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Published: Aug 31, 2022 42 min read
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Best for Customizable Premiums
Best for Young DriversBest Car Insurance PackageBest for Essential Worker and First Responder DiscountsBest for Flexible Policies
ProgressiveState FarmAmica FarmersNationwide
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Discounts

Bundling, multiple vehicles, installing anti-theft devices, automatic and paperless statements, loyalty rewards, teen driver discounts

Bundling, multiple vehicles, Drive Safe & Save telematics program, defensive driving course completion, vehicle safety features

Bundling, multiple vehicles, accident-free, paperless, autopay, loyalty, anti-theft devices, vehicle safety features, homeownership, defensive driver training, good student driver and student away at school

Bundling, good student and students away from home, automatic, paperless, on-time payments, shared family car, anti-theft, anti-lock brake and passive restraint systems, hybrid/ electric vehicles, military members and essential service professionals

Bundling, vehicle safety and anti-theft devices, automatic and paperless billing, safe driver rewards, defensive driving course completion, good student driver (ages 16-24)

Tools

Mobile app, Name Your Price tool, car insurance calculator, Snapshot tool

Mobile App

Mobile app, Car Connection tool

Mobile App

Mobile app, SmartMiles, Smart Ride

Availability

All 50 states

All 50 states

49 states (not Hawaii)

All 50 states

48 states (Not Alaska or Louisiana)

Best for Customizable Premiums
Progressive
Our Partner
See an Estimate
Discounts

Bundling, multiple vehicles, installing anti-theft devices, automatic and paperless statements, loyalty rewards, teen driver discounts

Tools

Mobile app, Name Your Price tool, car insurance calculator, Snapshot tool

Availability

All 50 states

Best for Young Drivers
State Farm
Our Partner
See an Estimate
Discounts

Bundling, multiple vehicles, Drive Safe & Save telematics program, defensive driving course completion, vehicle safety features

Tools

Mobile App

Availability

All 50 states

Best Car Insurance Package
Amica
Our Partner
See an Estimate
Discounts

Bundling, multiple vehicles, accident-free, paperless, autopay, loyalty, anti-theft devices, vehicle safety features, homeownership, defensive driver training, good student driver and student away at school

Tools

Mobile app, Car Connection tool

Availability

49 states (not Hawaii)

Best for Essential Worker and First Responder Discounts
Farmers
Our Partner
See an Estimate
Discounts

Bundling, good student and students away from home, automatic, paperless, on-time payments, shared family car, anti-theft, anti-lock brake and passive restraint systems, hybrid/ electric vehicles, military members and essential service professionals

Tools

Mobile App

Availability

All 50 states

Best for Flexible Policies
Nationwide
Our Partnerq
See an Estimate
Discounts

Bundling, vehicle safety and anti-theft devices, automatic and paperless billing, safe driver rewards, defensive driving course completion, good student driver (ages 16-24)

Tools

Mobile app, SmartMiles, Smart Ride

Availability

48 states (Not Alaska or Louisiana)

Whether you’re looking to switch insurers or this is your first time picking out a policy, our picks for best auto insurance companies offer all the coverage you need.

The companies on our list all offer the five main types of coverage: collision, comprehensive, personal injury protection, liability, and uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage.

They also have a slew of discounts to help offset the cost of your monthly premium. You can lower your rate by choosing paperless billing, insuring multiple cars, taking safe driving courses and staying with the same company, among others.

We prepared a comprehensive breakdown of each company’s policies, provisions and perks to help you on the road to solid and affordable protection.

So, hop in as we review the eight best auto insurance companies for September 2022.

Our Top Picks for Best Car Insurance Companies of September 2022

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Best Car Insurance Companies Reviews

Pros
  • Free airbag replacement (after it deploys)
  • Lock replacement if your keys are stolen
  • $1K for bail bonds and wage reimbursement if you're required to appear in court
  • Offers non-binary option for gender
Cons
  • Doesn't offer rideshare insurance
  • Not all features are available nationwide
  • Coverage not available in Hawaii
HIGHLIGHTS
A.M. BEST RATING
A+
J.D. POWER RATING
Above average (895/1,000)
NAIC Complaint Index
Below median (0.66)

Why we chose it: Amica Mutual made our list for its Platinum Choice Auto policy, which lets drivers earn Advantage Points rewards and save significantly on their deductible.

Amica Platinum Choice Auto Policy is a ready-made package that includes all the basic coverage most people need, in addition to unique perks such as identity fraud monitoring.

