Best Car Insurance Companies in 2021 for USA

Car insurance provides a financial safety net in the event an incident results in costly damages or injuries to those involved.

With the important financial role car insurance plays, it’s important to shop around to find the best auto insurer, price and service for your needs.

Bankrate keeps pace with the auto insurance market to ensure we choose carriers based on factors that matter most to consumers, as informed by our team of insurance experts.

Our selections for the best auto insurance companies in the U.S. were determined by assessing average annual premiums, customer satisfaction scores, financial strength ratings and digital resources.

Summary: Best car insurance companies in November 2021

Company Best for Bankrate Score Average annual full coverage premium
USAA Overall car insurance company 5 $1,225
State Farm Overall car insurance company 4.7 $1,457
Clearcover* Digital presence 5 N/A
Geico High-risk drivers 4.7 $1,405
Travelers Budget drivers 4.7 $1,325
Erie Robust coverage 4.6 $1,233
Auto-Owners Discounts 4.5 $1,351
Amica Claims satisfaction 4.4 $1,378
Nationwide Personalized coverage 4.4 $1,485
Progressive Digital policy management 4.4 $1,509
Allstate High-value cars 4 $1,921

*Overall standing affected by limited data availability

How Bankrate picked the best car insurance companies for 2021

To provide an easy-to-use shopping and comparison tool for consumers, we calculated a Bankrate Score out of 5.0 total points.

The higher a company’s Bankrate Score, the more competitively that company ranked in each scoring category. Our picks highlight auto insurers that:

  • Generate a 4.0 or higher Bankrate Score
  • Earn a J.D. Power Claims Study customer satisfaction score within 20 points of the industry average or higher
  • Carry an “Excellent” or “Superior” financial strength rating from AM Best
  • Have a strong digital presence with a consumer-friendly mobile app or digital policy management features
  • Are deemed “best” by Bankrate in a particular market category

Details: Top auto insurance companies in 2021

  • USAA: best overall car insurance company
  • State Farm: best overall car insurance company
  • Clearcover: best for digital presence
  • Geico: best for high-risk drivers
  • Travelers: best for budget drivers
  • Erie: best for rubust coverage
  • Auto-Owners: best for discounts
  • Amica: best for claims satisfaction
  • Nationwide: best for personalized coverage
  • Progressive: best for digital policy management
  • Allstate: best for high-value cars

USAA: Best car insurance company overall

Why this company made our list: With the highest Bankrate Score of the auto insurers Bankrate analyzed, nationwide availability for active-duty military, veterans and their families, plus top-tier customer service, USAA easily makes our list of best car insurance companies for November 2021. Available only to current or former military members and their families, USAA is a top scorer in J.D.

Power customer satisfaction surveys, has impeccable financial strength as rated by AM Best, S&P and Moody’s, and still manages to provide some of the lowest-priced auto insurance quotes in the industry.

Why USAA is best overall for car insurance: USAA earns top marks from all major third-party agencies for customer service and financial strength.

Coupled with having the lowest average full coverage premium on our list, military and veteran families are privy to multiple coverage options, rewards and discounts, including unique circumstances like deployment for active-duty members.

While not all drivers may qualify for coverage from USAA, the company is a standout for millions of military families across the country.

Who this may be best for: policyholders seeking military-related coverage

State Farm: Best car insurance company overall

Why this company made our list: As the largest national auto insurer based on market share, State Farm’s reach and reputation easily lends itself to being one of the best car insurance companies for drivers in any state. Its extensive local agent network showcases its customer-first approach to providing a variety of personal and commercial insurance products to consumers.

Why State Farm is best overall for car insurance: State Farm receives the highest Bankrate Score among carriers available nationally to all drivers. The company boasts over 19,000 licensed insurance professionals, available in communities across the U.S., who can offer guidance to those who value expert insight when discussing their policy. Digital management options allow for an on-the-go approach, including a highly rated mobile app where you can file auto claims and contact your agent.

Who this may be best for: policyholders seeking top-rated insurance coverage from local agents

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
State Farm $1,457 $1,590 $1,657 $1,656
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: State Farm Insurance review

Clearcover: Best car insurance company for digital presence

Why this company made our list: Clearcover’s technology-driven car insurance is reinventing the insurance landscape, making it a clear contender for any driver seeking the best modern auto insurance experience. The insurtech company’s digital approach allows it to sell highly affordable policies.

Why Clearcover is best for digital presence: Although only currently available to drivers in 16 states, Clearcover is disrupting the auto insurance market by putting technology in the spotlight. The carrier uses artificial intelligence-based digital tools to its advantage, revamping how car insurance is quoted, purchased and serviced. Clearcover’s highly-rated mobile app puts control over managing policies directly in users’ hands. The streamlined approach enables Clearcover to pay most auto claims in less than a week, with some even being eligible for same-day processing.

Who this may be best for: policyholders seeking a technology-driven insurance experience

Learn more: Clearcover Insurance review

Geico: Best car insurance company for high-risk drivers

Why this company made our list: Geico’s long history as a trusted household-name auto insurer is reflected in its high Bankrate Score, and is one of the reasons we included it as a top company for dependable car insurance. Coverage is available for virtually every type of driver, making its car insurance coverage accessible for consumers with blemished motor vehicle records.

Why Geico is best for high-risk drivers: Geico is one of the few top car insurance companies that will write policies for drivers even after high-risk incidents, such as DUI convictions. While high-risk policies will still be more expensive than standard coverage, a high-risk driver will usually be challenged to find available options for coverage, especially from major insurers. Geico is an easily-accessible option for most people. Drivers with a poor credit-based insurance score are also likely to find more favorable rates with the insurer, as full coverage in this credit tier averages $1,978 annually, compared to the national average of $3,873 per year for those with poor credit standing.

Who this may be best for: policyholders who may be considered high-risk drivers or those who have below-average credit

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Geico $1,405 $1,734 $1,971 $1,505
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Travelers: Best car insurance company for budget drivers

Why this company made our list: Travelers is a trusted insurer with over 150 years in the auto insurance industry. Its strong independent agent network, robust savings opportunities and proven financial track record make it a worthwhile option for drivers nationwide.

Why Travelers is best for budget drivers: Travelers’ average full coverage car insurance rates come in $349 cheaper than the national average. The company’s numerous car insurance discounts include deals for members of affinity groups, consistent payment and its proprietary usage-based insurance program called IntelliDrive, which tracks your driving in real time and awards discounts for safe practices. Travelers’ claims satisfaction is not as highly ranked by customers compared to other companies Bankrate analyzed, which may be worth considering when comparing low-cost coverage against your likelihood of submitting claims.

Who this may be best for: policyholders seeking affordable full coverage

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Travelers $1,325 $2,119 $2,174 $1,422
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: Travelers Insurance review

Erie: Best car insurance company for robust coverage

Why this company made our list: We included Erie on our list as this super-regional insurer is generous with ‘optional’ coverages in its policies and scores competitively across all third-party agencies reviewed in our research.

Erie also offers discount advantages and competitive rates for young drivers who normally see the highest rates of all driver age groups. Drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 see average rates more than 43% less than the national average, based on our study of quoted annual premiums from Quadrant Information Services. Erie’s high Bankrate Score contributes to its position on our list of best car insurance companies for 2021, although coverage is not available nationally.

Why Erie is best for robust coverage: Erie automatically includes several coverage types and features in its full coverage policies that many competitors only offer as optional add-ons. Drivers can benefit from included rideshare insurance, accident forgiveness and Erie’s Rate Lock feature, which could help keep your premiums consistent over time. While only available in 12 states, the company provides robust coverage and a strong claims experience for drivers in its service areas.

Who this may be best for: policyholders seeking robust coverage

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Erie $1,233 $1,283 $1,398 $1,403
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: Erie Insurance review

Auto-Owners: Best car insurance company for discounts

Why this company made our list: Auto-Owners is another super-regional carrier with a strong reputation for providing excellent auto coverage and earned the second-highest J.D. Power claims satisfaction rates of any company on our list of best car insurance companies. Its wide range of coverage and discount options are available to drivers in 26 states.

