To find the best car insurance provider for you, you’ll want to compare rates from several insurers as the cost of car insurance varies from person to person and state to state. This means there is no single cheapest car insurance provider for everyone.
This article will arm you with the knowledge you need to compare car insurance companies. We’ll also point you in the right direction by recommending several of the best auto insurance companies that stand out for having a great reputation, solid coverage options, affordable rates, and an excellent customer experience.
5 Best Car Insurance Companies
Based on our research, the five best insurance companies are:
The table below includes our ratings as well as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index, AM Best financial strength score, and average premium estimate for each provider.
The NAIC complaint index describes an insurer’s number of formal complaints relative to market share. The national average is set at 1.0, so lower numbers represent fewer complaints by market share. An AM Best financial strength score is an indicator of a company’s financial stability.
There are many smaller and regional providers that offer excellent service as well. While we think the insurers above are the best options overall, they aren’t necessarily the best in every state or for every driver. The insurers we recommend are highly rated for their cost, coverage, reliability, and service and are a good place to start your search for auto insurance.
Learn more about what makes each insurer stand out below.
#1 Geico: Best Overall Provider
Geico insurance coverage is available across the U.S. and is often the cheapest option for many drivers. The company sells auto insurance for cars, motorcycles, RVs, ATVs, and boats. In addition to standard coverage, the insurer offers coverage options like:
- Roadside assistance: This add-on option includes coverage for towing, jump-starts, flat tire changes, and lockout services.
- Rental car reimbursement: This option helps pay for a rental car when your car is being repaired after a claim.
- Mechanical breakdown insurance: This add-on provides coverage for all mechanical parts, though it doesn’t cover maintenance or regular wear and tear. It’s available for vehicles under 15 months old or with fewer than 15,000 miles.
- Accident forgiveness insurance: This can be added to your policy or earned by keeping a clean driving record. The add-on benefit prevents your insurance rate from increasing after your first at-fault accident.
Geico Average Annual Premium Estimates
Our cost data shows that good drivers pay $1,352 per year for full coverage car insurance from Geico. Drivers with poor credit and young drivers also receive some of the cheapest insurance rates from Geico. In addition, the company provides many discounts with some offering up to 25 percent off insurance premiums.
Geico Customer Service Reviews
In the past couple of years, Geico has greatly cut down on its number of complaints filed through the NAIC. Geico’s complaint count in 2018 was 870, which dropped to 351 in 2020. The company combines reliable service with low average rates.
In addition, Geico has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It also scored well in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study℠, ranking high in California, New England, and the Central region.
To learn more about Geico, read our full Geico insurance review.
#2 USAA: Best For Military Members
Our experts gave USAA one of the highest scores alongside Geico due to its coverage options and customer service reputation. However, the company only provides insurance policies to military members, veterans, and their families. To qualify for a USAA insurance policy, you must be a member of the armed services or have a parent, grandparent, or spouse with a membership.
In addition to standard car insurance options, USAA offers:
- Roadside assistance: This add-on option provides coverage for emergency towing, lockout services, gas delivery, and spare tire installation.
- Rental reimbursement: This option pays for rental car costs after an approved claim.
- Accident forgiveness: This add-on can be purchased in most states and protects your rates after an at-fault accident.
USAA Average Annual Premium Estimates
Based on our cost research, USAA generally offers low rates for all drivers, even those with a recent DUI or traffic accident on their record. Our rate estimates show good drivers typically pay $1,013 per year for USAA insurance coverage. The company also has a wide range of discount offers that drivers can take advantage of.
USAA Customer Service Reviews
USAA has a strong customer service reputation. While it doesn’t formally rank due to strict eligibility requirements, the company received the highest satisfaction score in every region in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study℠.
#3 Progressive: Best Usage-Based Insurance
Progressive is a low-cost insurer that offers competitive rates for drivers. The company has been around for nearly 100 years and was one of the first companies to adopt online technology. Progressive wrote over $33 billion in insurance premiums in 2020, according to the NAIC.
Like most other auto insurance providers, Progressive offers several types of standard insurance (liability, collision, comprehensive, medical payments, personal injury protection, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage). The company also offers several add-on insurance options, such as:
- Loan/lease payoff: This add-on option covers the difference between what you owe and the actual cash value of your car after a total loss claim.
- Rental car reimbursement: This reimburses rental car expenses when your vehicle is in the shop for covered repairs.
- Custom parts and equipment value: This provides custom coverage for your stereo, navigation system, and paint job.
- Rideshare coverage: This coverage is required if you use your car for a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft.
- Roadside assistance: This add-on provides services for towing, lockouts, flat tire changes, and fluid delivery.
