See ratings for Allstate, GEICO, USAA, and more. Amica: 94. Esurance: 92. The Hartford: 92. American Family: 91. Erie: 88. Safeco: 85. See Insurify Ratings, user ratings, and more!
Good auto insurance companies provide a variety of coverage and service options, great customer service, and a smooth claim resolution process, all at an affordable rate. Since virtually every state requires its drivers to have a minimum amount of auto insurance coverage, you might as well get a policy—and an insurer—you can be happy with in both good times and bad.
While it’s easy to get lured in by insurance providers offering extremely low auto insurance rates, try to remember that price is not the only factor to consider when you’re choosing a car insurance company—in fact, it’s probably not even the most important factor. In normal circumstances, the most noticeable aspect of your auto insurance policy is your premium payment, so it’s easy to focus solely on price. However, when something goes wrong—you get in an accident, your car is stolen, etc.—the other aspects of your insurance policy and the quality of your carrier will suddenly become a lot more important. If you’ve chosen wisely, your car insurance carrier can make the claims process an easy and relatively pleasant experience; if not, your carrier can make an already miserable situation even worse.
Insurify, a free insurance comparison website that provides real-time, accurate quotes, set out to analyze all major car insurance companies and rank them with a single, multi-point score. The result is the Insurify Composite Score—a number that gives you an easy way to see which carriers are the best fit for you before you need to use your policy. By choosing a policy with the right coverage level from a highly rated carrier, you can give yourself peace of mind on the road.
The Insurify Composite Score is calculated by analyzing multiple factors that reflect the quality, reliability, and health of an insurance company. Inputs to the score include financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch; J.D. Power ratings, Consumer Reports customer satisfaction surveys, mobile app reviews, and user-generated company reviews. Insurify’s data scientists took these variables, weighted them, and combined them into a single, easy-to-understand numeric score for each carrier.
After crunching the data, these 10 car insurance companies stood out from the rest of the pack. While it’s always important to shop around when comparing auto insurance, you can trust you and your vehicle will get optimal coverage from one of these 10 stellar carriers.
Customer rating: 4.3 / 5 stars, 175 user reviews
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: As a mutual insurance company, Amica can afford to offer much lower rates than standard insurance carriers. Amica is consistently ranked as a favorite among consumers for their excellent customer service and high record of claims satisfaction. Amica’s Car Connection program allows customers to get special pricing on new and used cars through the program’s dealer network. Furthermore, Amica’s Platinum Choice Auto option allows you to add other perks to your policy, including an Advantage Rewards system that adds points to your profile for good driving and referring friends. These points can go towards accident forgiveness or even lowering the price of your deductible.
Available discounts: Amica offers safe driver, loyalty, multi-product, and e-discounts, among others.
Customer rating: 4.7 / 5 stars, 10,251 user reviews
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: The Hartford offers a number of special benefits to their policyholders, including RecoverCare, which provides reimbursement for home services if you’re injured in an accident, and lifetime renewability. With the Hartford, you also have the option to buy into the Advantage PLUS package, which provides first accident forgiveness, an annual reduction in collision deductibles, and more. If you’re an AARP member, you also get the chance to unlock policy discounts specifically designed for drivers over the age of 50.
Available discounts: The Hartford offers multi-product, safety features, good student, and AARP member discounts, among others.
Customer rating: 3.8 / 5 stars, 28 user reviews
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: Auto-Owners is a unique car insurance carrier. It works solely through independent agents, ensuring a local, friendly face will be there to help out in case you need to file a claim. It offers a wide variety of insurance packages and bundles—a flexibility than many policyholders appreciate.
Available discounts: Auto-Owners offers multi-product, safety features, good payment history, and student discounts, among others.
Customer rating: 4.6 / 5 stars, 4,471 user reviews
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: Esurance is well known for bringing the car insurance claims process into the 21st century, and has been lauded for providing a simple, user-friendly mobile and web experience for online users. Its Photo Claims program allows customers to snap a smartphone photo of any accident damage rather than setting an appointment with an appraiser. This can allow claims to be settled in as little as one day. Digital natives: this could be the carrier for you.
