Gap insurance is another type of coverage you may want. Because new cars tend to lose value quickly, many drivers owe more money on their cars than the car is worth. That means that if an accident totals the car, they’ll only get the value of their car, not the amount they owe, and they’re on the hook for the difference. If you owe more on your car than it’s worth, gap insurance can protect you in case of total loss. Some lenders and lease companies also require you have this kind of coverage.

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.

At The Zebra, we know better than most just what a pain buying car insurance can be. We also know that students suffer from higher-than-average policy rates. Talk about a double-whammy. That’s why, this year, we’ve decided to continue The Zebra’s annual scholarship with the goal of helping to alleviate the financial pressures of college-bound students in Texas, while also getting an insider view of the Lone Star State.
Although it’s not hugely impactful, drivers with a Masters or Ph.D. save $44 per year on car insurance premiums, compared to those without a degree. Car insurance companies see clients with higher education levels as less risky and reward that decreased risk with a lower premium. The only states that do not consider education when determining rates are California, Massachusetts, Georgia, Hawaii, and Montana.

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.
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.
Drivers with good driving records typically enjoy lower car insurance costs than drivers with histories of speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, or DUI citations. Unfortunately, Tennessee state drivers without a recent at-fault accident save only 26% on their car insurance premiums, on average — well below the US average of 32%. In addition to earning a cheaper premium for driving incident-free, you may qualify for a safe-driving bonus through your car insurance company. The amount of these discounts may vary, but they typically run between 5 and 10%.
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.”
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.
Although it’s not hugely impactful, drivers with a Masters or Ph.D. save $44 per year on car insurance premiums, compared to those without a degree. Car insurance companies see clients with higher education levels as less risky and reward that decreased risk with a lower premium. The only states that do not consider education when determining rates are California, Massachusetts, Georgia, Hawaii, and Montana.

In most states, a DUI is the most costly violation you can receive. Moreover, in states like California, it will stay on your insurance record for 10 years! Based on our analysis of the most popular car insurance companies, this would set you back an average of $12,491 in insurance rate increases during that 10-year period. To limit your costs, do your due diligence and shop around: State Farm and Liberty Mutual are the cheapest insurance options after a DUI — so consider starting there.


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Today we still answer to our members, but we protect more than just cars and Ohio farmers. We’re a Fortune 100 company that offers a full range of insurance and financial services across the country. Including car, motorcycle, homeowners, pet, farm, life and commercial insurance. As well as annuities, mutual funds, retirement plans and specialty health services.
Insurance is offered by Safeco Insurance Company of America and/or its affiliates, with their principal place of business at 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02116. This website provides a simplified description of coverage. Nothing stated herein creates a contract. All statements made are subject to the provisions, exclusions, conditions and limitations of the applicable insurance policy. Please refer to actual policy forms for complete details regarding the coverage discussed. If the information in these materials conflicts with the policy language that it describes, the policy language prevails. Coverages and features not available in all states. Eligibility is subject to meeting applicable underwriting criteria.
Auto Insurance is required by law for drivers in most states. Drivers who own a car and drive it often should definitely have auto insurance to cover the risk of damages to their car and personal injury and the liability of harm to other people and property. Otherwise, repairs and medical costs, particularly when you’re liable for an accident, can be very expensive.
If you’ve read plenty of insurance company reviews and still can’t decide, it might help to get several quotes to compare. Depending on where you live and other factors, one company could offer a much better deal on auto insurance than the rest. In this scenario – where one company is much cheaper over all – you should figure out why the price is so affordable. Are you comparing apples to apples?
One of the biggest differences between carrier’s rates can be attributed to the avaialable discounts. Most insurers reward safe drivers and bundlers. In additon, savings can be found for vehicles that have the most safety features. The most variable discounts can be found when a company is trying to reach a certain group of insurance consumers. For instance, some companies may offer discounts for switching before the expiration of a policy or from a certain competitor, while other may decide retirees shoulde get a discount.
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.
We can help you figure out if you need rental car insurance. The short take: If you don't have auto insurance, yes, you most likely need coverage. If you have robust car insurance, you might simply need a collision damage waiver as it’s the only way to ensure you won’t pay the rental company any damages in case of an accident. Of course, it gets more complicated from there. For the long take on car rental insurance, head here.
Traveler’s insurance is a publicly traded company that offers business and personal insurance. They do not offer financial products or banking. Though Traveler’s insurance has just a 2 percent market share for car insurance, it does have one major distinction: In 1897, it offered the nation’s first automobile insurance policy. It’s also the only insurance company that’s part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, though most people know Traveler’s from its sponsorship of the Traveler’s golf championship.
Vehicles depicted are the property of actual customers. Any third-party trademarks or brands are the property of their respective owners. Their inclusion here is provided for informational purposes only, and does not constitute an endorsement of any third party by Nationwide. Nor does it imply, directly or indirectly, any sponsorship or affiliation between Nationwide and such third parties.
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.

