State Farm is the top car insurance company in the U.S. in terms of premiums written in 2021, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence report released in September 2022, followed by Geico and Progressive.
The report says that the top three private auto insurers – State Farm, GEICO and Progressive – combined to account for 43.9% of the overall market share in 2021.
- The benefits of buying coverage from a large insurance company generally include lower rates and more robust coverage options.
- The disadvantage of buying coverage from a large company is that you may get less satisfactory customer service.
- State Farm, Geico, Progressive, Allstate and USAA top the list of the 10 largest auto insurance companies for direct premiums written.
Top 10 largest auto insurance companies in the United States
According to S&P Global Market Intelligence’s latest report, “US private auto combined ratio rises above 100% in 2021,” there was little change in the market share rankings among the 20 largest private auto insurers in 2021: “Most companies recorded higher direct premiums written year over year. State Farm retained its top spot, reporting direct premiums written of $41.67 billion for the year.”
The table below highlights the 2021 market share of S&P’s largest auto insurance companies in the U.S., along with information from J.D. Power’s U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, AM Best credit ratings and National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ complaint data.
What the numbers mean:
- Company rank in order of size from largest to smallest in 2021
- Direct premiums written (by the percentage of market share) for 2021
- 2022 financial strength rating with AM Best
- 2022 score from National Association of Insurance Commissioners, or NAIC
- J.D. Power 2022 score
A quick snapshot of the top 10 car insurers
Allstate makes it easy to get an instant rate quote and file a claim online, without ever calling an agent. The company also offers a highly-rated mobile app for iOS and Android devices, where you can submit claims, pay your bill, download your ID cards, request roadside assistance and access the Drivewise safe driver rewards program.
More than 50% of American Family customers say they would definitely recommend the company. It’s one of the best car insurance companies for discounts, with a variety of unique savings for teen drivers, young volunteers, generational policyholders, driving under a certain number of miles per year, switching from a competitor company and more.
In addition to its low rates, Farmers stands out for its impressive lineup of endorsement policies. You can increase your protection with spare parts coverage, a glass deductible buyback, accident forgiveness, guaranteed value coverage and a few others. You can also report a car insurance claim online or through the Farmers mobile app.
Geico has bare-bones car insurance coverage, but it offers some of the best auto insurance discounts in the industry. You’ll find unique savings for federal employees, military personnel, emergency deployment, affinity groups and more. Geico also stands out for its low premiums, even if you have a poor credit score or imperfect driving record.
Liberty Mutual’s average premiums are more expensive than most of its competitors, but it offers some of the best auto insurance endorsements. With Liberty Mutual, you can customize your policy by purchasing new or better car replacement, gap insurance, OEM coverage and roadside assistance. Liberty Mutual also offers special coverage for teachers.
Nationwide gets decent scores for average price, customer service and claims handling. However, it has great discounts if you are looking for a low premium. Nationwide offers savings for good students, safe drivers, taking a defensive driving course and several others. If you drive infrequently, you might consider Nationwide’s SmartMiles pay-per-mile insurance policy.
Progressive is a great insurance provider if you’re looking for cheap rates and generous discounts. However, the company also offers some of the best online tools and resources. You can use the Name Your Price Tool to build a policy that fits your budget and use the rate comparison tool to see how Progressive’s prices stack up against competitors.
State Farm is the biggest car insurance company in the country and it’s rated the best overall. State Farm is known for offering affordable rates and great customer service, plus policyholders are generally satisfied with the company’s claim handling. We also like that State Farm offers a variety of discounts, including savings for teen drivers.
Travelers has excellent financial strength with an A++ rating from AM Best, as well as affordable rates. The company stands out for its add-on policies, like rideshare coverage and accident forgiveness, as well as an efficient claim handling process. You can start a new claim online, track the status of existing claims and even find a repair shop in your area.
USAA Insurance Group is one of the top-rated insurance companies on the market, with an A++ rating from AM Best and the highest overall customer satisfaction score from J.D. Power in every region. USAA Insurance Group only sells car insurance to military personnel, but if you’re eligible, you can take advantage of the company’s low rates, excellent customer service and reliable coverage.
Benefits of large vs. small insurance companies
Although most car insurance policies are sold by the largest car insurance companies, there are benefits to working with a smaller insurer. See the benefits of each below.
Pros of larger auto insurance companies
In general, car insurance policies that major insurance companies underwrite tend to be less expensive. Because large insurers write millions of policies each year, they can afford to price their policies more competitively.
“The best benefit of larger insurance companies is that they often have a larger pool of money to offset risk, which means they should be able to maintain more stable premiums,” says Shane Page, president of Piedmont Insurance Associates in North Carolina. “If a small company sustains catastrophic losses from a storm in a given state, it will impact their future rates much more drastically than the large companies who sustain the same losses.”
Additionally, the biggest insurance companies in the U.S. often have more coverage options. If you want to customize your policy with endorsements or need specialty coverage like rideshare insurance, a large provider is more likely to have those policies.
Pros of smaller car insurance companies
On the other hand, smaller local insurance providers usually have better customer service than large providers.
“Small companies are often much more personal and locally engaged, as you would expect,” Page says. “Plus, there is usually more latitude for underwriting decisions, and being a loyal customer can pay off.”
So, choose a local insurance company if you prefer to work with an agent in person and value a customized experience. But if your main concern is price, or if you need a specific type of coverage, a large provider may be more suitable.
Learn more about how to choose the best car insurance companies from Consumer Reports.
Frequently asked questions: Largest auto insurance companies
What are casualty insurance companies or casualty insurance groups?
Insurance companies are often referred to as “property and casualty insurance” companies or groups. This is a term that describes, in general, what types of insurance are involved and what they cover. The property component relates to things you own that are covered by insurance, such as your car.
Casualty insurance covers you if you damage other people’s property or are at fault for their injuries and they file a claim against you.
What does “insurance premium” mean?
“Insurance premium” is what the insurance industry refers to for what you pay to a company for a policy. However, people generally use the words “rate” interchangeably with “premium,” though they technically mean two different things.
A premium is what you pay to a company for coverage. Insurance rates are actually the numbers insurance companies file with regulators that are used to determine policy pricing. When an insurance company files rates with state commissioners, they are reviewed, and after they are approved by regulators, the company uses the rates to determine how much drivers pay for coverage.
What does “direct premiums written” mean?
“Direct premiums written” represents the premiums, or what policyholders will pay, for all policies that an insurance company and its affiliate companies have written or issued during the year. When researching which casualty insurance companies have the most market share, you will often see it measured by the amount of direct premiums written during a certain time period.
What does “net premiums written” mean?
You may see this term when researching which companies are the largest. “Net premiums written” is the total amount of premiums a company has written, minus costs for commissions and for policies it has subcontracted out to other companies.
CarInsurance.com developed a scoring system that ranks insurers from 1 to 5 total points. The higher the score, the more competitive that company scored in each category. The editorial team reviewed J.D. Power’s U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, A.M. Best credit ratings, National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ complaint data and S&P’s market share data.
A.M. Best. “Financial Strength Rating.” Accessed August 2022.
Insurance Information Institute’s “2021 Insurance Fact Book.” Accessed August 2022.
S&P Global Market Intelligence. “2022 US Auto Insurance Market Report.” Accessed October 2022.
S&P Global Market Intelligence. “Q1 personal auto loss ratios of State Farm, Geico exceed 80%.” Accessed August 2022.
– Elizabeth Rivelli contributed to this story.