Picking the best car insurance can be difficult. Finding a car insurance company that will give you a good price is important, but you should also consider a number of other factors that are not always obvious. To help you find the best insurer for your needs, we researched the top car insurance companies across the country. We considered their coverage options, rates, customer satisfaction rankings, claims experiences, and discount options to come up with our list of the best car insurance companies of 2021.
Best Car Insurance of 2021
Best Overall : GEICO
GEICO is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, the second-largest car insurer in the U.S. GEICO has high levels of customer satisfaction in consumer surveys for its online tools, customer service, and claims. In addition to all the regular car insurance coverages, GEICO also offers accident forgiveness, emergency road service, and mechanical breakdown coverage.
GEICO is also known for its long list of discounts, including for members of over 500 groups (including military branches, employers, and schools), as well as safe-driving discounts through the DriveEasy program.
GEICO is our top pick for the best car insurance company due to the range of coverages it offers, its wide variety of discounts, and its high-ranking results on customer satisfaction surveys, including being ranked #1 out of 19 insurers for digital customer service experience by J.D. Power.
Discounts for members of over 500 groups
Wide range of coverage options
Guaranteed repairs from GEICO’s preferred repair shops
Offers mechanical breakdown insurance
Top-ranked digital tools, including an app and virtual assistants that work with Siri, Alexa, and Google Home
No GAP insurance
DriveEasy and guaranteed repair programs are not available in all states
Offers a main phone number with many prompts, instead of dedicated quotes and claims phone numbers
Read our full review: GEICO car insurance
Runner-Up, Best Overall : Amica
Amica Mutual Insurance company has been around since 1907 and ranks highly for customer satisfaction with its claims handling. It’s also ranked #1 in New England for overall customer satisfaction with auto insurance by J.D. Power. Amica also offers some coverage perks that stand out, such as the ability to replace a new car with a brand new one if it's totaled in the first year.
In addition to traditional car insurance, Amica offers dividend-paying policies, which means that if the company does well, eligible policyholders may receive dividends of 5% to 20% of their annual premiums.
Amica’s car insurance discounts are impressive, including a 25% multiple car discount, a multi-policy discount up to 30%, discounts for drivers under 30 whose parents are insured with Amica, and a loyalty discount. The company has a financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) with AM Best, which shows that it’s financially stable and able to pay out future claims. However, customer satisfaction with the insurer’s digital service is below average, according to J.D. Power.
Highly ranked for claims satisfaction by J.D. Power
Totaled new cars can be replaced with a brand new one in the first year of ownership
Dividend-paying policies available
Free repairs of damaged auto glass and deployed airbags
Dividend policies not available in all states
No usage-based or telematics options
Below-average ratings for digital customer experience
Best for Young Drivers : State Farm
State Farm is a well-known name in car insurance, and it’s the largest auto insurer in the U.S. State Farm offers various standard discounts, like a student-away-at-school discount, a multi-policy discount, and a 25% good student discount. The company also offers a rideshare endorsement if you plan to drive for Uber, Lyft, or a food-delivery app, as well as roadside assistance in case of a breakdown.
What sets State Farm apart as our top pick for young drivers is that it provides even more opportunities for teens and young adults to cut insurance costs by learning to drive safely. The Steer Clear program is an app-based driver training tool for drivers under 25, who can earn a discount off their insurance by completing the program within 6 months. The Drive Safe and Save program rewards drivers of all ages with up to 30% in discounts for safe driving habits. Both programs can make a big difference in your premium when you’re paying higher rates as a young driver.
State Farm performs very well in J.D. Power's studies of customer satisfaction with claims and overall experience, including first place in many regions.
25% good student discount
Steer Clear program offers a discount for drivers under 25
Drive Safe & Save program offers discounts up to 30% for safe driving habits
Doesn’t offer as many optional coverages as other insurers
Read our full review: State Farm car insurance
Best Customer Satisfaction : Erie Insurance
Erie Insurance has been around since 1925 and is highly ranked for claims satisfaction and overall customer service. Erie is a regional insurer and provides coverage in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, although not all coverages and discounts apply in all states. Erie works through local independent agents, which means that agents can help you shop around with several insurance companies to find the best combination of price and coverage for your needs.
