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The Best Car Insurance Companies for 2021

NerdWallet looked at claims processes, transparency, complaints and more to find and rank the best car insurance companies.
June 1, 2021
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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The best car insurance companies give their customers more than just coverage they want at a reasonable price — merely good companies can do that. On top of that, the best auto insurance companies provide a customer-first experience from quote to claim, including a headache-free way to manage policies and make payments.

NerdWallet’s editorial team considered pricing and discounts, ease of filing a claim, website transparency, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more to determine the best car insurance companies. As we continue to evaluate more insurance providers and receive fresh market data, this list of auto insurance companies is likely to change.

 

The best car insurance companies

The following companies received 4.5 or 5 stars out of 5 in NerdWallet’s analysis of the best auto insurers in the U.S.

CompanyNerdWallet rating
Amica
5.0 NerdWallet rating
NJM
5.0 NerdWallet rating
Shelter
5.0 NerdWallet rating
Texas Farm Bureau Insurance
5.0 NerdWallet rating
Allstate
4.5 NerdWallet rating
American Family
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Auto-Owners
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Chubb
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Erie
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Farmers
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Geico
4.5 NerdWallet rating
The Hanover
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Liberty Mutual
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Progressive
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Safety
4.5 NerdWallet rating
State Farm
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Travelers
4.5 NerdWallet rating
USAA*
4.5 NerdWallet rating
*USAA is available only to active military, veterans and their families.
Note: Not all insurers available in all states.

» MORE: Compare car insurance

Finding the best car insurance company for you

Pricing and discounts made up a portion of each insurer’s score, but we know that cost is the top factor for many auto insurance shoppers. Since pricing is based on personal factors including your age, location, vehicle and credit history and gender (in most cases), it’s important to shop around for car insurance quotes.

If price is the most important factor in your search, comparing car insurance quotes can help you find the cheapest rate. But your shopping experience will also shed light on a company’s customer service standards.

» MORE: Find the best cheap car insurance

To find the top car insurance companies:

  • Visit your state insurance commissioner’s website to find complaints and other information about companies in your area.
  • Ask your agent or a customer service representative any questions you have to make sure you’re getting all the coverage you need — and nothing you don’t want.
  • Consider smaller auto insurance companies, too. Small companies offer rates well below large competitors in many locations.
  • If you’ve had tickets, DUIs or other violations, be sure to shop three and five years after the incident, when surcharges can drop significantly.

Want to see rates? Navigate to your state below and compare average rates from the three cheapest car insurance companies in several categories where you live.

More about the best car insurance companies

Large company size doesn’t necessarily mean a better customer experience. Smaller, local insurers like NJM and Erie also make the cut, while some of the largest companies in the U.S., including Nationwide, aren’t on our list.

Amica

5.0 NerdWallet rating

Amica Insurance sells auto insurance in 49 states. In J.D. Power’s 2020 studies, Amica ranked first for overall satisfaction in the New England region and eighth among 12 midsized insurers for insurance shopping satisfaction. J.D. Power also ranked Amica second highest for overall auto claims satisfaction in 2020.

If you do have to go through the claims process, you may not even see an increase in your rates. Customers who opt for certain upgrades can earn “Advantage Points” for good driving, renewing a policy and referring other drivers. These points can be used to keep your current rate after an accident. Amica also offers free glass repair, free lock replacement and free airbag repair after deployment.

» MORE: Amica insurance review

NJM

5.0 NerdWallet rating

Despite its name, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance isn’t limited to a single state. The company offers auto insurance to drivers in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

NJM gets high scores in J.D. Power’s studies of customer satisfaction:

  • Ranked No. 1 in “Among the best” in the 2020 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, the most recent available.
  • Third among 14 insurers in the mid-Atlantic region in the 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, which measures overall customer satisfaction.

You can get all the standard auto coverages from NJM, along with extras including new car replacement coverage for cars with fewer than 15,000 miles and pet coverage, which pays for vet bills if they are injured in a covered car accident. You can also add gap insurance to help pay off your car loan if your vehicle is stolen or totaled.

» MORE: NJM insurance review

Shelter

5.0 NerdWallet rating

Shelter Insurance sells policies in 15 states — Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, Shelter ranks third among 14 insurers in the Central region.

Shelter’s policies for new vehicles automatically include new car replacement insurance, which will pay for a new car if yours is totaled in its first year with fewer than 15,000 miles on it. Many discounts are available, including one for drivers at least 48 years old who own another qualifying Shelter policy.

» MORE: Shelter insurance review

Texas Farm Bureau Insurance

5.0 NerdWallet rating

Texas Farm Bureau Insurance operates in a single state, and buying coverage requires a Farm Bureau membership, which typically costs $35 to $50 a year. That gives you access to some of the cheapest car insurance in Texas.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance is the highest rated auto insurer in Texas.

