When you shop for a new car insurance policy, the first thing you need to decide is how much coverage to buy. While minimum liability insurance can sometimes bring cheaper rates, it could cost you far more in the future and even put you at risk of financial devastation.
Once you know what insurance coverage you need, you can consider other factors for your insurance policy, such as price. With the average full coverage car insurance policy costing $1,674 per year in the U.S., Bankrate can help you first understand and then find the best full coverage car insurance for your needs.
What is full coverage auto insurance?
Full coverage generally refers to an auto insurance policy that also includes comprehensive and collision coverages, which add protection for damage to your own 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 coverages, 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.
Liability-only insurance is important coverage to have, because it provides financial protection only 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.
Best cheap full coverage car insurance
Most states require that you carry at least minimum levels of certain car insurance coverages to drive legally. While these coverages 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 coverages, discounts, policy features and third-party rankings from companies like AM Best and J.D. Power.
Based on our research, we have assigned a Bankrate Score, on a scale of zero to five, 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:
|Car insurance company||Bankrate Score||Average annual full coverage premium||Monthly premium cost|
USAA only sells coverage to military members, veterans and their immediate families, but if you qualify, the company 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.
Learn more: USAA Insurance review
Auto-Owners is a regional carrier only available in 26 states. If you can afford to pay your premium in full, Auto-Owners offers a paid-in-full discount that may lower your premium. The company also offers numerous optional coverages, 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.
Learn more: Auto-Owners Insurance review
Amica 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 coverages and discounts.
Learn more: Amica Insurance review
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.
Learn more: Geico Insurance review
If you are looking for a highly customizable policy, Travelers may be a good fit. The company offers a long list of optional coverages, 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.
Learn more: Travelers Insurance review
Erie is another regional carrier and is only available in 12 states. If you qualify for coverage, Erie offers low average rates combined with highly-rated customer service. Erie scored above the industry average in the 2021 J.D. Power 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.
Learn more: Erie Insurance review
If 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 country, so the likelihood of having an agency near you is high. State Farm offers standard car insurance coverages, several optional endorsements and a few discounts.
Learn more: State Farm Insurance review
Cheapest full coverage company by state
The average cost of car insurance varies by state due to different insurance laws, unique geographic features and the incidence of claims in the area. 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.
|State||Car insurance company||Average annual full coverage premium|
|Louisiana||Southern Farm Bureau||$1,871|
|Minnesota||Iowa Farm Bureau||$1,015|
|New York||Main Street America||$761|
|Rhode Island||State Farm||$955|
|South Dakota||American Family||$1,070|
How to find the cheapest full coverage insurance
Because you are buying more coverage, full coverage auto insurance is very 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 on these coverages. 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 coverages, 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, your age and gender, your ZIP code, the coverages 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 own 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.
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 coverages that meet 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 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.