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Cheapest car insurance companies in September 2022

Auto-Owners and USAA offer the cheapest minimum coverage car insurance at rates less than $360 per year, according to Bankrate's average premium analysis

Updated Sep 23, 2022
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Bankrate's guide to cheap car insurance

Car insurance may be required if you own a car, but it doesn’t need to take a huge chunk out of your budget. Based on Bankrate’s analysis of average premiums from the largest car insurance companies by market share, Auto-Owners and Geico came out on top for offering some of the cheapest minimum coverage, but there are a few others that offer top-notch auto coverage at competitive prices.

But while price may be a priority, you don’t need to sacrifice in other areas of your car insurance policy. Whether you’re looking for dependable customer service, mobile app accessibility or financial strength, Bankrate’s picks for the cheapest car insurance companies can help you choose the carrier that most fits your needs.

Cheapest car insurance companies for September 2022

To find the cheapest car insurance companies, Bankrate analyzed carrier rates obtained from Quadrant Information Services. These car insurance carriers ranged from the largest by market share to small, regional carriers. We also reviewed companies on a broader scale by examining customer satisfaction reviews, financial strength ratings, policy options, discounts and more. Each category was given a rating and then averaged into our proprietary Bankrate Score. The higher a company scored in each category, the higher its overall Bankrate Score, with a maximum score of 5.

CARRIER AVERAGE ANNUAL PREMIUM AVERAGE MONTHLY PREMIUM ANNUAL SAVINGS VS NATIONAL AVERAGE
Auto-Owners $325 $27 $155
USAA $354 $30 $126
Geico $354 $30 $126
Amica $444 $37 $36
Erie $476 $40 $4
*Based on min coverage policies for 2022.
CARRIER AVERAGE ANNUAL PREMIUM AVERAGE MONTHLY PREMIUM ANNUAL SAVINGS VS NATIONAL AVERAGE
USAA $1,209 $3101 $562
Geico $1,297 $108 $474
Auto-Owners $1,305 $27 $466
Erie $1,321 $110 $450
Amica $1,495 $125 $276
*Based on full coverage policies for 2022.
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Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

Cheapest overall

J.D. Power:
878 /1,000
AM Best:
A ++
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 325
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,305

How to get started: If you would like to get a quote from Auto-Owners, you will need to contact an independent agent in your area representing the company within the 26 states it offers coverage.

Cheapest for military-focused coverage

J.D. Power:
909 /1,000
AM Best:
A ++
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 354
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,209

How to get started: USAA offers online quotes, or you can call 800-531-8722 to speak with a company representative to get a quote.

Cheapest for poor credit scores

J.D. Power:
881 /1,000
AM Best:
A ++
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 365
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,297

How to get started: Getting a quote with Geico is fairly easy. You can get a Geico quote online by phone at 800-207-7847 or in the Geico mobile app. Geico also has a network of local exclusive agents across the U.S.

Cheapest for stellar service

J.D. Power:
895 /1,000
AM Best:
A +
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 444
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,495

How to get started: To get a quote from Amica, you can visit the Amica website at www.amica.com or call 800-242-6422. The carrier also operates local offices across the U.S.. Amica car insurance is unavailable in Hawaii.

Cheapest for steady rates

J.D. Power:
901 /1,000
AM Best:
A +
Avg. annual premium for minimum coverage:
$ 476
Avg annual premium for full coverage:
$ 1,321

How to get started: If you live within one of the 12 states, or Washington, D.C., where Erie writes coverage and would like to get a quote, you can do so on the Erie website by calling 800-458-0811 or visiting a local independent agent who represents the company in its operating territories.

Finding cheap car insurance by state

In many states, USAA offers the cheapest minimum coverage premiums on average, but it has been excluded from our state table since its eligibility is restricted to military members and their qualifying family. Taking this into consideration, Geico offers the cheapest average minimum coverage car insurance in most states of the providers we assessed.

While the following rate information may be useful for the sake of comparison, the cheapest car insurance depends on your individual circumstances, and each state has different insurance regulations. For these reasons, while many carriers could be considered cheap insurance companies, the best way to know if it’s right for your budget is to request a quote.

Cheapest car insurance company by state

The average annual auto insurance premium for minimum coverage by state.

