Find out which providers go above and beyond to offer the best coverage.
Trying to find the best car insurance can be frustrating. Each company claims to have the lowest price and superior customer service, but they can’t all be the best. To help you get a clear understanding of the car insurance market, we ranked more than 30 popular car insurance companies on the following categories:
- Financial strength
- Customer service
- Costs and discounts
Let’s take a closer look at the 12 providers that came out on top.
Anytime you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from several companies. Along with the company you choose, your rate is affected by factors like your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history, so it’s important to compare quotes to ensure you get the best car insurance coverage and price.
Use our tool below or call our team at (855) 518-0148 to start comparing car insurance quotes:
In this article:
- What Is Car Insurance?
- The 12 Best Car Insurance Companies Of 2020
- What Are The Standard Types Of Car Insurance?
- What Factors Affect The Cost Of Your Car Insurance?
- Final Thoughts On The Best Car Insurance
- FAQ About Car Insurance
What Is Car Insurance?
Car insurance is a service contract between you and an insurance company. In exchange for your paying a premium, the insurance company agrees to help cover the cost of repairs or replacement in the event of an accident. It can also help cover medical bills from injuries caused by an accident.
The 12 Best Car Insurance Companies Of 2020
Out of the over 30 car insurance providers that we reviewed, these are the 12 that came out at the top of our list of the best car insurance companies of 2020:
|Best Car Insurance of 2020||Superlatives||Our Overall Rating||Customer Service Grade||Affordability Rating||Coverage Rating|
|#1 USAA Car Insurance||Best for Military||5.0||A+||4.5||4.5|
|#2 Geico Car Insurance||Best Overall||4.5||A-||4.0||4.0|
|#3 State Farm Auto Insurance||Best for Students||4.5||B+||4.0||4.0|
|#4 Progressive Car Insurance||Best for High-Risk Drivers||4.5||B+||3.5||4.0|
|#5 AAA Car Insurance||Best for AAA Members||4.0||A||4.0||4.0|
|Best for Teens||4.0||B+||3.5||4.5|
|Best Local Service||4.0||B+||3.0||4.0|
|#8 The Hartford Auto Insurance||Best for AARP Members||4.0||B+||4.0||4.5|
|#9 Nationwide Car Insurance||Best for Seniors||4.0||B+||3.5||4.5|
|#10 Farmers Auto Insurance||4.0||B+||3.0||4.0|
|#11 Travelers Auto Insurance||4.0||B+||3.5||4.5|
|#12 Root Auto Insurance||Best Usage-Based Insurance||4.0||A-||4.5||3.5|
#1 USAA: Best Car Insurance For Military Families
At the end of the day, we found USAA to be the best car insurance company, although it’s not available to everyone. If you already know you don’t qualify, you might want to skip this section since it will only make you jealous of your neighbor’s insurance policy.
USAA has an A++ rating from AM Best, which is the highest rating possible. It came in first place in J.D. Power’s 2019 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study and second place in J.D. Power’s 2019 Insurance Shopping Study. That’s no easy feat, and it means USAA knocks customer service out of the park. On top of the standard options for car insurance, which we will be diving into below, USAA also offers:
- Roadside assistance: Roadside assistance adds coverage for emergency towing, lockout services, gas delivery, and spare tire installation.
- Rental reimbursement: This option pays toward a rental car after you file a covered insurance claim.
- Accident forgiveness: In some states, USAA members can purchase an accident forgiveness option that protects their rates after one accident.
- Other insurance products: USAA offers numerous insurance products, including motorcycle, rideshare, boat, renters, homeowners, collectible, flood, vision, pet, and life insurance.
As you’d expect from the best car insurance company, USAA has a Consumer Reports reader score of 92, the highest of any car insurance company. It is also the only company to hold the best score in all of Consumer Reports’ survey categories.
You might think that a company with high customer service ratings might also be expensive, but USAA is actually the most affordable option in many states. USAA tends to offer the cheapest rates overall, and that’s what makes it one of the best auto insurance companies on the market. Additionally, USAA has great car insurance discounts for veterans.
