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The 7 Best Car Insurance Companies (2022)

The 7 Best Car Insurance Companies (2022)

The best car insurance companies that are widely available, have great service and offer cheap rates are Amica, Farm Bureau, State Farm and USAA.

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The best car insurance company for you will provide an excellent customer experience for policyholders in a time of stress. Although some drivers may want to pay extra for premium customer service, we found that many individuals can get the best of both worlds: great service and cheap rates.

Our research found that seven companies stand out: Amica, Farm Bureau, State Farm and USAA for most states and NJM, Erie and Auto-Owners for regional picks.

We highlighted the best insurers that are widely available across the entire country based on these factors. But the best insurance company for you could also depend on your driving background and preferences, so we've also analyzed which company is best based solely on individual factors, like driving history.

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Why trust us

Our ratings of the best insurers are largely based on research into two core factors: cost and customer service. We collected hundreds of thousands of quotes across the country for various drivers. We also incorporated customer surveys, official complaints from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and feedback from research companies like J.D. Power.

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Best car insurance companies in 2022

Company
Editor's rating
JD Power
AM Best
Best quality
NJM
867A+Customer service
USAA
884A++Customer service
Erie
880A+Affordability
Amica
867A+Customer service
State Farm
862A++Affordability
Farm Bureau
856ACustomer service
Auto-Owners
845A++Affordability
Show All Rows

How we ranked the best insurance companies

We rank the top insurance companies based on our own proprietary rating, which measures both cost and customer service.

  • The five-star scale is a reflection of both the quality of an insurer's service and its affordability, so the insurers with the best rating get you the best value for your money.
  • For additional detail, we've also noted each company's standout quality (either service or affordability, as determined by our analysts), its J.D. Power auto insurance satisfaction rating (rated out of 1,000) and its AM Best financial strength rating.
  • Our top seven auto insurance companies are NJM, USAA, Amica, Farm Bureau Insurance, Erie, Auto-Owners and State Farm. All provide a good balance of affordability and customer service, but our table also notes which of these is its outstanding quality.

Our analysis is broken up into three parts:

  • The best insurance companies available across most of the country
  • The best companies whose service is limited to specific regions or states
  • A list of all insurance companies across the country that our editors graded three stars or above (out of five), with links to our reviews


The best car insurance companies available to almost anyone

For 2022, we rated the best widely available insurance companies as Amica, Farm Bureau, State Farm and USAA. All four of these companies provide outstanding customer service — scoring at least four stars (out of a total of five) — but vary on their costs. These companies are excellent choices regardless of your driving profile, past history and location.


The best car insurance companies in your region

The best car insurance company in your area or for your situation may not always be a large auto insurer. We have identified three great insurance companies with a more limited reach — NJM, Auto-Owners and Erie.

  • NJM is only available in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania but received five stars out of five from our editors for low rates and exceptional service.
  • Auto-Owners is available in 26 states largely in the middle of the country and received four and a half stars, combining affordable policies with a strong service reputation.
  • Erie is available in the Northeast, Midwest and Appalachian regions and has similarly great support and rates.

The best car insurance companies based on your driver profile

  1. Customer service: State Farm
  2. Affordable rates: Erie
  3. Young drivers: Root
  4. Drivers with an accident: Farm Bureau
  1. People with bad credit: Nationwide
  2. Great online experience: Liberty Mutual
  3. Active military members and veterans: USAA

We rated our best overall insurers based on a combination of great customer service and affordable rates. However, shoppers value different qualities in an insurance company.

Many drivers will find great rates with these insurers; in fact, your rates may be even cheaper than our averages. Other drivers might actually find these insurers expensive. Given how the insurance industry works, you won't know which company provides the best value until you get quotes yourself.

To help you get started in the process, we've provided our insurer recommendations for customers looking for a specific type of experience, ranging from those who highly value customer service to those who have high-risk driving histories.


Best car insurance company for customer service: State Farm

State Farm comes out on top for our consumer survey on insurance company service.
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The good:

  • Strong customer service reputation
  • Affordable rates

The bad:

  • Expensive for drivers with poor credit

The most important factor to consider when shopping for insurance is the customer service experience. If you have to make a car insurance claim, you can expect some extra costs and headaches, and you will want a company that guarantees a smooth claims process.

State Farm ranks as one of the best car insurance companies for general customer service and for claim satisfaction.

