The lowest car insurance rates, are generally available from the most reliable and highly-rated companies in your area. Prices are cheap, and these carriers are able to pay claims quicker, keep premiums more stable, and instantly offer you the specific coverage you need, along with lower down-payments and same-day coverage. Additional discounts for claim-free driving, covering additional vehicles, installation of electronic devices, and insuring other property and casualty products, may provide additional savings.
Of course, that's the easy part. Finding the best insurers can be quite a challenge. But after spending thousands of hours researching, studying and analyzing data and information, we believe we have found the answer. Listed below (in alphabetical order) are the top-rated companies for insuring your vehicles. Our criteria consists of a combination of rates, service, reliability, loyalty rewards, and customer service. The list is updated quarterly, so recent changes in rates, discounts, or underwriting guidelines are taken into consideration.
NOTE: As we later mention, companies 11-20 aren't too shabby either! In fact, you could easily insert each of those carriers into our Top-10 list, and you wouldn't receive many complaints. Feel free to contact us for the entire list.
American Family An "A" rated company from A.M. Best. Their prices are not quite as competitive as in previous years, but they still are an attractive option in many areas. Usually, you buy directly from a broker. It is possible that they (because of contractual agreements) will not be able to offer you other options with different companies. State Farm also conducts business the same way. Since they are "captive" companies, it's always a good idea to get additional quotes before buying a policy from these types of carriers. There may be a large disparity when comparing prices for applicants with different driving records.
They're not in every state right now (currently 19 states), but AF will be expanding. In Arizona and some nearby states, they are especially popular. American Family is actually the fourth biggest mutual property and casualty insurance company in the US, and covers many residences for their customers. States where coverage is available are Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin. Uber and Lyft drivers can utilize the rideshare endorsement coverage, which provides the same benefits as the main policy. Classic and business vehicle coverage is also provided.
One of their recent consumer endeavors is to determine how weather impacts different roofing materials, in an effort to reduce costs. A roofing research center has been built and any helpful data derived from the testing will be shared with the general public. By testing with both new and used materials, the results should provide valuable information that could lead to lower homeowner's insurance premiums. A "renovated home" discount is also offered if your plumbing, electrical or heating systems have been recently inspected and updated. NOTE: Although not necessarily related to an auto policy, this type of research may help reduce costs in the future.
Auto-Owners Perhaps another carrier that you have never heard of. But they have been writing policies since 1916, and slowly, they plod along and offer great rates in about half of the country. In a recent major customer-service survey, they ranked third among many national carriers. The results were based on the value of their policies, claims satisfaction and the number of customers who would recommend them to friends and neighbors. Although their prices are not as competitive as they were in the 1980s and 1990s, they still are a popular choice among consumers.
As a Fortune 500 Company, with about $6 billion of annual written premium, more than 30,000 independent brokers offer coverage. The company consists of the following six companies: Auto-Owners Insurance Company, Auto-Owners Life Insurance Company, Owners Insurance Company, Home-Owners Insurance Company, Property-Owners Insurance Company, and Southern-Owners Insurance Company. The last five companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries of the main carrier.
98% of their policyholders said they would renew their policy. Auto-Owners also stays up-to-date by offering a mobile app and a rider that covers injuries to your pets. Business and life policies are also offered. Their motto is: "You're more than a customer. You're an owner." They do a good job of promoting that concept.
Erie Maybe you don't know about them, but we do! They have been offering property and casualty products since 1925, and have been steadily adding to the portfolio of available products. They don't advertise (other than a few exceptions) and they are also selective about the brokers that they allow to represent their products. And yes, they do offer coverage outside of Pennsylvania. But Erie's rates are very enticing in many states. Also, in some areas they have the best rates for teenage drivers. Of course, it helps if they have not had any at-fault accidents, and they have a "B" average or better.
Currently, they offer policies in 12 states and the District of Columbia, but we expect expansion in the near future. The 12 participating states are: Tennessee, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Wisconsin, and Ohio, They also offer life, business, identity theft recovery, restaurant, and retirement coverage so small business owners often find their packages attractive. Pet-owners will be happy to know that Erie includes $500 per pet (maximum two pets) of vet bills when riding in a vehicle that is involved in an accident. Disciplined underwriting practices and investment philosophies have helped their prices stay competitive. We expect that tend to continue as they slowly increase their market share.
