Best cheap car insurance in Columbia for 2021

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Car insurance protects your finances if you get into a car accident. In Columbia, Missouri, every driver is required to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. The average cost of car insurance in Columbia is $455 for a minimum coverage policy and $1,501 for a full coverage policy, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums.

To find the best cheap car insurance in Columbia, we looked at the top car insurance companies in Missouri and reviewed each one based on average rate, coverage options, third-party ratings and more.

Best car insurance companies in Columbia

Based on our findings, the best car insurance companies in Columbia are Geico, USAA, Shelter, Progressive and State Farm. These providers have above-average customer satisfaction ratings by J.D. Power and excellent financial strength scores from AM Best. They also have good coverage options and discounts available for additional savings.

Insurance company J.D. Power 2021 Auto Insurance Study score Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
USAA 897/1,000 $275 $1,003
Progressive 837/1,000 $463 $1,322
State Farm 847/1,000 $461 $1,365
Geico 845/1,000 $429 $1,509
Shelter 856/1,000 $649 $1,888

*USAA is not officially ranked by J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions.

USAA

USAA caters exclusively to military personnel, both active duty and retired, and their immediate families. Columbia drivers who qualify for USAA car insurance can take advantage of the company’s affordable rates, great customer service and generous discounts. There are savings for good students, safe drivers, garaging your vehicle on base, driving infrequently and being a legacy customer, among others. The company also consistently receives high marks from J.D. Power, although it is not officially ranked due to its eligibility restrictions.

Learn more: USAA Insurance Review

Progressive

Progressive might be considered one of the best car insurance companies in Columbia on our list for drivers who are looking for generous discounts. The insurance company offers special savings for teen drivers, paying in full, bundling your policies, being a homeowner and more. Progressive also stands out for its online tools, like the Name Your Price Tool and competitor rate comparison tool.

Learn more: Progressive Insurance Review

State Farm

State Farm is the largest car insurance company in the country. In addition to low rates, State Farm also offers good coverage options and multiple safe driver rewards programs. Drivers under 25 can enroll in the Steer Clear program, and drivers over 25 can enroll in the Drive Safe & Save program to get a lower rate. State Farm is also highly regarded for its customer service by J.D. Power.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance Review

Geico

Geico offers basic car insurance coverage, but it has arguably some of the best car insurance discounts on the market. The insurance company offers unique savings opportunities for military personnel, including going on emergency deployment, as well as federal employees, affinity groups and having a vehicle with advanced safety features. Drivers can also sign up for DriveEasy, Geico’s safe driver rewards program to get a discount.

Learn more: Geico Insurance Review

Shelter

Shelter is one of the best options on our list for Columbia drivers who want to customize their policy with endorsements. Through Shelter, you can add rental car reimbursement, rideshare coverage, gap insurance, disability income coverage, accidental death coverage and new car replacement coverage, plus a few others. Shelter also offers a wide selection of discounts and is rated the highest of any carrier on our list in J.D. Power’s annual customer satisfaction study.

Learn more: Shelter Insurance Review

Cheapest car insurance in Columbia

The average car insurance premium in Columbia is $1,501 for a full coverage policy and $455 for a minimum coverage policy. Columbia drivers typically pay less for car insurance than the average Missouri driver. By comparison, the average cost of car insurance in Missouri is $1,661 per year for full coverage insurance, which is about 2.74% higher than the U.S. national average rate of $1,674 per year.

Car insurance companies in Columbia (and everywhere else) each charge a different rate for coverage, and your actual rates will be based on multiple factors. The table below includes the cheapest car insurance in Columbia from some of the largest carriers based on market share.

Insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
USAA $275 $1,003
Geico $429 $1,509
State Farm $461 $1,365
Progressive $463 $1,322
Farmers $476 $1,234

Besides price, these providers have some differentiating factors that make them stand out. For example, USAA is the only company that has eligibility requirements. Geico and Progressive offer some of the best discounts. If you are looking for specific endorsements, your best option might be Farmers. In terms of customer satisfaction, every company on our list besides Progressive is rated above average in J.D. Power’s most recent auto insurance study for the central region.

Columbia insurance requirements

Car insurance is a legal requirement in Missouri. Drivers must carry a minimum of 25/50/10 liability insurance, which includes the following coverages:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury liability per person
  • $50,000 for bodily injury liability per accident
  • $10,000 for property damage liability per accident

Drivers looking for cheap car insurance in Missouri might be tempted to get a minimum coverage policy to keep costs low. However, it might not be the wisest move for your financial protection to focus on the least amount of coverage to get the lowest rate.

There is no guarantee that a minimum coverage policy will cover the total cost of the other driver’s damages if you cause an accident, which could leave you legally and financially responsible for certain damages. Minimum coverage also will not pay for damage to your car. Additionally, drivers who lease or finance their vehicle are typically required to have a full coverage policy until their loan is paid off.

Car insurance discounts in Columbia

Choosing a cheap car insurance company is one way to get a low rate. In addition, most insurance companies in Columbia offer discounts to help drivers save even more. Some of the most popular discounts include:

  • Defensive driving course discount: If you complete an approved defensive driving course, many insurance companies will give you a discount.
  • Policy bundling discount: Drivers who bundle their auto and home or renters insurance policy with the same insurance company can often qualify for a significant discount on their premium.
  • Paperless billing discount: Some insurance companies offer a small discount for enrolling in paperless billing and policy statements.
  • Multi-vehicle discount: If you have multiple vehicles, insuring them on the same policy can usually help you save some money.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company varies, and it is different for every driver. The best company depends on where you live, how much coverage you need, your budget and what discounts you can qualify for. You might want to start by shopping around and requesting quotes from multiple companies for the same coverage to see what your options are.

How much car insurance do I need in Columbia?

Drivers in Columbia, Missouri, are legally required to carry at least 25/50/10 in personal liability insurance. However, you may want to consider purchasing a higher amount of coverage for added protection in the event of an at-fault accident or other claim. Speak with a licensed insurance agent to determine how much car insurance is right for your specific needs.

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 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.

Written by
Elizabeth Rivelli
Insurance Contributor
Elizabeth has two years of experience writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, The Simple Dollar, Coverage.com and NextAdvisor, among others. In addition to auto insurance, Elizabeth regularly writes about home insurance, renters insurance and life insurance. She also covers industry trends and general insurance education.
Edited by
Insurance Editor