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Cheapest full coverage auto insurance

Bankrate logo Bankrate 9/8/2021 Cate Deventer
a woman sitting on a car seat: Asian mother buckling her young son into his car seat. © staticnak1983/Getty Images Asian mother buckling her young son into his car seat.

When you shop for a car insurance policy, one of the first things you need to decide is how much coverage to buy. Full coverage generally costs more than state minimum limits, but that's because it provides a higher level of financial protection. And while the average cost of full coverage in the U.S. is $1,674 per year, there are ways to find a cheaper rate.

USAA and Geico offer the cheapest full coverage premiums on average in most states, based on Bankrate's extensive research. Knowing the cheapest full coverage car insurance company in your state could help you determine a starting place for getting quotes.

What is full coverage auto insurance?

Full coverage refers to an auto insurance policy that includes comprehensive and collision, which add protection for damage to your vehicle. Comprehensive covers situations like hitting an animal, vehicle theft, vandalism, storm damage and glass breakage, while collision covers damage to your vehicle stemming from colliding with another vehicle or object, like a pole or building. Some companies and agencies may offer other types of coverage, like uninsured motorist coverage, roadside assistance and car rental coverage, which can all round out your policy and offer more robust protections for your full coverage policy. However, "full coverage" is not an industry-standard term. Although all full coverage policies have comprehensive and collision, different companies might take full coverage to mean higher liability limits and other endorsements as well.

Liability-only insurance is important to have because it provides financial protection to the other party if you cause an accident. This may be sufficient for some drivers, but full coverage can offer a higher level of protection and coverage for more scenarios.

Cheapest full coverage company by state

The cost of car insurance varies by state due to different insurance laws, unique geographic features and the incidence of claims in the area, but you may still be able to find cheap coverage no matter where you live. In the Midwestern states, USAA and Pekin tend to offer cheap coverage, whereas in the Southwest, the cheapest companies include USAA and Geico. Because car insurance rates vary between companies, getting quotes from several carriers could help you find the cheapest coverage for your needs.

The following table shows the company that offers the cheapest full coverage premiums in each state. Please note that not everyone will qualify for coverage from every company. For example, USAA only serves military members, veterans and members of their immediate families.

StateCar insurance companyAverage annual full coverage premium
AlabamaTravelers$1,071
AlaskaUSAA$1,069
ArizonaGeico$916
ArkansasUSAA$1,142
CaliforniaCapital$1,582
ColoradoAmerican National$767
ConnecticutGeico$1,071
DelawareUSAA$955
FloridaState Farm$1,739
GeorgiaNationwide$1,202
HawaiiUSAA$1,009
IdahoUSAA$725
IllinoisPekin$715
IndianaPekin$673
IowaHastings Mutual$858
KansasQBE$1,208
KentuckyUSAA$1,466
LouisianaSouthern Farm Bureau$1,871
MaineGeico$578
MarylandNationwide$1,232
MassachusettsState Farm$736
MichiganSecura$826
MinnesotaIowa Farm Bureau$1,015
MississippiUSAA$1,109
MissouriUSAA$988
MontanaUSAA$931
NebraskaNationwide$1,047
NevadaGeico$1,116
New HampshireUSAA$681
New JerseySelective$1,085
New MexicoUSAA$1,102
New YorkMain Street America$761
North CarolinaGeico$835
North DakotaUSAA$815
OhioHastings Mutual$758
OklahomaGeico$1,066
OregonOregon Mutual$862
PennsylvaniaGeico$916
Rhode IslandState Farm$955
South CarolinaTravelers$1,141
South DakotaAmerican Family$1,070
TennesseeGrange$966
TexasGeico$1,339
UtahUSAA$839
VermontUSAA$807
VirginiaNationwide$770
WashingtonUSAA$818
Washington DCUSAA$876
West VirginiaNationwide$993
WisconsinTravelers$785
WyomingState Farm$1,234

Best cheap full coverage car insurance

Most states require that you carry at least minimum levels of certain car insurance coverage to drive legally. While these coverage limits ensure that you comply with the law, the coverage they provide is minimal and does not include coverage for damage to your vehicle.

To determine the car insurance companies to feature, Bankrate's insurance editorial team first reviewed average premium data obtained from Quadrant Information Services. We also analyzed each company's available coverage options, discounts, policy features and third-party rankings from sources like AM Best and J.D. Power.

Based on our research, we have assigned a Bankrate Score on a scale of 0.0 to 5.0 to each company. The higher the Bankrate Score, the more highly a company ranked in each of the scoring categories.

If you are searching for the best cheap full coverage car insurance, these companies may be a good place to start. These providers are some of the cheapest in the nation, but also offer exceptional coverage:

Car insurance companyBankrate ScoreAverage annual full coverage premiumMonthly premium cost
USAA4.8$1,225$102.08
Auto-Owners4.6$1,351$112.58
Amica4.6$1,378$114.83
Geico4.6$1,405$117.08
Travelers4.5$1,325$110.42
Erie4.4$1,233$102.75
State Farm4.4$1,457$121.42

USAA

USAA has some of the lowest average annual rates across the country, as well as excellent customer service. Although the company is not eligible for official ranking with J.D. Power due to its eligibility restrictions, it earned a high score in the 2021 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, which indicates that customers are generally satisfied with USAA's claims service. However, USAA only sells coverage to military members, veterans and their immediate families.

