Best car insurance companies for September 2021

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When shopping for car insurance, the company you choose can significantly impact how satisfied you are with your auto insurance policy. Bankrate’s proprietary research method revealed that the most highly-ranked car insurance company is USAA. USAA is only available to military-affiliated customers; if you do not qualify for USAA, Amica or Geico could be a good option.

To help you find the best car insurance company of 2021 for your needs, Bankrate’s insurance editorial team calculated a Bankrate Score for each carrier. Scores were calculated by analyzing several insurance companies’ average annual rates (obtained from Quadrant Information Services), and average financial strength, discount options, and customer experience ratings from several trusted third-party sources.

Key takeaways
  • USAA is both the best overall car insurance company based on our research and the cheapest car insurance company on our list, with an average annual full coverage premium of $1,225. Note: USAA policies are only available to the military and qualifying family members.
  • Amica could be a great choice if you don’t qualify for USAA but are searching for excellent customer service and low average rates, with an average full coverage premium of $1,378 per year.
  • Clearcover is a newcomer to the auto insurance industry, but its technology-based quotes and policies could be especially attractive to those looking to handle their car insurance digitally.

Comparing the best car insurance companies

Bankrate rated the following car insurance companies using our proprietary 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 have also been weighed and used as a point of comparison.

Based on our research, we gave each company a Bankrate Score on a scale of 0.0 to 5.0. The higher a company’s Bankrate Score, the more highly that company ranked in each scoring category. Ultimately, the best car insurance company will likely be the one most closely aligned with your specific needs. Remember that car insurance rates are personalized, and you may pay more or less than the average rates listed below. Additionally, some states do not allow insurance companies to use your credit-based insurance score to calculate your premium. Getting quotes from several companies could help you find the right fit for your needs.

Car insurance company Bankrate Score 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
The Hartford 3.8 $2,270
Allstate 3.6 $1,921

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USAA

Why this company made our list: USAA could be a great option for military service members and their families.

USAA is a major insurer that writes car insurance policies across the U.S. for military personnel and veterans and their eligible family members. Throughout every region of the U.S., USAA earns the highest customer satisfaction scores, meaning most policyholders praise its exceptional customer service and claims processing. USAA members receive many benefits, including the company’s latest SafePilot program, where members can use the designated app for safe driving rewards.

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’s customer service is widely considered some of the best in the industry.

Amica has earned the highest customer satisfaction score among auto insurers in New England from J.D. Power for more than 20 consecutive years, which offers peace of mind to those looking for a customer-centric business model. The company currently provides auto insurance in all states except Hawaii. 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.

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’s digital tools offer a user-friendly online experience for customers on the go.

Geico offers auto insurance in all U.S. states and Washington, D.C., with regional offices in more than 10 major cities. The major insurer has excellent offerings for military members and government employees, as these additional discounts could save qualifying policyholders more than 10% on auto insurance premiums or individual coverage types. Geico’s mobile app is highly functional, allowing customers to access mobile ID cards, roadside assistance, vehicle service history, vehicle damage estimates and safety recall updates.

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’s extensive agent network could help you find a local professional to help guide your insurance choices.

State Farm is the largest private passenger auto insurance company by market share in the U.S. The company has discount offerings for good driving or being accident-free and offers lower average rates to drivers after an accident. 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.

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’s Rate Lock feature could help you keep your premiums consistent.

Erie is a regional insurer that’s only available in 12 states and Washington, D.C., but it could be a great option for young drivers, with some of the lowest average car insurance premiums for 18-year-olds, according to our research. Regardless of age, if you make a claim, Erie’s Rate Lock feature could help you maintain the same auto insurance rate as long as no other changes are made to your policy — a huge benefit from a financial standpoint. The company also receives high J.D. Power customer service scores in the regions where Erie is offered.

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’s two usage-based programs could help you tailor your premium to your driving habits.

Nationwide could be a particularly appealing choice for drivers looking to prove their safe driving habits should earn them a lower auto insurance rate. The company offers two usage-based driving programs: SmartRide and SmartMiles. The SmartRide program can earn you up to a 40% safe driver discount. You can earn a 10% policy discount just for signing up. Similarly, the SmartMiles program tracks your driving distance and allows you flexible premiums based on your vehicle usage.

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’s online and digital tools could save you time and money.

