Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes In Columbia, MD For April, 2024

Our research shows that USAA is the cheapest overall option for car insurance in Columbia.

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Updated: 04 January 2024
Written by
Bob Phillips
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When you’re behind the wheel in Columbia, having reliable car insurance is an absolute must. With the city’s high rates of auto accidents and theft, it’s essential to make sure you’re adequately covered. However, with average car insurance rates in Columbia higher than Maryland’s state average ($1,892 versus $1,305 annually), finding the right policy that offers comprehensive protection while fitting your budget can be a challenge.

That’s why we’ve gone the extra mile to research various car insurance companies, providing you with the best coverage options at affordable rates. Our research shows that USAA is the cheapest overall option for car insurance in Columbia. Still, other providers offer competitive rates for various driver demographics.

For younger and senior drivers, Travelers offers an affordable solution, while Erie is an excellent choice for minimum coverage. Those requiring maximum protection can turn to Allstate for comprehensive full coverage, and GEICO may be the best option for drivers with poor credit. Whatever your driving profile may be, we’ve got you covered with the best car insurance options in Columbia.

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies In Columbia, MD 2024

Compare The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies In Columbia, MD

Average Annual Cost Best For J.D. Power Rating AM Best Rating Overall Rating Get A Quote
USAA

$1,167

Cheapest Overall

881

A++

4.9
Instant Quote
Allstate

$1,902

Cheapest Full Coverage

832

A++

4.7
Instant Quote
Travelers

$2,407

Cheapest For Young Drivers

860

A++

4.7
Instant Quote
GEICO

$1,824

Drivers With Bad Credit

834

A++

4.8
Learn more
Erie

$780

Cheapest Minimum Coverage

867

A+

4.6
Instant Quote
Travelers

$1,812

Seniors

860

A++

4.7
Instant Quote
Scroll to see comparisons

Our Methodology

To find the most affordable car insurance rates in Columbia, we extensively researched multiple car insurance review sites. We utilized Quadrant Information Services to access public filings and gain a thorough understanding of the market.

During our review, we analyzed and averaged the rates from various sources to determine the most budget-friendly options. However, it's important to remember that insurance rates can change frequently and depend on individual factors like your driving record, age, and location. It's advisable to conduct your own research and compare rates before making a final decision.

26

Quotes Analyzed

15+

Years Of Industry Experience

16

Brands Reviewed

31+

Research Hours

Cheapest Car Insurance Companies In Columbia, MD


Cheapest Overall

Overall Rating
4.9

Key Statistics

10/10 Affordability
10/10 Customer Reviews
9/10 Claims/payouts
10/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

USAA has established itself as a leader in the auto insurance industry, and their reputation for top-notch service and competitive rates holds true in Columbia. Although USAA exclusively serves current and former military personnel and their families, our research suggests that the company’s rates and service quality surpass those of any other insurer in the industry, as recognized by J.D. Powers.

Furthermore, USAA is renowned for its exceptional claims handling process, which has earned the trust and loyalty of its customer base. The company’s commitment to providing unparalleled service has undoubtedly contributed to their consistently high performance ratings across the country.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Ability to bundle car insurance with other USAA products
  • High customer satisfaction ratings
  • Accessible to a large number of military families in the Columbia/D.C. metro area
Drawbacks
  • Restricted to active military, veterans, and their families

Cheapest Overall Rates In Columbia

Company Rate Per Year
USAA $1,167
GEICO $1,384
Erie $1,867
Nationwide $1,872
State Farm $2,027
Progressive $2,046
Allstate $3,051

USAA is a trusted name in the military market, known for its strong brand presence. Studies consistently show that USAA has loyal customers who are highly satisfied with their claims handling process, resulting in consistently high ratings.


