Sunday, June 5, 2022

  The best car insurance company isn’t necessarily the cheapest. It’s tempting to shop for a new insurance policy based on price alone, but you need a company that will be there for you when it comes time to make a claim. After all, you don't want to choose the cheapest car insurance quote only to find that it doesn't provide the protection you need. 

Our Top 10 Car Insurance Companies ranking uses pricing data and real customer feedback to help you find the best car insurance policy for you. 

1.USAA




USAA is our first 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:

  • Roadside assistance
  • Rental car reimbursement
  • Accident forgiveness
  • Glass coverage
  • Guaranteed asset protection (GAP insurance)
  • Car replacement assistance (CRA)
  • Rideshare insurance

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 6.01% 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 does not have many physical locations, policyholders are still impressed by the company’s customer service. USAA earned the top score in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study 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 $1,013 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.

USAA earns top marks from all major third-party rating agencies for customer service and financial strength. Coupled with having the lowest average full coverage premium on our list, customers are privy to multiple coverage options, rewards and discounts, including unique circumstances like deployment for active-duty members. While not all drivers may qualify for coverage from USAA, the company is a standout for millions of military families across the country.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Exceptional customer support
  • Military-specific resources
  • Wide array of financial services

Cons

  • Only services military families
  • Several customer complaints
  • Must be a member to get insurance coverage

Read our full USAA auto insurance review.



2.Geico




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.

Geico is always been a top insurance company in our rankings. Consumers who have filed a claim generally agree that Geico makes the process easy. Most survey respondents also report that they plan to renew their policy, and that they’re likely to recommend Geico to family and friends. However, Geico scored lower than some competitors in terms of value, despite the fact that it offers low rates and good overall customer service.

Geico’s long history as a trusted, household-name auto insurer is reflected in its high Score ratings and is one of the reasons we included it as a top company. Coverage is available for virtually every type of driver, making its car insurance coverage accessible even for consumers with blemished driving histories.

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.

Besides the standard coverage options, Geico offers helpful add-ons such as:

  • Emergency roadside assistance
  • Rental car reimbursement
  • Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI)
  • Rideshare insurance

Geico also has a strong customer service reputation. According to the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study, Geico performed better than average in California and the Central and New England regions. 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 $1,350 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).

Why Geico is best for driving incidents: Geico is one of the few top auto insurance companies that will write policies for drivers even after high-risk incidents, such as DUI convictions. While high-risk policies are generally more expensive, a high-risk driver may also have a harder time finding coverage, especially from major car insurance companies. Geico is an easily-accessible option for most people.


Read our full Geico auto insurance review.

3. State Farm




As the largest national auto insurer based on market share, State Farm’s reach and reputation highlight the carrier as one of the best car insurance companies for drivers in most states. Its extensive local agent network showcases its customer-first approach to providing a variety of personal and commercial insurance products to consumers.

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% stating they purchased State Farm insurance coverage.

State Farm makes it easy to file a claim, according to most survey respondents, many of whom plan to renew their policy. State Farm is also the best auto insurance company if you do not have a military affiliation. 

State Farm earned slightly lower marks when we asked if customers were satisfied with the company's status updates during the claims process. Drivers insured through State Farm reported that the company is a good value overall.

State Farm offers the following types of auto insurance coverage:

  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Liability coverage
  • Car rental and travel expenses coverage
  • Uninsured motor vehicle coverage
  • Medical payments coverage
  • Emergency roadside assistance
  • Rideshare driver coverage

Our cost estimates show good drivers pay an average of about $1,339 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++ rating from AM Best. According to the NAIC, State Farm accounted for 15.93% 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 accelerations, 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.

State Farm company boasts over 19,000 licensed insurance professionals, available in communities across the U.S., who can offer guidance to those who value expert insight when discussing their policy. Digital management options allow for an on-the-go approach, including a highly-rated mobile app where you can file auto claims and contact your agent.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Huge local agent network
  • Financially strong

Cons

  • Not available in Massachusetts or Rhode Island
  • Does not offer gap insurance coverage


4. Travelers



Travelers is a trusted insurer with over 150 years in the auto insurance industry. Its strong independent agent network, numerous endorsement options, robust savings opportunities and proven financial track record make it a worthwhile option for drivers nationwide.

As you might expect from a low-ranked insurer, Travelers customers did not report high satisfaction in most areas measured by our survey. 

Drivers who file claims with Travelers are not pleased with the way that they are resolved, and many don't think Travelers offers a good value. Interestingly, Travelers earned a decent score when we asked if people would recommend it to friends or family, but it earned a low rating when we asked if they themselves would renew their policies.

Travelers can be a good auto insurance option for drivers who want extra coverage options. The insurer offers the following in addition to standard types of insurance:

  • Auto loan/lease gap insurance
  • Rental car coverage
  • Roadside assistance
  • New car replacement
  • Accident forgiveness
  • Rideshare coverage
  • Named non-owner insurance
  • Umbrella insurance

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 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 $1,617 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.

