If you drive a vehicle, you need car insurance. Regardless of where you live, car insurance is a no-brainer investment that will save you thousands in the long run since it protects you from paying huge sums out-of-pocket in exchange for a relatively small monthly premium. Of course, not all car insurance is created equal, so we’ve compiled a list of the best car insurance companies that offer great coverage at a fair price.
We’ve analyzed reports from J.D. Power, Consumer Reports and A.M. Best to get a view of car insurance companies worth checking out.
Amica: Best Overall Car Insurance Company
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.
- “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.
- 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 A.M. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
State Farm: Best Car Insurance Company for Customer Service and Interaction
State Farm is the largest car insurance company in the nation, per the Insurance Information Institute in 2018. 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.
- Great financial standing: State Farm has an A.M. Best outlook of stable, and a A++ overall rating — the highest given.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
The Hartford: Best Car Insurance Company for Policy Options
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.
- Excellent purchase experience: The Hartford is one of two national providers to receive a perfect “Overall Purchase Experience” score from J.D. Power.
- 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.
- 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.
Geico: Best Car Insurance Company for Tech-Savvy Customers
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.
- 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).
- Superior mobile app: Geico’s mobile app offers the 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 1.54 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.
- 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.
USAA: Best Car Insurance Company for Members of the Military
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: A.M. Best gives USAA the highest possible stability rating of “Superior.”
- Membership restrictions: USAA is available only to members of the military and their immediate family.
- 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.
- Missing three key vehicle coverages: USAA doesn’t offer gap insurance, interior vehicle coverage or new car replacement coverage.
Progressive: Best for Discounts
Progressive is the fourth-largest auto insurer in the U.S. and offers an impressive array of discounts and special coverages that could reduce your monthly bill quite a bit. For example, the Snapshot tool allows Progressive to base your rate on your driving habits. Progressive also earned an “A+ Superior” stability rating from A.M. Best, so the company is on solid financial footing to cover any claims.
- Widely available discount options: 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 you’re a homeowner (even if your home isn’t insured by Progressive).
- 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.
- 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.
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.