Getting the right car insurance policy starts with picking the right insurance company. 

The best auto insurance companies provide a variety of coverage and service options, excellent customer service and satisfaction ratings, and a smooth claim resolution process, all at an affordable rate. Since virtually every state requires its drivers to have a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage, you might as well get a policy—and an auto insurer—you can be happy with, in both good times and bad.

Insurify, a free insurance comparison website that provides ready-to-buy, accurate car insurance quotes, set out to analyze all major car insurance companies and rank them with a single, multi-point score. The result is the Insurify Composite Score—a number that gives you an easy way to see which insurance companies are the best fit for you before you need to use your policy. By choosing a policy with the right coverage level from a highly rated insurance carrier and knowing precisely what deals and discounts that company offers, you can give yourself peace of mind on the road.

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How to know you’ve got the best car insurance

While it’s easy to get lured in by insurance providers offering low auto insurance rates, try to remember that price is not the only factor to consider when you’re choosing a car insurance company. It’s probably not even the most important factor.

In normal circumstances, the most noticeable aspect of your auto insurance policy is your premium payment, so it’s easy to focus solely on price. However, when something goes wrong—you get in an accident, your car is stolen, etc.—the other aspects of your insurance policy and the quality of your insurance company will suddenly become a lot more important. If you’ve chosen wisely, your car insurance provider can make the claims process a smooth and relatively pleasant experience; if not, your insurer can make an already miserable situation even worse.

Methodology: The Insurify Composite Score

The Insurify Composite Score is calculated by analyzing multiple factors that reflect the quality, reliability, and health of an insurance company. Inputs to the score include Financial Strength Ratings from A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch; J.D. Power ratings; Consumer Reports customer satisfaction surveys and customer complaints; mobile app reviews; and user-generated company reviews.

Insurify’s data scientists took these variables, weighted them, and combined them into a single, easy-to-understand numeric score for each insurance company (out of 100). Honorable mentions included Erie Insurance and Allstate, with both companies receiving Insurify Composite Scores of 85 in our official insurance review.

Best Car Insurance Companies FAQ

What are the best car insurance companies?

Many variables go into what makes a car insurance company great, including outstanding financial health, excellent customer service, or straightforward claims handling. Insurify used its Insurify Composite Score rankings to determine the best car insurance companies for 2021.

Where can I compare quotes between the best car insurance companies?

A car insurance quotes comparison site like Insurify can offer you several real quotes that match your driver profile and coverage needs. Comparing quotes from multiple insurance providers at once saves time and gives you an accurate snapshot of the rates you'll find across all national and regional insurance companies.

Which auto insurance companies offer the cheapest quotes?

Insurify's database of millions of real car insurance quotes shows that USAA and Erie Insurance provide the cheapest average rates in the highest number of U.S. states. State Farm boasts the lowest rates for the most states among the top four biggest insurance providers in America. If you're looking for cheap car insurance quotes in your area, use a quotes comparison site like Insurify to find real, ready-to-buy quotes from up to 10+ companies.

Top Rated Car Insurance Companies

After crunching the data, these 10 car insurance companies stood out from the rest of the pack. While it’s always essential to shop around and compare auto insurance quotes, you can trust that you and your vehicle will get optimal coverage from one of these stellar insurance companies.


1. Country Financial
Insurify’s 2021 Car Insurance Company of the Year
Insurify Composite Score: 100

Best Car Insurance For First Responders

Customer rating: 3.3 / 5

Awards and rankings:

  • “A+” Financial Strength Rating from A.M. Best
  • Fortune 1000 Company

Product highlights: Country Financial is Insurify’s top-rated car insurance company of 2021. Despite its smaller footprint compared to other big names in the United States, Country Financial offers a wealth of discounts and an extensive array of coverage. Those looking for a comprehensive policy with average industry prices, plus the option to qualify for additional savings, will find Country Financial to be a great choice. The insurance is best for those looking to partner with a local financial representative, parents of teen drivers, first responders. It’s not the best choice for those looking for rock-bottom rates or those seeking minimal coverage with few add-ons.

