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

Wondering if Hanover or Sterling is the best car insurance company for you, your vehicle, and your wallet? We've broken down all the prices and discounts for both companies to help you make a more informed decision. Read on to learn more.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Based on national averages for insurance, Sterling offers significantly cheaper premiums than Hanover
  • Hanover offers more discounts than Sterling Insurance
  • Sterling offers more affordable average rates for drivers who have less-than-stellar credit

Hanover vs. Sterling: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

So, you're considering switching your auto insurance. You've probably seen commercials and billboards from companies offering large discounts, but exactly how much money can you save by switching?

You might have narrowed it down to Hanover or Sterling as your top options, but between the two, which carrier has less expensive premiums for auto insurance?

Hanover Sterling

As you can see, Hanover has average rates that are about 65% per month more expensive than those from Sterling when looking at the national average rates for car insurance.

But that doesn't mean Sterling will necessarily be more affordable than Hanover for every driver. Insurance companies use a ton of complex algorithms to calculate rates, so depending on how clean your driving record is or how old you are (among a lot of other factors), you could see wildly different prices from the ones above.

Luckily, we've broken down average rates from both Hanover and Sterling by a bunch of different rate factors, so read on to find out which carrier is the best for you.

Hanover or Sterling: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Hanover Sterling

Hanover and Sterling only compete against each other in New York, where Sterling offers the cheaper average premiums. For New York residents, Sterling offers auto insurance for $301 per month on average. Hanover's average prices come out to be over 70% more expensive, at $564 a month.

There are plenty of other factors that go into your car insurance bill than just the state you live in. Continue reading to see how other factors will affect your rates.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Hanover Sterling
18-year-old drivers1951$539
25-year-old drivers$745$284

Young drivers -- especially teens -- normally pay a lot for auto insurance compared to older drivers. Generally, 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 rates, teen drivers can still find ways to save money. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have Sterling for their insurance pay more than $500 less than those who use Hanover.

However, both carriers will offer you dramatically lower prices once you turn 25. For example, average premiums for Hanover policyholders drop over 60% and Sterling's rates lower more than 45% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Hanover Sterling
65+-year-old drivers$613$227

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

So, which company offers the best premiums to retired drivers? Sterling gets the edge here, with average rates coming in at around $227 monthly compared to Hanover's $613.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Hanover Sterling

Did you know that car insurance prices are usually more expensive for those who are single than they are for married drivers? This usually boils down to married couples having multiple cars on their policy -- something quite a few insurance companies will reward with discounts.

When it comes to relationship status, Sterling is the clear winner for single drivers, with premiums about $666 a month cheaper than Hanover, on average. For married policyholders, the advantage is clear again - Sterling has the edge when it comes to average rates.

Hanover vs. Sterling: Average Rates by Gender

Hanover Sterling

Did you know men typically pay more for car insurance than women? This is because men are more likely to get into accidents and get speeding tickets, which increases the chances of an insurance claim.

On average, women see prices around $60 per month less expensive with Hanover, and about $25 cheaper with Sterling when compared to their male counterparts.

When it comes to the lowest premiums for each gender, Sterling offers the most affordable average rates for both men and women. On average, male drivers save about $569 a month and women save around $534 with Sterling compared to the average Hanover policyholder.

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Hanover or Sterling: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Hanover Sterling
State Minimum*$509$150
Full Coverage**1196$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.

For most people, auto insurance isn't the easiest topic to understand. There are so many different terms and limits that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy.

That being said, most policies that many drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability only (which covers the other party's injuries and property damage if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes two additional coverages -- comprehensive and collision -- alongside liability).

If you're looking for state minimum liability limits, Sterling usually offers significantly cheaper premiums of $150 compared to Hanover's $509. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Sterling again has the edge, with policies about $500 per month more affordable than Hanover, on average.

Is Hanover or Sterling 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.

It's no secret secret that tickets and accidents lead to higher prices, but which carrier -- Hanover or Sterling -- has the cheapest premiums for drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Hanover Sterling
Clean Record$617$247
1 Speeding Ticket$838$247

Drivers with Sterling car insurance policies don't report seeing their rates increase after getting a ticket, but Hanover policyholders can expect to see their monthly bill increase by around $200.

Even so, Sterling is typically the less expensive option for drivers both with a ticket and with a clean record, offering prices that are $370 and $591 cheaper, respectively, compared to Hanover Insurance.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Hanover Sterling
Clean Record$617$247
1 At-Fault Accident$943$289

Both carriers will increase rates pretty significantly if you get into an at-fault accident with Hanover climbing by just under $350. Sterling has a less extreme increase, but you can still expect to pay over $40 more than you were prior to your first collision.

Overall, drivers who use Sterling end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with monthly premiums averaging $289 compared to Hanover Insurance's $943.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Hanover Sterling
Clean Record$617$247
1 DUI1013$423

If you get a DUI charge, you can expect some pretty significant increases in your monthly auto insurance bill -- normally a lot more than a collision or speeding ticket. Hanover drivers usually see a 39% climb in their insurance prices after a DUI charge, while Sterling will generally raise rates by about 42%.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable premiums, Sterling tends to be the much more affordable option with average prices of $423 a month compared to 1013 from Hanover.

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How does Credit Score Impact Hanover and Sterling Rates?

Often times, your credit score can come into play when companies determine 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 a lot of policyholders.

Auto 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 at Hanover and Sterling specifically, which company has the best premiums for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Hanover Sterling
Excellent Credit Score$220$223
Good Credit Score$526$268

If you have solid credit, you'll usually find a better deal with Hanover for an "excellent" credit score. Policyholders with "excellent" credit can save 1% compared to Sterling, while those with "good" scores can expect to see better savings from Sterling -- around $258 or 49% less expensive than Hanover every month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Hanover Sterling
Fair Credit Score$856$298
Poor Credit Score1904$417

Sterling typically offers lower prices than Hanover when it comes to drivers with a below average credit score. Drivers with "fair" credit pay about $558 a month less with Sterling compared to Hanover, and those with "poor" scores usually save an average of around 1487 monthly.

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

Hanover Sterling
6,000 Annual Miles$852$301
12,000 Annual Miles$853$301

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a substantial impact on your monthly insurance cost? Normally, the more miles you put on your vehicle each year, the more you can expect to pay for car insurance.

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 rates for Hanover, with drivers who put 6,000 miles on their car annually paying about $1 less each month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles yearly. Still, Sterling is the more affordable option for drivers in both categories.

Hanover vs. Sterling: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you park your vehicle can have a sizable impact on your monthly insurance payment. Typically, those who live in urban areas will pay more than drivers in rural areas because of the number of cars that are on the roads in those areas.

Hanover Sterling
Urban Areas$966$438
Suburban Areas$842$256
Rural Areas$750$210

When comparing these two carriers side-by-side, Sterling generally comes out as the most affordable option for drivers in all types of areas, no matter if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

Policyholders in rural ZIP codes see the lowest prices from both companies, but Sterling comes out on top with average premiums around $210 per month. Sterling also has less expensive average rates for drivers in urban and suburban ZIP codes -- a $528 and $586 per month respective difference when compared to Hanover policyholders in similar areas.

Hanover vs. Sterling 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. That's where car insurance discounts comes into play.

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

In the table below, we've taken a look at all of the different discounts Hanover and Sterling offer their customers so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and, therefore, the biggest savings.

Hanover Sterling
ABS Discount
Advance Quote Discount 
Annual Mileage Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount
DRL Discount
Education Discount 
EFT Discount 
Experienced Operator Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
Paid In Full Discount 
Passive Restraint Discount

Hanover knocks Sterling out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 21 different discounts to Sterling's eight.

Both carriers offer many of the same discounts -- like discounts for being a defensive driver, discounts for getting driver training, and multi-policy discounts -- but Hanover also offers advance quote discounts, annual mileage discounts, distant student discounts, and more that Sterling does not.

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

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Final Thoughts: Is Hanover or Sterling Best for You?

So, you've seen how different variables can affect your auto insurance premiums. We've broken down the different discounts each carrier offers, too. That's all well and good, but when it comes down to it, which company is the right one for you and your specific driver profile?

Sterling 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.
  • You don't spend much time in your car.

Hanover might be best for you if...

  • You want to save extra money with discounts.

We hope this guide helps you get a good idea of the differences between Hanover 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 best way to make sure you're getting the best deal on your car insurance policy is to compare quotes from several companies, not just Hanover and Sterling. Luckily, sites like Compare.com make it easy for you to do just that. Simply enter your ZIP codes below and get multiple quotes from some of the best auto insurance carriers in your area, all for free.

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Hanover vs. Sterling FAQs

Is Hanover or Sterling cheaper?

Looking just at the national average rates, Sterling is the cheaper of the two companies, offering average rates of $301 a month compared to $853 for Hanover. That being said, Sterling won't necessarily be the cheapest carrier for every driver, 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, Hanover or Sterling?

Sadly, the answer truly is "it depends.". No single company is "better" for everyone -- it all comes down to what your unique insurance profile looks like. For example, Sterling offers less expensive prices for drivers with a recent DUI, while Hanover is more affordable for drivers with excellent credit.

Why do Hanover and Sterling offer me different rates?

Car insurance carriers take a look at many different variables when calculating the rates they charge drivers. Things like your driving record, where you call home, gender, age, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all come into play. Both Hanover and Sterling use different formulas, so each one will most likely offer different premiums. The only real way to see which carrier is the most affordable for you is by comparing personalized quotes from many different companies.

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

The only way to find the insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from a handful of carriers and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, Compare.com makes it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your ZIP code 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 lowest premium. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be Hanover or Sterling 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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