It’s 2020 and at the start of the new year is a good time to check to make sure you are getting the very best auto insurance rates for your car.
Because if you drive a car, you need auto insurance and why not take a few extra minutes to check?
Of course, every state requires that you purchase at least a minimal amount of liability coverage to ensure that if you damage someone else’s property while operating your car, some of that is at least taken care of.
But unfortunately, young drivers pay more for car insurance because you have limited driving experience. Although car insurance rates are highest for teenagers, young adult drivers often pay more for insurance until they are 25 or 26—or even up to 30. The only way to know which insurance companies are best for young adults is to compare competing quotes from a handful of auto insurance companies—every car insurance company prices their policies differently.
Also, the right auto insurance policy for you depends on a number of factors other than price—from how much coverage you want/need to what’s available in your state.
Compare Auto Insurance Quotes
The best auto insurance for young adults overview
|Liberty Mutual||Customer service|
|State Farm||Fast claims|
In-depth analysis of the best car insurance for young adults:
Gabi specializes in easy quote comparisons. Simply sign up for an account, link to your insurance provider, and choose from up to 20 different quotes from some of the top insurers in the industry.
The platform makes saving money on auto insurance easy. If you’re a renter or homeowner, you can access those policies through Gabi, as well. The rate quotes are free and you don’t pay any fees for using the service, even if you choose to purchase a policy through them.
But one of the best things about Gabi is that it doesn’t stop saving you money once you’ve signed up. At every policy renewal, Gabi will notify you if it finds a better deal elsewhere. This ensures your rates stay low. And notably, Gabi customers save $961 on average per year.
Liberty Mutual has some of the best agents and customer service in the industry and was voted 2nd for customer satisfaction in a 2012 study by J.D. Powers. Although agents typically parter with community organizations and employers to sell policies, anybody can get a quote and a policy from Liberty Mutual. Two features in particular make them a company to put at the top of your list for consideration:
- Accident forgiveness, which means your rates won’t go up after one claim.
- New car replacement: If you purchase a brand new car and are in a crash within the first year, most insurance policies will only pay out the depreciated value of the car which can be thousands less than you just paid for the car. New car replacement with Liberty Mutual ensures that you’ll get enough money to buy the same new car again.
This is another online-based insurance company that promises steep discounts and quality coverage. Progressive touts its standing as the number one auto insurance site, and promises to help you find the best rates — even if the best rate is with a company other than Progressive. It’s not a bad place to start your search, since you can see multiple quotes from multiple companies. You can also get help from a local agent or via phone.
One of the features Progressive offers is the Name Your Price tool, which attempts to fit an insurance policy to your financial situation. You can also enter your current auto insurance package and see what it would cost at other companies.
Discounts from Progressive include those for safe driving, multi-vehicle and multi-policy, paying in full, online policy purchase, good grades (teen drivers), and more.
Allstate auto insurance offers a number of features that make it easy to get a quote on your car insurance, as well as manage your policy. There are also a number of resources available on the site, Allstate offers a wide range of roadside services that can be of help when you travel.
As you probably expect, Allstate offers discounts that are considered fairly standard: good student, safe driver, multi-policy, and multi-vehicle. Allstate also offers discounts when you set up an automatic withdrawal to pay your premiums, as well as savings for paying your policy in full. There are also a number of discounts for the type of vehicle you own, from a new car to an economy car to a farm vehicle.
Depending on your specialized needs, an Allstate policy can be a good choice for your auto insurance.
Not too long ago, Esurance was bought by Allstate.The insurance company, long known for offering low quotes online is now backed by one of the most-known players in the insurance business. It’s easy to get a quote online, or reach the 24/7 toll-free customer service line. Esurance also makes it easy to manage your auto insurance policy and your claims online.
Discounts available through Esurance include its Fast 5, where you can save just for getting an online quote, as well as a multi-policy discount, multi-vehicle policy discount, and the Switch & Save, which gives you a premium reduction for moving from another insurance company.
Esurance also offers discounts for being an alumni of a Pac-12 school, purchasing emergency road assistance from a third party, good driving, good grades, anti-theft devices, and more. Esurance’s focus on online servicing reduces rates, making it an especially good car insurance pick for young adults.
State Farm is one of the most recognizable brands in insurance. It’s fairly easy to get a quote from the web site, or by calling an agent. I don’t have State Farm insurance, by I was recently hit by a driver who was covered by the company. After some initial hiccups, State Farm took care of everything, from the repairs on my car to the rental car. The company was even responsive when the initial time period for the rental car ended before repairs were completed and I requested more time.
State Farm’s discounts include those for good students, multiple automobiles, other products, and good driving habits (go at least three years without moving violations and no at-fault accidents). You can also take the Steer Clear course offered by State Farm to receive an even bigger discount. Defensive driving and less driving can also reduce your auto insurance premiums with State Farm.
State Farm’s web site also has a handy tool you can use to determine how your rate might rise or fall, depending on different circumstances, whether it’s adding a teen driver or getting a speeding ticket.
Do you drive less than 10,000 miles per year? If so, you might save the most by switching to a pay-per-mile auto insurance policy like those offered by insurer Metromile.
Now available in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington, Metromile estimates occasional drivers could save between $400 and $500 with pay-per-mile insurance. If you mix up driving with walking, biking and/or public transportation, give Metromile a look, or read more in our complete Metromile review.
Get a Metromile car insurance quote here.
Note: MetroMile is currently available in CA, IL, NJ, PA, OR, VA, AZ, & WA.
USAA has long been known for its outstanding customer service and its association with the US military. Obviously service members and veterans are eligible to become USAA members, but so are spouses, children and grandchildren of anybody who honorably served in the U.S. armed forces.
Once you’re a member, you can access USAA’s auto insurance policies, which offer a number of discounts that can bring your premiums down, including:
- Safe driver discount, which results in savings after maintaining a good driving record for five years.
- Take an approved defensive driving course to receive a discount, and an approved driver training course for another discount.
- Good students can get a discount when they maintain a high GPA.
- Receive discounts for customer loyalty, purchasing multiple USAA products, and by encouraging family members to sign up.
- Vehicle discounts include those for multiple vehicles, new vehicles, and for driving your vehicles fewer miles.
USAA also offers a special discount for those who garage their cars on military and choose comprehensive insurance coverage.
It’s easy to purchase coverage; you can get a quote online or call a toll-free number to reach a representative.
You’ve probably seen the commercials featuring the Geico Gecko. The company created on the online insurance quote model, and markets its ability to save you 15% or more on your car insurance. However, not only can you get a quote online, but in recent years Geico has added “real world” agents that you can visit offline, and you can also call or email. Geico also touts its ability to provide customer service via Twitter.
Geico includes discounts for the vehicle equipment you have (air bags, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft, and daytime running lights) as well as for your driving history and habits. You receive a discount for five years being accident-free, as well as for taking driver’s education and defensive driving courses. Teen drivers, college students and young adults can receive a discount for good grades as well, and Geico offers discounts for military service and for federal employees, on top of the standard coverage discounts for multiple policies and vehicles. You can also check Geico’s list of more than 500 membership and employee groups that can result in discounts.
Summary of the best car insurance for young adults
|Gabi||Discounts vary by insurer and are factored into your quote
|Liberty Mutual||Bundle discount, military, good student, safety features, environment friendly car, safe driver, and more|
|Progressive||Multi-policy, multi-car, safe driver, good student, and more|
|Allstate||Safe driver, switch & save, multi-car, bundles, defensive driver, and more|
|Esurance||Switch & save, good student, multi-car, bundles, defensive driver, and more|
|State Farm||Safe driver, student, multi-car, and more|
|Metromile||Safe driver, low mile|
|USAA||Multi policy, safe driver, military|
|Geico||Safety, accident free, defensive driver, good driver, military, and more|
How I came up with this list
When deciding which companies I should put on this list, I thought about a few different variables:
- the cost of premiums.
- the discounts offered by each company.
- the reputation of the company.
Each company’s premiums will obviously vary, but I wanted to find companies that don’t come with ridiculously high costs.
The best car insurance companies offer discounts on pretty much anything you can think of, from good driver and good student discounts to military and multi-policy discounts. When researching, I made sure that each company had more than just good premiums to offers.
Many of the companies on this list have a Better Business Bureau rating of A- or higher. USAA and Progressive are the only exceptions. USAA doesn’t have a BBB rating, and Progressive has a BBB rating of D-.
Outside of official ratings, many of these companies pride themselves on good customer service, which is important when you’ve already gone through an accident and now have to make a damage claim.
Most important features of car insurance
Type of coverage
When you look for car insurance, you’ll probably be overwhelmed with all your options. To help, here are a couple of the most common types of car insurance coverage:
- Liability – This is the insurance that is required in most states. It offers two types of protections. The first is bodily injury liability, which pays for the costs of another person’s injuries if you cause an accident. The second is property damage liability, which pays for any damage you cause to someone else’s property while driving.
- Comprehensive – Comprehensive coverage can be misleading. It doesn’t cover anything if you get into an accident, but it does cover things like theft, fire, hail, or vandalism.
- Collision – Collision insurance covers vehicle repairs in the event that you’re involved in an accident.
- Uninsured motorist coverage – If someone else causes an accident you’re involved in and they don’t have insurance, uninsured motorist coverage will help pay for your repairs.
- Medical payments coverage – This type of insurance can help pay medical costs related to an accident. It doesn’t matter who is at fault.
An auto insurance deductible is similar to a health insurance deductible. It’s the amount of money you’ll pay out of pocket for any car repairs if you’re in an accident. After you reach your deductible, your insurance will kick in.
Also similar to health insurance, if you raise your auto insurance deductible, your monthly payments will go down, but your out of pocket costs will go up.
Your auto insurance premium is the monthly amount you pay for your insurance. The amount you’ll pay varies by the coverage you choose. If you have just the minimum amount of insurance required by your state, your premium will be lower than someone who has collision and comprehensive insurance as well.
