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

The 15 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.

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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 15 best car insurance providers in 2018.

Company Finder rating Learn more
1. USAA

(for US military members and family)

2. Amica
3. Erie Insurance
4. The Hartford
5. Geico
6. American Family
7. Nationwide
8. State Farm
9. Esurance
10. Travelers
11. Progressive
12. Safeco
13. Farmers
14. Allstate
15. Liberty Mutual

Editors’ picks: best car insurance by category

Compare standout features from the top rated car insurance providers. Choose whether you want the best support, benefits, discounts and more.

  • Best car insurance for loyalty rewards – Erie

Regional car insurance provider Erie Insurance has a few standout features for loyal customers. Rate lock freezes your policy rate until you add or remove drivers, vehicles or residences. Safe drivers will appreciate rewards for good driving, including a vanishing deductible that lowers your deductible for avoiding accidents plus accident forgiveness after three years that keeps your premiums from increasing after your first accident. Erie Insurance operates in 12 states on the East Coast, Southeast and Midwest region.

Explore Erie car insurance

  • Best car insurance for customer support – Amica

Amica’s primary focus is making its customers happy. That’s because the company is owned by its policyholders, not stockholders. Any profits the company makes go into company growth or policyholders’ pockets. Amica frequently receives accolades from industry experts for their customer service and financial stability. Amica car insurance is available in every state except Hawaii.

Explore Amica car insurance

  • Best car insurance for military members – USAA

USAA is an excellent option to consider for active or retired members of the military and their family. Enjoy unique military features and discounts, including low-use discounts when stationed away from your car, payment schedules that match your paydays and overseas car buying support. USAA even pays customers dividends by check or rebate based on a portion of the company profits each year. USAA is available in all 50 states.

Explore USAA car insurance

  • Best car insurance for drivers over 50 – The Hartford

The Hartford is geared towards older, senior and retired drivers, and it offers many benefits for customers who qualify. While some insurers make the claim process as difficult as possible, The Hartford aims to protect you after an accident with lifetime car repair guarantee, a 24/7 claims hotline and RecoverCare post-accident support for daily chores if you’re injured in an accident. The Hartford’s no-drop policy also protects you from losing your insurance after filing a claim. The Hartford is available in 41 states.

Explore The Hartford car insurance

  • Best car insurance for high risk drivers – The General

While most car insurance companies rely on risk factors and credit scores to help determine insurability, there are a few providers that are more accepting of low credit and high risk drivers. The only watch-out is this broader acceptance often comes with higher prices for any driver with that company regardless of credit. The General specializes in covering nonstandard drivers without exorbitant prices and even helps with SR-22 filing. You can get the state minimum coverage or pay more and get the usual add-ons like collision roadside assistance. The General is available in every state except Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Jersey.

Explore The General car insurance

Compare top car insurance companies

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection
Metromile
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
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 CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA and WA.
Liberty Mutual
Included free
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
Car insurance through Liberty Mutual will give coverage options for almost any situation.
Esurance
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
Esurance offers a modern online and mobile experience that helps you take your insurance on the go.
Allstate
Included free
Yes, cars under 2 years old
Enjoy having your own dedicated agent to help you get the best discounts and coverage.

Compare up to 4 providers

Best 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

What should I look for in a 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 find 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.

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.

Worst car insurance companies

Finding the best provider can sometimes be a process of elimination. From poor customer service to refusing to pay claims, these car insurance companies got the lowest ratings. If you’re considering opening a policy with any of these companies, read customer reviews and consider whether these sticking points would meet your insurance requirements.

  • Mercury. The majority of complaints from customers with Mercury are for poor customer service resulting from little to no communication with their agent.
  • Farmers. Farmers gets poor marks when it comes to the claims process. However, many of those complaints come from drivers who were in an accident with someone who was insured by Farmers.
  • Nationwide. Policy-holders consistently complain of high rates and increasing premiums.
  • Hanover. Like Mercury, many reviews are from disgruntled drivers who were in an accident with a driver who was insured with Hanover.
  • AIG. In all reviews and ratings we could find, AIG comes out at the bottom. Complaints range from poor customer service and not paying claims to inexplicably canceling policies and raising premiums.

Find the cheapest rates

Compare the best car insurance companies near you.

Your information is secure.

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.

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