Why Auto-Owners is best for discounts: Auto-Owners offers an impressive menu of 12 discounts, which many drivers are likely eligible to receive. Drivers could save by getting a quote ahead of their current policy’s expiration, or by opting for paperless billing and payment options. The company provides three types of student discounts, making it a great option for parents of teens or young drivers who have their own policy to consider.

Who this may be best for: policyholders seeking discount options

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Auto-Owners $1,351 $1,673 $1,625 $1,528
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: Auto-Owners Insurance review

Amica: Best car insurance company for claims satisfaction

Why this company made our list: Amica’s standout claims service and customer-centric business model make it a standout choice, based on Bankrate’s analysis, for drivers seeking the best car insurance company.

Why Amica is best for claims satisfaction: Amica ranks as the second-highest scoring carrier for claims satisfaction out of the top auto insurers surveyed by J.D. Power, earning 32 points above the industry average. The company’s online claim center allows customers to easily report a claim, upload supporting documents and track the claim’s process with a few simple clicks. Its customer representatives are available to support policyholders 24/7.

Who this may be best for: policyholders who prioritize customer service

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Amica $1,378 $1,689 $1,665 $1,478
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Nationwide: Best car insurance company for personalized coverage

Why this company made our list: Nationwide’s options to tailor coverage based on personal needs solidify it as a top car insurance company for 2021, based on Bankrate’s research. With national availability and a website full of useful insurance information, customers are likely to find the answers they need to customize a Nationwide policy to their exact needs.

car insurance companies USA

Why Nationwide is best for personalized coverage: Drivers can choose how their policy works with Nationwide, with options to select from standard coverage, usage-based insurance and pay-per-mile. Its SmartRide and SmartMiles telematics programs can help you either earn a discount based on your safe driving habits or provide a flexible premium based on your vehicle usage, respectively. Optional coverage is not as plentiful as some other auto insurers on our list, but personalized options offer valuable control over your financial protection.

Who this may be best for: policyholders seeking personalized coverage options

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Nationwide $1,485 $1,734 $1,745 $1,577
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review

Progressive: Best car insurance company for personalized rate

Why this company made our list: Progressive’s handy rate tools and positive customer satisfaction help secure it as one of our best car insurance selections. Consumers can find options to save based on their own budget and driving habits with a Progressive policy anywhere in the U.S., backed by a financially strong company that earns high ratings from third-party agencies.

Why Progressive is best for digital policy management: Progressive provides several ways for drivers to save time and money by managing their policy online, such as its Snapshot app, which is a telematics program that monitors driving and offers discounts for safe driving. Even when first deciding what is the right policy for you, you can use its online Name Your Price tool to personalize your buying experience and review coverage options based on your budget. The Progressive mobile app offers instant access to review coverage, ID cards, bill payment and claims submissions.

Who this may be best for: policyholders seeking a personalized rate experience

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Progressive $1,509 $1,826 $2,231 $1,629
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: Progressive Insurance review

Allstate: Best car insurance company for high-value cars

Why this company made our list: As the fourth-largest insurer based on market share, Allstate has a long list of valuable coverage options that make it a standout option for many drivers, but especially for those with unique vehicles. Allstate’s rewards program adds additional benefits, allowing drivers to earn points toward hotels, gift cards and other great perks.

Why Allstate is best for high-value cars: Allstate is one of the few insurers that offer coverage for custom equipment. The company’s full coverage policies are higher cost on average compared to other carriers on Bankrate’s list, but drivers who have invested money into modifying their vehicles with the best sound equipment likely need more extensive coverage, which Allstate provides. Classic and antique car collectors can opt for Allstate’s classic car insurance so the vehicle’s higher intrinsic value is accounted for in case of costly damage.

