The Best Car Insurance Companies of 2020
Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com
Car insurance is legally required in most states, but it’s also a crucial financial safety net in the event of a collision or other damages — regardless of whether you’re at fault. While the average cost of car insurance is $1,758 a year, the best car insurers will provide discounts and potentially save thousands in the case of an accident. We used our proprietary SimpleScore,to compare discounts, customer satisfaction, coverage options, digital accessibility and customer support to rate and review the best auto insurance companies. Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
In this article
The 6 best car insurance companies of 2020
- Amica Mutual – Best overall car insurance
- State Farm – Best for customer support
- Progressive – Best for discounts
- The Hartford – Best policy options
- Geico – Best for tech-savvy consumers
- USAA – Best for members of the military
Compare the top car insurance companies of 2020
|SimpleScore||J.D. Power rating||AM Best rating||BBB rating||Standard & Poor’s|
|Amica Mutual||4.4/5||4/5||A+ (Superior)||A+||AA|
|State Farm||4.4/5||3/5||A++ (Superior)||A++||AA|
|The Hartford||3.3/5||3/5||A+ (Superior)||A+||A|
COVID-19 Update: We're keeping track of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting car insurance. Read more.
Best overall car insurance company – Amica Mutual
Our No. 1 pick for the best car insurance company.
Amica offers your standard fare of auto coverage, including comprehensive, collision and uninsured motorist. Along with extra features that you won’t find anywhere else –– free lock replacement, no-charge damaged glass repair and free airbag repair.
Our Two Cents — Amica is the Subway of insurance companies. You don’t have to stick to just ham and bread, it allows you to customize your coverage to your liking.
Best car insurance for customer support – State Farm
While it’s not the most affordable option, State Farm has solid coverage and exceptional claims handling.
Another advantage State Farm claims is how easy it is to get in contact with an agent. With 19,000 agents, you can easily call them to file a claim. But if you don’t have time for a phone call, the State Farm mobile app allows you to contact a representative or send a picture of the damage. A user-friendly app is something we often take for granted, but not all companies have this luxury. Amica, for example, doesn’t allow you to connect with an agent or file a claim via an app.
Beyond comprehensive, collision and liability insurance, State Farm offers Uber or Lyft drivers rideshare driver coverage. Another useful coverage is State Farm’s emergency roadside coverage, you’ll have access to onsite repairs (up to one hour), towing, a locksmith or the free delivery of gas, a tire, or battery. Read our full State Farm review.
State Farm has the best online quote tool, though it lacks a few common driver discounts and important coverage options
Our Two Cents — State Farm is like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — no thrills and little customization, but still a crowd pleaser.
Best car insurance for discounts – Progressive
Progressive offers a free, no-obligation quote online, making the policy creation process a breeze.
In addition to the typical insurance coverages like liability, collision and comprehensive, Progressive offers coverage options that other companies lack. Gap insurance from Progessive covers 125% of the cost of the car if it’s totaled while you’re still making payments. An even less common type of coverage, free pet injury coverage that pays any veterinary bills if your pets are injured in an auto accident.
With solid customer experience and plenty of discount options, Progressive has plenty to look forward to. But there is still room for improvement. Its rate guarantee only lasts for the duration of a six-month policy.
Our Two Cents — Flo’s signature red lipstick and funny storytelling aren’t a sham — you really can save by switching to Progressive.
Best car insurance for policy options – The Hartford
The best car insurance option for AARP members.
What Hartford offers customers is what you expect from most car insurance companies, though it does add perks for AARP members. Perks include: lifetime warranties for repairs done at approved shops and the RecoverCare program that reimburses you for the cost of home services while you recover from a collision. Some of the reimbursable services include home cleaning, snow removal, dog walking, lawn mowing and transportation.
The Hartford offers customers mechanical breakdown coverage and a lot of useful policy benefits. While customers report an excellent purchase experience, The Hartford doesn’t have many online education resources and only has an average claims satisfaction rating.
Our Two Cents — A great car insurance for retirees, you just need to be over 50 and an AARP member to enjoy the low rates and exceptional customer service The Hartford has to offer.
Best car insurance for tech-savvy consumers – Geico
Offering some of the lowest rates in the industry, “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance” rings true.
Geico’s range of coverage includes the standard fare — collision, comprehensive and liability insurance. Unlike many other companies, rideshare insurance for Lyft and Uber drivers is also available. Geico does offer mechanical breakdown coverage, though it’s only for new cars less than 15 months old with less than 15,000 miles. While it’s not applicable to all people, if you fall into this category, you’ll be able to renew mechanical breakdown coverage for up to seven years or 100,000 miles.
