Car insurance is a crucial purchase, shielding you financially in case you’re involved in an accident.
It’s also legally required in almost every state nationwide.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of auto insurance providers on the market, each one offering a unique experience.
With so many companies and policy features to choose from, picking the right one can be a challenge.
We’ve put in the work, researching dozens of companies, rates, policies, reviews, and rankings, to provide you with the best auto insurance companies today.
Best Car Insurance Companies
Here is our list of the 18 best auto insurance providers in the U.S. for 2021:
- State Farm: Best Overall
- Geico: Best Online Experience
- Progressive: Best for Policy Discounts
- USAA: Best for Military Families
- Liberty Mutual: Best for Add-ons
- Nationwide: Best for Bad Credit
- Esurance: Best App
- Allstate: Best for High-Risk Drivers
- The Hartford: Best for Seniors
- Amica: Best for Customer Service
- American Family: Best for Policy Bundles
- Farmers: Best for Policy Options
- NJM: Best Northeastern Provider
- Erie: Best for Comprehensive Coverage
- Travelers: Best for Safe Drivers
- Auto-Owners: Best for Independent Agents
- Safeco: Best for Customization
- Mercury Insurance: Best for Cheap Basic Coverage
1. State Farm
Like a good neighbor, the largest car insurance company in the nation gives each of its policyholders access to a local agent.
Though you might pay a little more for coverage, you get an exceptional customer experience.
Claims filing is a breeze with State Farm, as you can easily call your agent, use the website, or file with the app.
State Farm also offers a wide variety of financial products, including renters and homeowners insurance, life insurance, banking, and investment services, making it a one-stop shop.
Pros & Cons of State Farm Car Insurance
- Exceptional claims process
- Rental and travel expense coverage
- Best online quotes
- Limited discounts
- Average consumer satisfaction ratings
Best for Online Experience
With its creative commercials featuring everything from geckos to cavemen and camels, GEICO is a household name.
It also offers the best digital experience of any carrier, with an exceptionally easy-to-use and resourceful website and app.
GEICO stands out for its low prices as well, offering great rates and a wide variety of driver discounts.
Their robust coverage extends to other vehicles like boats, motorcycles, and RVs. You can also bundle your auto policy with GEICO’s other insurance products.
Pros & Cons of GEICO Car Insurance
- Best site and app
- Great discount lineup
- Low overall prices
- Mostly online experience
- No gap insurance
Best for Policy Discounts
Another of the nation’s largest insurers, Progressive has financial strength ratings you can depend on.
Progressive is another great choice if you’re looking to do all your insurance shopping in one place, letting you bundle auto, homeowners, pet, travel insurance and more.
Perhaps Progressive’s greatest advantage is its generous lineup of discounts, including ones for paperless billing and automated payments.
You can save even more with Progressive’s well-known Snapshot tool, which builds your rate around your actual driving habits.
Pros & Cons of Progressive Car Insurance
- Best discounts
- Additional insurance types
- 24/7 customer service
- Higher premiums
Best for Military Families
If you’re in a military family, USAA’s car insurance is nearly impossible to beat.
The military-based provider offers low prices across the board, with even more savings thanks to several discounts.
USAA’s customer service, online tools, and claims filing are equally impressive.
Policyholders can also tap into other advantageous insurance products and banking and investing services.
Pros & Cons of USAA Car Insurance
- Variety of financial products
- Low prices
- Customer satisfaction
- Limited to military families
5. Liberty Mutual
Best for Add-ons
Liberty Mutual is another name with big brand recognition. As you might expect from one of the largest auto providers, it comes with several policy options, discounts, and other types of insurance.
The company stands out for offering alumni discounts in partnership with some colleges and universities, as well as offering teacher’s car insurance, which comes with added protection for issues teachers’ cars might face on the job.
You can add several features to your Liberty Mutual coverage to customize it, like repair guarantees and gap insurance.
Pros & Cons of Liberty Mutual Car Insurance
- Customizable policies
- Additional insurance products
- Above average customer complaints
Best for Poor Credit
If you need affordable car insurance but your credit score could use some work, Nationwide is on your side.
Their rates are low compared to many of their biggest competitors, but especially advantageous for applicants with poor credit or a less than stellar driving record.
Nationwide also offers simple claims filing online or over the phone, with easy online tracking after a claim is filed.
