Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes in Your Area
The auto insurance market in the U.S. is dominated by a few key players. In fact, the largest ten car insurance companies control approximately 72% of the market.
While these carriers underwrite a large number of policies, they differ on price, service quality and many other characteristics. To help you choose the best insurance company for your situation, we created a list of the ten largest auto insurance companies in the U.S. and discuss what makes each of them unique.
What are the largest auto insurance companies?
When looking at the rankings of the top auto insurance companies in the United States, most of the names are recognizable due to their national television advertising campaigns. The #1 auto insurance company in the country by premiums written is State Farm.
Yet the ten largest insurance companies offer varied insurance rates, customer claims experiences and features. We discuss the top ten biggest insurers in the U.S. and what you should know about each of them.
1. State Farm
State Farm is a great auto insurance company for anyone who wants a local agent, a personalized experience and cheaper than average rates.
State Farm is the largest auto insurance company in the U.S. and possesses 17% of the total available market share. Nearly one in five dollars spent on private passenger auto premiums in the U.S. is paid to State Farm.
The company currently employs approximately 70,000 employees and has nearly 19,000 agents. State Farm operates as a mutual insurance company, meaning that it’s owned by its policyholders.
We consider GEICO to be one of the best auto insurance companies. GEICO offers low rates, national availability and an easy shopping experience.
GEICO, well known for its animated gecko, has served as an underwriter to more than 16 million auto policies, which insure more than 24 million vehicles. The company’s size allows it to employ more than 36,000 people across nine regional offices, three service centers and three claims centers.
GEICO’s original customer base consisted of U.S. government employees and military personnel. Today, the insurance company’s customer base has expanded to include people in the private sector.
Progressive offers especially competitive rates to drivers with previous accidents. However, claims satisfaction ratings and coverage options are average.
Progressive—the third biggest insurance company in the country—was established in 1937. The company offers the ability to purchase auto insurance directly, online or by phone. Alternatively, customers can sign up through independent insurance agents.
The company employs over 33,000 people and has over 400 offices. Progressive is a publicly traded company.
Allstate typically has better than average claims satisfaction ratings but higher rates. Allstate, however, offers a variety of discounts that can make policies more affordable for customers.
Established in 1931, Allstate is the second largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company in America. Similar to State Farm, Allstate has a roster of local agents ready to serve your needs. The company currently employs over 79,000 people.
Esurance, a subsidiary of Allstate, operates in the same space. According to Allstate, the Esurance brand is targeted towards self-directed and brand-sensitive customers while Allstate is geared for customers who enjoy local and personal service.
USAA is one of the best auto insurers in the country. If you meet their qualification criteria, you’ll enjoy extremely competitive rates, great customer service and speedy claims responses. The only downside is USAA's restricted membership.
USAA was founded by 25 Army officers who decided to insure each other’s vehicles in 1922. Today, the company serves millions of members associated with the U.S. military, including: current and former service members, family of service members, and cadets or midshipmen.
USAA is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. The corporate campus’ length extends three-quarters of a mile. USAA is the largest private company located in San Antonio.
6. Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual’s rates vary by location more than the typical insurer, and customers rank the company's claims satisfaction process as below average.
Liberty Mutual is one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. and has been around for over 100 years, including a large international presence—with operations in 17 countries. The international company sell property and casualty, health and life insurance policies.
Liberty Mutual's auto insurance offerings can be accessed via its call center, website, a local Liberty Mutual agent or broker, or representatives from its network of regional subsidiaries. One thing to note about Liberty Mutual's coverage is that rates are guaranteed for a year.
Farmers offers decent discounts, coverage options and great customer service. However Farmers’ non-competitive rates may be cost-prohibitive for some shoppers.
Farmers began as an insurance company providing coverage to rural farmers’ vehicles. Since then it has evolved to become the seventh largest insurance company in the country.
It’s hard to find an insurance company that offers more products than Farmers. It offers basic auto insurance, pet insurance, and even investment products among a variety of other insurance products. Farmers employs nearly 21,000 people, underwriting over 19 million policies across 50 states.
Nationwide is below average for affordability, and its customer reviews tend to veer negative. Nationwide offers standard coverages and discounts you’d expect from a large national insurer.