Geico has a lot of upsides. It draws customers in with a superior mobile app and a variety of discounts. Rideshare coverage is a major plus, but Geico lacks gap coverage.
State Farm has the best online quote tool, though it lacks a few common driver discounts and important coverage options.
Our Two Cents — 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, Geico stands out from its competitors with low rates and plenty of discounts.
Best car insurance for military members and families – USAA
USAA is the top choice for military service members and their families.
USAA provides a standard fare of vehicle coverage and roadside assistance. It may not be the most innovative when it comes to coverages, but it’s one of the highest-rated insurance companies out there. With some of the lowest average premiums, USAA is a great option for car insurance if you fall into one of their eligibility categories. Read our full USAA review.
As a company, USAA offers a flawless purchase experience for its customers. But there are still some catches. Missing a few key vehicle coverages, the main downside to USAA is the strict membership restrictions.
Our Two Cents — If USAA was in “Mean Girls,” it’d be Regina George. Everyone wants to be in its inner circle and get its exclusive rates.
Other car insurance companies to consider
Many of the best car insurance companies operate regionally, meaning they aren’t available in all areas of the country. Here are some of the other best car insurance companies worth checking out.
Erie may only serve 12 states, but it's one of the best car insurance companies in the industry.
Erie’s limited availability is the reason it didn’t make our top five recommendations. 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.
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 like money toward rental cars after a crash — which is an add-on policy with most insurers.
Our Two Cents — Although it only serves the East Coast, Erie has world-class auto insurance that can cover your car and more.
Available in 25 states, you can secure a policy through Auto-Owners Insurance if you live in the South and Midwest.
Auto-Owners Insurance operates in: 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.
Our Two Cents — Using an agent-only model, Auto-Owners Insurance is a great choice for people who are tired of pressing buttons and would rather cut to the chase with a real person on the line.
How to choose the best car insurance company for you
This isn’t Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants — your car insurance premium might not fit your best friend’s needs. Because of that, there isn’t one best car insurance company that is the right fit for every driver. Car insurance is regulated on a state level and coverage costs can vary based on where you live. Meaning your friend or neighbor may pay a different amount based on their location, selected coverage and driving history. If you’re thinking of switching car insurance companies and want to ensure you get the best coverage for your needs, here are the steps you should follow.
1. Check your state-required coverage
In nearly all states, drivers are required by law to carry some form of car insurance or proof of financial responsibility. Every state has requirements for the level of insurance and the minimum amount of coverage each driver must have. For example, Virginia has minimum requirements for insurance, but drivers can bypass paying for an insurance premium by paying the state $500 each year. This fee doesn’t give the driver insurance, but it allows them to drive at their own risk. Use the Insurance Information Institute’s guide to determine the insurance requirements for your state.
After you’ve found what’s the minimum amount of insurance required for your state, you should next determine if you live in a no-fault or fault state. In a no-fault state, your car insurance will pay for your vehicle’s damages and your medical bills after an accident, regardless of who caused the crash. In a fault state, the person who causes the accident is responsible for covering the other driver’s losses.
No-fault states include: Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah
[Read: What Does At-Fault Mean?]
2. Know your deductible
Most coverage options will have a deductible –– the amount of money you have to pay out-of-pocket towards a covered loss before your insurance policy will step in. Collision, comprehensive and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will all have a deductible.
While you shouldn’t opt out of coverage options just to save money, there are times it just doesn’t make sense to have the extra coverage. A classic example is collision coverage. If your car’s value is too close to the deductible, you probably won’t get reimbursed from your insurance company after a loss.
Let’s say your car is worth $1,000 and your deductible is $1,000. If you get into an accident and your car sustains $800 worth of damage, you wouldn’t get an insurance payout because your deductible would cover the entire cost. It’s always important to determine which types of coverage make sense for you, but especially if you have an older car that’s low in value.
3. Shop around
Risk isn’t the only factor that car insurance companies use to calculate your rate. Many insurers also use “price optimization,” meaning they set rates based on how much customers are willing to pay.
Large insurance companies analyze an enormous 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.
Shopping around every year or two is the best way to avoid this practice and it will help you find the cheapest car insurance options. For most car insurance companies, getting a quote is an easy, online process that you can do in minutes. You’ll just need to provide information like your address, vehicle information and driving history. 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.
