Best car insurance companies for 2021

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Between choosing your auto insurance provider, coverage amounts and meeting state requirements, purchasing appropriate coverage for your vehicle is important and possibly overwhelming. To help you find the best car insurance company of 2021 for your needs, Bankrate’s insurance editorial team researched dozens of providers to help narrow down this year’s best options. We calculated a Bankrate score for each carrier by evaluating each company’s 2021 quoted rates as well as average financial strength and customer experience ratings from several trusted third-party sources.

Each driver has unique preferences to consider when choosing the best car insurance provider. Factors such as your vehicle type, ages of the drivers on your policy, availability of insurer discounts and a company’s financial strength and customer service ratings will all be part of the decision-making process.

Comparing the best car insurance companies

The following companies have been rated using Bankrate’s scoring system based on each featured company’s quoted 2021 premiums. Scores from industry-trusted sources such as AM Best, Standard and Poor’s (S&P), J.D. Power and others have also been weighed and used as a point of comparison. The rates included are pulled from Quadrant Information Services and analyzed across all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Car insurance company Bankrate rating Average annual premium for full coverage
USAA* 4.7 $1,255
Amica 4.6 $1,378
Geico 4.6 $1,405
State Farm 4.5 $1,457
Erie* 4.4 $1,233
Nationwide 4.2 $1,485
Progressive 4.1 $1,509
MetLife 3.8 $2,123
The Hartford 3.8 $2,270
Allstate 3.6 $1,921

*This provider may not be available in all states or to all drivers

When narrowing down the best car insurance companies, you may find it beneficial to consider more than just average annual premiums. Our Bankrate score takes into account how these companies stack up in the market according to customer satisfaction and ability to payout claims, but you should also take time to consider your own personal criteria for consumer experience.

Finding a provider that scores 4.5 and above may be your initial target focus, but you may find another company offers more of what you need even if it ranks lower on the list. Some providers will have more local agents, others may have special coverages for things like your vehicle or fuel type and yet another may have benefits specifically for your occupation. Ultimately, the best provider will likely be the one closest aligned with your car insurance needs.

Below, find out why each of these car insurance companies is recommended on our list and where each stands out in its policy options. We have tailored this information to the everyday driver, including a car insurance quotes comparison for each provider showcasing how average credit and common events related to your driving record may impact your rates.

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USAA

Why we recommend this carrier: Not many providers offer military- and veteran-specific coverage or discounts, but USAA builds its policies entirely around these service members’ needs.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 890/1,000 points
  • AM Best: A++ (Superior)

USAA writes car insurance policies across the nation for military personnel, veterans and their eligible family members, including the states with the highest number of military service members — Alaska and Hawaii. The company received the highest scores in both of the 2020 J.D. Power auto insurance studies, including for overall customer satisfaction and auto claims satisfaction. However, due to limited availability, USAA is technically rank-ineligible by J.D. Power.

USAA members receive benefits beyond generally low rates. With the company’s latest SafePilot program, members who use the designated app to track safe driving will see their earned discount — up to 30% — at the end of the policy term and be able to apply it during renewal. As part of USAA’s core focus, its policies can also take care of you on deployment and you can even receive discounts for garaging your vehicle on a military base. Your family can receive benefits as well and when your children or others meet eligibility criteria, they can receive up to a 10% discount on a new policy (as long as they were previously covered under USAA for at least three years and continue to meet criteria).

Though auto insurance losses are not always foreseeable, it can give you greater confidence to know that your insurer is financially sound. USAA ranks highly across several financial strength rating scales — an A++ (Superior) AM Best rating, AAA Moody’s rating, and AA S&P rating — which are all credits to its ability to make timely claim payouts. For its stability and more, USAA is a top provider to consider for those who qualify for eligibility.

Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
USAA $1,225 $1,423 $1,681 $1,277
National average $1,674 $2,029 $2,405 $1,865

Learn more: USAA Insurance review.

