2013 Auto Insurance Price Comparison – Direct Insurers

Anyone who has shopped for auto insurance knows that the price can vary quite a bit, depending on which company is underwriting the policy. Every company has their own unique way for assessing risk, and their prices usually reflect those differences.

On average, direct insurance providers offer cheaper insurance plans because they cut out the middleman (agents). Good drivers especially can see lower rates when buying their own policy online from one of the major direct carriers.

“But which company is the cheapest?”

Below you will find the results of a recent price test we performed, which pits three of the top direct-to-consumer insurance providers against each other in terms of premium costs.

The Test Setup

For this test, we selected three of the biggest and most well-known direct insurance providers; Progressive, GEICO and Esurance. Next we ran rate quotes across the three most populated states; California, Texas and New York.

In each state we received an auto quote for a 25 and 50 year old from each of the three pre-selected companies. The data points used for this study were consistent within each state, and as similar as possible between states (each state has their own laws about insurance requirements).   For a full list of the data points used, see the bottom of this study.

The Results

 

GEICO Esurance Progressive
25 Year Old
California $675 $669 $665
Texas $700 $722 $868
New York $657 $918 $1117
50 Year Old 
California $546 $502 $486
Texas $514 $632 $577
New York $613 $615 $947

* Prices reflect 6 month policies. Highlighted boxes represent the lowest price.

California

The price variances in California were the smallest, especially when it came to the 25 year old rates. Progressive was the cheapest, but only by 1.4% over the highest rate, which came from GEICOProgressive was also the lowest for 50 year old drivers in California, coming in at 12% lower than GEICO proving to also be the most expensive for this age group.

 

25 Years Old 50 Years Old
1 Progressive 1 Progressive
2 Esurance 2 Esurance
3 GEICO 3 GEICO

Texas

The price variances between the three insurance companies in Texas were slightly larger than California. GEICO came back with the lowest price for both 25 and 50 year old drivers. The 25 year old rate was 3% lower than Esurance and 23% below Progressive. The 50 year old quote for GEICO came back 12% less than Progressive and 23% below Esurance.

 

25 Years Old 50 Years Old
1 GEICO 1 GEICO
2 Esurance 2 Progressive
3 Progressive 3 Esurance

New York

The state of New York had the largest percentage difference between the highest and the lowest rate. Once again GEICO was the cheapest insurance company for both 25 and 50 year olds. For 25 year olds, GEICO came in almost 40% lower than Esurance and a substantial 82% below Progressive. However, 50 year old driver rates for GEICO were 0.2% lower than Esurance and 54% cheaper than Progressive.

 

25 Years Old 50 Years Old
1 GEICO 1 GEICO
2 Esurance 2 Esurance
3 Progressive 3 Progressive

25 Year Old Driver Rates

When averaging all three states together, GEICO offered the lowest rates by a significant margin. When comparing to Esurance, GEICO was about 13% cheaper. Progressive was even more expensive with GEICO coming in 46% below them.

50 Year Old Driver Rates

GEICO also turned out to be the cheapest overall for the 50 year old segment, though by a narrower margin than the 25 year olds. GEICO was just over 4% lower than Esurance and 20% less than Progressive for this segment.

Overall Assessment

It appears that GEICO comes out as the clear winner for this comparison, taking the top spot in four of the six categories. While they were the most expensive in California, the margin from highest to lowest cost was significantly less than it was in Texas and New York.

GEICO showed much more consistent pricing across state lines. Progressive, on the other hand, varied quite a bit between states. Esurance stayed fairly constant, except for the 25 year old test in New York, which was quite a bit more than any other rates provided.

The Comparison Details

Below is a list of the details used when running the comparison. Tests for both the 25 year old driver and 50 year old driver used all the same information except the age. It should also be noted that each state has slightly different requirements for their drivers, such as requiring medical payments coverage. When this was the case, the lowest legal amount was selected and done so in all quotes for that state.

Driver

  • 25 or 50 years old
  • Male
  • High school education
  • Self-employed – Writer
  • No accidents or tickets
  • No extra courses taken (safe driving, defensive driving, etc)
  • 5 years with current insurance company
  • 10 mile commute to work
  • 10,000 annual miles driven

 

Car

  • 2010 Honda Accord EX
    • 4 cylinder
    • 4 doors
    • Fully paid for

 

Coverage Selected

  • $50,000 Bodily Injury (single)
  • $100,000 Bodily Injury (aggregate)
  • $25,000 Property Damage
  • $0 Medical Payments / PIP (except if state mandated)
  • $50,000 / $100,000 Uninsured Motorist
  • $500 deductible – Comprehensive
  • $500 deductible – Collision
  • No additional features (rental car, roadside assistance, etc)

 

Zip Codes Tested

  • 90277 – California
  • 75207 – Texas
  • 10019 – New York

 

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