Some auto insurance companies build their reputations based entirely on low cost. Allstate, on the other hand, advertises itself as offering a higher-quality product than many of its “cut-rate” competitors. While it’s true that you often get what you pay for with insurance, the most expensive policies are not always better than those that are more affordable.

Fortunately, Allstate does offer competitive rates, and some of its discount programs may make it well worth paying for. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to search widely and get multiple different insurance quotes before you settle for any individual company. This will help you obtain sufficient coverage at the lowest rates.

How Much Does Allstate Insurance Cost?

The cost of insurance varies from one person to the next, and it’s affected by several different factors. Your age, driving history, gender and credit score will all affect the cost of your coverage. Additionally, the type of car you drive and where you live will play a role in determining how much your insurance will cost. Therefore, the actual figures for your insurance premiums will differ from both state averages and the amount paid by your friends and family.

Nevertheless, taking a look at the average premiums for Allstate can help you decide if it’s a competitive company. Depending on where you live, the average cost varies tremendously. In Arizona, for example, an average Allstate policy (2011) costs about $2,345 per year. In California, on the other hand, it costs just $1,150, and New York is similar at $1,165. These averages are lower than the overall car insurance averages in California and New York, but quite a bit higher than the average cost in Arizona. This may play a role in determining which company you choose when you live in a certain area.

One reason why Allstate insurance costs vary so much from one state to the next is because of state regulations. Allstate offers several protections, including its accident forgiveness and deductible reduction programs, which cost extra to add to your policy. These programs are limited or forbidden in some states, which would drive down the overall cost of insurance for those communities. That may be at work in California, which regulates insurance more strictly than many other states.

What Discounts Does Allstate Offer?

Allstate offers several different discounts to drivers. Depending on what opportunities you qualify for, your rates may vary significantly from one insurer to the next. Allstate however is very well trusted brand in the auto insurance industry and is definitely worth investigating as a potential insurer. Some of the popular Allstate auto insurance discounts include:

— Safe Driver Discount

Drivers who are accident-free may be eligible for up to a 45% discount. This is separate from the deductible reduction program and accident forgiveness, so be aware that you’ll need to sign up for those separately.

— Early Signing Discount of 10%

Drivers who switch a policy to Allstate before another insurance company’s term has ended may be eligible for up to a 10% discount.

— Good Student Discounts

Up to 20% discounts for high school and college students with a 3.0 GPA or better. If you have a child who’s a student, you can save up to 30% off your own premiums as well.

— New Car Discount

Depending on the car’s details and safety features Allstate customers can save up to 30% when insuring vehicles with airbags, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft systems and/or similar vehicle safety features.

— Multi-Vehicle and Multi-Policy Discounts

Up to 10% discount for drivers who have multiple lines of coverage with the company. You can also earn a discount automatically just by signing up for life insurance through Allstate.

— Seniors Discount of 10% to individuals who are 55 and retired

In addition to these money-saving discounts, Allstate offers a few innovative programs that may help to reduce the cost of your insurance or provide better protection. In some states, you can participate in the Drivewise program, which monitors your driving habits in exchange for a substantial discount. If your state offers it and you’re a safe driver with low mileage, this program can save you a lot of money.

Perhaps the best known program, though, is Allstate’s accident forgiveness program which offers a deductible reduction award. For each year of safe driving, you will receive $100 off your deductible, and your rates will not be affected by any accidents you’re involved in while you carry the Your Choice Auto package. This package does cost more than standard insurance, however, so you’ll need to accommodate that into your budget.

Depending on your situation, Allstate may or may not offer the cheapest car insurance. It may also not provide the best protection for its price. Only by comparison shopping among multiple insurers to obtain personalized quotes can you make the right choice to suit your needs.