The Best Car Insurance Companies of 2020

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Car insurance is a necessity to keep yourself safe financially in the event that you have to file a claim. It has the potential to save you thousands of dollars in exchange for a small monthly premium. However, car insurance companies must do more than tote affordable coverage to keep up with the demands of consumers. Today’s best auto insurance companies must have high customer satisfaction scores, a straightforward claims process and better accessibility such as tools like smartphone apps.

We’ve analyzed recent reports from J.D. Power, AM Best, Consumer Reports the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to bring you the top car insurance companies worth checking out.

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Our picks for the best car insurance companies

  1. Best overall: Amica Mutual
  2. Best for customer service and interaction: State Farm
  3. Best for discounts: Progressive
  4. Best policy options: The Hartford
  5. Best for tech-savvy consumers: Geico
  6. Best for members of the military: USAA
Simple Score J.D. Power rating AM Best rating BBB rating NAIC rating
Amica Mutual 4.4/5 4/5 A+ (Superior) A+ Poor
Geico 4.0/5 3/5 A++ (Superior) A+ Average
Progressive 4.2/5 4/5 A+ (Superior) A- Excellent
State Farm 4.4/5 3/5 A++ (Superior) A+ Excellent
The Hartford 3.3/5 4/5 A+ (Superior) A+ Excellent
USAA 4.6/5 5/5 A++ (Superior) Not Rated Excellent

Methodology

1. Best overall car insurance company: Amica

Amica was the strongest company overall in our research and received the highest rating in the New England region in J.D. Power’s 2019 customer satisfaction report. The insurer also received the highest Consumer Reports rating among auto insurance providers — as it has every year since at least 1999. Consumer Reports noted that an overwhelming number of customers reported “relatively few” problems during the claims process.

Pros Cons
A high J.D. Power satisfaction rating Fewer driver discount opportunities
High financial stability ratings Few online resources
No repair facility restrictions
“Platinum Choice” coverage
Best array of coverage options
Discounts on multi-line and multi-auto policies

2. Best for customer service and interaction: State Farm

State Farm is the largest car insurance company in the nation, per the Insurance Information Institute in 2019. Fortunately, it’s also one of the best — especially when it comes to the customer service experience. In 2019, State Farm received high praise from J.D. Power for its service interaction and claims handling. And of all the insured drivers we surveyed, it received the most positive remarks by far.

It is incredibly easy to get in touch with State Farm. You can call one of the company’s 18,000 agents, go online, or even send a picture of your damaged car with your smartphone using the State Farm mobile app. Compare that to Amica, which doesn’t allow you to connect with an agent via an app, or file a claim through an agent.

State Farm also gets high marks for a pain-free shopping experience that lets prospective customers call their local agent or chat with a representative online if they have any questions.

Pros Cons
Superior claims handling Missing a few common driver discounts
Great financial standing Lacks a couple of important coverages
Best online quote tool

3. Best for discounts: Progressive

Progressive is the fourth-largest auto insurer in the U.S. and offers an impressive array of discounts and special coverages that could significantly reduce your monthly bill. For example, the Snapshot tool allows Progressive to base your rate on your driving habits. Progressive also earned an “A+ Superior” stability rating from AM Best, so the company is on solid financial footing to cover any claims.

Pros Cons
Pet injury coverage Room for improvement
Widely available discount options
Solid consumer experience

4. Best policy options: The Hartford

The Hartford is only the nation’s 11th largest insurer, but it still packs a punch. It offers a wide range of policy options and benefits, including rates based on how much you actually drive your car and a new car replacement program for cars totaled shortly after purchase.

Pros Cons
Mechanical breakdown coverage Merely average claims satisfaction
Useful policy benefits Fewest online educational resources
Excellent purchase experience

5. Best for tech-savvy consumers: Geico

We’ve all seen the ads: The gecko with the charming accent, the cavemen, the “wee” piggy and that camel who loves Wednesdays. Catchy advertising aside, what makes Geico stand out from its competitors? Like most car insurance companies, Geico advertises low rates (“15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on your car insurance”). But what else?

