"Many companies offer discounts for good grades and for completion of an approved driver’s education or defensive driving course," continued Doreen Haughton-James of 123 Drive! Driving Academy. "Some also have their own discount programs. State Farm, for example, has a program called 'Steer Clear' where students receive discounts for logging driving hours and completing a program."
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.
Since most people choose one of these large insurers, NerdWallet compared quotes from the five largest auto companies in ZIP codes across the country. Rates are for policies that include minimum coverage required in each state, plus collision and comprehensive coverage. Our “good driver” profile is a 30-year-old with no moving violations and credit in the “good” tier. Use the tabs to see rates for drivers with credit in the “poor” tier and those with one at-fault accident as reported to the insurer.
The car your drive makes a big difference in your insurance rate. Vehicles built for performance, with high MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price), and foreign-built models are often costlier to insure. Vehicles that don't cost as much to repair or aren't built for faster driving — such as vans and sedans — are correspondingly cheaper to insure.
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.
Auto Show Medical Reimbursement: in case someone sustains an injury at an exhibit or event featuring your car. This coverage is not unlike the medical payments on a homeowners insurance policy, where the policy will pay medical expenses to the limit, regardless of fault. For example, if someone slips and falls in your exhibition space, this optional coverage would protect you.
Consumer Reports offers an extremely helpful guide that highlights the steps you can take to find the best policy for your needs. Even if you’re fairly happy with your policy, they suggest shopping around to compare rates at least every two or three years. That way, you have a good idea of where car insurance rates are headed and how much you could save if you switch. Plus, it never hurts to shop around. Based on your age, your driving record, and other factors, the policy you have now could be considerably cheaper if you switched firms.
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.
The amount of coverage is another big factor in determining your premium. If you're comfortable with a high deductible and the possible out-of-pocket expenses that might occur, you can lower your premium. Similarly, lower liability limits can also decrease your premium. But always remember that means you may pay more in the long run. For more detailed information, check out all of the great resources that netQuote has to offer to help you understand your car insurance comparison.
Compare major insurers' financial strength and claims satisfaction ratings to better predict the level of service you will receive. Claims satisfaction — assigned by J.D. Power — is rated 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 ranging from "Poor" to "Superior" — assesses an insurance company's financial strength and ability to satisfy its policy and contractual obligations.
Naturally, insurance companies use your driving past as an indicator of how you will drive in the future. It can be difficult to find affordable car insurance if you have a checkered driving history. While it’s very unlikely you will find an insurance company that won’t increase your premium after an at-fault accident or other violation, the degree of the rate increase will vary by company. Let’s compare rate increases for some common violations across major insurance companies.
Results: Once I submitted my information, the site produced one quote, along with six links to other insurance companies. “View my quote” buttons next to each quote took me to the beginning of the insurance website’s own quoting tool, making it clear that these were strictly hypothetical rates. Everquote provided a blurb of marketing text about two of the companies and no helpful information whatsoever to guide my decision.