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You’ve heard the jingles, seen the slogans and probably even committed whole ads to memory by sheer repetition, but what exactly are you getting when you choose to do business with one of the largest car insurance companies? When the top ten largest car insurance companies take up 72.02% of the market share of car insurance policies in the United States, it’s important to know who these big brands are and what they offer. MoneyGeek’s evaluation of these large companies is based on the NAIC’s 2018 Market Share Report.

An easy reference list of those car insurance companies gets you to the information you need so that you can find the best car insurance option for you.

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America’s Largest Auto Insurance Companies

These big car insurance companies take up the majority of the market share, which means that they account for the most policies out of all auto insurance providers in the country. Analyzing these companies can reveal just how popular and widely available these brands are. A provider with a large part of the market share is likely well established, available in many areas and able to pay out claims when needed.

Company
Market Share
1. State Farm
In 2020, State Farm ranked #1 in the U.S. for auto insurance market share.
17.0%
2. GEICO
In 2020, GEICO ranked #2 in the U.S. for auto insurance market share.
13.4%
3. Progressive
In 2020, Progressive ranked #3 in the U.S. for auto insurance market share.
11.0%
4. Allstate
In 2020, Allstate ranked #4 in the U.S. for auto insurance market share.
9.2%
5. USAA
In 2020, USAA ranked #5 in the U.S. for auto insurance market share.
5.9%

List of All Car Insurance Companies and Reviews

MoneyGeek's Ranking of the Largest Car Insurance Companies

You're likely familiar with America's largest car insurance companies, but determining which one is best for you depends on where you live, how much coverage you need and your budget. MoneyGeek ranked the largest auto insurance companies by measuring affordability, customer satisfaction and other key factors to help you learn how their car insurance works and find the best provider for your needs.


1

GEICOScore: 92

5/5

Affordability

4.5/5

Claims Ratings

5/5

Discounts

3/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability


Established in 1936 as the Government Employees Insurance Company (hence their current name), GEICO has been a subsidiary of the Berkshire Hathaway Group since 1996 and you’ve likely come across their many mascots (notably the gecko and caveman) over the years. Their parent company boasts 13.69% of the market share, and GEICO itself insures more than 28 million vehicles. Customers can contact the company 24 hours a day, seven days a week via their app. There are also contact options on the website or by telephone. GEICO also offers a military auto insurance section, staffed by veterans.

Read MoneyGeek's GEICO Auto Insurance Review

2

USAAScore: 90

5/5

Affordability

4.5/5

Claims Ratings

1/5

Discounts

5/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability


USAA caters to military members and their families, and has done so since its founding in 1922. They offer a wide array of insurance and banking products, including home, flood and life insurance as well as checking and savings accounts and loans. According to USAA, which holds 5.55% of the market share, their customers can save $707 per year on premiums.

Read MoneyGeek's USAA Auto Insurance Review

3

State FarmScore: 86

3/5

Affordability

3.5/5

Claims Ratings

5/5

Discounts

3/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability


State Farm, famous for its “Like a good neighbor” slogan, holds 16.97% of the total market share, making it the largest auto insurance company in the country. State Farm has been around since 1922 and offers a wide array of insurance options, including home and life insurance, to customers in every state. It also offers nearly 19,000 agent offices to help provide in-person customer support. The company says that it handles nearly 36,000 claims per day. It’s also worth noting that State Farm offers car insurance options for teen drivers, as well as rental and rideshare vehicles.

Read MoneyGeek's State Farm Auto Insurance Review

4

ProgressiveScore: 86

3/5

Affordability

4/5

Claims Ratings

5/5

Discounts

3/5

User Satisfaction

4.5/5

Financial Stability


Progressive says that it can save people an average of $750 on auto insurance when they switch, and the brand holds 11.80% of the market share. Popularized with commercials with the character Flo, the company’s main draw comes from its quote tool, which allows potential customers to see options from other insurance companies at the same time. Even if Progressive doesn’t have the lowest rate, you can quickly and easily weigh your options. Progressive was founded in 1937 and the company now has over 18 million customers and employs over 38,000 agents.

Read MoneyGeek's Progressive Auto Insurance Review

5

TravelersScore: 84

2/5

Affordability

3.5/5

Claims Ratings

5/5

Discounts

3/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability


Travelers provides more insurance options than its name suggests. Customers can find similar offerings as the other largest car insurance companies on this list, like home, landlord and boat insurance. The company has been around for over 160 years. Travelers employs over 12,000 dedicated claims representatives. The high number of representatives translates to shorter wait times compared to companies with fewer reps and more customers. Additionally, they have 13,500 agents and about 30,000 employees. Travelers holds 1.96% of the market share.