States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Available discounts: Country Financial customers can feel confident in finding a slew of discounts available to lower the cost of their car insurance policy. Country Financial offers a 12% advance quote discount, an up-to-25% engaged couple discount, a discount for those with a clean driving record, multi-car discounts, multi-policy bundling discounts, discounts for teachers, firefighters, police offers, and paramedics, discounts for good students, and more.


2. Clearcover
Insurify Composite Score: 97

Best Car Insurance Company for Rideshare Drivers

Customer rating: 4.6 / 5

Awards and rankings:

  • “A-” Financial Strength Rating from A.M. Best
  • Featured on Forbes and TechCrunch

Product highlights: Clearcover was founded in 2016 and focuses on providing AI-based insurance for tech-forward driversThe company claims its smaller advertising budget provides customers with cheaper policy options compared to other insurance companies. It offers customers a full range of basic coverage options most drivers need, as well as useful add-ons like rideshare coverage and alternate transportation coverage. Its claims process, however, has come under fire on some consumer review websites for being slow and unhelpful.

States: Clearcover currently offers coverage in Arizona, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin and has plans to expand to all 50 states.

Available discounts: Clearcover offers a range of discounts to drivers with anti-theft safety features, passive restraint devices, multiple vehicles, and clean driving records; those who have taken a driver training course; and members of the military. Clearcover’s discounts vary broadly based on your state, so you should check in with a Clearcover representative to see which ones you’re eligible for.


3. Amica Mutual
Insurify Composite Score: 95

Best Car Insurance Company for Customer Satisfaction

Customer rating: 3.6 / 5

Awards and rankings:

  • A+ Financial Strength Rating from A.M. Best
  • The first and only insurance provider to earn 50 J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Awards

Product highlights: As a mutual insurance company, Amica can afford to offer much lower rates than standard insurance companies. Amica is consistently ranked as a favorite in custom satisfaction studies among consumers for their excellent customer service and a high record of auto claims satisfaction. Amica’s Car Connection program allows customers to get special pricing on new and used cars through the program’s dealer network. Furthermore, Amica’s Platinum Choice Auto option allows you to add other perks to your policy, including an Advantage Rewards system that adds points to your profile for good driving and referring friends. These points can go towards accident forgiveness or even lowering the price of your deductible.

States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Available discounts: Amica offers safe driver, loyalty, multi-product, multi-vehicle, and driver training discounts, among others.


4. Esurance
Insurify Composite Score: 94

Best Car Insurance Company for Tech-Savvy Drivers

Customer rating: 4.5 / 5

Awards and rankings:

  • A+” Financial Strength Rating from A.M. Best
  • J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking of 885/1,000 (above industry average)

Product highlights: Esurance is well known for bringing the car insurance claims process into the 21st century and has been lauded for providing a simple, user-friendly mobile and web experience for online users. Its Photo Claims program allows customers to snap a smartphone photo of any property damage rather than setting an appointment with an appraiser, allowing for claims settlement in as little as one day. Digital natives: this could be the insurance provider for you. This car insurance provider is best for those interested in telematics, or those looking for a good deal on gas. If you aren’t tech-inclined, however, look elsewhere.

States: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Available discounts: Esurance offers good driver, passive restraint, anti-theft device, accident-free, multi-product, paid in full, prepay, good student, defensive driver, driving habits, switch-and-save, multi-vehicle, anti-lock brake, and homeowners discounts, among others.


5. The Hartford
Insurify Composite Score: 93

Best Car Insurance Company for Seniors

Customer rating: 4.7 / 5

Awards and rankings:

  • “A+” Financial Strength Rating from A.M. Best
  • No. 1 for digital capabilities in Keynova Group’s (formerly Dynatrace) Small Commercial Insurance Scorecard.

Product highlights: The Hartford offers several special benefits to their policyholders, including RecoverCare, which provides reimbursement for home services if you’re injured in an accident, and lifetime renewability. With The Hartford, you also have the option to buy into the Advantage PLUS package, which provides first accident forgiveness, an annual reduction in collision deductibles, and more. If you’re an AARP member, you also get the chance to unlock policy discounts specifically designed for drivers over the age of 50. Seniors will find great deals on car insurance from The Hartford, but rideshare drivers are out of luck with this provider.

States: All 50 states, plus Washington D.C.

Available discounts: The Hartford offers multi-product, good driver, safety features, good student, defensive driver, and AARP member discounts, among others.


