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

Want to know if Columbia or Metlife is the better choice for insurance? You're probably wondering which carrier 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.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Based on national averages for auto insurance, Columbia offers significantly cheaper premiums than Metlife
  • Columbia offers more affordable prices for policyholders who have a clean record
  • Metlife may help you save more money -- they offer more discounts than Columbia Insurance Group

Columbia or Metlife: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're thinking about switching to a new insurance policy. After all, you've seen ads from all sorts of companies offering pretty big savings. But exactly how much can you save by switching?

You might have narrowed it down to Columbia or Metlife as your top options, but between the two, which carrier will save you the most?

Columbia Metlife

As you can see, Columbia has average rates that are around 55% a month less expensive than those from Metlife when looking at the national average rates for car insurance.

That being said, that doesn't necessarily mean Columbia will be the more affordable option for each driver. After all, auto insurance carriers can offer drastically different rates to every driver depending on rating factors like your age, your credit score, your driving record, or even where you call home (among other things), so premiums will vary quite a bit from person to person.

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

Columbia vs. Metlife: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Columbia Metlife

Columbia and Metlife only compete against each other in two states, with Columbia offering cheaper prices to the average driver in all of them. Arkansas has the most noticable difference, where Columbia premiums are $302 more affordable than insurance prices at Metlife.

There's a lot more that goes into your car insurance payment than just the state you live in. Keep reading to learn more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Columbia Metlife
18-year-old drivers$324$959
25-year-old drivers$145$274

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

But that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high auto insurance prices. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have Columbia for their car insurance pay over 65% less than those who use Metlife.

However, with both companies, you'll see your rates decrease significantly once you turn 25. For example, average premiums for Columbia policyholders reduce about $200 and Metlife's rates drop around $500 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Columbia Metlife
65+-year-old drivers$109$205

Drivers around retirement age normally enjoy some of the most affordable insurance premiums you'll ever see. After all, they've likely been driving for quite some time, which usually lowers their chances of collisions and other infractions that can raise prices.

So, which carrier offers the best rates to retired drivers? Columbia gets the edge, with prices for drivers 65 and older more than 45% less expensive than the national average for Metlife.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Columbia Metlife

Single drivers tend to get offered slightly more expensive auto insurance premiums than married drivers. This usually boils down to married policyholders having more than one vehicle on their policy -- something quite a few car insurance carriers will reward with discounts.

For those who are single, the difference in average rates between these two companies is significant, with Columbia premiums coming in at about a third of Metlife's. The advantage for married couples with Columbia is also obvious, where drivers save over 45% per month.

Columbia or Metlife: Average Rates by Gender

Columbia Metlife

Did you know men tend to pay more for auto insurance than women? That's because women are less likely to get into accidents and get tickets, which decreases the chances of filing a claim with insurance.

Generally, women see prices almost 10% a month less with Columbia, and around 8% less with Metlife.

Looking at overall affordability, Columbia comes out on top for both men and women. On average, women save about $182 per month and men save about $198 with Columbia compared to the average Metlife policyholder.

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Columbia vs. Metlife: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Columbia Metlife
State Minimum*$68$215
Full Coverage**$232$466

*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 insurance can be pretty complicated. 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 (which covers the other party's injuries and property damage 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).

Looking specifically at state minimum liability insurance, Columbia has the significant edge, with average monthly rates coming in at $68. If you want a full coverage policy with the same state minimum limits, Columbia again has the edge, with policies averaging around $232 a month to Metlife's $466.

Is Columbia or Metlife Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

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

You'll probably end up paying more with speeding tickets and at-fault accidents on your record, but which of these two carriers offers the cheapest prices to drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Columbia Metlife
Clean Record$104$220
1 Speeding Ticket$118$279

Policyholders who use Columbia for their car insurance can generally expect their monthly bill to go up about 12% after getting a speeding ticket. Metlife policyholders can expect a bit more drastic of an increase of around 21%.

Even so, Columbia is typically the cheaper option for drivers both with a ticket and with a clean record, offering premiums that are $116 and $161 less expensive, respectively, compared to MetLife.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Columbia Metlife
Clean Record$104$220
1 At-Fault Accident$142$368

After an accident, drivers who have their insurance through Columbia can expect to see about an $38 -- or around 27% -- rise in their auto insurance rates. Drivers who use Metlife for their insurance will see a monthly bill about $148 (or 40%) more expensive after reporting an accident to their car insurance company.

