We all know that 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, Consumer Reports and AM Best to bring you the top car insurance companies worth checking out.
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- Best car insurance companies of 2019
- Other car insurance companies to consider
- Car insurance industry statistics and ratings
- Choosing the right amount of coverage
- How to find the best car insurance company for you
- The bottom line
Best car insurance companies of 2020
- Best overall: Amica Mutual. Amica is the best car insurance company overall based on a highly rated shopping experience, strong financial stability and the best array of coverage options.
- Best for customer service and interaction: State Farm. State Farm is the best car insurance company for customer service based on superior claims handling and a best in class online quote tool.
- Best for discounts: Progressive. Progressive is the best car insurance company for discounts based on widely available discount options and a solid consumer experience.
- Best policy options: The Hartford. The Hartford is the best car insurance company for many different policy options including new car replacement.
- Best for tech-savvy consumers: Geico. Geico is the best car insurance company for tech-savvy consumers based on a superior mobile app and an impressive amount of discounts.
- Best for members of the military: USAA. USAA is the best car insurance company for veterans and their families based on an excellent purchase experience and solid financial stability ratings.
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: Amica Mutual ranked as the best car insurance company in the New England region in J.D. Power’s 2019 auto insurance study.
- High financial stability ratings: Amica boasts an A+ (Superior) financial stability rating from AM Best, which is the highest rating available.
- No repair facility restrictions: Unlike most every other insurer, Amica has zero restrictions on which body shop you use for repairs.
- “Platinum Choice” coverage: Amica offers an additional tier of coverage called Platinum Choice, which costs more, but includes identity fraud monitoring, full glass coverage, prestige rental coverage, and rewards for good driving.
- Best array of coverage options: Amica offers the most driver and vehicle coverages of all our top recommendations. Its list includes GAP insurance and interior vehicle coverage, which aren’t offered by State Farm, The Hartford, Geico, or USAA.
- Discounts on multi-line and multi-auto policies: You can save between 15% and 25% with Amica if you combine your auto policy with your home, condo, renters, life or umbrella policies or you insure two or more vehicles.
- Fewer driver discount opportunities: Amica is missing a few key driver discounts, including pre-pay, low-mileage and military discounts. Consequently, it scored only 46 out of 100 in our driver discount evaluation.
- Few online resources: There are a few FAQs on the site, but Amica lacks in-depth online materials to help customers get a complete grasp on their coverage without having to talk to someone. Additionally, some policy changes require direct assistance from an Amica agent, which can be time-consuming.
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.
- Superior claims handling: No other insurer makes it easier to file a claim — a fact corroborated by its high service rating, 18,000 agents nationwide and excellent mobile app. Most other auto insurers offer the basic trifecta of phone, app and email to contact agents, but State Farm’s is the easiest to use.
- Great financial standing: State Farm has an AM Best outlook of stable, and a A++ overall rating — the highest given.
- Best online quote tool: Out of all the competition, State Farm has the simplest online quote tool. In less than five minutes, its tool will guide you completely through the process, replete with thorough examples of coverage options.
- Missing a few common driver discounts: Like Amica, State Farm lacks two extremely common discounts: pay-in-full and automatic-pay discounts. These two discounts don’t save a ton of money, but they are definitely nice options to have.
- Lacks a couple of important coverages: Unlike its competitors, State Farm doesn’t offer stacked uninsured motorist or new car replacement coverages. That could be a deal-breaker for someone who lives in a state with a very high rate of uninsured drivers.
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: Progressive offers free pet injury coverage, which is included with collision coverage and pays for vet bills (up to a specified amount) that result from a car accident. It could be a major draw for pet owners.
- Widely available discount options: Progressive claims that almost every policyholder will qualify for at least one discount, so it’s worth getting a quote. Just about every policyholder will qualify for at least one discount, Progressive says, so it’s worth getting a quote. Just a few ways to save: Earn a good student discount, use the Name Your Price tool and prove that you’re a homeowner (even if your home isn’t insured by Progressive).
- Solid consumer experience: Although Progressive isn’t rated at the very top — J.D. Power gives it an average score across the board — Consumer Reports customers say this insurer is “very good” at providing access to agents, a simple process, prompt responses, paying for damage and communicating; plus, it’s “excellent” at making timely payments.
- Room for improvement: Other insurers on this list rate much higher for policy price and overall customer experience. If you buy coverage and you’re unhappy with the service, your best bet is to shop around and change insurers once your contract is up.
Best policy options: The Hartford
The Hartford is only the nation’s 11th largest insurer, but it still packs a punch. In fact, it had the highest score in our 12-category feature evaluation (92 out of 100). It also 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. The Hartford was also the only insurer to score a perfect 100 in our vehicle-discount evaluation.
- Mechanical breakdown coverage: Mechanical breakdown insurance helps cover the cost of repairs that aren’t covered by your car’s warranty. The Hartford is the only one of our top picks that includes this coverage.
- Useful policy benefits: The company provides not only a solid set of coverages, but also a great selection of policy benefits. For instance, frequent travelers will appreciate The Hartford’s towing and roadside assistance programs.
- Excellent purchase experience: The Hartford is one of two national providers to receive a perfect “Overall Purchase Experience” score from J.D. Power.
- Merely average claims satisfaction: The Hartford received a perfect score in our claims management evaluation, but according to J.D. Power, customers are less impressed- it received a middle-of-the-pack three-star rating for service interaction.
- Fewest online educational resources: The Hartford offers the fewest online learning materials among this field of competitors.
