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Choosing car insurance is a complex process. There are so many factors to consider, and the best car insurance for your neighbor may not be the best one for you. Car insurance advertisements often make big claims, but will the companies behind them pay your claim if you have a traffic accident? Auto insurance carrier reviews on online forums are great for anecdotal opinions, but finding the best car insurance companies requires in-depth data gathering and analysis.

We examined factors such as customer satisfaction, claims satisfaction, claims settlement and customer complaint scores, as well as the average six-month premium to recommend the best auto insurance company for you. For the best auto insurance reviews, we turn to industry experts, AM Best, J.D. Power and Associates and The Zebra.

What should you look for when shopping for car insurance?

Shopping for car insurance can seem daunting, especially for first-time car buyers. Avoid mistakes and get the best bang for your insurance buck by following the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ shopping tips:

  1. Call or visit the website of your state’s insurance department to find out what type of insurance the law requires. Most states require at least liability insurance, with minimum coverage levels for bodily injury and property damage.
  2. Read auto insurance carrier reviews and ask friends and family members to recommendation companies and agents.
  3. Request quotes from several companies and carefully compare the results. Pay attention to the details, including deductibles, payment options, discounts and included and excluded services.
  4. Narrow down your options, then check with your state’s insurance department to make sure the company you choose is properly licensed.
  5. Ask insurance agents about details of the coverage. Will a history of speeding tickets affect your premium? Does the company consider credit history to determine rates? Will the coverage protect all drivers in your household? Does the policy cover rental cars when you travel?
  6. Always pay your premium on time, otherwise your coverage could lapse. Some insurers offer direct withdrawal from your checking account, which can safeguard against lost coverage.

The best car insurance companies

  1. State Farm: State Farm is the best car insurance company with 17% market share and an average 6-month premium of $779.
  2. Geico: Geico is the second best car insurance company with 13% market share and an average 6-month premium of $580.
  3. Progressive: Progressive is the third best car insurance company with 11% market share and an average 6-month premium of $771.
  4. Allstate: Allstate is the fourth best car insurance company with 9% market share and an average 6-month premium of $947.
  5. USAA: USAA is the fifth best car insurance company with 6% market share and an average 6-month premium of $444.

The Zebra based its 2019 best auto insurance reviews on an exhaustive 8-year study of more than 400 companies, offering over 60 million car insurance rates, in all U.S. zip codes. They also relied on the analysis of J.D. Power and the customer complaint scores of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to compile a list of 2019’s most reliable, financially stable and affordable car insurance carriers. All that, coupled with the financial ratings of AM Best, will help you dive into the market’s strengths and weaknesses to find a company that has the best products, prices and services for you.

Company Customer satisfaction rating Claims service rating Settlement rating Financial Strength Average 6 month premium
State Farm 3/5 3/5 3/5 A++ $884
Geico 3/5 3/5 3/5 A++ $545
Progressive 3/5 3/5 3/5 A+ $896
Allstate 3/5 3/5 3/5 A+ $951
USAA 5/5 5/5 5/5 A++ $483
Amica 5/5 4/5 4/5 A++ $908
Esurance 3/5 3/5 2/5 A+ $744
Erie 5/5 5/5 5/5 A+ $744
NJM 5/5 5/5 4/5 A++ $642
American Family 4/5 3/5 3/5 A $775
Farmers 3/5 3/5 3/5 A $754
The Hartford 4/5 4/5 4/5 A $775

1. State Farm: Best for those who want an agent

Pros Cons
  • You get a dedicated agent
  • Wide range of discounts
  • Average customer service and claim handling ratings

According to The Zebra, State Farm insures about 17% of the automobiles in the United States. While State Farm policyholders often pay higher premiums than other car owners do, they enjoy the benefits of having a dedicated agent, something many insurance companies no longer provide. State Farm customers can choose among coverage packages that travelers often seek such as emergency roadside service, travel expense coverage and rental car coverage.

State Farm offers a full range of discounts, including:

  • Good student and student away at school discounts
  • Multi-vehicle and multi-policy discounts
  • Defensive driving course, good driving and safe driver discounts
  • Passive retrains and anti-theft system discounts

State Farm offers an array of financial products, including:

  • Home, condominium, renters and farm and ranch insurance
  • Universal life, whole life and term life insurance
  • Supplemental Medicare, individual medical and supplemental health insurance
  • Long- and short-term disability insurance
  • Personal and business insurance

2. Geico: Best for young drivers

Pros Cons
  • Geico is often the most affordable auto insurer
  • Good rates for those involved in at-fault accident
  • Good rates for teens
  • Online mobile app is highly rated
  • Customer service is average at best

Compared with State Farm, Geico offers substantially lower premiums, even for people with poor credit scores, and commands about 13% of the U.S. auto insurance market. Geico’s lower rates also apply to drivers with a history of at-fault accidents and young drivers, making it a great pick for folks on a tight budget. It’s one of the cheapest auto insurers.

