How To Get Cheap Car Insurance in 2021
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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2021
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Car insurance is something that every driver should carry — however, there’s no need to overpay for protection. Your car insurance premium is calculated based on a number of factors, including the car you drive, your age, and your gender.
Knowing how these factors influence the overall cost of your insurance policy and having a range of competing offers can help you negotiate the best rate.
The good news is comparing car insurance is generally quick and easy, and you can find the best price in a matter of minutes!
When it comes to cheaper options for car insurance, there are a few providers that stand out.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies
These 10 auto insurance providers offer policies with the cheapest rates in the United States.
- Liberty Mutual
- The General
- State Farm
Location is also a huge factor in determining premium costs, and depending on which state you live in, everything can change.
For example, if you live in a region with a high rate of property crime or traffic accidents, then you can easily end up paying more.
Where you park, such as on a street vs. a secure garage, also impacts your premium.
Progressive enables customers to apply for auto insurance through its website or mobile app, or by calling a Progressive agent over the phone. Through the company’s website, customers can easily apply to get an insurance quote based on their location and other personal information.
Progressive also provides comparison information for customers to view the prices and offerings of its top competitors. The company also has a Name Your Price tool that helps customize insurance policies based on the customer’s price point.
- Multiple Vehicle Discount for drivers that insure more than one vehicle.
- Safe Driver Discount for drivers that have zero or very limited violations on their driving record.
- Bundled Policy Discount for drivers that bundle their auto policy with another policy, like home insurance.
- Full/Automatic Payment Discount for customers that sign up for automatic payments.
2. Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual is known for its thorough and comprehensive coverage options, offering both standard and more advanced packages based on customers’ needs. Customers can obtain an auto insurance quote directly on the Liberty Mutual website, or by calling the customer service line and speaking with an agent.
Getting a quote online, however, can result in up to a 12 percent discount.
Liberty Mutual Auto Insurance Discounts
Liberty Mutual offers common discounts including multiple vehicle, safe driver, and bundled policy discounts.
It also offers the following:
- Student Discounts for young drivers still attending school or college.
- Senior Discounts for drivers 55 and older.
- Hybrid/Electric Vehicle Discounts for drivers that insure a hybrid or electric car.
- Newly Married Discounts for couples that recently got married and have a policy with Liberty Mutual.
- Full/Automatic Payment Discount for drivers that enroll in automatic, scheduled payments.
3. The General Auto Insurance
The General is known for providing options to high-risk drivers and for its ease-of-use when it comes to getting a quote. Drivers can log onto the company’s website and enter their basic information (including zip code, whether or not they’ve had liability coverage during the previous five years, and credit status to name a few.) to obtain a quote.
Due to a focus on cost-efficiency and providing options for high-risk drivers, The General has more basic coverage policies that are not as flexible as other providers’ offerings. However, The General’s basic coverage does encompass bodily injury liability, property damage liability, collision, medical payments, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
The General Auto Insurance Discounts
The General builds many common discounts directly into its quoting and policy process, so while it may appear that the provider does not offer as many discount opportunities as other insurers, The General guarantees that its premiums are the lowest in the industry.
- Full/Automatic Payment Discount for drivers that pay their premium in full and/or enroll in automatic payments.
- Defensive Driving Course Discount for customers that have undergone this course (10% discount).
Similar to other providers, Allstate enables customers to easily get a quote by entering their zip code and basic personal information online. Quotes can also be obtained by calling an agent over the phone, or visiting one of the company’s many agent offices.
AllState customers can access helpful online resources, including articles that explain different levels of coverage, a car payment calculator, and car insurance quiz.
Allstate Auto Insurance Discounts
Allstate offers mostly standard discounts like those for students, homeowners, and customers who bundle their policies. The company also offers discounts for safe drivers, vehicles with anti-theft mechanisms, and full/automatic premium payments.
However, the company does not provide other common discounts such as those for senior drivers, hybrid/electric vehicles, etc.
Customers can obtain a quote by entering their basic personal data in an online form accessible through the website, or by calling an agent. Farmers agents also have office locations around the nation where customers can go for more information.
Overall, Farmers ranks about average among other providers in terms of its auto coverage. It covers basic elements like bodily injury and property damage liability, medical payments, under- and uninsured driver, etc.
Farmers Auto Insurance Discounts
Farmers discount offers are also inline with other providers in the auto insurance industry. It has standard discounts for safe drivers, students, and customers who bundle their auto policy with a home or other type of insurance policy.
There are also discounts for hybrid and electric vehicle drivers, and group insurance discounts for union members and other organizations that purchase a group policy.
6. State Farm
Start Farm can provide quotes with simple personal information, including drivers’ zip code, address, vehicle information, and other basic details.
The company offers basic coverage types including collision, liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist, as well as comprehensive coverage. Customers can also get coverage for medical payments, rental vehicles or for rideshare vehicles.
Drivers who use their vehicles for services like Lyft or Uber can obtain competitively priced insurance for their vehicles and passengers.
State Farm Auto Insurance Discounts
State Farm provides industry-standard discounts, including for drivers who insure multiple vehicles, bundle their auto with a home or other type of policy, or install anti-theft mechanisms on their vehicle.
There are also student and safe driver discounts, as well as an additional discount for drivers that complete a defensive driving course; for customers under the age of 21, a discount is tied to completing a driver training course.
Nationwide offers standard personal auto and vehicle coverage, encompassing bodily injury and property damage liability, personal injury protection, uninsured and underinsured motorist, as well as medical payment coverage. Drivers can get a quote and apply for coverage online by entering basic information in an easy-to-follow digital form. Nationwide agents also have offices located across the country where customers can get information and apply for coverage in-person.
Nationwide also provides accident forgiveness to prevent premium costs from going up after an initial accident, and roadside assistance.
Nationwide Auto Insurance Discounts
Nationwide offers an array of standard discounts including those for safe drivers, students, homeowners, drivers with low mileage vehicles, and for those who bundle their policies. There are also group discounts for organizations like unions, and other more specialized discounts.
- Vanishing deductible: Drivers receive $100 off their deductible for every year of safe driving, and their deductible could disappear altogether.
- Milewise: A pay-per-mile insurance that enables drivers to only pay for the miles that they drive, by tracking their driving habits and vehicle movements through a mobile app.
Esurance is a lean, digital subsidiary of Allstate, and enables customers to get a quote and apply for coverage online or over the phone. Similar to other providers’ quote process, drivers enter their zip code, along with other personal and vehicle basic details, and can get a quote in just a few minutes.
The company also offers helpful tools like its Coverage Counselor to help drivers determine which level of insurance fits their needs, as well as comparison shopping of its available policies.
Esurance Auto Insurance Discounts
Esurance also provides fairly standard discounts, including those for insuring multiple vehicles, bundling policies, anti-theft and vehicle safety measures, as well as those for students and homeowners. Customers that enroll in automatic/full premium payments also receive a discount.
In addition, returning customers and responsible drivers (those with good driving records) can also receive discounts.
9. Select Quote
SelectQuote is a comparison shopping network that shows customers options from 16 leading providers. SelectQuote works with providers including Progressive, Liberty Mutual and Travelers, among others, and all of its partners have an A or higher rating through AM Best Financial Strength Rating system.
Customers can apply for a quote through SelectQuote’s website by providing basic, personal information, or calling and speaking to an agent over the phone.
Because SelectQuote provides auto insurance information from an array of top providers, coverage will vary depending upon customers’ needs and choice.
Select Quote Auto Insurance Discounts
Discounts will vary depending on which provider customers choose. However, SelectQuote’s providers offer such standard discounts as multiple vehicle, policy bundling, safe driver, student and homeowners.
SelectQuote services focus on cost-efficiency, so drivers can choose a provider that offers the best discounts for their coverage needs.
Similar to SelectQuote, SmartFinancial does not provide insurance itself, but instead connects customers with auto insurance providers and enables them to comparison shop coverage types and discounts.
Customers can enter their basic personal information and answer some basic questions, allowing SmartFinancial to sort through its more than 200 insurance company partners (including top names like Progressive and The General) and available discounts. SmartFinancial can also notify customers if a more cost-efficient quote becomes available through a provider in their area.
SmartFinancial also provides helpful tools like a Smart Rate Estimate tool on its website, as well as educational articles through its online blog.
SmartFinancial Auto Insurance Discounts
Discounts will also vary depending on the provider drivers choose. However, SmartFinancial partners offer standard discounts like multiple vehicle, safe driver, anti-theft, low mileage and bundled policies.
There may also be discounts available for students, seniors, homeowners, newly married couples, organizations like unions, and drivers of electric or hybrid vehicles
Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap insurance rates.
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How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance
While you’ll never be able to reduce the cost of your car insurance as much as you would like, there are steps that most drivers can take to obtain lower rates.
A common mistake that some people make is not shopping around for the best price and simply accepting the renewal quote that’s offered to them, which is likely going to be much higher than a quote they would be given elsewhere. As we’ve mentioned before, can help you get the best possible rate.
Raise Your Deductible
When you purchase a car insurance policy, there is a deductible involved.
This is the amount of money you agree to cover up front if you file a claim for any reason.
By raising your deductible, you can usually get a lower premium. Generally speaking, if your older car is worth less than ten times the insurance premium you’re quoted, collision coverage may not be a cost-effective option.
Install Tracking Technology
Another tip for saving money on your insurance premium is installing an alarm, an immobilizer, or a modern GPS tracking device. In some instances, this can get you a discount of around 5%. Many newer cars come with these features, so make sure to check if you have them and, if you do, declare them.
Bundle Your Policies
It’s common practice these days for insurers to offer discounts when customers purchase two or more types of insurance from them, such as home and auto insurance.
Some companies may even offer a price break to long-time customers.
Reduced mileage may also equate to greater savings—if you’re driving less, then the likelihood of you being involved in an incident decreases, and your insurance premium reflects that.
The more often you drive, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident and, subsequently, file a claim. As a result, the higher your average yearly mileage, the more your premium is likely to cost you.
Drive a Vehicle with Safety Features
The make, model, and year of your vehicle are important because different models with different power outputs may result in different quotes.
The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) lets insurance companies know a car’s history.
Safety features such as passive restraint systems often result in lower premiums, as there is less risk of personal injuries occurring in an accident.
Anti-theft devices, such as GPS tracking systems, are a plus in the eyes of insurers as they increase the likelihood of your car getting back to you in one piece should it ever be stolen.
Know Your Driver Profile
You should have certain information on hand when examining insurance quotes to help you get the most accurate estimate possible and prevent any unpleasant surprises down the line.
Your insurance company needs to know your age, occupation, and any driver safety courses that you’ve completed.
The premium you pay could be higher or lower depending on whether you travel regularly as part of your job, or if you carry expensive equipment like power tools in your vehicle.
What Could Stand Between You and Affordable Car Insurance?
Just as there are factors that can help reduce the cost of your car insurance, there are also elements that can stand in the way of you getting the cheapest car insurance rate possible.
While you can’t change some of them, such as age, there are others that can be improved if you wish to save money on auto insurance.
- Driver Age: Although some insurance companies believe elderly drivers pose as high a risk as those under 25, typically, teenagers and new drivers are subject to higher premiums due to lack of experience. Driver education courses can help younger and new drivers reduce the cost of their premium through insurance discounts.
- Poor Driving Record: It should be no surprise to you that your driving record has a profound effect on your insurance premium. Someone with a history of speeding or reckless driving is much more likely to be charged a higher premium than someone who has never been pulled over. Although you can’t change the past, you can avoid dangerous driving habits, such as speeding, and many insurance companies offer discounts based on the completion of a defensive or safe driving course.
- The Car You Drive: A more expensive car costs your insurance company more to replace if it’s stolen or destroyed in an accident. Your car’s horsepower and speed correspond to a higher accident risk—no matter how safe you drive. If you own a car that’s considered particularly desirable, then your insurer may consider you at greater risk for theft.
- Lack of Security: As mentioned before, most modern cars have built-in immobilizers, but if you drive an older vehicle you may need to upgrade it to current security standards to help counterbalance your high premium. The place where you park your car when you’re not driving it also impacts your premiums.
As you can see, a myriad of factors can influence your auto insurance premiums.
If your goal is to find the cheapest car insurance possible, you need to do your homework and capitalize on the discounts and variables you can change to help reduce your rates.