Finding reliable, reasonably-priced insurance is not most people’s favorite thing to do, and determining which companies have the cheapest auto insurance rates for first-time drivers takes even more rate comparisons. Each auto insurer has a unique formula for filing rates in each state, so to begin we’ll rank the lowest cost auto insurance companies in Pennsylvania.
Best Cheap Insurance Rates for Inexperienced Drivers
|Rank||Company||Cost Per Year|
|17||Mutual Benefit Group||$1,439|
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General Casualty has some of the best car insurance rates in Pittsburgh at around $718 a year. Travelers, USAA, Erie, and Penn National also make the cut as some of the more affordable Pittsburgh, PA car insurance companies.
In the above example, if you are currently insured with Travelers and switched to General Casualty, you might see an annual premium reduction of around $61. Policyholders with USAA may save as much as $75 a year, and Erie policyholders might reduce prices by as much as $82 a year.
These rates are averaged across all types of drivers and the different vehicles they drive and and are not calculated with a vehicle location for first-time drivers. So the insurer that is most affordable for your situation may not even be in the list above. That underscores the importance of why you need to compare as many prices as possible using your own specific driver and vehicle information.
The vehicle model you are seeking coverage for is a large factor when comparison shopping for cheaper auto insurance for first-time drivers. Vehicles with limited top-end speed, good safety features, or a low likelihood of having liability claims will cost substantially less to insure than higher performance models. The table below illustrates car insurance prices for a number of the more affordable automobiles to buy coverage for.
|Vehicle Make and Model||Estimated Cost for Full Coverage|
|Honda CR-V LX 2WD||$4,897|
|Ford Escape XLT 2WD||$4,904|
|Hyundai Elantra SE Touring Station Wagon||$5,242|
|Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 2WD||$5,514|
|Ford F-150 XLT Crew Cab 2WD||$5,519|
|Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.5 Station Wagon||$5,582|
|Chevrolet Impala LS||$5,769|
|Ford Focus S 4-Dr Sedan||$5,775|
|Dodge Grand Caravan Hero||$5,814|
|Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4WD||$5,821|
|Chevrolet Malibu LS||$5,814|
|Toyota RAV4 Limited 4WD||$5,820|
|Toyota Camry SE||$6,111|
|Toyota Tacoma X-Runner 2WD||$6,119|
|Honda Odyssey EX-L W/Rear Entertainment||$6,111|
|Toyota Corolla S||$6,119|
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Above prices assume single female driver age 16, no speeding tickets, no at-fault accidents, $1,000 deductibles, and Pennsylvania minimum liability limits. Discounts applied include claim-free, and safe-driver. Rate information does not factor in vehicle garaging location which can decrease or increase insurance rates substantially.
Based upon the rates shown, you can infer that vehicles like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Hyundai Elantra, and Toyota Prius should be the cheapest vehicles to insure for new drivers. The cost of auto insurance will tend to be more expensive just due to the fact that there is more liability exposure for first-time drivers, but in general those vehicles will most likely have the cheapest rates available.
Cost comparison with and without full coverage
Finding cheaper auto insurance should be important to most drivers, and one good way to save on the cost of insurance for first-time drivers is to not pay for full coverage. The chart below compares yearly insurance costs when comparing full coverage to liability only. The data assumes no claims, a clean driving record, $100 deductibles, drivers are not married, and no policy discounts are applied.
Averaged for all ages 20 through 70, comp and collision coverage costs $2,528 per year over and above liability coverage. Many drivers will wonder if it’s a good idea to buy full coverage. There is no definitive rule of when to stop paying for physical damage coverage on your policy, but there is a broad guideline. If the annual cost of coverage is more than around 10% of the replacement cost of your vehicle minus the policy deductible, then you may want to consider only buying liability coverage.
For example, let’s assume your vehicle’s claim settlement value is $8,000 and you have $1,000 deductibles. If your vehicle is damaged in an accident, the most your company would pay you is $7,000 after paying your deductible. If you are paying in excess of $700 a year for comprehensive and collision coverage, the it may be a good time to stop paying for full coverage.
