In order to find the best car insurance provider for you, you’ll want to compare rates from several insurers, as the cost of car insurance varies from person to person and state to state. This means there is no single cheapest car insurance provider for everyone.

This article will arm you with the knowledge you need to compare car insurance companies. We’ll also point you in the right direction by recommending several of the best car insurance companies that stand out for having a great reputation, solid coverage options, affordable rates, and an excellent customer experience. 

Additionally, we’ll discuss how insurance premiums are determined, how much insurance you need, and tips to help you make the best choice for your needs.

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In This Review:

    5 Best Car Insurance Companies

    Based on our research, the five best insurance companies on the market are:

    The table below includes our ratings as well as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index, AM Best financial strength score, and average premium estimate for each provider.

    The NAIC complaint index describes an insurer’s number of formal complaints relative to market share. The national average is set at 1.0, so lower numbers represent fewer complaints by market share. An AM Best financial strength score is an indicator of a company’s financial stability.

    Our Rating

    Average

    Premium

    Estimate

    AM Best Financial

    Strength Rating

    NAIC Auto Insurance

    Complaint Index

    1. Geico

    5.0

    $1,352

    A++

    0.79

    2. USAA

    5.0

    $1,013

    A++

    0.98

    3. Progressive

    4.5

    $1,397

    A+

    0.50

    4. State Farm

    4.5

    $1,339

    A++

    0.70

    5. Allstate

    4.0

    $2,430

    A+

    0.87

    There are many smaller and regional providers that offer excellent service as well. While we think the insurers above are the best options overall, they aren’t necessarily the best in every state or for every driver. The insurers we recommend are highly rated for their cost, coverage, reliability, and service and are a good place to start your search for auto insurance.

    Learn more about what makes each insurer stand out below.

    #1 Geico: Best Overall Provider

    Geico Pros

    Geico Cons

    Established insurance industry reputation and strong

    financial strength rating

    Usage-based insurance app has poor ratings

    Low rates for young drivers and drivers with

    poor credit

    Some policyholders report poor claims handling

    Wide range of discount offers

    Extensive coverage options with high limits

    Why Geico?

    Geico insurance coverage is available across the U.S. and is often the cheapest option for many drivers. In addition to standard coverage, the insurer offers coverage options like roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement, rideshare insurance, and mechanical breakdown insurance. Drivers can take advantage of the company’s many discounts with some offering up to 25 percent off insurance premiums.

    In the past couple of years, Geico has greatly cut down on its number of complaints filed through the NAIC. Geico’s complaint count in 2018 was 870, which dropped to 351 in 2020. The company combines reliable service with low average rates.

    Geico Average Annual Premium Estimates

    Average

    $1,352

    High-Risk Drivers

    $3,453

    Drivers With Poor Credit

    $2,077

    Young Drivers (24 Years Old)

    $1,627

    To learn more about Geico, read our full Geico insurance review.

    #2 USAA: Best For Military Members

    USAA Pros

    USAA Cons

    Low average rates

    Only available to military members, veterans,

    and their families

    Typically has cheap car insurance rates for those with

    a clean driving record

    Middling reviews for usage-based insurance

    mobile app

    Excellent customer service record

    Why USAA?

    USAA has one of the best customer service reputations. Because of its strict eligibility requirements, USAA is not eligible to rank in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study℠. However, the company is still scored and often receives the highest satisfaction score in every region. We think USAA is the best car insurance option for military members.

    USAA insurance premiums are low. According to our cost estimates, it is the cheapest car insurance provider on average. One of the few drawbacks to USAA auto insurance is that it is only available for military members, veterans, and their families. To open an account with USAA, you must be a member of the U.S. armed services or have a parent or spouse with a USAA account.

    USAA Average Annual Premium Estimates

    Average

    $1,013

    High-Risk Drivers

    $2,258

    Drivers With Poor Credit

    $1,807

    Young Drivers (24 Years Old)

    $1,422

    For more information on this insurer, read our complete USAA auto insurance review.

    #3 Progressive: Best Usage-Based Insurance

    Progressive Pros

    Progressive Cons

    Typically has low rates for high-risk drivers

    Reports of difficulties filing liability claims

    against Progressive

    Many discount opportunities

    Good accident forgiveness program

    Well-reviewed usage-based insurance program

    Why Progressive?