Texas Farm Bureau Insurance gives student drivers a discount for good grades, gives homeowners a discount for bundling and gives anyone a discount for having a car’s vehicle identification number, or VIN, etched in the glass of the car to deter theft.

» MORE: Texas Farm Bureau Insurance review

Allstate

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Allstate operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 studies, Allstate ranked fourth among eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance and first for overall satisfaction in Florida. Allstate ranked No. 8 out of 24 companies scored about average for customer claims satisfaction in 2020.

Allstate offers discounts for drivers in some states who use the company’s telematics program — a system that tracks how safely you drive. You can get discounts for being a good student, driving a new car and going paperless. Allstate also gives you a discount on your deductible if you sign up for the optional deductible rewards program, cutting down on your out-of-pocket expenses when you’re in an accident.

» MORE: Allstate insurance review

American Family

4.5 NerdWallet rating

American Family Insurance operates in 19 states, mainly throughout the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 customer satisfaction studies, American Family ranked third among a dozen midsized insurers for satisfaction with the insurance shopping experience and tied for first place for overall satisfaction in the Southwest region. J.D. Power ranked American Family ranked No. 17 out of 24 companies for auto insurance claims satisfaction in 2020.

American Family offers a range of discounts to drivers in some states, including for loyalty, completing a defensive driving course and for students away at school. The company also has apps to monitor driving, allowing good drivers to earn discounts.

» MORE: American Family insurance review

Auto-Owners

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Auto-Owners Insurance is available in 26 states.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 studies, Auto-Owners ranked fifth among 12 mid-sized insurers for customer satisfaction with insurance shopping and first for overall satisfaction in the Central region. Auto-Owners ranked  No. 3 out of 24 companies for customer claims satisfaction in 2020.

Auto-Owners drivers in some states can get discounts for insuring multiple cars, paying premiums on time for three years and having a life insurance policy with the company. Auto-Owners also has an app to track your driving. Good drivers can get a discount for avoiding hard braking and sharp turns, along with other safe behaviors.

» MORE: Auto-Owners insurance review

Chubb

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Chubb Insurance specializes in high-end coverage for well-to-do families. The company has offices in 35 states and Washington, D.C.

Chubb isn’t trying to be the cheapest car insurer — it’s trying to be the car insurer with the white-glove touch. Rental reimbursement comes with a whopping $15,000 limit. Coverage will pay for repairing your car with original manufacturer-made parts, for those cars that need just the right imported piece. You can even get extra high liability limits, up to $10 million.

» MORE: Chubb insurance review

Erie

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Erie Insurance offers auto insurance to buyers in 12 states — Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin — plus Washington, D.C.

Erie earns strong marks in J.D. Power customer satisfaction studies:

  • Second among a dozen midsized auto insurance companies in the 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, which measures satisfaction with the auto insurance shopping experience.
  • Second among 14 companies in the mid-Atlantic region, second out of 17 insurers in the Southeast region and third among 20 companies in the North Central region in the 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study.
  • Seventh out of 23 companies nationwide in the 2020 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

When you buy Erie car insurance, you can lock in your rates until you change covered drivers, covered cars or your home address. Erie offers new car protection for cars under 24 months old, and rental reimbursement coverage comes standard with comprehensive coverage in most states. Accident forgiveness is available after three years with the company.

» MORE: Erie insurance review

Farmers

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Farmers Insurance ranks seventh on the list of the largest car insurance companies in the U.S.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, Farmers ranked sixth among eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with the insurance shopping experience. J.D. Power rated Farmers No. 10 out of 24 companies for customer satisfaction with its claims process in 2020.

You can get discounts for bundling multiple policies, being a good student and being a member of some professional groups.

» MORE: Farmers insurance review

Geico

4.5 NerdWallet rating

One of the most popular car insurance companies in the U.S., Geico operates its car insurance business in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 customer satisfaction studies, Geico ranked first among large insurers for the insurance shopping experience and first (or tied for first) for overall satisfaction in the North Central, Northwest and Southwest regions. J.D. Power rated Geico No. 11 out of 24 companies for satisfaction with its claims process in 2020.

Geico stacks up the discounts, giving drivers in some states a few bucks off for everything from clean driving records to good grades. Federal employees also get discounts, as do veterans, active military and reservists. As for coverage, you can get all the basics plus mechanical breakdown coverage, which helps pay for repairs to newer cars with fewer miles.

» MORE: Geico insurance review

The Hanover

4.5 NerdWallet rating

If you’re looking for an auto insurance policy with built-in extras, you may want to consider The Hanover. The insurer offers both home and auto insurance in 27 states and Washington, D.C. It received fewer than the expected number of complaints for auto insurance, and has a wide variety of coverage options.