Learn more: USAA Insurance review

Auto-Owners

If you can afford to pay your premium in full, Auto-Owners offers a paid-in-full discount that may lower your rate. The company also offers numerous coverage options, including diminished value coverage, car rental reimbursement, gap coverage, roadside assistance and the Personal Automobile Plus package, which includes coverage for rekeying locks and identity theft. Auto-Owners is a regional carrier only available in 26 states, so it won't be an option for everyone.

Learn more: Auto-Owners Insurance review

Amica

AAmica received one of the highest scores in the J.D. Power study for its superb customer service. One of the most unique aspects of Amica is its dividend policy option. If you choose a dividend policy, you could get up to 20% of your annual premium back each year. The company also offers several optional coverage choices and discounts. However, Amica may not be the cheapest option for drivers with accidents on tickets on their driving record.


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Learn more: Amica Insurance review

Geico

Geico offers one of the longest lists of car insurance discounts in the industry. Savings opportunities include having certain vehicle safety features, being a federal employee or military member, wearing your seatbelt and being affiliated with certain groups, like alumni associations. The company also has a highly-rated mobile app. Geico earned the top spot for its digital service in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study. But if you want a company with highly customizable coverage, Geico might not be right for you. There are only a few endorsements that you can add to your policy.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Travelers

IIf you are looking for a highly customizable policy, Travelers may be a good fit. The company offers a long list of coverage options, including roadside assistance, gap coverage, new car replacement, ridesharing coverage and accident forgiveness. The company also has some unique discount options, like savings for hybrid and electric cars. However, Travelers did get mostly below-average scores in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S Auto Insurance Study, which could indicate a low level of overall customer satisfaction.

Learn more: Travelers Insurance review

Erie

Erie offers low average rates combined with highly-rated customer service. Erie scored above the industry average in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study in the regions where it is sold. Erie offers a unique Rate Lock feature, which prevents your premium from increasing for a certain amount of time unless you make changes to your policy, like adding a vehicle or driver. Erie is another regional carrier and is only available in 12 states, though, so it's not available in many areas of the country.

Learn more: Erie Insurance review

State Farm

IIf you are looking for a local agent, State Farm might fit your needs. The company is the largest insurer of personal autos in the country, with over 16% of the market share. The company has over 19,000 agents in the U.S., so the likelihood of having an agency near you is high. State Farm offers standard car insurance coverage types, several optional endorsements and a few discounts. If you like handling your insurance digitally, State Farm might not be for you. The company received a below-industry-average score from J.D. Power for digital service, which means customers might find the company's online and mobile tools lacking.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

How to find the cheapest full coverage insurance

Because you are buying more coverage, full coverage auto insurance is likely to cost more than minimum coverage or liability-only coverage. However, there are steps you can take that might help you find a policy to fit your budget:

  • Compare quotes: Getting quotes for the same coverage from several different companies might help you find the coverage you are looking for at a more competitive price.
  • Take advantage of discounts: Most insurance companies offer discounts that could help you save money. Taking advantage of the discounts you qualify for generally lowers your premium.
  • Drive safely: If you have accidents, tickets or DUI convictions on your record, you will likely pay a higher premium. Maintaining a clean driving record can help keep your premium down.
  • Increase your deductibles: Both comprehensive and collision coverage come with a deductible, which is the amount of money you agree to pay if you file a claim for damage to your vehicle. Increasing one or both of your deductibles can lower your premium, but your collision coverage deductible generally has the biggest premium impact. Just be sure to choose a level that you can afford to pay if you file a claim.

Although price is an important factor when buying car insurance, it is not the only aspect of a company to consider. Customer service ratings, financial strength scores, available coverage options, discounts and policy features are all important to think about.

Frequently asked questions

What is the average cost of car insurance?

The average annual cost of car insurance is $1,674 per year for full coverage car insurance. The exact rate for car insurance will vary from driver to driver and depends on individual rating factors, like the type of car you drive, the coverage options and limits you choose and your driving record.

What are the best car insurance companies?

Everyone has different wants and needs when it comes to car insurance, so the best car insurance company will vary depending on what you are looking for and your unique rating factors. Understanding the features you are looking for in a company and getting quotes from several providers might help you find a company that fits your needs.

Is full coverage better than liability-only?

Not necessarily. Full coverage offers more protection because it adds coverage for damage to your vehicle. However, every driver has a unique situation when it comes to car insurance. Liability-only coverage may fit the needs of some drivers, but others may want or need the increased protection of full coverage.

What happens if I don't buy insurance?

Most states require at least minimum amounts of certain car insurance coverage to drive legally. Although full coverage is not required in any state, you may have to carry it if your vehicle is leased or financed. If your budget is tight, you might be tempted to forgo all car insurance coverage, but this is not something that insurance experts advise.

If you are caught driving without insurance, you could face fines and a license suspension. If you cause an accident without coverage, you'll have to pay for the damages out of pocket. And if you skip coverage and your car is leased or financed, your financial institution may purchase coverage on your behalf and add the cost to your loan payment. This is called force-placed insurance, and policies generally cost more than you would pay if you purchase insurance yourself.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $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 bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state's requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Bankrate Scores

Bankrate Scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry-standard ratings for financial strength (AM Best, S&P, Moody's) and customer experience (J.D. Power, NAIC), in addition to average quoted rates from Quadrant Information Services. The J.D. Power studies utilized include the 2020 Auto Insurance Study and the 2020 Auto Claims Study. Our Bankrate editorial team's extensive research and analysis provided a secondary assessment of each insurer's online and mobile resources and policy management options, which also contributed to overall ratings.

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