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10 Best Auto Insurance Companies, Advantages & Disadvantages and Information to Help You Pick the Right Insurance Company

Give yourself peace of mind by choosing the right car insurance company for your unique needs.

All too often, car insurance is looked at strictly from the perspective of what company is offering the lowest rates.

The rate you pay is certainly a major factor to consider for most drivers.

However, the price is one of many factors to determine which auto insurance companies are the best in their class.

Factors Used to Determine the Top Ten

Here I am committed to simplifying the process of finding a high quality auto insurance company.

I’ve taken various factors, such as affordability, responsiveness, and coverage options to decide the ten best auto insurance companies.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Each Company

CompanyAdvantagesDisadvantagesOut of 100AM Best Rating
USAATop ratings, including overall customer satisfaction.
Superior customer service.
Diverse policy options to meet anyone’s needs.
Only available to U.S. military members, veterans, or their close family members.97.2A++5/5
Erie Insurance GroupHigh ratings for customer service and claims experiences.
Individual agents who care.
Variety of discounts available.
Policies can be expensive if you don’t qualify for discounts.85.4A+4.5/5
MetLifeOffers various types of insurance including car insurance.
Prices are good if you bundle.
Single policies are higher than normal if you don't bundle.87.6A4.5/5
NationwideRates based on usage of vehicle, reducing deductible, accident forgiveness, new car replacement, many discounts available.Customer service has lacked according to some customers.89A+4/5
AllstateMultiple opportunities for discounts for bundling, anti-theft devices, and passive restraint.Can be expensive if you don’t bundle policies.87A+4/5
GEICOLocal offices and agents provide in-person help.
Plenty of discounts available.
Awesome mobile app.
Been know to raise rates unexpectedly.88.1A++4/5
National General (GMAC)Rates based on usage of vehicle, many discounts available.Usually higher auto insurance rates.86.9A- 3.9/5
ProgressivePlenty of available discounts and competitive pricing.Scarce individualized attention from agents.89.6A+3.9/5
EsuranceRates based on usage of vehicle, many discounts available.Not as many discounts as larger insurance firms.83.5A+3.8/5
SafeAutoLocal offices and agents provide in-person help.
Plenty of discounts available.
Average ratings from J.D. Power.
Excellent with Moody's however.
82A-3.8/5

As you shop for auto insurance, you can get quotes from the following companies with our quote comparison tool.

With those quotes, you’ll be able to conveniently comparison shop to get the best value for your money.

Average Rate of Top Insurers from 25 to 55 Years Old

Insurance Company25 Y/O Driver30 Y/O Driver35 Y/O Driver40 Y/O Driver55 Y/O Driver
USAA$1,544$1,305$1,272$976$755
Erie Insurance Group$1,549$1,354$1,293$989$816
MetLife$1,668$1,387$1,312$1,008$822
Nationwide$1,881$1,432$1,421$1,087$849
Allstate$1,990$1,548$1,412$1,148$801
GEICO$1,812$1,657$1,458$1,183$812
National General (GMAC)$2,023$1,675$1,468$1,248$799
Progressive$2,043$1,784$1,493$1,259$829
Esurance$2,065$1,797$1,568$1,287$843
SafeAuto$1,899$1,487$1,329$1,124$769

Without further ado, the ten best auto insurance companies are as follows:

USAA

ProsCons
Accident forgivenessOnly available to members of the U.S. Military
No-drop promiseLimited locations for in-person visits
12 month policies
Many discounts available

USAA was founded in 1922, and was originally known as the United States Army Automobile Association.

Initially, only the 25 founding members were granted coverage, though they have expanded their membership significantly over the past century.

USAA auto insurance quotes compared to national average by price.Note: USAA is able to offer quotes from 10 to 20% below the average price for drivers with good driving history. If you qualify, USAA would be one of your best options.

Unlike many other car insurance providers, USAA relies on their reputation to gain customers.

As opposed to commercials full of gimmicks.

The rates offered by USAA are competitive, but what really makes them stand out as the best auto insurance provider is the overall value of their policies, and the way that they treat their customers.

USAA has top notch customer service, and they are very quick to process claims. As such, they’ve established a reputation of being the most reliable car insurance company.

Looking for discounts that contribute to the affordability of your car insurance plan?

USAA offers many, including the good student discount, safe driver discount, and multi vehicle discount.

Erie Insurance Group

ProsCons
Accident forgivenessNot available in most states
Lock-in ratesLimited features online
New car replacement
Reducing deductible
Covers injuries to pets

Having opened for the first time in 1925, Erie Insurance Group has expanded to cover 11 different states in the United States.

These states include Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, and countless others.

Erie car insurance quotes compared to national average by price.Note: Erie is able to offer quotes on par with the national average. Though slightly higher than other companies with Erie’s features, discounts, and claims process it would be excellent coverage.

Like USAA, Erie Insurance Group does not rely on commercials to attract new customers.

Rather, they look to referrals and those shopping around for the best price.

