Car Insurance by State Farm®
Shopping for car insurance? You’ve come to the right place! State Farm keeps you and your family covered with great auto insurance that’s also a great value. Get an online auto insurance quote, or find a car insurance agent or representative, any time, day or night. Either way, you’ll learn how competitively priced auto insurance from the industry leader can be.
- Get an online auto insurance quote – it’s fast and easy.
- Nearly 18,000 agents nationwide – chances are there’s one near you.
Basic personal auto insurance is mandated by most states and provides you with some financial protection in case of an accident. But is it enough? What are the options? Learn how car insurance works and what types of coverage are available.
Understanding auto insurance—the basics
Auto insurance is a contract between you and the insurance company that protects you against financial loss in the event of an accident or theft. In exchange for your paying a premium, the insurance company agrees to pay your losses as outlined in your policy.
Auto insurance provides coverage for:
- Property – such as damage to or theft of your car
- Liability – your legal responsibility to others for bodily injury or property damage
- Medical – the cost of treating injuries, rehabilitation and sometimes lost wages and funeral expenses
Basic personal auto insurance is mandated by most U.S. states, and laws vary. Auto insurance coverages are priced individually (a la carte) to let you customize coverage amounts to suit your exact needs and budget.
Policies are generally issued for six-month or one-year timeframes and are renewable. The insurance company sends a notice when it’s time to renew the policy and pay your premium.
Who is covered by my auto insurance—and under what circumstances?
Your auto policy will cover you and other family members on your policy, whether driving your car or someone else’s car (with their permission). Your policy also provides coverage if someone who is not on your policy is driving your car with your consent.
Your personal auto policy only covers personal driving, whether you’re commuting to work, running errands or taking a trip. It will not provide coverage if you use your car for commercial purposes—for instance, if you deliver pizzas.
Personal auto insurance will also not provide coverage if you use your car to provide transportation to others through a ride-sharing service such as Uber or Lyft. Some auto insurers, however, are now offering supplemental insurance products (at additional cost) that extend coverage for vehicle owners providing ride-sharing services.
Is auto insurance coverage mandatory?
Auto insurance requirements vary from state to state. If you’re financing a car, your lender may also have its own requirements. Nearly every state requires car owners to carry:
- Bodily injury liability – which covers costs associated with injuries or death that you or another driver causes while driving your car.
- Property damage liability – which reimburses others for damage that you or another driver operating your car causes to another vehicle or other property, such as a fence, building or utility pole.
In addition, many states require that you carry:
- Medical payments or personal injury protection (PIP), which provides reimbursement for medical expenses for injuries to you or your passengers. It will also cover lost wages and other related expenses.
- Uninsured motorist coverage reimburses you when an accident is caused by a driver who does not have auto insurance—or in the case of a hit-and-run. You can also purchase underinsured motorist coverage, which will cover costs when another driver lacks adequate coverage to pay the costs of a serious accident.
Even if PIP and uninsured motorist coverage are optional in your state, consider adding them to your policy for greater financial protection.
What other types of auto insurance coverage are typical?
While most basic, legally mandated auto insurance covers the damage your car causes, it does not cover damage to your own car. To cover your own car, you should consider these optional coverages:
- Collision reimburses you for damage to your car that occurs as a result of a collision with another vehicle or other object—e.g., a tree or guardrail—when you’re at fault. While collision coverage will not reimburse you for mechanical failure or normal wear-and-tear on your car, it will cover damage from potholes or from rolling your car.
- Comprehensive provides coverage against theft and damage caused by an incident other than a collision, such as fire, flood, vandalism, hail, falling rocks or trees and other hazards—even getting hit by an asteroid!
- Glass Coverage provides coverage from windshield damage, which is common. Some auto policies include no-deductible glass coverage, which also includes side windows, rear windows and glass sunroofs. Or you can buy supplemental glass coverage.
What is gap insurance and do I need it?
Collision and comprehensive only cover the market value of your car, not what you paid for it—and new cars depreciate quickly. If your car is totaled or stolen, there may be a “gap” between what you owe on the vehicle and your insurance coverage. To cover this, you may want to look into purchasing gap insurance to pay the difference. Note that for leased vehicles, gap coverage is usually rolled into your lease payments.
Best Cheap Car Insurance in California for 2018
If you’re looking for cheap car insurance in California, getting the best deal may require some patience. Rates can vary from one company to the next, so it pays to compare as many estimates as possible.