If you’re looking for a big name you can rely on for not just auto insurance, but also investing and other types of coverage, check out Nationwide.
Pros & Cons of Nationwide Car Insurance
- Excellent financial strength ratings
- Low rates in general
- Lenient with average credit
- Mediocre J.D. Power scores
Backed by the industry-giant Allstate, Esurance is a financially stable car insurance company with a lot to offer.
While some of its other satisfaction ratings are average, Esurance stands out for its online experience.
Namely, purchasing car insurance from Esurance online is a quick and easy process. Most notable are Esurance’s digital learning resources.
From its online calculator and hands-on account management to its innovative DriveSense app, Esurance is a future-forward carrier worth considering.
Pros & Cons of Esurance Car Insurance
- Online resources
- Easy account management
- Coverage availability
- Above-average premiums
- Limited customer service
Best for High-Risk Drivers
With Allstate as your insurer, you truly are in good hands. The well-known industry touts an impressive lineup of insurance products that are available everywhere.
These policies come with a versatile selection of potential discounts, even rewarding environmental-friendly drivers with a green car discount.
Allstate also comes with a Drivewise mileage tracking app, in addition to its policy management app and user-friendly website.
The company is particularly good for drivers looking to improve their record behind the wheel, re-evaluating rates on a 6-month basis.
Pros & Cons of Allstate Car Insurance
- Helpful app
- Discount variety
- Lackluster satisfaction ratings
- Mixed customer service reviews
9. The Hartford
Best for Seniors
If you’re 50 or older, The Hartford should be at the top of your list of auto insurance companies.
In partnership with AARP, the Hartford offers auto, homeowners, and renters insurance, as well as umbrella policies.
These policies come with lifetime renewability, a 12-month price lock, and even more savings and benefits for AARP members.
Regardless of your age, the Hartford is a financially strong carrier with great customer service and claims management.
Pros & Cons of The Hartford Car Insurance
- Member benefits
- Senior focus
- Claim satisfaction
- Negative customer reviews
- Limitations for non-AARP members
Best for Customer Service
With strong approval ratings across the board from J.D. Power, Amica is a solid choice for car insurance.
Amica’s customer service ratings are consistently high, for both their auto policies and other lines of insurance.
Amica’s car insurance policies come with low premiums and all the coverage features you’d expect from a top-tier provider, as well as Platinum Choice Auto.
This comprehensive package provides benefits like deductible-free glass repair, identity theft detection, and great rental car compensation.
Pros & Cons of Amica Car Insurance
- Phenomenal claims satisfaction
- Loyalty discounts
- Platinum Choice benefits
- Limited driver discounts
11. American Family
Best for Bundling
American Family might not be as big of a household name as others on the list, but it’s one to keep in mind, especially if you’re looking for multi-policy discounts.
American Family offers a wide range of policies, with loads of discounts and ways to save on coverage.
Tracking with the competition, American Family has a Know Your Drive app, which rewards you for applying and driving safely.
Though some complain the claims process is slow-moving, customers give American Family generally positive reviews.
Pros & Cons of American Family Car Insurance
- Selection of discounts
- Multi-policy option
- Customer service
- Average performance across the board
Best for Policy Options
Farmers is on the rise in the car insurance industry, receiving some of the highest ratings from J.D. Power for its claims management.
The company sells a range of insurance products, and their auto policies are easy to tailor to your coverage needs with options like rideshare protection.
Farmers is hailed for its great customer service, online experience, and 24/7 support.
Pros & Cons of Farmers Car Insurance
- Online policy management
- Claims filing
- Varied customer service ratings
- Higher costs
Best Northeastern Provider
A lesser known provider, NJM is a fantastic option for car insurance… if you live in one of the three states it serves.
NJM is active in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, offering residents of these states a wonderful specialized customer experience.
Policyholders can benefit from a solid lineup of discounts, on top of rates that are low to begin with.
Pros & Cons of NJM Car Insurance
- Impressive discounts
- Low rates
- Phenomenal customer service
- Limited to NJ, PA, and CT
- Average online experience
Best Comprehensive Coverage
If you’re looking for comprehensive car insurance at rates you can afford, Erie is your go-to.
But like NJM, its coverage area is limited. Erie car insurance is only available in the District of Columbia, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
If you live in those states, you can expect great claims and customer service, based on J.D. Power rankings.
