When shopping for a policy, you should consider a company's costs, available discounts, customer service reviews and the claim-filing process. Using these factors, we ranked the top 10 car insurance companies for 2021 at a national level and at a state level. If you are a young driver, have poor credit or have an accident in your history, we also ranked the best car insurance companies for specific types of driver profiles.
Finally, because MoneyGeek believes all drivers can find affordable car insurance with quality customer service by shopping around, we’ve also included a guide to shopping for the best car insurance for you, no matter your background.
MoneyGeek has ranked the best car insurance companies based on several factors, including J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings, financial stability ratings from AM Best and affordability. Using these metrics, MoneyGeek found that the best car insurance companies for 2021 are:
Travelers has an excellent record of paying claims, the core business of an insurance company, and also ranks exceptionally for discounts and financial stability. They also offer some unique coverages, such as coverage for weddings or other big events. Drivers with cars five years old or newer should consider Travelers; with its Premier New Car Replacement coverage, your vehicle will be replaced with a brand new car of the same make and model if it’s totaled in a crash.
GEICO is typically among the cheapest insurance options in almost every state. They also offer instant online quotes and the ability to buy a policy at any time, day or night, without an agent's help. Its ease of the customer service experience extends to its mobile app, which makes it simple to track your policy and submit claims.
USAA is only available for current and former military members and their families, but it has a strong customer service reputation and some of the cheapest base rates in the country. Active military members can get even cheaper rates by garaging their vehicle on base.
Progressive is mostly strong across the board, ranking well or average in all of our measured categories. However, customer satisfaction with Progressive is not as strong as some of the other top insurers.
Progressive also isn’t just a name; it also represents the company's values. They were named the best workplace for women and diversity in 2018 and 2019 and recently donated $1,000,000 to end mass incarceration and racial injustice. They also provide an array of discount and coverage options for customers.
State Farm ranks middle of the pack, but it has a strong agent network making it a great choice for shoppers who want to talk through a policy with a human being rather than a quote tool.
State Farm also offers accident forgiveness free to members and a safe vehicle discount, which means drivers with vehicles made after 1994 could save 40% or more on their coverage depending on their vehicle safety features.
Allstate offers a unique roadside assistance program called Good Hands Rescue, which is an app that provides pay-per-use, on-demand roadside assistance. This allows anyone to use the service, not just people who signed up for an annual contract.
Liberty Mutual is incredibly innovative. In addition to offering a variety of car insurance coverage options, they set up Solaria Labs to create products like tuition insurance that reimburse costs for tuition, housing, and other fees in the event a student needs to withdraw before the end of the semester.
American Family offers a variety of unique coverages that you might not find elsewhere, such as landlord insurance and farm and ranch insurance. Bundling these with your auto coverage could save you money on your policy.
While some companies have gone to online-only sales, Farmers continues to use local agents. This allows customers to have a one-on-one relationship with a Farmers representative to guide them through future insurance questions and claims.
Insurance is regulated at the state level, which means that not all companies operate in every state and that it’s important to compare products and quotes based on your state and ZIP code. And even companies that offer coverage in all 50 states have products that vary significantly from state to state, depending on required insurance minimums and other limitations.
As a result, insurers that only write policies in a limited amount of states were excluded from our national rankings for best companies, as the best company in one state may not be the best company in another. MoneyGeek ranked the best car insurance in each state based on local pricing and regional J.D. Power scores. Excluding USAA, which is not available to most drivers, GEICO most frequently ranked as the best insurer in a state (12 times). Auto-Owners Insurance, only available in 26 states, came in second.
The Best Car Insurance Companies by State - Excluding USAA
The Best Car Insurance Companies by Driver Profile
Car insurance companies use certain driver characteristics to calculate their rates. And companies also may offer coverages that make them a better fit for drivers of a certain background. Credit score, driving history and age are three of the most important of these factors.
We’ve provided our recommendations for the best car insurance companies for drivers that have poor credit, an accident on their record and young drivers; all of whom are typically charged higher rates than the average driver.
THE BEST CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES BY DRIVER PROFILE
Best Auto Insurance Company for Drivers With Poor Credit: GEICO
Your credit rating can dramatically impact your insurance rates. A poor credit rating can cost you hundreds of dollars a year on your car insurance. Some states don't allow insurance companies to use your credit rating in setting your rates, but most states still allow this practice.
GEICO is the best auto insurance option for people with low credit scores for several reasons.
GEICO is typically among the most affordable insurance options for drivers with poor credit in almost every state. So there’s a good chance you’ll find an affordable rate.
