State Farm vs. GEICO: Which car insurance is right for you?

Both GEICO and State Farm are major insurers with all the coverage options most drivers need, but State Farm outranks GEICO when it comes to claims satisfaction.

Anna Swartz 1600

Anna Swartz

Published September 25, 2019

State Farm vs. GEICO Overview

State Farm and GEICO are both household names when it comes to insurance companies: State Farm is currently the largest auto insurer in the country, and GEICO is, well, GEICO, with its ubiquitous commercials and savings guarantees.

If you don’t already have coverage from State Farm or GEICO, you almost certainly know someone who does. So if you’re looking for auto insurance, how do these two companies stack up against each other?

You’ll find similar coverage options with both GEICO and State Farm, and both offer all the basic coverage most drivers looking for full coverage will need. But State Farm edges out GEICO when it comes to claims satisfaction: State Farm scored 864 on the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, compared to GEICO’s 857.

State Farm also has some unique offerings — like its State Farm Steer Clear program, for teen and young adult drivers, which lets younger drivers use an app to track their driving, take educational quizzes and watch informational videos. Upon completion of the program, they earn a discount that can help offset the cost of insuring young and inexperienced drivers.

Both GEICO and State Farm offer auto insurance in all fifty states, which isn’t true of some other major car insurance companies.

But when it comes to price, GEICO is usually more affordable. We ran sample quotes for an average driver and GEICO’s quote was less than half as much as State Farm’s. GEICO also offers a wide range of discounts — so if price is your top priority, GEICO may be a better choice for you.

GEICO fast facts

  • Coverage available in all 50 states
  • Discounts for federal employees
  • Wide range of available discounts
  • Competitive rates
  • Below average claims satisfaction rating
  • Easy-to-use website and online quote generator

State Farm fast facts

  • Coverage available in all 50 states
  • Above-average claims satisfaction ratings
  • Special savings programs like Drive Safe and Save and Steer Clear
  • May be more expensive than GEICO

State Farm vs. GEICO customer satisfaction ratings

Better Business Bureau ratingConsumer Reports ratingJ.D. Power Claims Satisfaction rating
State FarmA89854
GEICOB+89857

Note: The J.D. Power claims satisfaction rating rates insurance providers out of a possible score of 1,000. The highest scoring provider in 2018 earned a score of 891.

State Farm vs. GEICO price comparison

The cost of car insurance depends on a number of individual factors, like your driving history, age, zip code, credit score and the kind of car you drive.

That makes it difficult to predict with any accuracy what a given driver will pay for car insurance from GEICO or State Farm. That said, we can still look at what an average driver was quoted for nearly identical coverage from both State Farm and GEICO.

Sample Quotes

Our sample driver is a single, 30-year-old woman in Minneapolis, Minnesota who owns her home and drives a 2014 Toyota Camry. GEICO quoted her $427 for a six-month policy. For nearly identical coverage, State Farm quoted her more than triple that cost: $1,630.57 for a six-month policy.

GEICO sample insurance policy

Basic CoveragesPolicy Limits
Bodily injury liability$50,000 each person, $100,000 each accident
Property damage liability$50,000 each accident
Personal injury protection$40,000 each person
Uninsured motorists bodily injury$50,000 each person, $100,000 each accident
Comprehensive$500 deductible
Collision$500 deductible

Total premium for the policy period = $427

State Farm sample insurance policy

Basic CoveragesPolicy Limits
Bodily injury liability$50,000 each person, $100,000 each accident
Property damage liability$50,000 each accident
Personal injury protection$20,000 each person
Uninsured motorists bodily injury$50,000 each person, $100,000 each accident
Comprehensive$500 deductible
Collision$500 deductible

Total premium for the policy period = $1,630.57

State Farm vs. GEICO: Roadside assistance

State Farm and GEICO both offer roadside assistance as an optional add-on to your car insurance policy. Roadside assistance, sometimes called towing and labor or, in the case of State Farm, emergency road service coverage, covers the kinds of emergencies that leave you and your car stranded on the side of the road, like dead batteries or running out of gas.

Adding roadside assistance to your policy typically adds around $5 to $15 per vehicle to your annual premium.

Here’s what State Farm and GEICO’s roadside assistance coverage includes:

State FarmGEICO
Jumpstarting a dead battery
Flat tire changes
Lockout services
Fuel and fluid delivery
Towing

GEICO offers a wide range of discounts for its customers, including discounts for federal employees, the company’s original clientele. State Farm also offers a range of discounts for various vehicle features, safe driving and customer loyalty, although State Farm doesn’t list quite as many available discounts as GEICO does.

That said, State Farm has two usage-based programs to help drivers save, its Drive Safe and Save program and its Steer Clear program, aimed at younger drivers.

Both involve tracking your driving through a smartphone app, but they could be a good way to save for drivers who don’t mind sacrificing a little privacy.

DiscountsState FarmGEICO
Bundling home and auto
Completing a driver's education course
Insuring multiple cars on one policy
Having anti-theft devices in your vehicle
Using your seat belt
Accident or claim free for a set number of years
Good student discount
Federal employee discount
Emergency deployment discount

Check with your current car insurance provider to make sure you’re getting every possible discount for which you qualify.

State Farm vs. GEICO: How much does credit score matter?

Generally, the worse your credit score, the more you’ll pay for car insurance. If your credit score is very poor, you may have trouble finding affordable insurance. As for how much credit score matters when applying for a policy with State Farm or GEICO, both will cover most drivers, it’s just a matter of how much you’ll pay for your policy.

It’s important to monitor your credit score so you aren’t caught off-guard by high rates if you have a low score. If you know your credit score is low, take steps to pay down debt and pay bills on time as often as possible, which will help raise your score over time. But it’s also important to remember that the credit score you see when you check your credit report isn’t necessarily what insurers are seeing when you apply for coverage. You actually have many credit scores.

There are three major credit bureaus that generate credit reports: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. But in addition to those multiple bureaus, there are also multiple scoring models used to calculate different types of specific scores, leading to multiple scores for every consumer. But even though you have multiple scores, most of them will fall within a similar range.

Credit scores fall between 300 and 850, and, while there are different scales used to rank scores, generally the tiers are as follows:

  • 800 to 850 = exceptional
  • 740 to 799 = very good
  • 670 to 739 = good
  • 580 to 669 = fair
  • 300 to 579 = very poor

State Farm vs. GEICO state availability

GEICO and State Farm both write auto insurance policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

StateState FarmGEICOStateState FarmGEICO
AlabamaMontana
AlaskaNebraska
ArizonaNevada
ArkansasNew Hampshire
CaliforniaNew Jersey
ColoradoNew Mexico
ConnecticutNew York
DelawareNorth Carolina
FloridaNorth Dakota
GeorgiaOhio
HawaiiOklahoma
IdahoOregon
IllinoisPennsylvania
IndianaRhode Island
IowaSouth Carolina
KansasSouth Dakota
KentuckyTennessee
LouisianaTexas
MaineUtah
MassachusettsVermont
MarylandVirginia
MichiganWashington
MinnesotaWashington D.C.
MississippiWest Virginia
MissouriWisconsin
Wyoming

If you’re ready to shop for car insurance, a Policygenius expert can help you compare quotes and get the insurance coverage that’s best for you and your wallet.