Columbia vs. Encompass: 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 Columbia and Encompass. But which of these two companies is the best one for you? Read on to find which company has the best rates and biggest discounts.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Based on national averages for car insurance, Columbia offers significantly less expensive prices than Encompass
  • Columbia tends to be a much more affordable option for policyholders who drive fewer than 12,000 miles annually
  • Encompass offers more discounts than Columbia Insurance Group

Columbia vs. Encompass: 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 pretty big discounts, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You might be considering Columbia or Encompass as your top options, but which one has less expensive premiums for auto insurance?

Columbia Encompass

Looking at the national average rates for both companies, Encompass is quite a bit more expensive than Columbia, with prices averaging $466 per month compared to just $150 with Columbia.

But that doesn't mean Columbia will necessarily be cheaper than Encompass for every driver. Car insurance carriers vary their rates depending on things like how old you are, how good your credit score is, how clean your driving record is, where you live, and tons of other factors, so premiums will vary quite a bit from person to person.

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

Columbia or Encompass: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Columbia Encompass

Columbia and Encompass only compete against each other in one states, with Columbia offering more affordable premiums to the average driver in all of them. Missouri has the most noticable difference, where Columbia prices are over 70% cheaper than auto insurance rates at Encompass.

That being said, there are plenty of other factors that go into your insurance bill than just your home state. Read on to learn more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Columbia Encompass
18-year-old drivers$3241144
25-year-old drivers$145$373

Young drivers -- especially teens -- typically pay a lot for car insurance compared to older drivers. That's because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to cause collisions and other accidents that will result in an insurance claim.

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 Columbia for their insurance pay more than $500 less than those who use Encompass. It's worth noting that Encompass offers auto insurance in 31 different states compared to Columbia's two, which can skew the average prices a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

That being said, both companies will offer you dramatically lower rates once you turn 25. For example, average prices for Columbia policyholders decrease nearly $200 and Encompass's premiums drop over $500 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Columbia Encompass
65+-year-old drivers$109$335

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

So, which company offers the best premiums to retired drivers? Columbia gets the edge, with prices for drivers 65 and older more than 65% more affordable than the national average for Encompass.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Columbia Encompass

Married policyholders tend to get slightly less expensive auto insurance rates than single policyholders. That's because policies for married drivers usually cover several cars, which several carriers will offer you a discount for.

When it comes to relationship status, Columbia is the clear winner for single drivers, with premiums about $395 a month cheaper than Encompass, on average. The advantage for married couples with Columbia is also obvious, where drivers save almost 65% per month.

Columbia vs. Encompass: Average Rates by Gender

Columbia Encompass

Women normally to pay less for car insurance than men. This is because men are statistically more likely than women to get pulled over for speeding or get into an accident, which leads to increased risk for insurers and, therefore, higher rates.

On average, women see premiums nearly 10% a month less with Columbia, and around 5% less with Encompass when compared to their male counterparts.

When it comes to the lowest prices for each gender, Columbia comes out as the most affordable option for both genders. On average, women save about $310 per month and men save about $321 with Columbia compared to the average Encompass policyholder.

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Columbia or Encompass: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Columbia Encompass
State Minimum*$68$302
Full Coverage**$232$629

*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 pretty complicated. There are multiple different coverages that account for a range of different things. Some protect you and your vehicle, while others only provide coverage for other people's property and health if you cause a collision.

However, most policies end up falling into two different types of coverage -- liability only (which covers the other party's injuries and property damage if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes comprehensive and collision coverages that protect your own vehicle, in addition to what you get with liability coverage).

If you're looking for state minimum liability limits, Columbia typically offers significantly more affordable rates of $68 compared to Encompass's $302. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Columbia again has the edge, with policies around $400 a month less expensive than Encompass, on average.

Is Columbia or Encompass Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

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

Tickets and at-fault accidents will most likely raise your prices, but is Columbia or Encompass cheaper for drivers with less-than-perfect records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Columbia Encompass
Clean Record$104$227
1 Speeding Ticket$118$288

Columbia policyholders can expect their premiums to go up an average of $14 per month if they get a ticket, while Encompass normally raises prices about $61 a month, on average.

Even so, Columbia is usually the less expensive option for drivers both with a speeding ticket and with a clean record. Drivers with a clean record can save around $123 per month and drivers with a ticket can save about $170 a month with Columbia Insurance Group.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Columbia Encompass
Clean Record$104$227
1 At-Fault Accident$142$328

After an accident, drivers who have their car insurance through Columbia can expect to see around an $38 -- or about 27% -- increase in their auto insurance rates. Drivers who use Encompass for their insurance will see a monthly bill around $101 (or 31%) more expensive after reporting a collision to their car insurance carrier.