The company received above-average scores from J.D. Power for overall customer satisfaction, shopping experience and claims satisfaction. State Farm receives fewer customer complaints than its competitors according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index. In addition, our editors awarded State Farm four and a half out of five stars — a rating that encompasses customer satisfaction scores, value and coverage options.

Insurer
J.D. Power claims rating
Editor's rating
State Farm862
Geico833
Nationwide814
Progressive830
Allstate825
USAA*884

*USAA was not included in rankings because only military members, veterans and their families are eligible.

State Farm also received the highest financial stability rating from AM Best — A++. That means that the company has a superior ability to pay out claims, even in difficult economic times.

With State Farm, drivers don't have to pay more for excellent customer service. It is one of the most affordable large insurance companies in our sample. A full coverage policy costs $1,310, 41% less than the national average.

As with all insurers, rates can vary widely depending on the driver. Shoppers looking for strong customer service should get a quote with State Farm and balance the pros and cons against other providers.

  • ValuePenguin editor's rating:
  • AM Best financial strength rating: A++ (Superior)

Alternate best car insurance company for customer service: Farm Bureau Insurance

Drivers should not always look for major national insurance providers. Local insurers can often provide an equal or better customer service experience due to more personalized one-on-one attention.

The state insurance affiliates of the American Farm Bureau Federation are usually a great choice for shoppers seeking excellent customer service. Farm Bureau Insurance affiliates often rank among the best companies for any given state based on our editor's rating and J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores.

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Best car insurance company for affordable coverage: Erie

Erie has the best rates for minimum and full coverage policies, on average.
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The good:

  • Cheap rates for minimum and full coverage policies
  • Excellent customer service

The bad:

  • Service is limited to 12 states and the District of Columbia

The price you pay for auto insurance is important. With many insurers offering similar levels of customer service and types of coverage, rates should definitely factor into your decision. If you're shopping for the cheapest possible car insurance, we found that Erie has the most affordable rates on average.

Erie offers the best rates across multiple coverage levels, making it one of the best insurance companies for drivers looking to save money.

Type of policy
Erie average annual premium
National average annual premium
Minimum coverage$503$875
Full coverage$1,379$2,208

Drivers looking for a minimum coverage policy — one that only meets the insurance minimums required by their state — get the most savings with Erie on average. Its policies, adjusted for the minimum requirements in each state, are 38% cheaper than the national average.

Full coverage insurance is also very affordable from Erie. The company charges $1,379 per year, which is 43% cheaper than the national average.

Unfortunately, Erie Insurance is only available in 12 states and DC . Customers looking for cheap insurance outside these states should consider alternate recommendations.

  • ValuePenguin editor's rating:
  • AM Best financial strength rating: A+ (Superior)

Alternate best car insurance companies for affordable minimum coverage: Farm Bureau Insurance, American Family and State Farm

Given how restricted Erie Insurance is in availability, individuals looking for cheap car insurance could also consider Farm Bureau Insurance, American Family and State Farm. All three rank among the most affordable for both minimum and full coverage policies.

Farm Bureau Insurance is available wherever an affiliate of the American Farm Bureau Federation does business, while State Farm is offered in most states.

Company
Minimum coverage
Full coverage
Farm Bureau$472$1,576
State Farm$532$1,310
American Family$634$1,755
National average$875$2,208
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Best car insurance company for good or young drivers: Root

Root offers telematics insurance for people who are confident in their driving ability.
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The good:

  • Big potential savings for those who do well on a test drive

The bad:

  • Limited coverage options compared to other insurers
  • Average customer service reputation

Drivers are usually rewarded for having an excellent driving record, but individuals in high-risk demographics may find that their insurance rates are still extremely high. For example, drivers in their teens and early 20s pay more for car insurance than most other drivers, even if they're exceptionally safe on the road.

Root is relatively unique because its car insurance rate calculations are almost entirely based on measuring driving behavior, not your demographics.

Drivers who perform well based on select driving behaviors, such as braking habits and speed, can get big savings with Root compared to a traditional insurer.

Since young drivers are statistically more likely to get in an accident, the demographic as a whole faces high car insurance rates. Root lets you prove you're a safer driver than your peers.

However, there are some risks and downsides associated with Root.