Esurance If you like to handle everything online (billing, claims, policy changes, adding and subtracting drivers), then Esurance is the perfect choice. They say that everything is designed to save their customer time. And they are right! You can correspond via email, instant messaging or fax just about any time of the day. In California, they have received the J.D. Power award for "highest customer satisfaction," and independent reviews of the carrier are typically very positive. Although most business and transactions are conducted online, 17 offices are located throughout the country to assist customers.
Esurance is a subsidiary of Allstate, although they operate separately and independently. They have won numerous awards, including "best pace to work" and "workplace diversity" from several sources. Their rates will vary quite a bit, depending upon where you live, but we generally include them in most quote requests. Each year, they add more coverage options and expand their product base. Included in their product portfolio is coverage for snowmobiles, scooters, golf carts, Segways, and ATVs.
Geico They're definitely no longer for just government employees. Geico, a Berkshire-Hathaway company, now offers coverage to just about everyone. Not only do we offer their lowest rates, but products are also available through other brokers and selected websites. Their app is one of the best in the industry, and allows you to easily pay bills online, get a digital ID card, obtain roadside assistance, view vehicle maintenance records and open recalls, and reschedule premium payments. But that's not why we have them on our list.
They are dependable, and "hassle-free" is often a description we hear regarding their service. They offer many safety discounts that are approved by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety and they are recognized in many publications. And even though Geico is an old established carrier, they always seem to come up with innovative customer-friendly initiatives. Their commercials are always entertaining, although watching them won't lower your premium!
Geico started offers on-demand coverage in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Drivers for Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing and driver transportation companies, can easily secure comprehensive commercial benefits. Personal usage is also covered with the option to drive for several ride-sharing companies.
Liberty Mutual Although they don't have the brand appeal of State Farm and Nationwide, and don't have the great commercials like Geico or Progressive, Liberty Mutual does offer outstanding pricing in many states. Their "Better Car Replacement" option has been popular. This coverage replaces your vehicle (assuming a total loss) with a substitute that is one year newer and has 15,000 less miles.
They still offer 12-month guarantees and like most other carriers, allow you to manage your policy online. Also, if you use their substitute-transportation benefit, there is no maximum coverage period which is a big plus. Their consumer ratings are typically very high, so customers seem to be satisfied. Also available is an "affinity program" offered by more than 10,000 employers, credit unions and alumni organizations. A fairly substantial discount is offered if you qualify. An additional reduction may apply if you payroll-deduct premiums.
One of their recent innovations applies to customers who also have their home covered with Liberty Mutual. By owning a smoke or carbon monoxide detector that can be remotely monitored, a discount will be applied to the premium. The condition of the batteries and household Wi-Fi can be observed online.
Progressive For consumers that grew up in the Cleveland area, you may remember Progressive as a locally-run company that only specialized in high-risk drivers in Ohio. Times have changed! Now Progressive is one of the most recognized brand names in the industry. In addition to catchy commercials, they feature competitive rates and "Claim Mobiles" that come to you for estimates. Every big city seems to have a few of them helping policyholders throughout the day.
The "Snapshot" mechanism also is available, which is unique to their customers. It will monitor your driving habits and patterns and determine if additional discounts on your premiums are warranted. For slow careful occasional drivers, it's helpful. This electronic device is non-intrusive and can be easily installed (and uninstalled). Both mobile app and plug-in device are available, and after six months, you can view results and savings (hopefully). Specific trip log detailed information is provided to help maximize savings.
And then there is "Flo." Originally appearing in her first commercial in 2008, she has completed more than 100 television ads with Progressive. Since the airing of the original ad, market-share has increased from 4.9% to over 8%, and continues to rise. Stephanie Courtney, who plays Flo's character, actually appeared on the now-canceled ABC show "Caveman."
USAA They rarely will be the least expensive option in your area. But there's a pretty good chance you're going to be happy with the way you're treated. However, you do have to be active military, a veteran (with the appropriate discharge) or a family member to apply for coverage. This does limit the number of consumers who are able to qualify. The rumor that anybody can obtain a policy with USAA is not true. Also, your entire claims process can be handled online. It's not a requirement, but if you have an extremely busy schedule, you'll like this feature.
Their policies are very flexible (including billing) and unlike most other carriers, you can also refinance your home with them, purchase life insurance or a Medicare Supplement plan, or reduce your premium by keeping your vehicles on a military base. The financial and banking services portions of their business are likely to expand in the next five years. Mutual funds, stocks, options, and annuities are already available.
