Best Way To Compare Car Insurance Rates

Best Way To Compare Car Insurance Rates

Best Way To Compare Car Insurance Rates

Comparing quotes is the best way to find cheap car insurance from top providers

What you pay for car insurance depends on things like your age and location, and prices can vary drastically between providers. That’s why it’s important to compare car insurance rates from multiple companies each time you shop.

We at the Home Media reviews team will explain how to find multiple car insurance quotes at once, why it’s a good idea to shop around and how insurance rates can change based on personal factors. We’ve also reviewed the best car insurance companies to help drivers with different backgrounds find the best coverage.











Compare car insurance estimates by provider

Our team has compared rates from over 50 companies across the country. According to our estimates, USAA, State Farm, Geico and Progressive are the cheapest national providers on average. Erie and Auto-Owners are both generally affordable regional providers, as well.

Below, you can see how 11 popular providers compare. These monthly and annual rate estimates apply to 35-year-old drivers with good credit and good driving records, and they are for full coverage insurance (liability coverage plus collision coverage and comprehensive coverage).

Car Insurance Provider Average Monthly Cost Estimate Average Annual Cost Estimate
USAA $84 $1,013
Erie Insurance $93 $1,113
Auto-Owners $102 $1,229
State Farm $112 $1,339
Geico $113 $1,352
Progressive $116 $1,397
Nationwide $128 $1,533
Travelers $135 $1,617
Farmers $169 $2,032
The Hartford $181 $2,166
Allstate $203 $2,430

Why compare car insurance quotes?

The only way to make sure you get the best rate is to compare car insurance quotes from a few companies. We recommend comparing at least three quotes any time you shop. As you’ll see in a moment, car insurance premiums depend on a wide variety of factors that are unique to each driver. Based on your driver profile, what you pay for your policy is different from what your friends, family and neighbors pay for theirs.

Car insurance prices can also vary drastically between providers. By comparing multiple quotes, you’ll be able to see which insurer offers you the cheapest auto insurance. If you just get one quote, there’s no way to know if it’s a good deal.

Each company has a process for evaluating driver profiles and assigning rates. A speeding ticket may raise your annual premium cost by $500 with one provider and $1,000 with another, for example. On the other hand, one company may give you a good discount for owning a home, while another might not.

How often should you shop for car insurance?

You can shop for car insurance quotes at any time. We recommend getting multiple quotes each time your auto policy is up for renewal or if you experience a significant life event, such as moving to a new location or getting married.

Our January 2022 car insurance survey that polled 1,000 respondents found that 28% of drivers wait longer than a year before shopping for a new car insurance policy. Over 26% stated they got quotes every six months, while 25% reported they only looked for car insurance once a year.

Factors that affect car insurance rates

One of the factors that affects your car insurance price is the amount of coverage you want. The state minimum required coverage can be much cheaper than full coverage insurance. The deductible you select also affects what you pay for your car insurance policy. You’ll have a lower bill with a higher deductible, and vice versa.

Factors that affect car insurance rates

Here are some of the other main factors that affect car insurance quotes:

  • Driving history: Drivers who have violations and at-fault accidents on their driving records pay more. On the other hand, those with clean driving records can qualify for safe driving discounts from many companies.
  • Location: Cities and densely populated areas have higher rates of accidents and theft, so people living in these locations generally pay more for car insurance. Rates can also vary significantly by zip code.
  • Age: Teens and drivers under the age of 25 typically pay more for car insurance.
  • Credit score: Most states allow insurers to use credit scores as a determining factor when setting car insurance premiums. A poor credit record will typically increase rates.
  • Vehicle: Sports cars, luxury vehicles and cars with high rates of theft are more expensive to insure.
  • Homeownership: Renters may pay more for car insurance than homeowners.
  • Marital status: Married drivers usually pay less for insurance.
  • Gender: Your gender can affect how much you pay for auto insurance coverage.

Cheapest car insurance estimates for drivers with poor credit

According to our rate estimates, USAA tends to be the cheapest full coverage provider for drivers with poor credit. USAA is followed by Geico, Nationwide and Progressive.

