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The Best Car Insurance Companies for 2020

NerdWallet looked at claims processes, transparency, complaints and more to find and rank the best car insurance companies.
June 25, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

The best car insurance companies give their customers more than just coverage they want at a reasonable price — merely good companies can do that. On top of that, the best auto insurance companies provide a customer-first experience from quote to claim, including a headache-free way to manage policies and make payments.

NerdWallet’s editorial team considered pricing and discounts, ease of filing a claim, website transparency, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more to determine the 20 best car insurance companies. As we continue to evaluate more auto insurance companies and receive fresh market data, this list is likely to change.

The best car insurance companies

CompanyNerdWallet Rating
Note: Not all insurers available in all states.
NJM
5.0 NerdWallet rating
Erie
5.0 NerdWallet rating
Amica
5.0 NerdWallet rating
Texas Farm Bureau Insurance
5.0 NerdWallet rating
Geico
5.0 NerdWallet rating
Shelter
5.0 NerdWallet rating
Progressive
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Travelers
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Auto Club of Southern California (AAA)
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Allstate
4.5 NerdWallet rating
American Family
4.5 NerdWallet rating
State Farm
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Farmers
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Auto-Owners
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Chubb
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Esurance
4.5 NerdWallet rating
Safeco
4.0 NerdWallet rating
Country Financial
4.0 NerdWallet rating
Liberty Mutual
4.0 NerdWallet rating
Nationwide
4.0 NerdWallet rating
USAA*
5.0 NerdWallet rating
*USAA is available only to active military, veterans and their families.

» MORE: Compare car insurance

Finding the best car insurance company for you

Pricing and discounts made up a portion of each insurer’s score, but we know that cost is the top factor for many auto insurance shoppers. Since pricing is based on personal factors including your age, location, vehicle and your credit history and gender (in most cases), it’s important to shop around for car insurance quotes.

If price is the most important factor in your search, comparing car insurance quotes can help you find the cheapest rate. But your shopping experience will also shed light on a company’s customer service standards.

» MORE: Find the best cheap car insurance

To find the best company for you while shopping for car insurance:

  • Visit your state insurance commissioner’s website to find complaints and other information about companies in your area.
  • Ask your agent or a customer service representative any questions you have to make sure you’re getting all the coverage you need — and nothing you don’t want.
  • Consider smaller insurance companies, too. Small companies offer rates well below large competitors in many locations.
  • If you’ve had tickets, DUIs or other violations, be sure to shop three and five years after the incident, when surcharges can drop significantly.

Want to see rates? Navigate to your state below and compare average rates from the three cheapest car insurance companies in several categories where you live.

More about the best car insurance companies

NJM

5.0 NerdWallet rating

Despite its name, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance isn’t limited to a single state. The company offers auto insurance to drivers in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

NJM gets high scores in J.D. Power’s studies of customer satisfaction:

  • “Among the best” in the 2019 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, the most recent available.
  • Third among 14 insurers in the Mid-Atlantic region in the 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, which measures overall customer satisfaction.

You can get all the standard auto coverages from NJM, along with extras including new car replacement coverage for cars with fewer than 15,000 miles and pet coverage, which pays for Fido’s medical bills if he’s hurt in a covered car accident. You can also add gap insurance to help pay off your car loan if your vehicle is stolen or totaled.

» MORE: NJM insurance review

Erie

5.0 NerdWallet rating

Erie Insurance offers auto insurance to buyers in 12 states — Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin — plus the District of Columbia.

Erie earns strong marks in J.D. Power customer satisfaction studies:

  • Second among a dozen mid-sized insurance companies in the 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, which measures satisfaction with the auto insurance shopping experience.
  • Second among 14 companies in the Mid-Atlantic region, second out of 17 insurers in the Southeast region and third among 20 companies in the North Central region in the 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study.
  • Third out of 23 companies nationwide in the 2019 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

When you buy Erie car insurance, you can lock in your rates until you change your covered drivers, covered cars or home address. Erie offers new car protection for cars under 24 months old, and rental reimbursement coverage comes standard. Accident forgiveness is available after three years with the company.

» MORE: Erie insurance review

Amica

5.0 NerdWallet rating

Amica Insurance sells auto insurance in 25 states, having grown from covering just New York and New Jersey before 2017.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 studies, Amica ranked first for overall satisfaction in the New England region and eighth among 12 mid-sized insurers for insurance shopping satisfaction. J.D. Power also ranked Amica highest for overall auto claims satisfaction in 2019.

If you do have to go through the claims process, you may not even see an increase in your rates. Customers who opt for certain upgrades can earn “Advantage Points” for good driving, renewing a policy and referring other drivers. These points can be used to keep your current rate after an accident. Amica also offers free glass repair, free lock replacement and free airbag repair after deployment.

» MORE: Amica insurance review

Texas Farm Bureau Insurance

5.0 NerdWallet rating

Texas Farm Bureau Insurance operates in a single state, and buying coverage requires a Farm Bureau membership, which typically costs $35 to $50 a year. That gives you access to some of the cheapest car insurance in Texas.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance is the highest rated auto insurer in Texas.