In addition, it offers deductible-free glass coverage, rental car coverage and an Advantage Points program where drivers can earn points to reduce their deductibles or keep rates from increasing after a claim.

For drivers who prefer to pick and choose, Amica breaks down its coverage into two categories: the things you need to have and those that are nice to have. You can customize your plan to include these extras, but keep in mind that they might make a considerable difference in your premium.

These extras include: MedPay, which provides extra medical coverage for bills and funeral expenses. Collision to cover accident-related damage and comprehensive collision to fix non-accident related damage, such as from fire, natural disasters or theft.

Two important riders that Amica provides are a credit monitoring service that very few competitors offer (and Amica includes in the platinum plan) and guaranteed asset protection (GAP), which covers the “gap” between what you owe and the depreciated value of your car if it’s totaled.

As for customer satisfaction, Amica has had the highest score in the New England region for 10 years in a row in J.D. Power's Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction study. Amica also has a low National Association Of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint ratio (rate increases and delays in claims handling are recurring issues) and received a B+ in the 2022 CRASH report card, where mechanics rate insurers based on how they handle policies and make payments.

Amica car 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 five years

Amica car insurance tools

  • Mobile app: track claims, request roadside assistance, pay bills
  • Car Connection tool for comparing prices on new and used cars
Pros
  • Save on your premium by signing up for the drive-monitoring program
  • Look for premiums within your budget with its Name Your Price tool
  • Compare quotes with Progressive's comparison tool
  • Loyalty Reward program
Cons
  • Pricing may vary depending on whether you buy online or over the phone
  • Discounts vary and are not available in all states
HIGHLIGHTS
A.M. BEST RATING
A+
JD POWER RATING
Below average (862/1,000)
NAIC Complaint Index
Above median (1.01)

Why we chose it: We picked Progressive as the best car insurance for customizable premiums because its Name Your Price tool lets drivers pick coverage that fits their budget.

Customization sets Progressive apart from the rest. With the Name Your Price tool customers set a budget and Progressive creates a policy to match it. From there, policyholders can pick and choose coverage limits and deductibles.

For example, you can increase the deductible for collision coverage and save on your premium; however, note that if you're in an accident, you'll have to pay a higher amount before the insurance kicks in.

Among the notable add-ons Progressive offers is GAP coverage. For an extra $14 a month, this coverage pays up to 25% of the difference between the value of the vehicle and what you owe. Another valuable add-on is the custom equipment coverage that you can use to repair any accessories meant to aid mobility, a GPS system or any other customization you’ve done to the vehicle.

Progressive also covers some things that few other insurers do. One is rideshare coverage, which covers you if you work for any type of rideshare service (Uber, Lyft or even food delivery), whether you do it full time or as your side hustle. In addition to this, Progressive’s collision policy covers medical care for any injuries your pet sustains during an accident.

In terms of savings, Progressive's telematics Snapshot program uses driving data such as acceleration, braking and distance and gives drivers a discount for safe driving behavior. It also gives customers the option of joining its deductible savings bank. This program puts $50 into savings every six months that go by without a claim until it reaches your deductible limit. Then, if you file a claim your deductible will already be paid for.

In terms of customer satisfaction and complaints, Progressive’s 862 out of 1,000 in JD. Powers Auto Claims Satisfaction Study is 20 points below the industry average and puts them second to last on the list, while its NAIC complaint index sits around the national average.

Progressive car insurance discounts

  • Bundling auto insurance policy with home, renters or life insurance
  • Insuring multiple vehicles
  • Anti-theft alarms and other vehicle safety features
  • Choosing automatic and paperless payments
  • Maintaining continuous coverage with Progressive
  • Teen driver discounts: full-time students with good grades and students away from home

Progressive car insurance tools

  • Find 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, see recent trips and learn ways to improve your driving
Pros
  • Available in most states
  • Save money with Drive Safe & Save and Steer Clear programs
  • Travel expenses coverage
Cons
  • Drive Safe & Save program not available in CA, MA or RI
HIGHLIGHTS
A.M. BEST RATING
A++
JD POWER RATING
Above average (892/1,000)
NAIC Complaint Index
Below median (0.67)

Why we chose it: We chose State Farm as the best car insurance for young drivers because it rewards teenage student drivers with a GPA of 3.0 or higher with up to 25% in savings for.

