Encompass vs. Sterling: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

How do Encompass and Sterling compare when it comes to car insurance rates and discounts? If you want to find out which carrier has the best prices for your unique profile, check out our latest guide below.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • In general, Sterling offers significantly more affordable premiums than Encompass
  • Encompass may help you save more money -- they offer more discounts than Sterling Insurance
  • Sterling has cheaper rates in NY

Encompass or Sterling: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're thinking about switching to a new insurance policy. With so many ads from all sorts of companies offering big savings, you're probably wondering exactly how much you might be able to save.

You might have narrowed it down to Encompass or Sterling as your top options, but between the two, which one will save you the most?

Encompass Sterling

Looking at the national average rates for both carriers, Sterling has average rates that are around 35% a month more affordable than those from Encompass.

However, Sterling may not be the cheapest or best option for each driver out there. After all, insurance companies can offer drastically different rates to every driver depending on rating factors like where you call home, your age, your credit score, or even your driving record (among other things). So, at the end of the day, prices from each company will differ quite a bit from person to person.

So, if you want to find out which of Encompass or Sterling is really the best for you, keep reading to see average premiums for each carrier broken down by many different rate factors.

Encompass vs. Sterling: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Encompass Sterling

Encompass and Sterling only compete against each other in New York, where Sterling offers the cheaper average prices. Sterling drivers tend to pay about $210 per month less on average compared to drivers who use Encompass for their auto insurance.

That being said, there's a lot more that goes into your insurance bill than just the state you live in. Keep reading to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Encompass Sterling
18-year-old drivers1144$539
25-year-old drivers$373$284

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive auto insurance premiums of any other group of drivers. That's because teen drivers are statistically much more likely to get into accidents since they have less experience on the roads.

But that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high car insurance rates. As you can see above, teens who use Sterling save over 55% a month compared to those who use Encompass. It's worth noting that Encompass offers insurance in 31 different states compared to Sterling's one, which can skew the average prices a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

That being said, with both carriers, you'll see your premiums lower significantly once you turn 25. For example, average rates for Encompass policyholders reduce about $500 and Sterling's premiums drop more than $250 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Encompass Sterling
65+-year-old drivers$335$227

Drivers around retirement age normally enjoy some of the lowest auto insurance prices you can find. After all, they've likely been driving for quite some time, which typically reduces their chances of collisions and other infractions that can raise rates.

But who has the best prices for retired drivers between Encompass and Sterling? Sterling gets the edge here, with average premiums coming in at around $227 per month compared to Encompass's $335.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Encompass Sterling

Did you know that car insurance rates are usually more expensive for those who are single than they are for married couples? This usually boils down to married drivers having several vehicles on their policy -- something several auto insurance companies will reward with discounts.

For single policyholders, the difference in average premiums between these two carriers is significant, with Sterling rates coming in at about half of Encompass's. The advantage is also clear for married policyholders - Sterling offers the most affordable average prices.

Encompass or Sterling: Average Rates by Gender

Encompass Sterling

Men tend to pay more for insurance than women. This is because men are statistically more likely than women to get into a collision or get pulled over for speeding, which leads to increased risk for insurers and, therefore, higher rates.

With Encompass, women generally pay around $25 per month less than men, and about $25 cheaper with Sterling when compared to their male counterparts.

Looking at the data for each company specifically, Sterling comes out as the cheapest option for both genders. On average, women save about $165 a month and men save around $163 with Sterling compared to the average Encompass policyholder.

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Encompass vs. Sterling: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Encompass Sterling
State Minimum*$302$150
Full Coverage**$629$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 so many different terms and limits that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy for you.

Even so, most policies that drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability coverage (that covers property damage and bodily injury for other drivers and their passengers if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes two additional coverages -- collision and comprehensive -- alongside liability coverage).

Looking specifically at state minimum liability limits, Sterling has the significant edge, with average monthly premiums coming in at $150. If you want a full coverage policy with the same state minimum limits, Sterling again has the edge, with policies averaging about $452 per month to Encompass's $629.

Is Encompass or Sterling Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

You've probably seen plenty of commercials from insurance companies offering great prices 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 accidents and speeding tickets on your record, but which of these two carriers offers the most affordable premiums to drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Encompass Sterling
Clean Record$227$247
1 Speeding Ticket$288$247

Policyholders with Sterling auto insurance policies don't report seeing their prices increase after getting a ticket, but Encompass policyholders can expect to see their monthly bill increase by around a quarter.

If you have gotten a speeding ticket, Sterling tends to offer the best rates at about 14% less expensive, while Encompass has the edge for drivers with a clean record.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Encompass Sterling
Clean Record$227$247
1 At-Fault Accident$328$289

Encompass drivers who get in a collision can expect to see their prices climb by over $100, while those who have insurance through Sterling will see around a $40 increase.

At the end of the day, the cheaper rates come from Sterling, with average premiums coming in at $289 compared to Encompass Insurance's $328.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Encompass Sterling
Clean Record$227$247
1 DUI1020$423

If you get a DUI charge on your record, it's probably going to cost you more than a simple ticket or even an accident. Encompass drivers usually see a 78% increase in their car insurance rates after a DUI charge, while Sterling will normally climb premiums by about 42%.

