Best cheap car insurance in Pittsburgh

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Pittsburgh drivers, who are used to snowy, icy roads in the winter, know how important it is to have a good car insurance policy. In 2019, Allegheny County reported more traffic crashes than any other region in Pennsylvania, with almost 10% of the state’s total.

Of course, everyone wants the cheapest car insurance in Pittsburgh. The average rate is $448 annually for minimum coverage and $1,504 annually for full coverage, which includes collision and comprehensive. We researched insurers writing policies in the city and came up with a list of those who offer the best rates, excellent customer service and financial stability.

Best car insurance companies in Pittsburgh

The best car insurance in Pittsburgh, according to our research, is being written by Auto-Owners, Geico, State Farm and USAA. These companies feature the most robust coverage options and best discounts at a competitive price.

Insurance Company J.D. Power Score Average Annual Premium for Minimum Coverage Average Annual Premium for Full Coverage
Auto-Owners 890/1,000 $257 $1,026
Geico 871/1,000 $246 $839
State Farm 881/1,000 $332 $1,149
USAA 890/1,000 $328 $1,203

Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners Insurance has one of the highest rankings on J.D. Power’s Customer Satisfaction survey, meaning that the company values good customer service and makes it a priority. Auto-Owner’s average rates are well below the Pittsburgh averages, at $257 per year for minimum coverage and $1,026 per year for full coverage.

Auto-Owners offers essential and optional coverages, including roadside service and loan gap insurance. It promises to waive your collision deductible if you are in an accident with another vehicle insured by the company, and has plenty of discounts including multi-policy, paid-in-full, and a safety features discount.

Geico

Geico gave us some of the cheapest car insurance quotes in Pittsburgh, with $246 for an average annual rate for minimum coverage and $839 per year for full coverage. Although Geico did not score quite as high with J.D. Power’s national auto customer satisfaction rankings as our other choices, it is rated as above average with the company’s regional ranking for Mid-Atlantic states.

Geico has some of the best discounts of any of the insurers we surveyed, and many of them are simple to earn. If you have multiple vehicles insured with the company, for example, you can save 25% off your premium for both policies. A military member who is deployed can also get 25%, and just having an airbag could net you 23% in savings.

State Farm

State Farm is the largest writer of insurance policies in the U.S. with 16% of the market share. Good customer service is a priority for the company, and you can expect your claim to be handled quickly and efficiently. It has one of the best websites of any insurer out there, and it is easy to manage your account online.

State Farm’s average prices are at the high end among our top choices, but they are still below the average car insurance quotes for Pittsburgh. You will find easy-to-earn discounts available, including good driver, good student and accident free discounts.

USAA

USAA is an excellent company for Pittsburgh drivers who are in the military, are veterans or are immediate family to either. USAA specializes in working with military personnel and their families, and it goes the extra step to provide solid coverage with some nice extras.

USAA’s discounts focus on the needs of the military. For example, you can save up to 60% on your premium if you are deployed. There is a possible 15% off on comprehensive coverage if you garage your car on base, and others for customer loyalty and good driving habits.

Cheapest car insurance in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh drivers pay an average of $448 annually for minimum coverage and $1,504 annually for full coverage. This is on par with the annual average for all Pennsylvania drivers, which is $427 and $1,476 respectively.

Both of these, however, are on the cheap side when compared to the average across America, which is $565 and $1,674.

Insurance Company Average Annual Premium for Minimum Coverage Average Annual Premium for Full Coverage
Geico $246 $839
Auto-Owners $257 $1,026
Nationwide $262 $1,020
USAA $328 $1,203
State Farm $332 $1,149

Average premium costs vary depending on the insurer. Cheap car insurance quotes in Pittsburgh range from a low of $246 annually at Geico for minimum coverage to a high of $1,149 annually for full coverage at State Farm.

Geico is the only company on our list to score below the industry average with J.D. Power. USAA is unique in only selling policies to those with a military connection. Nationwide only offers a safe driving telematics option to business owners, and State Farm excels with its state-of-the-art website and excellent informational blog.

Pittsburgh insurance requirements

Almost every state in the U.S. has a requirement for the minimum auto insurance necessary in order to drive legally. Here is the minimum coverage in PA:

  • $15,000 bodily injury (BI) liability — this is the maximum your insurer will pay for a single person’s injuries in an at-fault accident.
  • $30,000 total BI liability — this is the maximum your insurer will pay for all injuries if more than one person is injured in an at-fault accident.
  • $5,000 property damage liability — this is the maximum your insurer will pay for damage to the other car or other structures in an at-fault accident.
  • $5,000 medical benefits — this pays for your own medical bills or those of persons in your car, regardless of who is at fault.

If you have a lease or car loan, you may also be required to carry collision and comprehensive coverage, which is also called full coverage. Note that insurance experts often recommend that you carry more than the minimum required, especially for liability.

Consider, for instance, the fact that a new car in the U.S. costs more than $40,000. If you have only the minimum property damage liability, you might be forced to pay thousands of out-of-pocket dollars if you total the other driver’s car.

Car insurance discounts in Pittsburgh

Most insurers offer discounts to help you save money. Here are some of the common ones for Pittsburgh drivers:

  • Accident-free discount: If you go for a certain amount of time without an accident (often three to five years), you may earn a small discount, which can increase over time.
  • Safe driving discount: Many insurers now use telematics technology, which offers you savings if you agree to install a small device in your car that monitors your speed, braking and more to ensure that you have good driving habits.
  • Good student discount: If your teen or young adult driver is attending school and has a certain GPA, there are often discounts available. Some insurers offer discounts for students who are on the dean’s list or honor roll.
  • Multi-line and multi-car discounts: If you have more than one policy with a company, either for multiple cars or by bundling your car and homeowner or renter’s insurance, you may receive a discount on both policies.
  • Anti-theft discount: Pittsburgh drivers can maybe take advantage of a discount if their car has an anti-theft device that makes the fuel, ignition or starting systems inoperable when you are not present.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company in Pittsburgh will be different for each driver. Factors such as your car’s age and condition, your own age and your marital status and coverage options make every premium unique.

How much does car insurance in Pittsburgh cost?

The average cost of a car insurance policy in Pittsburgh is $448 per year for PA state minimum coverage and $1,504 per year for full coverage. Your own policy may cost less if you are able to take advantage of some of the common discounts offered by insurers.

How much car insurance do I need in Pittsburgh?

Pennsylvania requires you to carry minimum liability coverage of 15/30/5, along with $5K of med pay coverage. For an additional cost, however, you can increase any of these minimums or choose optional coverages such as collision and comprehensive.

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
Mary Van Keuren
Insurance Contributor
Mary Van Keuren has written for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, Coverage.com and Thesimpledollar.com for the past five years, specializing in home and auto insurance. She has also written extensively for consumer websites including reviews.com and myslumberyard.com. Prior to that, she worked as a writer in academia for several decades.