Best car insurance companies in 2021

View Stock/Getty Images
Bankrate Logo

Why you can trust Bankrate

While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . This content is powered by HomeInsurance.com (NPN: 8781838). For more information, please see our

When shopping for car insurance, the company that you choose can have a significant impact on how satisfied you are with your policy. Everyone has different needs, which means that the best company could be different depending on what you are looking for. Customers looking for local agents might choose State Farm or Allstate, while those looking for robust online tools might prefer Geico or Progressive.

To help you find the best car insurance company of 2021 for your needs, Bankrate’s insurance editorial team researched dozens of insurance providers to narrow down this year’s best options. We calculated a Bankrate Score for each carrier by analyzing the insurance companies’ average rates, which we obtained from Quadrant Information Services, as well as average financial strength and customer experience ratings from several trusted third-party sources.

Bankrate Insight
  • Using Bankrate’s proprietary scoring system, our top three picks for best car insurance company are USAA, Amica and Geico.
  • The best car insurance companies for 2021 offer wide coverage options, fantastic discounts, convenient resources, financial reliability and top customer satisfaction scores.
  • If you are looking for local agents, you might want to consider trying State Farm or Allstate – who have their own agents – or independent agents who represent multiple insurers.

Table of contents

Comparing the best car insurance companies

The following car insurance 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

When narrowing down the best car insurance companies, our Bankrate Score can help you understand how these companies stack up against the rest of the market. Finding an insurance company that scores 4.5 and above may be your initial target focus, but you may find another company offers more of what you need, such as a car insurance rate directly in your price range, even if it ranks lower on the list. Ultimately, the best car insurance company will likely be the one most closely aligned with your specific needs.

Below, we explain why each of these car insurance companies is included 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 that showcases how your credit history and driving record may impact your rates. Please keep in mind that some states do not allow insurance companies to use your credit rating to calculate your premium. Look at your state’s insurance regulations to see if credit might be a factor in your car insurance rate.

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

Looking to save money on auto insurance?

Compare rates & save

USAA

Why this company made our list: Not many auto insurers offer military- and veteran-specific coverage or discounts, but USAA builds its policies entirely around these service members’ needs. Throughout every region of the U.S., USAA earns the highest customer satisfaction scores among its dedicated customer base, meaning most policyholders praise its exceptional customer service and claims processing. It is important to note, however, that USAA is only available to active military, veterans and their immediate families.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 890/1,000 points (Not officially ranked due to eligibility restrictions)
  • AM Best: A++ (Superior) financial strength rating

USAA writes car insurance policies across the U.S. for military personnel and veterans, as well as their eligible family members. USAA members receive many benefits, including the company’s latest SafePilot program, where members can use the designated app for safe driving rewards. 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.

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
USAA $1,225 $1,463 $1,742 $1,277
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: USAA Insurance review

Amica

Why this company made our list: Amica has earned the highest customer satisfaction of auto insurers in New England for more than 20 consecutive years, which offers peace of mind to those looking for a customer-centric business model. The benefit is you can get a great experience without compromising the appeal of an affordable premium. Amica recognizes its customers in ways such as paying out dividends each year, giving you money back where possible.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 907/1,000 points (#2)
  • AM Best: A+ (Superior) financial strength rating

Amica currently offers auto insurance in a limited number of states, but if you live in its service area, you could benefit from excellent discounts and reliable claims processing. Amica is one of the few carriers that offer drivers an option to receive up to 20% back on their annual premiums through dividends. This dividend policy benefit can lower your long-term policy cost while offering flexible dividend payment options that typically range from 5%-20% of your annual premium. Amica policyholders even have the option to apply the dividends to future years’ policy premiums.

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Amica $1,378 $1,689 $1,665 $1,478
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: Amica Insurance review

Geico

Why this company made our list: Geico is a trusted, household-name auto insurer that provides one of the best mobile policy-management apps in the market. Geico received top honors in a customer respect survey for its pleasant online experience, in which policyholders commented on its ease-of-use and trustworthy security standards for their personal information.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 871/1,000 points (#12)
  • AM Best: A++ (Superior) financial strength rating

Geico offers auto insurance in all 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., with regional offices in more than 10 major cities. The insurance company has excellent offerings for military members and government employees, as these discounts could save qualifying drivers more than 10% on auto insurance 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.

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Geico $1,405 $1,734 $1,971 $1,505
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

State Farm

Why this company made our list: State Farm is an excellent option for those seeking in-person insurance advice and wanting to get to know their insurance agent. With over 19,000 agents throughout the U.S., you can feel confident in talking through your insurance needs with an easily accessible local agent who knows the area you live in.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 881/1,000 points (#6)
  • AM Best: A (Excellent) financial strength rating

State Farm retains the largest private passenger auto insurance market share in the U.S.  A mobile app allows drivers to manage their policies, bills and directly interact with their local agent. While State Farm has discounts available for good driving or being accident-free, the company maintains lower average rates 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 insured by State Farm pay $654 less annually than the national average following an accident.

