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How to compare car insurance companies

Comparing car insurance providers can easily become an overwhelming task. There are more than 500 car insurance providers in the U.S., each with their own policies, prices and rewards programs.

The best place to start is by looking at provider ratings through websites such as J.D. Power to find the best car insurance companies in your area. From there, choose a handful of top-rated providers to get quotes from. Make sure each quote has the same coverage so that you can easily compare prices and find the cheapest insurance policy that meets your needs.

Remember to ask about discounts; most major auto insurance providers offer them. You might be able to get a discount for bundling policies, practicing safe driving and even getting good grades in school.

Read on to browse our list of car insurance companies for 2019 and learn more about the characteristics that set them apart.

Our list of car insurance companies

21st Century Insurance Overview

21st Century Insurance is an insurance provider that offers auto insurance policies in California. The company has been operated by Farmers Insurance since 2009, so customers of 21st Century have the advantage of being insured by a top-rated auto insurance provider. 21st Century gives drivers multiple ways to save money on their insurance, and customers save an average of $357, according to the provider’s website.

21st Century is one of the best insurance companies in the California region according to J.D. Power, with an overall customer satisfaction rating of 4 stars. The provider gets an outstanding A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Standout feature:

  • Seniors who insure their vehicles through 21st Century can benefit from a mature driver discount when they complete an approved safety training course. There are no limits to the number of discounts that can be applied to one policy

AAA Overview

The American Automobile Association, also known as AAA, is infamous for its roadside assistance program, coming to the rescue 24/7 if you break down while driving. But AAA also offers full auto insurance coverage. These services are offered through a network of regional clubs, which operate a total of more than 1,000 offices across the United States and Canada. Policies may differ between clubs, but it’s easy to find your local coverage options by entering your ZIP code on the AAA website.

The Better Business Bureau gives AAA Insurance an A+ rating. Customers love AAA’s extensive auto insurance discounts for existing members and, of course, the provider’s world-famous roadside assistance.

Standout feature:

  • AAA SUPERNUMBER® is a 24-hour call center that operates 365 days of the year. Members can call anytime, from anywhere and receive emergency roadside assistance.

AARP Overview

AARP, or American Association of Retired Persons, is a volunteer-based organization that provides social services and assistance to individuals over the age of 50. AARP members can benefit from auto insurance discounts through insurance provider The Hartford. While The Hartford has already been covered on this list of car insurance companies, you should note that AARP takes pride in offering rewards to senior drivers who are safer and more experienced than younger drivers.

J.D. Power’s Auto Claims Satisfaction Study rates AARP’s insurance provider The Hartford as above average, with a 3-star overall rating but an extra star on some steps of the claims process. The AARP as an overall organization gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Standout feature:

  • AARP offers Lifetime Renewability to its members, meaning that policies will be renewed every year as long as a few standard requirements are met. If you’re a driver over the age of 50, it’s important to find an insurance company that provides this type of specialized coverage to get the best rates.

Allied Insurance Overview

Allied Insurance is a century-old auto insurance provider that merged with Nationwide in the late 1990s. Although Allied operated on its own for several years after the merger, it was announced in 2014 that the brand would be moving to the Nationwide name. Allied customers now purchase auto insurance directly from Nationwide and can reap the full benefits of being insured by one of the biggest insurance providers in the U.S.

Allied, now operating as Nationwide, gets a 3-star rating from J.D. Power and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Standout feature:

  • When Allied became part of Nationwide, it joined a well-diversified company that gets excellent A+ ratings in financial stability from both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s.

Allstate Overview

Allstate makes it easy to bundle multiple types of insurance and save, offering auto, home, renters and life insurance coverages, making it a top contender on the list of car insurance companies.

The Better Business Bureau gives Allstate an A+ rating, while its customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power are slightly below average. Out of the list of car insurance companies, customers say that Allstate is a good choice because of its vast network of insurance agents and thousands of auto repair shops.

American Family Insurance Overview

American Family Insurance makes the list of the biggest car insurance companies in the country, although you can also purchase home, life, health, travel and identity theft insurance through this provider. The company puts an emphasis on convenience, providing smartphone apps with features like easy bill paying and a Teen Safe Driver program.

The Better Business Bureau gives American Family an A+ rating, even though the insurance provider isn’t BBB accredited. It gets an average 3 stars from J.D. Power.

Standout feature:

  • American Family’s Dreams Restored Program takes the stress out of finding a repair shop by connecting you with partner shops in your area. Bills are sent directly to the insurance company, so you never have to see them. The best part? The work gets a lifetime workmanship guarantee from American Family.