The customer support staff at Erie Insurance Group is among the best in the industry.

They are well known to work with their customers from the very start to ensure that they get a policy that best suits their unique needs.

Couple their amazing customer service team with phenomenally low prices, and it’s no surprise that Erie Insurance Group is considered to be one of the best auto insurance companies on the market.

Erie Insurance Group prides on providing its customers with incredible value, which is especially amazing considering the company’s cheap car insurance rates.

Features such as accident forgiveness and a lock-in rate make the insurance provider one of the most preferred by drivers in the 11 states the company serves.

MetLife

ProsCons
Reducing deductibleLimited features without MyDirect online platform
New car replacementNecessary to bundle to get a competitive rate
12 month policies
Many discounts available

Perhaps the best known of the top 3 best car insurance companies, MetLife was founded in 1863.

It has since become one of the biggest giants in the car insurance industry.

Name recognition and affordable rates make MetLife a popular choice among those looking to get new car insurance for their vehicle.

The company offers a very strong comprehensive policy that covers not only home and auto, but also RVs, boats, and valuable items.

MetLife's insurance quotes compared to national average by price.Note: While MetLife’s quotes are slightly higher than the average price their claims process is one of the best in the business. With a higher than normal price the peace of mind is well worth the coverage offered from MetLife.

While MetLife’s customer service is not quite at the level of USAA and Erie Insurance Group, its claim processing service is one of the best in the car insurance industry.

Customers report quick response time and minimal hassle when it comes to having their claim processed.

One of the ways that MetLife helps to keep its customers’ rates down is through the offering of discounts.

Customers can get discounts related to their employer, as well as for being a safe driver, or a good student.

Nationwide

ProsCons
Rate based on usage of vehicleInflexibility with some coverage
Reducing deductibleOnline quote tool limited
Accident forgivenessLacking customer service in some areas
New car replacement
Many discounts available

Known as the very first car insurance company to offer its customers a discount for completing a driver safety course, Nationwide started in Ohio in the 1920s and has since greatly expanded.

Nationwide's car insurance quotes compared to national average for drivers.Note: Nationwide is able to offer quotes below the national average consistently. With features like a vanishing deductible and accident forgiveness Nationwide should probably be considered for auto insurance quotes.

Nationwide prides itself on offering top-notch customer service, and reliable claims processing.

As such, it should be no surprise that the company’s reputation is one of top reasons why new customers choose them to be their car insurance provider.

While there have been some reported cases of premiums rising each year, Nationwide has garnered a reputation of being particularly helpful, especially when it comes to the claims process.

With such features as a vanishing deductible and accident forgiveness, it is clear that Nationwide puts the customer first.

Allstate

ProsCons
Accident forgivenessBundling necessary to get a competitive rate
Reducing deductibleCustomer satisfaction is only average
New car replacementLimited 12 month policies - if any
Many discounts available

While the obvious features are somewhat lacking when compared to other insurance providers on the list, Allstate has attracted a strong customer base due to their claims processing and customer service staff.

Whether you have a question about your policy, or you’d like to learn more about the types of insurance Allstate offers, Allstate prides itself in making sure that all of your needs are addressed.

One of the perks about getting car insurance with Allstate is the number of discounts that they make available to their customers.

From a safe driver discount to passive restraint/air bag discount, there are plenty of ways to save with Allstate.

Allstate's car insurance quotes compared to national price for drivers.Note: Allstate offers quotes at or near the national average price for auto insurance. Allstate is one of the biggest names in the industry. With excellent support and claims process they should be considered when getting quotes.

Although the customer support staff and the claims processing team are some of the best in the industry. 

Allstate only comes in at number 5 for the 10 best auto insurance companies due to the fact that it doesn’t provide the same value that you see being offered by other companies.

Just 67% of people say that they would recommend Allstate, which is significantly lower than the percentage of people that would recommend a company like USAA and Erie Insurance Group.

GEICO

Features: Accident forgiveness, many discounts available

Aside from Progressive, there is no car insurance company with a greater advertising presence than GEICO.

From the gecko and the cavemen to the recently added Maxwell the Pig, they have some of the most recognized commercial personas in the car insurance industry.

GEICO auto insurance compared to average premium

Despite their strong advertising presence, however, only 10% of their customers say that they chose GEICO because of their commercials. Most chose GEICO based on the low rates offered by the auto insurance company.

Like the companies ranked ahead of them, GEICO has a strong customer support team.

The company has also established a reputation of paying out claims fairly quickly.

While their policies are fairly inexpensive when compared to the competition, they do lack features.

It is for that reason that many do not consider their policies to have the same value for the money as those from other providers.

Nonetheless, GEICO has one of the largest customer bases in the auto insurance industry.

They have more than 18 million customers currently, and that number continues to grow on a daily basis as more people find out about their cheap car insurance rates.

National General (GMAC)

ProsCons
Rate based on usage of vehicleTypically not the cheapest
Many discounts availableCustomer service is average

Formerly known as GMAC, National General actually found its roots in the car-sales business.

