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Should You Choose a Smaller Insurance Company?
March 16, 2018
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You’re comparing prices on Compare.com and you see some companies offering great rates, but you don’t recognize some of them. Your first thought may be: I only go with companies I’ve heard of and advertise on TV.

You can probably hum the State Farm “Like a Good Neighbor” jingle. You know Flo works for Progressive and GEICO’s pitchman is small and green. That’s because large insurance companies have millions (or billions, in GEICO’s case) to spend on advertising and marketing, while small insurance companies don’t.

But that doesn’t mean small car insurers are a bad choice. On the contrary, you may get more personal service or lower rates than the big guys can offer. We’ll take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of going with a smaller insurance company…

Advantages of Small Car Insurance Companies
Lower rates: Because small car insurers spend less on marketing and have lower overhead costs, they often can provide lower-cost policies – especially for high-risk drivers
Customer service: The largest companies insure tens of millions of drivers. No matter how many customer service representatives they hire, you’ll still be 1 customer out of 10,000,000. Smaller, regional companies often beat the big companies in customer satisfaction, offering a local, family feel
Specialty car insurance: If you’re trying to insure an high-powered sports car or a classic car, you may have better luck going with a small insurer that specializes in specialty vehicles
Disadvantages of Small Car Insurance Companies
You get what you pay for: If you choose a smaller car insurer because you want to save money with a low-cost policy, review the details carefully. The less you spend, the less coverage you’ll get – which could be disastrous if you get into an accident
Less Access: The benefit of a larger insurer? More money and more staff. This usually means longer call center hours and more brick-and-mortar stores. If you go with a smaller insurer, you may have to accept that you can only speak to someone 9-5 on weekdays.
Fewer features: Large car insurers are competing to offer all kinds of perks for policyholders, often offering a wider range of discounts and complimentary roadside assistance; small companies can’t always match these
Limited coverage area: Some small car insurance companies only offer policies in a few states. This means if you move, you’ll have to find a new insurer.
Meet Some Smaller Car Insurers
Choosing a car insurance company is a big decision. You need to consider how expensive they are, read customer reviews and research what’s covered by the policy. It’s also good to check A.M. Best Company’s ratings. They evaluate companies’ financial stability, which demonstrates a company’s strength and ultimately their ability to pay out on your claims.

Here are a few smaller car insurance companies and the special services and benefits they offer.

Amica Insurance
Founded in 1907, Amica Insurance is the oldest mutual insurer of automobiles in the country. The word ‘Mutual’ is significant. The company’s customers are also its owners, meaning the company pays dividends to policyholders. For the last 40 years, the dividends have equaled 20 percent of their annual premium. Amica prides itself on its award-winning customer service and financial strength.

Elephant Auto Insurance
Elephant Auto Insurance is a newer company, founded in 2009, but it’s no lightweight. Elephant a subsidiary of Admiral Group, plc, which has nearly 2 million policies worldwide and more than a dozen different companies scattered across the globe. Elephant offers no-hassle service, affordable rates and reliable coverage.

The General Insurance
The General primarily serves drivers who have a history of driving violations or accidents, have let their insurance lapse or have less-than-perfect credit. These drivers are seen as higher-risk, so they may be more expensive to insure. However, the General promises affordable premiums and flexible payment plans for high-risk customers. The General can also help with SR-22 filings, which some require as proof of insurance for high-risk drivers.

Infinity Auto Insurance
Founded in 1955, Infinity Auto Insurance offers affordable coverage to drivers who may be declined by other insurers because of a DUI, claims history or previous violations. While Infinity is a small company, it’s the third largest non-standard insurance agency in the U.S., operating in 44 states.

Regional Insurance Companies
These smaller car insurers operate only in specific states or regions of the US. This means that they can really focus on a core customer base and get to know the insurance risks that drivers in that area face. For example, you’re more likely to hit a deer in Montana vs California. You also probably don’t need to worry about hurricanes in New York, but it’s an annual concern in Florida.

Wawanesa is a Canadian insurance company that operates in California and Oregon
New York Central Mutual (NYCM) is a mutual insurance company in New York
PEMCO is a mutual insurance company in the Pacific Northwest
Texas Farm Bureau Insurance insures cars, as well as livestock and ranches, in Texas
Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee was founded by farmers in 1948 and is now the biggest car insurer in Tennessee
A smaller insurer has just as much to offer as a larger insurer. Just because you don’t recognize the name doesn’t mean that they are cheap, untrustworthy or a scam. If you don’t recognize their name, just do some research online.

