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Best Least-Expensive Full-Coverage Auto Insurance

Here’s the best the marketplace has to offer in comprehensive coverage.

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BYRyan Tronier/ LAST UPDATED ON August 10, 2022
Best Least-Expensive Full-Coverage Auto Insurance
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The best auto insurance should fit the way you want to live, but it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. Cheap full coverage auto insurance is available; you just need to know where to look. I’ve rounded up the top insurance companies with the cheapest rates to help you on your journey. Whether you’re carrying full coverage on a financed vehicle or making sure the family car is safer than Fort Knox, keep reading to discover how to save money on full-coverage insurance.

This review may include references to products or services where The Drive has an affiliate relationship with the providing company. The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

Cheapest Full-Coverage Auto Insurance

Both State Farm and Geico offer the least-expensive full-coverage car insurance at $98 and $99 per month, respectively. USAA will be the cheapest option for military families across the country. 

While the providers in this list of affordable full-coverage auto insurance are in all 50 states, you might find cheaper prices in your area. Many smaller carriers and regional insurance companies might offer much lower rates than the major underwriters. For example, Erie Insurance and MAPFRE are known for offering low-cost full coverage, but both companies only operate in a handful of states.

CompanyAverage monthly costAverage annual cost
State Farm$98$1,173
Geico$99$1,184
Nationwide$123$1,473
Progressive$148$1,774
Farmers$162$1,944
USAA$87$1,039

Monthly and annual premium costs sourced via Policygenius analysis of public rate data from Quadrant Information Services. Rates subject to change.

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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  1. Best Overall: State Farm
  2. Best Online Service: Geico
  3. Best Usage-Based Savings: Nationwide
  4. Best Discounts: Progressive
  5. Best Custom Coverage: Farmers Insurance
  6. Best for Military Families: USAA

Key Features

  • The average cost of full coverage in the U.S. is $100 a month.
  • Full coverage is a catch-all term for liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage.
  • Most lenders require full coverage until an auto loan balance is paid in full.
  • USAA has the most affordable full coverage, but only for veterans, military personnel, and their families.

Insurance Companies We Recommend

Best Overall: State Farm

State Farm is the largest insurance provider in the U.S., according to data from the Insurance Information Institute. But purchasing a full coverage policy from such a big company doesn’t automatically mean you’re getting a deal. Yet, with State Farm you probably are.

State Farm gives you access to an immense nationwide network of insurance agents that can provide claims processing and other support, either in person or by phone, in every corner of the country. This is an incredible benefit for those who travel interstate by car more than once or twice a year.

State Farm has the standard collection of full coverage policies such as liability, comprehensive, collision, uninsured/ underinsured motorist, and your choice of either medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP). You’ll also have options for emergency road service and car rental expenses. Further, Uber and Lyft drivers will also find insurance for ride-hailing services.

Deal seekers may also be pleased with State Farm’s many discounts for vehicle safety features and good driving records. It offers two money-saving programs that reward good decisions on the highway. Steer Clear is for young drivers under 25. Drive Safe & Save enlists your smartphone to monitor your driving behavior. The better you drive, the more you’ll save.

Many find dealing with an agent tedious, especially for seemingly simple tasks such as rate quotes, claims, and account management. While State Farm’s traditional business style is appealing to many, some may find an online provider more modern and efficient.

State Farm has an above average number of complaints with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). But this could be explained by the volume of policies it underwrites every year. On the other hand, State Farm frequently ranks in the top spots for customer satisfaction in many regions of the country, according to J.D. Power’s latest study.

Pros

  • Most affordable rates
  • Extensive agent networks
  • Rideshare insurance available

Cons

  • Must work with an agent 
  • Above average percentage of complaints
  • Limited information on website

Best for Online Service: Geico

Digital natives who value convenience and affordability might find what they’re looking for with Geico. For the most part, this underwriter’s rates for full coverage insurance are just as cheap as State Farm’s, and you’ll enjoy the speed and efficiency that comes with a wholly digital platform.

Besides online rate quotes and extensive product details on its website, policyholders can also look forward to filing claims, accessing ID cards, and managing accounts from the comfort of their smartphones. You can even use Geico’s DriveEasy mobile app to lower the cost of your premium. Much like other usage-based programs, this one rewards safe driving with savings. 

Not everyone will find favor with Geico’s online platform. Some value a more traditional experience when it comes to insurance. And if you prefer a personal touch or visiting a brick-and-mortar branch, you will find few options with this provider.

Geico’s customer service ratings are surprisingly good for such a large company. It boasted less than one complaint per thousand policies in the last calendar year, according to the NAIC. Geico also performs well in J.D. Power surveys, and it keeps an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Pros

  • Wholly digital insurance platform
  • Low-cost full coverage rates
  • Multiple policy discounts available

Cons

  • Limited network of local agents
  • Limited in-person service

Best for Usage-Based Savings: Nationwide

Safe drivers who are chasing big savings via a usage-based program, should check out Nationwide. While the provider offers several money-saving promotions, its usage-based program may be the most valuable. You’ll earn an instant 10 percent discount when you sign up for Nationwide’s SmartRide program that monitors your driving habits through an app. The safer you drive, the more you can save, upwards of 40 percent on your premium. 

Nationwide also features an assortment of discounts, too, and the insurer claims policyholders can save up to $646 when bundling homeowners and car insurance together. When you add up all of these discounts and promotions, you have the potential to save a considerable amount of money.

In addition to the expected lineup of full coverage protections, Nationwide also furnishes a number of specialty insurances for gap coverage, accident forgiveness, rental car expenses, and towing and labor coverage. Its vanishing deductible policy reduces your deductible by $100 for each year of safe driving, and the total loss option will waive your physical damage deductible entirely (comprehensive or collision) in the event of a total loss claim.

Yet, motorists who don’t want the hassle of connected apps or the stress of qualifying for promos and discounts may want to look elsewhere. All things considered, Nationwide does make its customers jump through a few too many hoops to save money. 

In any event, the provider is accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating, and it ranks well in most regions of the country in customer satisfaction surveys. Moreover, Nationwide has a below average number of complaints, according to the NAIC.

Pros

  • Usage-based insurance available
  • Savings with multiple discounts and promos

Cons

  • Must agree to usage-based program to get cheaper rates

Best for Discounts: Progressive

Those who evaluate an insurance carrier by the number of discounts it offers have a lot to like about Progressive. Although this underwriter’s average rates are on the higher end of the affordable spectrum, Progressive says that new customers enjoy an average of $700 on their insurance policy when they switch providers. Certainly, your mileage will vary with this promise, but Progressive is well regarded for providing policyholders with multiple discounts and promotions that can significantly cut the cost of insurance.

Progressive’s Name Your Price Tool claims to allow potential customers to suggest any price, and the widget will do its best to find a matching policy. What’s more, Progressive’s usage-based app, Snapshot, rewards safe driving with policy markdowns of up to $156 per year. 

You’ll save even more when you insure multiple vehicles, bundle your home insurance, and keep automobiles continuously covered. Progressive also rewards smart account management with savings for paying in full, going paperless, enrolling in autopay, and getting quotes and policies online. 

There are too many discounts to list them all, but it’s safe to say that while your initial quote may be higher than others. If you can take advantage of the discounts and all of the promotions, Progressive may end up being your cheapest auto insurance. Still, motorists who don’t care for the fuss of qualifying for discounts and promos should consider providers with more upfront pricing, like State Farm or Geico.

Progressive ranks well in most regions of the U.S. for customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power’s latest survey. It also receives a below average number of complaints with the NAIC,  

Pros

  • Savings with multiple discounts and promos
  • Usage-based insurance available
  • Quotes available online, by phone, and in person

Cons

  • Premiums higher depending on how you buy
  • Must earn discounts to get cheaper rates

Best for Custom Coverage: Farmers

If you’re looking for full coverage insurance but also want a menu of optional policies to choose from, you may find a friend in Farmers. This provider offers what most would expect with its standard full coverages, but Farmers also features a selection of add-ons to keep you on the road. These include loss-of-use insurance, emergency assistance, glass deductible buy-back, and custom equipment, to name a few. 

Those with new or high-end vehicles will enjoy options for guaranteed value (agreed value), spare parts coverage, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, and new car replacement. If you live in a congested urban area or have any new drivers in your household, Farmers’ accident forgiveness policy will forgive one at-fault accident every three years without increasing your premiums. 

Keep in mind that these custom coverages will increase the cost of your premium. But with lower base rates for full coverage, Farmers can presumably provide a policy with a few bells and whistles for cheaper than its competition. 

While Farmer’s does offer discounts, you’ll have to speak with an agent to learn more. The provider doesn’t publish much information about discounts on its website. You’ll also need to speak with an agent for a rate quote too. This unwillingness for public transparency and ease of use may be the biggest disadvantage to Farmers Insurance.

Still, the carrier is an accredited business with the BBB, where it maintains an A rating. While Farmers does have an above average percentage of complaints lodged with the NAIC, it does receive high marks for customer satisfaction in most regions of the U.S. in J.D. Power surveys.

Pros

  • Wide variety of coverages
  • Collectible auto and rideshare insurance available

Cons

  • Limited information on website
  • Must speak with an agent for a quote

Best for Military Families: USAA

USAA has the most affordable rates of nearly any other insurance provider in the U.S. However, not everyone is eligible for USAA, which is probably this program’s biggest downside. Veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families will undoubtedly find the cheapest full coverage auto insurance with this government-backed underwriter.

USAA was established 100 years ago to provide military families with low-cost insurance. While it is technically not an insurance company, USAA has contracted Progressive to underwrite its policies. The result is subsidized auto insurance that is cheaper than most any other on the market. It’s one of many well-deserved benefits for those who honorably serve their country.

The award-winning provider claims that its members saved an average of $725 per year when switching to USAA auto insurance. Further, the USAA SafePilot app can knock off an additional 30 percent from an already low premium. The better your drive, the bigger your discount.

Still, USAA might disappoint military households that are in need of more custom protections. Its full coverage offerings are fairly basic: liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured, and underinsured motorist. You won’t find disappearing deductibles, OEM parts, or other speciality insurances at USAA, and this provider also features fewer discounts than others. 

But for those with uncomplicated auto insurance needs, USAA offers military families full coverage at rock bottom prices. It’s easy to see why USAA claims the top spot for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2021 and 2022 surveys.

Pros

  • Low-cost coverage for military
  • Coverage available to children, spouses, and former spouses of military service personnel

Cons

  • Coverage not available to the general public
  • Few optional policies available
  • Fewer discounts than other providers

Pricing

The average cost of full coverage insurance is $1,204 annually, or $100 each month, according to the most recent data from the NAIC. This is a nationwide average, and the rate you’ll pay will be determined by a variety of factors including your driving record, vehicle, location, credit score, and more. Similarly, motorists in states with specific insurance laws may pay more, as will drivers in regions with higher insurance costs. As an example, a recent study highlights that residents of Louisiana, Michigan, and New York often pay more than $1,400 annually for full coverage. But motorists in Idaho, Indiana, and Wyoming pay less than $800 each year for the same coverage.

The best way to determine the average cost of full coverage where you live is to calculate rate quotes from several insurance carriers in your area. Gathering multiple quotes will put you well on your way to saving money.

How to Save on Insurance

The cost of your full coverage insurance policy isn’t set in stone. Many savvy motorists will further lower the price of their policies by using a few of these money-saving tips.

Comparison shop 

Requesting rate quotes from several insurance providers will always yield a lowest price for full coverage. Just remember to request quotes with similar coverage limits and deductibles, so that your price points are consistent.

Bundle your insurance

Bundling refers to using a single company for all of your insurance policies, and you can generally save quite a bit of money by doing so. Look for companies that offer a range of protections for home, auto, renters, term life, motorcycle, RV, and so on.

Lower your coverage limits

Coverage limits are the amount your insurer will pay out in the event of a claim. Lowering your limits means that your provider will pay less, but the cost of your premium will also be cheaper. It's always a good practice to have enough coverage to protect yourself and your loved ones. Nevertheless, not everyone needs high coverage limits, especially when your automobile is older and of less cash value.

Raise your deductible

Your deductible is the amount you’ll have to pay out of pocket before your insurer pays on a claim. Increasing your deductible means that you’ll pay more each claim, but it also lowers the cost of your premium. Raising a deductible is often preferable to lowering your coverage limits because this strategy doesn’t compromise protection in the event of an expensive claim.

Stack car insurance discounts

Insurance companies encourage customer loyalty by offering premium discounts for your vehicle’s safety features, driving habits, and other activities. The good news is that you can stack discounts, and the resulting savings can be significant. 

Here’s a list of common auto insurance discounts. Availability and eligibility will vary by provider. So be sure to speak with an agent to take advantage of as many as possible.

  • Driver safety: Having no at-fault accidents, no speeding tickets or other moving violations, and keeping a spotless driving record can save you a chunk of change.
  • Vehicle safety: Features such as anti-lock brakes, automatic daytime lights, passive restraints, and anti-theft devices will also save you money.
  • Driver status: Good students, away students, homeowners, government employees, senior drivers, military personnel, and medical professionals can also enjoy discounts.
  • Account management: Reduce your premiums by paying in full, paying online, going paperless, enrolling in autopay, and renewing your policy.

Essential Cost Variables for Insurance

As with everything, there are a host of variables that will affect the cost of your insurance as no two people are exactly alike. With that in mind, here are the variables that’ll change the cost of your insurance. 

Age

In most cases, adult drivers cause fewer crashes than their younger counterparts. In a recent report, the NHTSA found that 25 percent of young drivers had been involved in one or more traffic accidents. This is why motorists younger than 25 will pay more for full coverage than more experienced drivers.

Gender

It’s generally accepted by the insurance industry that women are involved in fewer traffic accidents than men. At-fault accidents caused by women are typically less serious, and they also get fewer DUIs. This is why women will usually pay less for car insurance than men do. That said, some states have either banned insurance companies from using gender to profile policyholders or have placed strict provisions on how a company can use gender in its decision making. So, depending on where you live, gender may or may not be a noteworthy cost variable of your insurance premium.

Credit Score

Similar to how lenders use credit history to predict the risk of default, insurance companies will look at your credit report to forecast the likelihood that you’ll file a claim. Policyholders with good credit will generally have lower rates, and those with poor or bad credit will be charged higher rates. 

Location

Your location plays a considerable role in your insurance rate. Densely populated cities carry more risk than rural areas because of the increased odds of traffic accidents, theft, and vandalism. Yet motorists in regions that are more prone to flooding and other varieties of storm damage will also pay higher rates. 

Vehicle/Model

Together with the dollar value and age of your automobile, insurers factor in other risks such as the cost and likelihood of vehicle repair or replacement as well as the possibility of theft. Insurance companies also factor in the safety records of specific models and how much damage they may cause when involved in a crash.

Type of Coverage

The types of coverages you choose to hold in your policy also affect the cost of auto insurance. Basic full coverage includes liability, collision, and comprehensive. But you might be expected to carry additional insurance. For example, some states may require drivers to have uninsured/ underinsured motorist coverage in order to legally operate a vehicle. These types of mandatory protections have the potential to increase the cost of your premium.

Here are the standard types of protections you’re likely to find in a full coverage policy:

  • Liability: Liability is the minimum coverage required in most states, and this policy protects you in two ways. Bodily injury liability covers someone else’s medical costs when you’re at fault in an accident, and property damage liability covers the damage to somebody else’s car also when you’re at fault. 
  • Collision: Covers damage to your vehicle caused by an accident, regardless of fault.
  • Comprehensive: Covers your vehicle from non-accident damage such as fire, theft, or vandalism.
  • Medical payments: Covers medical costs, funeral expenses, and loss of wages for both you and your passengers, regardless of fault.
  • Personal injury protection: Known as no-fault insurance or PIP, this covers medical bills, regardless of fault. Instead of medical payments insurance, PIP is usually found in no-fault states such as California. 
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist: Covers medical and property damage expenses when the at-fault motorist is inadequately insured.

FAQs

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Q. Do I need full coverage on a financed car?

A. Yes, you need full coverage on a financed car. While this is not a hard and fast rule, most lenders will require you to have full coverage on a vehicle that is purchased with an auto loan until the loan balance is paid in full. Afterwards, you are able to drop full coverage and opt for liability only, if you choose to do so.

Q. Does full-coverage auto insurance replace your vehicle?

A. No, full-coverage auto insurance will not replace your vehicle. However, it will pay out the current value of your automobile in the event of theft or a total loss. Additionally, some insurance companies offer new car replacement coverage that will pay for a brand-new car, minus the deductible, in the event of a total loss claim. Each provider will have its own restrictions about the eligible age of the vehicle, how many years it will provide the insurance, and whether or not it will pay a depreciated value.

Q. What's the average cost of full-coverage auto insurance?

A. The average cost of full coverage auto insurance is about $100 per month in the U.S., or $1,204 annually, according to the NAIC. This estimate is a nationwide average, and it doesn’t represent the costs you’ll pay for coverage. Your personal insurance rate will be determined by multiple variables including driving history, location, vehicle, age, and, in some instances, gender and credit score.

Q. What’s the difference between collision coverage and comprehensive coverage?

A. While collision will cover accident-related damages, comprehensive will cover non-accident damages from events like fire, theft, vandalism, storms, and fallen trees. It’s usually recommended to carry both collision and comprehensive insurance, along with liability. This is commonly known as full coverage insurance.

Our Methodology

To choose the best companies and products for this list, I looked at a large number of financial products from various providers. I focused on cost, product features and options, ease of use, customer service, and past customer ratings as the most important factors in our ratings.

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