Choosing the right car insurance for your vehicle can be confusing. It’s difficult to compare rates when companies bundle coverage differently or offer different add-ons. You need to be a savvy buyer to find the right car insurance for you. Read on to get an overview of the different types of coverage available, how insurance companies determine their rates, and the best auto insurance providers.
Major factors that affect auto insurance rates
Auto insurance companies consider a variety of factors including the driver’s age, location, vehicle type, record and credit score when calculating premiums.
Because young people technically have less driving experience, some insurance companies consider them to be a higher risk. This is why young drivers often have to pay higher premiums than experienced adults. But some insurance companies also charge higher premiums for senior drivers because of the same perception of higher risk.
Location is also a deciding factor for insurance companies as some areas statistically have more accidents or thefts. Drivers who live in areas with high rates of accidents or car theft are likely to pay more because they are more likely to make a claim. On the other hand, people living in low-risk areas may also be eligible for a discount on their premium.
Generally speaking, if you have an expensive car, you will probably get a higher than average rate. This happens because such cars are more expensive to repair or replace in an accident. Expensive cars are also more likely to be stolen, making them a higher risk for insurers. However, cars with good safety features get lower rates.
Drivers who have had previous accidents or traffic violations are also considered risky by insurance companies and may face higher premiums. Conversely, drivers with a clean record may be eligible for discounts or lower rates. Insurance companies may also consider the length of time since your last accident or violation when calculating your car insurance rates.
If you have a DUI or speeding ticket on your record, or have been involved in an accident, it doesn’t mean you’ll always have a higher rate. Some of the companies mentioned in this guide offer competitive rates for drivers with less-than-desirable records.
Like other types of insurance, companies consider your credit score to determine your rates. A good credit score shows that you are a responsible person who is likely to make payments on time and manage your finances well. As a result, you can get lower rates. A bad credit score suggests the opposite. However, since car insurance is separate from the loan, the credit score may not be the deciding factor for some insurance companies.
Top 5 Car Insurance Providers
|minimum coverage rate||$40 per month, on average.||$65 per month, on average.||$56 per month, on average.||$63 per month, on average.||$52 per month, on average.|
|full coverage rates||$98 per month, on average.||$154 per month, on average.||$168 per month, on average.||$116 per month, on average.||$104 per month, on average.|
|customer service||24/7 customer support online or via app. Other support channels are also available.||24/7 customer support via online chat. Other support channels are also available.||No 24/7 insurance support. However, they provide 24 hour emergency roadside service.||Progressive offers 24/7 claims support and online service.||State Farm has a 24/7 phone line. However, this does not apply to claims.|
|new car replacement||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
Geico’s auto insurance rates are a major selling point. The company offers good rates to drivers with good and bad histories. This includes people with speeding tickets or bad credit. Geco also offers competitive rates for senior citizens and young drivers, who are often considered risky. Geico offers some of the best auto insurance for high risk drivers.
Another pro of Geico is that it offers accident forgiveness, which not all insurance providers offer. With accident forgiveness, you don’t have to worry about your rates increasing after your first accident.
However, Geico’s rates for drivers with DUIs are higher than average. Zico also does not offer rideshare insurance. This means that if you work for a rideshare app like Uber, you will not get coverage for any accidents that happen in the course of your work.
When it comes to customer satisfaction, users give the Geico 1.14 out of 5 stars based on 968 reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website. It’s worth noting that most car insurance providers have low online review scores, as you’ll see on this list. So it does not mean that you will have a bad experience with any of the providers listed. But you can read customer reviews to manage your expectations for each company’s weaknesses.
Like Geico, Allstate offers accident forgiveness. With the Gold level, your rates will not increase if you have an accident every three years. With the Platinum level, accidents don’t increase your rates at all. In addition, Allstate offers new car replacement. This means that if you are in an accident and your total new car – the model cannot be more than two years old – you can get a new one. Plus, they have a Safe Driving Bonus every six months for drivers who maintain a clean driving record. Unlike Geco, Allstate offers rideshare insurance. If ridesharing is a source of income for you, Allstate could be a great option.
However, Allstate’s high prices can be a drawback, especially for those who have a DUI or speeding ticket on their record, have caused an accident or have poor credit. Another point to consider is that Allstate’s customers gave it 1.08 out of 5 stars based on 721 reviews on the BBB website.
