The Best Auto Insurance Companies for 2021

Joseph Meyer
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In this review, we’ll look at the best auto insurance companies available based on the largest data study we’ve ever conducted. The following companies have earned their place among the top 5 by receiving high marks in the following categories:

  • best customer service
  • best claims handling
  • best price
  • best value

In short, we looked at what we call the great “5” to evaluate the best auto insurance companies across all 50 states. If you’re looking to get some coverage, check out what they had to say about their company and policies.

Where To Start With Auto Insurance

Auto insurance companies and their representatives are constantly asking for feedback. Their job is to find out what’s working and where things can improved. So when you do have a concern about your auto coverage, address it by contacting your agent or the company.

And if you don’t feel like any changes have been made to address your concerns, there’s always the option of seeking out a different auto insurance agent or insurance company. So how do you know which company will be best for you? Start by comparing rates.

Understand that auto coverage rates are just part of the equation. You’re also looking for an auto insurance company that will provide you with the best price for the right coverage, along with superior customer service and a wide range of offerings.

Auto insurance is not a one-size-fits-all situation, and the only way to find the best company for you is to take the time to compare some of the top companies.

Here are the top auto insurance companies for 2021.

Top 10 Best Auto Insurance Companies for 2021

They say that most drivers don’t think about auto insurance until it’s time to renew their policy. Then they scream and curse because their rates have risen and they have to find a new company. I get it, that’s inconvenient.

But auto insurance requires that sort of forward thinking. Here’s why:

Your premium is based on your driving history. You need to have a good driving record to get a good deal and not have to worry about your rates going up every time you have an accident … or even a fender bender … with an uninsured driver. So, get all that insurance paperwork in on time and don’t go too long between claims. It’s good to have an insurer that offers a wide variety of discounts. If you do everything right, you’ll save more than 20% a year. So, every percentage point you can knock off your premium is money you have in your pocket to spend on something else. And, you’ll have better, more affordable options if you pay your premiums on time.

With this in mind, take a look at the top 10 best auto insurance companies for 2021.

Progressive

Progressive is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to great rates and excellent customer service. With a direct-to-consumer approach that has helped them reduce their costs, Progressive ranks as one of the best auto insurance companies on the market.

You can start out with a basic policy and upgrade to preferred, which ups your cash value by a significant amount.

Some of Progressive’s basic policies include:

  • Tire and Wheel Coverage including road hazard warranties
  • Windshield Coverage
  • Rental Car Reimbursement
  • Redemption Options
  • Bump-Up Options
  • Medical Payments
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist
  • Turn-Down
  • Toll-Not-Taken-Covered
  • Additional-Driver Coverage

Allstate Insurance

Founded in 1931, Allstate Insurance Company is the largest publicly held personal lines insurer in the US. The company underwrites property and casualty insurance products, including auto insurance, homeowners and renters insurance, and business insurance to protect its clients from life’s uncertainties.

Its auto insurance policies are sold and serviced through independent agents and brokers. Allstate also offers online auto insurance quotes and other related services through its affiliate websites.

Allstate is an industry leader in claims management, and it has an excellent reputation for customer service. This makes it one of the best car insurance companies for Texas and other large states.

GEICO

I looked at customer satisfaction surveys where tens of thousands of people were asked to rate their auto insurance company. Most people take these surveys very seriously because it’s their only opportunity to be heard, and it’s not every day you call your insurance company to complain. That’s why these surveys can be so valuable.

GEICO is the insurer with the best customer satisfaction in this industry. I don’t just look at their ranking; I also consider their low costs and excellent coverage options.

My next favorite auto insurance companies are USAA, Esurance, and Progressive.

The auto insurance industry in the U.S. is fragmented. Nearly every insurance company has a different pricing strategy and coverage options. This has led to companies defining their own version of auto insurance, and that means you’ll face different options when buying insurance.

So what’s the best auto insurance?

In my opinion, you want the biggest company you can get. That might seem counter-intuitive, but if you get into an accident you want the largest possible company you can get to pay for it.

Esurance

Esurance is an all around great insurance company. What really puts them over the top is their customer service. Their claim experience is incredible “ I typically have to do nothing and it gets taken care of. Their website is my favorite of any insurance company – I think it’s incredibly easy to use. I get very good prices, and even better rates when I bundle my insurance with other financial services. My auto insurance premium is not even noticeable on my monthly budget, which is a big plus.

