American motorists have received a helping hand in their search for cheap car insurance after a new study identified the companies offering the lowest auto insurance rates for various types of driver. With some 105 million motorists in the US believing they don’t get value for money from their insurance policy, WalletHub’s findings leave few excuses for paying over the odds for motoring protection in 2021.
In a study which compared over 1 million quotes across 40 different driver profiles, GEICO (opens in new tab) has been crowned the cheapest car insurance company overall, tallying nicely with our guide to the best auto insurance (opens in new tab), in which we also rate the insurer as the best for cheap premiums.
|Overall||Full Coverage||After a Ticket||One At-Fault Accident||After a DUI|
|GEICO||USAA Insurance||Erie Insurance||Auto-Owners Insurance||State Farm|
|USAA Insurance||GEICO||GEICO||State Farm||Erie Insurance|
|Erie Insurance||State Farm||USAA Insurance||Erie Insurance||Progressive Insurance|
|Auto-Owners Insurance||Erie Insurance||State Farm||USAA Insurance||Travelers Insurance|
|State Farm||Esurance||Travelers Insurance||GEICO||USAA Insurance|
With the cost of owning a new car rising above $9,500 (opens in new tab) last year, keeping motoring costs in check is an ongoing battle. Buying an older car will usually save money in the first instance, but with an increased risk of breakdown, many also pay out for the security that roadside assistance services (opens in new tab) and extended car warranties (opens in new tab) can provide.
For any driver, the cost of insurance will represent a substantial outlay too, although premiums can vary widely depending on the insured, their needs, and their past driving record. To take this into account, the research (opens in new tab) also considered metrics covering 10 different sub-categories, such as age, gender, driving record, and different types of cover.
Once all the data had been collated, USAA Insurance was found to provide the most affordable premiums for a full coverage policy, while those with a speeding ticket to their name are pointed towards Erie Insurance (opens in new tab) to keep costs low. The cheapest premiums for drivers who have been at fault for an accident in the past are typically found at Auto-Owners Insurance (opens in new tab).
In the final shakedown, however, it is Geico that will suit most, with the company leading the way for both younger and older drivers, and those who have poor credit.
|With Poor Credit||Young Drivers||Older Drivers|
|USAA Insurance||USAA Insurance||USAA Insurance|
|Nationwide||Erie Insurance||State Farm|
|Travelers Insurance||Travelers Insurance||Erie Insurance|
|Safeco Insurance||State Farm||Travelers Insurance|
Almost 1 in 3 Americans were unaware that less-than-good credit can affect premiums, and in some states - California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Michigan - credit history information may not be used in setting car insurance rates. Where it is permitted, however, making the effort to improve your credit rating (opens in new tab) could result in lower premiums.
“Excellent credit history has a well-documented relationship with fewer claims filed by an insured and vice versa,” explains (opens in new tab) J. Tim Query, Professor & Mountain States Insurance Group Endowed Chair. “Insurers believe that individuals who are careful with credit usage will also exercise care in other areas, such as driving behavior.”
How to save money on car insurance
Elsewhere within the survey it was revealed that 61 million Americans have reduced their insurance coverage as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. With vehicle usage slumping during the initial lockdown last spring, and with more people working and staying at home in the months’ since, drivers have received car insurance refunds (opens in new tab) worth billions of dollars in the past year.
When it comes to renewing policies, tailoring cover to any new circumstances is therefore key, particularly if you’ve gone from constantly motoring up and down the highways to barely using your vehicle at all. With the research finding that full coverage typically costs 178% more than minimum coverage, huge savings can be made by scaling back cover if it’s no longer needed. Making sure you get quotes from a number of insurers, and switching to a new company if necessary, is essential too.
“The best way to save money on car insurance is to compare quotes from the cheapest car insurance companies and choose whichever provider offers the lowest rates. The difference between the cheapest and most expensive car insurance companies can be thousands of dollars per year,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst.
“In addition to regularly comparing quotes and switching insurers when a good deal is available, drivers should make sure to take full advantage of car insurance discounts and, most importantly, drive safely. Accidents and moving violations can quickly result in increased insurance costs.”