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

  • Based on national averages for auto insurance, Kemper offers significantly cheaper prices than Sterling
  • Kemper offers more affordable average rates for policyholders who live in rural neighborhoods
  • Sterling has less expensive premiums in NY

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

Are you considering 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 be considering Kemper or Sterling, but between the two, which company will save you the most?

Kemper Sterling

As you can see, Kemper has average rates that are around 22% a month cheaper than those from Sterling when looking at the national average rates for insurance.

But that doesn't mean Kemper will necessarily be more affordable than Sterling for every driver. Car insurance carriers vary their prices depending on things like where you live, how good your credit score is, how old you are, how clean your driving record is, and a ton of other factors. So, at the end of the day, rates from every company will differ quite a bit from person to person.

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

Kemper vs. Sterling: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Kemper Sterling

Kemper and Sterling only compete against each other in New York, where Sterling offers the cheaper average rates. Sterling drivers tend to pay about $481 per month less on average compared to drivers who use Kemper for their auto insurance.

But there's more to calculating insurance premiums than just where you call home. Read on to find out more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Kemper Sterling
18-year-old drivers$490$539
25-year-old drivers$213$284

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive car insurance prices of any group out there on the road. It's generally because teen drivers are statistically much more likely to cause collisions and other accidents that will result in an insurance claim.

Even so, that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high auto insurance premiums. As you can see above, teens who use Kemper save almost 10% a month compared to those who use Sterling. It's worth noting that Kemper offers insurance in 15 different states compared to Sterling's one, which can skew the average rates a bit, but the difference here is still considerable.

However, both companies will offer you dramatically lower prices once you turn 25. For example, average rates for Kemper policyholders reduce about $300 and Sterling's premiums drop around $250 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Kemper Sterling
65+-year-old drivers$179$227

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

But who has the best prices for retired drivers between Kemper and Sterling? Kemper gets the edge, with premiums for drivers 65 and older over 20% less expensive than the national average for Sterling.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Kemper Sterling

You may not be aware, but auto insurance prices tend to be more affordable for married policyholders than they are for single policyholders. That's because policies for married drivers typically cover more than one vehicle, which quite a few carriers will give you a discount for.

For single drivers, the difference in average rates between these two companies is significant, with Kemper premiums coming in at a quarter less than Sterling's. The advantage is also clear for married couples - Kemper offers the most affordable average prices.

Kemper or Sterling: Average Rates by Gender

Kemper Sterling

Because women are less likely to get into accidents and get speeding tickets, they are less likely to file a claim with insurance. So, insurance carriers will tend to charge women less than men.

With Kemper, women usually pay nearly 10% per month less than men, but with Sterling, the difference is closer to 8% a month.

Looking at overall affordability, Kemper comes out on top for both men and women. On average, male drivers save about $70 per month and women save about $64 with Kemper compared to the average Sterling policyholder.

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

Kemper Sterling
State Minimum*$139$150
Full Coverage**$331$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, insurance can be pretty complicated. There are a range of different coverages that account for lots of different things. Some protect you and your car, while others only provide coverage for other people's property and health if you cause a collision.

The two most common policies that drivers look at fall into two categories -- liability coverage (which provides property damage and bodily injury coverage for other drivers and their passengers if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which normally refers to having collision and comprehensive coverages alongside what you get with a liability policy).

Looking specifically at state minimum limits for liability insurance, Kemper has the slight edge, with average monthly rates coming in at $139. If you want a full coverage policy with the same state minimum limits, Kemper again has the edge, with policies averaging around $331 a month to Sterling's $452.

Is Kemper or Sterling Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no secret -- drivers with good records end up getting the best deals on their car 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 collisions and speeding tickets on your record, but which of these two companies offers the lowest premiums to drivers with less-than-perfect records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Kemper Sterling
Clean Record$174$247
1 Speeding Ticket$219$247

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

That being said, Kemper is generally the less expensive option for both drivers who have a recent speeding ticket and those with clean records -- their rates are around 30% cheaper for drivers with clean records and 11% more affordable for those with a ticket.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Kemper Sterling
Clean Record$174$247
1 At-Fault Accident$259$289

Kemper drivers who get in a collision can expect to see their rates increase by just under 35%, while those who have insurance through Sterling will see around a 15% increase.

At the end of the day, the less expensive premiums come from Kemper, with average prices coming in at $259 compared to Sterling Insurance's $289.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Kemper Sterling
Clean Record$174$247
1 DUI$287$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. On average, Sterling will climb your rates about 42% after a DUI, while Kemper's average premiums rise by nearly 40%.

