Find The Best Car Insurance

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Finding the best car insurance can be an overwhelming experience with the growing number of insurance companies aggressively competing for your business. You’re probably most familiar with Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm as they’ve been clamoring for your attention with ad campaigns that include a talking gecko and a cheerful, brunette cashier.

But there are other car insurance companies that are not as well-known that may have better rates and discounts for you.  Common discounts include multi-car, multi-policy or defensive driving discounts. As insurance companies are finding ways to differentiate themselves, they are offering more creative options for customers to find savings. We highlight some distinct discount offerings of upcoming and lesser-known insurance carriers to help you find the best car insurance rates.

Remember that discounts vary by state so double-check to make sure that discounts are available where you live. Also keep in mind that some of these discounts may only be available under a pricier plan.

Esurance

Esurance has come a long way since it launched in 1999 when it provided coverage for four states. The San Francisco-based company that touts itself as an innovative online discount auto insurance provider was acquired by Allstate in 2011 and now provides coverage in 39 states. Esurance’s online tools and apps help customers do everything from file claims to monitor the progress of car repairs. With the backing of a Fortune 500 company, Esurance continues to branch out and grow with several different insurance products today.

Along with common discounts including multi-car, multi-policy and vehicle safety discounts, Esurance provides other incentives to sign up with them.

  • Online Quote discount: By simply getting an online quote from Esurance, you can get 5% off your total premium for the first term. It might not sound like a lot, but combine it with other discounts and you can find big savings.
  • Paid-in-full discount: If you pay your premium in one lump sum, you can get up to 10% off.
  • Switch & Save discount: If you switch to Esurance from another insurance company, you can get 5% off of your premium for up to two terms.
  • Pac 12 School discount: Students and alumni of Pac 12 schools, the NCAA Division I conference in the West, can get discounts up to 15% off their total premium or receive reduced rates.
  • VIN Etching Discount: As part of an anti-theft feature, policyholders can get 5% – 25% off for having the VIN etched into the car windshield and windows. VIN etching may deter thieves from stealing cars as they would be harder to sell.
  • Emergency Road Assistance Discount: Esurance customers can get up to 5% off by being a member of an emergency road assistance program such as AAA. However the discount is only available for drivers in California, Florida, Massachusetts and Washington.
  • Usage-based discount: Despite privacy concerns, the “pay-as-you-go” or usage-based auto insurance is increasing in popularity. Drivers who participate in Esurance’s DriveSense program have a telematics device installed in a non-hybrid car that measures how much they drive as well as how safely they drive. Rates will not increase based on the data that is collected and drivers will get 5% off their insurance and up to 30% off thereafter.
  • Get a free quote from Esurance

AARP/The Hartford

From the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 to Hurricane Katrina, The Hartford has paid insurance claims for over 200 years and continues to hold strong ratings from A.M. Best, Fitch and Moody’s for its life and insurance policies. The Hartford was also ranked as the best car insurance shopping experience according to a 2012 U.S. Insurance Shopping Survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates.

The Hartford has partnered with the AARP since 1984 to underwrite auto and home insurance for AARP’s 385 million members. The AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford is especially worthwhile for older drivers to look into as they can find some unique discounts tailored for them.

  • 12 Month Rate Protection: Insurance rates are locked in for 12 months, unlike other policies that are able to raise rates after six months.  This may be favorable for older drivers who live on a fixed income and haven’t budgeted for unexpected increases in expenses.
  • Disappearing Deductible: What’s even better for older drivers is the ability to cut out of pocket expenses if they get into an accident. As long as eligible drivers continue to hold a good driving record, their collision deductible will be reduced by $50 every year until it reaches $0.
  • RecoverCare: Elderly drivers who are involved in a car accident may need help getting everyday chores done. The RecoverCar feature helps pay for the cost of home services such as cooking and cleaning for policyholders who are unable to do it themselves due to an injury or accident.
  • New Car Replacement: The Hartford will replace a brand new car for the same make and model if it’s been completely totaled within 15 months or 15,000 miles of purchase, whichever comes first and with no deduction for depreciation.
  • Get a free quote from AARP/The Hartford

21st Century

21st Century offered auto insurance since 1958 and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Farmers Insurance in 2009. The acquisition of 21st Century made Farmers Insurance the largest auto insurance company in California and allowed Farmers Insurance to compete with online discount auto insurance providers such as Geico and Esurance.

21st Century offers common discounts such as having a car with anti-theft features or completing a defensive driving class. Discounts are also offered to homeowners, good students and multi-car policy holders. Lesser known discounts can also be found through some states as well.

