20+ best car insurance companies of 2018 | finder.com

The 20 best car insurance companies of 2018

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Compare car insurance policies and find the best value for you.

Finding the best car insurance isn’t always about finding the lowest price. It’s about finding the right coverage for your circumstances with benefits you need, a reliable insurer and the best value you’re eligible for. Compare the top-rated companies and factors to help you decide which provider is best for you.

Our top pick:

  • For military members & family
  • Convenient service through the mobile app
  • Coverage around the world

Our top pick: USAA

USAA offers affordable car insurance with highly rated customer service to millions of military members and their families. Only available to military members, veterans and affiliated military members.

  • Save when you bundle your home and car insurance
  • Driver & vehicle discounts
  • 24/7 claims service through USAA’s free mobile app
  • Membership savings
  • Get dividends from company profits
  • Flexible premium payments
Promoted

Best car insurance companies

We combined the results of over 88,085 surveyed auto insurance consumers from Consumer Reports and the J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction survey to rank the top 20 best car insurance providers in 2018.

Company Finder rating Learn more
1. USAA*
2. Amica
3. Auto-Owners
4. Erie
5. AAA*
6. The Hartford
7. Geico
8. American Family
9. MetLife
10. Esurance
11. State Farm
12. Progressive
13. Nationwide
14. Travelers
15. Allstate
16. Hanover
17. Safeco
18. Mercury
19. Farmers
20. Liberty Mutual

Who has the best car insurance?

Let’s break down the ratings. For the second year in a row, USAA and Amica are among the top rated insurance companies. Both consistently get great scores from their customers and awards from third party reviewers. But if you don’t qualify for USAA’s military affiliation, consider Amica or one of the other top picks on the list.

Heading up the rest of the pack, you’ll find national provides like Geico and AAA plus specialized insurers like Erie and The Hartford. Geico is known for its cheap rates, and The Hartford is a great option for mature drivers. Both Erie and AAA’s local affiliate clubs offer customized support for your area.

Many of the well-known big providers like State Farm, Esurance, Progressive and Allstate might have less to offer when it comes to customer support, but their coverage options, low rates and availability can be their biggest standout feature. They could still be good picks for you if you find the right price, coverage or local agent for personal support.

Best car insurance for:

Best cheap insurance

Geico

Geico

  • Cheapest rates
  • Discounts up to 40%

Customer service

Amica

Amica

  • Policyholder owned
  • Award-winning support

Loyalty rewards

Erie

Erie

  • Rate lock
  • Accident forgiveness

Military

USAA

USAA

  • Flexible payment schedule
  • Overseas car buying support

Drivers over 50

The Hartford

The Hartford

  • Lifetime car repair guarantee
  • No-drop policy after claims

High risk drivers

The General

The General

  • Any credit or driving record
  • SR-22 support

Best cheap car insurance quotes

Looking for the best rates? Compare sample quotes for California drivers and see how much you could save by switching providers.

Company Average annual rate Learn more
Alliance $1,239
Geico $1,391 Read review
USAA $1,399 Read review
Esurance $1,478 Read review
21st Century $1,701 Read review
Kemper $1,723 Read review
Progressive $1,724 Read review
Mercury $1,768 Read review
Allstate $1,917 Read review
Safeco $2,020 Read review
Nationwide $2,249 Read review
Farmers $2,425 Read review
State Farm $2,474 Read review
The Hartford $2,529 Read review
Liberty Mutual $2,611 Read review
Average $1,910 Compare all reviews

How do I find the best car insurance provider?

Your monthly premium doesn’t tell the whole story about your car insurance. Does your provider charge extra for monthly payments or paperless bills? How easy is it to contact customer service? What’s the process like for making a car insurance claim? These are important questions to ask to make sure you’ve chosen the right provider.

Car insurance companies may not differ much in the coverage they provide, but can be worlds away on the quality of their service. While both you and the company hope to never make a claim, if you are in an accident, you want to be sure they pay your claim. Compare how a company treats customers and claims when researching car insurance companies.

  • Their reputation and what users have said about them
  • Transparency, including how willing the company is to provide documentation
  • How they handle claims and how quickly claims are settled
  • Whether their call center is in the US or overseas and what its hours are
  • Whether you can manage your account and claims online
  • Whether you’re appointed a case manager or you do the legwork
  • The general level of customer satisfaction
  • Whether repairs are guaranteed
  • Overall friendliness and willingness to help

How to compare the best insurance company for you

Car insurance questions to ask

What should I look for in a policy?

Liability insurance policies come with expensive little add-ons depending on the provider, making them difficult to compare on price alone. However, if you decide on full coverage, there are additional options to consider. The best policy for you is something that has all the extras you need, and nothing you don’t.