State Farm

Available in: 4

Customer satisfaction: 97%

Amount of customers: 80%

Cost of repairs: 80%

Accident forgiveness: 100%

Liberty Mutual

We were pleased to see that Liberty Mutual Insurance ranked near the top of our list as the best auto insurance company for the fifth year in a row. With a score of 7.4 out of 10, Liberty Mutual earned the most overall points (3.0/10) and received the top score in the customer service category (1.9/10). Liberty Mutual also prevented the largest number of auto policyholder claims and had the fewest number of claims that were turned into a lawsuit. It was close to perfect in the financial stability and reputation categories. Liberty Mutual's rating of "A-" from the A.M. Best Company was the best in its category, and it stole the highest score from the other companies in the areas of financial viability and system strength.

USAA

There are many different factors a person looking for auto insurance should consider. Factors include price, coverage, customer service and more. One of the most popular rating companies is JD Power. They have put out the 2018 U.S. Auto Insurance Study.

Here are the number of auto insurance companies by tier, ranked from best to worst. JD Powers has not yet released the details on which auto insurance companies make up each tier.

Tier 1: USAA, The Hartford

Tier 2: 21st Century, AAA

Tier 3: Progressive, Amica Mutual, GEICO, Nationwide

Tier 4: Erie Bank, Infinity

Tier 5: South Trail, Liberty Mutual, Mercury, Safeco, MetLife, State Farm

Tier 6: American Family, Farmers

Tier 7: Foremost, Hartford Accident & Indemnity, Liberty Mutual Property & Casualty

Tier 8: Chubb, Nationwide General

Tier 9: Reliance Standard, Senior

Tier 10: Auto Club Group, Foremost Bank, Nationwide

Tier 11: CNA, Dairyland, Foremost Insurance of America, Mid-Century, Nationwide Mutual

Amica Mutual

For outstanding service and auto insurance protected by Amica's 25% membership equity, Amica is a great choice. Amica provides affordable options for full coverage, including discounts for safe drivers, students, and military service members. Amica's highway patrol helps you feel safer and their 24/7 roadside assistance provide peace of mind. Plus, its rewards for safe driving can let you earn auto insurance discounts.

Amica Mutual ranks among the best in customer satisfaction. Like Farmers Insurance, Amica Mutual has AAA ratings for overall quality, price, and customer service. Quotes and claims are easy to navigate through too. Best of all, Amica Mutual has lower company overhead costs resulting in lower rates for customers.

Read more of the best auto insurance companies of 2021!

Auto-Owners Insurance

Auto-Owners Insurance is a national car insurance provider that also offers homeowner and umbrella coverage.

Auto-Owners has an overall satisfactory customer rating and is very highly rated with the policyholders who contacted the insurer due to a claim. Auto-Owners is also highly rated by customers in states that were hit hard by the recession, indicating a good job of managing claims in those regions.

Auto-Owners has few offices, and the majority of customers who file a claim will do so via mail and online. The insurer also has a Vinsurance platform that policyholders can use to pay their premiums.

Auto-Owners is Better Business Bureau accredited and has an A+ rating.

The company does not participate in the use of credit scores or credit-based insurance scores. Auto-Owners is a member of the Insurance Association of American.

The Hartford

You can’t get very far in auto insurance policy research without hearing The Hartford mentioned.

They’re not only one of the largest auto insurance companies in the U.S., but they’re also the largest provider of insurance to Fortune 500 companies.

So it’s no surprise that they provide a superior level of customer service plus more than 150 different auto insurance products.

The Hartford offers a variety of coverage types, including liability, collision, personal injury coverage, comprehensive coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. It’s one of the few companies that offer full coverage on a low mileage basis. This feature limits your exposure while maximizing the amount of your auto insurance policy.

When you’re shopping for auto insurance, there are two things that factor most into your rate: your driving record and your current vehicle of choice. Whether you’re shopping on your own or getting an auto insurance quote, you can count on The Hartford to help you get the coverage you need, at the price that you can afford.

Compare Best Auto Insurance Companies by State

The best auto insurance companies in the nation has more to do with location, driving habits, and financial responsibilities than it does to do with the carrier. These are some other factors that determine which auto insurance company is best for you:

  • The insurance company’s insurance rates
  • The insurance company’s status with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
  • The insurance company’s reputation and history
  • Discounts and coverage the insurance company offers
  • The insurance company’s financial stability
  • The insurance company’s claims payment history
  • The insurance company’s responsiveness to customer complaints
  • The insurance company’s customer service

How to Pick A Policy With the Best Auto Insurance Companies

If you drive or ride around in a car, you will eventually need auto insurance. And as you know, there are so many options and risks to deal with “ the right auto insurance for you is a big decision. So what do you need to know about how to pick a policy?

