The best auto insurance companies provide a wide range of coverage options so your plan fits you the way it should — tailored to your specific needs. We required our top insurers to host all the basic essentials for coverage. This includes bodily injury liability, collision, comprehensive, personal injury protection (PIP), property damage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. For a quick refresher on what those terms cover, check out our auto insurance guide below.
Auto Insurance is not uniform. Rates will differ from company to company, policy to policy, and person to person. With a little research and shopping around, you can find the best rate that fits your current situation. We offer you, based on insurance ratings, the three best auto insurance companies. We took into account their affordability, customer satisfaction rating, and claims payment likelihood.
If you have a clean driving record — no at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, DUIs, or other recent citations — you'll probably pay less for car insurance. Conversely, a bad driving record will cause your rates to skyrocket: car insurance premiums typically increase by 29% after a DUI, 33% after an at-fault accident, and 15% after a speeding ticket in Virginia. The post-citation penalties assessed by car insurance companies after speeding tickets and at-fault accidents in Virginia align with nationwide averages, but drivers receive lower-than-average rate hikes after DUI violations. If you have a clean driving record, be sure to check for good-driving discounts from your insurer.
Auto insurance companies attempt to predict and price the risk you and your vehicle pose in order to reduce their exposure. Keeping in mind the factors we just covered, the more risky you appear to your insurance company, the more you will be charged. Factors like age, marital status, and homeowner status, are less easy to change. Avoiding unnecessary claims, being smart with your coverage needs, and shopping around for car insurance quotes every so often are great ways to save on car insurance.
There are many reasons you may be seeking the cheapest auto insurance option. Your household finances may be tighter than usual. Or maybe you don't drive a lot. Whatever the reason, a low-cost policy doesn't have to mean a no-frills experience with the insurance company. As you compare quotes from cheap car insurance companies, consider more than just price. Policies from leading carriers, such as Nationwide, may be exactly what you need. Here's what to look for:
While sleek and elegant, your collector car may not meet today's safety standards and pose too big a risk to insure under a standard car policy. Even if your classic stays in the garage and is never driven, there's still the risk of fire, theft or an accident, which likely aren't covered by home insurance. Luckily, a classic car policy can provide a range of coverages and top replacement value, to seal all those gaps.
Southern Farm Bureau also offers an explanation of how it calculates its insurance rates prior to any discounts. Younger drivers get higher rates, as do drivers in metropolitan areas. This explanation is unusual among insurance providers, which usually keep algorithms close to the vest. Southern Farm Bureau’s approach makes it easier to predict your quote and compare against other options.
While Auto-Owners Insurance keeps a fairly low profile, they receive extremely high marks across the board. In fact, J.D. Power awarded it “better than most” or “among the best” in every category in its 2018 Insurance Shopping Study. That puts Auto-Owners Insurance ahead of the pack in terms of overall customer satisfaction whenever a claim is filed.
Like regular car insurance, there are several parts with classic and collector car insurance. Some insurers like J.C. Taylor require your classic car be at least 19 years old, while others like Grundy will insure a car of any age. Availability of discounts should also be a consideration, as Safeco gives you a percent off your premium if you bundle your classic car policy with a regular auto policy. Another underrated feature is an inflation guard, which will increase your protection limits as your car appreciates in value. You can see a full list of each company's benefits below.
Most insurers — and we're not just talking about auto insurance companies here — use some type of credit-based insurance score to help determine how risky a potential customer is. The practice is a bit controversial, which is why some states have laws against using it (see above). But the general thinking behind insurer credit checks is: If someone is bad with their finances, they might be irresponsible in other areas of life, too. You can learn more about how car insurance rates are determined here.
Beyond the standard protections, supplemental (or “add-on”) coverage will keep you protected against the additional costs that often come with accidents. Features like car rental coverage may not seem essential when you view them as just another added cost, but the increase in your rate could still be lower than the cost of renting a replacement vehicle if your damaged car is in the shop for a while. The options offered by providers vary widely in both availability and cost. Our favorites offer supplemental coverage options that can build a policy for every profile.
