Auto insurance is right up there with health insurance as the type of insurance policy that most draws our attention. There’s a good reason for that too. With tens of millions of cars on the road across the country, the possibility of being involved in an accident is uncomfortably high. Auto insurance not only covers the cost of repairs to your vehicle if you’re involved in an accident, but also pays for damage to the other driver’s car, as well as any potential liability if you’re at fault.
For that reason, it’s important to get the best auto insurance available, and not just the cheapest. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of what we believe to be the 13 best auto insurance providers on the market.
The Best Auto Insurance Companies
Our list of the best auto insurance companies includes 13 providers. We have not ranked them since both the quality and premium level you’ll experience will be different based on any or all of the following criteria:
- Where you live
- The type of vehicle you drive
- Your driving record
- Your age and how long you’ve been driving
- Mileage driven annually
- The use of your car (pleasure, commuting, or use in the production of income)
- Credit history
- Gender and marital status
- Optional coverages
- Your claim history, if any
Based on these criteria, the best auto insurance company for you could be any one of these 13 companies. Be sure to get quotes from several companies, and do a very specific side-by-side comparison. It’s common that one company will be lower in price than others because certain coverage options of been excluded.
There’s one other very important factor about auto insurance… One of the primary reasons for having it is to protect your assets in the event of a claim. You can get by with state minimum mandated coverage levels if you’re young and have no assets. But if you’re older, own a home and have considerable savings, you’ll want to have a higher amount of coverage. It’s about protecting those assets.
With that information in mind, here is our list of the best auto insurance companies.
Allstate has standard coverage for liability, medical payments, uninsured and underinsured motorist, as well as collision and comprehensive.
Optional coverage includes rental reimbursement, sound system coverage, roadside assistance, personal injury protection, personal umbrella, and property protection coverage.
They also offer Ridesharing Coverage for as little as $15-$20 per year, as well as coverage for classic cars.
Allstate offers discounts for multi-vehicle policies, smart students, and new cars (up to 15%). You can also save up to 10% each for either anti-lock brakes or an anti-theft device. You can save up to 5% with automatic withdrawals, and up to 10% for both the upfront payment of your premium and their eSmart for email policy documents. There is even a savings of up to 10% if you sign your policy seven days before it becomes effective.
Single, full-time students under the age of 25 and getting good grades, can receive a discount of up to 35%.
Progressive is one of the largest and best-known auto insurance companies, not least of which because they’re one of the most advertised. It’s almost impossible to watch TV for as long as 30 minutes without seeing a Progressive commercial. But advertising is only part of the reason for their success. The bigger factor is that they’re one of the lowest cost providers in most states.
Progressive provides liability coverage, including at-fault repairs and medical care as well as uninsured and underinsured bodily injury, and medical payments. Optional provisions include collision and comprehensive, pet injury for vet bills, uninsured motorist property damage, loan or lease pay off on your car, and rental reimbursement for a car rental.
One area of specialization is rideshare coverage. If you drive for Uber or Lyft, you can get coverage for when you’re logged into a ridesharing app or waiting between rides. Most competitors don’t offer this type of coverage.
Progressive is particularly strong on discounts. You can save up to 5% when you combine your auto policy with your home, renters or condo policy, as well as motorcycle and boat coverage. They also advertise you can save about 7% when you start your quote online, 31% as a safe driver (no tickets or claims within three years), a 10% multi-car discount, 7% for signing docs online, and other discounts for good student driver, automatic bill pay, and paying your policy in full up front.
They also offer their Name Your Price Tool. You tell them what you want to pay, and they match coverage to meet that premium level. Then there’s the frequently advertised Snapshot option. You plug the device into your car, it monitors your driving habits, and they may offer you a discount. In my own personal experience, this much-hyped discount option is unlikely to work in your favor. The device beeps in disapproval just about any time you so much as tap your brakes.
GEICO is probably Progressive’s primary competition with low premium rates. They claim new customers report average annual savings over $500.
Primary coverage includes bodily injury liability, property damage liability, uninsured motorist coverage, medical payments, no-fault for personal injury protection, comprehensive and collision. Optional coverages include emergency roadside service, car rental reimbursement, and mechanical breakdown insurance.
GEICO offers Accident Forgiveness in all states except California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. It can either be earned or purchased. Your premium will not go up as a result of your first at-fault accident. What’s more, it applies to multiple drivers on the same policy.
