That’s where car insurance companies come in. The 10 biggest car insurance companies in the United States are State Farm, Geico, Progressive, Allstate, USAA, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Nationwide, Travelers, and American Family. Each car insurance company offers a similar product. You pay a set fee, called a premium, on a monthly, semi-annual, or annual basis. In return, you get a car insurance policy that provides you with car insurance coverage. That coverage pays for expenses related to your car in the event of a crash, theft, or natural disaster. Exactly which expenses are covered depends on the coverage you select and pay for. How much car insurance coverage you need depends on several factors, like the value of your car, the minimum insurance coverage required in your state, and any extra car insurance coverage you want.
Whether you can get a cheap car insurance quote may come down to your zip code. If you live in a densely populated area, with a high number of auto insurance claims, your premium will be more expensive than that of a person living in a less dense and less claim-laden part of town. Even if you haven’t filed any claims, you could pay more based solely on your neighborhood.
During our research, we interacted with several independent agents who refused to give us a single detail about higher-priced plans. Despite our persistence, we were repeatedly asked, “Why would you want to consider something that costs more?” and we did not get the information we wanted. On the flip side, if your rates go up after committing to a policy, independent agents are best-suited to help you negotiate a lower price.
So, students, we want to see your favorite road trip destination(s) in your state— from your unique perspective. If it makes sense to hit the open road and be our virtual tour guide, that's great! But there are no limits to what we're looking for: a narrated animation, a slideshow of memorabilia, an illustrated map of the best roadside attractions on the way. This is a chance for you to showcase any place you love in as an original way as possible.
Geico is the insurance company with the gecko mascot and the funny name. Geico stands for Government Employees Insurance Company, a name that dates to when Geico only served employees of the federal government and people in the military. Now, however, anyone can get an insurance policy with them. Geico insures 27 million vehicles each year with 16 million policies, giving it a 13 percent market share. Geico is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, making it a stock insurance company.
A large part of an insurance premium depends on the type of car you drive. Is it a Corvette? Lamborghini? Maybe a Ferrari? Or perhaps you drive a Chevy Volt? Each car will impact the base cost of your monthly insurance mainly for the replacement value of the vehicle. In fact, some states and auto insurance companies will not cover certain vehicles. Also, high theft risk cars cost more to cover as well. Hummers, for example, are more costly than other SUVs and one of the determining aspects is the Hummer is stolen more often than other models. Either way, your premium may be higher due to one of those situations. Since you probably won't be going out and buying a new car just to lower your auto insurance, it's good to know what else can affect the costs of a new policy.
It’s important to consider how your previous auto insurance record reflects on your car insurance quotes. Gaps in insurance — or periods spent with bare minimum coverage — can increase your quote, as insurance companies see you as financially unstable and more risky to insure. A lengthy insurance history with high limits and fewer claims can lead to cheap car insurance quotes.
Insurance experts suggest that you compare car insurance policies every time your current policy is up for renewal (typically every six months to a year). Before you launch your quote hunt, review your existing policy and see if your needs have changed. For example, many auto lenders will require you to have no more than a $500 deductible in comprehensive/collision coverage—but once you pay off your car loan, you can increase this deductible and save a considerable amount on your insurance premiums.
As you probably already know, a simple Google search blasts out a vast variety of insurance companies. Advertisements on television all promise savings. Their gimmicks attempt to grab your attention and win your business, which, all too often, can leave you confused. Have you ever ended up selecting the company you feel is most truthful in their advertising and try to get it over with quickly?
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.
Ehhhh ... I mean, you won't face a legal penalty. (They vary by state, but usually involve hefty fines. Plus, your license could get suspended.) In terms of adequate coverage, it depends on where you live. Some states have low minimums. In fact, many only require liability insurance, which covers property damage or bodily injury you cause other people. You would need other types of car insurance if you wanted coverage for damage to your car.
If you choose the legal minimum coverage level in Texas, expect to pay an average of $826 annually. This expenditure is more expensive than the nationwide average by 26%. If you opt for better coverage, you can choose a policy with comprehensive and collision coverage, which will protect against the costs of car-on-car crashes, theft and vandalism, or weather incidents. But better coverage comes with a cost: in Texas, a comprehensive insurance policy with a $1,000 deductible costs $1,620, 96% more than liability-only car insurance. For a comprehensive policy with a $500 deductible, expect to pay 120% more than you would for basic coverage.
In simple terms, car insurance is a contract that you have with an auto insurance company where you pay a regular fee in exchange for the promise to pay for certain kinds of coverage in the event of an accident. The auto insurance company will cover medical fees and vehicle repair damages up to the amount in the insurance policy that you’ve signed up for.
It's hard to say. You might see rates change as you age, but they don't always go down, so much as they level out or increase at a lower rate. (Remember, the rules of inflation are in effect.) And that assumes you don't incur any red marks on your driving record. As for a change in marital status, you generally have to contact your insurer to get a rate decrease — and if your spouse has a less-than-stellar driving record, well, again, you mind wind up paying more.
If you drive under a certain amount of miles every year, you can tell your insurance company and possibly qualify for a low mileage discount. This is a common discount that many drivers actually qualify for but are not aware of. If you only use your car for occasional short trips, you can sign up for a usage-based insurance program that determines your rates based on how much you drive.
The Hartford is only the nation’s 11th largest insurer, but it still packs a punch. In fact, it had the highest score in my 12-category feature evaluation (92 out of 100). It also offers a wide range of policy options and benefits (including rates based on how much you actually drive your car and a new car replacement program for cars totaled shortly after purchase) and was the only insurer to score a perfect 100 in our vehicle-discount evaluation.
Whenever possible, it’s best to purchase more than the state minimum coverage. Car accidents are expensive, especially if someone is injured. If you end up with $50,000 in medical bills and you only have the state minimum coverage, your insurance company will only pay for half — the rest must come out of your own pocket. A good rule of thumb is to purchase as much insurance as you can afford.
While you might want to finish shopping for car insurance as quickly as possible, it’s important to do your due diligence and find the right company. At the end of the day, car insurance is designed to protect and benefit you. If you were to be injured or have your car totaled in an accident, your insurer’s customer service and claims satisfaction would be vital.
The car you drive and the way you use it have a big impact on the coverages you need. We let you customize coverage that's right for your needs and budget. The right auto policy can cover you in worst-case scenarios and help you pay for medical expenses, loss of income and other situations as a result of an accident. Learn more about the different types of car insurance coverage.
All written content on this site is for information purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of AWM, unless otherwise specifically cited. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and no representations are made by our firm as to another parties’ informational accuracy or completeness. All information or ideas provided should be discussed in detail with an advisor, accountant or legal counsel prior to implementation.
This fee is when submission of an SR-22 is requested by the policyholder. According to the Safety Responsibility or Evidence of Financial Responsibility law, persons whose driving privilege has been suspended or revoked for an accident, conviction, or judgment are required to file and maintain a Form SR-22 with the Department of Public Safety. If you feel that you may be required to file an SR-22, contact the Department of Public Safety for further clarification.