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

Want to know if Auto-owners or Southern is the better choice for car insurance? You're probably wondering which company offers the best rates or the most discounts. Check out our latest guide below to find out which of these two companies is the best for you.
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Quick Facts

  • In general, Auto-owners offers significantly more affordable prices than Southern
  • Auto-owners has cheaper premiums for policyholders who don't have any speeding tickets, DUIs, or at-fault accidents on their record
  • Southern offers more affordable rates for residents in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee

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

Are you in the market for a new insurance policy? After all, you've seen ads from all sorts of companies offering big discounts. But exactly how much can you save by switching?

You might have narrowed it down to Auto-owners or Southern as your top options, but between the two, which company has less expensive premiums for insurance?

Auto-owners Southern

As you can see, Southern is quite a bit more expensive than Auto-owners, with prices averaging $322 per month compared to just $179 with Auto-owners when looking at the national average rates for auto insurance.

However, that doesn't mean Auto-owners will necessarily be more affordable than Southern for each driver. Car insurance companies vary their premiums depending on things like how old you are, where you live, how good your credit score is, how clean your driving record is, and a variety of other factors, so rates could vary drastically from person to person.

So, if you want to find out which of Auto-owners or Southern is really the best for you, keep reading to see average prices for each carrier broken down by several different rate factors.

Auto-owners or Southern: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Auto-owners Southern

Auto-owners and Southern only compete against each other in three states, with Auto-owners offering less expensive premiums to the average driver in all of them. Georgia has the most noticable difference, where Auto-owners prices are over 70% cheaper than auto insurance rates at Southern.

There are plenty of other factors that go into your insurance bill than just where you call home. Continue reading to learn more about how other factors will affect your rates.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Auto-owners Southern
18-year-old drivers$393$707
25-year-old drivers$164$269

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive auto insurance premiums of any other group of drivers. The reason is that 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 rates, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of more than $300 less a month by choosing Auto-owners over Southern. It's worth noting that Auto-owners offers car insurance in 23 different states compared to Southern's three, which can skew the average prices a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

But both carriers will offer you dramatically lower rates by the time you turn 25. For example, average premiums for Auto-owners policyholders reduce nearly $250 and Southern's prices decrease about $450 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Auto-owners Southern
65+-year-old drivers$133$254

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

So, which company offers the best prices to retired drivers? Auto-owners gets the edge here, with average premiums coming in at around $133 a month compared to Southern's $254.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Auto-owners Southern

Single drivers tend to get offered slightly more expensive auto insurance rates than married drivers. That's normally because married policyholders tend to own and insure more than one car, which can often earn you a discount.

When it comes to relationship status, Auto-owners is the clear winner for those who are single, with prices about $170 per month more affordable than Southern, on average. The advantage for married couples with Auto-owners is also obvious, where drivers save over $100 a month.

Auto-owners vs. Southern: Average Rates by Gender

Auto-owners Southern

You may not know, but men usually pay more for insurance than women do. This is because men are more likely to get tickets and get into collisions, which increases the chances of an insurance claim.

Normally, men see premiums around $10 per month higher with Auto-owners, while with Southern, the difference is closer to $36 a month.

When it comes to the lowest rates for each gender, Auto-owners comes out on top for both men and women, with average premiums $155 less for men and $130 cheaper for women.

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

Auto-owners Southern
State Minimum*$99$192
Full Coverage**$260$452

*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 car insurance can be pretty complicated. There are multiple different coverages that account for lots 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.

Even so, most policies that many drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability only (which provides bodily injury and property damage coverage for other drivers if you cause a collision) and full coverage (which typically refers to having comprehensive and collision coverages in addition to what you get with a liability policy).

If you're looking for state minimum liability insurance, Auto-owners generally offers significantly cheaper prices of $99 compared to Southern's $192. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Auto-owners again has the edge, with policies about $200 per month less expensive than Southern, on average.

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

It's no big secret that drivers who are accident-free get better deals on their auto insurance. But even if you have a spotty record, you can still find plenty of ways to save some cash on your monthly bill.

You'll probably end up paying more with at-fault collisions and tickets on your record, but which of these two companies offers the most affordable rates to drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Auto-owners Southern
Clean Record$121$216
1 Speeding Ticket$165$233

Auto-owners policyholders can expect their premiums to go up an average of $44 a month if they get a ticket, while Southern typically raises prices around $17 per month, on average.

That being said, Auto-owners is generally the cheaper option for both drivers who have a recent speeding ticket and those with clean records, offering rates that are $95 and $68 more affordable, respectively, compared to Southern Insurance Company of Virginia.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Auto-owners Southern
Clean Record$121$216
1 At-Fault Accident$168$293

Auto-owners drivers who get in an accident can expect to see their prices increase by over $45, while those who have insurance through Southern will see about a $75 increase.

Overall, the less expensive premiums come from Auto-owners, with monthly rates averaging $168 compared to Southern Insurance Company of Virginia's $293.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Auto-owners Southern
Clean Record$121$216
1 DUI$264$548

On average, a DUI offense is going to cost you much more than a single accident or ticket when it comes to your car insurance bill. For example, Southern increases average prices by just under $350 a month -- that's over a 60% increase.

