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The Best Cheap Car Insurance Companies of 2021

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    In the United States, the average cost of full coverage car insurance is $1,555 per year. That breaks down to about $130 each month. Although car insurance rates can be expensive, there are plenty of companies that offer affordable car insurance rates. We did some research to help you find the cheapest car insurance companies.

    To evaluate these providers, we looked at average rates, but also paid attention to their coverage options and discounts and finished it off with a check on financial strength scores and customer satisfaction ratings. The five companies on our list checked the box in each of these categories. Based on our review, the best cheap auto insurance companies are Erie, American Family, Geico, Auto-owners, and USAA. 

    The 5 Best Cheap Car Insurance Companies

    • Erie: Best for add-on coverage
    • American Family: Best for young drivers
    • Geico: Best for affordable policies
    • Auto-owners: Best for claims satisfaction
    • USAA: Best for military members

    Compare the Cheapest Insurance Companies

    Average Price for State Average Price for Full Coverage Reviews.com Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options. AM Best Financial Strength AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim. J.D. Power Overall Customer J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.
    Pin Erie Insurance$372$1,1414/5A+848/1,000
    Pin American Family$542$1,2184.6/5A822/1,000
    Pin Geico$416$1,2604.6/5A++843/1,000
    Pin Auto-Owners$398$1,3084.6/5A++847/1,000
    Pin USAA$539$1,4844.4/5A++891/1,000

    Information accurate as of 11/23/2020 *Data provided by Coverage.com

    ERIE Insurance

    Best for Add-On Coverage

    Why we chose it

    Erie offers a number of add-on coverages that allow you to fully customize your car insurance policy based on your needs.
    • 4/5 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $372* Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A+ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 848** J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Erie offers a number of add-on coverages that allow you to fully customize your car insurance policy based on your needs.

    Pros

    • Above-average customer service
    • Great add-on coverage for customizable policies
    • Discounts to help you save

    Cons

    • Limited availability
    • Disappointing digital experience
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Offered

    • Pet coverage
    • Personal item coverage
    • Glass repair coverage
    • Roadside assistance
    • Rental car reimbursement
    • Locksmith coverage
    • Erie Rate Lock program
    • First accident forgiveness
    • Diminishing deductible program
    • New car protection
    • Better car protection
    • Rideshare coverage
    • Non-owners insurance

    Discounts Available

    • Safe driving
    • Car safety features
    • Multi-vehicle
    • Multi-policy
    • Reduced mileage
    • Young drivers
    • Annual payment plan

    *Data provided by Coverage.com, price based on the state minimum required policy. **J.D. Power 2020 Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study, based on a 1,000-point scale. We calculated an average of combined regional scores.

    Further Reading on Erie:

    American Family

    Best for Young Drivers

    Why we chose it

    With a variety of discounts aimed at young drivers, American Family is the cheapest provider for teens and college students.
    • 4.6/5 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $542* Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 822** J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    With a variety of discounts aimed at young drivers, American Family is the cheapest provider for teens and college students.

    Pros

    • Great discounts
    • Variety of coverage options
    • Online tools and resources

    Cons

    • Not available in every state
    • Below-average customer service
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Offered

    • Personal injury protection
    • Gap insurance
    • Rental car reimbursement
    • Roadside assistance
    • Accidental death and dismemberment
    • Accident forgiveness
    • Rideshare insurance
    • OEM coverage
    • Travel coverage package
    • ForeverCar repair coverage

    Discounts Available

    • Multi-policy
    • Multi-vehicle
    • Loyalty
    • Early bird
    • Switching providers
    • Vehicle safety 
    • Defensive driving course
    • Good driving
    • Low mileage
    • KnowYourDrive program
    • Good student
    • Teen Safe Driver program
    • Student away at school
    • Young volunteer
    • Generational
    • AutoPay
    • Pay in full
    • Paperless statements

    *Data provided by Coverage.com, price based on the state minimum required policy. **J.D. Power 2020 Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study, based on a 1,000-point scale. We calculated an average of combined regional scores.

    Further Reading on American Family:

    Geico

    Best for Affordable Policies

    Why we chose it

    Geico is known for offering cheap car insurance policies, even for high-risk drivers and drivers with poor credit.
    • 4.6/5 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $416* Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 843** J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Geico is known for offering cheap car insurance policies, even for high-risk drivers and drivers with poor credit.

    Pros

    • Outstanding customer satisfaction
    • Good discounts
    • Strong financial ratings

    Cons

    • No gap insurance
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Offered

    • Personal injury protection
    • Roadside assistance
    • Rental car reimbursement
    • Mechanical breakdown coverage

    Discounts available

    • Vehicle safety features (airbags, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft system and daytime lights)
    • New vehicle
    • Good driver
    • Seat belt use
    • Defensive driving course
    • Driver education course
    • Good student
    • Emergency deployment
    • Federal employee
    • Employee membership
    • Military
    • Multi-vehicle
    • Multi-policy

    *Data provided by Coverage.com, price based on the state minimum required policy. **J.D. Power 2020 Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study, based on a 1,000-point scale. We calculated an average of combined regional scores.

    Further Reading on Geico:

    Auto-Owners Insurance

    Best for Claims Satisfaction

    Why we chose it

    Auto-owners’ claims handling is among the best in the car insurance industry.
    • 4.6/5 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $398* Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 847** J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Auto-owners’ claims handling is among the best in the car insurance industry.

