Price is the most important factor when looking for cheap car insurance. The cost to insure a car varies by location, vehicle, company, and other factors. To find your best rate, you need to compare quotes from multiple insurance providers. But there are some companies that, by and large, offer more affordable rates than others. Chief among these is Progressive, who consistently offered some of the lowest prices in all of our tests, in some cases beating the competition by hundreds of dollars.
Discounts earn you additional money off your premium, so they're worth investigating as well. Available discounts vary by company and by state, so explore what's available to you. Common discounts include multi-policy, multi-vehicle, safe driver and prepay discounts. Some companies also give savings for electric vehicles or anti-theft devices. Progressive offers the most discounts, but Farmers Insurance and Nationwide aren't too far behind.
When searching for cheap car insurance, don't sacrifice good coverage for a low price. Investigate what coverage options are available to you and choose the policy that best meets your needs. Liability insurance protects you if you injure another person or damage property in an accident. Uninsured motorist coverage ensures your vehicle still gets repaired, even if the other driver doesn't have insurance.
Progressive offers both of these, in addition to rental car coverage and a rare pet injury coverage option. Both of these protections are also available through Nationwide. Farmers is missing pet injury coverage and stacked uninsured motorist coverage, but if you're interested in basic protection, this won't be a significant issue.
Vehicle coverage protects your car in the event of an accident. Collision and comprehensive coverage are the two main components. Collision is used for accidents and comprehensive covers things like fire or theft.
More advanced options include new car replacement and GAP insurance, which pays the difference between the value of a totaled car and the balance remaining on your loan. Farmers offers both of these, as well as protection for items inside your car, like stereo systems. Nationwide offers GAP insurance along with mechanical breakdown coverage to cover mechanical repair costs if your car breaks down.
If an accident does occur, a quick turnaround on your claim is important. Choose a company with a 24/7 claims center and a variety of ways to file a claim. Most companies don't place any restrictions on where you can take your car to get it fixed, but they will provide recommendations if you'd like them. All three of the insurance providers on this list offer solid claim management, so you can expect good service from whichever one you choose.
All the companies listed above are great options for cheap car insurance, but the best one for you is going to depend on your unique situation. Our top pick is Progressive, but Farmers or Nationwide might be a better fit if you're interested in certain type of coverage, like GAP insurance. Regardless, it's a good idea to get quotes from several companies before you make a purchase to ensure you're getting the best deal.