Don’t pass up the chance to save money and consider a smaller insurance company. Studies show that drivers save an average of 32% on auto insurance when they compare prices, and there are more companies to compare when you consider local and regional insurance companies. Compare quotes today and see if a smaller insurer could save you money.
Understand Your State Minimum Car Insurance Requirements
April 04, 2018
All states have minimum car insurance requirements of coverage to legally operate your car. Driving without car insurance will usually result in a fine if you are caught so it’s in your best interest to find out what coverage is required from your state.

➡ Skip to Required Coverage Explanation

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements by State
State Minimum Requirements
Alabama
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
Alaska
$50k bodily injury liability per person
$100k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
Arizona
$15k bodily-injury liability per person
$30k bodily-injury liability per accident
$10k property-damage liability
Arkansas
$25k for bodily injury per person
$50k for bodily injury per accident
$25k for property damage per accident
California
$15k bodily injury liability per person
$30k bodily injury liability per accident
$5k property damage liability per accident
Colorado
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$15k property damage liability per accident
Connecticut
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
$25k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per accident
Delaware
$15k bodily injury liability per person
$30k bodily injury liability per accident
$10k property damage liability per accident
$15k bodily injury uninsured/underinsured motorist per person
$30k bodily injury uninsured/underinsured motorist per accident
$10k property damage uninsured/underinsured motorist per accident
$15k personal injury protection per person
$30k personal injury protection per accident
Florida
$10k property damage liability per accident
$10k personal injury protection
Georgia
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
Hawaii
$20k bodily injury liability per person
$40k bodily injury liability per accident
$10k property damage liability per accident
$10k personal injury protection
Idaho
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$15k property damage liability per accident
Illinois
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$20k property damage liability per accident
$25k uninsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured motorist coverage per accident
Indiana
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$10k property damage liability per accident
Iowa
$20k bodily injury liability per person
$40k bodily injury liability per accident
$15k property damage liability per accident
Kansas
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$10k property damage liability per accident
$25k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per accident
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

$4.5k medical expenses
$900 per month for disability or loss of income
$25 per day for in-home services
$4.5k for rehabilitation
$2k for funeral or cremation costs
Kentucky
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$10k property damage liability per accident
$10k personal injury protection
Louisiana
$15k bodily injury liability per person
$30k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
Maine
$50k bodily injury liability per person
$100k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
$50k uninsured motorist coverage per person
$100k uninsured motorist coverage per accident
$2k medical payments coverage
Maryland
$30k bodily injury liability per person
$60k bodily injury liability per accident
$15k property damage liability per accident
Massachusetts
$20k bodily injury liability per person
$40k bodily injury liability per accident
$5k property damage liability per accident
$20k uninsured motorist coverage per person
$40k uninsured motorist coverage per accident
$8k personal injury protection
Michigan
$20k bodily injury liability per person
$40k bodily injury liability per accident
$10k property damage liability per accident
No-Fault Insurance Policy

Personal injury protection (PIP) – lifetime of medical expenses and up to 3 years of wage loss
Property protection (PPI) – $1MIL for damages to other peoples property
Minnesota
$30k bodily injury liability per person
$60k bodily injury liability per accident
$10k property damage liability per accident
$25k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per accident
$40k personal injury protection
Mississippi
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
Missouri
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$10k property damage liability per accident
$25k uninsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured motorist coverage per accident
Montana
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$20k property damage liability per accident
Nebraska
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
$25k uninsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured motorist coverage per accident
Nevada
$15k bodily injury liability per person
$30k bodily injury liability per accident
$10k property damage liability per accident
New Hampshire
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
$25k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per accident
$25k uninsured & underinsured motorist property damage coverage
$1k medical payments coverage
*Car insurance is optional in this state but we wouldn’t suggest going without it.*

