The Best Car Insurance Companies Are State Farm, USAA, Geico, Erie and Travelers Based on Cost, Coverage, Reputation, Availability and Service
Choosing the best auto insurance provider for you can be intimidating. That’s why we at the Home Media reviews team have done the legwork for you. In this article, we narrow down the top 10 car insurance companies in the industry and provide detailed reviews of the five best car insurance providers.
Car Insurance Reviews
After thoroughly researching the auto insurance market and reviewing each company’s reputation, availability, coverage options, discounts and customer experience, 10 companies stood out among the competition as the best car insurance providers.
Best Auto Insurance Companies
We’ll take a closer look at our top 10 picks for best auto insurance companies here:
Auto Insurance Company Ratings
When ranking these insurers, our team considered state availability, breadth of coverage, pricing and satisfaction scores from experts like J.D. Power.
We also took into account AM Best financial strength ratings and complaint volume as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Each insurer was graded on a 10-point scale.
Best Car Insurance Companies
Our top five picks for the best car insurance are State Farm, USAA, Geico, Erie and Travelers. In the sections below we provide a more detailed assessment of each of these providers:
#1 State Farm: Editor’s Choice
Average cost: $$ Number of discounts: 13 Usage-based insurance: Drive Safe & Save™ (not available in California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island)
State Farm is another strong choice when it comes to finding the best auto insurance in the industry. Our January 2022 insurance survey found the insurer is the most popular provider among the 1,000 respondents surveyed, with 13% saying they purchased State Farm insurance coverage.
Beyond the standard types of coverage, State Farm offers:
Our cost estimates show good drivers pay an average of about $1,481 annually for full coverage insurance with State Farm. This ranks State Farm among the most affordable national providers.
As the biggest car insurance company in the country, State Farm is no stranger to claims satisfaction — the company has an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best. According to the NAIC, State Farm accounted for 16.01% of the auto insurance market share in 2021. State Farm also had fewer complaints than the industry average in 2020, though customer reviews on the BBB are mixed.
We chose State Farm as one of the nation’s best car insurance companies in part because of the usage-based and safe driving discounts it offers to young drivers. There are two discount programs available through mobile apps:
Drive Safe & Save: State Farm tracks and rewards safe driving habits through the Drive Safe & Save mobile app. By reducing driving behaviors such as quick acceleration, hard braking and speeding, drivers can earn up to 30% off their premiums. This program is not available in California, Massachusetts or Rhode Island.
Steer Clear®: Teens and new drivers can receive course training, mentoring, driving practice and a program certification to encourage good driving habits. After successfully completing the program, drivers get a discount on their auto insurance premium.
Other State Farm auto insurance discounts include those for good grades, safe driving, defensive driving, vehicle safety features and driving course completion. The company does not offer a military discount.
Average cost: $ Number of discounts: 12 Usage-based insurance: SafePilot™ in 37 states
USAA is our second choice for the best car insurance in the nation. It regularly tops J.D. Power auto insurance studies as one of the best providers in terms of customer satisfaction and value. The company is well known for its high customer ratings and affordable coverage options, including accident forgiveness. However, it has strict eligibility requirements and not everyone qualifies for coverage.
USAA auto insurance is only available to military members, veterans and their families, which greatly restricts who can purchase coverage. If you are eligible for a USAA insurance policy, it’s one of the best options available. Beyond the standard types of car insurance, USAA offers the following optional coverage:
USAA received an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The auto insurer made up 6.04% of the market share in 2021, according to the NAIC. Though it’s not the largest auto insurer, USAA still has reputable financial strength. In 2021, the company wrote $15.73 billion in private passenger auto insurance premiums.
While USAA doesn’t have many physical locations, policyholders are still impressed by the company’s customer service. USAA earned the top score in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance StudySM in every U.S. region, though it’s unranked due to its eligibility criteria. And in our January 2022 car insurance survey, nearly 65% of the 107 respondents who had coverage through USAA said they were very satisfied with USAA insurance, the highest of any provider.
USAA is known for its affordability as well. It offers the cheapest car insurance on average compared to any other provider we researched. Our rate estimates show good drivers pay about $1,054 per year on average for full coverage car insurance with USAA. The company also offers discounts based on driver safety, multiple policies, safety features such as airbags and more.