Finding the right auto insurance is definitely a complex and nuanced process.

However, there are some things to keep in mind such as the following:

  • What exactly do you need the car insurance for? If you are looking to insure your car because you use it in your business, for example, you will need to consider not only the value of the car but also how it is used intermittently.
  • How old is your car? And how much would it cost to fix or replace it in case of an accident?
  • Driving history – accidents, tickets, traffic violations, and so on?
  • ZIP code; you can try one of the following:
  • The area where you live for the best auto insurance for your needs?
  • The area where you drive the most for the best car insurance for your needs?

Pick a top-rated insurer

In the car insurance industry, 20 different companies are vying for your business, with the Big 4 (State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, and GEICO) represented in every single state. State Farm tends to be the most popular but is also considered the most expensive (dropped three spots in our rankings to No. 15), and you can't discount the other three power players for combining for a total of 44 percent market share.

State Farm, GEICO, and Progressive (the three most widely used insurers) are reliable choices with hundreds of positive reviews, but how do you decide between them? Let's break them down to see what they have to offer.

GEICO

GEICO is known for having low rates and earning customer loyalty with a laid-back, easy-to-sign-up process and excellent customer service that includes 24/7 phone and online support. But it's not without drawbacks.

Set the right deductible

Set the deductible that's right for you. Between accidents and natural disasters, it’s important to have insurance. But don’t pay for too much coverage. A higher deductible will lower your premiums.

If you’re particular about your car, you probably want well-known companies like Hagerty, the insurance company you love when something’s wrong with your car.

Don’t buy state minimum coverage if you truly want a high-quality auto policy

Most state minimums work for people who’ve never been in an accident, get a ticket every 100 years, and don’t have insanely expensive cars. If that’s not you, you should seriously consider raising your coverage requirements.

The amount of damages your insurer will pay varies depending on the coverage limits you have selected. Select a policy with limits that far exceed your expenses and also cover your assets. Check out this handy guide for more information on how much coverage to buy. For a complete coverage overview, refer to the comprehensive buying guide on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ website.

If you’re looking for a reputable insurer, check our guide to the best auto insurance companies.

Ask friends and family for recommendations

Before you begin shopping, make sure you know if you need to include or exclude any information on your coverage application. For instance, this is a great time to mention that your car is going to be parked at school for a few nights as you are taking a course, or that you will be driving that minivan on a cross country trip.

Talk to your friends and family and ask them if they have any good recommendations. Since they have most likely had to find auto insurance in the past, they can lend you some advice.

The best auto insurance companies are pretty competitive these days, so ask about their experience with each company. Chances are that if they have been satisified with their experience, they will tell you so.

Get quotes from multiple companies

It will take only a few minutes to get an online auto insurance quote, but the number of companies WebMD interviewed experts say to look at when comparing quotes could add up to what could be days worth of research.

"I wouldn't go cheap when it comes to auto insurance," says Josh Frank, senior consumer-affairs editor at Consumer Reports. "The cheapest analyst is going to have a different definition of 'cheap' than you do. You need to spend time making sure that you're getting the right coverage for you and your car based on your driving record."

For instance, men are more likely than women to have a claim filed against them, and young male drivers are more likely to have an at-fault accident, according to industry research. Women, on the other hand, tend to get fewer accidents, but when they do get into an accident, it tends to be with higher losses. So it makes sense to get quotes from a range of companies representing a range of prices. Look for a company that's a good overall fit based on your needs and preferences rather than on price alone.

The experts interviewed for this story recommend shopping for an auto insurance company based on:

7 Tips to Get the Cheapest Auto Insurance Rate

When you purchase the lowest premium car insurance policy, you are paying for the coverage needed, not the bells and whistles. If you can do without uninsured motorist coverage, for example, then don’t purchase it.

How do you know what coverage is worth the price? Contact your state insurance department and ask what coverage you should have and how much you should pay extra for it. You should also ask an insurance agent or insurance company. Get a quote from several insurers, and pick an insurer that gives you all the coverage you want at the lowest price.

Ask about discounts

Some discounts, such as for multiple policies, good student, or accident-free, are automatically offered in the normal course for an insurance company's long-term customers. If you travel out of the country or across state lines, or if you have a housemate or two who also drive, ask about discounts.

