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Best car insurance company: Allstate, Geico, Progressive, or State Farm?

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There are numerous car insurance companies in the United States, but only four carriers collectively own just over 50% of the market share between them: Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm. While each of these insurers has strong brand recognition throughout the United States and offers some of the best car insurance in the nation, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. To help you find the best car insurance for your needs, Bankrate analyzed all four car insurance companies

How Bankrate compares these four car insurance companies

Even with these four top car insurance companies, it can seem daunting to find the best one for you. To help you through the process, Bankrate reviewed all four national carriers based on their car insurance policy options and rates, customer experience and third-party rankings on financial strength and claims satisfaction. The higher a company scored on these individual categories, the higher their overall Bankrate Score, with a maximum score of 5 out of 5. Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm may rank among some of the best car insurance companies in the nation, but based on our findings, each company has benefits that could be advantageous for different types of drivers.

Company Bankrate Score J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction Study Average annual full coverage premium Average annual full coverage premium after speeding ticket Average annual full coverage premium after at-fault accident
Allstate 4.0 870/1,000 $1,920 $1,983 $2,366
Geico 4.7 881/1,000 $1,325 $1,592 $1,925
Progressive 4.4 862/1,000 $1,419 $1,861 $2,353
State Farm 4.7 892/1,000 $1,422 $1,577 $1,773

Our pick for best company for new and young drivers: Allstate

Bankrate Score: 4.0

Why we chose it: Adding a new young driver to your car insurance policy can be expensive, but Allstate offers an array of options to help bring down the cost. Teens can earn a Good Student discount by achieving a high GPA and an additional discount by participating in the teenSmart training program. Depending on state availability, they can even enroll in Allstate’s Drivewise, a telematics program that tracks and rewards safe driving habits, and even add  accident forgiveness to the policy to prevent a premium increase in the event of an at-fault accident

Our pick for best company for drivers looking for deep discounts: Geico

Bankrate Score: 4.7

Why we chose it: Being able to add numerous discounts to your car insurance policy is one way to save on the premium cost. Geico makes this easy by having a large list of discounts that aren’t just limited to good drivers and customers with multiple Geico policies. Members of specific organizations and employees of certain companies and federal departments can qualify for an additional discount on their car insurance with Geico.

Our pick for best company for drivers with a clean claim history: Progressive

Bankrate Score: 4.4

Why we chose it: A unique feature of Progressive’s auto insurance is its deductible savings bank. For drivers with full coverage car insurance, Progressive rewards drivers for each policy period without an accident or violation by deducting $50 from their comprehensive or collision deductible. Although not available in every state, adding this optional coverage onto your car insurance policy for a fee could help you save money in the event of a future claim.

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Our pick for best company for drivers with a history of accidents: State Farm

Bankrate Score: 4.7 

Why we chose it: Based on our study of average annual premiums, State Farm’s premium increases after a speeding ticket or at-fault accident were not as high compared to other car insurance companies. Although these are estimates only and individual rates may vary, this could be a good sign for drivers with an existing mark on their record or who feel concerned about premium increases after an incident. State Farm also offers its Drive Safe & Save usage-based telematics program to help build safer driving habits and potentially earn a bigger discount on car insurance.

Comparing Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm

Although we’ve compared Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm to each other and noted some strengths for each company, the best car insurance for you will depend on your individual situation and needs. When receiving quotes from car insurance companies, you may find that your quoted premium varies from these national average rates for a variety of reasons based on how car insurance companies use the rating factors below.

Factors that affect car insurance rates

Car insurance companies review a number of rating factors to determine car insurance rates.

These can include what kind of car you drive, your driving record and claims history, marital status and annual mileage. Depending on state regulations, an auto insurance company can also use rating factors such as gender, ZIP code and credit score, unless they are restricted.

Company Pros Cons
Allstate Offers a variety of policy add-ons for drivers, including rideshare coverage, accident forgiveness and extended vehicle care to pay for covered repairs when vehicle warranty ends
Multiple opportunities to be rewarded for safe driving with discounts on auto insurance with Deductible Rewards and Safe Driving Bonus
Car insurance rates may be more expensive compared to other insurance carriers
Ranked below average in JD Power’s 2021 Auto Claims Satisfaction study based on customer survey of auto claims satisfaction
Geico Average annual premiums for car insurance may be more competitive compared to other insurance carriers
Self-service model could be beneficial to customers who want to manage their own policies
Has fewer local offices with insurance agents for those wanting personalized service to answer insurance questions
Scored below average in most regions of the United States in JD Power’s Auto Insurance Study on customer satisfaction
Progressive Name Your Price tool allows customers prioritizing affordability to build their car insurance policy around their budget
Fully integrated mobile app allows drivers to manage their policy, report a claim, request roadside assistance or submit a payment through their phone
Limited number of local agencies available in the United States compared to traditional insurance carriers
Ranked second lowest in JD Power’s annual 2021 Auto Claims Satisfaction study on claims handling
State Farm Tied in annual Bankrate Awards for best overall insurance company for auto insurance
Extensive network of local agencies available for personalized service
High complaint index score from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) indicates more customer complaints compared to the average
Some coverage options, like gap insurance, are not offered on its auto insurance policies

Frequently asked questions

How much car insurance do I need?

The amount of car insurance you may need will depend on your personal situation and needs. While all drivers need to carry at least the minimum amount of car insurance as required by state law, this typically refers only to liability coverage and may not be enough. Full coverage car insurance often includes increased liability amounts and additional coverage options like comprehensive and collision to insure your vehicle, as well as medical payments to cover medical costs for anyone in your vehicle. You may also want to include other add-ons to your car insurance policy, such as rental car reimbursement, towing and more.

What do I need to buy a car insurance policy?

To prepare a car insurance quote, an insurance company may ask for the names, birth dates and driver’s license numbers of all drivers to be included on the policy. Additionally, being able to provide all of your vehicle’s make, model and vehicle identification number (VIN) will ensure you get the most accurate quote possible.

How do I find the cheapest car insurance policy?

Finding the cheapest car insurance policy may require shopping around with multiple insurance carriers to find the best rate. By having all of the above information prepared and an idea of what coverage options and amounts you’d like to include on your auto policy, you can get a head start on the process. This will also ensure you’re able to compare insurance carriers equally to ensure you find the cheapest rate.

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 40-year-old male and female homeowners with a clean claim history, good credit and the following coverage limits:

Auto

  • $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 sample drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the age 16 (base: 40 years) applied. Depending on age, drivers may be a renter or homeowner. Hawaii and Massachusetts exclude age as a contributing factor when calculating insurance premiums.

Incidents: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), single speeding ticket and a single DUI conviction.

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.

Written by
June Sham
Insurance Writer
June Sham is an insurance writer for Bankrate. Before joining the team, she worked for nearly three years as a licensed producer writing auto, property, umbrella and earthquake policies.
Edited by
Insurance Editor