Read MoneyGeek's Travelers Auto Insurance Review

6

American FamilyScore: 84

2/5

Affordability

4.5/5

Claims Ratings

5/5

Discounts

3/5

User Satisfaction

4/5

Financial Stability


American Family was founded in 1927 and currently holds 1.94% of the market share, coming in tenth out of the ten largest car insurance companies in the country. American Family has about 12,000 employees, spread across a 14-company enterprise. The company brand is built around the idea of helping families protect and restore their dreams. Customers will find a wide array of insurance products with the company, especially when compared with other nine companies listed.

Read MoneyGeek's American Family Auto Insurance Review

7

AllstateScore: 82

3/5

Affordability

4.5/5

Claims Ratings

2/5

Discounts

3/5

User Satisfaction

4.5/5

Financial Stability


Founded in 1931 as part of Sears Roebuck and Co., Allstate now serves about 16 million households. The company holds 8.92% of the market share, according to the NAIC. The company’s, “You’re in good hands,” slogan is easily recognized thanks to its ads and its safe driving discount and accident forgiveness program help back that assertion up, with the latter giving customers peace of mind that their premium won’t go up after an accident. However, be aware that accident forgiveness isn’t available in all states. The company also offers coverage options for those who have expensive stereo systems that they want to protect, so that may be worth considering as well.

Read MoneyGeek's Allstate Auto Insurance Review

8

NationwideScore: 82

2/5

Affordability

5/5

Claims Ratings

2/5

Discounts

3/5

User Satisfaction

4.5/5

Financial Stability


Nationwide has been in the insurance industry since 1925, and currently holds 2.65% of the market share. The company itself includes several affiliates, like Allied, Farmland and Scottsdale property and casualty companies, as well as financial services companies. You can get a quote from Nationwide in seven minutes or less, according to the site. And customers who choose to use “Smart Ride” (their version of a safe driving discount) can get an automatic 10% off their policy — up to 40% off depending on how their driving is evaluated.

Read MoneyGeek's Nationwide Auto Insurance Review

9

Liberty MutualScore: 78

2/5

Affordability

3/5

Claims Ratings

5/5

Discounts

3/5

User Satisfaction

4/5

Financial Stability


Holding 4.65% of the market share, Liberty Mutual is well known for its “only human” marketing campaign and association with Statue of Liberty imagery. Liberty Mutual was founded in 1912 and spans property insurance, life policies and business insurance. Customers can save up to 30% by driving with a right-track plugin in their car for 90 days. The company has over 45,000 employees worldwide, and for the first quarter of 2020, it took in a net of $519 million. And for people who aren’t a fit or can’t qualify for Liberty Mutual’s car insurance, Safeco, a subsidiary, may be a good option.

Read MoneyGeek's Liberty Mutual Auto Insurance Review

10

Farmers InsuranceScore: 78

2/5

Affordability

4.5/5

Claims Ratings

2/5

Discounts

3/5

User Satisfaction

4/5

Financial Stability


With commercials starring Academy Award-winning actor J.K. Simmons (as well as their rather one-note jingle), Farmers has made a bit of a splash in the advertising world. That helped give it a top spot in the market share, of which it holds 4.35%. The company was founded in 1928, and it now holds over 19 million individual policies, and has over 48,000 exclusive and independent agents as well as almost 21,000 employees. That makes it easy to locate and speak with a representative to talk through your options. Farmers Insurance also offers a car-shopping service, which can help combine the buying and insuring processes.

Read MoneyGeek's Farmers Insurance Auto Insurance Review

Benefits Offered by the Largest Auto Insurance Companies

When you select a large auto insurance company, you get the resources that come with it — like the ability to handle claims within an established customer service system. It’s also easier to gauge how well that customer service is when you have thousands of reviews to consult, thereby giving you a more comprehensive understanding. The financial stability and technological features offered by an auto insurance company should also be considered.

Financial Stability of the Largest Auto Insurance Companies

AM Best rates the perceived financial strength of insurance companies as well as their ability to meet policyholder obligations whenever a claim is made. While this isn’t a guarantee that a company will pay out in the event of a claim or their overall financial strength, it is helpful context when comparing companies. Grades are assigned to each company. For example, an “A” rating is considered stable.

