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10 Best Car Insurance Companies of 2021 By Money

Not only have we picked some of the best car insurance choices on the market, we’ve also gathered insights on the industry as a whole, including trends and how premiums are determined. Scroll down to learn more on how to save money on your policy.

Money.com Research Team: Noel Dávila Joan Pabón Heidi Rivera Last Updated: February 9, 2021
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If you were to move accross town, your car insurance premium could get cheaper or more expensive depending on your new zip code.

Rates are impacted by the number of insurance claims in a particular area!

If you were to move accross town, your car insurance premium could get cheaper or more expensive depending on your new zip code.

TIP:Take your zip code into account when you shop for car insurance

How old you are affects your rates!

Youths, statistically, are more likely to get in an accident, while older age is associated with slower reflexes — each increasing the individuals’ rates.

TIP:Mitigate these rate increases by looking for discounts when you shop around

Save by bundling your Insurance!

Some companies can offer discounts up to 10% on the total cost of home and auto insurance by bundling the policies.

TIP:When you shop around, take a look the insurers’ bundle packages

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Money’s Best Auto Insurance Companies Top Picks

  • Company
    Specialty
  • Best Car Insurance Package

    • Allows you to add full glass coverage, identity fraud monitoring, and Prestige rental coverage
    • Advantage Points program lets you earn points to reduce or eliminate your deductible, or keep rates from going up after a claim
    • Second in J.D. Power’s overall customer satisfaction index rating

    Amica Mutual stands out with its most robust car insurance package, Platinum Choice Auto. This policy includes all the standard coverage options, and up to $5,000 for rental reimbursement with no daily limit, full glass coverage, and identity fraud monitoring.

    Perks that no other company offers include no-cost airbag replacement after it deploys, lock replacement in the event of stolen keys, $1,000 for bail bonds, and wage reimbursement if you’re required to appear in court.

    Platinum Choice Auto also includes Advantage Points, a program where policyholders earn rewards for good driving, renewing policies, and referring others. Advantage Points can also reduce or even eliminate your deductible. It’s worth noting that some features vary by state.

    Amica Mutual has the second spot in J.D. Power’s overall customer satisfaction index ranking. And with an A+ rating from A.M. Best, this mutual insurer has a strong financial strength.

    3rd Party Ratings

    A.M. Best Rating
    A+
    JD Power Rating
    Highest Overall
  • Best For Specialty Policies

    • Drive Safe and Steer Clear programs can save you money for safe driving practices
    • State Farm’s rental car and travel expenses coverage pays for meals, transportation and lodging if you’re 50+ miles from your home
    • Provides rideshare insurance in most states

    State Farm offers great savings on standard policies and a selection of specialty policies few other companies can match. For example, if you own a classic automobile or a sports car, are a young driver, or plan on renting a car, there’s a State Farm policy that’s tailor-made for your car insurance needs.

    The company also has programs designed to help motorists save. With their Drive Safe & Save program, drivers can pay up to 30% less after having their driving practices monitored and analyzed. Likewise, State Farm’s Steer Clear program lets drivers under 25 complete a training course that may result in a reduced premium.

    As the largest car insurer in the U.S., State Farm has an above-average customer satisfaction ranking of 881 with J.D. Power and a superior A++ rating from A.M. Best.

    3rd Party Ratings

    A.M. Best Rating
    A++
    JD Power Rating
    Above Average
    (878-1,000)
  • Best for Discount Availability

    • Guaranteed Value™ coverage pays out an “agreed value” if your car is totaled, less any deductible
    • Discount categories include youth, safety, loyalty, and policy-based options
    • First major insurer to offer a discount for alternative-fuel vehicles

    Farmers Insurance offers a broad range of discounts and other ways to save on car insurance premiums. For starters, those who offer essential services — such as doctors, nurses, firefighters, teachers, and police officers — are eligible for a premium reduction.

    There are also discounts for homeowners, good students, cars with airbags, drivers with 2+ vehicles, and teenagers whose parents have a good driving history. Eligibility for these discounts and their size varies depending on your place of residence and other factors.

    Farmers Insurance offers another way to save through its innovative Signal program, where the company monitors your driving through a mobile app. After ten safe trips, you’ll receive a 5% discount on your policy. Once you renew the auto policy, that discount may increase up to 15%, depending on the score calculated by the app.

    Farmers received an A- rating from A.M. Best and a high J.D. Power customer satisfaction ranking of 872 on a 1,000-point scale.

    3rd Party Ratings

    A.M. Best Rating
    A-
    JD Power Rating
    High (865/1,000)
  • Best Quoting Process

    • Intellidrive program can reduce rates by as much as 20%
    • Features two accident forgiveness plans
    • Optional Premier New Car Replacement coverage bundles new car replacement, loan or lease gap coverage, and a glass deductible

    In five minutes or less, Travelers can give you a quote using basic personal and car information. You don’t even have to provide a driver's license number. If you request your auto insurance quote while you’re still insured with another company, you’ll receive up to a 10% discount.

    Travelers also offers policyholders a chance to save money through its IntelliDrive program. If you agree to have your driving monitored for 90 days using a smartphone app, you could end up paying less in your policy’s first term. Upon renewal, if you completed the program safely, you may receive an additional discount of up to 20%.

    Travelers offer all the standard car insurance policies required by state law, ranging from bodily injury liability and collision coverage, to medical bill payments and comprehensive insurance. In addition, the company also offers a long list of supplemental coverages which include roadside assistance and rental car coverage.

    Travelers has a superior A++ rating from A.M. Best, and their J.D. Power overall customer satisfaction index ranking is 861 — based on a 1,000-point scale.

    3rd Party Ratings

    A.M. Best Rating
    A++
    JD Power Rating
    High (865/1,000)
  • Best for Payment Flexibility

    • Snapshot program adjusts insurance rates when you renew, depending on your driving habits
    • Name Your Price feature helps consumers customize coverage to their budget
    • Comparison tool allows you to easily contrast Progressive’s policy with competitors offering the same coverage

    Progressive offers you the most control when it comes to how much you want to pay for your auto policy. It does this through its well-known Name Your Price tool, which neatly reverses the usual method of getting an insurance quote.

    You first enter some basic information (address, vehicle make and model, owned or leased) and state how much you can spend. Progressive will then provide you with available policy options that may be within your budget. You can also compare their quotes to their competitors so you’re aware of other alternatives and their possible cost.

    Another feature that’s geared toward helping drivers save is Progressive’s Loyalty Reward program, in which every policyholder is automatically enrolled. The program’s perks include small and large accident forgiveness, and even continuous insurance discounts. It’s important to note that some of these perks have some requirements. For example, to qualify for large accident forgiveness, you must be a Progressive customer for at least 5 years, and be accident-free for three years.

    Progressive has garnered a J.D. Power overall customer satisfaction ranking of 856 (based on a 1,000-point scale), as well as a superior A+ rating from A.M. Best.

    3rd Party Ratings

    A.M. Best Rating
    A+
    JD Power Rating
    High (865/1,000)

Better Than Most Auto Insurance Companies We Considered

  • Best for Affordability

    GEICO has a reputation for being one of the most affordable car insurance companies and the second-largest provider in the U.S. They’re also one of only two companies with a dedicated discount for military members.

    Despite its size, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners recorded fewer than 300 complaints against GEICO in 2019 — a very low number. For context, the national average Complaint Ratio for Private Passenger auto is 1.00; anything above that is considered high. GEICO has a ratio of just 0.74.

  • Best For Policy Breakdown

    Nationwide offers its policyholders a free annual car insurance assessment called the On Your Side Review. Its purpose is to help consumers further understand their policy and benefits, receive all applicable discounts, and make changes to their policies after major life events.

  • Best for Discount Bundling

    Like many other auto insurers, Liberty Mutual offers various discounts. Unlike the others, however, it doesn't limit the number of discounts you may be eligible for. This feature may reduce your premium substantially. The company’s website also provides a useful tool in the form of a coverage calculator that may help point you in the right direction.

  • Best Telematics Program

    Allstate offers policyholders a chance to save on their premiums by driving safely with its Drivewise program, easily activated on their mobile app. Additionally, if you’re trying to understand the confusing ins and outs of car insurance, the company’s website provides drivers with a wealth of information, helpful articles, and videos. Allstate also has high social media responsiveness on platforms like Twitter, replying directly to users on weekends.

  • Best Comparison Tool

    This is an excellent comparison tool if you want to see a variety of car insurance quotes from different providers, side by side. QuoteWizard also claims that the information they provide is geared toward helping drivers save on premiums, by helping them pick the best car insurance rates. This tool might be most beneficial for drivers who want to double-check information from other sources before committing to one insurance company.

The Auto Insurance Industry

Important Things to Know

Auto insurance is a form of financial protection for you and your vehicle, against theft, collisions, and/or liability. It’s regulated at the state level, so your policy’s minimum liability limits will depend on your local laws. All states, with the exception of New Hampshire and Virginia, require drivers to buy car insurance or at least pay some sort of fee if they’re uninsured.

To assess risk and determine the premium you’ll pay, insurance companies use a wide range of information, like the kind of car you drive, your age, marital status, and whether you own a home, among others.

