Whether you’re a seasoned car owner who has been with the same car insurance company for decades or a new driver looking to purchase a car insurance policy for the first time, it pays to know exactly what you’re looking for and how to choose the best deal.
It is important to remember when looking at reviews, every individual will have a different experience. Most insurance carriers are very large with thousands of employees which are spread across state lines. Ranking a company the best does not mean 100 percent perfection. It means the majority of experiences are good and hopefully great.
But if you're not sure where to start, the good news is that we're here to help suggest the best car insurance companies to sign on with.
Best Car Insurance Companies of 2021
|Provider||Why We Picked It|
|Erie Insurance||Best Overall|
|Nationwide||Runner-Up, Best Overall|
|The Hartford||Best Claims Satisfaction|
|GEICO||Best for a Competitive Price|
|Bristol West||Best for High-Risk Drivers|
|Progressive||Best for Motorcycle Owners|
|Farm Bureau||Best for Farm Owners|
|USAA||Best for Members of the Military|
We teamed up with MediaAlpha to help you get quotes from the following insurers, and below the table, we give you the details on the best car insurance companies.
Best Overall: Erie Insurance
Most people would agree the top two factors when it comes to rating insurance companies are claims satisfaction and competitive pricing. If you live in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, or the District of Columbia, you have access to one of the top-rated insurance companies for both claims satisfaction and competitive pricing, and that's Erie Insurance.
Erie is sold through a network of independent agents. Independent agents are a great resource for consumers because they have access to multiple insurance carriers. You can receive multiple quotes with a single phone call.
Erie opened for business in 1925. They have earned AM Best’s rating of A+ in financial strength, which is a Superior rating. The financial strength of any insurance company is important to consider. If an insurance company is not doing well financially, they may be unable to pay out your claims in the event of an accident. Insurance companies are evaluated by the U.S.-based ratings agency AM Best and given a financial grade from F to A++.
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Nationwide
You probably know their catchy jingle, but Nationwide is a serious option to consider for car insurance. Not only do they have great customer service, but they also offer a vanishing deductible program that allows you to reduce your deductible by $100 for every year you don’t get into an accident, and good discounts for bundling your home and auto insurance.
Nationwide was founded in 1926 and is a Fortune 100 company. They have an AM Best rating of A+, which is considered "Superior." Their mobile app is easy to use, which is a huge perk for customers. You can pay your bill, view insurance cards without logging in, view your policies, and start an auto claim from anywhere.
Nationwide offers a very wide range of insurance policies, including home, auto, commercial, farm, life, and pet. Policies are available across the U.S. in 46 states and the District of Columbia.
Best Claims Satisfaction: The Hartford
According to J.D. Power, The Hartford ranks among the best companies for auto claims satisfaction. Getting a claim taken care of promptly and fairly is so important to customers. At the time of a loss is when you need an insurance company you can count on. Hartford has proven to many customers they are capable of walking customers through the claims process and vehicles will be repaired in a smooth process.
The Hartford has been in business for over 200 years. They offer comprehensive policies for both personal and commercial clients. The Hartford is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They also offer New Car Replacement coverage, so you do not have to worry about losing out on depreciation if a total loss occurs before the vehicle is 15 months old or you hit 15,000 miles.
The Hartford provides its auto insurance in partnership with the AARP, and AARP members are entitled to special benefits including 10% savings on your premiums, lifetime car repair assurance, and first accident forgiveness.
A cool fact about The Hartford is they insured the only home Abraham Lincoln ever owned.
Best for a Competitive Price: GEICO
If you’re looking for a great bargain from a large well-known company, Geico insurance is consistently the cheapest option in the United States, and often comes with a ton of discounts for safe driving and certain car safety features. They also have many plans for nonstandard drivers.
Geico is a direct sales insurance company, meaning all sales are completed online. They are perfect for drivers looking for a bare-bones policy. Because they skip over the middleman, the insurance agent, the company saves money and gives the customer some of the savings. If you are comfortable with how insurance works, purchasing online is a real contender.
Always be on the lookout for discounts regardless of the insurance carrier. Are you a very safe driver with no accidents on your record? Have you installed special safety and anti-theft equipment on your vehicle? Are you a star student or are you willing to bundle your home and auto insurance policies together? All of these things and more could save you money in monthly premiums, so be sure to sell yourself well and ask about discounts every time you make a new inquiry.
Best for High-Risk Drivers: Bristol West
The nonstandard subsidiary of Farmers Insurance, Bristol West insurance is available in every state except for Alaska, Hawaii, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington D.C. and West Virginia. It has an excellent financial strength rating from AM Best.
If you’ve racked up a lot of tickets, are very old or young, have bad credit, own a sports car, want to purchase your state’s minimum amount of required coverage or have a foreign driver’s license, you may be classified as a “nonstandard,” or high-risk driver by insurance companies. About 20% of drivers on the road have this classification, and different insurance companies classify nonstandard drivers differently. If you only have one or two of the aforementioned factors, it may be a good idea to see if you’re considered standard at a different insurance company before paying a lot of money for a nonstandard policy.
But if you’ve racked up serious violations and find yourself requiring an SR-22, Bristol West is a great option.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best car insurance for high-risk drivers.
Best for Motorcycle Owners: Progressive
Progressive insurance has great standard policies, but also many choices for upgrades and add-ons. For those considering becoming a rideshare driver, the company also offers rideshare insurance in 35 states. But what Progressive really excels at is Motorcycle Insurance. Their prices are very competitive and can beat many standard policies even when the other carrier has a multi-policy discount. Policies come with accessories coverage up to $3,000 and additional coverage is available.
Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best motorcycle insurance article.
Best for Farm Owners: Farm Bureau
Are you looking for an insurance carrier who is known for protecting multi-generational family-owned farms, small farms and everything in between? Farm Bureau has you covered. Being able to insure your autos, home, and farm all with the same insurer definitely makes things easier.
Farm Bureau is prepared to meet farmer’s unique liability insurance needs. They were established in 1939 and have an AM Best Rating of A which places them in Excellent financial standing.
Farm Bureau requires an annual membership which comes with a lot of benefits. Save money on products and services in your area. Stay current on agriculture. And get access to educational and professional development programs.
Best for Members of the Military: USAA
The United Services Automobile Association provides insurance options exclusively to military members and their family. The company has excellent prices and financial strength and is a great option for both active duty servicemen and women as well as veterans. They are known for their incredible customer service and having some of the lowest prices in the industry.
USAA offers more than just insurance. They also offer great banking options such as free checking and competitive credit card rates. Expect an understanding of military life and insurance needs from USAA. Every service member should consider USAA, most non-military families wish they could!
Read the full review: USAA Car Insurance
J.D. Power. "Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Climbs to Record High as Carriers Refine Customer Experience During Pandemic, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Dec. 22, 2020.
AM Best. "AM Best Revises Issuer Credit Rating Outlooks to Negative for Members of Erie Insurance Group." Accessed Dec. 21, 2020.
AM Best. "AM Best Places Credit Ratings of Nationwide Indemnity Co Under Review, Affirms Ratings of Nationwide Mutual Ins Co and Key Subs." Accessed Dec. 21, 2020.
J.D. Power. "Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Climbs to Record High as Carriers Refine Customer Experience During Pandemic, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Dec. 21, 2020.
AM Best. "AM Best Places Credit Ratings of Members of Farmers Insurance Group Under Review With Developing Implications." Accessed Dec. 21, 2020.
Verisk. "Setting a New Standard in Nonstandard Auto." Accessed Dec. 22, 2020.
AM Best. "Farm Bureau Property & Casualty Insurance Company." Accessed Dec. 22, 2020.