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Finding the best car insurance coverage can be frustrating. Every insurer claims to have the lowest price and superior customer service, but they can’t all be number one. This review takes a closer look at the 12 providers that came out on top, and this list may shift as we review new providers and company details change.
There is no one best car insurance provider for every driver, which is why we recommend getting quotes from several companies. Along with the company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history affect your rate. That's why it’s important to compare quotes to ensure you get the best car insurance coverage and price.
In this article:
Best Car Insurance Companies
Of the more than 30 car insurance providers we reviewed, USAA is the highest rated, while Geico is the best option for non-military drivers. To help you get a clear understanding of the car insurance market, we rated more than 30 popular car insurance companies in the following categories:
- Industry standing
- Customer service
- Costs and discounts
These are the 12 that came out at the top of our list as the best car insurance companies of 2022:
More About The Top 5 Best Car Insurance Companies
We’ve written comprehensive reviews about each of the car insurance companies we recommend in this list, but you can read a broad description below of our top five choices.
#1 USAA: Best Car Insurance For Military Families
We rated USAA the highest among car insurance providers, although it’s not available to everyone. USAA policies are only available to military members, veterans, and their families. To qualify, you must be a member of the armed services or have a parent, grandparent, or spouse with a USAA membership.
AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A++
USAA Car Insurance Cost
USAA tends to offer the lowest rates overall, making it one of the best auto insurance companies. Additionally, USAA has tremendous car insurance discounts for veterans.
USAA Auto Insurance Coverage
On top of the standard options for car insurance, which we will be diving into below, USAA offers:
Roadside assistance: Roadside assistance adds coverage for emergency towing, lockout services, gas delivery, and spare tire installation.
Rental reimbursement: This option pays toward a rental car after you file a covered insurance claim.
- Accident forgiveness: In some states, USAA members can purchase
: In some states, USAA members can purchase accident forgiveness insurance that protects their rates after one accident.
- Other insurance products: USAA offers numerous insurance products, including
: USAA offers numerous insurance products, including USAA motorcycle insurance as well as rideshare, boat, renters, homeowners, collectible, flood, vision, pet, and life insurance.
USAA Auto Insurance Reviews
USAA was not eligible for ranking in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance StudySM. However, the insurer was included in the study and scored highest for customer satisfaction in every region surveyed.
USAA Pros and Cons USAA Pros USAA Cons Affordable rates and numerous discounts Only available for military members, veterans, and their families Excellent option for military members and young drivers Superior financial ratings from AM Best Nationwide availability
To learn more about this car insurance provider, check out our full review of USAA insurance.
#2 Geico: Best Overall Car Insurance
For the majority of drivers, there's Geico. The company offers some of the most competitive prices on the market, and it’s one of the best auto insurance options available nationwide.
AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A++
Average Geico Car Insurance Cost
Typical rates from Geico are between $1,000 and $1,600 per year. We've found Geico is cheaper than the average rate in most states. If you can’t get USAA, you’ll probably find the best car insurance rates from Geico.
Geico Car Insurance Coverage
In addition to standard car insurance, GEICO offers:
Roadside assistance: Through Geico’s Emergency Road Service, drivers can request roadside assistance right in an app. It includes coverage for towing, jump starts, flat tire changes, and lockout services.
Rental reimbursement: This option helps pay rental car costs when your car is being repaired after a claim. Enterprise Rent-A-Car bills Geico directly under this arrangement.
- Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI): MBI is similar to an
: MBI is similar to an extended car warranty , except you pay for it with your auto insurance policy. This program covers repairs for all mechanical parts, though it doesn’t cover maintenance or regular wear and tear. MBI is available for vehicles under 15 months old or with fewer than 15,000 miles, and it can be renewed annually up to 7 years or 100,000 miles.
Other insurance products: Geico offers many kinds of insurance, including boat, rideshare, condo, mobile home, landlord, professional liability, overseas, and jewelry insurance.
Geico Auto Insurance Reviews
Geico has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and scored well in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. It ranked highly in California, New England, and the Central region.
Geico Pros and Cons Geico Pros Geico Cons A+ rating from the BBB and A++ financial strength rating from AM Best Average quote experience Many choices for coverage High level of customer claims satisfaction Available in 50 states
To learn more about this car insurance provider, check out our full Geico review.
#3 State Farm: Best Car Insurance For Students
State Farm is the largest car insurer in the U.S., with a market share of 17 percent according to the NAIC, and it services over 83 million policies.
AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A++
State Farm Car Insurance Cost
State Farm rates are competitive and can be especially low if you can take advantage of the insurer's special discount programs:
- Drive Safe & Save™:
This is State Farm’s usage-based insurance app. If you score high enough, you can get up to a 30 percent discount on your premium. The app tracks things such as cornering, hard braking, acceleration, and phone use while driving. It can only give you a discount – it can’t raise your rates for bad driving.
- Steer ClearⓇ:
This is an educational app available for drivers under the age of 25. Drivers complete in-app courses, log progress with a mentor, complete driving hours, and receive a certification. All that translates into a discount, which is why we think State Farm is the
best auto insurance option for students
State Farm Auto Insurance Coverage
With State Farm, you can get standard auto insurance policies as well as the following additional coverage:
- Roadside assistance: State Farm will cover up to one hour of labor at the breakdown site, fluid delivery, spare tire installation, jump starts, towing, and lockout services.
- Car rental expense: This option pays for a rental car while your car is in the shop for a covered repair. You can choose the limits of this policy.
- Travel expense: State Farm will pay up to $500 for food, lodging, and travel if you get into a car accident more than 50 miles from home. This option also includes a trip to retrieve your vehicle.
- Rental deductible: State Farm will pay up to $500 toward your deductible if you get into an auto accident while driving a rental car.
- Other insurance products: Other coverage through State Farm includes health, boat, home, life, rental property, and rideshare insurance.
State Farm Car Insurance Reviews
State Farm has a B rating from the BBB at this time. Its customer reviews on the BBB website and Trustpilot are below average, however. In the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, State Farm ranked first in Florida, New York, and the Northwest region.
State Farm Pros and Cons State Farm Pros State Farm Cons Comprehensive coverage offerings Reported errors with autopay Extensive selection of discounts Not available for new customers in Massachusetts or Rhode Island Easy online quotes process Mixed customer reviews
State Farm Accident Forgiveness
You can qualify for State Farm's accident forgiveness program if you have had insurance with State Farm for over nine years and have not filed a claim during that time. This is one of the longest qualification periods for accident forgiveness in the market.
To learn more about this car insurance provider, check out our review of State Farm auto insurance.
#4 Progressive: Best Car Insurance For High-Risk Drivers
In fourth place in our best car insurance comparison is Progressive. This company has been around since 1937 and introduced many insurance firsts over the years. For example, Progressive was the first to allow people to purchase insurance plans online in the 1990s. Progressive wrote over $33 billion in premiums in 2020, according to the NAIC.
AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A+
Progressive Car Insurance Cost
According to Progressive’s website, customers generally pay between $1,500 and $2,000 per year for auto insurance, which is quite a bit higher than Geico’s estimate. Progressive has a few notable money-saving features:
- Deductible savings bank: Save $50 toward your next deductible for each six-month period without a claim.
- Snapshot: Get a discount for being a good driver through Snapshot – but be careful, because poor driving can increase your rate.
- Bundling: Save by adding another type of insurance to your plan with Progressive, such as condo, renters, or home insurance.
Also, Progressive tends to be a little more affordable than Geico for drivers who have a DUI/DWI on their record. This is why we believe it offers the best high-risk auto insurance.
Progressive Auto Insurance Coverage
In addition to standard coverage options, Progressive offers the following insurance products:
Roadside assistance: This adds coverage for towing, lockout services, fuel delivery, and spare tire installation.
Loan/lease payoff: With this option, Progressive will pay an additional 25 percent of your car’s value toward its outstanding lease amount if collision compensation isn’t enough after a total loss.
Rental reimbursement: This option grants $30 to $50 per day for a rental while your car is in the shop after a covered claim.
Custom parts and equipment value: This covers aftermarket parts on your car, such as a sound system, and pays for repairs in the event of a car accident.
- Other insurance products: Progressive offers numerous insurance options, including
: Progressive offers numerous insurance options, including Progressive motorcycle insurance as well as ATV, classic car, golf cart, homeowners, ID theft, travel, rideshare, and umbrella insurance.
Progressive Auto Insurance Reviews
In the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, Progressive scored well in California, New England, the North Central region, the Southwest region, and Texas. At this time, Progressive is not rated by the BBB for failure to respond to about 140 complaints in total. Progressive also does not have customer satisfaction ratings as high as those for USAA or GEICO.