With so many insurance options and influencing factors, getting quotes and purchasing a policy online can be overwhelming.

“When you go online and there is a lot of terminology you're not familiar with, you may end up buying things you don't need,” said Patricia Pérez, president of American Insurance Brokers. “Auto insurance is not cookie-cutter. It depends on a lot of different things. But insurance agents should have the ability to educate the insured and show them what's available,” she added.

What Drives Premiums Up

Underwriters assess risk to determine the chances of a policyholder filing a claim in the future. There are other factors beyond auto and driver risk that can affect a vehicle’s insurance premiums, including:

There are also the legal costs you may incur as well as the fees you could be required to pay. The worse the offense, the higher the increase. Not wearing a seat belt, for example, could result in a 5.8% increase. A more serious offense, like a DUI, will increase your premiums up to 71%.

What Determines Your Auto Insurance Premium?

Underwriters assess risk to determine the chances of a policyholder filing a claim in the future. There are other factors beyond auto and driver risk that can affect car insurance premiums, including:

Driving record

A clean driving record without speeding tickets and accidents will keep your premiums low.

Type of car

Everything about your car, from its anti-theft technology to horsepower, will be taken into consideration to determine your premium.

  • Car usage

    If you don’t drive often, there are fewer chances you’ll be involved in an accident. The opposite is also true.
  • Place of residence

    Where you live is a big factor, especially the vehicle theft rates in your area.
  • Age

    Inexperienced drivers below the age of 25 usually pay higher premiums.
  • Gender

    Statistically speaking, women are involved in fewer car accidents than men.
  • Credit score

    Whether you have good credit or a poor score may be viewed as a reflection of your responsibility or lack thereof.

Source: Insurance Information Institute

How You Can Save Money On Auto Insurance

Bundle Insurance Policies

You can bundle policies under one company to save an average of 8% on your combined premiums, depending on the insurer. Typically, drivers combine their car insurance with their homeowners or renters policy.

While having two policies under one roof can be convenient, we still urge you to shop around and make sure you’re actually saving by bundling.

Raise Your Deductible

A deductible is an amount you will pay out of pocket in the event of a collision, before your insurance pays the rest. Deductibles are typically set at $500, but just doubling it to $1,000 can save you 13%. It may be a worthwhile gamble if you don’t drive a lot and aren't accident-prone.

Raising your deductible can be a good way to save money — just be sure you’re making a well-informed decision. A 2018 study showed that 60% of people aged 22 to 37 have put away less than $1,000 in savings. If you’re in that category, then having a high-deductible policy might not be the best money-saving option for you.

Review Your Policy Regularly

Since car insurance premiums are on the rise in many states, reassessing your current policy every year before renewal can ensure you’re getting the type and level of coverage you need and can afford. You don’t even have to wait till your current policy is about to expire, you can shop around at any time.

A study found that in 2019, 72% of drivers said they would switch insurers in order to save money. If you were to find a policy that’s better suited to your needs and want to make the jump, make sure to check your current provider’s cancelation policy. You may be getting a better deal elsewhere, but at what cost? Get all information you need to make a well-informed decision.

Just like auto insurance policies are constantly changing, personal circumstances are also subject to change. Maybe you reached an age where you’re eligible for certain discounts, or perhaps you're considering adding another car?

Whatever the situation, take a close look at your insurance policy and make sure it’s still working for you. If it isn’t, then maybe you should be looking for companies that can offer you more affordable rates. If so, our guide to cheap car insurance is here to help.

COVID-19 and the Car Insurance Industry

Just as with other insurance products, the car insurance industry has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Since states went into lockdown in March, and many at-office professions had to shift to working at home, daily driving and commuting came to a halt, leading to fewer drivers on the road, and in turn, fewer accidents.

According to TransUnion, a total of 72% of Americans either have used their vehicle less since the beginning of the pandemic, or haven’t driven at all. An additional 35% of drivers surveyed said that they would likely make changes to their vehicle ownership and/or use, while 37% said that they’d prefer to keep on working at home post-pandemic.

With fewer drivers and lower accident rates, car insurance companies have had to adapt. Since the car insurance industry is prospective, they estimate all auto insurance rates at least a year in advance. As there wasn’t any way for the industry to foresee the pandemic, the rates companies were charging didn’t reflect the actual situations of their customers.

Though premiums haven’t dropped in most cases, most car insurance companies have taken to offering discounts, credit and/or refunds in hopes to keep their clients happy. This trend is said to continue for the foreseeable future.

Where Can the Market Go?

