The Best Car Insurance Companies in Florida

The search for the best car insurance company entails digging into such factors as price, coverage options and customer satisfaction. And things get more complicated when you are choosing auto insurance in Florida. That said, we break down how you can choose insurance you’ll afford while feeling comfortable with your choice in auto insurance carrier.

Florida has some of the highest car insurance rates in the nation due to factors like its weather, its no-fault insurance law and the high rate of uninsured drivers. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute reports that Florida had the sixth highest in uninsured drivers in 2019 at 20.4%, the year with the most recent data.

That said, you can still find an insurance company in Florida that provides excellent coverage within your budget. We took a look at the best insurance carriers that serve Florida and picked our five favorite ones, including the best overall auto insurance company in Florida. (Spoiler alert: It’s Geico.)

The factors that influence how much car insurance companies will charge you include your age, marital status, driving history and even ZIP code. Each insurer weighs those factors differently. The best strategy for finding cheap car insurance in Florida will always be to compare quotes. Just make sure the quotes you get are comparable in coverage, and of course, check out our reviews below.

In this article

Methodology

When comparing Florida auto insurance companies, we used our SimpleScore Methodology to consider factors such as discounts, coverage, support, customer satisfaction and accessibility.

We also looked at authoritative reviewers and gatherers of auto insurance statistics such as J.D. Power, Bankrate, Insurance Information Institute and Consumer Reports. Bottom line: We’ve worked to give you the best advice about car insurance in Florida.

The best car insurance companies in Florida

These insurers were ranked at the top of J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study in the Florida region. J.D. Power is a global leader in customer service surveys. These insurance providers also have excellent marks on our own SimpleScore and have gained the notice of Consumer Reports and the Insurance Information Institute.

  • Geico — Best overall for Florida auto insurance
  • State Farm — Best for Florida auto insurance claims customer service
  • Allstate — Best overall for Florida auto insurance customer service 
  • Progressive — Best for Florida auto insurance coverage options
  • Liberty Mutual — Best for Florida auto insurance discounts

Best overall for Florida car insurance – GEICO

When compared to other Florida auto insurance providers, Geico got top marks both from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. Why? This carrier’s scores for claims and non-claims service were excellent. In fact, Geico is our favorite all-round Florida auto insurance carrier.

J.D. Power Rating

3/5

AM Best Rating

A++

Standard & Poor’s

AA+

SimpleScore

4.8 / 5.0

SimpleScore GEICO 4.8

Discounts 5

Coverage Options 5

Customer Satisfaction 4

Accessibility 5

Among the auto insurance carriers we track, Geico’s premiums were among the lowest for average minimum coverage, at $433 (per Bankrate’s 2020 data), which is actually also one of the lowest among the Florida providers we like best.

In addition to ranking among the best with J.D. Power for auto insurance companies in Florida (846 out of a score of 1,000) in 2020, we found that Geico was one of the largest auto insurance providers in 2019, according to the Insurance Information Institute, with almost 14% market share. We found that coverage options were robust, with 11, and discounts were quite plentiful, with 16.

Best for Florida car insurance claims customer service – State Farm

We consider State Farm to be the best in claims service satisfaction, an assertion backed up by its strong ratings with Consumer Reports.

J.D. Power Rating

4/5

AM Best Rating

A++

Standard & Poor’s

AA

SimpleScore

4.6 / 5.0

SimpleScore State Farm 4.6

Affordability 4

Coverage Options 5

Customer Satisfaction 4

Accessibility 5

State Farm’s wide reach can be a major attraction for some, with more than 19,000 independent agents and over 16% of the market share among auto insurance direct premiums written. This ensures that such benefits as the number of coverage options (we counted 13) is at your fingertips.

Over at Consumer Reports, we found that State Farm gets a 4 out of 5 for both claims and non-claims service satisfaction, although the company doesn’t rank as well for premiums and policy review satisfaction.

Best overall for Florida car insurance customer service – Allstate

When compared to other Florida auto insurance carriers for overall customer satisfaction, Allstate landed on top, with a J.D. Power score of 851 out of 1,000.

J.D. Power Rating

3/5

AM Best Rating

A+

Standard & Poor’s

A-

SimpleScore

4.4 / 5.0

SimpleScore Allstate 4.4

Discounts 3

Coverage Options 5

Customer Satisfaction 4

Accessibility 5

Allstate is a solid provider of car insurance, with good coverage options, customer support and accessibility. This carrier offers two apps: QuickTrip, which provides support for routing daily trips and maintenance reminders, as well as Allstate Mobile, which can be used for filing claims and other tasks.

This carrier is not a favorite for premium prices: Consumer Reports only gives Allstate a 1 out of 5 in that category, although the company ranks well with claims satisfaction, with 4 out of 5.

Best for Florida car insurance coverage options – Progressive

Progressive is the best in coverage options in our estimation, when compared to other Florida insurance providers, with 13 at our count.

J.D. Power Rating

3/5

AM Best Rating

A+

Standard & Poor’s

AA

SimpleScore

4.2 / 5.0

SimpleScore Progressive 4.2

Discounts 4

Coverage Options 5

Customer Satisfaction 4

Accessibility 4

When it comes to claims satisfaction, Progressive performs well, says Consumer Reports, with a 4 out of possible 5. The Progressive app is also robust, with the ability to get roadside assistance, file a claim and more.

Progressive is middle to top of the pack in premium costs for Florida auto insurance. Bankrate found that average minimum coverage was $1,356, near the top of the providers we follow, while full coverage was middle of the pack at $2,573. That said, Progressive has definite advantages as a large, established insurer.

Best for Florida car insurance discounts – Liberty Mutual

Of the Florida auto insurers we compared, Liberty Mutual won out with its insurance discounts (we counted 17). Options include such discounts as rewarding you for driving a hybrid or electric vehicle and even if you get a quote from this company before your policy runs out.

J.D. Power Rating

3/5

AM Best Rating

A

Standard & Poor’s

A

SimpleScore

4.8 / 5.0

SimpleScore Liberty Mutual 4.8

Discounts 5

Coverage Options 5

Customer Satisfaction 4

Accessibility 5

Liberty Mutual is also one of our strongest in coverage options, with 18 counted. One nice feature is that you can have the option for original manufacturer replacement parts, which means that if you have a Toyota Camry, you can get parts made by Toyota, not an after-market manufacturer.

Consumer Reports found that Liberty Mutual did not enjoy the satisfaction in premium prices that you might hope for, but satisfaction in claims processing was strong with 4 out of 5.

[ Read: Steps to Switch Car Insurance Companies ]

Choosing your Florida car insurance provider

One of the first decisions you’ll have to make when signing up for car insurance is whether to choose a local or national carrier. Both come with advantages and disadvantages.

Local carrier

Pros 

  • A personal relationship with your agent.
  • Services that are specific to your location.

Cons 

  • Fewer discounts.
  • Fewer digital tools.
  • Slower claims process.

National carrier

Pros

  • More discounts.
  • Faster claims process.
  • More money to invest in digital tools.

Cons 

  • May not have an individual agent.
  • Less of a personal touch.

Florida’s minimum insurance requirements

Florida’s minimum insurance requirements are the lowest in the U.S., with 10/20/10 in bodily injury liability and property damage liability. That’s as of March 2021.

What does that mean? Coverage must include up to $20,000 for everyone in an accident (middle number), subject to a limit of $10,000 for one person (the first number), and $10,000 for property damage (the last number). Also, instead of policy limits, policyholders can satisfy the requirement with a combined single limit policy. 

By comparison, Maine’s and Alaska’s minimum required coverages are at 50/100/25. (For Maine, policyholders must also carry coverage for medical payments.)

Property damage

Florida requires that all drivers carry a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability insurance. This coverage will protect other drivers from financial loss in case you are at-fault for an accident and damage another vehicle. Failure to do so can result in the suspension of your registration or driver’s license.

Personal injury protection

Florida is one of a handful of no-fault auto insurance states. This means that regardless of a car accident, each driver is responsible for covering their own medical bills. As a result, the state requires that all drivers carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection. This coverage will pay for 80% of medical expenses from a covered accident.

Taxi insurance

Florida requires that taxis carry extra car insurance to protect their passengers. Vehicles registered as taxis in the state must carry at least $125,000 bodily injury liability per person, $250,000 bodily injury liability per accident, and $50,000 property damage liability per accident.

How much does car insurance cost in Florida?

Drivers in Florida pay $2,364 annually for full coverage and $1,101 annually for minimum coverage, according to Bankrate records.

Florida car insurance can get high depending on the ZIP code, as much as $3,314 in Miami, the state’s largest metropolitan area. (Miami-Dade is one of the largest counties in population in the U.S., with almost 2.8 million in 2018, according to the U.S. Census.)

Meanwhile in North Florida, Tallahassee has some of the cheapest premiums for the state, according to Bankrate.

City Average annual premium for full coverage
Jacksonville $2,230
Miami $3,314
Orlando $2,405
Tampa $3,027
Tallahassee $2,043
St. Petersburg $2,662

Bankrate uses Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record and good credit.

Car insurance FAQs

Florida drivers face a variety of unique circumstances that make car insurance rates more expensive. Factors that cause Florida car insurance rates to be high include:

  • The state’s no-fault insurance law.
  • A high rate of older drivers.
  • A high rate of uninsured drivers.
  • High rates of inclement weather.

Florida requires that drivers carry $10,000 of both property damage liability and personal injury protection coverage. But you can certainly choose to purchase more insurance, and you may want to. Florida’s minimum requirements don’t provide any protection for your vehicle, only for other drivers. If you want your car to be covered in an accident, increase your coverages.

Both collision and comprehensive coverage protect you in case of damage to your vehicle, but they apply to very different situations. Collision coverage protects you in case of a car accident. Comprehensive applies to situations where your car is damaged for a reason other than an accident, such as vandalism, theft or inclement weather.

We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the insurers we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

Source: thesimpledollar.com

The Best Car Insurance Companies of 2021

Ease of filing claims, customer service, discounts for such habits as being a good driver or student — these are some of the criteria we look at when choosing the best auto insurance companies on our radar.

The standout was Amica Mutual Group, with its perfect SimpleScore of 5 out of 5, but the others that made our list have their own impressive story to tell, such as State Farm for teen drivers and USAA for military members and their families. Bottom line? You’re bound to find an insurance provider you love from our list.

[Related: What’s the Average Cost of Car Insurance In the U.S.?]