Progressive Pros and Cons Progressive Pros Progressive Cons One of the top auto insurers in the United States Average claims process A+ financial strength rating from AM Best Mixed customer service reviews Superb choice for high-risk drivers Several money-saving features
To learn more about this car insurance provider, check out our review of Progressive car insurance.
#5 AAA: Best Car Insurance For AAA Members
AAA is another great option in our roundup of the top car insurance providers for 2022. With roots that go back to 1902, the company has provided a number of auto products over the decades. Most people today recognize AAA as a leader in roadside assistance, but the company can also give drivers a great car insurance experience.
AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A
AAA Car Insurance Cost
To get AAA car insurance, you need to be a roadside assistance member. While becoming one is affordable – plans can cost between $50 and $100 per year – you might have to double up on roadside coverage if you already have a provider for that. Once you are a AAA member, insurance costs can vary by region but tend to be competitive with other insurers.
AAA Auto Insurance Coverage
In addition to standard car insurance, AAA offers the following car insurance coverage options:
Roadside assistance: All AAA auto insurance policyholders are required to carry AAA roadside assistance coverage, which is extensive. Higher membership levels include ID theft monitoring, home locksmiths, a tow up to 200 miles, and trip interruption benefits.
Enhanced total loss replacement: With this coverage, AAA will pay for a new car replacement if your car is totaled.
- Loan/lease gap: Gap insurance covers the difference between your outstanding loan and the amount your collision coverage provides after a total loss.
Enhanced exterior repair: This option ensures that only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts will be used in repairing the exterior of your car.
- Other insurance products: AAA offers a number of insurance options, including
: AAA offers a number of insurance options, including AAA motorcycle insurance as well as life, home, renters, boat, flood, and RV insurance.
Note: AAA auto insurance is made up of multiple companies across the United States, so options can differ between territories.
AAA Auto Insurance Reviews
AAA car insurance is made up of multiple companies. CSAA Insurance Group, the Auto Club Group, and Auto Club Enterprises Insurance Group are a few of the larger organizations that are part of the AAA auto insurance umbrella. Even though there are separate organizations, they all operate to a high standard. However, this means service can vary by region.
In AAA insurance reviews, many customers appreciate that they can work with insurance agents over the phone instead of through an app or via email. While AAA auto insurance might not be available in some ZIP codes, it can be one of the best auto insurance choices if it’s available to you. We found the cost of premiums to be middle-of-the-road and better for people with good driving records.
AAA Pros and Cons AAA Pros AAA Cons Full coverage insurance option for AAA members Different coverage options, quotes/claims processes, and customer service across states Relatively inexpensive to become a AAA member Requires AAA roadside assistance membership Option to bundle your car insurance with home or life insurance to save money Strong financial rating from AM Best
To learn more about this car insurance provider, check out our review of AAA car insurance.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost?
According to our estimates, Average rates for 35-year-old good drivers are about $1,732 per year. For 24-year-olds, that increases to $2,363 per year. Costs can exceed $3,000 per year for drivers with very poor credit or serious driving convictions. That said, costs can also vary widely depending on the company you choose and other factors.
What Affects Car Insurance Rates?
While each company calculates the price of its policies differently, here are a few basic factors to consider:
- Driving record: This is one of the most significant factors in the price of your car insurance. Speeding tickets, DUIs, and reckless driving all raise rates. Depending on the state, your rates can go up for the next three to seven years because of a conviction.
- Credit score: Generally, a higher score correlates to lower rates, and individuals with lower credit scores often report high auto insurance rates.
- Years of experience driving: Newer drivers are charged higher rates, while drivers with lots of experience get a break on rates. This is because younger drivers are less experienced and are at higher risk of getting into auto accidents.
- Where you live: If you live in a densely populated area with many expensive claims, your insurance will cost more even if you’re a good driver with a perfect history.
- Age: Younger drivers pay more, especially teen drivers, as they have less experience. Teens can pay two or three times what a person in their 40s would pay.
- Mileage: Lower annual mileage can mean lower premiums from many insurance companies.
- Previous insurance coverage: Companies like to see that you’ve had continuous coverage throughout your driving career. Gaps in coverage can increase your rates.
- Claims history: Claims filed within the last few years can also increase your rates.
- Gender of young drivers: Younger men are more likely to receive higher rates, but costs even out after drivers age beyond their teens.
- Type of car: Insurance companies will charge you more if you have a luxury or sports car since those cost more to fix. Family-oriented SUVs are a safer choice.
