Car Insurance

Find and compare a wide range of car insurance options from our panel of trusted insurers here today with zaving

Last updated by Zaving Editorial Team, on April 4th, 2024

Welcome to zavings, your trusted destination for comparing car insurance options in the USA. Car insurance is a crucial aspect of vehicle ownership, providing financial protection and peace of mind on the road. At zavings, we understand the importance of finding the right car insurance policy that meets your specific needs. Whether you're a new driver looking for affordable coverage or a seasoned motorist searching for comprehensive protection, our platform allows you to compare quotes from leading insurance providers. With our user-friendly interface and unbiased information, we empower you to make informed decisions and find the best car insurance plan that fits your budget and requirements.

What is car insurance and why do I need it? 

Car insurance is a financial product that provides coverage for damages and losses associated with owning and operating a vehicle. It is a legal requirement in most states in the USA, and it serves several important purposes:

Financial Protection: Car insurance protects you from financial liability in the event of an accident, theft, or damage to your vehicle. It can help cover the costs of repairs, medical expenses, and legal fees.

Peace of Mind: By having car insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are financially protected against unexpected events. It allows you to drive with confidence, knowing that you have coverage in case of an accident.

Legal Compliance: Car insurance is mandated by law in most states. Driving without insurance can result in penalties, fines, and license suspension. Having car insurance ensures that you meet the legal requirements and avoid potential consequences.

Protection for Others: Car insurance not only protects you but also provides coverage for injuries and damages to other people involved in an accident caused by your vehicle. It helps cover their medical expenses, property damage, and potential legal claims.

Lender Requirements: If you have a car loan or lease, the lender may require you to have comprehensive and collision coverage. This protects their financial interest in the vehicle until you fully pay off the loan or lease.

Car insurance is an essential aspect of responsible vehicle ownership. It safeguards your finances, protects you and others, and ensures compliance with legal requirements. It's important to compare different insurance options to find the coverage that suits your needs and budget.

How much does car insurance cost in the USA? 

The cost of car insurance in the USA can vary widely based on several factors. Here are some key elements that influence the cost:

Personal Factors: Your age, gender, marital status, and driving record can impact the cost of insurance. Younger drivers, males, unmarried individuals, and those with a history of accidents or traffic violations may face higher premiums.

Vehicle Type: The make, model, year, and value of your vehicle can affect insurance rates. Expensive, high-performance, or luxury cars often have higher premiums due to increased repair costs or theft risk.

Coverage Levels: The type and amount of coverage you choose will impact the cost. Comprehensive coverage, which protects against theft and non-accident-related damages, is typically more expensive than basic liability coverage.

Deductibles: A deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket before insurance coverage kicks in. Higher deductibles generally result in lower premiums, but it means you'll have more upfront costs in the event of a claim.

Location: Insurance rates can vary based on where you live. Urban areas with higher traffic density and crime rates may have higher premiums compared to rural areas.

Insurance Provider: Different insurance companies have their own pricing models and algorithms. Rates can vary significantly between providers, so it's essential to compare quotes from multiple insurers.

It's important to shop around and compare car insurance quotes to find the best coverage at a competitive price. Factors such as your driving history, vehicle, coverage options, and location will determine the specific cost for your car insurance policy.

What factors affect the cost of car insurance?  

Several factors influence the cost of car insurance. Understanding these factors can help you make informed decisions when selecting coverage. Here are some key factors:

  1. Driving Record: Your driving history plays a significant role. A clean record with no accidents or traffic violations usually leads to lower premiums, while a history of accidents or tickets can increase rates.
  2. Age and Gender: Younger and less experienced drivers tend to pay higher premiums due to a higher risk profile. Additionally, statistics show that males typically have higher accident rates, which can impact rates.
  3. Vehicle Type: The make, model, year, and value of your vehicle affect insurance costs. Cars with higher safety ratings, lower theft rates, and less expensive repair costs generally have lower premiums.
  4. Coverage Options: The type and level of coverage you choose impact your premiums. Basic liability coverage is generally more affordable, while comprehensive and collision coverage that provides more extensive protection can be more expensive.
  5. Location: Where you live can affect your insurance rates. Areas with higher crime rates, congested traffic, or a history of accidents may have higher premiums compared to rural or less populated areas.
  6. Credit History: In some states, insurance companies consider credit history when determining premiums. A good credit score can result in lower rates, as it's often correlated with responsible behavior and fewer claims.
  7. Annual Mileage: The number of miles you drive annually can impact your insurance cost. Generally, the more you drive, the higher the risk of accidents and the higher the premiums.
  8. Deductibles: Your chosen deductible—the amount you're responsible for paying before insurance coverage kicks in—affects your premiums. Higher deductibles typically lead to lower premiums, but it means you'll have more out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a claim.
  9. Claims History: Insurance companies consider your claims history when calculating rates. If you have a history of frequent claims, it may result in higher premiums.
  10. Discounts: Many insurance companies offer discounts for factors such as bundling policies, having safety features in your vehicle, or maintaining a good driving record. Taking advantage of these discounts can help lower your premiums.