According to J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, “The last decade of seemingly non-stop direct-to-consumer advertising and heavy investment into digital self-service technologies have driven roughly one-fourth of auto insurance customers to adopt direct distribution models that bypass agents in favor of do-it-yourself tools.” Geico’s response to this seems to be its very popular mobile app.

Geico is the second-largest car insurance provider in the United States. While it’s considered second-tier by Consumer Reports (listed under parent company Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group), customers rate Geico high in the categories of ease of reaching an agent, promptness of response, agent courtesy and timely payment.

Not bad in terms of customer service.

Pros Cons
Superior mobile app Doesn’t offer gap insurance
Good number of discounts Predominantly digital experience

6. Best for members of the military: USAA

Throughout our research, we found that USAA’s stellar reputation holds true. If you’re a member of the U.S. Armed Forces or you’re related to one, there is no better option. USAA is one of the three highest-rated automotive insurers in the country.

The only downside is its limited availability: Only active service members, veterans, and their families are eligible. Given those restrictions, the quote process is a bit more intense compared with its competitors, but that’s a small price to pay for its exemplary service.

Pros Cons
Flawless purchase experience Membership restrictions
Solid financial stability Missing three key vehicle coverages
Predominantly digital experience

Other car insurance companies to consider

Not all of our top picks for the best car insurance companies are available in all areas of the country, so here are some other good insurers worth checking out.

Erie Insurance

If you live in the South, Midwest or Mid-Atlantic regions, Erie Insurance is worth your consideration. Erie has consistently received high marks from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. In 2019, Erie Insurance ranked first in the Mid-Atlantic region in J.D Power’s annual study.

The reason it didn’t make it into our top five recommendations is due to limited availability — it only serves residents of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and certain parts of the District of Columbia.

Outside of that, Erie is one of the best commercial auto insurers, offering policies that come standard with coverage for road service, lawyer fees, and loss of earnings. It also has comprehensive coverage options that include extras such as money toward rental cars after a crash — which is an add-on policy with most insurers.

Auto-Owners Insurance

Auto-Owners Insurance is available in 26 states located primarily in the South and Midwest. It uses an agent-only model that promotes customer relationships, so it’s a great choice if you prefer talking to a human being. The company also scored a nearly perfect score in J.D. Power’s 2019 satisfaction report, falling short only in the realm of its rental car experience.

Here are the states where Auto-Owners Insurance operates: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

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Car insurance industry statistics and ratings

Best car insurance companies by region

J.D. Power, the leading provider of consumer insights, ranked the best car insurance companies by customer satisfaction in each region in their 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. They based these findings off the following five factors: interaction, policy offerings, price, billing process and policy information, and claims. See below for the best car insurance companies for customer satisfaction in each region.

Region Best Car Insurance Companies
California Esurance
Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group
Ameriprise
Central Shelter
Auto-Owners Insurance
Allstate
Florida Allstate
Esurance
State Farm
Mid-Atlantic Erie Insurance
Geico
The Hartford
New England Amica Mutual
State Farm
Geico
New York New York Central Mutual
State Farm
Travelers
North Central Westfield
IN Farm Bureau
Erie Insurance
Northwest PEMCO Insurance
The Hartford
American Family
Southeast Farm Bureau Insurance – Tennessee
Erie Insurance
Alfa Insurance
Southwest The Hartford
State Farm
Allstate
Texas TX Farm Bureau
Allstate
Geico

Car insurance companies by market share

Here is the Insurance Information Institute’s top ten private passenger car insurance carriers and their market share, based on 2018 statistics. State Farm holds the majority with 17%. This is likely due to their high customer satisfaction and top notch claims handling.

Rank Group/Company Market share
1 State Farm Mutual 17.0%
2 Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. 13.4%
3 Progressive Corp. 11.0%
4 Allstate Corp. 9.2%
5 USAA Insurance Group 5.9%
6 Liberty Mutual 4.8%
7 Farmers Insurance 4.3%
8 Nationwide Mutual Group 2.7%
9 American Family 2.0%
10 Travelers Companies Inc. 1.9%

Choosing the right amount of coverage for you

While having your state’s minimum coverage requirement ensures you don’t break the law, it may not be enough to keep you from financial ruin if you cause an accident. That’s why it’s incredibly important to understand which and how much coverage you need before you start shopping for a policy. The vehicle and policy coverages listed below are supplemental types of insurance that may prevent you from paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket in the event that you’re involved in or cause an automobile accident.