6. American Family (Tied)
Insurify Composite Score: 89

Best Car Insurance Company for College Students

Customer rating: 3.4 / 5 stars

Awards and rankings:

  • “A” Financial Strength Rating from A.M. Best
  • Fortune 500 Company
  • J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study #1 Insurer, Southwest

Product highlights: American Family developed the Dreams Restored Program (DRP) for its auto insurance customers. If a policyholder uses a DRP-certified repair shop after filing a claim, the repairs have a lifetime warranty, and the bill goes to American Family rather than to the customer. Some perks offered by American Family include gap coverage and rideshare insurance in select states. Tied with GEICO as the #1 most-highly-ranked insurer in the Southwest in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study,  American Family is a great choice for those looking for quality customer service and quick handling of claims.

States: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin

Available discounts: American Family offers multi-product, loyalty, defensive driver, passive restraint, anti-theft, military, multi-vehicle, low mileage, young driver training, homeowner, paid in full, paperless documents, accident-free, and student discounts, among others.


6. Nationwide (Tied)
Insurify Composite Score: 89

Best Car Insurance for Accident Forgiveness

Customer rating: 4.3 / 5 stars

Awards and rankings:

  • “A++” Financial Strength Rating from A.M. Best
  • TU Automotive Connected Car 2020 Insurer of the Year
  • One of Fortune’s 50 Best Workplaces for Diversity

Product highlights: One of the nation’s largest and best-established insurers, Nationwide provides a whole slew of different types of insurance policies, including auto insurance, life insurance, homeowners insurance, and even specialty products like wedding insurance. Founded in 1926 Nationwide is an excellent choice for those hoping to bundle multiple insurance policies or drivers hoping to take advantage of Nationwide’s special programs, like its telematics program or accident forgiveness program. However, drivers with clean records and excellent credit scores can probably find lower rates elsewhere.

States: All 50 states + D.C.

Available discounts: Nationwide offers a telematics program for interested drivers and discounts for multiple-policy bundling, defensive driving, installing anti-theft devices, safe drivers, good students, automatic withdrawals, and more.


8. GEICO (Tied)
Insurify Composite Score: 88

Best Car Insurance Company for Drivers with Poor Credit 

Customer rating: 3.4 / 5 stars

Awards and rankings:

  • “A++” Financial Strength Rating from A.M. Best
  • Fortune 500 Company
  • J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study #1 Insurer, Southwest

Product highlights: We’re sure you’ve seen a barrage of GEICO ads dominate your television screen. But besides savvy marketing practices, GEICO also has several programs to help policyholders save money on auto expenses. These include the Fuel Finder feature on GEICO’s mobile app (to find the cheapest gas station in your area) and its Car Buying service (to compare features and prices on new and used cars). Through the Auto Repair Xpress service, a claims adjuster will meet you in the repair shop after you file a claim and help you through the process. In some regions, GEICO will even provide a rental car for rides to and from the shop.

States: All 50 states, plus D.C.

Available discounts: GEICO offers mature driver, military, federal employee, and student discounts, among others.


8. State Farm (Tied)
Insurify Composite Score: 88

Best Car Insurance Company for Brand Recognition

Customer rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Awards and rankings:

  • “A+” Financial Strength Rating from A.M. Best
  • Fortune 500 Company
  • J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study #1 Insurer, Mid-Atlantic and New York

Product highlights: A highly recognizable national insurance brand, State Farm offers all the coverages you’d expect from a big-time national provider. Its home and auto rates are on par with those of its competitors, and a variety of discounts, including good credit and accident-free markdowns, make State Farm an affordable option. As one of the most established and iconic car insurance providers, State Farm is a great option for those drivers seeking a consistent and reliable insurance experience. High-risk drivers and those shopping for the cheapest possible premiums may have better luck with a different car insurance provider.

States: All 50 states + D.C.

Available discounts: State Farm offers policyholders an array of discounts, including discounts for older drivers, homeowners, members of the military, students away at school, drivers with daytime running lights, and those renewing their policy with no claims history.