    Pros

    • Customizable coverage
    • Highly-rated claims handling and customer satisfaction
    • Variety of discounts

    Cons

    • Must work through an agent
    • No online quote tool
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Offered

    • Roadside assistance
    • Gap insurance
    • Personal injury protection
    • Rental car reimbursement
    • Diminished value
    • Additional expense
    • Collision coverage advantage
    • Common loss deductible
    • Personal automobile plus package

    Discounts Available

    • Multi-policy
    • Life multi-policy
    • Paid-in-full
    • Payment history
    • Advance quote
    • Paperless billing
    • Multi-vehicle
    • Safety features (anti-lock brakes, anti-theft system and airbags)
    • Favorable loss
    • Good student
    • Student away at school
    • Teen driving monitoring

    *Data provided by Coverage.com, price based on the state minimum required policy. **J.D. Power 2020 Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study, based on a 1,000-point scale. We calculated an average of combined regional scores.

    Further Reading on Auto-owners:

    USAA

    Best for Military Members

    Why we chose it

    USAA offers affordable and top-rated car insurance to members of the military, their spouses and children.
    • 4.4/5 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • $539* Average Premium Pricing data comes from our partners at Coverage.com.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 891** J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    USAA offers affordable and top-rated car insurance to members of the military, their spouses and children.

    Pros

    • Personalized customer service
    • Affordable policies
    • Many discounts

    Cons

    • Only available to active and retired military members
    • Very few branch locations
    Read More

    Types of Coverage Offered

    • Personal injury protection
    • Extended benefits coverage
    • Roadside assistance
    • Rental car reimbursement
    • Accident forgiveness

    Discounts Available

    • Safe driver
    • Defensive driving course
    • Driver training course
    • Good student
    • New vehicle
    • Multi-vehicle
    • Annual mileage
    • Vehicle storage
    • Family discount
    • Length of membership
    • Military installation
    • Policy bundling

    *Data provided by Coverage.com, price based on the state minimum required policy. **J.D. Power 2020 Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study, based on a 1,000-point scale. We calculated an average of combined regional scores.

    Further Reading on USAA:

    The 3 Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

    Car insurance rates are highly personalized. There are many factors that can affect your rate, like your state, age, credit score, claims history, the type of car you drive, and more. The rates presented in this guide are based on a sample profile and will be different for every person. In the table below are the three cheapest car insurance companies in the U.S. and their average yearly premium.

    CompanyAverage Annual Premium
    AAA$473
    Allstate$705
    American Family$542

    How to Choose the Best Cheap Auto Insurance?

    When you’re shopping for car insurance, there are a few things you should keep in mind besides price. Discounts, coverage, and customer service are all important, among other things. Here are some of the other factors you should look for in a potential car insurance company:

    • Look at discounts: Almost every insurance company offers discounts that can lower your premium. Choose an insurance provider that has multiple savings opportunities that you can take advantage of.
    • Consider financial strength: A company’s financial strength is indicative of its ability to pay you after a covered loss. Look for insurance companies with good financial strength ratings from AM Best, S&P, and Moody’s.
    • Read customer reviews: Get a sense of what real customers think of the company. Check out the Better Business Bureau to see customer reviews and search the NAIC Complaint Index to see the company’s complaints.
    • Pay attention to endorsements: Basic car insurance policies don’t cover everything, but endorsements can make up big gaps in coverage. Look into the add-on policies that companies offer to make sure you can get the coverage you need.
    • Get multiple quotes: One of the best ways to find cheap car insurance is to get a few car insurance quotes. Comparing rates side-by-side allows you to easily determine which company can offer you the best price.

    How to Lower your Car Insurance Rates

    Getting cheap car insurance doesn’t just mean landing an affordable rate. There are other ways you can lower your car insurance premium, especially if you think you’re paying too much. First, make sure you’re taking advantage of discounts, like bundling your home and auto insurance with the same company. Paying the annual cost of your policy in full is another easy way to save some money if you can afford the lump sum.

    Some insurance companies will lower your rate for enrolling in automatic payments, signing up for paperless statements, and paying your premium online. Raising your out-of-pocket deductible, improving your credit score, and adjusting your coverage levels can also help you get a cheaper insurance rate. 

    Methodology

    Reviews.com scores products, services and companies using five quantifiable criteria to help readers choose the best one for them. For the best cheap car insurance, our editorial team compared affordability, customer support, coverage options, customer satisfaction scores and online resources from each company and averaged the scores to produce our very own Reviews.com score. These scores were created with our readers in mind and are meant to be a helpful tool to simplify the process of choosing which car insurance company is best for you. 

    As for average pricing, we used Coverage.com’s data of car insurance, based on the profiles of 30-year male and female. For full coverage, the details used were the following:

    • $100k bodily injury liability per person
    • $300k bodily injury liability coverage per crash
    • $100k property damage liability coverage per crash
    • $500 collision coverage deductible
    • $500 comprehensive coverage deductible

    Minimum coverages were applied to match state requirements. Both drivers used a new, financed 2018 Toyota Camry, commuting five days a week and driving 12,000 miles per year. Since auto insurance rates vary widely among different profiles, we encourage you to compare options that fit your specific needs.

    About the Authors

    Elizabeth Rivelli

    Elizabeth Rivelli Contributing Writer

    Elizabeth Rivelli is an insurance writer for Reviews.com. Over the last year, she has covered insurance providers, best policies, industry trends and more. Elizabeth has been featured in The Simple Dollar, Bankrate and Coverage.com, among others. She holds a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. The Best Term Life Insurance Companies is Elizabeth’s favorite review on Reviews.com.

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