Top 5+ Best Auto Insurance on October 2023

Selecting the best auto insurance is essential for safeguarding your vehicle and ensuring peace of mind on the road. Dive into our guide to uncover the top providers in the industry.

Key Takeaways

  • American Family: Top pick for car insurance.
  • Auto-Owners: Ideal for post-accident coverage.
  • Nationwide: Premier choice for collision and comprehensive coverage.
  • USAA: Optimal for military members.
  • Geico: Best for budget-conscious drivers.
  • Travelers: Perfect for new vehicle purchasers.
  • Westfield: Prime choice for family discounts.

Top-rated auto insurance companies of 2023

American Family

What you should know

American Family provides a versatile range of auto insurance options tailored to individual needs, complemented by an extensive set of discount opportunities. While their rates are on par with the industry average, what truly distinguishes them is their compelling product range and notable customer satisfaction, positioning them favorably among leading car insurance providers.

American Family

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Significantly fewer consumer complaints compared to similar auto insurers.
  • Among the most affordable rates for those with DUIs.
  • Broad selection of coverage choices, including gap insurance and decreasing deductibles.
  • The KnowYourDrive program rewards safe drivers with potential savings.

Cons:

  • Safe drivers might secure better rates with other providers.
  • Average pricing for young, senior drivers, and teens under a parent’s plan.
  • American Family car insurance is limited to just 19 states.

Discounts

  • Multi-policy/bundling: Save by combining different insurance types.
  • Multiple vehicles: Discounts for insuring more than one car.
  • Safe driving program: Enroll in a program and save by driving safely.
  • Good driver: Rewards for having a clean driving record.
  • Loyalty: Deductions for long-term customers.
  • Early bird: Save by renewing before your policy expires.
  • Switch from competitor: Get a discount for moving from another insurer.
  • Safety features: Discounts for cars equipped with safety enhancements.
  • Defensive driving course: Reduce rates by completing a driving course.
  • Low mileage: Save if you drive less than the average.
  • Good student: Discounts for students with good academic performance.

Auto-Owners

What you should know

Auto-Owners offers some of the lowest auto insurance rates, second only to USAA, especially for drivers with a past accident. They also present affordable rates for many other drivers. With a broad array of coverage choices, an easy claims process, and minimal customer complaints, they stand out as a top choice for many.

Auto-Owners

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Among the top affordable options for drivers with at-fault accidents.
  • Offers accident forgiveness, diminishing deductibles, gap insurance, and new car replacement.
  • 14% average savings with pay-in-full discount.
  • High claims processing rating from CRASH Network.

Cons:

  • Not the best rates for drivers with bad credit.
  • Higher rates for drivers with poor credit compared to some competitors.
  • Standard rates for adding a teen to a parent’s policy.
  • Doesn’t provide SR-22 filings.

Auto-Owners car insurance discounts:

  • Bundling Discount: Save by combining multiple policies.
  • Life Insurance Multi-Policy: Discounts for having a life insurance policy too.
  • On-Time Payment: Rewards for consistently timely payments.
  • Paid-in-Full: Discount for paying the entire premium upfront.
  • Eco-Friendly Billing: Savings for opting for paperless billing.
  • Advance Quote: Discounts for getting a quote in advance.
  • Multiple Vehicles: Reduced rates for insuring more than one vehicle.
  • Safety Features: Discounts for vehicles equipped with safety features.
  • Academic Excellence: Discounts for good students.
  • Away-from-Home Student: Savings when a student driver is away at school.
  • Teen Monitoring: Discounts for monitoring teen driving behaviors.

Nationwide

What you should know

Nationwide stands out for its collision and comprehensive car insurance, boasting attractive rates and a high customer satisfaction rating. Additionally, it’s one of the rare insurers providing both usage-based and pay-per-mile options, further enhancing its diverse insurance offerings.

Nationwide

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Notably low consumer complaints compared to competitors.
  • Attractive rates for comprehensive and collision insurance.
  • Good pricing for drivers with bad credit and teens under a parent’s policy.
  • Offers both usage-based and pay-per-mile insurance.

Cons:

  • Higher pricing for those with a DUI or responsible for accident injuries.
  • Doesn’t offer rideshare insurance.

Discounts

  • Bundle Policies for Savings.
  • SmartMiles: Save on Low Mileage.
  • Rewards for Safe Drivers.
  • Discount for Academic Achievers.
  • Bonus for No Accidents.
  • Discount for Vehicles with Anti-theft Devices.
  • Save with Defensive Driving Courses.
  • Eco-friendly Paperless Discount.
  • Automatic Payment Discounts.

