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- Since no two drivers are the same, no one company is the best for every driver.
- Insurance companies use a lot of factors to determine rates, so your best bet is to shop around to find the best company for you.
- American Family offers the cheapest overall average rates, but other companies may have better rates for your unique profile.
- If you’re most interested in customer service and satisfaction, The Hartford and Erie Insurance hold the highest marks according to our research.
So, you’re ready to shop for car insurance. You’ve been bombarded with ads from some of the biggest names in the industry on TV, billboards, YouTube videos, podcasts, and all over the web.
Some say you can get 15% savings in return for just a few minutes of your time. Others offer special discounts for particular groups, like students, military members, retirees, or even for bundling your policies together. There are even a few that preach about fancy gizmos that monitor your driving habits and reward you for low mileage or safe driving.
But the question is, how do you know which offer is the best one for you? With so many options, where do you even begin?
No matter who you are, what car you drive, or what your specific situation is, the only way to ensure you get the best deal on your next car insurance policy is by comparing rates from as many car insurance companies as possible.
Read on to find out more about why you should compare car insurance quotes and how you can guarantee you find the best deal for you, your vehicle, and your wallet.
In This Article:
- How to Choose the Right Company
- Why You Should Compare Quotes
- The Companies with the Cheapest Rates
- The Companies with the Highest Reviews
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to Choose Between Car Insurance Companies
You’ve probably seen ads from several big-name insurance companies advertising big-time savings for switching to them – but you’re probably asking yourself, “Which one is really the best option?”
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as you might hope. Ultimately, insurance companies base their prices on a whole bunch of different factors – like your age, where you live, what kind of car you drive, your driving record, and other things. So, the cheapest company for one person might not be the cheapest for you.
Because rates can vary so much from person to person, the best way to find the best company for you is to get quotes from as many companies as possible. That might seem like a daunting task, but luckily, it doesn’t have to be as stressful as you might think.
How to Compare Quotes from Multiple Companies at Once
In the old days, you used to have to call up insurance agents to get quotes. So if you wanted to get quotes from several different companies to compare rates, you’d be making call after call, turning the whole process into something that takes hours, or even days.
Luckily, there’s better ways to shop for insurance these days. Comparison sites – like Compare.com – bring the car insurance companies to you. All you have to do is enter your information once and you can get quotes from dozens of the top insurers in your area, all for free.
Interested? Just enter your ZIP code below and you’ll be on your way to comparing the best rates in just a few minutes.
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Why You Should Get Quotes from Multiple Companies
Whether you’re looking to get the cheapest possible car insurance or want specific coverages for your pride and joy, comparing car insurance is the only way to guarantee you get the best fit for you. Below are just a few of the reasons why it’s the only way to go the next time you’re in the market for a new policy:
No Two Drivers are the Same
You may have recently seen an ad offering major savings, but you go to their website, enter in your information, and the quote they offer you isn’t even close to the number you saw on the ad. How can that be?
Despite what the latest advertisements might say, there isn’t any one company that offers the best rates for all drivers across the board. Because car insurance companies base their rates on a variety of factors – things like your age, gender, address, driving record, vehicle make and model, and even your credit score – the rates companies offer can be drastically different from driver to driver.
Because of this, many car insurance companies focus on specific demographics or types of drivers. One company may want their clients to be mainly made up of good drivers with clean records so that they pay out as few claims as possible. Another may hone in on “non-standard” policies for high-risk drivers with tickets, accidents, or even DUIs on their record. Some may even target specific geographic areas or age groups over others.
So, at the end of the day, there isn’t one company that’s right for everybody. The only way to make sure you find the one that’s right for you is to compare quotes and see which company is the best fit.
Comparison Platforms Will Save You Time
Don’t worry, you don’t have to spend hours hopping from company to company, entering your information multiple times, just to find the best quote.
Insurance comparison platforms like Compare.com bring the insurance companies to you, not the other way around. Simply enter some information and answer questions about you, your vehicle, and your driving record once and you’ll be presented with quotes from dozens of the top insurance companies in just a few minutes, all for free.
You could be well on your way to a new, cheaper car insurance policy in less than 30 minutes from start to finish. Wasting valuable time going from company to company to compare quotes is a thing of the past.
Car Insurance Companies Will Compete for Your Business
By bringing the car insurance companies to you and showing you multiple quotes at once, you’re forcing insurers to compete for your business. This guarantees they’ll be showing you their cheapest and most competitive rates, which brings us to our next point…
Comparing Will Save You Money
Seeing all of your possible rates in one place is the only way to ensure you get the best deal on your next car insurance policy. By comparing car insurance, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you found the most savings and have a policy that’s best suited to you and your wallet.