Average cost: $$ Number of discounts: 16 Usage-based insurance: DriveEasy in 32 states
If you don’t qualify for USAA insurance coverage, Geico is worth considering as your top choice. The company offers reputable service, a wide selection of coverage and cheap car insurance rates, according to our rate estimates.
Besides the standard coverage options, Geico offers helpful add-ons such as:
Emergency roadside assistance
Rental car reimbursement
Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI)
Geico received an A++ (Superior) rating from AM Best, meaning the company has the financial backing to pay customers’ insurance claims. A larger auto insurer like Geico comes with more financial stability compared to a smaller, local company.
Geico also has a strong customer service reputation. According to the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study, Geico performed better than average in every region except the Mid-Atlantic, Southwest and Texas. The study surveyed customers on their satisfaction with claims, billing, price, policy and more. Additionally, our January 2022 insurance survey that polled 1,000 respondents found nearly 12% chose Geico as their insurance provider.
Regarding cost, Geico’s rates are some of the most affordable we’ve seen. Our rate estimates show that drivers pay about $1,308 per year on average for full coverage car insurance from Geico. These rate estimates apply to 35-year-olds with good credit and driving records. Our estimates put Geico in the top three companies for affordability compared to other national providers.
On top of that, the insurer offers a number of ways to save money, including a good driver discount (up to 26% off), a good student discount (up to 15% off) and a multi-vehicle discount (up to 25% off).
According to our research, Erie offers one of the cheapest average annual rates in the country, costing $1,238 per year for a full coverage policy. The insurer offers many discounts on top of having cheaper-than-average auto insurance rates, including savings for drivers who are away at school, drivers with multiple vehicles and drivers who stay accident free.
Travelers has an AM Best rating of A++ for its financial stability and ability to pay out insurance claims. The insurer’s customer service, however, has mixed reviews. In the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study, Travelers scored below the segment average in almost every region except New York.
Our team reached out to Travelers for a comment on its negative review scores but did not receive a response.
According to our research, Travelers insurance pricing is slightly cheaper than the national average, costing $1,669 per year on average for a full coverage policy. The auto insurer offers a number of discounts, including savings for homeowners, good students and drivers who remain accident-free.
Car Insurance Customer Satisfaction
In January 2022, our team of experts surveyed 1,000 people who had purchased car insurance coverage. Most of the participants had used one of the auto insurance companies in this article, while some used other providers.
According to the survey, 28% of policyholders shop for car insurance coverage in intervals longer than one year. Another 26% said they shopped for car insurance coverage every six months, while 25% reported shopping only once a year.
We found that most policyholders shopped for car insurance in the following ways:
30% used a quote comparison tool online
The sections below serve as a guide to help those who are seeking auto insurance find the best coverage to fit their needs and budget.
Car Insurance Coverage
Based on your state’s minimum requirements, some types of auto insurance policies are mandatory. However, it’s typically a good idea to purchase full coverage rather than just the state minimum coverage.
Our January 2022 car insurance survey found 67% of the 1,000 respondents polled purchased full coverage insurance, which includes a combination of liability, collision and comprehensive coverage.
Types of Car Insurance Policies
Most auto insurers offer six standard types of car insurance, which we describe in detail below:
Liability car insurance: Bodily injury liability insurance (BI) covers other drivers and passengers if you are at fault in a collision, and property damage liability (PD) covers other cars or property if you are at fault in a collision.
Comprehensive insurance: Comprehensive coverage pays for damages to your vehicle caused by environmental factors, theft or vandalism.
Medical payments (MedPay): MedPay covers any medical expenses for you and your passengers after a collision.
Personal injury protection (PIP): PIP covers medical bills, lost wages and death benefits for you and your passengers, regardless of fault.
Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage (UIM/UM): This type of coverage protects you if you’re in a car accident with a motorist with too little coverage or no coverage at all.
Car Insurance Cost
According to our rate estimates, 35-year-old drivers with clean driving records and good credit pay between about $1,000 and $2,500 per yearon average for full coverage insurance. Car insurance prices depend on many factors, including your age, location, credit score, driving record and type of vehicle.
Average Cost of Car Insurance
Here are 11 popular insurance providers and their average monthly and annual costs according to our rate estimates:
How Car Insurance Costs Vary by Driving Profile
Several factors influence how much you pay for car insurance coverage, which is why each car insurance company personalizes quotes for every driver. For instance, having an at-fault accident can add around $912 to your annual rate on average, while having poor credit or a DUI can add an average of about $1,456.