  • Poor customer service: According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), it receives more customer complaints than competitors.
  • Limited coverage options: Its policies come with fewer optional add-ons, like gap insurance and rideshare insurance, than policies through other insurers.
  • ValuePenguin editor's rating:
  • AM Best financial strength rating: N/A

Alternate best car insurance company for young drivers: State Farm

If you're a young driver, then you may not want an insurer tracking your driving habits. In that case, you should look for an insurer that tends to have low rates for young drivers.

The cheapest widely available insurer for young drivers is State Farm.

On average, Erie is the cheapest insurer for drivers aged 18 to 25. However, Erie has limited availability across the country.

Young drivers looking for affordable rates should always compare prices from multiple insurers.

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Best car insurance company for drivers with an accident history: Farm Bureau

If you've been in an accident and are looking for savings, we recommend getting a quote from Farm Bureau.
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The good:

  • Minimal penalties for an accident history
  • Exceptional customer service

The bad:

  • Limited specialized coverage options

If you have a recent accident in your driving history, insurers are going to charge you higher rates. However, they won't all penalize you to the same degree.

Farm Bureau raises rates by 34% when drivers have an at-fault accident in their recent history — 6% less than average.

Using rates pulled from all over the country, we found that Farm Bureau only increases prices by $534 per year for a full coverage policy after an accident. Below we list the insurers with the smallest and largest rate changes.

Company
Clean record
One accident
Percentage increase
State Farm$1,310$1,62824%
Farm Bureau Insurance$1,576$2,11034%
Allstate$2,349$3,61054%
Geico$1,917$3,16665%

Rate change is after an at-fault accident causing $2,000 in property damage.

  • ValuePenguin editor's rating:
  • AM Best financial strength rating: A (Excellent)


Best car insurance company for drivers with bad credit: Nationwide

A poor credit history can result in expensive auto insurance. Nationwide won't raise your rates as much as other insurers.
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The good:

  • Very minor rate penalties for a poor credit score

The bad:

  • Base rates are higher than average

Unless the practice is banned in your state, your credit score can have a major impact on the price of your auto insurance policy. Every insurer calculates its own credit-based insurance score and uses it to adjust its base rates. In many cases, drivers with poor credit pay twice as much for car insurance as individuals with an excellent credit score.

Among major insurers, Nationwide penalizes drivers the least for having a below-average credit score when compared to rates for drivers with an excellent credit score.

Nationwide only increases rates by 52% when a driver goes from having a very good credit score to a poor credit score.

Category
Company
Annual rate with poor credit
Annual rate with very good credit
Difference
Insurers that penalize poor credit the leastNationwide$2,698$1,77252%
Farmers$3,650$2,18267%
Allstate$3,431$2,01670%
Insurers that penalize poor credit the mostState Farm$2,859$874227%
Erie$2,846$1,051171%
Travelers$3,208$1,511112%
  • ValuePenguin editor's rating:
  • AM Best financial strength rating: A+ (Superior)


Best car insurance company for online service experience: Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual makes it easy to shop for an auto insurance policy online.
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The good:

  • Intuitive online shopping experience
  • Easy to file a claim online or via its mobile app

The bad:

  • Average to poor customer service in its offline service experience
  • Higher-than-average rates

As more consumers shop for insurance online, the ease and functionality of online quote tools are more important than ever.

Liberty Mutual ranks as having the best website experience among major insurers, according to J.D. Power's Insurance Shopping Study.

Liberty Mutual's quote tool is extremely intuitive. In some cases, it's able to pull your vehicle information and current coverage limits from DMV records or your current insurer, which speeds up the process. The online quote tool automatically shows three recommended levels of coverage for you to compare, along with the ability to customize your coverage levels.

Liberty Mutual also has a highly rated mobile app that gives drivers immediate access to ID cards and coverage info and lets you request roadside assistance, file claims and upload photos of damage to your vehicle.

The claims process is also very easy with Liberty Mutual. Most claims can be filed within five to 10 minutes. The website can also help you determine whether you should file a claim, with an "Am I Covered?" tool and a thorough explanation of the process.

Beyond the online experience, Liberty Mutual is a run-of-the-mill insurer. Its rates are more expensive than the industry average for most drivers. It also received below-average marks for customer satisfaction with claims from J.D. Power, and it has more customer complaints than its competitors according to the NAIC complaint index.

