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Comparing car insurance quotes may not be the most exhilarating part of your day, but it can save you a lot of money.


Here’s why: Insurers look at similar factors, but they have their own “secret sauce” when it comes to setting rates. So two companies can charge wildly different rates for the same driver. To avoid overpaying and find the cheapest rate for you, it’s critical to compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies.


Auto insurance prices tend to inch up over time, but they can also go down. By shopping around, you might find that your current insurer offers the cheapest rate for you, or you might find that it’s time to switch.



To find the cheapest auto insurance for you, enter your information below to start getting quotes from companies in your area.


How to compare car insurance quotes

First of all, every car insurance rate quote you receive should be free of charge, no matter where it's from. Some auto insurers require a down payment to start your policy, but a simple quote estimate should always be free. Here’s how to get going.


1. Gather your information

To quickly and easily compare car insurance quotes, have the following on hand:

  • Personal information: The address, date of birth, occupation, driver's license and marital status of everyone you want included on the policy.
  • Vehicle information: Mileage, date of purchase and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for each car. Or, if you haven’t purchased the car yet, have mileage, make, model and year handy.
  • Driving history: Include all claims, violations and tickets you've had over the past five years, plus any completed driving courses.
  • Current or previous insurer’s name for anyone on the policy or in your household. Some insurers won’t cover you without some coverage history, and if you want to exclude anyone living with you from the policy, you’ll need to prove they’re covered elsewhere.

2. Choose the right liability car insurance coverage levels

Auto insurance is financial protection, and not just for the investment you made when you bought your car. After a really serious accident, bills for damage and injuries can easily reach into hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you happen to cause such a wreck, the victims could sue you. In the worst case scenario, assets such as your savings and home could be seized.


Liability auto insurance protects you from that worst case scenario by providing a cushion between your assets and the amount you’re on the hook for. For this reason, choosing the right auto liability limits is the most important part of your car insurance quote comparison. NerdWallet typically recommends having at least as much liability coverage as your net worth.


But liability coverage levels come in threes — you’ll probably see something like 50/100/50 up to 250/500/250 in typical policies. You can think of these limits like: individual injuries / total injuries / property damage. Insurers are a little more technical, calling them bodily injury liability, total bodily injury liability and physical damage liability.


They come in thousand-dollar increments, so when you choose 100/300/100 limits, you’re choosing:


  • $100,000 for bodily injuries per person you injure in a crash.
  • $300,000 total for all bodily injuries you cause in a crash.
  • $100,000 for damage to any property you cause in a crash, including cars, buildings and objects like mailboxes and lampposts.

Auto insurance quote comparison tip: When choosing liability car insurance coverage, you’ll want to make sure the highest, middle number is equal to or greater than the value of your house and total savings combined.


Understand car insurance requirements in your state

In certain states, you may be required to have a car insurance policy that includes personal injury protection (PIP), medical payments coverage (medpay) or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages — or two of the three. If you have medpay you don’t need PIP, and vice versa.


Any car insurance comparison tool you look at should have your state’s minimum car insurance requirements pre-loaded into its options. States requiring PIP or medpay are generally referred to as “no-fault” states, meaning that when injuries occur, each driver in a crash makes a claim with their own insurance company to pay for them. Beyond the PIP or medpay limit, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance kicks in to cover the rest.


3. Decide if you need full coverage car insurance

You’ll notice that none of that liability coverage pays for your car or injuries, nor for any injuries your passengers sustain if you cause a wreck. This is why many people — particularly those whose car isn’t yet paid off — want “full coverage” car insurance. This isn’t actually a type of coverage, but instead typically refers to policies that include liability coverage, plus comprehensive and collision coverages.


In other words, you can’t just click a “full coverage” button when comparing insurance quotes online or buy something called a full coverage auto insurance policy. You’ll need to add collision and comprehensive coverage in the amounts you want.


Collision insurance pays for:Comprehensive insurance pays for:
  • Damage to your car in an accident you cause.
  • Damage to your car if you hit an object such as a fence or pole.
  • Damage to your car if someone else hits you. Another option in this case is to make a claim against the other driver's liability insurance.

The value of your car if it's stolen and not recovered, and damage from:

  • Weather such as tornadoes or hail.
  • Floods.
  • Fire.
  • Falling objects.
  • Explosions.
  • Crashes with an animal, such as striking a deer.
  • Riots and civil disturbances.