  • Mature Driver Discount: The qualifying age for mature driver discount varies by state but it can range from 55 to 75 years old.  Mature drivers can get a discount for three years if they successfully complete a defensive driving course recognized by their home state and have no citations or at fault losses.
  • Early shopping Discount: The early shopping discount is available for drivers who switch to 21st Century seven days or more before their current policies expire.
  • Non-smoker and non-drinker discount: Non-smoker and non-drinkers who live in Idaho are eligible for a 5% discount.
  • Green Car Discount: A driver with a car that uses alternative fuel may also get a discount. These environmentally friendly cars include those that use electric, gas hybrid, ethanol, methanol, propane or compressed natural gas as fuel.
  • Get a free quote from 21st Century

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual was founded in 1921 in Massachusetts and is now the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. It provides auto, home and life insurance policies as well as business insurance products including disability, property and workers compensation. It was ranked second in car insurance shopping experience and its customer service was rated as outstanding by surveys conducted in 2012 by J.D. Power and Associates.

Liberty Mutual offers discounts for having certain vehicle safety features, a multi-car policy, being a good student, having a low mileage and many other common discounts. Liberty Mutual also offers other discounts that may not be as commonly found at other insurance carriers.

  • Better Car Replacement: Liberty Mutual claims that no other car insurance carrier has this coverage which would allow you to replace your car with one that is one year newer and has less than 15,000 miles. However the car must be a total loss and you still have to pay the deductible.
  • Lifetime Repair Guarantee: If you get into an accident, Liberty Mutual will replace your car’s parts no matter how old they are and if you get it repaired at an approved body shop.
  • Unlimited Rental: Unlike other insurance companies that pay limited rental coverage, Liberty Mutual offers unlimited rental coverage as long as your car is being repaired at an approved repair shop.
  • Exclusive Group Savings: Liberty Mutual has partnered with schools in every state to offer discounts for students and alumni. Discounts can also be found with various trade associations and companies including Toyota, Deloitte, Fidelity, Citigroup, Xerox and Goldman Sachs.
  • Get a free quote from Liberty Mutual

USAA

USAA (United Services Automobile Association) was founded in 1922 in San Antonio, Texas, when 25 Army Officers agreed to insure each other’s vehicles when they couldn’t find coverage elsewhere. Today USAA has a net worth of $22.9 billion and continues to be the main insurance provider for the military community.

USAA’s Property and Casualty Insurance Group and Life Insurance Group both have strong ratings from A.M. Best, Moody’s and S&P. It is the sixth largest auto insurance in the U.S. and has received numerous awards for customer service from J.D. Power & Associates and Forrester’s Research.

USAA auto insurance is only available to active or retired military members, their parents or children, as well as widows of former USAA members who had USAA insurance while married. USAA offers common discounts including multi-policy, good student and defensive driver but offers significant discounts for loyalty and family members.

  • Legacy: Children of USAA members can get up to 10% off their policy as long as they are under the age of 25 and have a clean driving record.
  • Loyalty: USAA claims that 95% of their customers plan to stay with USAA for life. By staying loyal, these customers will receive additional savings.
  • Good Payment History: It pays to pay on time—customers who consistently pay on time are rewarded with additional savings.
  • Military Installation: Military members who keep their cars at a military base can get up to 15% off comprehensive coverage.
  • Storage Discount: Save up to 90% while your vehicle is stored during deployment.
  • Get a free quote from USAA

Conclusion

There is no policy carrier that is going to provide the best car insurance rates for everybody. Your driving record, age, gender, where you live, what kind of car you drive and many other factors affect your premium. Therefore it’s best to do a lot of research and review your policy every period and ask if there are other available discounts you could be eligible for. See if you can get further discounts by installing anti-theft or safety features in a car. Or see if your insurance carrier will give discounts for being in a particular school or company. With cutthroat competition, many insurance carriers will fight for your business so it’s best to periodically review your insurance policy and ask about available discounts and promotions.
Driver image courtesy of Shutterstock
  • James Shaffer

    USAA is usually the cheapest place to insure your vehicle if you are an American. The only problem is, you also have to be part of the armed forces (which most people are not).
    SO, if you can’t use USAA, I think the next best option would be 4autoinsurancequote. The big guys like GEICO, Statefarm, Progressive, etc. are too expensive. Best to use an independent, smaller company if you can’t get approved for USAA.

    • Maxime Rieman

      This is incorrect. In reality, “4autoinsurancequote” requires that you provide a bunch of personal information (your full name, email, and address) and then fails to provide any quotes. The user is simply directed to the website for some “big guy” like State Farm.

    • Ibcingu Too

      Actually, you do not have to have served in the military to get USAA insurance. I have it & all I had to do was prove that my dad used to be in the military (had to get confirmation of his service the Veteran’s Administration & send the form to USAA)

  • http://homeopathicdoctordelhi.com Dr.Lakshay Mittal

    Awesome!Its difficult decision after all to make the right choice.

  • amy logan

    As mentioned in previous paragraphs, with the extreme incline in the population, modernizations in technology and the never ending lists of new insurance companies, picking the right insurance company can be both over whelming and time consuming. Websites that do the work for you by providing information in specific insurance companies can make your process of choosing much easier and more efficient. It is also important to take things like your age, how many vehicles you own and your income into consideration to see what company will fit your situation best.

    Amy Logan