Teen drivers are the most expensive to insure, but State Farm stands out from other insurers by offering teen driver steep discounts that can offset the high premiums. With the Good Student Discount policyholders can save up to 25% if their teen driver keeps a GPA of 3.0 or higher until they turn 25. Drivers under 21 can also get a discount for taking a driver’s ed course.

Additionally, the “Student Away at School” discount helps customers save by only covering the student while at home on vacation and holidays.

State Farm is well known for its network of close to 19,000 agents across all fifty states. This makes it ideal for people who prefer more personalized service, and who prefer to have a dedicated agent they can go to with questions.

As for its policies, State Farm offers rental cars and travel expenses coverage for when you're in an accident 50+ miles from home. Others cover road assistance if your car breaks down (i.e. you get a flat tire, need a jumpstart, or you locked your keys inside the car), whereas State Farm’s travel expenses coverage extends its roadside assistance if you're in an accident and the accident is covered by your comprehensive and collision insurance. This pays up to $500 per loss for expenses like hotel and food, as well as a rental car while your car is in the shop.

One of State Farm’s notable discounts is the Drive Safe and Save telematics program which monitors your speed, braking and other driving factors and provides feedback on these. State Farm gives you a discount just for enrolling and once you start using the app you can get up to 30% discount for safe driving habits.

In J.D. Power’s 2021 Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction report, State Farm was the highest ranking car insurer in the Southwest region and came in second in Texas, New York and the New England and Northwestern regions. State Farm improved its NAIC customer complaint index lowering its score from 0.71 to 0.67.

State Farm car 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 car insurance tools

  • Mobile app: pay bills, file claims, request roadside assistance, view ID cards and link your bank account
  • Make car reservations through Enterprise or Hertz
  • Directory of reliable auto repair shops

Why we chose it: We chose Farmers as the best car insurance for essential workers due to its array of discounts tailored specifically for teachers, healthcare workers and other first responders.

Pros
  • Guaranteed Value coverage pays out an "agreed value" if your car is totaled
  • Has multiple discount categories available
  • Discount for alternative-fuel vehicles (first insurer to offer this)
Cons
  • Discount eligibility and percentage varies depending on your place of residence
  • Does not offer GAP insurance
HIGHLIGHTS
A.M. BEST RATING
A
JD POWER RATING
Above average (893/1,000)
NAIC Complaint Index
Below median (0.81)

Why we chose it: Farmers is our pick as the best car insurance for essential workers for its array of discounts aimed specifically at teachers, healthcare workers and other first responders.

Although Farmer’s rates aren’t the lowest on the market, it offsets these by offering policies and discounts that not many other insurers offer. One example is its Affinity discount, which gives healthcare professionals, members of certain organizations as well as active, reserve or honorably discharged military personnel.

Another notable discount is the Senior Driver discount for people over 55 (or 65, depending on the state) who take a state-approved safe driver training. This is valuable because senior drivers, like teen drivers, pay higher premiums because they’re seen as riskier to insure.

For classic car enthusiasts, Farmers offers classic and collector car insurance. With this coverage, you can protect your collectible at the car show down the road or even while abroad. Policyholders can pair this with spare parts coverage and get up to $750 for spare part repair or replacement, at no extra cost.

A drawback to Farmers is its slightly higher than average rates; however its unique offerings makes it a great option for those who are willing to spend a bit more for custom coverage.

Farmers car insurance discounts

  • Bundling insurance policies and insuring multiple vehicles
  • Student discounts for good grades and being 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 car insurance tools

  • Mobile app: chat with an agent, request roadside assistance, get a quote
  • Specialty insurance options like motorcycle and boat insurance
Pros
  • Get discounts with the SmartRide safe driving app
  • Pay based on how many miles you drive
  • Get up to a $500 cash bonus with the purchase or lease of a qualified new car or vehicle
Cons
  • SmartRide and SmartMiles discount availability vary per state and coverage selected
  • Accident forgiveness is not available in all states
HIGHLIGHTS
A.M. BEST RATING
A+
J.D. Power Score
Below average (876/1,000)
NAIC Complaint Index
Below median (0.39)

Why we chose it: We chose Nationwide as the best for flexible policies because it offers a free yearly policy evaluation where drivers can review their coverage, ask questions, make changes and apply for discounts.

Nationwide offers a variety of standard and optional coverage to choose from. To help drivers choose the right coverage year after year, Nationwide provides the On Your Side Review, a yearly evaluation where customers can bring up questions about their policy and evaluate whether the discounts and benefits still work for them.

