After our analysis of 2,700 cities and 128 companies, we found that Erie was the most affordable major insurer in the country with an average yearly rate of $1,052 based on our sample driver - about 31% cheaper than the national average across every insurer. The very largest of the five is GEICO, the second largest auto insurer in the U.S. by market share.
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.
All insurers base their rates on risk. We're talking car insurance, so the company is primarily trying to determine how likely you are to get into an accident. Obviously, if you have a poor driving record or you're on the road all the time, the odds are less in your favor. But statistics show women get into fewer accidents than men as do married individuals versus single ones. Younger drivers, conversely, get into more accidents than older drivers. All that data on your demo can influence what insurers charge.

Travelers is another strong provider, and it’s especially worth a closer look if you have a lease or loan on your vehicle. It’s one of our top picks to offer GAP coverage, which pays the balance of your lease or loan if your vehicle is totaled in an accident. That way, you’re not stuck with your old car payment even after you no longer have the car. It also earned top marks in Consumer Reports’ survey, with a 90/100, though it fell a little behind in J.D. Power’s rankings.


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.
You may have heard that men pay more than women for car insurance. This is true, because statistically men are more likely to engage in risky driving practices like speeding and driving under the influence, which results in more accidents. Massachusetts, Hawaii, and North Carolina do not allow gender to play a role in auto insurance rates, so drivers in those states don’t have to worry.
In virtually all states, drivers are required by law to have mandatory liability insurance coverage. This is done as a way to ensure that the driver can cover the cost of damages to other people or property in the unfortunate event of an accident. Some states implement a “proof of financial responsibility” requirement, which is a little more flexible.
Part of why car insurance quotes are so confusing is because car insurance itself is confusing. For starters, there are different types of coverage. Some are required by law; some are not. And the specifics vary by state. We’ve got a full explainer on how car insurance works right here. But, since it’s so crucial to understanding your quotes, here’s an overview of the major components of an auto insurance policy — and what they cover.
The type of car you drive matters. If you drive a vehicle that is listed as high theft, or more likely to be involved in an accident, expect to pay higher premiums. Even cars that have collision protection can actually drive up the price due to the cost of repairs. Other things that will drive the cost of repairs up is after-market installs. Things like rims, spoilers, and exterior lighting can be costly to repair. You will want to make sure that you have the right coverage to cover damage to after factory installs.

Car insurance is required in every state (and Washington DC) with three exceptions: New Hampshire, Missouri (uninsured drivers must submit “proof of financial responsibility” to the Department of Revenue), and Virginia (where drivers must pay a $500 fee to drive uninsured). These states still require at-fault drivers to pay for any bodily injury and property damage.

Connecticut residents have the second-highest disposable income of any state in the nation and, as a result, the abundance of luxury cars tends to drive up the rates. It’s also why Connecticut has some of the highest auto repair costs in the nation. This puts greater strain on insurance companies, and they pass that expense onto consumers in the form of higher premiums.
Over the past 80 years Nationwide Insurance® has grown from a small auto insurance company to one of the largest and strongest insurance and financial services companies in the world. You can’t say that about most cheap car insurance companies. The key to our growth has been simple: helping customers protect what’s most important to them while providing outstanding customer service.

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.