Amica

Why we recommend this provider: Amica has exceptional customer ratings and stands out for its dividend policies.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 907/1,000 points
  • AM Best: A+ (Superior)

Amica ranked number one for auto insurance providers in New England in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Satisfaction Survey. It also earned the second rank overall in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. Amica currently offers car insurance in a limited number of states.

Amica is one of the few providers that offer drivers an option to receive up to 20% back on their annual premiums through dividends. Dividend policy benefits include lowering your long-term policy cost as well as offering flexible dividend payment options, typically ranging from 5%-20% of your annual premium. Amica policyholders even have the option to apply the dividends to future years’ policy premiums.

Of Bankrate’s best car insurance companies, Amica has one of the best overall customer satisfaction scores based on the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study combined with its NAIC complaint index rating, where “1” represents the industry median and anything below “1” means fewer than average complaints.

Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Amica $1,378 $1,712 $1,818 $1,478
National average $1,674 $2,029 $2,405 $1,865

Learn more: Amica insurance review.

Geico

Why we recommend this provider: Geico earns the top Bankrate score, is available to drivers nationwide and provides one of the best mobile policy-management apps.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 871/1,000 points
  • AM Best: A++ (Superior)

Geico offers insurance in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., with offices set up in more than 10 major cities. For each of the 11 U.S. regions examined within the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, Geico ranks within the top five for overall customer satisfaction, which is one of the key reasons we include among the best car insurance providers. In the North Central, North West and Southwest regions, the company either has the highest score or ties with other high ranking best car insurance providers.

Geico has five categories of auto insurance discounts, each of which contain two or more discount offerings. The provider has excellent offerings for military members and federal employees as these discounts could save qualifying drivers more than 10% on premiums or individual coverages.

When it comes to mobile apps, Geico provides one of the best user experiences compared to competitors, based on app scores. The Geico app allows policyholders to access mobile ID cards, roadside assistance, vehicle service history, vehicle damage estimates, safety recall updates and more.

Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Geico $1,405 $1,681 $2,032 $1,505
National average $1,674 $2,029 $2,405 $1,865

Learn more: Geico insurance review.

State Farm

Why we recommend this provider: The provider is an excellent option for those seeking local agents to offer in-person insurance advice if desired.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 881/1,000 points
  • AM Best: A (Excellent)

State Farm retains the largest market share of private passenger car insurance writers. The insurance provider often ranks well on J.D. Power auto studies. For example, State Farm ranked particularly well as being the number one company in the Mid-Atlantic and New York regions in the 2020 Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study. AM Best gives it a A++ (Excellent) rating, signifying superior financial strength.

A mobile app allows drivers to manage their policies, bills and directly interact with agents, although policyholders who prefer in-person interactions may find even more comfort in knowing that State Farm has more than 19,000 agents across the nation. While the company has discounts available for good driving or being accident free, many will be pleased to find that the company maintains lower rates on average even after an accident, making it one of the best car insurance companies for drivers who are working to improve their driving record or habits. On average, drivers with State Farm will pay $354 less in rates than the national average following an accident.

Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
State Farm $1,457 $1,719 $1,834 $1,656
National average $1,674 $2,029 $2,405 $1,865

Learn more: State Farm insurance review.

Erie

Why we recommend this provider: For drivers in its covered states, Erie quotes the lowest rate on average and its Rate Lock feature could help prevent your premium from increasing over time, as long as your coverage stays the same.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 880/1,000 points
  • AM Best: A+ (Superior)

Insurance through Erie is only available in 12 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., but the provider’s ratings in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study rivals top ranking best car insurance companies. Young drivers who live in Erie’s covered states will be pleasantly surprised, as Erie not only offers the lowest annual premiums on average, but also the lowest premiums for 18-year-olds* (who typically pay more for auto insurance due to their limited driving experience). And regardless of age, if you do make a claim, Erie’s Rate Lock feature could help you maintain your same rate as long as no other changes are made to your policy — a huge benefit from a financial standpoint.

