The Best Car Insurance Companies for 2020

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

11 min read

Finding the best car insurance company for your needs and budget can be difficult. To help you select the right car insurance provider, we did some research and identified the best companies on the market.

When searching for car insurance, there are a lot of factors you need to consider. Every provider is different, and the best auto insurance option for you might not be the best option for your neighbor.

To rate the best car insurance companies, we looked at factors such as customer satisfaction, claims satisfaction, claims settlement and customer complaint scores. For the most accurate and reliable auto insurance reviews, we turned to industry experts, J.D. Power, AM Best, Consumer Reports and The National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

The best car insurance companies

Company Bankrate Rating J.D. Power Shopping Study Overall Satisfaction Score AM Best Financial Strength Rating Consumer Reports Reader Score NAIC Market Share %
State Farm 3.93/5 3/5 A++ 78 9.27%
Geico 3.96/5 3/5 A++ 78 6.51%
Progressive 3.76/5 3/5 A+ 75 5.54%
Allstate 3.75/5 3/5 A+ 72 4.95%
USAA 4.92/5 4/5 A++ 92 3.32%
Farmers 3.39/5 3/5 A- 72 2.92%
The Hartford 3.76/5 3/5 A+ 74 1.79%
American Family 3.61/5 4/5 A 76 1.63%
Erie 4.42/5 5/5 A+ 86 1.06%
Amica 4.60/5 4/5 A+ 89 <1%
NJM 4.85/5 N/A A+ 90 <1%
Esurance 3.60/5 4/5 A+ 70 Allstate owned

We looked closely at the individual rankings for each provider and scored them based on their ratings across the board. Certain insurance companies, like State Farm, were rated highly by multiple research companies. Our rankings account for the average ratings of these companies by multiple sources.

State Farm: Best for those who want an agent

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

According to the NAIC, State Farm insures about 9.27 percent of the cars 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.

Price

Car insurance premiums are highly individualized, but you can expect to get a decent rate with State Farm. In J.D. Power’s study, State Farm received three out of five stars for price, which is considered to be average. That means you might not get the best price, but you won’t likely be charged much higher than other providers either.

Discounts

In addition to standard discounts, State Farm offers up to 30 percent savings using the Drive Safe and Save app.

Driver type

State Farm is a great insurance company for most types of drivers. However, we recommend State Farm for people who prefer to work with an agent for their insurance needs. State Farm has 19,000 agents across the country, so you’ll find a representative near you.

Geico: Best for young drivers

Pros Cons
  • Often the most affordable car insurer
  • Good rates for those involved in at-fault accident
  • Good rates for teens
  • Highly-rated mobile app
  • Available nationwide
  • Customer service is average at best

Geico offers substantially lower premiums, even for people with poor credit scores, and commands about 6.51 percent 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.

Price

Most customers choose Geico because it is known for offering the lowest ratings in the auto insurance industry. One of the reasons why Geico ranked highly on our list is because of its affordable premiums.

Discounts

In terms of discounts, Geico stacks up well against its competitors. In addition to typical discounts, drivers can save money by always wearing their seatbelt, and being a federal employee or member of the military.

Driver type

We recommend Geico for young drivers who are looking for a no-frills policy at an affordable price. It’s also a good option for newly licensed drivers, who tend to be subjected to higher insurance premiums than older drivers.

Progressive: Best for higher-risk drivers

Pros Cons
  • Great online comparison tools
  • Good range of discounts available
  • Good mobile tools and app
  • Available nationwide
  • 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.

Price

Progressive’s prices are about average compared to competitors.

Discounts

Progressive has many discount programs. Most notably, drivers who use the Progressive Snapshot app can save an average of $145 on their insurance premium.

Driver type

Progressive is a good option for high-risk drivers. Using the Name Your Price tool and Snapshot app can help you save money on your premium if you commit to becoming a safer driver.

Allstate: Best for those with poor credit

Pros Cons
  • Available everywhere
  • Good mobile app
  • Good online tools
  • Discounts for teen drivers
  • Available nationwide
  • 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.

Price

Allstate doesn’t necessarily offer the cheapest rates around, but it’s on par with State Farm and Progressive. Allstate’s discounts can help make the prices more affordable.

Discounts

Allstate also offers loads of discounts to help its customers lower their premium rates. Drivers can save up to $200 on their premium when they use the Allstate Drivewise app, including up to 3 percent in discounts just for signing up. There are also discounts for customers who drive an energy efficient vehicle.

Driver type

We recommend Allstate to drivers with a poor credit score. You can still expect to pay higher-than-average premiums, but Allstate offers lower prices than many other insurance providers.

USAA: Best for military families and veterans

Pros Cons
  • Excellent customer service and claims satisfaction ratings
  • Good online and mobile tools
  • Financial services for military families
  • Available nationwide
  • 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 car insurance reviews, even for drivers with poor credit or a history of at-fault accidents and teen drivers.

Price

It’s hard to beat USAA’s prices. The company is known for offering some of the best rates in the industry—even lower than Geico, depending on your situation.

Discounts

Even with such low premiums, USAA offers an impressive selection of discounts, including family and membership loyalty discounts.

Driver type

USAA is going to be the best option for anyone who qualifies.