Ameriprise Overview

Ameriprise is a financial services company that offers a wide variety of services, including financial planning, investments and insurance. Car insurance is offered under its Ameriprise Home & Auto Insurance division. Their full range of coverage options include everything you’ll need to stay protected while driving.

The Better Business Bureau gives Ameriprise an A+ rating. The firm gets excellent financial stability ratings from AM Best, so you can feel confident insuring your car long-term.

Standout feature:

  • Ameriprise offers a Glass Repair Deductible Waiver at no cost, meaning that if your windshield is damaged and can be repaired instead of having to be replaced entirely, you won’t have to pay a deductible.

Amica Mutual Insurance Overview

Amica offers many different types of auto, home and life insurance. While many of its extensive car insurance coverage options are affordable, this is a great provider to choose if you’re looking for a more robust policy at a competitive price. Amica’s Platinum Choice Auto® package includes accident forgiveness, full glass coverage, identity theft monitoring and high-limit rental coverage of $5,000 total and no daily limit.

Amica scores among the best on J.D. Power’s list of car insurance companies, receiving an overall 5-star score. The provider’s best customer ratings come from its claims servicing and settlement processes. Amica is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and gets an A+ rating.

Standout feature:

  • Amica offers auto insurance dividend policies, which essentially means that between five and 20% of your annual premium can be returned to you. Note that these policies cost more up front, but will save you money in the long term.

CURE Auto Insurance Overview

For New Jersey and Pennsylvania drivers, the Citizens United Reciprocal Exchange, or CURE, offers auto insurance based purely on your driving record. This insurer operates on a not-for-profit business model, reducing costs for customers. CURE states that its mission is to insure good drivers who have been discriminated against by other insurers based on education, occupation or homeownership.

CURE holds an A rating with the Better Business Bureau, but it is not accredited by the agency.

Standout feature:

  • CURE offers 24-hour roadside assistance with essential services like fuel delivery, battery jump start, locksmith services and flat tire changes.

Direct Auto Insurance Overview

Direct Auto Insurance is a provider whose main advertised product is car insurance. Offering many different types of coverage to choose from, Direct Auto is a convenient option with more than 400 local offices.

One drawback is that Direct Auto is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and gets a less-than-stellar C+ rating. This is due to allegations that Direct Auto may have discriminated against individuals with physical and mental disabilities by asking prohibited questions on its forms. It’s worth noting that a settlement was reached in 2017 and Direct Auto removed the offending questions from its forms.

Standout feature:

  • Direct Auto offers affordable options to drivers regardless of their insurance history. If you’ve been dropped by your insurance provider and are worried about the cost of finding a new one, you might want to get a quote from Direct Auto.

Erie Insurance Overview

Based out of Erie, Pennsylvania, Erie Insurance has over 12,000 agents nationwide and a multitude of insurance options. Their auto insurance covers cars, motorcycles, ATVs, motorhomes and many other types of vehicles. And with ERIE Rate Lock®, your annual rates will never go up unless you make a change to your policy, such as adding a driver or vehicle.

Erie gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Customers appreciate the provider’s low cost and multiple offered discounts. However, they noted that Erie will raise rates or even drop customers if they are found to be at fault in an accident.

Standout feature:

  • Do you frequently drive with your pet? Erie will cover vet bills if your four-legged friend is injured in an accident, up to $500 per pet and $1,000 per accident.

Esurance Overview

Esurance is a full-range insurance provider, but one of their major products is auto insurance. The company claims that customers who switch from Geico save $412 on average and even has a Switch & Save® discount. This is in addition to many other discounts in three main categories: policy-based discounts, good driver discounts and car safety feature discounts.

J.D. Power gives Esurance an average 3-star rating overall, but the provider ranks among the best car insurance companies for rental experience, scoring a perfect 5 stars. Esurance has an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Standout feature:

  • Use Coverage Counselor® to find out how much insurance coverage you need based on where you live, the size of your financial assets and the drivers and vehicles you’d like to insure.

Farm Bureau Overview

Farm Bureau Insurance is an auto insurance provider operated by the American Farm Bureau Federation, an agricultural lobbying organization. The company prides itself on offering no-frills insurance to provide customers with the best available rate for the coverage they need.

Farm Bureau gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Customers love the convenience of local agents and appreciate the wide range of vehicles that can be covered, even farm equipment such as tractors, ATVs and trailers.