Geico

What you should know

Geico offers competitive car insurance rates for diverse age groups and driving histories. If you’re seeking affordable rates and aren’t eligible for USAA, don’t miss out on a quote from Geico.

Geico

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Competitive rates for senior, young, and 16-year-old drivers on a parent’s policy.
  • Attractive rates for good drivers, and those with accidents or speeding tickets.
  • “Drive Easy” usage-based insurance offers potential savings for responsible drivers.

Cons:

  • Average car insurance rates for drivers with a DUI.
  • Gap insurance, rideshare coverage and new car replacement coverage not offered.
  • Bundling discount for auto and home coverage is only 8% on average.

Discounts

  • Bundle multiple policies.
  • Insure multiple vehicles.
  • Military discount.
  • Academic achievement (Good student).
  • Completion of driver’s education.
  • Defensive driving course completion.
  • Consistent seatbelt use.
  • Discount for new vehicles.
  • Emergency deployment discount.
  • Affiliation-related discounts.
  • Discounts for specific vehicle features.

Travelers

What you should know

Travelers stands out for its affordable gap insurance, especially appealing to those who lease or finance newer cars. With generally lower rates for a wide range of drivers and unique discounts for new or eco-friendly vehicle purchases, it offers valuable protection for modern motorists.

Travelers auto insurance

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Affordable gap insurance averaging $39 monthly.
  • Generally lower rates for a majority of drivers.
  • Offers accident and minor violation forgiveness.
  • Receives notably few state insurance department complaints.

Cons:

  • Expensive for drivers with a DUI, young motorists, and teens on a parent’s policy.
  • Rideshare coverage limited to certain states.
  • Doesn’t provide SR-22s.

Discounts

  • Multi-policy/bundling.
  • Multi-vehicle.
  • Home ownership.
  • Safe driver.
  • Continuous insurance.
  • Hybrid/electric car.
  • New car.
  • Early quote.
  • Autopay.
  • Pay-in-full.
  • Good payer.
  • Good student.
  • Student away at school.
  • Driver training.
  • Affinity/driver affiliation discounts.

What Factors Impact the cost of car insurance

To secure the best rates for auto insurance, it’s essential to know the factors insurers consider when setting your premium. Here are the key elements that influence your car insurance cost:

  • The specific car insurance you buy.
  • Chosen coverage limits.
  • The deductible you pick, if relevant.
  • Your age.
  • Your gender (though not a factor in states like California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania).
  • Where you live.
  • Your history of car insurance claims.
  • Your prior car insurance record.
  • Your credit-based insurance score (not applicable in states like California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Michigan).
  • The type and model of your vehicle.

How to save money on auto insurance

Looking for affordable car insurance? Here’s how you can secure a good deal:

How to save money on auto insurance
  • Leverage Insurance Discounts: Always inquire about available discounts, such as good driver or bundling policies.
  • Join Usage-based Programs: These track driving habits, rewarding safe or minimal driving with lower premiums.
  • Prioritize Safe Driving: A clean driving record can lead to significant savings.
  • Stay Claims-free: Many insurers offer reduced rates to drivers who haven’t made claims over a certain period.
  • Maintain a High Credit Score: A good credit score can positively impact your insurance rates in many areas.
  • Opt for a Bigger Deductible: Higher deductibles can lower your premium, but ensure you can afford it in case of a claim.
  • Shop and Compare: Regularly check and compare quotes from different insurers to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Types of auto insurance

In many states, drivers must have liability car insurance. However, based on your location and if you have a car loan, you might need additional coverage. Let’s explore the most prevalent types of car insurance.

Liability car insurance

Liability car insurance pays for the damages and injuries you cause to others in an accident. It’s split into two categories:

  • Bodily Injury (BI): This covers medical bills and other related costs for those injured in the accident you caused. It also takes care of your legal fees if you’re sued.
  • Property Damage (PD): This handles the repair or replacement costs of someone else’s property, like their car, due to an accident you’re responsible for. Every state, except New Hampshire and Virginia, mandates some form of liability insurance. But even in these states, certain situations may still necessitate having this coverage.

Uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist insurance

Uninsured Motorist (UM) insurance protects you if you’re hit by a driver without insurance or in a hit-and-run. It can cover both your injuries and, in certain states, your car’s damages. On the other hand, Underinsured Motorist (UIM) insurance steps in when the other driver’s insurance isn’t enough to cover the accident’s expenses. While some states require UM coverage, many experts advise adding it to your policy regardless of state rules for added peace of mind.

