Best Car Insurance Companies

Our Picks for the Best Auto Insurance Providers

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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

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. 

What We Like
  • 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

What We Don't Like
  • 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

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, according to J.D. Power. Amica also offers some coverage perks that stand out, such as a waiver of depreciation the first year you have a new car. 

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 up to 10%. 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.

What We Like
  • Highly ranked for claims satisfaction by J.D. Power

  • Waiver of depreciation on new cars on the first year of ownership

  • Dividend-paying policies available

  • Free repairs of damaged auto glass and deployed airbags

What We Don't Like
  • 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

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 up to 15% 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 is rated average or better on J.D. Power studies of customer satisfaction with claims and overall experience.

What We Like
  • 25% good student discount

  • Steer Clear program offers up to 15% off for drivers under 25

  • Drive Safe & Save program offers discounts up to 30% for safe driving habits

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t offer as many optional coverages as other insurers

  • Average customer satisfaction rankings for claims and service


Read our full review
: State Farm car insurance

Best Customer Satisfaction : Erie Insurance


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. 

What We Like
  • 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

What We Don't Like
  • 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

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.

What We Like
  • Top-ranked for customer satisfaction

  • Coverage options for classic and modified cars

  • New car replacement and diminished value coverage

  • Single-deductible option if your home and car are both damaged

What We Don't Like
  • Only available in 26 states

  • No online quotes

Best for Military Members and Their Families : USAA


USAA

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. 

What We Like
  • 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

What We Don't Like
  • 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


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 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.

What We Like
  • 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

What We Don't Like
  • Average customer satisfaction scores

Read our full review: Progressive car insurance

Best for Motorcycle Drivers : Markel


Markel

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 for more than 40 years. 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.

What We Like
  • 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

What We Don't Like
  • 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

Compare Providers

 Insurer Why We Picked It 
GEICO Best Overall
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

FAQs

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.

Article Sources

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