Cheapest car insurance companies by driving record

Based on our research, Auto-Owners and USAA are the cheapest carriers for drivers with clean driving records, one speeding ticket conviction, one at-fault accident or one DUI conviction. Although maintaining a clean motor vehicle record (MVR) is one of the best ways to keep your car insurance premiums low, accidents happen. After multiple incidents, insurance companies may consider you a high-risk driver, which comes at an even greater insurance cost. Being labeled a high-risk driver may prevent you from experiencing the same low car insurance rate that drivers with a clean driving record have.

Average annual premium with driving incidents

The average annual minimum coverage auto insurance premium based on a 40-year-old driver.

Cheapest car insurance companies by credit tier

Geico and USAA offer the cheapest average rates for drivers with poor credit scores, while USAA and Auto-Owners offer the lowest average rates for drivers with average, good and excellent credit. In every state except California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan, car insurance companies are permitted to use your credit-based insurance score as a rating factor. In the states mentioned, insurance companies are banned or restricted from using this information. Check your state’s laws or speak with an insurance agent to determine how your credit history might affect your car insurance premium.

Cheapest car insurance companies by age

While the average cost of car insurance by age varies in most states, there are some exceptions. Hawaii and Massachusetts ban the use of age as a rating factor due to state regulations. In these states, a driver’s age will not impact their premium.

Our research revealed the cheapest car insurance companies for the following age groups, on average:

Below are the cheapest car insurance companies for each age group by market share, based on 2022 premium data obtained from Quadrant Information Services. With the exception of the 17-year-old rate data, these rates reflect no additional discounts applied.

Additionally, we have not included USAA in this list due to its eligibility restrictions, but the company was often the cheapest across a wide range of ages.

AGE CHEAPEST CAR INSURANCE COMPANY ON AVERAGE AVERAGE ANNUAL RATE*
17-year-old** Geico $797
18-year-old Auto-Owners $1,036
19-year-old Auto-Owners $866
20-year-old Auto-Owners $762
21-year-old Geico $628
22-year-old Geico $549
23-year-old Geico $499
24-year-old Geico $473
25-year-old Geico $425
30-year-old Auto-Owners $316
35-year-old Auto-Owners $323
40-year-old Auto-Owners $325
50-year-old Auto-Owners $310
60-year-old Auto-Owners $315
70-year-old Auto-Owners $386
*Average rates based on minimum coverage
**17-year-old driver rates include the total for teen and married parents on one policy, and also reflect the good student and driver’s training discounts. 

Cheap car insurance from smaller insurance companies

Although large companies sometimes offer more discount programs and options, you might want to get a look into regional companies with smaller market shares in your search for cheap car insurance quotes. A smaller insurer can also help you find affordable car insurance, offer high customer satisfaction ratings and provide personalized service. These four regional carriers offer the cheapest minimum car insurance on average, according to Bankrate’s analysis.

Average premiums for smaller companies by market share

The average annual minimum coverage auto insurance premium based on a 40-year-old driver with a clean driving record and good credit.

Insurance company Average annual rate Average monthly rate
Union Mutual $154 $13
Nodak Insurance Company $159 $13
American National $181 $15
EMC Insurance $190 $16

Although regional insurance brands might not sound as familiar as the larger companies, getting quotes from these lesser-known insurance providers might offer cheap insurance coverage in your area.

Factors that can affect your auto insurance rates

When applying for cheap auto insurance, keep in mind that the following personal factors typically affect your rates.

  • Age: In every state except Hawaii and Massachusetts, car insurance companies may use age as a factor in determining your car insurance premiums. Younger drivers tend to pay more for their car insurance due to their lack of driving experience and higher likelihood of accidents.
  • Gender: Gender may be used as a rating factor in every state except California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. On average, men pay slightly higher car insurance rates than women, since they statistically have higher accident frequency and severity, and car insurance companies view them as riskier to insure.
  • Credit score: Most insurance companies use a credit-based insurance score to help calculate your car insurance premium. Statistically, drivers with lower credit scores are more likely to file claims. As a result, their car insurance premiums are usually higher than drivers with good credit scores. Car insurance companies in California, Hawaii and Massachusetts, are prohibited or restricted from using credit as a rating factor, and companies in Michigan are barred from using your actual credit score but can use some metrics that make up your credit score. Washington state’s ban on factoring credit in premiums is currently on hold in the courts. Check your state’s laws or talk to a licensed insurance agent to determine how credit might affect your premium.
  • Vehicle make and model: Since vehicles have different safety ratings, crash statistics and prices for replacement parts and labor, 
  •  your vehicle make and model affects your car insurance premium.
  • Claims history: If you’ve filed car insurance claims in the past, insurance companies view you as higher risk and more likely to file claims in the future.
  • Driving history: One of the best ways to lower your car insurance premium is to keep a clean driving history. If you already have marks on your motor vehicle record, you may want to enroll in a usage-based telematics program that tracks you driving in real-time and offers potential discounts for safe driving.
  • ZIP code: Different ZIP codes have different crash statistics, weather patterns, theft and vandalism rates and living costs. As a result, your address affects the price you pay for car insurance. In Michigan, insurance companies are not allowed to use your ZIP code when calculating your premium. California bans the use of individual ZIP codes but does allow companies to use pre-approved bands of ZIP codes if an accurate rate cannot otherwise be compiled.
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This advertisement is powered by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. The offers and links that appear on this advertisement are from companies that compensate Coverage.com in different ways. The compensation received and other factors, such as your location, may impact what offers and links appear, and how, where and in what order they appear. While we seek to provide a wide range of offers, we do not include every product or service that may be available. Our goal is to keep information accurate and timely, but some information may not be current. Your actual offer from an advertiser may be different from the offer on this advertisement. All offers are subject to additional terms and conditions.

Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

Other factors to watch out for

Each car insurance company uses its own proprietary algorithm to determine rates. Different companies weigh different rating factors differently, which means that the cost for the same coverage can vary widely between carriers. If you are looking for cheap full coverage, here are a few things you may want to keep in mind:
 
Shopping around can help you lower your premium by allowing you to find the coverage you need at the lowest price. However, you should make sure you are buying enough coverage, too; skimping on coverage to get a cheaper premium could leave you with hefty out-of-pocket expenses if you cause an accident. 
 
Additionally, consider the deductibles you choose as well; choosing higher car insurance deductibles could mean a lower premium, but will also mean you’ll pay more out of pocket if you file a claim for damage to your vehicle. 
 
It’s also important to make sure that you take advantage of all the discounts available to you. For example, bundling policies often nets a decent discount on both your auto insurance and additional policy offered by your insurer, such as home coverage. 
 
Finally, you may want to reevaluate your policy, especially if a major life event occurs, to ensure the coverage types, limits, discounts and policy features still work for your needs and you are getting the best price on coverage. If not, you may want to consider switching car insurance companies.

How to get the cheapest car insurance quotes

Auto insurance helps provide you and your family with financial peace of mind. Although your premium is an important factor, buying minimum coverage levels could cost you more in out-of-pocket expenses if you cause an accident, leaving you financially vulnerable to a significant loss. Keeping your coverage needs in mind while looking for a cheap auto insurance policy can help you protect your financial well-being and find the best cheap car insurance for you.

How Bankrate picked the cheapest insurers

To provide an easy-to-use shopping and comparison tool for consumers, we calculated a Bankrate Score out of 5.0 total points. The higher a company’s Bankrate Score, the more competitively that company ranked in each scoring category. Our picks highlight auto insurers that:

We also analyzed data from several super-regional cheap insurance companies that may only offer auto insurance in a select number of markets. Due to their lower volume of annual premiums written, some of these smaller carriers may not be rated by J.D. Power or AM Best. Thus, these two factors had no bearing on their Bankrate Scores.

Frequently asked questions

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2022 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. 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 2020 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.

Credit-based insurance scores: Rates were calculated based on the following insurance credit tiers assigned to our drivers: “poor, average, good (base) and excellent.” Insurance credit tiers factor in your official credit scores but are not dependent on that variable alone. Four states prohibit the use of credit-based insurance scores as a rating factor in determining auto insurance rates: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Michigan. In Michigan, while insurers are not allowed to use your credit score, they can use factors that contribute to your score to calculate your rate.

Incidents: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket conviction and single DUI conviction.

Status: Rates were evaluated based on the following marital/family status: single (base), married, 40 year married man and woman with a 16-year-old teen driver. Marital status is not a rating factor in HI and MI.

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 18-60 (base: 40 years) applied. Depending on age, drivers may be a renter or homeowner. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.

Gender: The following states do not use gender as a determining factor in calculating premiums: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania.

Teens: Rates were determined by adding a 17-year-old teen to a 40-year-old married couple’s policy.

Compare rates and save on auto insurance today!

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Written by
Carol Pope
Insurance Writer

Carol Pope is an insurance writer for Bankrate and prior to joining the team, she spent 12 years as an auto insurance agent. During this time, she sold, serviced and underwrote auto insurance for people across the country. She also has experience selling supplement coverage such as umbrella insurance.

Edited by Insurance Editor
Reviewed by Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute