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Allstate, Geico, Progressive or State Farm: Which One Is Best for You?

Aug. 10, 2018
Auto Insurance, Insurance
Allstate, Geico, Progressive or State Farm
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Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm are the four largest insurance companies in the United States. All have been in business for decades, enjoy top financial strength ratings and are well-known in the industry. Together, they held 50% of the total market share of personal auto insurance policies in 2017, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

NerdWallet compared these insurers and scored them on the following:

You can also find out what we didn’t score, in case you’re interested in a particular feature all four insurers offer (or don’t). The rankings in each category are recapped at the bottom.


Here’s a quick look at how the insurers stacked up against one another. Star ratings come from NerdWallet’s 2018 ranking of the best car insurance companies.

CompanyNerdWallet's ratingSee quotes
1. (tie) Geico
4.0 NerdWallet rating
1. (tie) State Farm
4.0 NerdWallet rating
3. Allstate
4.0 NerdWallet rating
4. Progressive
3.5 NerdWallet rating

Best for price: Geico

For many, price is king and little else matters as much. If that describes you, Geico is worth checking out.

Although NerdWallet found Geico to be the cheapest among the four companies for many types of drivers, it’s still best to shop around. For example, you can use the tabs in the graphic below to see that for drivers with good credit and one at-fault accident, State Farm was cheapest, on average.

Of course, these are just averages across the entire country. Insurance pricing also varies by location and demographic factors.

Fewest consumer complaints: State Farm

Relative to its size, State Farm had the fewest complaints reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for private passenger auto insurance in 2017.

But it was not the only large insurer with good behavior: Allstate and Geico also had fewer complaints than the median relative to their size, which is measured by premiums written. Progressive, however, had well above the median number of complaints relative to its size.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s State Farm review

Best for customer satisfaction: Geico

Geico’s customers report better satisfaction than the others, according to J.D. Power and Consumer Reports data. Satisfaction surveys include pricing, claims and customer service questions.

State Farm was a close second place; in Consumer Reports surveys, it tied with Geico.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s Geico insurance review

Best for coverage options: Progressive & Allstate

Out of all 10 optional coverages we looked for — such as gap insurance and accident forgiveness — Allstate and Progressive each offered eight.

Here are some differentiators:

  • Progressive offers gap insurance instead of new car replacement, while the opposite is true for Allstate. Because the coverage is similar, insurers commonly offer only one or the other, if at all. State Farm and Geico offer neither.
  • Neither Allstate or Progressive offers mechanical breakdown insurance. Of the big four, only Geico does.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s Progressive insurance review

Best for tech and apps: Allstate

Consumers expect smooth online experiences and slick apps for many services, and insurers are taking notice. Allstate stood out for having:

  • Unique features in the mobile app.
  • Additional app offerings like QuickTrip, which can help save time, and a motor club app (which requires a membership, similar to AAA).
  • A voice-activated resource for Amazon’s Alexa.

The other three big insurers have some similar tech features, including virtual assistant capabilities for Google products rather than Alexa, but Allstate had the most.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s Allstate insurance review

Apples to apples: What all four insurers offer

All four of these insurers have been in the game a while, so they know which features are no-brainers to offer. In terms of coverage and tech options, Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm all have the following features in common.

Common coverage options

  • Rideshare insurance
  • Roadside assistance and towing
  • Rental reimbursement, if your car is in the shop for a covered claim
Common tech capabilities
  • In-app bill pay
  • ID card can be viewed and downloaded from app
  • Submit claims in-app or online
  • Track claims in the app or online
  • Can see policy info in the app

Recap: How the insurers compare

Price1. Geico
2. State Farm
3. Progressive
4. Allstate
Complaints1. State Farm
2. Allstate
3. Geico
4. Progressive
Satisfaction1. Geico
2. State Farm
3. Allstate
4. Progressive
Coverage options1. Allstate and Progressive (tie)
3. State Farm
4. Geico
Apps and tech1. Allstate
2. Geico
3. Progressive and State Farm (tie)

» MORE: Compare car insurance

Pricing: NerdWallet averaged rates for 30-year-old men and women for 10 ZIP codes in each state and Washington, D.C., from the largest insurers in each state. “Good drivers” had no moving violations on record and credit in the “good” tier as reported to each insurer. For the other two driver profiles, we changed the credit tier to “poor” or added one at-fault accident, keeping everything else the same. Sample drivers had the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added. We used a 2014 Toyota Camry in all cases. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

Customer satisfaction:
Each of the following was weighed once for the final rankings, resulting in double-weighted satisfaction scores.

  • 2017 company satisfaction data from the Consumer Reports Winter Survey. Higher satisfactions ratings from Consumer Reports were given higher scores in our calculation. Paid registration is required to view Consumer Reports insurer satisfaction ratings.
  • 2017 J.D. Power ratings from three studies encompassing regional customer service satisfaction, auto claims satisfaction and shopping satisfaction. Ratings from each of the separate 2017 studies were averaged to form one overall score from J.D. Power. The higher the average, the more points the insurer scored in our calculation.

Consumer complaints to state regulators in 2017, from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Coverage options: Information from insurer websites.

Apps and tech: Information from insurer websites.