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

You've probably seen ads offering big savings on auto insurance, but are Columbia or Equity right for you? Which company offers the lowest prices, or the most discounts? Read on to see how Columbia and Equity compare, and to find out which carrier is the best one for you, your vehicle, and your budget.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Looking at the national averages for insurance, Columbia offers slightly less expensive rates than Equity
  • Columbia tends to be a much cheaper option for policyholders who may not have much of a commute
  • Equity offers more affordable average premiums for drivers with a DUI charge on their record

Columbia vs. Equity: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

Are you considering a new insurance policy? You've probably seen commercials and billboards from companies offering huge discounts, but exactly how much money can you save by switching?

You might be considering Columbia or Equity for your next policy, but between the two, which company has cheaper rates for auto insurance?

Columbia Equity

Looking at nationwide averages, Columbia is about $15 per month more affordable than Equity.

But Columbia may not be the most affordable or best option for each driver out there. Insurance companies vary their premiums depending on things like how old you are, how clean your driving record is, where you live, how good your credit score is, and a variety of other factors, so prices could change drastically from person to person.

So, if you want to find out which of Columbia or Equity is really the best for you, keep reading to see average premiums for each company broken down by lots of different rate factors.

Columbia or Equity: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Columbia Equity

Columbia and Equity only compete against each other in one states, with Columbia offering less expensive rates to the average driver in all of them. Arkansas has the most noticable difference, where Columbia prices are over 30% more affordable than car insurance rates at Equity.

That being said, there's a lot more that goes into your insurance bill than just your home state. Continue reading to see how other factors will affect your rates.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Columbia Equity
18-year-old drivers$324$354
25-year-old drivers$145$144

You might already know that teen drivers normally pay a lot more for car insurance than any group out there on the road. That's usually 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.

However, that doesn't mean teen drivers can't still save money on their auto insurance. As you can see above, teens who use Columbia save $30 a month compared to those who use Equity.

That being said, both carriers will offer you dramatically lower premiums by the time you turn 25. For example, average prices for Columbia policyholders lower nearly $200 and Equity's premiums reduce more than $200 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Columbia Equity
65+-year-old drivers$109$128

Drivers around retirement age generally enjoy some of the cheapest car insurance prices you can find. After all, they've likely been driving for quite some time, which typically lowers their chances of accidents and other infractions that can increase rates.

So, which carrier offers the best premiums to retired drivers? Columbia gets the edge, with prices for drivers 65 and older $19 cheaper than the national average for Equity.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Columbia Equity

Did you know that auto insurance rates are usually less expensive for married couples than they are for single drivers? That's normally because married policyholders tend to own and insure more than one car, which can often earn you a discount.

If you're in the market for insurance, Columbia tends to have the lowest average premiums regardless of relationship status, with prices around $10 cheaper for married drivers and about $15 more affordable for those who are single.

Columbia vs. Equity: Average Rates by Gender

Columbia Equity

Men are statistically more likely than women to get into accidents and get tickets. That means when it comes to auto insurance men will typically end up paying a little more.

With Columbia, women generally pay almost 10% per month less than men, and over 10% less with Equity when compared to their male counterparts.

Looking at the data for each company specifically, Columbia offers the cheapest average rates for both men and women. On average, male drivers save about $19 a month and women save around $10 with Columbia compared to the average Equity policyholder.

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

Columbia Equity
State Minimum*$68$67
Full Coverage**$232$262

*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 a bunch of 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 an accident.

Even so, the most common policies that many drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability only (that covers property damage and bodily injury 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 what you get with liability coverage).

In this case, Equity offers the most affordable average prices for state minimum liability insurance, while Columbia has the edge for full coverage policies with similar coverage limits. Drivers looking for basic state minimum coverage can save around $1 with Equity Insurance Company, while full coverage comes out to be about $30 less expensive with Columbia Insurance Group.

Is Columbia or Equity Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

You've probably seen plenty of commercials from insurance companies offering great premiums 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 at-fault collisions and tickets on your record, but which of these two carriers offers the lowest rates to drivers with less-than-perfect records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Columbia Equity
Clean Record$104$154
1 Speeding Ticket$118$160

Columbia policyholders can expect their prices to go up an average of $14 per month if they get a ticket, while Equity typically raises rates around $6 a month, on average.

That being said, Columbia tends to offer the best prices for drivers both with clean records and with a speeding ticket, offering premiums that are $50 and $42 more affordable, respectively, compared to Equity Insurance Company.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Columbia Equity
Clean Record$104$154
1 At-Fault Accident$142$179

Columbia policyholders who get in an accident can expect to see their prices rise by just under $40, while those who have insurance through Equity will see about a $25 increase.

Overall, drivers who use Columbia end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with monthly rates averaging $142 compared to Equity Insurance Company's $179.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Columbia Equity
Clean Record$104$154
1 DUI$236$166

If you get a DUI charge, you can expect some pretty significant increases in your monthly car insurance bill -- normally a lot more than a collision or ticket. On average, Columbia will increase your premiums around 56% after a DUI, while Equity's average prices climb by 7%.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable premiums, Equity tends to be the much less expensive option with average prices of $166 per month compared to $236 from Columbia.

