American Family vs. Columbia: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

Wondering if American Family or Columbia is the best insurance carrier for you, your vehicle, and your wallet? We've broken down all the rates and discounts for both companies to help you make a more informed decision. Read on to learn more.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • In general, American Family offers slightly cheaper premiums than Columbia
  • American Family offers more affordable average prices for policyholders whose driving record contains an at-fault collision
  • Columbia tends to be a much less expensive option for drivers who have a speeding ticket on their driving record

American Family or Columbia: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

Are you in the market for a new insurance policy? With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering big savings, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You might be considering American Family or Columbia, but between the two, which carrier will offer you more affordable premiums?

American Family Columbia

Looking at the national average rates for both carriers, Columbia is around $10 more a month than American Family.

But that doesn't mean American Family will necessarily be less expensive than Columbia for every single driver. Car insurance companies use tons of complex algorithms to determine prices, so depending on how clean your driving record is or where you live (among a lot of other factors), you could see wildly different rates from the ones above.

Wanting to know if American Family or Columbia is really the right company for you? Keep on reading to see how average prices can change based on all of the factors we've mentioned above.

American Family vs. Columbia: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State American Family Columbia

American Family and Columbia only compete against each other in one states, with Columbia offering cheaper premiums to the average driver in all of them. Missouri has the most noticable difference, where Columbia rates are $9 less expensive than insurance premiums at American Family.

But there's more to calculating car insurance rates than just the state you live in. Continue reading to learn more about how other variables will affect your rates.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

American Family Columbia
18-year-old drivers$311$324
25-year-old drivers$121$145

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive auto insurance prices of any other group of drivers out there on the road. It's because teen drivers are statistically much more likely to get into an accident that results in a car insurance claim, making them much riskier to insure.

However, that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high insurance premiums. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have American Family for their auto insurance pay almost 4% less than those who use Columbia.

Even so, both carriers will offer you dramatically lower prices by the time drivers turn 25. Columbia offers the steepest drop, with 25-year-olds paying less than half what 18-year-old drivers are charged. That being said, American Family still has the cheapest rates at $121 a month.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

American Family Columbia
65+-year-old drivers$107$109

Once you approach retirement age, you'll normally enjoy the lowest car insurance prices you can find. You've been on the road for years, and all that experience pays off when it comes to your monthly rates for insurance.

So, which carrier offers the best premiums to retired drivers? In this case, American Family has the slight edge, with prices about $2 per month less than Columbia. That being said, the difference is only around 5%, so other factors (like your credit score or your driving record) will likely come into play when determining which company has the most affordable premiums for you.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

American Family Columbia

You may not be aware, but auto insurance rates tend to be more affordable for married drivers than they are for those who are single. That's typically because married couples tend to own and insure multiple vehicles, which can often earn you a discount.

If you're in the market for car insurance, American Family tends to have the lowest average prices regardless of relationship status, with prices about 6% cheaper for single drivers and nearly 10% more affordable for married policyholders.

American Family or Columbia: Average Rates by Gender

American Family Columbia

Because women are less likely to get tickets and get into accidents, they run a lower risk of filing a claim with insurance. So, insurance companies will often charge women less than men.

On average, women see premiums around 3% a month less with American Family, and about 8% less with Columbia.

When it comes to the most affordable rates for each gender, American Family offers the cheapest average premiums for both men and women. On average, male drivers save about $13 per month and women save around $6 with American Family compared to the average Columbia policyholder.

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American Family vs. Columbia: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

American Family Columbia
State Minimum*$96$68
Full Coverage**$185$232

*State minimum value indicates liability-only policies at each state's minimum bodily injury and property damage (BI/PD) limits

**Full coverage indicates state minimum BI/PD limits with collision and comprehensive coverages added to policy.

It's no secret that auto insurance can be a complicated subject for most people. There are so many different terms and coverages that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy for you.

The two most common policies end up falling into two different types of coverage -- liability coverage (that covers property damage and bodily injury for other drivers and their passengers if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which includes collision and comprehensive coverages that protect your own car, in addition to what you get with liability coverage).

When it comes to state minimum liability limits, Columbia has the edge, while American Family offers the most affordable average rates for full coverage policies with similar coverage limits. Policyholders looking for basic state minimum coverage can save around $30 with Columbia Insurance Group, while full coverage comes out to be about $45 cheaper with American Family Insurance.

Is American Family or Columbia Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no secret -- drivers with good records end up getting the best deals on their car insurance. But that's not to say you can't save money if you don't have the best driving record, either.

It's no secret secret that speeding tickets and at-fault collisions lead to higher prices, but which carrier -- American Family or Columbia -- has the lowest rates for drivers with less-than-perfect records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

American Family Columbia
Clean Record$118$104
1 Speeding Ticket$147$118

Drivers who use American Family for their insurance can usually expect their monthly bill to go up around 20% after getting a speeding ticket. Columbia policyholders can expect a less drastic increase of about 12%.

However, Columbia tends to offer the best prices for both drivers who have clean records and those with a recent ticket. With Columbia Insurance Group, drivers with a clean record can save around $14 a month and drivers with a speeding ticket can save about $29 per month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

American Family Columbia
Clean Record$118$104
1 At-Fault Accident$138$142

After an accident, drivers who have their car insurance through American Family can expect to see around an $20 -- or about 14% -- rise in their auto insurance premiums. Drivers who use Columbia for their insurance will see a monthly bill around $38 (or 27%) more expensive after reporting an accident to their car insurance company.

