Now 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. So 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 calculates its 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.
Overview: Best car insurance for young adults
- Best for low premiums: Progressive
- Best for handling claims: State Farm
- Best for low-mileage drivers: Metromile
- Best for comparing rates: Savvy
- Best for discounts: Allstate
- Best for accident forgiveness: Liberty Mutual
- Best for military members: USAA
- Best for college students: Geico
Progressive: Best for low premiums
This is an 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.
- Search based on budget – Enter the premium you want to pay into the Name Your Price® tool and get results that fit.
- Discounts – There are lots of ways to cut down on your premium.
- Average rates for good drivers – Those with a demonstrably safe driving history might be able to find lower rates with other insurers.
State Farm: Best for handling claims
State Farm is one of the most recognizable brands in insurance. It’s fairly easy to get a quote from the website, or by calling an agent. I don’t have State Farm insurance, but 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 website 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.
- Smooth claims process – My personal experience dealing with State Farm after an accident has been very positive.
- Low premiums for good drivers –State Farm offers a number of discounts specifically aimed at those who demonstrate safe driving habits.
- Higher rates for poor driving records – Those with an at-fault accident might find a better premium elsewhere.
Metromile: Best for low-mileage drivers
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 insurance provider Metromile.
Metromile estimates its customers save an average of 47% compared to what they paid with their previous insurers. If your transit routine is a mix of driving, walking, biking, and/or public transportation, give Metromile a look.
- Inexpensive for low-mileage drivers – Metromile is a perfect way to save for those who use a variety of transit methods.
- Can motivate better transit habits – Paying per mile can motivate you to reduce the amount of time you spend on the road, which can help you save on gas and vehicle repairs.
- Limited availability. Metromile is currently available in only eight states.
- Expensive for long-distance drivers. The pay-per-mile plan won’t be advantageous for everyone.
Note: MetroMile is currently available in CA, IL, NJ, PA, OR, VA, AZ, & WA.
Savvy: Best for comparing rates
Savvy offers an easy and quick way to get quotes from multiple providers. You’ll choose your current insurance company from a list, enter your login credentials, and let Savvy link to your existing policy.
The connection is secured by a third-party site that specializes in helping companies like Savvy gather those details while keeping your information safe.
One great thing about Savvy is that it pulls in your current car insurance premium amount as a reminder. You don’t have to know the number or look it up to compare rates!
You’ll be given a list of providers that can beat your current rate, along with amounts when available. In some cases, you’ll have to click over to the provider’s site and enter some supplemental information before you can see the quote.
- Automated research – Savvy offers a fast, easy means of finding alternative auto insurers.
- Saves time – Comparing multiple insurers on one platform can be a lot faster than looking at different insurers one by one on your own.
- Extra step for quotes – You need to go off Savvy’s site and input additional info to get an insurer’s exact quote.
Allstate: Best for discounts
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.
- Discounts – Allstate offers a lot of ways to save.
- Affordable roadside assistance – Bundling Allstate’s roadside service with its auto insurance might be cheaper than getting third-party roadside assistance.
- Old-school quote process – You have to connect to a live agent to get a quote.
- High premiums for imperfect drivers – Those with a less-than-ideal driving history might look elsewhere for coverage.
Liberty Mutual: Best for accident forgiveness
Although Liberty Mutual agents typically partner with community organizations and employers to sell policies, anybody can get a quote and a policy from Liberty Mutual.
- Accident forgiveness – 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, new car replacement with Liberty Mutual ensures that you’ll get enough money to buy the same new car again.
- Premiums – Rates can be higher than some competitors’ rates for similar coverage levels.
- Relatively few discounts – Some competing insurers may offer more opportunities for saving.
USAA: Best for military members
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.
It’s easy to purchase coverage with USAA; you can get a quote online or call a toll-free number to reach a representative.
- Great savings for military – USAA is a no-brainer choice for members of the armed forces, as well as their families.
- Referral discount – This is a surprisingly rare discount among auto insurers.
- Niche audience – Those without a military background might be able to find lower rates elsewhere.
GEICO: Best for college students
You’ve probably seen the commercials featuring the Geico Gecko. The company created 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.
- Scholarly discounts. Who knew all that time spent studying could lead to cheaper insurance premiums?
- Different quote options available. You can get quotes online or offline with Geico.
- No gap insurance. Geico isn’t a good fit for those who want comprehensive coverage, including gap insurance.
Best auto insurance for young adults overview
|Progressive||Low premiums||Multi-policy, multi-car, safe driver, good student, and more|
|State Farm||Handling claims||Safe driver, student, multi-car, and more|
|Metromile||Low-mileage drivers||Safe driver, low mile|
|Savvy||Comparing rates||Discounts vary by insurer and are factored into your quote|
|Allstate||Discounts||Safe driver, switch & save, multi-car, bundles, defensive driver, and more|
|Liberty Mutual||Accident forgiveness||Bundle discount, military, good student, safety features, environment friendly car, safe driver, and more|
|USAA||Military members||Multi policy, safe driver, military|
|Geico||College students||Safety, accident free, defensive driver, good driver, military, and more|
How to choose 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 options:
- 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.
And similar to health insurance, if you raise your auto insurance deductible, your monthly premium 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.
Each company’s premiums will obviously vary, but I wanted to find companies that don’t come with ridiculously high costs.
While some companies have higher base rates than others, they might offer enough discounts and good enough customer service to make up for it.
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.
How to choose how much coverage you need
Look at state minimums
Nearly every state will require you to have some liability coverage. 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 us, they do occasionally happen to some of us 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, sometimes the best way to get is to stick to more reliable cars.
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, and 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.
Popular insurance companies like Allstate, Liberty Mutual, and Geico offer bundling discounts.
Read more: Best home and auto insurance bundles
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 while you have a higher deductible, 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.
Read more: 8 ways to lower your auto insurance premium
Compare auto insurance quotes
Which car insurance is cheapest for young drivers?
Geico offers some of the lowest car insurance rates for young drivers. They feature competitively priced monthly premiums, as well as discounts for good grades, accident-free driving, and completing defensive driving courses.
What is the cheapest way to insure a learner driver?
It’s usually cheaper to add a young driver to an existing policy than it is to purchase an entirely new policy for them. Be sure to shop around to compare rates, and see whether or not you qualify for any potential discounts.
Can you add a learner driver to your insurance?
You can add a learner driver to your insurance the same way you would add a regular driver. From an insurance perspective, drivers with learner’s permits aren’t treated any differently than drivers with licenses.
How much car insurance do you need?
Nearly all states require drivers to be insured, and most states also have minimum coverage requirements for drivers. Beyond the required minimum, you should also consider adding on collision and comprehensive coverage, which will come in handy on the off chance that you’re in an accident or something happens to your car. In general, you should purchase as much car insurance as you can comfortably afford.
Car insurance is often expensive, especially for young people with a short driving record. These companies offer the best auto insurance discounts, the lowest rates, and the easiest applications.
My advice: No matter which you choose, make sure you’re getting the best deal for your personal situation.