Other discounts are offered for drivers over 50 years old, federal employees, members of the military, good student discounts, safety equipment, five years of accident-free driving, and multi-car policies.
Liberty Mutual’s basic policies include bodily injury liability, property damage, and medical payments. They also offer a 12-month rate guarantee, which can be a serious benefit if you select a policy that runs for six months or less.
You can also get optional coverage for towing and labor, rental car coverage, collision and comprehensive. They offer Better Car Replacement that enables you to replace a totaled car with a replacement car that’s one model year newer with up to 15,000 fewer miles than your current car.
Liberty Mutual offers Accident Forgiveness at an additional fee. To qualify, you must be both accident-free and violation-free for five years with Liberty Mutual or with your previous insurance carrier.
Liberty Mutual Discounts
Other discounts include bundling your auto insurance with homeowners or other policies with the company, and a savings of up to 30% for good driving habits, based on their Right Track app (similar to Progressive’s Snapshot).
Esurance is part of the Allstate family and reports over 9 million vehicles insured to date. Basic coverage includes liability, bodily injury, medical payments, property damage, and personal injury protection.
Optional coverages are available for collision, comprehensive, emergency roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, loan and lease gap coverage, and customize parts and equipment.
Esurance offers discounts for multiple policies, paying your premium in full (up to 10%), getting an online quote (5%), Switch & Save (save up to 5% when you switch from another company), claim free ( 10% – 25% when you go at least five years without a moving violation or accident claim), homeownership (and even certain rental situations), and a discount of up to 15% if you attend or are an alumni of a PAC 12 college.
Amica provides basic coverage for property damage liability, medical payments, bodily injury liability, personal injury, uninsured and underinsured motorist property damage, as well as uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury.
Optional provisions include collision and comprehensive, roadside assistance, and rental reimbursement. They also offer glass coverage. It helps you avoid having to pay the deductible for the replacement of your windshield or door glass.
Amica offers a discount of up to 25% on a multi-vehicle policy, and up to 15% if you bundle your auto policy with your homeowner’s insurance. They also have a Legacy discount. If you’re under age 30 and your parents have had a policy with the company for at least five years you get a discount.
Their claim free discount applies if you’ve had no claims within the past three years. There’s also a loyalty discount if you’ve been with the company for at least two years. Other discounts are available for auto pay, emailing of policy documents, and homeownership (even if you don’t have your homeowner’s policy through Amica).
You can also choose a dividend policy. This can save you between 5% and 20% of your annual premium. This kind of policy costs a bit more than standard coverage.
Travelers basic policy coverage includes liability, personal injury, comprehensive and collision, medical payments, and uninsured and underinsured motorist.
Optional provisions include loan or lease gap insurance, rental reimbursement, roadside assistance, ridesharing coverage (in Colorado and Illinois only), and new car replacement if a claim needs to be paid within the first five years.
You can save up to 13% when you bundle your car and homeowners insurance with Travelers. They also have their Premier Responsible Driver Plan. It includes a Decreasing Deductible provision where you’ll earn a $50 credit to reduce your deductible for every six months that you’re free of accidents or major violations. The total credit can be up to $500. Also included in the plan is a total loss deductible waiver. It means you won’t have to pay a deductible if your car is totaled.
Travelers also offers accident forgiveness. To qualify, you must have no accidents or major violations within the past three years.
Farmers basic auto policies cover liability, collision and comprehensive, medical payments, personal injury protection, and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.
Optional coverages include New Car Pledge (if your car is totaled the first two model years, it can be replaced with a brand-new model), accident and incident forgiveness (one every three years), loss of use, personal umbrella, towing and roadside assistance, glass repair service, car rental reimbursement, and extended customized equipment coverage.
Farmers also offers rideshare coverage. It provides you with personal auto coverage until the full commercial liability coverage provided by your rideshare company begins to kick in.
Farmers Insurance Discounts
Farmers offers discounts for homeowners, mature drivers, safety equipment and distant student discounts for parents whose kids go to school away from home. They also provide a discount if you bundle your auto policy with other Farmers insurance policies.
Farmers offers both accident forgiveness and incident forgiveness. Under accident forgiveness, they will forgive one accident for every three years you drive without one. Incident forgiveness means your premium won’t be increased if you get a speeding ticket and no claim is filed.
Nationwide policies include liability, collision and comprehensive, uninsured and underinsured motorist, medical payments, and personal injury protection.
Policy options include roadside assistance, rental reimbursement, and classic car insurance.
