Published: June 15, 2022Updated: July 28, 2022

Guide to the Best Auto Insurance in 2022

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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.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: State Farm

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.

Best Bundled Auto and Home Insurance: Allstate

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.

The Best Auto Insurance of 2022

Comparison of the Best Auto Insurance of 2022

Feature State Farm Allstate Direct Auto GEICO The Hartford (AARP) Liberty Mutual USAA Progressive Farmers Esurance (Allstate)
Ranking 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th
What it’s best for Overall Bundling home and auto Commercial Pricing Seniors Gap insurance Military New drivers Full coverage Online
Number of customers 87,000,00 16,000,000 Not listed 18,000,000 Not listed Not listed 13,000,000 21,000,000 10,000,000 500,000
Year founded 1922 1931 1991 1936 1810 1912 1922 1937 1928 1999
Customer satisfaction rating out of 1,000 (J.D. Power) 847 826 N/A 828 829 825 Not listed 840 848 826
Examples of available discounts Defensive driver course, multi-car, student away from home Driver training course for young drivers, early signing, good student Continuous insurance, homeownership, military, multi-car Seat belt use, vehicle safety equipment, military, new car Driver training, good driver history, bundled home and auto, good payer, anti-theft equipment Accident-free, low mileage, early quote, homeownership Safe driving habits, multi-policy, new car, vehicle storage Multi-car, good student, multi-policy, paperless billing, good payer Accident-free, defensive driving course, good student, military Safe driving, bundling
Link to read review None yet Allstate review Direct Auto review GEICO review The Hartford (AARP) review Liberty Mutual review USAA review Progressive review None yet Esurance review

Detailed List of the Best Auto Insurance of 2022


State Farm Logo

1. State Farm: Best Overall

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.

Who It’s Best For 

  • Anyone with a credit score — excellent, good, or bad
  • Someone with an SR-22
  • Good drivers who can get accident-free discounts
  • People who want insurance policy access on the go, with easy-to-use iOS and Android apps

Who It’s Not Best For 

  • Federal employees (no discount available)
  • Members of the military (lower rates available elsewhere)
  • People who have had multiple at-fault accidents (more competitive rates elsewhere)

Great Discounts

State Farm offers a ton of discounts that could apply to you. For example, you could get discounts for …

  • Being accident-free. If you go three or more years without an at-fault accident or moving violation, State Farm will reward you with lower premiums.
  • Driving safely. You could earn up to 30 percent off simply by being a good driver through State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save program.
  • Driving a safe vehicle. If your older car has a factory-installed air bag, for example, you could save up to 40 percent on medical payments coverage or personal injury protection (PIP).

All the Coverages You’ll Need

Of course, State Farm offers the basics, like liability, medical, uninsured motorist, collision, and comprehensive coverage. But it also offers these helpful add-ons:

  • Roadside assistance
  • Towing/labor
  • Gap insurance
  • Glass coverage
  • Rental car coverage
  • Personal umbrella insurance
  • Transportation expense coverage
  • Classic car coverage
  • Ride-sharing coverage

Whether you’re a classic car collector or an Uber driver, State Farm has affordable plans to meet your needs.

Bundling Options

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.


Allstate Logo

2. Allstate: Best Bundled Auto and Home Insurance

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.

Who It’s Best For 

  • Someone who prioritizes financial stability
  • Renters or homeowners who want to bundle their home and auto insurance
  • Teen drivers and their parents

Who It’s Not Best For 

  • Someone who drives a hybrid or electric vehicle (no discounts available)
  • Someone who wants customer service via text or snail mail

Easy to Bundle

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.

Financially Strong

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.

Great Customer Service

It’s easy to contact Allstate. You can either reach out to your local agent or contact the company directly through these channels:

  • Android or iOS app
  • Email
  • Online help center
  • Live chat
  • Phone

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 state1.


Direct Auto Logo

3. Direct Auto: Best Commercial Auto Insurance

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.

Who It’s Best For 

  • Small businesses with up to 20 cars
  • Businesses with many types of cars, trucks, and trailers
  • Someone who needs flexible payments
  • Someone without a huge budget to spend on insurance

Who It’s Not Best For 

  • Someone looking for a large insurance provider
  • Someone who wants a frictionless iOS app
  • Someone who wants a company with more longevity (as Direct Auto was founded in 1991)

Great for Cars and Trucks

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:

  • Boom trucks
  • Cars
  • Dump trucks
  • Flatbed trucks
  • Pickup trucks
  • Stake body trucks
  • Step vans
  • Straight trucks
  • SUVs
  • Trailers
  • Utility trucks
  • Vans

Whatever combination you have, your agent will create a policy tailored to your small business’s needs.