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Over the past 80 years Nationwide Insurance® has grown from a small auto insurance company to one of the largest and strongest insurance and financial services companies in the world. You can’t say that about most cheap car insurance companies. The key to our growth has been simple: helping customers protect what’s most important to them while providing outstanding customer service.
Finally, remember how insurance companies make money? There’s a slight chance that, through mismanagement or a sudden influx of claims, your car insurance company could be unable to meet its financial obligations. That means that they wouldn't be able to pay out your claim, or the insurance company could go out of business – leaving you uninsured and vulnerable. Make sure any car insurance company you buy from is in good fiscal health, so you don’t get left out in the cold.
Liability coverage is legally required in Tennessee and pays for injury and lost wages that you cause to another driver or their passengers as well as damage to the other driver’s vehicle in the event that you are considered “at fault” in an accident. The coverage limits are determined by each individual state and normally split into three categories. In Tennessee, the minimum is listed as 25/50/15 and explained below:
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.
Insurance comparison websites can be further broken down into sites that provide real-time insurance quotes versus those that provide estimated ones. Estimated quotes are derived from historic data and are often out of date; to get the most accurate information you should use a site that provides real-time quotes generated by the insurance companies.
Despite not being open to everyone, USAA has a 6 percent market share when it comes to car insurance. It also offers several other services, including banking and investment services, as well as a full line of insurance products. Because USAA works primary with military service members and their families, it has expertise related to specialized situations, like getting a VA home loan or insuring a car while you’re deployed overseas. USAA can also help members navigate moves and real-estate transactions, which are often a part of military life. USAA isn’t publicly traded, so profits go to its members in the form of discounts and dividends.
Keep an eye on your credit score: Maintaining a solid credit score is recommended no matter what, but it’s especially important when your score is being referenced to develop your auto insurance policy. Just as you investigate a car’s accident history before purchasing, insurers are investigating your payment history before doing business with you. The higher the risk, the higher the policy costs.
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At its core, car insurance is a bet. You pay your premium, betting that if something happens to your car, you’ll get that money back to pay for repairs, medical bills, and other costs. The car insurance company takes your premium, betting that if you do have an issue with your car, the cost of paying for it will be less than the premiums they’ve collected from you and other policyholders over the years. Insurance companies do lose money on occasion. For example, when Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, as many as 500,000 total loss car insurance claims were filed in response to the damage. Those claims cost the insurance industry billions of dollars – money that could have otherwise been profits.


USAA Insurance Agency means USAA Insurance Agency, Inc., or USAA of Texas Insurance Agency. CA Lic. #0D78305, TX Lic. #7096. 9800 Fredericksburg Road, San Antonio, TX 78288. The agency represents third-party insurers that are not affiliated with USAA and provides services to you on their behalf. Third party products are not underwritten by USAA or its affiliates. The agency receives a commission on the sale or renewal of third-party insurance products and may receive other performance-based compensation from them. Product availability may vary in some locations.
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Coverage limits play a huge role in how much your auto insurance premiums cost, but so will your deductible. Since you’ll be required to pay your deductible in full to access your insurance benefits after an accident, it’s important to make sure your deductible is affordable enough you can cover it with your savings. The right auto policy for your needs will have the right combination of healthy coverage limits with an annual deductible you can actually afford.
How it works: Once I launched the quoting tool for auto insurance, I was greeted by a large-print brag that “Drivers Pay As Low As $29.32/Month for Car Insurance.” When I began filling in my vehicle information, the site offered to save me time by looking up the information for me—a frightening reminder of how much of our personal information is available online. The contact information fields were accompanied by text stating that “we respect your privacy” and “NO SPAM, privacy guaranteed.”
Although we’re sure that you’re probably an excellent driver (you would never speed or cut someone off, would you?), and an even better parent, how are you as a teacher? Many driving school instructors have been teaching student drivers for decades, and we all know teenagers are more likely to listen to literally anyone else than take instruction from their parents.
Results: Nerdwallet returned three quotes ranging from $154 per month to $315 per month and six “estimated rates” ranging from $153 per month to $330 per month, from mostly name-brand insurance carriers. Each quote/rate included a little information about the company, a company rating, and a summary of Nerdwallet’s review (accessed by clicking on the “view details” link). The quotes had a button to click in order to buy the policy over the phone, but only one quote offering the option to purchase online. The estimated rates included a button to click to access the company’s website and get an actual quote from them.
Erie is the cheapest insurance company, and arguably the most reliable insurance company as well. They score points by allowing customers to start their quote online, which we personally found to be a streamlined and fast process. Erie also scored the highest marks from the number of policies they offer. Erie offers pet coverage, free accident forgiveness, free vanishing deductibles, roadside assistance, and many more, essentially giving its customers a degree of flexibility not even found amongst the largest insurers. Customers of Erie may also be eligible for its Rate Lock program. This is a unique program where customers won't see their rates increase except for three reasons: you move to a different area, add or remove someone from your policy, or add or subtract a car. Lastly, despite its smaller size, Erie offers the same types of discounts larger national insurers provide such as bundling, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft, young driver and senior driver among others.
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