Find the Cheapest Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area
Car insurance shoppers have likely heard of both GEICO and Liberty Mutual, two of the biggest insurance providers in the country with policies available in all 50 states. Below, we've compared the two companies by average rates, customer experience, coverages and discounts. GEICO came out on top for most categories, but both offer unique coverages that you may not find with other insurers.
|Coverages and discounts||Tie|
Liberty Mutual vs. GEICO: Which has cheaper car insurance?
On average, GEICO is a clear winner for affordable car insurance rates. Across the 10 most populous states in which both providers offer auto insurance, the average cost of a GEICO insurance policy is $1,803, versus $5,697 for Liberty Mutual. Shoppers who are comparing these insurers based on affordability are more likely to get a cheap rate with GEICO, though rates may vary by individual.
Liberty Mutual is expensive because of the factors it uses when calculating risk, which varies with each insurer. These factors include driver history, location, and vehicle model and year. Although Liberty Mutual is very expensive for our sample drivers, it may not be expensive for you, and we recommend you compare quotes across at least three insurers when shopping for auto insurance.
Below, we compare average rates between GEICO and Liberty for three sample drivers.
Cheapest for good drivers: GEICO
For a 30-year-old man with a good driving history, GEICO was less than half the price of Liberty Mutual on average.
- GEICO cost this sample driver $1,712 per year on average, or $143 per month.
- Liberty Mutual cost the same driver $4,450 per year, or $371 per month.
These averages come from the 10 most populous states — listed below — in which both insurers had price data available. Liberty Mutual's average rates are driven up by its exceptionally high prices in Michigan.
Cheapest for young drivers: GEICO
GEICO has an even more competitive rate advantage when it comes to young drivers. Across our ten sample states, GEICO was less than a third of the price of Liberty Mutual for an 18-year-old driver with a spotless driving record.
- GEICO cost our 18-year-old sample driver $4,400 per year on average, or $367 per month.
- The same driver was quoted by Liberty Mutual at $13,369 per year, or $1,114 per month.
Insurers consider young drivers — especially teenagers — as high-risk for getting into an accident or other driving transgressions. Young people should definitely shop among multiple insurers given the rates differential.
If your parents are willing, you could also seek to join their auto insurance policy. Their rates will be more expensive if you're on the policy, but the price of a combined policy is usually less than the cost of having separate policies across family members.
Cheapest for drivers with an accident record: GEICO
Drivers with an accident history will generally be charged more by insurers because those who have been in accidents in the past are more likely to be in them again. GEICO and Liberty Mutual are no different. But insurers increase their rates by differing amounts. In this case, GEICO has cheaper rates for a driver with an accident on their record.
- GEICO charged our sample driver $2,691 per year, 57% higher than the same driver with a clean record.
- Liberty Mutual cost $5,740 per year. This is only 29% higher than it charged the equivalent driver with a clean record, but its higher base rates mean its still more expensive than GEICO.
Liberty Mutual vs. GEICO: Which has more satisfied customers?
GEICO edges out Liberty Mutual based on our three chosen metrics of the customer experience: the shopping process, satisfaction with claims and the customer complaint rate.
GEICO offers a slightly better shopping experience
GEICO offers a slightly better shopping experience for consumers, based on J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study. Customers rated the two insurers on a 5-point scale for overall satisfaction, policy offerings, price, their experience with a local agent and call center representatives, and the quality of the website.
Both GEICO and Liberty Mutual received 3 out of 5 points for overall satisfaction, but GEICO edged out Liberty for its call center experience, receiving 3 points where Liberty received 2.
|Company||Overall satisfaction||Policy offerings||Price||Local agent experience||Call center experience||Website|
GEICO also rates better for claims satisfaction
GEICO has an above-average ranking for claims satisfaction, while Liberty Mutual is slightly below-average, according to the J.D. Power study.
Customers were surveyed on overall satisfaction, the first notice of loss, claim estimation, repairs, rental experience, claim servicing and settlement. GEICO beat out Liberty on its ratings for the first notice of loss and the settlement process.
|Company||Overall satisfaction||First notice of loss||Estimation of process||Repair process||Rental experience||Claim servicing||Settlement|
GEICO's score of 4 in the "first notice of loss" category means that consumers thought the insurer provided better service than most other insurers at the initial stages of the claims process. And its score of 4 for settlement means that shoppers thought GEICO was more fair than most in its ultimate handling of the claim.
Liberty Mutual scored a 3 out of 4 across all categories, indicating consumers thought its service rated about average in all these categories.