USAA is available to:
- U.S. military members (enlisted, active, honorably separated, or retired)
- Candidates in commissioning programs
- Spouses and children of USAA members with an auto or home policy
The last qualification above leaves room for many people to join USAA. One member of the military can pass on USAA eligibility to generation after generation. If you’re eligible, we think nothing beats the customer service and great rates of USAA auto insurance.
|Affordable rates and numerous discounts||
Only available for military and their families
|Good option for military members and young drivers||
|Superior financial ratings from AM Best||
To learn more about this car insurance provider, check out our full review of USAA car insurance.
#2 Geico: Best Overall Car Insurance
For the majority of drivers, there’s Geico auto insurance. The company offers some of the most competitive prices on the market, and it’s one of the best auto insurance options available nationwide. Here’s a breakdown of Geico’s coverage that are available in addition to standard coverage:
- Roadside assistance: Through Geico’s Emergency Road Service, drivers can request roadside assistance right in an app. It includes coverage for towing, jump starts, flat tire changes, and lockout services.
- Rental reimbursement: This option helps pay rental car costs when your car is being repaired after a claim. Enterprise Rent-A-Car bills Geico directly under this arrangement.
- Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI): MBI is similar to an extended auto warranty, except you pay for it with your auto insurance policy. This program covers repairs for all mechanical parts, though it doesn’t cover maintenance or regular wear and tear. MBI is available for vehicles under 15 months or 15,000 miles, and it can be renewed annually up to 7 years or 100,000 miles.
- Other insurance products: Geico offers many kinds of insurance, including boat, rideshare, condo, mobile home, landlord, professional liability, overseas, and jewelry insurance.
In our research, we found Geico to be a great auto insurance company for students – drivers can get up to a 15 percent discount for being good students. Geico also offers other discounts for:
- Defensive driving education
- Military service
- 5 years accident-free
- Having an anti-theft system
- Customer loyalty
The company wrote over $33 billion in car insurance premiums in 2018, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and has an A++ rating from AM Best. While Geico offers a somewhat standard experience according to J.D. Power’s Insurance Shopping Study, the company came in fourth place overall in J.D. Power’s Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. That’s good, because having to file a claim is never fun. Geico also has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a Consumer Reports reader score of 78.
Typical rates from Geico are between $1,000 and $1,600 per year, which is pretty good. These are average rates, so your specific quote might be different. Your rate can be affected by the state you live in and the car you drive, as well as your driving history and credit score. If you can’t get USAA, you’ll probably find the best car insurance rates from Geico.
|A+ rating from the BBB and A++ financial strength rating from AM Best||
Average quote experience
|Many choice for coverage||
|High level of customer satisfaction||
|Available in 50 states|
To learn more about this car insurance provider, check out our full Geico review.
#3 State Farm: Best Car Insurance For Students
State Farm is the largest auto insurer in the U.S., with a market share of 17 percent according to the NAIC, and it currently services over 83 million policies.
The company is ranked 36th on the Fortune 500 and has the claims service to back it up. It came in fifth place on J.D. Power’s Auto Claims Satisfaction Study of top car insurance companies. However, the company was ranked average on J.D. Power’s Insurance Shopping Study. With State Farm, you can get the following additional coverages:
- Roadside assistance: With this option, State Farm will cover up to one hour of labor at the breakdown site, fluid delivery, spare tire installation, jump starts, towing, and lockout services.
- Car rental expense: This option pays for a rental car while your car is in the shop for a covered repair. You can choose the limits of this policy.
- Travel expense: State Farm will pay up to $500 for food, lodging, and travel if you get into an accident more than 50 miles from home. This option also includes a trip to retrieve your vehicle.
- Rental deductible: State Farm will pay up to $500 toward your deductible if you get into an accident while driving a rental car.
- Other insurance products: Other coverages through State Farm include rideshare, boat, home, life, rental property, and health insurance.
State Farm has four car insurance apps that can make life easier and provide discounts:
- State Farm app: State Farm’s main app lets you submit claims, pay for your policies, manage your bank accounts, and more.
- Drive Safe & Save™: This is State Farm’s usage-based insurance app. If you score high enough, you can get up to a 30 percent discount on your premium. The app tracks things like cornering, hard braking, acceleration, and phone use while driving. It can only give you a discount – it can’t raise your rates for bad driving.
