1. That time a waitress punched her for no reason:
Car insurance is a necessity to keep yourself safe financially in the event that you have to file a claim. It has the potential to save you thousands of dollars in exchange for a small monthly premium. However, car insurance companies must do more than tote affordable coverage to keep up with the demands of consumers. Today’s best auto insurance companies must have high customer satisfaction scores, a straightforward claims process and better accessibility such as tools like smartphone apps.
We’ve analyzed recent reports from J.D. Power, AM Best, Consumer Reports the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to bring you the top car insurance companies worth checking out.
Amica was the strongest company overall in our research and received the highest rating in the New England region in J.D. Power’s 2019 customer satisfaction report. The insurer also received the highest Consumer Reports rating among auto insurance providers — as it has every year since at least 1999. Consumer Reports noted that an overwhelming number of customers reported “relatively few” problems during the claims process.
|A high J.D. Power satisfaction rating||Fewer driver discount opportunities|
|High financial stability ratings||Few online resources|
|No repair facility restrictions|
|“Platinum Choice” coverage|
|Best array of coverage options|
|Discounts on multi-line and multi-auto policies|
State Farm is the largest car insurance company in the nation, per the Insurance Information Institute in 2019. Fortunately, it’s also one of the best — especially when it comes to the customer service experience. In 2019, State Farm received high praise from J.D. Power for its service interaction and claims handling. And of all the insured drivers we surveyed, it received the most positive remarks by far.
It is incredibly easy to get in touch with State Farm. You can call one of the company’s 18,000 agents, go online, or even send a picture of your damaged car with your smartphone using the State Farm mobile app. Compare that to Amica, which doesn’t allow you to connect with an agent via an app, or file a claim through an agent.
State Farm also gets high marks for a pain-free shopping experience that lets prospective customers call their local agent or chat with a representative online if they have any questions.
|Superior claims handling||Missing a few common driver discounts|
|Great financial standing||Lacks a couple of important coverages|
|Best online quote tool|
Progressive is the fourth-largest auto insurer in the U.S. and offers an impressive array of discounts and special coverages that could significantly reduce your monthly bill. For example, the Snapshot tool allows Progressive to base your rate on your driving habits. Progressive also earned an “A+ Superior” stability rating from AM Best, so the company is on solid financial footing to cover any claims.
|Pet injury coverage||Room for improvement|
|Widely available discount options|
|Solid consumer experience|
The Hartford is only the nation’s 11th largest insurer, but it still packs a punch. It offers a wide range of policy options and benefits, including rates based on how much you actually drive your car and a new car replacement program for cars totaled shortly after purchase.
|Mechanical breakdown coverage||Merely average claims satisfaction|
|Useful policy benefits||Fewest online educational resources|
|Excellent purchase experience|
We’ve all seen the ads: The gecko with the charming accent, the cavemen, the “wee” piggy and that camel who loves Wednesdays. Catchy advertising aside, what makes Geico stand out from its competitors? Like most car insurance companies, Geico advertises low rates (“15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on your car insurance”). But what else?
According to J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, “The last decade of seemingly non-stop direct-to-consumer advertising and heavy investment into digital self-service technologies have driven roughly one-fourth of auto insurance customers to adopt direct distribution models that bypass agents in favor of do-it-yourself tools.” Geico’s response to this seems to be its very popular mobile app.
Geico is the second-largest car insurance provider in the United States. While it’s considered second-tier by Consumer Reports (listed under parent company Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group), customers rate Geico high in the categories of ease of reaching an agent, promptness of response, agent courtesy and timely payment.
Not bad in terms of customer service.
|Superior mobile app||Doesn’t offer gap insurance|
|Good number of discounts||Predominantly digital experience|
Throughout our research, we found that USAA’s stellar reputation holds true. If you’re a member of the U.S. Armed Forces or you’re related to one, there is no better option. USAA is one of the three highest-rated automotive insurers in the country.
The only downside is its limited availability: Only active service members, veterans, and their families are eligible. Given those restrictions, the quote process is a bit more intense compared with its competitors, but that’s a small price to pay for its exemplary service.
|Flawless purchase experience||Membership restrictions|
|Solid financial stability||Missing three key vehicle coverages|
|Predominantly digital experience|
Not all of our top picks for the best car insurance companies are available in all areas of the country, so here are some other good insurers worth checking out.
If you live in the South, Midwest or Mid-Atlantic regions, Erie Insurance is worth your consideration. Erie has consistently received high marks from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. In 2019, Erie Insurance ranked first in the Mid-Atlantic region in J.D Power’s annual study.
The reason it didn’t make it into our top five recommendations is due to limited availability — it only serves residents of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and certain parts of the District of Columbia.
Outside of that, Erie is one of the best commercial auto insurers, offering policies that come standard with coverage for road service, lawyer fees, and loss of earnings. It also has comprehensive coverage options that include extras such as money toward rental cars after a crash — which is an add-on policy with most insurers.
Auto-Owners Insurance is available in 26 states located primarily in the South and Midwest. It uses an agent-only model that promotes customer relationships, so it’s a great choice if you prefer talking to a human being. The company also scored a nearly perfect score in J.D. Power’s 2019 satisfaction report, falling short only in the realm of its rental car experience.
Here are the states where Auto-Owners Insurance operates: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.