Auto-owners vs. Great Northern: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

So, you're in the market for a new insurance policy. You may have even narrowed down your search to Auto-owners and Great Northern. But which of these two companies is the best one for you? Read on to find which company has the best premiums and biggest discounts.
Newly insured car driving down the road
Why You Can Trust trust shield

At, it's our mission to find simple ways to help our customers save money on the things they need. While we partner with some of the companies and brands we talk about in our articles, all of our content is written and reviewed by our independent editorial team and never influenced by our partnerships. Learn about how we make money, review our editorial standards, and reference our data methodology to learn more about why you can trust

Quick Facts

  • Looking at the national averages for auto insurance, Auto-owners offers significantly more affordable prices than Great Northern
  • Auto-owners offers more affordable rates for drivers who have received a ticket within the last few years
  • Great Northern offers more affordable premiums for residents in Michigan

Auto-owners vs. Great Northern: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're thinking about switching your auto insurance. With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering hefty discounts, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You might have narrowed it down to Auto-owners or Great Northern for your next policy, but which company will save you the most?

Auto-owners Great Northern

As you can see, Auto-owners is quite a bit cheaper than Great Northern, with rates averaging $179 per month compared to $496 with Great Northern when looking at the national average rates for car insurance.

But that doesn't necessarily mean Auto-owners will be the less expensive option for every driver. Insurance companies use all sorts of complex algorithms to calculate prices, so depending on how clean your driving record is or how good your credit score is (among a variety of other factors), you could see wildly different rates from the ones above.

Luckily, we've broken down average prices from both Auto-owners and Great Northern by multiple different rate factors, so read on to find out which carrier is the best for you.

Auto-owners or Great Northern: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Auto-owners Great Northern

Auto-owners and Great Northern only compete against each other in Michigan, where Auto-owners offers the cheaper average premiums. For Michigan residents, Auto-owners offers auto insurance for $244 monthly on average. Great Northern's average rates come out to be over 70% more expensive, at $496 a month.

There are plenty of other factors that go into your car insurance bill than just where you live. Read on to learn more.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Auto-owners Great Northern
18-year-old drivers$393$950
25-year-old drivers$164$486

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

But still, even with seemingly sky-high premiums, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have Auto-owners for their auto insurance pay more than $500 less than those who use Great Northern. It's worth noting that Auto-owners offers insurance in 23 different states compared to Great Northern's one, which can skew the average rates a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

However, both carriers will drop prices once you turn 25. For example, average premiums for Auto-owners policyholders decrease nearly 60% and Great Northern's prices lower almost 50% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Auto-owners Great Northern
65+-year-old drivers$133$346

When it comes to car insurance, patience and experience pay off, with drivers around retirement age paying some of the most affordable rates you'll ever see.

So, which company offers the best premiums to retired drivers? Auto-owners gets the edge, with rates for drivers 65 and older over 60% cheaper than the national average for Great Northern.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Auto-owners Great Northern

Did you know that auto insurance prices are normally more affordable for married drivers than they are for single policyholders? That's because policies for married policyholders typically cover more than one car, which several companies will offer you a discount for.

When it comes to relationship status, Auto-owners is the clear winner for those who are single, with premiums about $342 a month cheaper than Great Northern, on average. The advantage for married couples with Auto-owners is also obvious, where drivers save more than 65% per month.

Auto-owners vs. Great Northern: Average Rates by Gender

Auto-owners Great Northern

Men are statistically more likely than women to get into accidents and file an insurance claim. That means when it comes to car insurance men will usually end up paying a little more.

With Auto-owners, women generally pay over $10 a month less than men; women and men get the same monthly rates with Great Northern.

Looking at overall affordability, Auto-owners comes out as the cheapest option for both genders, with average prices $311 less for men and $322 cheaper for women.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

Auto-owners or Great Northern: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Auto-owners Great Northern
State Minimum*$99$255
Full Coverage**$260$737

*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.

