Best cheap car insurance in Salem for 2021

1
Gary Weathers/Getty Images
Bankrate Logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for .

In Salem, Oregon, the average cost of car insurance for state minimum coverage is $719 per year and $1,416 per year for full coverage, according to Bankrate’s 2021 study of quoted annual premiums. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team found that Oregon Mutual and USAA offer some of the best cheap car insurance in Salem. These two companies offer personalizable policies, multiple opportunities for discounts and have excellent customer reviews.

With fatal car crashes on the rise in Oregon, Salem drivers may be able to find cheap providers and increase coverage limits to provide greater financial protection if they cause an accident. Bankrate compared insurance companies offering coverage in Salem to find the best cheap car insurance based on average rates, discounts, coverage options and customer satisfaction.

Best cheap car insurance companies in Salem

To begin finding insurance companies in Salem, Oregon, we looked at providers that offer affordable rates, generous discounts, customizable coverage options, excellent financial stability and better-than-average third-party ratings for overall customer satisfaction. Based on data collected by Quadrant Information Services and overall ratings, these five companies made the list as some of the best car insurance companies in Salem with cheap policies:

Insurance company J.D. Power score Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Oregon Mutual Not rated $498 $933
USAA *884 / 1,000 $546 $1,068
State Farm 844 / 1,000 $666 $1,224
Geico 821 / 1,000 $670 $1,361
Progressive 817 / 1,000 $686 $1,358

*Due to membership eligibility restrictions, USAA is considered rank-ineligible by J.D. Power.

Oregon Mutual

Oregon Mutual is a local insurance provider that is headquartered in McMinnville, Oregon. The company offers some of the cheapest car insurance policies in Salem, with an average annual premium of $933 for full coverage, and $498 for minimum coverage insurance.

Although Oregon Mutual is a small carrier, it offers an impressive list of coverages. You can add to your policy with accident forgiveness, roadside assistance, a diminishing deductible and new car replacement coverage. There are also discounts offered for taking a defensive driver course, getting a quote in advance and going on military deployment.

Learn more: Oregon Mutual Insurance review

USAA

USAA is widely considered to be one of the best insurance companies on the market, with high customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power. The only catch with USAA is that you must qualify for coverage. The company only serves active duty and retired military personnel, as well as their spouses and children.

In addition to competitive rates, USAA also offers excellent customer service and claims handling, good coverage options and generous savings opportunities. Available discounts include those for good students, taking a driver training course, insuring a new vehicle, bundling policies, driving under a certain number of miles per year and garaging your vehicle on a military base.

Learn more: USAA Insurance review

State Farm

In the 2021 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study, State Farm ranks first in the Northwest region, which includes Oregon. As the largest car insurance company in the nation, State Farm offers lower-than-average rates for Salem drivers without sacrificing coverage options.

State Farm has over 19,000 agents countrywide, providing a personalized touch in the digital age. Drivers can personalize their insurance with coverages like car rental reimbursement for if your car is deemed undrivable after an accident and rideshare insurance if you use your car for transportation services. If you opt for roadside assistance, coverage is available 24/7 so you always have someone to call if your car breaks down.

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Geico

Geico’s car insurance policies are more affordable on average compared to some other providers in Salem, but coverage is more limited, with few options for personalization. However, one of the biggest perks of Geico is the long list of discounts available.

On top of competitive rates, the company has savings opportunities for federal employees, military personnel, emergency deployment, employer and membership groups, having a car with certain safety features, being a good student and being claims-free.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Progressive

Progressive tops our list for the best cheap car insurance companies in Salem for a few reasons. Progressive offers low rates, amazing discounts and online tools and resources. Drivers who switch to Progressive save over $750 per year on average, according to the provider.

With Progressive, drivers can potentially take advantage of discounts for paying in full, being a smart student, enrolling in automatic payments, bundling policies and owning a home. Good drivers can sign up for Progressive’s Snapshot safe driver discount program, and use the Name Your Price Tool to design a policy that fits within their personal budget.