Progressive Average Annual Premium Estimates
Progressive is a popular provider because of its low insurance premium costs. Our cost estimates show good drivers pay around $1,397 per year for Progressive car insurance. High-risk drivers, which are those with a recent accident, DUI, or speeding ticket, tend to find cheap rates with Progressive as well.
Progressive Customer Service Reviews
Progressive has an average customer service reputation. The company is not rated by the BBB and has over 3,700 complaints in the past three years. The insurer previously held an A+ rating but lost it due to its failure to respond to customer complaints.
Its usage-based insurance program, Snapshot®, also has high marks on Google Play and the App Store. For those who have good driving habits (avoid late-night driving and hard braking) or don’t drive frequently, there are big savings to be had with Progressive.
Read our full Progressive insurance review to learn more about the company.
#4 State Farm: Best For Student Drivers
State Farm is the largest insurance company in the U.S. and uses its considerable resources to provide quality full coverage insurance policies and a well-reviewed usage-based insurance program.
You can purchase six standard forms of car insurance with State Farm. Other insurance offerings include:
- Emergency roadside assistance: This provides emergency services for towing, lockouts, tire changes, fluid delivery, and winching.
- Rideshare driver coverage: This specialty rideshare insurance is for drivers who use their vehicles for services such as Uber or Lyft.
- Car rental and travel expense coverage: This pays for a rental car and travel expenses while your car is in the shop for covered repairs.
State Farm Average Annual Premium Estimates
We think State Farm is one of the best providers for high-risk drivers, especially for those able to take advantage of the many State Farm insurance discounts. Safe drivers can also find low rate estimates starting at around $1,339 per year for full coverage car insurance.
State Farm Customer Service Reviews
State Farm has a strong claims record and customer service reputation with the BBB. In the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study℠, the company tied for first among large insurers and ranked above the industry average. State Farm also performed well in most regions in the J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study.
While the volume of complaints filed against State Farm through the NAIC has not dropped in recent years as much as Geico’s has, the trend is still positive. In 2018, State Farm received 1,688 complaints compared to 1,191 in 2020.
#5 Allstate: Best Local Agents
Allstate is another great option in our roundup of the best car insurance providers for 2022. The company provides standard car insurance coverage and several add-ons, including:
- Custom equipment coverage: This covers aftermarket parts, expensive electronics, and custom equipment.
- Roadside assistance: This provides assistance for flat tires, lockouts, fluid delivery, towing, and winching.
- Rental reimbursement: This add-on covers the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is in the shop for covered repairs.
- Ride for Hire®: This specialty rideshare insurance covers drivers working for a rideshare service such as Uber or Lyft.
The car insurance provider also offers accident forgiveness coverage, which means your car insurance premium won’t go up if you are in an accident. Drivers can also opt in to the Allstate Milewise® program, which monitors driving distance through a plug-in device. Allstate calculates Milewise premiums by adding a mileage-based total to a predetermined daily rate.
Allstate Average Annual Premium Estimates
Allstate costs are higher on average than competitors. However, you may be able to find low auto insurance rates with the company if you have a clean driving record and credit history, with rate estimates starting around $2,430 per year.
Allstate Customer Service Reviews
Like other car insurance companies on this list, Allstate does well when it comes to customer reviews. The company ranks well in the J.D. Power customer satisfaction index and receives a small number of complaints through the BBB.
Unfortunately, Allstate has a higher number of complaints by volume in the NAIC complaint index with 2.36 times the average number of complaints for an insurer of its size. Most complaints we saw revolve around customer claims satisfaction.
To learn more about the insurer, read our in-depth Allstate insurance review.
How Much Car Insurance Do You Need?
In nearly every state (with the exception of Virginia and New Hampshire), some form of car insurance is mandatory. In states where it is required, drivers must maintain at least property damage and bodily injury liability car insurance. Some states also require drivers to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and personal injury protection.
There are six standard types of coverage, detailed below:
Check your state insurance laws to determine what coverage you need. Insurers will be aware of state minimum coverage requirements, and any reputable car insurance company–including all the providers on this list–will not sell customers car insurance policies that don’t meet their state’s minimum coverage requirements.
Do You Need Collision And Comprehensive Insurance?
In some cases, you may be required to purchase collision and comprehensive coverage. If you lease or finance a vehicle, your lender may require that you maintain this coverage as part of your contract.
Even if you own your vehicle outright, it’s typically a good idea to purchase comprehensive and collision coverage to ensure that you can afford to repair or replace it should the worst occur. As your car ages, it may be prudent to drop collision and comprehensive coverage.
How Much Does Car Insurance Cost?
Based on our research, the average cost of car insurance is $1,732 a year for full coverage car insurance. These cost estimates are based on a 35-year-old married driver with a good credit score and a clean driving record.
Factors That Influence Car Insurance Costs
For many drivers, the best car insurance is the cheapest option, but be aware that rates can vary widely depending on your location and other factors. In most states, car insurance premiums are based on the following factors:
- Age: Young drivers and especially teen drivers pay higher rates for car insurance.