Beyond coverage for drivers, the provider offers protections for your pet if it is hurt in an accident. What about if your favorite shoes experience a loss from damage or theft while stored in your car? Erie also offers physical damage coverage for personal items like clothing and luggage up to $350.

Erie also offers a special auto insurance policy called Erie Auto Plus, which features a diminishing deductible and a $10,000 death benefit, among other advantages, for just an additional eight cents a day (about $30 annually).

Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Erie $1,233 $1,320 $1,453 $1,403
National average $1,674 $2,029 $2,405 $1,865

Learn more: Erie insurance review.

Nationwide

Why we recommend this provider: Insured drivers can annually check with a Nationwide insurance professional for free to make sure their coverage options still make sense.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 876/1,000 points
  • AM Best: A+ (Superior)

Nationwide ranks above average in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study and is located in 46 states and Washington, D.C. For drivers working to improve their skills on the road, Nationwide is a particularly appealing choice to consider among our best car insurance companies. Optional coverage is offered for accident forgiveness and personalized savings are possible with Nationwide’s SmartRide and SmartMiles program.

The SmartRide program can save you up to 40% the safer you drive, in addition to a 10% discount just for signing up. Similarly, the SmartMiles program tracks your driving distance and allows you flexible premiums based on your vehicle usage. Nationwide’s On Your Side Review is also offered free of charge and helps policyholders ensure their coverages are still sufficient for their needs.

Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Nationwide $1,485 $1,939 $2,226 $1,577
National average $1,674 $2,029 $2,405 $1,865

Learn more: Nationwide insurance review.

Progressive

Why we recommend this provider: Progressive’s Snapshot program allows drivers to save based on both safe driving habits and usage, where you can earn even more by driving less.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 856,1,000 points
  • AM Best: A+ (Superior)

Progressive holds 12.2% of the industry market share and has more than 38,000 agents located across the entire country in addition to Canada. The company offers several types of vehicle insurance such as for ATV, classic cars, motorcycles and RVs. In the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study.

Drivers can save up to $750 on average when signing up for an auto insurance policy through Progressive. The provider also offers multiple options for discounts, including unique ones such as its Snapshot program, which allows you to save an average of $145 a year the safer you drive and the less miles you use. Progressive even recently added an option for drivers currently insured with another company to test what their savings would be by switching to Progressive with Snapshot Road Test, making it one of the best car insurance companies to visualize savings before making the switch.

Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Progressive $1,509 $1,946 $2,067 $1,629
National average $1,674 $2,029 $2,405 $1,865

Learn more: Progressive insurance review.

MetLife

Why we recommend this carrier: MetLife is a great option for those who want to bundle both their home and auto policies as it offers both standard and more comprehensive options to protect your property, with policies that are buildable to individual needs.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 886/1,000 points
  • AM Best: A+ (Superior)

Among the top 15 insurers in market share, MetLife has provided auto and homeowners insurance since 1972. It is available in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., and in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, MetLife landed the fifth overall spot with a score of 886 out of 1,000 for customer satisfaction. In addition to its basic coverage, the company offers a good amount of coverage options including rental car coverage, gap insurance, major parts replacement and legal defense fees coverage. MetLife even has personal excess liability policies to cover expenses that are typically excluded from standard policies, such as costs for lawsuits and court proceedings regarding defamation of character or a false arrest.

On our list of best auto insurers, MetLife is likely the best for bundling your home and auto policies. The provider states that its customers save $906 on average by consolidating their bills through MetLife. Additionally, bundled packages can be built based on customer preference for coverage from standard insurance needs to fuller protection with blanket property limits and worldwide liability coverage. Customers can feel confident in MetLife as an insurer as it has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating and lower-than-average NAIC complaint index.

Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
MetLife $2,123 $2,612 $3,533 $2,566
National average $1,674 $2,029 $2,405 $1,865

Learn more: MetLife insurance review

The Hartford

Why we recommend this carrier: The Hartford is a top all-around insurer to consider in terms of customer satisfaction ranks, financial strength, mobile app ratings and digitally-optimized claims process.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 888/1,000 points
  • AM Best: A+ (Superior)

The Hartford offers car insurance under AARP in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., with physical locations for agents in 43. Anyone age 50 and above is eligible for full AARP membership, making The Hartford’s auto insurance available as well. The insurance provider earned the number four spot in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

Though it is the most expensive insurance provider among the best car insurance companies on Bankrate’s list, The Hartford also offers an Advantage Program that allows drivers to lock in their annual premium for a full year and get benefits like coverage for home services that they may be unable to perform following an accident, like snow removal. The Advantage Program features a disappearing deductible as long as your driving record remains clean. The Hartford covers a range of vehicle types, making it particularly appealing for motor enthusiasts.

Overall, The Hartford checks off all boxes for a well-rounded customer experience. Aside from its high J.D. Power customer satisfaction rank, it has a “Superior” AM Best rating, a below average amount of customer complaints and a combined 8 out of 10-star score for its mobile app (between Google Play and the App store). The ability for policyholders to handle claims digitally from start to finish make it an easy pick for drivers looking for a modernized insurance experience.

Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
The Hartford $2,270 $3,715 $5,010 $2,450
National average $1,674 $2,029 $2,405 $1,865

Learn more: The Hartford insurance review.

Allstate

Why we recommend this provider: Allstate’s rewards program allows drivers to cash in for lifestyle benefits simply by participating in its safe-driving program, Drivewise.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 876/1,000 points
  • AM Best: A+ (Superior)

Allstate offers coverage beyond basic auto insurance including sound systems, rideshare vehicles and will reimburse expenses for rental cars. Available in all U.S. states and Washington, D.C., Allstate ranks above average in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. For Florida, Allstate received the most customer satisfaction points for auto insurance among providers in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study. It offers a convenient mobile application which includes two key features: policy management and its Drivewise program.

Within the app, policyholders can access ID cards, reach roadside assistance, upload photos following a claim and even keep inventory of their personal property to make claim filing easier. Allstate’s in-app Drivewise program reviews your driving habits, offers driving insights and allows you to earn cash back every six months with safe driving.

Rewards for safe driving are redeemable through Allstate’s rewards program., making it an appealing option for drivers looking to save both on their policy and in their everyday lives. You can earn points by signing up for Drivewise, activating your rewards account and avoiding speeding and sudden braking.

Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Allstate $1,921 $2,227 $2,570 $2,312
National average $1,674 $2,029 $2,405 $1,865

Learn more: Allstate insurance review.

Why location matters when choosing car insurance

Auto insurance rates are based on several factors, and your specific city, state and ZIP code are among the most impactful. If you have moved recently, it may be a good idea to compare companies to ensure that your car insurance provider is still the best fit for your needs. This is especially true if you have moved across state lines, as auto insurance is not standardized across the country.

Adding a review of your auto insurance to your moving checklist is a good way to remember this important step. To view the best providers in your state, select it from the table below.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best insurance company for a financed vehicle?

Depending on which state you live in, you will likely have set minimum requirements for liability insurance, otherwise known as minimum coverage car insurance. However, if you are financing or leasing a vehicle, you are typically required to carry both collision and comprehensive coverage or “full” coverage, in addition to your minimum liability. This is to cover your vehicle in instances or loss or damage and also to shield the lender from financial responsibility.

The best insurer for your financed car will likely be one that offers your desired coverage at affordable rates, but you may also consider ones with handy add-ons such as original equipment coverage or new car replacement insurance.

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?

Teenagers and young adults are generally more expensive to insure than more experienced drivers, since they do not have as much experience behind the wheel. However, most companies offer discounts to help offset the cost of insuring a teenager or young adult driver. However, factors such as the gender of the teen driver, the type of vehicle they drive and if they have had any accidents or tickets can impact how expensive they are to insure.

