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List of top 20 best auto insurance companies near you for 2020: Consumer reviews

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To identify the best car insurance companies, CarInsurance.com surveyed current policyholders of the 20 largest carriers. Their car insurance reviews show how companies handled claims, performed on customer service, ranked on value for the price and if their website and apps were considered useful and easy to use. These rankings of top car insurance companies will help you determine which auto insurance company best suits your needs. For some price may be the biggest consideration, while for others, it may be customer service.

In the charts below, you'll see auto insurance reviews that outline how the nation's 20 largest car insurance companies rank on these metrics, based on a survey of more than 3,700 customers nationwide. Scores are out of 100. Enter a major carrier name in the search field to see results for a specific company.

Best car insurance for claims service

If you're lucky, you won't have to file many claims with your car insurance company. But if you do, you want to be treated right. That means the best auto insurance company for claims handling gives you the help you need during the process, from filing the paperwork to being reimbursed quickly. Here are how top carriers ranked for claims service.

Auto Claim RankingCompany ScoreStars
1The Auto Club Group (ACG) - AAA94.125
2CSAA Insurance Group93.515
3USAA91.515
4Mercury91.355
5American Family90.434.5
6Liberty Mutual89.684.5
7Erie89.604.5
8Hartford89.574.5
9Metlife89.134.5
10Auto Club of Southern California89.094.5
11Nationwide88.854.5
12State Farm88.434.5
13Geico88.284.5
14Safeco87.894.5
15Progressive87.624.5
16Allstate87.594.5
17Farmers87.504.5
18Travelers86.864
19Esurance86.364
20The General82.403.5

Best car insurance companies for customer service

Of course you want to have an insurance company that is helpful to you even when you aren't in an accident. That means getting help when you have questions about what coverage is best for you, how to add or drop drivers or cars from your policy and matching you up with the most discounts. Here are how companies ranked on customer service:

 Customer Service RankingCompany ScoreStars
1The Auto Club Group (ACG) - AAA92.205
2USAA91.045
3CSAA Insurance Group90.004.5
4Auto Club of Southern California89.404.5
5Erie88.604.5
6Hartford88.404.5
7Safeco88.004.5
8Allstate87.404
9State Farm87.124
9Nationwide86.334
11American Family85.604
12Liberty Mutual85.204
13Geico85.004
14Metlife84.804
15Mercury84.604
16Travelers83.793.5
17Farmers83.403.5
17Esurance83.003.5
19Progressive82.803.5
20The General80.803

Best auto insurance companies for value

Everyone likes a bargain, but you don't want to get poor service just because you're looking for the cheapest car insurance for your budget. Here is how major carriers rank on overall value for the price.

Value for Price RankingCompanyScoreStars
1The Auto Club Group (ACG) - AAA89.404.5
2CSAA Insurance Group87.604.5
3Auto Club of Southern California85.204
4USAA83.963.5
5Mercury81.403
6The General81.003
7Metlife80.603
8Erie80.203
9Allstate79.003
10Hartford78.402.5
11State Farm78.132.5
12Safeco78.002.5
13American Family77.802.5
13Progressive77.802.5
15Geico77.602.5
15Liberty Mutual77.602.5
17Esurance77.202.5
18Travelers76.522.5
19Nationwide76.122.5
20Farmers71.001.5

Top rated insurance companies for website and apps ease of use

For those who like to use websites and apps to handle much of their car insurance needs, The Auto Club Group, USAA, Safeco and Allstate lead the pack.