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
State Farm $1,457 $1,590 $1,657 $1,656
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Erie

Why this company made our list: Erie auto insurance provides exceptional customer experience and an opportunity for their policyholders to plan their car insurance budget in advance. Customers in its covered areas are generally offered low rates and a Rate Lock feature, which helps prevent their premium from increasing over time, typically as long as no major policy changes are made.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 880/1,000 points (#7)
  • AM Best: A+ (Superior) financial strength rating

Erie is only available in 12 states and Washington, D.C., but is a great option for young drivers with some of the lowest car insurance premiums for 18-year-olds. 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. The auto insurer offers protections for your pet if it is hurt in a covered accident and offers physical damage coverage for personal items like clothing and luggage up to $350. Additionally, Erie offers a special add-on to your auto insurance policy called Erie Auto Plus, which features a diminishing deductible and a $10,000 death benefit, among other advantages, for $35 or less annually.

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Erie $1,233 $1,283 $1,398 $1,403
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: Erie Insurance review

Nationwide

Why this company made our list: Nationwide offers several easy ways for drivers to save, including two usage-based insurance discount programs that can offer substantial savings. For drivers who like to closely manage their policies, Nationwide offers a free annual review with an insurance professional to make sure your coverage options still work for your ever-changing needs.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 876/1,000 points (#9)
  • AM Best: A+ (Superior) financial strength rating

Nationwide auto insurance is available in 46 states and Washington, D.C. For drivers working to improve their skills on the road, it is a particularly appealing choice to consider with optional coverage for accident forgiveness. There are also personalized savings with Nationwide’s usage-based SmartRide and SmartMiles discount programs. The SmartRide program can save you up to 40% based on how safely you drive. You can earn 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 a complimentary service offered to policyholders, helping to ensure their coverages are still sufficient for their needs.

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Nationwide $1,485 $1,734 $1,745 $1,577
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

Progressive

Why this company made our list: Progressive is a pioneer in helping drive innovation in the auto insurance industry. Since 1997, customers looking for a modern experience have had the ability to purchase its policies online. Continuing to digitalize the insurance experience, Progressive offers a price-planning tool for coverage and a mobile app for accessible ID cards, bill payment and claims submission.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 856/1,000 points (#21)
  • AM Best: A+ (Superior) financial strength rating

Progressive offers several types of vehicle insurance, including coverage for sedans, SUVs, minivans, pickups, ATVs, classic cars, motorcycles and RVs. The insurer also offers multiple discounts, including unique ones such as its Snapshot usage-based insurance discount program, which allows you to save based on how safely you drive and how many miles you drive. 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.

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Progressive $1,509 $1,826 $2,231 $1,629
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: Progressive Insurance review

MetLife

Why this company made our list: MetLife auto insurance (recently acquired by Farmers Insurance Group) is a great option for those who want to bundle both their home and auto policies, as it offers significant multi-policy savings with policies that are buildable to individual needs. MetLife also has a trusted repair network to help ensure quality service for your vehicle. Claims can be easily submitted through its app or discussed with an agent at any time with 24/7 customer service.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 886/1,000 points (#5)
  • AM Best: A+ (Superior) financial strength rating

Among the top 15 insurers in U.S. market share, MetLife provides auto and homeowners insurance in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.. 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 auto policies, such as costs for lawsuits and court proceedings regarding defamation of character or a false arrest. On our list of auto insurers, MetLife is one of the best for bundling your home and auto policies. The company states that its customers save $906 on average by consolidating their bills through MetLife.

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
MetLife $2,123 $2,832 $3,539 $2,566
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: MetLife Insurance review

The Hartford

Why this company made our list: The Hartford is a top auto insurer for older drivers wanting additional membership benefits. Its partnership with the AARP Auto Insurance Program offers unique perks, like house cleaning if you become injured in a covered accident. The company has strong customer satisfaction ranks, financial strength, mobile app ratings and a digitally-optimized claims process to make filing simple.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 888/1,000 points (#4)
  • AM Best: A+ (Superior) financial strength rating

The Hartford offers car insurance under AARP in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., with agents located throughout most major metropolitan areas. Though it is the most expensive auto insurance provider among the best car insurance companies on Bankrate’s list, The Hartford’s AARP Auto Insurance Program allows drivers access to benefits like coverage for in-home services that they may be unable to perform following an accident, such as snow removal. The program also features a disappearing deductible as long as your driving record remains clean.

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
The Hartford $2,270 $3,617 $4,555 $2,450
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: The Hartford Insurance review

Allstate

Why this company made our list: As one of the largest property and casualty writers in the U.S., Allstate is a trusted auto insurer with 90 years of experience and strong consumer rankings. The company continues to innovate by providing a mobile app that streamlines the user experience, including direct access to local agents and policy documents.

Third-party ratings

  • J.D. Power: 876/1,000 points (#8)
  • AM Best: A+ (Superior) financial strength rating

Allstate offers coverage beyond basic auto insurance including new car replacement and insurance for policyholders who use their personal vehicle for rideshare services. Available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., Allstate offers a convenient mobile application which includes two key features: policy management and its Drivewise usage-based insurance discount program. 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 reap significant savings on their auto insurance costs.

