Best cheap car insurance in Richmond

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Virginia has over 4.8 million licensed drivers, and those drivers need car insurance to provide them with the financial protection they need in the event of an accident. 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.

To help Richmond residents find the best cheap car insurance, 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 scores to find out which companies are the best.

Best car insurance companies in Richmond

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

Insurance company J.D. Power score
(Mid-Atlantic region)
Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
USAA 890 / 1,000 $325 $937
Geico 841 / 1,000 $395 $1,271
State Farm 855 / 1,000 $440 $1,116
Erie 850 / 1,000 $445 $1,167

USAA

Current military members, veterans and their families can enjoy some of the best rates in Richmond with USAA. Although it is not eligible for official ranking with J.D. Power, the company receives consistently high scores for customer service and claims service.

USAA also has an A++ ranking with AM Best for financial stability, meaning that customers can have confidence in their claims being paid. The company also has a slightly lower-than-average number of customer complaints, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index. A score of 1.0 indicates a baseline level of customer complaints. For its private passenger auto policies, USAA received a score of 0.97.

Geico

Geico 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 for having vehicle safety features like air bags or anti-theft devices, being a safe driver, insuring multiple cars and more.

Out of the largest insurers in the country, Geico topped the list in the 2020 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.

State Farm

State Farm is the largest insurer of personal autos in the United States. 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 insurance.

State Farm has the highest official J.D. Power ranking in the Mid-Atlantic region, with a score of 855/1,000. The company also has an A++ rating with AM Best. State Farm also boasts a lower-than-average complaint index rating from the NAIC, scoring at 0.69 for its personal auto insurance product.

Erie

Drivers insured by Erie enjoy affordable rates with generous options for coverage and discounts. Erie offers coverage for pets injured in accidents 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 2020 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.

Cheapest car insurance in Richmond

Drivers in Richmond pay a bit more for car insurance than average drivers in the state 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.

We 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 and availability of technology, including an easy-to-navigate website and mobile app with claims filing.

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 offerings, 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:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 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. 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.
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.

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 in the Richmond area:

  • 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 or GPA level with a good student discount. You may have to show your insurance company your grade card to qualify for this discount.
  • Multiple policies discount: Bundling auto, home and 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. Understanding what is important to you when it comes to insurance can help you find the right company. Are you mostly interested in a low premium? Are there certain coverages or discounts you are looking for? Do you want access to mobile tools? A good way to find the best company for you is to obtain quotes from several different insurance providers to compare them.

How much does car insurance in Richmond cost?

Costs will vary based on your driving record, the type of car you drive, where you live in Richmond and your age, among other factors. However, the average Richmond driver pays $524 annually for minimum coverage and $1,384 annually for full coverage.

How much car insurance do I need in Richmond?

You must carry at least 25/50/20 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.

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.com, MoneyGeek and The Simple Dollar. Mandy writes about auto, homeowners, renters, life insurance, disability and supplemental insurance products.
Reviewed by
Insurance Editor