Auto insurance quotes

Auto insurance quotes

 The first step when shopping for car insurance is to compare quotes from several top insurers. There are a few ways you can get car insurance quotes, which we’ll explain in this article. The fastest way to compare auto insurance quotes is to use an online comparison tool that shows you multiple options at once.

Our review team researched and ranked several of the best car insurance companies, and these insurers are a good place to start when reaching out for quotes. Our experts will cover how to compare car insurance quotes and help you understand the factors that impact your car insurance premiums. We’ll also list average rates by state to give you a better idea of how much an auto insurance policy might cost you.

What Is A Car Insurance Quote?

Car insurance quotes are estimates of what you can expect to pay for a policy. You can get quotes from an auto insurer to see how much a policy would cost before signing up for coverage. Most online quotes are instant unless you shop for coverage through a smaller provider. To request a quote, you’ll typically need to provide the following information:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Marital status
  • Driving history
  • Credit history
  • Vehicle details such as year, make, and model
  • Address
  • You’ll also need to decide what auto insurance coverage you wish to purchase, as your quote will likely break down different coverage options. The standard types of auto insurance include:

    Additionally, most car insurance companies will also offer add-on coverage options such as roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement coverage, and mechanical breakdown insurance.

    How To Get Car Insurance Quotes

    When starting your search for auto insurance, you have a few options for getting quotes. The fastest option to get quotes is to use an online quote comparison tool or get direct online quotes from providers. You can also go through an insurance agent or deal with a company directly through a phone call or in-person, though this takes more time. Here are some more details on the different ways to shop for car insurance: 

  • Quote comparison tool: Using a quote comparison tool allows you to enter your information and compare car insurance quotes from leading providers all at once. Our 2022 car insurance survey which polled 1,000 respondents found 30 percent of those surveyed used a quote comparison tool, making it the most popular way to shop and compare coverage.
  • Direct online quote: Most car insurance providers offer free, instant quotes directly on their websites. However, you will have to visit each company one by one. Our survey found just over 24 percent of the 1,000 respondents reached out to providers directly for quotes.
  • Quotes by phone: If you’re looking for a more personalized shopping experience, calling car insurance providers can help you test the company’s customer service. Insurance agents can also help you pick out your policy and answer any questions you have. Nearly 20 percent of the 1,000 people polled in our survey called car insurance companies directly for a quote.
  • In-person quotes: You can get in-person quotes by visiting your local insurance office or working with a broker. This is a more time-consuming process and there are certain constraints, as most insurance offices only operate during normal business hours. Around 16 percent of respondents in our survey mentioned they preferred talking with an insurance agency or using a broker when shopping for car insurance.
  • When Should You Shop for Car Insurance Quotes?

    While you can shop for insurance quotes at any time, we recommend getting quotes when your auto policy is up for renewal or if you experience a life-changing event. You may be able to find a better price with your current provider or a new company.

    Consider shopping for car insurance quotes if any of the following occur:

  • You get married
  • You turn a year older
  • You move in with family members
  • You move to a new zip code
  • You raise your credit score
  • You start a new job and will be driving less
  • Our car insurance survey found that 28 percent of the 1,000 respondents surveyed shopped for car insurance less frequently than once a year. Nearly 26 percent stated they shopped for car insurance quotes every six months.

    Factors That Impact Your Car Insurance Quotes

    While not all auto insurance companies rate every factor equally, most consider the same variables when setting car insurance rates. When you’re comparing car insurance quotes, keep in mind that the following will be used to determine your premiums.

  • Age: Teen drivers typically receive higher rates.
  • Gender: Except where prohibited (California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania), female drivers typically pay less than male drivers.
  • Marital status: Married drivers tend to pay lower car insurance rates.
  • Driving history: A recent (within the last three years) at-fault accident, traffic violation, or DUI will increase your rates.
  • Credit score: Except where prohibited (California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Washington), drivers with high credit scores typically receive lower rates.
  • City and state: Drivers in rural areas with lower theft and accident rates will generally pay less for insurance.
  • Car (age, mileage, model): Newer vehicles with fewer miles and more safety and anti-theft features typically receive lower rates.
  • Coverage choices: The more coverage you purchase and the lower your deductible, the more expensive your policy will be.
  • Discount eligibility: Most car insurance providers offer auto insurance discounts for things such as safe driving, safety features, and bundling your auto and homeowners insurance.
  • Average Car Insurance Rates By State

    Every state sets its own standards and regulations for car insurance. As a result, costs can vary greatly from state to state. When comparing car insurance quotes, consider the average costs in your state to get an idea of what you should pay.

    The table below shows average rate estimates in each state for a 35-year-old driver with a clean driving record and good credit.

    Your auto insurance rates may be significantly higher or lower than the averages listed above. For example, you can expect to pay a lot more for car insurance if you have a recent DUI. Your car insurance quotes are likely to be lower if you are an older driver with good credit and a clean driving record.

    Recommendations For Car Insurance

    When you’re ready to start comparing free car insurance quotes, we recommend getting quotes from multiple top-rated companies to find the best price and coverage for your needs. Two companies we recommend drivers consider are USAA and Geico. Both insurance providers offer comprehensive and reliable coverage and low average rates.

    USAA: Best For Military Members

    USAA is a great choice for low-cost auto insurance, but it isn’t available for every driver. You can only sign up for insurance with USAA if you are a member of the U.S. armed services or you have a parent or spouse who has an account with USAA. For those who are eligible for a car insurance policy with USAA, it’s often the provider with the cheapest car insurance rates.

    Through USAA, drivers can purchase the following types of auto insurance coverage:

  • Liability coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Medical payments
  • Personal injury protection
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
  • Rideshare coverage
  • USAA has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best.

    Learn more about this auto insurance provider in our complete USAA insurance review.

    Geico: Best Overall Provider

    Geico is another great choice for cheap car insurance. Unlike USAA, this insurer is available to everyone, though military and government employees are eligible for special Geico car insurance discounts.

    Geico offers the following auto insurance policies:

  • Liability coverage
  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Medical payments
  • Personal injury protection
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
  • Mechanical breakdown insurance
  • Geico maintains an A+ rating from the BBB and an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best.

    For more information about the company’s car insurance coverage, read our full Geico insurance review.

    Frequently Asked Questions How We Rate Insurers

    Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car insurance providers. While there are multiple qualities that make an auto insurance company successful, our review team focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

  • Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between insurers because so many factors impact annual premiums. The cheapest insurer for one driver may not be the cheapest for another. To determine our cost score, we look at insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, discount opportunities, and consumer reports.
  • Coverage: To determine our coverage score, we look at the number of coverage options available as well as coverage limits and deductible options. Our ratings also take into account additional services and benefits like roadside assistance.
  • Reliability: It’s important that an auto insurer is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong financial strength rating from AM Best score best in this category. Established insurers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
  • Service: We comb through customer reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Insurers with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider the claims process, giving higher ratings to car insurance providers that offer easy-to-use claims apps.
  • *Data accurate at time of publication.