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In 1984, The Hartford became the exclusive provider of car insurance and home insurance for American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) members. Hartford was founded in 1810 and according to market data for 2020 released by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Hartford is the 19th largest car insurer in the country. AARP is a particular favorite of seniors.

AAA auto insurance is available only to AAA members in various clubs spread across the country. Two such AAA clubs were listed on NAIC’s 2020 market share survey at spots 11 and 20, together comprising 2.16% of the overall U.S. market. AAA was established in 1902 in related club formats by early car enthusiasts. It is today one of the best known car insurers for, among other things, its roadside and travel planning assistance for its members.

AARP vs AAA: car insurance rates comparison

These two leading member based auto insurers have similar strong rankings from reporting groups. AARP has a modest lead in financial strength and a favorable customer satisfaction rating from J.D. Power. While AAA has a lower minimum and full coverage average annual premium than AARP, careful attention to the many available discounts through AARP is likely to lead to competitive options with The Hartford as well.

Car insurance company Bankrate Score AM Best financial stability rating J.D. Power customer satisfaction score Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
AARP 3.8 A+ 888/1,000 $754 $2,270
AAA 3.8 A- 858/1,000 $602 $1,990

Rates by credit score

Most states permit auto insurers to use driver credit scores in writing and pricing car insurance policies. A number of states however limit this practice, including California, Hawaii, Maryland and Massachusetts. AARP is more forgiving than AAA in increasing premiums on average for drivers with poor credit, while AAA imposes a higher average cost on those with poor credit scores.

Car insurance company Poor Average Good Excellent
AARP $2,507 $2,450 $2,270 $2,432
AAA $3,706 $2,146 $2,003 $1,645

Rates by age

Both AARP and AAA consider age in determining premiums. The result is consistent with an overall industry belief that teens are the most high risk drivers on the road. Once a driver reaches the age of 25, premiums tend to level off for subsequent years.

Car insurance company Age 16* Age 18 Age 25 Age 30 Age 40 Age 60
AARP $1,864 $5,802 $3,112 $2,816 $2,270 $2,134
AAA $3,210 $5,446 $2,317 $2,034 $2,003 $1,808

*16 year old cost when added to parents’ policy

Rates by driving record

The chart below illustrates the dramatic impact that accidents and serious driving offenses can have on car insurance premiums. Both AARP and AAA premiums increase significantly with more serious offenses, particularly with a DUI on a driver’s record. The very high cost of an AARP policy in this situation makes this coverage prohibitive for most drivers with a DUI conviction on their records.

Car insurance company Clean driving record Speeding ticket Accident DUI conviction
AARP $2,270 $3,715 $5,010 $8,697
AAA $1,990 $2,947 $3,057 $5,613

AARP vs AAA: discounts

AARP offers a number of benefits and discounts exclusively for its member base of seniors. AAA also caters to its members with many discounts and benefits that go beyond car insurance including a strong focus on assisting members with travel plans and reservations. Both companies provide numerous options for improving policy affordability with discounts.


  • Vehicle discounts: This is for safety features such as anti-lock brakes or more than one airbag; efficiency and environmental improvements with hybrid or electric cars.
  • Driver training discounts: This category includes discounts for defensive driver courses and certain training for young drivers.
  • Bundling: You may get a discount for purchasing home and auto insurance with AARP.


  • Loyalty discount: This discount is for policy holders who are consistent in renewing their car insurance policies.
  • Companion discount: This is a discount for bundling home and car insurance with AAA.
  • Multiple vehicle discounts: Insuring more than one vehicle with AAA can save.

AARP vs AAA: online and mobile experience comparison

AARP receives high marks for overall customer experience with a highly rated mobile app, the Hartford App. Secured with fingerprint sign in, the Hartford App enables members to quickly arrange roadside assistance and submit claims. It is rated 4 out of 5 on iTunes and 3.9 out of 5 on Google Play.

AAA Mobile expands the reach of its members beyond policy management. AAA Mobile provides travel, lodging and entertainment options helping AAA members create detailed plans for shopping, vacations and daily errands. On both Apple and Google, it is rated 4.2 out of 5.

Frequently asked questions

What are the best car insurance companies?

There is not a single best car insurance company for everyone. As individual needs, age, driving history and other factors vary, so to does the best carrier to meet those needs. The right approach is to seek advice and obtain quotes from some of the best car insurers and compare to find the one best suited for your situation.

How can I find affordable coverage with a poor driving record?

There are car insurance companies that may provide more affordable coverage than others in these circumstances. It pays to research the market and ask about this challenge directly, as well as learn about the best way to improve your driving record. Most car insurance companies will advise you about other available discounts that may help offset a poor driving history.

Does cheap auto insurance provide inadequate coverage?

Not necessarily. There are a host of factors that determine the cost of car insurance, including the driver’s characteristics, vehicle history, location and discounts, to name a few. A thorough search for the best policy and price by comparing a number of quotes will help find the most affordable policy to meet your needs.


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 do not allow credit to be a factor in determining auto insurance rates: CA, HI, MA

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 18-60 (base: 40 years) applied.

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.

Written by
Rick Hoel
Insurance Contributor
Rick Hoel is an international business attorney and legal and insurance writer for, and Over the last several years, he has covered topics dealing with personal and commercial insurance and technology and the law. Rick is General Counsel and Director of Risk Management and sits on the Board of Power Stow Americas Inc., a subsidiary of Power Stow A/S in Denmark, the world leader in the supply of tracked conveyor systems to the airline industry.
Edited by
Loans Editor