The Best Car Insurance Companies of 2020
Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com
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.
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COVID-19 Update: We're keeping track of how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting car insurance. Read more.
Why you should trust us
Our picks for the best car insurance companies
- Best overall: Amica Mutual
- Best for customer service and interaction: State Farm
- Best for discounts: Progressive
- Best policy options: The Hartford
- Best for tech-savvy consumers: Geico
- 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|
|State Farm||4.4/5||3/5||A++ (Superior)||A++||Excellent|
|The Hartford||3.3/5||3/5||A+ (Superior)||A+||Excellent|
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.
|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 19,000 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.
|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.
|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 13th 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.
|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.
|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.
|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.
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 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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What is the best payment plan for car insurance?
When you purchase a car insurance policy, you have the option to pay your premium monthly, bi-annually or annually. If you’re on a tight budget, it might make sense to pay monthly and avoid a large one-time fee. But if you can afford it, the best option is to pay your annual premium in full.
Here’s why—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, some insurance companies will offer a discount if you sign up for autopay.
How to find the best car insurance
Car insurance is highly personalized. Because of that, there isn’t one car insurance company that is the best for every driver. Additionally, 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 the steps you should follow.
1. Check your state-required coverage
In virtually all states, drivers are required by law to carry some form of car insurance or proof of financial responsibility. Every state has certain requirements for the types of insurance and the minimum amount of coverage each driver must have. You can use the Insurance Information Institute’s guide to determine the insurance requirements for your state.
You should also 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 and Utah. Any other state is considered a fault state.
2. Know your coverage options and deductible
Before you purchase insurance, understand the coverage types. A car insurance policy will often include collision, comprehensive, liability, property damage and medical bills coverage. Again, the requirements for coverage vary by state.
Most of these coverages will have a deductible. A deductible is the amount of money you have to pay out-of-pocket towards a covered loss before getting insurance money. Most car insurance coverages have a deductible, including collision, comprehensive and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
Depending on the age and condition of your vehicle, there are certain coverage types that aren’t worth getting if it requires a deductible. 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.
For instance, say your vehicle 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. In situations like that, it’s important to determine which types of coverage make sense for you.
3. Shop around
Shop around for a new insurance provider 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 under insuring 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.
4. 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
- Multi-driver or multi-policy discount
- Student discount
Choosing the right amount of auto insurance coverage
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 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.
- 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
Full coverage vs state minimum required coverage
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 that not every type of coverage is available in all states.
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.
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.
Coverages offered by our top auto insurance companies
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.
|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|
National car insurance industry statistics and ratings
There are dozens of highly rated car insurance companies in the United States. Based on J.D. Power’s rankings of the best auto insurance companies by region, there are twenty companies that stand out for customer satisfaction.
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. When it comes to customer service, regional providers tend to be better. They have fewer customers, so they can dedicate more time to each policyholder.
On the other hand, regional insurance providers are generally more expensive because they have fewer customers. Not only can you find cheaper premiums with a national provider, but they usually offer discounts that can help you save even more money.
In the table below, we listed the best car insurance companies for customer satisfaction in each region. These companies were rated by J.D. Power for overall satisfaction, price, policy offerings, customer service and claims handling.
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 2019 statistics. State Farm holds the majority with 16.1 percent. This 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. Car Insurance Rates
Best car insurance companies for customer satisfaction
|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
Best car insurance companies based on customer satisfaction is from J.D. Power. Methodology
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.
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Why should you trust us
We have one goal: Help you make smarter financial decisions without putting you to sleep. Since 2006, we’ve been publishing content to help our readers find the right Insurance coverage, carrier and policy to meet their needs and their budget. We encourage you to read our guide before starting your buying process, shop around to find the best rates and visit carrier sites for additional information. We take a look at our content regularly to make sure it’s up to date and provides the latest industry changes.
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.
Simple Score 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.
The impact of COVID-19 on your car insurance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically reduced our daily commutes and road travel which means car insurance looks different in 2020. Our editorial team is staying up to date with all industry changes and further ways you can get financial relief and reduced rates. Make sure you are informed on the latest changes, rate reimbursements and resources to help in your car insurance buying process.