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Car insurance for drivers with good credit

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Car insurance rates are impacted by numerous factors, and in most states, credit-based insurance scores are one of them. According to Bankrate’s research, USAA, Erie and Auto-Owners offer some of the best car insurance for good credit. Geico and Amica may also be top choices.

Our insurance editorial team gathered 2021 premium data from Quadrant Information Services regarding car insurance for drivers with good credit. We also reviewed each company’s available coverage types, discounts and policy features to help you decide if any of these carriers is right for your needs. Our research into how credit affects your car insurance premium could help you make an educated decision about your coverage.

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Key takeaways
  • USAA offers the cheapest full coverage premium for drivers with low credit, with an average cost of $1,225 per year.
  • The cheapest minimum coverage comes from Auto-Owners and costs an average of $382 per year.
  • On average, drivers with good credit pay $2,199 less per year for car insurance than drivers with bad credit.

Best car insurance companies for drivers with good credit

We based our picks for the best car insurance for people with good credit based on average rates, types of coverage available, discounts available, financial strength ratings from AM Best and other third-party ratings, such as J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores. If you have a good credit score, these five companies might be worth considering:

Insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Amica $405 $1,378
Auto-Owners $382 $1,351
Erie $409 $1,233
Geico $433 $1,405
USAA $384 $1,225

Amica

Amica is a highly-rated auto insurance company. It is known for its affordable rates, good customer service and reliable coverage. You may customize your policy with accident forgiveness, roadside assistance, full glass replacement coverage, gap insurance and more. Amica also offers a long list of generous discounts, in addition to dividend policies, where you might get back up to 20% of your premium at the end of your policy period.

Learn more: Amica Insurance review

Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners could be a solid choice for any driver who has a good credit score. Not only does the company offer low average rates, but you could also include add-on coverage types for more protection. Auto-Owners sells a variety of endorsements, like gap insurance, diminished value coverage, roadside assistance and the Personal Automobile Plus package, which includes 10 additional coverage types, like cell phone replacement insurance. Auto-Owners also offers a number of discounts.

Learn more: Auto-Owners Insurance review

Erie

Erie only sells coverage in 12 states, but it could be a great option for drivers with good credit. The company includes several coverage types standard on its auto insurance policies, including pet coverage and locksmith services. The company has over 13,000 local agents available, so if you prefer to handle your insurance in person, Erie could be a good choice. The Rate Lock feature may also be appealing if you want to keep your premium steady. With Rate Lock, your premium will only change if you make changes to your policy like adding or removing a vehicle.

Learn more: Erie Insurance review

Geico

Geico is well known for being one of the cheapest car insurance companies on the market. Geico’s car insurance coverage options are somewhat limited, but there are more than a dozen discounts available. Geico has potential savings for military personnel, federal employees, good students, employer/membership groups, bundling your policies, having a vehicle with safety features, wearing your seatbelt, taking a defensive driver course and more.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

USAA

USAA sells car insurance to active duty and retired military service members and qualifying family members. If you are affiliated with any branch of the military, you may be able to take advantage of USAA’s highly-rated customer service, reliable coverage and generous discounts, like savings for good drivers, being claims-free, taking a defensive driver course and garaging your vehicle on base. USAA also consistently gets high customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power, although it doesn’t qualify for official ranking due to its eligibility restrictions.

Learn more: USAA Insurance review

How credit affects your car insurance

Your credit score can have an impact on your car insurance rate in most states. When you apply for a policy, most car insurance companies will run a credit report to check your score. In most cases, the higher your credit score is, the lower your car insurance premium will be. Drivers with a poor credit score tend to pay the most expensive rates.

Insurance companies generally consider individuals with poor credit to be high-risk drivers, meaning they are more likely to file claims, pay their premium late or stop paying their premium altogether. To offset the potential risk, insurance companies tend to charge these drivers more for coverage. If your credit score increases or decreases significantly during your policy period, you may see the rate change when your policy renews.

What, then, is a good credit score to get a car insurance policy with competitive prices? A score in the “good” range — between 670 and 739, according to the FICO scoring model — is generally considered to be the baseline for competitive pricing. Keep in mind, though, that insurance companies don’t actually use your credit score directly. Instead, that number, along with other factors, is translated into your credit-based insurance score. That score is what is used to determine rates.

