Depending on which companies you consider, you will have to decide whether to do business with an insurance agent or to purchase a policy online. If you value face-to-face relationships and personal service, it’s hard to beat an agent. But all agents aren’t created equal. Some are “captive,” meaning they sell car insurance for only one company. Others are “independent,” meaning they can sell car insurance for multiple companies. Here are a few things you should consider for each scenario.
To determine how much auto insurance is best for you comes down to understanding your current economic circumstances and how the different types of coverage work together. If you own a car, buying car insurance is inevitable, so it is really important you are getting the right amount for the right price. The following table gives a quick summary of what types of insurance you should have.
If you live in an area with unusual state regulations or heightened risk of weather-related claims, shopping car insurance options will be vital. Not every car insurance company offers policies in every state, which can make pricing less competitive. If you live in storm-prone states like Louisiana or Florida, you might find it harder to get a competitive rate.
That’s also hard to say. Beyond how much coverage you’re looking to buy, the cost of car insurance is affected by driving record, place of residence, type of car, how much you drive and your personal details (age, gender, marital status, etc.) But just so you have a frame of reference for what types of prices to expect, the average annual cost for car insurance was about $900 back in 2014.
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.
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 the Tennessee area, while also getting an insider view of the Volunteer State.
For more than 85 years, Safeco has delivered new and better ways to protect cars and drivers with auto insurance. If you drive a sedan, hybrid, minivan, station wagon, SUV, pickup truck or anything in between, your local independent agent can provide personalized coverage that's right for you. If trouble comes along, we’ll make sure you’re taken care of every step of the way.
Know when to cut coverage. Don’t strip away coverage just for the sake of a lower price. You’ll need full coverage car insurance to satisfy the terms of an auto loan, and you’ll want it as long as your car would be a financial burden to replace. But for older cars, you can drop comprehensive and collision coverage, which only pay out up to your car’s current value, minus the deductible.
Insurance for a collectible automobile works much like traditional automobile insurance. The policy typically has a term of 12 months and includes coverage for liability, collision, comprehensive, medical payments, and uninsured/underinsured motorists. State-mandated liability coverages extend to collectible cars as well as regular private-passenger vehicles. In terms of optional coverage, apart from the standard ones such as collision and comprehensive, there are also some options unique to classic cars. Examples of options offered by most classic car insurers are:
No matter which company you quote or what state you live, all auto insurers will want to know your driving history. In most cases, it will be hard to forget a ticket you received or accident that you were involved in. Many insurers will accept estimated dates if you are close. However, if you want more exact numbers, then then you can always call your local Department/Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
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.
Whether you use the vehicle to commute, attend school, or “pleasure;” insurance companies will want to know the frequency and distance that the insured uses the vehicle. You can use tools such as Google Maps to figure out the distance you generally drive to work or school. In most cases, a general ball park will suffice for most insurance companies.
We employed a methodology similar to that in our review of the best auto insurance. To start, we found the largest insurers in the state by market share. After verifying their financial strength with independent ratings agencies like A.M. Best and Moody’s, we compared their coverage limits, endorsements, and discounts to get a sense of which companies offer the most policy customization. We also took customer opinion into account by comparing scores from the latest J.D. Power and Consumer Reports customer satisfaction surveys. Then, we put each company’s customer service to the test by calling up local agents and getting quotes.
Of the biggest auto insurers in the U.S. - State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, Progressive and Farmers - State Farm ranks as the greatest overall. State Farm was rated 4/5 stars by customers and policyholders in a JD Power survey on companies shopping experience. State Farm is best known for its large agent network; they boast over 18,000 across the nation. It shouldn't be surprising then that State Farm gets 5/5 stars for how its agents interact with customers. As well, State Farm is great when it comes to offering discounts. If you go with State Farm you will have up to 15 discounts to be eligible for which can equal hundreds of dollars worth of savings.
While price is the single most important factor for a lot of car insurance shoppers, we recommend you look at other factors as well. Choosing a policy based on rates alone could cost far more out of pocket when it comes time to file a claim — which is bound to happen eventually. We firmly believe it pays to get the right amount of coverage no matter how much you use your car, as reducing the miles you drive won’t always decrease your premiums.
Classic cars call for special protection. When it comes to protecting your classic car, American Family Insurance has you covered. We’ll help you build a unique combination of liability, medical expense, uninsured/underinsured motorist, comprehensive and collision coverage that match your needs and your car’s value (determined by evaluation of vehicle’s worth through N.A.D.A. Guide).
There isn’t a definitive answer to the question, “which company is the cheapest?” Some companies are cheaper than others, plain and simple, but individual details of your driving profile can affect which companies offer you the cheapest rates. For example, while Liberty Mutual wasn’t the cheapest for a driver with a clean record, it was the cheapest for a driver following a DUI. The best way to find cheap car insurance is to compare as many companies as possible using your driving profile.
Commercial auto insurance provides liability and physical damage coverage for vehicles used by your business. This includes cars, vans, commercial trucks, and other types of vehicles. Commercial auto policies offer different levels of coverage than personal policies. This is because business vehicles tend to need higher limits to help protect the business in case of accidents. With affordable rates, outstanding customer service, and experience you can count on, GEICO can help you with your commercial auto insurance needs.
In addition to offering the usual insurance products, including home, car, and boat, Traveler’s also offers wedding and event insurance. Traveler’s sells car insurance online, over the phone, and through local agents. You can get a free Traveler’s car insurance quote online. Traveler’s offers car insurance discounts for homeowners, good students, new customers, and new-car buyers.
No matter whether you buy liability coverage or full coverage for your vehicle, you need to pick a deductible that meets you needs. Consumer Reports suggests choosing a higher deductible if you want to save on monthly premiums, but setting a lower deductible if you want to avoid a large out-of-pocket expense in the event of a car accident. “If you have a good driving record and haven’t had an at-fault accident in years, or ever, opting for a higher deductible on collision coverage might be a good bet,” writes Consumer Reports. Just remember to keep that much cash on hand in case you need it.
Classic Car Insurance: defined by many companies as being 19 to 24 years old, restored, in good working condition, and greater than the average value of other autos of the same make and model year; some insurers consider a car of this description that is only greater than 10 years old to be “classic.” The Classic Car Club of America regards classic vehicles to be those manufactured between 1925 and 1948.
Nationwide's insurance professionals can quickly design a car insurance quote that meets your precise needs, even for those on a budget. Rather than going with the cheapest car insurance quote, make sure the company you choose provides flexible coverage and billing options. For instance, Nationwide allows members to pay monthly, quarterly or semi-annually online, through the mail or over the phone. It’s important to keep long-term flexibility in mind when deciding on an insurance carrier, not just go with the cheapest car insurance option.