Founded in 1922 by a retired farmer and former insurance salesperson, State Farm is the largest provider of auto insurance in the United States. With over 16% market share, State Farm operates in the Bloomington, Illinois headquarters, with over 19,000 independent agents, and has written over 80 million policies. State Farm is also one of Bankrate’s top picks for the best car insurance company in 2021.
USAA was also founded in 1922, but it has specific eligibility requirements for the purchase of insurance products. USAA requires you to be a current member of the military, a veteran or an immediate family member of one to apply for insurance coverage; all insurance products are tailored to the needs of the military. USAA is the fifth largest auto insurance carrier, and as of 2020, has over 36,000 employees and $200 billion in assets — further highlighting the scale of this insurance company.
State Farm vs USAA: car insurance rates comparison
State Farm and USAA differ not only in eligibility requirements, but several other metrics also highlight the differences of these two large carriers. While the providers’ Bankrate and J.D. Power scores are relatively similar, the AM Best financial strength rating for State Farm is an A (Excellent) whereas USAA has an A++ (Superior) rating. The auto premiums for both minimum and full coverage also showcase the variations between the two on a national level, although these rates vary by state and each driver’s unique circumstances.
|Car insurance company||Bankrate Score||AM Best||J.D. Power||Average annual premium for minimum coverage||Average annual premium for full coverage|
|State Farm||4.4||A (Excellent)||881/1,000||$539||$1,457|
Rates by credit score
Your credit history is commonly reviewed by carriers in most states when you apply for insurance, and State Farm and USAA are no different. Having a higher credit score typically reflects lower premiums. One caveat to this is if you live in Massachusetts, Hawaii or California — these states do not allow credit history to factor into consideration for rates.
|Car insurance company||Poor||Average||Good||Excellent|
Rates by age
Age is another personal factor that can have a significant impact on rates. For both carriers, age 18 tends to pay the highest premiums for drivers on their own policy. However, once you hit age 25 there is a substantial drop off in premium rates. Although State Farm’s rates average slightly higher in some cases, the trend is directionally consistent with both providers, and your rate will vary from the averages below.
|Car insurance company||Age 16*||Age 18||Age 25||Age 30||Age 40||Age 60|
*16 year old cost when added to parents’ policy, 18-year-old renter
Rates by driving record
Both State Farm and USAA premiums are higher for drivers with a speeding ticket, accident or DUI conviction on their record. Increases are as high as 75% in some cases, which means a clean driving record is the best way to avoid a drastic increase in rates.
|Car insurance company||Clean driving record||Speeding ticket||Accident||DUI conviction|
State Farm vs USAA: discounts
When comparing State Farm vs. USAA, it is helpful to review the number of discounts. Although both offer a plentiful amount, some of the discounts are distinct to each carrier. Both offer multi-policy, multi-vehicle and good student discounts, but there are a few others you may not be as familiar with.
- SteerClear® — With the SteerClear program through State Farm, drivers under 25 who have remained accident free are eligible for a discount. If you have maintained a clean driving record for three years, you may earn up to a 20% discount.
- Drive Safe and Save® — This is a safe driving program through State Farm that requires enrollment. Your driving is monitored through your smartphone and as a result, if eligible, you receive a discount for safe driving habits.
- Safety equipment — If your vehicle uses an anti-theft system, airbags or anti-lock brakes, you may be eligible to receive a discount when you add Medical Payments coverage to your policy.
- Military installation — If you store your vehicle in a garage or storage facility on base, you may receive additional savings. This discount could be worth as much as 15% on premiums.
- Vehicle storage — If you store your vehicle somewhere else besides on base, you may be eligible for a bigger discount. Savings are as high as 60% for stored vehicles.
- No payment plan fees— Most carriers charge additional fees when you spread out your premium payments over several months. However, with USAA, there are no payment plan fees.
State Farm vs USAA: online and mobile experience comparison
State Farm and USAA both have robust online tools and features, which give customers access to everything they need for convenient policy management. Both carriers offer a mobile app for access to ID cards, bill payment, roadside assistance and submitting a claim. However State Farm has other features for on-the-go policy management, such as the ability to message an agent through the app or obtaining technical assistance.
- 4.8/5— The app includes a full list of features as mentioned above, and the result is a number of positive reviews. Customers love how easy it is to navigate through the app and make mobile payments.
- 4.7/5 — The Android version has the same abilities as the Apple, including following a claim step by step through the claims process. The positive reviews also highlight the ease of use, but the lower ratings detail frustration with the updating process.
- 4.8/5 — Overall, the USAA is well-received, with customers responding positively to how easy it is to use. The app gives you access to EVA, which is the digital voice assistant available for help through the app.
- 4.5/5 — The ratings for USAA are slightly lower versus State Farm. Customers remark the constant updates and how often the app freezes are frustrating.
Frequently asked questions
Is State Farm cheaper than USAA?
When comparing premiums from State Farm vs. USAA, quotes retrieved from Bankrate indicate USAA offers cheaper premiums. However, keep in mind rates are based on numerous personal factors, including age, credit score, ZIP code and driving history. These may increase or decrease your premiums depending on your circumstances.
What is the best car insurance company?
Bankrate has reviewed several carriers and found Geico, Amica, USAA and State Farm are all top choices. It is important to review a variety of aspects of each carrier, including financial strength, coverage and discounts availables, customer service ratings and digital assets.
Can I switch car insurance carriers anytime?
Yes, you can switch auto insurance at any point and should do so if it makes financial sense for you. One word of caution, be sure not to cancel your old policy until you have your new one officially in place. This will avoid any lapse of coverage.
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. 16-year-old rates were factored as the added cost to their parents’ policy; 18-year-old rates were calculated as drivers who rent their primary residence.
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 (BAC of >= .08) and lapse in coverage.