You can save up to 10% if you go at least five years without it at-fault accident. You can save up to 20% if you insure more than one car on the same policy. There are other discounts for paperless documents, good students, anti-theft equipment, and paperless billing. Nationwide also offers their SmartRide plug-in device that will provide a discount for good driving habits.
They offer accident forgiveness in select states. They also offer their Vanishing Deductible discount. You can earn $100 off your deductible for every year of safe driving, up to a maximum of $500.
State Farm provides liability, collision and comprehensive, uninsured and underinsured motorists, and medical payments.
Optional coverages include car rental and travel expenses, emergency road service, and rideshare driver coverage. They also provide policies for sports cars, antique and classic cars, and business vehicles.
State Farm Discounts
State Farm offers discounts for accident free driving for at least three years, taking a defensive driving course, student away at school, good driving (no at-fault accidents or violations within three years), good student driver discount, safety equipment including airbags, antitheft equipment, multi-vehicle policies (save as much as 20%) and up to 17% if you bundle with other State Farm policies.
They also offer their Steer Clear discount for safe drivers under the age of 25. You have to have no at-fault accidents or violations in the past three years, and complete the program either through your agent, online, or on your mobile device.
Then there’s the Drive Safe & Save program. If your vehicle has OnStar service, information can be retrieved from the device indicating your driving habits. It could result in a discount on your premium.
The Hartford offers their programs in conjunction with AARP. They have an interesting mix of coverages, including lifetime renewability, twelve-month car insurance rate protection, new-car replacement coverage, lifetime car repair assurance and a host of other provisions. That’s in addition to the basic liability, property damage, uninsured and underinsured motorist medical payments, personal injury protection, and collision and comprehensive.
They also offer optional coverage for rental car reimbursement, car towing, full glass coverage, and personal umbrella insurance.
The Hartford Discounts
You’re eligible for accident forgiveness if you have a clean driving record for five consecutive years. After that, your first accident will be forgiven. They also offer Disappearing Deductible enabling your deductible to go all the way down to zero. Their One Deductible provision enables you to pay one deductible on two vehicles. That can even be combined with your homeowner’s insurance policy.
They will also waive the deductible if you are involved in an accident that’s not your fault.
American Family Insurance
American Family Insurance offers property damage and bodily injury liability, medical expense, personal injury, collision and comprehensive coverage, and uninsured and underinsured motorist protection.
Optional coverages include gap coverage (when you owe more in your vehicle than it’s worth), rental reimbursement, emergency road service, and accidental death and dismemberment.
American Family Insurance Discounts
American Family offers discounts for multi-vehicle coverage, loyalty, bundling of auto and home policies, auto safety equipment (which can save up to 30%), 55 or older (up to 10%), good driving, low mileage, good student, and away from home discounts. You can also save by going with auto pay, full payment, or paperless communication.
You can also save up to 40% with their KnowYourDrive Discount. Similar to other insurance companies, you install a tracking device on your car and it sends information back to the company. You get an automatic 5% discount for participating, but it can go as high as 40% for good driving habits.
USAA – Best for Military Members
United Services Automobile Association, or USAA, is a member-owned organization that caters to military members and their families. They have almost 100 years of history insuring and protecting our nation’s military members and their families.
USAA offers several forms of insurance, including auto insurance, homeowners and renters insurance, life insurance, personal property, umbrella insurance, and more. They also offer a variety of financial and investment services.
USAA shines for military members stationed overseas, as they are one of the few American-based auto insurance companies that will insure vehicles in overseas locations without requiring the customer to go through a subsidiary company or to pay higher than average premiums.
Membership Eligibility: The biggest consideration is membership eligibility. USAA is only open to current and former military members and their immediate family members. The good news is USAA membership is also available to the adult children of current USAA members. Auto insurance is also available to non-USAA members in certain states where laws require it to be made available to all state residents.
USAA Auto Insurance Discounts
USAA offers a variety of auto insurance discounts, including Safe Driver discounts, Defensive Driving, Good Student, Multi-vehicle, low annual mileage, family discounts, discounts based on length of membership, and more. You can also save up to 10% on your homeowners or renters premium when you bundle it with auto insurance.
Get Online Auto Insurance Quotes from Top Companies
Our Criteria for Selecting the Best Auto Insurance Companies
Though the price is usually the most important consideration when shopping for car insurance, that doesn’t always indicate the best coverage. To come up with a list of the best auto insurance companies, we considered a number of factors, including:
Company size. There are scores of insurance companies that provide auto insurance, often in very specialized categories. We chose companies that cover most or all of the country. In addition, larger companies are more likely to have the financial wherewithal to pay claims.
