Best car insurance 2021
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Finder's car insurance team spends thousands of hours researching policies and analyzing hundreds of thousands of quotes from nearly every car insurance company to give you unbiased, expert reviews of each company's features, benefits and drawbacks complete with sample quotes and our expert ratings.
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How do I compare car insurance?
Make sure you’re comparing equivalent features to get the strongest insurance rates.
- Balance the best coverage with the cheapest rates. Consider all the factors like discounts you qualify for, how easy it is to make a claim or whether preferred perks cost extra.
- Compare apples to apples. Check for the same perks, coverage, deductible and pay schedule across companies.
- Get multiple quotes.Consider at least two or three of the cheapest quotes, including quotes from national companies, local or specialized insurers.
- Get online quotes for an idea of features and costs. These give an estimate of how much you’ll pay, plus included features, perks and discounts. Then, you can sign up online or get in touch with an agent.
- Watch for exclusions. Read the fine print on your car insurance quote avoid claim caveats or cancellation fees.
- Check ratings and reviews. Use sites like J.D. Power, BBB and Trustpilot to see a company’s customer service and claims ratings.
- Classic or custom car? Try specialized insurers. Not all insurers cover all specialty or luxury vehicles. You can find companies that specialize in vintage, custom or commercial car policies.
How much does car insurance cost?
The average cost of car insurance is $1,300 a year or $108 a month, but rates vary depending on your car’s make, model and year, driving record, location, age, credit score and other factors.
For example, expect higher insurance rates if you live in a high-claims area, like a big city or an area with a high rate of uninsured drivers or car theft.
Paying for your car insurance policy
You typically pay your premiums monthly, yearly or every six months. Insurance companies may accept electronic transfers, credit cards or checks.
You might score discounts for paying for your policy annually, setting up autopay or getting bills online.
Deductible vs. premium, explained
Your premium is what you pay every month to keep your policy and coverage. The deductible is what you pay in an accident before you can get a claim payout.
Car insurance quotes
If lowering your car insurance premium is your main priority, switching car insurance could be one of the best ways to save. Compare auto insurance quotes with sample rates from insurers for California drivers.
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No one wants to overpay for insurance. The best way to save on car insurance is by shopping around.
- Start with multiple customized quotes.
- Hunt for discounts, like taking a defensive driver course.
- Get coverage to fit your car’s age, make and model.
- Skip coverage you don’t need like towing for new cars.
- Raise your deductible if you have enough in savings.
- Try pay-per-mile insurance if you don’t drive much.
- Insure all cars under the same insurer.
- Drive a safe, low-risk car to get lower rates.
- Think twice about filing small claims to avoid rate increases.
- Shop around every year or after a big life change, like moving.
How to find the right auto insurance near you
Each state holds its own minimum car insurance requirements, and deciding on other coverages depends on how much you’re willing to pay out of pocket in the event of a claim.
- Start with your state’s minimum requirements for liability, underinsured driver and personal injury protection coverage.
- Decide whether to increase your liability maximums by totaling all of your financial assets and selecting a liability limit that equals that amount. If you’re responsible for an accident and don’t have enough liability coverage, you’ll have to pay the remaining dollar amount out of pocket.
- Decide if you want to add other coverages like roadside assistance, comprehensive coverage or collision coverage.
Car insurance costs by state
Car insurance rates can vary a lot based on your address in the US. The national average is $1,300 a year, but drivers in less populated states like Maine pay only $864, while Michigan drivers facing unique insurance laws see premiums around $2,394.
What car insurance coverage do I need?
In most states, each driver should have at least liability coverage, and sometimes personal injury protection or uninsured driver coverage. The types and limits of car insurance coverage you need are different for every state.
When shopping for car insurance, you might see limits written like 25/50/25, which means $25,000 bodily injury liability and $50,000 bodily injury per accident and $25,000 property damage limit.
Bodily injury liability
Covers costs from injuries you cause another person in an accident.
Property damage liability
Covers damage you cause to someone else’s property in an accident.
Personal injury protection or medical payments
Covers medical services after an accident, regardless of fault.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist
Covers your own injury or car damage costs if the at-fault driver in an accident doesn’t have car insurance, or doesn’t have enough coverage.
Ask an expert: Avoid these car insurance mistakes
Farmers Insurance, Licensed Insurance Agent
The biggest mistake I see people make is shopping for price.
When shopping for a car, a house or even a sweater, the average consumer understands they’re going to get what they pay for. If you want a Cadillac, you’re going to have to pay more than you would for a Ford.
If you want a brand-new 2,500-square-foot home, you expect to pay more than you would for a 20-year-old mobile home. When you shop for clothes, you pay more for new than you do at a thrift shop. Insurance is no different.
What factors affect my auto insurance quote?
Your insurance quote comparisons look different across several companies because insurers use info about you to determine your driving risk and set your quotes.
This info is based on factors like where you park and how many miles you drive, including 10 factors that affect your rates the most:
- Car model
- Driving history
- How much you drive
- Past claims
- Credit score
- Marital status
How do I read my quote?
A car insurance quote gives you an estimate for how much you’ll pay for car insurance with a particular insurer. Car insurance policies are usually rated for six or 12 month periods.
You also might see your coverage limits written as 50/100/25. These numbers represent the dollar amount of coverage you have for physical damage and bodily injury liability:
- 50 = $50,000 for bodily injury liability per person involved in the accident
- 100 = $100,000 for bodily injuries total per accident
- 25 = $25,000 for physical damage liability per accident
Once you decide on a company, your final rate is determined after the insurer looks at your motor vehicle record and once you decide on a payment plan.
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