To make things easier, NerdWallet has done the heavy lifting for you. We researched rates from the largest insurers in the Golden State and found the cheapest options for several common driver types.
Esurance returned the cheapest rates for this group in our test, at roughly $105 a month, followed by Mercury and Geico.
If you have no violations or crashes on your record, look into discounts companies offer that reward your responsible driving. These sorts of perks could determine which insurer is ultimately cheapest for you.
Drivers in their early 20s often need less coverage than older motorists who have families and greater savings to protect. For this reason, we ran rates for young motorists carrying the minimum required coverage in California.
Geico delivered the lowest sample quote in our results for young drivers in the general population, about $44 per month.
Causing an accident in California can add a significant amount to your premium. The lowest average quote for this category was over $500 more per year than the cheapest estimate for a driver of the same age with a clean record.
Esurance was the best choice for non-military-affiliated drivers in our analysis, with Mercury and Auto Club (AAA) rounding out the three cheapest options.
Given their reduced annual mileage, retired drivers can find relatively cheap car insurance in California compared to drivers with a daily comute. 21st Century delivered the best rates in our analysis, at roughly $84 per month, with Mercury and Esurance not far behind.
To save even more, retirees should look into discounts aimed at mature or retired drivers age 55 or older.
If you don’t spend a lot of time in the car — whether you work from home, commute in a carpool or mostly use public transit — consider shopping around for auto insurance.
Metromile targets drivers who put relatively few miles on their cars; its rates are frequently superior for those who drive under 5,000 miles annually. And other insurers offer per-mile insurance rates, where your bill could change monthly based on miles driven.
If you’re an active member of the military or a veteran — or have an immediate family member who is — chances are you’ll get a relatively cheap rate with USAA, a company that isn’t available to the general public.
USAA was the cheapest auto insurance option for every driver type listed above except retired drivers. USAA customers also benefit from the insurer’s top-rated customer service.
Minimum required car insurance in California
California drivers must carry liability insurance in the following amounts:
- $15,000 bodily injury liability per person.
- $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident.
- $5,000 property damage liability per accident.
Liability coverage helps pay for other people’s injury or property damage bills if you cause the accident. Experts recommend getting more than the bare minimum if you want to avoid dipping into your own savings to cover expenses.
For instance, California has a relatively low property damage minimum, only $5,000. If you cause an accident and total another driver’s car, the damage could easily exceed that amount, and you’d have to pay the difference out of pocket.
Check out NerdWallet’s guide to state car insurance requirements for more details on how the required and optional parts of your California policy work.
Alternative car insurance in California
If you have a high number of accidents, DUIs or other factors making it hard to find auto coverage on the voluntary market, you might qualify for insurance through the California Automobile Assigned Risk Plan. This organization connects high-risk drivers to insurance companies that will cover them.
For more help finding the most competitive prices in California, try NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool.
Who Has the Best Car Insurance in Los Angeles?
With a large portion of Los Angeles county residents commuting into Los Angeles daily, auto insurance is a monthly cost many have pay. Finding the cheapest auto insurance can be a hassle however, so we make it easier by comparing insurance companies in Los Angeles for you. After reading our analysis, put in your information up top to be matched with the right company for you.
Cheapest Car Insurance in Los Angeles
Overall, we found Nationwide had the best auto insurance rates in Los Angeles with an average rate of $1,280 per year—about 41% less than the city average. Other affordable insurers in LA included Century National and GEICO.
Remember these rates are for a sample 30 year old driver, so the quotes you receive will likely be different. These companies are likely a good place to start your quote gathering process however.
Where in Los Angeles is Car Insurance Most Affordable?
We also gathered rates from several neighborhoods within Los Angeles. Not every neighborhood in Los Angeles actually has the same rates, with a neighborhood like Watts being over $200 more expensive than Hobart. The most expensive neighborhood, Pico-Union, is over $1,000 more expensive per year than Westchester.
Even if your neighborhood is not listed, nearby neighborhoods to the ones above will likely have similar pricing. If you find that you live in a neighborhood with higher pricing, it will be more important for you to search around for as many insurance companies as you can find to get as low a price as possible.
Best Car Insurance in Los Angeles
Who has the best car insurance in Los Angeles? It depends on what you want from your insurer; convenience, good claims handling, or just price. Below we list a few companies based on what they excel at.
|Auto Insurance Company||Best For…|
|Metromile||Low Mileage Drivers|
Ameriprise is the best for claims handling in California according to customers surveyed by J.D. Power handling auto insurance claims. They were also well ranked for their billing practices and the flexibility of policies they offer. Low mileage drivers, as in those who do less than 7,500 miles per yea, would also benefit from Metromile. The young company charges customers mostly on how much they drive. Los Angelenos who have reliable public transport but do need a car from time to time would benefit most from Metromile. Metromile won’t be worth it however if you drive over 10,000 miles per year.
