Sadly, far too many people find out too late that their car insurance company isn’t trustworthy. They go to make a claim and then experience a rude awakening. The only way to avoid making this mistake is to do your research before you purchase your insurance policy. The best auto insurance companies not only are highly rated by consumer rating institutions, but they also have strong financial health and the ability to pay even the most expensive claims. Continue reading below to learn more about the characteristics of a good auto insurance company and to see our list of the twenty-five best auto insurance companies.
Consumer Reports Auto Insurance Company Survey
So, what makes for the best auto insurance company? There is no single right answer to this, and in reality, an insurer that is great for one driver may not be so great for another. A recent survey by Consumer Reports was distributed to 28,241 auto insurance customers and ranked twenty-two insurers according to two criteria:
- How quickly claims were paid
- If there were any problems with the claims process
These auto insurance company ratings were scored on a scale of 1 to 100. The results of the survey brought some interesting things to light. First, all of the companies surveyed scored over 80. Secondly, the best auto insurance companies, according to consumers who returned the survey, are smaller ones that you may not have heard of.
Another interesting – and disturbing – fact was that even among these top-rated insurers, 10%–26% of all respondents reported having problems receiving payments on claims. In some cases, these insurance customers wound up waiting over two weeks before receiving a claims check.
Who Came in First
The Consumer Reports survey was distributed to auto insurance customers who had filed claims during a recent 18-month period. It found that 86% of respondents were “highly satisfied” with the way their claims were handled. The highest-rated auto insurance companies – those that scored in the top 8% – were New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance, Arbella, and Auto-Owners Insurance.
Keep in mind that these companies may not offer policies in all states or may have strict eligibility rules that prevent some people from buying policies from them. So if you haven’t heard of them, don’t worry. Most people haven’t.
Watch out for Suspiciously Low Prices
As 19th-century philosopher John Ruskin reportedly said, “There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man’s lawful prey.”
Because of this, Consumer Reports issued the following warning with its findings:
“Saving on car insurance is not only a matter of finding the lowest premium. An insurer can charge less in premiums but cost you more overall by low-balling loss estimates, hassling the repair shop to cut corners, and forcing you to pay extra for the manufacturer’s replacement parts if you choose them over cheaper knockoffs. It can also unfairly jack up your premiums after an accident.”
What this means is that the least expensive auto insurance policy is not necessarily the best. You should do your research to find a reputable insurer with high ratings from not only Consumer Reports but from J.D. Power and AM Best as well.
What to Look for in an Insurance Company
Unfortunately, working with some auto insurance companies can turn out to be a real-life nightmare. They might disappear or become unresponsive after you get into an accident. They might make it a hassle to file a claim. Their customer service might be downright terrible.
When you pay a lot of money for insurance coverage, you deserve an insurance company that’s dependable and trustworthy. Insurers like this, however, can sometimes be hard to find. To avoid the pitfalls of an unreliable auto insurance provider, make sure to find a company with strong customer satisfaction ratings, good customer service, extensive coverage options, strong financial ratings, and most importantly, affordable coverage.
Get Insurance Quotes from a Reputable Source
The Internet has made it easy to get dozens of auto insurance quotes in just a few minutes. Not all companies, however, let you compare rates from only the top-rated insurance providers.
4AutoInsuranceQuote.com is different. We don’t just recommend any auto insurance company to you; we recommend the best auto insurance companies in the industry. By using our quote comparison tool, you will be given insurance rates from the highest-rated, most reputable insurance companies, including those listed in our top twenty-five list below.
Our Top Twenty-Five Best Car Insurance Companies List
The following twenty-five auto insurance companies have been chosen for several reasons, and they have a few things in common. Their customer service is top-notch, their rates are low, and they have insanely high customer satisfaction rates. While it may be slightly different than the Consumer Reports list mentioned above, the factors and values we considered when ranking these companies are very much the same.
GEICO’s customer service is second to none, and their large customer base makes it possible for them to charge low premiums. If you’re looking for an affordable car insurance policy with excellent coverage options, GEICO might be right for you. (Read more about GEICO here.)
As their slogan says, with Allstate, “you’re in good hands,” and that is the truth. Their customers love them, so there’s a pretty good chance you will too. Allstate was one of the first to offer accident forgiveness, and they continue to add new features that change how we pay for auto insurance. (Read more about Allstate here.)
State Farm is another auto insurance provider that is sure to please. They’ve grown to become the largest insurance provider in North America. Claims agents are always friendly, and they provide you with a lot of coverage for an affordable price. (Read more about State Farm here.)
With 24/7 support and friendly agents, Esurance’s customer service is hard to beat. Their prices are competitive, as well. Esurance not only offers a wide range of discounts, but they also have an extensive list of policy options. (Read more about Esurance here.)
Arbella doesn’t waste your money on ads or flashy commercials. They let their work speak for itself. Arbella thrives on referrals and word of mouth. Policyholders love Arbella with good reason too. Arbella’s hassle-free claim processing seems to be their most popular feature. (Read more about Arbella here.)
American Family Auto Insurance
Although smaller than the other companies on our list, American Family aims to please. They pay claims promptly and get high reviews from all major publications. Unfortunately, they are only available in 19 states. If you are lucky enough to be in a state that has American Family Insurance, you might want to give them a try. (Read more about American Family here.)
As an old, conservative insurance company, Liberty Mutual prides itself on reputation. They are personal, competitively priced, and have short wait times when it comes to claims. (Read more about Liberty Mutual here.)
Progressive is another company you might recognize from TV. Getting started with them is simple, easy, and inexpensive too. Dealing with Progressive is incredibly stress-free. With Progressive, you will never have a problem with a claim. (Read more about Progressive here.)