Although Covid-19 has increased the uncertainty of the car insurance industry’s market, the Deloitte Center for Financial Services has forecast a decline of 6.2% in personal car insurance premiums written in 2020, and a 3.5% decline for commercial cars. This would lead to a return of between 10 and 25% in premiums to customers, up until the number of drivers on the roads return to normalcy.

Additionally, if premium discounts continue after 2020, Deloitte estimates that personal premium volume will decrease in single digits below pre-pandemic levels until 20203. For commercial cars, if commercial decline continues, premiums will continue to be at pre-pandemic levels until 2022.

Why Luxury Vehicles and Sports Cars Cost More to Insure

Due to their higher costs and the risk they may represent, luxury vehicles and sports cars pay more in insurance premiums. Most of these cars are equipped with powerful engines able to reach high speeds in seconds. Underwriters may view these features as a potential risk. Repair costs are also taken into account — and as expected with high-end cars, they’re pricey.

It turns out that between luxury vehicles and sports cars, the owners of the latter will always pay more because they’re considered high-risk. Lots of horsepower, expensive parts, and theft rates are just some of the factors that drive up these premiums.

“For those who own sports cars and place them in our marketplace, we find that their premiums tend to be 10 to 50% higher than for similarly valued non-sports vehicles,” said Matt Sweetwood, CEO at LUXnow, a community marketplace that rents luxury cars.

New cars are also more expensive to insure because they may be equipped with the latest technology that might be costly to repair in the event of an accident.

“I think the car does have an influence on what the insurer is charging for an insurance premium,” said David Zuby, chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “Many insurers are looking very carefully at how a car's characteristics, whether that's the fitment of safety systems or other aspects of it, affect risk and then take that risk into their insurance cost calculations,” he added.

New Technologies Save Lives but Not that Much Money

Reverse cameras and emergency automatic braking systems are just some examples of the latest tech being incorporated into new vehicles. Since these devices help prevent auto accidents, you’d expect that insuring these tech-heavy cars would cost less.

However, as mentioned above, more sophisticated and technologically advanced systems cost more to repair, and so premiums don’t really go down.

What is Telematics?

Telematics monitor a car via GPS, using smartphones or physical devices plugged into the vehicle to record speed, distance, braking, acceleration, among others. This technology is used to provide insight into a person’s driving habits behind the wheel as well as information regarding the car’s maintenance needs.

Telematics can also measure fuel efficiency, notify another party of a collision, or dispatch emergency assistance if needed.

“Car manufacturers are now building telematics into new vehicles as standard [equipment], as the [...] data becomes increasingly popular in the industry,” said Gunnar Peters, Head of Telematics for Admiral Group.

How Much Can You Save with Telematics?

Some industry analysts expect that advanced tech may eventually save drivers money. Kevin Aries, Global Product Success leader for fleet management company Verizon Connect, believes that collecting data from vehicle telematics will ultimately drive premium pricing down.

A number of car insurance companies give drivers an upfront discount on their premium just for signing up for a telematics program. If the data shows that they’re being safe drivers, the discount may increase up to 15% upon renewal of the policy.

Another use of telematics lies in pay-per-mile policies, which base premiums on vehicle usage. If you don’t drive often or have short commutes, this kind of policy could help you save on your car insurance. How much you save will depend on the kind of monitoring program you sign up for with your auto insurer.

Car Insurance FAQs

How does car insurance coverage work?

Regulated at a state level, car insurance covers your car’s repair expenses after an accident, as well as medical bills for you or any passenger. Also, if you’re at fault, it can also cover repair and personal injury protection for costs you may have caused others.

What are the different types of car insurance coverages?

There are six types of car insurance coverage: liability, comprehensive collision, uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist, and personal injury protection (PIP).

Each policy covers specific aspects of car insurance. Liability, for example, pays for any legal fees, property damage liability, and/or medical payments if you’re at fault. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage protects you if you’re in an accident caused by another driver and they have little or no insurance.

What is Full Coverage?

What car insurance lenders call “full coverage” is the union between a collision and a comprehensive policy. Although these two policies are optional, cars that have both policies are considered “fully insured,” since liability coverage is required by law in almost every state.

What documents do I need to buy car insurance?

There are two documents you should have in hand: your driver’s licence, and your vehicle’s registration documents. If more than one person will be driving your car, you’ll also need to bring copies of their driver’s license. Also, if your vehicle is already insured, you should bring a copy of your existing insurance’s declaration page.

Will my car insurance increase if I am in an accident?

This all depends on your policy's fine print. That said, if you are the at-fault party, there’s a high probability that your premium will go up.

How long does an accident stay on your auto insurance record?

It’s common for accidents to stay on your record for a total of three years, starting the moment the accident happened.