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Allstate $1,921 $2,519 $2,752 $2,312
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: Allstate Insurance review

Clearcover

Why this company made our list: Clearcover is a relatively new auto insurance company that focuses on technology to provide low-cost policies and a hands-on digital experience. Although not yet available all in states, Clearcover’s unique approach to auto insurance makes it worth considering for drivers looking to handle their insurance needs 100% digitally.

Third-party ratings:

  • J.D. Power: Not rated
  • AM Best: A- (Excellent) financial strength rating

Clearcover is disrupting the auto insurance industry by putting technology in the spotlight. The carrier uses digital tools to its advantage, revamping how car insurance is quoted, purchased and serviced. This business model allows Clearcover to sell highly affordable policies and gives customers the ability to handle their insurance through a highly-rated mobile app. Policies are underwritten by Fortegra and currently only available in 16 states. If you are eligible for coverage, getting a quote is fast and simple with Clearcover’s 60-second Coverage Wizard that can help you decide what coverage is right for you. Clearcover’s app uses machine-learning to confirm your coverage, and some claims are paid in a matter of minutes.

Learn more: Clearcover Insurance review

Why location matters when choosing car insurance

Auto insurance rates are based on several factors, and your 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 comprehensive review of your auto insurance coverage as part of your moving checklist is a good way to remember this important step. To view the best car insurance in your state, select it from the table below.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best insurance company for a financed vehicle?

If you finance or lease a vehicle, your lender will generally require you to insure your vehicle with both collision coverage and comprehensive coverage, also known as “full” coverage. The best insurer for a financed vehicle will be different for everyone, but you will likely want to consider one that offers your desired coverage at affordable rates. You may also want to consider companies with numerous coverage options, such as original equipment coverage, gap insurance and even accident forgiveness.

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

Young drivers are generally more expensive to insure than adult drivers, since teens do not have as much experience behind the wheel. To compensate for the higher risk of accidents that teen drivers have, auto insurance companies charge higher premiums. However, many car insurance companies also offer discounts to help offset the cost of insuring a teenager or young adult driver. Common discounts for young drivers include good student discounts, telematics discounts and driver training discounts.

What types of coverage do you need?

Every driver has a unique set of circumstances, meaning that determining the types and amounts of auto insurance 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, you might want to consult with an insurance agent.

Will an accident affect car insurance rates?

During the underwriting process, auto insurance companies often run motor vehicle reports (MVR) and a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report to determine rates for drivers. These reports will typically include information regarding your prior accidents, traffic violations, license status, claims history and other pertinent details. Car insurance companies often use these reports to gauge how risky a driver will be to insure. Generally, the more driving incidents that you have on your record, the higher your premium will be.

Ask the industry experts

Do I need car insurance if I am 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

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

How and when should parents introduce children to insurance as a part of financial literacy?

We asked Adjunct Business Professor John Colletti of North Central College in Naperville, IL.

“As families discuss a child’s registration to driver education class, include a talk explaining monetary considerations and important terms to improve financial literacy [to] help in grasping concepts [of] vehicle ownership […] Given the significant costs of typical vehicle and home insurance products I recommend instructional driving institutions encompass the relevant terms as part of student driving courses. Additionally, state driver licensing examinations could easily add basic questions to written tests to ensure new drivers understand applicable and relevant terms […] Other frequently used terms include: collision, uninsured motorist, co-pays and waivers. Just like my students, you may need to do a little homework to prepare for your talk with your family members.”

The insurance industry is closely tied to crucial economics principles Professor Colletti teaches his economics students:

“Let’s consider a prospective purchaser of auto insurance, Bob. He is very well aware of his own driving behavior and history. When seeking a quote for auto insurance he knows the number of tickets received and accidents he caused in recent years. The prospective insurance company will request Bob’s driving record from state authorities to reduce asymmetric information. Gaining access to Bob’s data reduces chances of adverse selection. The firm may opt to deny coverage should past records indicate he is a high risk for future accidents. […] A deductible represents the amount of funds the insured must pay in the future should an accident claim be made to his insurance firm. A higher deductible is an attempt to mitigate moral hazard. Bob understands poor driving resulting in damage or injury claims will result in a substantial payment from him as part of the overall settlement with the victim of his actions.”

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 prohibit the use of credit information as a rating factor in determining auto insurance rates: California, Hawaii, Washington and Massachusetts.

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.

J.D. Power scores

J.D. Power is a global market research company that has decades of experience within automotive, financial and health industries, among others. It conducts annual surveys on customer satisfaction across these sectors to help provide insight into the qualities that matter most between consumers and businesses. Its auto insurance studies take into account customer satisfaction across several lines, including customer service, claims processing, policy offerings and premiums, which make its scores a useful qualitative tool in assessing providers.

Written by
Cate Deventer
Insurance Editor
Cate Deventer is a writer, editor and insurance professional. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in English with a concentration in professional and technical writing from Indiana University East. She began writing for Bankrate in January 2021 and has nearly a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a licensed insurance agent. Cate has worked with over a dozen insurance companies and is experienced with auto, home, flood, umbrella and life insurance.
Edited by
Insurance Editor
Reviewed by
Director of corporate communications, Insurance Information Institute