GEICO makes it easy to obtain a quick online quote, so if you know you have a poor credit score, it’s easy to get a rate and compare.
Best Rates for Drivers With Poor Credit
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Best Auto Insurance Company for Drivers With an Accident: State Farm
Tickets and accidents can dramatically increase the price of your insurance. Because so much of your insurance premium depends on your driving record, even a single ticket or a minor fender bender can cost you hundreds of dollars each year.
State Farm is the best car insurance company for drivers with an accident on their record.
Best Auto Insurance Company for Teen Drivers: Allstate
Any insurance company will tell you that the most expensive insurance policies almost always include a teen driver. Teens are more costly to insure because they have no driving experience and are more prone to reckless behavior behind the wheel, but there are still ways to save money on insuring your teen driver.
Allstate is the best insurance option for teen drivers because they offer a variety of discounts for teens. While many insurance companies only provide a good student discount for young drivers, Allstate has multiple discount options for young drivers.
Finding the best car insurance for you will depend on your priorities. If you want to save money, you might opt for the insurer that gives you the cheapest quote. If you want the security of knowing your insurer will pay your claims timely and efficiently, you might choose the company with the best customer service reputation in your region.
We believe all drivers can get the best of all worlds: an affordable company with a strong service experience and the coverages you need. You can find the top company for you by taking a few key steps.
Research Customer Service Reputations
Browse our claims and user satisfaction ratings to get a sense for how policyholders feel about a given company. You can also check your state’s department of insurance website to see how many complaints have been lodged about a company.
Compare Real Quotes from Insurers
Once you’ve narrowed down a list of companies that have quality service, you should go get a quote from that company. Our rankings for the cheapest companies are a great guide as to which companies are most affordable on average, but the cheapest for you may be different because of your unique driver characteristics. Be sure to incorporate all possible discounts into your quote.
Make Sure the Company Has Coverages You Want
Almost all insurance companies will offer you the core car insurance coverages, such as liability insurance and comprehensive and collision insurance. But if you want a car insurance company that offers additional benefits, like roadside assistance or accident forgiveness, you should be certain that it’s part of your policy package.
Double Check Financial Stability Ratings
If you’re risk-averse, you might want to check an insurer’s financial strength rating. In the unlikely event an insurer goes bankrupt, it may be unable to pay your claim. The industry standard for financial strength ratings is A.M. Best. Companies with an A+ or A++ from A.M. Best are the most secure.
The Best Company for You Has a Strong Customer Service Reputation
You can take many steps to determine which insurance company has the best customer service for you.
Examine our claims and customer satisfaction ratings.
Read our in-depth reviews of insurance companies.
Read market research from authoritative sources such as J.D. Power.
Look up customer complaint ratings on the website of your state department of insurance or of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
MoneyGeek’s claims and customer satisfaction ratings incorporate J.D. Power data to score insurance companies against each other, so you can easily see how they score out of a maximum of five points for each category. And our MoneyGeek scores incorporate all other factors you should consider while shopping so that you get the full picture of how a company stacks up.
If you want to do your own research, J.D. Power releases an overall auto insurance satisfaction study and a claims satisfaction study each year. And if you want to dig deep into the data, your state department of insurance website has public data on how much consumers complain about insurance companies in your state. Insurers with lower complaint rates are more likely to have a strong service experience.
Compare Quotes From the Best Companies to Get Value For Your Money
Once you’ve narrowed down the companies with strong customer service reputations, you should compare quotes among them. Insurance companies use a variety of factors to calculate your rate. As a result, you could find that two companies have very similar customer service reputations but quote you at vastly different rates.
You should also make sure that your quotes incorporate all available discounts, as these can have a sizable effect on what you pay. For instance, one insurance company may offer more discounts for car safety features, so drivers with a lot of safety technology may get a comparably cheaper quote. Discounts usually come in four forms: driving record discounts, driver profile discounts, policy discounts and car safety discounts.
Driving record: Discounts for having a clean driving record, driving infrequently or taking driver safety courses.
Driver profile: Discounts for achievements outside of driving, such as students who get good grades, or for membership of professional or government organizations.
Policy: Discounts for bundling with other insurance policies or for how you pay for your policy, such as paying for the full six months ahead of time.
Vehicle: Discounts for safety devices on your car, such as anti-theft technology or anti-lock brakes.
When you are confident you’re only getting quotes from quality insurers, you can save money by buying a policy from the company that offers you the best cheap quotes.
