If you’re in the market for a new car insurance policy, you may be wondering how to choose the best policy. Sorting through your many insurance options can be time-consuming, but there are some good strategies for finding and choosing the best car insurance company.
Keep reading to learn how to choose the best car insurance company for you.
How to choose the best car insurance company
No one knows what you want from a car insurance company as much as you do. Some people want to build a relationship with an agent while others want to purchase online and not speak with an agent (this is called buying direct.).
The decision is personal, but it is still tough, given all the providers you can choose from. To navigate the process more easily, CarInsurance.com put together this step-by-step guide for you.
1. Determine your personal needs to choose the best car insurance
Before you shop for an auto insurance policy, it’s important to understand what your personal needs are. You may want to ask yourself a series of questions to better prepare to speak to an agent, get an online quote or use an online auto insurance cost estimator.
Here are a few things to consider as you prepare to shop for car insurance:
- Which drivers must be insured?
- Which vehicle or vehicles must be insured?
- Do you want coverage beyond the minimum requirements in your state?
- Do you prefer a six-month or yearlong policy term?
- Can you pay for your entire policy upfront?
- Do you want to bundle other insurance, such as home insurance, with your auto policy?
Insurance companies offer different coverage options to consumers, which is why it’s important to shop around. You may find that one company rewards you for participating in a program that tracks good driving behavior while another provides rewards for remaining accident-free.
Generally speaking, most auto insurance providers typically offer savings for bundling insurance and for paying your premium upfront, both of which help to keep more money in your pocket.
2. Find insurance carriers that align with your needs
How do you find insurance carriers that align with your needs? Before you start to call insurance companies or fill out forms for quotes online, do a little research. Make a mental note of the details pointed out by auto insurers in their TV commercials — perhaps one of these resonates with you.
You also may want to:
- Use an online auto insurance estimator to get an idea of costs before getting actual quotes. An estimator is quick and requires you to enter just a few pieces of information – no contact information required, not even your name.
- Search for an auto insurance company’s list of discounts to find out what kind they offer and how many you could qualify for. You may find you can get an auto insurance discount, like for being a homeowner, that you didn’t know about.
- Talk to family and friends about which auto insurance company they prefer and why. Ask them how long they have been with the company and whether they plan to renew.
“Finding an insurance carrier that aligns with your needs is absolutely crucial,” says Noah White, an agent who sells auto, life and burial insurance with Ark Insurance. “You wouldn’t work with a general doctor if you need brain surgery, so why would you want an insurance carrier that doesn’t fit the need? Find a carrier that can provide the best solution to your problem or potential problem.”
3. Check out top-rated auto insurers
You can also look at CarInsurance.com’s list of the 10 best auto insurance companies in 2023. This list was created from more than 1,500 survey responses nationwide about insurer customer service, digital applications, trustworthiness, plans to renew and more. In addition to individual responses, the study used third-party ratings from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and AM Best to create averages.
The companies that made the list of the 10 best auto insurance companies in 2023 had the highest averages of all insurance providers included in the survey. By looking at this list, you can see which insurance companies ranked highest, but also view the car insurance providers that ranked the best in specific categories, such as:
- Auto and home bundling
- College students
- Ease of service
- High-risk drivers
- Policy offerings
- Senior drivers
4. Review third-party ratings to choose the best car insurance company
Another factor to help you choose the best car insurance is to look at third-party ratings and reviewers. After all, there is more than one way to bake a cake.
Some third-party reviewers that you may want to research include:
You may be able to find out relevant information about car insurance companies that you may not be able to access by talking to an agent alone. For example, your agent may not know which car insurance provider writes the most insurance policies in the U.S., but you may find that out by looking elsewhere (hint: it’s State Farm).
5. Decide if you want to work with an agent or shop online
Next, decide whether to work with an agent or buy directly online. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Some people like the independence that comes with obtaining car insurance quotes online and the ability to compare rates when it is convenient for them.
Others like to talk to an agent to get their questions answered immediately, particularly when they have questions about coverage or adding new drivers. If an agent can’t answer you immediately, they get back to you quickly because they want your business.
6. Compare car insurance quotes to choose the best company
A car insurance estimator is a great way to start your comparison shopping. You begin the process by simply entering your ZIP code. Then you are asked if you are currently insured and whether you own, lease or finance your vehicle. Based on your information, you’ll receive an estimate for three different levels of coverage:
- State minimum
- Standard liability
- Full coverage
Of course, these estimates are not the same as quotes, which are based on more in-depth information, such as the type of vehicle you want to insure. The best part is that to use the car insurance estimator, you do not have to provide any personal information, such as your name or your email address.
If you like any of the prices given for one of the levels of insurance, you can click on the ‘Get a Quote’ box to start the online quote process, which provides information from multiple providers.
Final thoughts: How to choose the best insurance company
Even though it may seem like you are searching for a needle in the haystack, there is truly more than one way to discover the best car insurance provider for you.
Whether you want to buy directly or to talk to an agent or a broker, you know what is most important to you when it comes to your provider. Helpful tools like using an online insurance estimator, reviewing best insurance company lists and comparing quotes will help you make the best decision.
Resources & Methodology
- Allstate. “Featured Auto Discounts.” Accessed June 2023.
- Insurance Information Institute. “Insurance Industry at a Glance.” Accessed June 2023.
- Liberty Mutual. “Discounts for Drivers.” Accessed June 2023.
Why you can trust CarInsurance.com
The CarInsurance.com editorial team bases its reporting on data it commissioned Quadrant Information Services to gather on average auto insurance rates for more than 34K ZIP codes across the United States.
Typically, averages are based on rates for a single, 40-year-old male, with no violations who commutes 12 miles to work each day and has a full-coverage policy with limits of 100/300/100 and a $500 deductible for collision and comprehensive coverage.