- Steer ClearⓇ: This is an educational app available for drivers under the age of 25. Drivers complete in-app courses, log progress with a mentor, complete driving hours, and receive a certification. All that translates into a discount, which is why we think State Farm is the best auto insurance option for students.
- State Farm Pocket Estimate: State Farm’s Pocket Estimator lets you snap photos of your car’s damage and get a repair estimate right in the app. It can save time during the claims process, and it has good ratings from both iOS and Android users.
In addition to the discounts through Drive Safe & Save and Steer Clear, State Farm gives discounts for the following:
- Accident-free for 3 years
- Defensive driving course
- Student away at school
- Claim-free for 3 years
- Anti-theft equipment
- Safe vehicle discount
- Multi-car discount
- Bundling auto with another type of insurance
The company has an A+ rating from the BBB, though its reviews on the BBB and Trustpilot are mixed. While State Farm could offer a better shopping experience, we think it’s still one of the best car insurance companies around.
|Comprehensive coverage offerings||
Reported errors with autopay
|Extensive selection of discounts||
Not available for new customers in Massachusetts or Rhode Island
|Positive customer reviews||
|Easy online quotes process|
|A+ rating from the BBB|
To learn more about this car insurance provider, check out our review of State Farm auto insurance.
#4 Progressive: Best Car Insurance For High-Risk Drivers
In fourth place in our best car insurance comparison is Progressive. This company has been around since 1937 and has introduced many insurance firsts over the years. For example, Progressive was the first to allow people to purchase insurance plans online in the 1990s.
Here are the add-ons that you can get with the company today:
- Roadside assistance: This adds on coverage for towing, lockout services, fuel delivery, and spare tire installation.
- Loan/lease payoff: With this option, Progressive will pay an additional 25 percent of your car’s value toward its outstanding lease amount if collision compensation isn’t enough after a total loss.
- Rental reimbursement: This option grants $30 to $50 per day for a rental while your car is in the shop after a covered claim.
- Custom parts and equipment value: This covers aftermarket parts on your car, like a sound system, and pays for repairs in the event of an accident.
- Other insurance products: Progressive offers numerous insurance options that include ATV, classic car, golf cart, homeowners, ID theft, travel, motorcycle, rideshare, and umbrella insurance.
Progressive has an A+ rating from AM Best and wrote over $27 billion in premiums in 2018, according to the NAIC. In addition to standard coverage options, we also like that Progressive stands out from other car insurance companies with a few different ways to get discounts:
- Deductible savings bank: Save $50 toward your next deductible for each six-month period without a claim.
- Snapshot: Get a discount for being a good driver through Snapshot – but be careful, because poor driving can increase your rate.
- Bundling: Save by adding another type of insurance to your plan with Progressive, like home, renters, or condo insurance.
Additionally, Progressive’s Name Your PriceⓇ tool lets you start with your desired payment and view optimal insurance plans, which can save you time.
Based on our research, Progressive performed very well across financial strength, availability, coverage, and technology. However, the company had standard customer satisfaction and overall cost ratings.
According to Progressive’s website, customers generally pay between $1,500 and $2,000 per year for auto insurance, which is a bit higher than Geico’s estimate. In J.D. Power’s Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, survey participants said Progressive’s claims process was average, and the company has a reader score of 75 from Consumer Reports.
Overall, Progressive is a strong company and is among the best auto insurance options out there. It also offers the best high-risk auto insurance. The quote you receive is based on a number of factors, and you might find a price from Progressive that’s below the national average. Also, Progressive tends to be a little more affordable than Geico for drivers who have a DUI/DWI on record.
|One of the top auto insurers in the United States||
Average claims process
|A+ financial strength rating from the AM Best||
Mixed customer service reviews
|Great choice for high-risk drivers||
|Several money-saving features|
To learn more about this car insurance provider, check out our review of Progressive car insurance.
#5 AAA: Best Car Insurance For AAA Members
AAA is also another great option in our roundup of the best car insurance companies for 2020. With roots that go back to 1902, the company has provided a number of different auto products over the decades. Most people today recognize AAA as a leader in roadside assistance, but the company can also give drivers a great car insurance experience.
