Car insurance is something just about everyone needs, and before buying it’s essential to know who you can trust. Read on to find out which are the best car insurance companies for 2020.
The Best Car Insurance That You Can Buy
Below we have created our list of car insurance companies that we feel stand out from the crowd. When evaluating the best auto insurance companies, we considered price, customer service, consumer reviews, policies, discounts, and plans offered.
Below is our list of the top car insurance companies for 2020.
- State Farm
- The Hartford
- Erie Insurance
- American Family
- Auto Owners
- Liberty Mutual
Geico’s adorable gecko and their clever commercials don’t need to spread the word; customers already know that Geico offers some of the cheapest car insurance around. Not only that, but they consistently earn high ranks for good customer service and claims payout. The best part is you can sign up for Geico any time, night or day, without ever speaking with an agent using their online system. J.D.
Powers gives Geico 871/100 for customer service. That gecko has been around the block a time or two. The company has been in business since 1936 and earns an A++ from A.M. Best for financial rating. Beloved by customers, Geico is not without a downside. They have very few local agents you can meet with, and they do not offer coverage for full replacement of your vehicle.
- Affordable insurance.
- Great customer service.
- Instant online quotes.
- Deep discounts for military vets and federal employees.
- Few local agents.
- No full replacement cost option.
Allstate is an old-school insurance company with deep roots that go back to Sears, Roebuck, and Co. They have offices in just about every state so that you can sit down face-to-face with an agent and hammer out the details of your policy. They earn high marks consistently for excellent customer service and were ranked #1 in Florida by J.D. Powers.
Just about everyone can recount their signature phrase, “you’re in good hands with Allstate.” Their name recognition is backed by strong financial security and a long reputation (founded in 1931) for efficient claims handling. They have an A+ rating from A.M. Best. They offer a ton of discounts, especially if you bundle car insurance with homeowners. However, Allstate does not always provide the cheapest option.
- Known for great customer service.
- Handy on-demand roadside assistance program called Good Hands Rescue.
- Offices in every state.
- Excellent mobile app called Allstate Mobile.
- Discounts for teens, safe drivers, new cars, and early sign-up.
- Not the cheapest car insurance.
- Insurance is sold for a six-month term.
Progressive insurance has been around a long time and has more than 18 million satisfied customers. If you haven’t lived in a cave for the past few years, you will recognize their ad spokesperson Flo. Progressive was founded in 1939 and offers a ton of packages, including roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, and loan/lease payoff in the event of an accident.
They have dozens of discounts for everything from bundling to good students and automatic payments. They even have an online “Name Your Price” tool to find the insurance you want at the price you want to pay. They earned an 856/1000 with J.D. Power for customer service and an A+ for financial security.
- Safe driving discounts.
- Dozens of insurance packages to choose from.
- Optional services like roadside assistance.
- Average customer service ratings.
- Slow discounts based on driving history.
In terms of customer satisfaction, Amica has a 907/1000 score with J.D. Power. A.M. Best gives them an A+ for financial security. In New England, they earned the top spot for customer service. They offer all the standard liability and collision coverage options along with glass coverage and roadside assistance.
They have a top-tier option called Platinum Choice Auto, which allows you to save big bundling your insurance which includes accident forgiveness, glass replacement, and identity theft monitoring. Amica is not considered a cheap auto insurance provider, but you know what they say, “you get what you pay for.”
- Glass coverage.
- Roadside assistance.
- Accident forgiveness.
- Excellent customer service.
- Great for auto claims.
- Lock replacement for lost keys.
- Not available in every state.
- Sparse discounts.
- Very few local offices.
USAA is a military benefit and offers veterans, current enlisted members, and their families automobile insurance. The insurance is specialized for military personnel and offers them a discount of 60% for vehicles not driven during deployment. USAA ranks high with both A.M. Best for financial security (A++) and J.D. Powers, 890/1000 for customer satisfaction.
Along with the standard insurance products, USAA offers various other financial services such as credit cards, investments, checking accounts, discounts for travel and shopping, and more. They provide a great mobile app and online tools to offer more value to their customers.
- Great customer service.
- Easy claims process.
- Nationwide provider.
- For military personnel only.
- Cited for billing regulation violations.
6. State Farm
State Farm is a full-service insurance provider not just for cars but also for life, health, and property insurance. State Farm also has other financial products such as credit cards, bank accounts, and investments. They earn high ratings from J.D. Power for customer claims (881/1000) with a super-strong A++ rating from A.M. Best.