Their prices are also attractive in most states, and they offer an amazingly high number of ancillary products. Motorcycles, homes, ID Theft, RV, ATV, renters, collectables, umbrella and boats are just a handful of lines of business they offer. Additional available products include checking accounts, savings accounts, personal loans, youth banking, IRAs, trust services, long-term care, and vehicle-buying services.
21st Century Admittedly, it is an odd name for an insurer. But, this is the 21st century, so perhaps this is their time (all 100 years) to offer great rates and service. They have actually been operating since 1958 and they are well-known in the industry for being very responsive with online inquiries. When you have a question or concern, they get back to you quickly. Other products offered include mobile and manufactured homes, flood, antique autos, motorcycles, ATVs, and mechanical breakdown.
They are also part of the larger Farmers group. The relationship is similar to Esurance's arrangement with Allstate. Although it's part of a bigger company, they have separate rates, offices and underwriting guidelines. With more than 2000 employees, 21st Century is one of the "big players" in the industry and their rates are very competitive, especially in portions of the Midwest and South. In certain eastern states, they have not picked up the market share that was expected.
Claims are handled by Farmers and their "HelpPoint Services" program. The cost-effective synergy provides a quicker and more streamlined process that is available 24/7. Because of the large number of available specialists, catastrophic events are very effectively handled. There are thousands of authorized repair facilities, so you won't have to travel far to have your work completed. We have always rated their claims work to be "above satisfactory." They also utilize Farmers' "Guaranteed Repair Program," which provides specific assistance as long as you own your vehicle.
State Farm Everybody knows who State Farm is. You can't miss them since they seemingly have an office at every busy intersection! With close to 20,000 agents across the US, it's easy to find a local office. Most are independently run, so it's not unusual to find an agent closely integrated into the local community. We consider that a big positive. And with a national market share of just under 20%, if you're not covered with them, another relative or friend probably is.
What about their prices? Although their rates are still very low in many areas, increased competition has closed the gap with many of their competitors. Occasionally, they offer the best prices, but not often. Their portfolio of products is as comprehensive as any other carrier and also includes financial products. Credit cards can now be applied for, which, of course, can be used to pay your property and casualty premiums. Vehicle loans include "payoff protector," which may save money if your vehicle is stolen or considered a total loss in an accident.
If you own several properties, the combination of vehicles and homes insured with them may earn a healthy discount. Customer service varies from one agent and/or state to another, but they earn a passing grade. Claims are handled efficiently. Also, State Farm has recently provided more time, money and resources in their financial services divisions, which offer estate planning and retirement coaching. Even healthcare coverage is occasionally offered by agents, although the carrier is a completely different company. Generally, purchasing your healthcare plans through a specialized broker is a better option.
Allstate Wait a minute! There are already 10 carriers listed! Although that's true, we couldn't leave Allstate off the list. Even though their internet subsidiary Esurance made the list, the "Good Hands" people are the biggest publicly-held property and casualty entity in the US. They have been writing policies for more than 80 years and have a location in every major and mid-major city.
Like many other carriers, covering automobiles is just one facet of the business they offer. Other available products include boat, motor home, renters, condo, motorcycle, snowmobile, landlord rental property, retirement, investments, business, life, and supplementary health. And with 12,000 Agencies located throughout the country, wherever you go, an office will be nearby. "Drivewise" is a fairly-new mobile app from Allstate that can reduce your rates. The app reviews your driving behavior (similar to Progressive's "Snapshot), braking trends, speed, and other traits to determine the amount of cash you receive back. A 3% bonus (policy premium) is awarded for the initial sign-up. Additional rewards can be earned after 50 trips and every six months of driving.
There are many other reputable auto insurance companies with very competitive prices. When you compare free quotes, we have featured the carriers that will likely offer the lowest rates in your area, so not all of the companies we reviewed will appear in your personal search results. Our focus and research is designed to show you the best prices for your specific drivers and vehicles. If you change vehicles, or add/subtract a driver, our recommendations may change.
J.D. Power is a reliable and respected rating and monitoring service of financial institutions. They specialize in comparing customer loyalty and retention, and have researched customer behavior since 1968. They are unbiased and accept no commercial advertising.
Recently they conducted a nationwide survey on one aspect of shopping car insurance companies -- Customer satisfaction. It's important to understand that this is just one component of the comparison process, but nevertheless an important factor. We listed below the 10 carriers that rated the highest. Each year, we update the results.