Our Top Picks for Best Auto Insurance of September 2021
- Amica Mutual - Best car insurance package
- Progressive - Best for customizable premiums
- State Farm - Best for young drivers
- Farmers - Best quote process
- Nationwide - Best policy breakdown
- GEICO - Best car insurance rates
- Allstate - Best usage-based insurance program
Best Car Insurance Reviews
- 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
- No rideshare insurance
- Not all features available nationwide
- Coverage is not available in Hawaii
Amica features one of the most robust car insurance packages, Platinum Choice Auto. This package 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.
Amica's Platinum Choice also includes credit monitoring, a $5,000 rental coverage maximum and new car replacement if your totaled car is under a year old and has fewer than 15,000 miles.
Beyond Platinum Choice Auto, Amica offers extensive coverage options with which to customize your auto insurance policy, including gap coverage and glass repair without a deductible.
Basic coverage options under Amica include personal injury protection, property damage, bodily injury liability and uninsured/underinsured motorists. Other policy options include auto loan/lease gap protection, comprehensive and collision coverage, roadside assistance and rental reimbursement.
Amica auto insurance discounts
- Bundling policies and insuring multiple vehicles
- Paperless payments, up-front premium payments and AutoPay
- Good driving habits: being claim-free for three years and taking a defensive driving course
- Young drivers: for completing a training program, students with good grades and full-time students away at school
- Having anti-theft devices, passive restraint or electronic stability features
- Loyalty discounts after two years of being insured
- Legacy discounts for drivers under 30 whose parents have been insured with Amica for at least 5 years
Amica auto insurance tools
- Mobile app: track claims, request roadside assistance, pay bills
- Car Connection tool for comparing prices on new and used cars
- Contractor Connect provides access to a network of contractors for home remodeling
- Personalized car insurance rates with Snapshot
- Pick your premium with the Name Your Price tool
- Compare quotes with Progressive's comparison tool
- Loyalty Reward program
- Pricing may vary depending on how you buy, whether online or over the phone with an insurance agent
- Discounts vary and are not available in all states
Progressive offers the most control when it comes to how much you want to pay for your auto insurance policy. It does this through its well-known Name Your Price tool, which neatly reverses the usual method of getting an insurance quote.
You only need to provide some basic information (address, vehicle make and model, owned or leased) and say how much you can spend and Progressive will show you policy options within your budget.
Coverage options with Progressive include liability, comprehensive, medical expenses, collision and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. You can also add roadside assistance, gap, rental car reimbursement, custom parts and rideshare coverage.
Progressive auto insurance discounts
- Combine your auto insurance policy with home, renters or life insurance
- Insure multiple vehicles
- Vehicle safety features such as anti-theft alarms
- Automatic and paperless payments
- Loyalty rewards by maintaining continuous coverage with Progressive
- Teen driver discounts: full-time students with good grades and students away from home
Progressive auto insurance tools
- Get coverage options within your budget with the Name Your Price tool
- Car insurance calculator based on your state and personal details
- Get personalized rates with Snapshot, a usage-based insurance program (not available in California or North Carolina)
- Mobile app: view your driving status, recent trips and ways to improve your driving
- Provides rideshare insurance in most states
- Save money with Drive Safe & Save and Steer Clear programs
- Travel expenses coverage
- Drive Safe & Save program not available in CA, MA or RI
State Farm offers great savings on standard policies and a selection of specialty policies for classic automobiles and sports cars offered by few other companies in the insurance industry.
If you have a young driver at home, you can take advantage of State Farm’s discounts for students with good grades or those studying away from home. There are also discounts of up to 20% available to those who complete a driving training program and maintain a clean driving record.
State Farm’s travel expenses coverage pays for meals, transportation (home or to your destination) and lodging if your vehicle is disabled 50+ miles from your home in an accident covered by your comprehensive or collision insurance. A return trip to pick up your car is also covered.
Additional coverage options from State Farm include liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist, medical payments, roadside assistance and rideshare (if you use your car for Uber or Lyft).
