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The Ultimate Cheap Car Insurance Guide for Most Any Situation

The fact of the matter is everyone wants cheap car insurance.

It seems like your money is going down the drain every month for nothing.

Or to be legal to drive to and and from work.

The slightest hit to your credit score or driving record can rapidly change your cheap auto insurance into what seems like a house payment.

If you are on a budget getting the cheapest car insurance might seem like an easy way to save.

However, that’s not always the case.

Getting a super affordable policy may hurt you in the long run too.

Main strategies for drivers to get cheaper auto insurance after buying a policy.

Note: Illustrated above are the primary strategies to get the lowest price possible before and after buying an auto insurance policy. Most important, you want to maintain these strategies over the life of any or all auto polices. This is so you don’t unknowingly overpay for your car insurance premium.

You are going to need an affordable policy from an insurance company with the financial wherewithal to help you after an unforeseen automobile accident.

Car insurance is consistently changing since driver’s behaviors change year by year.

Because rates are consistently changing, it can be difficult to find a company with a cheap price.

To find an affordable company near you it is helpful to get three or more quotes to determine how much you will pay.

Then look to discounts to get a lower monthly premium.

In your often frustrating “car insurance” journey we have simplified the process finding the cheapest companies in this comprehensive guide.

Without further ado, lets find inexpensive auto insurance companies.

Overall Cheap Car Insurance

The best way to get cheap car insurance is to maintain a good driving record.

We have found three companies which, on average, can offer the lowest premium for a driver with a good driving record and credit scores.

The overall cheapest is Erie.

They offer coverage in 12 states plus Washington D.C.

If you reside in any those states your are probably going to find Erie is the cheapest.

Further, they have ranked well on all the latest car insurance studies.

Overall least expensive auto insurance companies by quote from Erie, The Cincinnati, Progressive and Liberty Mutual.Note: The overall cheapest auto insurance with excellent policy options are Erie, The Cincinnati, and Progressive. Each insurer’s price is offering full coverage for a 30-year-old driver.

The Cincinnati offers coverage in 41 states and Washington D.C.

On average we have found The Cincinnati offers coverage at a lower rate than the “big guys” with the same coverage.

They have been in business since 1950 and their financial strength is excellent.

If you prefer a national company with cheap auto insurance quotes, then Progressive is able to offer competitive rates across the board for good drivers.

The table below compares quotes with all three companies for good drivers, credit score and minimum coverage. 

CompanyGood driversDrivers with poor creditMinimum coverage
Erie$1,374$1,833$532
The Cincinnati$1,521$1,929$588
Progressive$1,600$2,132$625

Young Drivers

Drivers under the age of 25 pay extremely high car insurance premiums.

Liberty Mutual is going to offer you an affordable premium if you are young driver.

Cheap auto insurance companies for young drivers by price from American Family, Grange and Liberty Mutual. Note: Young driver pay extremely high premiums no matter what they do. Illustrated above are the least expensive companies by quote. Liberty Mutual offers a quote at $2,582. While American Family and Grange offer quotes at $2,690 and $2,862 respectfully for full coverage. All three are nearly 20% lower than the average $3,250 for a 21-year-old driver.

They offer coverage in every state with a full array of discounts to help you lower your premium.

Discounts offered by Liberty Mutual are:

  • Good grades
  • Student away at school
  • Defensive driver

American Family has a teen safe driver program to help young drivers find cheap auto insurance.

You will get 10% or more off your premium after completing 3,000 hours of driving on the app.

Grange offers coverage in 13 states which would be the best coverage for young drivers in the Midwest.

Below we have compared quotes from all three companies for a 21-year-old driver. 

CompanyGood driversDrivers with speeding ticketMinimum coverage
Liberty Mutual$2,582$2,900$1,433
American Family$2,690$3,431$1,582
Grange$2,862$3,565$1,710

Good strategies for young drivers is to drive an older model vehicle that is paid for.

You would be able to drop comprehensive and collision coverage to save.

Just make sure the safety features and are up to snuff. 

By State

We conducted an analysis of each state and the company offering the cheapest auto insurance by price.

As well as having the financial wherewithal to pay out a claim in the event you filed one.

Insurers by state is offered here since many companies we recommended are not available in all regions of the U.S.

For example, Erie is an excellent company, but only offers coverage in 12 states.

In many instances, USAA offered the lowest rate for many states.

For instance, USAA is cheaper than New York Central Mutual (NYCM) in the New York, but we left out USAA since the majority of drivers wouldn’t qualify. 

StateCompanyStateCompany
AlabamaALFAMontanaProgressive
Alaska UmialikNebraskaFarm Bureau Financial Services
Arizona ColumbiaNevadaAllied
Arkansas AmeripriseNew HampshireConcord
California Auto Club of Southern CaliforniaNew JerseyNJM
Colorado ProgressiveNew MexicoFarm Bureau Financial
Connecticut UnitrinNew YorkNew York Central Mutual
DelawareNationwideNorth CarolinaAuto-Owners
Florida Florida Farm BureauNorth DakotaUSAA
GeorgiaCountry FinancialOhioErie
Hawaii Fireman's FundOklahomaOK Farmers Union
IdahoGrangeOregonCountry Financial
Illinois UniquePennsylvaniaNJM
IndianaIndiana Farm BureauRhode IslandTravelers
IowaPekinSouth CarolinaSouthern Farm Bureau
KansasGEICOSouth DakotaFarmers Mutual of Nebraska
KentuckyKentucky Farm BureauTennesseeTennessee Farmers Mutual
LouisianaSouthern Farm BureauTexasTexas Farm Bureau
MainePatriotUtahBear River
MarylandProgressiveVermontCo-operative
MassachusettsNorfolk & DedhamVirginiaUSAA
MichiganChubbWashingtonPEMCO
MinnesotaFarm Bureau MutualWest VirginiaProgressive
MississippiUnitrinWisconsinPartners Mutual
MissouriFarmersWyomingSafeco

High Risk Drivers

If you have a sub par driving record or you were dropped by your car insurance company there are three insurers you could get your vehicle insured. 

Drivers looking for a company will find competitive rates with The General.

The General makes it easy to file an SR-22 and their mobile app is user friendly.

The interesting thing about The General is they take clients where other insurance companies don’t.

They specialize in high risk drivers.

The General has poor reviews, but when you few options left they could be your best bet.

The least expensive companies for high risk drivers from The General, Bristol West and Titan. Note: High risk drivers typically have to file an SR-22 or FR-44. Both are certificates of financial responsibility or CFR which the state requires. Illustrated above are companies which specialize insuring high risk drivers needing such forms.

Bristol West is another option for high risk drivers.

They are owned by Farmers and is available in 42 states.

Bristol West has a high number of complaints relative to their size.

However, this would be expected since they are insuring high risk drivers.

Titan is another company specializing in high risk drivers.

They offer coverage in 23 states and their affiliate Victoria Fire & Casualty underwrites high risk drivers. 

CompanyNo violationWith violationMinimum coverage
The General$1,521$2,764$726
Bristol West$1,683$3,125$786
Titan$1,743$3,200$832

DUI

If you have a DUI on your record, the company offering the lowest premium is Infinity.

We wouldn’t exactly call it cheap, but it’s lower than other insurers.

Infinity is the second largest nonstandard insurer in the U.S. and backed by Kemper.

They primarily target the Hispanic communities in Florida, but do offer coverage in other states.

If you have a DUI and your rates have skyrocketed, you should get quotes from Infinity to possibly lower them.

Lowest price insurers for drivers with a DUI; from Infinity, Safeco and Progressive.Note: A driver with a driving under the influence (DUI) charge will double their auto insurance premium. On average, the least expensive companies are Infinity, Safeco and Progressive. All three offer quotes at $2,843, $2,980 and $3,132 compared to the average DUI premium at $3,460.

Safeco is another option for drivers with a DUI.

They are subsidiary of Liberty Mutual and have been in business since 1923.

And they offer coverage in 46 states.

Safeco doesn’t “specialize” in DUI’s, but compared to other insurers, they can offer one of the lowest prices.

Progressive is another company offering competitive rates.

In fact, Progressive is one of the first companies to specialize in high risk car insurance.

If you are in a bind with a DUI on your record, we recommend putting Progressive on your list to get quotes.

CompanyNo DUIWith DUIMinimum coverage
Infinity$1,632$2,843$742
Safeco$1,725$2,980$790
Progressive$1,745$3,132$831

Good Drivers

If you are driver with a good driving record you can get an affordable policy with American Family.

You might find the initial quote with American Family is higher than average.

Since you are a good driver, you can lower your rate substantially through discounts with American Family.

They offer coverage in 19 states with a lower than average customer complaint ratio.

Inexpensive companies for good drivers; from American Family, Allstate and Farmers.Note: The best way to maintain cheap auto insurance is to keep a good driving history. Illustrated above are the least expensive companies. American Family offers quotes at $1,134 per year for a 30-year-old driver. Allstate and Farmers offer quotes at $1,195 and $1,235 respectfully. Which is nearly 15% lower than the average premium at $1,410.

Allstate is an excellent car insurance company for good drivers.

They too have a high initial quote, but when you apply Allstate’s suite of discounts your quote will be lower than average.

Farmers is another company to put on your list of quotes if you have a good driving record.

They have been in business since 1923 and are a subsidiary of Zurich Group.

Farmers has a nice array of discounts to offer and if you have a good record, you could get a rate well below the average policyholder in your area.

CompanyGood driverAt-Fault accidentMinimum coverage
American Family$1,134$1,853$612
Allstate$1,195$1,963$645
Farmers$1,235$2,021$690

If you have a home or other property to insure, all three companies offer generous discounts for bundling.

With a good driving record, any three insurers could be a win for your wallet.

Insurance with Poor Credit

SafeAuto specializes in drivers with poor credit offering coverage in 17 states.

You should be able to get a lower rate with SafeAuto if you have poor credit.

SafeAuto has poor claims handling reviews, but we are recommending a company when you have poor credit.

Staying with a nationally recognized auto insurance company, you could pay 30% more for coverage as compared to SafeAuto with poor credit.

If you want cheap car insurance go with SafeAuto.

If you want an insurer with a smooth claims process, we wouldn’t recommend them.

Companies specializing in offering premiums to drivers with poor credit; from SafeAuto, The General and Dairyland.Note: Illustrated above are companies specializing in poor credit premiums. If you have poor credit and looking for some financial relief, SafeAuto offers the least expensive premium at $1,811 per year for a 30-year-old driver. The General and Dairyland are 10% more with quotes at $2,012 and $2,175 respectfully.

The General is the leader in insuring drivers with poor credit.

If you are in a situation where you premium has been hit by a low credit score you could give The General a shot.

Dairyland offers coverage in 42 states specializing in nonstandard car insurance.

Dairyland is a subsidiary of Sentry which has A+ rating with AM Best.

We found Dairyland quotes are slightly higher than The General and SafeAuto, but lower than insurers offering standard auto insurance. 

CompanyExcellent CreditPoor CreditMinimum coverage
SafeAuto$1,197$1,811$732
The General$1,327$2,012$821
Dairyland$1,480$2,175$875

Military

If you are in the market for an affordable policy and a current or former member of the military then put USAA on your list of quotes.

USAA has excellent financial reviews and customer satisfaction are the best in the industry.

They offer a generous array of discounts such as:

  • Family
  • Safe driver
  • Good student
  • Multi-car
  • Vehicle storage

USAA’s website is packed with policy information and coverage types.

Plus, you can get a full suite of services such as: 

Other coverage offered by USAA 
Classic car insuranceMobile home insurance
Renters insuranceBoat insurance

There is a one-stop shop for financial services with USAA such as banking and investing.

ProsCons
Excellent customer satisfaction ratingAvailable to members of the U.S. Military and relatives
Low number of complaintsFew physical locations
Complete line of car, home, property, banking, and investmentsNo guaranteed renewal

According to the NAIC, USAA had lower than average number of complaints.

Low Mileage

If you don’t mind your mileage being tracked and drive less than 6,000 miles per year you should put MetroMile on you list of quotes.

You should be able to get cheap auto insurance with MetroMile since they exclusively sell pay-per-mile auto insurance policies.

With MetroMile you will have a based rate and mileage rate.

For example, your base rate could be $50 a month and your mileage rate could be 5 cents per mile.

If you drive 300 miles per month your monthly premium would be $65 a month.

Or $50 + .05 x 300 miles ($15) = $65

Currently, MetroMile offers coverage in eight states with a decent suite of coverage such as:

  • Rental reimbursement
  • Roadside assistance
  • Pet Injury
  • Glass repair 

The downside is MetroMile requires a device called Pulse to be installed on your vehicle.

The free device plugs into your vehicle’s diagnostic port and transmits data to the insurer.

Company6,000 Miles12,00018,000
MetroMile$1,120$1,328$1,623
Nationwide$1,178$1,317$1,545
Progressive$1,268$1,430$1,590

High Mileage

If you are a driver that puts 30,000+ miles on your vehicle then Nationwide can offer the lowest premium compared to other insurers.

According to The Zebra, high mileage rates depend on the state you reside.

For example, the difference between a 15,000 mile and 30,000 mile driver in California is 38 percent.

While in other states it is as low as 3 or 4 percent.

Best auto insurance companies for high mileage drivers; from Nationwide, Allstate and Progressive.Note: If you drive 30,000+ miles per year, illustrated above are options to find a lower premium. Nationwide offers quotes at $1,588 per year for full coverage. Allstate and Progressive offer quotes at $1,675 and $1,700 per year for the same coverage.

Nationwide offers all what you expect from a top car insurance company with additional perks such as:

  • SmartRide
  • Vanishing deductible
  • On Your Side Review
  • Accident forgiveness

According to the NAIC, Nationwide has fewer than the expected number of complaints to state regulators.

In the table below is a price quote comparison of Nationwide, Allstate and Progressive at different mileage. 

Company12,000 Miles20,00030,000
Nationwide$1,287$1,452$1,588
Allstate$1,236$1,490$1,675
Progressive$1,322$1,585$1,700

Customer Service

If you are looking for cheap car insurance compared to similar customer service oriented companies then you should get quotes from Amica.

They are known for their customer service with an excellent claims process from JD Power and AM Best.

There are very few insurers which are able to offer low rates with stellar customer service, such as Amica. 

Good forBad for
Highest scores in claims satisfactionFairly Selective
Online quote generatorDividend and non-dividend selection process is confusing
Low customer complaints
Easy to change coverage options

Amica has standard coverage and policy options and excellent perks such as

  • Identify fraud
  • Glass coverage
  • Prestige rental
  • Dividends

A big bonus with Amica is the ability to lower your rate substantially with discounts.

Along with their full suite of services Amica offers an nice array of discounts such as:

  • Multi-line
  • Claims free
  • Multi-car
  • E-discount

Below is a list of quotes comparing Amica with top insurers offering similar policy packages and options.  

Company25 year-old40 year-old
Amica$1,745$987
Nationwide$1,850$972
Allstate$1,924$1,035

Amica is fairly selective with whom they will sell a policy. 

If you have major mark in your driving history you probably won’t be offered a policy. 

Comprehensive

Farmer’s customers enjoy a nice array of coverage options and bundles.

If you need to get cheap comprehensive coverage – Farmers would be it.

They are rated 5th overall for claims and customer sanctification according to JD Power.

Not only could you get a suite of services through Farmers, they offer excellent discounts such as:

  • Alternative fuels
  • Safe driver
  • Mobile glass repair
  • Accident forgiveness
  • Paperless policy

If you need rideshare insurance, Farmers has you covered.

They will extend your personal auto policy to fill the gaps while you work with Uber or Lyft.

This provides coverage between rides so you are always covered.

Below is a comparison of comprehensive quotes from Farmers and other top insurers. 

CompanyComprehensiveMinimum coverage
Farmers$165$720
Liberty Mutual$188$738
MetLife$196$780

Farmers has additional features to add to your policy such as:

  • New car replacement
  • Loss of use
  • Customized equipment
  • OEM coverage

Year by year Farmers is able to rank in the top 10 in JD Powers analysis of insurers.

If you are in the market for cheap auto insurance, you may want to consider Farmers.

Your initial quote may be higher than average with Farmers.

However, if you maintain a good driving record and take advantage of their perks, you should have a lower than average rate.

Strategies for Cheap Auto Insurance

Many companies listed in this article will offer you a lower premium.

That doesn’t mean you have the lowest rate – or cheap car insurance.

You want to take control and make use of strategies to lower your rate while maintaining coverage.

Below we have a list to help you combat the increasing costs of an auto policy. 

1. Always shop around.

Check the financial health by using Standard & Poor’s, AM Best, Consumer Reports or National Consumers League.

2. Before buying, compare insurance prices.

To help you decide what car to buy use the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or IIHS.org.

3. Raise your deductibles.

If you have a low deductible ($100) raise to $500 or more. 

4. Reduce coverage on older vehicles.

Is your vehicle worth less than 10 times your premium?

If so, drop comprehensive and collision coverage.

Check Kelly Blue Book for your car’s value. 

5. Maintain good credit and apply available discounts.

6. Bundle your policies.

Try to buy home, renters and auto policies from the same insurer.

7. Take advantage of low mileage discounts and group coverage.

Sources

https://www.naic.org/documents/

https://www.treasury.gov/auto-affordability-study

https://www.ftc.gov/report-credit-based-insurance-scores.pdf

https://www.bankrate.com/cheap-car-insurance-companies/