How to choose how much coverage you need
Look at state minimums
Nearly every state will require you to have some liability coverage. You can check what your state requires here. Liability insurance will only cover the damage you cause to another person’s car. To get your own car fixed, you’ll need to pay out of pocket.
That is exactly why I’d recommend you get at least enough coverage to protect yourself as well.
Consider collision and comprehensive…you won’t regret it
Collision insurance covers you if you’re in an accident, comprehensive covers all the other things that can happen to your car such as vandalism or theft.
While we never want to think those things will happen to you, they do happen and it’s better to be prepared.
Should you get car insurance extras?
Yes, liability doesn’t cover much
It’s entirely up to you, but you should probably get extra coverage. Liability insurance is the mandated minimum for most states, but you’d be surprised how little your liability-only policy covers.
It’ll only cover the other person’s car in the event of an accident. So you’ll be on the hook for paying your own repair and medical bills.
Collision, comprehensive, and uninsured motorist insurance is recommended
Additions like uninsured motorist insurance, collision, and comprehensive are recommended by most insurance companies. These will cover all your bases.
Collision will save you from paying upfront for repair bills, comprehensive will protect you from all the little things you forget about like theft or a tree limb falling on top of your car, and uninsured motorist insurance will ensure that your bills still get paid if someone causes an accident but doesn’t have insurance.
Seriously consider medical payments coverage
Depending on the severity of your accident, the medical bills you receive can also be astronomical. That’s the last thing you want to worry about when your car has been totaled and your insurance rates have already gone up.
Medical payments coverage does exactly what it sounds like – it’ll pay for your medical bills while you’re recovering from an accident.
Tips for keeping car insurance costs low
Get the right car
Some cars cost less to insure than others. Sports cars cost way more to insure than minivans. And cars with tons of safety features cost less to insure than old junkers.
The insurance company looks at how risky your car is (among other things) when they set premiums. So stick to more reliable cars.
Here are a few examples of the cheapest cars to insure:
- Jeep Compass (or just Jeeps in general) – The average rate of insurance is $1,349 per year. Jeeps are reliable vehicles that have many built-in safety features – making them one of the most popular family cars. And I can vouge for that, every other person in my family owns a Jeep.
- Subarus – Again, Subarus are loaded with safety features and they’re one of the only cars that’s known to make it to 300,000. For a Subaru Forester, the average premium is $1,347.
- Honda CR-V – Coming in at just $1,333 for an annual premium, the Honda CR-V is one of the cheapest cars you can insure.
- Toyota Tacoma – The Toyota Tacoma is one of the most popular trucks of 2019. It’s also one of the trucks that’s cheapest to insure, at $1,405.
- Ford Explorer – This SUV costs just $1,320 on average to insure each year. If you’re looking for a long-lasting SUV, this may the right car for you.
- Nissan Sentra – This is one of the cheapest cars to insure on my list, coming in at an average of $934 per year.
- Hyundai Elantra – This car is also on the list of favorites in 2019. It has a slightly higher insurance rate than some of the other cars on this list, with an annual premium of $1,680.
Take a defensive driving course
Showing your insurance company that you’re a reliable driver is one of the best ways to lower your insurance costs.
Taking a defensive driving course proves that you care about safe driving. You can find defensive driving courses through your DMV, or you can even take them online.
When you take a defensive driving course you’ll learn the following:
- How to avoid traffic crashes.
- How to overcome road rage and other physiological responses to poor driving.
- The effect of drugs and alcohol on your driving ability.
- How to use safety equipment to keep yourself safe while driving.
You just need to have a license to take a defensive driving course, but those who benefit the most are folks under 25 and those over 50. These groups are the most likely to be involved in an accident – therefore often see the highest discount after taking a defensive driving course.
Bundle your insurance
If you use the same company for your auto insurance and home insurance, you can often get a discount. And if you tack on other insurance options like life insurance, you could be looking at an even bigger discount.
This is called bundling. Simply put, insurance companies want to reward you for your repeat business, so they give you a discount.
Increase your deductible
When you increase your deductible, you’re increasing how much you’ll be responsible for paying if you get into an accident. After you’ve paid that designated amount, your insurance should take care of the rest.
When you raise your deductive, you’ll knock off a few bucks on your monthly premium. So, if you’re a safe driver, this could save you a lot of money on your yearly rate.
BUT, know that accidents happen, and you can’t always control what happens on the road. So, if you do get into an accident, you’ll be stuck paying more before your insurance kicks in.
It’s up to you to determine if you’re willing to trade a lower premium for a higher out-of-pocket cost.
Shop around for quotes
Every year, you should look to see if you can get better insurance rates elsewhere. You could be leaving a lot of money on the table sticking to the same company year after year.
Policygenius can help here. You can enter all of your information in their quick, online application, and Policygenius will generate multiple quotes from insurance companies in your area. That way you can pick a company with the price point you really want.
Car insurance is often expensive, especially for young people with a short driving record. These companies offer the best discounts, the lowest rates, and the easiest applications.
My advice: no matter which you chose, make sure you’re getting the best deal for your personal situation.
- How to keep your insurance rates low after an accident
- Could you save money by cancelling collision and comprehensive coverage? Find out here