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 three for Southern, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact Auto-owners and Southern Rates?

Did you know that many insurance carriers take your credit score into account when calculating rates? Certain states and companies do not allow for credit score to be used as a rating factor, but it might come into play for many policyholders.

Car 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 lowest prices for drivers with poor, average, or good credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Auto-owners Southern
Excellent Credit Score$95$219
Good Credit Score$129$261

If you have great credit, you'll usually find a better deal with Auto-owners. Policyholders with "excellent" credit can save more than 55% compared to Southern, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- around $132 or 51% cheaper every month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Auto-owners Southern
Fair Credit Score$176$329
Poor Credit Score$317$480

Auto-owners typically offers lower premiums than Southern when it comes to drivers with a below average credit score. Drivers with "fair" credit pay about $153 per month less with Auto-owners compared to Southern, and those with "poor" scores normally save an average of around $163 monthly.

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

Auto-owners Southern
6,000 Annual Miles$179$307
12,000 Annual Miles$180$337

How much you drive can have a considerable impact on how much auto insurance companies will charge for coverage. Usually, the more miles you drive, the more you can expect to pay for insurance.

Auto-owners tends to be the less expensive option for both drivers who put 6,000 miles on their vehicles each year, as well as those who average twice that figure. Southern's average rates for drivers with 6,000 annual miles come in about 42% more expensive than Auto-owners. Those who drive 12,000 miles annually can expect to pay around 47% more with Southern over Auto-owners.

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

Where you park your vehicle can have a sizable impact on your monthly car insurance payment. Typically, drivers who live in heavily-populated urban areas will pay quite a bit more than rural policyholders because there are a lot more cars on the roads in those areas.

Auto-owners Southern
Urban Areas$205$390
Suburban Areas$169$279
Rural Areas$164$298

When comparing these two carriers side-by-side, Auto-owners generally comes out as the most affordable option for drivers in every type of area, no matter if it's urban, suburban, or rural.

In urban areas, Auto-Owners Insurance's average premiums are about $185 less than Southern Insurance Company of Virginia. Drivers in suburban ZIP codes pay around $110 less with Auto-owners compared to Southern. If you live in a rural area, you can expect to save about $134 with Auto-owners compared to Southern.

Auto-owners vs. Southern Discounts

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

But where do you even start? With so many discounts out there, it may seem hard to find all the of the ones you qualify for.

Below, we've taken a look at all of the different discounts Auto-owners and Southern offer their customers so that you can find the one that has the most discounts and, therefore, the biggest savings.

Auto-owners Southern
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 
Experienced Operator Discount 
Family Discount 
Good Driving Discount
Good Student Discount
Group Discount
Homeowner Discount
Hybrid Vehicle Discount 
Inside Storage Discount 
Life Policy Discount 
Low Mileage Discount 
Marital Status Discount 

Overall, Auto-owners has the advantage when it comes to total number of discounts. Southern offers a grand total of 20 discounts, while Auto-owners has 24.

Both companies offer lots of the same discounts -- like advance quote discounts, discounts for being a defensive driver, discounts for getting driver training, and group discounts -- but Auto-owners also offers company car discounts, COVID-19 relief discount, distant student discounts, and more that Southern does not.

On the flip side, Southern has a couple unique discounts of its own -- experienced operator discounts, family discounts, hybrid vehicle discounts, and more.

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

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

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

  • You haven't received any speeding tickets or been in a collision in the last few years.
  • You care about discounts (Auto-owners offers the most).
  • You live in a rural area.

Southern might be best for you if...

  • You live in one of the following states: Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.

We hope this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Auto-owners and Southern and that it aids in making a more informed decision about your car insurance.

At the end of the day, the best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your insurance policy is to compare quotes from multiple companies, not just Auto-owners and Southern. Luckily, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code below and get multiple free quotes from some of the best auto insurance carriers in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Auto-owners vs. Southern FAQs

Is Auto-owners or Southern cheaper?

Looking just at the national average prices, Auto-owners is the more affordable of the two companies, offering average rates of $179 a month compared to $322 for Southern. Even so, Auto-owners won't necessarily be the cheapest carrier for everyone, since there are many different factors (things like gender, age, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Auto-owners or Southern?

Unfortunately, the real answer is "it depends.". One company is not "better" for every driver -- it all depends on the makeup of your unique car insurance profile.

Why do Auto-owners and Southern offer me different rates?

Auto insurance carriers take a look at a lot of different variables when determining the premiums they charge drivers. Factors such as age, where your home is, gender, your driving record, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be taken into consideration. Both Auto-owners and Southern use different formulas, so each one will most likely offer different rates. The only real way to see which carrier is the most affordable for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a variety of different companies.

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

The only way to find the insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from several carriers 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 information once and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best car insurance companies in your area. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the lowest rate. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be Auto-owners or Southern 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.

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