State Farm auto insurance discounts
- Bundling with renters, homeowner’s or life insurance policies
- Insuring multiple vehicles
- Drive Safe & Save telematics program rewards you for good driving habits
- Defensive driving courses (in select states)
- Vehicle safety features (seatbelt, airbags on older vehicles)
State Farm auto insurance tools
- Mobile app: pay bills, file claims, request roadside assistance, view ID cards and link your bank account to send money
- Make car reservations through Enterprise or Hertz or find a reliable auto repair shop
- Guaranteed Value coverage pays out an "agreed value" if your car is totaled
- Multiple discounts categories
- First major insurer to offer a discount for alternative-fuel vehicles
- Discount eligibility and size varies depending on your place of residence
- Does not offer gap insurance
Farmers offers a broad range of insurance products 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.
Farmers also provides multiple car and home insurance discounts for honorably discharged military members, veterans and active duty service members.
Farmers standard coverage options include liability, property damage, collision, comprehensive coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist, medical payments and personal injury protection. Additional coverage types include rideshare, loss of use, rental reimbursement and roadside assistance. Owners and collectors of classic vehicles will also appreciate Farmers' coverage of up to $750 on spare parts.
Farmers auto insurance discounts
- Bundling insurance policies and insuring multiple vehicles
- Student discounts for good grades and studying away from home
- Automatic, paperless and on-time payments
- Shared family car (not available in California)
- Anti-theft, anti-lock brake and passive restraint systems
- Hybrid/electric vehicles or those powered by other alternative fuels (only in California)
- Discounts for military members and other essential service professionals
Farmers auto insurance tools
- Mobile app: chat with an agent, request roadside assistance, get a quote
- Specialty insurance options like motorcycle and boat insurance
- Get discounts with the SmartRide safe driving app
- Reduce your cost based on how many miles you drive
- Get up to $500 cash bonus with the purchase or lease of a qualified new car or vehicle
- SmartRide and SmartMiles discount availability vary per state and coverage selected
- Accident forgiveness not available in all states
Nationwide offers its policyholders a free annual car insurance assessment called On Your Side Review. This allows customers to make changes to their insurance policies after major life events and get applicable discounts.
The insurer offers common coverage options such as collision and comprehensive insurance, gap insurance, uninsured motorist, bodily injury liability and roadside assistance, as well as policies designed specifically for young drivers and classic car owners.
Its list of discounts is a bit more limited than those of other companies, but you can lower your monthly premiums by bundling insurance policies, setting up direct payments, driving fewer miles and staying accident-free.
Nationwide auto insurance discounts
- Save up to $646 when bundling auto and home insurance
- Vehicle safety and anti-theft devices
- Automatic and paperless billing
- Safe driver rewards for customers who go 5 years without major violations or at-fault accidents
- Complete a defensive driving course
- Good student discounts for drivers aged 16 to 24
Nationwide auto insurance tools
- Mobile app: manage insurance policies, make payments, file and track claims and request roadside assistance
- SmartMiles, a pay-per-mile car insurance program for low-mileage drivers
- SmartRide, a usage-based car insurance program for safe drivers
- Pay bills or request roadside assistance with the Mobile app
- Coverage calculator
- Discounts available to federal and military employees, seniors and students
- Accident Forgiveness not available in CA, CT and MA
- Does not offer gap insurance
GEICO has a reputation for being one of the most affordable car insurance companies and the second-largest provider in the nation. Despite its size, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners recorded fewer than 300 complaints against GEICO, which represent a very low 0.74 ratio.
GEICO is also one of only two companies on our list with a dedicated discount for military members. As for coverage options, GEICO offers medical payments, personal injury protection, uninsured/underinsured motorist, collision and comprehensive coverage. Add-ons include roadside assistance, rental reimbursement and mechanical breakdown insurance products. The latter can cover repairs after your new car warranty expires.