8. NJM Insurance Group (Tied)
Insurify Composite Score: 88

Best Car Insurance Company for Families

Customer rating: 3.5 / 5 stars

Awards and rankings:

  • “A” Financial Strength Rating from A.M. Best
  • Ranked #1 in the Nation for Customer Satisfaction with the Auto Claims Experience by J.D. Power

Product highlights: NJM Insurance has been in business since 1913 and has wowed customers and industry organizations alike with its excellent customer service. With a range of policy and discount options for auto, home, and other personal insurance products, drivers in NJ, CT, and PA can feel confident with an NJM policy. NJM specializes in bundling multiple insurance policies and offering discounts to families in every stage of life, not just students and seniors. Those who prefer to work with a local, independent agent in person should look for a different provider than NJM.

States: Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Available discounts: With discounts for having automatic electronic payments and paying in full, and even going paperless (CT and PA only), drivers with NJM policies can save money while simplifying their payment process. Drivers over the age of 60 in Pennsylvania and Connecticut can get discounts for attending mature driver safety courses, while drivers of any age in New Jersey can get up to five percent off after passing a defensive driving course. For those in high school and college, getting good grades and making the dean’s list can also earn you a discount.


Best Car Insurance for Military and Veterans

USAA
Insurify Composite Score: 96

Customer rating: 4.1 / 5 stars

Awards and rankings:

  • “A++” Financial Strength Rating from A.M. Best
  • Fortune 500 company
  • #24 on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies 2020 list
  • 2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies Honoree, Ethisphere Institute
  • J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking of 896/1,000 (above industry average)

Product highlights: Like other leading insurance companies like Progressive, AAA, Geico, or Metlife, USAA is a large and well-established business with a strong legacy of customer service, and is accredited by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Unlike those companies, USAA is a financial services provider that accepts members only from military and ex-military households. Widows and widowers, spouses, and immediate family members of USAA members can also join. Many of the company’s benefits are tailored to military personnel, such as the 15 percent discount on USAA auto insurance for military members who garage their vehicles on base.

States: All 50 states + D.C. 

Available discounts: USAA insurance offers vehicle storage, safety feature, student, multi-vehicle, family, safe driver, and student discounts, among others.


Best Car Insurance by State

Here’s the state-by-state breakdown of Insurify’s best car insurance companies for 2021. 

  • Best Car Insurance in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin: Country Financial
  • Best Car Insurance in California, Louisiana, Ohio, Texas, and Utah: Clearcover
  • Best Car Insurance in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington D.C., and Wyoming: Amica Mutual
  • Best Car Insurance in Hawaii: GEICO

Find the best and cheapest car insurance quotes in your state.

Getting the Best Car Insurance Coverage…for You

Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a handful of top-quality insurance providers, it’s time to consider what features you’re looking for in your auto insurance policy.

Car insurance policies don’t come with a single limit and deductible. There are typically several coverage limits based on the type of claim a customer might make. Most claims are categorized either as collision or comprehensive claims. Car insurance policies can also offer coverage to help you with the financial repercussions of an accident, such as medical bills and lost wages.

Most states set minimum liability coverage limits for their residents, but minimum coverage may not provide enough protection for you. Instead of just relying on those minimums, consider your situation and needs and set your insurance policy coverage levels and deductibles accordingly.

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Full Coverage Car Insurance

“Full coverage” car insurance falls into three broad categories: liability coveragecollision coverage, and comprehensive coverage.

Liability Coverage

Every car insurance policy includes two types of liability coverage. Both are necessary and apply when you are found to be at fault for an accident. 

  • Bodily injury liability coverage (BI) covers the cost of medical expenses associated with treating injuries suffered by anyone involved in the accident…except you. This extends to other drivers, pedestrians, or unrelated passengers in your car. Bodily injury coverage applies to ongoing medical payments, loss of income, funeral costs, and legal expenses.
  • Property damage liability coverage (PD) applies to damage you cause to another person’s vehicle or property. Property damage coverage applies to the cost of repairs for anything that isn’t yours, including building fronts, fences, or mailboxes.

Both types of auto liability insurance are included in your standard car insurance policy. (That’s why it’s so important to be insured in the first place.) But as a policyholder, you have a degree of freedom in determining just how high your car insurance coverage levels go. 