- Driving history: Those with a recent accident, DUI, or traffic violation will see higher rates.
- Credit score: Except in a few states where prohibited, a poor credit score will mean increased auto insurance rates.
- Marital status: Single drivers are charged more for car insurance.
- Location: Rates vary by state and city. Living in a densely populated area with more car accidents means a higher car insurance premium.
- Vehicle: Vehicles with safety features and anti-theft protection can receive discounts on premiums. Newer vehicles tend to be safer and less costly to insure with liability coverage. Expensive cars may be more costly to insure with comprehensive and collision coverage.
- Gender: In some states, it is prohibited to base car insurance rates on gender. Where allowed, some insurers will charge higher rates for male-identifying drivers.
- Insurance history: Those without an established history of insurance coverage tend to pay more. You’ll find the best rates if you maintain continuous car insurance coverage for many years without filing a claim.
Because rates are individually tailored, you’ll need to reach out for personalized car insurance quotes to learn how much coverage will cost you. This also means that the cheapest insurer for you may not be the cheapest insurer for someone else.
Average Car Insurance Rates By State
To give you an idea of how much you might expect to pay for car insurance, the table below shows full coverage car insurance premiums by state. Full coverage includes bodily injury and property damage liability, collision, and comprehensive auto insurance. Comparing average rates with your own auto insurance quotes may help you find the best car insurance option.
Your quotes may vary depending on your driver profile. If you are a younger driver with an accident history, expect to pay more. Experienced drivers with a long history of coverage and few filed claims can expect to pay less.
Common Car Insurance Discounts
Nearly all car insurance providers–and certainly the best car insurance providers–offer customers a number of discount opportunities. Take advantage of these savings if you’re trying to find the best car insurance. Common driver discounts include:
- Bundling discount: For customers who maintain homeowners, renters, or life insurance and auto policies with the same insurer
- Multiple policy discount: For customers who insure two or more vehicles
- Pay-in-full discount: For customers who pay their annual premium in full up front
- Military discount: For members of the U.S. armed forces
- Good student discount: For young drivers who maintain good grades
- Defensive driving discount: For customers who complete an approved defensive driving course
- Good driver discount: For policyholders who practice safe driving and go for a period of time without an at-fault accident
When purchasing an auto insurance policy, it’s always a good idea to inquire about discounts.
Finding The Best Car Insurance Provider For Your Vehicle
Rates are different for everyone, so finding the best car insurance provider for your vehicle means comparing quotes from several companies. It’s certainly worth considering both national and local providers. We recommend several of the best national providers, but there are regional insurers such as Erie Insurance and Farm Bureau Insurance that often offer excellent rates, quality localized service, and high customer claims satisfaction.
If you aren’t sure about the best car insurance coverage options for your needs, don’t hesitate to discuss insurance products with an agent. Local agents can provide individualized information and recommendations. An agent can also help you compare multiple insurers.
However, be aware that insurance agents may have special deals with certain insurers, which motivates them to push these providers over others. Even if you deal with an agent, be sure to conduct your own research.
When To Compare Car Insurance Quotes
It’s generally a good idea to reassess your insurance options whenever a significant change occurs that could impact your insurance costs, such as the following:
- You move
- You buy or sell your house
- Your credit score improves
- You purchase a new car
- You’re involved in an accident
- You get a DUI
- It’s been three years since your last claim or accident
- You get married
- Your income changes significantly
Try to maintain continuous car insurance coverage, as a lapse in coverage can mean big rate hikes when you decide to purchase insurance again. If you need to temporarily garage your vehicle and don’t plan to use it for several months, most insurers offer garaging discounts.
How We Rate Insurers
Our review process aims to deliver consistent and unbiased assessments of car insurance providers. While there are multiple qualities that make a car insurance company successful, our review methodology focuses on those we believe are the most important for consumers:
- Cost: Cost can be difficult to compare between insurers because so many factors impact annual premiums. The cheapest insurer for one driver may not be the cheapest for another. To determine our cost score, we look at insurance rate estimates generated by Quadrant Information Services, discount opportunities, and consumer reports.
- Coverage: To determine our coverage score, we look at the number of coverage options available as well as coverage limits and deductible options. Our ratings also take into account additional services and benefits like roadside assistance.
- Reliability: It’s important that an auto insurer is able to meet its claims obligations. Companies with a strong financial strength rating from AM Best score best in this category. Established insurers with a long history of reliable service also receive positive marks.
- Service: We comb through customer reviews on sites like the BBB to learn about customer experiences. Insurers with a low volume of complaints score well in this area. We also consider the claims process, giving higher ratings to car insurance providers that offer easy-to-use claims apps.
*Data accurate at time of publication.