Nationwide offers two programs that can help you save based on your driving habits. SmartRide is a telematics program that tracks your driving (miles driven, idle time, night driving acceleration and braking) and gives you feedback to improve your driving. You get 10% off by signing up and can save up to 40% based on how safely you drive. The other program is SmartMiles which charges a base rate of $60 and a variable rate of $0.07 per mile driven every month.

Nationwide also offers the Vanishing Deductible. This discount rewards you with $100 off your deductible for each accident-free year, up to $500. So, let’s say you’ve been with Nationwide for four years without incident. If you do have an accident in your fifth year you'd pay a $100 deductible and you’ll continue to earn a yearly reward of $100 the next year.

Nationwide boasts the lowest NAIC complaint index on the list with 0.39, however its ranking on J.D. Power’s U.S. Customer Satisfaction study was below average.

Nationwide car insurance discounts

  • Save an average of $646 when bundling auto and home insurance
  • Vehicle safety and anti-theft devices
  • Automatic and paperless billing
  • Safe driver rewards for customers who go five years without major violations or at-fault accidents
  • Complete a defensive driving course
  • Good student discounts for drivers aged 16 to 24 who maintain a minimum B average

Nationwide car 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
Pros
  • Pay bills or request roadside assistance with the mobile app
  • Coverage calculator
  • Discounts available to federal and military employees, seniors and students
Cons
  • Accident forgiveness not available in CA, CT and MA
  • Does not offer GAP insurance
HIGHLIGHTS
A.M. Rating
A++
J.D. Power Rating
Above average (881/1,000)
NAIC Complaint Index
Below average (0.68)

Why we chose it: GEICO's mobile app not only lets you access digital insurance cards and file claims, it also connects to CARFAX which gives you access to your vehicle’s history and check for recalls.

While the first thing that comes to mind when you think of GEICO is its gecko mascot, where its service stands out the most is its completely digital experience, which is ideal for those who would rather go online than call customer service.

With GEICO's mobile app, policyholders can request roadside assistance, upload photos to get damage estimates as well as submit and manage their claims. It can also serve as a type of “agent in your pocket” that answers insurance-related questions and helps you stay on top of your car's history, sending you alerts about recalls or when it's time for maintenance.

GEICO offers all the standard types of coverage, such as bodily injury liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured/underinsured motorist and medical coverage. Its site offers a breakdown of these along with information on limits, premiums and deductibles to help customers create a policy that fits their needs and budget.

It also offers a slew of discounts to help customers lower their rates. These are divided into four areas: vehicle equipment, driving history and habits, driver affiliation and customer loyalty. For example, their anti-theft system discount can save members up to 23% and a driver that has gone accident free for 5 years can save up to 22%.

GEICO also offers notable discounts for the military — one for being an active or retired member and one in case of emergency deployment. These can save policyholders 15% and 25% respectively. Of all the companies on our list, GEICO is one of only two who offer such discounts for military personnel.

As for third-party ratings, GEICO scored above average in almost every region surveyed by J.D. Power’s 2022 U.S. Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction study, with the exceptions being Texas, and the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions.

GEICO car 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 car 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
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Drivewise program not available in every state
  • Premiums vary depending on whether you buy online or through a local agent
HIGHLIGHTS
A.M. Best Rating
A+
J.D. Power Rating
Below average (870/1,000)
NAIC Complaint Index
Above median (1.41)

Why we chose it: We chose Allstate’s as the best car insurance for usage-based programs due to its Drivewise telematics feature, which helps drivers save by tracking their driving, offering feedback and rewarding them for being safe on the road.

Nowadays, the best auto insurance companies offer telematics and our top pick from among them is Allstate Drivewise. This telematics provides feedback on your driving behavior and rewards you for safe driving. Customers get 10% off just for signing up and can save up to 40% with all the combined discounts.

One of Drivewise’s notable safety features is crash detection. As the name says, it detects when you’re in an accident — regardless if you’re the driver or passenger — and sends you a notification offering to contact roadside assistance or 911.

Allstate also stands out when it comes to bundling discounts. Customers can get 10% off auto insurance and 25% off homeowners when they get both policies. In contrast with other providers, Allstate’s home insurance policies include flood protection, making bundling a very attractive alternative.

Additionally, unlike many competitors, Allstate offers coverage in Mexico for either your own vehicle or a rental while you travel. This makes them a great option for customers in Texas and other border states.