The 10 best car insurance companies of 2021

Rank Company SimpleScore Best insurance company for:
1 Amica Mutual Group 5.0 Best overall car insurance
2 American Family 4.8 Best car insurance for diminishing deductible 
3 Geico 4.8 Best car insurance for customer support
4 Liberty Mutual 4.8 Best car insurance for coverage options
5 State Farm 4.6 Best car insurance for teen drivers
6 Nationwide 4.5 Best car insurance for safe drivers
7 Farmers 4.4 Best car insurance for state-specific discounts
8 USAA 4.4 Best car insurance for military members
9 Allstate 4.4 Best car insurance for accessibility
10 Progressive 4.2 Best car insurance for maximizing savings

Why trust us in finding the best car insurance?

Our research methodology

We’ve created the SimpleScore™ to help you objectively compare products and services here at The Simple Dollar.

Our editorial team:

  • Identifies five factors to compare across each brand
  • Determines the rating criteria for each factor
  • Calculates an average of those five factor scores to get one SimpleScore™

We break down each of these five factors and their rating criteria for our review of the best auto loan companies of 2021.

Why do some brands have different SimpleScores™ on different pages?

Some brands like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Chase have different SimpleScores™ because they offer more than one financial solution — like auto loans, home loans, personal loans and banking.

The Simple Dollar also looks at external studies from authoritative sources such as Consumer Reports, the Insurance Information Institute, AM Best and J.D. Power for inspiration.

[Related: The Best Cheap Car Insurance Companies of 2021]

In this article

Best car insurance companies reviewed

Best overall car insurance company – Amica

Amica Mutual is our best overall for auto insurance, gaining our notice in customer service, accessibility, discounts and coverage options.

J.D. Power Rating

5/5

AM Best Rating

A++

Standard & Poor’s

AA

SimpleScore

5 / 5.0

SimpleScore Amica 5

Discounts 5

Coverage Options 5

Customer Satisfaction 5

Accessibility 5

In addition to top marks from our own SimpleScore, Amica Mutual got the attention of Consumer Reports for claims, service and policy review. There was a bit of a markdown for satisfaction in price of premiums, but the rating was still solid when compared to competitors.

This provider offers your standard fare of auto coverage, including comprehensive, collision and uninsured motorist, then offers extra features that you might not find elsewhere, such as free airbag repair.

Customers can get a free quote online and customize coverage options to meet their driving and coverage needs. Amica also makes it easy to report and track claims online and hassle-free. You can get a number of discounts for big savings on your policy, too. You’ll save when you’re accident-free for at least three years and when you take a driver safety class.

Best car insurance for diminishing deductible – American Family

The best insurance company for diminishing deductible, American Family rewards you for safe driving by crediting your deductible $100 each year ($50 with a six-month policy term) up to your policy maximum.

J.D. Power Rating

N/A

AM Best Rating

A

Standard & Poor’s

A

SimpleScore

4.8 / 5.0

SimpleScore American Family 4.8

Discounts 5

Coverage Options 5

Customer Satisfaction 4

Accessibility 5

With 18 discounts offered, this insurance provider leads the pack with some unusual ways to save, such as discounts for young volunteers and for having a parent who is an American Family customer.

American Family’s SimpleScore is practically perfect, with top marks for accessibility and support. You can choose how you want to get help from using the online chat to talking to an agent.

While this insurance company didn’t make the top 10 with J.D. Power for claims satisfaction in 2020, it did rank in the top 20, with a score of 862 out of a possible 1,000. You’ll experience ease in filing a claim, with the ability to file by app, by phone or online.

Best car insurance for customer service – GEICO

Geico is our favorite for customer service, with its handy virtual assistant, access to insurance agents and more.

J.D. Power Rating

3/5

AM Best Rating

A++

Standard & Poor’s

AA+

SimpleScore

4.8 / 5.0

SimpleScore GEICO 4.8

Discounts 5

Coverage Options 5

Customer Satisfaction 4

Accessibility 5

Geico caters to the tech-savvy consumer, which is great for those who don’t want to speak to an agent or listen to the never-ending elevator music while you’re on hold. With the ability to personalize your alerts and access all of your important information, Geico Mobile makes things easy.

Geico’s range of coverage includes the standard fare — collision, comprehensive and liability insurance. Unlike many other companies, rideshare insurance for Lyft and Uber drivers is also available. 

Geico does offer mechanical breakdown coverage, though it’s only for new cars less than 15 months old with less than 15,000 miles. While it’s not applicable to all people, if you fall into this category, you’ll be able to renew mechanical breakdown coverage for up to seven years or 100,000 miles.

Best car insurance for coverage options – Liberty Mutual

We found that Liberty Mutual offers the best in coverage options just by sheer volume — we counted 18. There’s even coverage for teachers while on school grounds and for driving to Mexico.

J.D. Power Rating

3/5

AM Best Rating

A

Standard & Poor’s

A

SimpleScore

4.8 / 5.0

SimpleScore Liberty Mutual 4.8

Discounts 5

Coverage Options 5

Customer Satisfaction 4

Accessibility 5

In addition to top-notch coverage options, Liberty Mutual offers among the most in discounts. In addition to alternative energy discounts and a good student discount, this provider rewards you for military service and even has an early shopper discount that rewards you for getting a quote and signing up before your current policy expires.

This insurance company came in 14th among auto insurance providers in J.D. Power’s 2020 claims satisfaction study, with a 867 out of a possible score of 1,000. Liberty Mutual’s app allows you to file and track claims from your phone, or the company promises a 5- to 10-minute process when filing online.

Liberty Mutual did not fare well with satisfaction in price of premiums, according to Consumer Reports, although they came off quite well in satisfaction in the handling of claims.

Best auto insurance for teen drivers – State Farm

State Farm is our favorite for teen drivers. In addition to the ubiquitous good student discount, this auto insurance provider offers two programs that encourage safe driving habits.

J.D. Power Rating

4/5

AM Best Rating

A++

Standard & Poor’s

AA

SimpleScore

4.6 / 5.0

SimpleScore State Farm 4.6

Affordability 4

Coverage Options 5

Customer Satisfaction 4

Accessibility 5

State Farm is the largest U.S. auto insurance provider by direct premiums, holding 16% of the market in 2019, according to the Insurance Information Institute. We know the size of a company shouldn’t be all we look at, but there are times when it comes in handy.

When it comes to support and accessibility, this provider gets full marks. Count on finding an agent when you need to — access to 19,000 independent contractor agents shows the power of working with a large company.

But if you don’t have time for a phone call, the State Farm mobile app allows you to contact a representative or send a picture of the damage. A user-friendly app is something we often take for granted, but not all companies have this luxury.

Best car insurance for safe drivers – Nationwide

Nationwide is our clear favorite for the safe driver. In addition to possible eligibility for a lower rate if you have at least five years of safe driving, benefit from the proprietary SmartRide® program and get 10% for signing up.

J.D. Power Rating

3/5

AM Best Rating

A+

Standard & Poor’s

AA+

SimpleScore

4.4 / 5.0

SimpleScore Nationwide 4.4

Discounts 3

Coverage Options 5

Customer Satisfaction 4

Accessibility 5

In business since 1926, this insurance provider serves all 50 states and is among the leading companies in the industry. In fact, Nationwide ranked eighth in 2019 in the nation for auto insurance by direct premiums written, according to the Insurance Information Institute, with 2.5% of the market share.

While Nationwide received strong marks for claims-related service from Consumer Reports, it didn’t fare so well with only a 1 out of 5 for premium prices. Interestingly, Bankrate found that Nationwide was one of the highest for average full coverage premium, at $1,485 a year.

We liked Nationwide for its coverage options and discounts — in fact, Nationwide’s number of coverage options was one of the highest of the companies we reviewed, with 15.

Best car insurance for state-specific discounts – Farmers

Even with strong nationwide discount options, Farmers is a standout for state-specific discounts as well. In some states, you can get discounts for having daytime running lights, VIN etchings, and in California only, alternative fuel.

J.D. Power Rating

2/5

AM Best Rating

A

Standard & Poor’s

A

SimpleScore

4.4 / 5.0

SimpleScore Farmers 4.4

Discounts 4

Coverage Options 5

Customer Satisfaction 4

Accessibility 5

Farmers is at the absolute top for coverage options among the insurance providers we track, with 19, including customized equipment like aftermarket infotainment systems and drivers for rideshare companies like Lyft and Uber.

Farmers had an eye-popping $2,000 average in full coverage premium, according to Bankrate. That was only outdone by one other auto insurance company that Bankrate tracked, MetLife at $2,123. The same is true with minimum coverage average, which was $808 for Farmers, making it No. 2 after MetLife at $821. (Bankrate used Quadrant Information Services in February 2021 to pull these numbers.)

This insurance provider’s customers report strong satisfaction in claims processing, Consumer Reports found, something that can give you peace of mind when choosing insurance.

Best car insurance for military members – USAA

USAA is our favorite for military members and their families among auto insurance providers, and for good reason. They get top marks with JD Power for auto claims satisfaction, as well as a perfect score from Consumer Reports.

J.D. Power Rating

5/5

AM Best Rating

A++

Standard & Poor’s

AA+

SimpleScore

4.4 / 5.0

SimpleScore USAA 4.4

Discounts 4

Coverage Options 5

Customer Satisfaction 5

Accessibility 4

USAA fares well on our SimpleScore as well. Count on excellence in customer service and discounts. However, this provider isn’t available to everyone. Only active service members, veterans and their families are eligible for a car insurance policy through USAA. 

Given there are such strict restrictions, you should expect the quote process to take longer and be more involved than other competitors. However, that’s a small price to pay for its exemplary service and established reputation.

This insurance provider offers some of the lowest average premiums — Bankrate reports that USAA’s average minimum coverage premium is one of the lowest among the providers we follow, at $384; its full coverage premium average is actually the lowest of the ones Bankrate tracks, at $1,225.

Best car insurance for accessibility – Allstate

We like Allstate the best for accessibility, meaning we appreciate the ease in filing claims and transparency of information, such as coverage options and discounts.

J.D. Power Rating

3/5

AM Best Rating

A+

Standard & Poor’s

A-

SimpleScore

4.4 / 5.0

SimpleScore Allstate 4.4

Discounts 3

Coverage Options 5

Customer Satisfaction 4

Accessibility 5

Allstate makes up more than 9% of the market share in private passenger auto insurance in direct premiums written, according to the Insurance Information Institute, making it fourth of the top 10 auto insurance providers in the U.S.

But it’s the customer support, customer satisfaction and accessibility such as the user-friendly apps that got our attention, including the proprietary QuickTrip® app that helps you find the best routes and gives you daily maintenance reminders.

