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- The Best Car Insurance Companies For 2020
Trying to find the best auto insurance can be frustrating. To help you get a clear understanding of the car insurance market, we scored more than 30 popular companies based on the following factors: Financial strength, Availability, Customer service (including J.D. Power surveys), Costs and discounts, Coverage, and Technology.
In this article, we compare the most popular car insurance companies, then tell you which of them offers the best coverage options. Let’s take a closer look at the 12 best auto insurance providers.
In this article:
Best Car Insurance Company Comparison (Top 12)
In the table below, we compare the top 12 auto insurance providers.
To reach our rating, we scored each of the 30+ companies based on Financial strength (AM Best rating), Availability, Customer service, Costs and discounts, Coverage, and Technology.
Below, you'll find a summary of these findings for the 12 best car insurance companies:
USAA: Best Auto Insurance Company For Military Families
Best for Military Families
Our best overall pick: Offers great customer service to military members and their 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 A.M. 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.
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Power’s 2019 Insurance Shopping Study. That’s no easy feat, and it means USAA knocks customer service out of the park.
Coverage options with USAA include:
|Bodily Injury Liability and Property Damage Liability (BI/PD)||BI/PD insurance is required by most states. It covers the other party if you cause an accident.|
|Comprehensive||Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car not caused by an accident.|
Examples are damage from hail, floods, vandalism, and theft.
|Collision||Collision insurance covers damage to your car from an accident or rollover. This coverage also compensates you for the market value of your car if it is totaled.|
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)||PIP insurance covers medical payments and lost wages no matter who is at fault.
It can be required in no-fault states like Florida.
|Medical Payments/Extended Benefits||Similar to PIP, Medical Payments (MedPay) covers hospital bills, while Extended Benefits add coverage for lost wages and death benefits.|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist BI/PD||Uninsured/underinsured bodily injury and property damage options cover you if a driver without insurance or with too little insurance injures you or damages your car.|
|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, collectibles, 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.
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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. 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.
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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.
Geico: Best Auto Insurance Company Overall
Best Company Overall
Our 2nd favorite and best for those ineligible for USAA: Offers competitive pricing and great coverage.
For the majority of drivers, there’s Geico.
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:
In our research, we found Geico to be a great 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
- Five years accident-free
- Having an anti-theft system
- Customer loyalty
The company wrote over $33 billion in car insurance premiums in 2018 and has an A++ rating from AM Best.
While Geico offers a somewhat standard experience according to J.D. Power’s shopping survey, the company came in fourth place overall in J.D.
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Power’s 2019 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.
Find out which providers go above and beyond to offer the best coverage.
If you can’t get USAA, you’ll probably find the best auto insurance rates from Geico.
Progressive Auto Insurance
Great for Discount Bundles
Our 3rd best overall pick: Offers a number of ways to get a discount, including the Snapshot tool or bundle options.
In third 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’s what you can get with the company today:
|Standard Coverages||Progressive offers the standard coverage options of BI/PD, comprehensive, collision, PIP, MedPay, and uninsured/underinsured BI/PD.|
|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 other 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.
In addition to the standard coverage options, we also like that Progressive stands out from other auto 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.
Additionally, Progressive’s Name Your Price® tool lets you start with your desired payment and view optimal insurance plans, which can save you time.
According to our research, Progressive performed very well across financial strength, availability, coverage, and technology.
However, the company had standard customer service satisfaction and overall cost ratings.
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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 the 2019 national average of $1,470.
In J.D. Power’s 2019 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.
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.
State Farm Auto Insurance
Most Popular Car Insurer in the U.S.
Our 4th pick: Most popular auto insurance company that services over 83 million policies.
State Farm is the largest auto insurer in the U.S.
with a market share of 17 percent, 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.
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However, the company was ranked average on J.D. Power’s Insurance Shopping Study.
With State Farm, you can get the following coverages:
|Standard Coverages||State Farm coverage includes BI/PD, comprehensive, collision, PIP, MedPay, and uninsured/underinsured BI/PD.|
|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 start, 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 Expenses||State Farm will pay up to $500 for food, lodging, and travel if you get in 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. 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.
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All that translates into a discount, which is why we think State Farm is a great option for young drivers.
- State Farm Pocket Estimator: 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 Steer Clear and Drive Safe & Save, State Farm gives discounts for the following:
- Accident-free for three years
- Defensive driving course
- Student away at school
- Claim-free for three years
- Anti-theft equipment
- Safe vehicle discount
- Multi-car discount
- Bundling auto with another 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 auto insurance options around.
AAA Auto Insurance
Most Trusted Brand
Our 5th favorite provider: Offers a variety of discounts and is made up of regional auto groups.
AAA car insurance 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 auto insurance:
|Standard Coverages||AAA car insurance plans also include the standard options of BI/PD, comprehensive, collision, PIP, MedPay, and uninsured/underinsured BI/PD.|
|Roadside Assistance||All AAA auto insurance policyholders are required to carry AAA roadside assistance coverage.
AAA’s roadside assistance program is extensive – higher membership levels include ID theft monitoring, home locksmith, 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||Guaranteed Asset Protection (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.
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Even though there are separate organizations, they all operate to a high standard.
For example, AM Best recently reaffirmed high financial ratings for a number of AAA’s companies. Additionally, the Auto Club of Southern California and CSAA Insurance Group both performed better than average on J.D. Power’s Insurance Shopping Study. Below are a few AAA auto insurance companies along with their reader scores from Consumer Reports (out of 100):
- Auto Club of Southern California: 86
- Auto Club Enterprises Insurance Group: 83
- Auto Club Insurance Company of Florida: 82
- CSAA Insurance Group: 79
- Auto Club Group: 79
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Why do I need car insurance?
State laws require insurance.
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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 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. With USAA, you can get up to a 10 percent discount when you bundle.
If you can’t get USAA, both Farmers Insurance and State Farm offer 10 percent discounts for bundling home and auto, while Progressive offers a 5 percent discount.
Which is the best auto insurance after a DUI?
After doing our homework, we think that Progressive is the best auto 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.