New Jersey
$15k bodily injury liability per person
$30k bodily injury liability per accident
$5k property damage liability per accident
$15k personal injury protection
New Mexico
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$10k property damage liability per accident
New York
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$50k liability for death per person
$100k liability for death per accident
$10k property damage liability per accident
$50k personal injury protection
$25k uninsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured motorist coverage per accident
North Carolina
$30k bodily injury liability per person
$60k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
$30k uninsured motorist coverage per person
$60k uninsured motorist coverage per accident
$25k uninsured motorist property damage coverage per accident
North Dakota
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
$25k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per accident
$30k personal injury protection
Ohio
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
Oklahoma
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
Oregon
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$20k property damage liability per accident
$25k uninsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured motorist coverage per accident
$15k personal injury protection
Pennsylvania
$15k bodily injury liability per person
$30k bodily injury liability per accident
$5k property damage liability per accident
$5k medical benefits
Rhode Island
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
South Carolina
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
$25k uninsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured motorist coverage per accident
$25k uninsured motorist property damage coverage
South Dakota
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
$25k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per accident
Tenneesse
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$15k property damage liability per accident
Texas
$30k bodily injury liability per person
$60k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
Utah
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$65k bodily injury liability per accident
$15k property damage liability per accident
$3k personal injury protection
Vermont
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$10k property damage liability per accident
$50k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per person
$100k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per accident
$10k uninsured & underinsured motorist property damage coverage per accident
Virginia
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$20k property damage liability per accident
$25k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per accident
$20k uninsured & underinsured motorist property damage coverage per accident
Washington
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$10k property damage liability per accident
Washington D.C.
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$10k property damage liability per accident
$25k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured & underinsured motorist coverage per accident
$5k uninsured & underinsured motorist property damage coverage per accident
West Virginia
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$25k property damage liability per accident
$25k uninsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured motorist coverage per accident
$25k uninsured motorist property damage coverage
Wisconsin
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$10k property damage liability per accident
$25k uninsured motorist coverage per person
$50k uninsured motorist coverage per accident
Wyoming
$25k bodily injury liability per person
$50k bodily injury liability per accident
$20k property damage liability per accident
Explaining Required Car Insurance Coverage
When it comes to auto insurance coverage, there are four basic types of coverage that may be required by your state:

Bodily Injury Liability
Property Damage Liability
Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or No-fault Insurance
If you are looking for basic car insurance required by your state, you will most likely only need liability insurance which will cover bodily injury and property damage if an accident occurs. Coverage limits are displayed like 15/45/25 or $15,000/$45,000/$25,000.

In the example above, these numbers mean that your state minimum responsibility is:

$15,000 for bodily injury per person
$45,000 for bodily injury per accident
$25,000 for property damage per accident
What is Bodily Injury Liability Coverage?
Bodily injury liability coverage will help when harm is done to another passenger in your car or any other vehicle involved in an accident which is your fault. Your bodily injury limits are managed by two numbers. The first is bodily injury per person and the second is per accident. The per person limit sets a maximum on how much the insurance company will pay out per person in the event someone is injured. The per accident sets a cap on the maximum that the insurance company will pay out per accident. If your bodily injury limits were $15,000/$45,000 and there were 3 people injured with $20,000 worth of injuries each. They would only receive $15,000 each. In this case, you are underinsured and the remaining $5,000 for each injured person would come out of your pocket, which is usually settled out in court. Ouch.

What is Property Damage Liability?
Property damage liability coverage will help cover the costs when any damage is done to another person’s property such as a car, fence, bicycle, or home. The limit set is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay if there is an accident in which you are at fault. The minimum in some instances is not always enough depending on the severity of the incident.

What is Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection is great to have when someone hits you and they don’t have enough coverage to pay off expenses occurred during an accident that is their fault. Most states don’t require this type of coverage but with the increase of drivers driving without insurance and low liability limits, it’s probably something to think about.

What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)?
Personal injury protection, also known as No-fault coverage, is an additional coverage that will help cover you and your passenger’s injury expenses after an accident. It can help pay for funeral expenses, medical expenses, and even lost wages.

There are currently only 12 states that are considered a mandatory ‘no-fault’ state.

List of No-fault States:
Florida
Hawaii
Kansas
Kentucky
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
New Jersey
New York
North Dakota
Pennsylvania
Utah
If you are looking to compare state minimum car insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies, start by filling out the zip code form below. We can help you find some of the cheapest car insurance with the coverage you need. Save some money today!