Why Travelers is best for personalized coverage: Travelers’ average full coverage car insurance rates come in a bit higher than the national average, but that could be because the carrier offers so many ways to customize your coverage to your specific needs.

Options like new car replacement, accident forgiveness, rideshare coverage and gap coverage will add more premium to your policy but will also give you financial protection for a broader range of incidents. Travelers’ claims satisfaction is not as highly ranked by customers compared to other companies Bankrate analyzed, which may be worth considering before you purchase a policy.

5. Progressive




Progressive’s handy rate tools and positive customer satisfaction help secure it as one of our best car insurance selections. Consumers can find options to save based on their own budget and driving habits with a Progressive policy anywhere in the U.S., backed by a financially strong company that earns high ratings from third-party agencies.

Travelers can be a good auto insurance option for drivers who want extra coverage options. The insurer offers the following in addition to standard types of insurance:

  • Auto loan/lease gap insurance
  • Rental car coverage
  • Roadside assistance
  • New car replacement
  • Accident forgiveness
  • Rideshare coverage
  • Named non-owner insurance
  • Umbrella insurance

To help policyholders save money, Progressive offers a total of 13 auto insurance discounts, such as continuous insurance, teen driver, and student discounts. If you are a homeowner, you could save on your car insurance policy even if your home is not insured by Progressive. 

Progressive also offers its Snapshot Program, which allows you to pay for insurance based on how much you drive, so you don’t buy more coverage than you need. You simply drive as usual and then receive a customized rate the following year based on your personal driving habits. You can even use the Name Your Price tool to customize your auto insurance coverage based on your budget. 

Progressive delivers strong customer satisfaction based on high scores from J.D. Power and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. It is also financially strong based on its loss ratio and top scores from AM Best.

Why Progressive is best for digital policy management: Progressive provides several ways for drivers to save time and money by managing their policy online, such as its Snapshot app, which is a telematics program that monitors driving and offers discounts for safe driving.

Even when first deciding what is the right policy for you, you can use its online Name Your Price tool to personalize your buying experience and review coverage options based on your budget. The Progressive mobile app offers instant access to review coverage, ID cards, bill payment and claims submissions.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Few customer complaints
  • Multiple insurance discounts

Cons

  • Additional coverage can be pricey
  • Low customer satisfaction ratings
  • May have higher premiums



6. Erie




We included Erie on our list of the best auto insurance companies because this regional insurer is generous with optional coverage types in its policies and scores competitively across all third-party agencies reviewed in our research.

Erie also offers discount advantages and competitive rates for young drivers who normally see the highest rates of all driver age groups. Erie’s high Bankrate Score contributes to its position on our list of best car insurance companies for 2022, although coverage is not available nationally.

Drivers looking for a minimum coverage policy — one that only meets the insurance minimums required by their state — get the most savings with Erie on average. Its policies, adjusted for the minimum requirements in each state, are 38% cheaper than the national average.

Full coverage insurance is also very affordable from Erie. The company charges $1,379 per year, which is 43% cheaper than the national average.

Erie offers several types of car insurance:11

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability
  • Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage
  • Roadside assistance
  • Rental car expense coverage
  • New car protection
  • Motorcycle insurance
  • Pet insurance
  • Rideshare insurance

Unfortunately, Erie Insurance is only available in 12 states and DC . Customers looking for cheap insurance outside these states should consider alternate recommendations.

  • ValuePenguin editor's rating: 4.5/5
  • AM Best financial strength rating: A+ (Superior)
  • J.D. Power overall claims satisfaction rating: 880

While Erie does not have online chat or a suite of mobile tools, it offers 24/7 customer service available to help at any time, plus convenient online payments and claims filing. Quotes can be started online and finalized by one of the more than 12,000 agents available. 

Erie is among the top insurers for customer satisfaction on J.D. Power’s annual U.S. Auto Insurance Study, and it has a high AM Best rating, indicating financial stability.

Erie automatically includes several coverage types and features in its full coverage policies that many competitors only offer as optional add-ons. Drivers can benefit from included rideshare insurance, accident forgiveness and Erie’s Rate Lock feature, which could help keep your premiums consistent over time. While only available in 12 states, the company provides robust coverage and a strong claims experience for drivers in its service areas.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Easy-to-navigate website
  • Extended insurance coverage
  • Several options for customer support

Cons

  • Does not allow online claims
  • No mobile app available
  • Restricted service area

7. Auto-Owners


Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners is another carrier with a strong reputation for providing excellent auto coverage and earned the second-highest J.D. Power claims satisfaction rates of any company on our list of best car insurance companies. Its wide range of coverage and discount options are available to drivers in 26 states.

If you are a safe driver, Auto-Owners has multiple discounts to help you save money, including exclusive programs like its telematics-based discount. This provider was established in 1916, and it only offers coverage in 26 states.

