The best car insurance company isn’t necessarily the cheapest. It’s tempting to shop for a new insurance policy based on price alone, but you need a company that will be there for you when it comes time to make a claim. After all, you don’t want to choose the cheapest car insurance quote only to find that it doesn’t provide the protection you need.
Our Best Car Insurance Companies for 2021 use pricing data and real customer feedback to help you find the best car insurance policy for you.
What Is the Best Car Insurance Company?
USAA is the best car insurance company for 2021, but you need to have a military affiliation to get it. If you don’t qualify for USAA, State Farm is the second-best auto insurer according to our data.
We asked real customers from nine of the top auto insurance companies across the country about their experiences. Their feedback provides valuable insight on how well these companies serve their customers, which can help you decide on the insurance company that most deserves your business.
We used this survey to identify the best insurance company in the country, as well as the best companies in the areas of customer service, claims handling and customer loyalty. It also identifies the insurers that are most likely to be renewed and recommended by their policyholders.
Top Ranked Car Insurance Companies
USAA is the best car insurance company we found. In our survey, USAA customers say they are very satisfied with this insurance provider’s customer service. They also love the company’s easy process for filing a claim, as well as the frequent updates on the status of claims.
The only negative we could find for this company is its limited availability. USAA only offers its services to veterans, members of the military and their families. As a result, many consumers won’t qualify for insurance from USAA.
2. State Farm
State Farm makes it easy to file a claim, according to most survey respondents, many of whom plan to renew their policy. State Farm is also the best auto insurance company if you do not have a military affiliation.
State Farm earned slightly lower marks when we asked if customers were satisfied with the company’s status updates during the claims process. Drivers insured through State Farm reported that the company is a good value overall.
Geico is the third-best car insurance company in our rankings. Consumers who have filed a claim generally agree that Geico makes the process easy. Most survey respondents also report that they plan to renew their policy, and that they’re likely to recommend Geico to family and friends. However, Geico scored lower than some competitors in terms of value, despite the fact that it offers low rates and good overall customer service.
Nationwide generally earns good scores across the board, though it didn’t stand out in any one area as being notably better than the competition. Nationwide has some downsides that keep it from breaking into the top three car insurance companies in our rankings. Some respondents indicated that they were not satisfied with Nationwide’s status updates during the claims process or with how their claims were resolved.
Farmers lands squarely in the middle of our rankings. Respondents in our survey gave this insurer decent scores in terms of satisfaction with the claims process, customer service and value. However, Farmers’ scores dropped a bit lower when we asked if drivers would recommend the company to friends or family, which indicates mediocre overall satisfaction.
6. American Family
American Family is at the bottom when it comes to survey respondents’ satisfaction with how their claims were resolved. Still, American Family enjoys good loyalty from its customers. This company ranked near the top of the list in terms of customers who said they were likely to renew their policies. American Family’s policyholders are also likely to recommend the company to friends and family.
Flo, Progressive’s perky pitchwoman, might be No. 1 in the heart of advertisers, but Progressive is the No. 7 insurance company on our list. This insurer earns its highest scores for the ease of filing a claim and customer service. However, Progressive still trails behind most competitors in these areas. Many rival companies earn higher satisfaction ratings in terms of value, and a higher percentage of Progressive customers plan not to renew than any other company.
As you might expect from a low-ranked insurer, Travelers customers did not report high satisfaction in most areas measured by our survey.
Drivers who file claims with Travelers are not pleased with the way that they are resolved, and many don’t think Travelers offers a good value. Interestingly, Travelers earned a decent score when we asked if people would recommend it to friends or family, but it earned a low rating when we asked if they themselves would renew their policies.
The majority of respondents who had filed a claim with Allstate said they were satisfied with the ease of that process, but indicated dissatisfaction in most other areas. Allstate has higher rates than the other companies in our rankings, which results in low perceived value. Additionally, Allstate customers are less likely to renew their policies when compared with customers of rival insurance companies.
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Who Has the Best Car Insurance?
In addition to determining the best car insurance companies overall, our survey helped us determine how these companies stack up in five key areas. We identified the companies with the best customer service, claims handling and customer loyalty. We also noted the companies that policyholders are most likely to renew with or recommend to a friend.
USAA swept all five of these subrankings in addition to taking the top spot in our overall ranking for the Best Car Insurance Company. However, not all policyholders will meet USAA’s membership requirements. For that reason, we’ve identified the runner-up in each category so that all consumers can learn about the best option in each of these areas.
We asked policyholders to rate their experiences with their insurance companies on a five-point scale and explain their reasoning. Respondents were split into two groups, those who opened a policy in the last five years and those who filed a claim. The latter group was asked additional questions about their satisfaction with the process during and after filing the claim, as well as their satisfaction with how the claim was handled.
This information was compiled into the subrankings below to determine the company with the best customer satisfaction in specific areas.
Best for Customer Service: State Farm
If you don’t qualify for USAA but customer service is your top priority, check out State Farm. Our survey shows that State Farm customers are generally happier than customers of rival companies.
One of State Farm’s specific advantages is that many areas have local offices. This provides a more personal customer service environment when compared against insurers that offer primarily phone- and web-based interaction. One survey respondent noted, “I know if I ever have a problem, I can visit their office and speak face to face with an actual person who is a member and supporter of our community.”
Best for Claims Handling: Nationwide
The best possible outcome with car insurance is that you’ll never have to use it, but that’s unlikely. When it comes time to file a claim, Nationwide is the best choice for consumers who want a claims process that’s as pain-free as possible. Of survey respondents who had filed a claim with Nationwide, 76% were completely satisfied with the ease of claims filing, 62% were completely satisfied with claim status updates, and 74% were completely satisfied with the claim’s resolution.
Best for Customer Loyalty: State Farm
Our survey’s scoring methodology measures customer loyalty based on the answers to a range of questions. After USAA, State Farm enjoys the best customer loyalty of the companies in our rankings, with generally high scores and positive customer feedback. Survey respondents noted competitive rates and good customer service as highlights of the State Farm experience.
Most Likely to be Recommended: Geico
Our survey shows that Geico customers are most likely to recommend this company to friends and family. This is an excellent measure of overall customer satisfaction. About 41% of survey respondents who had not filed a claim said they’d be very likely to recommend Geico, and of those who had filed a claim, that number went up to 49%.
Most Likely to be Renewed: State Farm
If a car insurance company retains most of its customers at policy renewal time, it’s doing something right. Our survey shows that aside from USAA, State Farm is best at customer retention, which indicates high satisfaction. About 61% of State Farm customers who filed a claim are very likely to renew their policy, and another 20% reported that they are likely to renew.
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How Much Car Insurance Do I Need?
How much car insurance you need depends on how much coverage you are legally obligated to get, as well as how much coverage you need for your situation. Each state has certain legal requirements for car insurance, and not meeting them can result in negative consequences. Check out our car insurance state guides to see the legal car insurance minimums in your state.