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.”
After our analysis of 2,700 cities and 128 companies, we found that Erie was the most affordable major insurer in the country with an average yearly rate of $1,052 based on our sample driver - about 31% cheaper than the national average across every insurer. The very largest of the five is GEICO, the second largest auto insurer in the U.S. by market share.
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.
Decide how much car insurance you need. State requirements represent the minimum amount of coverage you need to drive … and they’re generally inadequate, even when it comes to the required liability insurance. It’s hard to say for sure how much coverage you specifically need, because it depends on the age, make and model of your car, among other things. However, most insurance experts generally recommend limits of $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per person; $300,0000 in bodily injury coverage per accident and $100,000 in property damage coverage. And, if your car is new and/or expensive, you’ll probably want collision and comprehensive insurance, too.
If you own a newer car, are leasing one or you purchased it with a loan, full coverage is likely the best option for you. This way, if you’re in an accident, both your car and the other drivers will be protected based on the limits you choose on your policy. Full coverage includes collision and comprehensive coverage, along with standard liability protection. Most loans and leases require full coverage.
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.
In virtually all states, drivers are required by law to have mandatory liability insurance coverage. This is done as a way to ensure that the driver can cover the cost of damages to other people or property in the unfortunate event of an accident. Some states implement a “proof of financial responsibility” requirement, which is a little more flexible.
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.
The auto insurance market in the U.S. is dominated by a few key players. In fact, the top ten auto insurance companies control more than 72% of the market. While the top ten insurance companies underwrite a large number of policies, they have very distinct characteristics. To help you choose the best insurance company for your situation, we created a list of the top ten largest auto insurance companies in the U.S. and discuss what makes each of them unique.
Look into being a nominated driver on your parents’ insurance. Their rates might go up, but it could be less than keeping your solo policy. And because married drivers tend to file fewer claims, you’ll often get a discount on your premium just for getting engaged or married. Married couples can also save by combining their insurance on one policy to save money.
You will need to know the make, model, year and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). An online quote form may be able to pre-fill a large portion of this information by using the VIN found on the dashboard under the windshield or your state’s vehicle registration paper work. Sometimes an insurance form may ask you to differentiate between the different models and security features.
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.
As with any credit check, a record of this search will remain on your file – and your credit rating will affect the amount of APR that you’re charged. If you have a poor credit rating, you may be charged up to 20% APR. And if you’ve struggled to pay credit in the past, or if you have a CCJ to your name, then you may be denied the option to pay monthly. If you think you’ll have issues with your credit rating, you can read our guide on improving your credit score.
Note 14 Down payment not required when the down payment is less than $50 and the member has at least one active product and no processed Non-Payment cancellations (NPCs) in the last three years. Not available in Azores, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom, Guam, Puerto Rico, AK, AL, CA, CO, KS, LA, MS, ME, NC, NE, NJ, NY, TN or VA.
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While State Farm's shopping experience is well-reviewed, customers did not feel as strongly about it's claims handling process. The company scored about the same as the other four large companies, but was still mediocre. A large national company may be expected to not be very efficient because of the various departments involved in handling individual claims. If you want the assurances guaranteed to you by a large, "legacy" carrier, then State Farm is the best to go with.
Like a DUI, a reckless driving citation can raise your car insurance rates. If you’ve received a reckless driving citation, your best bets for cheap car insurance are Nationwide and Liberty Mutual, despite the latter being one of the more expensive insurance options if you don’t have a violation. This shows the importance of comparing car insurance rates carefully — your driving profile will be handled differently by every company.
At Erie Insurance, our classic car insurance takes this into consideration and values your car on a “stated amount” basis. That means we determine the value of your vehicle up front, before a loss happens. For vintage cars valued at $30,000 and up, our professional material damage appraiser will even inspect and value your vehicle. You’ll know ahead of time what your vehicle has been valued at so there are no surprises should a partial or total loss happen.
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.
While Auto-Owners Insurance keeps a fairly low profile, they receive extremely high marks across the board. In fact, J.D. Power awarded it “better than most” or “among the best” in every category in its 2018 Insurance Shopping Study. That puts Auto-Owners Insurance ahead of the pack in terms of overall customer satisfaction whenever a claim is filed.
What changes between each state’s auto insurance requirements is how much of each type of coverage is needed. Both bodily injury and property damage liability coverage is required in almost every state, and some states require personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage as well. Each state also has its own minimum liability limits, presented as bodily injury limit for a single person, bodily injury limit on the entire accident, and property damage limit.
When you have your car at home, it must be kept in an enclosed, secure garage when not in use. If you are away from home on extended outings your car is fully protected if you must park it outside, for example in a hotel parking lot. Grundy coverage includes Trip Interruption that reimburses you for hotel and repair costs in the event of a breakdown, and we also reimburse you for towing and labor charges up to $250. You can count on Grundy as you cruise.
Our Thoughts: Liberty Mutual is a mediocre insurance company. The competitiveness of Liberty Mutual’s car insurance rates will depend on your geographic location. While this is often true with most insurers, Liberty Mutual’s rates vary more than typical. In addition, Liberty Mutual’s customers rank the insurance company’s claims satisfaction process as below average.
If you live in the South, Midwest, or Mid-Atlantic regions, Erie Insurance is worth your consideration. Erie has consistently received high marks from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, but didn’t make it into my top four recommendations due to limited availability — it only serves residents in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and certain parts of DC.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) 5-Star Safety Ratings Program provides consumers with information about the crash protection and rollover safety of new vehicles, with more stars equaling safer cars. We examined 2016 model year vehicles for which ratings are available to compile the list of most affordable to insure for teen drivers.