Average Cost of Car Insurance
The cost of insurance also depends on what coverage you buy. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) releases data on the average cost of insurance nationwide. Its latest findings report the average car insurance cost in 2018 was $1,056.55 per year.
Here are the average annual costs, broken down by types of insurance, according to the NAIC:
Types of Coverage Average Annual Cost Liability insurance coverage $644.11 Collision coverage $377.62 Comprehensive coverage $167.91
Our quote estimate research paints a similar picture. The table below shows estimated annual premium costs from several major insurers for a 35-year-old married driver with a good driving history and credit score. If you’re younger, have poor credit, or have a recent accident or DUI on your record, expect your rates to be higher.
Car Insurance Provider Average Annual Cost Estimate USAA $1,013 Erie Insurance $1,113 Auto-Owners $1,229 State Farm $1,339 Geico $1,352 Progressive $1,397 Nationwide $1,533 Travelers $1,617 Farmers $2,032 The Hartford $2,166 Allstate $2,430
How To Find Cheap Car Insurance
While many factors affect the price of your car insurance policy, you can do a few things to ensure you are getting the cheapest car insurance.
Compare Car Insurance Quotes
When you’re determining how to get cheap car insurance, you should get auto insurance quotes from a number of providers and compare your quotes to ensure you’re paying the best price for coverage.
Car Insurance Discounts
Your car insurance costs can be drastically reduced when you are eligible for multiple discounts, which vary by state and insurance provider. Common offerings are good student discounts, accident-free discounts, multi-policy discounts, safe driving discounts, and savings for cars with safety features.
Check Local And Regional Companies
While big car insurance companies promise you low rates, you can often still find cheaper car insurance prices when you choose a local or regional provider. Finding out how to get cheaper car insurance is often as simple as researching more providers.
Shop Around Every Six Months
Once you choose a car insurance policy, don’t lock yourself in. You have tons of insurance options even after you commit to a provider. Car insurance rates change often so that companies can stay competitive and get new customers. It can be a great idea to review your policy every time it renews, whether that is every six months or every year.
Adjust Your Coverage Limits
You can reduce your monthly premium by changing the coverage you have and getting rid of coverage you may not need. You may be tempted to add optional coverage, but sticking to liability auto insurance can greatly lower your rates.
Consider A Higher Deductible
Like adjusting your coverage amounts, changing your car insurance deductible can impact your monthly insurance premiums and help you save money. If you increase your out-of-pocket deductible from $500 to $1,000, you can see a lower monthly payment.
Usage-Based Car Insurance
Another option for how to get cheaper car insurance is to consider trying a usage-based discount. If you drive fewer miles than the carrier’s limit, you can get a deduction for your insurance rate. This can be beneficial if you drive fewer than 10,000 miles per year.
Pay Your Bills On Time
An often-overlooked step in how to get cheap car insurance is the credit score. Having good credit is a crucial factor in determining your car insurance premium in most states. To reap these benefits, pay your bills on time and reduce your debts. Pay down credit cards and car payments to keep your credit balances low.
Improve Your Driving Habits
One of the best ways to get affordable rates on car insurance is to keep a clean driving record. Safe drivers prove to auto insurance companies they are not at high risk for getting into accidents. This means they will usually be cheaper to insure.
When you are searching for how to get cheap car insurance, keep your options open. Compare three or more insurance providers to get a more accurate, and sometimes lower, premium. For more details, check out our full article on how to get cheap car insurance.
How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?
Every state except New Hampshire and Virginia requires you to carry, at minimum, the following types of car insurance coverage:
- Property damage (PD) liability coverage: This pays for damages to other vehicles and property after an accident you cause. PD coverage does not pay for damages to your vehicle.
- Personal injury (PI) liability coverage: This pays for medical expenses for injured persons after an accident you cause. PI coverage does not pay for the cost of your medical expenses.
Each state sets its own laws and limits. In some states, you may also be required to have:
- Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage: This pays for damages to your vehicle and medical expenses after an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): This pays for your medical expenses and other costs related to personal injury after an accident, such as lost wages.
- Medical payments coverage: This is a less comprehensive version of PIP that pays for medical expenses if you are injured in an accident.
You can check your state laws to learn exactly what coverage you’ll need, but most insurance companies – including all the recommendations on this list – will not sell you a policy that doesn’t meet your state’s minimum insurance requirements.
Do You Need Comprehensive and Collision Car Insurance?