For fast, convenient and well priced auto insurance in Los Angeles, you should go to GEICO. You can start and buy your policy online without ever needing to talk to an agent. Finally, if you are eligible for USAA, they will be the best insurer for you. They have discounts such as taking 15% off your comprehensive coverage when you garage your car at a military base, like Los Angeles Airforce Base. They also give up to 90% off when you safely store your vehicle while being deployed overseas.
Fatal Accidents in Los Angeles
There were 1,115 fatal car accidents in Los Angeles between 2011 and 2015, the most of any one city in the country. Below we list the most dangerous roads and highways in Los Angeles.
Most Dangerous Roads in Los Angeles
|Rank||Road||Number of Fatal Accidents||Percent that Involve a Drunk Driver|
About 23% of fatal accidents in Los Angeles involved a drunk driver between 2011 and 2015. That figure is less than some other California cities, and significantly less than Texas cities where it is usually around 30%.
Where to Find Auto Insurers in Los Angeles
We found different car insurance agents and insurers across Los Angeles county. While companies like GEICO and Progressive allow you to get and purchase a quote online, most other companies still require you purchase through an agent. We list three agents and insurers for each city in our survey of Los Angeles County.
|Alhambra||Allstate Insurance: Kevin Chang||410 W Main St Unit 210, Alhambra, CA 91801, United States|
|Farmers Insurance — David San Ho||1122 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803, United States|
|Farmers Insurance — Yvonne Phung||9 Park St, Alhambra, CA 91801, United States|
|Azusa||Allstate Insurance: Randy Bartlett||708 N Azusa Ave, Azusa, CA 91702, United States|
|Fred Loya Insurance||200 W Foothill Blvd STE 5, Azusa, CA 91702, United States|
|Robert Lark — State Farm Insurance Agent||141 E Foothill Blvd, Azusa, CA 91702, United States|
|Baldwin Park||Fiesta Auto Insurance Center||13732 Amar Rd, La Puente, CA 91746, United States|
|Adriana’s Insurance Services||1849 N Hacienda Blvd, La Puente, CA 91744, United States|
|Adriana’s Insurance Services Inc||14520 Baldwin Park Towne Center, Baldwin Park, CA 91706, United States|
|Bell Gardens||InVision Insurance Services||6631 Eastern Ave #A, Bell Gardens, CA 90201, United States|
|ACE Cash Express||6000 Florence Ave, Bell Gardens, CA 90201, United States|
|Farmers Insurance — Hugo Contreras||7625 Eastern Ave e, Bell Gardens, CA 90201, United States|
|Bellflower||Brumfield & Peters Insurance Services Inc||16203 Clark Ave, Bellflower, CA 90706, United States|
|Farmers Insurance — Carlos Lopez||16911 Bellflower Blvd #204, Bellflower, CA 90706, United States|
|Academy Insurance||9505 Artesia Blvd, Bellflower, CA 90706, United States|
|Canoga Park||Farmers Insurance||22156 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA 91303, United States|
|Adriana’s Insurance Services||20909 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA 91303, United States|
|Farmers Insurance||6725 Variel Ave, Canoga Park, CA 91303, United States|
|Carson||State Farm: Jun Bernabe Jr||451 E Carson Plaza Dr, Suite 204, Carson, CA 90746, United States|
|Allstate Insurance: Alan Zinsmeister||234 E Carson St Ste 9, Carson, CA 90745, United States|
|Victory Auto Insurance||316 W Carson St # 101, Carson, CA 90745, United States|
|Cerritos||State Farm: Beth Bettger||20220 State Rd, Cerritos, CA 90703, United States|
|Randy Frager — State Farm Insurance Agent||10751 South St, Cerritos, CA 90703, United States|
|Allstate Insurance: Joanna Lu||18820 Norwalk Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701, United States|
|Diamond Bar||Don Ferderer Insurance||1930 S Brea Canyon Rd #170, Diamond Bar, CA 91765, United States|
|Farmers Insurance — Rosette Tateossian-Clippinger||1200 S Diamond Bar Blvd #214, Diamond Bar, CA 91765, United States|
|Lloyd N. Bailey-State Farm Agent||506 N Diamond Bar Blvd, Diamond Bar, CA 91765, United States|
|El Monte||Amadeus Insurance||3736 Peck Rd, El Monte, CA 91731, United States|
|Allstate Insurance: Daniel Fuentes||11020 Lower Azusa Rd a, El Monte, CA 91731, United States|
