Penn National vs. Selective: Which Company is the Best Fit for You?

Want to know if Penn National or Selective is the better choice for auto insurance? You're probably wondering which company offers the best prices 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

  • Looking at the national averages for insurance, Selective offers less expensive rates than Penn National
  • Penn National offers more discounts than Selective Insurance
  • Selective tends to be a much cheaper option for residents of rural areas

Penn National vs. Selective: 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 big discounts, but exactly how much money can you save by switching?

You might have narrowed your search down to Penn National or Selective as potential options, but which one has more affordable premiums for car insurance?

Penn National Selective

Looking at the national average rates for both companies, Selective has average rates that are about 16% per month cheaper than those from Penn National.

But that doesn't mean Selective will necessarily be more affordable than Penn National for every driver. Insurance carriers vary their rates depending on things like where you live, how clean your driving record is, how old you are, how good your credit score is, and tons of other factors, so premiums could change drastically from person to person.

So, if you want to find out which of Penn National or Selective is really the best for you, keep reading to see average prices for each carrier broken down by lots of different rate factors.

Penn National or Selective: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Penn National Selective

Penn National and Selective only compete against each other in New Jersey, where Selective offers the cheaper average premiums. For New Jersey residents, Selective offers car insurance for $184 a month on average. Penn National's average prices come out to be over 50% more expensive, at $281 per month.

But there's more to auto insurance than just where you live. As we mentioned above, there's a lot of things that go into how car insurance companies calculate your rates. Keep reading to learn more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Penn National Selective
18-year-old drivers$473$446
25-year-old drivers$193$166

You might already know that teen drivers usually pay a lot more for auto insurance than any group out there on the road. It's generally because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to get into an accident that results in an auto 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. As you can see above, teens who use Selective save more than $25 a month compared to those who use Penn National.

Even so, both carriers will offer you dramatically lower prices once you turn 25. For example, average rates for Penn National policyholders reduce nearly 60% and Selective's premiums drop almost 65% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Penn National Selective
65+-year-old drivers$163$120

Once you approach retirement age, you'll typically enjoy the cheapest auto insurance rates you'll ever find. You've been on the road for years, and all that experience pays off when it comes to your monthly premiums for insurance.

So, which company offers the best prices to retired drivers? Selective gets the edge here, with average rates coming in at around $120 monthly compared to Penn National's $163.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Penn National Selective

Did you know that car insurance prices are normally less expensive for married couples than they are for those who are single? This usually boils down to married policyholders having more than one car on their policy -- something a lot of insurance companies will reward with discounts.

When it comes to relationship status, Selective is the clear winner for single policyholders, with premiums about $33 per month more affordable than Penn National, on average. For married drivers, the advantage is clear again - Selective has the edge when it comes to average rates.

Penn National vs. Selective: Average Rates by Gender

Penn National Selective

Did you know women tend to pay less for car insurance than men? This is because women are less likely to get tickets and get into collisions, which lowers the chances of an insurance claim.

With Penn National, men usually pay around $5 a month more than women, and about $10 with Selective.

Looking at the data for each carrier specifically, Selective offers the lowest average premiums for both men and women. On average, male drivers save about $31 per month and women save around $36 with Selective compared to the average Penn National policyholder.

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Penn National or Selective: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Penn National Selective
State Minimum*$144$127
Full Coverage**$292$241

*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 auto insurance can be pretty complicated. There are several different coverages that account for a range of different things. Some protect you and your vehicle, while others only provide coverage for other people's property and health if you cause an accident.

The two most common 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 a collision) and full coverage (which typically refers to having comprehensive and collision coverages alongside liability).

If you're looking for state minimum liability insurance, Selective generally offers less expensive prices of $127 compared to Penn National's $144. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Selective again has the edge, with policies about $50 a month cheaper than Penn National, on average.

Is Penn National or Selective Better for Drivers with Spotty Records?

You've probably seen plenty of commercials from car insurance carriers offering great rates for good drivers, but that doesn't mean people with less-than-perfect driving records can't save money, too.

It's no secret secret that tickets and at-fault accidents lead to higher premiums, but which company -- Penn National or Selective -- has the most affordable prices for drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Penn National Selective
Clean Record$139$141
1 Speeding Ticket$179$217

Penn National policyholders can expect their premiums to go up an average of $40 per month if they get a ticket, while Selective normally raises rates around $76 a month, on average.

However, Penn National is generally the less expensive option for both drivers who have clean records and those with a recent speeding ticket, offering prices that are 1% and 18% cheaper, respectively, compared to Selective Insurance.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Penn National Selective
Clean Record$139$141
1 At-Fault Accident$206$162

After an accident, drivers who have their auto insurance through Penn National can expect to see about an $67 -- or around 33% -- increase in their insurance premiums. Drivers who use Selective for their car insurance will see a monthly bill about $21 (or 13%) more expensive after reporting an accident to their insurance carrier.

Overall, drivers who use Selective end up with the cheaper prices after an accident, with monthly prices averaging $162 compared to Penn National Insurance's $206.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Penn National Selective
Clean Record$139$141
1 DUI$346$217

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 ticket. Penn National drivers usually see a 60% increase in their car insurance rates after a DUI charge, while Selective will typically raise prices by around 35%.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable rates, Selective tends to be the much more affordable option with average premiums of $217 a month compared to $346 from Penn National.

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How does Credit Score Impact Penn National and Selective Rates?

You may not realized it, but your credit score can be used as one of the factors to determine your monthly auto insurance rates. This isn't always the case (for example, Michigan and California are two states that ban the practice entirely), but it will come into play for lots of drivers.

Insurance companies argue that those with good credit scores are more likely to pay their bills on time each month, which decreases the risk involved on their end, while the opposite is true for those with bad credit.

Looking specifically at Selective and Penn National, which company has the best premiums for policyholders at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Penn National Selective
Excellent Credit Score$161$179
Good Credit Score$182$180

If you have a solid credit score, you'll usually find a better deal with Penn National for an "excellent" credit score. Drivers with "excellent" credit can save over 10% compared to Selective, while those with "good" scores can expect to see better savings from Selective -- about $2 or 1% cheaper than Penn National every month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Penn National Selective
Fair Credit Score$208$183
Poor Credit Score$320$195

Selective typically offers lower prices than Penn National when it comes to drivers with less-than-stellar credit. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around $25 per month less with Selective compared to Penn National, and those with "poor" scores usually save an average of about $125 monthly.

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Is Penn National or Selective Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

Penn National Selective
6,000 Annual Miles$218$184
12,000 Annual Miles$218$184

Did you know that the amount of time you spend in your car have a pretty big impact on how much car insurance carriers will charge for coverage? Normally, those who drive fewer miles will end up with more affordable premiums since there's less of a chance of getting into an accident and causing an insurance claim.

In this case, neither Penn National or Selective report increasing prices for drivers with higher annual mileage figures. Still, Selective comes out as the lowest for drivers at both intervals, whether they put 6,000 or 12,000 miles on their vehicle each year, with average rates of $184 a month for both.

Penn National vs. Selective: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where you live can have a substantial impact on your monthly auto insurance cost. Generally, those who live in urban areas will pay more than policyholders in rural areas because of the number of cars that are on the roads in those areas.

Penn National Selective
Urban Areas$275$210
Suburban Areas$212$204
Rural Areas$165$139

Selective tends to offer the cheapest rates for drivers in every type of area, no matter if it's urban, suburban, or rural.

Drivers in rural ZIP codes see the most affordable premiums from both companies, but Selective comes out on top with average rates around $139 per month. Selective also has less expensive average premiums for policyholders in urban and suburban ZIP codes -- a $65 and $8 per month respective difference when compared to Penn National drivers in similar areas.

Penn National vs. Selective Discounts

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

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.

In the section below, we've broken down all of the different discounts offered by both Penn National and Selective so that you can see which carrier offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

Penn National Selective
ABS Discount 
Added PIP Option Discount 
Advance Quote Discount
Anti-Theft Discount
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount
Driver Training Discount
DRL Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount
Mature Driver Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
Occasional Operator Discount 
Paid In Full Discount 
Passive Restraint Discount
PennID Discount 
Prior Insurance Discount 
Renewal Discount 

Overall, Penn National has advantage when it comes to total number of discounts. Selective offers a grand total of 13 discounts, while Penn National has 16.

Both carriers offer several of the same discounts -- like advance quote discounts, discounts for being a defensive driver, discounts for getting driver training, and multi-policy discounts -- but Penn National also offers ABS discounts, added pip option discounts, DRL discounts, and more that Selective does not.

On the flip side, Selective has a couple unique discounts of its own -- discounts for being a good driver, discounts for insuring multiple cars with the same company, occasional operator discounts, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is Penn National or Selective Best for You?

You've seen the effect certain variables have on your auto insurance and the different discounts companies offer. That's all well and good, but at the end of the day, which company is the right fit for you?

Selective might be best for you if....

  • You're single and purchasing car insurance by yourself.
  • You want basic insurance coverage at the state minimum limits.
  • You and your spouse are buying auto insurance together.

Penn National might be best for you if...

  • You haven't received any speeding tickets or been in a collision in the last few years.
  • You have a speeding ticket on your driving record.
  • You're looking for the carrier with the most discounts.

We hope this guide helps you get a better idea of the difference between Penn National and Selective. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision about 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 Penn National and Selective. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Simply enter your ZIP code below and get free quotes from dozens of the top insurance companies in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Penn National vs. Selective FAQs

Is Penn National or Selective cheaper?

Looking just at the national average prices, Selective is the cheaper of the two carriers, offering average rates of $184 a month compared to $218 for Penn National. Even so, Selective won't necessarily be the cheapest company for every driver, since there are a variety of different factors that are considered when it comes to your car insurance bill.

Who is better, Penn National or Selective?

Unfortunately, the real answer is "it depends.". No single carrier is "better" for everyone -- it all depends on what your unique auto insurance profile looks like. For example, Selective offers less expensive rates for drivers with a recent DUI, while Penn National is more affordable for drivers with excellent credit.

Why do Penn National and Selective offer me different rates?

Car insurance companies take a look at several different variables when calculating the prices they charge policyholders. Factors such as gender, age, your driving record, where you park your vehicle, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all come into play. Both Penn National and Selective calculate premiums using different variables, so each one will most likely offer different rates. The only real way to see which company is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a bunch of different carriers.

How do I know if Penn National or Selective is right for me?

The only way to find the auto insurance carrier that's right for you is by getting quotes from multiple companies 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 information once and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best insurance carriers in your area. With those, you can guarantee you're getting the cheapest rate. And who knows, the best company for you might not be Penn National or Selective 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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