Flexible Plans

You can customize your commercial vehicle insurance with either six- or 12-month plans, choosing from the following types of coverage:

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Fire
  • Hired auto and employer’s non-ownership liability
  • Liability
  • Medical payments
  • Theft
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury

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.

Steep Discounts

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 Logo

4. GEICO: Best Cheap Auto Insurance

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.

Who It’s Best For 

  • Someone on a budget
  • Good students
  • Someone with multiple vehicles
  • Anyone who appreciates highly rated Android and iOS apps

Who It’s Not Best For 

  • Someone who wants a discount for an early sign-up
  • Someone who wants a discount for an early quote

Low Prices

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.

Available to All

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.

Many Coverages

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:

  • Mechanical breakdown insurance
  • Personal umbrella insurance
  • Glass coverage
  • Rental reimbursement coverage
  • Accident death and dismemberment coverage
  • Mexico coverage
  • Classic car coverage

The Hartford Logo

5. The Hartford (AARP): Best Auto Insurance for Seniors

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!
Who It’s Best For 

  • AARP members
  • Someone who wants more help after an accident than just medical reimbursements
  • Someone who has a clean driving record for the past five years
  • Someone who wants 24/7 claims over the phone

Who It’s Not Best For 

  • Non-AARP members
  • Military or federal employees (as there are no discounts)
  • Android users (as the app is unreliable)

Post-Accident Assistance

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:

  • Dog walking
  • Food prep
  • House cleaning
  • Lawn maintenance
  • Snow removal
  • Transportation

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.

Accident Forgiveness

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.

Age Total involvement in crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers Difference from national average
16-20 22,422 48%
21-24 17,478 34%
25-34 13,679 15%
35-44 11,054 -5%
45-54 9,468 -23%
55-64 7,641 -52%
65-74 6,056 -92%
75 and older 5,154 -125%

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.

Easy Claims Process

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.


Liberty Mutual Logo

6. Liberty Mutual: Best Gap Insurance

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.

Who It’s Best For 

  • Someone who wants great customer service
  • Someone who has been in at least one accident
  • Someone who is not currently insured
  • People with any level of credit score

Who It’s Not Best For 

  • Someone looking for the cheapest car insurance on the market
  • Someone who wants discounts for taking a driver training or defensive driving course

Good for Leased or Loaned Vehicles

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.

Substantial Savings

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:

  • Being a military member or veteran
  • Bundling your home and auto insurance (up to $947 off)
  • Driving well (up to 30 percent off)
  • Going paperless with your policy
  • Driving an electric or hybrid vehicle
  • Having multiple cars on your policy
  • Making one or two annual payments rather than paying monthly

Useful Mobile Apps

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.


USAA Logo

7. USAA: Best Auto Insurance for the Military

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.

Who It’s Best For 

  • Military members and veterans
  • Military personnel stationed overseas but keeping their cars in the U.S.
  • Safe drivers

Who It’s Not Best For 

  • People who aren’t veterans or members of the military
  • Non-USAA members

Extensive Discounts

USAA has various discounts available, including these offers:

  • 10 percent off for bundling home and auto
  • 10 percent off if your parents also have a USAA car insurance policy
  • 3 percent off for setting up automatic payments
  • Up to 15 percent off for garaging your car on a military base
  • Up to 60 percent off for putting your car in storage if you’re deployed
  • Discounts for teen drivers who maintain good grades
  • Discounts for driving fewer miles
  • Discounts for having two or more vehicles on a policy

These discounts make USAA a great choice whether you’re the parent of a teen driver, deployed overseas, or the child of veteran parents.

Coverage for All Types of Vehicles

Aside from regular cars, USAA also offers insurance for these vehicles:

  • ATVs
  • Classic cars
  • Dirt bikes
  • Golf carts
  • Mopeds
  • Motorcycles
  • Motor homes
  • RVs
  • Snowmobiles
  • Trucks

And remember, having more than one vehicle on a policy will get you a per-vehicle discount.

Domestic and International Insurance

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:

  • Azores
  • Belgium
  • Cuba
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Guam
  • Italy
  • The Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • United Kingdom

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 Logo

8. Progressive: Best Auto Insurance for New Drivers

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.