|JE Insurance Agency||2335 Durfee Ave #B, El Monte, CA 91732, United States|
|Gardena||Gardena General Insurance Agency||1220 W Gardena Blvd a, Gardena, CA 90247, United States|
|Rene’ Hawkins — State Farm Insurance Agent||1225 W 190th St #450, Gardena, CA 90248, United States|
|Freeway Insurance Services||1431 W Knox St #1300, Torrance, CA 90501, United States|
|Granada Hills||Farmers Insurance — Zachary Schneiderman||17425 Chatsworth St #104, Granada Hills, CA 91344, United States|
|Farmers Insurance||10315 Woodley Ave # 230, Granada Hills, CA 91344, United States|
|PrimeWest Insurance Brokerage, Inc.||15545 Devonshire St Ste 102, Mission Hills, CA 91345, United States|
|Hacienda Heights||Puente Hills Toyota||17070 Gale Ave, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745, United States|
|Farmers Insurance: Chun-Fu Peng||129 S 8th Ave, La Puente, CA 91746, United States|
|Tomsio Insurance||2383 S Hacienda Blvd, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745, United States|
|Hawthorne||Mona’s Auto Insurance Services||12809 Prairie Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250, United States|
|Lisa Simmons — State Farm Insurance Agent||13658 Hawthorne Blvd #100b, Hawthorne, CA 90250, United States|
|Allstate Insurance: SB Sully Insurance||14900 Hindry Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250, United States|
|Huntington Park||R H Insurance Services||7612 Pacific Blvd, Huntington Park, CA 90255, United States|
|Adriana’s Insurance Services||2126 E Florence Ave, Huntington Park, CA 90255, United States|
|State Farm: Alba Ramirez||4025 Florence Ave #B, Bell, CA 90201, United States|
|La Mirada||Adriana’s Insurance||12337 Imperial Hwy, Norwalk, CA 90650, United States|
|Allstate Insurance: Randy Navarro||16179 Whittier Blvd, Whittier, CA 90603, United States|
|North State Auto Insurance||2101 Imperial Hwy, La Habra, CA 90631, United States|
|La Puente||Saul Vasquez — State Farm Insurance Agent||15879 Amar Rd, La Puente, CA 91744, United States|
|Brenda’s Insurance Services Inc. | Car Insurance||1669 N Hacienda Blvd, La Puente, CA 91744, United States|
|Progressive Insurance||1074 N Hacienda Blvd, La Puente, CA 91744, United States|
|Lancaster||Peakes Insurance Agency, Inc.||568 W Lancaster Blvd, Lancaster, CA 93534, United States|
|Lancaster Insurance Services Inc||42220 10th St W #107, Lancaster, CA 93534, United States|
|Farmers Insurance: Keith Thomas||43943 Sierra Hwy, Lancaster, CA 93534, United States|
|Long Beach||AIS | Auto Insurance Specialists | Long Beach||5000 E Spring St #100, Long Beach, CA 90815, United States|
|Allstate Insurance: Victoria L. Avery||4510 Pacific Coast Hwy #340, Long Beach, CA 90804, United States|
|A&E Insurance Services||4407 E Los Coyotes Diagonal, Long Beach, CA 90815, United States|
|Los Angeles||Hollywood Auto Insurance Services||6244 California State Rte 2, Los Angeles, CA 90038, United States|
|Freeway Insurance Services||5045 Whittier Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90022, United States|
|Freeway Insurance Services||4319 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90065, United States|
|Lynwood||Veronica’s Insurance Services||9201 Long Beach Blvd Ste. D, South Gate, CA 90280, United States|
|State Farm: Alfredo Gonzalez Jr.||10844 Atlantic Ave, Lynwood, CA 90262, United States|
|Global Guard Insurance||10930 Long Beach Blvd, Lynwood, CA 90262, United States|
|Montebello||Allstate Insurance: Alsop & Associates Insurance Agency||3511 W Beverly Blvd, Montebello, CA 90640, United States|
|Premier Insurance Services — Montebello, CA||2900 W Beverly Blvd, Montebello, CA 90640, United States|
|Adriana’s Insurance Services||271 S Atlantic Blvd A, East Los Angeles, CA 90022, United States|
|North Hills||Nationwide Insurance: Lucious Wilder||17402 Chatsworth St #102, Granada Hills, CA 91344, United States|
|Veronica’s Insurance Services||14445 Roscoe Blvd, Panorama City, CA 91402, United States|
|Farmers Insurance||17130 Devonshire St # 204A, Northridge, CA 91325, United States|
|North Hollywood||Estrella Insurance #216||11002 W Magnolia Blvd b, North Hollywood, CA 91601, United States|
|Allstate Insurance: Milton Barillas||10632 Burbank Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601, United States|
