BEST OF

Best Car Insurance Companies of November 2021

Kayda NormanOct 21, 2021

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The best car insurance companies give their customers more than just coverage they want at a reasonable price — merely good companies can do that. The best auto insurance companies provide a customer-first experience from quote to claim, including a headache-free way to manage policies and make payments.

Large company size doesn’t necessarily mean a better customer experience. Smaller, local insurers like NJM and Erie also make the cut, while some of the largest companies in the U.S., including Nationwide, aren’t on our list.

The following companies received 4.5 or 5 stars out of 5 in NerdWallet’s analysis of the best auto insurers in the U.S.

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Summary of Best Car Insurance Companies of November 2021

Note: Not all insurers available in all states.

NerdWallet’s editorial team considered pricing, discounts, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more to determine the best car insurance companies. Our “ease of use” category includes factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. As we continue to evaluate more insurance providers and receive fresh market data, this list of best auto insurance companies is likely to change.

More on the best car insurance companies

Amica

Why it made the list: In J.D. Power’s 2020 studies, Amica ranked first for overall satisfaction in the New England region and eighth among 12 midsized insurers for insurance shopping satisfaction. J.D. Power also ranked Amica second highest for overall auto claims satisfaction in 2020.

If you do have to go through the claims process, you may not even see an increase in your rates. Customers who opt for certain upgrades can earn “Advantage Points” for good driving, renewing a policy and referring other drivers. These points can be used to keep your current rate after an accident. Amica also offers free glass repair, free lock replacement and free airbag repair after deployment.

Cost: About average.

Available in: Every state but Alaska and Hawaii.

Bottom line: High marks for customer satisfaction and numerous discounts make Amica a great choice for most drivers.

NJM

Why it made the list: New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance (NJM) gets high scores in J.D. Power’s studies of customer satisfaction. It's ranked No. 1 in "Among the best" in the 2020 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, the most recent available. It's also ranked third among 14 insurers in the mid-Atlantic region in the 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, which measures overall customer satisfaction.

You can get all the standard auto coverages from NJM, along with extras including new car replacement coverage for cars with fewer than 15,000 miles and pet coverage, which pays for vet bills if they are injured in a covered car accident. You can also add gap insurance to help pay off your car loan if your vehicle is stolen or totaled.

Cost: Cheaper than average.

Available in: Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Bottom line: NJM is one of a handful of insurers with a five-star rating, offering some of the cheapest car insurance rates on average. However, its policies are available only in five states.

Shelter

Why it made the list: Shelter’s policies for new vehicles automatically include new car replacement insurance, which will pay for a new car if yours is totaled in its first year with fewer than 15,000 miles on it. Many discounts are available, including one for drivers at least 48 years old who own another qualifying Shelter policy.

Shelter ranks third among 14 insurers in the Central region in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study.

Cost: About average.

Available in: Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Bottom line: Shelter's minimal customer complaints and extensive list of discounts make it a solid option if you live in one of the 15 states where the company offers policies.

Texas Farm Bureau Insurance

Why it made the list: Texas Farm Bureau Insurance operates in a single state, and buying coverage requires a Farm Bureau membership, which typically costs $35 to $50 a year. That gives you access to some of the cheapest car insurance in Texas.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance is the highest rated auto insurer in Texas.

Texas Farm Bureau Insurance gives student drivers a discount for good grades, gives homeowners a discount for bundling and gives anyone a discount for having a car’s vehicle identification number, or VIN, etched in the glass of the car to deter theft.

Cost: About average.

Available in: Texas.

Bottom line: For many Texas drivers — especially young adults — Texas Farm Bureau will be among the cheapest providers, though its rates are about average overall.

Allstate

Why it made the list: In J.D. Power’s 2020 studies, Allstate ranked No. 8 out of 24 companies scored about average for customer claims satisfaction. Allstate also ranked fourth among eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance and first for overall satisfaction in Florida.

Allstate offers discounts for drivers in some states who use the company’s telematics program — a system that tracks how safely you drive. You can get discounts for being a good student, driving a new car and going paperless. Allstate also gives you a discount on your deductible if you sign up for the optional deductible rewards program, cutting down on your out-of-pocket expenses when you’re in an accident.

Cost: About average.

Available in: All 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Bottom line: With generous discounts and plenty of coverage options, this auto insurance giant is worth a look.

American Family

Why it made the list: In J.D. Power’s 2020 customer satisfaction studies, American Family ranked third among a dozen midsized insurers for satisfaction with the insurance shopping experience and tied for first place for overall satisfaction in the Southwest region. J.D. Power ranked American Family ranked No. 17 out of 24 companies for auto insurance claims satisfaction in 2020.

American Family offers a range of discounts to drivers in some states, including for loyalty, completing a defensive driving course and for students away at school. The company also has apps to monitor driving, allowing good drivers to earn discounts.

