Methodology: How We Rate Car Insurance Companies

Our team prides itself on providing accurate and unbiased information about car insurance companies to help inform consumers’ purchasing decisions. We’ve collected data from 43 insurers about their industry standing, availability, coverage, cost and discounts, customer service, and technology to determine the top companies on the market.

Our Research Process

Our process is backed by 1,950 hours of research into leading providers in the auto insurance industry. We collect over 8,500 data points related to key rating factors to provide a thorough picture of each insurer. To ensure we’re providing you with the most up-to-date information, we update our review standards several times each year.

We’ve also surveyed more than 8,000 consumers about their experience with their car insurance company. We use information from respondents to get a clear sense of the customer experience, ranging from overall satisfaction to what matters most when choosing a provider.

We use our thorough research to give auto insurance companies scores in each of the following categories, as well as an overall weighted score out of 5.0 stars.

Industry Standing (20 Percent)

Insurers with a history of strong business practices and a positive reputation within the auto insurance industry receive the highest scores in this category. Our goal is to provide an overall reputation score that can indicate the trustworthiness of a business. We review more than 40 providers but only recommend the most reliable companies.

To calculate this score, our team evaluates:

  • Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and accreditation
  • AM Best financial strength rating
  • Number of years in business
  • Total market share and premiums written per year according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)

The average Industry Standing rating of all the providers we reviewed is 3.8 out of 5.0. Here’s what the different star ratings within this category mean:

  • 5.0 Stars: Companies that earn 5.0 stars are the most reliable and reputable car insurance companies. They’ve been in business for more than 80 years and generally hold 10 percent or more market share according to the NAIC. They also have strong industry ratings – typically at least an A rating from the BBB and an A+ or A++ for financial strength from AM Best.
  • 4.0 Stars: Those with a 4.0-star rating exhibit solid business practices and hold high ratings from the BBB and AM Best. They’ve been in the insurance industry for many years and have a strong presence in the market according to the NAIC.
  • 3.0 Stars: Insurers that have a 3.0-star rating have average industry reputations. They hold decent BBB ratings, though not as high as more reputable companies, and may not have as strong financial strength ratings from AM Best.
  • 2.0 Stars: Companies with a 2.0-star rating are less reputable options for coverage. They generally hold average or lower ratings from the BBB and AM Best, and some may be very new companies without as much experience in the insurance industry.
  • 1.0 Star: Those that receive 1.0 star in this category have a poor industry reputation. They are not reputable companies and typically hold D or F ratings from the BBB as well as low financial strength ratings from AM Best.

Availability (12.5 Percent)

Insurance providers that offer greater availability throughout the U.S. and don’t have any service exclusions earn higher scores. However, we know there are some great insurance companies that are only available in a handful of states, like Erie Insurance. Because of this, we also account for whether a company is a national or regional provider.

Our team considers the following factors when determining availability scores:

  • State availability
  • Size of the company
  • Service exclusions

The average Availability rating of all the providers we reviewed is 4.2 out of 5.0. Here’s what the different star ratings within this category mean:

  • 5.0 Stars: Auto insurers that earn 5.0 stars are typically large companies that are available nationwide. They don’t have any coverage exclusions.
  • 4.0 Stars: Companies with 4.0 stars provide coverage to large regions of the country and generally don’t exclude anyone from their coverage.
  • 3.0 Stars: Those that earn 3.0 stars typically offer very limited coverage, sometimes to only a handful of states. They may limit coverage to certain groups of people.
  • 2.0 Stars: Insurers with 2.0 stars tend to be small companies that may only offer coverage in one or two states and have coverage exclusions.
  • 1.0 Star: A company with 1.0 star only offers coverage to certain groups of people in a single state.

Coverage (25 Percent)

Auto insurance companies that offer a wide range of coverage options are more likely to meet consumer needs. While all insurers provide the six basic types of car insurance coverage, some go above and beyond to offer additional options.

We evaluate the following factors when determining coverage scores:

  • Consumer satisfaction with coverage options according to our survey
  • Usage-based insurance availability
  • Available add-on insurance options, including rideshare insurance, classic car insurance, mechanical breakdown insurance, rental car coverage, trip interruption, gap insurance, accident forgiveness, new car replacement, and more

The average Coverage rating of all the providers we reviewed is 3.5 out of 5.0. Here’s what the different star ratings within this category mean:

  • 5.0 Stars: Auto insurance companies that earn a perfect 5.0-star rating have wide coverage selections with many add-on options – including some unique options in the industry. These companies also offer a usage-based insurance program. They receive the highest coverage satisfaction scores on our insurance consumer survey.
  • 4.0 Stars: Those with 4.0 stars in this category have a solid range of coverage options for policyholders to choose from and generally offer a usage-based option. They have an above-average number of add-on choices and consumers are happy with the company’s selection.
  • 3.0 Stars: Insurers with 3.0 stars have a decent coverage selection beyond standard coverages. They do not offer as many choices as higher-rated competitors and may lack features like a usage-based insurance option.
  • 2.0 Stars: Those with a 2.0-star rating likely only offer one or two add-on coverages, and the consumers in our survey gave them lower coverage satisfaction scores.
  • 1.0 Star: Insurance providers with 1.0 star may only offer standard coverage options without any add-ons. Consumers are generally unhappy with their coverage selection.

Cost and Discounts (25 Percent)

Because cost is one of the most significant considerations for many car insurance shoppers, our team takes a comprehensive look at how companies compare on average costs for different drivers. Using cost data from Quadrant Information Services, we evaluate how each provider’s pricing compares to national and state average insurance costs for a wide range of driver profiles. Our cost data covers male and female drivers ages 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 65, and 75.

We also look at insurance costs for drivers with violations on their records, including speeding tickets, DUIs, and at-fault accidents. Costs are based on average rates for three vehicles: a 2022 Toyota Camry, 2022 Hyundai Accent SE, and 2022 Ford F-150 XL. 

Finally, costs cover minimum- and full-coverage insurance. State minimum coverage matches the minimum requirements in each state, while full coverage has liability limits of 50/100/50 and a comprehensive/collision deductible of $500.

We evaluate providers on the following factors in this category:

  • Consumer satisfaction with provider affordability according to our survey
  • Average annual cost compared to the national average
  • Average annual costs by driver profile (including young drivers, those with poor credit, and those with a speeding ticket, accident, or DUI on their record) compared to the national average
  • Number and type of discounts available

The average Cost and Discounts rating of all the providers we reviewed is 3.9 out of 5.0. Here’s what the different star ratings within this category mean:

  • 5.0 Stars: Car insurance companies that earn the highest 5.0-star rating offer the lowest prices in the industry for many types of drivers. They also provide a wide range of savings opportunities that policyholders can take advantage of and earn high satisfaction ratings from consumers based on their premiums.
  • 4.0 Stars: Those with 4.0-star ratings have below-average car insurance rates compared to the industry average. They are generally among the most affordable companies for many types of drivers and have several discounts available to help consumers save.
  • 3.0 Stars: Companies rated 3.0 stars have average prices across the board. They may offer affordable coverage to one group of drivers but have more expensive average rates for another group. They offer a decent selection of discounts and earn average cost satisfaction ratings on our consumer survey.
  • 2.0 Stars: Those with 2.0-star ratings have a mix of average and above-average prices across multiple driver profiles. They don’t typically offer many discounts, and they receive below-average scores on our consumer survey for cost satisfaction.
  • 1.0 Star: Providers with a 1.0-star rating are some of the most expensive on the market for most driver profiles and don’t offer many or any discounts to help consumers save.

Customer Service (10 Percent)

Great coverage options and affordable prices don’t mean much if a company lacks good customer service. When calculating ratings in this category, our team considers customer satisfaction with all parts of the process, from quotes and shopping for coverage to the claims process.

As part of our research, we conducted a consumer survey to assess satisfaction with different insurance providers. We also analyzed over 4,330 reviews on sites like the BBB and Trustpilot to get a sense of the customer experience with leading auto insurers. Our researchers identify patterns in customer satisfaction and complaints to better understand each company’s customer service quality and to help you make an informed decision.

The factors we evaluate when determining customer service scores include:

  • Overall consumer satisfaction according to our survey
  • Customer review scores from the BBB and Trustpilot
  • Complaints logged with the BBB and NAIC relative to insurer size
  • J.D. Power customer satisfaction studies

The average Customer Service rating of all the providers we reviewed is 4.1 out of 5.0. Here’s what the different star ratings within this category mean:

  • 5.0 Stars: Insurers with a 5.0-star rating offer the best customer experience. They have many positive reviews from policyholders on the BBB and Trustpilot, and they receive some of the highest customer satisfaction scores on our consumer survey and in J.D. Power studies. These companies make it easy to get an online quote and get support from service representatives.
  • 4.0 Stars: Those that earn 4.0 stars in this category have strong customer service reputations. They receive high review scores from customers and hold strong customer satisfaction ratings on industry studies and our survey. Based on our experience, getting a quote is simple with these companies. 
  • 3.0 Stars: Companies with a 3.0-star rating have average customer service. Review scores from customers tend to be average for the industry, and these insurance companies often have higher complaint numbers than higher-rated companies. They tend to score around the market average on J.D. Power studies and in our consumer survey.
  • 2.0 Stars: Those with 2.0 stars generally don’t offer a positive customer experience. They receive low review scores and a high number of complaints from customers. It’s often much more challenging to get a quote from these providers.
  • 1.0 Star: Insurers with a 1.0-star rating provide poor customer service. They field many customer complaints, perform poorly on J.D. Power studies, and make getting a quote a hassle.

Technology (7.5 Percent)

Technology plays an essential role in how many consumers interact with their auto insurance company. Our team evaluates each provider’s technology offerings, including the functionality of its app when it comes to accessing insurance cards and paying bills as well as whether it offers a usage-based insurance program, like Progressive’s Snapshot® or State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save™.

To calculate this score, our team evaluates:

  • Online quote tool availability
  • Mobile app availability and ratings in the App Store and Google Play
  • Usage-based insurance app availability and ratings in the App Store and Google Play

The average Technology rating of all the providers we reviewed is 3.8 out of 5.0. Here’s what the different star ratings within this category mean:

  • 5.0 Stars: Five-star insurers have strong technology offerings. They have a smooth online quotes process and offer a convenient mobile app with positive ratings on the App Store and Google Play. They also offer a highly rated usage-based insurance app.
  • 4.0 Stars: Those that earn 4.0 stars provide a good technology experience. They have a well-reviewed mobile app and likely offer a strong usage-based insurance platform as well. It’s simple to get a quote with these providers on their website.
  • 3.0 Stars: Insurers with a 3.0-star rating have average technology offerings. They offer a mobile app, but its ratings are generally lower than those of higher-rated competitors in this category. Consumers tend to experience more issues with its usage-based insurance app, if available.
  • 2.0 Stars: Companies with 2.0 stars have a more limited technology presence. They may not offer a mobile app at all, or they may have one that isn’t well reviewed. These insurers typically do not offer usage-based insurance and may not have an online quote tool on their website.
  • 1.0 Star: The technology experience with a 1.0-star company is likely nonexistent. These companies don’t offer online quotes, mobile apps, or a usage-based insurance app.