Erie offers all the basic car insurance coverages, with some unique options like pet injury coverage and replacement coverage for both old and new cars. The new car option will replace your vehicle if you total it within the first two years of ownership, while “better car” protection provides you with a loss settlement large enough to replace an older car with a model that’s two years newer. Erie also offers diminishing deductible plans as well as a “rate lock” option to help you avoid rate increases.
Rate Lock feature could keep your premiums consistent for years
Highly ranked for customer satisfaction
Lots of optional coverages let you customize your policy
Pet injury coverage covers vet bills up to $500 if your pet is injured in an accident
Rate Lock feature is only valid as long as your policy conditions do not change
All coverage options are not available in all states
Only available in 12 states and DC
Read our full review: Erie car insurance
Best Regional Insurance : Auto-Owners
Auto-Owners was established in 1916 and has been insuring customers through independent agents for over 100 years. Auto-Owners is a regional insurer that offers coverage in 26 states.
Aside from the usual car insurance coverage options, Auto-Owners offers classic car insurance, GAP coverage, and diminished value coverage (which compensates you for the perceived value loss on your car after you have an accident and not just the cost of repairs). It also has a few deductible advantages that can save you money in a claim: The common loss deductible means you’ll pay a lower deductible if both your home and car are damaged by the same event (and are both insured with Auto-Owners), your deductible will be waived if you have an accident with another Auto-Owners-insured car.
Auto-Owners offers most of the standard car insurance discounts, such as multi-policy discounts for home or life insurance, online payment discounts, and good student discounts. It also has high customer satisfaction rankings in Central, North Central, and the Southeast U.S., according to J.D. Power.
Highly-ranked for customer satisfaction
Coverage options for classic and modified cars
GAP and diminished value coverages are available
Single-deductible option if your home and car are both damaged
Only available in 26 states
No online quotes
Best for Military Members and Their Families : USAA
USAA is the 5th largest insurer in the U.S., and it exclusively offers insurance for veterans, military members, and their families. Year after year, USAA gets the highest scores on customer satisfaction rankings for service and claims in independent surveys, although it can’t technically rank due to its membership requirements.
USAA offers basic car insurance with some military-specific features, like up to 15% off comprehensive coverage when you store your car on a military base. It offers all the usual coverages, plus add-ons like ridesharing, rental car reimbursement, and accident forgiveness.
Discounts with USAA include savings for being a good student, taking defensive driving and safe driving classes, and loyalty. USAA’s solid reputation, loyalty discounts, and military storage options make USAA our pick for best car insurance for military members and their families. Plus, policyholders may qualify for dividends during profitable years.
Highly ranked for customer satisfaction and claims satisfaction
Optional accident forgiveness can help keep rates low after a claim
Offers rideshare insurance
Coverage options are tailored to the needs of active-duty service members
Only available to members of the military and their families
Service is largely online and through a call center, not through local offices
Read our full review: USAA car insurance
Best Range of Coverage Options : Progressive
Sure, Progressive covers all the basic car insurance coverages you need. But it really shines when it comes to adding extra coverages to your policy, such as loan/lease payoff, Mexico car insurance, and coverage for custom parts and equipment. The insurer also offers rideshare insurance, roadside assistance, and a disappearing deductible option as endorsements.
Progressive’s collision coverage automatically includes up to $1,000 of coverage for pets who are injured while riding in your car.
A long list of discounts includes savings for everything from maintaining continuous coverage to owning Progressive also offers two unique tools. The first allows you to request and compare quotes from multiple insurers at the same time, which makes it easier to see which combinations of coverages and price is the best fit for your needs. The second, Name Your Price, lets you specify how much you want to spend on car insurance, and offers different combinations of coverage options that fit your budget.
Ratings of customer satisfaction with the claims process are 4th lowest out of 24 companies and overall experience are average, according to J.D. Power. However, Progressive has an A+ financial stability rating from AM Best, which shows it has a superior ability to meet its financial obligations.