Progressive’s online and digital tools are potentially unmatched in the industry. The company allows you to get quotes from several carriers on its website, potentially saving you both time and money as you shop for competitive rates. You could also use the Name Your Price® tool, which allows you to see coverage options based on your car insurance budget. Additionally, you can access ID cards, pay bills and submit claims on Progressive’s mobile app. Its Snapshot telematics program can also potentially save you money if you practice safe driving habits.

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

The Hartford

Why this company made our list: The Hartford could help AARP members with unique perks.

The Hartford offers car insurance under AARP in all states and Washington, D.C., with agents located throughout most major metropolitan areas. Though it has the most expensive annual rates out of the auto insurance providers among the best car insurance companies’ 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: Allstate’s unique rewards program could help you earn points toward hotels, gift cards and more.

Allstate’s Drivewise and Milewise programs can reward you with more than just personalized rates. By signing up, you could take advantage of the company’s points-based rewards system. By driving safely, you earn points — 10 trips with no hard brakes or rapid accelerations is worth 200 points, for example — that are redeemable for travel, gift cards, magazines, merchandise, local offers and more. Allstate is also bolstered by high customer satisfaction ratings and strong financial strength scores.

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’s technology-driven car insurance is reinventing the insurance landscape.

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 enables customers to handle their insurance through a highly-rated mobile app. Policies are underwritten by Fortegra and are currently only available in 16 states. If you live in one of these states, getting a quote could take just 60 seconds.

Learn more: Clearcover Insurance review

Car insurance coverage types and discount options

The auto insurance companies we reviewed offer the following standard coverage types, such as:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage pays for the injuries that you cause to others in an at-fault accident.
  • Property damage liability coverage pays for the damage you cause to another’s vehicle or other property (like a fence, pole or building) in an at-fault accident.
  • Collision coverage is part of “full coverage” and pays for damages to your vehicle caused by a collision. If you collide with another car, a tree, a pole, a building or a pedestrian, your collision coverage is the part of the policy that will pay for the damage to your vehicle.
  • Comprehensive coverage is also part of full coverage and pays for damage to your car caused by non-collision losses like theft, vandalism and storm damage. Comprehensive also pays for damages caused by hitting an animal.

However, there are more types of car insurance coverage available to you that may be worth discussing with your insurer.

Finally, most major car insurance providers offer the following discounts that might help you lower your premium:

  • Multi-policy, sometimes called multi-line or bundling, could save you money if you insure your auto with the same company that you have other insurance products with, like your home or umbrella insurance.
  • Multi-car discount could save you money if you insure more than one car with the same company.
  • Claims-free is commonly offered if you do not have any losses on your driving record for three to five years.
  • Good student discount is usually available for full-time students under the age of 25 who have a certain GPA or letter-grade average.
  • Telematics programs are becoming more common. These programs track your driving patterns with a mobile app or plug-in device. The safer you drive, the more you might save.

Keep in mind that insurance regulations vary by state. This means that some coverage types and discounts may not be available where you live.

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 recently moved, 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 Bankrate’s picks for the best car insurance in your state, select it from the table below.

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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 car 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.

If you are looking for a place to start your search, Bankrate’s study on cheap full coverage car insurance found that USAA, Auto-Owners, Amica and Geico offer affordable full coverage car insurance options.

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. Auto insurance companies charge higher premiums to compensate for the higher risk of accidents that teen drivers have. 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 you need is an individualized process. Factors such as your budget, vehicle age, financial stability and comfort with risk all impact the coverage decision 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 you have on your record, the higher your premium will be.

Ask the industry experts

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 coverage that meets 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 and customer experience in addition to analysis of quoted annual premiums from Quadrant Information Services, spanning all 50 states and Washington, D.C. We know it is important for drivers to be confident their financial protection covers the likeliest risks, is priced competitively and is provided by a financially-sound company with a history of positive customer support.

To determine how well the best car insurance companies satisfy these priorities, third-party agency ratings from J.D. Power, AM Best, S&P, NAIC, and Moodys had the most impact on the companies’ Bankrate Scores. As price is a common consideration for drivers, we analyzed quoted premiums based on 40-year-old male and female drivers with a 2019 Toyota Camry. This profile, assessed across more than 35,000 ZIP codes in the U.S., provided a basis on which drivers may compare each provider.

While coverage options, insurer availability, affordability and customer experience are often the top priorities, Bankrate also analyzed each insurer’s online and mobile resources for policy management and claims handling. Insurance is rapidly evolving to keep pace with our digital world, so these aspects also carried weight in determining Bankrate Scores.

J.D. Power scores

J.D. Power is a global market research company that has decades of experience within the 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.