Here are the main coverage options you have with AAA car insurance:
- Roadside assistance: All AAA auto insurance policyholders are required to carry AAA roadside assistance coverage, which is extensive. Higher membership levels include ID theft monitoring, home locksmiths, a tow up to 200 miles, and trip interruption benefits.
- Enhanced total loss replacement: With this coverage, AAA will pay for a new model car replacement if your car is totaled.
- Loan/lease gap: Gap insurance covers the difference between your outstanding loan and the amount that your collision coverage provides after a total loss.
- Enhanced exterior repair: This option ensures that only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts will be used in repairing the exterior of your car.
- Other insurance products: AAA offers a number of insurance options, including life, home, renters, boat, flood, RV, and motorcycle insurance.
Note: AAA auto insurance is made up of multiple companies across the United States, so options can differ between territories.
In order to get AAA car insurance, you need to be a roadside assistance member. While becoming one is affordable – plans can cost between $50 and $100 per year – you might have to double up on roadside coverage if you already have a provider for that.
Another thing to be aware of is that AAA car insurance is really made up of a number of different companies. CSAA Insurance Group, the Auto Club Group, and Auto Club Enterprises Insurance Group are a few of the larger organizations that are part of the AAA auto insurance umbrella. Even though there are separate organizations, they all operate to a high standard that makes AAA one of our top picks for the best car insurance company.
We also like that AAA car insurance companies offer a number of different discounts, which can include:
- Membership discounts proportional to your time as a AAA roadside assistance cardholder
- Discounts for having a safety inspection performed on your car
- Discounts for using AAA’s mobile app OnBoardⓇ and being a safe driver
- Discounts for completing a safe driving course
- Discounts for insuring a new vehicle and driving fewer than average miles per year
- Bundling auto with another type of insurance from AAA
Looking at AAA insurance reviews, many customers appreciate that they can work with agents over the phone instead of through an app or via email. While AAA auto insurance might not be available in some zip codes, it can be one of the best auto insurance choices if it’s available to you. We found the cost of premiums to be middle-of-the-road and better for people with good driving records.
|Full coverage insurance option for AAA members||
Difference coverage options, quotes/claims processes, and customer service across states
|Relatively inexpensive to become an AAA member||
|Option to bundle your car insurance with home or life insurance to save money||
|Strong financial rating from AM Best|
|AAA roadside assistance included|
To learn more about this car insurance provider, check out our review of AAA car insurance.
To start comparing car insurance quotes from some of the best car insurance companies of 2020, simply enter your zip code in the tool below or call (855) 518-0148 to speak with one of our representatives:
What Are The Standard Types Of Car Insurance?
When you purchase a policy from any insurance company, you’ll be mixing and matching six coverage types along with any additional, non-standard options you want to add. Depending on the state in which you live, some types of coverage may be mandatory, while some are optional.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the types of car insurance:
|Liability Insurance (BI/PD)||Liability auto insurance provides financial coverage against damages to other people and their property. It is made up of bodily injury liability (BI) and property damage liability (PD). If you cause an accident in which the other driver is injured and their car damaged, liability insurance will cover the repair costs for the car, the cost of medical treatment, and legal fees if the other party leverages a lawsuit. Liability insurance will not cover any damages or injuries to you or your vehicle.|
|It is collision insurance that covers the cost of damages to your car in the case you get collide with another car or with an object, such as a telephone pole or guard rail. Generally, collision coverage also protects against rollovers and other similar accidents.|
|Comprehensive Insurance||Comprehensive car insurance covers any damages that may have been caused to your car by something other than a collision. This includes damages due to theft, vandalism, natural disasters, civil disturbances, and more.|
|Medical Payments Insurance (MedPay)||Medical payment insurance covers the costs of vehicle-related medical treatments for both yourself and your passengers, regardless of whether you or another driver is at fault in an accident. Unfortunately, this type of insurance is not available in all states.|
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)||Personal injury protection is similar to MedPay. While MedPay only covers the cost of medical treatment, PIP covers the cost of medical treatment and other injury-related losses such as lost wages while you were unable to work due to the accident.|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance (UM/UIM)||While almost every state legally requires drivers to have car insurance before they get on the road, that doesn’t stop some motorists from breaking the law. Un/underinsured motorist insurance protects you in the case that you get into an accident with a motorist who doesn’t have sufficient insurance and consequently can’t cover your expenses.|
What Factors Affect The Cost Of Your Car Insurance?