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company, paid almost $17 billion in claims and other benefits to members in 2018. The company does business across several verticals—including financial services, commercial lines and personal lines—in all 50 U.S. states. Nationwide has contributed over $430 million to nonprofit organizations since 2000.
Nationwide Insurance has a motto called "On Your Side" that influences how auto insurance claims are handled, and policies and premiums are determined. The company also recommends getting an annual checkup to ensure policyholders understand their benefits and declarations, as well as new discounts or changes to keep premiums steady and coverage adequate. This consultation is called their "On Your Side" Review.
Moderate complaint ratings and a variety of discounts make Travelers a good choice for auto insurance coverage.
Travelers is more than 160 years old, making it one of the oldest insurance companies operating today. In fact, Travelers issued its first auto insurance policy in 1897, before the Ford Model-T was invented.
The company has over 30,000 employees and 13,500 independent agents and brokers in multiple countries—including the United States, Canada, and Brazil. Notably, Travelers offers a rate pricing program known as IntelliDrive, which determines you rates by assessing your safe driving behiavor via a smartphone app. Enrolling in IntelliDrive can potentially reduce your annual insurance rates by as much as 20% if you exhibit good driving habits.
10. American Family
American Family is a solid choice for auto insurance. The company offers decent rates, which have the potential to be great when policyholders utilize some of its many discounts.
American Family was established with the initial goal of insuring farmers. In the 1930s, the company expanded and began to focus on insuring non-farmers as well. Today, the company is one of the biggest insurance companies in the U.S., and the largest insurer by market share in the state of Wisconsin.
The company is known for its extensive discount catalogue that can make its already decent rates even more affordable for customers. However, American Family currently underwrites policies in just 19 states.
The largest car insurance companies by state
State Farm is the largest insurer in 35 states and Washington, D.C. After State Farm, GEICO was most frequently the largest insurer, taking the top market share spot in 10 states. Progressive held the most market share in 4 states, and American Family in just 1.
Largest auto insurance companies in each state
|New Mexico||State Farm|
|North Carolina||State Farm|
|South Carolina||State Farm|
|South Dakota||State Farm|
|West Virginia||State Farm|
Big vs. small insurance companies
The trade-off between large insurance companies and small ones typically involves giving up competitive rates for an improved customer experience.
- When using a small insurance company for your auto insurance, you’ll likely communicate exclusively with one insurance agent.
- While you might lose a personal connection when selecting a major insurer, the largest companies tend to have more financial stability. In fact, these carriers underwrite and pay out billions of dollars per year, and still often leverage their resources to offer drivers lower insurance rates.
You may worry about solvency if you choose a policy from a smaller company. If you manage to find a small insurer with a base level of financial stability that you’re comfortable with, consider how much in price you’re willing to pay for better service. If you value great service, you might prefer a small insurance company.
Below, we compared the ten largest auto insurance companies according to their financial strength rating by A.M. Best.
|A++/Superior||State Farm, Geico, USAA|
|A+/Superior||Progressive, Allstate, Nationwide|
|A/Excellent||Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Travelers, American Family|
Another consideration is availability, coverage options and discounts. While you’re likely to have a more personalized experience with a small insurance company, it may not have the availability, benefits and discounts that large insurance companies do. And the major insurance companies often have representatives that are still available to speak with policyholders 24/7.
Mutual vs. Stock insurance companies
The main difference between mutual and stock insurance companies is the ownership configuration—stock insurance companies are privately or publicly owned companies that offer voting rights to stockholders. Mutual insurance companies, however, are owned by their policyholders.
Since stockholders benefit from the stock’s appreciation, people argue that the short-term interests of investors don’t always align with the long-term interest of the company. Many feel that mutual insurance companies are better because the policyholders’ interests align well with what’s best for the company, specifically lowering insurance rates and paying out dividends to attract more customers.
Below, we list the top ten auto insurance companies by type, excluding USAA, which is an insurance exchange for military personnel.
|Mutual insurance companies||Stock insurance companies|
Market share and direct written premium information for private auto insurance was gathered from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and S&P Global, a financial data resource for the insurance industry.
We collected minimum coverage auto insurance quotes across 50 states and Washington, D.C. 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.
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.