You’ll also get below average rates with a rate lock feature, and access to several types of insurance
Pros & Cons of Erie Car Insurance
- Low cost
- Rate lock
- Excellent customer experience
- No app
- Limited availability
Best for Safe Drivers
If you’re an accident-free driver, you’ll benefit most from Travelers car insurance, thanks to Intellidrive, the company’s app.
One of the biggest auto insurance companies on the market, Travelers offers rewarding multi-policy options and discounts that can drop rates well below average.
Travelers is another great option if you’re looking for customer support in-person as opposed to all online.
Pros & Cons of Travelers Car Insurance
- Safe-driver rewards
- Great discounts
- Agent interaction
- Average consumer ratings
Best with Independent Agents
You might not have heard of Auto-Owners, but the highly rated company has been in business for over a century.
Unique from some, Auto-Owners works solely with local independent agents, so you put the task of getting quotes and coverage into an agent’s hands.
Auto-Owners offers a reasonably priced range of coverage options, with particularly notable discounts for students who leave their cars at home while attending university, as well as those who maintain good grades.
Auto-Owners offers homeowners, car, business, and life insurance policies.
Pros & Cons of Auto-Owners Car Insurance
- A++ from A.M. Best
- Independent, not captive agents
- Only available in 26 states
- Difficult to manage policy online
Best for Customization
With Liberty Mutual as its parent company, Safeco is a name you can depend on to pay out your claims as promised.
Safeco offers users a solid online experience, with a resourceful app, easy to navigate website, and Alexa integration.
It stands out most for its customizable policies, though. Safeco offers plenty of built-in and add-on features, with a unique first aid reimbursement guarantee if you’re involved in a covered accident.
You can also protect against lots of particular losses in the case of a vehicle theft, like CDs, sound equipment, and other personal property.
Pros & Cons of Safeco Car Insurance
- Additional coverage
- App and website
- First aid reimbursement
- Average claims satisfaction
18. Mercury Insurance
Best Cheap Basic Coverage
If getting the lowest rates is the name of your game, Mercury Insurance is a name you should get to know better.
Mercury offers considerably low premiums across the map, with especially great rates for young drivers.
The catch is that Mercury only offers the most basic levels of coverage, without some of the exceptional add-ons and level of customer experience you might get with a costlier big name brand.
Pros & Cons of Mercury Car Insurance
- Simple coverage options
- Low rates
- Great benefits for young drivers
- Subpar customer service
- Slow claim filing
- Limited policy options
How to Find the Best Car Insurance Provider
A lot of factors go into picking the right car insurance policy. While the cost of coverage should be one of the driving factors, there’s often more to the decision than simply choosing the lowest rate.
Here are a few factors to consider in your decision:
While a quote might look promising on the outside, you have to look at what’s behind the number presented to you.
Be sure that the policy is actually equipped to provide the protection you need, looking especially at:
- Type of coverage
- Policy limits
Last, be sure to check for availability. Some companies only offer coverage in certain states, and some policy features might not be available where you are.
While cost shouldn’t be the only factor you consider, it’s central to picking the right company and coverage.
Unlike other types of insurance, car insurance often provides drivers with discounts that can amount to major savings.
These discounts can be related to your career, performance at school, driving record, vehicle safety features, and the number of policies you purchase.
As you can see from the list of companies above, some providers offer more discounts than others. Make sure to go with a carrier that rewards you where it counts.
While you’ll hopefully never have to make a claim, accidents happen. When they do, you need to be sure your insurance company will come through quickly and efficiently.
Take the time to explore some of the informational resources in the next section before you lock in coverage to ensure you’re choosing a company with satisfied customers.
You can also reach out to the company for yourself to learn more about their claims process, which will let you in on the level of customer service you might expect as a policyholder.
Company Ratings and Reviews
When you purchase any kind of insurance policy, you need to be able to count on the company to follow through when the unexpected happens and you have to rely on your policy.
One of the best indicators of a company’s financial strength and claims-paying ability is credit ratings.
World-renowned agencies like A.M. Best assign scores to insurance companies indicating their overall strength and likelihood of upholding their financial obligations.
As you might guess, A-level companies lead the pack, and it’s important to work with a company exhibiting excellent financial strength.