Overall, the more affordable premiums come from Columbia, with monthly rates averaging $142 compared to Encompass Insurance's $328.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Columbia Encompass
Clean Record$104$227
1 DUI$2361020

If you get a DUI charge, you can expect some pretty significant increases in your monthly insurance bill -- generally a lot more than an accident or speeding ticket. Encompass drivers usually see a 78% increase in their auto insurance premiums after a DUI charge, while Columbia will normally climb prices by about 56%.

Columbia has the overall cheapest rates for drivers with a DUI on their records at $236 per month, but it's worth noting that Encompass's average rates come from 31 states compared to just two for Columbia, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact Columbia and Encompass Rates?

You may not realized it, but your credit score can come into play when companies calculate your monthly bill. Certain states and carriers do not allow for credit score to be used as a rating factor, but it might come into play for lots of drivers.

Car insurance companies 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.

Looking specifically at Columbia and Encompass, which company has the most affordable prices for policyholders at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Columbia Encompass
Excellent Credit Score$138$350
Good Credit Score$141$396

If you have great credit, you'll usually find a better deal with Columbia. Drivers with "excellent" credit can save over 60% compared to Encompass, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- around $255 or 64% cheaper every month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Columbia Encompass
Fair Credit Score$147$470
Poor Credit Score$174$647

Columbia typically offers lower premiums than Encompass when it comes to drivers with a below average credit score. Drivers with "fair" credit pay about $323 per month less with Columbia compared to Encompass, and those with "poor" scores generally save an average of around $473 monthly.

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

Columbia Encompass
6,000 Annual Miles$150$465
12,000 Annual Miles$150$467

How much you drive can have a large impact on your monthly prices. That's because the more miles you drive, the more likely you are to get into a collision and cause 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 rates for Encompass, with policyholders who drive the least paying about $2 less each month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles every year. Still, Columbia is the less expensive option for drivers in both categories.

Columbia vs. Encompass: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you call home can have a substantial impact on your monthly insurance payment. Usually, those who live in urban areas will pay more than policyholders in rural areas because there are a lot more cars on the road in those areas, which increases the chances of an accident.

Columbia Encompass
Urban Areas$169$560
Suburban Areas$152$434
Rural Areas$129$404

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

Drivers in rural ZIP codes see the most affordable premiums from both companies, but Columbia comes out on top with average rates around $129 a month. Columbia also has more affordable average premiums for policyholders in urban and suburban ZIP codes -- a $391 and $282 a month respective difference when compared to Encompass drivers in similar areas.

Columbia vs. Encompass Discounts

Regardless of why you might be in the market for a new auto insurance policy, you're always going to want to save as much money as possible, and the best way to do that is by taking advantage of as many 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 compared all of the different discounts offered by Columbia and Encompass so that you can see which carrier offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

Columbia Encompass
ABS Discount
Advance Quote Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount
Driver Training Discount
DRL Discount 
Education Discount 
EFT Discount 
Employee Discount
Fire/Fisher Discount 
Gated Community Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Payer Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount
Military Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
New Vehicle Discount 

Encompass blows Columbia away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 15 more discounts than Columbia.

There are a couple discounts both carriers offer, but Encompass also offers advance quote discounts, DRL discounts, EFT discounts, and more that Columbia does not.

On the flip side, Columbia has a unique discount of its own -- a education discounts.

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Final Thoughts: Is Columbia or Encompass Best for You?

So, you've seen how different factors can affect your car insurance prices. We've shown you all the discounts each carrier offers, too. But, when it comes down to it, which company is the best company for you, your vehicle, and your wallet?

Columbia might be best for you if....

  • You don't have any speeding tickets, DUIs, or at-fault collisions on your record.
  • You want basic auto insurance coverage at the state minimum limits.
  • You drive fewer than 6,000 miles yearly.

Encompass might be best for you if...

  • You value the experience that comes with a large national car insurance carrier.
  • You're looking for the company with the most discounts.

We hope this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Columbia and Encompass. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best 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 insurance policy is to compare quotes from a handful of companies, not just Columbia and Encompass. Luckily, sites like make it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code below and get multiple free quotes from some of the best car insurance carriers in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Columbia vs. Encompass FAQs

Is Columbia or Encompass cheaper?

Looking just at the national average rates, Columbia is the less expensive of the two companies, offering average rates of $150 per month compared to $466 for Encompass. But Columbia won't necessarily be the cheapest carrier for everyone, since there are a variety of different variables that are considered when it comes to your insurance cost.

Who is better, Columbia or Encompass?

Unfortunately, the real answer is "it depends.". Neither company is necessarily "better" for each driver -- it all boils down to your unique auto insurance profile.

Why do Columbia and Encompass offer me different rates?

Insurance carriers take a look at many different factors when calculating the premiums they charge policyholders. Things such as your driving record, where you live, gender, age, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all come into play. Both Columbia and Encompass calculate prices differently, so each one will most likely offer different rates. The only real way to see which carrier is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from many different companies.

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

The only way to find the car 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 do all the hard work for you. Just enter your area information and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best auto insurance companies in your area. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the best rate. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be Columbia or Encompass 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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