After all, it’s no coincidence that Compare.com customers save an average of $720 a year on their car insurance. Now that’s a lot of moola!
Which Company Has the Cheapest Average Rates?
So, you now know that no two drivers are the same – the same goes for companies and how much they charge. But you’re probably still wondering which company is the cheapest, right?
Even just looking at average monthly rates, prices can be very different from company to company. Check out the table below to see average rates from the top 10 car insurance companies in the US.
Surprised by how much prices can differ? As you can see, companies like American Family, Erie, and State Farm have rates that are less than half of what companies like AAA charge to the average customer. Crazy, right?
That being said, just because the companies you see above have the best average rates, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be the cheapest option for you. A lot of things go into your car insurance rates, after all. Keep reading to find out some of the things companies use to determine how much to charge you for a policy.
How Do Car Insurance Companies Determine Rates?
The main reason you may or may not see prices similar to the ones car insurance companies advertise is because they base policy rates on a bunch of different factors. These include obvious things like your driving record and what kind of car you drive, but companies also take into consideration factors that are out of your control, like your age and gender, as well as other demographic data like your location, living situation, marital status, and, in certain states, your credit score.
Want an idea of how much each of these factors affect the final price companies will offer to you? Check out the individual breakdowns we have for several of these factors in the charts and writeups below:
What’s the Average Car Insurance Rate in the U.S.?
According to data gathered by Compare.com, drivers in the United States pay an average of $79 a month for their car insurance policy. That translates to $474 for a 6-month policy, or about $950 a year.
But that doesn’t mean it’s what you’ll pay. For example, drivers in Idaho pay less than $50 a month, on average, while states like Michigan and New Jersey pay well over twice that figure.
We provide that number to you as a point of reference. Compare it to the charts below to see how much each factor can affect the price you’ll pay at the end of each month, or jump straight to unlocking your quotes by entering your ZIP below!
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Perhaps the most obvious factor car insurance companies use to determine your rates is your driving record. After all, it makes sense that the more accidents or tickets you have on your record, the more risk insurers are taking on to provide you coverage.
Another key factor companies use to calculate your monthly rate is your insurance history. Much like your driving record, it gives insurers a good idea of how risky it is to offer you a policy.
If companies find that you have a lapse in coverage, you can expect to see your quotes rise significantly when you go to compare rates.
Because of this, it’s extremely important you remain insured at all times. Even if you plan on selling your car or going on a prolonged vacation where you won’t need car insurance, it’s a good idea to keep a non-owners policy so that you can avoid a costly lapse in coverage. These usually cost just a few bucks a month and can save you hundreds, or even thousands, in the long run.
Vehicle Make, Model, and Year
You probably won’t be surprised to hear that the car you drive has a big impact on how much your insurance will be. When it comes to your vehicle, there are a bunch of different points your insurer takes into account, including the make and model, how old it is, the body type, and the vehicle’s overall value.
Newer cars are generally more expensive to insure, mainly because a vehicle is worth more when it’s newer. As it gets older, you can see that your rates will steadily decrease.
So, if you’ve had the same insurance policy on your car since you bought it new, it’s a great idea to take a few minutes to re-evaluate your policy and compare quotes against what you’re currently paying. You could discover some serious savings!
Uncover Your Best Rates
Age and Gender
How old you are plays a big role in how much you pay for car insurance. It may come as no surprise, but younger people, especially teenagers, tend to get into more accidents than any other age group.
As drivers age, they tend to become safer drivers, which are therefore less risky to insure.
Additionally, your gender will play a big role as well. All things being equal, men are typically more likely to get into a motor vehicle accident than women. For example, the CDC says male drivers aged 16-19 are almost twice as likely to get into a fatal accident than female drivers of the same age.
If you recently got hitched, you could be looking at some serious savings. Married drivers save an average of around 30% on their car insurance when compared to those who are still single.
One of the big factors behind this is that married policyholders tend to have multiple vehicles on their policy – something many insurance companies will offer major discounts for.
So, if you’ve recently rang the wedding bells, it might be worth looking into a new car insurance policy for you and your new spouse. Just enter your ZIP below to unlock your new savings.
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Education and Occupation
What you do for a living may not seem like it has much to do with how you drive, but education and occupation are two factors that insurance companies use to calculate your rates.
Think about it, your job largely determines when and where you’re on the road. For example, a nurse working third shift will spend more time on the roads late at night where visibility and driver fatigue could potentially increase the risk of an accident. Likewise, someone who works from home may not put many miles on their car at all, which will lead to lower premiums.
Your education level also can come into play. Insurance companies see drivers with advanced degrees as less risky to insure than those with a high school diploma or GED. It may not sound fair, but it’s something to take into account when you go to compare rates.