Consumer Report respondents didn’t care for the pricing of premiums — the company received 1 out of 5 for that item. However, Allstate fared better with satisfaction in handling of claims, with a 4 out of 5.

Best car insurance for maximizing savings – Progressive

We love Progressive because it maximizes savings for customers, with not only the usual discounts such as for paying in full and being a safe driver, but also for owning your home and having continuous insurance.

J.D. Power Rating

3/5

AM Best Rating

A+

Standard & Poor’s

AA

SimpleScore

4.2 / 5.0

SimpleScore Progressive 4.2

Discounts 4

Coverage Options 5

Customer Satisfaction 4

Accessibility 4

Unique to Progressive, the Snapshot tool bases your rate on your driving habits — like how often you drive, if you slam on the brake or if you used your phone while driving. You’ll get an automatic discount for using the Snapshot app.

This insurance provider’s insurance coverages are full of surprises, such as free pet injury coverage that pays any veterinary bills if your pets are injured in an auto accident. And in addition to the standard fare like liability, collision and comprehensive, gap insurance from Progressive covers 125% of the cost of the car if it’s totaled while you’re still making payments. 

Compare 2021 car insurance rates

Make sure when comparing car insurance quotes from different companies you are looking at the same policy type and coverage level. Cheaper quotes could just be a policy with less coverage.

How does the auto industry work?

There are projected to be almost 290 million registered vehicles in the U.S. in 2021, according to Hedges & Company, up from about 287 million in 2020. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated there were 6.7 million vehicular accidents in 2018, the most recent available data. That’s a lot of cars and a lot of repairs to keep up with. That’s where insurance comes in.

Auto insurance helps cover car repairs and personal costs when life happens. Whether it’s an accident, pothole or car trouble, your coverage can help you cover these costs after your deductible. The less your car’s value is, the less you’re likely to pay in premiums — though it will depend heavily on your coverage, state, age and other factors. 

It’s helpful to think of the auto industry as a never-ending cycle. We pour money into cars and maintenance, but car insurance helps cover the cost if anything goes wrong.

What’s factored into auto policies and rates? 

Your auto policy and the premium will depend on a few factors. It will also determine whether or not an insurer is a good fit for your car coverage needs. Most policies depend on the following:

Depending on these and other factors, you could pay more or less in car insurance. Think about buying a brand new, high-end car when you turn 21 years old. You’re likely to pay more for the car’s year, make and model. You may also pay more as a young driver with a less established driving record. You’re also likely to pay more if you live in California than your friends in South Carolina are paying. Keep in mind that your policy and premium are unique to your needs, driving record and other personal factors.

What’s happening in the car insurance industry today?

At the start of the pandemic, some insurers offered drivers a reimbursement on their monthly payment to help economically. Policyholders were driving less due to COVID-19 nationwide lockdowns. Allstate offered their drivers a 15% Shelter in Place payback on their premiums for April, May and June. Other providers offered credits toward premiums instead. Since that point, drivers have been on the road less often. If you’re working remotely but still need auto insurance, it’s the perfect time to look into low-mileage auto insurance for extra savings or switch carriers for extra savings. You’ll only pay for the miles you drive, and you’ll still have all the coverage you need.

Guide to finding the best car insurance for you

There’s a lot to know about the car and insurance industries to fully understand how auto insurance works, but we don’t want to bore you with a long history lesson. Here’s what you need to know to help make a well-informed decision about your car insurance.

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What makes the best auto insurance companies?

The best auto insurance companies give policyholders flexibility, affordability and simplicity from beginning to end. Whether it’s getting a free quote, paying a monthly premium or filing a claim, today’s top picks are giving customers what they need when they need it most. 

Coverage options 

Start by looking at a provider’s coverage options. You’ll want an insurer with a number of policies and coverage options to meet your needs. Ask your agent what types of car insurance they offer and if any add-ons are available, including rental car coverage and Roadside Assistance. Many insurers will offer a few options including collision, personal injury and gap coverage. 

Customer service 

Switching insurance providers isn’t all about rates. Service matters just as much, if not more. After all, you’ll be working closely with an agent to handle your policy, claims and any other concerns. Take a look at your agent’s BBB rating or J.D. Power rating to see what other customers think, and to weigh any pros and cons. You can also give your agent a call for a first-hand customer service experience to ask about claims, coverage, rates and more. 

Rates 

Your auto insurance shouldn’t break the bank. Shop around for the most affordable rates by speaking with agents and getting free quotes online. Be careful when aiming for the lowest rates, though. Cheaper coverage doesn’t always mean it’s the best. You may pay a low monthly price, but the policy could lack the coverage options you need. Make a list of necessary coverages and find the most affordable rate for your needs. 

Once you’ve found a premium you’re comfortable with, give the agent a call to get more information on discounts and other ways to lower the cost. You may save money on your rate by bundling home insurance, driving safely or taking a driver’s safety course. 

Consider these factors when shopping for car insurance

Check your state requirements: not every state is the same

In nearly all states, drivers are required by law to carry some form of car insurance or proof of financial responsibility. Every state has requirements for the level of insurance and the minimum amount of coverage each driver must have. Use the Insurance Information Institute’s guide to determine the insurance requirements for your state.

After you’ve found what’s the minimum amount of insurance required for your state, you should know if you live in a no-fault or fault state. If you live in a no-fault state, regardless of if an accident is your fault, collision damages and medical expenses will be covered by your insurance company.

We’ve researched state requirements and the best carriers across all 50 states:

What is an at-fault state?

There are two kinds of state laws when it comes to establishing fault in an accident:

  • No-fault state — This means that drivers only assume responsibility for their own injuries and damages. No-fault state drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) to ensure that you have the adequate coverage to pay for medical expenses from an accident.
  • At-fault state — Also known as a tort state, this means that the person responsible for the accident pays for all of the damages associated with that accident, including the other driver’s expenses.

Choose the right amount of coverage for you: Full coverage vs minimum

Full coverage annual rates are significantly higher than minimum coverage rates. But an inclusive car insurance policy isn’t something you should opt out of just to save money— especially if there’s a collision. Full coverage pays for damages to your car caused by an accident, while the state minimum, also known as liability insurance, will cover damages you cause to other people and their car while driving.

Even though a cheaper monthly premium might seem attractive, having more than the imposed state minimum will ensure that you’ll pay less out-of-pocket in case there’s an accident.

For example, in a major car accident, an individual’s medical expenses are likely to exceed $15,000, yet that’s the minimum liability limit in some states. When shopping for liability insurance, it’s a good idea to choose a coverage that will exceed what you might need.

While different states will require different types of coverage, the most basic auto insurance policies are bodily injury liability, personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability. There are additional coverage options as well, which typically cover things like pet injuries or new car replacement costs, among other expenses. Some examples include:

Understand your deductible and how it affects your premium

Most coverage options will have a deductible –– the amount of money you have to pay out-of-pocket towards a covered loss before your insurance policy will step in. Collision, comprehensive and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will all have a deductible.

While you shouldn’t opt out of coverage options just to save money, there are times it just doesn’t make sense to have the extra coverage. A classic example is collision coverage. If your car’s value is too close to the deductible, you probably won’t get reimbursed from your insurance company after a loss.

Let’s say your car is worth $1,000 and your deductible is $1,000. If you get into an accident and your car sustains $800 worth of damage, you wouldn’t get an insurance payout because your deductible would cover the entire cost. It’s always important to determine which types of coverage make sense for you, but especially if you have an older car that’s low in value.

How to save money on car insurance

Now that we’ve laid out the most important aspects that you should know about car insurance, here are some tips on how to save money on your car insurance policy.

1. Compare car insurance quotes

Risk isn’t the only factor that car insurance companies use to calculate your rate. Many insurers also use “price optimization,” meaning they set rates based on how much customers are willing to pay.

Large insurance companies analyze an enormous amount of customers’ personal data, such as social media posts, credit scores and even your online shopping habits. Then, they run the data through a proprietary algorithm that estimates how likely you are to shop around or just renew your existing policy each year. Shopping around every year or two is the best way to avoid this practice and it will help you find the cheapest car insurance options. For most car insurance companies, getting a quote is an easy, online process that you can do in minutes. You’ll just need to provide information like your address, vehicle information and driving history.

[ For You: Understanding Auto Insurance Quotes ]

Shopping around every year or two is the best way to avoid this practice and it will help you find the cheapest car insurance options. For most car insurance companies, getting a quote is an easy, online process that you can do in minutes. You’ll just need to provide information like your address, vehicle information and driving history.

2. Raise your deductible

A higher deductible means a lower monthly cost. It’s a better budget option but know that if you get into an accident, you’ll have a steeper up-front cost to pay for the damages.

3. Raise your credit score

A good credit score saves you money on just about every monthly service or bill and car insurance is no exception. If you focus on improving your credit score first, you’ll save hundreds and thousands of dollars on your annual premium. Look for ways to improve your credit score ahead of shopping.

4. Ask for discounts

If you want a policy with a lot of additional coverage, the end price can feel a little overwhelming. Especially when you consider car insurance isn’t something you’re actively using every day. Capitalizing on the discounts providers offer is one way to ease that financial burden. When you’re shopping around, look for discounts that tailor to your needs. Here are some of the common discounts offered by most providers:

  • Defensive driving discount
  • Good driver discount
  • Low mileage discount
  • Safe driver discount
  • Multi-driver or multi-policy discount
  • Student discount

5. Bundle your insurance

Do you pay separate companies or have separate policies for your renters, home or motorcycle insurance? Renter + auto discounts and home + auto discounts are common. Ask your insurance provider if there is a chance you could be saving money each month by bundling separate insurance.

Car insurance FAQs

Non-owner car insurance policies protect you if you are in an accident that damages someone else’s car while driving it. It’s a lot cheaper than a regular car insurance policy and many of the best car insurance carriers offer this type of coverage.

The amount you pay for car insurance depends on the coverage you choose, where you live and other demographic data. We found that the average cost of car insurance for a full coverage policy is about $130 per month, while a policy that just requires the state minimum coverage is under $100. If you are paying more than the $130 monthly premium, it’s worth shopping around for other car insurance companies or asking your current insurer why your rates are so high.

Regional providers often outshine nationwide options because they have fewer customers, allowing them to dedicate more time to each policyholder. So if customer service and the availability of representatives is important to you, a regional option may be best for you.
However, because regional insurance providers have fewer customers, they also tend to have more expensive premiums and fewer discounts.

