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At Bankrate, we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. To help readers understand how insurance affects their finances, we have licensed insurance professionals on staff who have spent a combined 47 years in the auto, home and life insurance industries. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation of . Our content is backed by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed entity (NPN: 19966249). For more information, please see our .
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) was founded in 1958, and membership is specialized for, and only available to, people aged 50 and older. AARP auto insurance is underwritten by The Hartford. The Hartford auto insurance includes a variety of optional coverage add-ons and discounts, but the eligibility requirements mean that coverage may not be available for everyone.
AAA auto insurance is available through various AAA clubs spread across the country. Founded in 1902, AAA is perhaps most famous for its roadside assistance coverage, but it has a handful of other optional coverage types for a more robust auto policy.
Our 2023 Bankrate Score considers variables our insurance editorial team determined impacts policyholders’ experiences with an insurance company. These rating factors include a robust assessment of each company’s product availability, financial strength ratings, online capabilities and customer and claims support accessibility. Each factor was added to a category, and these categories were weighted in a tiered approach to analyze how companies perform in key customer-impacting categories.
Like our previous Bankrate Scores, each category was assigned a metric to determine performance, and the weighted sum adds up to a company’s total Bankrate Score — out of 5 points. This year, our 2023 scoring model provides a more comprehensive view, indicating when companies excel across several key areas and better highlighting where they fall short.
- Tier 1 (Cost & ratings): To determine how well auto and home insurance companies satisfy these priorities, 2023 quoted premiums from Quadrant Information Services (if available), as well as any of the latest third-party agency ratings from J.D. Power, AM Best and the NAIC, were analyzed.
- Tier 2 (Coverage & savings): We assessed companies’ coverage options and availability to help policyholders find a provider that balances cost with coverage. Additionally, we evaluated each company’s discount options listed on its website.
- Tier 3 (Support): To encompass the many ways an auto insurance company can support policyholders, we analyzed avenues of customer accessibility along with community support. This analysis incorporated additional financial strength ratings from S&P and Moody’s and factored a company’s corporate sustainability efforts.
Tier scores are unweighted to show the company’s true score in each category out of a possible five points.
AARP vs AAA comparison
When deciding between two companies, making a pros and cons list may help you narrow down your options. We’ve compiled several comparisons highlighting the differences between AAA vs. AARP.
AARP pros and cons
|Wide variety of potential endorsements
Local agents are available for in-person service
Underwriter, The Hartford, has A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best
Average minimum coverage premiums are lower than the national average
|The Hartford, AARP’s underwriter, scores below the segment average for claims satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2022 study
Coverage access requires paid membership to AARP
Only AARP members over the age of 50 are eligible for coverage
Coverage is not available in all states
AAA pros and cons
|Offers extensive roadside assistance services
Non-insurance perks like notary services and travel planning are available for members
Mobile app is highly-rated by Google Play and iOS users
|Coverage options and availability may vary by region
Membership may be required for coverage and certain services
Average rates are higher than the national average
Carrier scores below the segment average in J.D. Power’s claims satisfaction study
Is AARP cheaper than AAA?
According to average rate data provided by Quadrant Information Services, AARP has cheaper average rates than AAA. While your personal rates will differ from average rates, this information may help you to get a sense of what might be a reasonable price to pay for premiums. The rates provided for AARP are based on The Hartford, as that is the insurer that underwrites AARP auto policies.
|Car insurance company||Average annual premium for full coverage||Average annual premium for minimum coverage|
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2023 rates for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates are weighted based on the population density in each geographic region. 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 2021 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.
AARP is generally cheaper for drivers with poor credit
Most states permit auto insurers to use drivers’ credit-based insurance scores when pricing car insurance policies. However, a number of states ban this practice, including California, Hawaii, Michigan and Massachusetts. Based on average rates, AARP is generally more forgiving than AAA in increasing premiums for drivers with poor credit.
|Credit Score||AARP/The Hartford||AAA|
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. Four states prohibit or limit the use of credit as a rating factor in determining auto insurance rates: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan.
AARP is generally cheaper for young drivers
In every state except Hawaii and Massachusetts, car insurance providers are permitted to use your age as a rating factor to determine your insurance premium. Car insurance premiums are generally the highest for teens and slowly decrease until about the age of 70, when rates may begin to creep up again. Young drivers typically pay more for their car insurance because statistics show that young drivers are involved in more accidents. The rates listed below are averages based on young drivers on their parents’ full coverage policies.