At the end of the day, the less expensive prices come from American Family, with average rates coming in at $138 compared to Columbia Insurance Group's $142.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

American Family Columbia
Clean Record$118$104
1 DUI$158$236

If you get a DUI charge on your record, it's probably going to cost you more than a simple ticket or even a collision. Columbia drivers usually see a 56% climb in their insurance prices after a DUI charge, while American Family will generally raise premiums by about 25%.

But if you end up with a DUI charge and are looking for more affordable rates, American Family tends to be more affordable for the average driver, with monthly premiums coming in at around $158 to Columbia's $236.

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How does Credit Score Impact American Family and Columbia Rates?

Did you know many auto insurance carriers take your credit score into account when determining premiums? This isn't true for everyone (for example, California and Michigan are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it will come into play for several policyholders.

Car insurance companies argue that those with good credit scores are more likely to pay their bills on time every month, which decreases the risk involved on their end, while the opposite is true for those with bad credit.

So, which carrier offers the best prices for drivers with poor, average, or good credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

American Family Columbia
Excellent Credit Score$100$138
Good Credit Score$120$141

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

American Family Columbia
Fair Credit Score$141$147
Poor Credit Score$201$174

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Is American Family or Columbia Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

American Family Columbia
6,000 Annual Miles$138$150
12,000 Annual Miles$143$150

How much you drive can have a considerable impact on how much auto insurance carriers will charge for coverage. Normally, those who drive less will end up with less expensive premiums since there's less of a chance of causing an accident and filing an insurance claim.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much Columbia charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly prices for American Family, with policyholders who drive 6,000 miles yearly paying about $5 less each month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles every year. Still, for drivers in both categories, American Family is the cheaper company.

American Family or Columbia: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where your home is can play a big role in how much you pay for insurance. Typically, if you live in a rural area with fewer cars on the road, you'll pay a little less for auto insurance, while the opposite is true for people in urban areas.

American Family Columbia
Urban Areas$166$169
Suburban Areas$134$152
Rural Areas$121$129

American Family tends to offer the cheapest rates for drivers in every type of area, no matter if it's urban, suburban, or rural.

Those in rural areas can expect to pay around $121 monthly with American Family compared to Columbia's $129. Drivers in suburban ZIP codes pay about $134 with American Family compared to Columbia's $152 per month. For drivers in urban ZIP codes, American Family's average prices are around $166 while Columbia offers premiums about $169.

American Family vs. Columbia Discounts

No matter why you might be in the market for a new insurance policy, you're always going to want to save as much money as you can, and the best way to do that is by utilizing as many car insurance discounts as possible.

But with what seems like a million different discounts out there, it can be challenging to nail down the carrier that has the most discounts for your unique driver profile and to find all the discounts you qualify for.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and looked at all of the different discounts American Family and Columbia offer their customers so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and, therefore, the largest savings.

American Family Columbia
ABS Discount 
Advance Quote Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Connect Partner Discount 
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount
Driver Training Discount 
DRL Discount 
Education Discount 
EFT Discount 
Employee Discount 
ESC Discount 
Generational Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
Paid In Full Discount 

American Family knocks Columbia out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 10 more discounts than Columbia.

There are a couple discounts both companies offer, but American Family also offers discounts for advance quote, connect partner, COVID-19 relief, and more.

On the other hand, Columbia has a few proprietary discounts of their own for things like ABS discounts, driver training discounts, education discounts, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is American Family or Columbia Best for You?

You've seen the effect certain variables have on your insurance and the different discounts carriers offer. That's all well and good, but at the end of the day, which insurance company is the right fit for you?

American Family might be best for you if....

  • Your driving record includes a DUI charge.
  • You want the most robust protection via a "full coverage" policy.
  • You drive often but have a short commute.

Columbia might be best for you if...

  • You haven't received any speeding tickets or been in a collision in the last few years.
  • You have received a ticket within the last few years.
  • You're looking for the best rates on liability only coverage.

Hopefully, this guide helps you get a good idea of the differences between American Family and Columbia. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision when it comes to your auto insurance.

But, at the end of the day, there's only one way to know for sure that you're getting the best possible deal on car insurance -- comparing quotes from a handful of companies, not just American Family and Columbia. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code below and get multiple quotes from some of the best auto insurance carriers in your area, all for free.

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American Family vs. Columbia FAQs

Is American Family or Columbia cheaper?

American Family is the less expensive of the two companies when looking at national average premiums, with policies averaging $140 a month with American Family and $150 for Columbia. That being said, that doesn't mean American Family will be the lowest carrier for each policyholder, since there are multiple different factors that are considered when it comes to your car insurance payment.

Who is better, American Family or Columbia?

Sadly, the real answer is "it depends.". No single company is necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all comes down to what your unique insurance profile looks like. For example, Columbia is cheaper for drivers who have less-than-stellar credit scores, while American Family offers more affordable rates for policyholders with an at-fault accident on their record.

Why do American Family and Columbia offer me different rates?

Auto insurance carriers use quite a few different variables when calculating the prices they charge. Factors like your driving record, where you park your vehicle, gender, age, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all come into play. Both American Family and Columbia use different formulas, so it's likely they'll offer different premiums. The best way to determine which carrier is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a variety of different companies.

How do I know if American Family or Columbia is right for me?

The only way to find the insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from multiple carriers and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your area information and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top car insurance companies for free. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the most affordable rate. And maybe you'll find that the best carrier for you isn't American Family or Columbia at all, but another you hadn't even thought of!


All of the data referenced in this article has been gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. We analyzed more than 2.5 million rows of carrier-reported data to calculate the average rates referenced above. All rates are based on an insurance profile of a single-vehicle policy for a driver that owns a 2016 Honda Accord. For more information on how we calculate rates, please reference our data methodology.

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