Optional coverages. We’ve provided a list of the most common coverage options in the next section. The insurance companies included in this list have been considered based on the number of those different options they provide.
Discounts. Some companies offer low base rates, compared to others. But discounts can change the entire premium picture. We considered the number and quality of discounts offered by each provider.
Financial Strength Rating. We included only insurance companies that were considered “Secure” based on Financial Strength Ratings (FSR) by A.M. Best, the insurance industry’s primary rating service. A.M. Best’s Secure ratings are as follows:
- Superior – A++, A+
- Excellent – A, A-
- Good – B++, B+
All 13 companies on this list are “A” rated, with nine being “superior”, and three “excellent”.
Company Reputation. For this, we turn to ratings of each company by the Better Business Bureau. They rate companies on a scale of A+ to F, with A+ being those with the best reputations. 11 of the 13 companies on this list received ratings in the A range, including seven rated A+. Two were in the B range.
We did not consider price as a criterion since that will vary within the same company from one state to another, as well as between individual drivers.
What to Look For in an Auto Insurance Company
Auto insurance is one type of coverage that doesn’t have as much flexibility as others. This is because auto insurance requirements are established by state law. With the exception of New Hampshire, all states in the US have minimum mandatory auto insurance coverage levels. You can get a general idea as to what the minimum coverage is in your state by checking out the list of all 50 states on the website Insure.com.
The coverage requirements vary by state, and the amounts required are only the minimums. In most cases, you’ll need more than the minimum level of coverage.
Most states require three types of coverage within an auto insurance policy:
Liability Your insurance policy will pay a claim if you’re involved in an incident that resulted in damages that are determined to be your fault. There are two parts to liability coverage. Bodily injury liability covers injuries to people, and property damage liability covers damage to the other driver's vehicle.
Collision This coverage is for damage to your own vehicle. Collision coverage applies regardless of who is determined to be at fault. It will pay for repairs to your car and is typically required by lenders if you have a loan. However, it’s often not included for older vehicles, since the cost of the coverage doesn’t justify the amount the insurance company will pay on a claim.
Comprehensive This is coverage for non-automotive claims, like theft and vandalism. It also covers damage from falling trees or other natural events.
Optional Provisions that May (or May Not) be Required by State Law
Many states have coverage requirements related to uninsured motorists. But even if they don’t, it’s generally worth having it anyway. It ensures you’ll be compensated if you’re involved in an accident caused by another driver who doesn’t have insurance.
Here are some of those provisions:
- Uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage will pay medical expenses if you or a passenger in your vehicle are injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
- Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage. If an accident is the fault of an uninsured driver, this provision will cover both you and any passengers in your vehicle. It covers medical expenses, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. It’s especially valuable coverage to have if you’re involved in a hit-and-run accident.
- Underinsured motorist coverage. It’s possible you’ll be involved in an accident caused by someone who doesn’t have sufficient insurance coverage. If so, this provision covers medical expenses that exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits.
- Uninsured motorist property damage coverage. Covers damage to your car from an accident caused by an uninsured driver.
- Personal injury protection, or PIP. This provision covers bodily injury in accidents where fault can’t be determined.
- Property protection insurance. This provision is specific to Michigan. It pays the claim if you cause damage to properly parked vehicles.
Whether or not each of these provisions is required in your state, they’re generally good to have. You can’t know in advance if a driver you’re involved in an accident with has an adequate amount of auto insurance.
Full coverage auto insurance typically includes the aforementioned liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage, along with optional coverages such as bodily injury, property damage, unisured motorist, and personal injury protection.
Final Thoughts on the Best Auto Insurance Companies
There’s no one auto insurance company that’s the best for all drivers. Be sure to do a side-by-side comparison of several companies on this list. Even with identical coverage options, you’ll probably find a wide difference in premium levels between providers. That’s a common outcome, since some companies move aggressively in certain markets, while others prefer a lower exposure.
Whatever you do – as mentioned earlier – make sure that the level of coverage you have is adequate to your personal financial circumstances. If you have substantial assets, you should have more than the minimum level of coverage required in your state. While it may not be possible to get coverage for the entire value of your personal assets, the closer you can get to it, the better the coverage will be. If your auto insurance provider doesn't offer enough insurance to protect all your assets, you may even consider an umbrella policy for additional protection.