Auto insurance quote comparison tip: Whatever coverage you choose, make sure you compare the quotes for the same type and amount of coverage so you can find the best price.


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4. Collect and compare car insurance quotes

You'll want to get car insurance quotes from at least 2-3 companies available in your area to be sure you’re getting a good deal. While shopping, make certain that each insurance quote includes


  • The same levels of liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection.
  • The same deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverages, if you’re buying them.
  • The same drivers and cars.
  • All discounts you’re eligible for (most insurers list the discounts they offer on their websites).


Compare car insurance rates

A lot goes into an auto insurance rate quote, including your ZIP code, coverage levels, marital status, annual mileage, driving history and vehicle make, year and model. In most states, your gender and credit history are also used to determine rates. And again, the reason auto insurance comparison shopping is so important is because rates between companies are different for each person, too.


That’s why every year, NerdWallet analyzes car insurance rates for men and women with various driving and credit histories, in every single state and major metro area. Here’s how some of them stack up, looking first at the factors you have the most control over.


Compare car insurance rates for:


Compare minimum and full coverage car insurance rates by company

Each insurance company evaluates personal factors in its own way, and they keep their methods as hidden as possible. So we can’t tell you which company puts high value in your occupation or emphasizes a clean driving history more than others. But to help you get going, we can show you a car insurance rate comparison for the same hypothetical driver and car, using average rates from across the country.


Here are annual rates from the 10 largest auto insurers in the country, averaged across the country for both full and minimum coverage. Keep in mind that not all of these companies are available in every state.


CompanyFull coverageMinimum coverage
American Family$1,214$552
Travelers$1,279$637
State Farm$1,337$594
Nationwide$1,509$771
Geico$1,627$614
Progressive$1,828$773
Farmers$1,855$850
Allstate$1,964$872
Liberty Mutual$2,752$1,146
USAA*$896$319

*USAA is only available to military, veterans and their families.


Compare minimum and full coverage car insurance rates in your state

One of the largest factors affecting your car insurance quote will be something you wouldn’t change just for cheaper car insurance — where you live. However, it does have a very big impact and should be part of financial planning if you move out of your area.


For that reason, it’s good to do a car insurance quote comparison anytime you move, even within the same state. Here are our 2019 average annual car insurance rates by state for minimum and full coverage car insurance policies.


StateFull coverageMinimum coverage
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

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Car insurance and credit score

Though it might seem unfair, your credit history is one of the largest factors affecting your car insurance quote in all states except California, Hawaii and Massachusetts. Below are sample car insurance rates for accident-free drivers with good and poor credit, both by company and by state, for full coverage insurance.


Compare car insurance rates for good and bad credit by company

It’s important to note that every company considers credit very differently, and even among insurers this factor fluctuates by state. For example, NerdWallet’s 2019 car insurance rate analysis indicates that while State Farm charges higher rates for poor credit in many states, it doesn’t seem to do so in Maine. Similar variations are true for many other companies as well.


CompanyGood drivers with good credit Good drivers with poor credit
American Family$1,214$2,018
Travelers$1,279$2,445
State Farm$1,337$2,978
Nationwide$1,509$2,059
Geico$1,627$2,635
Progressive$1,828$3,355
Farmers$1,855$3,378
Allstate$1,964$3,368
Liberty Mutual$2,752$5,411
USAA*$896$1,741

*USAA is only available to military, veterans and their families.


Compare car insurance rates for good and bad credit in your state

Certain states prohibit the use of credit in setting rates, and how insurers treat credit differs from state to state. For example, state legislators in one state may allow more wiggle room for credit-based pricing than others, leading to variations by state.