At the end of the day, drivers who use Columbia end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with average prices coming in at $142 compared to MetLife's $368.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Columbia Metlife
Clean Record$104$220
1 DUI$236$494

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. Metlife drivers usually see a 55% increase in their car insurance premiums after a DUI charge, while Columbia will typically raise rates by around 56%.

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How does Credit Score Impact Columbia and Metlife Rates?

Did you know many auto insurance companies take into account your credit score when determining premiums? Certain states and carriers do not allow for credit score to be used as a car insurance factor, but it might come into play for several drivers.

The reasoning car insurance companies use is that policyholders with bad credit will be less likely to pay their bills on time; so generally, they'll be asked to pay more, while those with good credit will be rewarded with more affordable prices.

So, which carrier offers the lowest premiums for drivers with poor, average, or good credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Columbia Metlife
Excellent Credit Score$138$222
Good Credit Score$141$274

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Columbia Metlife
Fair Credit Score$147$339
Poor Credit Score$174$530

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

Columbia Metlife
6,000 Annual Miles$150$339
12,000 Annual Miles$150$342

How much you drive can have a sizable impact on how much auto insurance carriers will charge for coverage. Normally, those who drive fewer miles will end up with cheaper rates 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 Metlife, with drivers who put 6,000 miles on their vehicle each year paying about $3 less every month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles annually. Still, for drivers in both categories, Columbia is the less expensive company.

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

We've already mentioned how your home state can play a role in how much you pay for insurance, but the type of area you live in can have a considerable impact as well. Typically, policyholders who live in less densely populated rural areas will pay quite a bit less than urban drivers since there are a lot fewer cars on the roads where they live.

Columbia Metlife
Urban Areas$169$389
Suburban Areas$152$333
Rural Areas$129$299

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

Those in rural areas can expect to save around $170 with Columbia compared to Metlife. People who live in suburban areas pay about $181 less with Columbia compared to Metlife. For policyholders in urban ZIP codes, Columbia Insurance Group's average prices are around $220 less than MetLife.

Columbia vs. Metlife Discounts

No matter why you might be in the market for a new car 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 taking advantage of as many insurance discounts as possible.

The hard part is finding all of the discounts you qualify for, since it can feel sometimes like every company has different discounts and each one is advertised differently.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and compared all of the different discounts offered by Columbia and Metlife so that you can find the one that has the most discounts and, therefore, the largest savings.

Columbia Metlife
AAA Discount 
ABS Discount
Academic Discount 
Agency Transfer Discount 
Annual Mileage Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Combat Auto-Theft Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount
Driver Training Discount 
Education Discount 
EFT Discount 
Employee Discount
Employers Subject to MA Worker Discount 
Employment Tenure Discount 
Family Car Discount 
Farm Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 

Metlife blows Columbia away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 25 more discounts than Columbia.

There are a couple discounts both carriers offer, but Metlife also offers discounts for AAA, academic, agency transfer, and more.

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

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Final Thoughts: Is Columbia or Metlife Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average rates for many of the variables auto insurance companies look at, and walked through the different discounts each carrier offers, too. That's all well and good, but when it comes down to it, is Columbia or Metlife the best company for you and your specific needs?

Columbia might be best for you if....

  • You've been pulled over for speeding recently.
  • You already have a great credit score.
  • You have a short drive to work everyday.

Metlife might be best for you if...

  • You value the experience that comes with a large national car insurance company.
  • You want to save extra money with discounts.

Hopefully, this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Columbia and Metlife and that it aids in making a more informed decision about 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 multiple carriers, not just Columbia and Metlife. 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 companies in your area, all for free.

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Columbia vs. Metlife FAQs

Is Columbia or Metlife cheaper?

Columbia is the more affordable of the two carriers when looking at national average prices, with policies averaging $150 per month with Columbia and $340 for Metlife. However, that doesn't mean Columbia will be the most affordable carrier for everyone, since there are a variety of different factors (things like age, gender, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Columbia or Metlife?

Sadly, the answer truly is "it depends.". No one company is necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all comes down to what your unique insurance profile looks like.

Why do Columbia and Metlife offer me different rates?

Auto insurance companies use many different variables when calculating the rates they charge. Things like where you call home, age, where your home is, gender, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Columbia and Metlife calculate premiums using different formulas, so it's likely they'll offer different rates. The best way to determine which carrier is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a range of different carriers.

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

The only way to find the car 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, makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your information once and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top insurance carriers for free. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the best premium. And maybe you'll find that the best carrier for you isn't Columbia or Metlife 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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