When you start reviewing car insurance options, you’ll notice that minimum requirements are usually expressed as three numbers in the form of XX/XX/XX. These numbers (in thousands) represent the dollar amounts in bodily injury liability maximum for one person injured in the accidentbodily injury liability maximum for all injuries in one accident, and property damage liability maximum for one accident, in that order.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

  • Collision coverage protects you financially when your car runs into something else, be it another car, a lamppost, or an animal.
  • Comprehensive coverage protects you for every other type of automobile claim: if your car is stolen, if a tree falls on it, or if it’s carried off by a tornado or drowned in a flood.

Comprehension and collision coverage are typically bundled together and have the same coverage limits.

In some cases, you may not need comprehensive or collision coverage at all. If your state allows you to waive this coverage and your vehicle is worth less than $3,000, comprehensive and collision coverage may not be a cost-effective choice. You’d likely end up spending more on premiums than you’d ever get back from filing a claim.

On the other hand, if you’re still paying off your vehicle, your lender might require that you pay for both comprehensive and collision coverage. The lender may also set a maximum deductible on your coverage or have other requirements in place. Check with whichever company is providing your auto loan before giving up this coverage or changing your deductibles or coverage limits.

Personal Injury Protection, Medical Payments, and Health Insurance

Car accidents often lead to injuries. Personal Injury Protection, Medical Payments coverage, and health insurance coverage from your car insurance policy can save you from devastating medical bills. These three types of coverage help cover the cost of accident-related injuries in different ways.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage pays for any bodily injury-related medical bills that you and your passengers incur from a car accident. It usually will cover any lost wages as well. Twelve states require drivers to carry a minimum level of personal injury protection insurance. In other states, this coverage is strictly optional but recommended. One of the most significant benefits of personal injury protection coverage is that it will pay the bills regardless of who is at fault in the accident. That’s why it’s also known as no-fault insurance.

Medical Payments coverage (MedPay) is similar to personal injury protection coverage in that it will pay for medical bills related to an auto accident. Unlike PIP coverage, it won’t cover things like rehabilitative care or lost wages but will pay for funeral expenses.

This coverage is linked to the policyholder, not the vehicle—meaning you can still use your MedPay coverage if you’re injured in an accident while riding in someone else’s car, on a bus, or even if you’re hit by a car as a pedestrian.

Medical payments coverage is strictly optional. If you live in a state where PIP coverage is required, you might be better off getting a larger amount of this type of coverage and skipping medical payments coverage altogether. On the other hand, if you feel you need more medical coverage than PIP coverage will supply, then consider getting this type of coverage on top of your no-fault accident insurance coverage.

Both PIP and MedPay can overlap with your regular health insurance coverage. Their interaction will vary based on what type of health insurance policy you have and the state in which you live.

Some types of health insurance policies don’t cover accident-related injuries at all. If your health insurance policy does cover such injuries, either personal injury protection coverage or medical payments coverage can give you the funds to cover copay expenses and other charges that aren’t covered by your health insurance. They will also include your accident-related medical fees if you haven’t met your health insurance deductible for the year.

Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM coverage) is an attempt to reduce your financial liability if you get in a severe car accident with someone who doesn’t have adequate auto insurance coverage.

Several states require drivers to have uninsured motorist insurance because it provides extra protection in the event of a severe accident. These states are Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, as well as Washington, D.C.

How to Choose the Best Car Insurance Limits

Getting just enough car insurance coverage to meet your state’s minimum requirements may seem like an easy way to save money, but it can be the most expensive course in the long-term.

If you’re in a severe accident and don’t have sufficient auto insurance coverage, you could end up with bills you can’t pay and could end up bankrupt as a result. If you have auto loans, gap insurance is one coverage option for this eventuality––gap insurance covers the difference between a vehicle’s current value and the amount that you owe on it.

When picking your car insurance limits, the rule of thumb is to get at least enough coverage to equal the total value of your assets. Personal assets would include a house, your car or cars, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and even retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401(k).

If you’ve got more assets than your standard auto insurance policy will cover, umbrella coverage would be a great way to make up the difference. Still, your assets aren’t the only factor to consider when shopping for a policy.

Factor Your Car Payment into the Decision

Owners of brand-new vehicles might consider getting gap coverage to protect themselves in case of an accident early on in their car ownership.