4. Consider discounts
If you want a policy with a lot of additional coverage, the end price can feel a little overwhelming. Especially when you consider car insurance isn’t something you’re actively using every day. Capitalizing on the discounts providers offer is one way to ease that financial burden. When you’re shopping around, look for discounts that tailor 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
- Multi-driver or multi-policy discount
- Student discount
What is the best auto insurance company? Explained
How does car insurance work?
Auto insurance is how you pay for the damages after a car accident — damages to yourself, your car and in some cases, other drivers’ cars.
In the event of a collision or accident, your deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance carrier will step in to cover the rest. The higher the deductible, the more you have to pay before the policy kicks in. For example, if your deductible is $1,000 and you have $1,200 worth of damages to your car after a collision, you will pay $1,000 and insurance will cover the rest.
After a collision, you don’t get money to cover damages automatically. You have to file a claim. Start by contacting your insurance agent, regardless if you were at fault or not. You’ll want to keep any documentation or medical bills and take pictures of the damage of your car. The claims process should be fairly painless, though you should always review to ensure you’re satisfied with your payout.
How to choose the right amount of auto insurance coverage
The state you live in will have minimum auto insurance thresholds. You have to meet them to legally drive. This minimum is set to create a baseline of insurance to cover all drivers on the road, so it may not be the ideal amount of coverage specifically for your situation. In some cases, the minimum coverage won’t be enough to keep you from financial ruin if you cause a car crash or fender bender. It’s important to understand how much coverage you need before you start shopping for a policy.
The mandatory coverage you must have is: bodily injury and property damage liability. Though there are additional coverage options that can be a good fit and potentially prevent you from paying thousands of dollars out-of-pocket in the event that you’re involved in or cause an automobile collision.
- Bodily injury liability
- Rental car coverage
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Collision insurance
- Comprehensive insurance
- Personal injury protection
- Property damage liability
- Gap insurance
- New car replacement
Below is a comparison of the coverages offered by our top car insurance companies, and a breakdown of each type of coverage. Note that not every type of coverage is available in all states.
|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||✓|
|New car replacement||X||X||✓||X||X||X|
Full coverage vs. state minimum required coverage
You should compare rates that include more than your state’s minimum required coverages to get the best idea of how much car insurance costs. Below are the top 10 most populated states and the difference in an average annual premium between a full coverage policy and the state minimum requirement. You’ll notice that the full coverage annual rate is significantly higher in each state. But an inclusive car insurance policy isn’t something you should opt out of just to save money. You don’t want to find yourself underinsured after a collision.
|State||Full coverage annual rate||State minimum annual rate|
Car insurance rate data: Both full coverage and state minimum liability premiums are assuming a 30-year-old with good credit who drives a 2017 Honda Civic.
National car insurance ratings and industry statistics
Some of these insurance companies only serve regional areas, like New York Central Mutual and Texas Farm Bureau. Others, like Allstate and State Farm, sell car insurance to customers in all fifty states.
When choosing an insurance company, consider the pros and cons of regional and national providers. Regional providers often outshine nationwide options because they have fewer customers, allowing them to dedicate more time to each policyholder. So if customer service and the availability of representatives is important to you, a regional option may be best for you.
However, because regional insurance providers have fewer customers, they also tend to have more expensive premiums and fewer discounts. National providers win when it comes to price, through cheaper premiums and discounts that help save you money. Most nationwide providers do typically have an online experience, which can be a problem for some policyholders.
Best car insurance companies for customer satisfaction across the U.S.
|Region||Best car insurance companies|
Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group
|New England||Amica Mutual
|New York||New York Central Mutual
IN Farm Bureau
|Southeast||Farm Bureau Insurance – Tennessee
|Texas||TX Farm Bureau
The 10 largest car insurance companies by market share
Here are the Insurance Information Institute’s top 10 private passenger car insurance carriers and their market share, based on 2019 statistics. State Farm holds the majority of market share in direct premiums written in 2019 with 16.1%, which is likely due to its high customer satisfaction and top-notch claims handling.
|1||State Farm Mutual||16.1%|
|2||Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.||13.8%|
|5||USAA Insurance Group||6.0%|
|8||Nationwide Mutual Group||2.5%|
|10||Travelers Companies Inc.||1.9%|
Market share data is from the Insurance Information Institute. Annual premiums are based on an average of full coverage policies across all 50 states for a 30-year-old with good credit driving a 2017 Honda Civic. Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
Compare Affordable Car Insurance Rates
Car insurance FAQs
What is a car insurance policy?