Standout feature:

  • Farm Bureau offers SuperCheck®, an annual sit-down meeting with your insurance agent to evaluate your coverage. They’ll even review your insurance policies that have been purchased from other providers. This is a great way to get expert advice and fill hidden gaps in coverage.

Farmers Insurance Group Overview

As the seventh largest auto insurer in the U.S., Farmers offers comprehensive insurance policies with a long list of unique features that not all providers can match. For example, Farmers will insure you if you drive for ridesharing companies like Uber or Lyft. They’ll also cover customized features, such as speakers and rims, that might get damaged in an accident. And if your car does end up damaged, they’ll source any parts that need replacing straight from the original factory.

Farmers gets some of the best auto insurance reviews from J.D. Power, with an overall score of 4 stars. The Better Business Bureau rates it A+.

Standout feature:

  • If you’ve recently purchased a new car, take a look at Farmers’ New Car Replacement Coverage®. This optional coverage will replace your totaled car with a brand new model, as long as it’s less than two years old and has fewer than 24,000 miles.

Geico Overview

Geico is one of the nation’s largest auto insurance companies and insures more than 28 million vehicles. The company is well-known for offering some of the lowest rates. Its slogan, “15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance,” is especially memorable when paired with its commercials featuring the Geico Gecko.

The Better Business Bureau gives Geico a B+ rating, while its customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power are mostly average. The best auto insurance reviews for Geico indicate that customers appreciate the provider’s great customer service and low rates.

Good2Go Auto Insurance Overview

Good2Go is an auto insurance provider that specializes in minimum limits car insurance for those who want the most affordable policy. The provider is knowledgeable in the legal minimum requirements in all states and can help you select the bare minimum policy to drive legally. Just remember that while cheap auto insurance policies can be attractive, they typically have sky-high deductibles should you be involved in another incident.

Good2Go has an A rating and is accredited through the Better Business Bureau. Customer ratings cite low prices and good financial strength as reasons to like the provider.

Standout feature:

Kemper Insurance Overview

In order to get customers the best coverage for their budget, Kemper Insurance offers different levels of standard and preferred auto insurance with customizable add-ons to meet your needs. Optional Kemper TotalTM coverage, Kemper will cover the full cost to repair or replace your vehicle, even if it’s more than the current cash value.

Kemper gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, although it’s not BBB accredited. Customers noted that while coverage is limited for some vehicles and locations, the provider offers high-risk policies that can be hard to find otherwise.

Standout feature:

  • While many auto insurers won’t cover salvage title vehicles, Kemper Insurance has a program in place to accept most of these vehicles, which the company estimates make up one in 15 cars in the United States.

Liberty Mutual Overview

You can purchase insurance for just about anything through Liberty Mutual, from home insurance to pet insurance. The company’s auto insurance policies are user friendly and easy to purchase and bundle with other policies. But bundling isn’t the only way to save. Liberty Mutual lists 17 different discounts on its website to help customers get the best price on their car insurance.

Independent insurance agents rated Liberty Mutual the best insurance provider to work with in a J.D. Power study, although customers disagreed slightly and only gave the company 2 stars overall. The Better Business Bureau gives Liberty Mutual a rating of A-.

Standout feature:

  • Liberty Mutual’s Better Car ReplacementTM program will replace your totaled vehicle with a model one year newer with up to 15,000 fewer miles than your old car.

Mercury Insurance Overview

Mercury Insurance offers many types of auto, home and business insurance, making it easy to bundle multiple policies together and save. Mercury’s auto insurance policies are designed to fit your personal needs, including special coverage if you live in a high-risk area for accidental damage from floods or wildfires. If you’re shopping for a new car, the provider’s website lists the most affordable vehicles to insure so you’re not surprised with sky-high premiums on top of your car payment.

The Better Business Bureau gives Mercury an A+ rating. Customers list many convenience factors that they appreciate about the provider, including mobile insurance cards, local agents and multiple ways to sign up.

Standout feature:

  • Drivers for Uber and Lyft can purchase insurance from Mercury for as little as $0.20 per day.  While these services provide insurance to their drivers while actively transporting a rider, there are significant coverage gaps during downtime and waiting periods. This supplemental insurance can help protect you if you get in an accident while waiting for your next fare.

MetLife Overview

MetLife offers many personal finance services, from retirement solutions to auto insurance. The provider is a popular option for employers who offer benefit programs, saving recipients an average of $597 per year on discounted auto insurance premiums. If your employer’s health insurance policy is through MetLife, it’s worth asking whether you can bundle auto insurance and save.