Who this may be best for: policyholders seeking coverage for classic or custom vehicles

Average annual full coverage car insurance rates
Clean record One speeding ticket One accident Average credit
Allstate $1,921 $2,519 $2,752 $2,312
National average $1,674 $2,062 $2,311 $1,865

Learn more: Allstate Insurance review

How to compare the best car insurance companies

It can be helpful to have an apples-to-apples comparison when reviewing multiple auto insurance companies. While an average annual premium estimate may be a good initial indicator of how a company will stack up against others, it doesn’t provide the full story. Quotes should ideally include the same coverage levels and types, with the same personal details and vehicle information given to each company. Depending on your insurance experience preferences, it will also help to review trusted third-party ratings for an additional assessment of a company’s performance, such as J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings, the NAIC consumer complaint index and financial strength grades from multiple credit rating agencies. Your insurance agent can help you obtain this type of information about the auto insurers you are interested in.

What you need to know about car insurance

What is car insurance and how does it work?

Auto insurance is a form of financial protection that covers a variety of vehicle incidents that could affect you, your vehicle, or others and their vehicle. Insurance spans a policy term that you and your insurer set at the time of purchase — typically six months or a year. While most states require a specific minimum amount or type of coverage to be purchased, industry experts typically recommend having more robust financial protection that fits your budget to protect your finances in the event of a costly loss.

Auto policies will cover certain incidents of injury, damage or liability. Coverage limits can be set to satisfy your preferred level of financial protection. Not all coverage types will apply in all states or for all policies, so it’s important to know what your options are for financially protecting yourself. In addition, deductibles are commonly specific to certain coverage types, and assuming a higher amount of financial responsibility on your end — selecting a higher deductible — can lower your premium cost.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), more than a dozen rating variables unique to each driver are ultimately what determines how much you will pay for auto insurance. As each carrier uses different rating factors and weights when underwriting policies, comparing quotes from multiple insurers is often essential in finding the most affordable rate.

Motor vehicle accidents and other occurrences of loss or damage — such as hail storms, floods and vandalism — can be costly to cover out of pocket. When you purchase car insurance, you add a financial safety net so that any damage you are responsible for paying after a covered incident is shared between you and your car insurance company.

While your exact level of coverage will depend on the policy you choose, filing a claim could potentially offer you a payout for loss caused by an uninsured motorist, weather event, occurrence of theft or vandalism, or a multitude of other damaging events. Similarly, if you are involved in an accident with another driver and they are at fault, their auto insurance would help cover your medical expenses and property damage (depending upon the state).

What are the different types of car insurance coverage?

Auto insurance companies like the ones Bankrate profiled commonly offer the following standard coverage types, such as:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage pays for the injuries that you cause to others in an at-fault accident.
  • Property damage liability coverage pays for the damage you cause to another’s vehicle or other property (like a fence, pole or building) in an at-fault accident.
  • Collision coverage is part of “full coverage” and pays for damages to your vehicle caused by a collision. If you collide with another car, a tree, a pole, a building or a pedestrian, your collision coverage is the part of the policy that will pay for the damage to your vehicle. According to the Triple-I, about 75% of drivers carry this optional coverage.
  • Comprehensive coverage is also part of full coverage and pays for damage to your car caused by non-collision losses like theft, vandalism and storm damage. Comprehensive also pays for damages caused by hitting an animal and cracked windshields. According to the Triple-I, approximately 80% of drivers carry this optional coverage.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage pays for injury and damage caused by a driver who either lacks sufficient coverage or lacks any coverage at all. The Insurance Research Council’s latest study indicated one in eight U.S. drivers was uninsured in 2019.
  • Personal injury protection, also known as no-fault insurance and offered only in certain states, pays for medical expenses you and your passengers incur following an accident, regardless of fault. It also accounts for non-medical expenses incurred as a result of an accident, such as lost wages or childcare.
  • MedPay is similar to PIP insurance coverage but includes only payments for medical expenses. It is required in some states, usually those that do not offer PIP.

However, there are more types of car insurance coverage available to you that may be worth discussing with your insurer.

What are the different types of car insurance discounts?