|Saw Insurance Agency||12119 Saticoy St, North Hollywood, CA 91605, United States|
|Norwalk||Nationwide Insurance: Alfonso Aduna||12838 Rosecrans Ave, Norwalk, CA 90650, United States|
|Dale’s Insurance Agency||9817 Palm St, Bellflower, CA 90706, United States|
|Farmers Insurance — Elio Penaloza||11815 Orange St #6, Norwalk, CA 90650, United States|
|Pacoima||LA’s Auto Insurance||9700 Woodman Ave #20a, Arleta, CA 91331, United States|
|Fred Loya Insurance||739 S Workman St, San Fernando, CA 91340, United States|
|Allstate Insurance: Paul Losino||1160 N Maclay Ave #204, San Fernando, CA 91340, United States|
|Palmdale||Josh @ Dashers Insurance||1866 E Palmdale Blvd, Palmdale, CA 93550, United States|
|Allstate Insurance: Jeri Beaven-Mattox||38750 Trade Center Dr Ste D, Palmdale, CA 93551, United States|
|Forward Insurance Services||1543 E Palmdale Blvd, Palmdale, CA 93550, United States|
|Panorama City||Farmers Insurance — Teresa Torres||7654 Woodman Ave, Panorama City, CA 91402, United States|
|Freeway Insurance Services||12923 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, CA 91605, United States|
|Freeway Insurance Services||14566 Nordhoff St, Panorama City, CA 91402, United States|
|Paramount||optimum choice insurance||6826 Somerset Blvd, Paramount, CA 90723, United States|
|AF Insurance||13114 Downey Ave, Paramount, CA 90723, United States|
|Sameday Insurance||12010 Paramount Blvd, Downey, CA 90242, United States|
|Pico Rivera||Allstate Insurance: R. Julio Gudino III||9155 Telegraph Rd Ste 108, Pico Rivera, CA 90660, United States|
|Best Buy Insurance||10418 Whittier Blvd, Whittier, CA 90606, United States|
|Dashers Insurance Pico Rivera||9456 Whittier Blvd, Pico Rivera, CA 90660, United States|
|Pomona||Allstate Insurance: Oscar Meza||788 N Garey Ave, Pomona, CA 91767, United States|
|Fred Loya Insurance||171 E Holt Ave, Pomona, CA 91767, United States|
|Fred Loya Insurance||2001 S Garey Ave, Pomona, CA 91766, United States|
|Reseda||Farmers Insurance — Michael Pasamba||7617 White Oak Ave, Reseda, CA 91335, United States|
|Fred Loya Insurance||8239 Tampa Ave, Reseda, CA 91335, United States|
|Dashers Insurance Agency||9310 Reseda Blvd, Northridge, CA 91324, United States|
|Rosemead||JCL Insurance||3351 San Gabriel Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770, United States|
|CST Insurance Services, Inc.||1411 S Garfield Ave #302, Alhambra, CA 91801, United States|
|Freeway Insurance Services||3644 Rosemead Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770, United States|
|Rowland Heights||FIRST WAY INSURANCE SERVICE, INC.||1722 Desire Ave #208, Rowland Heights, CA 91748, United States|
|Cathy Shi — State Farm Insurance Agent||18725 Gale Ave #209, City of Industry, CA 91748, United States|
|KCAL Insurance Agency||2048 S Hacienda Blvd, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745, United States|
|San Pedro||Fred Loya Insurance||1110 N Gaffey St Unit I, San Pedro, CA 90731, United States|
|ACE Cash Express||1330 S Pacific Ave, San Pedro, CA 90731, United States|
|RGI Insurance Services||461 W 6th St #103, San Pedro, CA 90731, United States|
|South Gate||Adriana’s Insurance Services||5831 Firestone Blvd G, South Gate, CA 90280, United States|
|QIM Insurance||8111 State St, South Gate, CA 90280, United States|
|Fiesta Auto Insurance Center||10909 Atlantic Ave, Lynwood, CA 90262, United States|
|Sylmar||Freeway Insurance Services||1201 Truman St, San Fernando, CA 91340, United States|
|Fiesta Auto Insurance Center||13060 Glenoaks Blvd #107, Sylmar, CA 91342, United States|
|Fred Loya Insurance||739 S Workman St, San Fernando, CA 91340, United States|
|Torrance||Best California Insurance||1710 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance, CA 90501, United States|
|Fin Martin Insurance Agency||23314 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505, United States|
|Allstate Insurance: Jeffrey Ng||23706 Crenshaw Blvd Ste 104, Torrance, CA 90505, United States|
|Van Nuys||Hollywood Insurance Co||7100 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91405, United States|
|JUST AUTO INSURANCE||13655 Vanowen St, Van Nuys, CA 91405, United States|
|Farmers Insurance — Aida Keledzhyan||13615 Victory Blvd #107, Van Nuys, CA 91401, United States|