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How does Credit Score Impact Columbia and Equity Rates?

Did you know that many auto insurance companies take into account your credit score when calculating rates? This isn't always the case (for example, Michigan and California are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it does affect quite a few drivers out there.

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.

Looking at Columbia and Equity specifically, which carrier has the best prices for policyholders at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Columbia Equity
Excellent Credit Score$138$165
Good Credit Score$141$165

If you have great credit, you'll usually find a better deal with Columbia. Drivers with "excellent" credit can save over 15% compared to Equity, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- about $24 or 15% cheaper every month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Columbia Equity
Fair Credit Score$147$165
Poor Credit Score$174$165

If you have less-than-stellar credit, it can be somewhat of a toss-up as far as which company offers you the best rates. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around $18 less with Columbia than Equity, but those whose credit is considered "poor" have it flipped -- saving about $9 per month with Equity.

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

Columbia Equity
6,000 Annual Miles$150$165
12,000 Annual Miles$150$165

The amount of time you spend behind the wheel of your car plays a big role in how much auto insurance companies will charge for coverage. Generally, the more miles you drive, the more you can expect to pay for insurance.

In this case, neither Columbia or Equity report increasing premiums for drivers with higher annual mileage figures. Even so, Columbia comes out as the cheapest for drivers at both intervals, whether they put 6,000 or 12,000 miles on their car annually, with average rates of $150 a month for both.

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

Where you park your vehicle can play a sizable role in how much you pay for car insurance. Usually, 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.

Columbia Equity
Urban Areas$169$192
Suburban Areas$152$158
Rural Areas$129$143

Columbia boasts the most affordable average premiums for drivers in all types of areas, no matter if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

Policyholders in rural ZIP codes see the cheapest prices from both carriers, but Columbia comes out on top with average premiums around $129 a month. Columbia also has more affordable average rates for drivers in urban and suburban ZIP codes -- a $23 and $6 per month respective difference when compared to Equity policyholders in similar areas.

Columbia vs. Equity Discounts

Regardless of why you might be in the market for a new 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 car insurance discounts as you can.

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

Below, we've broken down all of the different discounts offered by both Columbia and Equity so that you can find the one that has the most discounts and, therefore, the biggest savings.

Columbia Equity
ABS Discount 
Agency Transfer Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount
Education Discount
Employee Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount 
Paid In Full Discount 
Passive Restraint Discount 
Renewal Discount 

Looking at the total number of discounts, Columbia comes out ahead with 11 discounts to Equity's 10.

Both companies offer many of the same discounts -- like discounts for being a defensive driver, education discounts, and discounts for being a homeowner -- but Columbia also offers ABS discounts, anti-theft discounts, distant student discounts, and more that Equity does not.

On the flip side, Equity has a couple unique discounts of its own -- agency transfer discounts, group discounts, discounts for insuring multiple cars with the same company, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is Columbia or Equity Best for You?

You've seen the effect certain variables have on your auto insurance and the different discounts carriers offer. But, at the end of the day, is Columbia or Equity the best fit for you?

Columbia might be best for you if....

  • Your credit score is high.
  • You care about discounts (Columbia offers the most).
  • You don't spend much time in your car.

Equity might be best for you if...

  • You have a DUI charge on your record.
  • You want basic car insurance coverage at the state minimum limits.

We hope this guide helps you get a good idea of the differences between Columbia and Equity. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision about your 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 auto insurance -- comparing quotes from several companies, not just Columbia and Equity. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your ZIP code below and get multiple quotes from some of the best car insurance carriers in your area, all for free.

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Columbia vs. Equity FAQs

Is Columbia or Equity cheaper?

Looking just at the national average prices, Columbia is the less expensive of the two companies, offering average rates of $150 a month compared to $165 for Equity. However, Columbia won't necessarily be the lowest company for everyone, since there are several different factors that come into play when it comes to your insurance payment.

Who is better, Columbia or Equity?

Unfortunately, the real answer is "it depends.". No one carrier is necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all boils down to your unique car insurance profile. For example, Columbia offers cheaper rates for drivers with an at-fault accident on their record, while Equity is more affordable for drivers who have less-than-stellar credit scores.

Why do Columbia and Equity offer me different rates?

Auto insurance carriers take a look at several different variables when determining the premiums they charge policyholders. Things such as your driving record, age, gender, where you live, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be taken into consideration. Both Columbia and Equity calculate prices differently, so each one will most likely offer different premiums. The only real way to see which company is the most affordable for you is by comparing personalized quotes from many different companies.

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

The only way to find the insurance carrier 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 information once and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best car insurance companies in your area. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the cheapest price. And who knows, the best company for you might not be Columbia or Equity 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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