Auto insurance refers to the policy purchased by vehicle owners as protection against financial loss in the event of an accident or theft. Instead of handling all expenses in the event of an auto accident, insurance holders pay a regular, fixed premium amount to an insurance company. In return, the company covers costs during accidents, theft or damage, as agreed upon in the policy.
Insurance usually provides coverage of costs in three key areas, namely, property, legal liability, and medical fees. In the event of theft of an accident, the insurance will cover the costs to repair or replace the vehicle. It also covers legal costs that may occur from damage caused to persons or property. Finally, it also covers medical costs that can arise from treating injuries, offering rehabilitation and providing compensation for lost wages or funeral expenses.
The mandatory auto insurance requirements can vary from state to state. However, almost all states require owners to possess insurance that offers coverage for:
- Bodily Harm: This covers costs that may occur from injuries or death that is caused by driving the car
- Property Damage: This covers costs that occur from damages caused by the car on another vehicle or property. This includes cars, buildings, street lamps, etc.
Hoverer, most auto insurances also provide coverage for other costs that may occur from driving the vehicle. This includes:
- Medical Payments Or Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This covers costs that arise from injury to persons due to the vehicle. It covers costs such as medical expenses, lost wages, and other associated expenses.
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage: This covers costs for cases when a driver who does not possess auto insurance causes the accident. This also includes cases where the other driver doesn’t have adequate insurance to cover all the costs.
- Collision: This covers costs that arise from a collision with another car, property or object. Most traffic accidents qualify as collisions, making this one of the most commonly claimed insurance.
- Comprehensive: This covers costs from cases of theft, natural or man-made disasters, vandalism and other forms of damage not including collision
There are some forms of insurance that also take into account additional factors that can lead to costs on your car that are not caused only by accidents or mishaps. These include:
- Gap Insurance: This is most helpful for individuals who are still paying off their loan for the car. In the event of an accident, what you owe may be higher than the actual value of the car due to the loan rates. With gap insurance, the insurance company will handle the additional costs as well.
- Mechanical Breakdown: Most companies have warranty periods on their cars. However, after the warranty expires you will have to pay for all maintenance costs out of pocket. With mechanical breakdown insurance, the company will also cover costs for routine maintenance and breakdowns.
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Factors That Affect the Cost Of Car Insurance
The cost of premiums can vary drastically from person to person. While there are some fixed factors that go into determining the rate of car insurance, it is largely affected by the personal details of the policy owner. Insurance companies usually have a base premium rate for broad categories of drivers. Additionally, based on the risk factors posed by the driver, the rates are adjusted. Common factors that go into determining the rate of insurance premiums are:
The most obvious factor that affects insurance premiums is your credit history. Credit history impacts all financial settlements. It can determine how the insurance company allows you to pay for the premiums as those with low credit scores are considered to have a higher risk of missing payments. The better the credit score, the lower the premium rates.
Statistically, those who live in congested areas or metropolitan cities have a higher chance of getting into accidents. Due to the higher frequency of insurance claims for these areas, car owners living in urban and highly populated areas are likely to get higher premium rates. Areas with a high probability of natural disasters also have higher premium rates.
Inexperienced drivers are more likely to have higher insurance rates. Statistics show that young and amateur drivers are more likely to get into accidents, thereby increasing the risk they pose to insurance companies. Drivers with a few years of experience have a better chance of getting lower insurance rates.
Additionally, divers with a clean history get better rates when compared to those with a history of receiving tickets, getting into accidents and making auto insurance claims. Drivers who have never made insurance claims are less likely to make one in the future.
Certain models of cars have a higher theft rate and accident rate. These vehicles will have higher premium rates. If data from your region says that drivers with that specific model of the vehicle have been in more accidents or filed more claims, then the rates will be higher. Vehicles such as sports cars have parts that are very expensive to replace, such vehicles will also have high premium rates.
Your job can affect the rate of insurance premiums. People who work as delivery agents, drivers or journalists are likely to be on the road for longer durations, increasing the risk of accidents. This will make it harder for them to get cheap car insurance.
Factors To Consider While Choosing An Auto Insurance Company
While the details of the auto insurance policy are important, it is also important to consider the company before finalizing on an insurance policy. Be sure to check online reports and customer reviews while choosing the right company. The main factors to consider are:
- Financial Solvency: This determines the ability of the company to pay your claims requests. Check online reports and choose a company with a strong financial rating.
- Claims Processing: Some insurance companies engage in a long and contrived process before processing payment for claims. It is important to find a company that companies are quick and efficient while paying the settlement amount.
- Minimum Coverage: Each state has its own set of minimal legal requirements when it comes to auto insurance. Be sure to pick a company that covers the base requirements while also offering supplementary coverage options.
- Discounts: Discounts are the best way to ensure a low premium rate. Be sure to explore all discount and deductible options before finalizing on a company.
Top 10 Best Auto Insurance Companies Reviews
1. State Farm
Founded in the year 1922, State Farm is one of the largest auto insurance providers in the USA. State Farm has nearly 18,000 agents located across all 50 states in the country. They are said to offer the best support for insurance claims. They provide options to either buy insurance plans online or meet with a local representative at a time of your convenience to discuss your options. Statistics show that State Farm processes one on the highest number of auto insurance claims on a yearly basis.
State Farm has one of the best ratings when it comes to handling customer claims. They have a mobile app that offers a quick and easy way to access policy information or submit a claim. Another factor that is important for insurance companies is their ability to cover the cost of claims. For this, it is important to check the financial stability of the company. State Farm has consistently ranked high in financial stability and has a firm position in the marketplace.
State Farm is known for offering an extensive list of supplemental coverage options. One of its best features is the rental car insurance that covers costs for damage as well as additional costs that may arise from being stranded after an accident. It also offers rideshare insurance for those who operate as drivers for companies such as Uber or Lyft. State Farm has one of the most comprehensive coverage options and property damage claim benefits.
State Farm may not be the best option for those looking for cheap car insurance options. When compared to other insurance companies, they offer fewer discounts and can sometimes have higher premium rates in some states. Although they have vast coverage options, it may be harder to find insurance policies that can be highly customized to your needs.
Set up in the year 1937, Progressive Group of Insurance Companies has decades of experience in providing affordable insurance solutions in various fields. They were one of the first companies to introduce the concept of offering lower rates to low-risk drivers. They offer a Snapshot Program that allows you to personalize your rate based on your driving history.
Progressive auto insurance is best suited for high-risk drivers. It offers comprehensive coverage options that can be customized to fit your needs. They also offer a variety of discount options that can be availed. For example, those who purchase insurance online get additional discounts. They offer the most competitive rates in the market and are known for offering cheap full coverage auto insurance.
They also offer many programs that benefit policyholders. The Accident Forgiveness program prevents your premium rates from increasing after your first at-fault accident. Their Snapshot program allows drivers to reduce their premium rates by sharing their driving habits with Progressive. Progressive offers additional discounts for multi-line policyholders, homeowners, safe drivers, and good students
Progressive offers an all-inclusive selection of supplementary coverage options apart from the usual coverage options and has one of the best Gap Insurance policies. They also offer additional insurance policies such as rental reimbursement and roadside assistance coverage. Progressive is also one of the few companies that offer coverage for pet injury. Their insurance policies can be customized as per the requirements of the policyholder.
Progressive has one of the lowest claims reimbursement rates in relation to the size of the company. They also do not have local stores that customers can visit to settle claims or file complaints. Many customers have also stated that Progressive has relatively poor customer support services and takes a longer time to resolve customer complaints.
Esurance is a subsidiary of Allstate Insurance Company, one of the oldest insurance providers in America. They combine traditional services and values with modern technology and features. Esurance specializes in providing all its services through an online platform, allowing you to access its services at any time of the day, every day.
Esurance’s greatest advantage is that it offers insurance policies that are easy to buy and simple to use. You can get quotes for insurance policies online that are both quick and accurate. They have a user-friendly website and mobile app that operate on the latest technology. They offer customer support 24/7 through online and telephonic devices. They also provide coverage in 43 states across the country.
They have a variety of discounts available and offer special programs like DriveSense. The DriveSense program tracks driving behavior and awards good drivers with additional discounts. The online tools also help you create highly customized coverage plans that meet your specific requirements. Additionally, the app also lets you file claims immediately over video calls with an appraiser. This can sometimes lead to same-day reimbursements of claims.
Esurance offers highly customizable coverage options that can be of huge benefit to families. They take less than 10 days, on average to settle insurance claims. In addition to the usual coverage options such as Collision, Comprehensive, Liability, PIP and more, they also offer features such as emergency roadside assistance and special coverage for customized car parts and equipment. They also have beneficial plans for cars that are on loan or lease with good gap insurance policies.
Esurance only processes payments through online formats. They do not accept payments through the mail or other physical formats. This could pose difficulties for those who are not technologically savvy or do not have regular access to online payment methods. Esurance also does not offer coverage for mechanical repairs or car replacements. While they do offer Gap Insurance, it still does not cover car replacement.
USAA was founded in the year 1922 by a group of army officials who decided to ensure each other’s vehicles. It offers its insurance service exclusively to active military members, veterans and their families. Despite serving only military personnel and their families, it is currently the fifth largest auto insurance company in the country.
USAA has ranked among the highest in the country in terms of offering quick and effective customer service. They offer some of the lowest premium rates in the country and offer flexibility in favor of the customer while setting up the terms and methods of payment. They also offer easy payment options through their app. It is well known for its great service and affordability. The company also has a high financial strength rating, making it a trustworthy option.
USAA offers comprehensive coverage plans that cover all the usual types of auto insurance coverage. In addition to this, they also offer Accident Forgiveness programs that restrict your insurance rates from increasing after the first at-fault accident. They provide one of the best Gap Insurance policies with car replacement options in case the car is totaled.
USAA offers specials discounts for multiple vehicle plans and family plans as well as cars that are on rent or loan. Additional discounts are available for active military members with cars kept in storage. Other services include roadside assistance, glass coverage, rideshare insurance, and more.
USAA insurance policies are only available for active or former military members and their families. Another disadvantage is that the availability of discounts may vary from state to state.
NJM is an insurance company that started providing auto insurance services in the year 1921. They offer car insurance in NJ and Pennsylvania. They have been certified by J.D. Power as providing “An Outstanding Auto Claims Experience” and are known for their excellent customer service. NJM also provides banking services and other insurance options in the state of New Jersey.
They process claims round the clock and offer the most highly rated customer service. They rank highly on financial solvency, customer satisfaction, and value. On average, the premiums offered by NJM are 17% lower than the premiums offered by other companies in the state of New Jersey. They have numerous local agents who offer support in both buying policies and filing claims.
NJM provides some of the most competitive rates in the market. They offer 24/7 customer support and offer an easy claims’ submission process that can be done either through the app or on a call with a representative.
NJM offers insurance coverage that is determined by the New Jersey state laws and driving conditions. They offer a variety of all-inclusive insurance packages that cover property damage, bodily injury, collisions and more. Additionally, they also offer extended medical expense coverage limit for those who drive non-standard vehicles such as a motorcycle, taxi or truck. They also offer roadside assistance.
In order to avail services from NJM, you must be working in a company that is a member of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA). Those who have previously bought policies from NJM or are related to those who have can also join. Insurance policies from NJM do not cover costs of mechanical repairs or damage to personal property. It is also only available to residents of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
6. Liberty Mutual
Set up n the year 1912, Liberty Mutual is one of the biggest casualty and property insurance provider in the USA. They offer easy and straightforward online resources to help you understand their offering of policies. It is the sixth largest auto insurance provider in the USA.
Liberty Mutual has an easy-to-use app and web interface with features like coverage compass that help you better understand your coverage. They offer good customer service with 24/7 availability and online filing options. They also have local insurance agents who help you decide on the right policy for your needs. They offer competitive insurance premium rates and have multiple service centers and repair shops across the country.
They also offer a series of discount options. For example, those who buy the latest model of a car qualify for lower premium rates. Cars that have extensive safety features like airbags, anti-lock brake system and more qualify for a discounted price. Hybrid cars and vehicles using alternative fuel get discounts too. Finally, they also offer discounts for families with children.
Liberty Mutual offers insurance policies that cover all the usual standard auto policy requirements with a variety of coverage options. Additionally, they also have offers such as the Mechanical Breakdown Coverage and Modified Vehicle Insurance that extends coverage for customized or modified car parts are repairs.
Additional coverage programs include the Teachers’ Auto Insurance that provides additional coverage options for teachers that include coverage for vandalism and damage to personal property. They offer a Gap Insurance policy, which includes the replacement of car with the latest model of the same car. They also have an Accident Forgiveness program to ensure that rates don’t go up after your first accident.
Liberty Mutual does not offer Mechanical Breakdown Coverage during the warranty period of the vehicle unless you specifically purchase an insurance policy for it. Previous customers have also complained about slow processing time for insurance claims. As compared to other companies, the claims process may require a little more effort from the customer.
7. Allstate Insurance
Set up in the year 1931, Allstate is one of the biggest auto insurance companies in the country with insurance policies all across the country. They have over 3500 repair shops and an impressive network of local agents and are known for their timely claims payments.