GEICO auto insurance discounts
- Equipment discounts for new cars, airbags, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft systems and others
- Being accident-free for five years
- Using a seatbelt, taking defensive driving or driver's education courses and being a good student
- Affiliation discounts for military members and federal employees
- Insuring multiple vehicles and having multiple policies
- Senior driver discounts for drivers over 50
GEICO auto insurance tools
- Mobile app: access ID cards, pay bills and request roadside assistance or customer support 24/7
- DriveEasy telematics program rewards safe driving behavior
- Car insurance coverage calculator
- Get driving insights and discounts for safe driving with Drivewise
- Safe Driving Bonus for every 6 months you're accident-free
- Get discounts for new cars and teen drivers
- Drivewise program not available in every state
- Premiums vary depending on whether you buy online or through a local agent
Allstate's telematics program, Drivewise, offers policyholders a chance to get cash back every six months by driving safely, plus get an additional reward for signing up. Allstate also offers Milewise, a pay-per-mile insurance option that could help infrequent drivers and those who only travel short distances save from 20% to 70% on premiums.
Allstate has high social media responsiveness on platforms like Twitter, replying directly to users on weekends. Additionally, the company’s website provides easy-to-use tools to help customers understand their policy and determine how much coverage they need.
Coverage options with Allstate include collision, comprehensive, liability and medical payments, uninsured motorist, sound systems, roadside assistance, personal injury protection, rental reimbursement and extended umbrella coverage.
Allstate auto insurance discounts
- Vehicle equipment discounts for new cars, anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices
- Multiple policies
- Safe driving
- Singing your policy 7 days before it becomes effective
- Not missing any payments for a year
- Discount for students with good grades, those who study away from home and complete a driver's education program
- Automatic payments, full payments and paperless billing
Allstate auto insurance tools
- Mobile app: access ID cards, pay bills, report claims, request roadside assistance and accident support
- Drivewise, a usage-based insurance program
- Milewise, a pay-per-mile car insurance program
- Bumper-to-Bumper Basics, a tool for selecting the right coverage limits and deductible
Other companies we considered
We evaluated insurance companies based on their financial strength, discounts, technology and customer experience. The following insurers were close runners-up.
- Save up to 30% on your policy for safe driving with RightTrack app
- Get a discount for your hybrid or electric vehicle
- Get a better price when you purchase your policy online
- Highest NAIC complaint ratio out of all insurers on our list
- Accident forgiveness not available in CA
Like other insurers, Liberty Mutual offers various discounts. Unlike others, however, it doesn’t limit the number of discounts you may be eligible for, a feature that could considerably reduce your premium. The company’s website also has a coverage calculator that can help you determine the right level of protection for your vehicle.
Discounts available with Liberty Mutual include: bundling policies, multiple cars, homeownership, military, good student, student-away-at school, paying-in-full, going paperless, driving safely and more.
Liberty Mutual’s coverage options start with the basics: medical expense payments, uninsured motorist, personal injury protection, liability coverage, collision and comprehensive. Other available coverage options are roadside assistance, gap coverage, rental reimbursement and insurance for teachers who store valuable supplies in their cars.
- Features two accident forgiveness plans
- Intellidrive program can reduce rates by as much as 20%
- Optional Premier New Car Replacement combines new car replacement, loan/lease gap coverage and a glass deductible
- High NAIC Complaint Index compared to other insurers
- Rideshare coverage only available in CO and IL
- Coverage, discounts and deductibles not available in all states
Travelers can give you a quote in five minutes or less; 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 a discount of up to 10%.
To learn more about Travelers insurance products, policyholders must connect with an insurance representative or independent agent. Should you have to report an accident, the insurer has over 12,000 claims professionals nationwide available 24/7.
Travelers' coverage options include liability, collision, comprehensive, personal injury protection and medical expenses. It also offers additional coverage options like loan/lease gap coverage, rental reimbursement, accident forgiveness, new car replacement and roadside assistance. Rideshare coverage for Uber or Lyft drivers is only available in Colorado and Illinois.