Drive less

If you can avoid driving your car and take public transportation, a bike, or walk instead, do so. The less you drive, the less vulnerable your car is to accidents and claims. Do this even if you’re alone … your safety is important to us.

Shop around

The price of your auto insurance can vary greatly in just a few minutes. How is that possible? Well, auto insurance companies offer a range of discounts for doing everything from making your home safer to getting good grades in school. You can even get discounts for being a safe or defensive driver. And, if you have multiple drivers in your family, you may also get a discount by adding them all to your policy.

While these discounts can save hundreds of dollars a year, you won’t know if you qualify until you check with potential insurers.

Use our quote comparison service to do your shopping. Once you’ve gathered a group of auto insurance quotes, you’ll be able to easily see which firms offer the best rates. When you’re comparing auto insurance quotes, make sure you’re comparing apples to apples by making sure each quote has the same coverage amount, deductible, and policy terms. You should also check the financial ratings of the company providing the quote.

Consider raising your deductible

A lower deductible will mean smaller monthly premiums, but a higher deductible will mean lower annual premiums. Liability coverage is occasionally referred to as “BI/PD” insurance, or “Bodily Injury/Property Damage” insurance. The higher your coverage amount, the lower your premium becomes.

Reduce coverage on older cars

Keep your credit in good shape

The way your credit scores fall into place and stay in shape is by paying your bills on time, keeping your balances low, and not applying for more credit than you need. This helps you maintain a good credit score and can save you quite a bit on your auto insurance. A solid score of 760 or more can knock up to 20 percent off your premiums.

Keep insurance costs in mind when you choose a car

If you’re shopping for a new car, you probably want to make sure you’re getting a great deal on it. The best way to make sure you’re getting a great deal is to know the “blue book” cost of the car. Bill Blackwood, owner of Shreveport-based Blackwood Automotive Group, recommends driving five to 10 different cars with similar features and options and marking the asking price of each. That’s your bargaining tool number to use during negotiations. Do your homework and look at online reviews prior to visiting the dealership.

Understanding Car Insurance Coverage Options

Did you know the average car owner in the USA is over 60? In a few years, our kids and grandchildren will be driving. It's vital that parents help kids understand what they should be paying attention to when thinking about buying auto insurance.

Our generation can make a difference by helping them purchase the best coverage for their money. The time to buy coverage is when you know you need it, not after you’ve already had an accident or you got pulled by the cops. Insurance companies use your driving record to determine your car insurance rates.

One way to get the lowest insurance rates is to share rides or take public transportation. If you can’t, check your credit. Both of these factors will impact your car insurance rates. One negative mark on your report and your rates will increase. EXPERTS suggest shopping for your auto insurance every 6 months to help you get the best car insurance rates.

There are a few auto insurance types worth discussing.

Liability insurance

Is the most commonly used insurance cover. However, many people think that the cover is adequate to deal with all their liabilities relating to an accident. This is because the boundaries of liability cover are not so clear.

Actually, what this means is that your coverage has some gaps in it. In order to sort this out, you need to get the best possible car insurance policy. The best way to do this is to choose a policy that covers your liabilities to the maximum extent possible. This way, you will have the right coverage to protect yourself from risks.

Simply put, the higher the coverage, the better the chances of protecting yourself. It is true that higher the premium, the greater the liability coverage. But then again this expense is nothing compared to lawyers’ bills incurred in a personal injury case. You might consider taking a policy with a higher deductible and a higher liability coverage.

You might need some extra coverage for the following reasons:

If you have borrowed money for your new car or you are still paying off an old one, you need to protect yourself against things like theft. In this case, you should choose a policy with a higher value of coverage for both your property damage and liability coverage.

If you have multiple cars, you could consider buying additional insurance for your other cars, especially if you do not own them.

Personal injury protection (PIP)

Personal injury protection (PIP) is also called no-fault coverage. It’s a type of no-fault insurance that pays for medical costs regardless of who’s at fault for an accident.

PIP is the kind of coverage you purchase when you buy a new car. If you have health insurance, your PIP doesn’t cover bills for injuries and property damage, but it will cover you in other ways. It covers lost wages, in-home help, and other indirect expenses. But sometimes it’s just easier to take care of everything with one payment.

PIP varies from one state to another, and some states don’t have it. Where it’s not required, you’ll probably have to buy a driver’s personal injury protection. This is another kind of insurance and you can no longer opt for PIP.

