Finding the best rate for car insurance isn’t difficult if you do a little research before you choose a provider. While some regional companies offer great rates, we looked at national insurance carriers to give you an idea of where you can start shopping for lower rates. Most low-cost policies cover the basics to protect you in the event of an accident or other vehicle damages. Rates also vary by state and type of driver, which are important elements to consider as you compare rates.
What Does a Typical Car Insurance Policy Cover?
While different states require different levels of coverage, here are the common elements covered by a typical car insurance policy:
Each state requires drivers to hold minimum liability coverage to assume the cost of damages caused by their vehicle. Bodily injury covers the cost of injury or death caused by you or another individual while driving your vehicle. Property damage liability covers property wrecked by your vehicle due to an accident or loss of control.
Comprehensive policies act as a safeguard against other events not covered under other portions of your insurance. Events like acts of vandalism or hitting an animal that darts out in front of your car are covered under this part of the policy. Damage from natural disasters up to a specified amount is also included in comprehensive insurance.
When you damage your car in an accident with another vehicle or object, collision coverage pays for the repairs, regardless of who’s at fault. Reimbursement from collision coverage can also apply to damage like hitting a pothole that bends your vehicle’s frame.
Uninsured coverage offers protection when you’re involved in an accident caused by a driver without auto insurance. Some companies also offer underinsured motorist coverage to help cover costs of major accidents when another driver has minimal coverage from their auto insurance policy.
Personal Injury Protection
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) pays for medical expenses when you or your passengers are injured in an auto accident. PIP also covers lost wages.
Best Low-Cost Car Insurance
Car insurance rates vary depending on a number of factors, but here are some of the most affordable companies available:
Geico leads the way for low-cost auto insurance in most areas. Even in states with some of the highest premiums, Geico rises to the top with money-saving policies. It also offers more discounts than many other insurers to help drivers keep costs down.
- Average Annual Cost for Good Drivers: $1,182
- Savings Compared to National Average: 25 percent
- Average Annual Cost for Teens: $3,361
- Average Annual Cost After Accident: $2,097
The largest insurer in the nation, State Farm offers some of the best low-cost car insurance with a network of local agents to help you navigate policy questions and claims. Drivers with a rough driving history may find more rate relief from State Farm, which offers some of the lowest rates for insurance after an accident.
- Average Annual Cost for Good Drivers: $1,402
- Savings Compared to National Average: 11 percent
- Average Annual Cost for Teens: $3,596
- Average Annual Cost After Accident: $1,713
USAA offers low-cost rates available only to active and retired service members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Rates for USAA policies rank top in most comparisons. If you qualify for USAA, it’s a good idea to look here first for your policy.
- Average Annual Cost for Good Drivers: $1,141
- Savings Compared to National Average: 27 percent
- Average Annual Cost for Teens: $3,182
- Average Annual Cost After Accident: $1,613
Named for the Pennsylvania home of this nationwide insurer, Erie is a lesser-known brand that offers lower-cost options for drivers. Most of its rates average close to other big names in the industry, and it offers savings for drivers with a tough driving history.
- Average Annual Cost for Good Drivers: $1,419
- Savings Compared to National Average: 10 percent
- Average Annual Cost for Teens: $3,072
- Average Annual Cost After Accident: $1,898
Travelers ranks high for how it handles claims and offers fairly competitive rates for all drivers except teens. Annual policy rates typically rank below the national average.
- Average Annual Cost for Good Drivers: $1,435
- Savings Compared to National Average: 9 percent
- Average Annual Cost for Teens: $4,333
- Average Annual Cost After Accident: $2,000
Other Companies To Compare
Depending on where you live and other specifics of your situation, you may find good rates from other companies, too. Here are a few other providers to research:
- Progressive: Progressive offers some of the lowest insurance rates in highly populated states like New York and California.
- Metromile: If you drive fewer miles throughout the year, it may be worth looking into a policy with Metromile, which calculates rates based on mileage.
- American Family: With many lower-than-average policy rates, especially for young drivers and those with a DUI, American Family may give you the savings you need.
- Nationwide: If you’re looking for high customer service and claims ratings, Nationwide ranks among the top major insurers.
- Farm Bureau: Drivers with a history of bad credit can find relief through lower-than-average policy rates from this insurer.
- Auto-Owners: This insurer ranks high in providing low-cost policies for teenage drivers.
- Farmers: Farmers also receives high ratings from customers regarding its service and claims handling.
How To Find the Best Low-Cost Car Insurance
Follow these steps to find the best low-cost car insurance for your needs:
Comparing rates before you purchase an auto insurance policy is the best way to find the lowest quote. However, you also need to consider what the policy includes and whether it’s enough to cover your financial debts in the event of an accident or other damage. Basic coverage may be cheap, but it may not offer enough protection.
Independent insurance agents in your area may provide the best rates. While you can get a basic idea of the cost by doing online research and requesting a quote from a major company, a local agent can still provide low rates through national carriers with the added benefit of personalized local service.
Look for Discounts
Many insurers offer incentives for good drivers,multi-vehicle policies, or even customer loyalty. Find out what discounts a provider offers before making your final choice. Combining or bundling insurance policies can also save you money. If you already pay for home insurance, you may earn a discount for purchasing an auto policy through the same carrier.
Finding the best insurance at the right price is worth the research and time. Secure your financial future with coverage that fits your budget and driving needs by checking for low-cost options in your area.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.