Kemper has the overall most affordable rates for drivers with a DUI on their records at $287 per month, but it's worth noting that Kemper's average rates come from 15 states compared to just one for Sterling, so the data may be skewed slightly.

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How does Credit Score Impact Kemper and Sterling Rates?

In many cases, your credit score can be used as one of the variables to determine your monthly car insurance premiums. This isn't true for everyone (for example, Massachusetts and California are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it will come into play for several policyholders.

The reasoning auto insurance carriers use is that drivers with bad credit will be less likely to pay their bills on time; so typically, they'll be asked to pay more, while those with good credit will be rewarded with cheaper prices.

Looking at Kemper and Sterling specifically, which one has the best rates for policyholders at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Kemper Sterling
Excellent Credit Score$175$223
Good Credit Score$208$268

If you have solid credit, Kemper will usually reward you the most. For drivers with "excellent" credit scores, Kemper comes in more than 21.52 less expensive. Drivers with "good" credit scores normally save around 22% with Kemper compared to average premiums from Sterling.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Kemper Sterling
Fair Credit Score$240$298
Poor Credit Score$323$417

Kemper typically offers lower prices than Sterling when it comes to drivers with a below average credit score. Drivers with "fair" credit pay about 19% per month less with Kemper compared to Sterling, and those with "poor" scores generally save an average of around 23% monthly.

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

Kemper Sterling
6,000 Annual Miles$234$301
12,000 Annual Miles$235$301

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a substantial impact on your monthly rates? Usually, those who drive fewer miles will end up with cheaper premiums since there's less of a chance of causing a collision 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 Sterling charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly prices for Kemper, 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 every year. Still, for drivers in both categories, Kemper is the more affordable company.

Kemper 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 insurance, but the type of area you live in can have a sizable impact as well. Normally, if you live in an urban area with more cars on the road, you'll pay a little more for car insurance, while the opposite is true for people in rural areas.

Kemper Sterling
Urban Areas$296$438
Suburban Areas$226$256
Rural Areas$182$210

Kemper tends to offer the lowest rates for drivers in all types of areas, no matter if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

For policyholders in urban ZIP codes, Kemper's average premiums are around $142 less than Sterling Insurance. People who live in suburban areas pay about $30 less with Kemper compared to Sterling. Those in rural areas can expect to save around $28 with Kemper compared to Sterling.

Kemper vs. Sterling Discounts

You want to save as much money as you can, right? The best way to do that is by utilizing as many auto insurance discounts as possible.

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

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and compared all of the different discounts offered by Kemper and Sterling so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and, therefore, the largest savings.

Kemper Sterling
AAA Discount 
ABS Discount
Advance Quote Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Continuous Insurance Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount
DRL Discount
EFT Discount 
ESC Discount 
Full Coverage Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 
Military Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount

Kemper blows Sterling away when it comes to the sheer amount of discounts available, offering 24 different discounts to Sterling's eight.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like discounts for being a defensive driver, discounts for getting driver training, and multi-policy discounts. Kemper also offers discounts for AAA, advance quote, continuous insurance, 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 Kemper or Sterling Best for You?

So, you've seen how different factors can affect your insurance prices. We've shown you all the discounts each carrier offers, too. But, at the end of the day, which insurance company is the right carrier for you and your specific profile and needs?

Kemper might be best for you if....

  • You will be the only person on the car insurance policy.
  • You're looking for the best rates on liability only coverage.
  • You have a short commute.

Sterling might be best for you if...

  • You're looking for the best rates in NY.

Hopefully, this guide has ben a valuable resource as you compare Kemper and Sterling. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision about your auto insurance.

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

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Kemper vs. Sterling FAQs

Is Kemper or Sterling cheaper?

Kemper is the less expensive of the two companies when looking at national average prices, with policies averaging $235 a month with Kemper and $301 for Sterling. But that doesn't mean Kemper will be the most affordable carrier for each policyholder, since there are many different variables that are considered when it comes to your insurance cost.

Who is better, Kemper or Sterling?

Sadly, the only answer we can give you is "it depends.". One company is not necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all depends on what your unique car insurance profile looks like.

Why do Kemper and Sterling offer me different rates?

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

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

The only way to find the insurance company 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 area information and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top car insurance companies for free. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the best rate. And maybe you'll find that the best carrier for you isn't Kemper 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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