For more information on PIP, read this in-depth guide:

Collision insurance

(Comprehensive and collision are now the same)

Collision insurance covers the cost of damage to your car and its contents in case your car hits or is hit by another car or object. Unlike comprehensive coverage, this is a type of coverage you might use more than once. Auto insurance is very important, so you want to make sure you carry collision.

Comprehensive insurance

Is vital to having a safe ride. With it, you get coverage in case an uninsured driver injures you or something happens to their car and it causes a crash.

But some companies offer this coverage and far more. They keep costs low by carefully scrutinizing your application and risk for fraud. They then use that information to cut off risky drivers from getting insurance coverage. In some cases, the companies may also decide to endorse high-risk individuals.

The companies that rank the best for the coverage they provide include Liberty Mutual, Safe Auto, Farmers, Progressive and Erie. All of these are well-known for offering a high level of customer satisfaction. But some of them have strong reputations for perks, and others have a long history of service. These five receive top marks from independent research sources, earning them a place at the top of the list.

As you can see, there are numerous reasons why you might want to consider setting up a new policy with a new carrier. But you can also have some fun with car insurance and enjoy various perks by switching companies.

The same principle applies no matter what type of insurance you own. If you decide to switch, you can enjoy a higher quality of service or a better discount by switching to another provider.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance

It’s easier than you might think to get in an accident in which the other driver is at fault. Unfortunately, between the speeding tickets and DUI’s, some drivers don’t have insurance. Worse yet, even those who do have insurance might not have enough to cover the damage they cause.

You can see how the repercussions of another driver’s decision could lead to a situation with significant financial setbacks.

Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, or UIM, provides coverage for some of that financial loss. It pays out in situations where the other driver is at fault and they either don’t have insurance or they don’t have enough to cover your expenses.

Another important aspect to know about UIM coverage is that you must opt in to it. That means your policy must explicitly include it, and you must pay for the coverage. If you have UIM coverage and are injured in a crash in which the other driver is at fault, the other driver’s auto insurance company will pay out to you and your insurance company will then turn around and reimburse you for any money you’ve lost.

Gap insurance

Although it may not be a requirement in all provinces, gap insurance is highly recommended in the event of an accident. This insurance covers the difference between your car’s current market value and its full loan value, which is determined by the remaining loan balance after depreciation.

This type of auto insurance can help you get out from under your car loan if you sustain any collision-related damage. Its full coverage includes gas, food, and lodging while the car is being repaired. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, gap insurance may cover your losses as well.

Roadside assistance

Ratings from J.D. Power and Associates and customer satisfaction scores as of May 10, 2018, from Consumer Reports. Auto insurance customer satisfaction scores are based on responses from nearly 92,000 owners and lessees of 2012 model-year cars and light trucks who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership, in the 2017, 2016 and 2015 model years.

Insurers Are Fairly

Damage repair ratings are based on evaluations from hundreds of thousands of auto body shops in every state. The J.D. Power New Car Assessment ProgramSM (NCAP), now in its 31st year, is designed to provide consumers with information about the collision repair experiences of others after a minor, moderate or severe accident, and to encourage car makers to provide vehicles with the highest possible levels of safety.

Making The Best Decision

The last thing you want to do is make a mistake when it comes to getting car insurance. Insurance is one of those things that you hope you’ll never need but know you’ll be glad that you have. For the young driver that means speaking to your parents about adding you to their insurance policy. Car insurance can be a complicated decision and there are a lot of factors that go into the decision.

About the Author

The author, Ethan Raggio, is an independent Insurance Agent with Insure for Life, LLC. a local independent business specializing in Auto, Home, Life and Farm Insurance in front Retreat, Raleigh and surrounding area.

Even if you have been with an insurance company for years and are happy with the service you are getting, it's not a bad idea to get a quote every now and then from a few different places just to see what the prices and options are like. You never know when you might actually save yourself a significant amount of money. And it's not even really that much of a hassle. It usually only takes a few minutes to receive a quote from a professional agent.

As an independent agent it's our job to shop your coverage from several different companies. We make sure you are getting the best deal for your budget. It is what we do (and we love doing it), so when you call, you'll get a person not a recording. We will discuss your insurance needs and present the best options for you. We're here to help you, so give us a call today so we can help you save!

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Review these lists and find the best auto insurance for your needs. I’m doing the same for my auto insurance.