What types of car insurance are available? 

Car insurance offers various types of coverage to protect you financially in different situations. Common types of coverage include:

  • Liability Coverage: This coverage pays for bodily injury and property damage to others if you're at fault in an accident. It's often required by law and has two components: bodily injury liability and property damage liability.
  • Collision Coverage: Collision coverage pays for damages to your vehicle if it's involved in a collision with another vehicle or object, regardless of fault.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage protects against non-collision-related incidents, such as theft, vandalism, fire, or natural disasters.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage: This coverage helps protect you if you're involved in an accident with a driver who doesn't have insurance or has insufficient coverage.
  • Medical Payments Coverage: Medical payments coverage helps pay for medical expenses for you and your passengers in case of an accident, regardless of fault.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): PIP coverage is similar to medical payments coverage but often includes additional benefits, such as lost wages or funeral expenses.
  • Rental Reimbursement Coverage: This coverage helps cover the cost of renting a vehicle while yours is being repaired after an accident.
  • Gap Insurance: Gap insurance covers the difference between what you owe on a leased or financed car and its actual cash value in case of a total loss.

The specific types of coverage you choose depend on your specific needs and preferences. It's important to understand each type of coverage and assess which ones are most suitable for you. Using a reputable comparison website like zavings can help you make informed decisions.

How does a car insurance deductible work?  

A car insurance deductible is the amount you agree to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in to cover the remaining costs. Here's how it works:

  1. Choosing a Deductible: When you purchase car insurance, you'll have the option to select a deductible amount. Common deductible options range from $250 to $1,000 or more. A higher deductible usually leads to lower premiums, while a lower deductible results in higher premiums.
  2. Paying the Deductible: If you're involved in an accident and file a claim, you'll need to pay the agreed-upon deductible amount to the repair shop or directly to your insurance company, depending on the situation. The insurance company will cover the remaining repair costs up to your policy's limits.
  3. Impact on Premiums: Opting for a higher deductible can lower your insurance premiums since you're taking on more financial responsibility in the event of a claim. However, it's important to choose a deductible that you can comfortably afford to pay out of pocket.
  4. Claim Settlement: After you pay the deductible, your insurance company will process the claim and cover the remaining eligible costs, up to the limits of your policy. The insurance company will either reimburse you for the repair costs or pay the repair shop directly.
  5. Frequency of Deductible Payment: You generally have to pay the deductible for each separate claim you file. If you're involved in multiple accidents, you'll need to pay the deductible for each incident.
  6. Insurance Coverage Limit: Remember that your deductible is separate from your coverage limits. The coverage limit is the maximum amount your insurance company will pay for a covered claim. It's essential to understand both your deductible and coverage limits to ensure you have adequate protection.

Understanding how a car insurance deductible works is crucial in managing your insurance costs. Evaluating your financial situation, risk tolerance, and the value of your vehicle can help you determine the most appropriate deductible amount for your needs.

How can I save money on car insurance? 

Saving money on car insurance requires a combination of smart decision-making and taking advantage of available discounts. Here are some tips to help you save:

  • Shop around and compare quotes: Obtain quotes from multiple insurance companies to find the best rates. Online comparison expert zavings can streamline the process, allowing you to compare policies side by side.
  • Bundle your policies: Consider bundling your car insurance with other insurance policies, such as homeowners or renters insurance, with the same provider. Many insurance companies offer multi-policy discounts, resulting in overall savings.
  • Maintain a good driving record: Safe driving habits can lead to lower premiums over time. Avoid accidents and traffic violations, as insurance companies often reward drivers with clean records through discounts or accident forgiveness programs.
  • Choose a higher deductible: Opting for a higher deductible can lower your premiums. However, it's essential to choose a deductible that you can comfortably afford to pay out of pocket in the event of a claim.
  • Take advantage of discounts: Insurance companies offer various discounts, such as safe driver discounts, good student discounts, multi-car discounts, and low-mileage discounts. Inquire about available discounts and see if you qualify for any.
  • Consider the car you drive: Insurance premiums can vary based on the type of car you drive. Before purchasing a vehicle, research how it will impact your insurance rates. Generally, high-performance or luxury cars have higher insurance costs.
  • Maintain good credit: In some states, insurance companies may use credit scores as a factor in determining premiums. Maintain good credit to potentially secure lower insurance rates.
  • Review your coverage periodically: As your circumstances change, such as paying off your car loan or driving less, review your coverage to ensure you have the appropriate level of protection. Adjusting your coverage accordingly can help you save money.