While each company calculates the price of its policies differently, here are a few basic factors to take into consideration:
- Driving record: This is a one of the most signficiant factor in the price of your car insurance. Speeding tickets, DUIs, and reckless driving all raise rates. Depending on the state, your rates can go up for the next three to seven years because of a conviction.
- Credit score: Generally, a higher score correlates to lower rates and while individuals with lower credit scores often report high car insurance rates.
- Years of experience driving: Newer drivers are charged higher rates, while drivers with lots of experience get a break in rates. This is because younger drivers are less experienced and are at higher-risk to get into an accident.
- Where you live: If you live in a densely populated area with many expensive claims, your insurance will cost more even if you’re a good driver with a perfect history.
- Age: Younger drivers pay more, especially teen drivers, as they have less experience. Teens can pay two or three times what a person in their 40s would pay.
- Mileage: Lower annual mileage can mean lower premiums from many insurance companies.
- Previous insurance coverage: Companies like to see that you’ve had continuous coverage throughout your driving career. Gaps in coverage can increase your rates.
- Claims history: Claims filed within the last few years can also increase your rates.
- Gender of young drivers: Younger men are more likely to receive higher rates, but costs even out after drivers age beyond their teens.
- Type of car: Insurance companies will charge you more if you have a luxury or sports car since those cost more to fix. Family-oriented SUVs are a safer choice.
Final Thoughts On The Best Car Insurance
Although one provider might stand out to you now, we encourage you to get auto insurance quotes from several companies so you can find the best auto insurance for you.
The only way to know how much you will pay for car insurance is to get a quote. This is because pricing varies depending on your location, vehicle, and more. Enter your zip code to start comparing top car insurance providers in your area. Or, for an easier experience, call (855) 518-0148.
Best Car Insurance Companies of 2020:
- #1 USAA Insurance: Best for Military
- #2 Geico Insurance: Best Overall
- #3 State Farm Insurance: Best for Students
- #4 Progressive Insurance: Best for High-Risk Drivers
- #5 AAA Insurance: Best for AAA Members
- #6 Liberty Mutual Insurance: Best for Teens
- #7 Allstate Insurance: Best Local Service
- #8 The Hartford Insurance: Best for AARP Members
- #9 Nationwide Insurance: Best for Seniors
- #10 Farmers Insurance
- #11 Travelers Insurance
- #12 Root Insurance: Best Usage-Based Insurance
FAQ About Car Insurance
Which auto insurance has the best rates?
We think USAA is the best auto insurance company when looking at the price, if you can get it. If not, Geico offers the best car insurance rates in respect to coverage.
Based on our research the cheapest auto insurance is provided by USAA. Runner-ups include Erie Insurance, Root Insurance, Geico, and State Farm.
Why do I need car insurance?
State laws require insurance. Otherwise, you’d have to pay for damages in accidents you cause. Auto loans can also require more insurance coverage on your car.
Who is the best insurance company for home and auto?
This may come as no surprise, but we also think USAA is the best company for bundling home and auto insurance. With USAA, you can get up to a 10 percent discount when you bundle. If you can’t get USAA, both Farmers and State Farm offer 10 percent discounts for bundling home and auto, while Progressive offers a 5 percent discount.
Which is the best car insurance after a DUI?
After doing our homework, we think that Progressive is the best car insurance provider for people who have a DUI/DWI on record. While some companies can double or even triple your rates, Progressive increases rates by about 30 to 50 percent on average.
Do you need insurance to drive a car?
Yes, you do need insurance to drive a car. Almost every state has state-mandated minimum requirements for car insurance that must be met to drive legally. The only states where car insurance is not mandatory are New Hampshire and Virginia.
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