MetLife gets a 3-star rating in most categories from J.D. Power, with the exception of the rental process, which receives 4 stars. The provider is not accredited or rated by the Better Business Bureau. However, customers appreciate that MetLife has been in business for 150 years and has great financial stability.

Standout feature:

  • If you sign up for MetLife auto insurance through your employer’s group discount, your coverage may continue unchanged if you retire or leave the company.

National General Insurance Overview

National General is a provider of all types of insurance, including home, auto and health. Its auto insurance policies include extended coverages and personalized discounts. In addition to standard multi-vehicle and safe driver discounts, National General also has partnerships with many organizations around the U.S. that may make you eligible for lower prices.

National General is Better Business Bureau accredited and gets an A+ rating from the organization. It also receives good customer reviews on the BBB website, which is relatively unheard of among most auto insurance providers, which usually only receive 1 or 2 stars. Customers cite positive customer service experiences as one of the top reasons they love National General.

Standout feature:

  • National General is one of a small few on the list of car insurance companies that offers tailored insurance policies for RV drivers. These include a 20% discount when you insure both your car and your RV and you’ll only have to pay one deductible if both your car and your RV are involved in the same accident.

Nationwide Overview

Nationwide offers both personal and business insurance services and is one of the 10 largest insurance writers in the United States. The company will help you choose the best auto insurance policy based on the laws in your state. Nationwide offers all the essentials in its policies, as well as towing, rental car coverage and gap coverage to make up the difference between your car’s value and what you owe on the lease.

In terms of customer satisfaction, Nationwide has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a 3-star rating from J.D. Power.

Standout feature:

  • Through Nationwide, you can earn $100 off your annual deductible for each year you practice safe driving, up to a maximum of $500. Depending on the policy, this can sometimes cover the entire deductible.

NJM Auto Insurance Overview

A long-time provider of auto insurance services, New Jersey Manufacturers, or NJM, has been around for more than a century. Drivers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania can take advantage of state-specific policies that meet the minimums required by law.

NJM gets a 5-star rating from J.D. Power, putting the provider among the top three in the Mid-Atlantic region. Customers gave the company a perfect score in every step of the claims process, from estimation process to settlement. Although not Better Business Bureau accredited, NJM gets an A- rating from this reviews agency.

Standout feature:

  • NJM Auto Insurance was the first-ever recipient of the J.D. Power Claims Certification, a title earned by providers who offer an outstanding claims experience.

Progressive Overview

Like others from the list of car insurance companies, Progressive offers more than just auto coverage. You can insure your home with Progressive as well.
The number of opportunities for discounts on car insurance truly make Progressive stand out from the pack as one of the best car insurance companies. It offers discounts for everything from having multiple policies to paying in full upfront. The company’s Snapshot program, for instance, personalizes your rate based on your driving record — safer drivers get lower rates.

The Better Business Bureau gives Progressive a B- rating, while its customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power are mostly average. Progressive customers cite its fast claims process and low rates as valued features in some of the company’s best auto insurance reviews.

Root Insurance Overview

Root is a fairly new auto insurance provider that’s only been offering policies since 2015, making it the youngest on this list of car insurance companies. This provider uses technology to give customers the fairest rate on their car insurance. Service is only available through an app, which eliminates the need for agents and makes it much easier and faster to purchase auto insurance. Root’s website claims that customers save an average of 52% on car insurance by switching to their service.

Root has a Better Business Bureau accreditation and holds an A+ rating. The app gets a high rating in the smartphone app store.

Standout feature:

  • Every new policyholder must take a test drive with the Root app, which takes data from your phone’s motion sensors and GPS and uses AI to determine your insurance rate. If you take the test drive and the app determines that another insurer can offer you a better rate, Root will simply not offer you service.

Safe Auto Insurance Company Overview

With 24/7 customer service, a convenient mobile app and quotes that stay saved indefinitely until you’re ready to purchase, SafeAuto takes automation to the next level when it comes to car insurance. The provider offers a full range of auto insurance options and will work with you to make sure you’re meeting the minimum limit requirements in your state.

SafeAuto has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Customers appreciate the convenience of round-the-clock customer service, although they do note that coverage is only available in 17 states.

Standout feature:

  • SafeAuto’s website features an interactive map that helps you determine what minimum coverage you need in your state. You can also learn about SR-22 insurance if your state requires you to have one due to your driving history.

Safeco Overview

Safeco is an insurance provider that was acquired by Liberty Mutual in 2008 but continues to operate under its own business model. The main difference is that Safeco insurance is sold through independent insurance agents, while Liberty Mutual uses its own agents. Safeco’s auto insurance policies offer personalized coverage for most types of vehicles and a long list of discounts.