The Hanover offers the usual car insurance coverages, but also has customizable packages that include additional perks. These packages come in two tiers and different price points. Extras include key replacement coverage if you lose your keys, child car seat replacement up to $300 and coverage that pays for a rental car if you’re unable to drive your own vehicle.

» MORE: The Hanover insurance review

Liberty Mutual

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Liberty Mutual is one of the largest insurers in the nation, with an extensive list of coverages and discounts.

Out of the six largest insurance companies, it’s the only one to offer both gap insurance and new car replacement coverage, which pays for the cost of a new car if it’s totaled in the first year and has less than 15,000 miles. Liberty Mutual also provides a unique benefit for teachers, who can receive free auto insurance such as collision and personal property insurance and vandalism loss protection in certain states.

Liberty Mutual ranked fifth out of eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance in J.D. Power’s 2020 study. The insurer ranked No. 14 out of 24 companies for customer claims satisfaction in 2020.

Among large insurers, Liberty Mutual offers more discounts than anyone besides American Family. For example, drivers can save by paying their bill online, driving a hybrid or electric vehicle, and owning a home.

» MORE: Liberty Mutual insurance review

Progressive

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Progressive Insurance operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., so you can get it no matter where you live.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, Progressive ranked seventh out of eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with the insurance shopping experience. J.D. Power rated Progressive No. 21 out of 24 companies for customer satisfaction with its claims process in 2020.

Progressive has different features and options depending on your state. Some of the more interesting additions include pet injury protection, which is included with collision coverage, and a deductible “savings bank,” which knocks your deductible down by $50 each claim-free policy period to a minimum of $0.

» MORE: Progressive insurance review

Safety

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Safety Insurance is available only in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, but its strong customer service makes it worth considering if you live in one of those three states. The company receives fewer consumer complaints to state regulators than expected for an insurer of its size.

You can customize your auto insurance with a “Safety Shield” package that may include full glass coverage, a waiver of your collision deductible, emergency road travel expenses and other extras, depending on where you live.

In Massachusetts, other optional insurance may include accident forgiveness or coverage for a pet riding in the car with you. In all three states, you can also add gap insurance to pay off a loan or lease if your vehicle is totaled.

Safety offers a variety of ways to save, including discounts for bundling multiple policies, getting policies delivered electronically or having a student with good grades on the policy.

» MORE: Safety Insurance review

State Farm

4.5 NerdWallet rating

As the largest personal auto insurer in the country, State Farm covers all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 studies, State Farm ranked third among eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance and first for overall satisfaction in New York and the mid-Atlantic region. State Farm ranked No. 6 out of 24 companies scored about average for customer claims satisfaction in 2020.

The company offers discounts to drivers in some states for having multiple cars, being a good driver and having a student away at school. State Farm has a safe driving app that can live on your phone or through OnStar. You can earn a discount by following the rules and driving sensibly.

» MORE: State Farm insurance review

Travelers

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Travelers Insurance operates in 42 states and Washington, D.C.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 study, Travelers ranked eighth among eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance. Travelers ranked No. 19 out of 24 companies for customer claims satisfaction in 2020.

Travelers offers potential discounts in some states for using the company’s telematics program, a system that tracks your driving. Optional plans offer forgiveness for one accident and one minor violation every 36 months so your rates don’t go up after an incident.

» MORE: Travelers insurance review

USAA

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Although USAA sells insurance in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., it’s only available to active military, veterans and their families. For that reason, NerdWallet doesn’t rank USAA alongside other major auto insurance companies. But for customers who qualify, USAA often offers cheap rates.

USAA consistently scores high in J.D. Power studies for insurance shopping, claims and overall customer satisfaction.

USAA offers many discounts, including some specifically for drivers in the military. For instance, you can get a discount for keeping your car in a garage on a military base. You can also get more general discounts in some states for taking defensive driving courses, earning good grades and insuring a new car.

» MORE: USAA insurance review

Recap: The Best Car Insurance Companies

NerdWallet has awarded the following auto insurance carriers 5 stars out of 5, based on financial strength, customer complaints and other consumer-friendly factors:

  • Amica.
  • NJM.
  • Shelter.
  • Texas Farm Bureau Insurance.

Who is the best auto insurance company?

There’s no single best car insurance company for every driver. The right choice for you depends on the coverage you need and the quotes each company offers you. Compare car insurance rates from different auto insurance companies to see what’s available.

Who is the No. 1 insurance company?

The largest car insurance company in the U.S. is State Farm, with more than 16% of the personal auto insurance market in 2019, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The next largest auto insurance providers are Geico, Progressive and Allstate. See the 10 largest auto insurance companies.

Methodology

NerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints, website transparency and affordability. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. This ranking reflects relative performance in our auto insurance rating formula; many companies are considered but only carriers with 4.5 or 5 stars based on the formula are listed.

These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews.

NerdWallet Insurance Services, Inc. (Property & Casualty licenses)

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