Sterling has the overall lowest prices for drivers with a DUI on their records at $423 a month, but it's worth noting that Encompass's average rates come from 31 states compared to just one for Sterling, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact Encompass and Sterling Rates?

Did you know many auto insurance companies take your credit score into account when determining rates? This isn't true for everyone (Michigan, for example, has banned the use of credit score as an auto insurance factor) but it will come into play for many policyholders.

Car insurance carriers argue that someone with bad credit is less likely to pay their bills on time, which makes them riskier to insure. Because of that, drivers with bad credit will often be forced to pay more.

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

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Encompass Sterling
Excellent Credit Score$350$223
Good Credit Score$396$268

If you have solid credit, Sterling will generally reward you the most. For drivers with "excellent" credit scores, Sterling comes in more than 36.29 less expensive. Drivers with "good" credit scores typically save around 32% with Sterling compared to average premiums from Encompass.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Encompass Sterling
Fair Credit Score$470$298
Poor Credit Score$647$417

Sterling typically offers lower rates than Encompass when it comes to drivers with less-than-stellar credit. Drivers with "fair" credit pay about 37% a month less with Sterling compared to Encompass, and those with "poor" scores usually save an average of around 36% monthly.

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

Encompass Sterling
6,000 Annual Miles$465$301
12,000 Annual Miles$467$301

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a sizable impact on how much insurance companies will charge for coverage? Typically, the more milage you drive, the more you can expect to pay for coverage.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much Sterling charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly prices for Encompass, with policyholders who drive the least paying about $2 less every month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles annually. Still, for drivers in both categories, Sterling is the more affordable company.

Encompass or Sterling: 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 car insurance, but the type of area you live in can have a considerable impact as well. Normally, those who live in urban areas will pay more than policyholders in rural areas due to the number of cars that are on the roads where they live.

Encompass Sterling
Urban Areas$560$438
Suburban Areas$434$256
Rural Areas$404$210

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

For drivers in urban ZIP codes, Sterling's average prices are around $438 per month compared to Encompass's $560. People in suburban areas pay about $256 with Sterling compared to Encompass's $434 per month. Those in rural areas can expect to pay around $210 monthly with Sterling compared to Encompass's $404.

Encompass vs. Sterling Discounts

No matter 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 you can. That's where insurance discounts comes into play.

The challenging part is finding all of the discounts you can take advantage of, 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 broke down all of the different discounts offered by both Encompass and Sterling so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

Encompass Sterling
ABS Discount
Advance Quote Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount
DRL 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 
Paid In Full Discount 

Encompass blows Sterling away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 18 more discounts than Sterling.

There are a couple discounts both companies offer, but Encompass also offers discounts for advance quote, distant student, EFT, and more.

Sterling's discounts come through just a few categories, including ABS, Anti-Theft, Defensive Driver, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is Encompass or Sterling Best for You?

So, you've seen how different variables can affect your auto insurance premiums. We've shown you all the discounts each carrier offers, too. But, when it comes down to it, is Encompass or Sterling the best carrier for you, your vehicle, and your wallet?

Sterling might be best for you if....

  • You've received a ticket for speeding recently and don't want to see your rates increase.
  • Your neighborhood is in a city.
  • Your neighborhood is in a rural area.

Encompass might be best for you if...

  • You have a clean driving record, free of collisions, tickets, or DUIs.
  • You already have plans to move to another state -- Sterling Insurance is only available to New York residents.
  • You're looking for the company with the most discounts.

Hopefully, this guide helps you get a good idea of the differences between Encompass and Sterling. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision when it comes to your insurance.

At the end of the day, the sure-fire way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your car insurance policy is to compare quotes from several carriers, not just Encompass and Sterling. Luckily, sites like Compare.com do all the hard work for you. Simply enter your ZIP codes below and get free quotes from dozens of top insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Encompass vs. Sterling FAQs

Is Encompass or Sterling cheaper?

Sterling is the cheaper of the two carriers when looking at national average prices, with policies averaging $301 a month with Sterling and $466 for Encompass. That being said, that doesn't mean Sterling will be the most affordable carrier for everyone, since there are several different factors (things like gender, age, driving record, etc.) that play a role in how much you pay.

Who is better, Encompass or Sterling?

Unfortunately, the real answer is "it depends.". Neither company is necessarily "better" for each policyholder -- it all depends on the makeup of your unique car insurance profile.

Why do Encompass and Sterling offer me different rates?

Auto insurance companies use a lot of different variables when calculating the premiums they charge. Things such as gender, age, where you live, your driving record, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Encompass and Sterling calculate rates using different factors, so it's likely they'll offer different premiums. The best way to determine which carrier is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a variety of different carriers.

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

The only way to find the car insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from multiple companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, Compare.com does all the hard work for you. Just enter your information once and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top auto insurance carriers for free. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the cheapest price. And maybe you'll find that the best carrier for you isn't Encompass or Sterling 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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