The Best Car Insurance Companies for 2021

Is there a single best car insurance company for the entire country? Nope. Where a company ranks depends on both your state of residence and your own personal driving profile.

But that hasn’t stopped us from coming up with our list of the best car insurance companies, based on what each company offers, and how well it ranks in at least most regions of the country.

We can’t say categorically that this list will apply in your state or with your personal driving profile, but we can say with confidence that is a good starting point. Most of these companies show up on the “best car insurance companies” in multiple states and regions across the country.

To help you in your search for the best car insurance company no matter where you live, we’re providing a profile of each of the ranked companies and the reasons why we rated them the way we have.

If you’re shopping for car insurance, the best way to get a low rate is to shop around with Everquote. They will look at the various policies, including many of the companies on this list, to find you the best rate.

Table of Contents
  1. How We Picked the Best Car Insurance Companies
    1. Customer Satisfaction Ranking
    2. Average Annual Premium
    3. Financial Strength Rating
    4. Car Insurance Policy Options
    5. Policy Discounts
  2. The 10 Best Car Insurance Companies
    1. 1. AARP/The Hartford
    2. 2. GEICO
    3. 3. State Farm
    4. 4. Amica
    5. 5. Progressive
    6. 6. Erie Insurance
    7. 7. Auto-Owners Insurance
    8. 8. Allstate
    9. 9. Farm Bureau
    10. 10. Liberty Mutual
    11. Bonus: USAA
  3. Bottom Line

How We Picked the Best Car Insurance Companies

Before we dive into our list of the best car insurance companies, let’s start by outlining the factors we used in determining this ranking.

Understand, however, that the profile presented under each company is based on national information. Since car insurance is regulated by state law, what the company offers, and how they’ll rank in your state may be very different from the national average. For example, a company that’s low on our list may be one of the top providers in your own state.

Below is the criteria we use for our list:

Customer Satisfaction Ranking

This information is drawn from the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study. As the name of the study indicates, it represents the level of satisfaction consumers have with each company. That includes not only customer service during the initial sign up process but also in the handling and paying of claims.

We’ve given this criteria considerable weight since the entire purpose of having car insurance is for the payment of claims in the event of an accident. It won’t matter if you have the cheapest car insurance available if the carrier has a poor reputation for handling and paying claims.

But please keep in mind that our customer satisfaction ranking is drawn from company ratings in the 11 different regions broken down in the J.D. Power survey. A company that rates highly in customer service in one region of the country can be at the bottom of the list in another.

Average Annual Premium

From a consumer standpoint, this may be the top criteria in choosing a car insurance company. And while we gave this category considerable weight, the list doesn’t go from lowest to highest price. As mentioned above, the willingness of a company to pay claims is at least as important as the premium it charges.

But there’s another reason for minimizing the importance of average annual premiums. The premium figures presented under each company description below are national averages. Premiums vary dramatically from one state to another. A company that’s one of the lowest cost providers in one state could be #8 in another.

There are also major differences based on your own personal profile. Averages don’t account for variables like age, driving record, the amount of liability coverage you need, the value of your vehicle, or how many miles you put on the vehicle in an average year. Each will have a major impact on the premium you’ll pay.

Average annual premiums are taken from The Zebra, unless indicated otherwise.

Financial Strength Rating

This is a criterion that most consumers probably ignore completely, under the assumption all car insurance companies are roughly equal when it comes to financial strength. However, that’s actually not true.

It’s a more important factor than most consumers might assume. An insurance company’s financial strength rating can indicate the company’s ability or even willingness to pay claims.

Financial strength ratings are drawn from A.M. Best, which is the most prominent source of insurance company financial ratings. Those ratings can be “Superior” (A++ or A+), “Excellent” (A or A-), or “Good” (B+ or B). None of the companies we’ve included on this list have a rating below Excellent.

Car Insurance Policy Options

Most car insurance companies offer standard coverage provisions, like liability, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist. But what often differentiates one company from another are the policy options they offer.

