State Farm offers solid coverage and excellent customer service, but it may not be your most affordable option.
State Farm is the nation’s largest auto insurer, and it’s held that position for nearly 75 years. It has built a loyal following by placing an emphasis on customer service, offering customers a quality experience whether they interact with the company online, over the phone, or in person. State Farm scored well in the latest J.D. Power survey, beating out many of its main competitors, including Geico, Allstate, and Progressive.
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If you’re looking for optional coverages like new car replacement or gap coverage, you’ll have to choose another insurer, however. State Farm offers no-frills policies that, while comprehensive, leave customers with little room for customization.
As far as affordability is concerned, State Farm consistently has higher rates than its main competitors, Geico and Progressive. Everyone’s premium prices will be different, of course, since all insurance providers assess each driver’s risk level differently. The best way to find the lowest price on the level of coverage you want is to get quotes from multiple providers and compare them to find the best rate for you.
|Price||Varies by location, vehicle and other factors|
|Best For||People who place a high value on customer service|
|Not For||People looking for the lowest price|
Defensive driving course
Drive Safe & Save
Steer Clear course
Student away at school
|In Business Since||1922|
|Better Business Bureau Rating||A|
|A.M. Best Rating||A++|
|Standout Features||Excellent customer service
Coverage for antique and classic cars
Good selection of discounts
State Farm markets itself as “a good neighbor,” there to assist you when things go wrong. It offers quality auto insurance coverage and top-notch claims service at a rate that easily fits into most people’s budgets.
Is it True?
Sort of. State Farm is the nation’s largest auto insurer and for good reason. In an industry known for unhappy customers, State Farm stands out for its excellent customer service and efficient claims handling. In the latest J.D. Power survey, State Farm did well, scoring above the regional average seven out of 11 times. Customers were most impressed with the interactions they had with State Farm’s agents, both in person and over the phone.
Consumers were somewhat less satisfied with its rates. In my quote comparison, I found State Farm to be more expensive than its competitors, Progressive and Geico, but how much more depended on the level of coverage. Its rates were within $50 of my cheapest quote for state minimum coverage, but when I chose higher limits, the cost rose significantly. You may get a different result, but you’ll have to get a quote to find out.
|Annual Premium Cost
(State minimum coverage)
|Annual Premium Cost
While State Farm offers the basic auto insurance coverages, it gives you few options to customize your policy. It doesn’t offer gap coverage or new car replacement, one or both of which are found with several of its competitors. You also can’t purchase extra coverage for any custom equipment you’ve added. State Farm does offer special coverage for antique and classic cars, though, so it’s a good choice if you’re looking to insure that type of vehicle.
Our Deep Dive
- Simple quote process: You can get a quote from State Farm in about five minutes. Just answer a few basic questions about yourself, your vehicle, and your driving record, then you’ll be presented with a quote. Customize it to fit your desired level of coverage and then purchase it directly online. If you’re not ready to buy yet, State Farm will save your quote so you can come back to it later.
- Missing some optional coverages: State Farm doesn’t offer gap coverage or new car replacement, which can be very helpful if you total a newer vehicle that’s depreciating quickly. The company also doesn’t offer coverage for any custom equipment you’ve added since purchasing the vehicle. If you’re interested in these, you’ll want to explore other options.
- Several ways to save: State Farm offers a good selection of discounts, including multi-policy, accident-free, and defensive driving course discounts. Your vehicle may also earn you discounts if it’s equipped with passive restraints or an anti-theft device.
- Get rewarded for good driving: State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save program monitors your driving habits and rewards you for safe behavior. You get a five percent discount for enrolling, and you could earn additional savings at every policy renewal.
- Savings for younger drivers: State Farm offers several discounts directed at drivers under 25 to help them combat their higher premiums. These include good student and student away at school discounts, plus State Farm’s Steer Clear program, a driver refresher course that can be completed online or through the company’s mobile app. Once you’ve completed the course, you’re eligible for additional savings.
- Coverage for antique and classic cars: State Farm is one of few major auto insurers to offer special coverage for classic and antique vehicles. In order to qualify, your vehicle must have been properly restored or maintained, and it must be driven on a limited basis. You can’t get a quote for this type of coverage online, so you’ll need to speak to your local State Farm agent to learn more.
- Get help if your car breaks down: State Farm offers towing coverage and roadside assistance as optional add-ons to help you in the event of an unexpected breakdown. If your vehicle has to be taken in for repairs, State Farm will also cover the cost of a rental car until your vehicle is fixed and if you’re more than 50 miles away from home when the accident occurs, your travel expenses will also be covered.
- Mobile policy access: Using State Farm’s iOS and Android apps, you can get an auto insurance quote, view policy documents, pay your bill, submit and track claims, and contact roadside assistance. If you’re a State Farm Bank customer, you can also access your accounts from the app.
The only way to find out how much a specific auto insurance policy is going to cost you is to get a quote. Insurance companies consider a variety of factors when calculating premiums, including your age, driving history, address, and vehicle make and model. Every company weighs these factors slightly differently, which is why rates vary from one company to the next.
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When comparing your options, though, you should look at more than just price. Go with the company that gives you the best value for the money. Make sure the one you choose is financially strong so it’ll be there when you need it, and see what other customers have had to say about its service. It may not seem that important right now, but good customer service can go a long way toward reducing the headache of filing a claim, so it may be worth paying a few extra dollars for a policy through State Farm because of this.
Cheaper (or Free!) Alternatives
All 50 states require drivers to carry auto insurance, so there’s no way around it. Getting caught without it will cost you more than an insurance premium, and getting in an accident without insurance can cost you even more. If you’re looking to save money on car insurance, try some of these strategies instead:
- Tell your insurer about life changes. Graduating college or getting married can earn you additional savings on your auto insurance policy, so let your insurer know of these changes right away.
- Improve your credit. Insurers use your credit history as a measure of responsibility, so a higher credit score will earn you a lower rate.
- Choose your vehicle carefully. Go with a model that has high safety ratings and isn’t a common target for theft.
- Limit your driving. The less time you spend on the road, the less chance you have of getting into an accident. Some insurers even give discounts to people who drive below a certain number of miles each year.
- Take a defensive driving course. Several insurers, including State Farm, give discounts to drivers who have completed an approved defensive driving course in the last three years.
- Choose a higher deductible. If you’re purchasing collision and comprehensive coverage, choose the highest deductible you can. You’ll have to pay more out of pocket in the event of an accident, but your monthly premiums will be a lot lower.
Geico: Known for its affordable rates and plentiful discounts, Geico’s customer service received mixed reviews in the latest J.D. Power survey. Still, overall, it scored well, even beating State Farm in a few regions. Geico is the only company on this list to offer mechanical breakdown coverage, which can be useful if your vehicle unexpectedly breaks down.
Allstate: Though it offers the most discounts of any company on this list, Allstate’s rates are generally some of the highest. It was rated average or below in most regions in the J.D. Power survey. The company does offer some unique rewards to safe drivers, though, like its Safe Driving Bonus Check.
Progressive: Another top auto insurer, Progressive is known for its affordable rates and many discounts. In my quote comparison, it turned out to be my most affordable option, though that may not be true for you. In terms of coverage, Progressive offers all the basics, plus several optional coverages, like pet injury, custom equipment, and gap coverage that you can’t get from State Farm.
What Others Are Saying
- USA Today wrote an article about a study published by the Consumer Federation of America that suggests that auto insurers unfairly discriminate against low-income drivers. Auto insurers disagreed, claiming the study was “rigged.” It was noted, though, that of all the insurers tested, State Farm was the fairest.
- Crain’s Chicago Business discussed State Farm’s recent rate hikes of about three percent nationwide. It is not the only insurer to have increased its prices as of late. Allstate and Geico have been charging more as well. When asked about these rate increases, a State Farm spokesperson said: “There are many factors that contribute to higher frequency including distracted driving, more congested driving conditions and more miles being driven.”
- CBS News reported that State Farm has recently filed patents for devices that would enable them to gather more physiological data about their customers, including pulse, breathing and eye movements. This data is allegedly correlated to how safe you drive. The company has no immediate plans to begin developing or using this technology, but it remains a possibility for the future. When asked for comment, a State Farm spokeswoman merely responded, “Because of the nature of our innovation work and patent program, we are unable to provide further comments at this time.”
The Bottom Line
State Farm is a solid, reliable choice for auto insurance. It offers comprehensive coverage and excellent customer service; however, its rates may not be your most affordable option, but you’ll have to get a quote to find out.