Customers of Safeco rate the company 3 stars, according to J.D. Power. However, the claims servicing process only gets a 2-star rating. The Better Business Bureau has given Safeco an A- rating, although it isn’t BBB accredited.

Standout feature:

  • Teenage drivers can be expensive to insure, but Safeco reduces this financial burden with the Teen Safety RewardsTM program. You can get significant discounts on your young driver’s policy through good grades, safety training and RightTrack® monitoring.

State Farm Overview

State Farm stands out on the list of car insurance companies, as it is the nation’s largest insurer of cars, owning more than 18 percent of the auto insurance market, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Considered one of the best car insurance companies in the United States, the insurer offers insurance, banking products and loans, which are all sold by State Farm agents. If you’re in the market for insurance and banking services, State Farm is worth consideration.

The Better Business Bureau gives State Farm an A rating, making it one of the best car insurance companies. State Farm’s customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power are mostly average. State Farm’s best auto insurance reviews show that customers appreciate having a local agent who can be reached in-person as needed.

The General Overview

Unlike most other major providers, The General strictly offers auto insurance to its customers. This means you won’t be able to bundle policies like you can with some of the company’s competitors. However, The General claims to accept most cars and drivers, so it might be a good option if you have a poor driving record or have been found at fault in an accident.

The Better Business Bureau gives The General an A+ rating, although the business is not BBB accredited. A.M. Best gives its underwriters an “excellent” rating of A, indicating that the company has good financial stability.

Standout feature:

  • The General’s smartphone app allows you to access your insurance card electronically, submit a claim and pay your bill electronically or even with cash.

The Hartford Overview

As the insurance provider for the AARP® Auto Insurance Program, The Hartford offers great discounts on car insurance if you’re an AARP member. These include new car replacement coverage up to 15 months and insurance premiums that stay locked in for 12 months, compared to an industry standard of six months.

While The Hartford gets an average 3-star rating from J.D. Power, customers acknowledge that the provider’s repair process is better than most. The Hartford gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Standout feature:

  • If you’re injured in an accident, The Hartford’s RecoverCare service will help cover services like house cleaning, dog walking and grocery delivery fees for tasks you’re unable to perform yourself due to your injury.

Travelers Overview

As a major U.S. auto insurance provider, Travelers offers the full coverage options you would expect from one of the best auto insurance companies. Their savings and discounts allow you to save up to 23% on your policy for bundling, safe driving or shopping early for a new policy.

Travelers received a 3-star overall rating in J.D. Power’s Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, although it scored four stars in a few specific categories: the estimation process, rental experience and claims servicing. It is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and holds an A+ rating.

Standout feature:

  • Drivers in some states can take advantage of IntelliDrive®, a smartphone app that tracks driving habits for 90 days and reduces the cost of your premium for safe driving – or raises it if your habits aren’t all that great.

United Auto Insurance Overview

United Auto Insurance is a regional auto insurance provider for residents of Illinois and Indiana. A wide variety of coverage is available, including personal vehicle insurance, SR-22 insurance and policies for taxis, limousines and commercial vehicles. United Auto Insurance even offers coverage for tow trucks and leased vehicles.

In addition to Better Business Bureau accreditation, United Auto Insurance has an A+ rating and a virtually unheard of 5-star average customer review on the website. Customers say that the company’s insurance agents are personable, friendly and helpful when purchasing an auto insurance policy.

Standout feature:

  • While United Auto Insurance offers coverage specifically to Illinois and Indiana residents, you won’t have to worry if you’re traveling elsewhere in the country. The provider is part of a roadside assistance network that offers 24-hour emergency service anywhere in the continental United States.

USAA Overview

An insurance provider for military families, USAA offers heavily discounted auto insurance policies to service members with an average savings of $707 per year. USAA is the fifth largest auto insurance provider in the United States according to the Insurance Information Institute, with a market share of 5.9%.

J.D. Power rates USAA as the second best auto insurance provider in the country. Customers gave the company a 5-star overall rating, with near-perfect scores across the claims process. However, USAA only gets a B- rating from the BBB, likely caused by a recent settlement with the Attorney General over issues related to electronic payments. The issues have since been resolved.

Standout feature:

  • For military members who are deployed, USAA offers vehicle storage options and convenient payment schedules while you are away.

How to choose the right car insurance carrier

Overall, when looking for a car insurance carrier, it’s important to shop around thoroughly, keep an eye out for discounts and find the best car insurance reviews for each company. Pick the company that best fits your individual requirements and budget.