For example, if you participate in ridesharing as a primary or secondary job, you’ll need a company that offers some type of at least limited coverage for that type of driving. And if you may owe more on your vehicle than it’s worth, you’ll need GAP insurance. That’s a type of option that covers the difference between the loan amount outstanding on the car and its insurable value.

Those are just two of the many possible options available for car insurance. The more a company offers, the higher its ranking.

Policy Discounts

Many car insurance companies offer similar discounts. But each has its own unique menu of discounts, and they can make a real difference when it comes to the premium.

For example, two companies may offer similar premiums for base coverage and several options. But one company may offer a particular discount that applies to you that will result in an even lower premium. The more discounts the company has, the higher the overall rank we gave them.

The 10 Best Car Insurance Companies

1. AARP/The Hartford

AARP offers auto insurance for its members through The Hartford. The Hartford also provides car insurance for non-AARP members on a national basis. But as a member of AARP, you’ll enjoy the benefits that membership provides. They advertise you can save $449 on your car insurance.  The coverage is available for AARP members, age 50 and older. 

AARP/The Hartford sits at about the middle of the price range on premiums, but it has a strong A.M. Best rating, indicating a greater likelihood the company will be able to cover claims. They offer many different policy options, one of the most unique being their RecoverCare provision, which covers home services if you’re injured in an accident. Meanwhile, they have one of the most extensive lists of policy discounts in the industry. 

Customer satisfaction ranking: The Hartford ranks in the top five among car insurance providers in the Northwest (#4) and the Southwest (also #4).

Average annual premium: $1,332

Financial strength rating: A+

Car insurance policy options:  Medical payments, personal injury protection (PIP), collision and comprehensive, towing, full glass coverage, rental cars, un-/under-insured motorist, 12-month rate protection, RecoverCare (pays home services if you’re injured in an accident), new car replacement, lifetime repair assurance, gap insurance, personal umbrella and roadside assistance.

Policy discounts: Disappearing deductible, first accident forgiveness, one deductible (between two covered vehicles), $100 collision deductible reduction if you choose an authorized repair shop, safety and anti-theft devices, hybrid or electric vehicles, driver training, good students, bundling, defensive driver course, and pay-in-full.

Get a quote from AARP

2. GEICO

Geico tops our list on a combination of modest premiums, an excellent financial strength rating, and coming in first in customer satisfaction in no fewer than three of 11 regions across the country. And with its extensive list of policy discounts, Geico is often one of the lowest cost providers in many states.

For example, the company provides discounts for federal employees and members of the US military, as well as drivers over 50. But we also like the range of policy options, which includes ridesharing coverage, travel to Mexico, and coverage for specialty vehicles. But you should be aware that they don’t offer GAP coverage if you have a loan that’s higher than the value of your vehicle.

Customer satisfaction ranking: Geico is the number one provider for customer satisfaction in the North Central, Northwest, and Southwest regions.

Average annual premium: $1,164

Financial strength rating: A+

Car insurance policy options: personal injury protection (PIP), medical coverage, ridesharing, rental reimbursement, mechanical breakdown, emergency roadside assistance, coverage for travel to Mexico, and options for specialty vehicles, like collector cars, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles.

Policy discounts: five years accident-free, good student, driver’s education, federal employees and military members, multi-vehicle, bundling, drivers over 50, new vehicles, and certain safety equipment. Geico also offers discounts for membership or employment by certain organizations.

Get a quote from Geico

3. State Farm

State Farm isn’t the lowest-cost provider on a national basis, but the company scores well in customer satisfaction and in financial strength. In addition, State Farm is a well-established insurance company offering all types of insurance coverage, that will not only present bundling discounts but also enable you to maintain multiple insurance policies through the same company.

If the company has a disadvantage – if this even ranks as one – it’s that you must go through the network of State Farm agencies to get a policy. With so many services moving to online formats, this may be a bit uncomfortable for some consumers.

Customer satisfaction ranking: State Farm has the highest customer satisfaction rating in New York and the Mid-Atlantic region, but also scored high in California (#3) in New England (#2).