There are some scenarios where buying only liability insurance is not financially feasible. If you still have a loan on your vehicle, you are required to maintain full coverage as part of the loan requirements. Also, if you cannot afford to purchase a different vehicle in the even your car is totaled, you should keep full coverage in place.
The illustration below highlights how deductible choice can increase or decrease premium costs when researching cheap insurance for first-time drivers. The premiums are based on a married male driver, comp and collision included, and no discounts are factored in.
The chart above illustrates that a 40-year-old driver could cut expenses by $230 a year by switching the physical damage coverage from a $100 deductible up to a $500 deductible, or save $346 by choosing a $1,000 deductible. Young drivers, like the 20-year-old example, could lower their rates $762 every year just by choosing larger deductibles.
When choosing a higher deductible, it will be necessary to have additional savings on hand to allow you to pay the extra out-of-pocket expense, which is the primary disadvantage of high deductibles.
Are you paying too much for car insurance in Pittsburgh?
Pennsylvania auto insurance rates are influenced by many factors that control the policy price. Getting older, moving to a different location, or getting a reckless driving citation can produce rate changes that can make some companies cheaper in comparison to the competition.
In addition to those changes, insurers amend pricing as needed to ensure their profitability. Higher than normal claim frequency or severity can result in higher prices, while a better claims history can produce lower-priced Pittsburgh car insurance rates.
To help illustrate this point, the bar chart below shows the cheapest car insurance in Pittsburgh, PA for a 30-year-old female driver with a clean driving record, no accidents, and good financial standing. If we estimate rates based on her current risk factors, General Casualty offers the lowest car insurance rates in Pittsburgh at $942 a year. This is $715 less than the average rate paid by Pennsylvania drivers of $1,657. USAA, Travelers, Penn National, and Erie also make the list of the top five cheapest Pittsburgh, PA auto insurance companies.
Let’s now give the driver in the first chart an accident surcharge, a lower credit score, and a few blemishes on her driving record. Since each auto insurance company has a unique formula to determining premium rates, analyzing rate quotes could result in a different list of affordable Pittsburgh car insurance companies as shown below.
Auto-Owners now has the cheapest car insurance in Pittsburgh with Atlantic States, Donegal Mutual, Penn National, and GEICO completing the list. This example demonstrates why Pennsylvania drivers need to compare many different companies when trying to get affordable insurance rates for first-time drivers.
Auto insurance prices are made up of many things and change substantially, so the cheapest rate a year ago may now be costing you a lot of money.
The insurance agents in Pittsburgh listed below are a good start to help you determine which auto insurance policy fits you best, as some drivers have questions and prefer to have a professional recommendation when trying to find the best insurance rates for new drivers. It can be challenging to find the best coverage yourself, and agents can give comfort knowing you have adequate protection.
To locate a Pittsburgh auto insurance agent nearest to you, click the button after the list or click here to compare price quotes.
Mike Dudenas – State Farm Insurance Agent
901 Castle Shannon Blvd – Pittsburgh, PA 15234 – (412) 561-5012
Allstate Insurance: Thomas Bianco
1154 Freeport Rd – Pittsburgh, PA 15238 – (412) 967-7655
Nationwide Insurance: Barry Lumsden
600 Grant St – Pittsburgh, PA 15219 – (412) 415-1954
How to find low-cost car insurance for first-time drivers
The list below details a few money-saving suggestions that can help Pennsylvania drivers locate more affordable car insurance.
- Clean up your credit
- Older vehicles may not need full coverage
- Increase your physical damage deductibles
- Frequent claims may make car insurance unaffordable
- Bundle car and home insurance and save money
- Vehicles with good safety ratings are usually cheaper to insure
- Compare quotes from other companies often
That last piece of advice is particularly important, as we hit on in this article. Prices change a lot, so drivers shouldn’t hesitate to change to a new company if you can save money. Many drivers prefer to stick with one company, but is isn’t recommended if it’s costing you lots of money. Take a couple minutes and compare rates and find cheaper car insurance for first-time drivers in Pittsburgh.