If you’re on the hunt for cheap liability car insurance, include GEICO in your search. Consider Auto-Owners, Erie and USAA, too, if you can.

Our recent study of 20 car insurance companies found that Erie offered the cheapest liability insurance of them all, at an average of $30 per month. USAA and Auto-Owners followed close behind, offering liability coverage for an average of $36 and $38 per month, respectively. And GEICO offered the cheapest liability car insurance among major providers, at $47 per month, on average.

Keep reading to learn more about:

Who has the cheapest liability auto insurance?

The cheapest car insurance companies for liability-only coverage are Erie, USAA and Auto-Owners.

Erie is the best overall option for cheap liability car insurance, based on our study of 20 providers. It offered our sample driver a liability-only policy for $30 per month. That’s 50% less than the U.S. average of $59 per month for this kind of auto coverage.

Several other providers offered our driver cheap liability insurance, too. In fact, 11 companies offered rates below the U.S. average.

 

Some of these providers — like GEICO, State Farm and Travelers — sell auto insurance in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C. Others, like American Family and Mercury, only sell coverage in a selection of states. That means you may not be able to get liability car insurance from some of the companies discussed in this article.

Erie: cheapest liability car insurance overall

Erie offers the cheapest liability car insurance rates, according to our research. This Pennsylvania-based company offered our sample driver an average rate of $30 per month for a liability-only policy. That’s $29 per month less than the national average for this type of coverage.

The yearly rate Erie offered for liability coverage was $364, on average. That’s $339 less than the national average of $703 per year. And it’s $67 per year less than the runner-up in this area, USAA.

What to know:

  • Erie operates in 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
  • It also operates in Washington, D.C.
  • The company has more than 12,400 independent agents.

Auto-Owners: runner-up for cheapest liability insurance coverage

Auto-Owners offered our sample driver cheap liability car insurance quotes that averaged $38 per month.

As a result, if you can’t buy auto insurance from Erie, or if the rate Erie sends you is higher than you expect, be sure to get a quote from Auto-Owners.

The average monthly rate Auto-Owners sent our driver for liability car insurance is 36% below the U.S. average of $59 per month for a liability-only policy. The average annual rate the company offered was similarly cheap compared to the U.S. average — $459 per year compared to $703 per year.

What to know:

  • Auto-Owners operates in 26 states.
  • In those states, the insurer is represented by 48,000 licensed agents.
 

USAA: cheapest liability car insurance for military

If you’re an active member of the military, a veteran or an eligible family member, USAA might be your best option for cheap liability-only car insurance. USAA offered our driver an average monthly rate of $36 for a state-minimum policy. That’s just $6 per month more than what Erie offered, and $23 per month less than the national average for liability coverage.

The average annual rate USAA offered for liability car insurance was a lot cheaper than the national average, too. USAA’s average rate in this case was $431 per year, while the national average is $703 per year. That’s a difference of 39%.

What to know:

  • USAA sells insurance in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  • However, only active military members, veterans and their eligible family members can buy car insurance from USAA.

GEICO: cheapest liability coverage among major insurers

GEICO is the cheapest car insurance company for liability coverage if you want or need to buy a policy from a major provider that serves every state.

The average monthly rate GEICO sent our sample driver for liability auto insurance was $47. This is still 20% below the national average for liability-only coverage, which is $59 per month.

Something to keep in mind when shopping for cheap liability-only insurance: what you pay depends on many factors, including your age, your driving record and where you live. Because of this, your rate may be higher or lower than the averages highlighted here.

How much cheaper is liability-only coverage than full coverage?

Liability-only car insurance coverage is $96 per month less than full-coverage car insurance, on average.

The difference for you may not be so dramatic, however, as the graph below shows.

 

Based on our data, the average liability-only car insurance policy from Erie is $62 per month cheaper than its average full-coverage policy. (The latter usually includes liability, collision and comprehensive coverage.)

The average liability-only policy from CSAA, though, is $122 per month cheaper than the same provider’s average full-coverage policy.

The difference between these two companies proves how important it is to shop around and compare auto insurance quotes. And this is true whether you’re looking for cheap basic car insurance or a policy that offers liability, collision, comprehensive and other coverages.

Should I switch to liability car insurance?

You might want to drop full-coverage car insurance and switch to liability-only coverage if:

  • Your car is older.
  • Your car isn’t worth very much.
  • You’ve put a lot of miles on your car.
  • You rarely or never drive.
  • You can afford to repair or replace your car out of your own pocket.
  • You’re going to replace your car soon.

What is liability car insurance?

A liability-only car insurance policy includes at least bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage. It often includes uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, too.

Almost all states require drivers to carry a minimum amount of liability car insurance coverage.

Liability-only or state-minimum car insurance doesn’t include collision or comprehensive coverage. You might want to buy those coverages anyway, though, as a liability-only policy won’t protect you if your vehicle is damaged or stolen. It only covers damage you cause to other vehicles and people.

Methodology

To find the best companies for cheap liability car insurance, we aggregated and analyzed 219,032 quotes from every ZIP code in California, Connecticut and Illinois. We chose these states because they tend to have rates near the national average and represent the U.S. insurance marketplace.

We considered the following 20 companies: AAA, Allstate, American Family, Amica, Auto-Owners, Cincinnati, CSAA, Erie, Farmers, GEICO, Kemper, Mercury, MetLife, National General, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, The Hartford, Travelers and USAA.

The minimum-coverage or liability-only policy we used for this study included:

  • $25,000 of bodily injury liability coverage for the injury or death of one person.
  • $50,000 of bodily injury liability coverage for the injury or death of two or more people.
  • $25,000 of property damage liability coverage.
  • $25,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage for the injury or death of one person.
  • $50,000 of uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage for the injury or death of two or more people.

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