With car insurance in particular, J.D. Power is an invaluable source of knowledge.
The J.D. Power U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study takes a comprehensive look at customer satisfaction, assigning simple-to-understand scores to all of the top car insurance companies.
Each company is then designated as:
- Among the best
- Better than most
- About average, or
- The rest
Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau is another sign of credibility and customer satisfaction. The BBB assigns scores based on factors like a company’s transparency, communication with clients, and resolution of complaints.
The BBB also provides insight into customer’s perspectives and the company’s response, allowing you to see customer complaints and how they were handled.
Also note that a company doesn’t have to be BBB-accredited to be a great provider, it does add another level of credibility.
Reviews can provide further insight into a car insurance company’s merit.
This could include sites that compile user reviews and scores, like Consumer Reports, or more comprehensive reviews of individual companies on financial sites.
While it’s important to explore a company’s website on your own, reviews can give a good overview and help you determine whether or not a carrier has what you’re looking for and is worth your time.
In compiling our list of the top car insurance companies, we used many of the metrics above.
The main areas we analyzed include:
- Policy features
- Financial strength
- Online resources
- Agent interaction
- Consumer satisfaction
We incorporated ratings from the Better Business Bureau, J.D. Power, and A.M. Best in our assessment, as well as consumer reviews and data from each company’s website.
Types of Car Insurance Coverage
Each state has its own laws about what type of car insurance a driver must carry.
So it’s important to understand all of your coverage options as you explore car insurance companies.
Here’s a quick overview of the types of coverage you’ll find, and what each one enompasses:
- Liability: Bodily injury and property damage liability shields you from the other person’s medical bills and damages when you are the party at fault.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist: If the other driver involved doesn’t have insurance, or it isn’t adequate, this coverage kicks in for your medical bills.
- Collision: Whether your accident involves a tree, a building or another car, collision coverage helps with the cost of fixing or replacing your car, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive: This coverage helps out if your car is damaged by natural causes like fire or a storm, as well as cases of vandalism and theft, after you pay a deductible.
- Medical: When you and your passengers are injured in an accident, medical coverage can pay for the cost of your injuries, whether you’re at fault or not.
- GAP: Some carriers offer Guaranteed Asset Protection coverage to bridge the gap between your car’s current value and the amount you still owe on it.
Again, be sure to check with your state to make sure you have at least the minimum amount of coverage required.
How to Save Money on Car Insurance
When you buy car insurance, keep the following tips in mind to save big on coverage:
Evaluate your needs
While you might be tempted to only buy the minimum level of coverage required by your state, carefully consider your needs and ability to pay for damages beyond that coverage if you were involved in an accident.
Conversely, before you add on every type of coverage you can, take a look at your budget and consider which forms of protection you actually need.
Look for discounts
Auto insurance discounts can save you a significant amount of money on premiums, so be sure to buy a policy from a company that offers them.
While you might not be eligible for every discount, at the very least look for discounts for things like automated payments or paperless billing. Take advantage of apps that track safe driving to get even more savings.
You might even be able to get a discount with certain providers through your employer, school, or professional organization.
The car you drive can have a big impact on premiums as well.
The insurance company will consider the car’s age, safety features, how much it would cost to repair or replace, and even the odds of it being stolen.
Whether you opt for a new or used vehicle, take the time to see how much it would cost to insure.
As you can see in the list above, many of the nation’s best auto insurance companies also carry other lines of insurance.
If you’re in the market for multiple insurance policies, see if the company you’re applying with offers any multi-policy discounts.
While bundling coverage doesn’t guarantee lower rates than if you bought separate policies from other providers, there’s a chance the discount could be worth it.
The only way to know is to compare quotes.
Boost your credit score
One of the best ways to get lower premiums for car insurance is to make all of your payments on time.
Insurance companies use your credit score as the basis of your premiums for car insurance.
Good credit suggests you’re less of a risk to the insurance company and could save you hundreds of dollars a year.
Don’t miss any payments, keep a low balance on your credit cards, and don’t take on more than you can handle.
Compare Quotes from Top Providers
Don’t settle for coverage from the first company you encounter. The difference in cost can vary widely between carriers.
The best way to get the lowest rates is to compare quotes from multiple providers.
With a few clicks and basic answers about you and your vehicle, you can see what rates you’re eligible for from top providers.