 Still, if you live within its service area, it offers insurance for a variety of different vehicles, such as motorcycle, RV, boat, trailer, and ATV insurance. You can also bundle your homeowners, life, flood, and pet insurance from Auto-Owners.

Several types of car insurance are available:

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Liability
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist
  • Medical payments
  • Personal injury protection
  • Additional expenses
  • Rental car coverage
  • Purchase Price Guarantee
  • Gap coverage
  • Diminished value

Auto-Owners offers 13 discounts to lower the cost of your car insurance, including green discounts, student discounts, safety feature discounts, and savings for enrolling in a telematics-based driving program. It also provides a Personal Price Guarantee and a Personal Automobile Plus Package, which bundles several of Auto-Owners’ top services into one convenient and affordable package. 

Auto-Owners has received AM Best’s highest financial rating for nearly 50 years in a row, but its customer service leaves some room for improvement with no online chat support option to help in a pinch. You also must work with an agent to receive a quote and purchase a policy.

Why Auto-Owners is best for discounts: Auto-Owners offers an impressive menu of 12 discounts, which many drivers are likely eligible to receive. Drivers could save by getting a quote ahead of their current policy’s expiration, or by opting for paperless billing and payment options. The company provides three types of student discounts, making it a great option for parents of teens or young drivers who have their own policies to consider.

Auto-Owners offers multiple safe-driving discounts to help lower the cost of those insurance premiums. 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Excellent financial strength
  • Exclusive savings programs
  • Several discounts

Cons

  • No online quotes
  • Restricted service area
  • Limited support options


8. Nationwide


Nationwide

Nationwide generally earns good scores across the board, though it didn’t stand out in any one area as being notably better than the competition. Nationwide has some downsides that keep it from breaking into the top three car insurance companies in our rankings.

Some respondents indicated that they were not satisfied with Nationwide's status updates during the claims process or with how their claims were resolved.

Nationwide’s options to tailor coverage based on personal needs in addition to its low average premium solidify it as a top auto insurance company for 2022, based on Bankrate’s research. With near-nationwide availability and a website full of useful insurance information, customers are likely to find the answers they need to customize a Nationwide policy to their exact needs.

Why Nationwide is best for coverage on a budget: Nationwide’s average annual premium is the second-lowest on our list, only below USAA. However, Nationwide doesn’t restrict coverage to military-affiliated policyholders, so it could be an option for cheap rates if you don’t qualify for USAA.

Additionally, the carrier’s SmartRide and SmartMiles telematics programs can help you either earn a discount based on your safe driving habits or provide a flexible premium based on your vehicle usage, respectively. Optional coverage is not as plentiful as some other auto insurers on our list, but personalized options offer valuable control over your financial protection.

9. Allstate


Allstate

As the fourth-largest insurer based on market share, Allstate has a long list of valuable coverage options that make it a standout option for many drivers, but especially for those with unique vehicles. Allstate’s rewards program adds additional benefits, allowing drivers to earn points toward hotels, gift cards and other great perks.

With 14 different discounts, Allstate is our pick for the best discounts for car insurance in 2022. This insurer has been around since 1931, and it provides car insurance coverage in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Allstate offers several types of insurance coverage:

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Liability
  • Medical payments
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist
  • Personal injury protection
  • Custom equipment
  • Personal umbrella 
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Classic car insurance
  • Mexico car insurance
  • Gap insurance

You will have to pay more to add roadside assistance to your policy, but there are two types that you can choose from—either basic protection for local driving or a higher level of coverage. 

To save money, you have the option of choosing a six-month term instead of the traditional annual policy. Allstate has its signature Drivewise Program that can save drivers up to 40% off their normal premiums with safe driving through telematics-based usage. 

You can also save money when you have a new car, receive good grades in school, or maintain multiple policies with Allstate. Your vehicle can also save you money with anti-lock and anti-theft discounts, plus there are several payment-related discounts when you renew your policy early, pay in advance, or enroll in paperless statements. 

Allstate was not ranked among the top insurers for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s recent U.S. Auto Insurance Study. However, it does score well with AM Best, which signals strong financial stability, and NAIC data shows a lower-than-average number of customer complaints.

Why Allstate is best for high-value cars: Allstate is one of the few insurers that offer coverage for custom equipment. The company’s full coverage policies have a higher average cost compared to other carriers on Bankrate’s list, but drivers who have invested money into modifying their vehicles with the best sound equipment likely need more extensive coverage, which Allstate provides. Classic and antique car collectors can opt for Allstate’s classic car insurance so the vehicle’s higher intrinsic value is accounted for in case of costly damage.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Unique coverage options
  • Varied roadside support
  • Wide array of discounts

Cons

  • Customer satisfaction lacking
  • 6-month terms
  • Roadside assistance costs extra

Continue Reading "Best Car Insurance Companies" on the next page To See More!








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