The Best Car Insurance Companies for 2020
Coming up with a list of the best car insurance companies may be harder than you think. What makes car insurance so great, anyway? Is it the funny commercials, catchy slogans, or familiar melodies we’ve all heard?
As easy as it would be to choose a car insurance company based on the latest celebrity-filled commercial, the reality is, there are many aspects to choosing the right car insurance company.
What should you look for as you’re trying to select the best for your driving situation? First, you should know there are basic car insurance coverages almost every auto insurance company offers:
- Comprehensive coverage
- Uninsured motor vehicle
- Underinsured motor vehicle
- Medical payments
But what sets a company apart are the strength of financial ratings, customer service satisfaction, discounts and optional coverage offerings. We took a look at all these features to come up with our list of the best car insurance companies.
- Best car insurance companies
- Best car insurance companies summary
- The bottom line
Best car insurance companies
Before we get into greater detail, here’s a snapshot of the best car insurance companies and what the company’s best known quality is.
|Auto Insurance Company||Best for|
|State Farm||Local agent network|
|USAA||Military members and their family|
|Progressive||Variety of discounts|
|Erie||Specialty coverage options|
|Country Financial||Overall customer satisfaction|
|Nationwide||Specialty policy features|
|Farmers||Variety of coverage options|
|Liberty Mutual||Lots of ways to save|
Best car insurance companies
Amica Mutual has a longstanding reputation as a solid choice for auto insurance — and there’s a good reason they are still around after 100 years. Amica is America’s oldest mutual company, unlike other companies where stock prices are the main motivation, Amica is owned by its policyholders. This also means profits are returned to the members, which provides an additional incentive for quality for its members.
Members typically pay for higher auto insurance rates their first year, because you’re essentially buying into the company. But there are still savings to be found with Amica. For example, you can save up to 25% when you add another vehicle or a homeowner’s insurance policy.
Amica is more than a company with years of auto coverage under its belt. It’s also racked up an impressive list of ratings and awards. Ratings such as an A+ Rating with AM Best, 5/5 J.D. Power Circle Rating and tops in overall customer satisfaction— for 7 years in a row. Also included in Amica’s multiple accolades is the A+ Rating with BBB, proving customer service is a top priority with the company.
Amica offers all the basic auto coverage options you would expect, plus the availability of options such as rental car reimbursement, accident forgiveness, and glass coverage. Amica earns the top spot among auto insurance companies for its financial reputation, available discounts, and overall customer satisfaction.
Founded in 1922, State Farm continues to prove it’s a car insurance powerhouse that wants to be more than a good neighbor. State Farm relies heavily on its network of 19,000 local insurance agents to provide you with guidance with your coverage, or you can skip the neighbor and go straight to the website or app for instant access.
State Farm offers all standard auto insurance coverages, plus additional options such as rental car reimbursement, rideshare driver coverage, emergency roadside assistance, and several others. Another impressive feature of State Farm options are the numerous discounts available. Discounts range from Drive Safe & Save™ to multiple policy discounts. Some of which can save you up to 40% on your car insurance premiums.
State Farm receives high marks for its customer service accessibility. You can file a claim or ask questions via the app, website, your local agent, or calling the 24/7 customer support. In addition to strong customer service, State Farm has the financial stability you expect from your auto insurance company. With an AA rating with S&P Global Index Rating, an A++ rating from AM Best, and it’s ranked 5th with the JD Power 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.
Overall, State Farm offers multiple options to tailor a car insurance policy to exactly what you need for coverage. Although State Farm has a reputation for higher policy car insurance rates, you can work with them to find multiple discounts to lower your premiums.
Read our personal review of State Farm Auto Insurance.
Geico is not only known for its memorable commercials, but it has plenty of financial and digital strength to match its creativity. Geico is known as a discount auto insurance carrier, with a promise of “fifteen minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance” blasting the airwaves.
Geico offers plenty of coverage options, in addition to the standard auto coverages you need. Optional coverages include emergency roadside assistance, car rental reimbursement, and a mechanical breakdown option which is similar to an extended car warranty.
Geico performs well digitally speaking, too. Although there is a limited agent network available, if you prefer submitting your information online or through an app then you’re in luck. Geico’s website and app are known for being user-friendly, so you can get on with the repair process (and your life) after an accident.
Geico has strong financial ratings and assets, from an AM Best A++ rating, an AA+ S&P Global Rating,and assets of $32 billion. Customer service rankings include J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study — highest overall ranking and fourth overall for the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.
Overall, Geico’s ease-of-use with its app and customer service, plus the exceptional financial stability of this 75-year old company make it one of the best in the business.
Read our personal review of Geico Auto Insurance.
USAA works with military personnel and their families to provide a full range of auto coverage options. Although currently only open to veterans and active military members, if you can take advantage of all USAA has to offer for car insurance, then you should do so.
USAA has a reputation for providing exceptional and competitive rates for its members. In addition to the standard fare of auto coverage options, including roadside assistance. While USAA isn’t as tech-savvy as other insurance providers, you can use the website or app to perform basic tasks like submitting payments.
USAA isn’t officially ranked with the 2019 JD Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction survey, but did score the highest with 900 out of 1000 points possible. It also enjoys many favorable reviews from customers online. In addition to great customer service, USAA shows its financial strength with an A++ AM Best Rating and AA+ S&P Global Index Rating.
The downside to USAA is the strict requirement for membership. Unless you’re affiliated with the military in some way, you won’t have access to the competitive rates or fantastic customer service the members enjoy.
Flo and her red lips may be your first thought when it comes to Progressive, but behind her funny antics is an auto insurance with serious financial chops. Progressive is also well-known for providing multiple discounts, and all indications are it’s true.
Progressive provides all the standard auto insurance coverages you need. But there are options available for roadside assistance, loan/lease payoff, car rental reimbursement — even custom equipment coverage, which is typically harder to find.
Along with the numerous coverage options, you have plenty of discounts to lower your premiums. You can bundle policies for more savings, or you can try the Snapshot™ safe driver program for a greater discount. Progressive offers the Name Your Price® Tool so you can customize your auto insurance policy based on your current budget — not the other way around.
Progressive has strong financial ratings, such as an A+ AM Best and AA S&P Global Index Rating. Where Progressive doesn’t perform as well is with the 2019 JD Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction survey, where it placed below the industry average. Although it does earn an A+ BBB rating. Overall, the coverage options and multitude of discounts still means Progressive is a top contender for auto insurance.
The Hartford insurance may not be as well-known with silly characters or famous lizards, but it does offer impressive auto insurance coverages for retirees. If you are over 50 and have an AARP membership, then you can enjoy all the benefits The Hartford offers — like discounts and great customer service.
In addition to the standard auto coverages, The Hartford offers amazing options such as new car replacement, lifetime car repair assurance, even Recovercare assistance if you’ve had an accident. There are several ways to save further on your premiums with programs such as a disappearing deductible and multi-policy discounts.
The Hartford uses a network of local agents, which you can easily get in contact with through the website or customer service. But there’s also an app, with convenient access to making payments, roadside assistance, and reporting a claim.
The Hartford has a superior A+ financial rating, further showing the strength of the company. It’s also ranked above industry average in the 2019 JD Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction survey and has an A+ BBB rating.
Erie insurance is a regional provider, servicing states from Ohio to North Carolina. Erie consistently rates well with overall customer satisfaction and financial ratings. Erie has a huge network of over 13,000 agents, plus 24/7 customer service ready to help you.
Erie offers the basic auto insurance coverages, but includes features in their standard policy that other competitors charge extra for. Standards such as First Accident Forgiveness, diminishing deductible, and a rate lock. But where Erie really stands out are the additional options for your policy. Extras such as pet coverage (up to $500 if your pet is with you in a car accident) and rideshare coverage to complete your policy.
Erie Insurance performed well in the 2019 JD Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction survey, ranking third overall. The NAIC customer complaint index shows a rating well-below average, with a rating of .22. Erie also impresses with its A+ Superior rating with AM Best, among other awards.
The downside to Erie, and the reason it’s not ranked higher,is it’s a regional carrier. You can only purchase Erie insurance if you live in one of the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington D.C.
Country Financial might be considered a lesser-known option in some parts of the country, but it is an auto insurance carrier with consistently high customer-service marks while offering a variety of coverage options.
In addition to collision, comprehensive, and liability, you can find options with Country Financial such as emergency roadside assistance, umbrella insurance, safety glass coverage, and many others. You also have access to multiple discounts, ranging from multi-policy and multi-car, to good grades and safe driving.
Country Financial ranks extremely high in the 2019 JD Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction survey, coming in second behind Amica Mutual. It also pulls in an impressive A+ Superior rating from AM Best. It also has the lowest possible score on the NAIC National Complaint Index Report, with a 0 — meaning, no filed complaints.
Like Erie, Country Financial is available in certain states so we didn’t rank it higher. It services the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Nationwide is another well-known carrier, with big star power in its commercials. But it appears Nationwide offers quite a bit for us everyday people too. With Nationwide, you can get a variety of specialty coverage options and programs available to customize your policy for your needs and your budget.
Nationwide has specialty options such as gap coverage, roadside assistance, total loss deductible waiver, and accident forgiveness, which aren’t always found with other big companies.
Nationwide is available in almost every state and offers 12 discounts to lower your premiums. Plus Nationwide offers the On Your Side® Review to ensure you’re getting the most discounts and best coverage possible.
Nationwide does rank slightly below industry average for the 2019 JD Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction survey, but maintains a Superior financial rating (A+) with A.M. Best. With 24/7 customer service, website, local agents, and app, Nationwide has the tools to make sure they stay on your side.
If you like the idea of the human touch and working directly with someone, Auto-Owners Insurance may be your best bet. The company offers a network of over 48,000 local agents within 6,800 agencies, across the 26 states it currently operates in.
Auto-Owners is another mutual company, so you’ll reap the benefit of any profits. Auto-Owners offers the standard coverage, but has other unique options too, such as roadside assistance, lease/own gap coverage, diminished value, and others.
Auto-Owners ranks quite high on the 2019 JD Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction survey, coming in above the industry average.
One reason for Auto-Owners lower rating on our list is because you have to work with an agent for a car insurance quote, and can’t simply go online to get your answer, as you may do with other auto insurers. But once you do work with an agent, you’re likely to get a great customer experience and pricing
Other auto insurance companies to consider
Farmers Insurance offers the standard coverages for auto, but you’ll also find plenty of ways to customize your policy. From roadside assistance, rideshare coverage, gap insurance, to extended equipment coverage.
Farmers is easy to work with too, with an intuitive website and tech-savvy app. You can start a claim through the app, request roadside assistance, make payments, even get fast quotes for coverage. With its network of agents and 24/7 customer service, Farmers will be there faster than you can say “we know a thing or two.”
Farmers Insurance doesn’t have any complaints registered with the NAIC, which is surprising for a company of its size. However, with the 2019 JD Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction survey, Farmers was slightly below the industry average by ranking eleventh overall. Financially speaking, Farmers remains strong and stable with an A Rating for S&P and B++ AM Best rating.
Farmers stands out because of its variety of coverage options, which means you can tailor your auto policy to fit your exact needs. There are numerous discounts available too, to help your premium remain as affordable as possible.
Allstate does typically have some of the highest premiums, but it’s worth mentioning that Allstate will insure drivers who are often considered high-risk (with accidents or bad credit).
Allstate features coverage options you don’t always find with other well-known insurers, including specialty areas. You can find coverage for drivers such as classic cars, rideshare insurance, and custom sound equipment. Allstate has a number of discounts to help offset the higher premiums. It’s also worth mentioning the accident forgiveness and Deductible Rewards® to round out coverage options.
Allstate isn’t as strong with the overall customer satisfaction ratings too, scoring well below the industry average for the 2019 J.D. Power rankings. Allstate does have a strong financial outlook with an A+ A.M. Best rating, making sure you’re in good hands like Allstate promises.
