Oh, there are a whole bunch. The big ones include good driver discounts (for going long enough without a moving violation); affiliation discounts (for belonging to a group, like AAA or AARP, that partners with the insurer); low-mileage discounts (for, you know, low mileage) and car safety feature discounts (for installing stuff like emergency break assistance or collision avoidance systems). You can find a full list of common car insurance riders and discounts here.
Unlike your education level or gender, your credit has a big impact on your insurance rate. Drivers with poor credit (524 or below) pay more than twice what those with excellent credit (823 or more) pay for auto insurance. Again, this has to do with how insurance companies view drivers with poor credit in terms of risk. A driver with poor credit is more likely to file a claim than a driver with excellent credit. Moreover, when a claim is filed by a driver with poor credit, the claim payout by the insurance company tends to be higher. Insurance companies cover this risk by charging those with poor credit scores higher rates.
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.
Travelers is more than 160 years old, making it one of the oldest insurance companies operating today. In fact, Travelers issued its first auto insurance policy in 1897, before the Ford Model-T was invented. The company has over 30,000 employees and 13,500 independent agents and brokers in multiple countries—including the United States, Canada, and Brazil.
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.

Different people can pay drastically different prices for car insurance at the same company. Compare car insurance companies that can offer you the best deal for you individually, not across the board. You can also compare local insurance companies, which tend to have higher customer satisfaction rates than their big-name counterparts and could potentially have lower rates.


While you can buy a similar level of auto insurance coverage from multiple insurers, it might be wise to tailor your policy to your specific needs. The higher your coverage limits, the more you’ll generally pay for your premiums. However, having higher coverage limits also means more security in the event of a catastrophic accident. The same is true for your deductible as well; with a lower deductible, you’ll pay a lot less out-of-pocket if an accident should occur. On the flip side, you’ll pay higher premiums to have a lower annual deductible.
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.
We’ve developed four lists comprised of the cheapest cars or trucks to insure, to fit the needs of car shoppers in the market for a crossover or SUV, a minivan or sedan, a hybrid or all-electric vehicle, a vehicle for you or a teen. The lists were created based on Mercury’s price for full coverage - liability, comprehensive and collision. Other factors, such as a driver’s experience and accident history, can push the rate up or down, but were not included in any of the rate calculations. Each list begins with the cheapest vehicle to insure.
With conventional automobile insurance, your car is typically covered only up to its actual cash value, which is equivalent to its replacement cost minus depreciation. For example, if you purchased a brand-new Dodge Challenger in 2010 for $22,000 but got in an accident that totaled the car today, your insurance company may only reimburse you an actual cash value of approximately $14,000.
Because car insurance companies all offer a similar product and have similar business models, choosing the right car insurance company is all about finding the balance of coverage, cost, and customer service that’s right for you. Some auto insurance companies let you do almost everything online with no human interaction – from getting a free car-insurance quote to buying a policy to making a claim. Others use local agents who meet with you and walk you through the process. Some auto insurance companies also offer a wide range of insurance and financial products, including banking, so you can handle much of your personal business in one place. Car insurance discounts vary by company, as does each company’s online tools and mobile apps. Start by deciding how much car insurance you need. Next, compare car insurance rates from different companies. Then, find best car insurance company for you, based on your budget and the level of customer service you want.

Claims and Price Satisfaction: We looked at J.D. Power’s 2018 Auto Claims Satisfaction Reports, Insure.com’s Best Car Insurance Companies for 2018, and Consumer Reports’ 2017 Car Insurance Ratings to get a bird’s-eye view of the industry across the nation. We also conducted a survey of 100 insured drivers who had filed a claim within the past 12 months.
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 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.
Unless you’re a teen driver, your gender isn’t a significant auto insurance rating factor. In fact, the national difference between car insurance premiums paid by women and men is less than 1%. For teenagers, this premium difference is much more dramatic: male teen drivers pay nearly $600 more per year than do female teens. Again, this comes back to the main goal of an insurance company – anticipating and limiting exposure to risk. Car insurance companies' historical data says young male drivers are more likely to take risks while driving than are female drivers in the same age group.
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.
Rather than opting for less coverage, it’s possible to save on your premiums by shopping around with a variety of companies. Each company has its own formula for calculating premiums, which is why each gives you a different quote. Beyond cheap rates, it’s also important to find a company that offers ideal add-ons, discounts, and specific coverage options for your situation. Our top picks are a great place to start your search.
Remember, price is just one piece of the car insurance policy puzzle. You also want to make sure you feel good about the insurer you’re doing business with. Do they have a good track record when it comes to paying out claims? Are they known for their customer service? Are they financially solvent? Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to get answers to these questions. In fact, sometimes, some important signifiers will be included with your auto insurance quote. The big stats to check when vetting an insurance company include:
Travelers is another strong provider, and it’s especially worth a closer look if you have a lease or loan on your vehicle. It’s one of our top picks to offer GAP coverage, which pays the balance of your lease or loan if your vehicle is totaled in an accident. That way, you’re not stuck with your old car payment even after you no longer have the car. It also earned top marks in Consumer Reports’ survey, with a 90/100, though it fell a little behind in J.D. Power’s rankings.
USAA Insurance Agency means USAA Insurance Agency, Inc., or USAA of Texas Insurance Agency. CA Lic. #0D78305, TX Lic. #7096. 9800 Fredericksburg Road, San Antonio, TX 78288. The agency represents third-party insurers that are not affiliated with USAA and provides services to you on their behalf. Third party products are not underwritten by USAA or its affiliates. The agency receives a commission on the sale or renewal of third-party insurance products and may receive other performance-based compensation from them. Product availability may vary in some locations.
Claims and Price Satisfaction: We looked at J.D. Power’s 2018 Auto Claims Satisfaction Reports, Insure.com’s Best Car Insurance Companies for 2018, and Consumer Reports’ 2017 Car Insurance Ratings to get a bird’s-eye view of the industry across the nation. We also conducted a survey of 100 insured drivers who had filed a claim within the past 12 months.

Car insurance is required in every state (and Washington DC) with three exceptions: New Hampshire, Missouri (uninsured drivers must submit “proof of financial responsibility” to the Department of Revenue), and Virginia (where drivers must pay a $500 fee to drive uninsured). These states still require at-fault drivers to pay for any bodily injury and property damage.
Safe Auto Group Agency, Inc and/or its affiliates (“Safe Auto”) is located and operated exclusively in the United States of America. Safe Auto does not offer goods and/or services in any language of an European county, does not deal in any European currencies, and does not underwrite risks for or issue policies to individuals or companies located in the European Union.
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