Who It’s Best For

  • Teen drivers
  • Students with good grades
  • Students away from home
  • Households with multiple vehicles

Who It’s Not Best For 

  • Someone with an at-fault accident on their record
  • Someone who wants discounts for taking a defensive driving or driver training course

Low Average Rates

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.

Discounts for Teen Drivers

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.

  • Good student: If your child under age 23 is a full-time student with an average grade of B or higher, you can get 10 percent off their car insurance.
  • Multi-vehicle policy: You get a discount for having multiple vehicles in your household.
  • Student away from home: If your child under 22 is at school at least 100 miles away and left their car at your house, you can get a discount on insurance.
  • Teen driver monitoring: Progressive’s Snapshot program, its version of usage-based insurance (UBI), will reward you with discounts if you and your teen are safe drivers. Keep costs down by driving safely and less often. The Progressive app, available for iPhones and Androids alike, will monitor your driving activity, saving you money if you avoid late-night driving, hard brakes or accelerations, and distracted driving. The average discount for signing up for Snapshot is $47, while the average discount after six months is $156.

Reliable Roadside Assistance

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:

  • Replacement of flat tire
  • Fuel delivery and service
  • Battery charge for electric vehicles
  • Jump-starts
  • Towing to a repair shop within a 15-mile radius
  • Vehicle lockout assistance
  • Winching if the car is trapped in sand, water, snow, or mud within 100 feet of a highway or road
  • Up to one hour of on-scene labor

If your teen is planning a cross-country road trip this summer, roadside assistance is a must-have.


Farmers Logo

9. Farmers: Best Full-Coverage Car Insurance

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.

Who It’s Best For 

  • People with good or excellent credit scores
  • Someone with at least one accident or DUI conviction
  • Someone who is not currently insured
  • Uber or Lyft drivers

Who It’s Not Best For 

  • Anyone with an SR-22
  • People with poor credit scores

Many Discounts

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:

  • Accident-free driver
  • Defensive driving course
  • Good student (GPA of 3.0 or higher)
  • Military
  • Multi-vehicle policy
  • Multi-policy customer
  • New car
  • Policy paid in full
  • Automatic billing
  • Safe driving
  • Students at least 100 miles away from home
  • Certain vehicle equipment
  • Shared family car

Insurance on the Go

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:

  • Change your payment methods.
  • Get quotes for other insurance policies.
  • Make payments.
  • Request roadside assistance.
  • Start and track a claim.
  • View and share your digital ID card.
  • View your agent’s information, including their website, phone number, email address, and physical address.
  • View your bills and payment history.
  • Review your coverages, deductibles, and named insureds on any of your policies.

Bundles Available

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.


Esurance Logo

10. Esurance: Best Online Auto Insurance

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.

Who It’s Best For 

  • Someone who wants to shop online for car insurance
  • Someone who wants to bundle auto insurance with homeowners, renters, or motorcycle insurance
  • Good drivers
  • Someone who wants a quality iOS or Android insurance app

Who It’s Not Best For 

  • Someone who wants to bundle with health, dental, or pet insurance
  • Anyone living in Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire, Vermont, Wyoming, or Washington, D.C.

Easy Online Quotes

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.

Backed by Allstate

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.

DriveSense Discounts

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 only available in 35 states:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia

How Does Car Insurance Work?

Here’s how car insurance works:

  1. You enter a contract with the insurance provider that protects you against losses if you’re involved in a car accident or theft.
  2. You’ll pay a premium, usually monthly, to uphold your coverage. You’ll also set up a deductible, the amount you’ll pay to repair your car before your insurance provider contributes.
  3. If you’re in a primary at-fault car accident, meaning you hit someone else’s car or property, you’ll file a claim with your insurer.
  4. Your insurer may accept or reject your claim. If they accept it, they will reimburse you for your losses, such as bodily injuries or property damage, after you meet your deductible. If they reject it for some reason, like because it’s not covered, you’ll have to pay out of pocket.

Is Car Insurance Worth It?

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.

How Much Car Insurance Do I 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.

Types of Car Insurance Coverage

All states require:

  • Property damage liability: Property damage liability will reimburse you for any damage that you or someone else driving your car caused to another vehicle or property like a building. For example, it might kick in if you run into a mailbox.

All states except Florida and New Jersey require:

  • Bodily injury liability: Bodily injury liability is coverage for any injuries or deaths that you or another driver caused while driving your car. So if you accidentally hit a pedestrian, you’re liable, meaning you have to cover their medical costs. But if the person’s injuries are more than your insurance covers, you could be sued for the additional costs.