Your car insurance coverage extends to a rental car within the U.S. If you’re planning to rent a car overseas, your credit card may provide coverage. If not, you may need to buy additional insurance from the rental agency.

After an accident, regardless of if you are at fault, you need to file a claim with your car insurance company. After the claims process, you will be able to get your car fixed and still keep your current car insurance.

However, your car insurance monthly premium will likely go up after an accident. The amount depends on the type of claim or driving incident.

In most states, car insurance is required by law. Not having coverage can result in license suspension and fines. But even if your state doesn’t require car insurance, you could be left with hefty car repair fees and medical bills to cover if you’re found at fault in an accident.

Ask the Experts

  • Ben ReynoldsBen Reynolds

    Ben Reynolds

    CEO and Founder

  • John DeichlJohn Deichl

    John Deichl

    General Manager

Can a policy become more expensive over time?

Your policy could become more expensive, especially as your career or financial situation changes, your risk of an accident or auto theft could increase your insurance rates. Missing loan payments could indirectly affect your rates since it will lower your credit score and car insurance companies significantly consider credit scores when determining your rates.

Can certain jobs affect my coverage?

Specific job titles can also affect your rates since being in a profession where you could be more distracted while driving can make you a more risky driver. Every provider will analyze this differently since being on the road more could significantly impact your car insurance rates even when your occupation is perceived as more responsible. 

Can I drive for Uber/Lyft using my personal car insurance?

No. Rideshare insurance is a hybrid policy that includes coverage for personal auto use and when drivers are signed in a ridesharing app, but not covered by the company’s insurance. Drivers for on-demand delivery companies should also have rideshare insurance to avoid a coverage gap.

Do I need to compare auto insurance rates if I move out of state?

When moving out of state, you will need an entirely new policy. The new rates will be determined by many factors including the zip code. You should also check whether your new state is no-fault, meaning your insurance company would pay for your injuries and related expenses after an accident, no matter who was responsible. Also, the party at fault could still be sued for injuries over a certain threshold. No-fault states require you to have personal injury protection insurance to cover you after an accident.

How much can someone really save by comparing rates?

You can potentially save hundreds of dollars by comparing your rates. It’s recommended that you shop every two to three years to compare the rates offered by your current insurance provider with other providers to properly assess your rate. 

We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the car insurance companies we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

If you’ve been denied coverage by private insurance companies due to past driving incidents, there are state assistance programs that can provide proper coverage and keep you safe from high bills or driving illegally. A handful of states have government-sponsored programs to help low-income families afford cheap full coverage car insurance. Hawaii, California, Maryland and New Jersey offer government-sponsored car insurance for low-income individuals. 

Usage-based car insurance (UBI) is determined based on your driving behaviors and miles driven. Powered by vehicle installed devices, plug-in devices, or even mobile apps, this type of insurance allows the carrier to monitor your driving habits and best align your premium with your actions while behind the wheel. Carriers such as Progressive and Allstate offer these programs.

If you are considered high risk to insure, it might be helpful to hire an independent insurance agent to find the best deal for you across multiple companies.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are struggling to pay monthly bills. You are not alone. There are some companies offering support, delayed payments and discounts to help.

Don’t give up! There are multiple ways to get car insurance if private companies are offering high rates or don’t have a policy available. 

Source: thesimpledollar.com

What’s the Average Cost of Car Insurance in the U.S.?

When it comes to shopping around for car insurance, it can be difficult to figure out the pricing structure. Part of the issue is that the price varies significantly by where you live, the minimum coverage requirements and a number of other factors. 

Your auto policy and the premium will also depend on such factors as age; car year, make and model; driving record; and gender, which we get into more later.

The average cost of car insurance in the United States is $1,758 per year, which works out to about $146.50 per month. In Florida, the average monthly cost is 29% higher than the national average. A car insurance policy in Alaska, on the other hand, will cost you much less on average, at just $77.88 per month. Even ZIP codes in the same town can differ.

This means that your insurance premium and the premium of your friend living across town will likely be quite different.

With all those factors, how do you know what to expect when it comes to the cost of auto insurance? Well, we’ve got your back. We’ll go into how much auto insurance costs by state and by insurance provider, dive into the other factors, and talk about what you can do to save money on auto insurance.

Research Methodology

The Simple Dollar analyzed millions of car insurance rates in every U.S. ZIP code to determine the average cost by state, carrier, coverage amount, credit score, and other factors from Coverage.com. This includes analyzing thousands of rates from all 50 states that were publicly sourced from 2019 insurer filings. Rates are based on a 30-year-old male or female that had a clean driving record, and we looked at those who had both good and poor credit. These rates should be used to inform your car insurance shopping process, but your own quote may differ based on your unique driving profile.

In this article

What decides the cost of auto insurance?

Here, we’ll get into details about factors that decide the cost of your car insurance. They can be:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Where you live
  • The car you drive
  • Your driving history
  • Education level
  • Profession
  • How long you’ve been driving
  • Your credit score
  • Your driving habits
  • The amount of coverage you choose
  • The type of coverage you choose

[Read: The Simple Guide to Car Insurance]

1. Why does where I live affect the cost of car insurance?

Car insurance rates vary dramatically by state and even ZIP code.

Let’s look at Louisiana. That state offers the most expensive rates for full coverage, with an average annual rate of $3,279.18. One of the reasons why car insurance is so expensive in Louisiana is because the state has one of the highest accident rates. The number of fatal accidents and frequency of collisions in the state is significantly higher than the national average, which leads to higher auto insurance rates.  

State car insurance rates are also determined by the number of uninsured drivers on the road. This leads Florida to be the most expensive state for minimal coverage — 26.7% of drivers don’t have car insurance. Uninsured drivers create more risk and ultimately increase the price of insurance for everyone.

Most expensive full and minimum coverage costs per state

State (Full coverage cost) Average Full Coverage Cost Average Full Coverage Monthly Cost State (Minimum coverage cost) Average Min. Coverage Cost Average Min. Coverage Monthly Cost
1. Louisiana $3,279 $273 1. Florida $1,544 $129
2. Florida $3,289 $266 2. Michigan $1,525 $127
3. Maryland $3,079 $257 3. Maryland $1,489 $124
4. Michigan $2,730 $227 4. Louisiana $1,488 $124
5. New York $2,609 $217 5. Rhode Island $1,445 $120
6. Pennsylvania $2,493 $208 6. Connecticut $1,309 $109
7. New Jersey $2,471 $206 7. New York $1,245 $104
8. California $2,417 $201 8. New Jersey $1,162 $97
9. Rhode Island $2,394 $200 9. Delaware $1,017 $85
10. Colorado $2,346 $196 10. Nevada $989 $82

Which states have the cheapest car insurance?

At an average premium of just over $300 each year, Iowa drivers pay the least amount for minimal coverage –– by a significant amount. Iowa’s low population density is one of the main reasons costs are so low. The majority of the state is made up of “dense rural” areas, rather than urban areas. With fewer drivers on the road, there is less risk of accidents overall.

Cheapest full and minimum coverage cost per state

State (Full coverage rank) Average Full Coverage Cost Average Full Coverage Monthly Cost State (Minimum Coverage rank) Average Min. Coverage Cost Average Min. Coverage Monthly Cost
1. Idaho $1,094 $91 1. Iowa $306 $26
2. Maine $1,242 $103 2. South Dakota $382 $32
3. Hawaii $1,264 $105 3. North Dakota $390 $32
4. Iowa $1,275 $106 4. Wyoming $393 $33
5. Vermont $1,366 $114 5. Nebraska $412 $34
6. Ohio $1,397 $116 6. Idaho $429 $36
7. Nebraska $1,397 $116 7. Hawaii $439 $37
8. North Carolina $1,417 $118 8. Montana $441 $37
9. North Dakota $1,419 $118 9. Ohio $462 $38
10. New Hampshire $1,487 $124 10. North Carolina $482 $40

2. What are my choices of insurance coverage and which are more expensive?

Though every state sets its own regulations, there is a minimum amount of insurance you must carry in each of the 48 states that require car insurance. (New Hampshire and Virginia don’t require insurance.) You can choose to carry higher limits, which will result in a higher premium.

What type of auto insurance coverage should I choose?

You can also choose to add collision and/or comprehensive coverage to your policy to create “full coverage.” While minimum coverage only protects you against liability claims from others, full coverage also protects your vehicle. Collision coverage, as the name suggests, protects your vehicle when it collides with another vehicle, building or other objects. Comprehensive coverage protects your vehicle in non-collision incidents, such as theft or a natural disaster. 

Not everyone needs full coverage. Here are some things to consider if full coverage is right for you:

  • Older vehicles may not need full coverage since the deductible could be higher than the value of the car.
  • Full coverage may not be worth it if you rarely drive and have little to no history of accidents.
  • If you have a lease or a car loan, check with your lender. You may be required to maintain full coverage.

Your policy limits and deductible will fine-tune your car insurance costs, whether you choose minimum or full coverage. The policy limits are how much the insurance company will pay for each type of incident. The deductible is how much you are responsible for paying before the insurance company starts to pay.

Should I choose minimum coverage vs. full coverage?

Minimum coverage car insurance differs in every state, but it usually includes: bodily injury, liability coverage and property damage liability coverage at a minimum. This is the cheapest coverage you can buy, and you can’t legally carry less than the minimum amount.

Full coverage car insurance, on the other hand, is more expensive because it offers significantly more protection. However, it’s worth the added cost. If you settle for the state’s minimum insurance requirements, you run the risk of being underinsured.

Full coverage car insurance usually includes:

You will see coverage amounts listed as three numbers separated by slashes, such as 30/50/30. These numbers represent, in order, bodily injury liability per person, bodily injury liability per accident and property damage liability per accident, in thousands of dollars. So 30/50/30 insurance covers $30,000 of bodily injury per person, $50,000 of bodily injury per accident and $30,000 of property damage per accident.

Drivers can also elect to purchase additional coverage for things like roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement and accident forgiveness.

If you get into a costly accident, there’s no guarantee that you’ll have enough coverage to pay for the full extent of the damages. In that case, you would be financially responsible for paying the difference, which would come out-of-pocket.

3. Can my credit score impact the cost of car insurance?

Your credit score can have a massive impact on your car insurance rates, regardless of other factors. Only three states — California, Hawaii and Massachusetts — ban insurers from factoring in credit score, while in many states your rates could more than double if your credit is poor.

