If you own a car, car insurance is a required expense in 48 of the 50 states. A lack of diligence when shopping for your car insurance could lead to a hefty monthly bill, as well as headaches if you actually need to file a claim. We researched and explored quotes from over 128 companies in 2,700 cities to determine which insurers had the lowest costs, nationally and in each state. Our team also evaluated which companies had the best track record for customer service and the claims process.
Be sure to take an inventory of all of your personal belongings inside the home, value them, and calculate what it would cost to repair or replace your stuff if they’re damaged, destroyed, or stolen by a covered loss. Most of the top home insurance companies will provide checklists, calculators, apps, and other resources to help you keep track of and protect your belongings.
Allstate: Allstate is the eighth-best insurance company, with many Allstate customers in our survey reporting that they didn’t feel like they were in good hands. Allstate customers were particularly unhappy with the value they felt they got from Allstate, with many of them saying they wouldn’t recommend Allstate and didn’t plan to renew their policies.
One of the most common ways to lower your car insurance rates is by choosing a higher deductible. The deductible is the amount of money you must pay after an accident before your insurance kicks in. So, for example, if you are in an accident and there is $10,000 worth of damage done and your deductible is $1,000, you pay the $1,000 and your car insurance company pays $9,000. A higher deductible means less risk for your insurance company and lower rates for you. However, it also means that you need to have that much money on hand in case of an accident. If you go for a $2,000 deductible and don’t have $2,000 available after an accident, you won’t be able to get the repairs you need.
Location is one of the most important factors in the cost of insurance. Car insurance prices in Florida can differ drastically from city to city. For example, the average cost to insure a car in Liberty County is $836 per year, which is 38% of the cost in Miami-Dade County. This equates to an extra $1,362 per year that the average Miami driver would pay compared to the average driver in Bristol, Florida.
Home to the University of Florida, the Florida Gators and a resident population of 188,000, Gainesville is the 17th largest urban area in Florida. The average cost of car insurance in Gainesville is $961 per year, or 12% cheaper than the average premium in Florida. Florida Farm, GEICO and Travelers had some of the cheapest rates in Gainesville, averaging about $476 per year.
High Income: Those with a high income are facing a different problem. Many who have high incomes didn't purchase insurance in the past; they just paid health care expenses as needed. Paying two percent of a high income for the penalty can be a rather large sum for high-income persons. In this case, it might be cheaper to just buy qualifying health insurance. If you are in good health, you might want to choose the lowest qualifying plan. If you have ongoing health issues, you may as well bite the bullet and choose a more exhaustive plan and lower your out-of-pocket expenses.
State Farm boasts a solid score in J.D. Power’s Customer Claims Satisfaction rating among our top picks (three out of five) and sits above industry average. That means that once you do file a claim, you can expect a smooth experience. If a positive customer experience is especially important to you, State Farm is likely to deliver superior service.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, more commonly known as Obamacare, impacted healthcare in the United States in numerous ways. The act's effects vary by person, but you'll need to have health insurance for at least nine months out of every 12 or be subject to a tax. There are exceptions to this rule based on financial hardship, your income and living situation. But in general, whether it's through Obamacare or not, you should have health insurance.
Of the biggest auto insurers in the U.S. - State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, Progressive and Farmers - State Farm ranks as the greatest overall. State Farm was rated 4/5 stars by customers and policyholders in a JD Power survey on companies shopping experience. State Farm is best known for its large agent network; they boast over 18,000 across the nation. It shouldn't be surprising then that State Farm gets 5/5 stars for how its agents interact with customers. As well, State Farm is great when it comes to offering discounts. If you go with State Farm you will have up to 15 discounts to be eligible for which can equal hundreds of dollars worth of savings.
You can find the world’s largest tropical bonsai tree collection at the Heathcote Botanical Gardens or the world’s only museum on the Navy SEALs in Port St. Lucie. Insuring a vehicle in this city costs about $1,258 per year—14% costlier than elsewhere in Florida. Getting quotes from Florida Farm Bureau, GEICO or State Farm should be a good start for cheap auto insurance in what locals refer to as “PSL.” Based on our analysis, these three averaged to $640 per year, 49% cheaper than the typical insurer in the city.
The best car insurance companies in Florida with the highest ratings are: AAA, Southern-Owners Insurance, Amica, Florida Farm Bureau and Safeco. As we mentioned above, Florida Farm Bureau Insurance ranked as the cheapest auto insurance company in Florida, so it's great to see that they are also one of the top-rated auto insurers in the state. GEICO, State Farm and Progressive—three of the largest auto insurers in Florida—perform better than average as well, with relatively low complaint index numbers. At the other end were Windhaven, Ocean Harbor and First Acceptance, which received the most complaints relative to their market share size.
To build the car insurance ranking, we surveyed 2,799 consumers who filed a car insurance claim in the last five years. Respondents provided this data based on their experience with their car insurance company, answering questions about their satisfaction with the ease of filing a claim, customer service, claim status communication, claim resolution, overall value they feel their insurance company gives, if they’d recommend the company, and if they planned to renew their policy.
Insurance terms, definitions and explanations are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance contracts, policies or declaration pages, which are controlling. Such terms and availability may vary by state and exclusions may apply. Discounts may not be applied to all policy coverages.
NerdWallet compared quotes from these insurers in ZIP codes across the country. Rates are for policies that include liability, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages, as well as any other coverage required in each state. Our “good driver” profile is a 40-year-old with no moving violations and credit in the “good” tier.
National General Insurance has been around for a long time—for over 95 years, in fact. It is the only auto insurance company to have originated within the auto manufacturing industry. With nearly a century of experience insuring vehicles, and more than 25 years insuring RVs, Baby Boomers are more likely to appreciate the level of expertise and reliability that National General brings to the table.