If you’re looking for car insurance quotes online
, cost is most likely your top concern. With different companies offering different coverages and discounts, it can be tricky to find the cheapest car insurance
Fortunately, it’s easy to get cheap car insurance if you know what to look for. This article tells you how you can find affordable auto coverage that will keep you protected.
If you want to look up cheap quotes, the Jerry
app is a good place to start. As a licensed broker, it does all the hard work of finding and buying car insurance, and it will even cancel your old policy for you if you decide to switch providers.
Jerry will also send you new quotes every time your policy comes up for renewal, so you’re always getting the coverage you want at the best price. This level of service has earned Jerry a 4.6/5 rating on the App Store and made it the top insurance app in the country.
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. Here are the average car insurance rates by state, which you can use as a baseline for your own premium:
- 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
No matter which state you live in, a great way to land cheaper car insurance is to gather quotes and do some comparison shopping. You should try to collect quotes from at least three providers.
If you’d rather leave the hard work of gathering quotes to someone else, sign up for Jerry
. This free app can collect quotes from up to 45 top insurance companies in seconds!
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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 depending on key criteria like your risk level and personal profile.
The best car insurance quote
tip is to focus on comparing quotes online and picking the most cost-effective policy.
Below are some of the most popular car insurance companies and the current annual average car insurance cost for full coverage car insurance (from lowest price to highest price).
Here are some of the pros and cons of the country’s highest-profile insurance companies.
Serving 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-ranked insurance company, according to J.D. Power
Erie is known 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.
Designed primarily for current and former military members and their families, USAA Insurance
receives the highest ranking for cheap car insurance, according to J.D. Power.
The biggest downside to USAA is its lack of availability to drivers outside of its military-related membership.
Ranked number two overall by J.D. Power, Amica has some of the best customer satisfaction scores in the country. It boasts a 1.3 on the NAIC complaint index and a score of 907 on the J.D. Power
U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.
Offering insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, GEICO Insurance
may be most widely known for its memorable commercials.
Ranked in the top five for overall customer satisfaction, GEICO offers a variety of discounts to accommodate customers’ particular circumstances.
Another insurance company with great commercials, Progressive Insurance
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
gets top marks from J.D. Power. The company also has an A.M. Best rating of A++, which is a testament to the financial strength of the company.
Ranked above average by J.D. Power, Nationwide is available in 46 states and the District of Columbia.
One of Nationwide Insurance’s best discounts is the 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 premium accordingly.
The first insurance company to offer comprehensive coverage in the U.S., Farmers sells cheap full coverage car insurance across the country.
Farmers currently offers more discounts than any other car insurance company, including those for sharing a family car, having daytime running lights, and for using alternative fuels.
Available all across the U.S., Allstate Insurance
offers coverage options that go beyond basic car insurance, including reimbursement for rental vehicles
and coverage for sound systems
and rideshare vehicles
The company is also ranked above average by J.D. Power.
The Hartford Insurance
Offered via the AARP in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, The Hartford is ranked number four on the J.D. Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.
While having the highest average insurance premium on this list of cheap car insurance providers, The Hartford does offer a disappearing deductible for safe drivers.
How to lower your car insurance costs
In addition to shopping around, you may be able to get cheap car insurance
by taking the following steps:
Raising your deductible
The deductible you pay when you have an accident and file a claim can affect your premium. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium, and vice versa.
If you’re not prone to accidents, then raising your deductible is a great way to lower what you pay for insurance.
On average, drivers who raise their car insurance deductible from $500 to $1,000 save eight percent to 10%
. This amount can vary depending on where you live—Massachusetts offers the biggest savings at 19%, while Michigan only offers savings of four percent.
The biggest considerations when deciding whether to change your car insurance deductible are:
- The value of your car
- How much you make in a year
- 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.
Opting for liability insurance only
If your vehicle is paid for, you can opt to get liability insurance
only. While it won’t cover your losses in a car accident, it’ll pay for the other driver’s expenses if you’re at fault in an accident.
Here’s 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
Getting car insurance discounts
Many car insurance companies offer a variety of discounts that can help offset your premium. 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 the military and professional organizations)
- Multi-vehicle policy discount
- Bundling discount (including home, car, or renters insurance)
- Auto-pay discount
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? Your insurer should be reliable and offer good customer service.
Here are some of the factors you should take into account when you’re deciding whether a company is worth buying insurance from.
Cost: Chances are the cost of your coverage will be the biggest contributing factor when you’re choosing insurance for your car. Most people are even willing to forego a little bit of convenience to save money.
Customer service: For the most part, you should look for companies that have at least a decent rating when it comes to customer support. Your state’s Department of Insurance website is a great resource for this.
Response time/reliability: After you get into a collision, you want a good response time from your insurer. 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
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 quick car insurance
quotes now and then.
Here are some life events that should trigger a search for new auto insurance.
When you move: You have to notify your insurance company of a change of address, which could result in a change in the premium you pay. If your new premium is higher than you’d like, you can reduce it by shopping around.
When your driving record improves: You should look for cheaper coverage if your driving record has improved recently. This is especially applicable after the three- and five-year anniversaries of any incidents, like a DUI or moving violation.
When you pay off/get a new car: Make sure to consult 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. In general, single people tend to pay more for car insurance than people who are married.
Cheap car insurance by driving record
One of the biggest factors that influences car insurance rates is your driving record. Here’s how accidents, DUIs, and tickets can affect your chances of getting cheap car insurance
Following a car accident in which you’re at fault, you can expect your car insurance premium to go up. The scale of the rate increase will vary depending on the state in which you live, your car’s make and model, and your driving history.
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.
Getting a DUI while driving or in conjunction with 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
along 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 high-risk driver.
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 premium goes up and by how much.
An increase typically results from a moving violation, such as speeding, texting while driving, or running a red light. Parking tickets shouldn’t raise your premium 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. Instead, it uses its own credit-based auto insurance score, which helps them to decide whether you’re an acceptable risk.
Your credit-based auto insurance score 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 free car insurance quotes
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 that affects your car insurance rates. Other factors 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: Your car’s make, model, year, and trim level affect what you pay for car insurance. 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 likely 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 typically pay more than mature drivers. Lower rates for mature drivers stay in place until the age of 65, when they start to go up again.
Marital status: On average, a married driver pays four percent less on their car 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.