StateGood drivers with good credit Good drivers with poor credit
Alabama$1,468$2,673
Alaska$1,282$2,054
Arizona$1,549$2,888
Arkansas$1,386$2,361
California*$1,817$1,817
Colorado$2,065$3,705
Connecticut$2,039$3,482
Delaware$2,444$4,706
District of Columbia$1,698$3,117
Florida$2,411$4,403
Georgia$1,921$3,132
Hawaii*$1,312$1,312
Idaho$990$1,770
Illinois$1,439$2,548
Indiana$1,142$2,012
Iowa$1,013$1,544
Kansas$1,538$2,415
Kentucky$2,007$4,052
Louisiana$3,678$6,308
Maine$897$1,483
Maryland$1,971$3,191
Massachusetts*$1,270$1,270
Michigan$4,079$10,437
Minnesota$1,673$3,484
Mississippi$1,478$2,461
Missouri$1,521$3,225
Montana$1,277$2,149
Nebraska$1,127$1,908
Nevada$2,414$4,687
New Hampshire$1,125$1,937
New Jersey$2,173$4,159
New Mexico$1,570$2,562
New York$2,647$5,509
North Carolina$978$1,652
North Dakota$1,241$2,240
Ohio$1,123$1,945
Oklahoma$1,596$2,655
Oregon$1,758$3,300
Pennsylvania$1,298$2,345
Rhode Island$2,159$3,475
South Carolina$1,322$2,359
South Dakota$1,155$1,913
Tennessee$1,445$2,582
Texas$1,934$3,110
Utah$1,400$2,706
Vermont$1,082$2,104
Virginia$1,139$1,774
Washington$1,029$1,800
West Virginia$1,490$2,721
Wisconsin$1,044$1,766
Wyoming$1,128$1,608

*Credit-based pricing is banned in California, Hawaii and Massachusetts.


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Car insurance rates and accident history

Among the largest companies, your history of accidents, tickets and other violations will affect your auto insurance quote in very different ways. Check out how each insurers’ average rates for drivers with and without an accident stack up before you start comparison shopping for auto insurance, and then below you can see differences by state.


Compare car insurance rates for a clean record and at-fault crash by company

The cheapest car insurance company for a driver with a clean history might not be the cheapest after an at-fault accident occurs. If you have an on-record accident, make sure to compare car insurance quotes one, three and five years after the date of the incident.


StateDrivers with clean driving historyDrivers with a recent at-fault accident
American Family$1,214$1,749
Travelers$1,279$1,790
State Farm$1,337$1,637
Nationwide$1,509$2,334
Geico$1,627$2,834
Progressive$1,828$3,361
Farmers$1,855$2,668
Allstate$1,964$3,006
Liberty Mutual$2,752$3,592
USAA*$896$1,247

*USAA is only available to military, veterans and their families.


Compare car insurance rates for a clean record and at-fault crash in your state

State legislators set limits on how much a company can increase your rates after a crash. Our hypothetical accident resulted in only $2,000 worth of damage. That caused average annual rates to spike by $1,000 or more in some states, while others jumped by far less. One thing’s for sure: Your rates will definitely increase after an at-fault accident, so be sure to compare car insurance rates if you have one on record.


StateDrivers with clean driving historyDrivers with a recent at-fault accident
Alabama$1,468$2,169
Alaska$1,282$1,981
Arizona$1,549$2,519
Arkansas$1,386$2,243
California$1,817$2,945
Colorado$2,065$2,889
Connecticut$2,039$2,969
Delaware$2,444$3,425
District of Columbia$1,698$2,636
Florida$2,411$3,597
Georgia$1,921$3,012
Hawaii$1,312$1,796
Idaho$990$1,387
Illinois$1,439$2,254
Indiana$1,142$1,661
Iowa$1,013$1,484
Kansas$1,538$2,336
Kentucky$2,007$3,627
Louisiana$3,678$5,158
Maine$897$1,315
Maryland$1,971$2,981
Massachusetts$1,270$2,322
Michigan$4,079$5,683
Minnesota$1,673$2,341
Mississippi$1,478$2,209
Missouri$1,521$2,183
Montana$1,277$1,954
Nebraska$1,127$1,630
Nevada$2,414$3,855
New Hampshire$1,125$1,782
New Jersey$2,173$3,533
New Mexico$1,570$2,487
New York$2,647$3,632
North Carolina$978$1,856
North Dakota$1,241$1,732
Ohio$1,123$1,678
Oklahoma$1,596$2,415
Oregon$1,758$2,580
Pennsylvania$1,298$2,093
Rhode Island$2,159$3,101
South Carolina$1,322$2,279
South Dakota$1,155$1,744
Tennessee$1,445$2,098
Texas$1,934$3,001
Utah$1,400$2,154
Vermont$1,082$1,707
Virginia$1,139$1,844
Washington$1,029$1,630
West Virginia$1,490$2,324
Wisconsin$1,044$1,544
Wyoming$1,128$1,645

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Compare car insurance companies

Use NerdWallet's reviews to compare car insurance companies and find the best one for you. NerdWallet has researched policy options, consumer complaint data, customer satisfaction ratings, financial stability and more for all of the country's top auto insurance companies as well as many smaller, regional insurers.



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