Company
Financial Stability
1. USAA
A++
2. GEICO
A++
3. State Farm
A++
4. Travelers
A++
5. Allstate
A+

Technology Features Offered by the Largest Auto Insurance Companies

The reputation of an insurance company carries more weight when the company has been in business for a long period. But sometimes that long history can mean dealing with a slower-moving company, especially when it comes to technological advances.

Here are a few features to keep an eye out for when weighing your insurance options:

  • A name-your-price tool: Progressive lets you tell the company how much you want to pay and see options based on that as well as your desired insurance coverages such as liability-only car insurance or full coverage car insurance.
  • All-inclusive mobile app: State Farm offers an app (for both iPhone and Android) that allows customers to upload photos and documents, manage their policies and even get roadside assistance.
  • SmartRide savings: Nationwide’s app provides drivers with the opportunity to save up to 40% on their car insurance for safe driving, either through an app or a device, and offers personalized feedback to help you save.

The Biggest Auto Insurance Company in Each State

Although the companies listed hold the largest overall market share, the statistics don’t necessarily replicate the same on a state-by-state level. People seeking auto insurance should always check out the specific offerings for the state they live in for the most accurate rates. For example, State Farm doesn’t currently offer new policies in Massachusetts, even though it has the largest overall market share in the country.

Find Cheap Car Insurance by State

AlabamaState Farm is the largest in ALBirmingham

AlaskaState Farm is the largest in AKAnchorage

ArizonaGEICO is the largest in AZPhoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Glendale, Gilbert

ArkansasState Farm is the largest in ARLittle Rock

ColoradoState Farm is the largest in CODenver, Colorado Springs, Aurora

ConnecticutGEICO is the largest in CTBridgeport

DelawareState Farm is the largest in DEWilmington

District Of ColumbiaGEICO is the largest in DC

GeorgiaState Farm is the largest in GAAtlanta

HawaiiGEICO is the largest in HIHonolulu

IdahoState Farm is the largest in IDBoise

IllinoisState Farm is the largest in ILChicago

IndianaState Farm is the largest in INIndianapolis, Fort Wayne

IowaState Farm is the largest in IADes Moines

KansasState Farm is the largest in KSWichita
KentuckyState Farm is the largest in KYLouisville, Lexington

LouisianaState Farm is the largest in LANew Orleans, Baton Rouge

MaineProgressive is the largest in MEPortland

MarylandGEICO is the largest in MDBaltimore

MassachusettsMAPFRE INS GRP is the largest in MABoston

MichiganState Farm is the largest in MIDetroit

MinnesotaState Farm is the largest in MNMinneapolis, St. Paul

MississippiState Farm is the largest in MSJackson

MissouriState Farm is the largest in MOKansas City, St. Louis

MontanaState Farm is the largest in MTBillings

NebraskaState Farm is the largest in NEOmaha, Lincoln

NevadaState Farm is the largest in NVLas Vegas, Henderson, Reno, North Las Vegas

New HampshireGEICO is the largest in NHManchester

New JerseyGEICO is the largest in NJNewark, Jersey City

New MexicoState Farm is the largest in NMAlbuquerque

New YorkGEICO is the largest in NYBuffalo, New York

North DakotaProgressive is the largest in NDFargo
OhioState Farm is the largest in OHColumbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo

OklahomaState Farm is the largest in OKOklahoma City, Tulsa

OregonState Farm is the largest in ORPortland

PennsylvaniaState Farm is the largest in PAPhiladelphia, Pittsburgh

Rhode IslandProgressive is the largest in RIProvidence

South CarolinaState Farm is the largest in SCCharleston

South DakotaState Farm is the largest in SDSioux Falls

TennesseeState Farm is the largest in TNNashville, Memphis

UtahState Farm is the largest in UTSalt Lake City

VermontProgressive is the largest in VTBurlington

VirginiaGEICO is the largest in VAVirginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Richmond

WashingtonState Farm is the largest in WASeattle, Spokane, Tacoma

West VirginiaState Farm is the largest in WVCharleston

WisconsinAmerican Family is the largest in WIMilwaukee, Madison

WyomingState Farm is the largest in WYCheyenne
AlabamaState Farm is the largest in ALBirmingham

AlaskaState Farm is the largest in AKAnchorage

ArizonaGEICO is the largest in AZPhoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Glendale, Gilbert

