The most reliable coverage your budget can buy
It’s no wonder that State Farm is the most popular car insurance provider in the U.S. It boasts wide coverage, customizable discounts, and great customer service.
You can save up to 25 percent by bundling your home and auto insurance under Allstate. This also applies to non-homeowners who rent or have a condo.
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You want a car insurance provider that will review and pay your claims quickly and painlessly. Of course, you also have to stay within your budget. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to car insurance providers. Rather, the best company and policy for you depends on many factors, from the state where you live to the car you drive and your accident history.
If you’d like to get the most personalized recommendation, call one of our Perfect Policy Connectors. They’ll shop the entire market for you and connect you with the best policy for you in terms of both coverage and pricing. Otherwise, keep reading to find out the best auto insurance for different situations.
Best Overall: State Farm
Best Bundled Auto and Home Insurance: Allstate
Best Commercial Auto Insurance: Direct Auto
Best Cheap Auto Insurance: Geico
Best Auto Insurance for Seniors: AARP
Best Gap Insurance: Liberty Mutual
Best Auto Insurance for the Military: USAA
Best Auto Insurance for New Drivers: Progressive
Best Full-Coverage Car Insurance: Farmers
Best Online Auto Insurance: Esurance
|Provider||Ranking||Best Category||J.D. Power rating (out of 1,000)||Discounts available|
|State Farm||1st||Overall||847||Defensive driver course, multi-car, student away from home, etc.|
|Allstate||2nd||Bundling home and auto||826||Driver training course for teens, early signing, good student, etc.|
|Direct Auto||3rd||Commercial||n/a||Continuous insurance, homeownership, military, multi-car, etc.|
|GEICO||4th||Pricing||828||Seatbelt use, vehicle safety equipment, military, new car, etc.|
|The Hartford (AARP)||5th||Seniors||829||Driver training, good driver history, bundle home and auto, good payer, anti-theft equipment, etc.|
|Liberty Mutual||6th||Gap insurance||825||Accident free, low mileage, early quote, homeownership, etc.|
|USAA||7th||Military||Not listed||Safe driving habits, multi-policy, new car, vehicle storage, etc.|
|Progressive||8th||New drivers||840||Multi-car, good student, multi-policy, paperless billing, good payer, etc.|
|Farmers||9th||Full coverage||848||Accident-free, defensive driving course, good student, military, etc.|
|Esurance (Allstate)||10th||Online||826||Safe driving, bundling, etc.|
You may know State Farm from its commercials, with stars like “Jake from State Farm” and the now-canceled Aaron Rodgers. But how much do you really know about State Farm, the most popular insurance provider in the U.S.?
There are good reasons why State Farm ranks first in number of car insurance customers. With a century of reliable service, State Farm lets you customize your policy and manage it all from a user-friendly mobile app. Throw in some discounts and you have a reliable and affordable provider.
State Farm offers a ton of discounts that could apply to you. For example, you could get discounts for …
Of course, State Farm offers the basics, like liability, medical, uninsured motorist, collision, and comprehensive coverage. But it also offers these helpful add-ons:
Whether you’re a classic car collector or an Uber driver, State Farm has affordable plans to meet your needs.
Do you have a golf cart, motor home, RV, house, apartment, or condo? Do you need pet insurance, life insurance, or health insurance? State Farm is an all-encompassing insurance provider, and bundling your car insurance with another type of policy could unlock even more savings. Besides, having all of your insurance policies under the same provider is much more convenient.
You probably know Allstate by its slogan, “Are you in good hands?” Allstate is another popular option: 16 million customers have trusted Allstate since 1931, and with good reason.
Allstate makes it easy to bundle your policies, whether you have homeowners or renters insurance. If you’re a homeowner, you could receive up to 25 percent off, but Allstate doesn’t leave out people with renters or condo insurance. Even if you drive a motorcycle, you can bundle your policy with your renters insurance. Work with an Allstate agent to discuss all of your bundling possibilities.
Available in all of the U.S., Allstate’s nearly 100 years of business have proven it to be trustworthy. In fact, it has received an A+ rating for its financial strength from AM Best since 2017. You don’t have to worry that Allstate won’t pay your claim in a timely manner, in other words.
It’s easy to contact Allstate. You can either reach out to your local agent or contact the company directly through these channels:
Allstate also has some of the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the business. For example, in 2021, California customers rated it 803 out of 1,000 in terms of their overall satisfaction — one of the highest satisfaction ratings in the state.1
If you use a car for business purposes, you need commercial rather than personal auto insurance. That limits your options, and the more cars you have, the more car insurance will cost. That’s why we like Direct Auto, one of the most affordable commercial car insurance providers. Particularly for small businesses, Direct Auto provides the coverage you need at a cost you’ll like.