Car Insurance Company Monthly Cost Estimate Annual Cost Estimate
USAA $151 $1,807
Geico $173 $2,077
Nationwide $186 $2,227
Progressive $210 $2,514
State Farm $301 $3,616
Allstate $314 $3,765

Cheapest car insurance estimates for 24-year-old drivers

Drivers in their early twenties can typically find affordable rates from USAA, Geico and State Farm.

Car Insurance Company Monthly Cost Estimate Annual Cost Estimate
USAA $119 $1,422
Geico $136 $1,627
State Farm $147 $1,765
Progressive $169 $2,029
Nationwide $191 $2,293
Allstate $247 $2,959

Cheapest car insurance estimates for drivers with a recent car accident

If you have a car accident on your record, USAA and State Farm both tend to offer affordable rates. Our estimates show drivers with an accident pay about $1,428 annually for USAA and $1,671 for State Farm.

Car Insurance Company Monthly Cost Estimate Annual Cost Estimate
USAA $119 $1,428
State Farm $139 $1,671
Geico $202 $2,427
Progressive $206 $2,471
Nationwide $212 $2,545
Allstate $317 $3,798

Cheapest car insurance estimates for drivers with a recent DUI

According to our rate estimates, drivers with a recent DUI are likely to find affordable rates from State Farm, Erie and Progressive.

Car Insurance Company Monthly Cost Estimate Annual Cost Estimate
State Farm $167 $1,998
Erie Insurance $170 $2,034
Progressive $176 $2,106
USAA $184 $2,209
American Family $203 $2,433
Travelers $221 $2,649

Cheapest car insurance estimates for drivers with a recent speeding ticket

Drivers with a recent speeding ticket may find affordable rates through USAA, State Farm and Geico. Our annual rate estimates show drivers pay $1,220 per year on average for USAA coverage.

Car Insurance Company Monthly Cost Estimate Annual Cost Estimate
USAA $102 $1,220
State Farm $130 $1,554
Geico $152 $1,828
Progressive $156 $1,871
American Family $157 $1,881
Nationwide $165 $1,974

Compare auto insurance discounts

Another important thing that can impact your rates is what discounts a company offers. Most companies offer about 10 to 15 discounts. Here are a few common money-saving opportunities you’ll find when you compare car insurance from a variety of providers:

  • Multi-policy discount
  • Multi-vehicle discount
  • Homeowner discount
  • Good driver discount
  • Good student discount
  • Driver’s education discount
  • Distant student discount
  • Auto-pay discount
  • Paperless billing discount
  • Military discount
  • Vehicle safety discount
  • New car discount
  • Teen driver discount
  • Low annual mileage discount
  • Accident-free discount
  • Defensive driving course discount

While discounts overlap between providers, the value of the discounts varies. For example, State Farm offers a student discount of up to 25%, which is the largest student discount of any leading provider. Geico offers a great multi-vehicle discount of 25%, and USAA offers a discount of up to 60% for military personnel who store their vehicles during deployment.

When you compare car insurance rates, be sure to double-check that you’ve provided complete information to take advantage of any discounts available. Be aware that you could also lose some discounts later on if the information you provided was inaccurate. For example, a usage-based program may reveal you drive more miles than you estimated, and you could lose a low annual mileage discount.

Also, if you plan on adding a teen driver to your policy in the near future, you’ll want to focus on auto insurance companies with good discounts for teens and students. Top providers usually list their discounts online, which is helpful when you’re shopping around.

How to compare car insurance quotes

So, how do you compare car insurance plans? There are a few ways to do so: You can go through an insurance agent or deal with each company directly through a phone call or online quote request. You can also use a quote comparison tool, which is an efficient option if you don’t need help picking your policy. Here are some more details:

  • Independent agent: You can give your information to an agent who will shop around and get quotes for you. Overall, this can be more expensive than contacting a company directly, but you will get personalized service. Our January 2022 car insurance survey showed this was the least popular method to get car insurance quotes.
  • By phone: You can call individual auto insurance providers and receive quotes over the phone. Over 20% of the 1,000 respondents surveyed stated they got car insurance quotes by calling companies directly.
  • Online form submission: Most providers offer instant quotes through forms on their websites. This was the second most popular method reported in our survey, with 24% of respondents stating they got online quotes from individual companies.
  • Online quote comparison tool: You can use a single free tool to compare rates from different providers side-by-side at the same time. Our survey found that 30% of the 1,000 respondents in our survey used a quote tool to compare car insurance quotes.