Available discounts: Esurance offers multi-product, switch-and-save, good driver, and homeowners discounts, among others.
Customer rating: 3.6 / 5 stars, 75 user reviews
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Product highlights: American Family developed the Dreams Restored Program (DRP) for its auto insurance customers. If a policyholder uses a DRP-certified repair shop after filing a claim, the repairs have a lifetime warranty and the bill goes to American Family rather than to the customer. Some perks offered by American Family include gap coverage and rideshare insurance in select states.
Available discounts: American Family offers multi-product, loyalty, defensive driver and student discounts, among others.
Customer rating: 3.7 / 5 stars, 636 user reviews
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: Allstate customers can sign up for Drivewise, a mobile app that awards points for completing safe driving challenges. Those points can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, and other prizes. Plus, Allstate famously offers first-time accident forgiveness…even if you’re at fault for a fender-bender. Allstate’s also well documented for its roadside assistance services.
Available discounts: Allstate offers multi-product, new car, student, and safety feature discounts, among others.
Customer rating: 3.6 / 5 stars, 1,961 user reviews
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Product highlights: We’re sure you’ve seen a barrage of GEICO ads dominating your television screen. But besides savvy marketing practices, GEICO also has several programs to help policyholders save money on auto expenses. These include the Fuel Finder feature on GEICO’s mobile app (to find the cheapest gas station in your area) and its Car Buying service (to compare features and prices on new and used cars). Through the Auto Repair Xpress service, a claims adjuster will meet you in the repair shop after you file a claim and help you through the process. In some regions, you can also count on GEICO to provide a rental car for rides to and from the shop.
Available discounts: GEICO offers mature driver, military, federal employee, and student discounts, among others.
Customer rating: 4.1 / 5 stars, 164 user reviews
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Product highlights: ERIE offers a Rate Lock feature on its auto insurance policies that keeps the rate constant from year to year, even if the policyholder files a claim. Rate Lock lasts until the policyholder makes certain changes to the policy, such as adding or removing a driver or vehicle. Those with furry friends will appreciate that ERIE offers up to $1,000 in veterinary care coverage in the event your pets are injured in an accident.
Available discounts: ERIE offers multi-product, multi-car, safe driver, and reduced usage discounts, among others.
Customer rating: 3.0 / 5 stars, 15 user reviews
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: State Auto’s customers can reduce their premiums by joining the Safety 360 program, which entails installing a telematics device in the car that tracks the driver’s actions. If you join this program, you’ll receive a score rating based on how safely you drive; you can unlock higher discounts if you increase your score.
Available discounts: State Auto offers multi-product, safety feature, multi-car, and student discounts, among others.
Customer rating: 4.1 / 5 stars, 1,688 user reviews
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: Sometime drivers and those with great driving records stand to reap the most benefits from a Safeco policy, which can include many convenient discounts. Safeco offers a slew of coverage options whose availability varies by region. These include gap coverage, electronic key and lock replacement, and pet coverage.
Available discounts: State Auto offers multi-product, safety feature, multi-car, and low mileage discounts, among others.
Customer rating: 4.1 / 5 stars, 852 user reviews
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: USAA is a financial services provider that accepts members only from military and ex-military households. Widows and widowers, spouses, and other family members of USAA members can also join. Many of the company’s benefits are specifically tailored for military personnel, such as the 15% discount on auto insurance for members who garage their vehicles on base.
Available discounts: USAA offers safe driver, low mileage, multi-product and student discounts, among others.
Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a handful of top-quality insurance carriers, it’s time to consider what features you’re looking for in your auto insurance policy.
Most states set minimum car insurance coverage limits for their residents, but minimum coverage may not provide enough protection for you. Instead of just relying on those minimums, consider your own situation and needs and set your insurance policy limits accordingly.
Auto insurance policies don’t come with a single limit and deductible. There are typically a number of coverage limits based on the type of claim a customer might make. Most claims are categorized either as collision or comprehensive claims. Car insurance policies can also offer coverage to help you with the financial repercussions of an accident, such as medical bills and lost wages.
Auto insurance coverage falls into two broad categories: collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.