  • ValuePenguin editor's rating:
  • AM Best financial strength rating: A (Excellent)

Best car insurance company for military members and veterans: USAA

USAA is the gold standard of auto insurance for those who are eligible.
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The good:

  • Cheap rates
  • Strong customer service reputation

The bad:

  • Only military members, veterans and their families are eligible

Year after year, USAA combines the best of both worlds: It's one of the most affordable auto insurance companies and has one of the best customer service reputations in the industry.

If you're an active-duty military member or veteran who is eligible, USAA should be one of the first insurers you get quotes from, given its low rates and quality service.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), USAA receives fewer complaints from policyholders than its competitors. The company also holds the highest J.D. Power claims satisfaction score.

Beyond its service and rates, USAA also offers discounts that cater to the lifestyles of service members. If your vehicle is garaged on a military base, you can get a discount of 15% on the cost of comprehensive insurance. The company also has a vehicle storage discount that can save policyholders up to 60% off their premium if their vehicle is stored in a secure location while not used, meaning deployed policyholders can get coverage at a discount.

  • ValuePenguin editor's rating:
  • AM Best financial strength rating: A++ (Superior)
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How to find the best car insurance for you

Ultimately, the best car insurance company for you will combine a variety of factors.

  • It will be a company that balances customer service and price, making it the best value for your situation.
  • It will be a company that has all the coverages you want: basic coverages you need and maybe even some unique coverages to fit your situation.
  • It won't necessarily be a major name. Many of the best insurers for you might not be advertised as much as the big insurers you've heard of and may only operate locally.
  • It will be financially stable so that you won't have to worry about whether claims are paid due to financial issues at the company.

How to find the best insurer for customer service

When you file a claim with your insurer, you'll want to have the best service possible to ensure your claim is handled in a fair and timely fashion.

To get a feel for the quality of a given company's customer service, we recommend:

  • Browsing our editor ratings and reviews
  • Looking at J.D. Power survey results
  • Doing your own research at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)

We suggest that you begin your research with our editor recommendations. Our ratings (out of five stars) are an estimate of insurers' overall quality — combining service, value and coverages — but customer service is weighted heavily in the final score.

If you're interested in more customer service data, you can also look at J.D. Power's U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. J.D. Power surveys customers to measure the quality of the claims process — the most important part of an insurer's customer service — by overall satisfaction, claim servicing, settlement of the claim and other factors.

If these sources aren't enough and you want to get some hard data on the service experience, you can check out the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) website. The NAIC measures service using a customer complaint index, which indicates how often policyholders file official complaints about an insurer compared to the national median.


How to find the best insurer for affordability

If you could get the same car insurance coverage for a cheaper price with a different insurer, wouldn't you do it? You may be surprised by how often this scenario could apply to you.

Prices: You don't always have to pay more to get more

Insurers all use their own methods for calculating the price of a policy for a given driver. This means it's sometimes possible to get a cheaper insurance policy with very little downside.

For example, as we noted in our best companies section, all insurers penalize you for having an accident on your driving history. But not all insurers penalize you to the same extent. In other words, someone with an accident history is treated uniquely by each insurer, given that company's calculation of the risk associated with that particular driver.

The insurer will also have unique calculations for the type of car you drive, where you live, your credit history and a variety of other factors. For this reason, you should always compare quotes from multiple insurers to get a sense of the range of prices available to you. Our recommendations for the best insurers are a good place to start.

Discounts: Insurers may have more savings available than you think

Beyond the base price of a policy, you may qualify for a variety of discounts that could affect which insurer is the cheapest.

Car insurance discounts typically fit into four categories: driver safety, driver status, policy and vehicle.

Discount category
Discount
You get savings for:
Driver safetyDefensive drivingTaking a certified defensive driving course
Accident-freeHaving no recent accidents
Low mileageDriving less than the average driver
Driver statusGood studentGetting good grades
Student awayYour child lives away from their covered vehicle
MilitaryServing or having served in the military
Professional organizationBeing a member of a qualifying trade or alumni organization
SeniorBeing 55 or older
PolicyMultipolicy bundleBuying multiple policies with the same insurer (e.g., homeowners insurance)
MultivehicleInsuring multiple cars with the same company
Early signingBuying before your current policy expires
Paid-in-fullPaying your entire premium (six months or a year) up front
Show All Rows

Always be sure to follow up with your insurer and check that all discounts are applied to your quote, as estimates from online quote tools may not apply to all available policies. Only compare rates between companies after you've applied all available discounts.