Texas Farm Bureau Insurance gives student drivers a discount for good grades, gives homeowners a discount for bundling and gives anyone a discount for having a car’s vehicle identification number, or VIN, etched in the glass of the car to deter theft.

» MORE: Texas Farm Bureau Insurance review

Geico

5.0 NerdWallet rating

Geico operates its car insurance business in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 customer satisfaction studies, Geico ranked first among large insurers for the insurance shopping experience and first (or tied for first) for overall satisfaction in the North Central, Northwest and Southwest regions. J.D. Power rated Geico about average for satisfaction with its claims process in 2019.

Geico stacks up the discounts, giving drivers in some states a few bucks off for everything from clean driving records to good grades. Federal employees also get discounts, as do veterans, active military and reservists. As for coverage, you can get all the basics plus mechanical breakdown coverage, which helps pay for repairs to newer cars with fewer miles.

» MORE: Geico insurance review

Shelter

5.0 NerdWallet rating

Shelter Insurance sells policies in 15 states — Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, Shelter ranks third among 14 insurers in the Central region.

Shelter’s policies for new vehicles automatically include new car replacement insurance, which will pay for a new car if yours is totaled in its first year with fewer than 15,000 miles on it. Assorted discounts are available, including one for drivers at least 48 years old who own another qualifying Shelter policy.

» MORE: Shelter insurance review

Progressive

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Progressive Insurance operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., so you can get it no matter where you live.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, Progressive ranked seventh out of eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with the insurance shopping experience. J.D. Power rated Progressive about average for customer satisfaction with its claims process in 2019.

Progressive has different features and options depending on your state. Some of the more interesting additions include pet injury protection, which is included with collision coverage, and a deductible “savings bank,” which knocks your deductible down by $50 each claim-free policy period to a minimum of $0.

» MORE: Progressive insurance review

Travelers

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Travelers Insurance operates in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 study, Travelers ranked eighth among eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance. Travelers scored about average for customer claims satisfaction in 2019.

Travelers offers potential discounts in some states for using the company’s telematics program, a system that tracks your driving. You can also get coverage for replacing cars that are totaled within their first five years. Optional plans offer forgiveness for one accident and one minor violation every 36 months so your car insurance rates don’t go up after an incident.

» MORE: Travelers insurance review

Auto Club of Southern California (AAA)

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Auto Club of Southern California is one of several separate insurance companies that operate under the AAA brand. It may sound like a regional player, but the Auto Club of SoCal actually operates in about 20 states, ranging from California to Maine. To buy coverage, you’ll probably need an AAA club membership, which typically has an annual fee of about $40 to $165 per person.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 customer satisfaction studies, the Auto Club of SoCal ranked second among 15 insurers in California for overall satisfaction and 10th out of 12 mid-sized insurers for satisfaction with the insurance shopping experience. Auto Club of SoCal ranked about average for auto insurance claims satisfaction in 2019.

Auto Club of SoCal gives discounts in some states for holding on to your coverage, having good grades or bundling policies. Good drivers can also save by using the AAA OnBoard app to monitor their driving. Discounts vary by state.

» MORE: AAA auto insurance review

Allstate

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Allstate operates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 studies, Allstate ranked fourth among eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance and first for overall satisfaction in Florida. Allstate scored about average for customer claims satisfaction in 2019.

Allstate offers potential discounts for drivers in some states who use the company’s telematics program — a system that tracks how safely you drive. You can get discounts for being a good student, driving a new car and going paperless. Allstate also gives you a discount on your deductible if you sign up for the optional deductible rewards program, cutting down on your out-of-pocket expenses when you’re in an accident.

» MORE: Allstate insurance review

American Family

4.5 NerdWallet rating

American Family Insurance operates in 19 states, mainly throughout the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 customer satisfaction studies, American Family ranked third among a dozen mid-sized insurers for satisfaction with the insurance shopping experience and tied for first place for overall satisfaction in the Southwest region. J.D. Power ranked American Family about average for auto insurance claims satisfaction in 2019.

American Family offers a range of discounts to drivers in some states, including a loyalty discount, a defensive driving course completion discount and a discount for students away at school. The company also has apps to monitor driving, allowing good drivers to earn discounts.

» MORE: American Family insurance review

State Farm

4.5 NerdWallet rating

As the largest personal auto insurer in the country, State Farm covers all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 studies, State Farm ranked third among eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance and first for overall satisfaction in New York and the Mid-Atlantic region. State Farm scored about average for customer claims satisfaction in 2019.

The company offers discounts to drivers in some states for having multiple cars, being a good driver and having a student away at school. State Farm has a safe driving app that can live on your phone or run through OnStar. You can earn a discount by following the rules and driving sensibly.

