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

So, you're in the market for a new auto insurance policy. You may have even narrowed down your search to Penn National and Southern. But which of these two companies is the best one for you? Read on to find which company has the best prices and biggest discounts.
Newly insured car driving down the road
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Quick Facts

  • Looking at the national averages for car insurance, Penn National offers significantly less expensive rates than Southern
  • Penn National has more affordable premiums for policyholders who live in suburban areas
  • Southern offers more discounts than Penn National Insurance

Penn National vs. Southern: Which Company has the Cheapest Car Insurance?

Are you in the market for a new insurance policy? After all, you've seen ads from all sorts of companies offering pretty big discounts. But exactly how much can you save by switching?

You might have narrowed it down to Penn National or Southern as potential options, but between the two, which one will offer you cheaper prices?

Penn National Southern

Looking at nationwide averages, Southern has average rates that are about 30% per month more expensive than those from Penn National.

But that doesn't necessarily mean Penn National will be the less expensive option for every single driver. Insurance companies vary their premiums depending on things like how old you are, how clean your driving record is, where you live, how good your credit score is, and tons of other factors. So, at the end of the day, rates from each carrier will differ quite a bit from person to person.

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

Penn National or Southern: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Penn National Southern

Penn National and Southern only compete against each other in one states, with Penn National offering more affordable premiums to the average driver in all of them. Tennessee has the most noticable difference, where Penn National rates are over 70% cheaper than auto insurance premiums at Southern.

There's a lot more that goes into your car insurance cost than just the state you live in. Read on to learn more.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Penn National Southern
18-year-old drivers$473$707
25-year-old drivers$193$269

Young drivers -- especially teens -- typically pay a lot for auto insurance compared to older drivers. Normally, that's because young, inexperienced drivers are statistically much more likely to get into accidents since they have less experience on the roads.

However, that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high car insurance rates. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have Penn National for their insurance pay nearly $250 less than those who use Southern.

That being said, both carriers will reduce prices once you turn 25. For example, average premiums for Penn National policyholders lower almost 60% and Southern's rates decrease more than 60% over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Penn National Southern
65+-year-old drivers$163$254

Drivers around retirement age usually enjoy some of the most affordable auto insurance prices out there. After all, they've likely been driving for quite some time, which generally reduces their chances of accidents and other infractions that can increase rates.

When looking at Penn National and Southern specifically, which carrier is best for retired drivers? Penn National gets the edge here, with average premiums coming in at around $163 per month compared to Southern's $254.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Penn National Southern

You may not be aware, but car insurance prices tend to be more affordable for married couples than they are for single drivers. That's normally because married drivers tend to own and insure several cars, which can often earn you a discount.

When it comes to relationship status, Penn National is the clear winner for single policyholders, with rates about $130 a month cheaper than Southern, on average. The advantage for married policyholders with Penn National is also obvious, where drivers save nearly 30% per month.

Penn National vs. Southern: Average Rates by Gender

Penn National Southern

Women tend to pay less for insurance than men. This is because men are statistically more likely than women to get tickets and get into collisions, which leads to increased risk for insurers and, therefore, higher prices.

Women generally pay around $5 a month less than men with Penn National, and over $35 with Southern.

Looking at overall affordability, Penn National comes out as the lowest option for both genders, with average premiums $120 less for men and $89 cheaper for women.

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

Penn National Southern
State Minimum*$144$192
Full Coverage**$292$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. Everyone needs auto insurance, but there are so many different coverages and limits that it can be hard 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 two additional coverages -- comprehensive and collision -- in addition to what you get with liability).

If you're looking for state minimum limits for liability insurance, Penn National typically offers less expensive prices of $144 compared to Southern's $192. When it comes to full coverage policies with similar limits, Penn National again has the edge, with policies about $150 per month more affordable than Southern, on average.

Is Penn National or Southern 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.

Tickets and collisions will most likely raise your premiums, but is Penn National or Southern cheaper for drivers with less-than-perfect records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Penn National Southern
Clean Record$139$216
1 Speeding Ticket$179$233

Penn National policyholders can expect their rates to go up an average of $40 a month if they get a ticket, while Southern usually raises premiums around $17 per month, on average.

Even so, Penn National is normally the less expensive option for drivers both with clean records and with a speeding ticket, offering prices that are $77 and $54 cheaper, respectively, compared to Southern Insurance Company of Virginia.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Penn National Southern
Clean Record$139$216
1 At-Fault Accident$206$293

Both companies will raise rates pretty significantly if you get into an at-fault accident with Southern climbing by over $75. Penn National has a less extreme climb, but you can still expect to pay more than $65 more than you were prior to your first collision.

Overall, Penn National offers the cheapest prices for drivers with an at-fault accident on their records, with monthly premiums averaging $206 compared to Southern Insurance Company of Virginia's $293.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Penn National Southern
Clean Record$139$216
1 DUI$346$548

If you get a DUI charge, you can expect some pretty significant increases in your monthly car insurance bill -- usually a lot more than a collision or ticket. On average, Southern will raise your rates about 61% after a DUI, while Penn National's average prices rise by just under 60%.

If you have a DUI on your record and are looking for more affordable rates, Penn National tends to be the much more affordable option with average premiums of $346 monthly compared to $548 from Southern.

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How does Credit Score Impact Penn National and Southern Rates?

Did you know that many insurance carriers take your credit score into account when calculating prices? Certain states and companies do not allow for credit score to be used as a rating factor, but it will come into play for lots of drivers.

Auto insurance carriers argue that someone with good credit is more likely to pay their bills on time, which makes them less risky to insure. Because of that, policyholders with good credit will often be rewarded with less expensive premiums.

Looking at Penn National and Southern specifically, which carrier has the best rates for drivers at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Penn National Southern
Excellent Credit Score$161$219
Good Credit Score$182$261

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Penn National Southern
Fair Credit Score$208$329
Poor Credit Score$320$480

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

Penn National Southern
6,000 Annual Miles$218$307
12,000 Annual Miles$218$337

How much you drive can have a substantial impact on how much insurance companies will charge for coverage. Generally, those who drive less will end up with cheaper prices since there's less of a chance of getting into an accident and causing an insurance claim.

As you can see in the table above, annual mileage doesn't have much of an impact on how much Penn National charges. However, there's a small difference in monthly premiums for Southern, with policyholders who drive the least paying around $30 less every month compared to those who drive 12,000 miles annually. Still, Penn National is the less expensive option for drivers in both categories.

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

Where your home is can play a big role in how much you pay for auto insurance. Typically, policyholders who live in heavily-populated urban areas will pay quite a bit more than rural drivers due to the number of vehicles that are on the roads in those areas.

Penn National Southern
Urban Areas$275$390
Suburban Areas$212$279
Rural Areas$165$298

Penn National tends to offer the most affordable rates for drivers in all areas, regardless of if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

In urban areas, Penn National's average premiums are about $275 a month compared to Southern's $390. Drivers in suburban ZIP codes pay around $212 with Penn National compared to Southern's $279 a month. If you live in a rural area, you can expect to pay about $165 monthly with Penn National and $298 with Southern.

Penn National vs. Southern Discounts

Regardless of why you might be in the market for a new car insurance policy, you're always going to want to save as much money as possible, and the best way to do that is by taking advantage of as many auto insurance discounts as you can.

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.

In the table below, we've taken a look at all of the different discounts Penn National and Southern offer their customers so that you can see which company offers the most discounts and see which ones you might be able to take advantage of.

Penn National Southern
ABS Discount
Added PIP Option Discount 
Advance Quote Discount
Anti-Theft Discount
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount
DRL Discount 
Experienced Operator Discount 
Family Discount 
Good Driving Discount 
Good Student Discount
Group Discount
Homeowner Discount 
Hybrid Vehicle Discount 
Marital Status Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 
Multi-Car Discount 
Multi-Policy Discount
New Business Discount 

Overall, Southern comes out ahead with 20 discounts to Penn National's 16.

A couple of those are overlapping for things like advance quote discounts, discounts for being a defensive driver, discounts for getting driver training, and multi-policy discounts. Southern also offers experienced operator discounts, family discounts, good driving discounts, and more that Penn National does not.

On the flip side, Penn National has a couple unique discounts of its own -- added pip option discounts, distant student discounts, DRL discounts, and more.

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

You've seen the effect certain factors have on your insurance and the different discounts carriers offer. That's all well and good, but when it comes down to it, which insurance carrier is the right one for you and your specific profile and needs?

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.
  • Your credit score is high.
  • Your neighborhood is in a rural area.

Southern might be best for you if...

  • You're looking for the company with the most discounts.

We hope this guide has ben a valuable resource as you compare Penn National and Southern and that you can now make a more informed decision when it comes to your car insurance.

But, at the end of the day, there's only one way to know for sure that you're getting the best possible deal on insurance -- comparing quotes from a handful of companies, not just Penn National and Southern. Luckily, sites like make it easy for you to do just that. Simply enter your ZIP codes below and get multiple free quotes from some of the best auto insurance carriers in your area, all in just a few minutes.

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Penn National vs. Southern FAQs

Is Penn National or Southern cheaper?

Looking just at the national average rates, Penn National is the more affordable of the two companies, offering average rates of $218 per month compared to $322 for Southern. But Penn National won't necessarily be the lowest carrier for each policyholder, since there are a bunch of different variables that come into play when it comes to your car insurance payment.

Who is better, Penn National or Southern?

Unfortunately, the only answer we can give you is "it depends.". Neither company is necessarily "better" for everyone -- it all comes down to what your unique insurance profile looks like.

Why do Penn National and Southern offer me different rates?

Car insurance carriers take a look at quite a few different factors when determining the prices they charge policyholders. Things like where you live, where you call home, age, gender, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be used. Both Penn National and Southern calculate premiums using different formulas, so each one will most likely offer different rates. The only real way to see which carrier is the cheapest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from multiple different companies.

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

The only way to find the auto 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 information once and you'll get free quotes from dozens of the best insurance companies in your area. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the lowest price. And who knows, the best carrier for you might not be Penn National or Southern 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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