Car Insurance Cost by State
While costs vary based on your driving profile, your car insurance quote may also be higher or lower depending on where you live. According to our rate estimates, Michigan, New York and Louisiana tend to be the most expensive states for car insurance, while Ohio, Wisconsin and Maine are generally the cheapest.
What Affects the Cost of Car Insurance?
The cost of car insurance is influenced by a variety of factors, some of which are in a driver’s control and some of which are not. Understanding what you’re able to control can help ensure you’re getting the best insurance rate.
Here are the most common factors that affect car insurance costs:
Location: Drivers in larger, more urban areas will often face higher auto insurance rates. Insurers factor in the higher likelihood of a collision due to increased traffic and vehicles per capita in cities.
Age: Drivers under the age of 25 and elderly drivers are typically given high insurance premiums, as these types of drivers are considered higher risk. New drivers, regardless of age, will also have higher auto insurance costs.
Driving history: If you have an at-fault accident, moving violations or a DUI/DWI on your record, a car insurance policy will cost more.
Credit score: A high credit score indicates to insurers that a driver is reliable and financially responsible, so their auto insurance policy will cost less. Having a poor credit score can increase your rates (except in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan).
Vehicle type: Often, drivers with pricey sports cars pay more for the best car insurance, because repairs are more expensive after an accident.
Deductible: A lower deductible leads to a higher premium.
How To Find the Best Car Insurance Rates
Getting the most affordable car insurance rates can be tricky, especially with the amount of information drivers need to know about policies. We’ve laid out five key steps below that explain how to find the best car insurance rates for your budget.
1. Get Auto Insurance Quotes
It’s always a good idea to compare car insurance quotes between companies. Based on your driver profile and the other factors we listed above, your auto insurance cost can vary greatly.
Some insurance providers offer affordable rates to senior drivers, while others provide cheap car insurance for new or teen drivers. Before settling on a price, reach out to multiple auto insurers. You can compare quotes online yourself or work with an independent insurance agent to compare policies.
2. Look for Discounts
Companies offer a wide range of car insurance discounts, so look for ones that apply to your situation. For example, some providers offer better discounts for students, while others offer discounts for military and occupational affiliations. Major providers offer other insurance products, such as home, renters and life insurance, so you can often find discounts for bundling policies as well.
3. Opt for a Higher Deductible
While it may seem burdensome at first, a higher deductible can significantly reduce your auto insurance costs. Ask your insurance provider which deductible options are available for your coverage policy, and see how each affects your premium. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll need to be able to pay your deductible in the event of a claim.
4. Keep Your Credit in Check
Pay all bills on time and see if there are additional ways to improve your credit score. Paying your bills in full and keeping your credit balances low will also help increase your credit score.
5. Try Telematics Insurance
Telematics insurance programs provide discounts based on your driving habits. If you have a short commute and practice good driving habits, you could save money with pay-per-mile insurance or a safe-driving program.
Best Insurance: Conclusion
The best car insurance company can vary based on your needs and driver profile. We recommend State Farm as the Editor’s Choice provider for most drivers based on its affordability, strong financial standing and positive customer service ratings.
It’s always good to compare insurers. Get free car insurance quotes when you shop to find the best coverage and price for your situation.
Best Auto Insurance: FAQ
Below are frequently asked questions on the best car insurance companies.
Because consumers rely on us to provide objective and accurate information, we created a comprehensive rating system to formulate our rankings of the best car insurance companies. We collected data on dozens of auto insurance providers to grade the companies on a wide range of ranking factors. The end result was an overall rating for each provider, with the insurers that scored the most points topping the list.
Here are the factors our ratings take into account:
Cost (30% of total score): Auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services and discount opportunities were both taken into consideration.
Coverage (30% of total score): Companies that offer a variety of choices for insurance coverage are more likely to meet consumer needs.
Reputation (15% of total score): Our research team considered market share, ratings from industry experts and years in business when giving this score.
Availability (10% of total score): Auto insurance companies with greater state availability and few eligibility requirements scored highest in this category.
Customer Experience (15% of total score): This score is based on volume of complaints reported by the NAIC and customer satisfaction ratings reported by J.D. Power. We also considered the responsiveness, friendliness and helpfulness of each insurance company’s customer service team based on our own shopper analysis.