There are some great benefits for safe and responsible drivers nationwide, giving you more opportunities to save. For example, you may be charged a usage-based rate. This means that the more safely you drive, the less you have to pay. If you consider yourself a safe driver, this can be a great way to save money. Nationwide also offers pay-per-mile insurance, which is great if you don’t drive often. Finally, Nationwide offers accident forgiveness and new car replacement.
However, Nationwide may not be the best option if you have been injured as a result of accidents or have a DUI. Their rates are on the high side for drivers who fall into this category. This means that if you have a history of such incidents, you may be better off with a different insurance provider. Another drawback of Nationwide is that it does not offer rideshare insurance coverage.
It has a 1.16 out of 5 score on the BBB site based on 238 user reviews nationwide.
Progressive is one of the most popular car insurance providers thanks to its great features and many years in the market. They offer gap insurance for new car owners, which is a feature that is not often offered. It provides coverage for the difference between the amount you owe on your car loan and the value of the car at the moment.
Progressive also offers other great features like accident forgiveness, vanishing deductible and non-owner car insurance. Vanishing deductibles means that your deductibles may get smaller as time goes on. Non-owner insurance covers people who do not currently own a car but need to drive occasionally.
However, Progressive is more expensive than other car insurance companies for young and senior drivers. Plus, if you’ve been in an accident, have bad credit or a bad record, you’ll probably get higher rates than other insurers. Progressive also lacks new car replacement, which can be a deal-breaker if you have a new car.
Another detail that may be worth noting is that Progressive has a score of 1.08 out of 5 based on 882 user reviews on the BBB website.
State Farm is a popular choice for car insurance thanks to its many discounts, which include two programs for safe drivers and young drivers. Additionally, the company offers generous rental car and travel expense coverage. If you stay with State Farm for at least three consecutive years, you can get a nice renewal discount of 14% on average, which can save you a lot of money. All of this makes State Farm a solid choice.
That said, State Farm has some disadvantages as well. For example, the company charges higher annual rates for drivers with bad credit. State Farm also does not offer gap insurance, accident forgiveness, new car replacement or the missing deductible. So the features are limited compared to other providers.
According to the BBB, State Farm has a rating of 1.17 out of 5 based on 750 reviews, which is not good when it comes to State Farm customer satisfaction. However, the company is over 100 years old and serves a large number of customers, so they likely have more complaints than average.
What to consider when comparing car insurance quotes
Here are some important factors you need to consider while comparing quotes for car insurance:
How much insurance coverage is required
Look at the value of your car and identify how much cover you need. Your car may be relatively new, have a high value, or have a loan or lease on it. If so, you may want to get full coverage to ensure that you are fully protected in case of an accident or theft. You can also become a customer of an insurer that offers gap insurance and new car replacement. But if your car is old and has little value, you may only want liability coverage, which can help cover the cost of damages and injuries caused to others in an accident you cause.
additional coverage options
Insurance companies usually offer additional coverage options for people in specific circumstances. For example, non-owner car insurance covers you if you don’t own a car but drive regularly for whatever reason. You can also consider gap insurance, new car replacement and accident forgiveness. These coverage options can help you if you own a new car or don’t want to hike rates after an accident.
insurance premium cost
All insurance companies have different systems for determining customers’ premiums, so it’s important to consider a variety of options. Some insurers have competitive rates for people with bad records, and others do not. With this in mind, you can expect annual premiums ranging from $1,500 to several thousand for full coverage. Some online publications estimate the average cost of full coverage car insurance to be around $2,000.
Start comparing car insurance quotes online today
Now that you know your options for coverage and providers, it’s time to compare quotes. Most providers allow you to get quotes online. So consider the coverage you want, check whether it’s available from the providers on this list, and request a quote. Be sure to provide accurate information about yourself, your car, and your driving history in order to get an accurate idea of how much car insurance is for you.
When you compare car insurance quotes, be sure to consider all the features outside of coverage as well. You should also look at customer reviews. As you can see from this list, most providers have low scores, so reading them yourself will help you make a more informed decision.
Another detail to consider is that if you choose a provider and find you are not happy with it, you can always switch. To learn how to switch car insurance, see our guide on the subject.