The Best Car Insurance Companies for 2020

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

9 min read

Finding the best car insurance company can feel like a daunting challenge, especially if you’re a first-time car owner. But purchasing just the right policy is easier than you think. When shopping for auto insurance, ask friends and family for recommendations and search for a provider with a sound financial rating and good customer service track record. Finally, look for a carrier that can provide the best combination of coverages and rates.

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

The insurance market has a seemingly endless number of car insurance companies, but we’ve narrowed the list for you. Auto insurance doesn’t come in a one-size-fits-all package. Factors such as your age, credit rating and budget can determine the insurance provider that best fits your needs.

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
Nationwide NA 862/1000 A+ NA 2.60%

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.

Best overall car insurance company: Amica Mutual

Amica Mutual has a long history of providing great coverage and customer service. The provider ranked #1 in J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Study in the New England region and #1 in the nation in Power’s 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. Amica offers all of the usual coverages, like personal injury protection and uninsured and underinsured motorist, along with great addons, including roadside assistance and glass coverage. We particularly like Amica’s Platinum Choice Auto package, which features a bundle of benefits, including accident forgiveness, no-deductible full glass coverage and identity fraud monitoring.

Pros

Cons

Types of Coverage

  • Glass
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Roadside assistance
  • Premier package

Discounts

  • Good student
  • Loyalty
  • Multi-line – up to 30%
  • Multi-auto – up to 25%

Best for young drivers: Erie

Erie makes hitting the road a little easier for young drivers, with loads of benefits that can also put their 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 your fur baby sustains an injury while riding in your automobile and up to $75 for locksmith services, if you carry collision or comprehensive coverage. Parents with unmarried kids under 21 who haven’t left the nest can save up to 20% by adding their young drivers to their existing auto policy.

Pros

Cons

Types of Coverage

Discounts

Best for higher risk drivers: Progressive

Progressive makes shopping easier for high risk drivers with its Name Your Price online tool. Get an online quote, enter the rate you’d like to pay for a car policy and Progressive will show you the coverage options available in your price range. High risk drivers can redeem their driving record with Progressive’s usage-based Snapshot program. Using a mobile app, Snapshot monitors your driving habits and rewards you with discounts when you follow the rules of the road.

Pros

Cons

  • Below average claims handling
  • Not ranked in the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study
  • Rates

Types of Coverage

Discounts

Best for those with poor credit: Nationwide

Nationwide offers a full range of standard coverages, along with great optional coverages, including accident forgiveness and vanishing deductible. Nationwide’s highly rated mobile app enables you to file a claim, pay your bill and contact roadside assistance from your Android or Apple device. Conscientious drivers can enroll in Nationwide’s user-based SmartRide program to save up to 40% for maintaining safe driving habits.

Pros

Cons

Types of Coverage

Discounts

  • Accident free
  • Affinity member
  • Defensive driving course
  • Safe driver

Best for cheap coverage: Geico

In our studies of top car insurance companies, Geico consistently offers the lowest rates for most drivers. As a Berkshire Hathaway company, Geico has earned the top A.M. Best financial rating and the second highest market share, 6.51%, in the United States. Founded in 1936, Geico originally offered insurance exclusively to federal employees and military members. Today, Geico provides insurance products from coast to coast and employs over 40,000 people. Besides auto insurance, Geico also offers a full portfolio of business and property insurance products.

Pros

Cons

  • No replacement cost coverage option
  • Limited local agents
  • Few optional coverages
  • No usage-based rate program

Types of Coverage

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist

Discounts

  • Air bag – 25% driver side, 40% full front seat
  • Anti-theft system – 25%
  • Good driver 25%
  • Multi-vehicle – 25%

Best for military families and veterans: USAA

Active military members, veterans and their qualified family members can’t find a better auto insurance company than USAA. The provider tailors its car insurance coverage to fit the needs of military members, with reduced rates for low annual mileage and up to a 60% discount for vehicles stored during deployment. For qualified members, USAA offers a full portfolio of financial products, including checking and savings accounts, investment products and retirement accounts.

Pros

  • Excellent customer service and claims satisfaction ratings
  • Good online and mobile tools
  • Financial services for military families
  • Available nationwide

Cons

Types of Coverage

Discounts

Best for comprehensive coverage: Farmers

Farmers Insurance offers all the standard auto insurance you need, including collision, comprehensive, liability, medical payments and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages. But Farmer’s pulls ahead of the pack with its optional coverages, offering customized equipment, new car replacement, original equipment manufacturer and spare parts coverage, to name a few.

Pros

Cons

  • Lower than average customer satisfaction ratings
  • Lower than average claims satisfaction ratings
  • No loyalty discounts

Types of Coverage

Discounts

  • Alternative fuel
  • Good student
  • Multi-line
  • Safety devices

Best for drivers 55 and over: The Hartford

Available in all states and Washington, D.C., The Hartford offers a full line of auto coverages through a unique partnership with AARP. The Hartford offers one-stop shopping for active seniors, providing insurance for ATVs, boats, classic cars, golf carts, RVs and snowmobiles. 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 you don’t file a claim.

Pros

Cons

Type of Coverages

  • Car towing
  • Full glass
  • Gap insurance
  • Personal umbrella

Discounts

  • Anti-theft devices
  • Bundled policies – up to 5% on auto insurance
  • Defensive driver course
  • Vehicle fuel type

Best for those who want an agent: State Farm

State Farm sold its first automobile insurance policy in 1922. In its nearly century-long history, the provider has grown to offer products through 19,000 agents who service more than 80 million policies. State Farm offers a full line of automobile, health, life and property insurances, as well as banking and investment products. But what sets State Farm apart is its traditional approach to offering local, dedicated agents to serve your needs.

Pros

  • 19,000 agents
  • Available nationwide
  • High claims satisfaction rating
  • Wide range of discounts

Cons

Types of Coverage

  • Car rental and travel expense
  • Emergency road service
  • Rideshare
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist

Discounts

  • Accident free
  • Anti-theft device
  • Driver training
  • Passive restraint

Best for customer service: Allstate

Launched as a division of Sears, Roebuck and Co. in 1931, Allstate has provided quality customer service for countless American motorists. In the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Auto Insurance Study, Allstate ranked among the top auto insurance providers in most U.S. regions and earned top billing in the Florida region. Allstate continues to operate local agencies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., with dedicated agents to help you file a claim or purchase additional coverages.

Pros

  • Available everywhere
  • Good mobile app
  • Good online tools
  • Discounts for teen drivers

Cons

Types of Coverage

  • Personal umbrella
  • Roadside assistance
  • Sound system
  • Personal umbrella

Discounts

  • Anti-theft device
  • Automatic payment
  • New car
  • Smart student

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?

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.