If you own your home and have plenty of other assets, you should consider buying a policy with higher coverage limits than what is normally offered. For more peace of mind, consider buying the top tier of auto coverage to protect your family. With more coverage in place, you can ensure you won’t run out of coverage in the event of a catastrophic accident – or worse, get sued by someone who plans to go after your assets in court.
NerdWallet averaged rates for 30-year-old men and women for 10 ZIP codes in each state and Washington, D.C., from the largest insurers in each state. “Good drivers” had no moving violations on record and credit in the “good” tier as reported to each insurer. For the other two driver profiles, we changed the credit tier to “poor” or added one at-fault accident, keeping everything else the same. Sample drivers had the following coverage limits:
When shopping for affordable car insurance quotes, come in with a good idea of your vehicle's value via Kelley Blue Book and NADA. If you determine your vehicle is worth more than $4,000 but you need to save money, consider raising your deductible. Because your car insurance deductible and premium are inversely related, you can lower your bill by raising your deductible. Looking at the chart below, you can see how your premium is affected by adjusting your deductible.
It is one of the three highest-rated automotive insurers in the country. The only downside is its limited availability: USAA only services the immediate families of active and former members of the military. Given those restrictions, the quote process is a bit more intense compared to its competitors, but that’s a small price to pay for its exemplary service.
With a good driving record — devoid of at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, or other recent citations — you'll probably enjoy relatively cheap car insurance rates. On the other hand, a bad driving record will cause your costs to skyrocket: car insurance premiums typically increase by 28% after a DUI, 33% after an at-fault accident, and 4% after a speeding ticket in Texas. The post-violation penalties assessed by car insurance companies in Texas are substantially lower than nationwide averages — especially for speeding tickets. If you have a clean driving history, be sure to inquire about your insurance company's safe driver discount.
Compare popular auto insurance companies' financial stability and claims satisfaction ratings to better understand the quality of service they will provide. Claims satisfaction — measured by J.D. Power — is ranked on a scale of 2 to 5, with 5 being "among the best" and 2 being "the rest." Financial strength — calculated by A.M. Best and running from "Superior" to "Poor" — determines an insurer's financial strength and ability to meet its policy and contractual obligations.
You can sometimes get auto insurance quotes on lead generation sites, but expect them to be far less reliable than quotes from comparison sites. Using lead generation sites most likely means that you’ll end up wandering from one auto insurance website to another in pursuit of the best rate, which rather defeats the purpose of using a quote-generating site at all.
Progressive is the third-largest car insurance company in the U.S., with 10 percent of the market. Progressive underwrites $22.8 billion in car insurance premiums each year. Founded in 1937, Progressive is a mostly online company that touts low car insurance rates and convenience as its hallmarks. Though Progressive sells most of its insurance policies online or over the phone, it sells through local independent insurance agents as well. It also offers other insurance, like homeowners and renters, but not banking products. Progressive is a publicly traded company.
Property and casualty insurance provided by United Services Automobile Association, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, USAA General Indemnity Company, Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company, based in San Antonio, TX; USAA Limited (UK) and USAA S.A. (Europe) and is available only to persons eligible for P&C group membership. Each company has sole financial responsibility for its own products.

American Family Insurance (sometimes shortened to AmFam) only has a 2 percent market share for car insurance, but that small slice still translates to the company underwriting $4.4 billion in policies. American Family originally offered insurance to farmers, but now its policies are available to anyone. American Family is the parent company of The General car insurance. While The General car insurance is sold primarily online, American Family insurance is sold mainly through local insurance agents, with support from American Family’s online resources and call center.


If you live in the South, Midwest, or Mid-Atlantic regions, Erie Insurance is worth your consideration. Erie has consistently received high marks from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, but didn’t make it into my top four recommendations due to limited availability — it only serves residents in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and certain parts of DC.
What changes between each state’s auto insurance requirements is how much of each type of coverage is needed. Both bodily injury and property damage liability coverage is required in almost every state, and some states require personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage as well. Each state also has its own minimum liability limits, presented as bodily injury limit for a single person, bodily injury limit on the entire accident, and property damage limit.

USAA stands for United Services Automobile Association. USAA is a bit different from other large insurance companies in that not just anyone can get a policy. To work with USAA, you need to be an active member of the military, a military veteran with an honorable discharge, a cadet or midshipman at a U.S. service academy, or an eligible family member. Eligible family members are spouses, widows, unremarried ex-spouses of USAA members, and children of USAA members. So, for example, if your grandfather served in World War II and had an honorable discharge, he could join USAA, as could your parents. Then you could join, and your children and spouse could join as well.
Many insurance companies offer a discount for enrolling in their telematics program, which means they’ll monitor your driving through either a phone app or small, installable tool. Some companies will offer a discount just for allowing them to track your driving, while others will monitor while you drive and offer price reductions based on your skills.
Insurance companies in the U.S. are an outgrowth of mutual aid societies. Prior to insurance companies (and cars, for that matter) community members would band together, often based on religious or ethnic affiliation, to provide funds in case of an emergency. Each member of a mutual aid society would pay a small amount into a fund that members could draw on in case of certain events, like a death in the family. The money the members pulled out of the fund could be used for things like burial expenses – and because everyone paid a little bit, no one person or family had to bear the full cost of an emergency when one struck.
Every auto insurer advertises its low premiums. But as with any product, the cheapest car insurance option isn't always the best choice. Considering what's at stake, it's worth doing your research to discover an auto insurance policy that insures your car completely after a collision. Find a great value, rather than settling for the most affordable auto insurance in your state.
Property and casualty insurance provided by United Services Automobile Association, USAA Casualty Insurance Company, USAA General Indemnity Company, Garrison Property and Casualty Insurance Company, based in San Antonio, TX; USAA Limited (UK) and USAA S.A. (Europe) and is available only to persons eligible for P&C group membership. Each company has sole financial responsibility for its own products.

Insurance terms, definitions and explanations are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance contracts, policies or declaration pages, which control coverage determinations. Such terms may vary by state, and exclusions may apply. Discounts may not be applied to all policy coverages.
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