While they're not required by law, if you finance or lease a vehicle, your lender may require you to purchase:
- Comprehensive insurance coverage: This pays for damages to your vehicle that are the result of theft, weather, collision with an animal, or other damage your vehicle may incur while parked.
- Collision coverage: This pays for damages to your vehicle after an at-fault accident or collision.
Even if you are not required by a lender to maintain comprehensive and collision coverage, these policies are worth it for most drivers. However, the value of this coverage depends on your car. Comprehensive and collision policies typically pay up to the actual cash value (ACV) of the insured vehicle. As your car ages, ACV decreases, as does the value of comprehensive and collision policies.
Best Car Insurance Coverage
In our opinion, the best car insurance coverage is to get full coverage with limits of at least 100/300/100. This gives you plenty of room in case you experience a serious accident. The collision and comprehensive coverage will also take care of your car if you cause an accident.
Best Auto Insurance: Conclusion
Although one provider might stand out to you now, we encourage you to get auto insurance quotes from several companies so you can find the best auto insurance for you.
The only way to know how much you will pay for car insurance is to get a quote. This is because pricing varies depending on your location, vehicle, and more.
Below are some frequently asked questions on the best car insurance companies:
FAQ: Best Auto Insurance Companies
We rate Geico as the best car insurance company for the average driver. According to the NAIC, State Farm wrote the most premiums and commanded the largest market share (16.9 percent) in 2020. It is followed by Geico (13.5 percent), Progressive (13.3 percent), and Allstate (9.1 percent).
According to the NAIC, State Farm is the largest car insurance company with $40.4 billion in premiums in 2020. Geico follows with $33.8 billion, and Progressive is in third place with $33.2 billion.
We believe USAA is the best auto insurance company when looking at price if you can get it (you must be a military member, a veteran, or their family). If not, Geico offers the best car insurance rates for the coverage.
Based on our research, the cheapest auto insurance is provided by USAA. Runners-up include Erie Insurance, Root Insurance, Geico, and State Farm.
State laws require insurance (except in New Hampshire and Virginia). Otherwise, you’d have to pay for damages in accidents you cause. Auto loans can also require more insurance coverage on your car.
We believe USAA is the best company for bundling home and auto insurance. With USAA, you can get up to a 10 percent discount when you bundle. If you can’t get USAA, both Farmers and State Farm offer 10 percent discounts for bundling home and auto, while Progressive offers a 5 percent discount.
After doing our research, we think Progressive is the best car insurance provider for people who have a DUI/DWI on record. While some companies can double or even triple your rates, Progressive increases rates by about 30 to 50 percent on average.
Yes, you do need insurance to drive a car in most places. Almost every state has state-mandated minimum requirements for car insurance that must be met to drive legally. The only states where car insurance is not mandatory are New Hampshire and Virginia. Minimum coverage usually includes property damage liability, bodily injury liability, or personal injury protection, depending on location.
Car insurance companies rate drivers as standard, preferred, or high-risk. Preferred drivers have spotless records, and companies want to insure more of them. On the other hand, high-risk drivers present a financial liability, and companies will charge them more.
We rate Liberty Mutual as the best car insurance for new drivers because it offers excellent discounts for teens and students with good grades.
According to our rate estimates, Erie, USAA, Geico, and State Farm tend to be cheaper than Progressive. However, these estimates are based on average costs, and you may find other cheaper providers than Progressive.
After your insurance claim is approved, your insurer may reimburse you in a number of ways. You can receive a check in the mail or an automatic deposit in your bank account, or the insurer may pay the mechanic directly. Many insurers will allow you to choose how you receive your claim payment.
In an effort to provide accurate and unbiased information to consumers, our expert review team collects data from dozens of auto insurance providers to formulate rankings of the best insurers. Companies receive a score in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.
- Industry Standing: Insurers with strong financial ratings and customer-first business practices receive the highest scores in this category.
- Availability: We consider availability by state as well as exclusions for specific groups of drivers.
- Coverage: This rating is based on types of coverage available, maximum coverage limits, and add-on policies.
- Cost and Discounts: Our research team reviews auto insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services for a variety of drivers in every state. Companies with lower prices and many car insurance discount opportunities receive the best scores.
- Customer Service: We comb through customer reviews and consumer feedback studies from experts like J.D. Power.
- Technology: Auto insurers with mobile apps, advanced online services and telematics are more likely to meet consumer needs.
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