Car insurance cost: poor credit vs. good credit

Carrier Good Credit Full Coverage Average Cost Poor Credit Full Coverage Average Cost Difference
Allstate $2,457.21 $3,528.41 $1,071.19
American Family $1,728.63 $2,897.22 $1,168.59
Farmers $1,534.08 $2,560.31 $1,026.23
Geico $1,336.58 $2,197.10 $860.52
Nationwide $1,379.07 $1,931.89 $552.82
Progressive $1,915.07 $2,976.39 $1,061.32
State Farm $1,902.69 $2,701.59 $798.90
Travelers $1,952.91 $2,635.82 $682.91
USAA $1,178.28 $3,486.49 $2,308.21
Average Difference     $1,058.96

4. Do my age and gender affect the cost of auto insurance?

In a word, yes. Even your basic demographics can have a strong impact on your car insurance costs. Most (though not all) states allow drivers to be rated based on:

  • Age: Younger drivers and those over the age of 75 generally pay more.
  • Gender: Among drivers under age 25, men typically pay more than women — this discrepancy tends to go away for more experienced drivers.
  • Marital status: Married people are considered lower risk, and thus tend to pay less for car insurance.

5. Can my type of car affect the cost of my insurance?

Which car you choose can have a surprisingly big effect on your insurance rates.

Less expensive to insure

  • Big vehicles
  • Family vehicles such as SUVs or sedans

More expensive to insure

  • Small cars
  • Sports cars, especially those that are considered high-performance

6. How can my driving history affect the cost of auto insurance?

As you might expect, insurance companies don’t particularly like paying claims. So if your driving history is poor, you can expect higher premiums. In order of costliness, some things that could raise your rates include:

7. Do auto insurance companies care about my driving habits?

Statistically, the more you drive, the more likely you are to get into an accident. Likewise, parking on the street is more likely to result in damage than parking in your own garage. To save money on car insurance, consider:

  • Taking public transportation to work
  • Reducing your commute
  • Carpooling
  • Paying for off-street parking

8. How does the car insurance company I choose affect my cost of auto insurance?

Of course, all insurance carriers are free to set their own prices. Some carriers offer discounts for which you might qualify, such as safe driving bonuses or discounts for military families, and some may rate your particular risk level lower than others. So it always pays to shop around.

As you can see below, most major car insurance providers are in the same ballpark for rates, but there are some clear outliers. You’ll get the most expensive full coverage auto insurance premium from Allstate, and the most affordable from USAA.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Travelers offered the most expensive minimum coverage rate of $815.41, and USAA offers the cheapest rate by far – just $487.04 each year. This makes USAA seem like the obvious choice, but USAA doesn’t provide coverage to just anyone — it has strict military and immediate family restrictions.

Carrier Full Coverage Average Cost Full Coverage Monthly Cost Minimum Coverage Average Cost Minimum Coverage Monthly Cost
Allstate $2,457.21 $205 $800.53 $67
American Family $1,728.63 $144 $813.48 $68
Farmers $1,534.08 $128 $614.64 $51
Geico $1,336.58 $111 $568.88 $47
Nationwide $1,379.07 $115 $830.00 $69
Progressive $1,915.07 $160 $742.80 $62
State Farm $1,902.69 $159 $801.81 $67
Travelers $1,952.91 $163 $815.41 $68
USAA $1,178.28 $98 $487.04 $41

How can I save on car insurance?

There are a few tricks for saving on auto insurance, including lowering the amount you drive, improving your credit score, and of course, driving more safely. You can also get a host of discounts, depending on your choice in insurance provider.

To get the best deal for your circumstances, conduct a car insurance comparison.

Different insurers offer different discounts. Insurers like Geico, State Farm and Progressive are frequently recognized for having cheaper car insurance rates.

Common discounts include:

  • Good student savings
  • Certain organization membership
  • Active duty military
  • Bundling other policies with the same company
  • Driving a low-risk car
  • Infrequent driving
  • Having a good credit score

Boost your credit score

Taking the steps to improve your credit score is a powerful way to save money on your car insurance. As an added bonus, it will help reduce costs in other areas like credit card APRs. Start by paying all of your bills on time, checking your credit report for errors and keeping your credit card balances low. Remember, improving your credit score is a marathon, not a sprint. It will take some months to see your score increase.

[Read: Car Insurance Rates Are Up – Here Are Eight Ways to Get Yours Back Down]

Car insurance cost FAQs

It varies by state, but in general, you can expect to need coverage for bodily injury liability, property damage liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection. States like New Hampshire don’t require car insurance, though additional requirements are in place.

It depends on a few factors. You should consider the likelihood of your car being damaged (based on your area, your vehicle’s age and similar factors) and your ability to pay for repairs if damages were to occur. Also think about how often you drive. From the start, driving more will put you at a higher risk for an accident.

After an at-fault accident, you can expect to see a 42% rise in your premium, according to data from InsuranceQuotes and Quadrant Information Services. Unfortunately, these rates were measured from people with relatively clean driving histories. If you have a less-than-perfect record, you may be subject to even higher premium increases. How much your rate will increase will depend on the claim type, if you were at fault, your carrier and what state the accident took place in.

We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the car insurance we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

Source: thesimpledollar.com

How to Get the Best Car Insurance Discounts

  • Car Insurance

Car insurance rates can be impacted by everything from your driving record to your age, and as you get older and more experienced, you may be entitled to auto insurance discounts. These discounts are often available when you renew, but you can also take advantage of them before you apply.

Find your best rate on Car Insurance!

Attention: Still Open During the Financial Crisis…

Tip: Act now to see if you qualify for lower rates!

Compare free personalized quotes from the nation’s top providers.

In this guide to car insurance discounts, we’ll tell you what discounts you’re likely to be entitled to, how you can get them, how much they can save you, and more. 

Car insurance quotes can be astronomically high for some applicants, but armed with this advice you can bring those rates down and shave tens and even hundreds of dollars off your policy.

What are Car Insurance Discounts?

​Auto insurance companies base their prices on a series of risks and probabilities. They use statistics to determine the likelihood of each applicant applying, and this allows them to earn a profit when all policyholders have been considered.

If you’re young, drive frequently, and have a history of road traffic accidents, you’re a higher risk as you’ll likely cost them more over the term. If you drive less, claim less, and reach an age where you’re deemed to be low-risk, you will cost them less so they can save you more.

In some states, a driver discount is required by law. State law requires these benefits to be offered to encourage good driving, as many policyholders take their driving records very seriously.

What Types of Discount Can You Get?

There are many types of car insurance discounts available, all of which can help you to save money on your insurance policy. These discounts relate to everything from your driving record to your loyalty and more.

Driving Record

You can get better rates if you can prove that you’re a low-risk driver, which typically means you have driven for several years without claims. A good driver who has never been in a car accident can shave over 25% off their insurance premiums. The types of discount and potential savings include:

  • No Accidents (up to 25%): You need to be accident-free for at least 3 years. However, this only applies to chargeable or no fault accidents, which is essentially an accident for which the insurance company needs to payout.
  • Low-mileage (2%): If you drive between 5,000 and 15,000 miles a year, you could qualify for a low-mileage car insurance discount.

Age and Gender

Driving habits are closely tied to your age and gender. A man between the age of 16 and 18 is significantly more likely to be involved in an accident than any other demographic. And that’s not the only difference, as the likelihood of claiming decreases for each decade until a certain point, after which it begins increasing again.

You can save huge sums of money by changing your provider or your policy as you age, and all this stems from the following car insurance discounts:

  • Good Student Discount (up to 25%): Work hard in high school and college, secure some good grades and you could qualify for a good student discount, reducing your policy by anywhere from 15% to 25%.
  • Students Away from Home (up to 30%): Students who study a long way from home (typically over 100 miles) can qualify for discounts as they are less likely to use the vehicle.
  • Homeowner Discount (up to 15%): Homeowners are deemed to be more responsible than renters. This might seem a little harsh, but it all comes back to statistics and they suggest that you’re less likely to claim if you own your own home.
  • Low Income (varies): Car insurance companies are required to offer discounts for policyholders in low-income employment, and these discounts can differ considerably.
  • Senior (up to 35%): Car insurance companies are also required to offer discounts to applicants aged over 65, even though the risk of claiming on an auto insurance policy increases above the age of 60.

Brand Loyalty

Many companies offer loyalty discounts these days and your insurance provider is no different. You can save money on your auto policy just because you have stuck by a single provider for a number of years, with discounts for all the following:

  • Multi-Policy (up to 10%): You can get a multi-policy discount when you purchase several different insurance options from the same company. Speak with an insurance agent to discover how much you can save by combining homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, and more from the same company. The biggest car insurance providers (GEICO, Allstate, State Farm) provide numerous options. This is also known as “bundling”.
  • Multi-Car Policy (up to 25%): Add all the drivers in your home onto the same policy. This can make things complicated if you have young drivers on the policy, but it’ll be cheaper than if you were to get separate policies for them. A multicar discount could net you a saving of up to 25% on comprehensive coverage, so it’s well worth looking into.
  • Renewal (up to 10%): Renew with the same provider at the end of the term and they might offer you a discount, offsetting the extra cash you might spend by going elsewhere.

Driver Training and Safety Features

Everything from training courses to safety equipment can reduce your likelihood of claiming. And this goes beyond seat belts, airbags and the insistence that your driving is better than average. You need to make a concerted effort if you want to secure some serious safe-driver discounts:

  • Anti-lock Brakes (10%): An important safety feature that could reduce your car insurance policy by as much as 10%.
  • Anti-Theft Features (up to 20%): Theft is a common occurrence, with roughly 230 thefts for every 100,000 car owners. This simple feature could net you some vehicle discounts by reducing the likelihood of your car being stolen.
  • Green Car (10%): Driving a green or hybrid car can save you money on gas while also reducing your auto insurance premium.
  • New Car (10%): Newer cars are more likely to have an anti-theft device installed and also offer better safety features and other benefits. They are less likely to breakdown, as well.
  • Airbags: While we joked that you won’t receive a discount just because your car has airbags, there is an exception. You may require more car insurance coverage if you have an old car with no airbags, but if you have factory-installed airbags in an old car you can save on this feature. This discount is also known as passive restraint.
  • Driving Training (Varies): Take a defensive driving course to prove you can handle yourself better. A defensive driver is less likely to claim and the money you save by taking this course is likely to offset its cost.

Affiliations

Simply being associated with certain companies or associations can reduce your auto insurance premiums, as outlined below:

  • Company Affiliation (up to 25%): Membership clubs, schools, and workplaces may have discount programs in place to help you save.
  • Military (up to 90%): Military vets can save up to 10%, but this increases significantly for anyone actively employed, with discounts going as high as 90%.

