The best car insurance companies give their customers more than just coverage they want at a reasonable price — merely good companies can do that. On top of 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.
NerdWallet’s editorial team considered pricing and discounts, ease of filing a claim, website transparency, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more to determine the best car insurance companies. As we continue to evaluate more auto insurance companies and receive fresh market data, this list is likely to change.
The best car insurance companies
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.
|Texas Farm Bureau Insurance|
|Auto Club So-Cal AAA|
|*USAA is available only to active military, veterans and their families.|
|Note: Not all insurers available in all states.|
» MORE: Compare car insurance
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 and credit history and gender (in most cases), it’s important to shop around for car insurance quotes.
If price is the most important factor in your search, comparing car insurance quotes can help you find the cheapest rate. But your shopping experience will also shed light on a company’s customer service standards.
To find the best 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 any questions you have to make sure you’re getting all the coverage you need — and nothing you don’t want.
- Consider smaller insurance companies, too. Small companies offer rates well below large competitors in many locations.
- If you’ve had tickets, DUIs or other violations, be sure to shop three and five years after the incident, when surcharges can drop significantly.
Want to see rates? Navigate to your state below and compare average rates from the three cheapest car insurance companies in several categories where you live.
More about the best car insurance companies
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 Liberty Mutual and Nationwide, aren’t on our list.
Amica Insurance sells auto insurance in 25 states, having grown from covering just New York and New Jersey before 2017.
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.
» MORE: Amica insurance review
Erie Insurance offers auto insurance to buyers in 12 states — Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin — plus Washington, D.C.
Erie earns strong marks in J.D. Power customer satisfaction studies:
- Second among a dozen midsized insurance companies in the 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, which measures satisfaction with the auto insurance shopping experience.
- Second among 14 companies in the mid-Atlantic region, second out of 17 insurers in the Southeast region and third among 20 companies in the North Central region in the 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study.
- 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.
» MORE: Erie insurance review
Geico operates its car insurance business in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
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. J.D. Power rated Geico No. 11 out of 24 companies for satisfaction with its claims process in 2020.
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.
» MORE: Geico insurance review
Despite its name, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance isn’t limited to a single state. The company offers auto insurance to drivers in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
NJM gets high scores in J.D. Power’s studies of customer satisfaction:
- Ranked No. 1 in “Among the best” in the 2020 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, the most recent available.
- 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.
» MORE: NJM insurance review
Shelter Insurance sells policies in 15 states — Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, Shelter ranks third among 14 insurers in the Central region.
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.
» MORE: Shelter insurance review
Texas Farm Bureau Insurance
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.
Allstate operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
In J.D. Power’s 2020 studies, Allstate ranked fourth among eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance and first for overall satisfaction in Florida. Allstate ranked No. 8 out of 24 companies scored about average for customer claims satisfaction in 2020.
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.
» MORE: Allstate insurance review
American Family Insurance operates in 19 states, mainly throughout the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.
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.
» MORE: American Family insurance review
Auto Club of Southern California (AAA)
Auto Club of Southern California is one of several separate insurance companies that operate under the AAA brand. It may sound like a regional player, but the Auto Club of SoCal actually operates in about 20 states, ranging from California to Maine. To buy coverage, you’ll probably need an AAA club membership, which typically has an annual fee of about $40 to $165 per person.
In J.D. Power’s 2020 customer satisfaction studies, the Auto Club of SoCal ranked second among 15 insurers in California for overall satisfaction and 10th out of 12 midsized insurers for satisfaction with the insurance shopping experience. Auto Club of SoCal ranked No. 15 out of 24 companies for auto insurance claims satisfaction in 2020.
Auto Club of SoCal gives discounts in some states for holding on to your coverage, having good grades or bundling policies. Good drivers can also save by using the AAA OnBoard app to monitor their driving. Discounts vary by state.
» MORE: AAA auto insurance review
Auto-Owners Insurance is available in 26 states.
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 drivers in some states can get discounts for insuring multiple cars, paying premiums on time for three years and having a life insurance policy with the company. Auto-Owners also 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.
» MORE: Auto-Owners insurance review
Chubb Insurance specializes in high-end coverage for well-to-do families. The company has offices in 35 states and Washington, D.C.
Chubb 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.
» MORE: Chubb insurance review
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 bundling multiple policies, being a good student and being a member of some professional groups.
» MORE: Farmers insurance review
Progressive Insurance operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., so you can get it no matter where you live.
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.
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.
» MORE: Progressive insurance review
As the largest personal auto insurer in the country, State Farm covers all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
In J.D. Power’s 2020 studies, State Farm ranked third among eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance and first for overall satisfaction in New York and the mid-Atlantic region. State Farm ranked No. 6 out of 24 companies scored about average 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.
» MORE: State Farm insurance review
Travelers Insurance operates in 42 states and Washington, D.C.
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.
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 every 36 months so your rates don’t go up after an incident.
» MORE: Travelers insurance review
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 insurers. 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 taking defensive driving courses, earning good grades and insuring a new car.
» MORE: USAA insurance review
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, website transparency and affordability. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. This ranking reflects relative performance in our auto insurance rating formula; many companies are considered but only carriers with 4.5 or 5 stars based on the formula are listed.
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.
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