How to find an insurance company with coverages that fit your needs

All the best insurance companies offer the same standard coverages — some of which are required by law — that offer protection against the cost of personal injury and property damage on the road.

Beyond these standard coverages, insurers may offer some of the following optional coverages or features to appeal to specific types of policyholders. None of these are required by law and may not fit your needs. If they do, it may be worth going with an insurer that has the coverage over one that doesn't.

  • Accident forgiveness: Your first at-fault accident won't affect your insurance rates.
  • Vanishing deductible: The deductible on your comprehensive and collision insurance gradually declines for each year you're accident-free.
  • Mechanical breakdown coverage: Insurance covers the cost of repairing gradual wear and tear to the vehicle as a substitute for a car warranty from the dealer.
  • Rideshare insurance: For those who use their personal vehicle working for rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, this insurance fills the coverage gaps in the insurance policies provided by those companies.
  • Gap insurance: If you lease or finance your car, this covers the difference between the amount you owe your lender and the value of your car in the event of a total loss.
  • Emergency roadside assistance: Covers the costs of expenses to assist you when your vehicle breaks down, such as towing, battery service, flat-tire service and fuel delivery.
  • Rental car reimbursement: Covers the cost of a rental car if your vehicle is being repaired in the shop after a covered accident.

In summary, almost all insurers offer the standard coverages we listed. And many — but not all — offer additional coverage. However, outside of standard coverages, the features an insurer offers may differ from state to state.

Always browse an insurer's website and quote tool, or talk to a customer service representative, to make sure you understand all the coverages available to you.

The best car insurance company for you might be a local company

We've made our recommendations based on insurers that are widely available throughout the country. However, some of the best and cheapest insurers for drivers are locally based. Compare the car insurance companies with the best customer service reputations and affordability near you.


You want a financially strong insurer so you know your claims will be paid

An insurance company provides you with financial protection when you're facing exorbitant costs. The last thing you want is an insurer that can't cover your expenses because it can't meet its own financial obligations.

The best way to quickly assess an insurance company's financial stability is through a financial strength rating from professional analysts. We recommend the AM Best financial strength rating. AM Best, a credit rating agency, independently assesses the ability of insurance companies to pay their claims and rates them on a traditional grading scale from A++ to D-. An A- rating or higher indicates an excellent or superior ability to pay claims.

However, some smaller, local insurers may not have the same financial strength. If the insurer you're looking for isn't on our list, look online to see if AM Best has rated its financial strength to give you peace of mind that the company backing your insurance coverage is on sound footing.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best car insurance?

ValuePenguin's top-rated national insurers are USAA, State Farm, Farm Bureau and Amica. We also recommend regional insurers NJM and Erie in the Northeast and Auto-Owners in the Midwest if you want the best combination of affordable rates, excellent service and lots of coverage options.

Who has the best car insurance rates?

State Farm is the best car insurance company with cheap rates that's also one of the most highly rated and widely available. Minimum coverage rates from State Farm average $532 per year, and full coverage rates average $1,310. However, you may be able to find even better rates from a smaller insurance company like Erie or Concord, depending on where you live.

How can I find the best car insurance for me?

To find the best car insurance for you, figure out your budget plus how much and what kind of coverage you need. Then get quotes from top national insurers and smaller regional companies for the same level of coverage. Consider each insurer's price, customer service ratings and coverage options. Make sure you understand what's included with each policy, including perks and discounts.

Who has the best auto insurance near me?

USAA and State Farm have the cheapest rates in most states among the top insurers, but the best cheap car insurance in your state might be a smaller local company. That's why it pays to compare quotes from several large and small companies near you.

Methodology

ValuePenguin assigned its editor's ratings for insurance companies based on customer service, affordability, coverages offered and the shopping experience.

An insurer is not included in the best companies list unless it does business in at least five states. If companies were marked N/A for J.D. Power claims satisfaction or AM Best financial strength, it's because they were not rated. J.D. Power's annual survey rates insurance customer satisfaction out of 1,000 points. Top companies tend to score at least 820 points. We calculated the average score across all available regions.

We collected auto insurance quotes across 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine average rates. Our base driver was a 30-year-old male who drove a 2015 Honda Civic EX, and quotes were drawn from all available ZIP codes in each state. Quotes were for a full coverage policy unless otherwise noted.

ValuePenguin's analysis used insurance rate data from Quadrant Information Services. These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only — your own quotes may be different.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.