The Allstate website offers features like the car payment calculator that helps you compare insurance policies and choose between coverage options. This helps you find the right budget for your needs while still staying within budget. They have multiple local agents and service centers. Making it easy to receive support during the purchase of insurance or processing of claims. The company is also known to have strong financial solvency.
They conduct a teenSMART program that promotes safe driving among teens. The program tracks driving habits and provides feedback and safety tips to ensure a better driving experience. They offer additional discounts to safe drivers and vehicles with safety and protection features.
Allstate provides offers auto insurance plans that cover all the basic legal requirements for every state. Additionally, they also offer extended coverage options that go beyond the minimum requirements of each state. They also offer rideshare insurance for individuals who work as drivers for riled-hailing services. Other policy benefits include accident forgiveness and new car replacement in cases of an accident.
They have a range of programs to make insurance premiums cheaper for their customers. This includes the Deductibles Reward, which offers additional deductibles for every year you drive the car without any violations. They also offer a Safe Driving Bonus, which offers a reward for every six months that you use the car without an accident.
When compared to other companies, they have higher premium rates. The average premium rate offered by Allstate is higher than that in other companies. Customers have also reported that the sales representatives of the company are not always helpful when it comes helping you decide on the right policy to purchase.
GEICO is the nation’s second largest auto insurance company in the country. It is known for offering cheap car insurance plans with good coverage. It was founded in the year 1936 and offers auto insurance plans across all states in the USA.
GEICO has multiple repair shops and local agents to help customers handle claims or purchase insurance plans. They offer customer service round the clock and are known for their helpful support staff. They provide options to file claims through the digital portal, making the process easier and faster.
GEICO does not charge an additional fee for those who choose to cancel their policy early. They are also known for offering one of the most competitive rates when it comes to premium prices and offers the best savings options for their customers. The company is also known to have good financial solvency and offer quick claims payment.
GEICO offers all the usual auto insurance plans that offer coverage for medical costs, property damage, collisions and more. But GEICO offers additional plans that also offer coverage non-owners and professional drivers. The Non-Owner Liability Coverage offers coverage for individuals who are driving a car that they do not own. It can also be used by businesses to provide insurance on company cars. Similarly, the Ride Sharing Coverage offers coverage for individuals who use their cars for professional work like driving or delivery.
A low credit score can sometimes make it difficult to get cheap car insurance. They also do not provide discounts for hybrid or electric vehicles. It is also difficult for individuals with an at-fault accident history to get a good premium rate.
9. The Hartford
One of the oldest insurance companies in the country, The Hartford was first founded in the year 1810 as a fire insurance company. They began offering cheap full coverage auto insurance in the year 1913 and have since grown to be one of the country’s biggest insurance companies. They have won the title of “World’s Most Ethical Companies” from Ethisphere seven times since 2010 and are known to be a trustworthy company.
The Hartford offers insurance policies that are tailored for adults over the age of 50. Under the AARP program, otherwise known as the American Association for Retired Persons, retired persons get a variety of benefits and schemes.
The Hartford is known to have one of the best customer service experiences among all the insurance companies. They offer lifetime renewability. Existing customers are never denied renewal of policy as long as they pay their premiums.
They have one of the best customer support facilities and are knows to process claims very quickly. They can be accessed through a variety of different modes that include telephone, email, website and more. They also offer real-time chat support.
The Hartford offers a range of standard insurance policies that cover bodily injury and property liability coverage. But they also offer coverage options for as non-owned or rental cars. They also offer roadside assistance and towing options. They also offer one of the best Recover Care policies. This refers to the amount paid to costs such as transport, food, and cleaning that may increase after an accident.
The Hartford provides a variety of deductible options. For each year that you have an incident-free driving record, they reduce the collision deductible until it becomes zero. They also offer a waiver if the accident was not the fault of the policyholder.
They do not offer a lot of online materials to compare and analyze different auto insurance policies. This can make it difficult for first-time insurance buyers to decide on a good insurance plan. Most benefits are tailored only for AARP members.
Founded in the year 1928, Farmers was founded with the aim of providing insurance for the vehicles of rural farmers. Over the years they have expanded to offering insurance for vehicles, property and more. They are known for having insurance plans with extensive coverage and providing good online management systems.
Farmers have one of the best online management systems among auto insurance providers. They provide online dashboards with options to request adjustments to coverage options, make changes to deductibles, add or remove vehicles from a policy and much more. However, they also have a large network of insurance agents who you can meet to settle claims issues or purchase insurance. They have extensive policy plans for most budgetary brackets.