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, they 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 they’re considered second-tier by Consumer Reports (listed under parent company Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group), their customers rate them 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: Geico’s mobile app offers on-the-go access to its full suite of services. You can quote, buy and manage your insurance, pay your bill, get roadside assistance and submit a claim from your phone. Basically anything you can do on their website, you can do in the app. In the App Store, Geico has more than 1.7 million reviews and a 4.8 out of 5 star rating. This is significantly more users — and far more rave reviews — than apps from their competitors.
- Good number of discounts: Geico offers vehicle equipment, driving history and multi-vehicle discounts. It also offers additional savings opportunities for active and retired military (including emergency deployment), and for federal employees (fun fact: Geico is an acronym for Government Employees Insurance Company).
- Doesn’t offer gap insurance: Gap (guaranteed asset protection) insurance, which pays off the rest of your auto loan if you wreck the car while you still owe more than it’s worth, may matter to you if you made a small down payment on your vehicle or if you lease it.
- Predominantly digital experience: If you’re hoping to deal with a local insurance agent in person or over the phone, you may be out of luck. Most customers deal directly with Geico customer service agents through the website, and claims are typically handled online.
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: USAA received a “better than most” rating in J.D. Power’s 2019 report, giving it one of the top rankings nationally.
- Solid financial stability: AM Best gives USAA the highest possible stability rating of “Superior.”
- Membership restrictions: USAA is only available to members of the military and their immediate family.
- Missing three key vehicle coverages: USAA doesn’t offer gap insurance, interior vehicle coverage or new car replacement coverage.
- Predominantly digital experience: If you want to work with a local insurance agent in person, you’re out of luck. USAA customer service agents and claims submissions are available through the USAA website and over the phone.
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.
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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.
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|
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
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 likely due to their high customer satisfaction and top notch claims handling.
Choosing the right amount of 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 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.
- Bodily injury liability: This coverage will pay for injuries that you may cause to other people in the event of an accident. This includes drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
- Personal injury protection: This coverage pays for medical expenses regardless of who’s at fault.
- Property damage liability: This insurance will help you pay to repair the damage that you caused to another person’s vehicle or property.
- Rental car coverage: This coverage will cover the cost of a car rental while your vehicle is out of commission due to an accident, theft or vandalism.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Uninsured coverage will protect you if you’re involved in an accident with an at-fault driver who doesn’t carry liability insurance. Underinsured coverage is useful when you’re involved in an accident with an at-fault driver whose liability limits are too low to cover your auto damage or medical expenses.
- Pet injury coverage: If your pet is injured as a result of an accident, this coverage will help pay for veterinary bills.
- Collision insurance: This will help you repair or replace your car if it’s damaged in an accident with another vehicle or object, like a fence or a tree.
- Comprehensive insurance: This covers damage to your car caused by events that are out of your control, such as theft, vandalism, weather, and animals.
- Gap insurance: This insurance will help you cover the cost that you owe on your car and the car’s actual cash value in the event of an accident.
- New car replacement: This coverage provides you with money for a brand new car in the event that yours is totaled, not just the depreciated value of the car.
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 five auto insurance companies, and a breakdown of each type of coverage; note, though, that not every type of coverage is available in all states.
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 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.
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: Drivers who take a defensive driving course from a certified or registered school.
- Good driver discount: Most companies offer this discount if you have been accident free for three to five years on average.
- Low mileage discount: If you don’t use your car often, you may qualify for this discount.
- Safe driver discount: Drivers who practice safe habits like wearing a seatbelt, drive the speed limit, and who don’t break or accelerate aggressively may qualify for this discount. Many companies consider the good driver and safe drivers discounts to be the same, and monitor safe practices using a smartphone app.
- Student discount: Student with good grades (varies by provider) may be eligible for this discount. However, some companies require that the student must take a test to qualify.
- Multi-driver or multi-policy discount: Most car insurance companies will offer a special discount if you have more than one driver on the same policy or if you bundle your insurance with the same provider – like car insurance and homeowners insurance.
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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.
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: How we picked the best car insurance companies
We’ve analyzed reports from J.D. Power, Consumer Reports and AM Best to identify the top car insurance companies across various needs, categories and circumstances. Remember that car insurance rates, policies and coverage vary on an individual basis. Different states and driving histories are factors in determining car insurance rates and coverage needs.
We conducted an in-depth analysis of 15 auto insurance providers. We gathered data on 86 different features, organized them into 12 categories, and scored each company on a 100-point scale. Below are the categories we used, along with the weight each one was given in the test.
- Policy Coverage: 13%
- Vehicle Coverage: 13%
- Driver Discounts: 11%
- Policy Management: 10%
- Getting Started: 9%
- Mobile: 6%
- Payment Options: 10%
- Claim Management: 8%
- Support: 6%
- Additional Benefits: 6%
- Vehicle Discounts: 5%
- Learning Materials: 3%
Next, we incorporated learnings from auto experts, insured drivers, and third-party studies into our evaluation and calculated the final scores. We organized this research into three distinct categories, which are outlined below.
- Claims and price satisfaction: We looked at J.D. Power’s 2019 Auto Claims Satisfaction Reports, Insure.com’s Best Car Insurance Companies for 2019, and Consumer Reports’ 2019 Car Insurance Ratings to get a bird’s-eye view of the industry across the nation. We also conducted a survey of 100 insured drivers who had filed a claim within the past 12 months.
- Ease of shopping: We applied for quotes from over 15 auto insurance companies to evaluate the shopping experience. We also considered J.D. Power’s 2018 Auto Insurance Purchase Experience Ratings, which asked customers about their personal take on local agents, call-center representatives, and websites.
- Financial strength ratings: We used AM Best to gauge financial stability. Any company with a “B” grade or below is considered vulnerable, so we chose companies with an “A-” or above.