The table below illustrates the difference in average annual full coverage premiums for the different credit tiers.

Poor credit Average credit Good credit Excellent credit
$3,873 $1,865 $1,674 $1,487

You may wonder, “Do car insurance quotes affect credit score?” The answer is no. Insurance quotes use soft credit pulls, which look into your credit history but do not affect your credit in the way that applying for a loan or mortgage does.

Providers that don’t factor credit into your insurance rate

It is standard practice for most insurance providers to look into your credit score before they give you a quote. However, some providers do not check your credit score when you apply for a policy. Here are some insurance carriers that may not look at your credit score:

  • CURE Insurance
  • Dillo Insurance
  • Equity Insurance

These insurance providers may not be available in all states.

In some states, it is against the law for insurance companies to use your credit score to calculate your rate. Currently, insurance companies in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan cannot look at your credit history before selling you a policy. But keep in mind that if you fail to make the payments, insurance companies in these states could still cancel your coverage.

What else impacts my insurance rate?

Your credit score is only one factor that affects your car insurance rate. Even if you have great credit, you might still pay an expensive rate based on other criteria. Here are some additional factors that could cause someone with good credit to have a high insurance rate:

  • Age: Your age is one of the biggest factors that impacts your insurance premium. Younger drivers tend to pay among the highest rates because they lack experience. As you get older, your insurance rate will typically decrease, assuming you maintain good credit. (Hawaii and Massachusetts ban the use of age as a rating factor.)
  • Driving record: Drivers with a good credit score but a lengthy history of insurance claims, at-fault accidents, tickets or DUI convictions are likely going to pay a higher rate. Maintaining a clean driving record can help you avoid expensive policy surcharges.
  • State: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington ban the use of credit as a rating factor. This means that in those states, your credit will not affect your car insurance premium. Additionally, each state has its own set of insurance laws and regulations, which can impact average premiums.
  • Coverage selections: The coverage selections and limits you choose are one of the biggest factors for your car insurance premium. Choosing higher limits and adding on optional coverage types like roadside assistance or car rental coverage will generally result in higher premiums, but will provide you with more financial protection.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company for bad credit?

Based on our research, the best car insurance for drivers with bad credit comes from Nationwide, Geico and Mercury. These carriers offer lower-than-average rates for drivers with a low credit rating. However, because everyone has a unique situation, your actual rates may vary and you may want to shop around and consider more companies than just these three.

How much does car insurance cost?

In the United States, the average full coverage car insurance policy costs $1,674 per year and the average minimum coverage policy costs $565 per year. However, auto insurance rates are personalized, and every driver pays a different rate based on a number of factors.

How much car insurance do I need?

The amount of coverage you need will vary based on your state, vehicle, assets and level of risk tolerance. You will need to purchase at least your state’s minimum limits to drive legally, and if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle you will likely need full coverage. Working with a licensed insurance agent could help you determine what coverage is appropriate for your needs.

Will improving my credit score lower my car insurance rate?

It might. Drivers with better credit scores tend to pay lower rates, so increasing your credit score could lower your premium. However, your premium will only be impacted if you live in a state that allows credit to be used as a rating factor and if you are with a company that uses credit-based insurance scores. There are other rating factors within your control that might save you money, too, like avoiding at-fault accidents and tickets.

Can paying for car insurance build my credit?

Potentially. Your car insurance payments themselves won’t affect your credit score. But if you choose to pay with a credit card, you might be able to use your car insurance to improve your credit. You should also be aware that the reverse is also true: Your car insurance premiums could potentially damage your credit. Some car insurance companies will turn late accounts over to collections agencies, which can damage your credit. Paying on time is one of the best ways to maintain or improve your credit score, as it shows that you handle your money responsibly.

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 coverage that meets 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.

Credit: 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. The following states do not allow credit to be a factor in determining auto insurance rates: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington.

Written by
Cate Deventer
Insurance Writer & Editor
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional with over a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent.
Edited by
Insurance Editor