|Walnut||Complete Access Insurance Services||20199 Valley Blvd j, Walnut, CA 91789, United States|
|Allstate Insurance: Duck Choi||19811 Colima Rd Ste 610, Walnut, CA 91789, United States|
|Coast Comp Insurance||19720 E Walnut Dr S #101, Walnut, CA 91789, United States|
Car Insurance Requirements in California
Drivers in California have to carry a minimum amount of car insurance if they wish to drive in the state. Compared to other states, California minimums are generally low. Overall, we would recommend most drivers opt for higher, less optional coverage.
|Coverage Type||California Minimum|
|Bodily Injury Liability Insurance||$15,000 per person/ $30,000 per accident|
|Property Damage Liability Insurance||$5,000 per accident|
California does not require drivers to carry comprehensive or collision insurance, nor uninsured motorist insurance. In most cases, if a driver can afford the coverages, we recommend drivers add them to their policy.
How We Got Our Numbers
We collected quotes from a variety of insurance companies across 142 towns and cities in California and 40 in Los Angeles County. Our sample driver was a 30 year old male who drove a Toyota Camry. To obtain quotes, we kept parameters for getting coverage the same, such as that he was single, had a good credit score and a clean driving record. The only variable that changed was the zip code where he lived in California. The amount of coverage we opted for gave our driver bit more than what is required of state minimums.
|Coverage Type||California Minimum||Study Limits|
|Bodily Liability||$15,000 per person / $30,000 per accident||$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident|
|Property Damage||$5,000 per accident||$50,000 per accident|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist BI||$50,000 per person/ $100,000 per accident|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property||$50,000 per accident|
|Comprehensive & Collision||$500 Deductible|
Nobody ever thinks it’s going to happen to them. But the simple fact is that a car accident happens every 18 seconds in the United States. Even the most careful drivers can find themselves involved in one.
You cannot predict the future, but you can be prepared with auto insurance for the vehicles in your household.
In most states, it is mandatory that drivers have at least minimum coverage auto insurance, which is why it’s important to find out your state’s minimum requirements. But many drivers choose more than the minimum coverage requirements in order to protect themselves to a greater degree.
What is Auto Insurance?
Simply put, auto insurance is a safety net. It is a contract that you have with an insurance company in which you agree to pay a premium, and in the event of an accident, the company agrees to pay for your covered damages, as outlined in your specific insurance auto policy.
It is important to familiarize yourself with the terms ‘premium’ and ‘deductible’ when shopping for auto insurance.
An insurance premium is the amount of money your insurance company charges you for a certain policy.
Your deductible is the amount of money that you are responsible for paying when damages occur as the result of an accident. For example, if you have $500 in damages as the result of an accident and a $100 deductible on your auto policy, you are responsible for paying $100 of the total damages.
If you are responsible for causing an accident or damage to other vehicles, your insurance generally covers the costs of repairs, legal fees and medical coverage for those who suffered injuries in the accident. Insurance policies also cover costs incurred when your car is stolen or vandalized.
Types of Auto Insurance Coverage
Generally, auto policies include several different types of coverage, all of which may be priced differently. For instance, insurance may cover:
- Bodily Injury Liability. This type of coverage pays for medical bills, lost wages or income, pain and suffering, and even funeral expenses for those injured in an accident where you were legally responsible for their injuries. This coverage also pays for the legal and court costs to defend you in a covered lawsuit. This type of coverage is required in most states.
