Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Sep 8, 2020

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Things to Remember...

  • Local insurers are able to offer more personalized service
  • National insurance carriers typically have 24-hour customer service
  • National carriers can offer a wide array of discounts

When you search for the best auto insurance policy, you will need several choices for your prospective policy. It is possible that you will have local and national insurers battling for your business when you compare auto insurance policies.

Is a local auto insurance company better than a national one? You may find that either a national or a local company will work best for your needs.

While it may ultimately depend on your insurance and budgeting needs, there are some strengths and weaknesses to a cheap local auto insurance company.

Ready to buy local auto insurance? Enter your zip code into our FREE car insurance comparison tool to start comparing affordable local car insurance rates now!

Advantages of Local Auto Insurance Companies

Immediately you will notice is that local insurers can be much more personable. Having a local agent with a nearby company can help ensure close contact.

Such a relationship is common of local insurers. Sometimes, national major auto insurance companies rely on toll-free numbers and call-in centers.

The former company can be a welcome change from national companies, in terms of banks and businesses in which you may already be familiar.

Of course, the idea is that with local and state auto insurance companies, fewer locations means minimal extension.

Naturally, communication can be much easier. It also leads to some other welcomed benefits that should be considered when you compare car insurance:

  • Competitive Rates – With less overhead, your local insurance company might be able to offer promising insurance rates. With the ability to customize quotes from the local car insurance company, a more personal quote could mean increased savings.
  • Special Features – Are you in need of car insurance and have a bad track record? Local insurance companies may be able to grant a second chance that standardized, national insurers might not offer you.

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Free Auto Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Typical Disadvantages of Local Insurers

There are some features that drive many to choose national auto insurance companies. While some might be a matter of taste, others must be considered when you look at the convenience of some items that might arise. Let’s take an example:

Your car insurance plan includes windshield protection. After getting a chip in your windshield while on a road trip, you call your insurer to get it filled and start a claim.

With a national company, it may be easier to set up an appointment when you’re not near home.

Indeed, the strong and extensive national network of such a car insurance company offers its advantages. And while it’s not as easy to talk to your local agent, the wide-reaching dynamic of a national insurer has other conveniences that must be considered:

  • Communication – A local insurance company might be better in terms of customer service. However, it’s hard to argue with 24-hour operators and other convenient perks.
  • Technology – With national insurers, you may find online systems similar to those with online banking platforms. Apps for mobile devices and other tech-based conveniences provide a very strong set of advantages for national auto insurance companies.
  • Discount Standards – Discounts are far more standardized with national car insurance companies. If you’re counting on commonly advertised discounts and accompanying schemes, you’ll likely have an easier time with national companies.

Making Your Decision

You may be drawn to either type of car insurance company before you even compare different policies. If you notice some features or dynamics that you must have, you may do well to subscribe to either local or national insurance companies.

However, most of those comparing car insurance policies will want to do just that – compare one’s option before giving much weight to whether the company is local or national.

After all, many of the typical advantages and disadvantages may not be present with specific companies.

Similar to policies that you consider, you must approach each company on a case-by-case basis.

Observe the rates quoted for policies that fit your insurance-related needs.

If and when it becomes relevant, follow through on the characteristics of the car insurer.

Perhaps you’ll find a local auto insurance company that minimizes typical disadvantages. Or maybe you’ll find a national company that offers exceptional customer service.

The reality is that comparing car insurance companies is very important. Do this along with comparing the actual policies to ensure that you are satisfied with your choice.

Looking for local auto insurance quotes? Our FREE car insurance comparison tool can help you compare the best local auto insurance policies when you enter your zip code below!