The Best Insurance Company for You Has All the Coverages You Want
Almost all insurance companies will offer the following core coverages:
Bodily injury liability insurance
Property damage liability insurance
Collision and comprehensive insurance (also called full coverage)
Personal injury protection or medical payments coverage
Uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance for both bodily injury and property damage
If you’re looking for additional coverages — such as accident forgiveness, mechanical breakdown insurance or rideshare insurance — you should make sure a company offers it in your state before comparing quotes. Most major companies offer similar types of coverage, but there are some unique differences among them.
The Best Insurance Companies are Financially Stable
Finally, ensure that the company responsible for your policy is financially stable. Our MoneyGeek score incorporates financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, which measures companies’ ability to meet insurance obligations.
Most major insurance companies have excellent or superior ratings from A.M. Best. But if you’re shopping with a more local or regional insurer, check their financial strength rating before purchasing a policy. If you’re risk-averse and want to avoid the small chance that problems with your insurance company could affect your claims, it may be best to stick with a company in top-tier financial condition.
What If You Can't Get Car Insurance?
Although most states require vehicle owners to carry insurance, not everyone can get it, at least not through the regular channels. Because of their past driving records, some people may be unable to obtain insurance from a private company. Others may simply not be able to afford it. In these cases, there may be state programs available to help.
State-Sponsored Auto Insurance Programs for High-Risk Drivers
While some companies offer individual car insurance policies to high-risk drivers, many prefer not to. Instead, states require all insurance companies to participate in a program that pools these kinds of drivers. These pools are created to share the possible losses of insuring high-risk drivers; companies participate in proportion to the amount of business they do in the state. If your driving record is spotty, this program may help you obtain coverage. Your premiums are likely to be very high. Check with your state insurance department to learn more.
Low-Cost Insurance Programs
Some states, including California, Hawaii and New Jersey, provide affordable public insurance to people who can't afford to buy a private company's car insurance policy. These programs are designed to discourage uninsured motorists from taking to the road, which is a distressingly common occurrence. To qualify, vehicle owners must meet income-eligibility requirements. For further information, check with your state insurance department.
Frequently Asked Questions About Car Insurance
It’s not easy to find a car insurance company that’s a perfect match for your situation. However, with a few minutes of research you can ensure you’re on the right track. Here are some of the most common questions posed by those looking for quality car insurance.
Travelers offers the best car insurance product according to MoneyGeek’s analysis of affordability, customer satisfaction and financial stability. But the best car insurance company for you may depend on your driver profile and where you live.
Not every insurance company writes policies in all 50 states. And some insurers may price policies differently or provide different coverages, depending on where you live. When you you shop for car insurance by state, get your own quotes and look into the customer service reputations of local insurers using our MoneyGeek scores or with your state department of insurance.
Yes. Many insurance companies with strong ratings for claims service and overall customer satisfaction also offer some of the most affordable rates on average.
Narrow down your list of companies to those that have a strong customer service reputation. From there, if you want to get the best value for your money, you should compare rates among these insurance companies to see whether some quote you at a much more affordable rate than others. Ultimately, you will have to decide what part of the insurance experience you value the most and pick a company based on that criteria.
Expert Advice on Finding the Best Car Insurance Company for Your Needs
Many factors can affect your auto insurance rates. MoneyGeek gathered advice from professionals to help you make an informed decision when purchasing auto insurance.
How does car insurance differ from other types of coverage and why is it so important for drivers?
How should drivers balance risk management and affordability when it comes to car insurance?
What can consumers do to better educate themselves on car insurance policies, coverage and pricing?
Auto insurance premiums are set based on a variety of information such as driving record, location and credit history. What challenges do consumers face in this type of pricing structure? How can drivers meet or manage these challenges?
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Auto insurance company rankings and reviews are determined by evaluating a combination of data, including cost, availability, financial strength and customer satisfaction. Scores also take into account industry-leading evaluations such as J.D. Power, AM Best and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Premium information is based on a sample driver profile for a 40-year-old male driving a Toyota Camry with a driving record without tickets or accidents. Average premiums are calculated for 50/100/50 comprehensive and collision coverage. Learn more about MoneyGeek’s Methodology.
About the Author
Rachael Brennan is a professional freelance writer. She has been published on a number of websites, including Adweek, Glamour and Cracked. She has also worked in the insurance industry for more than a decade, earning her P&C license in all 50 states and her life, health and AD&D license in New York and the surrounding states. You can follow her on Twitter @rachaelbwriter.