- Property Damage Liability. If you are responsible for causing an accident, you are legally held responsible for repairs to another person’s vehicle or property. Property damage coverage not only covers the cost to repair the other person’s car, but it also covers repair costs of anything you hit with your vehicle, such as a street lamp, fence or building. This type of coverage is required in most states.
- Collision. This type of auto insurance coverage pays for damage to your car as the result of a collision with another vehicle. Even if you are at fault for causing an accident, this type of coverage will reimburse you for the cost of fixing your car once you have paid the out-of-pocket deductible amount. If you are not at fault, your insurance company can seek reimbursement from another driver to cover the cost of repairs to your vehicle. Collision coverage is optional in all states. However, if your automobile is financed, your bank or lending institution will require you to have this coverage.
- Comprehensive. This coverage protects you for losses due to hazards not caused by a collision with another vehicle. This includes damages that are the result of theft, vandalism, fires, falling objects, earthquakes and storms, or contact with animals, such as deer. Comprehensive coverage is optional in all states. Though, like Collision coverage, if your vehicle is financed, your bank or lending institution will require you to have this coverage.
- Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage. This policy protects you and other passengers in your automobile if you are injured in an accident by a motorist who is uninsured and held legally responsible for your injuries. It pays the medical expenses and related expenses you have incurred up to the coverage limits you select.
Auto insurance exists to protect you and your property. So be prepared by making sure that your vehicle is properly insured. Because the simple fact is — accidents do happen.
Learn how to save money on your auto insurance and read about buying auto insurance online.
Basic Liability Car Insurance Coverage
Wherever you live, you’ll need some form of this car insurance to legally drive your car. It covers the expenses for others if you are at fault in an accident. Basic liability covers property damage (like fixing another vehicle if you dent it) and medical or other expenses incurred by the other party.
Comprehensive and Collision Car Insurance Coverage
If your car is not insured and involved in an accident, you might have to pay to rent a car or cover repairs yourself. Comprehensive and Collision coverage as part of your car insurance policy is a much better value because, even if you’re not involved in an accident, you can still be protected against theft, fire, vandalism and windshield damage. Want to reduce your monthly auto insurance payment? Choose a higher deductible.
Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Car Insurance Coverage
You obviously feel responsible for having auto insurance; unfortunately, not everyone does. That’s why this coverage is required in many states. Even if it’s not required, consider protecting yourself and your family with this car insurance policy so you can make sure you get back on the road-and back to work-quickly.
Why Choose The Hartford for Car Insurance?
Lifetime Renewability Auto Insurance
12-Month Car Insurance Rate Protection
RecoverCare – Assistance After an Accident
New Car Replacement Coverage
Lifetime Car Repair Assurance
24/7 Car Insurance Claims Hotline
First Accident Forgiveness
Disappearing Deductible for Auto Insurance
Waiver of Deductible for a Not-At-Fault Accident
$100 Deductible Reduction
How Car Insurance Works
How Car Insurance Works
Car insurance is designed to protect drivers and their passengers from financial hardship after an accident or other vehicle-related incident. Auto insurance, or other proof of financial responsibility, is mandated in every state.
Insurance can be confusing, but it can help you to find the right coverage at the best price to understand more about how it works and why it’s required.
Car Insurance Requirements
While the car insurance requirements vary by state, drivers must always prove they can pay damages in the event of an accident. This is called proving financial responsibility.
Some states allow drivers to prove their ability to pay damages by posting a bond or certificate; however, car insurance is typically the easiest way for drivers to fulfill the requirement.
To learn all about the types of car insurance coverage required in your state, visit our Insurance Requirements section.
Benefits of Car Insurance
Before car insurance was widely adopted and mandated, car accident victims would usually get no form of compensation in an accident. In the event that a victim did sue the driver at fault, those drivers often faced huge costs that could be financially crippling.
Requiring car insurance helps states protect drivers from the enormous costs that can be associated with an accident. It ensures that both:
- The at-fault driver can cover the costs of the injuries or property damages resulting from the accident without losing huge sums in a lawsuit.
- The victims of the accident can seek the medical care required, pay for funeral expenses, and/or fix their property in a timely manner without paying out of pocket.
Car insurance can give you the peace of mind knowing that you’ll be financially covered after an accident.
Types of Car Insurance
The most common type of insurance that is legally required is liability insurance, which covers damages to the other party when you are at fault. However, there are numerous other types of coverage that can offer additional protection from the costs of injuries and property damage to you and your passengers. These include:
- Comprehensive coverage – Pays for property damage after an incident that is not accident-related.