Do you have a business with up to 20 vehicles? Direct Auto is an option for you, with coverage for all of these vehicle types:
Whatever combination you have, your agent will create a policy tailored to your small business’s needs.
You can customize your commercial vehicle insurance with either six- or 12-month plans, choosing from the following types of coverage:
You’ll be able to add an unlimited amount of “additional insureds” — the employees who drive the cars and/or trucks — with combined single limits (CSLs) up to $1 million for the coverages your state requires.
Work with your Direct Auto agent to get discounts of up to 15 percent. You could get discounts for being a new business, for example, or paying your policy in full. Direct Auto also rewards members of the military, safe drivers, seniors, and other groups with discounts.
GEICO is best known for its gecko mascot, its funny commercials, and, of course, the iconic slogan: “15 minutes will save you 15 percent on car insurance.” It’s true that GEICO has some of the lowest prices in the country, especially if you live in New York or New Jersey. If budget is top of mind for you, consider GEICO as your car insurance provider.
First, a disclosure: No insurance provider will be the cheapest for absolutely everybody. However, GEICO is a pretty good bet, with average annual costs of around $1,194. We’ve seen GEICO offer yearly packages for as little as $667! Expect lower prices in states like Maine and higher prices in states like Louisiana, where car insurance is more expensive in general.
GEICO is an option for you whether you live on the U.S. mainland or in Alaska or Hawaii, and whether you’re a teen driver, an older adult, or a military member or veteran. There’s a reason why owners of 28 million vehicles chose GEICO as their insurance provider.
Given GEICO’s popularity in the U.S., it’s no surprise that it offers the basics of full-coverage insurance. However, it also goes above and beyond, offering these supplemental coverages:
If you’re 50 or older, you should consider The Hartford, car insurance from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
This program is for AARP members only, but you can become a member online easily. Annual costs begin at $12 for the first year and go to $16 a year from the second year on, with discounts if you sign up for multiple years. The car insurance is also affordable, saving members an average of $507 each year. We’d say that’s well worth the $12-$16 membership fee!
If you get into an accident and have medical payments coverage or PIP, your insurance company will cover your medical costs, lost wages, and child care, in some cases. However, AARP goes above and beyond with services we haven’t seen from any other car insurance provider. If you’re hurt in an accident, the RecoverCare program will provide these services:
In other words, you won’t have to depend on your friends and family for your basic household needs. Even if you’re injured, you can maintain your independence — an important factor for many older adults.
The stereotype that older adults have more car accidents isn’t true. In fact, drivers 55 and older are 85 percent less likely to be involved in car crashes compared to the national average. Accident rates are even lower for those 65 and older, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Of course, accidents can happen to anyone, but with The Hartford, once you’ve had a clean driving record for five consecutive years, your rates won’t go up after your first accident. If you’re a good driver with a solid record, The Hartford offers accident forgiveness, a great insurance feature that we haven’t seen from many other providers.
No one enjoys making a car insurance claim, but AARP makes it as easy as possible for older adults. If you have a claim, simply call its phone line (available 24/7) to speak to a human. You’ll describe your claim, submit documentation and photos, and track your claim online whenever you want. In the meantime, you’ll benefit from AARP’s network of repair shops, glass installers, roadside assistance, and rental car partners.
If you have a leased vehicle, you’ll most likely be required to get gap insurance. If your vehicle is totaled, meaning the repair costs are higher than the car’s actual market value (AMV), gap insurance will cover the remaining amount on your auto loan. That way, you won’t have to continue paying for a totaled vehicle. If you need gap insurance, consider Liberty Mutual.
With gap insurance, it doesn’t matter if you caused the accident or not. If your car is totaled and you owe more on it than it’s worth, gap insurance will cover the difference, so you won’t be responsible for your car’s entire AMV. However, with Liberty Mutual, you have to buy gap insurance at the same time you buy your car, and you must be the car’s first owner. It doesn’t apply to used vehicles, in other words.
While Liberty Mutual may not have the lowest average car insurance costs we’ve come across, depending on your circumstances, the savings could be significant. You can get discounts for any of the following:
When you’re driving, you probably don’t have access to your laptop or desktop computer. But what if you need to check out your next payment, request roadside assistance, show your insurance ID card, or view your policy when you’re away from your computer? Liberty Mutual has the solution with its highly rated iOS and Android apps. You can review the details of your coverage, log your driving behaviors to save money, or even file a claim right from the palm of your hand.
The United Services Automobile Association, better known as USAA, is an organization that provides insurance, banking, and investment advice for members and veterans of the U.S. military, pre-commissioned officers, and their spouses and children. If that’s you, you can benefit from getting your car insurance from USAA, where the average customer saves $725 a year. By the way, USAA membership is completely free.
