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Best cheap car insurance in Richmond

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As one of the over 4.8 million licensed drivers in Virginia, car insurance is one way to financially protect yourself if you are involved in an accident in the commonwealth. Drivers in Richmond, a city of about 223,000 residents, pay on average $524 per year for minimum coverage, while full coverage costs, on average, $1,384 per year. How much you pay for car insurance in Virginia’s capital city will be determined by a variety of personal factors, which is why it’s important to know what companies offer the best cheap car insurance in Richmond.

To help Richmond residents find the best cheap car insurance rates, Bankrate obtained up-to-date premium information for car insurance companies in the Richmond area from Quadrant Information Services. We then analyzed each company based on average premium, coverage and discount offerings, customer service rankings and financial strength ratings to determine which companies are the best.

Best car insurance companies in Richmond

Based on our research, the following four companies offer the best car insurance rates in Richmond:

Insurance company J.D. Power score
(Mid-Atlantic region)
Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
USAA 896/1,000 $325 $937
Geico 835/1,000 $395 $1,271
State Farm 851/1,000 $440 $1,116
Erie 856/1,000 $445 $1,167

USAA

Active-duty military members, veterans and their family members who qualify to become members of USAA can get access to some of the best auto insurance rates in Richmond. USAA, the fifth-largest auto insurer in the nation based on market share according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), is not eligible for official ranking with J.D. Power because its coverage is restricted to members of the military community, but the company receives consistently high scores for customer service and claims service. USAA members can also take advantage of a number of discounts on auto insurance coverage, such as bundling policies, on-base discount, storage and mileage, as well as no fees on installment payments.

Drivers can also participate in USAA’s SafePilot driving program. By practicing safe driving behaviors, you can receive up to 30% on your auto policy. USAA also has an A++ (Superior) ranking with AM Best for financial stability, the highest-level possible, meaning that customers can have confidence in their claims being paid.

Learn more: USAA Insurance Review

Geico

Geico, the second-largest U.S. auto insurer based on market share, is known for offering basic car insurance policies at a low price. But in addition to low premiums, they also offer a multitude of discounts for customers to take advantage of. Richmond drivers can save by having vehicle safety features like air bags or anti-theft devices, being a safe driver, insuring multiple cars and more.

Geico is the third-ranked insurance carrier for customer satisfaction in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Insurance Shopping Study. This is not surprising, as many consumers now prefer to handle their insurance needs online and Geico offers an extensive customer experience on its website as well as a mobile app that customers can use to access ID cards, request roadside assistance and more. The company carries an A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best.

Learn more: Geico Insurance Review

State Farm

State Farm is the largest insurer of personal autos in the U.S., according to the Triple-I. The company most notably offers two safe driving programs, Drive Safe & Save for adults and Steer Clear for teens. Both programs can help drivers learn how to practice safe driving habits while saving on their auto policy insurance rates.

State Farm has the third-highest J.D. Power customer satisfaction ranking from its auto policyholders in the Mid-Atlantic region, with a score of 851/1,000. The company also has an A++ (Superior) rating with AM Best for its financial stability. State Farm also boasts a higher-than-average auto claims satisfaction ranking with J.D. Power for 2021, showcasing its dedication to providing a superior claims experience for its customers.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance Review

Erie

Drivers insured by Erie enjoy affordable average rates with a range of coverage options and discounts. Erie also offers coverage for pets injured in accidents — even if you do not purchase collision insurance — and a diminishing deductible feature for claims-free policyholders. Discounts include safe driving, vehicle safety features, reduced vehicle usage and more.

Erie received a high customer satisfaction score from J.D. Power, landing in second place in the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study. Erie’s auto insurance is sold exclusively through independent agents, and its online tool makes it easy to find an agent to quote your auto insurance policy. The company is also fiscally strong, carrying an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best.

Learn more: Erie Insurance Review

Cheapest car insurance in Richmond

Drivers in Richmond pay a bit more for car insurance than average drivers in the commonwealth of Virginia. In Richmond, drivers can expect to pay on average $524 for minimum coverage, while the average Virginia premium for minimum coverage is $441 per year. For full coverage, the average cost of car insurance per year is $1,384 in Richmond but is $1,304 per year in Virginia. However, drivers in both Richmond specifically and Virginia as a whole pay lower rates than the national average of $565 per year for minimum coverage and $1,674 annually for full coverage.

Bankrate compared premiums from the most popular carriers based on market share in Virginia to find the cheapest car insurance in Richmond. We considered a company’s average premiums, customer satisfaction scores, claims experience, financial strength ratings and availability of technology, including an easy-to-navigate website and mobile app where you manage your policy and file claims.

Insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
USAA $325 $937
Geico $395 $1,271
Travelers $401 $940
Nationwide $420 $855
Mercury $420 $1,329

In Richmond, USAA offers the cheapest annual rates for minimum coverage while Nationwide has the lowest annual premiums for full coverage. However, price is not the only factor you should consider when shopping for car insurance. You may also want to take coverage options, discount options and customer service reviews into account when choosing a company.

Richmond insurance requirements

Like most states in the U.S., Virginia has minimum liability insurance requirements. In order to drive legally in the state, you must carry at least the following limits of liability coverage, which were increased for new and renewal auto policies effective on or after Jan. 1, 2022:

  • $30,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $60,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $20,000 for property damage

While minimum coverage may help to keep your auto insurance premiums low, most insurance professionals recommend that you purchase higher liability limits to provide better financial protection for you and your family. If you are in an accident and only have the state minimum insurance limits, you may be left with out-of-pocket bills to pay for the damage you caused in an accident.

Additionally, if you have a loan or lease on your vehicle, you will very likely be required by your lender to carry full coverage car insurance, which includes collision and comprehensive coverage, according to the Triple-I.

Car insurance discounts in Richmond

One of the best ways to lower your car insurance premiums is to take advantage of discounts. While every insurance company offers its own selection of discounts, these are some of the most common:

  • Autopay and paperless discounts: If you set up your payments to be charged automatically to your bank account or credit card, you may get a discount. Going paperless for your insurance documents can also reduce your premium.
  • Good student discount: Insurance companies often reward full-time students who maintain a certain letter-grade average with a good student discount. You may have to show your insurance company proof of your grades or GPA to qualify for this discount.
  • Multiple policies discount: Bundling your auto coverage with home insurance or other insurance products with the same company can be a boon, as this is often one of the largest discounts that many insurance companies offer.
  • Safety features: If your vehicle has safety features like airbags, anti-lock brakes or an anti-theft device, you may be able to lower your premiums.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance companies in Richmond will vary depending on every driver’s specific situation and personal rating factors. If you are looking for the best car insurance company, you may want to obtain several quotes from different companies to find the right policy or most affordable insurance rates for you. You may also choose to consider the company’s financial stability ratings, customer satisfaction rankings, claims process and other features to find the auto insurer that is best suited to your needs.

How much does car insurance in Richmond cost?

The average annual cost for car insurance in Richmond is $524 for minimum coverage and $1,384 for full coverage, which are higher than state averages. How much you pay for auto insurance in Richmond, however, may be calculated based on more than a dozen individual rating factors, including your age, gender, ZIP code, motor vehicle record, credit-based insurance score, claims history, vehicle make and model, and the coverages and deductibles you choose.

How much car insurance do I need in Richmond?

You must carry at least 30/60/20 liability limits to legally drive in Virginia. The amount of coverage you need depends on several factors, including if you financed your car and your tolerance for risk. Talking to a licensed insurance agent may help you determine the proper amount of coverage for you and your family.

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 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.

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