Compare the Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes in Columbia

On average, car insurance in Columbia costs $1,144 per year, 0.4% more than the state average. GEICO is the cheapest widely available car insurance carrier, at roughly $856 per month. MoneyGeek analyzed car insurance costs by driving history and coverage amount. We also evaluated insurers that balance quality and affordable coverage that suits your profile in Columbia.

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The Cheapest and Best Car Insurance in Columbia

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Columbia

According to MoneyGeek, the best car insurance providers in Columbia for an affordable full coverage policy are:

  • USAA: $852 per year (only available to former and current military members and their families
  • GEICO: $856 per year

Drivers who are in the military can save about 74.3% per year by purchasing their coverage from USAA, which is the cheapest provider, versus Progressive, the most expensive provider. Progressive costs an average of $1,485 annually. They save roughly 73.5% if they get insurance from GEICO, which is the cheapest widely available insurer in the city.

The average costs indicated above are for a full coverage car insurance policy with comprehensive and collision coverage that protects your own vehicle from damage, apart from the standard liability coverage. The policy belongs to a 40-year-old sample driver.

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Average Cost of Car Insurance in Columbia

Columbia$1,144
SC$1,139
U.S.$1,424

The average cost of car insurance in Columbia is $1,144 per year. That’s 0.4% higher than the state average of $1,139 per year and 19.7% less than the national annual average of $1,424.

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The Best Car Insurance Companies in Columbia

For Columbia drivers seeking quality and affordable car insurance, MoneyGeek found that the best insurers in the city are:

  • Auto-Owners Insurance Co: MoneyGeek score of 90 out of 100
  • GEICO: MoneyGeek score of 85 out of 100

USAA has the highest score at 95 out of 100. However, it may not be an ideal option for most drivers since its policies are exclusive to current and former military members and their families.

To obtain these scores, MoneyGeek analyzed various factors, including affordability, customer satisfaction and financial stability.


1
USAA
Score:95

4/5

Affordability

5/5

Claims Ratings

4/5

User Satisfaction

A++

Financial Stability

2
Auto-Owners Insurance Co
Score:90

4/5

Affordability

3/5

Claims Ratings

4/5

User Satisfaction

A++

Financial Stability

3
GEICO
Score:85

3/5

Affordability

3/5

Claims Ratings

3/5

User Satisfaction

A++

Financial Stability

4
State Farm
Score:83

3/5

Affordability

3/5

Claims Ratings

4/5

User Satisfaction

A

Financial Stability

5
Nationwide
Score:80

2/5

Affordability

3/5

Claims Ratings

3/5

User Satisfaction

A+

Financial Stability

6
Travelers
Score:80

2/5

Affordability

3/5

Claims Ratings

2/5

User Satisfaction

A++

Financial Stability

7
MetLife
Score:80

3/5

Affordability

3/5

Claims Ratings

2/5

User Satisfaction

A+

Financial Stability

8
Safeco
Score:78

3/5

Affordability

2/5

Claims Ratings

3/5

User Satisfaction

A

Financial Stability

9
Progressive
Score:78

3/5

Affordability

2/5

Claims Ratings

2/5

User Satisfaction

A+

Financial Stability

10
Allstate
Score:75

2/5

Affordability

2/5

Claims Ratings

2/5

User Satisfaction

A+

Financial Stability

11
Liberty Mutual
Score:75

2/5

Affordability

3/5

Claims Ratings

2/5

User Satisfaction

A

Financial Stability

12
National General
Score:73

3/5

Affordability

2/5

Claims Ratings

2/5

User Satisfaction

A-

Financial Stability

Personalized Quotes to Get You the Cheapest Car Insurance in Columbia

In Columbia, you may need to compare car insurance quotes from multiple insurers frequently if you want to get the cheapest coverage, discounts and other special offers. Car insurance rates in Columbia vary depending on the driver’s age, marital status, driving experience, ZIP Code and credit score, among other factors. Depending on how you rank across these factors, you may pay more or less for your car insurance coverage.

