your questions and meet all your coverage needs.
And, it bears repeating, Jerry is 100% free!