Insurance isn't the easiest topic to understand. There are many different coverages that account for a variety of different things. Some protect you and your vehicle, while others only provide coverage for other people's property and health if you cause an accident.

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

If you're looking for state minimum liability limits, Auto-owners typically offers significantly less expensive premiums of $99 compared to Great Northern's $255. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Auto-owners again has the edge, with policies around $500 per month cheaper than Great Northern, on average.

Is Auto-owners or Great Northern Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

You've probably seen plenty of commercials from auto insurance carriers offering great rates for good drivers, but that doesn't mean people with less-than-perfect driving records can't save money, too.

You'll probably end up paying more with tickets and collisions on your record, but which of these two companies offers the lowest prices to drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Auto-owners Great Northern
Clean Record$121$496
1 Speeding Ticket$165$496

Drivers with Great Northern car insurance policies don't report seeing their premiums increase after getting a ticket, but Auto-owners policyholders can expect to see their monthly bill increase by about 25%.

That being said, Auto-owners tends to offer the best prices for drivers both with a ticket and with a clean record, offering prices that are $375 and $331 less expensive, respectively, compared to Great Northern Insurance.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Auto-owners Great Northern
Clean Record$121$496
1 At-Fault Accident$168$496

Auto-owners policyholders who get in an accident can expect to see their premiums increase by just under 30%, while those who have insurance through Great Northern will see around a 0% increase.

Overall, the more affordable rates come from Auto-owners, with monthly premiums averaging $168 compared to Great Northern Insurance's $496.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Auto-owners Great Northern
Clean Record$121$496
1 DUI$264$496

If you get a DUI charge, you can expect some pretty significant increases in your monthly insurance bill -- usually a lot more than a collision or speeding ticket. Auto-owners drivers usually see a 54% increase in their auto insurance prices after a DUI charge, while Great Northern will normally climb rates by about 0%.

Auto-owners has the overall cheapest premiums for drivers with a DUI on their records at $264 per month, but it's worth noting that Auto-owners's average rates come from 23 states compared to just one for Great Northern, so the data may be skewed slightly.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

How does Credit Score Impact Auto-owners and Great Northern Rates?

Often times, your credit score can be used as one of the factors to determine your monthly car insurance rates. This isn't always the case (for example, California and Massachusetts are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it might come into play for quite a few drivers.

Insurance carriers argue that those with poor credit scores are less likely to pay their bills on time each month, which increases the risk involved on their end, while the opposite is true for those with good credit.

So, which carrier offers the most affordable prices for policyholders with poor, average, or good credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Auto-owners Great Northern
Excellent Credit Score$95$76
Good Credit Score$129$99

Michigan is one of a few states that prohibits auto insurance companies from using credit scores to calculate rates. And since Great Northern is only available in Michigan, there is no data available on how credit score impacts prices because it's not a factor at all. This may be a good thing, since Auto-owners and other carriers tend to increase premiums quite a bit in other states if you don't have excellent credit.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Auto-owners Great Northern
Fair Credit Score$176$118
Poor Credit Score$3171692

If you have bad credit and live in Michigan, the good news is it won't cost you extra when it comes to insurance. As you can see, poor credit can really cost Auto-owners drivers in other states, but no need to worry if you live in Michigan.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

Is Auto-owners or Great Northern Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

Auto-owners Great Northern
6,000 Annual Miles$179$496
12,000 Annual Miles$180$496

How much you drive can have a pretty big impact on your monthly auto insurance cost. Generally, those who drive fewer miles will end up with cheaper rates since there's less of a chance of getting into an accident and causing an insurance claim.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much Great Northern charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly prices for Auto-owners, with drivers who put 6,000 miles on their car yearly paying around $1 less every month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles annually. Still, Auto-owners is the less expensive option for drivers in both categories.

Auto-owners vs. Great Northern: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you park your vehicle can have a substantial impact on your monthly car insurance payment. Usually, those who live in rural areas will pay less than drivers in urban areas because of the small number of cars that are on the roads in those areas.