Remember, it's important to strike a balance between affordability and adequate coverage. While saving money is crucial, ensure that you have sufficient coverage to protect yourself financially in the event of an accident or other unforeseen circumstances.

How do I compare car insurance policies? 

When comparing car insurance policies, it's essential to evaluate multiple factors to make an informed decision. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  • Identify your needs: Assess your specific needs and preferences. Consider factors such as coverage types, deductibles, limits, additional features, and budgetary constraints.
  • Gather quotes through zavings: We make it easy for you to obtain quotes from multiple insurance companies. Provide accurate information about your driving history, vehicle details, and coverage preferences to get accurate quotes.
  • Compare coverage types: Evaluate the coverage types offered by each insurance company. Common coverage options include liability coverage, collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, personal injury protection, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Consider deductibles and limits: Compare the deductibles and coverage limits offered by each policy. Higher deductibles can lower premiums, but ensure that you can comfortably afford the deductible in the event of a claim. Similarly, choose coverage limits that provide adequate protection for your needs.
  • Review additional features: Some insurance policies offer additional features or add-ons, such as roadside assistance, rental car coverage, or accident forgiveness. Assess these features and consider their value to you.
  • Check for discounts: Inquire about available discounts and see if you qualify for any. Common discounts include safe driver discounts, good student discounts, and multi-policy discounts.
  • Review the policy exclusions: Pay attention to the policy exclusions, which are situations or circumstances not covered by the insurance. Understand what is and isn't covered to ensure it aligns with your needs and potential risks.
  • Compare premiums: Compare the premiums offered by each insurance company for the same coverage. Keep in mind that the cheapest option isn't always the best choice. Consider the overall value you receive in terms of coverage, deductibles, and customer service.
  • Check for online tools and resources: Some insurance companies offer online tools and resources to help you manage your policy, file claims, or get assistance. These features can enhance your overall experience and convenience.
  • Read the fine print: Carefully read the policy documents, including the terms and conditions, to understand the details of the coverage. Pay attention to any hidden fees, cancellation policies, or other important provisions.

By following these steps and conducting thorough research and comparison through zaving, you can effectively compare car insurance policies and make an informed decision that suits your needs and budget. Remember to regularly review your policy and reassess your coverage as your circumstances change to ensure you have the right protection in place. 

Can I get car insurance with a poor driving record? 

Yes, it's possible to get car insurance with a bad driving record, but it may be more challenging and costly. Insurance companies consider various factors when determining premiums, and a bad driving record can result in higher rates. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Higher premiums: With a bad driving record, insurance companies may view you as a higher risk, leading to increased premiums compared to drivers with clean records.
  2. Limited options: Some insurance companies may be less willing to provide coverage to drivers with a bad driving record. However, there are insurance companies that specialize in providing coverage to high-risk drivers, so it's important to explore different options.
  3. SR-22 requirement: If you have certain violations or convictions, you may be required to file an SR-22 form, which is a certificate of financial responsibility. Not all insurance companies offer SR-22 filings, so it's important to find one that does if it's necessary.
  4. Improving your record: Although insurance rates may be higher initially, maintaining a clean driving record over time can lead to lower premiums. By practicing safe driving habits and avoiding further violations, you can gradually improve your insurance prospects.
  5. Consider discounts and incentives: Some insurance companies offer discounts or incentives for drivers who take defensive driving courses or install safety devices in their vehicles. Explore these options to potentially lower your premiums.
  6. Seek professional advice: If you're having difficulty finding affordable coverage with a bad driving record, consider consulting with an independent insurance agent who can help you navigate the market and find suitable options.

While it may be more challenging to find car insurance coverage with a bad driving record, it's important to be persistent and proactive in your search. By exploring different insurance companies, comparing quotes through zaving you can increase your chances of finding a policy that meets your needs. Additionally, taking steps to improve your driving record and practising safe driving habits can lead to lower premiums over time.

Remember that each insurance company has its own underwriting guidelines, so what may be considered a bad driving record to one company may be viewed differently by another. With patience and diligence, you can find car insurance coverage even with a less-than-perfect driving record.