If you need a lot of handholding and want to consult your agent frequently, State Farm is an excellent option with nationwide offices everywhere. Their digital service options are lacking. They do offer discounts for loyalty, bundled coverages, safe driver, safe vehicles, and others.
- Nationwide agents everywhere.
- Good claims processing.
- Tons of discounts and extra features.
- Not the cheapest rates.
- No senior discounts or military.
- Not digital friendly.
Nationwide is another old-timer who has been in the business for 90 years. Customers love Nationwide as do their employees. Nationwide was ranked the 53rd best place to work by Fortune. Nationwide, however, is not known for being cheap. Their eco-sustainable goals and priorities resonate with their large customer base.
They earn an A+ for financial stability with A.M. Best and 876/1000 for customer service with J.D. Powers. Nationwide offers programs for customers with poor credit, which allows them to get insured where they might not be able to otherwise. They have discounts for safe drivers and other things, but not military or seniors.
- Excellent claims rating.
- Eco-friendly vision aligns with customers.
- Good but not excellent customer satisfaction ratings.
- Unique programs like vanishing deductible and accident forgiveness.
- Decent rates for people with bad credit.
- Excellent mobile app.
- Not that affordable.
- No senior or military discounts.
8. The Hartford
The Hartford is another dinosaur among insurance companies with a great rating for customer service (888/1000) and an A+ rating from A.M. Best for financial security.
The Hartford insures everything from golf carts, R.V.s, and snowmobiles to boats, ATVs, and classic cars. The company is great for seniors offering a wide variety of products for people over the age of 50 in partnership with the AARP. The Hartford offers a few discounts for bundling and seniors.
- Insures many types of vehicles.
- Great customer service.
- Best for 50+ seniors.
- Online services are lacking.
- Not the cheapest rates.
- Some products only available to seniors.
Erie car insurance ranks 880/1000 with J.D. Powers and A+ with A.M. Best. The company markets to young adults and teen drivers. The coverages include rental car fees and roadside assistance. They even offer personal item and pet insurance for things damaged in a car accident.
Erie insurance is best for single parents with kids who drive or young adults just starting out. They do offer discounted rates and get high rankings for good customer service.
- Personal item and pet coverage.
- Aimed at teens.
- Rental car fees and roadside assistance.
- Excellent customer service.
- Limited coverage areas.
- Limited discounts.
10. American Family
American Family Insurance is not as well-known as some of the others, but it offers unique products and deep discounts. They receive an A for financial strength from A.M. Best and an average score for customer satisfaction from J.D. Powers.
They offer gap insurance, rental car reimbursement, roadside assistance, and other add-on products for full coverage.
- Excellent online services and mobile app.
- Unique product and service offerings.
- Tons of great discounts.
- Not available everywhere.
- Not as strong financially as other vendors.
Farmers insurance earns 872/1000 by J.D. Powers for customer satisfaction and an A- from A.M. Best for financial security.
Farmers offer all the standard required coverages, but they also have some add-ons for full car replacement, customized equipment, OEM, and spare parts coverage.
- Above average customer service ratings.
- Quick claims process.
- Not great financial security ratings.
- Missing discounts.
12. Auto Owners
Even though you may not have heard of Auto-Owners, they are one of the oldest insurers around. They were founded in 1916 and have approximately 3 million customers.
However, they only operate in 26 states but have above average ratings (883/1000) from J.D. Powers for customer satisfaction. They have a strong A++ financial strength rating from A.M. Best. They operate through independent insurance agents.
- Great customer satisfaction.
- Flexible options.
- Good discounts.
- Only available in 26 states.
- Not as well known.
13. Liberty Mutual
If the song Liberty, Liberty, Liberty is playing in your head, you are not alone. Liberty Mutual has been saturating the media with their cute commercial and an emu mascot. Liberty is a heavy hitter operating nationally and is the fifth-largest insurer in the world.
Just for using their car insurance quote tool, you can snag a 12% discount. They are not known for being super affordable, however. They offer accident forgiveness and 12-month policies, even for high-risk drivers. A big selling point with Liberty Mutual is that you customize your policy for your needs and not pay for anything you don’t need.
- Plentiful discounts.
- Unique packages.
- Short timeframe for telematics discount.
- Not always affordable.
- Average to poor customer satisfaction.
- Overseas customer support.
Travelers Insurance has been in the insurance game for 150+ years. They are considered to be one of the top ten car insurance companies in the country. A.M. Best gives them a financial stability rating of A++ however, they receive poor customer service ratings from J.D. Powers.