Farmers are the best choice for those looking for extensive coverage in their auto insurance policies. Apart from offering the usual coverage options like bodily harm and property damage, they also offer coverage for glass repairs, speeding ticket forgiveness and more, which is not available in other companies.
They also offer additional features like Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), which pays for replacement of original parts and Customized Equipment Coverage, which covers costs from dame or theft of customized car parts. They also offer a variety of deductibles. For example, they waive the surcharge for policyholders who have paid premiums for five or more years without filing a claim. They also reduce deductibles on an annual basis.
The financial solvency of Farmers, though adequate, is not as good as that of other major auto insurance companies. Their online platform also lacks learning materials or detailed descriptions of various policies and insurance schemes. This can make it difficult for first-time insurance buyers to make an informed decision. Some have also complained that the claims filing process can sometimes take longer than usual.
Best Auto Insurance Companies By State
Each state has its own set of minimal requirements for auto insurance policies. This along with the statistical history of the state can determine the kinds of premium rates and coverage that will be available in each state. Statistics that can affect rates include the number of accidents, the probability of natural disasters and the population of the region. It is important to do proper research to find cheap full coverage auto insurance in your state.
Best Auto Insurance In Michigan
Michigan has the highest average auto insurance premium rates in the country. This is largely due to the unlimited medical benefits coverage that is provided by Michigan’s mandatory PIP policy. The following companies provide some of the best Auto Insurance plans in Michigan:
- Auto-Owners Insurance
- State Farm
Best Car Insurance In Louisiana
Louisiana is said to have the second highest average auto insurance premium rates in the country. While purchasing insurance, it is important to compare rates between different insurance companies and find one that offers the most coverage for the best price. Some of the best car insurance in Louisiana is provided by:
- State Farm
Best Car Insurance In NJ
New Jersey ranks eleventh in terms of population among the American states. This means that the state has a higher record of accidents and policy claims. It is therefore important to do thorough research and find an insurance policy that offers good coverage while also offering low premium rates. The best Car Insurance in NJ is provided by:
- State Farm
Best Auto Insurance In PA
Pennsylvania offers average auto insurance premium rates that are lower than the national average. This is due to the fact that Pennsylvania has fewer minimum liability requirements. However, a good insurance plan offers coverage for more than the minimum requirements. The best Auto Insurance in PA is provided by:
- State Farm
Finding The Right Auto Insurance For You
Once you have finalized on the right insurance company for your requirements, it is important to do some additional research on the various policies available. Be sure to do your own research before reaching out to an insurance agent. Consider your options for reducing premium costs while still ensuring the best coverage for your vehicle. Some important factors for ensuring low premium rates are:
Be sure to check premium rates for different cars before the purchase of a car. Insurance costs vary based on the safety record and liability of each vehicle. Customers can also check online and compare basic premium rates between different companies. While most companies offer customizable premium rates, online comparison tools will help you get a general idea about the rates that you can expect from each type of policy.
Set A Deductible
The higher the deductible, the more you will have to pay out of your pocket in case of an accident or mishap. However, higher deductibles help reduce the cost of insurance premiums. Be sure to choose the right deductible option based on your driving history. Those with good driving history can safely opt for a higher deductible. This can save a lot of money in the long run.
Minimal coverage requirements offer minimal protection. In order to get the best value for money, it is important to ensure that your insurance policy offers coverage that goes beyond the bare minimum. Calculate lifestyle factors and risks before deciding on the right coverage. For example, those who work as drivers would benefit from rideshare insurance. Similarly, based on the age and skill level of the driver, you may want to get additional coverage.
Opt For Driver Programs
These days many companies offer the option to track the driving history of the car. Using the collected data, they offer lower rates to low-risk drivers. Similarly, if you change jobs or start commuting less, you can record the changes and opt for lower premium rates as the risk of an accident reduces.
If a car comes pre-installed with safety features, it is likely to get you lower premium rates. However, most customers and insurance agents skip out on checking the discounts that the car is qualified for. Be sure to check all available discount offers before finalizing on a premium rate. Most companies offer a variety of discount based on the car, age of the policyholder and mode of purchase.
Track Variable Factors
Many Insurance companies offer reduced rates for married couples, individuals who have completed driver training courses and those with a high credit score. Find additional personal factors that can affect the rate of the premium and adjust them to get the best possible rates on insurance premiums.
Purchasing the right auto insurance can help keep you and your family safe and financially secure. It offers protection for assets, property, health and more. It is therefore important that you do the necessary research before finalizing on the right insurance policy to suit your needs.