On the discount front, Geico stacks up well against its competitors, offering:

  • Air bag, anti-lock brakes and anti-theft device discounts
  • Driver education and seat belt use discounts
  • Good student and good driver discounts
  • Multi-policy and multi-vehicle discounts
  • Federal employee and military discounts

And for consumers with other types of property to protect, Geico also offers:

  • ATV, boat and RV insurance
  • Homeowners, renters, condominium, landlord, mobile home and flood insurance
  • Life, pet, travel and umbrella insurance
  • Business, professional liability and malpractice insurance

3. Progressive: Best for higher risk drivers

Pros Cons
  • Great online comparison tools
  • Good range of discounts available
  • Customer service and claims handling are below average

Progressive charges rates virtually equal to State Farm’s but cannot compete with Geico’s lower premiums. Compared with Geico, Progressive charges much higher premiums for drivers with poor credit, young drivers and motorists with a history of at-fault accidents.

Progressive has many discount programs, some that reward conducting business online, along with:

  • Good student and teen driver discounts
  • Paperless documents, sign online and online quote discounts
  • Multi-policy and multi-vehicle discounts
  • Anti-theft device discounts
  • Defensive driver discounts
  • Homeowner discounts
  • Pay-in-full and automatic-pay discounts

For one-stop insurance shoppers, Progressive also offers:

  • Homeowners, renters, condominium and mobile home insurance
  • Motorcycle, RV, boat, classic car, snowmobile, Segway and golf cart insurance
  • Electronic device, identity theft and pet insurance
  • Health, life, travel and wedding insurance

4. Allstate: Best for those with poor credit

Pros Cons
  • Available everywhere
  • Good mobile app
  • Good online tools
  • Discounts for teen drivers
  • Customer service varies from region to region
  • Average scores in most categories

Allstate’s premium prices make its coverage prohibitive for some budget auto insurance shoppers. However, compared with Progressive, Allstate offers better prices for people with credit problems and for teenage drivers.

Allstate’s roadside assistance services provide emergency help such as fuel delivery, towing, jump starts and tire changes. The program offers two levels of support: three rescues per year for around $80 or five for $140. Price limits apply to all services and some services are not available in all areas. Allstate’s 30-minute on-time arrival guarantee offers discounts on your next year’s membership if a service provider is late.

Allstate also offers loads of discounts to help its customers lower their premium rates, including:

  • Good student and student away from home discounts
  • Multi-policy discounts
  • Anti-theft, anti-lock brake system and safe driving club discounts
  • Diver training, good diver and defensive driver discounts
  • New vehicle and green vehicle discounts
  • Early signing and paperless documents discounts

Allstate’s product line almost mirrors Progressive’s, with:

  • Boat, snowmobile and ATV insurance
  • Condominium, homeowners and renters insurance
  • Life and health insurance

5. USAA: Best for military families and veterans

Pros Cons
  • Excellent customer service and claims satisfaction ratings
  • Good online and mobile tools
  • They offer most financial services to military families
  • Limited to military families and veterans

USAA has one major drawback; it only offers its financial services to military members and their families. If you are a member of the military, you cannot beat USAA’s superior service and pricing. USAA’s premiums typically are lower than others among the best auto insurance reviews, even for divers with poor credit or a history of at-fault accidents, as well as teen and young adult drivers.

Even with such low premiums, USAA offers an impressive selection of discounts, including:

  • Driver training, defensive driver training and good student discounts
  • Multi-policy and multi-vehicle discounts
  • Family and length of membership discounts
  • New vehicle and vehicle in storage discounts

USAA offers most, if not all, the financial products a military family needs, including:

  • Homeowners, mobile home, condominium and renter’s insurance
  • Life, health, dental and vision insurance
  • Boat, RV, motorcycle and travel trailer insurance
  • CDs, credit cards, mortgages and auto loans
  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Mutual funds, bonds and IRAs
  • 529 college savings accounts and annuities

6. Amica: Best for overall customer service

Pros Cons
  • Ranked #1 in customer service
  • Available almost everywhere
  • Mobile app and online experience are rated poorly by consumers

Amica has excellent customer service and has consistently high scores in customer satisfaction. In fact, J.D. Power and Associates have ranked it number one in customer service for the past eleven years. Amica services every state except Hawaii, so chances are you can find insurance coverage with Amica. The only drawback is their digital services. They do have an app, but it’s rated poorly by consumers, according to J.D. Power.

Discounts include:

  • Loyalty discounts
  • Multi-line for multiple Amica policies (for example, you can get a discount if you insure your car and your home with Amica)
  • Claim free
  • Multiple autos
  • Paid-in-full
  • Defensive driver course
  • Student away at school
  • Homeownership

They also offer a variety of insurance products, including:

  • Homeowners
  • Life
  • Small business
  • Condo
  • Renters

7. Esurance: Best for educational online resources

Pros Cons
  • Online resources are excellent
  • Easy to compare coverage
  • Complaints about customer service

Esurance has the financial backing of Allstate, but according to J.D. Power, the company has mixed reviews for customer service. The online purchase experience was rated better than average because they make it very easy. According to the NAIC, Esurance received more complaints than average for the industry.

