Car insurance isn’t always cheap, but it offers critical protection for a sizable investment, covering the vehicle in the event of an accident and protecting the insured from liability as a driver.
When shopping for car insurance, it’s essential to choose a provider carefully. The best companies have stable finances, positive customer reviews and comprehensive coverage options at a fair price.
The best car insurance companies
The market offers a seemingly endless number of car insurance companies, but we’ve narrowed down the list. Auto insurance is not one-size-fits-all. Factors such as age, credit rating and budget help determine the best insurance provider for each individual.
|Company||Bankrate Rating||J.D. Power 2020 Claims Satisfaction Score||AM Best Financial Strength Rating||Average Full Coverage Yearly Premium|
We looked closely at the insurance providers and scored them based on 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.
Best overall: Amica Mutual
Amica Mutual has a long history of providing great coverage and customer service. The provider ranked #1 in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study in New England and as a top provider in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.
In addition to standard auto coverages, like personal injury protection and uninsured and underinsured motorist, Amica also offers great add-ons like roadside assistance and glass coverage. The company’s Platinum Choice Auto is a great top-of-the-line package, featuring a bundle of benefits, including accident forgiveness, no-deductible full glass coverage and identity fraud monitoring.
- Ranked a top provider in auto claims satisfaction study
- Ranked #1 for overall customer satisfaction in New England
- No-cost lock replacement for lost keys
Amica is best for drivers who care about good coverage and great customer service and are willing to pay a premium for it. The provider’s policies are not the cheapest, but it ranks highly in nearly every other category.
- Defensive driver discount program through SafetyServe
- Legacy discount available for people under 30 whose parents have had an Amica auto policy for at least five years.
- Loyalty discount if you’ve been insured with Amica for at least two years
Best coverage options: Progressive
Progressive is our top pick for drivers who want the best coverage options. The company’s Name Your Price tool makes getting an online quote in a certain price range simple. High-risk drivers can redeem their driving record with Progressive’s usage-based Snapshot program. Using a mobile app, Snapshot monitors driving habits and rewards drivers with discounts when they drive safely.
Overall, Progressive ranked slightly below average in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, however, the company received nearly an average rating in multiple regions based on J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study.
- Gap insurance available
- Custom equipment and parts coverage
- Online rate comparison tool
- Average to below-average satisfaction with claims
- Expensive rates compared to other providers
Progressive is best suited to drivers who care about coverage options and customizing their policy through numerous discounts and add-on options.
- The Name Your Price tool offers drivers coverage at whatever they can afford
- The Progressive Snapshot program can save safe drivers an average of $145 a year
- Drivers who stayed with their previous auto insurance provider for an extended amount of time without coverage lapses qualify for a discount when they switch to Progressive
Best cheap car insurance: Geico
In our studies of cheap car insurance companies, Geico consistently offers the lowest rates for many drivers. As a Berkshire Hathaway company, Geico has earned the top AM Best financial rating and second highest market share, 13.8%, in the United States, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). The company earns average ratings in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study and was rated the best car insurance company in three regions in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study.
Founded in 1936, Geico originally offered insurance exclusively to federal employees and military members and still offers those groups discounts today. It also offers discounts for seniors, students, multiple policies and more.
- Very affordable rates
- Automobile equipment discounts
- Highly rated mobile app
- No replacement cost coverage option
- Limited local agents
- Few optional coverages
Geico car insurance is for the driver who is shopping for a low rate. It’s also best for drivers who want a minimal amount of coverage without fancy or expensive extras.
- Federal employees qualify for the Eagle discount of up to 8% off the total premium.
- Active military service members can save up to 15%.
- Military service members on emergency deployment can get a discount of up to 25% on their car insurance.
Best for customer service: Allstate
In the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study, Allstate ranked among the top auto insurance providers in most U.S. regions and earned the top spot in the Florida region. Launched as a division of Sears, Roebuck and Co. in 1931, Allstate is known for dependable customer service. The insurance provider is also great for drivers who prefer face-to-face interaction, with agencies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., where drivers can go in person to file a claim or purchase additional coverages.