Average annual premium: $1,296

Financial strength rating: A+

Car insurance policy options: rideshare coverage, antique and sports cars, small business vehicles, emergency roadside assistance, medical payments, car rental reimbursement, and reimbursement for travel expenses for an accident more than 50 miles from home.

Policy discounts: bundling, multiple vehicles on the same policy, vehicle safety equipment, good driving history, defensive driving course, anti-theft equipment, and their Steer Clear Safe Driver discount, which requires completing certain training courses and having no at-fault accidents or moving violations in the previous three years.

Get a quote from State Farm

4. Amica

Though it’s not one of the better-known car insurance companies in America, Amica placed third on our list because of low premiums, excellent financial strength, and plenty of policy options and discounts. However, though it ranked #1 in customer satisfaction in one region, it didn’t make the list in any other region.

As a mutual insurance company, Amica gives you the option to participate in a dividend paying policy, though you will pay extra when you take your policy. Amica also provides homeowners and renter’s insurance, life insurance, small business insurance, flood insurance, and marine and motorcycle coverage.

Customer satisfaction ranking: Amica holds the top slot in customer satisfaction in the New England region, but was curiously absent from the rankings in any other region

Average annual premium: $1,071 (Source: WalletHub)

Financial strength rating: A+

Car insurance policy options: medical payments, personal injury protection, no depreciation for the total loss of a new vehicle (applies to the first year only), glass replacement, lock replacement for lost keys, free repair of deployed airbags, lost wage reimbursement, and repair assistance. The company also offers an interesting option for up to $1,000 for a bail bond, if necessary.

Policy discounts: customer loyalty (two years or more), no claims within the past three years, other than glass or towing, homeownership, premium paid in full, electronic correspondence, bundling, two or more vehicles on the same policy, automatic payments, and a family discount if you’re under 30 and your parents have had coverage with the company for at least five years.

Get a quote from Amica

5. Progressive

Though Progressive does have a high average annual premium nationwide, there are many markets around the country where it’s one of the lowest-cost providers available. The company also has a solid customer satisfaction ranking in much of the country and a superior financial strength rating. We also like that they provide many of the important policy options, like GAP coverage, rideshare coverage, and driving in Mexico.

But what might make Progressive stand out from the crowd is the extremely long menu of discounts they offer. This may be the primary reason why they are one of the lower cost providers in many states. Progressive offers discounts for just about everything – continuous coverage, getting an online quote, signing policy documents online, paperless billing, paying your premium in full, enrolling in automatic payments – you name it.

If there’s a negative with the company it’s that additional insurance policies, like homeowners and renter’s insurance, are handled by third-party carriers. Though these will give you a bundling discount for auto insurance, they may not be the least expensive providers of those other policy types.

Customer satisfaction ranking: Progressive isn’t number one in customer satisfaction in any single region, but it ranks in the top five in the Central, New England, Northwest regions, as well as in Florida and Texas (where it’s ranked #2).

Average annual premium: $1,692

Financial strength rating: A+

Car insurance policy options: medical payments, GAP coverage, rideshare coverage, driving in Mexico, rental car reimbursement, roadside assistance, and coverage for custom parts and equipment.

Policy discounts: bundling, multiple vehicles, good student, continuous coverage, homeowners, online quote, sign online, paperless billing, paying your premium in full, automatic payments, and small and large accident forgiveness (minimum three years, but you must be a customer for at least five years). Progressive also offers the Name Your Price Tool in which you enter your preferred premium amount, and the company will build a policy around that premium.

Get a quote from Progressive

6. Erie Insurance

Erie is another car insurance company that’s not exactly a household name. But the company is solid on customer satisfaction and has one of the lowest average annual premiums in the nation. They also provide plenty of excellent policy options, like coverage for personal items, locksmith services, and pet coverage. On the discount side, they offer first accident forgiveness, low mileage drivers, and a diminishing deductible provision.

An interesting policy option is their Erie Rate Lock. It offers an opportunity to keep your premium fixed for life – at least in theory. But it will change if you either move, add a vehicle or a new driver. Since all three are likely to happen at some point, the rate lock probably isn’t as attractive as it seems at first glance.