ArkansasState Farm is the largest in ARLittle Rock

ColoradoState Farm is the largest in CODenver, Colorado Springs, Aurora

ConnecticutGEICO is the largest in CTBridgeport

DelawareState Farm is the largest in DEWilmington

District Of ColumbiaGEICO is the largest in DC

GeorgiaState Farm is the largest in GAAtlanta

HawaiiGEICO is the largest in HIHonolulu

IdahoState Farm is the largest in IDBoise

IllinoisState Farm is the largest in ILChicago

IndianaState Farm is the largest in INIndianapolis, Fort Wayne

IowaState Farm is the largest in IADes Moines

KansasState Farm is the largest in KSWichita

KentuckyState Farm is the largest in KYLouisville, Lexington

LouisianaState Farm is the largest in LANew Orleans, Baton Rouge

MaineProgressive is the largest in MEPortland

MarylandGEICO is the largest in MDBaltimore

MassachusettsMAPFRE INS GRP is the largest in MABoston

MichiganState Farm is the largest in MIDetroit

MinnesotaState Farm is the largest in MNMinneapolis, St. Paul

MississippiState Farm is the largest in MSJackson

MissouriState Farm is the largest in MOKansas City, St. Louis
MontanaState Farm is the largest in MTBillings

NebraskaState Farm is the largest in NEOmaha, Lincoln

NevadaState Farm is the largest in NVLas Vegas, Henderson, Reno, North Las Vegas

New HampshireGEICO is the largest in NHManchester

New JerseyGEICO is the largest in NJNewark, Jersey City

New MexicoState Farm is the largest in NMAlbuquerque

New YorkGEICO is the largest in NYBuffalo, New York

North DakotaProgressive is the largest in NDFargo

OhioState Farm is the largest in OHColumbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo

OklahomaState Farm is the largest in OKOklahoma City, Tulsa

OregonState Farm is the largest in ORPortland

PennsylvaniaState Farm is the largest in PAPhiladelphia, Pittsburgh

Rhode IslandProgressive is the largest in RIProvidence

South CarolinaState Farm is the largest in SCCharleston

South DakotaState Farm is the largest in SDSioux Falls

TennesseeState Farm is the largest in TNNashville, Memphis

UtahState Farm is the largest in UTSalt Lake City

VermontProgressive is the largest in VTBurlington

VirginiaGEICO is the largest in VAVirginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Richmond

WashingtonState Farm is the largest in WASeattle, Spokane, Tacoma

West VirginiaState Farm is the largest in WVCharleston

WisconsinAmerican Family is the largest in WIMilwaukee, Madison

WyomingState Farm is the largest in WYCheyenne
AlabamaState Farm is the largest in ALBirmingham

AlaskaState Farm is the largest in AKAnchorage

ArizonaGEICO is the largest in AZPhoenix, Tucson, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, Glendale, Gilbert

ArkansasState Farm is the largest in ARLittle Rock

ColoradoState Farm is the largest in CODenver, Colorado Springs, Aurora

ConnecticutGEICO is the largest in CTBridgeport

DelawareState Farm is the largest in DEWilmington

District Of ColumbiaGEICO is the largest in DC
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Expert Advice: Finding a Car Insurance Company That Meets Your Needs

  1. With many options for auto insurance providers, what is the best way for drivers to create a list of car insurance companies that meet their needs?

    Drivers should narrow down their priority when selecting a car insurance company - is it cost? service? coverage? Rank the top 3 priorities and then rank companies according to how well they meet said priorities starting with priority 1 onward.

    Each individual person may have drastically different needs and wants for an auto insurance provider. Two necessary steps are, 1) knowing your state's minimum requirements, and 2) creating a list of what you are looking for. Are you looking to get full coverage, liability coverage? What deductible amount are you financially comfortable with? Do you want to bundle it with rental insurance or homeowner's insurance?

    Once you have identified your needs and wants, you can use one of the many internet services to identify your zip code's top auto insurers, one option is the MoneyGeek comparator. Also, be sure to see if your employer or university has a partnership with a particular company.

    When it comes to car insurance, there are many different benefits a given plan can offer, which can make it difficult to do an outright price comparison. If you're trying to compare prices between companies, you'll want to make sure the plan details are consistent (bodily injury liability, collision coverage, etc.).

    Assuming you have internet access, there are some excellent websites that offer comparisons of the different companies that provide auto insurance. Some offer estimates and some connect you with quotes from the companies.

    First, they have to understand what their needs are by doing the following:

    • Educate themselves on the minimum insurance coverage required by law and then build from there.
    • What stage are they in the family life cycle? How many insureds will be on the policy? Are they teenagers or older drivers?
    • Understand all other factors that influence the price of coverage, such as the make and model of the car you drive and their risk tolerance.
    • Do they want to have an actual agent that they can call if necessary?

    Get quotes from at least four companies for exactly the same coverage.

    I was asked to write this article shortly after I spent a weekend watching YouTube videos of Supercars in London and Monaco. The Bugattis and Bentleys caught my eye. But reality quickly set in even before I checked their sticker prices. Where could I possibly drive these cars in Pittsburgh? The potholes and steep hills would be the end of them. There would be nowhere to park them, including my garage (too small.) And even if I could afford a gently used one, the annual maintenance, replacement parts, and insurance costs would be out of reach. One estimated insurance premium for a Bentley was $50,000 with a $50,000 deductible per claim.

    I use this story to highlight the fact that the car insurance selection process must begin before you purchase a car. And that a myriad of factors, only some of which are under your control, will impact the amount of your insurance premium.

    It is obvious that make, model, and price of a car are considered. And that the age and driving record of the driver are also key factors. But it might not be as obvious that ZIP codes can have an impact. Statistics related to traffic levels, rates of accidents, and crimes such as theft and vandalism, are tracked by ZIP code.

    All these factors (and many more) represent a level of risk. Car insurance companies are not uniform in how they assess each of those risks. As a result, the highest premium quotes might be three times the cost of the lowest quotes in any given location. And drivers with different circumstances, might receive different premium quotes for the same vehicle, in the same city.

    Unless you recognize the factors that impact car insurance premiums, you might end up paying more than you need to or even worse, choosing a vehicle that you can’t afford to insure.

    With many options for auto insurance providers, what is the best way for drivers to create a list of car insurance companies that meet their needs?

    When selecting a car insurance company, a driver needs to know three things; what coverage is mandatory, what categories of coverage are provided by car insurance companies, and which personal circumstances will have an impact on the premium.

    The driver will also have to identify what risk level is acceptable. The purpose of insurance is to lessen risk, by sharing any loss with a pool of other insured drivers. Car insurance will never eliminate risk, but it can be used to avoid a significant negative financial impact. And it is important to remember, that it is good news if your annual premiums are never paid back to you. That means you never had to make a claim.

    1. Mandated Coverage

    First on the list is to identify what level of coverage is mandated by your state. This information is provided on each State Insurance Commissioner Website. Most states require a minimum level of car insurance, though a few allow drivers to provide some other method of financial responsibility for damages, both personal and property liability coverage. Some states have as many as 8 types of coverage that are required. This is the starting point.

    In addition, lenders and lessors usually require a certain level of insurance coverage.

    2. Categories of Insurance Coverage There are four main categories of car insurance coverage: Liability, Comprehensive, Collision, and Specific Endorsements or Add-Ons.

    Liability provides coverage for damages done to people and property resulting from a collision with another vehicle. It covers Bodily Injury, Property Damage, Personal Injury Protection, and Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Protection. Bodily Injury protects from lawsuits against the driver if responsible for an accident. Personal Injury Protection covers the cost of injuries to you and others. Uninsured or underinsured coverage is for when the at fault driver does not have adequate insurance.

    It is quoted using a series of three numbers. For example, 100/300/50 represents $100,000 Bodily Injury per Person/$300,000 Bodily Injury per Accident/ $50,000 Property Damage per Accident.

    Uninsured driver percentages, insurance fraud incidents, and lawsuits are tracked by ZIP code.
    And while a driver’s health insurance might seem like duplicate coverage, the complexity of submitting multiple claims can be avoided by having adequate liability coverage.

    Note that while some states have adopted “no-fault” rules, that doesn’t mean that a driver does not have liability. It is designed to reduce litigation.

    Comprehensive provides coverage for damages not resulting from a collision with another vehicle. It covers theft, vandalism, fires, explosions, flying or falling objects, weather-related damage, and even civil unrest.

    Again, ZIP code can determine the level of risk for many of these factors, as evidenced by daily news articles.

    Collision provides coverage for vehicle damage, including repairs or replacement.

    While this is partially based on the book value of the vehicle, Zip code can also be a factor based on average repair costs.

    Optional Endorsements or Add-Ons are offered by most car insurers. They include a long list of items such as Roadside Assistance and Towing, Glass Coverage, Rental Reimbursement, GAP Coverage – for when the amount paid for a totaled car is less than an outstanding loan or lease agreement amount, and Accident Forgiveness.

    Each of these categories of coverage will mitigate, but not eliminate, financial risk. Damages related to Comprehensive, Collision, and Other Endorsements are easier to quantify and have reasonable limits. In addition, they can be covered by building up healthy emergency funds. Liability risks are less certain and can be much more significant, especially if lawsuits are filed. Collision coverage is sometimes dropped for aging vehicles. But vehicle age is not a factor in liability coverage. In fact, it could increase liability, if maintenance has been neglected.

    3. Personal Circumstances Impacting Premiums

    It is important to provide all relevant information to a car insurance company. Failure to disclose information or to provide updates related to a change in circumstance, can result in claim denials and possibly discontinuation of coverage.

    However, it is difficult to know exactly what is relevant. In addition, some information can be used to lower premiums as well as raise them. That is why it is important to ask what factors they consider, and what programs they offer to reduce premiums. It is a good idea to review coverage every year.

    Many of the relevant factors are widely known, such as number, age, and driving records of all drivers in the home. Others are less obvious, such as how long is your commute, where do you park your car, what is your education level, credit score, and occupation.

    It is also important to disclose if you are using your vehicle for business purposes – including food deliveries, even meals on wheels or other volunteer activities. With the growth in part-time work, with multiple employers, this is becoming a common occurrence. And it will probably require you to have a commercial car insurance policy.

    Selecting what coverage is important must be done on an individual basis. For example, if it is a multiple car policy with several drivers, the need for a rental car might not be as critical as for someone who lives alone and has a long commute.

    The links provided at the end of this article can help to identify relevant factors.

    All of these risk factors need to be weighed, along with the premium costs related to the various levels of coverage. And choices for handling risk can include other options like emergency funds can be identified.

    Identifying a List

    Once a driver has identified the level and type of coverage required, the next step is to research car insurance companies and to obtain premium quotes.

    Drivers often select car insurance based on recommendations by family members or friends. However, using the Internet can help to make a more informed decision. It provides the following information:

    Premium Rates by ZIP Codes and Best Auto Insurance Companies for 2020 Ranked by:

    • Claims Service
    • Customer Service
    • Price Value
    • Website/Apps Ease of Use
    • Specific Categories – Life Events, Age, Accidents, Bad Credit, Speeding Tickets, Insurance Bundles, Safe Driver, Teen Driver, Young Driver, Senior Driver

    The website also identifies which companies are best for select factors such as senior drivers, adding a teen driver, accident forgiveness, or even speeding tickets.

    This will help to identify a list of car insurance companies that will fit your needs. And remember, one company does not fit all!

    And it shows that the Premium is not the only factor to be considered.

    The best way to compare auto insurance offers is through mobile apps and websites such as MoneyGeek.

  2. What are the advantages and benefits of getting auto coverage with a well-known car insurance company?

    Busy customers who do not have time to do extensive research can reliably infer a certain level of service and coverage from well-known car insurance agencies.

    While well-known car insurance companies are not always the most affordable option, they do have some advantages. For some customers being able to bundle is a decisive advantage. Bundling can discount prices to levels that make it competitive with the most cost-affordable insurer. Bundling could also help to alleviate some of the stress associated with keeping up with another bill.

    Another benefit of a well-known insurance company is their regional or national presence. If you are more likely to relocate or have children who may go to college in a different state, you may feel more comfortable knowing your current provider will continue to cover you and your family through these changes.

    I find that even well-known companies can have poor reviews, so customer service is a better indicator of quality than brand recognition (though better customer service will likely come at a higher price as well). So when choosing between brands, you'll also want to consider how much it's worth paying a higher price in exchange for a smoother insurance claim experience in the event of an accident.

    The main benefit is awareness of the company’s service record and the good (or bad) reputation it might have. Insurance is a product you pay for but would prefer to never use (as would the insurance company). If you do ever need it, you would have certain expectations of customer service and outcomes.

    The primary benefit of getting auto coverage from a well-known company is the level of credibility and stability that they provide. By emphasizing the relationship that the consumer has with their agent, you are tangibilizing the intangible for the consumer, which conveys trust. Also, agents are local and are part of the community, whereas online providers are "anonymous," and there is not a chance to build a long term, consistent relationship with your customer. Having said that, that's fine for some consumers who are only basing their decision on price and want basic insurance. However, the problem with this is that most consumers who purchase this way don't realize that when they have a problem and need to use their coverage, they typically don't have enough coverage and will end up paying more because everything is charged separately. Had they purchased from a well know company through an agency, all of this could be explained to them on the front end and they can make a more informed decision, often times saving them money in the long run.

    Consumer Reports has a list of well-rated car insurance companies. You want a company that charges low premiums and pays claims without a lot of trouble. How much they spend on advertising--i.e., how well-known they are--is less important.

    Well known car insurance companies spend significant amounts of money on advertising. And while advertising messages can be manipulative, they can also identify what areas they specialize in.

    They are also more likely to be financially sound.

    And finally, their infrastructures will be broad enough to provide coverage nationally, as well as locally, with multiple options for obtaining claim estimates, and obtaining repairs and other services. That is why Website/Apps – Ease of Use is now a factor when selecting a car insurance company.

    None in my opinion. All insurance companies offer similar coverages and customer service levels

  3. What are some of the best ways to compare auto insurance providers to find the best company for your needs?

    Some websites provide comparison tools which can be helpful.

    To find the best auto insurance provider, you need to identify what type of driver you are. Do you have a history of getting traffic tickets or in car accidents? If you answered yes to one of the above, be sure to keep in mind, providers increase their rates by very different amounts. In examining insurance rate increases for an average driver who received a speeding ticket, MoneyGeek found among nine providers, the range was from 15% to 42%. While among the same providers, increases in rates as the result of an accident ranged from 28% to 85%.

    So, while the annual car insurance rate and the deductible are important, understanding how rates may change is vital to finding the best provider, especially when considering coverage for more than one person or one vehicle.

    Independent Insurance Agents

    I compare the process of selecting a car insurance company to booking a vacation. While the Internet provides multiple tools for obtaining premium quotes (or hotel, car rental, and airfares,) unless you are an expert, using an Independent Insurance Agent (or travel agent) is often the best way to go.

    Independent Insurance Agents represent multiple insurance companies and can work with the customer to find the best fit. They are also more familiar with car insurance terminology and can also ask you the important questions about your own circumstances.

    Bundling Insurance Products

    Another option is to ask for a quote from the insurance company that handles your home or life insurance policies. Most insurers will offer discounts for bundled policies.

    Finalizing the Decision

    Selection of the best car insurance company and level of coverage is done based on a cost/benefit analysis and an assessment of risk. It is important to recognize how much a premium will change at different levels of coverage. If the savings are significant, they can be used to build an emergency fund. If not, it might be better to pay more for peace of mind.

    It is also important to review coverage every year, and to shop around for a better price. The industry is very competitive at the moment, so more favorable rates might be available. And updates in personal circumstances can require coverage and premium adjustments.

    It doesn’t cost anything to shop around. But the cost of the wrong coverage can be substantial.


  • Dr. Alexandra Aguirre-Rodriguez
    Dr. Alexandra Aguirre-RodriguezAssociate Professor Department of Marketing & Logistics at Florida International University
    Jevay Grooms
    Jevay GroomsAssistant Professor of Economics at Howard University
    Audrey Guo
    Audrey GuoAssistant Professor of Economics at Santa Clara University
    Steven Pecsok
    Steven PecsokAssistant Professor of Economics at Middlebury College
    Robin Grambling
    Robin GramblingSenior Lecturer Department of Marketing and Management at the University of Texas at El Paso
    Terrance Odean
    Terrance OdeanProfessor of Finance, Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Elaine Luther
    Elaine LutherBusiness Management Professor at Point Park University
    Emad AbouElgheit
    Emad AbouElgheitAssociate Professor of Marketing at Western Connecticut State University
  • Dr. Alexandra Aguirre-Rodriguez
    Dr. Alexandra Aguirre-RodriguezAssociate Professor Department of Marketing & Logistics at Florida International University
    Jevay Grooms
    Jevay GroomsAssistant Professor of Economics at Howard University
    Audrey Guo
    Audrey GuoAssistant Professor of Economics at Santa Clara University
    Steven Pecsok
    Steven PecsokAssistant Professor of Economics at Middlebury College
    Robin Grambling
    Robin GramblingSenior Lecturer Department of Marketing and Management at the University of Texas at El Paso
    Terrance Odean
    Terrance OdeanProfessor of Finance, Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Elaine Luther
    Elaine LutherBusiness Management Professor at Point Park University
    Emad AbouElgheit
    Emad AbouElgheitAssociate Professor of Marketing at Western Connecticut State University
  • Dr. Alexandra Aguirre-Rodriguez
    Dr. Alexandra Aguirre-RodriguezAssociate Professor Department of Marketing & Logistics at Florida International University
    Jevay Grooms
    Jevay GroomsAssistant Professor of Economics at Howard University
    Audrey Guo
    Audrey GuoAssistant Professor of Economics at Santa Clara University
    Steven Pecsok
    Steven PecsokAssistant Professor of Economics at Middlebury College
    Robin Grambling
    Robin GramblingSenior Lecturer Department of Marketing and Management at the University of Texas at El Paso
    Terrance Odean
    Terrance OdeanProfessor of Finance, Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Elaine Luther
    Elaine LutherBusiness Management Professor at Point Park University
    Emad AbouElgheit
    Emad AbouElgheitAssociate Professor of Marketing at Western Connecticut State University
  • Dr. Alexandra Aguirre-Rodriguez
    Dr. Alexandra Aguirre-RodriguezAssociate Professor Department of Marketing & Logistics at Florida International University
    Jevay Grooms
    Jevay GroomsAssistant Professor of Economics at Howard University
    Audrey Guo
    Audrey GuoAssistant Professor of Economics at Santa Clara University
    Steven Pecsok
    Steven PecsokAssistant Professor of Economics at Middlebury College
    Robin Grambling
    Robin GramblingSenior Lecturer Department of Marketing and Management at the University of Texas at El Paso
    Terrance Odean
    Terrance OdeanProfessor of Finance, Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Elaine Luther
    Elaine LutherBusiness Management Professor at Point Park University
    Emad AbouElgheit
    Emad AbouElgheitAssociate Professor of Marketing at Western Connecticut State University
  • Dr. Alexandra Aguirre-Rodriguez
    Dr. Alexandra Aguirre-RodriguezAssociate Professor Department of Marketing & Logistics at Florida International University
    Jevay Grooms
    Jevay GroomsAssistant Professor of Economics at Howard University
    Audrey Guo
    Audrey GuoAssistant Professor of Economics at Santa Clara University
    Steven Pecsok
    Steven PecsokAssistant Professor of Economics at Middlebury College
    Robin Grambling
    Robin GramblingSenior Lecturer Department of Marketing and Management at the University of Texas at El Paso
    Terrance Odean
    Terrance OdeanProfessor of Finance, Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Elaine Luther
    Elaine LutherBusiness Management Professor at Point Park University
    Emad AbouElgheit
    Emad AbouElgheitAssociate Professor of Marketing at Western Connecticut State University
  • Dr. Alexandra Aguirre-Rodriguez
    Dr. Alexandra Aguirre-RodriguezAssociate Professor Department of Marketing & Logistics at Florida International University
    Jevay Grooms
    Jevay GroomsAssistant Professor of Economics at Howard University
    Audrey Guo
    Audrey GuoAssistant Professor of Economics at Santa Clara University
    Steven Pecsok
    Steven PecsokAssistant Professor of Economics at Middlebury College
    Robin Grambling
    Robin GramblingSenior Lecturer Department of Marketing and Management at the University of Texas at El Paso
    Terrance Odean
    Terrance OdeanProfessor of Finance, Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Elaine Luther
    Elaine LutherBusiness Management Professor at Point Park University
    Emad AbouElgheit
    Emad AbouElgheitAssociate Professor of Marketing at Western Connecticut State University
  • Dr. Alexandra Aguirre-Rodriguez
    Dr. Alexandra Aguirre-RodriguezAssociate Professor Department of Marketing & Logistics at Florida International University
    Jevay Grooms
    Jevay GroomsAssistant Professor of Economics at Howard University
    Audrey Guo
    Audrey GuoAssistant Professor of Economics at Santa Clara University
    Steven Pecsok
    Steven PecsokAssistant Professor of Economics at Middlebury College
    Robin Grambling
    Robin GramblingSenior Lecturer Department of Marketing and Management at the University of Texas at El Paso
    Terrance Odean
    Terrance OdeanProfessor of Finance, Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley
  • Elaine Luther
    Elaine LutherBusiness Management Professor at Point Park University
    Emad AbouElgheit
    Emad AbouElgheitAssociate Professor of Marketing at Western Connecticut State University

About the Author


Devon Delfino is an independent journalist based in the Pacific Northwest. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Boston University. Her personal-finance reporting has been featured in publications such as the L.A. Times, Teen Vogue, Mashable, MarketWatch, CNBC and USA Today, among others. Devon Delfino is a writer for MoneyGeek.

Sources