Cheapest For Young Drivers

Overall Rating
4.7

Key Statistics

10/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Reviews
9/10 Claims/payouts
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Travelers stands out as a great option for those looking for affordable car insurance rates for teenage drivers in Columbia. As young drivers usually pay more for car insurance, Travelers offers a solution to help ease the financial burden. With a well-established name in the industry, Travelers policies are sold through independent agents throughout the city. Even though teens may not qualify for all the discounts provided by insurance companies, Travelers offers various discounts specifically tailored to younger drivers. These discounts comprise:

  • Safe driving
  • Having no gaps in coverage
  • New customers who get quotes before their current policies expire
  • Owning or leasing a hybrid car
  • Insuring vehicles less than three years old
  • Drivers in high school or college who maintain a “B” average or better
  • Students who are away at school
  • Paying electronically, upfront, or on time
  • Completing a driver training course

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Offers the lowest rates for young drivers
  • One of the largest insurance providers in the nation
  • Provides many discounts for teen drivers
Drawbacks
  • Does not offer rideshare insurance
  • Receives below-average J.D. Power customer service ratings

Cheapest For Young Drivers In Columbia

Company Annual Minimum Coverage
Travelers $2,407
State Farm $3,024
Liberty Mutual $3,409
Nationwide $4,404
Allstate $7,752

The IntelliDrive app from Travelers is a great tool for those looking to lower their car insurance premiums. This innovative app tracks various driving behaviors, such as speed, phone usage, and braking habits, over a 90-day period. Drivers who exhibit safe driving practices during this period can receive discounts of up to 30% when they renew their policy


Cheapest For Senior Drivers

Overall Rating
4.7

Key Statistics

10/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Reviews
9/10 Claims/payouts
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

As drivers age into their 60s and 70s, car insurance rates tend to increase due to a higher accident risk. Factors such as poor vision and slower reflexes are often cited as causes for these higher rates. However, Travelers offers discounts for seniors and other drivers who meet certain criteria, such as having multiple Travelers policies, completing a safe driving course, or driving fewer miles. Seniors, in particular, may be eligible for lower mileage discounts since many are retired and no longer commute regularly around Columbia or to nearby areas like Washington, D.C.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Offers the lowest rates for senior drivers
  • A name that seniors recognize and feel comfortable with
  • Provides discounts for taking a defensive driving class
Drawbacks
  • Has a limited number of agents selling Travelers car insurance
  • Receives below-average J.D. Power customer service ratings

Cheapest For Senior Drivers In Columbia

Company Rate Per Year
Travelers $1,812
Allstate $2,270
Kemper $2,342
Bristol West $3,456

To save on their car insurance costs, seniors in Columbia can explore a range of options with Travelers. One of the simplest ways to save is by increasing your deductible, which can significantly lower your premium. Paying your premiums in full and bundling a home and auto policy with Travelers are also great ways to save money.


Cheapest For Drivers With Bad Credit

Overall Rating
4.8

Key Statistics

9/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Reviews
9/10 Claims/payouts
10/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Your credit score can have a significant impact on the cost of your car insurance, as insurers have found a correlation between lower credit scores and higher claims. If you have poor credit, GEICO may be the most affordable option for car insurance in Columbia. While GEICO offers the typical coverage options, they also have an optional mechanical breakdown coverage that can be especially beneficial for drivers of newer cars. This coverage can be renewed for up to seven years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first, making it a helpful addition as your car ages and the likelihood of breakdowns increases.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Offers bundle discounts to customers
  • Available through numerous agents in Columbia
  • Discounts are available to drivers with poor credit
Drawbacks
  • Receives below-average J.D. Power customer service ratings

Cheapest For Drivers With Bad Credit

Company Rate Per Year
GEICO $1,824
USAA $2,196
Nationwide $2,676
Progressive $2,904
Allstate $4,303

To determine your car insurance premium in Maryland, your credit score is fair game for insurance companies. While some states prohibit insurers from using credit scores to calculate car insurance premiums, it’s not the case in Maryland. However, it’s important to note that insurers can’t deny coverage or increase rates based solely on poor credit scores when it comes time to renew your policy


Cheapest Minimum Coverage

Overall Rating
4.6

Key Statistics

10/10 Affordability
9/10 Customer Reviews
8/10 Claims/payouts
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Erie takes the crown for providing the most affordable minimum coverage rates in Columbia. As mandated by the state of Maryland, the minimum coverage rates are:

  • $60,000 per accident for bodily injury liability
  • $30,000 per person for bodily injury liability
  • $15,000 per accident for property damage liability

All car insurance providers in Columbia are obligated to provide a minimum of $2,500 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. However, drivers can choose to opt-out of this coverage.

