The best affordable car insurance companies for 2021

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Here are the best cheap car insurance companies for 2021:

CategoryWinner
Best affordableGEICO
Best affordable runner-upErie Insurance*
Best for militaryUSAA**
Best for bad creditGEICO
Best for DUIState Farm
Best for teen driversErie Insurance
Best for senior driversNationwide
Best for accidents on recordErie Insurance
Best for full coverageErie Insurance

* Erie Insurance is only available in the Mid-Atlantic, North Central, and Southeast regions of the US.

**Only available to active duty military, veterans, and their families.

Choosing the best car insurance can be overwhelming: There are so many options, and there are a lot of different average prices out there. So, what’s the best car insurance for everyone? 

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There’s no short answer, because everyone’s costs for coverage with every company is different. Insurance costs can be influenced by your age, gender, credit score, driving history, and much more.

Because there are so many companies and so many variables, know that without getting a direct quote, a pick on this list might not necessarily give you the best price. This list should be used as a starting point to explore a wide variety of your options.

To get the best price on car insurance coverage, you’ll need to shop around for comparison quotes to find the best price for you.

Best-rated car insurance based on customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction with car insurance providers may factor into your decision. According to a J.D. Power survey, these are the top companies in each US region, based on customer rankings:

RegionBest car insurance company 
California Wawanesa
Central states (AR, IA, MN, MO, NE, ND, OK, SD)Auto-Owners Insurance
FloridaAllstate
Mid-Atlantic (DE, DC, MD, NJ, PA, VA, WV)State Farm
New England (CT, Maine, MA, NH, RI, VT)Amica Mutual
New York

State Farm

North Central (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI)

GEICO

Northwest (ID, MT, OR, WA, WY)

GEICO

Southeast (AL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN)

Farm Bureau Insurance – TN

Southwest  (AZ, CO, NV, NM, UT)

American Family and GEICO (tie)

Texas

Texas Farm Bureau

Best car insurance for affordable coverage overall: GEICO 

GEICO

GEICO tends to offer some of the most affordable coverage in the US available nationally. If you’re looking for the lowest price, GEICO might be the company to turn to.

 

  • Average cost of coverage for a typical adult driver: $1,298 per year
  • It’s ranked highly for customer satisfaction from J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Auto Claims Satisfaction survey.
  • Friendly to drivers with poor credit scores and often offers low premiums. 

Runner up: Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance

Erie, our runner-up for best cheap car insurance overall, is only available in 12 states (in the mid-Atlantic, north central, and southeast regions of the US). However, it has a reputation for low prices and good service.

 

  • Average cost of coverage for a typical adult driver: $1,521 per year
  • In the regions where it offers coverage, Erie was ranked in the top three in customer satisfaction in J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 Auto Claims Satisfaction survey, tying with GEICO. 

Best car insurance for military families: USAA

USAA

USAA is only available to active duty military, veterans, and their families. It’s the most affordable option for car insurance in many states. 

 

  • Average cost of coverage for a typical adult driver: $1,152 per year
  • USAA is known for handling customer claims well, and it offers some of the most competitive premiums in the car insurance space. 

Best auto insurance for drivers with bad credit: GEICO

GEICO

If you have a poor credit score (a FICO score of 300-579), you might want to look into GEICO car insurance. 

 

  • Average premium for the typical driver with bad credit: $2,448.
  • Drivers with bad credit scores are likely to pay the most for car insurance coverage. Three states — California, Massachusetts, and Hawaii — have banned the use of credit scores in insurance pricing.  

Best car insurance rates for drivers with a DUI: State Farm

State Farm

With a DUI on your record, your car insurance costs could jump as much as 80%. State Farm’s coverage, however, is predicted to increase only 38% after a DUI.

 

  • Average cost of coverage with a DUI on your record: $1,633 per year

Best car insurance company for teen drivers: Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance

Available in 12 states in the mid-Atlantic, north central, and southeast regions of the US, Erie Insurance offers some of the best average rates for a teen driver. 