“Triple-A” is more than just roadside assistance and travel accommodations. Their auto insurance coverage is of the highest quality. If you get into an accident, they will be by your side every step of the way. (Read more about AAA here.)
Farmers is known for its great auto and home insurance coverage options. If you’re thinking about combining policies, give Farmers a shot. They have many highly customizable insurance options. (Read more about Farmers here.)
USAA is ranked as one of the best insurance companies in the United States year after year. USAA scores very well for price, customer service, and claims satisfaction. The only ‘catch’ is that USAA is only available to active duty or retired United States military personnel and their families. (Read more about USAA here.)
Amica offers customized car insurance policies based on your budget and coverage needs. The Lincoln, Rhode Island-based company is one of America’s oldest insurers. Today, Amica isn’t one of the country’s largest car insurance companies, although it consistently ranks as one of the best companies in terms of overall customer satisfaction, and it took home the top prize in the J.D. Power 2017 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. (Read more about Amica here.)
Erie is another car insurance company that’s highly rated by organizations and policyholders alike. The company has a particularly strong presence in the mid-Atlantic region. One of the unique things about Erie is that all transactions – including claims – go through your own Erie insurance agent, giving Erie a personalized touch you may not get with other insurers. (Read more about Erie here.)
NJM Insurance Group formerly only served customers in New Jersey (NJM was originally called the New Jersey Manufacturers Casualty Insurance Company). Today, however, NJM provides well-rated car insurance to nearly 1 million policyholders in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The company has strong ratings for its customer service and claims satisfaction, and the only drawback is that NJM currently only serves two states. (Read more about NJM here.)
The Hartford is particularly popular among drivers over 50. In fact, The Hartford only sells car insurance to AARP members, so you need to be over 50 to qualify for The Hartford. Unique features offered by this company include lifetime renewal eligibility, one-year low premium lock-ins, and high customer service ratings. (Read more about The Hartford here.)
Auto-Owners Insurance is a Fortune 500 company that has sold car insurance across the United States for over 100 years. Just like Erie Insurance above, Auto-Owners Insurance uses agents to handle all claims and transactions, giving the company a more personalized experience over other insurers. The company is praised for its affordable rates, personalized service, and strong claims satisfaction, although it’s currently only available in 26 states. (Read more about Auto-Owners Insurance here.)
The Hanover tends to be more expensive than its competitors, although the company offers more premium services than an ordinary American car insurance company. The Hanover offers Home Care Services, for example, along with automatic veterinary expense coverage for pets and a wide range of potential discounts. (Read more about The Hanover here.)
Nationwide has grown to become one of America’s largest insurance and financial services companies. The company is best known for its car insurance, although they’re not particularly well-rated compared to other providers on this list. Despite the below-average customer service, Nationwide offers competitive prices and unique features like AutoWatch, which lets you monitor your car’s progress as it undergoes repairs. (Read more about Nationwide here.)
Despite the name, Travelers isn’t just for people who travel. It’s a well-rated car insurance company for all types of drivers. Travelers is particularly popular for its wide range of discounts. If you sign up for the Intellidrive driver tracking program, for example, and drive safely, then you can save up to 20% off your premiums. (Read more about Travelers here.)
21st Century Insurance is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Farmers Insurance Group. However, the company continues to offer its own car insurance policies today. Generally, 21st Century is known for offering good-value car insurance that gets the job done without exceeding in any specific category. (Read more about 21st Century here.)
MetLife is America’s largest employee benefits provider, although the company also offers car insurance. MetLife car insurance is a particularly good option if you’re part of an organization that has a deal with MetLife because you can get discounts of up to 50%. The company ranks average for customer service and claims satisfaction. (Read more about MetLife here.)
Mercury Insurance is known for offering basic, low-cost car insurance policies with no frills. If you want no-nonsense car insurance that gets you on the road at a reasonable rate, then Mercury Insurance is one option. However, the company is poorly-rated for customer service. (Read more about Mercury Insurance here.)
Safeco is a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual Group, although the company continues to sell its own car insurance premiums. Safeco isn’t known for its affordable rates, although the company does offer a range of discounts that can drop prices substantially. Safeco’s RightTrack driver tracking program can drop rates by 30%, for example, and drivers who drive fewer than 8,000 miles per year qualify for unique discounts. (Read more about Safeco here.)
MAPFRE is a Spanish insurance giant that has slowly entered American markets over the last decade. In 2007, MAPFRE purchased the Massachusetts-based Commerce Insurance Group. Today, MAPFRE has continued to expand across the United States and worldwide, offering competitively-priced car insurance with the average customer service you would expect from a multi-billion dollar insurance conglomerate. (Read more about MAPFRE here.)
You’ve seen the television advertisements for The General. The Nashville, Tennessee-based company specializes in providing cheap car insurance to high-risk drivers. Many of The General’s policyholders are unable to get affordable rates from traditional insurance providers, so they turn to The General. Don’t expect spectacular customer service or claims satisfaction from The General: the company specializes in barebones car insurance for drivers who just want to get on the road. (Read more about The General here.)
Things To Remember
The lowest-priced car insurance policy is not always the best. When shopping around, carefully look at auto insurance companies, and do your research. Remember that information on how insurers handle claims and how they set rates are public record and are generally not difficult to find.
People who have particular auto insurance needs may be better served by going to an independent car insurance agency rather than a single company. Independent agents represent several insurers and can usually help you find good coverage for your unique situation.
Although the list above represents our favorite choices, there are other companies not listed that are also deserving of recognition. By entering your zip code above and comparing quotes, you’ll be presented with insurance quotes not only from companies in our top twenty-five list but also from other highly rated auto insurance companies in the United States.