Whichever way you decide to compare auto insurance quotes, you should have the following personal information ready:

  • Year, make, model and vehicle identification number (VIN) for each car on the policy
  • Vehicle mileage
  • Address where vehicle is garaged
  • Vehicle ownership information
  • Names and birthdates for everyone on the policy
  • Driver’s license numbers and states of issue
  • Current insurance company and policy expiration
  • Current coverage limits
  • Driving history including tickets and accidents

Using a car insurance comparison tool is usually the quickest way to get prices from multiple companies. Instead of giving your information to each provider separately, you enter your information once and the tool retrieves quotes from many companies instantly.

Compare car insurance rates by state

If you want to get an idea of what you may pay without comparing car insurance quotes, it can help to take a look at average rates in your state. Car insurance rates can vary significantly just based on location.

Below are our rate estimates broken down by state and age. These apply to full coverage insurance for 24-year-old and 35-year-old drivers with good credit and good driving records. Note that a few states do not allow companies to set rates based on age: California, Hawaii and Massachusetts.

State 24-Year-Old Annual Cost Estimate 35-Year-Old Annual Cost Estimate
Alabama $1,799 $1,448
Alaska $1,824 $1,287
Arizona $2,528 $1,625
Arkansas $2,000 $1,449
California $2,339 $2,339
Colorado $2,189 $1,672
Connecticut $2,683 $1,885
Delaware $2,747 $1,921
District of Columbia $2,417 $1,787
Usually, states with higher population densities, more traffic and more miles of highway have higher car insurance rates. Insurance laws also differ by state, and that affects the price. For example, car insurance in Michigan was expensive for many years because the state required drivers to purchase a certain type of insurance with an unlimited coverage limit. The state changed the law in 2020, so average insurance prices should decrease.

California is a populous state, but it isn’t one of the most expensive overall. However, car insurance in California can vary widely depending on the area. Drivers in Los Angeles can pay much more than the average for the state, for example.

Compare car insurance quotes from top providers

Our top five picks for car insurance are USAA, Geico, State Farm, Progressive and Travelers. All of these providers offer affordable insurance on average, but some are better than others for certain drivers. According to our analysis of rate estimates and discount opportunities, here is where each company shines:

  • USAA: Most affordable for military members and their families
  • Geico: Most affordable for the average driver
  • State Farm: Most affordable for college students
  • Progressive: Most affordable for high-risk drivers
  • Travelers: Most affordable for drivers with a DUI

You can compare auto insurance rates from each of these companies to see which offers the best price for you.

Our recommendations for auto insurance

So, which car insurance is the cheapest? The answer depends. But our review team thinks Geico is generally the best option overall for pricing and coverage. If you are in a military family, USAA is a great option with high industry ratings.

USAA: 9.5 out of 10.0

Low Rates for Military

USAA offers many discounts and a variety of resources for transitioning in and out of military life. Its car insurance coverage is only available to military members, veterans and their immediate family members.

USAA has a great reputation among customers and industry experts, earning an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and an A++ financial rating from AM Best. This insurer scores high across multiple industry surveys, including the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study℠, in which it scored 909 out of 1,000 points. That means the vast majority of USAA customers are happy with the company’s claims service.

Read moreUSAA insurance reviews

Geico: 9.2 out of 10.0

Editor’s Choice

Considering its strong reputation, affordable prices and wide range of coverage options, we awarded Geico our Editor’s Choice designation in 2022. Geico offers all the standard types of car insurance, plus extras like roadside assistance and mechanical breakdown coverage.

Geico has several discounts that different drivers can qualify for, including a military discount and a federal employee discount. The company’s low prices may be one reason why it has a great industry reputation. Geico currently holds an A+ rating from the BBB, along with an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best.

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