Website and App RankingCompanyScoreStars
1The Auto Club Group (ACG) - AAA92.135
2USAA88.164.5
3Safeco86.274
4Allstate85.934
5CSAA Insurance Group84.894
5Geico84.894
7American Family84.764
8

Auto Club of Southern California

84.744
9Progressive84.574
10State Farm82.683.5
11Esurance82.423.5
12Mercury82.083.5
13Liberty Mutual81.863.5
14Hartford81.803.5
15Nationwide81.293
16Erie80.853
17Farmers80.673
18Metlife80.653
19The General80.633
20Travelers78.202.5

Top insurance companies for life events, age, accidents, bad credit

Your car insurance needs may change as you experience different live events, because things like your driving record, your age, and other factors are considered when determining what you pay for coverage. So, in some ways the best car insurance company for you depends on your particular, current situation. Some drivers have recent accidents or moving violations, others don’t. Some may have bad credit or be adding a teen driver to their policy. CarInsurance.com’s  Editorial Director Michelle Megna and Senior Consumer Analyst Penny Gusner recommend the following, based on their decades of experience covering auto insurance and their assessment of  rate data  for various types of drivers:

Top auto insurance company for drivers with speeding tickets: Geico

Geico had the lowest average rate for those with a recent speeding violation, among the top carriers CarInsurance.com surveyed. CarInsurance.com data show that Geico’s average rate of $1,449 for a full coverage policy after a speeding ticket was the lowest.

Best car insurance company for drivers with accidents: Progressive

Progressive beat out the other major carriers surveyed to have the cheapest average rate for drivers  ($1,031) with an accident claim on their record.

Top car insurance company for bad credit: Geico

Geico’s average rate of $2,094 for drivers with bad credit was the lowest among major carriers analyzed by CarInsurance.com. Drivers with bad credit pay an average of 71% more than those with good credit, but each insurer hikes rates according to their own formula, so that means you can still save by comparing companies.

Best car insurance company for discount bundle with home insurance: State Farm

State Farm had the lowest rate for bundling home and auto policies, among the companies surveyed, at $1,111. One of the biggest car insurance discounts you can get  on average about 12% but it can be as much as 28% depending your carrier and state) results from buying your home insurance and car insurance from the same company, called bundling.

Top auto insurance company for full coverage, safe driver: Geico

Geico had the lowest average car insurance rate for drivers with good credit and a clean driving record who want a full coverage car insurance policy, which includes $100,000 in personal injury liability for those you injure in an accident you cause, up to $300,000 per accident, with $100,000 in property damage liability. That comes with comprehensive and collision coverage carrying a $500 deductible.

Best insurance company for adding a teen driver to your policy: Progressive

Adding a newly licensed driver to your coverage will always cost you more, (142% more, on average) but some insurance companies will hike your rate by less than others. Progressive had the cheapest rate ($1,430) for a policy after adding a male driver age 16, compared to the other major carriers analyzed. Progressive also had the cheapest rate ($989) after adding a female driver age 16.

Top car insurance companies for young drivers: Erie and Geico

Erie had the cheapest rate for drivers age 18 buying their own full coverage policy, among the major insurers analyzed for car insurance for young adults, costing $1,736. For those not in the 12 states where Erie does business, Geico is the best bet, with an average rate of $1,892.

Top rated insurance companies for senior drivers: USAA, Erie and Geico

USAA had the lowest price for drivers age 75 with a full coverage policy ($957), but Erie was a close second ($968). But USAA only serves active military members and their immediate family, and Erie’s business is limited to 12 states. For everyone else, Geico may be the best choice, with its average rate for senior drivers age 75 being $1,478.

 

Expert tips for finding the best car insurance company

It can’t be stated enough that every household’s “best” car insurance will vary. Your needs are not the same as your neighbor or friends, though getting recommendations of who to shop with for insurance from these people is smart, just like looking at our list.  Recommendations from our site, family members and others give you a starting point to find the best car insurance company for your specific needs.  Your needs are based on factors that auto insurers calculate rates on, which varies by state and insurers, but common ones include these items that are specific to you:

  • Types of cars you drive
  • Number of drivers in your household
  • Ages and driving experience of the drivers
  • Driving records of the drivers
  • Types of coverages, limits and deductibles you choose
  • Claims history
  • Location where vehicles are parked each night

Knowing the best car insurance companies for areas that concern you, such as customer service, and putting that together with average prices, gives you company names to start your comparison-shopping journey. Have a list of at least three to five car insurance providers and start getting rates for your personal situation. Remember to check on items that are important to you, if that is having a great website and app, check those out before buying a policy.