Payment Options

A few simple adjustments to the way you pay for your car insurance premiums could net you a substantial saving on your policy.

  • Auto-Pay (Varies): Schedule an auto-pay to ensure you never miss a payment and your provider may give you a percentage discount or some cash back.
  • Paperless (3%): Go paperless to reduce waste and to save your auto insurance provider a few dollars in the process. There really is no need to get paper statements in this day and age, so this is something that every policyholder should consider.
  • Paid in Full (up to 10%): If you pay your annual policy up front you may be offered a sizeable discount. These discounts are nearly always provided by subscription services as it keeps you locked in and allows them to collect all the cash straight away. By offering you a discount, they can pass some of the savings on.

How Much Can I Save?

We have given you a few examples of how much you can save, but that’s all they are, examples. You shouldn’t take this as fact and assume that your provider will offer you these discounts. 

Talk it through with them or with your insurance agent, see what discounts they can offer you, and if you’re not happy with what’s on the table then don’t be afraid to look elsewhere.

You can also improve your auto insurance quote by increasing your credit score and shopping around for the best car insurance. There are dozens of major providers nationwide and once you factor the smaller players into the equation that number stretches well above 100. Don’t assume that you’re getting the best offer possible just because the same company has offered you a good rate for other types of insurance.

It’s also worth noting that the cost will be impacted by your location, with car insurance prices and discounts differing considerably from state to state.

Source: pocketyourdollars.com

Cheapest Cars for Car Insurance

  • Car Insurance

It’s your first car; your first foray into the automotive world. You’re excited, eager, and you spend your time looking for cars that you can show off to your friends, cars made for speed, power, performance.

Find your best rate on Car Insurance!

Attention: Still Open During the Financial Crisis…

Tip: Act now to see if you qualify for lower rates!

Compare free personalized quotes from the nation’s top providers.

But none of those things really matter when you’re buying your first car. Your main goal should be function and cost; a car that can do what you need it to do without costing the earth. And when price is your priority, car insurance is just as important as fuel economy and maintenance, potentially saving you up to 50% on your premiums.

The Cheapest Cars for Car Insurance

Before we look at the types of cars that insurers prefer, the types that offer the cheapest rates, let’s focus on the cars that are consistently generating the lowest insurance quotes.

Most of these vehicles are SUVs, as they score the highest average ratings in safety tests, but once you venture outside the top 10, you’ll find some sedans and luxury cars as well.

  1. Honda Odyssey: A highly rated minivan with a retail price that begins at around $31,000.
  2. Jeep Wrangler Sport: A sporty, convertible SUV with an average cost of around $35,000.
  3. Subaru Outback: A powerful SUV with a suggested retail price of less than $30,000.
  4. Mazda CX-3 Sport: A low-cost, powerful and sleek subcompact SUV.
  5. Honda HR-V: A 1.8l SUV that begins at less than $21,000.
  6. Honda CR-V LX: Another safe and affordable Honda SUV.
  7. Jeep Renegade Sport: A cute and powerful Jeep for less than $23,000.
  8. Ford Escape: Compact, with an engine size ranging from 1.5l to 2.5l.
  9. Subaru Forester: 182 horsepower and an MSRP of less than $25,000.
  10. Jeep Compass Sport: Yet another stylish Jeep. This one packs 180hp into a compact design.

Other Cars

The aforementioned vehicles aren’t the only ones that come with low car insurance quotes.  The Subaru Crosstrek, Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Frontier, GMC Canyon, and Chevrolet Traverse are all up there, and you’ll also get good deals on a host of other reliable vehicles, such as those manufactured by Hyundai, Fiat, Kia, and Toyota.

But as soon as you venture into sports car territory, such as more expensive vehicles made by the likes of Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, and even the higher-end car models offered by Nissan (Nissan GT-R) and Ford, those car insurance premiums increase.

How Are Car Insurance Rates Calculated?

The goal of all insurance companies is to ensure that premiums are higher than projected costs. Underwriters use a series of statistics to calculate these premiums, knowing that probability is always on their side.

This is true for all types of insurance and allows these companies to operate at a profit even in the face of extreme outliers and exceptions. With term life insurance, for instance, they’ll look at your age, sex, medical conditions, and smoking status to predict if you are likely to die during the term; with homeowner’s insurance, it’s all about the risk factors in your area, as well as the size and cost of the house.

Where auto insurance is concerned, there are many factors that insurers can consider and these either revolve around you or your vehicle. They know, for instance, that a driver under the age of 18 is more than twice as likely to have an accident than a driver over the age of 18. They also know that renters and individuals with low credit scores are more likely to be involved in an accident.

Many of these factors can’t be influenced by the policyholder. They can promise to drive safely and insist they are not as reckless as their peers, but until they have established a long and clean driving record, the insurer won’t care.

However, the policyholder can influence the risks associated with the vehicle. By choosing a safer, more sensible ride, they can win favor with the car insurance company and potentially save hundreds of dollars on annual insurance premiums.

When judging the safety of a particular vehicle, car insurance companies will consider the following:

Anti-Theft Features

New cars are fitted with a host of features designed to make criminals’ lives harder. In the old days, cars could be stolen with a wire hanger/screwdriver and a little persistence. These days, thankfully, they’re much harder to crack and these features provide insurers and owners with a little peace of mind.

Safety Features

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) applies rigorous safety tests to all new vehicles, giving them a safety rating of between 1 and 5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

The NHTSA runs collision checks to see how the vehicle fares when hit from the front or the side, while also looking at stability, air bags, tires, and additional safety features. The higher the rating, the lower the insurance premiums, at least in theory.

Repair Costs

How much does your car cost to repair, are the parts widely available, does the car have any specific features or requirements that make a mechanic’s job harder? All these things will be considered during the underwriting process.

It’s one of the reasons sports cars have higher insurance premiums. Not only are they faster and involved in more high-speed accidents, but they’re also very expensive cars to fix.

Statistics

Underwriters don’t simply focus on safety ratings, repairs, and built-in features. They want to know how the car fares in the real world; how those features translate into practical costs. Generally speaking, a new car with advanced anti-theft features will be stolen less often than an older car. 

However, if the statistics suggest otherwise, for whatever reason, you may not be offered the low premiums you’re expecting. Maybe there is a serious security flaw in the car’s anti-theft mechanism, and this has resulted in a spate of thefts; maybe it’s just really popular with criminals. 

Whatever the reason, a car’s safety mechanisms are only as good as their real-world applications.

Other Things to Consider

Your driving record and type of car aren’t the only things that can impact insurance costs, nor are they the only things you can influence:

  • Driving Courses: Defensive driving courses can reduce the cost of your insurance policy as it proves you’re a capable driver and suggests you’re less likely to be involved in an accident.
  • Parking Your Car: Where you park your car on an evening can have a serious impact on your insurance premiums.

How Much you Drive: It stands to reason that a policyholder who drives for one or two hours a week is less likely to be involved in an accident than someone who spends all day on the road.

Source: pocketyourdollars.com

Cheap Car Insurance for High-Risk Drivers

  • Car Insurance

Insurance companies profit by carefully calculating probability and then accounting for it. Your insurance premiums are closely tied to your risk factors; the more at-risk you are, the higher those premiums will be. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t get affordable insurance just because you’ve had a few violations.

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What Makes you High-Risk?

You may be deemed high-risk if you have received a violation of any kind. There are minor and major violations, ranging from parking fines, moving violations and traffic violations to drunk driving and more. The most serious and destructive violations include:

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

A DUI, also known as a DWI, can have a big impact on your car insurance premiums. It’s a citation that results in more bodily harm and property damage than any other, and it’s also connected with more death benefit payouts than any other type of driving citation, making DUIs a huge red flag for all insurance companies.

If you have a recent DUI conviction on your record, you’ll struggle to get comprehensive insurance coverage for a reasonable price, but there are a few things you can do, as discussed in our guide to Getting Car Insurance with a DUI.

Racing and Speeding

Speeding increases your risk and many insurance carriers will charge you over $100 more for every speeding ticket that you receive. If you’re charged with “Racing”, the penalties are more severe and you may be charged an additional $1,000 a year.

It only makes sense, as street racing turns you into a high-speed liability. Your car insurance premiums increase because you’re more likely to do harm to yourself, your car, your passengers, and all innocent bystanders. It doesn’t matter how good of a driver you think you are, in the eyes of an auto insurance company, you’re an expensive disaster waiting to happen.

At-Fault Accident

A car accident that was caused by you and led to significant payouts by the insurance company can have a massive impact on your auto insurance rates. 

Collision coverage and liability coverage are essential components of any insurance policy and if there is extensive property damage and motorist injuries, resulting in major repair work and liability claims, the provider will be hit with a sizable bill.

It should come as no surprise, therefore, that an at-fault accident can increase your insurance premiums by over $600 a year.

Reckless Driving

If you’re cited for reckless driving, your premiums may increase by anywhere from $300 to $1,000 a year. The risk of bodily injury and property damage increases, as reckless driving is defined as driving without care and putting yourself and others in danger.

Other High-Risk Factors

You are also considered to be a high-risk driver if you’re young and male, as young drivers are significantly more likely to claim than drivers aged 25 or older and male teen drivers are twice as likely to claim as females. That’s why young drivers pay higher car insurance rates on average.

But your demographic and driving record aren’t the only things that can prevent you from getting a cheap auto insurance policy. You’ll also be charged higher rates if you:

Have a Poor Credit History

Your credit score impacts pretty much everything that you do financially. It can reduce your chances of getting a credit card or mortgage; it can stop you from getting security clearance and securing the job of your dreams. 

Believe it or not, your credit score is also considered by your insurance provider, as studies suggest that bad credit policyholders are more likely to claim.

Live in a High Claim Area

The best safety features and the safest cars won’t matter much if the driver lives in a high claim area and drives a car that is frequently stolen. In this case, you’re paying for the mistakes of others as the insurance company tries to balance its books.

Have no Driving Experience

Your experience is key, so your driving history will always be factored into the equation when applying for car insurance quotes. If you have some experience behind you and haven’t made any claims, you can secure lower premiums. If not, you have no proof that you’re a good driver or a safe driver and will be considered a risk.

Live in Rented Accommodation

Your credit score isn’t the only surprising criteria considered by insurance carriers. They will also consider whether you are a tenant or a homeowner, with the latter offered lower premiums on average. Again, it all comes down to probability, as studies suggest that renters are more likely to claim than homeowners.