Did You Know

The average minimum bodily injury liability per state is $25,000 for an accident involving one person, or $50,000 for an accident involving two or more people.

Some states also require medical payments or personal injury protection, uninsured motorist coverage, and underinsured motorist coverage.

  • Medical payments or personal injury protection: Medical coverage or personal injury protection (PIP) reimburses you for medical expenses for any injuries that happened to you or your passengers, or any wages you lost because of said injuries. PIP is required in “no-fault” states.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Even though auto insurance is required in all states except New Hampshire and Virginia, not everyone complies. If you’re in an accident with another driver with no or insufficient insurance, or you’re involved in a hit-and-run, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will pay for a serious accident.

To see your state’s requirements, read our auto insurance guide.

Supplementary Auto Insurance Coverage

Once you’ve hit the minimum requirements, you can decide which additional coverage you want. These are your choices:

  • Accidental death and dismemberment: AD&D coverage will give you or your beneficiaries money if you die or have a permanent impairment as a result of a car accident, covering the loss of sight, speech, limbs, and the like.
  • Classic car: Classic and vintage cars require supplemental coverage, as their parts are hard to find and replace.
  • Collision: Property damages coverage will not cover incidents if you’re at fault; that’s why some people add on collision insurance. It covers any accident where your car hits something (even a pothole) and you’re at fault.
  • Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage provides coverage against more natural events such as fires, falling rocks, and floods. Essentially, it covers any thefts or damages that don’t fall under collision coverage, such as vandalism (like if your car gets smashed in a riot).
  • Custom equipment: If you have any aftermarket products, like a dashcam or sound system, that have been stolen or damaged, custom equipment coverage will kick in. Aftermarket products are any components that your vehicle’s manufacturer didn’t install.
  • Emergency road service: If your car stops working and you’re stranded, emergency road service coverage will reimburse you for towing, lockout services, battery jumps, and the like.
  • Gap: Gap coverage ensures that if your car is totaled or stolen, you can get back what you paid for the car, not what it’s worth currently. This applies only to owned cars, not leased cars.
  • Glass: We recommend getting glass coverage, which handles the costs of windshield damages.
  • Mechanical breakdown: Mechanical breakdown coverage only applies to new cars under certain mileage limits, although you may be able to renew it after the coverage runs out. It covers all repairs to a car’s mechanical parts, save for maintenance and wear-and-tear, after you’ve paid your deductible.
  • New car replacement: Similar to gap coverage, new car replacement coverage will protect your new car from depreciating in value. However, it only applies in certain situations:
    • You already have comprehensive and collision coverage.
    • Your car has less than 15,000 miles on it.
    • Your car is under a year old.
    • You’re the first owner of your car.
    • Your car is not a lease.1
  • Optional basic economic loss: OBEL adds anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 in coverage for economic losses. You can decide what it applies to based on your needs — loss of income, rehab, physical therapy, etc.2
  • Rental reimbursement: If your car is being repaired under a covered claim, rental reimbursement will cover any rental car costs. If you don’t have another mode of transportation, we recommend getting rental reimbursement coverage.
  • Ride-sharing: Any Uber or Lyft drivers will have to add on ride-sharing coverage, as traditional auto insurance doesn’t cover commercial activities.
  • Towing/labor: If your car breaks down and you need to get it towed, you can get that covered as well.
  • Transportation/travel expense: Finally, transportation/travel coverage will reimburse you for any transportation, lodging, or meals you paid for if your car wasn’t drivable because of damage made more than 50 miles from your home. However, the damages must already be covered by collision/comprehensive coverage, and mileage, gas, and security deposits still won’t be covered.

How Much Is Car Insurance?

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.

Premiums vs. Deductibles

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.

FYI

The larger your deductible is, the lower your premium is, and vice versa.