USAA has various discounts available, including these offers:
These discounts make USAA a great choice whether you’re the parent of a teen driver, deployed overseas, or the child of veteran parents.
Aside from regular cars, USAA also offers insurance for these vehicles:
And remember, having more than one vehicle on a policy will get you a per-vehicle discount.
One of the hardest parts of being in the military is leaving your family when you’re deployed overseas. Fortunately, USAA understands that. If you have to go overseas for a permanent change of station (PCS), rather than making you cancel your policy, USAA will protect your car while you’re away, offering liability coverage, personal injury protection, and vehicle storage. USAA also offers information about moving abroad and returning to the U.S. for the following countries:
Nothing can make leaving home easy. However, when you do, USAA will provide you with more support than any other insurance company on the market.
Progressive is another company known most for its mascot (Flo), but if you have a teenage driver, you should know it as one of the best options. Progressive offers a ton of discounts that apply to new drivers specifically, as well as households with multiple vehicles.
The cost of car insurance for teens is high, mainly because they have the least driving experience of any age group. Insurance companies charge higher rates to new drivers in general, whether they’re 16 or 60, as they’re more likely to get into car accidents. That’s why we recommend Progressive, which has average annual rates of $1,508 for all drivers. While its prices are higher for new drivers, the rates remain competitive.
If you’re a parent of a teen driver, teen driver discounts are probably of interest to you. Progressive offers several types of discounts for you and your young driver.
Damages happen, whether your teen is speeding or simply runs into a pothole. But what happens if you can’t come to their side when they’re pulled over on the side of the road? Fortunately, Progressive offers 24/7 roadside assistance, which includes these services:
If your teen is planning a cross-country road trip this summer, roadside assistance is a must-have.
In most cases, full-coverage car insurance is the best option. Full coverage doesn’t only cover your financial responsibilities to the other party in accidents you cause, but also your passengers’ and your injuries as well as your car’s damages. If you want full coverage, consider Farmers, a car insurance provider that has been in business since 1928.
Since full coverage is a good choice for people with relatively new cars, the discounts need to apply to a multitude of people. Fortunately, Farmers has quite the array of discounts, including these types:
The Farmers mobile app has a 4.6-star rating on the Google Play Store and a 4.8-star rating on the App Store. You can perform any of these tasks with the app:
The phrase “the more the merrier” definitely applies to Farmers, which offers home, life, business, pet, personal umbrella, and ride-share insurance as well as car insurance. Farmers customers who bundle their insurance save 20 percent on average. If you’re unsure whether bundling your car insurance under Farmers will save you money, there’s no harm to you or your credit score if you request a quote or contact an agent.
While we prefer good old-fashioned phone conversations, we understand that not everyone does. Some people prefer buying their insurance online, from choosing a policy to inputting their billing information. If that’s you, check out Esurance, the online branch of Allstate.
Getting a quote from Esurance took us less than five minutes, and the process was similar to taking a BuzzFeed quiz. We answered a few questions about who we are, where we live, and what vehicle we want to insure, and within a few minutes, we had not one but three quotes: minimum coverage, economy coverage, and standard coverage. We could choose to pay in full or monthly, and we chose our deductibles online as well.
If you want insurance in a jiffy, without talking to a human, Esurance provides a convenient online experience.
While Esurance may not be one of the better-known insurance companies, Allstate owns it, so it has the advantages of a larger company with financial stability. To reiterate, Allstate has 16 million customers and has been in business since 1931, with strong ratings in financial stability and customer satisfaction. In other words, you don’t have to worry about Esurance being able to pay your claims in a timely manner.
Are you a good driver who avoids hard brakes, speeding, and rapid acceleration? If so, you can save money on your insurance premiums just for your driving habits.
Simply download the DriveSense by Esurance mobile app for iOS or Android. The app will be able to tell when you are driving, where you are going, and how safe you are. While Esurance doesn’t list the exact discount, the safer you are, the more money you’ll save.
However, DriveSense is not available in the following states:
Our goal is to connect customers with low rates and reliable coverage, which depend on your personal information. However, for general recommendations, we take a three-pronged approach to choose the best auto insurance providers.
Here’s how car insurance works:
Car insurance is not only worth it in cases of major accidents, thefts, or damages, but also legally necessary. Almost all states in the U.S. require some form of auto insurance to protect against bodily injury liability and property damages liability, typically. However, beyond the minimum state requirements, you’ll have to decide for yourself how much coverage you need.
To decide how much car insurance you need, first, check out what your state requires to make sure you’re complying. Then, you can add on supplemental coverage as you see fit.
All states require:
All states except Florida and New Jersey require:
Some states also require medical payments or personal injury protection, uninsured motorist coverage, and underinsured motorist coverage.
To see your state’s requirements, read our auto insurance guide.
