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Comparing car insurance quotes may not be the most exhilarating part of your day, but it can save you a lot of money.


Here’s why: Insurers look at similar factors, but they have their own “secret sauce” when it comes to setting rates. So two companies can charge wildly different rates for the same driver. To avoid overpaying and find the cheapest rate for you, it’s critical to compare car insurance quotes from multiple companies.


Auto insurance prices tend to inch up over time, but they can also go down. By shopping around, you might find that your current insurer offers the cheapest rate for you, or you might find that it’s time to switch.



To find the cheapest auto insurance for you, enter your information below to start getting quotes from companies in your area.


How to compare car insurance quotes

First of all, every car insurance rate quote you receive should be free of charge, no matter where it's from. Some auto insurers require a down payment to start your policy, but a simple quote estimate should always be free. Here’s how to get going.


1. Gather your information

To quickly and easily compare car insurance quotes, have the following on hand:

  • Personal information: The address, date of birth, occupation, driver's license and marital status of everyone you want included on the policy.
  • Vehicle information: Mileage, date of purchase and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) for each car. Or, if you haven’t purchased the car yet, have mileage, make, model and year handy.
  • Driving history: Include all claims, violations and tickets you've had over the past five years, plus any completed driving courses.
  • Current or previous insurer’s name for anyone on the policy or in your household. Some insurers won’t cover you without some coverage history, and if you want to exclude anyone living with you from the policy, you’ll need to prove they’re covered elsewhere.

2. Choose the right liability car insurance coverage levels

Auto insurance is financial protection, and not just for the investment you made when you bought your car. After a really serious accident, bills for damage and injuries can easily reach into hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you happen to cause such a wreck, the victims could sue you. In the worst case scenario, assets such as your savings and home could be seized.


Liability auto insurance protects you from that worst case scenario by providing a cushion between your assets and the amount you’re on the hook for. For this reason, choosing the right auto liability limits is the most important part of your car insurance quote comparison. NerdWallet typically recommends having at least as much liability coverage as your net worth.


But liability coverage levels come in threes — you’ll probably see something like 50/100/50 up to 250/500/250 in typical policies. You can think of these limits like: individual injuries / total injuries / property damage. Insurers are a little more technical, calling them bodily injury liability, total bodily injury liability and physical damage liability.


They come in thousand-dollar increments, so when you choose 100/300/100 limits, you’re choosing:


  • $100,000 for bodily injuries per person you injure in a crash.
  • $300,000 total for all bodily injuries you cause in a crash.
  • $100,000 for damage to any property you cause in a crash, including cars, buildings and objects like mailboxes and lampposts.

Auto insurance quote comparison tip: When choosing liability car insurance coverage, you’ll want to make sure the highest, middle number is equal to or greater than the value of your house and total savings combined.


Understand car insurance requirements in your state

In certain states, you may be required to have a car insurance policy that includes personal injury protection (PIP), medical payments coverage (medpay) or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages — or two of the three. If you have medpay you don’t need PIP, and vice versa.


Any car insurance comparison tool you look at should have your state’s minimum car insurance requirements pre-loaded into its options. States requiring PIP or medpay are generally referred to as “no-fault” states, meaning that when injuries occur, each driver in a crash makes a claim with their own insurance company to pay for them. Beyond the PIP or medpay limit, the at-fault driver’s liability insurance kicks in to cover the rest.


3. Decide if you need full coverage car insurance

You’ll notice that none of that liability coverage pays for your car or injuries, nor for any injuries your passengers sustain if you cause a wreck. This is why many people — particularly those whose car isn’t yet paid off — want “full coverage” car insurance. This isn’t actually a type of coverage, but instead typically refers to policies that include liability coverage, plus comprehensive and collision coverages.


In other words, you can’t just click a “full coverage” button when comparing insurance quotes online or buy something called a full coverage auto insurance policy. You’ll need to add collision and comprehensive coverage in the amounts you want.


Collision insurance pays for:Comprehensive insurance pays for:
  • Damage to your car in an accident you cause.
  • Damage to your car if you hit an object such as a fence or pole.
  • Damage to your car if someone else hits you. Another option in this case is to make a claim against the other driver's liability insurance.

The value of your car if it's stolen and not recovered, and damage from:

  • Weather such as tornadoes or hail.
  • Floods.
  • Fire.
  • Falling objects.
  • Explosions.
  • Crashes with an animal, such as striking a deer.
  • Riots and civil disturbances.

Auto insurance quote comparison tip: Whatever coverage you choose, make sure you compare the quotes for the same type and amount of coverage so you can find the best price.


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4. Collect and compare car insurance quotes

You'll want to get car insurance quotes from at least 2-3 companies available in your area to be sure you’re getting a good deal. While shopping, make certain that each insurance quote includes


  • The same levels of liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist protection.
  • The same deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverages, if you’re buying them.
  • The same drivers and cars.
  • All discounts you’re eligible for (most insurers list the discounts they offer on their websites).