Comprehension and collision coverage are typically bundled together and have the same coverage limits.
In some cases, you may not need comprehensive and/or collision coverage at all. If your state allows you to waive this coverage and your vehicle is worth less than $3,000, comprehensive and collision coverage may not be a cost-effective choice—you’d likely end up spending more on premiums than you’d ever get back from filing a claim.
On the other hand, if you’re still paying off your vehicle both comprehensive and collision coverage are likely required by your lender, and the lender may also set a maximum deductible on your coverage or have other requirements in place. Check with whichever company is providing your auto loan before giving up this coverage or changing your deductibles or coverage limits.
Car accidents often lead to injuries, and in such a situation personal injury protection, medical payments, and health insurance coverage from your car insurance policy can save you from devastating medical bills. These three types of coverage help cover the cost of accident-related injuries in different ways.
Personal injury protection coverage pays for any bodily injury-related medical bills that you and your passengers incur from a car accident, and usually will cover any lost wages as well. Twelve states require drivers to carry a minimum level of personal injury protection insurance. In other states, this coverage is strictly optional, but recommended. One of the biggest benefits of personal injury protection coverage is that it will pay the bills regardless of who is at fault in the accident; for that reason, it is also known as no-fault insurance.
Medical payments coverage is similar to personal injury protection coverage in that it will pay for medical bills related to an auto accident. Unlike personal injury protection coverage, it won’t cover things like rehabilitative care or lost wages but will pay for funeral expenses.
This coverage is linked to the policyholder, not the vehicle—meaning you can still use your medical payments coverage if you’re injured in an accident while riding in someone else’s car, on a bus, or even if you’re hit by a car as a pedestrian.
Medical payments coverage is strictly optional. If you live in a state where personal injury protection coverage is required, you might be better off getting a larger amount of this type of coverage and skipping medical payments coverage altogether. On the other hand, if you feel you need more medical coverage than personal injury protection coverage will supply, then consider getting this type of coverage on top of your no-fault accident insurance coverage.
Both personal injury protection coverage and medical payments coverage can overlap with your regular health insurance coverage. Their interaction will vary based on what type of health insurance policy you have and which state you live in. Some types of health insurance policy don’t cover accident-related injuries at all; if your health insurance policy does cover such injuries, either personal injury protection coverage or medical payments coverage can give you funds to cover copay expenses and other charges that aren’t covered by your health insurance. They will also cover your accident-related medical expenses if you haven’t met your health insurance deductible for the year.
If you get sued as a result of an accident or otherwise exceed the liability limits on your auto insurance policy, umbrella coverage can take care of those extra charges for you. Umbrella coverage is an add-on that picks up where your standard car insurance policy leaves off. If you have a high net worth, umbrella coverage can help you protect those assets even in a worst-case scenario. For example, if you get into an accident and are found to be at fault, and the other party sues you for an enormous sum, umbrella coverage could help you pay those lawsuit charges.
These policies typically start at $1 million of coverage and may go as high as $10 million or even more. Most umbrella coverage carriers require you to have a certain amount of auto insurance coverage before you can sign up, so you can’t use an umbrella coverage policy to skimp on your auto insurance coverage limits.
Getting just enough car insurance coverage to meet your state’s minimum requirements may seem like an easy way to save money, but it can be the most expensive course in the long-term.
If you’re in a serious accident and don’t have sufficient auto insurance coverage, you could end up with bills you can’t pay and could possibly end up bankrupt as a result.
When picking your car insurance limits, the rule of thumb is to get at least enough coverage to equal the total value of your assets. Personal assets would include a house, your car or cars, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and even retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401(k).
If you’ve got more assets than your standard auto insurance policy will cover, umbrella coverage would be a great way to make up the difference. Still, your assets aren’t the only factor to consider when shopping for a policy.
Owners of brand-new vehicles might consider getting gap coverage to protect themselves in case of an accident early on in their car ownership. New vehicles lose a huge amount of their value the moment you drive them off the dealership lot, but you still owe your lender however much you purchased the vehicle for in the first place. However, if you get into a major accident a week after buying your new car and the vehicle is totaled, standard auto insurance policies will only pay you up to the car’s current value—which will likely be much less than you owe on it. In such a situation, gap coverage will “fill in the gap” between the car’s current value and how much you still owe on it.