Knowing what coverages fit your needs is also part of the puzzle. Make certain your needs are taken care of by the coverages and your financial welfare is as well (tip: higher liability limits protect you immensely but don’t cost you much). Need a refresher on coverages – we have you covered, so to speak.

When looking for a car insurance company, you’re in the driver’s seat. Using the information on how others were treated and perceive a company can help you feel more confident when you do pick the company that fits your needs best. And remember, what fits your needs best today may change in a year or even six-months, so continue to shop around at renewal time or when you have a major life event, such as getting married.

The basics of getting the best car insurance

The best car insurance for you depends on your particular situation, but it's almost always true that buying as much insurance as you can afford is the safest way to ensure you have sufficient coverage that won't leave you financially at risk.

Consider the following:

  • The nationwide average cost for state minimum liability coverage is $526. Increasing that coverage to $50,000/$100,000/$50,000 averages only $561. So, you only pay another $35 a year by increasing your coverage.
  • If you increase liability protection to $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 to  $50,000/$100,00/$50,000, the extra yearly cost is just $74, on average.
  • When jumping from state minimum to full coverage, $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 with comprehensive and collision and a $500 deductible, the average rate goes up to $1,350, which is $824 more per year or $69 per month.

If your goal is getting the best cheap car insurance rather than the the just the state required minimum you need to drive legally make sure you:

  • Buy enough liability coverage. You personally are responsible for the costs of injuries and damage you do to others. Liability insurance covers that to a point. A homeowner with a family and any assets needs at least $100,000 in bodily injury liability coverage if he or she injures another driver. And you should buy enough property damage liability insurance to replace the car you hit. Most experts say that need is at least $50,000. Liability limits vary by state. Before settling on your coverage and company, you should research car insurance in your state, since different states have different laws that affect you and the amount of coverage required.
  • Don’t worry about ultra-low deductibles. Higher deductibles on certain coverages -- comprehensive and collision -- will lower your premium. Just be sure you have some savings on hand to pay the higher deductible if you have to file a claim.
  • Double-check your own health insurance. If you don’t have health insurance or you have a high-deductible health insurance plan, you may need to consider medical payments or first-party benefits. These coverages also protect your passengers, who would not be covered under your liability coverage.
  • Assume that other drivers are unprepared. About 15 percent of drivers aren’t insured at all, and many of the rest have policies that meet only state-minimum requirements. Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury coverages can make up the difference.
  • Protect your car. Physical damage coverages of collision and comprehensive cover your vehicle, unlike property damage liability that only covers other people’s property that you damage. Collision covers your vehicle if it hits, or is hit by, another vehicle or object, regardless of fault. Comprehensive covers your vehicle for situations that are normally not your fault. This includes theft, fire, vandalism, striking an animal and damage sustained from acts of nature like hail or flooding.
  • Keep your income in mind. If you are injured in an accident that is your fault, your car insurance won’t make up for any lost income unless you have work loss or similar coverage.
  • Consider your life insurance situation. Accidental death benefit pays in the event of an accident that leads to your death or that of another family member.
  • Decide if your situation requires the extras.Gap insurance, for example, is needed only if you owe more on a loan than the car is worth. Towing and labor might be a waste on a newer car with warranty and road service plan. And rental car reimbursement might be handy if your family has only one car, but unnecessary if you have a spare car to use if yours is out of commission.
  • Shop around. Available limits, discounts and coverage options vary from one car insurance carrier to the next. Decide what types of car insurance you want, find car insurance companies that suit your needs, and then compare quotes to get the best price.
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