 

  • Average car insurance rate for a teen driver: $2,532 per year
  • For drivers in the west and on the west coast, Mercury Insurance offers coverage under $3,000 per year for a teen driver.  

Best car insurance for senior drivers: Nationwide

Nationwide

Car insurance coverage for seniors is most affordable through Nationwide. However, Eligible seniors could pay even less for their coverage from USAA if they are veterans.

 

  • Average cost of coverage for a single adult over age 60: $986 per year

Best car insurance for a driver with an accident on their record: Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance is offered in 12 states in the mid-Atlantic, north central, and southeast regions of the US.

  • Average price for coverage with one at-fault accident on your record: $1,924 per year

 

Best car insurance company for full coverage: Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance

Expect to pay a bit more for full coverage auto insurance, which includes extras such as rental car reimbursement. Erie is the cheapest option, but it’s only offered in 12 states in the mid-Atlantic, north central, and southeast regions of the US.

  • Average price for full coverage car insurance: $1,521 per year 

 

 

Frequently asked questions

How did we come up with the best car insurance companies for 2021?

We narrowed our focus to the largest insurers, or those who wrote the most direct premiums in 2017 according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) based on market share percentage. Insider compiled data on large insurance companies, including data on rates as reported by ValuePenguin, NerdWallet, The Zebra, and Insurance.com.

The data was then organized to fit five common coverage scenarios, including coverage for a young driver, a driver with poor credit, a driver with an accident on their driving record, a driver with a DUI, and someone seeking out extra coverage. We then compared the data to find the best auto insurance company for each situation. 

To choose the best overall coverage, Insider collected overall average premium data, and compared the companies to find which was available nationwide, and which was the best priced. Data was also collected on customer satisfaction from J.D. Power and Associates. 

How can I find the best car insurance rates for me? 

Everyone’s car insurance rates will vary, as there are many factors that can go into pricing a premium. Every car insurance company will evaluate you on different factors and weigh those factors differently. The best way to find which car insurance company will help you save is to get quotes from several different insurance companies and compare them. 

To find the best one for you out of the quotes you’ve obtained, compare the coverage types, limits, and deductible, or the amount you’ll pay out of pocket if you’re involved in an accident. The policy with the lowest price for coverage, the most coverage types and limits, and the lowest deductible is the best one for you. 

Who offers the cheapest auto insurance? 

According to Insider’s research, GEICO is offering the best cheap car insurance in 2021, with Erie Insurance as a close second in places where it’s available (see above for details). However, the car insurance company that’s cheapest for one person may not be for another. Before deciding on insurance policies, you’ll want to get four or five quotes from different insurance companies, just to make sure that you’re getting the best price for you. 

What is the best-rated car insurance company? 

Let’s face it: Car insurance isn’t cheap. You want a car insurance company that gives both great coverage and good service. According to J.D. Power and Associates data on customer satisfaction, USAA and NJM Insurance Company take the top spots, though their coverage isn’t available to everyone. Amica Mutual ranked first for service, Country Financial ranked second, and GEICO and Erie tied for third place. This ranking was based on responses from about 11,000 auto insurance customers who settled a claim between early 2018 and mid 2019. 

Is Progressive or GEICO better? 

There’s a lot of buzz around these two options, but in Insider’s calculations, GEICO comes out on top. Ranked highly for both value and customer service, GEICO tends to stand out. It won out in several of the scenarios above. While you’re shopping, it might be worth getting quotes from both and seeing which one stands out. 

What’s the best car insurance option for students? 

According to Insider’s research, Erie Insurance generally looked to be the best insurance for young adults and new drivers (in states where it’s available). 

One of the best ways to save on car insurance for a teen or young adult driver is to join a family policy. On a family car insurance policy, your premiums will be about 20% lower than having a separate plan, according to reporting by The Balance. If joining a family plan is an option, it might be the best for a teen driver. 

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