It’s not easy to be a good judge of our own driving skills, but how good a driver you are will certainly affect how likely you are to have an accident—and that’s something to consider when choosing your car insurance policy limits. If you’ve been driving for 20 years and have never had an accident, you’re probably a pretty good driver (or at least a cautious one) and may be able to get along with somewhat lower limits on your car insurance. On the other hand, if you get in an accident every year, you’ll definitely want to get plenty of coverage—although you’ll likely pay top-dollar for it with such a high-risk driving history.
Another factor to consider is how often you drive. If you work from home and only drive a few miles once a week to run your errands, you’re far less likely to end up in an accident than someone who has a 50-mile-a-day commute. Rush-hour driving is also riskier than driving at less peak times, because you’re dealing with large numbers of often impatient drivers who may be willing to take risks in order to get themselves to work on time. In short, the more you drive, the more insurance coverage you’re likely to need.
The deductible you choose will have a big impact on your car insurance premiums. Higher deductibles can result in much lower premiums, but they also mean that you’ll have to pay more money out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in.
If you have a healthy balance in your savings account, you may be able to get away with a higher deductible and save significant money on your premiums—but don’t try this if you have little or no money saved. In that case, if you have a high deductible and get in a serious accident, you’ll either end up buried in debt or unable to pay your car repair bills. Stick to a deductible that’s equal to, or preferably less, than the amount you have tucked away in savings.
It’s also wise to consider your job security, the size of your household, and how comfortable you are with risk.
Someone with a very secure job and a predictable income can probably afford to get by with lower coverage than someone who works seasonally, is a solopreneur, or has a good chance of being laid off.
If you have several dependents, bumping up your coverage limits might be the wisest route.
Finally, some people are very risk-averse and simply won’t sleep well at night with minimal insurance coverage, while others are perfectly comfortable living with the possibility of expensive bills in case of an accident. Decide where you fall on this spectrum and set your policy limits accordingly.
If you don’t have the cash to cover a high deductible, yet can’t afford to pay a great deal in auto insurance premiums, don’t panic—there are plenty of other ways to reduce your rates. Because different carriers use slightly different factors to determine how they’ll set the rates for your policy, simply shopping around and comparing rates from different carriers can result in substantial savings. And choosing a carrier that offers numerous discounts that you’re eligible to claim can reduce your costs even further.
Discounts vary quite a bit from one carrier to another, but here are some of the most common discounts and how to qualify for them.
It may surprise you to hear that many insurance companies, especially the larger ones, check your credit score before offering you a policy—and will often set your insurance rates based on whether or not you have good credit. Residents of California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts are exceptions to this rule, as those states prohibit insurance companies from using credit scores to determine premiums.
If you have poor credit and don’t live in one of the three exempt states, consider requesting an extraordinary life circumstances exemption. This exemption allows you to request insurance carriers not to use your credit score when calculating your rate. This is particularly helpful if you can show that your poor credit was caused by specific circumstances beyond your control, such as serious illness, divorce, unemployment, and similar life catastrophes. The insurance carrier will likely ask you to provide documentary proof, so make sure you can back up your claim.
The single most effective way to fix credit problems, however, is to make all your payments on time, starting immediately. If you can’t afford to make at least the minimum payments on all your debts, get in touch with some of your creditors to see if you can negotiate a deal. Many creditors will accept a somewhat smaller repayment if the alternative is forcing you into bankruptcy.
Once you’ve chosen a top-rated carrier and selected the right policy limits, your work isn’t quite done. No matter how much you love your current policy, it’s still important to shop around every year to get quotes from other insurers. If you get a much lower quote for the same type of policy from another carrier, you might take the quote to your current insurer and ask them to match it. There’s an excellent chance that your current insurer will unearth another discount or two and reduce your premiums just to keep your business. That way, you’ll get the best of both worlds: superior car insurance coverage and a competitive price.
Best of luck on your car insurance journey!