- Available everywhere (with local offices in all states)
- Good mobile app and online tools
- Discounts for teen drivers
- Below average claims satisfaction rating
- Only offers coverage in six-month terms
- Slightly higher than average rates
Allstate is a great insurance provider for any driver. However, it’s best for drivers who care about good customer service and efficient claims handling. Allstate is also a great option for drivers who often move around since it has agents in every state.
- With the Allstate Drivewise program, safe drivers can save up to 25% on their car insurance, plus 10% for signing up.
- If you sign a policy with Allstate at least one week before the policy becomes effective, you qualify for a discount.
- Drivers can save money on their insurance if their car is a current model year or one year prior and they’re the first owner.
Best if you want a local agent: State Farm
State Farm offers a comprehensive line of auto, health, life and property insurance policies and banking and investment products. It is best known for providing local, dedicated agents across the country. Drivers can expect a robust range of coverage options and the ability to bundle with almost any other type of insurance needed.
State Farm earned high ratings in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study and ranked as the best car insurance provider in New York and the Mid-Atlantic regions in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study.
- Available nationwide with numerous local agencies
- High claims satisfaction rating
- Wide range of discounts and options
- Average to above-average rates
- No military or senior discounts
- Fewer specialized coverage options
State Farm is one of the best car insurance companies for drivers who prefer to work with an agent rather than manage their policy online. The company’s 19,000 agents nationwide make it easy to find an agent almost anywhere.
- Drivers who enroll in State Farm’s Drive Safe and Save program can save between 5-50% on their insurance.
- Young drivers who enroll in the Steer Clear program qualify for a discount of up to 15% on their car insurance premium.
- Drivers who are insured by State Farm for at least three years and have been accident-free can earn a discount.
Best for military families and veterans: USAA
Active military members, veterans and qualified family members won’t find a better auto insurance company than USAA. The provider tailors its car insurance coverage to military members’ needs, with reduced rates for low annual mileage and up to a 60% discount for vehicles stored during deployment.
USAA has exceptional ratings and is consistently ranked as one of the country’s best insurance companies. In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, USAA receives top scores. It’s also one of the more comprehensive carriers. For qualified members, USAA also offers discounts on things like shopping and travel and a full portfolio of financial products, including checking and savings accounts, investment products and retirement accounts.
- Excellent customer service and claims satisfaction ratings
- Good online and mobile tools
- Available nationwide
- Limited to military families and veterans
- Must be a member to receive a quote
- Recent billing-related regulation violations
Naturally, USAA is best for drivers who qualify for its service—either active military members, immediate family members or veterans. It’s also a good choice for drivers who want top-notch customer service and a personalized customer experience.
- Drivers whose parents had a USAA car insurance policy can save up to 10% on their policy.
- Military members who garage their vehicle on base can save up to 15% on comprehensive coverage.
- Drivers who don’t use their car frequently can qualify for savings with the Annual Mileage discount.
Best for young drivers: Erie Insurance
Erie auto insurance offers great benefits for young drivers that will also put parents’ minds at ease. All Erie policies include roadside assistance and rental car coverage and pay up to $350 for personal items damaged in an auto accident. Standard policies also pay up to $500 per pet if they sustain an injury while riding in the insured’s car and up to $75 for locksmith services for those who carry collision or comprehensive coverage. Parents with unmarried kids under 21 can save up to 20% by adding them to their existing auto policy.
Erie ranks above average with J.D. Power for the North Central region in the 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Study.
- High ranking in J.D. Power 2020 Auto Claims Satisfaction
- Standard policies include roadside assistance and car rental
- Good rates for young drivers
- Only available in 11 states and Washington, D.C.
- No good student discounts
- No legacy discounts
Erie Insurance is a good option for young or newly licensed drivers. It is one of the few car insurance companies that offers a discount for drivers under 21 who live with their parents.
- First accident forgiveness after three years
- The Erie Rate Lock program guarantees that you’ll pay the same rate until you make a change to your policy.
- Diminishing deductible program lowers your deductible by $100 for every consecutive claims-free year, up to $500.