Farmers: Best for comprehensive coverage

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

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

Price

Farmers earned three out of five stars from J.D. Power for price, which is about average.

Additional features

Farmers doesn’t offer many additional features, however, it does have a mobile app that allows you to manage your policy wherever you are.

Discounts

Farmers offers the typical range of discounts.

Driver type

Farmers is a great option for drivers who want comprehensive coverage or who want to customize their auto insurance policy.

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
  • More customer complaints than average

The Hartford has above-average customer service and claims satisfaction for drivers in 43 states. It has a unique partnership with AARP. Members of the AARP receive discounts and a lifetime renewable policy guarantee. The Hartford also researches topics like safety mobility and independence for people over 50. The excellent customer service makes it a solid choice for younger drivers as well.

Price

Rates from The Hartford are about average, according to J.D Power’s study.

Discounts

The Hartford’s discounts offer savings for the standard things as well as insuring a new car. The company also has a disappearing deductible program for drivers that remain claims-free.

Driver type

The Hartford is a great option for people who are 50 or older and want to save money on car insurance.

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
  • Only available in 17 states

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. It has excellent 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.

Price

American Family’s prices are slightly higher than most, but you’re paying for a higher level of coverage and unique coverage options such as rideshare insurance.

Discounts

Drivers who sign up to use the Know Your Drive app can get an automatic 5 percent discount on their policy.

Driver type

American Family is ideal for people who want to bundle their insurance policies to save money.

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.

Price

Erie’s rates are below the national average, so if you live in a state that Erie serves, it’s worth checking them out.

Discounts

Erie offers a number of discounts in addition to its reasonable rates. Erie also has a rate lock program that won’t increase your premium after a claim.

Driver type

Erie was ranked eighth on our list of the best car insurance providers, but it’s still our top pick overall. If you live in a state where Erie is available, we recommend it over everyone else.

Amica: Best for overall customer service

Pros Cons
  • Ranked #1 in customer service
  • Available in 49 states
  • 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 the digital services. Amica Mutual does have an app, but it’s rated poorly by consumers, according to J.D. Power.

Price

In J.D. Power’s study, Amica earned four out of five stars for price, which is considered to be better than most.

Discounts

Amica offers lower premiums for drivers who own a home and students who are away in college.

Driver type

We recommend Amica to drivers who prioritize customer service over price or extensive policy offerings.

NJM Auto: Best for residents of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut

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

NJM offers outstanding customer service and satisfaction and 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, NJM only serves New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. If you do live in these states, NJM is worth a look.

Price

NJM offers great prices to customers in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut area.

Discounts

NJM offers the typical range of discounts.

Driver type

Because of the limited coverage area, we only recommend NJM to drivers that live in a covered state.

Esurance: Best for educational online resources

Pros Cons
  • Excellent online resources
  • 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 Esurance makes it easy. According to the NAIC, Esurance received more complaints than average for the industry. The company offers insurance coverage to drivers in 43 states.

Price

Esurance’s prices are better than most, based on J.D. Power’s study.

Discounts

Esurance offers the DriveSense program to help people save money. Drivers can also get a 5 percent discount if they use Esurance for their first insurance policy.

Driver type

We recommend Esurance for drivers who want access to online resources. Whether you’re purchasing car insurance for the first time or are switching providers, Esurance has a robust library of resources to help you find the right policy.

Comparing small and large car insurance companies

The table at the top of this page includes information about the largest car insurance companies based on their market share. When shopping for car insurance, there are a few advantages to choosing a large carrier. Companies like State Farm, with almost 10 percent of the market share, have more credibility because they have so many members. You could also assume that companies with a higher market share offer the best prices because so many people use their service.

On the other hand, there are perks to going with a smaller company. Smaller insurance providers tend to offer a more personalized experience and better customer service.

If you’re most concerned about price, know that smaller providers do tend to charge higher rates. Larger providers will generally offer cheaper rates and discounts that help you save even more money.

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 most affordable car insurance rate for you 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 recommend 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.

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.

Who offers the cheapest auto insurance?

Though we found that NJM Insurance offered the cheapest average six-month premium, it’s important to remember that this rate may not apply to you. Car insurance premiums are determined by a number of factors, which include your age, your location, your driving experience and history along with a number of other determinants.

Methodology

Bankrate Rating

Bankrate’s ratings are calculated using weighted averages of scores on several important qualities of auto insurance carriers, including price, customer satisfaction, financial strength and more. We considered ratings from the following during this process:

  • J.D. Power: We used J.D. Power & Associates to gauge customer satisfaction. This source rates providers based on how customers rated their overall satisfaction, policy offerings, price, billing process and policy information, interaction and claims.
  • AM Best: AM Best is an independent organization that rates an insurance provider’s financial strength and ability to pay claims.
  • Consumer Reports: Consumer Reports is another organization that rates providers and how well they can assist customers.
  • S&P Global: This organization also analyzes how easily a provider can meet its financial commitments. It is usually a tool for investors to evaluate a company’s credit rating.
  • Fitch Ratings: Fitch’s ratings also evaluate a company’s credit rating.
  • Moody’s: Moody’s also evaluates a company’s credit rating.

These ratings are intended to help you easily compare auto insurance providers. We will continue to update them as we review more carriers and additional third-party information is made available.