Car Insurance

From information on major carriers to money-saving tips, you'll find smart car insurance basics here.

Car Insurance 101

What is car insurance?

Car insurance covers you in case you are at fault for an accident, and it can offer protection in case someone else is at fault and doesn’t have insurance. The minimum insurance coverage required by most states is called bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance.

Factors that go into your car insurance include your driving history, the type of vehicle you drive, where you live and what type of home you live in, as well as your credit history in some cases.

Discounts are often provided by insurance companies as a way of retaining their customers. Those discounts range from antilock brake discounts to senior driver discounts, and they can help you save money on your car insurance premiums.

Top car insurance companies

It's Auto Insurance 101’s job to do a little bit of research to see which is the best car insurance company for your needs. There are things to consider, such as what additional coverage you will need beyond just the minimum state coverage and what coverage your lender may require.

We’ve done some work to identify the cheapest car insurance companies and even compared the top insurance companies head-to-head to help you throughout your car insurance shopping journey.

Car insurance by state

Minimum requirements for car insurance will vary by state. In addition to the minimum requirements, the hazards and risks to your car will vary by state. For example, California has earthquakes to contend with, where Florida has hurricanes. These natural disasters cause different types of damage, thus carry different risks and premiums.

Check out more information about car insurance coverage in specific states:

Each of these states comes with a different set of hazards, so insurance costs will vary. As mentioned, it will vary on other factors as well, so be prepared for a change if you move from one state to another.

Types of car insurance coverage

In addition to the minimum standard coverage, there is additional coverage you can purchase, which may or may not be required by your lender. Some common types of auto coverage include:

  • Bodily injury liability: covers injury to another party in an accident
  • Collision: covers collision with another vehicle or object
  • Comprehensive: covers anything that isn’t covered by collision
  • Property damage liability: covers property damage caused by your car

When comparing quotes, make sure you are comparing the right types of coverage and deductibles. This is critical to getting accurate representations of your potential savings.

Car Insurance Basics

Michigan Car Insurance Laws

By law, all Michigan drivers are required to carry car insurance. More specifically, drivers must have a minimum amount of car insurance and certain types of insurance in order to comply with state laws. [...]

4 min read

Cheapest car insurance in Georgia 2020

While Georgia may not be a cheap state in which to drive, there are absolutely things you can do to help lower your premium costs and minimize the damage to your bank account. Doing things like finding [...]

3 min read

What to do after a hit and run in California

A car accident is never ideal, but the situation becomes much more complex — and potentially expensive — when the other driver or drivers involved leave the scene before exchanging information. It’s [...]

4 min read

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

  • Best car insurance in California 2020

    Before driving off the lot with your new wheels, you must purchase insurance that complies with California law. Finding cheap car insurance in California can depend on numerous factors, including your [...]

    7 min read Jul 29, 2020
    happy couple driving in car on road trip
  • Best car insurance in Texas 2020

    Texas has the second-highest number of licensed drivers in the country, nearly 15.9 million, according to the Federal Highway Administration. 2018 Texas traffic statistics provided by the Texas Department [...]

    6 min read Jul 27, 2020
    downtown san antonio skyline
  • Best car insurance in North Carolina 2020

    North Carolina has one of the cheapest car insurance rates in the country, according to the Insurance Information Institute. But car accidents are on the rise in North Carolina, making good car insurance [...]

    5 min read Jul 17, 2020
    north carolina highway
  • Best Veterans and Military Car Insurance

    If you’ve served in the military, you and your family are eligible for special military car insurance discounts. USAA is the top provider for active and retired military personnel, offering excellent [...]

    6 min read Jul 16, 2020
    A female soldier in her battle dress uniform (BDU) buckles her son into his seat.
  • Collision Insurance

    Most states only require liability insurance to protect other people against any damages you might cause behind the wheel. But that doesn’t mean liability coverage is the only protection you need. Collision [...]

    4 min read Jun 18, 2020
    A car being towed

The trusted source for financial information, used by

The New York Times
The Wall Street Journal