Main Street America vs. Sterling: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

You've probably seen ads offering big savings on car insurance, but are Main Street America or Sterling right for you? Which company offers the most affordable rates, or the most discounts? Read on to see how Main Street America and Sterling 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

  • Based on national averages for auto insurance, Main Street America offers significantly cheaper prices than Sterling
  • Main Street America has more affordable premiums for couples purchasing insurance together
  • Main Street America offers more affordable rates for people who are single and purchasing auto insurance by yourself

Main Street America vs. Sterling: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

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

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

Main Street America Sterling

Looking at the national average rates for both companies, Sterling is about $74 more per month than Main Street America.

Even so, that doesn't necessarily mean Main Street America will be the cheaper option for each driver. Car insurance carriers vary their prices depending on things like how good your credit score is, how clean your driving record is, how old you are, where you live, and a ton of other factors, so premiums will vary quite a bit from person to person.

So, if you want to find out which of Main Street America or Sterling is really the best for you, keep reading to see average rates for each company broken down by several different rate factors.

Main Street America or Sterling: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Main Street America Sterling

Main Street America and Sterling only compete against each other in New York, where Sterling offers the cheaper average prices. For New York residents, Sterling offers auto insurance for $301 per month on average. Main Street America's average rates come out to be over 10% more expensive, at $347 monthly.

But there's more to calculating insurance premiums than just your home state. Read on to learn more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Main Street America Sterling
18-year-old drivers$477$539
25-year-old drivers$219$284

You might already know that teen drivers typically pay a lot more for car insurance than any other group of drivers out there on the road. It's usually because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to get into an accident that results in an insurance claim, making them much riskier to insure.

That being said, that doesn't mean teen drivers can't still save money on their insurance. For example, 18-year-old drivers pay an average of more than $60 less a month by choosing Main Street America over Sterling.

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

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Main Street America Sterling
65+-year-old drivers$181$227

When it comes to car insurance, patience and experience pay off, with drivers around retirement age paying some of the cheapest prices you can find.

When looking at Main Street America and Sterling specifically, which carrier is best for retired drivers? Main Street America gets the edge here, with average rates coming in at about $181 a month compared to Sterling's $227.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Main Street America Sterling

Single drivers tend to get offered slightly more expensive auto insurance premiums than married drivers. That's generally because married policyholders tend to own and insure several cars, which can often earn you a discount.

When it comes to relationship status, Main Street America is the clear winner for single policyholders, with prices around $69 per month more affordable than Sterling, on average. For married couples, the advantage is clear again - Main Street America has the edge when it comes to average rates.

Main Street America vs. Sterling: Average Rates by Gender

Main Street America Sterling

Men are statistically more likely than women to cause a collision and get into accidents. That means when it comes to car insurance men will normally end up paying a little more.

Surprisingly, women usually pay about $6 a month more than men with Main Street America, and around $25 less with Sterling.

Looking at the data for each company specifically, Main Street America comes out on top for both men and women, with average premiums $90 less for men and $59 cheaper for women.

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Main Street America or Sterling: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Main Street America Sterling
State Minimum*$159$150
Full Coverage**$295$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 insurance can be a complicated subject for most people. There are so many different terms and coverages that it can make it pretty confusing to find the right policy.

The two 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 an accident) and full coverage (which includes comprehensive and collision coverages that protect your own vehicle, in addition to what you get with a liability policy).

In this case, Sterling offers the lowest average prices for state minimum liability limits, while Main Street America has the edge for full coverage policies with similar coverage limits. Drivers looking for basic state minimum coverage can save around $10 with Sterling Insurance, while full coverage comes out to be about $150 less expensive with Main Street America Insurance.

Is Main Street America or Sterling Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

It's no big secret that drivers who are accident-free get better deals on their auto insurance. But even if you have a spotty record, you can still find plenty of ways to save some cash on your monthly bill.

You'll probably end up paying more with accidents and tickets on your record, but which of these two carriers offers the cheapest premiums to drivers with spotty records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Main Street America Sterling
Clean Record$175$247
1 Speeding Ticket$236$247

Policyholders with Sterling insurance policies don't report seeing their prices increase after getting a ticket, but Main Street America policyholders can expect to see their monthly bill increase by around $60.

But Main Street America tends to offer the best prices for drivers both with a ticket and with a clean record. Drivers with a clean record can save about $72 per month with Main Street America Insurance, and the same can be said for those with a speeding ticket, too.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Main Street America Sterling
Clean Record$175$247
1 At-Fault Accident$215$289

Both companies will increase rates pretty significantly if you get into an at-fault accident with Sterling raising by over $40. Main Street America has a less extreme increase, but you can still expect to pay $40 more than you were prior to your first collision.

Overall, the more affordable premiums come from Main Street America, with monthly prices averaging $215 compared to Sterling Insurance's $289.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Main Street America Sterling
Clean Record$175$247
1 DUI$283$423

If you get a DUI charge on your record, it's probably going to cost you more than a simple ticket or even a collision. On average, Sterling will increase your rates around 42% after a DUI, while Main Street America's average prices rise by just under 40%.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable rates, Main Street America tends to be the much less expensive option with average premiums of $283 monthly compared to $423 from Sterling.

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How does Credit Score Impact Main Street America and Sterling Rates?

You may not have known, but your credit score can be used as one of the factors to calculate your monthly car insurance rates. This isn't always the case (Michigan, for example, has banned the use of credit score as a rating factor) but it might come into play for several drivers.

Auto 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, policyholders with bad credit will often be forced to pay more.

So, which carrier offers the most affordable prices for drivers with poor, average, or good credit?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Main Street America Sterling
Excellent Credit Score$109$223
Good Credit Score$137$268

If you have a solid credit score, you'll usually find a better deal with Main Street America. Policyholders with "excellent" credit can save over 50% compared to Sterling, and those with "good" scores can also expect to see savings -- about $131 or 49% cheaper each month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Main Street America Sterling
Fair Credit Score$179$298
Poor Credit Score$484$417

If you have bad credit, it can be somewhat of a toss-up as far as which company offers you the best premiums. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around $119 less with Main Street America than Sterling, but those whose credit is considered "poor" have it flipped -- saving about $67 a month with Sterling.

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Is Main Street America or Sterling Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

Main Street America Sterling
6,000 Annual Miles$225$301
12,000 Annual Miles$229$301

The amount of time you spend behind the wheel of your car plays a big role in how much car insurance companies will charge for coverage. Typically, the more miles 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 Main Street America, with drivers who put 6,000 miles on their car yearly paying around $4 less every month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles annually. Still, Main Street America is the more affordable option for drivers in both categories.

Main Street America vs. Sterling: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you live can have a sizable impact on your monthly insurance bill. Generally, drivers who live in less densely populated rural areas will pay quite a bit less than urban policyholders because of the small number of vehicles that are on the roads in those areas.

Main Street America Sterling
Urban Areas$264$438
Suburban Areas$230$256
Rural Areas$188$210

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

Drivers in rural ZIP codes see the cheapest rates from both carriers, but Main Street America comes out on top with average prices about $188 per month. Main Street America also has less expensive average premiums for policyholders in urban and suburban ZIP codes -- a 40% and 10% per month respective difference when compared to Sterling drivers in similar areas.

Main Street America 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.

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

Below, we've taken a look at all of the different discounts Main Street America and Sterling offer their customers so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

Main Street America Sterling
ABS Discount
Anti-Theft Discount
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount
DRL Discount
EFT Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Payer Discount 
Good Student Discount
Mature Driver Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
New Business Discount 
New Vehicle Discount 
Paid In Full Discount 
Passive Restraint Discount
Renewal Discount 

Main Street America knocks Sterling out of the park when it comes to the sheer number of discounts available, offering 18 different discounts to Sterling's eight.

There are a couple discounts both companies offer, but Main Street America also offers distant student discounts, EFT discounts, good driving 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 Main Street America or Sterling Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average rates for many of the variables auto insurance carriers look at, and walked through the different discounts each company offers, too. But, at the end of the day, is Main Street America or Sterling the best one for you, your vehicle, and your wallet?

Main Street America might be best for you if....

  • You're single and purchasing insurance by yourself.
  • You're looking for discounts -- Main Street America has the most.
  • You are purchasing your auto insurance with a spouse.

Sterling might be best for you if...

  • 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 Main Street America and Sterling and that you can now make a more informed 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 a handful of companies, not just Main Street America and Sterling. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. 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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Main Street America vs. Sterling FAQs

Is Main Street America or Sterling cheaper?

Looking just at the national average premiums, Main Street America is the cheaper of the two companies, offering average rates of $227 a month compared to $301 for Sterling. That being said, Main Street America won't necessarily be the lowest carrier for each policyholder, since there are lots of different factors that come into play when it comes to your insurance payment.

Who is better, Main Street America or Sterling?

Unfortunately, the only answer we can give you is "it depends.". No one company is necessarily "better" for every driver -- it all boils down to your unique auto insurance profile. For example, Main Street America offers less expensive prices for policyholders with an at-fault accident on their record, while Sterling is cheaper for drivers who have less-than-stellar credit scores.

Why do Main Street America and Sterling offer me different rates?

Car insurance carriers take a look at quite a few different variables when calculating the premiums they charge drivers. Things such as where your home is, where you park your car, gender, age, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Main Street America and Sterling calculate rates differently, so each one will most likely offer different prices. The only real way to see which carrier is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a range of different companies.

How do I know if Main Street America or Sterling is right for me?

The only way to find the insurance company that's right for you is by getting quotes from several carriers and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, sites like make it easy for you to do just that. Just enter your area information 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 best premium. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be Main Street America 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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