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The 7 best car insurance companies in 2021

Our 2021 picks for the best car insurance companies in the industry include Amica, State Farm, GEICO, USAA and Safeco.

Anna Swartz 1600Stephanie Nieves author photo

By

Anna Swartz

Anna Swartz

Insurance Expert

Anna Swartz is a Managing Editor at Policygenius, specializing in auto insurance. Her work has appeared in Mic, The Dodo, AOL, MSN, HuffPost, Salon and Heeb.

&

Stephanie Nieves

Stephanie Nieves

Property and Casualty Insurance Expert

Stephanie Nieves is an insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City, specializing in home and auto insurance. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, PayScale, Fairygodboss, and The Muse.

Expert reviewed

Expert reviewed

This article has been reviewed by a licensed Policygenius expert to ensure that sources, statistics, and claims meet our standard for accurate and unbiased advice.

Learn more about our editorial review process.

by

Fabio Faschi, PLCS, SBCS, CLCS

Fabio Faschi, PLCS, SBCS, CLCS

Property & Casualty Insurance Expert

Fabio Faschi is a former property and casualty team lead at Policygenius in New York City. He's worked in the insurance and real estate industry for more than six years as an independent agent and broker representing more than 40 carriers in property and casualty products, and previously worked in real estate settlements and title insurance negotiating insurance requirements with banks, realtors, and new home buyers. Fabio's expertise on home & auto insurance has been featured on Forbes, Consumer Affairs, Realtor.com, Apartment Therapy, The Simple Dollar, SFGATE, Bankrate, and Lifehacker.

Updated September 29, 2021|4 min read

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Choosing a car insurance provider is more than just looking for the lowest quote and calling it a day.

Some companies offer the best value, while some may quote you slightly higher rates but offer superior customer service, or special discounts for teen drivers that you won’t find with other carriers.

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We weighed factors like claims satisfaction, financial strength, and availability to come up with the best car insurance companies for any kind of driver. Our expert picks balance cost and customer service with coverage options that go above and beyond the normal offerings.

Best for cheap coverage: GEICO

Best for discounts

GEICO

4.4

|

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

GEICO logo

One of the most recognizable car insurance carriers on the market is also a reliable go-to for standard auto insurance.

Pros

  • Available nationwide 

  • Easy-to-use website and mobile app

  • Plenty of discounts

  • Comprehensive customer service

  • Wide array of other coverages, including rideshare insurance and collector’s insurance

Cons

  • Average claims satisfaction

  • Middling customer ratings

  • Doesn’t underwrite all their other insurance products

Read our full GEICO review

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While the price of car insurance depends mainly on individual factors like your age, driving history, address, credit score and the make and model of car you drive, some companies are more reliably affordable than others. GEICO is one of the most popular carriers out there, and its wide array of discounts and consistently affordable rates are two of the reasons so many people choose GEICO.

Best for claims satisfaction: Amica

Best for claims satisfaction

Amica

4.2

|

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Amica logo

Amica, while expensive, is a great option for shoppers interested in top-of-the-line service.

Pros

  • Top-rated customer service and claims satisfaction

  • Premium coverage available

  • Variety of unique perks and features

  • Quick response times from agents

Cons

  • Pricier than competitors

  • Can be picky when it comes to customers

  • Not available in Hawaii

Read our full Amica review

Get quotes

As far as nationwide carriers go, Amica is in the top tier when it comes to claims satisfaction, and Amica customers constantly rate it highly. Amica is known for best-in-class customer service and quick response times from agents. But it may be pricier than other carriers (our research found that a sample driver was quoted  $2,466 for a yearlong policy). Amica can also be picky when it comes to customers, drivers with accidents and violations on their record may not be offered coverage.

Best for teen drivers: State Farm

Best for teen drivers

State Farm

4

|

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

State Farm logo

With above-average claims satisfaction, a range of discounts, and great options for teen drivers, it makes sense that State Farm is the largest auto insurer in the U.S.

Pros

  • Available nationwide

  • Program to help young drivers save money

  • Above-average claims satisfaction ratings

Cons

  • No specialty coverage options

  • Pricier than similar competitors

Read our full State Farm review

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Teen and young adult drivers are notoriously expensive to insure because car insurance companies see them as riskier than adult drivers. But State Farm offers ways to offset the cost of adding a teenage driver to your policy, with a good student discount and its Steer Clear program for drivers under 25, which tracks driving behavior through an app that also includes informational quizzes and videos. Drivers who complete the Steer Clear program can earn a discount that lasts until they turn 25.

Best for coverage options: Safeco

Best for coverage options

Safeco

|

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Safeco logo

Safeco boasts some less standard coverage options that might make it appealing to certain shoppers, like ride-share drivers, pet owners, and drivers with customized vehicles.

Pros

  • More nonstandard coverage options than competitors 

  • Online bill paying and claims filing

  • All policies cover reimbursement for first aid administered to others after an accident

Cons

  • Below-average claims satisfaction ratings

  • Website can be difficult to navigate

  • Not available in every state

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A reliable standby when it comes to car insurance, Safeco is backed by parent company Liberty Mutual. In addition to a full range of standard coverage options, Safeco offers some coverages you won’t find at every other insurance company, including optional coverage for if your pet is hurt in a car accident, a coverage add-on for rideshare drivers who work for services like Uber or Lyft, and optional coverage that replaces your electronic car keys with no deductible required.