Customer satisfaction ranking: Erie isn’t rated at the top of any region in customer satisfaction, but it ranks in the top five in the Mid-Atlantic (where it’s #2), North Central (#3), and Southeast (#2).

Average annual premium: $972

Financial strength rating: A+

Car insurance policy options: coverage of personal items, auto and rental bundle, locksmith services, auto glass repair, and pet coverage. They also offer their Auto Plus option – which provides a diminishing deductible, a deductible waiver in certain situations, increased limits for specific coverages, and a death benefit of up to $10,000, plus other benefits. The Erie Rate Lock option means your premium will only change if you add or remove a vehicle or driver, or you change your address.

Policy discounts: bundling, multiple vehicles on the same policy, safe driver, car safety equipment, low mileage, first accident forgiveness, and diminishing deductibles at $100 per year for up to $500 total.

Get a quote from Erie Insurance

7. Auto-Owners Insurance

This is another car insurance company that it isn’t well-known to the driving public. But that’s primarily because it’s not available in all states – in fact, it’s only offered in 26. The company is on the moderate end of the premium scale, and generally rates well in customer satisfaction. But it’s also the highest rated company on this list based on financial strength, with a superior ranking of A++.

Auto-Owners also has some interesting policy options. They’ll cover classic cars, vehicles converted or modified (for example, to accommodate the handicapped), and new car replacement. But perhaps the most interesting is coverage for diminished value. If your car loses value due to a car accident, this option allows you to be compensated for that reduction.

But be aware that you can only purchase a policy from this company through independent insurance agents. That may make it a little bit less convenient than the more common online service availability offered throughout the industry.

Customer satisfaction ranking: Auto-Owners Insurance earns the top slot in the Central region, as well as a top five slot in the North Central and Southeast regions.

Average annual premium: $1,168 for a 35-year-old married man (Source: ValuePenguin)

Financial strength rating: A++

Car insurance policy options: new car replacement, classic cars, rental car, coverage for diminished value (as a result of an accident), GAP coverage for both owned and leased vehicles, converted or modified vehicles, and a package of 10 optional coverages including rekeying locks, replacing your cell phone, identity theft, and other hazards.

Policy discounts: on-time payments for 36 months or more, bundling, multiple vehicles, good student, paying your premium in full, good driver, and vehicle safety features.

Get a quote from Auto-Owners Insurance

8. Allstate

One of the biggest advantages of Allstate is the fact that it’s one of the largest and best- established insurance companies in the country. Apart from auto insurance, they offer coverage for just about any hazard. The company also has a superior financial strength rating and good customer satisfaction overall.

But there are few markets across the country where Allstate will be the least expensive provider. And in some markets, their premiums are much higher than most competitors. However, they do offer excellent options, like rideshare coverage, personal umbrella coverage, travel to Mexico, and coverage for classic cars and premium sound systems.

Customer satisfaction ranking: Allstate tops the customer satisfaction list in Florida, and scores respectable positions in the Southwest region (#3) and New York (#5).

Average annual premium: $2,028

Financial strength rating: A+

Car insurance policy options: rideshare coverage, accident forgiveness, personal injury protection, personal umbrella coverage, rental reimbursement, travel to Mexico, classic cars, roadside assistance, new car replacement, and coverage for premium sound systems.

Policy discounts: bundling, vehicle safety equipment, new car, paperless billing, payment by auto draft, payment in-full, early signing, good student and Deductible Rewards, which reduces your deductible by $100 for each year you’re accident-free.

Get a quote from Allstate

9. Farm Bureau

Farm Bureau is on the lower end of the premium range among the companies on this list, and it has a solid customer satisfaction ranking. It’s not as well-known as most other companies on this list, but it can be a top provider in many markets.

Farm Bureau is a bit complicated, in that there seems to be an individual company set up in each state where they offer coverage. This means the premiums, level of service, policy options and discounts may vary by state of residence.