It has since become one of the largest car insurance agencies in the United States. National General services 47 states, as well as Washington DC.

Most of their new customers join National General due to the company’s very competitive pricing.

The car insurance company has a strong retention rate, as nearly 90% of those that currently have a National General auto insurance policy state that they will renew when the time comes.

GMAC's quotes compared to national price for drivers.Note: National General is usually lacking in features and their price is slightly above the national average. However, they have a good reputation for a fast claims process.

While the standard car insurance plans from National General tend to lack a bit in terms of features, the company does have a strong reputation for being quick to pay claims.

The overall value of their policies is considered to be better than that of GEICO and Allstate.

National General also has a well-liked customer service staff that many customers cite as being very friendly and helpful.

Customers can get a number of different discounts from National General to reduce their car insurance rates.

These discounts include a safe driver discount, a defensive driver discount, and a passive restraint / air bag discount.

Progressive

ProsCons
Rate based on usage of vehicleHigher number of complaints
Accident forgivenessRate based usage requirements
Offers 12 month policies12 month policy only for preferred customers

Progressive may very well be the most recognized name in the car insurance industry.

The company currently takes in more than 14 billion dollars each year in auto insurance premiums, making it one of the biggest car insurance companies out there.

Progressive's auto insurance quotes compare to national price for drivers.Note: Progressive consistently offers quotes below the national average price. Many drivers claim the reason to get coverage with Progressive is the lower cost. In other areas Progressive may lack value. If you want the lowest price Progressive could be your choice.

It was the very first company to offer high risk drivers car insurance, which is now common practice throughout the industry.

Despite the company’s enormous size, it still prides itself on providing personalized service following a claim.

It should come as no surprise that, of all the insurance companies, Progressive has the most customers that signed up specifically due to its commercials.

The majority of Progressive’s customers, though, signed up for a policy due to the low car insurance rates.

Progressive has highly acclaimed customer service and claims processing teams, which is why 77% of its customers say that they would recommend the provider to another person.

New customers also claim that Progressive offered them the lowest rates of any insurance provider.

The company’s online services have also received raving reviews.

So what puts Progressive all the way down at number 8 for the list of the ten best auto insurance companies?

While the plans are the cheapest around, they tend to lack in overall value.

Additionally, the company is known to increase rates when it comes time to renew unless you look to get a re-quote done.

Esurance

ProsCons
Rate based on usage of vehicleFalls short on customer service
Many discounts availableTransaction fees for monthly payment
Everything taken care of onlineOnly electronic payment

The second to last company on the list for the ten best auto insurance providers is easily the youngest.

Esurance was launched in 1999 as an online insurance company.

The company saw massive expansion in both its customer base, and also its staff.

Esurance was bought by Allstate in 2011, and now serves as an independent entity under the greater Allstate umbrella.

Esurance's quotes compared the national average price. Note: Esurance is at or near the national average with prices slightly above occasionally. Esurance, owned by Allstate, has excellent customer satisfaction and retention. Their claims process is “not so great” according to reviews. However, Esurance is excellent based on price and features.

Esurance has received more newcomers due to low policy prices than any other provider in the past few years.

Its customers are clearly satisfied with the service, as 94% say that they plan to renew when their policy is up.

One of the biggest complaints about Esurance is that they tend to hike your rates following a claim.

They are easily one of the most affordable auto insurance companies on the market, provided that you stay accident and infraction-free.

However, if you need to make a claim, you’ll likely have to pay a good amount more when it comes time to renew your policy.

SafeAuto

ProsCons
Supports high-risk policyholdersBelow average customer support
Many discounts availableNo bundling discounts
Multiple payment optionsNot available in all states

Offering coverage in 22 states, SafeAuto is one of the newer car insurance companies with 300 million in revenue.

Despite its smaller size, SafeAuto has a considerably strong reputation based on its claims processing and customer service departments.

SafeAuto's average car insurance quotes compared to national average.Note: SafeAuto’s quotes are at or near the national average. With the discounts and offerings the slight increase in premium would be worth the coverage.

While SafeAuto lacks the features that are found in the previous insurance companies, the name recognition of the company is more than enough to attract customers.

If you need high-risk coverage, SafeAuto specializes in it offering SR-22’s to drivers who need one.

Furthermore, SafeAuto offers a number of discounts to its customers, ensuring that they get the best car insurance rates possible.

Choosing the Right Insurance Provider for Your Needs

Each of the top ten best auto insurance companies offers low prices and respectable service.

It could be tough trying to figure out which company is best for you.

In order to simplify the process, I recommend that you use our quote comparison tool at the top of the page.

Sources

MetLife

Erie

Nationwide

Progressive

Esurance

Greg Fowler

Greg Fowler

Managing Member of AutoInsureSavings LLC, Greg enjoys writing articles to help drivers save on anything related to automobiles. Travel and enjoying the outdoors are some of his hobbies. The best way to reach him is at his Twitter or Facebook Profile.

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