Learn more: Progressive Insurance review

Cheapest car insurance in Salem

Car insurance in Salem is less expensive than the national average annual rate for full coverage, which is $1,674. In Oregon, the average driver in the state pays $1,346 per year for full coverage insurance, while Salem drivers pay on average $1,416 for the same coverage annually. Your personal driving history, age and credit score help determine rates, but so does the insurance company you choose. The table below includes the cheapest car insurance options in Salem from the largest providers based on market share:

Insurance company Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
Travelers $491 $1,073
USAA $546 $1,068
Nationwide $640 $1,130
State Farm $666 $1,224
Geico $670 $1,361

Although these five companies offer the lowest rates in Salem, they each have pros and cons. For example, USAA only serves military personnel and their families, so many drivers will be ineligible. If you are looking for good coverage options, Travelers and Nationwide are worth including in your comparison shopping. State Farm and Geico may offer more limited policy options, but stand out for discounts and financial strength.

In terms of discounts, Progressive, USAA and Geico stand out among the others. But if you are looking for specific savings, such as a discount for hybrid owners, you might consider Travelers. Similarly, Geico is the only company on this list that advertises a discount for federal employees and employer/membership groups.

Salem insurance requirements

Every driver who has a vehicle registered in the state of Oregon must carry at least 25/50/20 liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance. In addition, Oregon drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP). Here are the insurance requirements and what they cover:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury coverage per person
  • $50,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident
  • $20,000 in property damage coverage per accident
  • $15,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) per person
  • $25,000 in uninsured motorist coverage per person
  • $50,000 in uninsured motorist coverage per accident

Drivers who want the cheapest car insurance in Oregon may consider a minimum coverage policy. However, increasing your liability limits may be a smart investment as minimum coverage insurance may not best cover the full cost of an accident. In addition, drivers who lease or finance their vehicle are usually required to carry full coverage insurance until their loan is repaid.

Car insurance discounts in Salem

Most car insurance companies in Salem offer discounts, which can help you get a lower premium. Here are some of the most common car insurance discounts available from providers in Salem:

  • Claims-free discount: Drivers who have no prior claims on their record — or at least no claims within the last few years — can usually get a discount on their policy.
  • Pay in full discount: If you can afford to pay your annual premium upfront and in full, most insurance providers will lower your rate.
  • Good student discount: Good students who maintain a minimum GPA can often qualify for car insurance savings.
  • Defensive driver discount: Many insurance companies offer a discount to drivers who complete an approved defensive driver course.

The amount you can save with car insurance discounts in Salem varies by company. Most often, the home and auto bundle discount offers the highest discount percentage. If you have a teen driver, you could offset higher premiums by applying the good student discount and having them complete a driver training program. The longer you go without filing a claim and maintaining a clean driving record, the more safe driving discounts you are generally eligible for. Some companies offer accident forgiveness if you are claim-free for at least three years, which secures your rate even after your first at-fault accident.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

The best car insurance company varies by each driver’s unique situation. It depends on factors like your coverage needs and your budget. Some drivers are looking for the best customer service, some are looking for specific discounts and others just want the cheapest policy. To begin narrowing down your options, try to compare providers based on your own criteria and get personalized quotes.

How much does car insurance in Salem cost?

The average car insurance quote in Salem is $1,416 for full coverage insurance and $719 for minimum coverage insurance. However, you might pay more or less than average based on your age, claims history, credit score, gender and the value of your vehicle.

Is Oregon a fault or no-fault state?

Oregon is an at-fault state. If you are involved in an accident in Oregon, the person deemed at fault in the accident is responsible for covering the other party’s injuries and property damage. If you are found at fault and the cost of damages is higher than your liability limits, you may be sued for the remainder. This is why most insurance experts recommend purchasing as much liability insurance as you can afford, especially in at-fault states like Oregon.

Is it illegal to drive without insurance in Oregon?

Yes, it is illegal to drive without at least the state minimum liability insurance requirements and PIP coverage in Oregon. If you are found to be driving without insurance in Oregon, you could face penalties, including fines up to $1,000, license suspension and the possibility of having your car impounded. Oregon law requires carrying SR-22 insurance to get your license back if it is suspended.

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
Elizabeth Rivelli
Insurance Contributor
Elizabeth has two years of experience writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, The Simple Dollar, Coverage.com and NextAdvisor, among others. In addition to auto insurance, Elizabeth regularly writes about home insurance, renters insurance and life insurance. She also covers industry trends and general insurance education.
Edited by
Insurance Editor