Having said that, Allstate's low customer satisfaction scores in both J.D. Power's 2020 studies (Claims Satisfaction and Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction) could be cause for concern, especially because these scores haven't improved much in the 2022 Auto Insurance Study. (Note that the 2022 Claims Satisfaction study has not been published). Customer satisfaction varies by specific location, so our advice would be to research Allstates service in your area to determine if it's a good fit for you.

Allstate car insurance discounts

  • Vehicle equipment discounts for new cars, anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices
  • Multiple policies
  • Safe driving
  • Signing your policy seven 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 car 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
Pros
  • The highest overall customer satisfaction rating out of the companies we reviewed
  • Offers family discount for members whose parents were customers of USAA
  • Available in all 50 states, including Washington, D.C.
Cons
  • Not available to civilians
  • Offers fewer specialty coverages compared to other car insurance providers
HIGHLIGHTS
A.M. Best Rating
A++
J.D. Power Rating
Highest Overall (909/1,000)
NAIC Complaint Index
Above median (1.06)

Why we chose it: Our pick for the best car insurance company for military families and veterans is USAA because it caters specifically to these groups and has one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings of all the companies we reviewed.

In J.D. Power's 2022 Auto Customer Satisfaction Study, USAA scored the highest in all states and regions studied except California. (Note that USAA did not earn a rank because, according to J.D. Power, it doesn’t meet the study award criteria.)

Like other companies, USAA offers a variety of discounts with some unique features. These include a car storage discount for those members who store their vehicle at a military installation. In this case, customers get up to 60% off their policy and could save up to 15% on comprehensive coverage for storing their car in a military base or installation. It also offers a low-mileage discount that both stateside and deployed members can benefit from.

Another area where USAA shines is its Safepilot telematics program. By enrolling, members get an automatic 10% discount and then stand to earn up to 30% off for safe driving. However, note that Safepilot works through an app, and the latest reviews for these show a pattern of complaints describing the last update as “buggy” and frustrating to use.

Although well known for customer service, recent reviews logged with the Better Business Bureau point to a possible slump. Customers complained about problems with the claims process and inconsistent customer support.

Although USAA is one of the best providers out there for military members, we recommend you make sure that USAA's other insurance policies are a good fit as well, for there may be other providers that offer a better bundle.

USAA car insurance discounts

  • Safe driver discount for being accident-free for more than five years
  • Defensive driving discount for taking an approved course
  • Driver training discount for completing a basic driver training course
  • Good student discount for teenage drivers with good grades
  • New vehicle discount for a car that’s less than three years old
  • Multi-vehicle discount
  • Vehicle storage discount
  • Family discount
  • Length of membership savings
  • Military installation discount
  • Automatic payments

USAA car insurance tools

Mobile app: manage policy, get car insurance quotes, get auto ID cards and transfer funds

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Other companies we considered

Erie

Pros
  • Above-average customer satisfaction rating with J.D. Power
  • Ability to lock in rates until you change covered drivers, covered car or home address
Cons
  • It only operates in IL, IN, KY, MD, NY, NC, OH, PA, TN, VA, WV, WI and DC

Erie came in as the top auto insurance company in J.D. Power’s 2022 Auto Customer Satisfaction Study in both the Mid-Atlantic and North-Central regions.

The Rate Lock feature helps Erie stand out among the rest. This unique feature freezes policyholders insurance premium year after year — even after filing a claim. We found no other provider that offers this feature.

When it comes to discounts, Erie offers similar ones to others on our list — notable among these are diminishing deductibles, first accident forgiveness and vehicle storage.

Liberty Mutual

Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Second highest NAIC complaint ratio out of all insurers on our list
  • Accident forgiveness not available in CA

Liberty Mutual didn’t make our main list because it has one of the highest complaint ratios with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) from the companies we evaluated. This is not to say that its coverage is poor or lacking.

Like many other companies, Liberty Mutual offers medical expense payments, uninsured motorist, personal injury protection, liability coverage, collision and comprehensive coverage. It also offers riders such as roadside assistance, GAP coverage and rental reimbursement.

Some unique features include coverage for teachers who store valuable supplies in their cars and its lack of caps on the discounts you can accrue. It also provides a coverage calculator right on its site which you can use to determine the level of protection you want.

Travelers

Pros
  • Features two accident forgiveness plans
  • Intellidrive program can reduce rates by as much as 20%
  • Optional premier program combines new car replacement, loan/lease GAP coverage and a glass deductible
Cons
  • High NAIC complaint index compared to other insurers
  • Rideshare coverage only available in CO and IL
  • Not available in AL, HI, LA, MI, ND, SD or WV

Travelers can give you a quote in five minutes or less, and you don’t even have to provide a driver’s license number. If you request your car insurance quote while you’re still insured with another company, you might receive a discount of up to 10% once you sign up.

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. Note that it only offers rideshare coverage for Uber or Lyft drivers in Colorado and Illinois.

Travelers’ didn't make our list because it doesn’t offer car insurance in Alaska, Hawai’i, Louisiana, Michigan, South Dakota, North Dakota or West Virginia.

QuoteWizard

Pros
  • Compare online quotes from multiple top insurance providers at the same time
  • Users can compare other types of policies such as home, renters and life insurance
Cons
  • Doesn't offer quotes, the website redirects you to lender websites
  • May share information you provide with lenders and other third parties

If you’d like to compare car insurance quotes from different companies, the QuoteWizard marketplace is a great option. Its site makes it fairly easy to compare quotes and types of coverage from the major companies, saving you the time it would take to contact each individual provider.

Do note that the quotes provided are estimates as there are many factors that affect your premium and average rates, including your vehicle make and model, location and, of course, the type of coverage you want. You’ll also have to check local and state laws to make sure your policy meets the minimum liability requirements.

QuoteWizard didn't make our list because it’s a marketplace, not an insurance provider, therefore its quotes do not reflect the price customers will end up paying.

Spark Auto Insurance

Pros
  • Partners with other auto insurance companies
  • Requires you to enter personal information before connecting you with its provider network
Cons
  • Allows drivers to compare coverage from comparing multiple companies
  • Coverage varies by provider

Spark Auto Insurance is an online marketplace where customers can compare quotes and coverage from some of the best insurance companies in the market such as Progressive, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Travelers and Allstate.

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.

To get a quote, users need to input basic information such as their address, vehicle make and model and marital status. Spark then shows one or more results from providers that offer a policy to match their particular profile. However, when we tried to get quotes for a hypothetical customer it yielded just one result.

Car Insurance Guide

In this section, you will learn what auto insurance covers, the types of coverage most companies offer and what can raise (or lower) your monthly premium.

We also include a step-by-step guide on buying car insurance and explain why car insurance is worth your money.

Table of Contents

How does car insurance work?

Auto insurance helps you cover losses stemming from theft, collision and liability involving your vehicle. In simple terms, you pay premiums to an insurer, and it pays for any losses as stipulated in your policy, which generally includes damage to other vehicles and injury to the persons involved.

These policies always feature a deductible, that is, an amount you must pay out of pocket before the insurer covers the rest. These can range from $250 all the way to $2,000. Policies with higher deductibles will cost less than those with lower deductibles because you’ll assume more of the cost of repair or replacement in the event of an incident.

Car insurance does not typically cover property within your vehicle, however. For example, if someone breaks into your car and steals your laptop, the insurer will pay to replace the window and any other damage done to the car, but not the computer. In order to cover that, you would need homeowners or renters insurance.

Auto insurance is regulated at the state level, so your policy’s minimum liability limits will depend on local laws. Except for New Hampshire and Virginia, all other states require drivers to buy car insurance or pay some sort of fee if uninsured.

Types of car insurance coverage

There are seven standard components of car insurance coverage:

  1. Liability insurance includes property damage and bodily injury liability; the latter covers medical expenses to others stemming from an at-fault accident.
  2. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage covers medical bills and repairs if you’re in an accident caused by another driver with little or no insurance.
  3. Comprehensive coverage covers repairs if your vehicle is damaged by something other than another vehicle (including hail, fire, floods, theft and vandalism).
  4. Collision coverage covers repair costs to your vehicle if you're involved in a car accident that is deemed to be your fault.
  5. Medical payments coverage covers medical expenses if you or your passengers are injured in an accident.
  6. Personal injury protection (PIP), also known as no-fault insurance, 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.
  7. Guaranteed asset protection (GAP), supplements your car insurance when you owe more on the car than its cash value. This would typically not be covered under a regular policy.

In addition to these, optional insurance riders can give you additional coverage such as roadside assistance, glass replacement and rental reimbursement at an extra cost.

How much is car insurance?

Car insurance costs $1,204 on average, according to The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)’s most recent Auto Insurance Database Report. However, this can vary greatly depending on a wide range of factors. In fact, the NAIC explicitly mentions that state-to-state comparisons are difficult to make because of the high degree of variability on insurance requirements and other factors.

Common factors that increase premiums

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. Broadly speaking, the higher the risk you seem to present for an insurer, the higher the premium will be.

What drives up car insurance premiums?

Here are some of the factors that will 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; the more you drive, the more likely the insurance company has to pay out a claim, which leads to higher premiums.
  • Place of residence: Where you live influences your car insurance premium. Generally, metropolitan areas like New York City, for instance, have higher vehicle theft and vandalism rates than rural neighborhoods, which means a higher risk.
  • Age: Drivers under the age of 25 usually pay higher premiums because insurers see inexperience as a contributing factor in accidents. Teenagers, therefore, are considered high-risk drivers and will often have to pay the highest premiums.
  • Gender: Statistically speaking, women are involved in fewer car accidents than men, resulting in lower premiums.
  • Marital status: Insurers consider married drivers as safer than single drivers.
  • Commute: Insurers ask for mileage information, such as how many miles you drive a year, because longer commutes increase your risk of being in an accident. Some companies have specific guidelines to determine whether your car is what’s known as a pleasure vehicle (around 7,500 a year or 20 miles a day), and offer lower rates.
  • Homeowner status: Generally speaking, insurers regard homeowners as more financially stable, and thus less of a risk, than renters.
  • Owning luxury or sports vehicles: These cars cost more to repair, have higher vehicle theft rates and plenty of horsepower, which makes them costlier to insure.
  • Accidents or tickets: These can hike up your payments for three years or longer.
  • Credit score: While some states have banned the practice, many states still let insurers use credit-based insurance scores to price policies. Statistical data reveals that drivers with poor credit are more likely to file insurance claims.

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 portion of damages you’ll have to pay out of pocket before the insurance company pays the rest. Increasing your deductible can reduce your premium payments into more affordable auto insurance rates. This may be a worthwhile gamble, especially for infrequent drivers.

Review your policy regularly

Reassessing your current policy annually before renewal, or whenever you make life changes that affect who is driving your car, 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 that are 10 years or older. Similarly, you might consider dropping collision coverage on vehicles you don't use or have in storage.

Consider usage-based insurance

Usage-based insurance (UBI) options take into account your current driving habits to establish your premium.

For example, pay-per-mile insurance can help infrequent or short-distance drivers save 20% to 40%, while pay-how-you-drive insurance could help good drivers save up to 40%, plus a 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 price quotes from at least three different insurance providers can help you get the cheapest car insurance rate, without sacrificing important coverage. Using a car insurance comparison tool can help match you with a provider that offers the best car insurance policy for your vehicle.

You can get rate quotes directly from insurance companies online or over the phone. Some state insurance commissioners also provide information on average car insurance prices in your state.

Besides average rates, consider 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 choices.

If you want to read more about savings opportunities with online insurers, read our guide to the best cheap car insurance companies.

Finally, check out our article on how to lower your car insurance premiums for more ways to save on auto policies.

How to get car insurance

To purchase car insurance, you need your driver's license and vehicle registration. You will also need a copy of your existing insurance declaration page if the vehicle is already insured.

Read our article on How to Buy Car Insurance for detailed information on what you need to know before signing on the dotted line.

Why switch car insurance companies?

Even if you’re happy with your insurance coverage, you should review your policy annually to make sure the coverage and discounts still fit your lifestyle and driving habits. If you’re interested in switching, take a look at Money’s guide on how to switch car insurance.

Some reasons you might consider switching are:

  • You want to save money: it's never a bad idea to shop around, especially since prices and your life circumstances can change.
  • You want to add a teen driver: Teens are expensive to insure. While including your child in your car insurance will increase your rates, some companies offer teen driver discounts available (State Farm is one such example) to help offset these increases.
  • You moved: A factor that affects your rate is location and your rate might be affected if you move. It’s not a bad idea to shop around to see if your provider is still the best option given where you’re living.
  • Your credit score improved: While some states are banning the use of credit scores to set car and home insurance rates, it is still used in many states. You may want to switch car insurance if your score has improved because you could get a lower rate as a result.
  • Your commute has changed: With hybrid schedules or work from home, some find themselves using their car substantially less. These drivers could now be eligible for low-mileage discounts.

