Every auto insurance company advertises its low rates. But as with any product, the cheapest car insurance policy isn't always the best option. Considering the financial stakes, it's worth doing the due diligence to find a policy that protects your car completely in the event of a collision. Hunt for a great value, instead of settling for the cheapest car insurance in your state.
At the end of the day, the type of driver you are and how often you drive may play a part in the coverage limits you select. If you drive infrequently, you may be more comfortable with lower or average limits. If you drive at high-risk times or commute back and forth to work, on the other hand, more or better coverage might help you sleep better at night.
"Teens are very likely to pick up the habits of their parents,” says J.C. Fawcett of the Defensive Driving School. “A parent should think about. Do I cuss at other drivers while driving? Do I speed? Do I tailgate? The training that comes from students observing their parents is very powerful. If a parent attempts to change their habits only when their teen is learning to drive, it's probably 10 years too late."
Allstate is a publicly traded company that has a 9 percent market share for auto insurance and underwrites $21.4 billion in premiums each year. Allstate does most of its business through local agents, but the company provides support services online and over the phone as well, so if you have a wreck after-hours, you can still file a claim. Allstate is the parent company of Esurance and Encompass. Esurance is sold primarily online, while Encompass insurance products are sold primarily through independent insurance agents. Allstate was once part of Sears but became independent in 1995.
When you get an insurance quote, an agent might add extraneous coverage. Unlike your home, your vehicle will rapidly depreciate in value, meaning the coverage you once had might not be necessary after a few years. For example, collision and comprehensive coverage are designed to protect your vehicle from damage. But if your vehicle is worth less than $4,000, the value of insurance payout you would receive may not justify the cost of your insurance premium.
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.
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.
Large insurance companies analyze a huge amount of customers’ personal data (like social media posts, credit scores, and even your web shopping habits). Then, they churn the data through a proprietary algorithm that estimates how likely you are to shop around or just renew your existing policy each year. By doing so, they can increase your premium just enough to raise their profit margins without attracting your attention and prompting you to shop for a new policy.
If your renewal doesn’t contain the correct information, you have to get in touch with your insurer. You have to make sure that all your information is updated and accurate and if you don’t take action to inform your insurer about any changes to your circumstances that you are fully aware are relevant to your policy, you might end up with a reduced payout on a claim or no payout at all. Your policy might be canceled and if fraud is suspected, the insurance company may simply act as if the policy had never existed.
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?
Full Agreed Value Guaranteed, No Deductible in Most States, Full Comprehensive and Collision, Liability With Limits Up To $1,000,000, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist, State Required PIP As Medical Benefits, Inflation Guard Value Protection, Spare Parts Inventory Coverage up to $500, Trip Interruption up to $600, Towing and Labor up to $250, Automatic Coverage on Newly Acquired Vehicles, Uninterrupted Coverage During Repairs when your car Is in a shop, and More! In addition, just one low liability payment covers all your cars!
There are many reasons you may be seeking the cheapest auto insurance option. Your household finances may be tighter than usual. Or maybe you don't drive a lot. Whatever the reason, a low-cost policy doesn't have to mean a no-frills experience with the insurance company. As you compare quotes from cheap car insurance companies, consider more than just price. Policies from leading carriers, such as Nationwide, may be exactly what you need. Here's what to look for:
DMV.org is a privately-owned site that helps drivers interact with their local Department of Motor Vehicles. This site is not an official government agency, but acts as a middleman between you and your local DMV; for example, a visitor may renew their vehicle registration or driver’s license on the site for an additional fee. The website is rated 4 out of 5, and has 5,830 user reviews on Trustpilot.
Your auto insurance rate depends on who you are as a driver, as well as your age, your credit, your vehicle, and your location. How insurance companies weigh these attributes is reflected in your premium. For example, having a limited driving history or a poor credit score can raise your rates dramatically. Our analysis of major rating factors shows how premiums shift from company to company.
Grundy wants you to enjoy your car, not keep track of mileage like some programs with limitations. Therefore, we give you unlimited miles for pleasure driving and in collector car-oriented activities. It is even OK if occasionally you drive your collector car to work to show it off to friends. However, your collector car must not be used as a daily driver. We require you and all licensed drivers in your household to have a modern car for everyday use.
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.
The Zebra didn’t allow me to customize coverage preferences, forcing me to choose one of four pre-assembled packages. It also didn’t list which companies allowed which discounts, making their earlier list of pre-qualified discounts less useful. On the right side of the page, the site provided an “Insurability Score” listing the factors that insurance companies use to set rates and grading the information I’d provided during the quoting process, which could help drivers looking to improve their rates in the future.
USAA stands for United Services Automobile Association. USAA is a bit different from other large insurance companies in that not just anyone can get a policy. To work with USAA, you need to be an active member of the military, a military veteran with an honorable discharge, a cadet or midshipman at a U.S. service academy, or an eligible family member. Eligible family members are spouses, widows, unremarried ex-spouses of USAA members, and children of USAA members. So, for example, if your grandfather served in World War II and had an honorable discharge, he could join USAA, as could your parents. Then you could join, and your children and spouse could join as well.
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.
Liberty Mutual is one of the top insurance companies in the U.S. and has been around for over 100 years. Liberty Mutual also has large international presence—with operations in 17 countries. The international companies sell property and casualty, health and life insurance policies. The auto insurance industry is a large part of Liberty Mutual’s business, representing 36% of their net written premium from insurance as of their latest annual report.
Auto insurance isn’t only great protection for your vehicle, it’s also the law. All states require some degree of insurance for your vehicle to protect you and other motorists. Coverage requirements will vary based on your financial responsibility for your car and your state’s requirements. Some states even require you to have liability insurance before you even get a license.
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.
Liability coverage is legally required in Virginia 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 Virginia, the minimum is listed as 25/50/20 and explained below:
Type of car: If you have an expensive or powerful car then you are seen as a higher risk for a number of reasons. If it’s expensive, it has a higher risk of being stolen. If it’s powerful, it’s deemed more at risk of getting into an accident driving at speed. If you want to see how your car impacts your insurance, you can check which insurance group it’s in for an indication.
NerdWallet averaged rates for 30-year-old men and women for 10 ZIP codes in each state and Washington, D.C., from the largest insurers in each state. “Good drivers” had no moving violations on record and credit in the “good” tier as reported to each insurer. For the other two driver profiles, we changed the credit tier to “poor” or added one at-fault accident, keeping everything else the same. Sample drivers had the following coverage limits: