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The Best Cheap Car Insurance in 2019

May 20, 2019
Auto Insurance, Insurance
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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.


The biggest car insurance companies, ranked by price

Below are average rates among all states for the seven largest auto insurers in the United States. USAA, the cheapest, isn’t ranked because it’s not available to everyone.

Company
Average annual rate for good drivers
*USAA is only available to active military, veterans and their families.
1. State Farm
$1,337
2. Geico
$1,627
3. Progressive
$1,828
4. Farmers
$1,855
5. Allstate
$1,964
6. Liberty Mutual
$2,752
USAA*
$896

How we determined the cheapest?car insurance among large?companies

Just seven car insurance companies make up 65% of the U.S. market for individual auto policies. They?are Allstate, Farmers, Geico, Liberty Mutual, Progressive and?State Farm, which are available to anyone,?and USAA, the insurer for active military members, veterans and their families.

NerdWallet compared quotes from these insurers in ZIP codes across the country. Rates are for policies that include liability, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages, as well as any other coverage required in each state. Our “good driver” profile is a 40-year-old with no moving violations and credit in the “good” tier.

Keep in mind these are averages from across the country, so rates in your area will differ.?Credit history and at-fault accidents can heavily impact insurance rates. So can age, marital status and other factors. That’s why it’s important to?compare car insurance quotes?from multiple?companies to find your best rate.

? MORE: The Average Cost of Car Insurance in 2019

Ranking?the cheapest?large car insurance companies

1. State Farm

4.0 NerdWallet rating

State Farm was the cheapest car insurance company in our analysis, with an average annual rate of $1,337 per year for good drivers. It was also the cheapest insurer for drivers with a recent at-fault accident, at an average rate of $1,637 per year, as well as for minimum coverage insurance, with an annual average rate of $594.

2. Geico

3.5 NerdWallet rating

Geico was the second-cheapest car insurance company we found for good drivers, with an average annual rate of $1,627. For drivers with bad credit, Geico was the cheapest, with an average rate of $2,635 per year.

3. Progressive

3.5 NerdWallet rating

The third-cheapest car insurance company in our analysis was Progressive, with an average rate of $1,828 year for good drivers. Progressive’s average rate for drivers with an at-fault accident — $3,361 per year — was one of the most expensive in our analysis of the largest car insurance companies.

4. Farmers

3.5 NerdWallet rating

Farmers came in fourth on our list of the cheapest large car insurance companies, with an average rate of $1,855 per year for good drivers. Farmers was the second-cheapest insurer for drivers with one at-fault accident, showing an average rate of $2,668 per year.

5. Allstate

3.5 NerdWallet rating

Allstate was the fifth-cheapest car insurance company in our analysis, with an average annual rate of $1,964 for good drivers.

6. Liberty Mutual

3.5 NerdWallet rating

The most expensive of the large car insurance companies was Liberty Mutual, with an average rate?of $2,752 per year for good drivers. Liberty Mutual was the most expensive for all of the driver profiles we analyzed.

Not ranked: USAA

4.0 NerdWallet rating

USAA is not ranked because it is only available to active military, veterans and their families. However, it was by far the cheapest car insurance company in every category we analyzed. USAA’s average annual rates were $896 for good drivers, $1,247 for drivers with a recent at-fault crash and $319 for minimum coverage.

More average annual rates?for big car insurance companies

The table below shows average rates for additional driver types.

CompanyGood driversGood drivers with poor creditDrivers with a recent at-fault accidentMinimum coverage
*USAA is only available to military, veterans and their families.
State Farm$1,337$2,978$1,637$594
Geico$1,627$2,635$2,834$614
Progressive$1,828$3,355$3,361$773
Farmers$1,855$3,378$2,668$850
Allstate$1,964$3,368$3,006$872
Liberty Mutual$2,752$5,411$3,592$1,146
USAA*$896$1,741$1,247$319

Recap: Cheapest of the big car insurance companies

  • State Farm: Cheapest for good drivers, drivers with one at-fault crash and minimum coverage.
  • Geico: Cheapest for good drivers with bad credit.
  • USAA: Cheapest for military members, veterans and their families.

Cheap rates from small insurers

Finding cheap car insurance doesn’t mean you have to stick with large insurance companies. Regional and small insurers may beat the lowest offers from the big guys,?and often have great customer service.

Below are annual average rates from some small car insurance companies, according to our analysis.

CompanyAverage annual rate, good driversAvailability
Grange
$524
GA, IL, IN, IA, KY, MI, MN, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, WI.
Erie
$771
DC, IL, IN, KY, NY, NC, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WI.
Mapfre
$949
AZ, CA, CT, FL, ID, IN, KY, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, TN, VT, WA.
Country Financial
$1,248
AL, AK, AZ, CO, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, MN, MO, NV, ND, OK, OR, TN, WA, WI.

We chose these companies because of their low rates and availability in multiple states, but there may be cheaper options in your state. For example, there are many Farm Bureau insurance companies available only in a single state — and they were often cheapest in our state-by-state analysis this year.

More average annual rates for small insurance companies

In this group, Grange is cheaper for good drivers and minimum coverage policies, but Erie is cheapest for drivers with a recent at-fault accident, at $1,003 per year.

CompanyGood driversGood drivers with poor creditDrivers with one at-fault accidentMinimum coverage
Grange$524$831$1,018$175
Erie$771$2,021$1,003$295
Mapfre$949Data not available$1,447$471
Country$1,248$1,989$1,838$684

? MORE:?How Much Car Insurance Rates Go Up After an Accident

Find the cheapest car insurance in your state

Cheap car insurance sounds great to everyone, but doesn’t mean the same thing everywhere. Rates vary widely from one state to the next. To get a good benchmark?for price?comparisons, check out average rates in your state.