New vehicles lose a considerable amount of their value the moment you drive them off the dealership lot. If you get into a major accident a week after buying your new car and the vehicle is totaled, standard auto insurance policies will only pay you up to the car’s current value—which will likely be much less than you owe on it. In such a situation, gap coverage will “fill in the gap” between the car’s current value and how much you still owe on it.

Factor in What Kind of Driver You Are

It’s not easy to be a good judge of our driving skills, but how good a driver you are will undoubtedly affect how likely you are to have an accident—and that’s something to consider when choosing your car insurance policy limits. Safe driving pays off: If you’ve been driving for 20 years and never had an accident, you’re probably a pretty good driver (or at least a cautious one) and may be able to get along with somewhat lower limits on your car insurance. On the other hand, if you get in an accident every year, you’ll want to get plenty of coverage—although you’ll likely pay top-dollar for it with such a high-risk driving history.

Another factor to consider is how often you drive. If you work from home and only drive a few miles once a week to run your errands, you’re far less likely to end up in an accident than someone who has a 50-mile-a-day commute. Rush-hour driving is also riskier than driving at off-peak times because you’re dealing with large numbers of often impatient drivers who may be willing to take risks to get themselves to work on time. In short, the more you drive, the more insurance coverage you’re likely to need, and the more you may want to consider optional add-ons like roadside assistance coverage.

Determine How Much You Can Pay in the Event of an Accident

The deductible you choose will have a significant impact on your car insurance premiums.

What’s a deductible? An insurance deductible is the amount of money that must be paid by the insured person before an insurance company pays a claim. In the event of a claim costing $800, if your deductible is $500, you only pay $500 for the claim and your insurance company pays $300.

The cost of your deductible has an inverse relationship to the cost of your car insurance premium. This means that if you have a lower deductible, you’ll pay a higher premium. And a higher deductible means you’ll pay a lower premium.

Higher deductibles can result in much lower premiums, but they also mean that you’ll have to pay more money out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in.

If you have a healthy balance in your savings account, you may be able to get away with a higher deductible and save significant money on your premiums—but don’t try this if you have little or no money saved. In that case, if you have a high deductible and get in a severe accident, you’ll either end up buried in debt or unable to pay your car repair bills. Stick to a deductible that’s less than or equal to the amount you’ve tucked away in savings.

It’s also wise to consider your job security, the size of your household, and how comfortable you are with risk.

Finally, some people are very risk-averse and won’t sleep well at night with minimal insurance coverage. In contrast, others are perfectly comfortable living with the possibility of expensive bills in case of an accident. Decide where you fall on this spectrum and set your policy limits accordingly.

How to Get the Lowest Car Insurance Rates

If you don’t have the cash to cover a high deductible, yet can’t afford to pay a great deal in auto insurance premiums, don’t panic—there are plenty of other ways to reduce your rates. 

Because different insurers use slightly different factors to determine how they’ll set the rates for your policy, only shopping around and evaluating the best insurance comparison sites, comparing quotes from different insurance companies can result in substantial savings. And choosing an insurance provider that offers numerous discounts that you’re eligible to claim can reduce your insurance costs even further.

Car Insurance Discounts

Rates of discount can vary from one company to another, but here are some of the most common car insurance discounts and how to qualify for them.

