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:
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.
|Company||NerdWallet's rating||See quotes|
|1. (tie) Geico|
|1. (tie) State Farm|
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||
|Common tech capabilities||
Recap: How the insurers compare
2. State Farm
|Complaints||1. State Farm
2. State Farm
|Coverage options||1. Allstate and Progressive (tie)
3. State Farm
|Apps and tech||1. Allstate
3. Progressive and State Farm (tie)
- $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.
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.