Best for military families: USAA

Best for military families

USAA

|

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

USAA logo

USAA ranks well for superior customer service at industry-leading rates, but it’s only for members of the U.S. military and their families.

Pros

  • Excellent customer service and claims ratings

  • Industry-leading financial ratings

  • Unique discounts for service members

Cons

  • Only available to drivers affiliated with the military

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Another company known for stellar customer service and high claims satisfaction, USAA is only available to members of the U.S. military and their families. In addition to a full range of coverage options, USAA offers specific to its military clientele, including a discount if you garage your vehicle on a military base.

Best for mobile app and digital tools: Root

Best for mobile app and digital tools

Root

|

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Root logo

Root offers shoppers the chance to pay their rates based on driving behavior while tracked by a mobile app, but lacks the coverage options and features of more established carriers.

Pros

  • Everything can be done through the app

  • Price is based on driving habits

  • Roadside assistance included with every policy

Cons

  • App tracking may lead to privacy concerns

  • Fewer coverage options than competitors

  • Not available in every state

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A relative newcomer to the auto insurance industry, Root sets rates based on your driving behavior rather than factors like age or ZIP code. The company will track your driving habits through a mobile app and then calculate your rates based on a trial period. Root also lets drivers do basically everything else through an app, including managing your policy and filing claims.

Best for safe drivers: Erie

Best for safe drivers

Erie

|

Policygenius rating

How we score: Policygenius’ ratings are determined by our editorial team. Our methodology takes multiple factors into account, including pricing, financial ratings, quality of customer service, and other product-specific features.

Erie logo

A regional carrier with standout claims satisfaction ratings, Erie’s main drawback is that it’s simply not available in many states.

Pros

  • Standout customer service

  • Premium coverage options

  • Well-designed, sleek website

  • Accident forgiveness is offered as a loyalty perk

Cons

  • Not available in most states

  • May drop you if you have multiple accidents or moving violations

  • No Erie mobile app

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Erie is only offered in 12 states and the District of Columbia, which means it isn’t an option for many drivers, but if you live in one of the states where Erie auto coverage is available and you have a clean driving record, it’s well worth considering. Erie is known for its customer service and its perks for safe drivers, like a vanishing deductible, which lowers your deductible amount by $100 for every year you go without a claim. But Erie is picky about driving history, and drivers with accidents or claims on their records may not be able to get covered.

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How the rest stack up

Our top choices are great, but there are plenty of other good options when it comes to car insurance. Check out our longer list of the 25 best car insurance companies, along with scores from trusted third-parties.

CompanyAverage annual premiumsJ.D. Power score
MAPFRE$1,040844
USAA$1,048890
Auto-Owners Insurance$1,070890
Erie$1,139880
GEICO$1,187871
American Family$1,227862
State Farm$1,383881
Nationwide$1,463876
NJ Manufacturers$1,481909
COUNTRY Financial$1,543863
Travelers$1,580861
Amica$1,687907
Progressive$1,758856
National General$1,819815
Farmers$1,934872
The Hartford$1,939888
Allstate$1,974876
CSAA$2,318862
MetLife$2,431886
Mercury Insurance$2,554849

Policygenius analysis of rates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Rates provided are a sample of costs. Your actual quotes may differ.

Choosing the best car insurance company

Policygenius makes it easy to choose the best car insurance company, because we show you quotes from the top companies and help you choose the policy that’s best for you.

Whether you’re looking for a company with white glove service or you want the most affordable option out there, here’s what every driver should look for.

Here’s what to consider when you’re comparing car insurance policies:

  1. Customer service and claims handling. Policygenius has detailed reviews of many top car insurance companies in the industry, so read up on how some of the top providers fare on customer service and claims satisfaction. 

  2. Cost. Policygenius can help you compare quotes from top companies, so you can see which one offers you the best coverage at the best price. Remember to make sure you’re comparing apples to apples — one company may offer you a 6-month policy for $750 and another may offer you a yearlong one for $900, so take a look at the specifics before you choose your coverage.

  3. Additional coverage options. While most car insurance companies offer the same range of standard auto insurance options that make up a full coverage policy, some offer a wider range of coverage options than others, including coverage for things like personal belongings stolen from your car, or extra coverage if your pets are injured in an accident. You should also check to see which other insurance products are on offer – you can’t bundle your car and home insurance with a company that only offers auto policies.

  4. Discounts and savings opportunities. The best auto insurance companies can offset the cost of your premiums by offering discounts on car insurance for things like safe driving, bundling your auto and home insurance, paying your bill in full at the start of the year, or taking a defensive driving course. 

→ Learn more about how to buy car insurance

Frequently asked questions

Are there different types of car insurance companies?

Yes — some car insurance companies are smaller, regional carriers that only offer coverage in a few states, while others are national companies that offer policies no matter where you are in the U.S. Some companies only offer auto insurance, while others can also insure your home, boat, RV or trailer.

How do I find the best car insurance rates?

The most surefire way to get the best car insurance rates is to shop around, and compare quotes from at least three different companies before you choose coverage. Policygenius can help you see quotes from top companies in one go, so you know you’re choosing the best price.

Can anyone get USAA car insurance?

No, USAA insurance is limited to current and former members of the U.S. military, as well as their spouses and children. If that doesn’t describe you, you’ll have to look for car insurance coverage elsewhere.

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