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Best cheap car insurance in East Lansing

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With over 40% of East Lansing residents owning more than one car, and the majority of drivers in this Michigan city commuting alone to and from work, affordable auto insurance is essential. In East Lansing, drivers pay an average annual premium of $880 for minimum coverage and $2,902 per year for full coverage insurance.

If you’re a driver looking for the best cheap auto insurance in East Lansing, Bankrate can help. We worked to find the best car insurance companies with the cheapest rates for people living in East Lansing by comparing rate data from Quadrant Information Services, along with information about coverages, discounts and financial strength across Michigan insurance providers.

Best car insurance companies in East Lansing

To find the best East Lansing car insurance companies, we compared rates, discounts and coverage options across several top carriers in the region. Third-party rankings were also used to determine who has the highest customer satisfaction and claims-handling scores, as well as financial strength ratings. We also used 2021 rate data gathered from Quadrant Information Services to look at average annual premiums and determined these four companies are among the best cheap car insurers in East Lansing:

Insurance company J.D. Power customer satisfaction score Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Auto-Owners 842 / 1000 $766 $1,768
Geico 837 / 1000 $556 $1,146
Grange 826 / 1000 $1,318 $1,964
Westfield N/A $112 $2,318

Quadrant Information Services, 2021

Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners Insurance is the third-largest super-regional company in the U.S. based on direct premiums written and has been insuring Michigan residents for over 100 years. Lansing-based Auto-Owners offers standard auto, home and life policies but also provides coverage for recreational vehicles like ATVs, motorcycles, boats and modified vehicles.

Auto-Owners generally has rates lower than the average for East Lansing and is the sixth ranked insurer for customer satisfaction in the North Central region according to the 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study. Compared to the average complaint index for the industry, Auto-Owners has a lower-than-average score of 0.86, showing strong customer claims satisfaction. Combined with its superior financial strength to pay out claims and lower-than-average rates in East Lansing, Auto-Owners may be a good choice for drivers looking for affordable auto insurance. The company was rated A++ (Superior) for financial strength rating from AM Best, the highest level possible.

Learn more: Auto-Owners Insurance Review

Geico

Geico, the second-largest U.S. auto insurer based on market share, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), has the cheapest average rate for full coverage insurance. On-demand delivery drivers, rideshare drivers and policyholders driving in Mexico can get specified coverage from Geico.

In the North Central region, Geico ranked in eighth place for overall customer satisfaction for 2021 and earned third place in the 2021 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study.  Geico was rated A++ for financial strength rating from AM Best and earned an above-average ranking for Auto Claims Satisfaction.

Learn more: Geico Insurance Review

Grange

Grange Insurance may only offer coverage in 13 states, but this super-regional company still competes with large insurers in Michigan with insurance options on auto insurance, like pet injury coverage and OEM parts. Due to its smaller size, Grange didn’t make the Auto Claims Study or Insurance Shopping Study, but the North Central region rates Grange with 826 points, putting it in 14th place in customer satisfaction among the industries top leaders on the Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study. The company also earned an A (excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best.

Learn more: Grange Insurance Review

Westfield

Westfield is another Midwest-based super-regional insurer offering business and personal insurance for East Lansing residents. You could get gap insurance or trip coverage as endorsements to a standard auto policy or extra coverage for helmets and other gear if you ride a motorcycle. Westfield has by far the best average rates for liability coverage on our list, making it a very affordable auto insurance policy option for those with no need for full coverage. The company was also rated A (excellent) by AM Best for its financial strength.

Learn more: Westfield Insurance Review

Cheapest car insurance in East Lansing

Michigan drivers pay average higher rates compared to other drivers in the U.S. The average cost of car insurance across the country is $565 per year for liability coverage and $1,674 for full coverage while Michigan drivers average annual premiums are $948 (68% more) for minimum coverage and $2,309 (38% more) for full coverage. In East Lansing, the average rates are slightly less than the state levels at $809 for minimum coverage and $1,967 for full coverage per year.

Bankrate assessed standard coverage packages, discount options, financial strength ratings, as well as claims and customer service experience to find the cheapest car insurance rates in East Lansing. Travelers has the cheapest rates we could find for liability coverage while Progressive has the best full coverage price.

At Travelers, you can choose from a wide range of policy options and discounts, which is why you can get such affordable auto insurance rates. Progressive offers rideshare coverage and a deductible savings option for every year you don’t file a claim.

Insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Travelers $378 $1,159
USAA $438 $1,127
Progressive $515 $1,075
Geico $556 $1,146

Quadrant Information Services, 2021

East Lansing insurance requirements

All Michigan residents, regardless of location, have to follow the same minimum insurance requirements to register and drive their car legally in the state. East Lansing residents must have a minimum of:

  • Bodily injury: $250,000 per person, $500,000 per accident
  • Property damage: $10,000 per accident
  • Property protection: $1 million
  • Personal Injury Protection choices:
    • Unlimited coverage
    • Up to $500,000
    • Up to $250,000
    • Up to $250,000 with medical exclusion (for those whose non-Medicaid health insurance covers auto accident injuries)
    • Up to $50,000 (for those enrolled in Medicaid and whose household members have a health or car insurance policy that covers accident-related injuries)
    • PIP medical opt-out (for those enrolled in Medicaid and whose household members have a health or car insurance policy that covers accident-related injuries)

Michigan auto insurance policies come with default liability limits of:

  • $250,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $500,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $10,000 property damage liability per accident (for damage in other states)

Michigan drivers can opt for lower limits, like the 50/100/10 minimum, but policies are quoted with a default coverage of 250/500/10. Though some East Lansing drivers only need an auto insurance policy with minimum coverage, others may benefit from higher liability limits, which offers more financial protection if you have an accident. Financed and leased cars typically require full coverage to comply with the loan or lease requirements. You may also want to consider full coverage if your car still has a high book value, unless you can self-insure if your car is damaged due to a crash.

Car insurance discounts in East Lansing

With higher-than-average car insurance rates, finding cheap car insurance may come down to earning discounts for East Lansing residents. Adding discounts can drive down the cost of insurance, making it more affordable. Consider some of these discounts, and don’t forget to ask your insurance agent or carrier about other discounts to see what you’re eligible for:

  • Early quote/pay-in-full discount: If you shop for insurance before your policy renews, some companies will give you a discount. Paying in full instead of on a monthly or quarterly payment plan can also lower your car insurance costs.
  • Multi-policy discount: If you rent or own your home or have other needs for insurance products, insuring everything with the same insurance company may help you save on all of them with a bundle discount.
  • Safety features: The safer your car is, the less you may have to pay for car insurance. Cars with multiple airbags, anti-lock brakes and other safety features have cheaper rates compared to other vehicles with limited or no safety features.
  • Usage-based discount: If you work from home or have a short commute, most companies offer usage-based programs to lower your insurance costs. These UBI programs engage telematics to check for hard braking and quick accelerations, as well as what time of day you drive so your driving habits will be monitored, too.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company in East Lansing will offer the insurance options that suit your needs while offering affordable auto insurance coverage. Getting several quotes to compare policy options can help you find the right insurance policy at the best rate. Rates will vary based on personal rating factors of your household, including age of all drivers, motor vehicle record, claims history, make and model of your vehicle, and the coverages and deductibles chosen.

How much does car insurance in East Lansing cost?

Car insurance in East Lansing costs drivers, on average, $809 per year for minimum coverage and $1,967 per year for full coverage. Premium will vary according to the personal rating factors described above. How much you will pay for auto insurance will depend on numerous personal factors, like your age (in most states), driving and claims history, household driver history and the type of insurance coverage you choose.

What insurance rating factors are not allowed in Michigan?

Recent changes to Michigan auto insurance regulations prohibit insurers from using the following rating factors when determining your premium: gender, marital status, home ownership, credit score, educational level, occupation and ZIP codes.

How much car insurance do I need in East Lansing?

Meeting the minimum requirements for coverage doesn’t always mean you have the right amount of coverage you need. How much you’ll need will vary by whether or not you can self-insure, how much your car is worth and if you financed or leased your vehicle. Getting multiple quotes from different carriers can help you find the best price for the car insurance coverages you need. Most insurance professionals recommend getting coverage limits well above the state minimums to ensure a higher level of financial protection for you and your family. Additionally, Michigan has the second-highest uninsured motorist rate in the U.S. (25.5%) according to the Triple-I, so East Lansing drivers may also consider adding uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage to their auto policy.

Who has the cheapest car insurance right now?

The cheapest car insurance for you will depend on your personal rating factors and who you choose as your insurance provider. Based on the data collected by Bankrate, the cheapest car insurance on average for East Lansing drivers is with Travelers, USAA, Progressive and Geico. Getting quotes from these carriers and comparing the insurance coverage and policy options can help you find the most affordable auto insurance rates in East Lansing and other parts of Michigan.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 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 sample drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.

Rates are determined based on 2021 Quadrant Information Services data.

Written by
Mandy Sleight
Insurance Contributor
Mandy Sleight has been a licensed insurance agent since 2005. She has three years of experience writing for insurance websites such as Bankrate, MoneyGeek and The Simple Dollar. Mandy writes about auto, homeowners, renters, life insurance, disability and supplemental insurance products.
Edited by
Insurance Editor
Reviewed by
Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute