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

  • Looking at the national averages for auto insurance, State Auto offers more affordable premiums than Southern
  • Southern may help you save more money -- they offer more discounts than State Auto Insurance
  • State Auto offers less expensive average prices for policyholders who drive fewer than 6,000 miles every year

Southern or State Auto: 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 large savings. But exactly how much can you save by switching?

You might be considering Southern or State Auto, but which company will save you the most?

Southern State Auto

As you can see, Southern is around $63 more a month than State Auto when looking at the national average rates for car insurance.

That being said, State Auto may not be the lowest or best option for each driver out there. After all, auto insurance carriers can offer drastically different rates to each driver depending on rating factors like your credit score, your age, your driving record, or even where you call home (among other things). So, at the end of the day, premiums from every company will differ quite a bit from person to person.

Luckily, we've broken down average prices from both Southern and State Auto by multiple different rate factors, so read on to find out which carrier is the best for you.

Southern vs. State Auto: Average Car Insurance Rates by State

State Southern State Auto

Southern and State Auto only compete against each other in one states, with State Auto offering cheaper rates to the average driver in all of them. Tennessee has the most noticable difference, where State Auto premiums are $59 more affordable than insurance rates at Southern.

But there's more to calculating auto insurance prices than just where you call home. Continue reading to learn more about how other variables will affect your rates.

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Which is the Best Company For Young Drivers?

Southern State Auto
18-year-old drivers$707$733
25-year-old drivers$269$197

Teen drivers will almost always have the most expensive insurance premiums of any other group of drivers. It's because teen drivers are statistically much more likely to get into an accident that results in a car insurance claim, making them much riskier to insure.

Even so, that doesn't mean that teen drivers have to just accept sky-high car insurance prices. Just look at the table above -- where 18-year-old drivers who have Southern for their auto insurance pay over 4% less than those who use State Auto.

However, both companies will lower rates once you turn 25. For example, average premiums for Southern policyholders reduce about $450 and State Auto's rates drop around $500 over that time.

Which is the Best Company for Retired Drivers?

Southern State Auto
65+-year-old drivers$254$167

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

But who has the best prices for retired drivers between Southern and State Auto? State Auto gets the edge, with premiums for drivers 65 and older $87 cheaper than the national average for Southern.

Which is the Best Company for Married Drivers?

Southern State Auto

You may not be aware, but insurance rates tend to be less expensive for married drivers than they are for single drivers. That's typically because married policyholders tend to own and insure multiple vehicles, which can often earn you a discount.

For single policyholders, the difference in average prices between these two carriers is significant, with State Auto premiums coming in at about 15% less than Southern's. The advantage for married couples with State Auto is also obvious, where drivers save around $75 per month.

Southern or State Auto: Average Rates by Gender

Southern State Auto

Men are statistically more likely than women to get tickets and get into collisions, which means they'll normally end up paying more for auto insurance than women.

Usually, women see prices more than 10% a month less with Southern, and almost 10% less with State Auto when compared to their male counterparts.

Looking at overall affordability, State Auto comes out as the most affordable option for both genders. On average, male drivers save about $69 per month and women save about $57 with State Auto compared to the average Southern policyholder.

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Southern vs. State Auto: Compare State Minimum vs. Full Coverage Rates

Southern State Auto
State Minimum*$192$149
Full Coverage**$452$369

*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 many 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 end up falling into two different types of coverage -- liability coverage (which provides bodily injury and property damage coverage for other drivers and passengers if you cause an accident) and full coverage (which includes collision and comprehensive coverages that protect your own car, in addition to what you get with liability coverage).

Looking specifically at state minimum liability limits, State Auto has the edge, with average monthly premiums coming in at $149. If you want a full coverage policy with the same state minimum limits, State Auto again has the edge, with policies averaging around $369 a month to Southern's $452.

Is Southern or State Auto 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.

It's no secret secret that at-fault accidents and speeding tickets lead to higher rates, but which company -- Southern or State Auto -- has the cheapest prices for drivers with less-than-ideal driving records?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Speeding Tickets?

Southern State Auto
Clean Record$216$170
1 Speeding Ticket$233$218

Policyholders who use Southern for their auto insurance can generally expect their monthly bill to go up about 7% after getting a speeding ticket. State Auto policyholders can expect a bit more drastic of an increase of around 22%.

But State Auto is usually the more affordable option for both drivers who have clean records and those with a recent ticket. With State Auto Insurance, drivers with a clean record can save about $46 per month and drivers with a speeding ticket can save around $15 a month.

Which Company is Best for Drivers After an Accident?

Southern State Auto
Clean Record$216$170
1 At-Fault Accident$293$269

Southern drivers who get in a collision can expect to see their premiums rise by over $75, while those who have insurance through State Auto will see about a $100 increase.

At the end of the day, State Auto offers the most affordable rates for drivers with an at-fault collision on their records, with average premiums coming in at $269 compared to Southern Insurance Company of Virginia's $293.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with a DUI?

Southern State Auto
Clean Record$216$170
1 DUI$548$380

If you get a DUI charge, you can expect some pretty significant increases in your monthly car insurance bill -- normally a lot more than an accident or ticket. For example, Southern increases average rates by nearly $350 per month -- that's more than a 60% increase.

But if you end up with a DUI charge and are looking for more affordable prices, State Auto tends to be less expensive for the average driver, with monthly premiums coming in at around $380 to Southern's $548.

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How does Credit Score Impact Southern and State Auto Rates?

Did you know many insurance companies take your credit score into account when determining rates? Certain states and carriers do not allow for credit score to be used as an auto insurance factor, but it does affect a lot of policyholders out there.

The reasoning car insurance companies use is that drivers with good credit will be more likely to pay their bills on time; so they'll reward them with cheaper prices, while those with poor credit will typically be forced to pay more.

Looking specifically at Southern and State Auto, which carrier has the lowest premiums for policyholders at different credit levels?

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Good Credit?

Southern State Auto
Excellent Credit Score$219$194
Good Credit Score$261$228

If you have a solid credit score, State Auto will normally reward you the most. For drivers with "excellent" credit scores, State Auto comes in over 11.42 cheaper. Drivers with "good" credit scores usually save about 13% with State Auto compared to average rates from Southern.

Which Company is Best for Drivers with Bad Credit?

Southern State Auto
Fair Credit Score$329$262
Poor Credit Score$480$353

State Auto typically offers lower premiums than Southern when it comes to drivers with less-than-stellar credit. Drivers with "fair" credit pay around 20% a month less with State Auto compared to Southern, and those with "poor" scores generally save an average of about 26% per month.

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Is Southern or State Auto Better for Drivers who Work from Home or Have Short Commutes?

Southern State Auto
6,000 Annual Miles$307$259
12,000 Annual Miles$337$259

How much you drive can have a big impact on your monthly prices. Typically, the more milage you put on your vehicle, the more you can expect to pay for insurance.

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

Southern or State Auto: Compare Rates for Urban, Suburban, and Rural Drivers

Where your home is can play a sizable role in how much you pay for auto insurance. Normally, 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 where they live.

Southern State Auto
Urban Areas$390$317
Suburban Areas$279$236
Rural Areas$298$225

State Auto boasts the lowest average premiums for drivers in all types of areas, no matter if they're urban, suburban, or rural.

Those in rural areas can expect to save about 24% with State Auto compared to Southern. People who live in suburban areas pay around 15% less with State Auto compared to Southern. For drivers in urban ZIP codes, State Auto Insurance's average rates are about 19% less than Southern Insurance Company of Virginia.

Southern vs. State Auto Discounts

No matter 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 you can, and the best way to do that is by taking advantage of as many insurance discounts as possible.

But where do you even start? With what seems like a million different discounts out there, it may be difficult to find all the ones you can take advantage of.

Luckily, we did the hard work for you and looked at all of the different discounts Southern and State Auto offer their customers so that you can easily see which company offers the most discounts and, therefore, the largest savings.

Southern State Auto
ABS Discount
Advance Quote Discount
Advantage Program Discount 
Anti-Theft Discount
Covid-19 Relief Discount 
Defensive Driver Discount
Distant Student Discount 
Driver Training Discount
Employee Discount 
Experienced Operator Discount 
Family Discount 
Gold Plus Discount 
Good Driving Discount
Good Student Discount
Group Discount 
Homeowner Discount 
Hybrid Vehicle Discount 
Marital Status Discount 
Mature Driver Discount 
Multi-Car Discount

Overall, Southern has a slight advantage when it comes to total number of discounts. State Auto offers a grand total of 18 discounts, while Southern has 20.

There are a couple discounts both carriers offer, but Southern also offers discounts for experienced operator, family discount, group discount, and more.

On the other hand, State Auto has a few proprietary discounts of their own for things like advantage program discounts, COVID-19 relief discount, distant student discounts, and more.

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Final Thoughts: Is Southern or State Auto Best for You?

So, we've broken down the average prices for many of the factors auto insurance companies look at, and walked through the different discounts each carrier offers, too. That's all well and good, but at the end of the day, is Southern or State Auto the right fit for you?

State Auto might be best for you if....

  • You've received a ticket for speeding recently and don't want to see your premiums increase.
  • Your home is in a busy urban area.
  • You've started working from home and don't have much of a commute.

Southern might be best for you if...

  • You're looking for discounts -- Southern has the most.
  • You want to save money while purchasing insurance for a teenager.

Hopefully, this guide helps you get a good idea of the differences between Southern and State Auto. We also hope we've given you the information you need to make the best decision about your auto 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 car insurance -- comparing quotes from multiple carriers, not just Southern and State Auto. Luckily, sites like do all the hard work for you. Just 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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Southern vs. State Auto FAQs

Is Southern or State Auto cheaper?

State Auto is the cheaper of the two carriers when looking at national average prices, with policies averaging $259 per month with State Auto and $322 for Southern. Even so, that doesn't mean State Auto will be the most affordable company for everyone, since there are several different variables that are considered when it comes to your auto insurance bill.

Who is better, Southern or State Auto?

Sadly, the real answer is "it depends.". Neither carrier is "better" for every policyholder -- it all boils down to your unique car insurance profile.

Why do Southern and State Auto offer me different rates?

Auto insurance companies use lots of different factors when calculating the rates they charge. Things such as gender, where you call home, age, your driving record, and sometimes even things like your credit score can all be taken into consideration. Both Southern and State Auto calculate premiums differently, so it's likely they'll offer different rates. The best way to determine which company is the lowest for you is by comparing personalized quotes from a bunch of different carriers.

How do I know if Southern or State Auto is right for me?

The only way to find the car insurance carrier that's right for you is by getting quotes from a handful of companies and finding the one best suited for your individual budget. Luckily, does all the hard work for you. Just enter your information once and you'll get quotes from dozens of your local top insurance carriers for free. That way, you can guarantee you're getting the most affordable price. And maybe you'll find that the best company for you isn't Southern or State Auto 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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