Once you’ve hit the minimum requirements, you can decide which additional coverage you want. These are your choices:
Most people want to know, first and foremost, how much car insurance costs. We’ll get to the average cost, but first, let’s define what makes up the costs in the first place.
A premium is the amount you’ll pay your insurer annually, biannually, quarterly, or monthly to uphold your coverage. Your deductible is what you’ll pay out of pocket for a covered claim before your insurance provider contributes. Most policies have multiple deductibles, and you’ll be able to choose your deductible with your insurance agent. Learn more about how deductibles work.
The larger your deductible is, the lower your premium is, and vice versa.
The average cost of car insurance in 2019, the last year federal data was available, was $1,070.47. However, the average cost differs state-by-state. See below for your state’s average annual spending on auto insurance.
|State||Average spending for auto insurance in 2019|
Here are some factors that affect car insurance costs:
As you can see, so many factors go into the cost of auto insurance, some of which are out of your control. However, there are ways to save on auto insurance, such as raising your deductible, dropping supplemental coverages, or bundling your insurance with another type of insurance. You can also take advantage of discounts, which vary by provider.
Many auto insurance providers offer discounts for things like anti-lock brakes, driving classes, and annual payments. Here are some other types of discounts we’ve seen from providers:
To find the best car insurance company, you’ll need to determine what companies cover and offer. For example, some companies won’t cover high-risk drivers, and not all companies offer supplemental coverage like classic car or ride-share coverage. But first, let’s look at some of the most popular providers in the U.S.
The most popular auto insurance companies in the U.S. are State Farm, Berkshire Hathaway, Progressive, and Allstate, with a combined 54 percent of the total market share. See more of the biggest providers below.
|Leading private auto insurance providers by premiums in 2020||Percentage of market share|
|State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance||16%|
|Berkshire Hathaway Inc.||14%|
|USAA Insurance Group||6%|
|Farmers Insurance Group of Companies||4%|
|Nationwide Mutual Group||2%|
|American Family Insurance Group||2%|
|Travelers Companies Inc.||2%6|
To compare car insurance companies, pay special attention to these factors for each provider:
We recommend reading our auto insurance reviews and pricing pages to do your research. You can also read about how to find cheap car insurance companies.
Once you’ve found a provider you like, how do you get car insurance?
When it comes to auto insurance claims, it’s important to know what to expect. Most car insurance claims take 30 days to be processed, depending on the accident’s severity and nature, whether there were injuries, and other factors like the state-mandated time frame.
It’s no secret that teen drivers are more difficult to insure, so Cullen recommends adding them to preexisting policies. You can also get discounts for having a multi-car policy, the teen getting good grades or taking a safe driving course, and more. Plus, if they get a ticket or DUI, you’ll be informed. Of course, there’s also a negative side: If the teen gets into an accident, your premiums could increase by up to 20 percent.
Here are the average insurance rates for teen drivers in California as of January 2020:
|Company||Average insurance rate for teen drivers|
Despite the drawbacks, adding a teen to your preexisting policy is still the best way to save money on teen auto insurance.
Here are some of the most interesting facts and statistics from our extensive auto insurance research:
The rules of auto insurance differ by state, but most states require property damage and bodily injury liability. Exceptions include Florida and New Jersey which don’t require bodily injury liability, and New Hampshire and Virginia which don’t require any auto insurance but instead, fees. Some states also require medical payments, personal injury protection, uninsured motorist, or underinsured motorist coverage.
How car insurance works when you are at fault depends on what state you’re in. In no-fault states, your car insurance may cover the accident or damage through medical payments or personal injury protection. However, if you don’t have collision coverage and you’re not in a no-fault state, then you’ll have to pay for the repairs out of pocket. As of October 2021, these are the no-fault states:
Someone else can drive your car without being on the insurance, as long as they have your permission. With permissive use, your insurer will cover any damages that the driver caused, even if they’re not on your insurance policy. However, some companies drop the coverage down if the driver isn’t a named insured.
How long you can use your car insurance after getting it depends on the effective date in your policy. You can request this effective date when you sign up for your policy with your agent; it can be on the same day or within 30 days.
Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Stalls Despite $18 Billion in Premium Relief, J.D. Power Finds. J.D. Power. (2021, Jun).
New Car Replacement™ Insurance. Liberty Mutual Insurance. (2023).
Welcome to PIA. Professional Insurance Agents (PIA). (2023).
2019/2020 Auto Insurance Database Report. National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). (2023, Jan).
People – All Victims. United States Department of Transportation. (2020).
Market share of leading writers of private passenger auto insurance in the United States in 2021, by direct premiums written. Statista. (2022, Sept).
Monitoring Availability and Affordability of Auto Insurance; Assessing Potential Evolution of the Auto Insurance Market. Federal Register. (2021, May 27).