Small Car Insurance Companies

Smaller car insurance companies may offer benefits that larger insurers can’t, including more personalized service and savings on your auto insurance rates.
Written by Amy Bobinger
Edited by Jessica Barrett
You might be more familiar with
larger car insurance providers
, but don’t overlook smaller insurance companies when you’re shopping for a new auto insurance policy. Small car insurance companies like Kemper, Plymouth Rock, Aspire, and Grange can provide personal service and local knowledge—and you’ll sometimes find lower average rates on
car insurance
  • Small car insurance companies may be able to offer policyholders lower rates and more attentive customer service than a larger insurer.
  • At the same time, small auto insurers typically still provide the same coverage options and car insurance discounts as their larger competitors
  • A small insurer may have a limited coverage area or be more selective about their customers.
  • Be sure to compare rates to make sure you’re getting the cheapest auto insurance without sacrificing coverage.

Advantages of small auto insurance companies

Lower car insurance rates

When you’re shopping for a new car insurance policy, it’s worth checking rates from a few smaller companies instead of just sticking with the big-name guys. 
Smaller companies have lower overhead and they can be more selective in the customers they accept, which often translates to more affordable car insurance for you.
Still, larger insurance companies sometimes have more leeway to drop their rates, especially for preferred customers with an excellent driving record and credit score—which is why it’s so important to
compare car insurance rates
before you make a purchase.

Personalized service 

Agents at a smaller insurance company have fewer claims to work through, so they can often devote more time to individual customers. That extra attention could play in your favor when you’re making a claim or purchasing a policy.
When you shop with a local company, your insurance agent will be able to help you tailor your policy to the conditions in your area. For instance, if your neighborhood is prone to flooding, your agent may recommend you upgrade your minimum coverage to add comprehensive coverage to your policy to ensure any weather-related damage is covered.

Similar coverage

For the most part, small and large auto insurance companies will offer similar coverage options to their customers. Of course, you’ll need to check with an individual insurer to see what options they offer, but you’ll typically find coverages and add-ons that include:

Available discounts

Many small insurance companies offer a number of the same discounts as their larger counterparts, including for things like: 
  • Being a good driver
  • Paying your bill in full
  • Being a good student
  • Bundling your renters or homeowners insurance with your auto insurance policy
  • Maintaining a clean driving record
  • Having good credit (in states where this is allowed to be a consideration)

Disadvantages of smaller car insurance companies

Limited area

Many small car insurance companies only operate in certain areas. For instance, Aspire is only available in California and Michigan, and NYCM Insurance only operates in New York state.
Make sure to check whether a specific provider is available before you do any other research into their prices or coverage options—and if you’re planning to move to a new state soon, be aware that you may need to choose a new auto insurance provider if your current insurer doesn’t operate there.
Even if an insurance company only writes policies in certain states, you’ll generally still be covered when you’re driving in another state. Many insurers will even cover you when you’re driving in Canadian provinces—but double-check your policy to be sure.

Selective policies

Small auto insurance providers mitigate some of their risk by being especially picky about their customers. If you’re considered high risk due to your age, driving record, or credit history, you may find it difficult to get even the state minimum liability insurance from a smaller company.

Slower technology adoption

Major insurance providers can afford to hire large tech and engineering teams, meaning they’ll usually be the first to offer the latest technological advancements. Smaller companies might be slower to add technologies like mobile apps, paperless billing, online claims processing, or telematics programs.

Specialty auto insurance companies

Some small car insurance companies specialize in certain kinds of coverage. If you drive a unique or antique car, you’re a teen driver or over 65, for instance, you may find the best rates with one of these companies:
Type of insurance
Coverage notes
Examples of insurance companies
May come with mileage restrictions and car storage requirements
Hagerty, Grundy, American Modern, Safeco
An option for high-risk drivers who have trouble finding coverage, like young drivers or drivers with a DUI, poor credit, multiple at-fault accidents or speeding tickets, etc.
Aspire General, Bristol West, Dairyland, Gainsco, Kemper
Rates may be lower for drivers who are 65–75 but may be higher once you reach 80+
AARP/The Hartford, USAA (for military members or veterans)
It’s important to note that you may be able to find these same coverages with a larger insurer like Progressive, Nationwide, State Farm, Allstate, or GEICO.

Shop around to find the best small auto insurance providers

There are a lot of factors that go into calculating a car insurance premium, which means it can be difficult to predict exactly which company will offer you the lowest rates. 
On top of that, the cheapest car insurance companies aren’t always the best—you should always look closely at the coverage details included in a quote to make sure you’ll be properly protected if you get into an accident.
The easiest way to be sure you’re getting the best car insurance coverage for the lowest premiums is to compare quotes from several different insurance providers, including both large and small companies.
Luckily, there are online insurance comparison tools that can help make the shopping process easy—like the
app. Jerry works with over 55 insurers, including small auto insurance companies like NYCM, Aspire, Mapfre, Kemper, and Grange. That means when you compare auto insurance quotes with our app, you can be sure you’re getting the best cheap car insurance available to you.
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