Finally, most major auto insurers offer the following discounts that might help you lower your premium:

  • Multi-policy, sometimes called multi-line or bundling, could earn you a discount on each policy if you insure your auto with the same company that you have other insurance products with, like your home or umbrella insurance.
  • Multi-car discount could save you money if you insure more than one vehicle on the same policy.
  • Claims-free is commonly offered if you do not have any losses on your driving record for three to five years.
  • Good student discount is usually available for full-time students under the age of 25 who have a certain grade point average or letter-grade average.
  • Telematics programs are becoming more common. These usage-based insurance programs track your driving patterns with a mobile app or plug-in device. The safer you drive, the more you might save.

Keep in mind that insurance regulations vary by state. This means that some coverage types and discounts may not be available where you live.

Why location matters when choosing car insurance

Auto insurance rates are based on several factors, and your city, state and ZIP code are among the most impactful. If you recently moved, it may be a good idea to compare companies to ensure that your car insurance provider is still the best fit for your needs. This is especially true if you have moved across state lines, as auto insurance is not standardized across the country.

Adding a comprehensive review of your auto insurance coverage as part of your moving checklist is a good way to remember this important step. To view Bankrate’s picks for the best car insurance in your state, select it from the table below.

How much does car insurance usually cost?

When answering the common question “how much is car insurance,” it’s important to know that rates are highly dependent on the personal rating factors and vehicle information drivers provide when submitting for a quote. However, you can still use the national average as a helpful point of comparison when evaluating your quoted rate. Nationally, full coverage policies average $1,674 per year. “Full coverage” refers to a policy that includes liability, collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.

Outside of your selected policy type — minimum or full coverage — other factors will significantly influence your final cost. It’s important to understand that insurers base car insurance rates on a perceived level of risk, which can entail an assessment of your driving record, age, gender, marital status, credit-based insurance score, claim history and likelihood of claims in your area (not all states permit the use of age, gender, marital status, credit or ZIP code). Additionally, insurers will consider your vehicle’s make and model, age and safety features. The less risk the combined factors present for you as an insured driver, the lower your rate will be. Because each insurer will weigh each factor differently, getting multiple quotes helps ensure you choose your best option for cost and coverage.

How to find the best car insurance companies

Each auto insurer presents different benefits. Being aware of your insurance needs ahead of your research can help you quickly narrow down the best car insurance company. You’ll want to ask yourself what qualities about an insurance company matter most to you.

Do you prefer being guided by a local agent when selecting coverage, or is a modern and autonomous experience more your style? If you plan on adding a young driver to your policy, you may prioritize companies that have low-priced coverage and an array of student discounts. Drivers who use their car infrequently may fare better with an insurer that offers usage-based telematics programs. No matter your needs, there will likely be at least a few insurers that stand out among the rest, based on your priorities.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Credit-Based Insurance Scores: Rates were calculated based on the following insurance credit tiers assigned to our drivers: “poor, average, good (base) and excellent.” Insurance credit tiers factor in your official credit scores but are not dependent on that variable alone. Five states prohibit the use of credit-based insurance scores as a rating factor in determining auto insurance rates: California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan and Washington.

Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.

Bankrate Scores

Bankrate Scores primarily reflect a weighted rank of industry-standard ratings for financial strength and customer experience in addition to analysis of quoted annual premiums from Quadrant Information Services, spanning all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

We know it is important for drivers to be confident their financial protection covers the likeliest risks, is priced competitively and is provided by a financially sound company with a history of positive customer support and claims-paying ability. In our evaluation, third-party ratings from J.D. Power, AM Best, Standard & Poor’s, National Association of Insurance Commissioners and Moodys had a significant impact on the companies’ Bankrate Scores.

Our top picks for “best for” reflect a combination of Bankrate Scores and availability to drivers around the country, in addition to the specific qualities associated with each company.

*Scores reflect the company’s performance in states available.

J.D. Power scores

J.D. Power is a global market research company that has decades of experience within the automotive, financial and health industries, among others. It conducts annual surveys on customer satisfaction across these sectors to help provide insight into the qualities that matter most between consumers and businesses. Its auto insurance studies take into account customer satisfaction across several categories that impact consumers, including customer service, claims processing, policy offerings and premiums, which make its scores a useful qualitative tool in assessing auto insurers.

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