Auto-owners Great Northern
Urban Areas$205$570
Suburban Areas$169$486
Rural Areas$164$432

Auto-owners tends to offer the lowest premiums for drivers in every type of area, no matter if it's urban, suburban, or rural.

Policyholders in rural ZIP codes see the cheapest rates from both companies, but Auto-owners comes out on top with average prices about $164 a month. Auto-owners also has more affordable average premiums for drivers in urban and suburban ZIP codes -- a 64% and 65% a month respective difference when compared to Great Northern policyholders in similar areas.

Auto-owners vs. Great Northern Discounts

You want to save as much money as possible, right? The best way to do that is by taking advantage of as many auto insurance discounts as you can.

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

Below, we've broken down all of the different discounts offered by both Auto-owners and Great Northern so that you can see which one can save you the most money each month.

Auto-owners Great Northern
ABS Discount
Advance Quote Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Company Car Discount 
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount
Education Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Inside Storage Discount 
Life Policy Discount 
Low Mileage Discount 
Minor Child Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
Occasional Operator Discount 

Auto-owners blows Great Northern away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 24 different discounts to Great Northern's 10.

Both carriers offer lots of the same discounts -- like anti-theft discounts, discounts for getting driver training, and discounts for being a good student -- but Auto-owners also offers advance quote discounts, company car discounts, COVID-19 relief discount, and more that Great Northern does not.

On the flip side, Great Northern has a couple unique discounts of its own -- occasional operator discounts, renewal discounts, and vehicle ownership discounts.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

Final Thoughts: Is Auto-owners or Great Northern Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average prices for many of the variables insurance companies look at, and we've shown you all the discounts each carrier offers. But, when it comes down to it, which company is the right carrier for you and your specific driver profile?

Auto-owners might be best for you if....

  • You have a clean record.
  • You're looking for more protection with "full coverage" car insurance.
  • You have a short commute.

Great Northern might be best for you if...

  • You're looking for the best rates in MI.
  • You already have a great credit score.

We hope this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Auto-owners and Great Northern and that you can now make a more informed decision when it comes to your auto insurance.

At the end of the day, the best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your car insurance policy is to compare quotes from multiple carriers, not just Auto-owners and Great Northern. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of the top insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes

Auto-owners vs. Great Northern FAQs

Is Auto-owners or Great Northern cheaper?

Looking just at the national average rates, Auto-owners is the cheaper of the two carriers, offering average rates of $179 per month compared to $496 for Great Northern. Even so, Auto-owners won't necessarily be the most affordable carrier for each driver, since there are several different factors (things like age, gender, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Auto-owners or Great Northern?

Sadly, the real answer is "it depends.". No single company is necessarily "better" for every driver -- it all comes down to what your unique car insurance profile looks like. For example, Auto-owners offers less expensive premiums for drivers with a recent DUI, while Great Northern is more affordable for drivers with excellent credit.

Why do Auto-owners and Great Northern offer me different rates?

Insurance companies take a look at many different variables when calculating the rates they charge drivers. Things such as your driving record, where your home is, age, gender, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all come into play. Both Auto-owners and Great Northern use different formulas, so each one will most likely offer different prices. The only real way to see which carrier is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from lots of different carriers.

How do I know if Auto-owners or Great Northern is right for me?

The only way to find the auto insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from a handful of companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, sites like make it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best car insurance carriers in your area. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the cheapest premium. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be Auto-owners or Great Northern at all!


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.

About's #1 goal is to save you money. We publish resources that are based on hard-hitting data and years of industry experience to help you make more informed decisions with your wallet.

  • All of's content is written and reviewed for accuracy by a team of experienced writers and editors who are experts on the topics they cover.
  • None of's content is ever influenced by the companies and brands we partner with.
  •'s editorial team operates independently of any of the company's partnership or business development interests. We publish unbiased information strictly for the benefit of our readers.
  • All of the content you see on is based on comprehensive analysis and all data is gathered and vetted from trustworthy sources.

Learn more about us, our team, and what makes us tick.

Find your best rate in just a few minutes