How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance

As noted above, all insurance companies calculate risk and probability to determine how much of a liability you are. This is true for life insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and pretty much all other forms of insurance. Your goal, therefore, is to reduce that risk, keep that liability to a minimum, and make sure you look like a prime candidate in the eyes of car insurance companies.

To get cheap car insurance, therefore, just keep the following in mind and you can secure some car insurance discounts:

Choose the Right Car

A new car can reduce your premiums, especially if it comes with a high safety rating and has anti-theft features installed. SUVs have the highest safety ratings and can save you a lot of money when dealing with major insurers like Geico, State Farm, and Allstate, but there are some highly insurable sedans and smaller cars as well.

Look for the safety rating, check for an anti-theft device, and scour the rates before you buy your car.

Get Training

By completing a defensive driving course, you can prove to your insurers that you are a safe driver who knows what they are doing on the road, thus securing a lower rate than you would get if you didn’t have that all-important certificate.

Improve your Credit Score

A few points can make a big difference, netting you a policy discount and giving you more options if you ever need to apply for a new line of credit or loan. 

Multi-Policy Discount

By taking out different types of coverage with the same provider, you can benefit from bulk rates, known as “bundling”. Like a multi-car discount, you’re essentially getting wholesale rates on your insurance policies.

Providers like Progressive, Nationwide, State Farm, and Geico offer discounts when you bundle car insurance with home insurance, life insurance, and more.

Bide Your Time

Time is your friend when looking for the best car insurance rates. If you have multiple violations and you’re still a teenager, then making do without a car for a while could save you a small fortune. Not only will those violations expire, but you’ll be a little older and will therefore not be considered as much of a risk.

You’ll still be considered high risk as a new driver, but there will be significant savings to make, nonetheless.

Bottom Line: Getting the Cheapest Insurance Policy

Being high risk doesn’t mean you can’t get insured. It just means your car insurance policy will cost more than someone who has a clean driving record and ticks several other boxes with regards to the ideal policyholder. By searching, comparing, and doing what you can to decrease your liability, you can keep those insurance costs to a minimum and save hundreds of dollars a year.

Source: pocketyourdollars.com

How Much Auto Insurance to Buy?

  • Car Insurance

The average driver pays around $1,500 a year in car insurance premium, but these costs can vary greatly depending on the extent of the coverage, as well as factors such as the driver’s age, state, and driving record. But how do you know how much insurance you will need; should you opt for comprehensive coverage right off the bat or can you settle for something less, saving yourself a small fortune on premiums in the process?

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The Types of Auto Insurance

To understand how much auto insurance you need, we first need to look at the many types of coverage that can be added to your policy.

Bodily Injury Liability

If you hit and injure someone with your car, you may be held responsible. They can sue you and claim financial compensation for medical bills and lost earnings, as well as emotional and physical support. This type of coverage is essential, because if you’re hit with hefty legal bills and medical payments, you could lose your house, car, and every other asset you have.

Many auto insurance quotes include minimum liability coverage in the tens of thousands, and this is often capped at around $500,000. Liability limits are entirely up to you, but many experts recommend that you cover yourself with a minimum amount of at least $100,000.

Collision Coverage

One of the most common and essential aspects of your auto insurance policy, collision coverage will payout in the event that you hit or are hit by another vehicle. The rate you pay typically depends on the size of your deductible and the age of your car.

If you have a brand-new and high-value car, these premiums may be higher as it will likely cost more to repair. By the same token, if you have an old car, you may want to rethink the size of the deductible. There’s no point paying a $1,000 deductible if the car is only worth $1,500 or $2,000.

Property Damage Liability

Most states require a minimum amount of liability insurance for property damage, but this is rarely enough to cover you when such issues occur. In New Hampshire, for instance, the required minimum for property damage is just $25,000, but the actual cost could be much greater. An Umbrella Policy can help you here, providing extra liability cover than what is required under state law.

If you damage someone else’s property, this insurance will come in handy, so plan carefully when calculating the amount of coverage you need.

Medical Payments Coverage

In the event of a car accident that harms you and/or your passengers, medical payments coverage will ensure that medical bills are covered. The limits are often fixed at a few thousand dollars. This is the amount that each person in the vehicle can claim in the event of a car accident.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

If you are involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist, you can get additional coverage to make up the difference, bringing their coverage to the same level as yours and ensuring you don’t lose out because of their mistakes. 

This is an important addition to your auto insurance policy, as America has one of the highest rates of uninsured drivers in the United States, with between 10% and 15% of the population said to be without even the most basic coverage.

Roadside Assistance

Drivers have multiple options when it comes to towing and roadside assistance services, but these can also be added to existing car insurance policies and provide some much-needed peace of mind. Depending on the type of policy, they may fix your car on the roadside or tow it to the nearest garage. From there, you may be offered a rental car while your own car is being fixed.

Comprehensive Auto Insurance Coverage

If your car is damaged from fire, flood or vandalism, you may not be protected by any of the policies outlined above. However, a comprehensive policy will cover you for these issues and more. This is offered by most car insurance companies and combines collision insurance, liability insurance, personal injury protection, and more, into one complete auto policy. 

Of course, because you’re getting everything under one policy, you can expect to pay much more than if you were to opt for minimum coverage.

How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?

Consider everything we’ve discussed above, speak with an insurance agent, and get some quotes to determine the best coverage limits for your needs. Car insurance coverage can vary greatly and if you’re on a tight budget you’ll need to cut corners where possible without setting yourself up for failure down the line.

Use insurance comparison sites to compare different car insurance companies and the policies they provide; speak with the experts and ask around. It’s also important to switch providers when your circumstances change. For instance, there is a massive difference between drivers aged 16 and drivers aged 18, and it could add up to tens of dollars a month. Rates also drop when you hit 25 and the older you are and the cleaner your record is, the more options you will have and the lower your premiums will be.

What are the Risks of Being Underinsured?

If you don’t have enough motorist coverage your expenses may be significantly greater when the need arises. You could be tasked with paying a higher deductible or covering most of the costs, and if you suffer from bodily injury and resulting medical expenses, those costs can spiral out of control.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should automatically opt for all possible coverage options. It might not be possible to have too much insurance as far as your coverage is concerned, but it’s definitely possible with regards to your budget.

Summary: Your New Insurance Policy

Insurance is often essential, always expensive, and never easy. This is true for pretty much all forms, including health insurance and life insurance, but it’s also true for car insurance. The good news is that if you have made it this far, then you’ll know all you need to know about finding the best car insurance rates on your new car. 

Use the information we have provided and start looking for comprehensive insurance coverage with the best insurance companies today.

Source: pocketyourdollars.com

Life Events that Impact Car Insurance Rates

  • Car Insurance

Insurance is a numbers game. Underwriters base their rates on the likelihood of an insured making a claim; the more likely you are to claim, the higher your insurance premiums will be. It’s as simple as that. To get the best rates, therefore, you need to present yourself as a low-risk customer. 

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But what can you do to reduce this risk; what major life events are impacting your chances of getting affordable car insurance cover?

Birthdays

Your 18th and 25th birthday have a massive impact on your auto insurance policy. After these dates, your risk plummets, and your rates soon follow. Car insurance companies base their rates on probabilities, as discussed above, and a 16- to 17-year-old is twice as likely to have a car crash than an 18- to 19-year-old. 

At this young age, you pay a higher deductible because your insurance needs are greater, but as soon as you turn 18, you can secure lower rates and bring those car insurance costs down.

A teen driver is between 2 and 5 times more likely to have an accident and suffer bodily injury than a driver aged between 25 and 35, so car insurance costs will reduce even further once you reach 25.

The cheapest rates tend to be reserved for policyholders aged between 50 and 60. At this age, insurance premiums cost around $1,200 on average, compared to the $5,000+ paid by the average 16- to 18-year-old teen driver. However, costs begin to increase again after this age. Even if you have a relatively clean driving record, auto insurers will consider you to be a greater risk and will increase your premiums as you age.

Motorists over the age of 80 can expect to pay roughly the same as those aged between 20 and 29, for example.

Getting Married

Your marital status is considered by underwriters for most insurance policies, including homeowners insurance. Again, it’s all about probability, and statistically speaking, married policyholders carry less risk than their single counterparts. Where car insurance is concerned, this is even more poignant, as you’re more likely to use your spouse’s car. 

Your insurance company may also provide you with a multi-car discount, allowing you to save even more on your car insurance policy. Speak with your provider to discuss potential savings and benefits. 

As an example, a married couple will pay around $1,600 on average for a joint policy with Geico, and if they have more than two cars between them, they can shave up to 25% off the cost.

By the same token, however, these rates may increase if you get divorced, with the average increase being around $120 to $140.

Buying A Home

In the eyes of an insurance company, you’re more responsible when you buy a home and your rates may decrease as a result. However, the best thing about this life event is that it allows you to take advantage of multi-policy discounts. 

If you take out many different policies with the same provider, you can shave hundreds of dollars off your annual premiums and will be covered for everything from property damage to medical costs, physical injuries, vandalism, and breakdowns, all with the same company.

Buying a home also improves your chances of securing credit and it gives you more options when times are tough. Homeowners can tap into their home equity whenever they need a little cash and because they can use their home as collateral, they can also benefit from low-interest secured loans.

Buying a home is one of the biggest life changes you can make and it’s also a costly one as it leaves you with substantial and long-term debt, but it’s a decision that generally carries more positives than negatives.

Getting a Job

As an employee you can benefit from company discounts and policy offers, potentially saving on a host of insurance policies and shaving dollars off your car insurance policy. This isn’t true for all jobs and all employers, but it’s worth looking into.

Ask your employer if there is any way you can save money on your insurance and if there are any other benefits you can take advantage of.

Paying Off Debt

Repaying debt is a huge accomplishment, especially when you consider that three-quarters of all Americans will die with substantial debts and many of those will have lived with debt throughout their adult life. 

Repaying debt provides you with a little more financial freedom and is a significant weight off your shoulders, but it can also reduce the price of your auto policy by improving your credit score.

Bad credit increases your risk significantly and is factored into a lot of calculations, including job applications and security clearances.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost?

The exact price of your car insurance policy will depend on a number of factors, from coverage limits to your age, personal circumstances, driving history, and type of car. Whether you have a new car or a used car will impact the price, but whether it has features such as emergency braking, anti-lock brakes, and airbags, will also make a difference.

Discuss your options with insurance agents, compare rates from multiple companies, and don’t forget to consider extras such as rental car expenses and collision coverage. Your goal is not to simply get the cheapest auto insurance premiums and move on. You need to think about what will happen if you ever have an accident and file a claim. If you’re cheap today you could be hit with some costly expenses in the future.