Liberty Mutual also fares worse for customer complaint rate
Beyond surveys, another measure of customer satisfaction is the rate at which customer complaints are filed to state insurance regulators. We looked at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' customer complaint index for these two insurers and found that customers complain about Liberty Mutual at a higher rate than GEICO.
|National complaint index median||1.0|
Customers typically filed complaints against Liberty Mutual and GEICO regarding either delays or unsatisfactory settlement in claim handling.
GEICO vs. Liberty Mutual: Which offers standout coverages and discounts?
Many car insurance companies offer a fairly similar collection of discounts and coverages. A common auto insurance discount is a good-driver discount, for example, while liability insurance is the bedrock coverage of a standard auto insurance policy.
Both Liberty Mutual and GEICO offer those features, among others, but in this section we've focused on some of the standout coverages and discounts offered by these two insurers, meaning you may not find these features with other insurers.
We have not ranked either company above the other in this section, as these coverages and discounts may fit the needs of different types of drivers.
- GEICO coverage stands out for its mechanical breakdown insurance, which acts as an extended warranty on your car. Its federal employee and military discounts are the insurer's most interesting discounts.
- Liberty Mutual coverage stands out for its Better Car Replacement feature. Its most unique discount is the RightTrack discount, which can help drivers save when they install a telematics device.
GEICO: Competitive mechanical breakdown and insurance and discounts for government employees and the military
In terms of features, GEICO's mechanical breakdown insurance makes it a great option for drivers whose car warranty has run out or who those looking for an alternative to an extended warranty.
In terms of discounts, GEICO has generous and quite unique discounts for federal employees and military members.
Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI)
If your car is less than 15 months old and has fewer than 15,000 miles, you can purchase MBI from GEICO. This covers mechanical repairs for up to seven years or 100,000 miles.
If you want the added protection of MBI, you should compare the cost to that of an extended warranty from your dealer, as both will generally serve the same function. The cost of MBI may differ depending on car model and year.
GEICO government employee and military discount
GEICO offers large potential savings for federal employees and military members. These types of discounts are not unheard of, but GEICO has some of the more competitive we've seen.
- Active or federal employees could be eligible for savings of up to 8% off their premiums.
- Military members, whether active or retired, could get up to 15% off their premiums.
Liberty Mutual: With Better Car Replacement and the RightTrack discount, Liberty offers coverages and savings that are quite rare in the auto insurance market
With Better Car Replacement, Liberty offers a way for policyholders to replace their cars with a newer model after a total loss. And Liberty's RightTrack discount utilizes technology to help good drivers get even more discounts on their premiums.
Better Car Replacement can get you an even newer car after a total loss
If you add Better Car Replacement to your Liberty auto insurance policy, the insurer will replace your car with one that's one model year newer and has 15,000 fewer miles than the one that was damaged. This coverage is only for those who own their cars, not for leases.
Although new car replacement is fairly common among auto insurers, replacing the vehicle with a better car is quite rare. Shoppers interested in this feature should ask Liberty how it will affect their premiums and judge for themselves whether it's worth paying the price to get an improved vehicle after a total loss.
The RightTrack discount uses technology to get you savings
Liberty offers to ship drivers a device — in the form of a windshield tag — that observes driving behavior for 90 days. It tracks how much you drive, at what time of day you drive and how you accelerate and brake. Liberty claims that excellent drivers can get savings of up to 30%.
Discount levels with the RightTrack feature are uncertain, but if you're already considering a Liberty policy and are confident in your driving ability, it's worth participating in the program to see how much you save.
GEICO and Liberty Mutual: Standard car insurance coverages
We've noted some of the unique add-on coverages offered by GEICO and Liberty Mutual, but shoppers will want to know that both major insurers offer standard car insurance coverages. Rest assured, if you buy a policy with either of these providers, you'll have the option to get all of the following base coverages:
- Bodily injury liability
- Property damage liability
- Comprehensive and collision insurance
- Personal injury protection
- Medical payments
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage
For this study, we used car insurance quotes from thousands of ZIP codes across the 10 largest states in the U.S. (by population) in which data on Liberty Mutual and GEICO were available. These states were the following:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
Our base sample driver was a 30-year-old man driving a 2015 Honda Civic EX, with driver profiles adjusted where noted in the piece. When the driver had an at-fault accident on his record, the crash caused $2,000 in property damage. All other variables affecting the cost of car insurance were consistent, such as marital status (the sample driver was single) and policy limits. Coverage levels are listed below and are slightly higher than any one state's minimum coverage requirements:
|Coverage type||Study limits|
|Bodily liability||$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident|
|Property damage||$25,000 per accident|
|Uninsured/Underinsured motorist bodily injury||$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident|
|Comprehensive and collision||$500 deductible|
|Personal injury protection (PIP)||Minimum when required by state|
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.