Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 1, 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • Before conducting a car insurance comparison, consider your coverage needs and compare the quotes for your desired car insurance rates
  • Average rate comparisons rely on data that can differ from one study to another
  • Car insurance companies offer a lot of varied discounts, which can range from safety features on your car to your job

How does a car insurance comparison work? Specifically, which factors should you consider when comparing car insurance companies?

The first thing car insurance shoppers might consider is the cost, but finding average car insurance rates for various companies requires extensive research. So, getting direct quotes from car insurance companies will give you a better idea of how high your rates will be.

Another aspect of car insurance is the level of coverage each company offers. Also, consider discounts to lower your insurance rates.

Read on to learn more about the steps you should take when comparing car insurance companies. For example, we will discuss how much research you need to do and the importance of car insurance quotes in the process.

How do you compare car insurance rates?

Comparing car insurance rates is a difficult task. Honestly, car insurance rates can vary wildly from one policyholder to the next, even if they use the same car insurance company.

You may see tables like the one below that compares average annual car insurance rates:

Car Insurance Comparison: Average Car Insurance Rates

CompanyState Minimum CoverageFull-Coverage
American Family$698.45$1,461.50
American Modern$707.77$1,481
Amica Mutual$612.47$1,281.60
Auto-Owners Insurance$689.61$1,443
The Hanover$1,189.96$2,490
The Hartford$596.33$1,247.83
Liberty Mutual$686.44$1,436.37
Mercury Insurance$572.04$1,197
State Farm$614.53$1,285.90
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You might also find age-based information about car insurance rates:

Car Insurance Comparison: Annual Rates for a 65-Year-Old Driver

CompanyState Minimum CoverageFull-Coverage
American Family$311.11$622.22
American Modern$315.26$630.52
Amica Mutual$272.81$545.63
Auto-Owners Insurance$307.17$614.34
The Hanover$530.05$1,060.10
The Hartford$265.63$531.25
Liberty Mutual$305.76$611.52
Mercury Insurance$254.81$509.61
State Farm$273.73$547.46
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But how can you find these numbers? Often, average rates depend on policyholders’ disclosures, and they leave out key details. For example:

  • One person’s current rates might be high because they live in a highly-populated area.
  • Another person’s rates might be lower because they have a less expensive car.
  • Since one group of policyholders differs from another, you can see a range of different rates for the same company.

Again, various factors can determine your car insurance rates. To find a more accurate estimated rate for your situation, you will need quotes from different car insurance companies.

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

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How do you compare car insurance quotes?

You can get quotes from a car insurance company online, or you can call a car insurance agent or company. When you get a car insurance quote from a company, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Your age
  • Your ZIP code
  • The number of drivers in your household
  • The make, model, and year of your car
  • Driving history for all drivers

These are the top factors in determining your eventual car insurance rates.

Some companies may even ask about your credit information and inquire about your current car insurance company. If you are new to buying auto insurance, the latter might not be a factor, but your credit information might be.

During your search, you will need to get quotes from multiple companies. Making individual calls or doing searches can be tedious, and that is why we offer a tool to make it easier for you to get car insurance quotes.

With our tool, you can enter your ZIP code and see rates from top companies in your area. After comparing quotes, look closer at the types of coverages that companies offer.

How do you compare car insurance coverages?

Compare coverages from multiple companies.

First, decide how much coverage you need. Only consider the state minimum coverage if you will not use your car often and you don’t have many assets to protect.

In most states, there is a 25/50/25 state minimum car insurance requirement. That means that you will need to cover up to:

  • $25,000 per person injured in an accident.
  • $50,000 for all injured persons.
  • $25,000 in property damage.

If you have many assets and drive often, a 30/100/50 ratio might be better to protect your financial interests.

Next, compare the types of coverages that companies offer. Consider these examples:

  • One car insurance company might offer personal injury protection (PIP) while another might not — at least not in your state. If you want PIP coverage, choose a company that provides it where you live.
  • Car insurance companies might offer different levels of coverage (in dollar amounts) for comprehensive insurance.
  • One car insurance company might have more covered events for comprehensive car insurance than another.
  • During a classic car insurance comparison, you might find that some companies offer guaranteed value while others do not.

Additionally, consider deductible limits. Your deductible can impact your monthly car insurance rates. For example, you will pay higher car insurance rates with a $250 deductible than you would with a $1,000 deductible. However, you will pay more out of pocket after an accident with a higher deductible.

Compare Discounts to Lower Your Car Insurance Rates

If you are still thinking about saving money on your car insurance, don’t just look at flat rates. Consider aspects of your life and car that might lead to car insurance discounts. For example, these are discounts that many car insurance companies offer:

  • Anti-theft
  • Diminishing deductible
  • Good driver
  • Good student
  • Multiple drivers
  • Multiple policies
  • Safety features

Also, you can save with occupation-based discounts. For example, if you work for the government, conduct a car insurance comparison by seeing which companies offer the most generous discount for government employees.

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

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Get Started on Your Car Insurance Comparison

To review, these are the steps you should take when comparing car insurance companies:

  • Determine how much coverage you need.
  • Collect quotes from other car insurance companies.
  • Compare levels of coverage among those companies.
  • Compare discounts.

If you currently have car insurance, you should first get a quote from your current car insurance company to see how your rates will change after revising your policy. In any event, getting quotes might be the most critical part of the process, and you can use our free quote tool to start comparing.