Customer satisfaction ranking: Farm Bureau is ranked the top provider in the Southeast and in Texas.

Average annual premium: $1,193 for a driver with good credit (Source: The Zebra)

Financial strength rating: A, however the ratings vary in each state. For example, the rating is B+ in Georgia, A in Indiana, and A- Michigan.

Car insurance policy options: personal injury protection, medical payments, rental car reimbursement, towing and labor, roadside assistance, and auto indemnity.

Policy discounts: safe driver, bundling, multiple vehicles on the same policy, low mileage driver, good student, driver training, and car safety equipment.

Get a quote from Farm Bureau

10. Liberty Mutual

One of the main advantages with Liberty Mutual is that it’s available in virtually every state in the country. But it’s rarely the cheapest on premiums, and its customer satisfaction rankings leave something to be desired. The company does offer plenty of policy options, including GAP coverage, the ability to reduce your collision deductible, special options for teachers and driving in Mexico.

They also offer plenty of discounts, including some for homeowners, alternative energy vehicles, and discounts for current and former members of the military.

Customer satisfaction ranking: Liberty Mutual doesn’t top the customer satisfaction list in any of the 11 regions in the J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey. But it did finish in the top five in Florida (#4), the Northwest (#5), and Texas (#5). However, it doesn’t rank nearly as high in any of the other eight regions.

Average annual premium: $1,728

Financial strength rating: A

Car insurance policy options: GAP coverage, medical payments, collision deductible reduction, lifetime repair guarantee, new or better car replacement, roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, coverage for teachers, and driving in Mexico.

Policy discounts: bundling, multiple cars on the same policy, good driver, homeowner, good student, alternative energy vehicle, certain safety equipment, online purchase, automatic payment draft, premium paid in full, paperless documents, early shopper, and special discounts for active or retired members of the military.

Get a quote from Liberty Mutual

Bonus: USAA

USAA would be at the top of our list based on having the highest customer satisfaction ranking in all 11 regions of the country, a top financial strength rating, and modest premiums. But we ranked it #10 because it’s available only to current and former members of the US military.

The company offers a wide range of policy options and discounts. But we particularly like that they provide accident forgiveness that’s free after five years without any at-fault accidents. But be aware that that provision is not available in all states.

Customer satisfaction ranking: USAA ranked at the top of customer satisfaction in all 11 regions broken out in the J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey. However, they were excluded from each list since they are only available for current and past members of the US military.

Average annual premium: $1,068

Financial strength rating: A++

Car insurance policy options: rideshare coverage, accident forgiveness (no at-fault accidents within five years), rental reimbursement, and roadside assistance.

Policy discounts: new vehicle, good student, safe driver (no moving violations or at-fault accidents within five years), defensive driving course, bundling, multiple vehicles on the same policy, low mileage, length of membership, and storing your vehicle on a military base (remember, USAA is specifically for current and previous members of the US military).

Get a quote from USAA

Bottom Line

The information presented for each of the companies above is general at a national level. Premium amounts, customer satisfaction rankings, and policy options and discounts will vary from one state to another. And once again, premiums will depend heavily on your personal driving record and state of residence.

But use our list of the 10 best car insurance companies to start your search for the right provider for you. Chances are it’ll be one of these companies – no matter where you live or what your driver profile is.

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Kevin Mercadante

About Kevin Mercadante

Since 2009, Kevin Mercadante has been sharing his journey from a washed-up mortgage loan officer emerging from the Financial Meltdown as a contract/self-employed "slash worker" – accountant/blogger/freelance blog writer – on OutofYourRut.com. He offers career strategies, from dealing with under-employment to transitioning into self-employment, and provides "Alt-retirement strategies" for the vast majority who won’t retire to the beach as millionaires.

He also frequently discusses the big-picture trends that are putting the squeeze on the bottom 90%, offering workarounds and expense cutting tips to help readers carve out more money to save in their budgets – a.k.a., breaking the "savings barrier" and transitioning from debtor to saver.

Kevin has a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Montclair State University.

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