- One-stop shop to compare various top insurance providers at the same time
- Users can compare other types of policies such as home, renters and life insurance
- Doesn't offer quotes, the website redirects you to lender websites
- May share information you provide with lenders and other third parties
QuoteWizard is a great place to compare car insurance quotes from different providers without having to do all the legwork. As a marketplace, it allows prospective customers to compare auto insurance rates and double-check coverage details before committing to one insurer.
Keep in mind that average car insurance rates as advertised by QuoteWizard will vary depending on the coverage options you select. You will also need to verify whether your coverage limits comply with the minimum liability requirements in your state, as the site does not offer this information.
Spark Auto Insurance
- Vast, nationwide provider network
- Partners with the industry's best-known insurance companies
- Allows drivers to compare coverage from comparing multiple companies
- Requires you to enter personal information before connecting you with its provider network
- Not rated by A.M. Best or J.D. Power
Spark Auto Insurance is an online marketplace designed to connect potential customers to a large network of insurance providers.
This network of providers offers standard and optional coverage options, such as bodily injury liability, damage liability, collision, comprehensive, personal injury, medical payments and underinsured motorist, among others.
Spark Auto Insurance works with reputable insurance companies like Liberty Mutual, Travelers and Safeco. As a marketplace, the company will allow you to compare various insurance providers and help you save with numbers that fit your particular situation.
Car Insurance Guide
How does car insurance work?
Auto insurance is a form of financial protection against theft, collisions and liability. It’s regulated at the state level, so your policy’s minimum liability limits will depend on local laws.
All states, with the exception of New Hampshire and Virginia, require drivers to buy car insurance or pay some sort of fee if uninsured.
Types of car insurance coverage
There are six common car insurance coverage options:
- Liability insurance includes property damage liability and bodily injury liability, which covers medical expenses to others stemming from an at-fault accident.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage covers medical bills and repairs if you’re in an accident caused by another driver who has little or no insurance.
- Comprehensive coverage covers repairs if your vehicle is damaged by something other than another vehicle (hail, fire, floods, theft or vandalism).
- Collision coverage covers vehicle repair costs if you're involved in a car accident, regardless of who is at fault.
- Medical payments coverage covers medical expenses if you or your passengers are injured in an accident.
- Personal injury protection (PIP) covers medical bills, loss of wages and funeral costs for you or your passengers if you're in an accident, regardless of who is at fault. Also known as no-fault insurance.
Consider optional insurance riders if you need additional coverage such as roadside assistance, glass replacement and rental reimbursement.
How much is car insurance?
While your driving record and the type of car you drive influence your premium, there are other factors that affect what you pay for car insurance.
- 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 influences your car insurance premium. Generally, urban areas have higher vehicle theft and vandalism rates compared to rural neighborhoods.
- Age: inexperienced drivers under the age of 25 usually pay higher premiums.
- Gender: statistically speaking, women are involved in fewer car accidents than men.
What drives up car insurance premiums?
Your car insurance costs will depend on the following:
- Marital status: married drivers are considered safer and more financially stable than single drivers.
- Commute: longer commutes increase your risk of being in an accident.
- Homeowner status: homeowners are considered more financially stable than renters.
- Owning luxury or sports vehicles: these cars cost more to repair, have higher vehicle theft rates and lots of horsepowers, which increases risk in the event of a collision.
- Accidents or tickets: these can run up your payments for three years or longer, on top of legal costs and fees. The worse the offense, the higher the increase.
- Insurance coverage: your coverage limit and deductible can drive up the cost of your premium.
- Credit score: many insurers use credit-based insurance scores to price policies more accurately. Statistical data reveals that drivers with poor credit are more likely to file insurance claims.
Is car insurance worth it?
Considering that Virginia and New Hampshire are the only two states where some form of car insurance is not mandatory, most auto-owners don’t have much of a choice.
In other states, driving while uninsured is considered a misdemeanor. Paying a car insurance policy is preferable to getting into trouble with law enforcement.
How to get car insurance?
To purchase car insurance, you need your driver's license and vehicle registration, and a copy of the driver's license of anyone who will drive your car. You will also need a copy of your existing insurance declaration page if the vehicle is already insured.