It’s also crucial to compare rates that include more than your state’s minimum required coverages. You don’t want to get in a serious accident only to find out after the fact that you’re underinsured. Below is a comparison of the coverages offered by our top six auto insurance companies, and a breakdown of each type of coverage; note, though, that not every type of coverage is available in all states.

Coverages offered by top auto insurance companies

Vehicle and Policy Coverages Amica State Farm The Hartford Geico USAA Progressive
Bodily Injury Liability
Personal Injury Protection
Property Damage Liability
Rental Car Coverage
Uninsured/underinsured Motorist Coverage
Pet Injury Coverage X X X X X
Collision
Comprehensive
GAP Insurance X X X X
New Car Replacement X X X X X

How to find the best car insurance company for you

There’s no single best car insurance company out there for everyone. Car insurance is regulated on a state level, and coverage costs can vary based on where you live. As a result, a friend or neighbor may pay more or less than you depending on their location, selected coverage and driving history. To ensure you get the best coverage for your needs, here are some tips.

Shop around

Shop around every year or two. Car insurance companies don’t just calculate rates on risk alone. Many insurers also use what’s called “price optimization,” meaning they set rates based on how much customers are willing to pay.

Large insurance companies analyze a huge amount of customers’ personal data, such as social media posts, credit scores, and even your online shopping habits. Then, they run the data through a proprietary algorithm that estimates how likely you are to shop around or just renew your existing policy each year. By doing so, they can increase your premium just enough to raise their profit margins without attracting your attention and prompting you to shop for a new policy.

The best way to avoid this practice is to shop for a new policy every one to two years. Even if you like your current car insurance company, they’re likely aware of your online activity, so the more quotes you get, the less likely you are to be tagged as someone who won’t jump ship for a better deal.

Getting a quote is fairly simple for most car insurance companies. You’ll likely need to provide information like your address, vehicle information and driving history. Most car insurance companies offer quotes easily and quickly online, or you can choose to work with an agent.

Depending on the insurer, you’ll have to decide whether to purchase a policy online or through an insurance agent. The best auto insurance companies offer a choice between the two. If you value face-to-face relationships and personal service, it’s hard to beat an agent. But all agents aren’t created equal. Some companies allow customers to do business directly online. If you’re a self-starter, this could be the most convenient or cheapest option. The biggest downside to buying a policy on your own is the risk of underinsuring yourself. Buying the wrong policy or a policy that doesn’t have state-mandated coverage levels could cost you quite a bit of money, should the worst happen.

Consider discounts

When shopping around, look for a car insurance company that offers discounts more tailored to your needs. Here are some of the common discounts offered by most providers:

  • Defensive driving discount
  • Good driver discount
  • Low mileage discount
  • Safe driver discount
  • Student discount
  • Multi-driver or multi-policy discount

Check your state-required coverage

In virtually all states, drivers are required by law to have liability insurance coverage. Some states also require uninsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection. You can find the insurance requirements by state on the Insurance Information Institute’s website as of July 2018.

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The bottom line

When it comes to auto insurance companies, the best ones are the most versatile in their coverage options and services. While price is the single-most important factor for a lot of car insurance shoppers, look at other factors as well, such as coverage types and levels, discounts, and customer satisfaction.

In the end, you’ll need to determine your exact needs when it comes to coverage and then shop for an affordable policy. Our quote tool can help you put together a list of good auto insurance candidates. All you need to do is enter your ZIP code and start comparing rates from our top picks.

Methodology

The Simple Score was created with you in mind, to simplify the process of making complex auto insurance decisions, for your peace-of-mind – and wallet. We rated top car insurance companies based on five different categories: available discounts, coverage options, support, customer satisfaction ratings and digital accessibility.

Customer satisfaction ratings were scored based on J.D. Power’s U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study (2019). We also lean on our editorial expertise and industry knowledge to help choose and rank each company. Our ratings are meant to be a directional and helpful tool to help you in the process of choosing an insurance provider. Be sure to continue your research and shop around for the best auto insurance company that fits your specific needs.