Best for drivers 50 and over: The Hartford
The Hartford offers one-stop shopping for active seniors, providing insurance for ATVs, boats, classic cars, golf carts, RVs and snowmobiles. Available in all states and Washington, D.C., the insurance provider offers a full line of auto coverages through a unique partnership with AARP.
The Hartford’s Advantage Plus auto plan comes packed with benefits, including hybrid vehicle discounts, accident forgiveness, emergency expense coverage and a disappearing collision deductible if no claim is filed. The Hartford is one of the top-rated providers in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.
- ATV, boat, classic car and RV coverages
- Excellent customer service and claims satisfaction
- Great for seniors via a partnership with AARP
- Certain coverage options are only available to AARP members
- Poor online tools
- Higher than average rates
The Hartford is tailored to drivers 50 and older and who are AARP members.
- Airbag or anti-theft installation
- Multi-vehicle and multi-policy
- Discounts for AARP members
Best for those with poor credit: Nationwide
Nationwide auto insurance rates are lower than average for people with poor credit. The insurance provider offers a full range of standard coverages and great optional coverages, including accident forgiveness and vanishing deductible.
Nationwide’s highly rated mobile app allows users to file a claim, pay their bill and contact roadside assistance from their smart device. Conscientious drivers can enroll in Nationwide’s user-based SmartRide program to save up to 40% for maintaining safe driving habits.
Nationwide was ranked #2 in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Survey for providing a satisfying purchase experience, while it ranked below average on overall customer satisfaction for the J.D. Power 2020 Auto Insurance Study.
- On Your Side Review annual insurance assessment
- Lower rates for bad credit
- SmartRide usage-based program
- Below average overall customer satisfaction
- Higher rates for teens
- No military or senior discount
Nationwide’s affordable rates make it an attractive option for drivers with poor credit.
- Accident-free discount
- Affinity member discount
- Good student discount
Best for comprehensive coverage: Farmers
Farmers Insurance offers all the standard auto insurance anyone needs, including collision, comprehensive, liability, medical payments and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages. But Farmers’ optional coverages stand out, including customized equipment, new car replacement, original equipment manufacturer and spare parts coverage.
Farmers claims satisfaction is just above average in J.D. Power’s 2020 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, while overall customer satisfaction is slightly below average according to J.D. Power’s 2020 Auto Insurance Study.
- Easy claims process
- Hybrid/alternative fuel discounts
- Lower than average customer satisfaction ratings
- Slightly higher rates
- No loyalty discounts
Farmers stands out for offering comprehensive coverage options for drivers. If you’re looking for a wide range of coverages and ways to customize your policy, we recommend checking out Farmers.
- Shared family car discount (not available in CA) available to households with a single driver up to age 20 and more drivers than vehicles in the household.
- Good students under age 25 are eligible for savings on their insurance premiums.
- Drivers over 55 who complete a state-approved driver safety program are eligible for a discount in most states.
Things to consider when looking for the best car insurance company for you
Avoid mistakes and get the most affordable car insurance rate by following the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ shopping tips:
- Call or visit your state’s insurance department website to find out what type of insurance your state requires. Most states require at least liability insurance with minimum coverage levels for bodily injury and property damage.
- Read auto insurance carrier reviews and ask friends and family members to recommend companies and agents.
- Request quotes from several companies and carefully compare the results. Pay attention to details like deductibles, payment options, discounts and included and excluded services.
- Narrow down your options and then check with your state’s insurance department to ensure the company you choose is properly licensed.
- 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?
- Always pay your premium on time. Otherwise, your coverage could lapse. Some insurers offer direct withdrawal from your checking account, which can help 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 financially strong company 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?
Geico and USAA offer some of the lowest premium rates for young drivers among major insurance carriers.
Who offers the cheapest auto insurance?
Car insurance premiums are determined by several factors, including age, location, driving experience and history, along with a number of other determinants. These are currently some of the cheaper car insurance companies.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 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 cleaning 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 sample drivers own a 2018 Honda Accord, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.
These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes may be different.
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.