The Best Places to Find Basic Car Insurance Quotes

Basic car insurance quotes and and levels vary by state but the more research you conduct, the better deals you will find. Use online comparison tools to find the best basic car insurance quotes.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jul 22, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Car insurance is required by every state
  • Rates for insurance vary based on your location
  • The more research you conduct, the better deals you will find
  • States offer assistance plans for individuals who find it difficult to insure their automobiles

The best places where you can find basic car insurance quotes are right under your nose, and they include the Internet, the telephone, and friends and family. By utilizing all of these tools, you are sure to find the best basic car insurance quotes available.

Click here to enter your zip code into our FREE tool and receive car insurance rates from many different companies!

Before you even begin looking for basic car insurance quotes, you are going to need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What is basic car insurance?
  • How much is the average basic car insurance quote for my state?
  • How do car insurance companies come up with individual quotes?
  • Can I do anything to ensure a fair and honest quote?

The reason you need this information is that basic car insurance differs from state to state. What is basic in Wyoming may be different in Nebraska.

Learning what constitutes basic car insurance will help you move forward in your search.

Basic Car Insurance Levels Vary by State

Most people believe basic car insurance is called liability; however, this is not always true. In fact, some states vary their levels of basic car insurance. They also include comprehensive and perhaps collision. In addition, if your vehicle is leased or financed by a bank or credit union, basic car insurance may not be enough to satisfy their requirements.

No matter where you live, you can consult with the experts. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has information on their site that will point you in the right direction. Find out what your state’s requirements are before you start looking for car insurance quotes.

If you are lucky, it should not take very long for you to acquire the correct data and you can continue with your search.

Your state leaders are very concerned about uninsured motorists, but they are equally worried about underinsured motorists.

It is just as important that you obtain the correct level of car insurance before you start driving.

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The Basic Car Insurance Rates for Your State

Just as the levels of car insurance differ by state, so do the rates.

You also need to prepare yourself for the quote you receive based on where you live. Residents in large states, where the population is higher, sometimes receive higher quotes for car insurance. Therefore, if you live in California, your quote may be higher than if you live in Rhode Island.

However, this is not always true. For example, the small state of Louisiana has 4.5 million people but the average resident pays about $1,099 per year. On the other hand, Colorado has a little over 5 million people and basic insurance costs these residents approximately $741 annually.

If you want to be absolutely sure of the averages in your state, check with the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

Arm yourself with as much information as possible to help you determine where you fall in the grand scheme of things. This will give you a leg up when you start your search.

Basic Car Insurance Rates are Determined by Many Factors


Basic car insurance rates are always lower than any other level, since most car insurance companies base their quotes on a tiered system. This means you build your coverage from the bottom to the top. Basic liability provides you with protections against certain things, but not every issue. If you want extra protection, you must purchase more.

The car insurance companies base their rates in pretty much the same fashion, starting with the young drivers who have very little experience. They pay more for the privilege of learning how to drive. As you increase your experience and refrain from traffic violations and collisions, your rates drop.

Insurance companies also consider your location and how much you drive on an annual basis.

They believe where you live dictates the type of risk, whether it is from theft or accidents. Driving too much means you are more susceptible to accidents and traffic violations. Those who commute to work are often quoted a lower price than those who drive every day.

The type of vehicle you want to insure also plays heavily in their calculations. Vehicles with multiple safety features can often receive a low quote for basic car insurance, while sports cars and vehicles with extra modifications are much riskier.

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Ensure a Fair and Comparable Car Insurance Quote

Now that you have educated yourself, share your findings with your friends and family and get their advice. They may have a bit of untapped knowledge to share with you, especially your parents who are probably your best resource.

Begin utilizing automobile insurance websites and challenging the companies to find a comparable quote.

You should start with the most reputable companies. Within a short time, you will receive a rate based on the information you placed on the application.

Most return a quote within two to three minutes.

Next, call each car insurance company you placed an application with and speak with a live representative. The good thing about auto insurance websites is they retain the information so you should not have to complete anything when you call, and they may even be able to access your information by your last name or telephone number.

Go over the application with the representative line-by-line and ask any question you have. If they are unable to explain the rates to you, escalate the call to a supervisor or manager. You should never feel uncomfortable about doing this. If you are going to spend money with this company each month, you need to be completely satisfied with their business practices.

Your final search should be on your own state’s website.

All states have a website created for their residents. You need to find out about any programs they offer regarding automobile insurance for uninsured drivers. Be sure to let them know that you have contacted commercial car insurance companies and you are not sure about their rates; tell them if you have been turned down also.

Do not commit yourself to any one company until you have contacted all of them over the telephone. Once you receive all of your quotes, give yourself at least 24 hours to think things over.

Make sure you are choosing based on your needs; do not give into pressure tactics.

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Programs Provided by the State

Every state in the U.S. requires car insurance for registered vehicle owners.

If you plan to drive within the limits of the law, you must first register your vehicle, and you will need proof of insurance to accomplish this task. Unfortunately, since most people are willing to find a commercial car insurance company through a television ad or an Internet search without doing the proper research, many are not aware of the resources their own state provides.

Considering how most car insurance companies are biased toward their own products and discounts, it is extremely difficult to get the entire truth behind what they offer until it is too late and you have committed yourself to their service.

Instead of relying on their opinions and various offers, you should start looking at what services you can qualify for as a resident of your state.

Examples of State-Funded Programs

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Depending upon where you live, you may qualify for programs offered by your state. For example, California residents are able to use The California Low Cost Automobile Program to obtain liability insurance at a low cost. Working with the automobile insurance companies within this state, all drivers who are able to show financial need qualify.

This is the way the Californian state leaders are able to address the issue of uninsured motorists, and since 2000, the number of claims filed by motorists involved in collisions with uninsured drivers has dropped substantially.

The best way to combat high insurance rates, they found, was to implement this program. Certain stipulations apply, but for the most part, it seems to be working.

Another program, offered by the state of Maryland, called the Maryland Auto Insurance Fund (MAIF) began as far back as 1972. It provides liability insurance to residents in Maryland who cannot obtain private car insurance. MAIF works directly with a number of insurance companies throughout Maryland to ensure proper coverage for all who apply.

In Texas, a program called the Texas Automobile Insurance Plan Association (TAPIA) is offered.

TAPIA provides for coverage through this organization if you can show proof that two or more car insurance companies have refused to provide you with coverage.

They offer liability as well as personal injury protection and uninsured/underinsured motorist’s coverage. New Jersey residents have the New Jersey Special Automobile Insurance Policy.

Unfortunately, while very effective, you must meet stringent requirements; this program is extremely limited. To qualify, you must have Medicaid and hospitalization, combined. This Federal-level based program is generally set aside for low-income individuals.

The good news, however, is if you do qualify, you will never pay more than $365 per year.

Once you are accepted, you can report to virtually any car insurance agent and present your documentation, they cannot refuse to write your policy. The coverage includes a maximum benefit of $250,000 for any medical expenses because of a motor vehicle collision and $10,000 in paid death benefits.

Try our FREE search tool to compare car insurance rates from multiple companies!

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Average Monthly Car Insurance Rates by State