Average Cost of Car Insurance

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
Alabama $932.14
Alaska $991.09
Arizona $1,063.93
Arkansas $897.92
California $1,051.79
Colorado $1,174.87
Connecticut $1,237.55
D.C. $1,289.93
Delaware $1,440.58
Florida $1,414.17
Georgia $1,259.49
Hawaii $839.87
Idaho $738.10
Illinois $939.64
Indiana $777.05
Iowa $714.86
Kansas $818.99
Kentucky $935.61
Louisiana $1,557.22
Maine $696.37
Maryland $1,236.61
Massachusetts $1,182.69
Michigan $1,495.94
Minnesota $892.17
Mississippi $975.58
Missouri $929.91
Montana $834.86
Nebraska $807.30
Nevada $1,292.52
New Hampshire $864.35
New Jersey $1,395.53
New Mexico $932.67
New York $1,445.30
North Carolina $741.70
North Dakota $703.73
Ohio $802.72
Oklahoma $908.95
Oregon $990.00
Pennsylvania $992.33
Rhode Island $1,382.64
South Carolina $1,114.90
South Dakota $745.33
Tennessee $863.39
Texas $1,143.85
Utah $954.14
Vermont $785.37
Virginia $861.18
Washington $1,066.84
West Virginia $946.03
Wisconsin $767.42
Wyoming $776.223

Factors That Impact Cost

Here are some factors that affect car insurance costs:

  • Age: Teen drivers are more expensive to insure than those 25 and up, as they’re more likely to be first-time drivers and get into accidents. That’s why we’ve compiled the best cheap auto insurance for young drivers, the best auto insurance for young drivers, the best auto insurance for teens, and the best auto insurance for seniors.
  • Years driving: People with longer driving histories have lower rates, so a brand-new 30-year-old driver may pay similar rates to a 16-year-old.
  • Coverage: Depending on your state requirements and what supplemental coverage options you purchased, your coverage costs could vary greatly.
  • Credit history: Similarly, buying auto insurance with bad credit can increase the cost of premiums. However, in states like Massachusetts, Michigan, Hawaii, and California, factoring credit history into auto insurance premium rates is illegal. Learn more about auto insurance and credit scores.
  • Deductible: You’ll also choose your deductible, but remember that if you choose a lower deductible, your premiums will increase.
  • Driving record: If you’ve ever needed auto insurance with a DUI or auto insurance with a bad record, you know that your rates will be much higher than if you had clean driving records and were a good driver.
  • Gaps in coverage: If you didn’t have auto insurance for a certain period, that could increase your rates.
  • Home address: Those living in urban areas will pay more for auto insurance than those in suburban or rural areas, as densely populated places have higher rates of vandalism, accidents, thefts, and claim incidents. If you move states, that could change the minimum requirements, crime rates, population density, weather, and road conditions, which could also affect your premium costs positively or negatively.
  • Homeownership: Those who own their homes get lower rates than renters if they bundle their auto insurance with homeowners insurance.
  • How often and the distance you drive: If you have a long commute, you may have to pay more for coverage; you’ll generally pay less if you drive less or take public transportation.
  • Marital status: Those who are married get lower rates on auto insurance than single, widowed, and divorced people. If you’re married, we recommend combining policies to save money.
  • Military or veteran status: Some auto insurance providers offer discounts to active military personnel or veterans.
  • Sex: In 2019, men made up 71 percent of the people killed in car accidents in the U.S., despite being only half of the population.4
  • Vehicle: Every vehicle has a vehicle safety rating based on previous claims and industry safety reports that determines how susceptible it is to damages, injuries, and theft. Safer vehicles are cheaper to insure.

How to Save on Car Insurance

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.

Car Insurance Discounts

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:

  • Accident-free
  • Low annual mileage
  • Annual payment
  • College credit
  • Continuous insurance
  • Defensive driver course
  • Driver training
  • Driving history/habits
  • Early quote
  • Early signing
  • Family discount
  • Federal employee
  • Good student
  • Homeownership
  • Hybrid/electric vehicle
  • Membership/employee
  • Military
  • Military installation
  • Multi-car
  • Multi-policy
  • New car
  • Paid in full/good payer
  • Paperless/automatic billing
  • Safe driving
  • Student away from home
  • Teen driver monitoring (GPS)
  • Vehicle safety equipment
  • Vehicle storage

How to Find the Best Car Insurance Company

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 Biggest Car Insurance Companies

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, based on data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Company Share of the property-casualty market in the U.S. in 2021
State Farm 16%
GEICO 14%
Progressive 14%
Allstate 10%
USAA 6%
Liberty Mutual 5%
Farmers 5%
Nationwide 2%
American Family 2%
Travelers 2%
Kemper 2%

How to Compare Companies

To compare car insurance companies, pay special attention to these factors for each provider:

  • What states it covers
  • Who is eligible (those with poor credit, poor driving records, teens, veterans, etc.)
  • The types of vehicles it covers
  • Average premiums
  • Coverages and services available
  • Discounts available
  • Mobile app ratings
  • Other types of insurance it offers
  • Third-party ratings from the Better Business Bureau, AM Best, J.D. Power, etc.