Who offers the cheapest auto insurance?

Car insurance premiums are determined by individual driver variables, so the “cheapest” is relative to each driver. Seeking out a company that offers discounts for which you qualify, purchasing the proper amount of coverage for your needs and comparing rates on an annual basis can help you keep your premiums reasonable.

What types of coverages do you need?

Every driver has a unique set of circumstances, meaning that determining the types and amounts of coverage that you need is an individualized process. Factors such as your budget, the age of your vehicle, your financial stability and your comfort with risk all impact the coverage decision that you make. If you are unsure of what you need in the auto insurance buying process, it may be helpful to consult with an agent.

Do I need car insurance if I’m not driving my car?

Coverage that is contractually mandated by your lender or coverage required by law is not optional. While this varies from state to state, some jurisdictions allow an individual to bind a seasonal policy or car storage policy. This tends to be a safer bet as property damage such as vandalism, fire, falling objects and theft may still occur.

-Ben Bingham, Benson & Bingham

If my car gets totaled will my insurance cover the cost to replace it?

Coverage in each state varies. Under Nevada law, if a determination is made that you are liable for an accident and your insurance is a liability only or third party only policy, your insurance will not cover your vehicle repairs or replacement cost. A liability only policy covers property repairs or replacement that you cause to others. Alternatively, if a driver carries a comprehensive automobile policy, your insurance will cover the cost to repair or replace your vehicle in the event of an accident (irrespective of fault), natural disaster, or theft.

-Ben Bingham, Benson & Bingham

How important is car maintenance to stay safe on the road?

Preventative car maintenance can seem like a pricey chore, but failing to properly take care of your car is even more expensive and dangerous. Being proactive can prevent bad things from happening like flat tires, leaks and dead batteries. Plus, it can help you avoid hazardous situations like getting stranded on the side of a busy highway, or worse, accidents. With healthy tires, windshield wipers, fluids, spark plugs, etc., you can be confident your car will perform and get you where you need to go safely regardless of weather.

-Ed Petersen, CEO of Wrench

What items should I always keep in my car to stay safe on the road?

Some of the most important items to keep in your car (that just might save your life!) include jumper cables, a life hammer, a lug wrench and a tire pressure gauge.

  • Jumper cables: Whether you left your lights on overnight or your battery is old, jumper cables can get your car started with the help of another vehicle. Not to mention, you can help other drivers out if they need a hand too.
  • Life hammer: Hopefully you never need to use it, but a life hammer can break your windows in the event of an emergency like a flood, fire or trapped dog or child.
  • Lug wrench: A lug wrench is an absolute necessity for changing a tire. Whether or not you know how to properly use it, chances are someone driving by does and can help out.
  • Tire pressure gauge: Having a tire pressure gauge allows you to check the health of your tires without a visit to a mechanic. Checking your tire pressure often can also give you added peace of mind on the road.

-Ed Petersen, CEO of Wrench

Looking to save money on auto insurance?
Looking to save money on auto insurance?

Looking to save money on auto insurance?

Compare rates & save

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Credit: Rates were calculated based on the following insurance credit tiers assigned to our drivers: “poor, average, good (base), and excellent.” Insurance credit tiers factor in your official credit scores but are not dependent on that variable alone. The following states do not allow credit to be a factor in determining auto insurance rates: CA, HI, MA

Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.

Bankrate Scores

Bankrate scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry standard ratings for financial strength (AM Best, S&P, Moody’s) and customer experience (J.D. Power, NAIC), in addition to average quoted rates from Quadrant Information Services. The J.D. Power studies utilized include the 2020 Auto Insurance Study and the 2020 Auto Claims Study. Our Bankrate editorial team’s extensive research and analysis provided a secondary assessment of each insurer’s online and mobile resources and policy management options, which also contributed to overall ratings.