Collision car insurance

Collision coverage helps fix or replace your car if it hits something, like another car or a tree, or if someone hits your car and runs away. Even if your state doesn’t demand this coverage, if you have a car loan, your lender might. Usually, this coverage comes paired with comprehensive insurance.

Comprehensive car insurance 

Comprehensive insurance covers unexpected events, like theft, natural disasters, or hitting an animal. It helps with damages not from car crashes. Think of it as protection from random, uncontrollable incidents. Though states don’t make it mandatory, if you’ve got a car loan, your lender likely will. As your needs evolve, consider adjusting your insurance, such as dropping collision or comprehensive when appropriate.

Personal injury protection

Personal injury protection (PIP) pays for medical bills and related expenses for you, your family, and passengers after an accident, no matter who caused it. Besides medical costs, it can help with lost income or even childcare expenses if you’re unable to manage daily tasks. In states with “no-fault” insurance laws, PIP is typically mandatory, while some states don’t offer it at all

Medical payments coverage

Medical payments coverage, often termed MedPay, pays for medical expenses for you and your passengers after an accident, no matter the responsible party. It covers costs like doctor appointments, ambulance rides, surgeries, X-rays, and even funeral expenses. While some states mandate MedPay, it mainly focuses on medical bills, unlike PIP which might also cover lost earnings or other services.

Gap insurance

If you owe more on your car loan than the car’s current value and it gets totaled or stolen, gap insurance covers that difference. While no state requires it, if you finance or lease your car, your lender might insist on it.

How much car insurance do I need? 

You need depends on a few key factors:

How much car insurance do I need? 
  • Your state’s rules. Check your local DMV or our car insurance guide to know the minimum required insurance.
  • Your lease or loan terms. Often, if you finance or lease your car, you’ll need full coverage, which includes liability, collision, and comprehensive.
  • Enough to protect your assets. Without adequate insurance, you might pay from your pocket if there’s damage. Plus, in some places, not having enough can get you in legal trouble if you cause an accident.

How to find the best auto insurance companies

For the best car insurance fit, first determine the coverage types you need. Then, gather and compare multiple quotes.

Identify Your Coverage Needs

  • Ensure your policy meets state requirements.
  • If you have a financed vehicle, include collision and comprehensive coverage as lenders often require them.
  • Think about extra coverage, like gap insurance for a new financed car.
  • Strike a balance: avoid over-insuring which raises your premium, but ensure you have enough coverage for peace of mind.

Gather and Compare Multiple Quotes

  • Aim for at least three quotes, from both national and local providers. This helps you see a range of offerings.
  • You can gather quotes online, via agents, or directly from insurers.

Research and Review

  • Beyond price, look at company ratings and reviews online.
  • Ask friends and family about their experiences with insurers.

Ask About Discounts

  • Discover any potential discounts, like bundling home and auto insurance or discounts for good students.

By following these steps, you can confidently choose a policy that’s both cost-effective and tailored to your needs.

Auto insurance insights: Why are car insurance rates increasing?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a notable 19% rise in auto insurance rates between August 2022 and August 2023. This surge isn’t just a routine hike but points to broader trends and underlying causes.

The 2023 LexisNexis U.S. Auto Insurance Trends Report sheds light on a key driver behind this: a marked rise in claim severity. Specifically, since the pandemic’s onset in 2020, claims related to bodily injury have surged by 35% by mid-2022, compared to 2019. Similarly, property damage claims saw an almost equivalent increase, while collision claims shot up by a staggering 40%. Such spikes burden insurance companies with heftier payouts, nudging them to adjust premiums for everyone.

Apart from claim severity, other contributing factors to the climbing rates include:

  • Natural Disasters: An uptick in claims linked to natural events, like flooding.
  • Inflation: The general rise in prices affects the insurance industry too.
  • Repair Costs: Modern vehicles come with advanced technologies, making repairs more expensive.
  • Vehicle Prices: As the cost to purchase vehicles goes up, so does the cost to insure them.

Given this scenario, consumers should proactively seek the best deals. By regularly comparing quotes from top-rated insurers and discussing potential savings with agents, they can ensure optimal coverage without overpaying. Whether it’s leveraging discounts or fine-tuning policies, every bit helps in navigating these rising rates.

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