Compare car insurance rates

A lot goes into an auto insurance rate quote, including your ZIP code, coverage levels, marital status, annual mileage, driving history and vehicle make, year and model. In most states, your gender and credit history are also used to determine rates. And again, the reason auto insurance comparison shopping is so important is because rates between companies are different for each person, too.


That’s why every year, NerdWallet analyzes car insurance rates for men and women with various driving and credit histories, in every single state and major metro area. Here’s how some of them stack up, looking first at the factors you have the most control over.


Compare car insurance rates for:


Compare minimum and full coverage car insurance rates by company

Each insurance company evaluates personal factors in its own way, and they keep their methods as hidden as possible. So we can’t tell you which company puts high value in your occupation or emphasizes a clean driving history more than others. But to help you get going, we can show you a car insurance rate comparison for the same hypothetical driver and car, using average rates from across the country.


Here are annual rates from the 10 largest auto insurers in the country, based on 2018 market share data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Rates are averaged across the country for both full and minimum coverage. Keep in mind that not all of these companies are available in every state.


CompanyFull coverageMinimum coverage
Geico$1,198$478
American Family$1,233$601
Nationwide$1,349$682
State Farm$1,511$624
Travelers$1,528$815
Progressive$1,766$774
Liberty Mutual$1,778$900
Allstate$1,834$784
Farmers$1,865$926
USAA*$1,023$415

*USAA is only available to military, veterans and their families.


Compare minimum and full coverage car insurance rates in your state

One of the largest factors affecting your car insurance quote will be something you wouldn’t change just for cheaper car insurance — where you live. However, it does have a very big impact and should be part of financial planning if you move out of your area.


For that reason, it’s good to do a car insurance quote comparison anytime you move, even within the same state. Here are our 2020 average annual car insurance rates by state for minimum and full coverage car insurance policies.


StateFull coverageMinimum coverage
Alabama$1,401$558
Alaska$1,180$456
Arizona$1,409$581
Arkansas$1,427$558
California$1,627$636
Colorado$1,570$636
Connecticut$1,683$854
Delaware$1,559$839
District of Columbia$1,527$755
Florida$2,352$1,188
Georgia$1,594$690
Hawaii$1,176$487
Idaho$937$362
Illinois$1,163$437
Indiana$994$409
Iowa$997$309
Kansas$1,306$434
Kentucky$2,161$983
Louisiana$2,971$1,150
Maine$916$367
Maryland$1,595$800
Massachusetts$1,299$550
Michigan$2,331$1,285
Minnesota$1,280$579
Mississippi$1,385$513
Missouri$1,339$505
Montana$1,252$395
Nebraska$1,181$420
Nevada$1,881$902
New Hampshire$1,056$415
New Jersey$1,759$994
New Mexico$1,241$484
New York$1,962$1,026
North Carolina$1,075$411
North Dakota$1,235$400
Ohio$1,051$463
Oklahoma$1,595$583
Oregon$1,228$639
Pennsylvania$1,167$413
Rhode Island$1,684$820
South Carolina$1,458$656
South Dakota$1,245$312
Tennessee$1,170$426
Texas$1,471$664
Utah$1,248$607
Vermont$993$327
Virginia$960$381
Washington$1,261$652
West Virginia$1,307$504
Wisconsin$1,005$359
Wyoming$1,184$333

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Car insurance and credit score

Though it might seem unfair, your credit history is one of the largest factors affecting your car insurance quote in all states except California, Hawaii and Massachusetts. Below are sample car insurance rates for accident-free drivers with good and poor credit, both by company and by state, for full coverage insurance.


Compare car insurance rates for good and bad credit by company

It’s important to note that every company considers credit very differently, and even among insurers this factor fluctuates by state. For example, some companies’ nationwide average rates for 2020 increase by less than 50% for drivers with poor credit, while one more than doubles.


CompanyGood drivers with good credit Good drivers with poor credit
Geico$1,198$1,748
American Family$1,233$2,045
Nationwide$1,349$1,896
State Farm$1,511$3,114
Travelers$1,528$2,803
Progressive$1,766$3,238
Liberty Mutual$1,778$2,497
Allstate$1,834$2,907
Farmers$1,865$3,227
USAA*$1,023$1,925

*USAA is only available to military, veterans and their families.


Compare car insurance rates for good and bad credit in your state

Certain states prohibit the use of credit in setting rates, and how insurers treat credit differs from state to state. For example, state legislators in one state may allow more wiggle room for credit-based pricing than others, leading to variations by state.