Cost: About average.

Available in: 19 states, mainly throughout the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

Bottom line: American Family really shines when it comes to discounts, with savings for insuring multiple vehicles, completing a defensive driving course and having a student away at school.

Auto-Owners

Why it made the list: In J.D. Power’s 2020 studies, Auto-Owners ranked fifth among 12 mid-sized insurers for customer satisfaction with insurance shopping and first for overall satisfaction in the Central region. Auto-Owners ranked No. 3 out of 24 companies for customer claims satisfaction in 2020.

Auto-Owners has an app to track your driving. Good drivers can get a discount for avoiding hard braking and sharp turns, along with other safe behaviors.

Cost: About average.

Available in: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Bottom line: People who need several insurance policies may benefit from the convenience and discounts of bundling them with Auto-Owners, which has many coverage options and few customer complaints.

Chubb

Why it made the list: Chubb Insurance isn’t trying to be the cheapest car insurer — it’s trying to be the car insurer with the white-glove touch. Rental reimbursement comes with a whopping $15,000 limit. Coverage will pay for repairing your car with original manufacturer-made parts, for those cars that need just the right imported piece. You can even get extra-high liability limits, up to $10 million.

Cost: About average.

Available in: All 50 states and Washington D.C.

Bottom line: Chubb doesn’t focus on cheap insurance, but rather caters to mostly high-net-worth families, providing generous coverage options and perks that aren’t usually available from other insurers.

Erie

Why it made the list: Erie Insurance ranked second among a dozen midsized auto insurance companies in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, which measures satisfaction with the auto insurance shopping experience. It also ranked seventh out of 23 companies nationwide in the 2020 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

When you buy Erie car insurance, you can lock in your rates until you change covered drivers, covered cars or your home address. Erie offers new car protection for cars under 24 months old, and rental reimbursement coverage comes standard with comprehensive coverage in most states. Accident forgiveness is available after three years with the company.

Cost: About average.

Available in: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin, plus Washington, D.C.

Bottom line: With free perks like accident forgiveness for loyal customers and the ability to lock in your rates, Erie is popular with consumers. However, it operates in only 12 states and Washington, D.C.

Farmers

Why it made the list: Farmers Insurance ranks seventh on the list of the largest car insurance companies in the U.S.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, Farmers ranked sixth among eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with the insurance shopping experience. J.D. Power rated Farmers No. 10 out of 24 companies for customer satisfaction with its claims process in 2020.

You can get discounts for building multiple policies, being a good student and being a member of some professional groups.

Cost: About average.

Available in: 42 states (Not available in Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, West Virginia and Washington D.C.)

Bottom line: One of the country's largest insurers, Farmers offers plenty of ways to customize your policies and more discounts than most other insurers.

Geico

Why it made the list: One of the most popular car insurance companies in the U.S., Geico stacks up the discounts, giving drivers in some states a few bucks off for everything from clean driving records to good grades. Federal employees also get discounts, as do veterans, active military and reservists. As for coverage, you can get all the basics plus mechanical breakdown coverage, which helps pay for repairs to newer cars with fewer miles.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 customer satisfaction studies, Geico ranked first among large insurers for the insurance shopping experience and first (or tied for first) for overall satisfaction in the North Central, Northwest and Southwest regions.

Cost: Cheaper than average.

Available in: All 50 states and Washington. D.C.

Bottom line: With nationwide availability and a raft of discounts, Geico is a popular and often affordable choice for car insurance. Among the nation’s four largest insurers, Geico stands out as having the cheapest annual rates on average and the smoothest online experience for users.

The Hanover

Why it made the list: If you’re looking for an auto insurance policy with built-in extras, you may want to consider The Hanover. It received fewer than the expected number of complaints for auto insurance, and has a wide variety of coverage options.

The Hanover offers the usual car insurance coverage, but also has customizable packages with additional perks. These packages come in two tiers and different price points.

Cost: More expensive than average.

Available in: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for an auto insurance policy with built-in extras, you may want to consider The Hanover. The insurer offers highly customizable policies for both home and auto insurance.

Liberty Mutual

Why it made the list: Out of the six largest insurance companies, Liberty Mutual is the only one to offer both gap insurance and new car replacement coverage, which pays for the cost of a new car if it’s totaled in the first year and has less than 15,000 miles. Liberty Mutual also provides a unique benefit for teachers, who can receive free auto insurance such as collision and personal property insurance and vandalism loss protection in certain states.

Among large insurers, Liberty Mutual offers more discounts than anyone besides American Family. For example, drivers can save by paying their bill online, driving a hybrid or electric vehicle, and owning a home.

Liberty Mutual ranked fifth out of eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance in J.D. Power’s 2020 study. The insurer ranked No. 14 out of 24 companies for customer claims satisfaction in 2020.

Cost: Liberty Mutual does not disclose rate filings, but in previous years it was more expensive than average.

Available in: All 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Bottom line: Liberty Mutual provides robust digital tools on its website and app, and offers more discounts than most other insurers.

Progressive

Why it made the list: Progressive has different features and options depending on your state. Some of the more interesting additions include pet injury protection, which is included with collision coverage, and a deductible “savings bank,” which knocks your deductible down by $50 each claim-free policy period to a minimum of $0.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, Progressive ranked seventh out of eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with the insurance shopping experience. J.D. Power rated Progressive No. 21 out of 24 companies for customer satisfaction with its claims process in 2020.

Cost: About average.

Available in: All 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Bottom line: Progressive’s customer satisfaction scores aren’t as high as other companies’, but it offers enough discounts and insurance products to accommodate most people and has few customer complaints.

Safety

Why it made the list: Safety Insurance is available only in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, but its strong customer service makes it worth considering if you live in one of those three states. The company receives fewer consumer complaints to state regulators than expected for an insurer of its size.

You can customize your auto insurance with a “Safety Shield” package that may include full glass coverage, a waiver of your collision deductible, emergency road travel expenses and other extras, depending on where you live. Safety offers a variety of ways to save, including discounts for bundling multiple policies, getting policies delivered electronically or having a student with good grades on the policy.

In Massachusetts, other optional insurance may include accident forgiveness or coverage for a pet riding in the car with you. In all three states, you can also add gap insurance to pay off a loan or lease if your vehicle is totaled.

Cost: Cheaper than average.

Available in: Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Bottom line: Safety offers cheaper car insurance rates on average than most other companies and gets fewer consumer complaints than expected for a company its size. However, it sells policies in only three states.

State Farm

Why it made the list: The largest personal auto insurer in the country, State Farm ranked third among eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance in J.D. Power’s 2020 studies. It also ranked first for overall satisfaction in New York and the mid-Atlantic region and No. 6 out of 24 companies for customer claims satisfaction in 2020.

The company offers discounts to drivers in some states for having multiple cars, being a good driver and having a student away at school. State Farm has a safe driving app that can live on your phone or through OnStar. You can earn a discount by following the rules and driving sensibly.

Cost: About average.

Available in: All 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Bottom line: With generous coverage and discounts for good driving habits, State Farm is a popular insurer with better customer satisfaction ratings compared to other large competitors.

Travelers

Why it made the list: Travelers offers potential discounts in some states for using the company’s telematics program, a system that tracks your driving. Optional plans offer forgiveness for one accident and one minor violation so your rates don’t go up after an incident.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 study, Travelers ranked eighth among eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance. Travelers ranked No. 19 out of 24 companies for customer claims satisfaction in 2020.

Cost: About average.

Available in: 42 states and Washington, D.C. (Not available in Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming.)

Bottom line: One of the largest auto insurers in the nation, Travelers offers a broad range of coverage options and discounts to help you customize your car insurance policy.

USAA

Why it made the list: Although USAA sells insurance in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., it’s only available to active military, veterans and their families. For that reason, NerdWallet doesn’t rank USAA alongside other major auto insurance companies. But for customers who qualify, USAA often offers cheap rates.

USAA consistently scores high in J.D. Power studies for insurance shopping, claims and overall customer satisfaction.

USAA offers many discounts, including some specifically for drivers in the military. For instance, you can get a discount for keeping your car in a garage on a military base. You can also get more general discounts in some states for earning good grades and insuring a new car.

Cost: Cheaper than average.

Available in: All 50 states and Washington, D.C. (but only to active military, veterans and their families).

Bottom line: Although USAA sells insurance in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., it’s available only to active military, veterans and their families, but for customers who qualify, USAA often offers cheap rates and scores high in J.D. Power studies for insurance shopping, claims and overall customer satisfaction.

Finding the best car insurance company for you

Pricing and discounts made up a portion of each insurer’s score, but we know that cost is the top factor for many auto insurance shoppers. Since pricing is based on personal factors including your age, location, vehicle, credit history and gender (in most cases), it’s important to shop around for car insurance quotes to find the cheapest option.

You may find that your shopping experience also sheds light on a company’s customer service standards.

To find the top car insurance companies:

  • Visit your state insurance commissioner’s website to find complaints and other information about companies in your area.

  • Ask your agent or a customer service representative questions to make sure you’re getting all the coverage you need — and nothing you don’t want.

  • Consider smaller auto insurance companies, too. Small companies offer rates well below large competitors in many locations.

  • If you’ve had a ticket, DUI or other violation, be sure to shop three and five years after the incident, when surcharges can drop significantly.

Want to see rates? Use the cheap full coverage calculator and compare average rates from the three cheapest car insurance companies where you live.

Last updated on October 21, 2021

Methodology

Auto insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints and discounts. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.