Where Esurance stands out most is in online educational resources. A brief look at the website will supply you with charts to calculate how much coverage you should have. If you’re really lost, you can talk with a coverage counselor for advice.

Services they offer include:

  • Rental car insurance
  • Emergency roadside assistance
  • Ride share coverage

They also offer a number of discounts:

  • Education
  • Time at residence
  • Credit score
  • Claim free
  • First policy (5% off)
  • Good student
  • On-time payments
  • Multiple policies
  • Drive sense app tracks how much and how you drive to qualify for discounts

8. Erie: Best overall

Pros Cons
  • Excellent customer satisfaction
  • Excellent claims satisfaction
  • Options for unique add-ons
  • Only serves twelve states
  • Doesn’t have a mobile app

Erie insurance offers excellent customer service, ranking at the top in both customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction by J.D. Power. What’s the catch? Erie serves just twelve states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. It is headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Their rates are below the national average as well, so if you live in a state that Erie serves, it’s definitely worth checking them out. They are one of the top rated companies for auto insurance.

They offer insurance coverage for:

  • Auto
  • Motorcycle
  • Renters
  • Boat
  • Condo
  • Life
  • Pets
  • Business

They have a number of discounts in addition to their reasonable rates, including:

  • Multiple policies
  • Safe driving record
  • Good student
  • Low usage
  • Rate lock

9. NJM Auto: Best for residents of New Jersey and Pennsylvania

Pros Cons
  • Affordable rates
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Very limited coverage area
  • Not a great mobile app

NJM offers outstanding customer service and satisfaction, as well as rates that are below the national average. J.D. Power awarded them for an “outstanding auto claims experience.” Complaints about NJM are typically lower than for other insurance companies. However, they only serve New Jersey and Pennsylvania. If you do live in these states, NJM is worth a look.

You’ll get many perks with your NJM auto insurance policy, including:

  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • No-fault protection
  • Collision
  • Liability
  • Personal injury protection

They also offer many policy discounts, including:

  • Good students discounts
  • Defensive driving discounts
  • Multiple vehicle discounts
  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Anti-theft features
  • Passive restraints

10. American Family: Best for multi-product discounts

Pros Cons
  • Good customer service
  • Good claims service
  • Wide variety of discounts
  • Doesn’t stand out in any one area

American Family Insurance offers a wide range of coverages plus many options for bundling, making American Family a great option for those insuring multiple products. They have very good customer service, although some customers complain that it takes too long to file a claim. American Family offers many discounts to cut down on your car insurance costs.

American Family discounts and features:

  • Multi-policy and multi-vehicle discounts
  • Accident free discounts
  • Defensive driving course discounts
  • Online policy management
  • Emergency roadside assistance
  • Low mileage
  • Loyalty discounts
  • Good student discounts
  • 24/7 support
  • Know Your Drive app that tracks how and where you drive. Customers who sign up for it get an automatic 5% discount.

11. Farmers: Best for comprehensive coverage

Pros Cons
  • Easy claims process
  • Easy online policy management
  • Many discount options
  • Customer service ratings are inconsistent

Customers of Farmers enjoy a wide range of coverage options and bundles. They have easy online policy management and are rated 5th overall for claims satisfaction, according to J.D. Power. Their customer service ratings vary, earning them only eighteenth place out of twenty four insurance providers.

They offer many options and add-ons to standard policies.

Discounts and features:

  • Alternative fuel discounts
  • Rideshare discounts
  • 24/7 support
  • Paperless policy discounts
  • Accident forgiveness
  • Mobile glass repair
  • Student discounts
  • Safe driver discounts
  • Towing and roadside assistance

12. The Hartford: Best for those 55 and over

Pros Cons
  • Excellent options and online resources for those 55 and over
  • Good customer service and claims satisfaction
  • Unique partnership with the AARP

The Hartford has above average customer service and claims satisfaction. They have a unique partnership with AARP. Members of the AARP receive discounts and a lifetime renewable policy guarantee. They also research topics like safety mobility and independence for people over 55. Their excellent customer service makes them a solid choice for younger drivers as well.

Discounts and features:

  • Defensive driver discounts
  • Driver training credit
  • Anti-theft device discount
  • Disappearing deductible
  • Home and auto bundle
  • Lifetime car repair assurance
  • Air bags discount
  • New car replacement

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance company?

Choosing car insurance is a subjective process. When shopping for car insurance, look for a company that is financially strong and capable of providing the best coverage, service and value in your price range.

Do car insurance companies offer military discounts?

Some car insurance companies offer military discounts and some do not. USAA caters exclusively to military personnel and their families, offering great car insurance rates and a host of financial products and services.

Which company offers the lowest auto insurance premiums for teenagers and young adults?

Of the major car insurance companies, Geico and USAA offer some of the lowest premium rates for young drivers.