Erie stands out from other car insurance providers in Columbia due to the range of coverage options they offer. In addition to PIP coverage, Erie provides gap insurance, new car replacement coverage, rideshare insurance, and many more. Moreover, Erie allows policyholders to lock in their rates until any policy changes are made, such as adding a driver or vehicle or relocating to a new area. This feature offers customers peace of mind, knowing their rates will remain stable.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Availability of rate lock option for car insurance
  • Recognized for high ranking in J.D. Power customer satisfaction studies
  • Offers a wide range of coverage options
Drawbacks
  • Limited to only 12 states, which may pose issues for insured individuals from Columbia who relocate later on
  • Provides fewer discounts compared to other insurance providers

Cheapest Minimum Coverage In Columbia

Company Rate Per Year
Erie $867
Nationwide $1,008
Progressive $1,139
Allstate $1,365
MetLife $1,406

Selecting minimum coverage is only recommended if the value of your vehicle is less than the cost of having full coverage. Nevertheless, settling for minimum coverage can potentially expose you to more financial risk than opting for higher coverage limits.


Cheapest Full Coverage

Overall Rating
4.7

Key Statistics

10/10 Affordability
8/10 Customer Reviews
9/10 Claims/payouts
9/10 Coverage Level

Why We Like Them

Allstate is a top contender in the majority of categories we assessed, but especially shines when it comes to providing affordable full coverage. Besides offering standard auto coverage options, Allstate also extends additional optional coverages for Columbia drivers, such as:

  • Safe Driving Bonus: You can earn money back if you remain accident-free every six months.
  • Accident Forgiveness: This coverage ensures that your rates will not increase even if the accident was your fault.
  • New Car Replacement: If your car suffers total loss within the first two model years, you will receive a check for a new car.
  • Deductible Rewards: For each year you remain violation-free, you can earn $100 off your collision deductible, with a maximum of $500 off.
  • Gap Insurance: This coverage pays out when the amount you owe on your car loan or lease is more than the vehicle’s value, in case of total loss.
  • Rideshare Insurance: If you work as a driver for rideshare companies like Uber or Lyft, this coverage provides additional protection.

Benefits & Drawbacks

Benefits
  • Boasts the highest financial strength ratings
  • Features many claims offices in the Columbia area
  • Offers a diverse range of coverage options
Drawbacks
  • Exclusively available through Allstate agents
  • Receives below-average J.D. Power customer service rating in the Mid-Atlantic region

Cheapest Full Coverage In Columbia

Company Rate Per Year
Allstate $1,902
GEICO $1,386
Travelers $1,467
Nationwide $1,756
State farm $2,016

When considering car insurance options in Columbia, full coverage is an option that includes not only the minimum required coverages in Maryland but also comprehensive and collision coverage. However, it’s important to evaluate whether the cost of full coverage is worthwhile for your specific vehicle, as minimum coverage may suffice if it surpasses your car’s value.

Average Cost Of Car Insurance In Columbia, Maryland

Average Cost Of Car Insurance In Columbia – By Age

Age Group Average Annual  Rate
Teenagers $5,370
20s $1,512
30s $1,404
40s $1,256
50s $1,182
60s $1,109
70s $1,187

Average Cost Of Car Insurance In Columbia – By Gender

Gender Average Annual Rate
Male $2,550
Female $2,372

Average Cost Of Car Insurance In Columbia – By Marital Status

Marital Status Average Annual Rate
Single $2,495
Married $2,291

Average Cost Of Car Insurance In Columbia – By Accident And Violation History

Violation Average Annual Premium
DWI/DUI $5,655
Reckless Driving $5,164
At-Fault Accident (damage <$1,000) $3,783
At-Fault Accident (damage >$2,000) $4,421
Speeding (16-20 MPH > limit) $3,659

Average Cost Of Car Insurance In Columbia– By Credit Tier

Credit Tier Average Annual Rate
Excellent $1,429
Good $1,510
Fair $1,785
Poor $2,238

Average Cost Of Car Insurance In Columbia – By ZIP Code

ZIP Code Average Annual Rate
21045 $1,891
21044 $1,894
21029 $1,857
21046 $1,906

Minimum Car Insurance Requirements In Maryland

When shopping for car insurance in Maryland, it’s important to keep in mind the minimum coverage requirements:

  • $30,000 per person for bodily injury liability
  • $15,000 per accident for property damage liability
  • $60,000 per accident for bodily injury liability

It’s important to know that in Maryland, the minimum coverage requirement may not be enough to fully protect you in the event of an accident. Depending on the value of your vehicle and the amount of time you spend on the road, it may be wise to consider carrying higher limits and adding collision and comprehensive insurance to your policy.