Summary: Comparison Shop and Benefit

Every time a major life event occurs, you should consider changing your insurance policy. Car insurance isn’t like life insurance or health insurance; it doesn’t increase as you age and the cheapest policy isn’t the one you’re offered at the first time of asking. If anything, the opposite is true, because as discussed above, teen drivers and young drivers pay huge premiums every month.

Comparison shop, negotiate, and don’t be afraid to look for a new provider. Car insurance companies do everything they can to compete with one another and switching is a great way for policyholders to take advantage of different circumstances and secure reduced premiums.

Source: pocketyourdollars.com

How to Get Free Car Insurance Quotes

  • Car Insurance

Choosing the right car and getting an auto loan is only half the battle. You still need car insurance coverage and finding the right insurance policy is a taxing, boring, and often expensive process. But if you keep some simple tips and techniques in mind, you can find affordable car insurance quotes and save yourself a fortune on insurance premiums. 

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How Can You Get a Free Car Insurance Quote?

Car insurance quotes should be provided free of charge. That’s not the case for all of them, but there are plenty of companies and services that will provide you with a free quote. You can then compare these quotes to help you find the best policy.

Online car insurance quotes are generally free, so if you’re being charged a fee, take your business elsewhere.

How to Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes

There are a few simple steps to getting a free quote and using this to secure the cheapest car insurance rates:

1. Be Prepared

To save yourself some time when dealing with car insurance companies, make sure you have some essential information, including:

  • Personal Information: You’ll need to have your basic information at hand when dealing with insurance companies. This includes your driver’s license and the details of everyone else included in the auto insurance policy.
  • Vehicle Information: Make a note of the mileage and the date that you purchased the vehicle, as well as the make and model.
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): You can get the VIN from the dealer or seller.
  • Driving Record: Note down all accidents and claims, as well as any driving courses you have completed.
  • Insurance Record: Finally, many car insurance policies will insist on at least 6 months of insurance before they supply you with a new policy.

2. Understand What They’re Looking for

Knowing what car insurance companies are looking for can help you prepare and allow you to secure some cheap and comprehensive coverage. Generally speaking, the things that have the biggest impact on your quote include:

  • Age: Young drivers are significantly more likely to be involved in an accident and to make a claim, so they can expect to pay more for motorist coverage. Policies should get cheaper as you age, but this changes once you reach your 50s and you will start receiving more expensive quotes thereafter.
  • Coverage: The extent of your coverage is key to the price of your policy. Do you need roadside assistance, how much liability coverage do you need, and what other coverage options should you consider?
  • Car Insurance Discounts: A safe driver in a new car with no claims can secure some big discounts on an auto insurance policy. There are even student discounts for teen drivers and policyholders who have completed defensive driving courses.
  • Location: Your location has a major impact on the cost of your auto policy, and whether you’re in California or Hawaii, Florida or New York, could impact your policy by tens of dollars.
  • Marital Status: You’re more likely to get cheap car insurance quotes if you’re married, as you’re statistically less likely to make a claim.
  • Renter vs Homeowner: A homeowner pays less, on average, than a renter.  The difference is slight but could save you tens of dollars a year.

3. Improve Your Chances of Getting Cheap Insurance

You can’t magically make yourself a few years younger (if only!) and if you’ve already made a claim on your insurance there’s not much you can do to reverse time and undo that claim. However, there are a few ways you can reduce your premiums and bring those insurance costs down, including:

Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score plays an important role in pretty much every financial decision that you make, whether you’re applying for a credit card, looking into life insurance or getting an auto insurance quote. 

A good credit score shows that you’re a trustworthy individual who knows how to handle your finances. It also suggests that you’re less impulsive. 

Of course, that’s not always the case and having a bad credit score doesn’t mean you’re impulsive and reckless. Far from it. However, insurance is based on statistics and probability, and statistically speaking, an individual with bad credit is more likely to be reckless than an individual with good credit.

Check Your Auto Insurance Coverage

There’s no point paying for full coverage if you’re driving a cheap car that costs less than $500. Be careful how you structure your auto insurance with regards to liability, collision coverage, and auto repair. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons against your car and the likelihood of encountering an issue and use these to set realistic and affordable premiums.

Look for Insurance Discounts

You can secure auto insurance discounts for a variety of reasons. One of the best of these is a multi-policy discount, which is offered to policyholders who have several different policies with the same insurance provider. For instance, you can purchase life insurance, property liability insurance, and more, with the insurer essentially offering you a wholesale discount.

There are also discounts for multi-car and driver policies, whereby you add several cars or drivers onto the same policy. But the reductions don’t stop there, and you should also look into the following:

  • Good driver discounts
  • Discounts for student drivers
  • Discounts for paying in full
  • Paperless discount (provided when you agree to paperless billing)
  • Company and employee-based discounts
  • Military discounts

Shop and Compare

Don’t accept the first policy you’re offered; don’t assume they’re giving you the best price and complete coverage. Work with different insurance agents, check multiple providers, and run some searches on comparison websites.

Bottom Line: Free Auto Insurance Quote

Most auto insurance companies provide you with auto insurance quotes for free, and there’s no reason why you should be paying money for these quotes. Be wary of any companies or sites that charge you for this service, remember to compare several quotes from several different companies, and once your policy begins, keep searching for discounts and doing what you can to reduce quotes in the future.

Source: pocketyourdollars.com

How Much Auto Insurance Should You Buy?

  • Car Insurance

How much car insurance should I buy? It’s a question on the lips of countless drivers, especially those climbing behind the wheel for the first time. It’s a tricky question, as there are many elements to consider, from state minimum requirements to whether or not you need those optional extras and, if so, how far you can go?

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State Minimum Coverage

Firstly, the bare minimum car insurance requirements are set according to state law and dictate how much auto insurance you need to be legally insured. If you want to be fully covered (and you should, as you could face fines and penalties if you’re not) then you will need to meet these minimums.

We have covered all minimum state auto insurance requirements elsewhere and won’t get into that again here, but generally, you need to have the following types of coverage:

Bodily Injury Liability Insurance

Two types of body injury liability insurance are needed: per person and per accident. This cover will be fixed to a maximum amount, which means the insurer will pay all money up to that point. In most states, the minimum cover is $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

Bodily injury insurance provides cover when individuals (not you) are injured in a car accident.

Property Damage Liability

Property damage liability insurance is required in most states and is often a minimum of $25,000. While bodily injury covers the individuals, property damage covers the vehicle.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

PIP covers you for medical expenses if you are involved in an accident and can also cover you if that accident results in a loss of work. With PIP, you don’t even need to be the driver, as it will cover you if you are a passenger in someone else’s car.

Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage

An estimated 13% of US drivers don’t have insurance, leading to all kinds of legal and financial problems if they are ever involved in an accident.

With uninsured and underinsured motorist cover, the insurer will cover the costs that stem from being in an accident with an uninsured driver, while also paying the difference if they don’t have enough insurance.

Medical Payments

Although rare, some states also require medical payments coverage. This works in a similar way to PIP, but there are many more exceptions and it focuses specifically on medical costs. 

The requirements for this type of cover are often much less. In Maine, for instance, the minimum is $2,000, while in New Hampshire it is $1,000, and in no state does it exceed $5,000.

How Much Cover Should You Buy?

The state minimums are important but may leave a lot to be desired if this is the only cover you have. The recommendation is that you either purchase a 25/50/25 split or a 100/300/100 split depending on your situation and your vehicle.

The 25/50/25, in most cases, will be the minimum requirement. This is ideal for drivers with cheaper/older cars, as well as those on a budget that don’t drive a great deal, such as students and seniors. In fact, drivers in this demographic may find themselves being quoted high insurance premiums because of the increased risk, so keeping to these liability limits and skipping additional coverage can help.

As for middle-income earners with some savings and an expensive or new car, the 100/300/100 rule, which means $100,000 for bodily injury per person, $300,000 per accident, and $100,000 for property damage, may be the better options.

This is a significant increase from the minimum liability but doubling the cover doesn’t mean you will double the premiums, and once you get those minimums out the way, additional liability cover is much cheaper than you might think.

Additional Car Insurance Coverage

Once you get the minimum liability cover out of the way, you need to start thinking about optional coverage. As discussed above, some of this is also required by the state, but even if it’s not, there are times when it should be considered:

How Much Collision Coverage and Comprehensive Coverage?

Collision insurance covers you in the event that you hit another vehicle, a tree, a guardrail, and a number of other objects (it does not, however, including collisions involving animals). Comprehensive coverage, on the other hand, covers you for everything else, including vandalism, weather damage and accidents involving animals. 

No state requires a minimum amount for either of these options and it’s entirely up to you if you want to add them to your auto policy.

Generally, they should be considered if you have a relatively new car (less than 10 years old) that you can’t easily afford to replace or repair. Comprehensive coverage should also be considered if you live in a state with extreme weather and a risk of hurricanes or floods (New Jersey, California, New York) or a state with a lot of animal collisions (West Virginia, Michigan, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Montana, Iowa).

You will be required to pay a deductible on this type of cover, with a higher deductible leading to a lower quote. Just remember that if the cost of repairs is less than the deductible, you will be hit with the entirety of the bill.

How Much Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage?

On average, you can expect to pay just $70 to $90 a year for underinsured/uninsured motorist cover. If you are in an accident with an uninsured driver, it could help to cover your medical bills and, in such cases, may seem like a wise addition to your policy.

But it’s not essential in all states and it’s entirely up to you whether you want to add it or not. In some states, having health insurance and collision insurance will negate the need for underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage, but it can be a useful addition to your policy if you can afford it.

What About Medical Payments and PIP?

If you don’t have health insurance and can’t afford to take time off work following an accident, these additional options should be considered. PIP is especially important if an injury will lead to great financial stress, which is often the case for individuals who need to work to get paid, such as freelancers and contractors.

Medical payments coverage is generally very cheap and could cost you just $20 a year. PIP will cost around 10 times this much, so it’s something you need to consider carefully.

Bottom Line: Try to Save

As outlined above, the extent of cover you need will depend on your state, your income, the value of your assets, the value of your car, your demographic, and your monthly budget. In the end, what matters the most is that you get the best cover for the lowest possible price, so whatever option you choose, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Shop around; compare multiple insurance companies and speak with insurance agents.
  • Look into multi-car policies or bundling if they apply to you.
  • Consider raising your deductibles.
  • Look for car insurance discounts.
  • Save on roadside assistance by getting it from credit cards, bank accounts or membership clubs.

Source: pocketyourdollars.com