Best cheap car insurance in Salem

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In 2018, there were 2,666 car accidents reported in Salem, and more recent data shows that fatal crashes in Oregon are on the rise. Car insurance is a legal requirement for every driver in Salem. The national average annual premium is $1,674 for full coverage insurance and $565 for minimum coverage insurance; the average in Salem, Oregon for full coverage is $1,416 a year and $719 a year for minimum coverage.

However, every driver pays a different premium for car insurance in Salem based on their circumstances, and every provider charges a different rate. You might pay more or less than the city-wide average based on factors like your age and credit score. Bankrate researched to find the best cheap car insurance in Salem based on average rates, discounts, coverage options and customer satisfaction.

Best car insurance companies in Salem

To find the best cheap car insurance in Salem, Oregon, we looked at providers that offer affordable rates, generous discounts, good coverage options and endorsements, strong financial stability and solid third-party ratings for overall customer satisfaction. These four companies made the list for best car insurance companies in Salem:

Insurance company J.D. Power score Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
USAA 883 / 100 $546 $1,068
Oregon Mutual N/A $498 $933
Geico 834 / 100 $670 $1,361
Progressive 821 / 100 $686 $1,358

Quadrant Information Services, 2020

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 catch with USAA is that you must qualify for coverage. The company only serves active duty and retired military personnel, plus 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.

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 the state, 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 customize 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, among others.

Geico

Geico is the top rated insurance company in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study for the Northwest region, which includes Oregon. 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 customization.

One of the biggest perks of Geico, however, 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.

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 even better 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 your personal budget.

Cheapest car insurance in Salem

Car insurance in Salem is less expensive than the national average rate for full coverage but a bit higher for minimum coverage. In Oregon, the average driver in the state pays $1,346 per year for full coverage insurance and $610 per year for minimum coverage insurance. In Salem, drivers might pay more or less based on their age, credit score, claims history and other factors.

The insurance company you choose will also have an impact on the price of your policy. The table below includes the cheapest car insurance options in Salem from the biggest 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 or 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.

Before choosing an insurance provider, you may also want to consider the company’s overall customer satisfaction rating. In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, USAA and Geico are the only providers with above average scores in the Northwest region, although USAA isn’t rank-eligible according to the J.D. Power study criteria. Travelers and State Farm are ranked below average, and Nationwide does not appear on the list at all.

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 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.

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. The only way to find the best car insurance company is 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.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 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.

About the author


Elizabeth Rivelli

Elizabeth Rivelli

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.