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Best Cheap Car Insurance in Delaware for 2020

Jan. 2, 2020
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Finding cheap car insurance in Delaware can be a struggle. Rates vary by company, age, marital status, credit history and other factors.

By shopping around, however, you can weed out the most jaw-dropping quotes and find competitive deals. To make things easier, NerdWallet tested rates from the seven largest insurers in Delaware for several driver types.

Cheapest for good drivers in Delaware

Drivers with clean driving and credit histories may save the most with these insurance companies, ranked by lowest average rate in Delaware:

  1. Geico: $1,154 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,354 per year.
  3. Nationwide: $1,768 per year.
  4. State Farm: $1,987 per year.
  5. Progressive: $2,223 per year.
Drivers with no recent accidents or violations can get cheaper car insurance rates for having good credit. For this calculation, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women with a clean driving record and good credit. In terms of driving and credit history, a large portion of drivers are closest to this profile, which carries standard "full coverage" insurance, including comprehensive and collision, along with state-required coverage. Prices shown include a good driver discount, when available from the insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage in Delaware

Drivers in Delaware looking for minimum coverage policies may have luck with the following car insurance companies, listed alongside their average rates for lowest-available limits:

  1. Geico: $627 per year.
  2. Travelers: $750 per year.
  3. State Farm: $1,109 per year.
  4. Progressive: $1,160 per year.
  5. Allstate: $1,244 per year.
We calculated these numbers by averaging rates for 40-year-old good drivers (earning them a discount if the insurer offers one) who have only the minimum mandatory insurance in their state. Such light coverage isn't typically recommended, since it might not cover all the bills resulting from a car accident, but it's better than nothing — especially if you can't afford much more. If you're looking for the cheapest possible insurance you can get, though, you'll still want to get quotes from at least three auto insurers.

Cheapest for good drivers with poor credit

If you’ve got poor credit but no recent tickets or violations, check out the following auto insurers, which had the cheapest average rates we found in Delaware for full coverage policies for this group:

  1. Geico: $1,979 per year.
  2. Nationwide: $2,346 per year.
  3. Travelers: $2,356 per year.
  4. Progressive: $3,934 per year.
  5. Allstate: $4,067 per year.
If you have a spotty credit history, it's important to shop around to find the cheapest auto insurance rates you can. Poor credit can have a bigger effect on car insurance premiums than even a DUI conviction or a recent at-fault crash, but prices vary by insurer. To calculate these figures, NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-olds with a clean driving record and associated good driver discount, if the insurer offered one. They had poor credit as reported to their insurer, and standard "full coverage" car insurance.

Cheapest for drivers with one at-fault crash

After an at-fault accident, these companies showed the lowest average rates in Delaware for full-coverage auto insurance:

  1. Travelers: $1,354 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,645 per year.
  3. Nationwide: $2,547 per year.
  4. State Farm: $3,182 per year.
  5. Progressive: $3,515 per year.
After a relatively minor crash, some auto insurers will charge a lot more than others for coverage. To get these figures, we averaged rates for 40-year-olds with typical "full coverage" insurance and one recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Your rates will remain high for three to five years after you cause an accident or have a moving violation. If you fall into this category, be sure to shop for new insurance rates just after the three-year and five-year anniversaries of your infraction.

Cheapest insurance after a DUI in Delaware

Here are the cheapest car insurance companies we found for Delaware drivers with a recent DUI, ranked by lowest average rate for full coverage:

  1. Travelers: $2,237 per year.
  2. Progressive: $2,830 per year.
  3. Geico: $2,852 per year.
  4. Nationwide: $3,233 per year.
  5. State Farm: $3,258 per year.
A conviction for driving under the influence, or DUI, generally results in higher auto insurance premiums than before. NerdWallet analyzed rates for 40-year-old drivers and standard “full coverage” car insurance with a recent DUI conviction to see which companies were cheapest. Rates can vary by hundreds between carriers after a DUI, and some penalize for longer than others, so it’s important to shop around for the best price right after you see a price hike and each year after that.

Cheapest insurance after a ticket in Delaware

Here are the lowest average rates — and the companies providing them in Delaware — for drivers with a recent speeding ticket seeking full coverage auto insurance:

  1. Travelers: $1,405 per year.
  2. Geico: $1,427 per year.
  3. Nationwide: $2,122 per year.
  4. State Farm: $2,393 per year.
  5. Progressive: $2,887 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket will result in higher car insurance rates from most companies for three to five years. To see who has the cheapest rates, we calculated average car insurance rates for 40-year-old drivers with “full coverage” insurance and a recent ticket for speeding 16 mph over the limit. Though these larger companies were the cheapest we found on average, others may be cheaper for you, so be sure to get at least three quotes before deciding on a carrier.

