One of the best ways to get cheap car insurance is by comparing car insurance quotes — and the companies offering them. To get you started, NerdWallet looked at car insurance prices across the country for different driver profiles and coverage levels to find the cheapest rates. We’ve sliced the data in several ways to give you an idea of average costs and what factors might nudge your car insurance rate up — or even better, down.
If your car is not insured and involved in an accident, you might have to pay to rent a car or cover repairs yourself. Comprehensive and Collision coverage as part of your car insurance policy is a much better value because, even if you're not involved in an accident, you can still be protected against theft, fire, vandalism and windshield damage. Want to reduce your monthly auto insurance payment? Choose a higher deductible.
If you are or were in the military, or if your parents, parent-in-law, or spouse was in the military you are eligible for USAA auto insurance, and they may just be the best company for you. USAA scores 5/5 stars for the both shopping experience, and claims handling process in the J.D. Power study. They do particularly well on how you can report your claims to the company. You should also be highly satisfied with their final settlement claims. For more information, read here.
Erie is the cheapest insurance company, and arguably the most reliable insurance company as well. They score points by allowing customers to start their quote online, which we personally found to be a streamlined and fast process. Erie also scored the highest marks from the number of policies they offer. Erie offers pet coverage, free accident forgiveness, free vanishing deductibles, roadside assistance, and many more, essentially giving its customers a degree of flexibility not even found amongst the largest insurers. Customers of Erie may also be eligible for its Rate Lock program. This is a unique program where customers won't see their rates increase except for three reasons: you move to a different area, add or remove someone from your policy, or add or subtract a car. Lastly, despite its smaller size, Erie offers the same types of discounts larger national insurers provide such as bundling, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft, young driver and senior driver among others.
When it comes to finding the cheapest auto insurer, State Farm may not top your list; it offers the fewest discounts of our four top picks. You’ll find discounts for having multiple policies and safety features like airbags and anti-lock brakes. However, if you have young or elderly drivers on your policy, own a home, or are insuring a new car, you may want to start elsewhere.
You won’t qualify for every discount, since some depend on factors beyond your control, like your age or the safety features installed in your car. However, others are based on behaviors like switching to paperless billing or having multiple cars on your policy. We prioritized deductions like these since more drivers will be able to use them. To see a full list of the discounts every insurer offers, check out our savings guide below.
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