Shopping around for car insurance in Columbia could save you $288, which is enough to buy:


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96Cups of Coffee
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22Months of Your Favorite Streaming Service

Cheapest Car Insurance in Columbia by Coverage Amount

The amount of coverage you purchase in Columbia and other cities in South Carolina impacts how much you pay for your car insurance premium. The average cost for a liability-only car insurance policy is $645 per year. Meanwhile, the cost of a full coverage policy with higher limits is $1,144 per year, a difference of $499 annually.

South Carolina Minimum Liability Requirements

  • Item
    Description
  • Bodily Injury and Property Damage
    $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident and $25,000 for property damage. A more protective level is 100/300/100.
  • Uninsured Motorist
    $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident. The minimum coverage may not be enough if you're in a serious accident.

As you look for the cheapest car insurance in Columbia, you also need to ensure that you purchase the right coverage amount for your driving profile. Different coverage levels attract different rates.

For instance, a state minimum liability-only policy from GEICO costs $462 on average, while a 50/100/50 liability-only policy costs $535 per year. While the liability-only policy is cheaper than full coverage options, it does not cover personal damage.

A 50/100/50 full coverage policy offers more limits than the state minimum and covers the costs of damage in case of an at-fault accident. A GEICO policy with these limits costs $750 per year. If you need higher limits, you may consider getting a 100/300/100 policy at an additional $106 only.

Average Car Insurance Premiums: Liability-Only vs. Full Coverage

Liability Only
Full Coverage
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Cheapest Car Insurance in Columbia if You Have Driving Violations

Drivers who have a history of violations like driving under the influence or speeding tickets tend to pay more for car insurance in Columbia. At State Farm, for example, a driver with no violations pays an average of $1,038 per year. If the driver has a speeding ticket or DUI, they will pay about $80 more. Drivers with an at-fault accident on their record pay $199 more on average.

Average Cost of Car Insurance by Postal Code

Car insurance rates in Columbia vary across different ZIP codes. Neighborhoods, where accidents, theft and similar incidents are common, may have higher rates than others.

MoneyGeek analyzed average rates between three ZIP codes and found that 29223 has an average cost of $1,133 per year, while 29229 and 20210 have $1,134 and $1,164, respectively. That is a difference of $31 between the cheapest and most expensive neighborhoods.

  • Zip Code
    State Minimumper year
  • 29223
    $1,133
  • 29229
    $1,134
  • 29210
    $1,164

Factors That Impact Insurance Costs in Columbia

In addition to individual driver needs and history, location-specific factors like the percentage of uninsured motorists and the rate of fatal accidents also contribute to car insurance rates in Columbia. How Columbia ranks compared to the 300 most populous cities in the United States can have a significant impact on premium costs.

accident2 icon
Most Accidents With Fatalities53rd/300
handcuffs2 icon
Most Car Thefts241st/300
uninsured icon
Most Uninsured Motorists by State37th/50
insurance2 icon
Personal Injury Protection RequiredNo
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Most Annual Rainfall83rd/300
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Most Rainy Days129th/300

Methodology and Assumptions

MoneyGeek’s average premium rates for Columbia are based on 100/300/100 comprehensive collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible for a 40-year-old male driver. The average driver profiled drives a 2010 Toyota Camry LE and has no tickets or accidents on their record. Additional premiums are added based on coverage type, location and driving record. Learn more about MoneyGeek’s data and methodology here.

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About the Author


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The MoneyGeek editorial team has decades of combined experience in writing and publishing information about how people should manage money and credit. Our editors have worked with numerous publications including The Washington Post, The Daily Business Review, HealthDay, and Time, Inc., and have won numerous journalism awards. Our talented team of contributing writers includes mortgage experts, veteran financial reporters, and award-winning journalists. Learn more about the MoneyGeek team.