If you have a clean driving record — no at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, or other recent citations — you'll probably pay less for car insurance. Conversely, a bad driving record will cause your rates to skyrocket: car insurance premiums typically increase by 29% after a DUI, 33% after an at-fault accident, and 15% after a speeding ticket in Virginia. The post-citation penalties assessed by car insurance companies after speeding tickets and at-fault accidents in Virginia align with nationwide averages, but drivers receive lower-than-average rate hikes after DUI violations. If you have a clean driving record, be sure to check for good-driving discounts from your insurer.
Decide how much car insurance you need. State requirements represent the minimum amount of coverage you need to drive … and they’re generally inadequate, even when it comes to the required liability insurance. It’s hard to say for sure how much coverage you specifically need, because it depends on the age, make and model of your car, among other things. However, most insurance experts generally recommend limits of $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per person; $300,0000 in bodily injury coverage per accident and $100,000 in property damage coverage. And, if your car is new and/or expensive, you’ll probably want collision and comprehensive insurance, too.
When looking at the rankings of the top auto insurance companies in the United States, most of the names are recognizable due to their national television advertising campaigns. The top ten insurance companies offer varied insurance rates, customer claims experience and features. We discuss the top ten biggest auto insurance companies in the U.S. and what you should know about each of them below:
But according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, newly licensed drivers are about eight times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes in their first six months than more experienced drivers. The takeaway? Experience counts. The Center for Disease Control suggests that increased education programs and parental involvement in instruction are associated with reductions of as many as 40% of fatal and injury crashes among 16-year-olds.
At Erie Insurance, our classic car insurance takes this into consideration and values your car on a “stated amount” basis. That means we determine the value of your vehicle up front, before a loss happens. For vintage cars valued at $30,000 and up, our professional material damage appraiser will even inspect and value your vehicle. You’ll know ahead of time what your vehicle has been valued at so there are no surprises should a partial or total loss happen.
All classic car insurers share a few vital elements. Primarily, they all have an "agreed value" stipulation which allows you to set how much you think your vehicle is worth in the event of a total loss. They also all provide pivotal comprehensive and collision insurance to protect your vehicle from anything that may damage it. There does exist however, several key differences. While the field of companies for classic cars is not as vast as it is for normal cars, some classic car insurers are better than others.
As with any credit check, a record of this search will remain on your file – and your credit rating will affect the amount of APR that you’re charged. If you have a poor credit rating, you may be charged up to 20% APR. And if you’ve struggled to pay credit in the past, or if you have a CCJ to your name, then you may be denied the option to pay monthly. If you think you’ll have issues with your credit rating, you can read our guide on improving your credit score.
More commonly known as “Agreed Value” coverage, it means you tell us the value of your classic and we’ll affirm that it’s a fair, accurate number. Then, we GUARANTEE that value will be paid to you in the event of a covered total loss. Regular car insurance carriers offer Actual Cash Value or Stated Value coverage, which may depreciate the value of your vehicle in the event of a claim, resulting in a smaller payout than you anticipate.
While Auto-Owners Insurance keeps a fairly low profile, they receive extremely high marks across the board. In fact, J.D. Power awarded it “better than most” or “among the best” in every category in its 2018 Insurance Shopping Study. That puts Auto-Owners Insurance ahead of the pack in terms of overall customer satisfaction whenever a claim is filed.
Liberty Mutual is a full-line insurance company that offers both personal and business insurance. Liberty Mutual car insurance has a 5 percent market share and underwrites $11.6 billion in policies. It’s a publicly owned company, so profits go to shareholders. Liberty Mutual offers a full suite of insurance policies but doesn’t offer banking services.
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.
A higher deductible means lower premiums, your monthly or annual price. But if you get in an accident, you will have to pay more than if your deductibles were lower. For example, if you have a $500 deductible on a $2,000 accident, you’d pay $500 before your insurance company covers the other $1,500. With a $1,000 deductible, you’re paying $1,000 and your insurer covers the remaining $1,000.
Results: Compare produced seven quotes ranging from $148 per month to $329 per month. The quotes were all from fairly obscure companies; I didn’t see any of the big-name providers. The site allowed me to customize coverage, but only by going back to the coverage selection part of the process—meaning that I had to wait for the quotes to re-load each time. It also didn’t allow as many customization options as Insurify. Only one of the quotes permitted online checkout; all the others required speaking on the phone with an agent. I did like that the quotes all let you choose between a pay-as-you-go policy (with a down payment) or a pay upfront policy (at a slight discount).
Beyond price and discount, you’ll also want to consider the type of customer service you want from a car insurance company. A cheap car insurance policy isn’t a good deal if you have to contend with terrible customer service or jump through hoops to get your claim paid, so weigh what you pay against the type of service you want. Are you most comfortable working with a local insurance agent, or do you want to purchase insurance and make claims completely online, with limited human interaction? Also consider the tools you want from your car insurance company. Some companies have mobile apps to check your policy and make claims, while others offer old-fashioned paper tools. You’ll also want to look at how the company handles claims and repairs. Can you take your car to any repair shop you want, or do you have to work with a shop selected by the insurer? If you have to make a claim, driving all over town to get the repairs done may be an inconvenience you’re unwilling to deal with.
Most insurers — and we're not just talking about auto insurance companies here — use some type of credit-based insurance score to help determine how risky a potential customer is. The practice is a bit controversial, which is why some states have laws against using it (see above). But the general thinking behind insurer credit checks is: If someone is bad with their finances, they might be irresponsible in other areas of life, too. You can learn more about how car insurance rates are determined here.