How To Buy Car Insurance In Columbia

To make the most out of your car insurance purchase in Columbia, it’s important to follow a few simple steps that can save you both time and money:

  1. Collect all the necessary information: To obtain an accurate quote, you’ll need to provide your driver’s license number, date of birth, the vehicle identification number (VIN), current mileage, current insurance information, and the name of the registered owner.
  2. Determine how you want to purchase insurance: Choosing between buying online or through an agent depends on your personal preference and your knowledge of the type and amount of coverage you need.
  3. Request quotes from at least three companies: Ensure that you’re comparing similar coverage amounts and deductibles when comparing quotes.
  4. Look for available discounts: There are several discounts available that can make car insurance more affordable for Columbia drivers.
  5. Cancel your old policy: Once your new coverage is in effect, contact your previous insurer to cancel your old policy, so you don’t pay for duplicate coverage. Your new insurer cannot cancel your old policy.

Factors That Impact The Cost Of Your Car Insurance Policy In Columbia

There are three main factors that have a significant impact on the cost:

Commuters and accidents: Columbia residents who commute daily on I-95 to Washington, D.C. face heavy traffic and a large number of accidents on this route, leading to higher insurance premiums.

Crime statistics: Certain areas of Columbia have high crime rates that include theft and vandalism, and living or working in these areas can increase your insurance rates above the city’s average.

Uninsured motorists: Almost one-third of drivers in Columbia are uninsured, making it essential for responsible individuals to carry comprehensive and collision insurance with higher limits and protection, which can significantly increase insurance costs.

Additionally, the type of vehicle you drive and your driving record also play a role in determining your car insurance rates in Columbia.

Maryland Car Insurance Laws To Know

In Maryland, it’s mandatory for vehicle owners and drivers to carry proof of insurance with them in their vehicles. Failure to provide proof of insurance during a traffic stop or accident can result in a traffic citation. If the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration requests proof of insurance, you must provide an FR-19 form that can be obtained for free from your insurance company.

It’s important to note that knowingly driving or allowing someone else to drive an uninsured car can result in imprisonment. First-time offenders may be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one-year imprisonment. Repeat offenders may face a fine of up to $1,000 and up to two years imprisonment, as per Maryland Code Transportation, § 17-107 (2022). So, it’s important to carry proper insurance and always make sure your vehicle is insured to avoid any legal trouble.

Information About Columbia

Columbia, Maryland is a vibrant city located in the heart of Howard County. It’s known for its unique and innovative planning, which includes numerous walking paths, parks, and community facilities. The city also has a rich history, with roots dating back to the 1960s when it was first established as a planned community.

Despite its growth and development, Columbia retains a small-town feel that makes it a unique and charming place to live or visit. From popular tourist destinations like the Merriweather Post Pavilion or The Mall in Columbia, to more hidden gems like the Symphony Woods or Lake Elkhorn, there’s always something new and exciting to discover.

Car Insurance Discounts In Columbia

To save money on car insurance in Columbia, it’s crucial to shop around for discounts. Here are some of the most prevalent discounts you can take advantage of:

  • Being a “safe driver” with a good driving history
  • Installing vehicle safety features
  • Customer loyalty
  • Being claims-free for a specified period of years
  • Driving fewer than average miles
  • Having a short commute to work
  • Being a student with at least a “B” average
  • Being in the military
  • Being age 55+ and retired

FAQs

What is the cheapest car insurance in Columbia?

Among car insurance providers in Columbia, Erie offers the most affordable option for those looking for minimum liability coverage, with a yearly cost of $926.

Why is Columbia car insurance so expensive?

The elevated cost of car insurance in Columbia can be attributed to several factors, including a high number of accidents, a significant portion of uninsured motorists, and a substantial rate of auto theft.

How much does car insurance cost in Columbia per month?

The typical monthly cost of car insurance in Columbia is $382.

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