Although it’s not hugely impactful, drivers with a Masters or Ph.D. save $44 per year on car insurance premiums, compared to those without a degree. Car insurance companies see clients with higher education levels as less risky and reward that decreased risk with a lower premium. The only states that do not consider education when determining rates are California, Massachusetts, Georgia, Hawaii, and Montana.
Common car insurance coverages to consider include liability, which most states require you to have, and collision coverage. Liability will help pay for another person’s injuries as well as the damages to their car if you’re found at fault. Liability coverage does not pay for the repairs to your vehicle, that’s where collision coverage comes into play. Collision coverage is typically an option, unless your lender requires you to carry this coverage. It will cover the costs to repair your vehicle after a car-collision.
This is in contrast to standard car insurance, which typically reimburses you for the car's actual cash value - the original value, minus the amount it's depreciated over time. If, for example, you purchased your car for $25,000, but 5 years later it's now worth $9,000, then that's the amount your insurer would likely pay out if it's totaled. Guaranteed Value™ coverage helps assure this isn't the case for your beloved ride.
Depending on which companies you consider, you will have to decide whether to do business with an insurance agent or to purchase a policy online. If you value face-to-face relationships and personal service, it’s hard to beat an agent. But all agents aren’t created equal. Some are “captive,” meaning they sell car insurance for only one company. Others are “independent,” meaning they can sell car insurance for multiple companies. Here are a few things you should consider for each scenario.
Erie is the cheapest insurance company, and arguably the most reliable insurance company as well. They score points by allowing customers to start their quote online, which we personally found to be a streamlined and fast process. Erie also scored the highest marks from the number of policies they offer. Erie offers pet coverage, free accident forgiveness, free vanishing deductibles, roadside assistance, and many more, essentially giving its customers a degree of flexibility not even found amongst the largest insurers. Customers of Erie may also be eligible for its Rate Lock program. This is a unique program where customers won't see their rates increase except for three reasons: you move to a different area, add or remove someone from your policy, or add or subtract a car. Lastly, despite its smaller size, Erie offers the same types of discounts larger national insurers provide such as bundling, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft, young driver and senior driver among others.
Auto-Owners Insurance is available in 26 states located primarily in the South and Midwest. It uses an agent-only model that promotes customer relationships, so if you prefer talking to a human being, Auto-Owners is a great choice. The company also scored a nearly perfect score in J.D. Power’s 2018 satisfaction report, falling short only in the realm of its rental car experience.
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Vehicles depicted are the property of actual customers. Any third-party trademarks or brands are the property of their respective owners. Their inclusion here is provided for informational purposes only, and does not constitute an endorsement of any third party by Nationwide. Nor does it imply, directly or indirectly, any sponsorship or affiliation between Nationwide and such third parties.
State Farm is the largest car insurance company in the nation, per the Insurance Information Institute in 2018. Fortunately, it’s also one of the best — especially when it comes to the customer service experience. In 2018, State Farm received high praise from J.D. Power for its service interaction and claims handling. And of all the insured drivers I surveyed, it received the most positive remarks by far.
All classic car insurers share a few vital elements. Primarily, they all have an "agreed value" stipulation which allows you to set how much you think your vehicle is worth in the event of a total loss. They also all provide pivotal comprehensive and collision insurance to protect your vehicle from anything that may damage it. There does exist however, several key differences. While the field of companies for classic cars is not as vast as it is for normal cars, some classic car insurers are better than others.
This is pretty ridiculous considering the fact that: 1st, I had regularly asked my former insurance company for reviews and discounts; 2nd, I recently got a speeding ticket in a school zone (which I am a bit ashamed to say) just before I switched; and 3rd, that $1,100 savings was before I got an additional discount for bundling my home insurance on my policy (which is a lot lower now too).