Pet coverage included in collision policies
Lots of options let you customize your policy
Name Your Price and comparison tools make shopping for insurance easier
Below average customer satisfaction scores
Read our full review: Progressive car insurance
Best for Motorcycle Drivers : Markel
If your ride has two wheels (or three) instead of four, you’ll need a slightly different kind of insurance—and you’ll want to consider a company that has specialized in motorcycle insurance since 1990. Markel insures all types of motorcycles, from dirt bikes to cruisers, and the company customizes each policy based on the type of coverages you need, including:
- Trailer coverage
- Mechanical breakdown coverage
- Roadside assistance and trip interruption
- Funeral expense coverage
Markel claims that its discounts, including for safe driving and anti-lock brakes, can help drivers save up to 35%. Plus, the company also insures other recreational modes of transportation such as boats, snowmobiles, and bicycles (including e-bikes).
While J.D. Power doesn’t rank motorcycle insurers, Markel has a financial stability rating of A (Excellent) from AM Best. This rating indicates that it’s well able to meet its financial obligations, like paying out insurance claims.
Multi-bike discount is good for couples or families who own more than one motorcycle
Solid list of optional coverages
Specialty insurance options for several kinds of recreational transportation
Not rated on customer service studies
No listed multi-policy discounts for combining different types of vehicles (e.g., motorcycle and snowmobile)
Read our full list: Best motorcycle insurance
|Insurer||Why We Picked It|
|Amica||Runner-Up, Best Overall|
|State Farm||Best for Young Drivers|
|Erie||Best Customer Satisfaction|
|Auto-Owners||Best Regional Insurer|
|USAA||Best for Military Members|
|Progressive||Best Range of Coverage Options|
|Markel||Best for Motorcycle Drivers|
What Is Car Insurance?
Car insurance provides coverage for damages you are responsible for as a result of your ownership or operation of your car (liability). It also covers damage to the car itself if you purchase collision or comprehensive coverage. In most states, it’s mandatory to have car insurance in order to operate an automobile.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost?
Insurers offer unique rates depending on individual factors, including your driving record, location, age, your vehicle and how you use it (business or personal only), typical mileage, credit-based insurance score, and other factors that can vary between U.S. states. The amount of insurance coverage you want to purchase also impacts your premium.
Shopping around for car insurance will give you the best chance of getting a good price. Each insurance company may use the same factors to calculate your premium, but some may be more lenient than others when it comes to claims, credit scoring, or driving history.
How To Choose the Best Car Insurance
Although the price is a factor when choosing your car insurance, if you want to find the best car insurance, you should also consider the following:
- The reputation of the insurance company: This includes financial stability ratings, complaints records with state regulatory boards like your State Insurance Commissioner’s Office or the NAIC, and customer complaints, reviews, and rankings for claims satisfaction and overall customer service satisfaction.
- Coverage options: Companies offer different types of coverage, and some may be more important to you than others. For example, not all companies offer GAP coverage or rideshare insurance, so if you need one of these endorsements, make sure the company you choose offers it.
- Payment options: Some people prefer to pay for their car insurance up front, while others prefer equal installments or payment plans. Choose a company that makes paying your premium as easy as possible for you. Some insurance companies offer discounts for certain methods of payment, although this should not be a major factor in your choice. Remember that it’s important to make payments on time and avoid getting canceled for non-payment.
- Customer service model: Whether you like to meet with your insurance representative in person or prefer to manage your policy online, consider how the insurance company you choose delivers service for regular transactions, sales, or claims.
- Online services or apps: If you want to manage your policy online or through an app, look for a company that is highly ranked for its digital services. Some companies even have digital assistants that work with Siri, Alexa, or Google Home.
How We Chose the Best Car Insurance Companies
To identify the best car insurance companies, we reviewed the financial stability, coverage options, discounts, customer service rankings, and claims experience scores of 25 regional and national insurers. We also considered factors specific to certain groups, like military members and young drivers. While this list is a great starting point for choosing your car insurance, we always recommend requesting quotes from at least three insurers to make sure you find the best combination of value and coverage for your needs.