    Progressive is a low-cost insurer with competitive rates for high-risk drivers. The company has a robust accident forgiveness program and will not raise premiums for auto claims under $500. Progressive also has a deductible savings bank policy that reduces your comprehensive and collision deductible by $50 for each policy period without an accident or violation.

    Its usage-based insurance program, Snapshot®, has high marks in Google Play and the App Store. For those who have good driving habits (avoid late-night driving and hard braking) or don’t drive frequently, there are big savings to be had with Progressive.

    Progressive Average Annual Premium Estimates

    Average

    $1,397

    High-Risk Drivers

    $2,572

    Drivers With Poor Credit

    $2,514

    Young Drivers (24 Years Old)

    $2,029

    Read our full Progressive insurance review to learn more about the company.

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    #4 State Farm: Best For Student Drivers

    State Farm Pros

    State Farm Cons

    Strong financial strength rating

    Quality of local agents varies

    Competitive rates for high-risk drivers

    Strong customer service with dedicated agents

    Well-reviewed usage-based insurance program

    Why State Farm?

    State Farm is the largest insurance company in the U.S. and uses its considerable resources to provide quality full coverage insurance policies and a well-reviewed usage-based insurance program. We think State Farm is one of the best car insurance providers for high-risk drivers, especially for those able to take advantage of the many State Farm insurance discounts. Rates for high-risk drivers tend to be lower with State Farm.

    While the volume of complaints filed against State Farm through the NAIC has not dropped in recent years as much as Geico’s has, the trend is still positive. In 2018, State Farm received 1,688 complaints compared to 1,191 in 2020.

    State Farm Average Annual Premium Estimates

    Average

    $1,339

    High-Risk Drivers

    $2,678

    Drivers With Poor Credit

    $3,616

    Young Drivers (24 Years Old)

    $1,765

    For more information, check out our State Farm insurance review.

    #5 Allstate: Best Local Agents

    Allstate Pros

    Allstate Cons

    Many discount offers for students and young drivers

    Higher rates on average

    Full coverage insurance with high coverage limits

    Some reports of lowballing claims offers

    Usage-based insurance and mileage-based

    insurance options

    Why Allstate?

    Allstate is a great choice for those who don’t drive often. Drivers can opt in to the Allstate Milewise® program, which monitors driving distance through a plug-in device. Allstate calculates Milewise premiums by adding a mileage-based total to a predetermined daily rate.

    While Allstate customer satisfaction scores don’t quite match those of the other providers on this list, the company has a solid reputation overall. It rates below average for complaints by volume in the NAIC complaint index.

    Allstate Average Annual Premium Estimates

    Average

    $2,430

    High-Risk Drivers

    $3,630

    Drivers With Poor Credit

    $3,765

    Young Drivers (24 Years Old)

    $2,959

    To learn more about the insurer, read our in-depth Allstate insurance review.

    How Much Does Car Insurance Cost?

    Based on our research, the average cost of car insurance is $1,732 a year for full coverage car insurance. These cost estimates are based on a 35-year-old married driver with a good credit score and a clean driving record.

    For many drivers, the best car insurance is the cheapest option, but be aware that rates can vary widely depending on your location and other factors. In most states, car insurance premiums are based on the following factors:

    • Age: Young drivers and especially teen drivers pay higher rates for car insurance.
    • Driving history: Those with a recent accident (within the past three years), DUI, or traffic violation will see higher rates.
    • Credit score: Except in a few states where prohibited, a poor credit score will mean increased auto insurance rates.
    • Marital status: Single drivers are charged more for car insurance.
    • Location: Rates vary by state and city. Living in a densely populated area with more car accidents means a higher car insurance premium.
    • Vehicle: Vehicles with safety features and anti-theft protection can receive discounts on premiums. Newer vehicles tend to be safer and less costly to insure with liability coverage. Expensive cars may be more costly to insure with comprehensive and collision coverage.
    • Gender: In some states, it is prohibited to base car insurance rates on gender. Where allowed, some insurers will charge higher rates for male-identifying drivers.
    • Insurance history: Those without an established history of insurance coverage tend to pay more. You’ll find the best rates if you maintain continuous car insurance coverage for many years without filing a claim.