Car insurance keeps you financially safe when the time comes to file a claim. Covering you and any family members on your policy, your insurance covers you whether you’re driving your car or someone else’s.
When you purchase a car insurance policy, you have the option to pay your premium monthly, bi-annually or annually. Undeniably, paying your premium annually requires a lot of money up front. So if you’re on a tight budget, it makes sense to pay monthly and avoid a large one-time fee. But if you can afford it, you can pay your annual premium in full to snag discounts and take a monthly bill off your plate.
Most car insurance companies will offer a discount for customers who can pay their premium in full. Depending on the price of your premium, the savings could be significant. If you choose to pay monthly that doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on savings, some insurance companies will offer a discount if you sign up for autopay.
How much will car insurance cost?
How much your premium will be will vary for each person, though the U.S. average cost of car insurance is $1,758 per year. Companies assess a number of factors to calculate your risk of filing a claim. The higher the risk, the more expensive the premium. Though each company weighs these factors differently, some of the most common are:
- Your driving history
- Basic demographics (age, gender and where you live)
- The car you drive
- Your credit score
- The amount of coverage you choose
- The type of coverage you choose
Is my rental car covered through my car insurance policy?
Your car insurance coverage extends to a rental car within the U.S. If you’re planning to rent a car overseas, your credit card may provide coverage. If not, you may need to buy additional insurance from the rental agency.
Does my car insurance policy include coverage for a moving truck?
According to the NAIC, few insurers extend coverage to moving trucks. Before assuming it does, it’s best to contact your provider to ensure you’re adequately covered. It’s a good idea to ask the agent if there are any limitations to what the insurance provides — some insurers may only cover certain moving truck sizes.
Can I drive for Uber/Lyft using my personal car insurance?
The standard car insurance policy may not cover driving for a riding sharing app. So before you jump on this quick way to make money, check your policy to see if you’re covered. If not, you can add coverage through your existing insurer or add rideshare coverage if your insurance company offers it.
Is my car covered if I hit a deer or other animal?
Basic liability car insurance will not cover you if you suffer animal-related damages. You’ll need comprehensive coverage for your insurance company to pay for losses related to hitting an animal. One caveat is that your car must come in contact with the animal for the claim to be paid for under comprehensive coverage. Swerving to avoid the animal and hitting something else would not fall under comprehensive coverage.
Too long, didn’t read?
When it comes to auto insurance companies, the best ones are the most versatile in coverage options and services. But the best car insurance company for you is the one that offers a policy you can tailor to your needs. Coverage types and levels, discounts and customer satisfaction are factors that will help determine which company is the right choice for you.
- How Much Does Car Insurance Go Up After An Accident?
- After an Accident, Should I Submit a Claim or Pay Out Of Pocket?
- Steps to Switch Car Insurance Companies
The SimpleScore is our proprietary scoring metric to compare products and services at The Simple Dollar in a transparent, evidence-based way. Our editorial team identifies five quantifiable aspects to compare for every brand, determines the rating criteria for each aspect score, then averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore. To find the best car insurance companies, we compared discounts, customer satisfaction, additional coverage options, digital accessibility and customer support. Our ratings are meant to be a directional tool to help you in the process of choosing a car insurance carrier. Be sure to continue your research and shop around for the best car insurance that fits your specific needs. Customer satisfaction ratings were scored based on J.D. Power’s U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study (2019).
Car insurance rates: We used insurance rates from Quadrant Information Services. This includes analyzing thousands of rates from all 50 states that were publicly sourced from 2019 insurer filings. Rates are based on a 30-year-old male or female that had a clean driving record. Full Coverage premiums assumed a $500 collision and comprehensive deductible, and we looked at those who had both good and poor credit. These rates should be used to inform your car insurance shopping process, but your own quote may differ.
Last updated July 8, 2020 – Updated rates and SimpleScore data.
We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the car insurance companies we recommend. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments or questions.
The impact of COVID-19 on your car insurance.
Due to the widespread pandemic, many drivers are instead working from home. The less people that are on the road, the less risk of a car collision. Due to this and to economic strain, many car insurance companies provided credit back to customers on their monthly bill as well as pausing coverage cancellation in the case of nonpayment. Actions like these have helped customers who are struggling to pay the bills during unemployment and financial strain.