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.

How to Get Car Insurance

Once you’ve found a provider you like, how do you get car insurance?

  1. Contact the company to connect with an agent.
  2. Decide whether you want a single or split limit. A split limit is three numbers that describe the maximum bodily injury payment per person, the maximum bodily injury payment per accident, and the total property damage per accident. Essentially, the insurance provider will cover each event up to a certain point. In contrast, a single limit is one number that covers all bodily injuries and property damages, but split limits are much more common and more affordable.
  3. Choose your coverages and deductibles.
  4. Pay the premium. Your insurance coverage will begin on your effective date.

Advice From Car Insurance Experts

We talked to Zachery Cullen, one of the insurance agents in our local network with 12 years of experience, to explain some of the concepts we get asked about the most.

The Claims Process

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.

Teen Drivers

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
Allstate $4,112
Farmers $9,248
Geico $1,695
Nationwide $2,857
Progressive $3,478
State Farm $2,462

Despite the drawbacks, adding a teen to your preexisting policy is still the best way to save money on teen auto insurance.

Car Insurance Research

Here are some of the most interesting facts and statistics from our extensive auto insurance research:

  • In 2018, U.S. consumers spent around $240 billion on auto insurance.
  • In 2021 and 2020, overall satisfaction with the auto insurance industry was rated at 835 out of 1,000.
  • Only 52 percent of auto insurance customers knew about COVID-19 premium relief efforts.
  • 34 percent of auto insurance customers said they’re willing to try usage-based insurance or telematics that track safe driving habits and miles driven. Now, only 16 percent of customers use telematics.
  • 45 percent of customers would switch auto insurance providers if they could save up to $200.5
  • Despite state requirements, 13 percent of all drivers in the U.S. are not insured.6

Read our research on senior driving statistics and Labor Day accident statistics to learn more interesting facts.

Methodology

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.

  • Company information: We analyze data about each company and the car insurance it provides, including information on coverages and discounts. We also consider third-party customer satisfaction and financial strength ratings from AM Best, the Better Business Bureau, J.D. Power, Moody’s, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and S&P Global Ratings.
  • Proprietary data: Given that AutoInsurance.com has been connecting people to car insurance providers for over 20 years, we have collected millions of data points on transactions where someone signs up for a policy that they can afford. We analyze our data to find out which customers had the most success with which companies. Not every company caters to every type of customer, so by specifying each company’s demographic, we save customers the time of considering companies that won’t cover them for whatever reason or are too expensive for their budgets.
  • Institutional knowledge: Having covered the auto insurance industry for over two decades, we’ve amassed institutional knowledge on each insurance provider’s strengths and weaknesses. More specifically, we consult with Paul Ford, the president of insurance at Centerfield, AutoInsurance.com’s parent company. Paul has spent nearly three decades working in the insurance industry, with tenures at Canadian Access, InsLogic, Capital One Insurance Services, NetQuote, Bankrate, and Datalot. We leverage Paul’s extensive knowledge of car insurance to help customers find their perfect policies.

Citations

  1. Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Stalls Despite $18 Billion in Premium Relief, J.D. Power Finds. J.D. Power. (2021, Jun).
    https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2021-us-auto-insurance-study

  2. Professional Insurance Agents. (2022).
    https://pia.org/.

  3. 2018/2019 Auto Insurance Database Report. NAIC. (2022).
    https://content.naic.org/sites/default/files/publication-aut-pb-auto-insurance-database.pdf

  4. All Victims. NHTSA. (2022).
    https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/People/PeopleAllVictims.aspx

  5. Market share of leading writers of private passenger auto insurance in the United States in 2020, by direct premiums written. Statista. (2021, Sep 8).
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/186523/top-us-private-passenger-auto-insurance-writers-by-market-share/

  6. Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Stalls Despite $18 Billion in Premium Relief, J.D. Power Finds. JD Power. (2021, Jun 15).
    https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2021-us-auto-insurance-study

  7. Monitoring Availability and Affordability of Auto Insurance; Assessing Potential Evolution of the Auto Insurance Market. Federal Register. (2021, May 27).
    https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/05/27/2021-11167/monitoring-availability-and-affordability-of-auto-insurance-assessing-potential-evolution-of-the