Inspired by reader experiences, I set aside an hour today to obtain auto insurance quotes from the major providers in my area. Insurance companies provide different quotes for “new customers” and “renewals”. Guess which one is usually lower? Also, many insurers choose to focus on specific types of customers such young, high-risk, or low-risk. Finally, I’ve also moved around a lot so I’ve noticed that my quotes change significantly based on where I live. The bottom line is that insurance prices vary for a lot of different reasons, and the only way to know which one is cheapest for you is to compare quotes directly.
It will help to gather the following information first:
- Personal information. Full name, birthdate, occupation, education level, accident history. None required Social Security Number, but others might.
- Car information. Many pull this from DMV records automatically. Year, model, date of purchase, own/lease/finance, and security system details.
- Driving patterns. Is the car primarily used for work/commute/pleasure? How many miles driver per year?
- Insurance details. Have your current bill handy to know your specific coverages, limits, and deductibles.
The totals shown are 6-month premiums for two cars and include liability, personal injury, collision, and comprehensive coverage. Exact same limits and deductibles for all insurers.
- State Farm (existing) – $665 per 6-month period. This includes various discounts like accident-free, multiple-cars, etc.
- GEICO – $479. The cheapest quote by far, beating State Farm by $186 per 6 months, or $372 a year. This follows anecdotal evidence that GEICO is pricing their insurance very aggressively for new customers.
- Allstate – $693. Slightly more expensive than State Farm. I noticed that they have a lot of optional “bells and whistles” features like accident forgiveness. They also offer a discount for electronic bills and auto-pay from bank account. The price shown includes these discounts.
- Progressive – $849. Way higher than State Farm. Their claim to also provide quotes from other car insurance companies was also very disappointing. They couldn’t provide any other quotes at all. After changing my existing insurer, they said State Farm’s rate would be between $696 – $5,922. Not helpful.
- Liberty Mutual – $568. Cheaper than State Farm by $194 a year. Not bad but higher than GEICO for me.
- USAA – ???. I tried as I’ve heard good things about USAA, but I do not have the proper military affiliation to be eligible for their car insurance.
$372 a year is pretty significant. I’m definitely intrigued by this cheap GEICO quote, but I have to do some more research as I also have homeowner’s and umbrella insurance from State Farm and I’m not sure how the total package price would differ.