Latest news in car insurance

  • Car prices continue to climb due to various factors such as chip shortages, factory shutdowns, port backlogs and other supply chain issues. This has meant that some new car buyers are now stuck making payments of $1,000 or more a month.
  • If you’re considering buying a new car, you may have to reconsider the make and model as some brands have had significant price increases. While the conventional wisdom is that used cars are more affordable options, these too are seeing higher-than average prices.
  • In some car and home insurance related news for residents of Washington state, a new law will ban the use of credit scores to set car and home insurance rates. Similar laws exist in Hawaii, California, Michigan, Massachusetts and Maryland. Insurance companies argue that this will lead to higher premiums for drivers.
  • Recent data shows that, in January 2022, 82% of new car buyers paid more than sticker price due to vehicle shortages and increased consumer demand. However, if you’re still looking to buy a new car this year, Money’s guide on how to buy a car in 2022 has the best strategies to help you get the best price.

How We Chose the Best Car Insurance Companies

To find the best auto insurance companies, we vetted 23 insurers, all of which were featured on the NAIC’s 2021 Property/Casualty Market Share report for Private Passenger Auto as well as J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

We only considered companies with relatively few complaints involving their private passenger policies, as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

We also prioritized nationwide auto insurers with superior financial strength ratings, ample discounts, technology integration through telematics programs and above-average customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power.

Finally, we looked at CRASH Network’s most recent report which rates insurers based on feedback from ​​1,100 automotive collision repair professionals, taking into account payment practices and policy handling.

In short, we focused on the following factors:

  • Financial stability: An insurance company’s financial stability can be gauged by its AM Best credit rating. We chose insurers with an A rating or better.
  • Discounts: Auto insurance policies that cover anything beyond basic liability can be costly. We picked companies who offered plenty of bundling options and generous discounts.
  • Technology: Most of the companies on our list use automation to provide auto insurance quotes in a matter of minutes and have a 24/7 claims process. Car insurance companies that allow policyholders to file car insurance claims via apps ranked higher on our list.
  • Customer experience: Filing a claim can undoubtedly be a hassle. To help you minimize the stress, we chose companies with high customer satisfaction ratings as reported on J.D. Power's 2021 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

Car Insurance FAQ

How does car insurance work?

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Car insurance is designed to cover vehicle repair costs and medical expenses for you and your passengers in case of an accident.

Some policies also pay for expenses related to injuries or property damage caused to others or if you're in an accident caused by someone who doesn't have insurance or has insufficient coverage.

For more details make sure to check out our guide

What does full coverage car insurance cover?

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Full coverage auto insurance refers to a combination of liability, collision and comprehensive coverage. These coverage options financially protect drivers by reimbursing them for damages to their vehicle, injuries to passengers, and any damages to other cars and their occupants.

What is liability car insurance?

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​​Liability car insurance covers drivers in the event of an at-fault accident. In most states, this type of coverage is a requirement. Liability insurance consists of bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage.

Bodily injury liability protects drivers if they're at fault for an accident by covering the medical expenses of the other driver or their passengers.

Property damage liability, on the other hand, protects at-fault drivers by covering the cost of the other person's property repairs.

How to lower car insurance cost

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There are a variety of ways to lower your monthly car insurance rate.

To start, you can compare quotes from multiple insurers. Asking friends and family for feedback on insurers that worked for them can also be useful.

Finally, pay special attention to the insurer's discounts, and which ones apply to you. If you're a safe driver or don't drive often, a usage-based insurance program could also help you save. Finally, you can also lower your monthly premium by increasing your deductible.

What is the best car insurance company?

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The best car insurance company for you will be the one that best fits your needs and budget.

That being said, Money's top pick for the best coverage package is Amica Mutual, which also garnered the highest overall customer satisfaction rating with J.D. Power.

We also consider Progressive to have the best offerings for customizable premiums and State Farm to have the best policies for younger drivers.

Is car insurance worth it?

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Car insurance is mandatory in all states with the exception of Virginia and New Hampshire, so most auto owners don't have much of a choice in whether to insure their vehicle.

Since it's mandatory, driving while uninsured is considered a misdemeanor and will result in a fine of anywhere between $50 to $1,500, depending on your location. In some states, it can even result in jail time of up to five years. Given that the average premium is $1,190, it's easy to see how it's definitely worth it.

What is comprehensive car insurance?

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Although comprehensive auto insurance sounds like it provides coverage for everything, the truth is the name can be misleading and it is often confused with "full coverage."

However, comprehensive insurance only covers damage to your car that results from something other than a vehicle, such as theft, damage from fire, hail or vandalism.

The best car insurance companies provide what's called "full coverage," which refers to the combination of collision and comprehensive coverage. Although these two policies are optional, cars with both policies are considered "fully insured."

Summary of Money’s Best Car Insurance of September 2022