At a statewide average of $1,327 per year, car insurance premiums in Indiana are higher than many other states. But if you take time to shop and compare quotes, you can find significant price differences among insurers for the same coverage.
The Simple Dollar obtained quotes by providing the same sample data to each insurer. State Farm was the most affordable, offering a $916 plan for the state’s minimum required coverage. On the other end of the spectrum was Nationwide, offering a $1,424 plan.
It’s important to keep in mind that no two drivers will get the same quote. Every resident of Indiana may find themselves offered a different quote based on a litany of variables, including age, ZIP code and credit score. Basically, the only sure way to compare rates accurately is to obtain quotes from the competition yourself.
Our Top 5 Picks for the Best Cheap Car Insurance in Indiana
Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
You can save yourself hundreds of dollars in just a few minutes of gathering quotes. For the Simple Dollar’s sample quotes, we used an address in Indianapolis, which is Indiana’s capital and most populated city.
These companies stood out because of their solid customer support and strong financial ratings from J.D. Power and A.M. Best, respectively. J.D. Power sorts through customer service satisfaction surveys, while A.M. Best takes a look at insurance companies’ financial viability. As anyone who has dealt with an insurance company after an accident will tell you, caring customer service and strong financial backing are all that really matter in that circumstance.
While searching for quotes, a $508 difference was found for identical coverage. Each of the companies on this list except for Auto Owners provides quotes via online tools, so on average, each one will take around 5 minutes to complete. It took some time to obtain a quote from Auto Owners, so expect to add about 20 minutes to your research time if you make a phone call. Twenty minutes is nothing if you’re serious about finding the best savings.
Residents of the Hoosier State can find rates that are well below the state average for premiums. State Farm offered a strong offer at $916, with Country Financial not far behind. Nationwide was the highest. You’re better off finding an affordable insurance company and putting that saved cash toward more comprehensive coverage.
Indiana’s Minimum Coverage Requirements for 2020
The state-required basic level of coverage required in Indiana is $25,000 for bodily injury per person, $50,000 for total bodily injury for all involved, and $10,000 for property damage, or a 25/50/10 plan.
The Simple Dollar also gathered quotes for slightly above-basic coverage, adding $1,000 for medical payments coverage. Even then, the statewide average was much higher than the quotes we received, likely because of competition between urban and rural areas.
Why are Indiana’s rates so high?
There are several reasons that contribute to Indiana’s higher-than-average car insurance premiums. First off, the state has a relatively high population density of 181 residents per square mile. Indiana’s urban communities have been growing faster than its rural populations since 2009, and the less spread out residents are, the better the chance for car accidents. And you can best believe that insurers take this into account when calculating your rates.
Another factor keeping prices slightly high is the state’s average car repair costs. According to CarMD, fixing a regular check-engine-light repair costs around $400. That’s not too bad compared with the rest of the nation, but it’s not great. The more it costs to fix your car, the more you have to pay to insure it.
What if I’m not a full-time resident?
To purchase insurance in the state of Indiana, you must either be a resident of the state or prove that your vehicle is principally parked there. The only other exception to the rule is active-duty military personnel.
Why should I consider getting more than the minimum required coverage?
Drivers have an accident once every 17.9 years on average. The average expense for a disabling injury is $93,800, more than most people have in their budgets. Imagine you have only the minimum coverage and you injure someone in an accident. If the damages cost $5,000, you might be all right. If it’s more serious — say $50,000 — you could be in trouble. A cheap car insurance policy will pay only half of it, and there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself in court being sued for the rest.
Also, keep in mind that Indiana is not a no-fault state. It follows comparative fault rules, so if an accident is determined to be your fault, you’ll be responsible for covering all damages.
It’s definitely more tempting to stick to the bare minimum insurance, but it’s highly advisable to explore quotes on more comprehensive coverage. Saving a few extra bucks a month is awesome; not having to pay out of pocket after an accident is even better. The old adage of “better safe than sorry” is never truer than when you’re talking about car insurance.
What happens if I skip getting auto insurance?
If you’re caught driving without insurance in Indiana, you’ll lose your license for 90 days and face a fine of $250 the first time it happens. You’ll also be required to file an SR-22 certificate every year for three years. An SR-22 is proof of financial responsibility that you must supply to the state to maintain your driver’s license. Auto insurers don’t look kindly on drivers who need SR-22 certificates, and that will be reflected in higher premiums. Repeat offenders of driving without insurance face increasing penalties.
Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
Even If You’re Happy, It’s Best to Shop for a New Policy Every Couple of Years
Company loyalty shouldn’t be the name of the game with your auto insurance. Many companies calculate your premiums on factors well beyond your risk level. According to several recent studies, a large number of big insurance companies analyze a range of your personal data (like credit scores, web-shopping habits and social media activity) with an algorithm that decides how likely you are to look for better deals. It’s a pretty controversial practice called “price optimization.”
So, how can you put a stop to it? Simple: Shop around. By doing so, you know the rate you’re getting is a fair one not based on predictive analytics about your tolerance for premium increases. What’s more, insurance companies know when you shop around, and the more you do, the more they know they risk losing you as a customer if they keep raising your premiums.
Fortunately, for residents of the Hoosier State, Indiana became the seventh of 15 states to outright ban the practice of price optimization on July 20, 2015. Still, as a smart customer, it’s never a bad move to get acquainted with all the aces up insurance companies’ sleeves.
Shopping for auto insurance every year or so is also a good idea because your risk factors change over time. Many of the factors that affect your insurance premium, like your age and accident history, are out of your control. Others, like where you live and your annual mileage, are things you can change.
You may be able to get a good driver discount if you complete a safe driver course. The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, or BMV, offers defensive driving and driver training courses that will most often lead to a break on your premium. Also, when you shop around, you should ask about discounts. These vary depending on your provider, but you can usually get a discount if you carry multiple policies with the same company, like auto and homeowners insurance, or if you’ve been with the company for a while. Allow your insurance company to monitor your driving. Agencies like Progressive and State Farm offer devices that track your driving habits. If the devices show that you’re a less risky driver, you might be eligible for lower rates.
Let your insurer know when you get married or finish college. You’ll commonly get lower rates for being married and having a college degree, so call and let them know, then ask how it affects your rate.
If you’ve moved to a less expensive ZIP code, you could qualify for lower auto insurance rates, so it’s definitely worth calling to get a new quote if you move. Rates can vary greatly for the same driver, using the same provider, from ZIP code to ZIP code. In some cases, monthly payments can differ by as much as $50 within just 10 miles. If you’ve moved or changed jobs and have a shorter commute, be sure to let your insurer know. The lower your annual mileage, the less you’re considered at risk of getting into an accident.
It can take years to lift your credit score, but if yours has improved, it’ll polish up your financial profile across the board, so shop around, especially if your credit when you applied for your current auto insurance was not so good. Younger drivers are generally considered to be high risk, so many people notice their rates drop once they turn 25. You can also look for good student discounts in the meantime.
Indiana is a great state with many wonderful attributes. If you find yourself lucky enough to be a resident, you owe it to yourself to shop around for the best insurance in your area. Should the unthinkable happen, nothing can replace the feeling of security that a sturdy insurer brings to the table.