    Because rates are individually tailored, you’ll need to reach out for personalized car insurance quotes to learn how much coverage will cost you. This also means that the cheapest insurer for you may not be the cheapest insurer for someone else.

    Average Car Insurance Rates By State

    To give you an idea of how much you might expect to pay for car insurance, the table below shows full coverage car insurance premiums by state. Full coverage includes bodily injury and property damage liability, collision, and comprehensive auto insurance. Comparing average rates with your own auto insurance quotes may help you find the best car insurance option.

    State

    Average Annual

    Cost Estimate

    State

    Average Annual

    Cost Estimate

    Alabama

    $1,448

    Alaska

    $1,287

    Arizona

    $1,625

    Arkansas

    $1,449

    California

    $2,339

    Colorado

    $1,672

    Connecticut

    $1,885

    Delaware

    $1,921

    District of Columbia

    $1,787

    Florida

    $2,894

    Georgia

    $1,548

    Hawaii

    $1,238

    Idaho

    $1,089

    Illinois

    $1,474

    Indiana

    $1,087

    Iowa

    $1,095

    Kansas

    $1,364

    Kentucky

    $1,817

    Louisiana

    $3,828

    Maine

    $995

    Maryland

    $1,941

    Massachusetts

    $2,568

    Michigan

    $4,390

    Minnesota

    $1,487

    Mississippi

     $1,357

    Missouri

    $1,741

    Montana

    $2,214

    Nebraska

    $1,372

    Nevada

    $2,332

    New Hampshire

    $1,181

    New Jersey

     $2,108

    New Mexico

    $1,356

    New York

    $3,964

    North Carolina

    $1,277

    North Dakota

     $1,310

    Ohio

    $923

    Oklahoma

    $1,630

    Oregon

    $1,284

    Pennsylvania

    $1,405

    Rhode Island

    $1,923

    South Carolina

    $1,592

    South Dakota

     $1,331

    Tennessee

     $1,217

    Texas

    $2,067

    Utah

    $1,446

    Vermont

    $1,013

    Virginia

    $1,079

    Washington

    $1,271

    West Virginia

    $1,390

    Wisconsin

    $946

    Wyoming

    $1,499

    Countrywide

    $1,732

    Your quotes may vary depending on your driver profile. If you are a younger driver with an accident history, expect to pay more. Experienced drivers with a long history of coverage and few filed claims can expect to pay less.

    Common Car Insurance Discounts

    Nearly all car insurance providers–and certainly the best car insurance providers–offer customers a number of discount opportunities. Take advantage of these savings if you’re trying to find the best car insurance. Common driver discounts include:

    • Bundling discount: For customers who maintain homeowners, renters, or life insurance and auto policies with the same insurer
    • Multiple policy discount: For customers who insure two or more vehicles
    • Pay in full discount: For customers who pay their annual premium in full up front
    • Military discount: For members of the U.S. armed forces
    • Good student discount: For young drivers who maintain good grades
    • Defensive driving discount: For customers who complete an approved defensive driving course
    • Good driver discount: For policyholders who practice safe driving and go for a period of time without an at-fault accident

    When purchasing an auto insurance policy, it’s always a good idea to inquire about discounts.

    How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?

    In nearly every state (with the exception of Virginia and New Hampshire), some form of car insurance is mandatory. In states where it is required, drivers must maintain property damage and bodily injury liability car insurance. Some states also require drivers to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection.

    There are six standard types of coverage, detailed below:

    Liability

    Bodily injury (BI) liability insurance covers the medical expenses of other drivers and their passengers after an accident where you are at fault. Property damage (PD) liability insurance pays for damages to other drivers’ vehicles after an accident where you are at fault.

    Collision

    Collision insurance pays for damages that occur while your car is moving, which include damage from another vehicle, a road hazard, or flipping your vehicle.

    Comprehensive

    Comprehensive insurance pays for damages to your own vehicle that are caused by animals or natural disasters. It also pays to repair or replace your vehicle if it is stolen or vandalized.

    Medical Payments

    Medical payments (MedPay) covers medical bills for you and your passengers after an accident.

    Personal Injury Protection

    Personal injury protection (PIP) pays the medical bills for you and your passengers after an accident. PIP may also pay for other expenses, such as lost wages. It is required in no-fault insurance states.

    Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

    Uninsured motorist coverage pays for damages to your vehicle if you are hit by another driver who does not have insurance. Underinsured motorist coverage pays for the remainder of repair costs if the other driver’s policy doesn’t fully pay for the cost of damages.

    Check your state insurance laws to determine what coverage you need. Insurers will be aware of state minimum coverage requirements, and any reputable car insurance company–including all the providers on this list–will not sell customers car insurance policies that don’t meet their state’s minimum coverage requirements.

    Do You Need Collision And Comprehensive Insurance?

    In some cases, you may be required to purchase collision and comprehensive coverage. If you lease or finance a vehicle, your lender may require that you maintain this coverage as part of your contract.

    Even if you own your vehicle outright, it’s typically a good idea to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage to ensure that you can afford to repair or replace it should the worst occur. As your car ages, it may be prudent to drop collision and comprehensive coverage.

    Finding The Best Car Insurance Provider For Your Vehicle

    Rates are different for everyone, so finding the best car insurance provider for your vehicle means comparing quotes from several companies. It’s certainly worth considering both national and local providers. We recommend several of the best national providers, but there are regional insurers such as Erie Auto Insurance and Farm Bureau Insurance that often offer excellent rates, quality localized service, and high customer claims satisfaction.

    Best Car Insurance Companies

    Our Rating

    #1 Geico

    5.0

    #2 USAA

    5.0

    #3 Progressive

    4.5

    #4 State Farm

    4.5

    #5 Allstate

    4.0

    #6 Liberty Mutual

    4.0

    #7 The Hartford

    4.0

    #8 AAA

    4.0

    #9 Nationwide

    4.0

    #10 Farmers

    4.0

    #11 Travelers

    4.0

    #12 The General

    4.0

    If you aren’t sure about the best car insurance coverage options for your needs, don’t hesitate to discuss insurance products with an agent. Local agents can provide individualized information and recommendations. An agent can also help you compare multiple insurers.

    However, be aware that insurance agents may have special deals with certain insurers, which motivates them to push these providers over others. Even if you deal with an agent, be sure to conduct your own research.

    When To Compare Car Insurance Quotes

    It’s generally a good idea to reassess your insurance options whenever a significant change occurs that could impact your insurance costs, such as the following:

    • You move
    • You buy or sell your house
    • Your credit score improves
    • You purchase a new car
    • You’re involved in an accident
    • You get a DUI
    • It’s been three years since your last claim or accident
    • You get married
    • Your income changes significantly

    Try to maintain continuous car insurance coverage, as a lapse in coverage can mean big rate hikes when you decide to purchase insurance again. If you need to temporarily garage your vehicle and don’t plan to use it for several months, most insurers offer garaging discounts.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    • Who actually has the best car insurance?

      In our industry-wide search of the best auto insurance companies, we found that Geico and USAA are the top car insurance providers. Both have the best services, coverage, reliability, and affordability in the industry. They each received the maximum score of 5.0 in our review.

    • Which insurance company has the highest customer satisfaction?

      We found that USAA has the highest customer satisfaction ratings of any insurance provider. The company consistently scores at the top of J.D. Power studies, though it doesn’t rank formally due to eligibility requirements. The insurer also has an A++ rating from AM Best and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

    • Is AAA car insurance good?

      The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a good insurance company that offers affordable prices and solid coverage options. The only downside to its policies is that coverage availability depends on each member club. 

    • How do car insurance companies pay out claims?

      If your claim is approved by your insurer, you will receive a payment for the amount of the loss from your insurance company. Some insurance companies may send the payment directly to the repair shop. Some of the best car insurance providers offer the option of check, direct deposit, or paying the mechanic directly.

    How We Rate Insurers

    Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car insurance providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a car insurance company successful, our review methodology focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:

    • Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between insurers because so many factors impact annual premiums. The cheapest insurer for one driver may not be the cheapest for another. To determine our cost score, we look at insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, discount opportunities, and consumer reports.
    • Coverage: To determine our coverage score, we look at the number of coverage options available as well as coverage limits and deductible options. Our ratings also take into account additional services and benefits like roadside assistance.
    • Reliability: It’s important that an auto insurer is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong financial strength rating from AM Best score best in this category. Established insurers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
    • Service: We comb through customer reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Insurers with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider the claims process, giving higher ratings to car insurance providers that offer easy-to-use claims apps.

    *Data accurate at time of publication.