What questions should I ask my provider?

If something isn’t clearly spelled out in a policy, or you’re unsure about any of the details, you should call the insurance company and ask them about it.

Understand car insurance terms: A-Z glossary

When should I shop for new car insurance?

It’s important to note that your best provider option now might not be your best option in a few years, or even a few months, if circumstances change. And if you don’t feel like you’re getting a good value, that’s reason enough to see what else is out there.

Comparing insurance companies is important because things can change — You may have moved to a new age bracket, tied the knot or retired. Car insurance companies regularly change their rates and plans — you don’t want to miss a great deal.

When you’re comparing car insurance there are are few key factors you should keep in mind. After you’ve determined what coverage you need, compare the kind of coverage that’s offered and how much they cost. You also want to know what stands out about a company — do they offer great customer service or offer a bonus for no claims? Most insurance companies try, in one way or another, to stand out from the crowd.

Find the cheapest rates

Compare the best car insurance companies near you.

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How do I find a company with the best customer service?

In car insurance, customer service means a lot more than just a smile as you fill out the paperwork. It means being able to depend on your insurer in the event of a claim, and knowing that the next time you speak to them, you might be having a very bad day. It can help to stay focused on the more important factors.

  • Response times: How can you contact the insurer, no matter where or when? This includes how long it takes the customer service team to pick up the phone when you call, how quickly you can expect a response to online or email enquiries and how long it usually takes the insurer to assess and pay claims. It can be a good idea to avoid insurers that aren’t available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week all year around.
  • Claims options: If you needed to make a claim right now, what would you do? If you have a preference for online claims or want to be able to use an app, it can be a good idea to look for insurers that offer these options. If you think you’ll do it over the phone or in person, consider what exactly is involved.
  • Communication: Does the insurer stay in touch throughout the claims process? This can be an important difference when you’re making a claim, as you don’t want to be chasing them down for updates. Let them keep you in the loop instead.
  • Policy flexibility: How can you adjust your policy? Flexibility encompasses not only the options available to you, but also the ease with which you can take advantage of them and the responsiveness of your insurer.
  • Partnered service quality: What’s the quality of the insurer’s service partners? Free roadside assistance might not be much use if it’s not available in your area, while towing, vehicle storage, glass and windshield replacement and other repairs will all typically involve the use of partnered service providers. It can be a good idea to compare the quality of these, and look for relevant reviews.

How do I compare customer reviews?

To find out how insurance providers process claims and treat customers, you can check out customer reviews. While there’s no substitute for personal experience, you can research what it’s like to be a customer of each provider. Visiting online forums, review sites and social page can provide an insight into how they interact with their customers and what people are saying about them in general.

Keep in mind most insurance providers will have many negative reviews. Most customers only leave reviews after a bad experience, so these review sites won’t always provide a balanced perspective of this provider.

  • Friends and family. Talking to friends and family who have dealt with an insurer can help you figure out what it’s like to deal with that provider.
  • Online chat forums. Whether on the provider’s site or third party reviewers, chat forums can show examples of customer interactions with the company.
  • Facebook page. Some providers respond quickly to complaints on Facebook, and others respond poorly or not at all.

Read reviews about the best insurance companies

How are car insurers regulated?

Each state has their own set of driving laws and regulations to govern car insurance companies. They determine what the minimum coverage is for every driver, competition, consumer rights and the solvency of the insurance companies. Regulations are there to make sure there is plenty of competition to drive prices down, and also to ensure that these companies have enough money to pay out claims.

Compare rates from some of the best car insurance companies

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Available states
Included free
Yes, cars under 2 years old
All 50 states
Enjoy having your own dedicated agent to help you get the best discounts and coverage.
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
All 50 states
Car insurance through Liberty Mutual will give coverage options for almost any situation.
Included free
No
AZ, AR, DE, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MD, MI, MS, MT, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, TX, UT
Root offers simple, affordable insurance that’s ideal for good drivers. Try the Root app for 2 weeks and see how much you could save. Available in 20 states.
Included free
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
All states except AK, DE, HI, MT, NH, VT, WY
Esurance offers a modern online and mobile experience that helps you take your insurance on the go. Available in 42 states.
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
AZ, CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA, WA
Drive less than 30 miles a day? Save on the coverage you need with pay-per-mile insurance from Metromile. Get a low monthly rate then pay just a few cents per mile. Available in AZ, CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA and WA.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Finding the best car insurance is unique for every driver. Compare each quote and company based on the value you’re getting for the cost. What you value may be different from other drivers, from good customer service to coverage levels that protect you and your family from any road disaster.

Start your search by comparing car insurance options to find the right policy for you.

Next up: more about the best car insurance

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