StateGood drivers with good credit Good drivers with poor credit
Alabama$1,401$2,525
Alaska$1,180$1,753
Arizona$1,409$3,037
Arkansas$1,427$2,445
California*$1,627$1,627
Colorado$1,570$2,799
Connecticut$1,683$3,436
Delaware$1,559$2,873
District of Columbia$1,527$2,756
Florida$2,352$4,267
Georgia$1,594$2,566
Hawaii*1,1761,176
Idaho$937$1,599
Illinois$1,163$2,022
Indiana$994$1,742
Iowa$997$1,737
Kansas$1,306$2,218
Kentucky$2,161$3,827
Louisiana$2,971$4,958
Maine$916$1,905
Maryland$1,595$2,678
Massachusetts*$1,299$1,299
Michigan$2,331$5,513
Minnesota$1,280$2,539
Mississippi$1,385$2,182
Missouri$1,339$2,480
Montana$1,252$2,098
Nebraska$1,181$1,968
Nevada$1,881$3,074
New Hampshire$1,056$2,162
New Jersey$1,759$3,686
New Mexico$1,241$2,006
New York$1,962$4,233
North Carolina$1,075$1,425
North Dakota$1,235$2,295
Ohio$1,051$1,797
Oklahoma$1,595$2,725
Oregon$1,228$2,115
Pennsylvania$1,167$2,034
Rhode Island$1,684$2,915
South Carolina$1,458$2,984
South Dakota$1,245$2,144
Tennessee$1,170$2,267
Texas$1,471$2,616
Utah$1,248$2,507
Vermont$993$1,705
Virginia$960$1,547
Washington$1,261$2,261
West Virginia$1,307$2,392
Wisconsin$1,005$1,809
Wyoming$1,184$1,863

*Credit-based pricing is banned in California, Hawaii and Massachusetts.


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Car insurance rates and accident history

Among the largest companies, your history of accidents, tickets and other violations will affect your auto insurance quote in very different ways. Check out how each insurer's average rates for drivers with and without an accident stack up before you start comparison shopping for auto insurance, and then below you can see differences by state.


Compare car insurance rates for a clean record and at-fault crash by company

The cheapest car insurance company for a driver with a clean history might not be the cheapest after an at-fault accident occurs. If you have an on-record accident, make sure to compare car insurance quotes one, three and five years after the date of the incident.


CompanyDrivers with clean driving historyDrivers with a recent at-fault accident
Geico$1,198$1,888
American Family$1,233$1,391
Nationwide$1,349$2,128
State Farm$1,511$1,968
Travelers$1,528$2,071
Progressive$1,766$2,980
Liberty Mutual$1,778$2,837
Allstate$1,834$2,904
Farmers$1,865$2,783
USAA*$1,023$1,482

*USAA is only available to military, veterans and their families.


Compare car insurance rates for a clean record and at-fault crash in your state

State legislators set limits on how much a company can increase your rates after a crash. Our hypothetical accident resulted in only $10,000 worth of damage. That caused average annual rates to spike by $1,000 or more in some states, while others jumped by far less. One thing’s for sure: Your rates will likely increase after an at-fault accident, so be sure to compare car insurance rates if you have one on record.


StateDrivers with clean driving historyDrivers with a recent at-fault accident
Alabama$1,401$2,035
Alaska$1,180$1,687
Arizona$1,409$2,086
Arkansas$1,427$2,231
California$1,627$2,927
Colorado$1,570$2,265
Connecticut$1,683$2,644
Delaware$1,559$2,170
District of Columbia$1,527$2,158
Florida$2,352$3,220
Georgia$1,594$2,512
Hawaii$1,176$1,581
Idaho$937$1,286
Illinois$1,163$1,731
Indiana$994$1,502
Iowa$997$1,450
Kansas$1,306$1,887
Kentucky$2,161$3,238
Louisiana$2,971$4,593
Maine$916$1,314
Maryland$1,595$2,311
Massachusetts$1,299$2,290
Michigan$2,331$3,566
Minnesota$1,280$1,779
Mississippi$1,385$2,049
Missouri$1,339$1,910
Montana$1,252$1,848
Nebraska$1,181$1,738
Nevada$1,881$2,811
New Hampshire$1,056$1,629
New Jersey$1,759$2,802
New Mexico$1,241$1,827
New York$1,962$2,576
North Carolina$1,075$1,833
North Dakota$1,235$1,865
Ohio$1,051$1,702
Oklahoma$1,595$2,440
Oregon$1,228$1,808
Pennsylvania$1,167$1,780
Rhode Island$1,684$2,522
South Carolina$1,458$2,100
South Dakota$1,245$1,726
Tennessee$1,170$1,746
Texas$1,471$2,150
Utah$1,248$1,793
Vermont$993$1,540
Virginia$960$1,417
Washington$1,261$1,866
West Virginia$1,307$1,872
Wisconsin$1,005$1,473
Wyoming$1,184$1,678

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Compare car insurance companies

Use NerdWallet's reviews to compare car insurance companies and find the best one for you. NerdWallet has researched policy options, consumer complaint data, customer satisfaction ratings, financial stability and more for all of the country's top auto insurance companies as well as many smaller, regional insurers.