More of your frequently asked questions about car insurance

Can I get car insurance without a full driver's license?

Typically, car insurance companies require a valid driver's license to issue a policy. Without a license, it may be challenging to find coverage. However, some insurance companies offer policies for drivers with a learner's permit or those who have a suspended license. It's important to check with insurance providers to see if they offer options for drivers without a license.

What is the minimum age for car insurance?

The minimum age for car insurance coverage can vary depending on the insurance company and state regulations. In most states, you must be at least 16 years old to obtain your own car insurance policy. However, younger drivers may be added to their parents' or guardians' policies as additional drivers. It's important to check with your insurance provider to understand their specific age requirements and any restrictions or additional requirements that may apply to young drivers.

 
Will my car insurance cover theft or vandalism?

Comprehensive car insurance coverage typically includes protection against theft or vandalism. If your car is stolen or damaged due to vandalism, you can file a claim with your insurance company. However, coverage may be subject to a deductible, and it's important to review your policy to understand the specific terms and limitations. Reporting the theft or vandalism to the police and providing necessary documentation to the insurance company is crucial for the claims process.

What is uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage?

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is designed to protect you if you're involved in an accident with a driver who doesn't have insurance or has insufficient coverage. If you're injured or your vehicle is damaged by an uninsured or underinsured driver, this coverage can help pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. It's an important coverage to consider to ensure you're protected in case of an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.

Can I use my car insurance for a hit-and-run accident?

If you have uninsured motorist coverage, it may provide protection in the event of a hit-and-run accident. This coverage is specifically designed to compensate you for injuries and damages caused by an unidentified or uninsured driver who flees the scene. It can help cover medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. However, it's important to report the hit-and-run accident to the police and your insurance company as soon as possible to initiate the claims process. Your insurance provider will guide you through the necessary steps to file a claim and provide the required documentation.

What happens if I get into an accident without car insurance?

Driving without car insurance is illegal in most states, and the consequences can be severe. If you get into an accident without insurance, you may be personally responsible for all damages and injuries, including those of the other party involved. You may face legal penalties, such as fines, license suspension, or even imprisonment. Additionally, being uninsured can make it difficult to obtain insurance in the future and may result in higher premiums when you do get coverage.

Can I add someone else to my car insurance policy?

Yes, you can usually add someone to your car insurance policy, such as a family member or household member, as a listed driver. By adding them, they can be covered under your policy while driving your vehicle. However, it's important to inform your insurance company about the additional driver to ensure they are properly covered. Keep in mind that adding a high-risk driver or someone with a poor driving record may affect your premium.

How does car insurance work for teenagers?

Car insurance for teenagers can be more expensive due to their limited driving experience and higher risk of accidents. Teenagers can be added to their parents' policy or purchase their own policy. Insurance companies may offer discounts for good grades or completing driver's education courses. It's important to compare quotes, consider different coverage options, and encourage safe driving habits to obtain the most affordable and suitable car insurance for teenagers.

Does my car insurance cover rental cars?

Car insurance policies may offer some coverage for rental cars, but it varies depending on your policy and the insurance company. Some policies extend liability and physical damage coverage to rental cars, while others may require purchasing additional coverage. It's important to review your policy or contact your insurance provider to understand the extent of rental car coverage or consider purchasing a separate rental car insurance policy.

What is the minimum car insurance coverage required?

The minimum car insurance requirements vary by state. Each state sets its own minimum liability coverage limits, which typically include bodily injury and property damage liability. It's crucial to understand your state's requirements and ensure you have at least the minimum coverage to comply with the law. However, it's often recommended to consider higher coverage limits to provide better protection in the event of an accident.

 

 
How does car insurance work for leased or financed vehicles?

When you lease or finance a vehicle, the leasing company or lender typically requires you to have comprehensive and collision coverage. These coverages protect the leased or financed vehicle in case of damage or total loss. The leasing company or lender may also require certain coverage limits and deductibles. In the event of an accident, the insurance company will typically pay for the repairs or replacement of the vehicle, up to the policy limits, minus any applicable deductibles. It's important to review the leasing or financing agreement and consult with your insurance provider to ensure you meet the requirements.

 
Can I change my car insurance policy mid-term?

Yes, you can usually make changes to your car insurance policy mid-term. If you want to make adjustments such as adding or removing coverage, changing deductibles, or updating your personal information, you can contact your insurance company. They will guide you through the process and provide you with the necessary forms or information to make the changes. Keep in mind that making changes to your policy may result in adjustments to your premium, so it's important to consider the potential impact on cost before making any modifications.