AARP is generally cheaper for adult drivers
On average, based on the profiles assessed, AARP tends to be cheaper for adult drivers than AAA. The differences vary between the ages with the biggest savings potential being at age 18 and the smallest being at age 30. The annual average rates listed below are specific to drivers who are on their own full coverage auto insurance policy.
Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 18-60 (base: 40 years) applied. Depending on age, drivers may be a renter or homeowner. Age is not a contributing rating factor in Hawaii and Massachusetts due to state regulations.
Gender: The following states do not use gender as a determining factor in calculating premiums: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania.
Teens: Rates were determined by adding a 16- or 17-year-old teen to a 40-year-old married parents’ policy. The rates displayed reflect the total cost of a driver this age added to their parents’ policy.
AAA is generally cheaper for high-risk drivers
Car insurance rates typically increase after an incident like an accident or speeding ticket. Usually, the more serious the offense, the more your rates will increase. High-risk driving incidents, such as DUIs, may cause significant increases in your premiums and may result in insurers refusing to cover you. Based on the data below, AAA is generally cheaper for high-risk drivers, but those with a single speeding ticket may still see lower rates with AARP.
|Clean driving record||$2,104||$2,562|
|Speeding ticket conviction||$3,009||$3,131|
Rates were calculated by evaluating our 2023 base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket and single DUI conviction.
AARP vs AAA: discounts
AARP offers several benefits and discounts exclusively for its senior member base. 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 carriers provide standard discounts, including potential savings for vehicle safety features, bundling and paying your premium in full.
AARP unique discounts
- Vehicle fuel type discount: Hybrid and electric vehicles may earn policyholders a discount.
- AARP membership discount: The Hartford underwrites AARP auto insurance policies and offers a discount of up to 10 percent to AARP members.
- Online quoting discount: Getting a quote online may save you money on your premium, but this discount is only available in select states.
AAA unique discounts
- AAA membership discount: AAA members may be eligible for automatic discounts.
- Loyalty discount: This discount is for policyholders who maintain continuous AAA car insurance for a designated period of time.
- Advanced shopping discount: You may save with AAA if your auto insurance quote is initiated at least a week before the effective date.
Usage-based insurance comparison: AARP vs AAA
It has become increasingly common for auto insurers to offer discount-based incentives to good drivers using usage-based tools. Telematics programs allow insurers to base these discounts on real data specific to each driver. As The Hartford underwrites for AARP, its usage-based program, TrueLane, is compared to AAADrive.
|The Hartford TrueLane||AAADrive|
|Telematics device||Mobile app||Mobile app|
|Monitored driving factors||Time, speed, mobile phone usage, acceleration and location||Start and end time, location, accelerometer data, mobile phone use|
|Potential impact on rates||Decreased||Decreased|
|Potential discount||Up to 25%||Up to 25%|
|Availability||Select states||Select states|
AARP vs AAA: customer experience comparison
Customer satisfaction is a priority for many drivers when looking for auto insurance. For many, two of the most important factors are handling of claims and how viable an insurer’s digital tools are. We’ve compiled app ratings from the Apple store and Google play, along with insurance claims satisfaction data the 2022 J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction study. Data under AARP is from The Hartford app and J.D. Power rating.
|Apple store||3.8 out of 5||4.5 out of 5|
|Google play||2.6 out of 5||4.4 out of 5|
|J.D. Power||869 / 1,000||847 / 1,000|
Frequently asked questions
There is not a single best car insurance company for everyone. As individual needs, driving history and other factors vary, so does the best carrier to meet those needs. Most insurance professionals recommend comparing quotes from various car insurance companies to find the best option for your situation.
Certain car insurance companies may provide more affordable coverage for high-risk drivers with multiple incidents on their driving record than others. It may benefit you to research the market and ask about high-risk coverage directly, as well as learn about the best way to improve your driving record. Most car insurance companies will advise you about discounts that may help offset higher rates for a poor driving record.
AARP offers home insurance policies through The Hartford, which underwrites both home and auto policies for AARP. Depending on which state you are in, you may be able to get a homeowners policy through AAA, but it will be underwritten by another company. AAA offers home insurance through the CSAA Insurance Group, but it is not available in all states.