What’s the risk of having a bare-bones policy?

If the damages of an accident where you're at fault exceed the amounts stipulated in your policy, you will be held liable and have to pay the difference. You should always consider additional coverage, since, if you don’t have the resources to pay these expenses out-of-pocket, you might be putting assets like your home at risk.

What does it mean when I see numbers like 50/100/50 on my auto policy?

These numbers represent limits to your insurance, meaning the total amount that your car insurer will cover on your behalf. The numbers are in the thousands and are usually ordered the following way: Bodily injury per person ($50k), bodily injury per accident ($100k), and property damage ($50k).

Methodology

In order to find the best car insurance companies, we vetted a total of 23 carriers.

We analyzed data such as market share, the number of complaints filed with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for private passenger car insurance in 2019, and the overall ratio of those complaints compared to the industry average, which is 1.00.

More Details

We started our research into the best car insurance companies in the nation with a list of 23 of the top auto insurers, featured both in the NAIC’s 2019 Property/Casualty Market Share report for the Private Passenger Auto category and J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction study.

We evaluated these companies based on their number of direct premiums written over the last year, their A.M. Best rating, market share, and cumulative market share for private passenger car insurance in the U.S.

Additionally, we looked up each of the companies and their respective subsidiaries in the NAIC's database to get their total number of complaints under the private passenger car insurance category.

We then proceeded to add the share of complaints percentage of each one, as well as the share of premiums percentage within the U.S market. Finally, we divided the total share of complaints by the share of premiums to get the complaint ratio percentage, discarding companies with a complaint ratio of over 1.00%, since that is the national average according to the NAIC. Once we evaluated all of these factors, we were able to narrow our list to 15 companies.

We then did further research into our preliminary picks, looking into their coverage levels, the ease of their claims process, customer support, deductibles, complimentary perks, and special features.

Due to state laws requiring minimum coverage, like liability insurance for drivers, most car insurance companies offer the same types of coverages: liability, comprehensive, and collision. That means that auto insurers have to differentiate themselves through supplemental policies, features, and add-ons that enhance their policyholders’ coverage and protection. We paid special attention to these additional features.

After taking into account all the above factors, we cut our list down to five top car insurance companies. We also put together a list of an additional five companies that provide noteworthy services.

We ranked the companies on our list based on the following factors:

Financial Stability

To verify the financial strength of our list of companies, we relied on AM Best ratings to shed some light on the matter. We also used NAIC’s 2019 data to evaluate any given company’s market share. If a company’s numbers weren’t up to par, they were automatically eliminated.

While insurance marketplaces don’t have financial strength ratings, they can still serve as useful tools for drivers looking for competitive premiums. When considering a company that does not underwrite their own policies, make sure to look into the ratings of the insurer with which they’re partnering.

Discounts

One of the best ways of lowering your insurance premium is to qualify for any available discounts. Most car insurance companies offer discounts of up to 30% to eligible policyholders. Discount percentages vary depending on location and some companies limit the number of discounts you can apply to your premium.

We took a close look at the discounts offered by the companies we researched. Many of them allow you to bundle different types of insurance policies together to pay less on premiums. For drivers who are only shopping for car insurance, there are plenty of other savings opportunities depending on your profession, the kind of car you drive, how well you drive, etc.

We favored companies with a wide range of alternatives that could result in a lower premium for drivers.

Technology

More and more car insurance companies are employing the use of new technologies to remain relevant in an ever-changing industry, but also to provide better services. Most of the companies on this list use automation to provide quotes in a matter of minutes.

Likewise, claims processes typically begin online or through mobile apps. These advances offer convenience if you need to file a claim after business hours.

Telematics is also playing an increasingly important role in car insurance, with drivers often given an upfront discount on their premium if they opt for a telematics policy. If the data indicates they’re good drivers, more discounts may become available to them over time.

Technology has become an indispensable part of every insurance provider's quote and claims processes. Car insurance companies that use these technologies ranked higher on our list.

Customer Experience

We paid special attention to each company's claims satisfaction ratings based on J.D. Power’s latest report (2019), to get a better idea of which companies have a greater probability of fulfilling a claim to the policyholder’s satisfaction.

Accessibility was another big factor. The ways in which a company provides support is telling of their dedication to their clientele.

With that in mind, we looked into the different platforms through which car insurance companies provided the best customer support. Most offer assistance through phone, email, and agents. Others went further by providing live online chat, 24/7 support via mobile app or call center, and social media responsiveness after business hours and during weekends.

Accidents are unexpected, so being insured with a company that’s available around the clock could be more of a necessity than a convenience for many. We ranked these practices highly.