» MORE: State Farm insurance review

Farmers

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Farmers Insurance ranks seventh on the list of the largest car insurance companies in the U.S.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, Farmers ranked sixth among eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with the insurance shopping experience. J.D. Power rated Farmers about average for customer satisfaction with its claims process in 2019.

In some states, Farmers offers new car replacement coverage for cars under two years old and with fewer than 24,000 miles. You can get discounts for bundling multiple policies, being a good student and being a member of some professional groups.

» MORE: Farmers insurance review

Auto-Owners

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Auto-Owners Insurance is available in 26 states.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 studies, Auto-Owners ranked fifth among 12 mid-sized insurers for customer satisfaction with insurance shopping and first for overall satisfaction in the Central region. Auto-Owners ranked about average for customer claims satisfaction in 2019.

Auto-Owners drivers in some states can get discounts for insuring multiple cars, paying premiums on time for three years and having a life insurance policy with the company. Auto-Owners also has an app to track your driving. Good drivers can get a discount for avoiding hard braking and sharp turns, along with other safe behaviors.

» MORE: Auto-Owners insurance review

Chubb

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Chubb Insurance specializes in high-end coverage for well-to-do families. The company insurance and has offices in 29 states and the District of Columbia.

Chubb isn’t trying to be the cheapest car insurer — it’s trying to be the car insurer with the white-glove touch. Rental reimbursement comes in at a whopping $15,000. Coverage will pay for repairing your car with original manufacturer-made parts, for those cars that need just the right imported piece. You can even get extra high liability limits, up to $10 million.

» MORE: Chubb insurance review

Esurance

4.5 NerdWallet rating

Esurance is an online and phone-based insurance company, which means you’re not going to find its offices just around the corner, but it’s available in 43 states.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 study, Esurance ranked seventh among 12 mid-sized insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance. Esurance scored below average in J.D. Power’s claims satisfaction study in 2019.

You may get discounts for insuring more than one vehicle, owning your home or starting your quote process online. Esurance also offers additional coverage for rental reimbursement in some states, giving you as much as $3,000 to rent a car for up to 45 days if yours is wrecked or stolen.

» MORE: Esurance insurance review

Safeco

4.0 NerdWallet rating

Safeco Insurance, a division of Liberty Mutual, is available in 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, Safeco ranked last among a dozen mid-sized insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance. Safeco scored about average for claims satisfaction in 2019.

Safeco offers discounts in some states for taking accident prevention courses, driving fewer miles and owning a home. It also offers first aid reimbursement, so if you’re injured after an accident, Safeco will pay for up to $10,000 worth of treatment.

» MORE: Safeco insurance review

Country Financial

4.0 NerdWallet rating

Country Financial is available to drivers in 19 states.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, Country Financial ranked fifth among 20 insurers in the North Central region for overall customer satisfaction. J.D. Power scored Country Financial “among the best” for claims satisfaction in 2019.

Country Financial offers discounts to drivers in some states with new cars, newly married couples who insure all their cars through the company and teachers, police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics. Country Financial also offers an online safety course for young drivers, who then qualify for a discount.

» MORE: Country Financial insurance review

Liberty Mutual

4.0 NerdWallet rating

Liberty Mutual is the sixth largest auto insurer in the U.S.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 study, Liberty Mutual ranked fifth out of eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with the insurance shopping experience. Liberty Mutual scored about average for satisfaction with the claims process in 2019.

The company offers discounts to drivers in some states who own their home, insure multiple cars, buy online and drive electric or hybrid cars. You can opt to add coverage to your Liberty Mutual insurance, with new car replacement, repair guarantees and accident forgiveness available in some states.

» MORE: Liberty Mutual insurance review

Nationwide

4.0 NerdWallet rating

Nationwide Insurance is available in 46 states and the District of Columbia. It isn’t offered in Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana or Massachusetts.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, Nationwide ranked second among eight large insurers for customer satisfaction with buying insurance. In 2019, J.D. Power ranked Nationwide about average for customer claims satisfaction.

Nationwide offers apps and plug-in telematics devices — they just read information out of your car’s internal computer — to help good drivers get discounts. You can also get discounts from Nationwide by insuring multiple vehicles, staying accident-free and being a member of some alumni and professional organizations.

» MORE: Nationwide insurance review

USAA

5.0 NerdWallet rating

Although USAA sells insurance in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., it’s only available to active military, veterans and their families. For that reason, NerdWallet doesn’t rank USAA alongside other insurers. But for customers who qualify, USAA often offers cheap rates.

USAA consistently scores high in J.D. Power studies for insurance shopping, claims and overall customer satisfaction.

USAA offers many discounts, including some specifically for drivers in the military. For instance, you can get a discount for keeping your car in a garage on a military base. You can also get more general discounts in some states for taking defensive driving courses, earning good grades and insuring a new car.

» MORE: USAA insurance review

Methodology

NerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints, website transparency and affordability. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. This ranking reflects relative performance in our auto insurance rating formula; many companies are considered but only carriers with the highest scores are listed.

These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews.