How To Shop for Car Insurance Quotes Online (2022) – MarketWatch

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Nearly every state in the U.S. requires drivers to carry insurance, but car insurance quotes can vary widely from provider to provider. You can shop for car insurance from multiple companies at once to compare rates and see which one offers the coverage you need.
Each company has a different formula to assess your risk level, so even if one provider quotes you a high price, you may find lower rates somewhere else. In this article, we at the Home Media reviews team will discuss how to shop for car insurance and find the most affordable coverage options from the best car insurance companies.
Auto insurance rates are based on your driver profile and vehicle. You can request free car insurance quotes from an insurer to see how much an auto insurance policy would cost before signing up for coverage.
Most online quotes are instant unless you shop for car insurance with a smaller provider. You just need to provide basic information about yourself, your vehicle and anyone else who drives it.
When you reach out for a quote, always give accurate information. An insurance agency can cancel your plan within 30 to 90 days (depending on the state) if you leave out something significant, like a teen driver living in your household.
Car insurance quotes are usually good for 30 days, so you can continue to comparison shop and circle back if you don’t find a better plan.
Our cost estimate data shows that the average 35-year-old driver with good credit and a good driving history pays about $1,730 per year for full coverage car insurance (liability, comprehensive and collision coverage). Because your location affects your car insurance premium, the cost of car insurance can vary widely by state. The table below shows the top five most expensive states for full coverage car insurance.
Most Expensive States for Car Insurance
Average Monthly Cost of Car Insurance
Average Annual Cost of Car Insurance
New York
And this table shows the five cheapest states for full car insurance coverage.
Cheapest States for Car Insurance
Average Monthly Cost of Car Insurance
Average Annual Cost of Car Insurance
Auto insurance premiums also vary widely by provider, which is why it’s important to get car insurance quotes from companies and compare rates. Below are 10 popular insurance providers with our average annual rate estimates. These estimates apply to full coverage insurance for 35-year-old drivers with good credit and good driving records.
Drivers tend to find lower minimum coverage car insurance rates compared to full coverage (liability, collision and comprehensive coverage). This is because minimum coverage only covers what your state requires, while full coverage provides additional protection for when you are in a car accident. The table below shows the 10 cheapest minimum coverage providers on average.
Car insurance rates also depend on factors in your driving profile, such as speeding tickets and accidents. Here are average full coverage rate estimates for drivers who have a recent speeding ticket, DUI or at-fault accident.
In every state except California, Hawaii and Massachusetts, auto insurance companies can use your credit report to set your rates. Here are the providers that tend to offer cheap car insurance for drivers with poor credit according to our rate estimates.
Being a young driver will increase your rates significantly. However, car insurance costs start to go down once you enter your mid-20s. Here are the cheapest average full coverage rates by age.
Because of all the factors involved, shopping for car insurance can seem like a daunting task. In the sections below, we provide an overview on the entire process of shopping for car insurance.
Let’s break down the process of shopping for car insurance quotes into a few steps.
No matter which way you decide to get insurance quotes, you’ll have to provide a few pieces of information. Have the following ready before you start shopping:
The next step is to decide on the level of coverage you want. Unless you live in New Hampshire, your state requires a basic level of bodily injury and property damage liability insurance coverage. This pays for damage you cause to other drivers. Your state may also require some level of medical coverage or underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. 
Getting a policy that meets your state’s minimum liability limits is the cheapest option, but it may not provide high enough limits to cover serious accidents. It also doesn’t cover your car when you cause an accident or encounter environmental damage. 
To get full coverage, you’ll want to add comprehensive and collision coverage. Like liability coverage, you can choose different limits for these types of insurance. Higher limits give you more protection but also cost more. Lenders usually require you to maintain full coverage on a vehicle with an auto loan.
Once you have your information ready and know what you’re looking for, you can start shopping for insurance quotes. You can use a quote comparison tool, get quotes online from different companies, call companies on the phone, visit a branch in person or work through an insurance broker.
Here are some details on each of these options:
When you’re happy with the coverage and pricing you’ve found, you can purchase that policy online, over the phone or in person. You can get same-day insurance after you make the first payment, or you can schedule it to start on a future date. Be sure to overlap your new car insurance policy with your current coverage by one day to avoid any lapse in coverage.
You can get car insurance quotes at any time. We recommend shopping for car insurance quotes each time your auto policy is up for renewal or if you experience a significant life event like moving to a new location or getting married. A better price might be available with your current provider or a new provider.
Shop for car insurance to compare new rates if any of the following occur:
In our 2022 car insurance survey, 28% of respondents reported shopping for car insurance less frequently than once a year, while over 26% stated they shopped every six months.
You won’t be able to control every factor that affects your car insurance quotes, but there are things you can do to get cheaper rates. You can keep car insurance rates low by improving your driving habits and credit score, looking for discounts and trying usage-based insurance.
Even if you use all of these tips, you can still end up paying too much for coverage if you only get auto insurance quotes from one provider. Without comparing options, there’s no way to know if a company is giving you the cheapest rate
You can use a free price comparison tool like the one below to get quotes from major insurers like Geico, Progressive and State Farm. Be prepared to enter basic information about your vehicle and situation.
Car insurance rates are based on the likelihood that a company will have to pay out claims on your behalf. The more risk you represent to the company, the more you’ll have to pay for insurance, and vice versa.Icons showing the factors that influence the cost of car insurance Here are the main factors that determine auto insurance quotes: 
The quote you receive may break down pricing for different types of auto insurance coverage so you can decide if you want a minimum coverage or full coverage policy. The standard types of car insurance coverage include:
Liability coverage
Bodily injury liability (BI) covers other drivers and their passengers in accidents that you cause. Property damage liability (PD) covers other vehicles in accidents where you are at fault.
Collision insurance
This coverage type takes care of your vehicle no matter who is at fault.
Comprehensive insurance
Your vehicle is protected from environmental factors, such as floods, fires and fallen tree branches, as well as things like theft and vandalism.
Personal injury protection (PIP)
This covers medical expenses, lost wages and death benefits for you and your passengers, no matter who is at fault in an accident.
Medical payments (MedPay)
Medical expenses are paid for you and your passengers with this insurance coverage.
Underinsured/uninsured motorist insurance
This insurance coverage protects you when you are in an accident with a driver who has no or too little insurance.
Additionally, you may be able to select extra insurance options like roadside assistance or mechanical breakdown insurance depending on the provider.
One great way to get the best rates is to compare multiple quotes. You can use a free price comparison tool like the one below to get quotes from major insurers like Geico, Progressive and State Farm. Be prepared to enter basic information about your vehicle and situation.

In this review, we went over all the steps that go into finding a car insurance quote. Below, find some of our favorite companies for car insurance quotes.
A great way to find the right coverage at the best price for your situation is to shop for car insurance quotes from different companies. Once you know what you’re looking for, you can see which company offers the types of coverage and extras you need. Our top picks for car insurance include Geico and USAA.  In terms of large national insurers, Geico and USAA are some of the cheapest car insurance companies in the nation.
Top 10 Car Insurance Providers
Overall Rating
Cost Rating
#2 Geico
#3 State Farm
#4 Progressive
#5 Liberty Mutual
#6 Farmers
#7 Nationwide
#8 Allstate
#9 The Hartford
#10 AAA

USAA stands out with some of the lowest car insurance rates in the industry. However, coverage is only available to military members, veterans and their families.
The company has been around for almost 100 years and has high ratings from experts, including an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best and an A+ from the BBB. One perk of USAA is that it provides benefits for military families, such as deployment discounts and a discount for garaging your vehicle on a military base.
USAA also offers these discounts and more:
You can learn more about the provider in our USAA insurance review.
We named Geico our second overall pick for best car insurance for its excellent industry standing, low rates and high level of customer satisfaction. Geico has an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).  It also performed well in the 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance StudySM where it ranked third in New York and the Central and Northwest U.S. regions.
In addition to standard coverage, Geico provides:
You can read more about the company in our detailed Geico insurance review.
According to our rate estimates, USAA offers the cheapest car insurance rates for safe drivers, costing an average of $1,054 per year for full coverage. This is roughly 39% cheaper than the national average.
You should consider purchasing a full coverage car insurance policy to protect you and your vehicle. This insurance coverage includes liability, comprehensive and collision coverage.
Shopping for car insurance does not hurt your credit. Insurance companies may look up your credit score during the quote process, but they use soft credit pulls that do not affect your report. You can look up insurance quotes without your credit being affected.
To choose the best car insurance policy, decide what type of coverage you need and compare quotes. By comparing at least three quotes, you’ll have a better understanding of what’s available. You should also maintain good driving habits, keep track of your credit and look for discount opportunities.
We recommend choosing full coverage car insurance instead of going with the minimum state requirements. Full coverage policies pay for damage you cause to your vehicle, while liability-only plans do not.
It is usually more expensive to have business car insurance because the minimum limits are greater than standard car insurance limits. If you use your car for business, you should have a business car insurance policy. With standard policies, companies often exclude coverage during commercial use.
You can purchase auto insurance coverage without a driver’s license. However, many insurers ask for driver’s license information as part of the quote process, and you may be turned down for coverage.
Because consumers rely on us to provide objective and accurate information, we created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings of the best car insurance companies. We collected data on dozens of auto insurance providers to grade the companies on a wide range of ranking factors. The end result was an overall rating for each provider, with the insurers that scored the most points topping the list.
Here are the factors our ratings take into account:
*Data accurate at time of publication.
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