Housing Situation and Address
Another factor that may seem like it shouldn’t affect your car insurance is your housing situation. Generally, insurance companies see a big difference in risk between someone who owns their own home and a driver that still lives with their parents, for example.
Not only that, but your physical address plays a big role, too. Insurance companies consider things like local crime rates, parking availability, traffic laws, and other factors when calculating rates – all of which are largely tied to your ZIP code.
Additionally, where you live in relation to your workplace can drastically affect how much you drive and how many miles you put on your vehicle each year – both of which can drastically impact your monthly premium.
For these reasons, it’s always a good idea to go back and compare car insurance quotes every time you move to a new address, especially if you’re changing cities or ZIP codes.
Credit History (sometimes)
One last factor that can sometimes have a say on your monthly bill is your credit history. Many car insurance companies see drivers who have good credit scores as less of a risk, so they tend to offer them cheaper rates.
However, this tactic has come under a lot of scrutiny in recent years. Many people, lawmakers included, see this practice as unfair and unethical, which has led a handful of states to place some restrictions on when and how companies can use your credit history.
For example, California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, and Utah all restrict or outright ban the use of credit scores in determining insurance rates, both for vehicles and other insurance policies. But if you don’t live in one of these seven states, it may be something worth considering the next time you go shopping for a new policy.
Which Company Has the Highest Customer Satisfaction Ratings?
Many customers look purely at how much companies charge, but that doesn’t always paint the best picture when it comes to choosing the best insurance company for you. After all, what happens if you need to ask a question or file a claim? Is the process easy or a pain in the neck? Is customer service or the claims department easy to get in touch with?
At the end of the day, there’s a lot more to your relationship with your insurance company than just the bill they send you at the end of the month. Because of this, we researched nearly two dozen of the country’s top companies and found out what their customers think.
Below, you’ll find a breakdown of each company’s customer satisfaction ratings, from respected industry raters like JD Power and Clearsurance.
|Company||JD Power OCSI Rating||Clearsurance Reviews||Customers Likely to Renew Policy|
|Amica Mutual||Not Available||4.22/5||86%|
|Bristol West||Not Available||2.32/5||45%|
|GEICO||881||Not Available||Not Available|
|National General||Not Available||3.28/5||65%|
|Safe Auto||Not Available||3.55/5||75%|
|The General||Not Available||3.58/5||70%|
As you can see, just like pricing, overall customer satisfaction can vary wildly from company to company. In the left column, you can see each company’s JD Power Overall Customer Satisfaction Index scores from its “2021 U.S Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.”
In the study, car insurance companies were given scores on a 0-1,000-point scale on how satisfied customers were with their insurance company after filing a claim. Here, companies like The Hartford, Erie Insurance, and Amica took home some of the top scores.
The next two columns come from Clearsurance, a review site that grades insurance companies based on their overall customer satisfaction scores. We studied two of their metrics, overall customer satisfaction (on a 5-star scale), and the likelihood that surveyed customers were to renew their policy after it expires.
Again, Erie and The Hartford earned some of the top marks, making them great choices for car insurance if you care most about how your fellow drivers think. Other top scores came from some big-name companies like AAA, Allstate, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, and Travelers.
Find the Best Company for You With Compare.com
So, now you have a good idea of how insurance companies set their prices, which ones have the cheapest average rates, and what companies pull in the top marks in customer satisfaction. All that’s left is to narrow things down and find the best company for you.
Here at Compare.com, we make it simple. Just enter your ZIP code below and you’ll be well on your way to better rates. After all, our customers save an average of $720 a year on their car insurance.
So, what are you waiting for?!
See How Much You Can Save in Less than 15 Minutes!
Frequently Asked Questions
Which car insurance company is best?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single company that’s best for every driver. Car insurers base their rates on a wide array of factors, from things like your age and where you live, to your driving record and the car you drive. So, the company that’s best for one driver won’t necessarily be the best for you. The only way to find the best company for you is by getting quotes and comparing rates from as many companies as possible.
How can I make sure I choose the best company for me?
The best way to ensure you’re getting the cheapest price is by shopping around every six months. We suggest getting free quotes from as many companies as possible. Luckily, with sites like Compare.com, you can compare rates from top companies in less than 15 minutes, all for free.
Which car insurance company has the cheapest rates?
Out of all the companies we studied, American Family has the cheapest overall rates. But those average rates are just that – averages. They may not necessarily have the best rates for you. That’s why it’s so important to shop around regularly.
How do car insurance companies set prices?
Insurers base their prices on all sorts of factors. They look at your age, gender, marital status, driving record, address, vehicle, and more. That’s why rates can vary so much from driver to driver. After all, no two people are the same.
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