  • Multi-product discount: Many insurance companies sell other products besides auto insurance (including homeowners insurance, life insurance, renters insurance, and so on). Buying more than one type of policy from an insurance company can get you a “bundle” rate.
  • Multi-vehicle discount: Insuring more than one vehicle on a single policy may result in a discount.
  • Loyalty discount: Sticking with the same insurance company through multiple renewal cycles may get you a better rate. Even if the company doesn’t promote such a discount, it’s worth asking if you can get one.
  • Green discount: Drivers of hybrid cars or other green vehicles may be eligible for a discount on their insurance premiums.
  • Good driver discount: If you haven’t had any accidents or traffic violations (like DUIs) during the past three years, most insurance companies will give you a good driver discount. Some companies require as much as five years of perfect driving to earn this discount.
  • Professional and organizational discounts: If you belong to specific organizations, such as the AARP, or are a member of certain professions, you may be eligible for a discount. Check with your employer, professional organization, and any other group with which you enjoy membership; you can also ask the insurance company if any such discount is available.
  • Mature driver discount: Drivers age 50 and up who have taken and passed a licensed mature driver safety course may be eligible for this discount. Some companies set higher age requirements to qualify as a mature driver.
  • Student discount: Students who meet certain requirements—such as landing on the honor roll or starting college—can sometimes get a discount on auto insurance.
  • Married couple discount: Believe it or not, you might qualify for a lower rate just by being married!
  • Defensive driving discount: Passing a licensed defensive driving course can get you a discount on insurance, although you’ll likely have to retake the course every year or two to maintain the discount.
  • Lump payment discount/prepayment discount: If you pay your entire insurance premium upfront instead of breaking it out in two installments, you can usually get a discount on the total.
  • Homeownership discount: Owning a home may be enough to get you a discount, even if you don’t have your homeowner’s insurance through the same company as your auto insurance. Of course, getting both insurance policies from a single provider may allow you to combine this discount with the home and auto insurance discount.
  • Safety features discount: Certain vehicle safety features can get you a better rate. For example, anti-theft devices, daytime running lights, and anti-lock brakes are all desirable features to insurance providers.
  • Reduced mileage discount: If you drive less than 10,000 miles per year, you can often get a better deal on your car insurance. Some insurers will require you to prove your low mileage by having you plug a mileage tracker into your vehicle.
  • E-discount: Choosing to go paperless by opting to receive all your insurance communications via email will often result in a small discount.
  • Automatic payments: Many insurers will provide a small discount for opting to have your insurance payments taken out of your bank account automatically.

Excellent Credit Helps You Get the Best Car Insurance

Many insurance companies, especially the larger ones, check your credit score before offering you a policy—and will often set your insurance rates based on whether or not you have good credit. Residents of California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts are exceptions to this rule, as those states prohibit insurance companies from using credit scores to determine premiums.

If you have poor credit and don’t live in one of the three exempt states, consider requesting an extraordinary life circumstances exemption. This exemption allows you to request insurance companies not to use your credit score when calculating your rate. This is particularly helpful if you can show that your poor credit results from specific circumstances beyond your control, such as serious illness, divorce, unemployment, and similar life catastrophes. The insurance company will likely ask you to provide documentary proof, so make sure you can back up your claim.

The single most effective way to fix credit problems, however, is to make all your credit card and/or loan payments on time, starting immediately. If you can’t afford to make at least the minimum payments on all your debts, get in touch with some of your creditors to see if you can negotiate a deal. Many creditors will accept a somewhat smaller repayment if the alternative is forcing you into bankruptcy.

Once you’ve chosen a top-rated insurance provider and selected the correct policy limits, your work isn’t entirely done. No matter how much you love your current policy, it’s still important to shop around every year to find more affordable or even cheap car insurance quotes from other providers. If you get a much lower quote for the same type of policy from another company, you might take the quote to your current insurer and ask them to match it. There’s an excellent chance that your current insurer will unearth another discount or two and reduce your premiums to keep your business. That way, you’ll get the best of both worlds: superior car insurance coverage and a competitive price.

So, what’s the best car insurance comparison site?

If you want to compare auto insurance quotes from top companies in the insurance industry like Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, Farmers, Erie, and more, look no further.

Insurify is the best place to compare car insurance quotes online. No matter your insurance needs, current location, or intent to buy, you can compare quotes from up to 10+ companies at once in a matter of minutes to find the best rates.

 

That’s real, ready-to-buy quotes, too. Not just estimates. Compare car insurance quotes from the cheapest car insurance companies. See how much you could be saving on car insurance, home insurance, and life insurance with Insurify today. And don’t forget to come back six months later!

Best of luck on your car insurance journey!

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Updated May 12, 2021

Nick Dehn is a content specialist for Insurify. A seasoned writer, Nick has produced feature pieces, opinion editorials, and press releases for start-ups, small businesses, and local news publications. He now develops content full-time for Insurify, researching and writing data-driven studies and producing insights on the insurance industry. Media appearances on behalf of Insurify include NBC, CBS, and NPR affiliates across the country. Nick is an alumnus of Williams College, where he graduated cum laude with a degree in English and Sociology.