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.


Some insurance companies will provide their customers with a hire car for a limited period of time if their vehicle has been stolen. There is also the possibility of pre-purchasing a ‘discount hire car benefit’ or ‘comprehensive hire car benefit’, which will ensure you have access to a hire car while your vehicle is being repaired from damage caused in an accident.
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.
GoodFinancialCents.com has an advertising relationship with some of the offers included on this page. However, the rankings and listings of our reviews, tools and all other content are based on objective analysis. For more information, please check out our full disclaimer. GoodFinancialCents.com strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. The information in our reviews could be different from what you find when visiting a financial institution, service provider or a specific product's website. All products are presented without warranty.

American Modern is backed by GEICO and provides classic and collector car insurance for a wide array of vehicles. American Modern provides flexible mileage plans, including an unlimited one which is perfect for collectors who like to drive their vehicle occasionally. With American Modern, you also get the largest standard spare parts coverage, as well as 'inflation guard' which ensures your policy scales as your car increases in value.
While this varies from insurer to insurer, generally a learner driver will be covered by a car insurance policy as long as there is an instructing passenger in the front seat who is a fully licensed regular driver. In most cases, you don’t have to pay an additional premium but if the learner driver has an accident, you might have to pay an age or inexperience deductible or both. Of course, they must abide by the terms and conditions of the policy as well. If you drive while pregnant, it won’t affect your policy unless you’ve been advised to refrain from driving or that your pregnancy could negatively affect your capacity to drive. To ensure you are fully able to drive, it is a good idea to consult your doctor.

Companies do not have a standard rule as to what is considered high risk. If you have had an accident or moving violation the variance in premium will differ from company to company. You may have to get several quotes before finding the company that will work with a poor driving record. If you are diligent, then you should be able to find a rate you can live with.
First, you can play with your deductible. We all like to have the least amount of out of pocket expense if we are involved in an accident. However, the lower the deductible, the higher your premium will be. Select a higher deductible amount. If you have chosen a $500 deductible, rerun your quote with a $1,000 or higher deductible. This will assuredly lower your overall premium. 

Drivers with good driving records typically enjoy lower car insurance costs than drivers with histories of speeding tickets, at-fault accidents, or DUI citations. Virginia drivers without a recent at-fault accident can save 33% on their car insurance premiums, on average — nearly matching the 32% US average. In addition to earning a cheaper premium for driving incident-free, you may qualify for a safe-driving bonus through your car insurance company. The amount of these discounts may vary, but they typically run between 5 and 10%.
The Zebra is another free auto insurance comparison website. The site’s name refers to its founders’ goal of presenting “insurance in black and white.” The Zebra has a few articles about choosing car insurance, a car insurance calculator, and some basic information about other types of insurance in addition to its quoting tool. It is rated 4.7 out of 5, and has 565 user reviews on ShopperApproved.

If you own a car, car insurance is a required expense in 48 of the 50 states. A lack of diligence when shopping for your car insurance could lead to a hefty monthly bill, as well as headaches if you actually need to file a claim. We researched and explored quotes from over 128 companies in 2,700 cities to determine which insurers had the lowest costs, nationally and in each state. Our team also evaluated which companies had the best track record for customer service and the claims process.
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