Founded in 1912, Liberty Mutual offers a wide variety of insurance products and coverage options, especially with auto insurance. Liberty Mutual can save you money by bundling your insurance policies and through its wide variety of other discounts.
Liberty Mutual offers the basic auto coverage but makes it possible for you to truly customize your policy. Options such as collision, Liberty Mutual Deductible Fund® where your deductible reduces over time, gap coverage, and roadside assistance to name a few.
Liberty Mutual offers several discounts — among the most of any auto insurance carrier. Right from the start when you go online to obtain your quote, you automatically receive a 12% discount. Other discounts range from paperless statements and good grades to safe driving and defensive driving classes.
Liberty Mutual receives an A rating from A.M. Best for its strong financial outlook. Where Liberty Mutual struggles with performance is overall customer satisfaction. In 2019, customer’s ranked them eight spots below the industry average. But overall, Liberty Mutual is one of the best, with its variety of discounts and the ability to customize your policy.
Best car insurance companies summary
|Provider||Average annual premium*||Discounts available||J.D. Power Rating||A.M. Best Rating|
*Average annual premiums based on drivers in their thirties
How much auto insurance do I really need?
Auto insurance coverage is based on several factors. Not only is budget an important consideration, but so is cooperating with your state requirements. You want to meet the minimum requirements but still consider other options that could lower your stress as a vehicle owner (something like car rental reimbursement or roadside assistance).
Typically, you will want coverage for liability coverage including bodily injury liability and property damage liability, and, of course, collision coverage. Having uninsured motorist coverage helps you if someone hits you and is not covered, not only for car repairs but medical bills ensuing from an accident, although having personal injury protection helps you there, as well.
How will I know if I’ve purchased enough vehicle coverage?
The insurance company or agent you’re purchasing from will have the specific requirements for your state. If not, then move on to someone else! You can also refer to the shopping guide from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for unbiased guidance on what coverage to choose.
How much will auto insurance cost me?
The cost of auto insurance is determined by several factors. Your age, location, driving history, vehicle type, gender, and marital status are all factored in. The best approach when researching costs is to get several quotes from a variety of companies. You can also use a service such as Gabi to review multiple quotes at once.
To help you find a car insurance provider, consider turning to online platforms such as Policygenius, which provides free side-by-side auto insurance quotes all in one place.
How can I find cheap car insurance?
Rather than think of cheap auto insurance, think of ways you can save through the driver discounts offered. Your driving record comes into play and if you are a good driver with a clean driving record who is accident-free you will spend less than someone with prior accidents. Having good credit also will help you spend less than someone with poor credit, as the insurance company is taking a chance on you and will run a credit report. If your vehicle has built-in anti-theft, that is another savings. Insurance discounts are often offered when you bundle your insurance and use the same company for other products like life insurance or homeowners or renter insurance.
Even young drivers can find the best rate by having good driving records, being a good student, taking a driver's education course outside of school. Student discounts are available for teen drivers under their parents' policy.
Read our article on Best Cheap Car Insurance Companies to find those that give you the best coverage for less.
Why you should have car insurance
Most of us don’t like paying more for auto insurance than we have to. Not to mention we want adequate coverage and a company that is there for us when we need it. Shopping around for auto insurance may be time-consuming, but it makes financial sense.
If you ever find yourself having to make a claim for your vehicle, you want to know the auto insurance company has the financial stability you need, and the customer service you want. No one wants any extra headaches when dealing with claims, so why not choose the best company? We purchase auto insurance to be there in case the worst happens, and that starts with choosing the right auto insurance company.
The bottom line
When it comes to auto insurance, narrowing it down a list of the best auto insurance companies is not an easy task. There are many factors that make a company great — besides having low rates. You need a company with strong financial ratings, a reputation for great customer service, and services and discounts that meet your coverage needs.
Overall, we think Amica earns the top honors for these very reasons. But behind Amica, there are several other fantastic auto insurance companies that all have something important to offer.
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