Cheapest overall: Liability-only car insurance

The cheapest car insurance, period, will likely carry the minimum coverage required in your state. In most states, this is liability insurance only, which covers property damage and medical bills for others due to accidents you cause. Some states also require uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, which pay for your injuries or damage if an at-fault driver doesn’t have enough insurance.

Policies with comprehensive and collision coverage are pricier, but cover you in case your car is stolen or damaged, no matter who (or what) caused it. When you add these to liability and uninsured/underinsured coverages, it’s commonly considered “full coverage.”

? MORE: Find cheap full coverage car insurance

Minimum vs. full coverage rates for the biggest companies

Excluding USAA, State Farm was the cheapest company in our analysis for both full and minimum coverage, but Geico’s minimum coverage price was only $17 more per year, on average.

CompanyAverage annual rate for full coverageAverage annual rate for minimum coverage
*USAA is only available to military, veterans and their families.
State Farm$1,337$578
Geico$1,627$595
Progressive$1,828$746
Farmers$1,855$850
Allstate$1,964$842
Liberty Mutual$2,752$1,102
USAA*$896$308

Minimum vs. full coverage rates by state

To get an idea of the price difference, NerdWallet looked at quotes for the minimum required insurance in each state and compared them to average full coverage prices.

StateAverage annual rate for full coverageAverage annual rate for minimum required coverage
Average, all state averages$1,621 $676
Alabama$1,468 $522
Alaska$1,282 $446
Arizona$1,549 $655
Arkansas$1,386 $498
California$1,817 $631
Colorado$2,065 $681
Connecticut$2,039 $947
Delaware$2,444 $1,208
District of Columbia$1,698 $795
Florida$2,411 $1,140
Georgia$1,921 $794
Hawaii$1,312 $502
Idaho$990$398
Illinois$1,439 $648
Indiana$1,142 $464
Iowa$1,013 $325
Kansas$1,538 $575
Kentucky$2,007 $869
Louisiana$3,678 $1,167
Maine$897$378
Maryland$1,971 $1,077
Massachusetts$1,270 $547
Michigan$4,079 $2,508
Minnesota$1,673 $832
Mississippi$1,478 $523
Missouri$1,521 $624
Montana$1,277 $411
Nebraska$1,127 $423
Nevada$2,414 $976
New Hampshire$1,125 $474
New Jersey$2,173 $1,279
New Mexico$1,570 $554
New York$2,647 $1,448
North Carolina$978$398
North Dakota$1,241 $405
Ohio$1,123 $520
Oklahoma$1,596 $522
Oregon$1,758 $1,062
Pennsylvania$1,298 $477
Rhode island$2,159 $925
South Carolina$1,322 $572
South Dakota$1,155 $326
Tennessee$1,445 $474
Texas$1,934 $726
Utah$1,400 $702
Vermont$1,082 $386
Virginia$1,139 $480
Washington$1,029 $508
West Virginia$1,490 $603
Wisconsin$1,044 $466
Wyoming$1,128 $315

Comparing quotes to get the cheapest possible insurance

If you’re looking for the cheapest car insurance you can get, it’s essential to shop around and compare quotes. You may find that your current insurer is cheapest, but that can change, so check roughly once a year.

No matter who your insurer is, these tips could help you save on your policy:

  1. Look for discounts — even ask for them. There could be discounts you’re not taking advantage of. For instance, maybe you retired and are driving less than when you bought your policy. Mention that and you might get a low-mileage discount. Ask for all available discounts when you’re?getting auto insurance quotes.
  2. Rethink insurance limits and deductibles. A higher collision and comprehensive deductible might make sense if you rarely drive or are comfortable with the financial risk.?Raising your deductible means you’d owe more out of pocket if you had to file a comprehensive or collision claim, but it’s a surefire way to get cheaper car insurance.
  3. Know when to cut coverage. Don’t strip away coverage just for the sake of cheaper insurance. You’ll need full coverage car insurance to satisfy the terms of an auto loan, and you’ll want it as long as your car would be a financial burden to replace. But for older cars, you can drop comprehensive and collision coverage, which only pay out up to your car’s current value, minus the deductible.
  4. Cash in on major life changes. Certain life events could translate to cheaper car insurance, so shop for quotes whenever something major changes in your life. For instance, many companies offer a lower rate for married couples or domestic partners. Or perhaps you moved to a suburb with lower accident and crime rates. If your risk for accidents goes down, your rates just might, too.
  5. Revisit insurance quote comparisons. Be sure to shop for car insurance quotes just after the three- and five-year anniversaries of any accidents, tickets or moving violations, after which they may be?dropped from your driving record.
To compare the seven largest insurers:

NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women for 20 ZIP codes in each state and Washington, D.C., from the largest insurers, up to 12 in each state. “Good drivers” had no moving violations on record and credit in the “good” tier as reported to each insurer. For the other two driver profiles, we changed the credit tier to “poor” or added one at-fault accident, keeping everything else the same. Sample drivers had the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added. We used a 2015 Toyota Camry in all cases. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

To compare minimum and full coverage insurance:

NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with no incidents on record and credit in the “good” tier for 20 ZIP codes in each state and Washington, D.C., from the largest insurers, up to 12 in each state. Rates in the first column are for minimum insurance coverage required by law in each state.

For the full coverage category, we averaged rates from the largest insurers for 40-year-old men and women in 20 ZIP codes and with the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added. We used a 2015 Toyota Camry in all cases. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.