Cheapest for couples and families in Delaware

Couples, whether married or not, stand to save on car insurance when they live together and combine policies by earning multi-car and and multi-driver discounts. Teenagers are rarely cheap to insure, but adding a teen to a policy with two experienced drivers can provide discounts otherwise unavailable. NerdWallet analyzed rates for couples and families with a teen driver to see which companies are the cheapest, and the results vary somewhat from rates for singles. This is a good reminder to shop around for insurance quotes every time something big happens in life, such as a move, marriage or a new driver in the house, to make sure you’re getting the best possible rates.

Cheapest for a married couple in Delaware

For a husband and wife in Delaware with two vehicles, here are the cheapest insurers we found and their average rates for full coverage auto policies:

  1. Travelers: $1,861 per year.
  2. Geico: $2,086 per year.
  3. Nationwide: $2,559 per year.
  4. Progressive: $2,750 per year.
  5. State Farm: $3,695 per year.
Couples who live together can save on auto insurance by combining policies, whether they are married or not, because they can earn multi-car and multi-driver discounts. Once they tie the knot, rates can dip further, but not because of discounts — insurers see married people as less risky and so charge them lower rates. Our hypothetical 50-year-old couple’s clean driving record also earns them both a good driver discount.

Cheapest for families with a teen in Delaware

Here are the lowest rates we found for a married couple with an 18-year-old teen driver on a full coverage policy insuring two vehicles:

  1. Geico: $3,214 per year.
  2. Travelers: $3,898 per year.
  3. Progressive: $3,980 per year.
  4. Nationwide: $4,193 per year.
  5. Allstate: $6,826 per year.
Taking that same couple and adding a teen with two years’ driving experience is sure to cause a big jump in rates. Since different insurers tend to see a teen’s inexperience in different ways, we analyzed rates to see which companies had the cheapest car insurance for teens. These rates are averaged for 50-year-old couples with male and female 18-year-old drivers across the state.

Cheapest for young drivers in Delaware

Car insurance for drivers in their 20s can be expensive, so NerdWallet looked at average rates in Delaware for 25-year-olds. Even though you may pay up for insurance due to your lack of experience on the road, the surcharge decreases over time, though it varies by company. That’s why all drivers should shop for insurance quotes regularly to get the best rates, and 20-somethings are no exception. By shopping and going with the cheapest, these young drivers can get rates similar to older drivers in Delaware.

Cheapest full coverage for young good drivers

For young drivers with clean credit and driving histories, here are the cheapest companies and average rates we found for full coverage policies in Delaware:

  1. Geico: $1,270 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,403 per year.
  3. Nationwide: $2,002 per year.
  4. State Farm: $2,237 per year.
  5. Progressive: $2,423 per year.
Drivers in their 20s can have a hard time finding cheap car insurance, and that's even truer when they need full coverage. The rates above are averages for 25-year-old male and female drivers all over the state with comprehensive and collision coverages, which are often required for drivers with active auto loans or leases. These rates reflect a good driver discount, but no others. Young drivers, like all drivers, should check several quotes to find the cheapest for the coverage levels they need.

Cheapest minimum coverage for young good drivers

Young drivers looking for Delaware’s lowest possible coverage limits might want to investigate these companies, which returned the cheapest average rates for minimum required coverage:

  1. Geico: $689 per year.
  2. Travelers: $718 per year.
  3. Progressive: $1,184 per year.
  4. Allstate: $1,208 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,233 per year.
Since young people often have fewer assets to protect with liability insurance, they can usually get away with lower coverage limits. For an age group with relatively high insurance rates on average, that's good news, keeping rates as low as possible. For this price set, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers living across the state who have clean driving records, good credit and bare-bones insurance coverage.

Poor credit and minimum coverage

For young drivers with blemished credit and clean driving histories, here are the cheapest insurers we found, ranked by their average rates for minimum required coverage in Delaware:

  1. Geico: $1,176 per year.
  2. Travelers: $1,299 per year.
  3. Allstate: $1,614 per year.
  4. Nationwide: $1,886 per year.
  5. Progressive: $2,068 per year.
Poor credit is common for younger folks just starting out, who may still be building their credit files. That can increase rates further, so it's extra important to shop around and compare as many insurance quotes as possible to find the cheapest you can get. For these prices, we averaged rates across the state for 25-year-old male and female drivers with no recent accidents or violations (earning them a good driver discount), minimum coverage car insurance, and credit in the "poor" tier as reported to an insurer.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a crash

Young drivers with a recent at-fault accident on their records may want to take a look at these companies, which gave the lowest average rates we found in Delaware for minimum coverage policies:

  1. Travelers: $718 per year.
  2. Geico: $943 per year.
  3. Allstate: $1,673 per year.
  4. Progressive: $1,833 per year.
  5. Nationwide: $1,997 per year.
To get prices for this group, we averaged rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers across the state with good credit and a recent at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage. Since car insurance is often pricier after a crash, and especially so for young drivers, we assumed minimum required insurance in the state to contain costs for our hypothetical driver. If you've caused a crash, no matter your age, be sure to check auto insurance quotes just after the third and fifth anniversaries of your incident, when insurers often adjust rates downward.