- Collision coverage – Covers damage to your vehicle from a traffic collision.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage – Helps pay your expenses when you’ve been hit by someone with no or insufficient insurance.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist property damage coverage – Helps cover damages to your property if you’ve been hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver.
- Medical expense payments coverage – Helps you pay for your and your passengers’ medical expenses, regardless of who was found at fault.
For more information on the various types of coverage available on the market, visit our Coverages section.
How Insurance Companies Manage Risk
Like all insurance, car insurance rates are assessed based on risk. This means that the insurance provider:
- Calculates your likelihood of making a claim.
- Bases your premium on that level of risk.
Car insurance carriers have found that certain factors statistically affect your chances of getting into an accident, so they use those factors to determine your premiums. They include (but are not limited to):
- Your driving record.
- Tickets, DUIs, accidents, etc. will make you riskier to insure.
- Your vehicle’s make, model, and year.
- Your age, gender, and marital status.
- Your occupation.
- Your credit history.
- NOTE: Not all states allow use of your credit history to determine your rates.
- Your claims history.
- How many miles you drive per month/year.
If you are a low-risk driver, you’ll have an easier time finding cheap rates. If you are high-risk, you’ll find that you you’ll pay higher premiums, and you may even have a harder time finding an insurance provider to offer you coverage.*
It’s important to remember that not all companies calculate risk the same way. Some companies may place more weight on certain factors and less on others, and it may be reversed in another company. Your best bet is to speak to multiple car insurance companies and/or compare car insurance rates online.
Discounts may also factor into your rates. Make sure when you shop around for car insurance to ask about discounts that may apply to you.
* Drivers who’ve been denied coverage can find it through their state’s automobile insurance plan, albeit at a higher premium.
Accidents and Your Auto Insurance
If you get into an accident and you are found to be at fault, you will file a claim with your car insurance company to cover the damages.
After the claim is processed and funds are paid out, your insurance company may consider you riskier to insure and may increase your premium as a result.
Note that if you don’t file a claim but you are still cited by the police in an accident, your insurance rates can still go up due to the increased risk factor associated with your driving habits.
The best way to obtain and maintain low car insurance rates is to drive safely, avoid accidents, and keep your driving record clear.
How Car Insurance Providers Make Money
Car insurance companies make money by collecting premiums from their pool of consumers. The money collected from the company’s consumers “in case» of an accident is put away to pay out claims that are submitted.
The large majority of consumers won’t file a claim during the span of their relationship with their insurer. This means that the insurance company typically has enough money from their consumers’ premiums to pay out their claims, so you can feel comfortable knowing if something happens you’ll be covered.
Insurance companies also ensure they don’t lose money by imposing coverage limits, meaning they put a specific cap on what will get paid out, based on the customer’s chosen premium. Simply put, if the customer pays more, he can elect a higher payout. This helps the company manage risk and make money in the long-term.
Protect yourself and your family with quality car insurance from MetLife Auto & Home. Whether you’re an individual or part of an organization that receives group discounts, big policy savings are waiting for you.
Individuals can enjoy:
- Great savings. Save hundreds with discounts for good drivers and savings for every year you drive claim-free.1
- Quality coverage. In addition to comprehensive and collision coverage, many of our policies offer new car replacement, special parts replacement, enhanced rental car damage coverage and identity theft protection at no extra cost.2 So you are taken care of from end to end.
- Convenience. Coverage is tailored to your world. Get personalized customer service, choose between multiple payment options and schedules, and manage your account online. No matter where you are, we’re always at your side ready to help.
Group Participants get:
- Special discounts. Through a benefits package with their employer or association, most people saved an average of $586 per year!3
- Coverage that stays with you. If you go on sabaatical, retire or leave your company, your coverage continues without interruption or change. So you’re always protected.
- Great features. Group participants are still eligible for the same great benefits as individuals, including replacement coverage for total loss, rewards for good driving, enhanced rental car damange coverage, identity theft protection and more. All while enjoying a more affordable premium.
The road ahead can be filled with twists and turns. Life’s sudden surprises, like an accident, can happen when you least expect it. Then again, you never expect an accident. But, with Selective, you can expect to have the right coverage for you and your car, so you can get back on the road as quickly and easily as possible.
With Selective, we know that one size does not fit all when it comes to auto coverage. We give you options and choices, and working together with your local independent agent, you’ll get coverage that’s tailored to you and your lifestyle.