Travelers offers a variety of discount programs that you can take advantage of to lower your rates. You can customize your plan based on your needs.
- Good online quote system.
- Unique add-on options and programs.
- Customer complaints.
- Limited telematics discount program.
- Not available in all states.
Things You Need to Know Before Signing up for Car Insurance
Forty-eight out of 50 states require automobile insurance, so you need to know what is out there and who offers the best coverage and fair prices.
Some other important things know before signing up for the best auto insurance are:
1. What type of coverage do you need? - Your state will have legal limits they require, which usually include liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage. However, you may also opt for additional coverage such as collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, medical payments, personal injury, and gap insurance.
2. Which are the top auto insurance companies out there? Read our reviews above to find out.
3. Price is not always the deciding factor. Cheap car insurance does not always mean peace of mind. If you have an issue and the claims process is a nightmare, you will wish you paid more with a better company.
4. What type of payment plan do you want? Some companies now offer monthly billing rather than biannually, and they offer ACH (automatic withdrawal) and other online payment options.
What Coverage Options Are Available? Full Coverage vs. State Minimum Required Coverage.
When shopping for car insurance, you need to remember that your state probably has a minimum coverage requirement. You will need to know what those numbers are. For example:
California requires motorists to have $15,000 bodily injury liability per person, $30,000 bodily injury liability per accident, and $5,000 property damage liability per accident, yet New Jersey only requires $5,000 property damage liability per accident and $15,000 personal injury protection.
Coverage may vary widely depending on where you live, so finding out your minimum requirements is the place to start; then, you can shop around.
Some people may want full coverage, meaning liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage. With full coverage, if your car is totaled in an accident or is stolen, you will be reimbursed by the car insurance company and can replace your automobile quickly. Without collision or full protection, you may have to pay out of pocket to replace your car.
What Coverage is Best for Me?
When determining the best coverage for you, first look at your minimum requirements and then review additional options. If you live in an area where your car is more likely to be stolen, full replacement coverage might be a good idea. If you have had some accidents, then collision is an add-on you will want to consider. You should always have at least enough coverage to replace your vehicle at its fair market value.
What Should You Look for When Shopping for Car Insurance?
Before purchasing the best car insurance, you need to be prepared to ask a few questions. Automobile insurance is very competitive, so if you shop around, you can find some good deals.
Some of the most important things to consider are:
- How is the claims process?
- How quickly will you get paid?
- How good is the company’s customer service rating?
- Do they offer any extras such as safe driving tips, windshield replacement, free vehicle history reports, etc.?
- Compare price versus the services and extras they offer. Is it a good deal?
How to Save Money on Car Insurance?
When looking at car insurance quotes, you want to consider all the angles to get the best price possible with the coverage, options, and service you desire. Car insurance rates depend on many factors, including your driving history, the area you live in, the type of vehicle, and even your credit.
Methodology of Calculating Ratings
The methodology used by those who calculate ratings for car insurance companies factor in the company’s longevity, financial health ratings from A.M. Best, along with J.D. Power ratings for customer satisfaction, claims processing, and mobile apps. Customer reviews and Better Business Bureau reviews are also factored in.
Car Insurance FAQs
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about car insurance.
What is the best auto insurance company?
Finding the best auto insurance company for you will depend on your needs, the state you live in, and the type of coverage you want to buy. Above, we have compiled a helpful list of the top 10 auto insurance companies in the USA. Using this list, you should be able to identify which companies match up with your list of requirements and a price you are comfortable paying.
Do car insurance companies offer discounts?
Absolutely! Many top car insurance companies offer discounts if you bundle policies together (for example, your homeowners or renters with auto). They also offer safe driver discounts, teen discounts, loyalty discounts, green discounts, multi-vehicle savings, or they may give you a break on price if you take a safe driving course. Other discounts include military, federal employees, and savings for newer vehicles, and early sign-up.
Who offers the cheapest auto insurance?
Geico is known to offer some of the cheapest rates across the country. However, depending on discounts, the type of insurance you need, other companies may end up being cheaper.
What car insurance company has the highest customer satisfaction?
Allstate and State Farm have excellent reputations for providing outstanding customer service. However, Amica and Geico also earn good ratings from customers wanting that personalized experience.
How can I find the best price on car insurance?
Websites like Bankrate and NerdWallet offer instant car insurance quotes where you can enter a bit of information and get a list of prices from a bunch of different car insurance vendors. That way, you can compare right there before researching further or contacting an agent. Before using one of these rate calculators, determine how much coverage you need and how much you want to pay.