Here are some additional tips on how to buy car insurance:
- Shop around for the best annual premium.
- Try to never be underinsured. Some minimum coverage requirements tend to be low and may not cover you sufficiently in the event of a serious accident.
- Look for policy discounts and other ways to save.
- Decide on a deductible.
- Taking a driving course can help if you have a DUI on your record.
How to lower your car insurance premium
Bundle insurance policies
On average, bundling can save you 8% on your combined premiums. Consider one of our best homeowners insurance providers if you're looking to bundle auto and home.
Increase your deductible
The deductible is the amount you will pay out of pocket on a claim before the insurance company pays the rest.
Increasing your deductible can reduce your premium payments. This may be a worthwhile gamble for infrequent drivers.
Review your policy regularly
Reassessing your current policy yearly before renewal can ensure you’re getting the type and level of coverage you need and can afford.
Apply for discounts
Companies offer discounts to policyholders that maintain a clean driving record and drive vehicles with good safety features.
Although discounts vary from one lender to the next, they often include:
- Bundling policies with the same company
- Insuring multiple vehicles
- Taking a drivers education course
- Automatic and paperless payments
- A higher deductible
- Maintaining continuous coverage
- Safe driving
- Student driver with good grades
- Low annual mileage
- Students away at college
- Vehicle safety features
Reduce coverage on old cars
You can reduce your premium by dropping collision or comprehensive coverage on vehicles older than 10 years.
Similarly, you might consider dropping collision coverage on vehicles you don't use or have in storage.
Consider usage-based insurance
Usage-based insurance options take into account your actual driving habits to calculate your premium.
Pay-per-mile insurance can help infrequent or short-distance drivers save from 20% to 40%. Pay-how-you-drive insurance could help good drivers save up to 40%, plus earn an additional discount for signing up.
Usage-based insurance options that measure how fast you drive, how quickly you turn and how abruptly you break could end up costing you more if you don't drive safely.
Shop for rates
Shopping around and comparing at least three price quotes from different insurance providers can help you get the lowest possible car insurance rate.
You can get rate quotes directly from insurance companies either online or over the phone. Some state insurance commissioners also provide information on average car insurance prices.
Besides average rates, take into account available discounts, coverage limits and deductible options when shopping for coverage. If you don’t know where to start, an independent insurance agent or broker could help you narrow down your options.
Read our guide to the best cheap car insurance companies for more ways to save on auto policies.
Car insurance is designed to cover both vehicle repair costs and medical expenses for you and your passengers after an accident.
Some car insurance coverage options also pay for expenses related to injuries or property damage caused to others or provide additional protection in the event you're in an accident caused by someone who doesn't have insurance or has insufficient coverage.
If you can afford it, consider additional coverage to avoid putting assets like your home at risk if you can't pay these expenses out-of-pocket.
To find the best car insurance companies in the nation, we vetted a total of 23 insurers featured on the NAIC’s 2020 Property/Casualty Market Share report for Private Passenger Auto as well as J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.
How We Chose the Best Car Insurance Companies
Since car insurance is regulated at a state level and most insurance providers offer the same types of coverages across the board, we only considered companies with few complaints against their private passenger policies as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). We also prioritized nationwide auto insurers with superior financial strength, ample discounts, technology integration through telematics programs and above-average customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power.
- Financial stability: when an insurer goes bankrupt, it typically sells its existing policies to other insurance companies. Make sure your car insurer is financially stable enough to pay out your claims when you need it.
- Discounts: auto insurance policies beyond basic liability can be costly. Discounts could help you get the coverage you need without breaking the bank.
- Technology: most of the companies on our list use automation to provide quotes in a matter of minutes and process claims 24/7. Car insurance companies that use these technologies ranked higher on our list.
- Customer experience: filing a claim can be a hassle. To help you minimize stressful situations, we carefully considered companies based on customer satisfaction ratings as reported on J.D. Power's 2021 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.