Cheapest for minimum coverage after a DUI

Here are the cheapest auto insurers and their average rates for minimum coverage policies after a recent DUI for young drivers in Delaware:

  1. Travelers: $1,247 per year.
  2. Progressive: $1,429 per year.
  3. Allstate: $1,503 per year.
  4. Geico: $1,562 per year.
  5. State Farm: $2,095 per year.
Young drivers with a recent DUI on their records will need to be diligent to find the lowest car insurance rates they can get — it's likely that many companies' rates will be quite expensive. But spending the time to shop around for quotes can help you find the lowest. For this analysis, we averaged rates for male and female 25-year-old drivers with a recent on-record DUI. They had good credit and minimum required car insurance, which helps keep rates down.

Cheapest for minimum coverage and a ticket

For young Delaware drivers with a recent speeding ticket, here are the cheapest insurers we found and their average rates for minimum coverage policies:

  1. Travelers: $733 per year.
  2. Geico: $826 per year.
  3. Allstate: $1,309 per year.
  4. Progressive: $1,459 per year.
  5. State Farm: $1,505 per year.
Getting a speeding ticket is never fun, and neither is the higher car insurance bill you may receive months later. At that point it's time to shop around for better rates, and it wouldn't hurt to repeat on your third and fifth ticket anniversaries, when insurers may adjust rates downward. We analyzed rates for 25-year-old male and female drivers with a recent speeding violation for going 16 mph over the speed limit to see prices for this group.

Cheap for military families

If you’re an active military member or a veteran — or have an immediate family member who is — USAA is a good bet for finding cheap car insurance in Delaware. The company is not available to the general public, so we don’t rank it against the others, but it offered the cheapest average prices in every category listed above except for young drivers with a recent ticket.

» MORE: Best car insurance for military and veterans

Recap: Cheapest car insurance in Delaware

  • Good drivers: Geico.
  • Minimum coverage: Geico.
  • Poor credit: Geico.
  • After an at-fault crash: Travelers.
  • After a DUI: Travelers.
  • After a speeding ticket: Travelers.
  • Married couples: Travelers.
  • Families with a teen: Geico.
  • Young good drivers: Geico.
  • Minimum coverage for young good drivers: Geico.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers with poor credit: Geico.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a crash: Travelers.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a DUI: Travelers.
  • Minimum coverage for young drivers after a ticket: Travelers.

» MORE: Compare car insurance

Minimum required auto insurance in Delaware

Drivers in Delaware must carry liability insurance, which covers others’ injuries and property damage if you cause a crash. Drivers must also carry personal injury protection, which pays out to cover your and your passengers’ injuries, no matter who is at fault in a crash.

The minimum required liability limits are:

  • $25,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $50,000 bodily injury liability per crash.
  • $10,000 property damage liability per crash.
  • $15,000 personal injury protection per person.
  • $30,000 personal injury protection per crash.

Even though these limits will be enough to drive legally, they may not fully cover others’ damages if you’re liable for a crash. If the cost of injury treatment or vehicle repairs exceeds your coverage amount, the remainder would come out of your own savings and assets.

Check out NerdWallet’s guide to minimum car insurance requirements by state for help choosing liability limits and to learn about common optional coverages you might want, such as collision, comprehensive and uninsured motorist insurance.

Alternative car insurance in Delaware

If you have multiple crashes or violations on your record, a low credit rating or other circumstances that make it difficult to buy car insurance on the voluntary market, you can seek coverage through the Delaware Automobile Insurance Plan.

To view estimates from leading insurers and get the most competitive rates, try NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool.

Methodology

For our “good driver” profile, NerdWallet averaged rates from the largest insurers in the state for 40-year-old men and women in all ZIP codes with 12,000 annual miles driven. The policy includes:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist coverage per accident.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible.
If required, minimum additional coverages were added. Our “young driver” had all the same characteristics, but average rates were for 25-year-old men and women. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect minimum required coverage by law in the state.
  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit.
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.
  • For drivers with a ticket, we added a single speeding violation for driving 16 mph over the speed limit.
  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation.
We used a 2016 Toyota Camry LE for all single drivers. Couples in our analyses were 50-year-old men and women with good credit and clean driving histories, averaged across all ZIP codes with the same policy outlined above. To see rates for families with a teen, we added an 18-year-old licensed two years ago, averaging rates for male and female teens. For couples and families we added a 2016 Nissan Rogue S to create a two-car household. These are rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.