Best for cheap car insurance: State Farm
State Farm is the best option for most drivers looking for the most affordable car insurance. The rates State Farm offered for a full coverage policy were $427 more affordable per year than Geico's, and were even cheaper than those from Progressive, Allstate or Farmers. Behind USAA — which is only available to military families — State Farm is the cheapest in the most states.
Best for car insurance discounts: Geico
However, Geico may be the better choice for drivers who qualify for any of the insurer's discounts. Behind State Farm, Geico has the most affordable car insurance in six states. Geico also has a longer list of discounts than State Farm, including savings for owning a car with safety features, such as air bags or anti-lock brakes, and insuring more than one vehicle.
While Farmers has more discount opportunities than Geico, its quotes for full coverage are also more than two times greater than Geico's. This means that its long list of discounts won't automatically make it cheaper than Geico would be for a similar driver, who would qualify for nearly as many discounts with the more affordable provider.
|Defensive driving course|
|Vehicle safety features|
|New vehicle discount|
Comparing each insurer's usage-based insurance discounts
State Farm, Geico, Allstate, Progressive and Farmers all offer policyholders and shoppers the chance to enroll in telematics or usage-based driving programs. Insurers monitor the driving habits of those who sign up and reduce the cost of coverage for people who drive safely or infrequently.
Enrolling in telematics programs may be an easy way to get more discounts, especially for drivers without a history of at-fault accidents. However, some may be wary about allowing insurers to access their private information. Below, we've broken down how each insurer's telematics insurance discount plan works.
- State Farm: The insurer's Drive Safe and Save program offers a discount of up to 30% for drivers who demonstrate good driving habits, like responsiveness, avoiding excessive speed and even driving less.
- Geico: Geico's telematics program offers drivers the chance to reduce their rates in 20 states where it's currently available. Geico assigns drivers a score based on their habits, which translates to savings — however, some drivers may see a rate increase if they show bad driving habits.
- Allstate: Allstate's Drivewise evaluates a policyholder's driving habits according to their speed, braking habits and the times of day they most frequently drive. In return for access to this data, Allstate offers discounts every six months that Drivewise is in use.
- Progressive: The Snapshot program at Progressive offers substantial savings for good driving habits, like attention to speed, alert driving and avoiding late-night driving. According to the insurer, most people save $47 after signing up, and $145 after six months, though it's possible for some to experience a price increase.
- Farmers: Signal, offered by Farmers Insurance, gives drivers a 5% discount for signing up and up to a 10% discount for enrolling as a young driver. Additionally, the program's users can be eligible for a variety of gifts and rewards by earning high scores in Signal's monthly evaluations of users' driving habits.
Best for customer service: Allstate
Because of the low number of service complaints it receives, we determined that Allstate offers the best customer service relative to its competitors.
Shoppers who want to buy auto insurance from the company with the best reputation for customer service should consider Allstate. The insurer receives fewer complaints about its claims service relative to its market share than its competitors, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
Allstate also ranked high in J.D. Power's survey of the auto insurance industry. Behind State Farm, Allstate scored the second highest in J.D. Power's customer satisfaction survey and beat out Geico, Progressive and Farmers.
NAIC complaint index
J.D. Power customer satisfaction score
A survey commissioned by ValuePenguin also revealed that a large percentage of Allstate customers had positive experiences with the insurer. Seventy-two percent of respondents were extremely satisfied with Allstate following their most recent claim, placing the insurer just behind State Farm.
On the other hand, 47% of people rated Allstate's all-around customer service quality as "excellent," which was the highest percentage any insurance provider received. State Farm was slightly behind Allstate, as 46% characterized its service as "excellent."
Percentage of respondents overall extremely satisfied with most recent claim
Percentage of respondents who rated customer service as "excellent"
Best for coverage options: Farmers
Farmers Insurance offers the largest list of auto insurance coverages, based on our comparison. The add-ons available with Farmers are useful and fairly uncommon. For instance, policyholders can purchase extra coverage for their car's parts with the original equipment manufacturer endorsement, which ensures the use of factory-grade replacements for repairs on vehicles 10 years old or younger.
How much car insurance do you need? Each state requires a different amount of car insurance coverage, but drivers should expect to purchase bodily injury and property damage liability coverage along with uninsured motorist coverage. After mandatory coverage, add-ons vary by insurer and state. Most drivers can add comprehensive and collision coverage, roadside assistance and rental reimbursement no matter the insurer.
Farmers Insurance customers can also protect any spare parts they keep on hand along with the custom upgrades they've made to their vehicles with the insurer's spare parts and custom equipment coverage options.
|Un/underinsured motorist protection|
Although Farmers has the greatest number of ways to upgrade a car insurance policy, users who are financing their vehicles may find that the gap insurance offered by Progressive offers more complete coverage. Uncommonly offered, gap insurance covers a driver in the event that their car is totaled and their loan or lease isn't paid off. With this coverage, drivers can recover the difference between what they owe on a loan or lease and the amount they'd receive from their insurer after a covered loss.
How the biggest car insurance companies compare with each other
The cost of auto insurance varies by insurance provider, amount of coverage and the personal characteristics of the policyholder. For example, a person's driving history and age can result in much higher premiums if they've been in an accident or are in their teens.
Below, ValuePenguin compares the cost of car insurance from State Farm, Geico, Allstate, Progressive and Farmers for different types of people, including those seeking policies with lower limits, those with an accident, those with poor credit and teenage drivers.
Geico vs. Progressive
Compared to Progressive, Geico is the more affordable insurer for most types of drivers. For those seeking minimum coverage car insurance, the costs are nearly the same. However, the gap between Geico and Progressive grows for other drivers, reaching more than $3,000 at its greatest for teenage drivers seeking full coverage.
|Minimum coverage car insurance||$780||$782|
|Full coverage with one accident||$3,194||$3,559|
|Full coverage for drivers with poor credit||$2,386||$3,222|
|Full coverage for young drivers||$5,340||$8,384|
State Farm vs. Geico
State Farm tends to offer cheaper coverage than Geico for most people. However, Geico's rates are more affordable for drivers with poor credit. ValuePenguin's analysis shows that Geico's rates for these drivers are $293 cheaper per year than State Farm's.
|Minimum coverage car insurance||$597||$780|
|Full coverage with one accident||$1,979||$3,194|
|Full coverage for drivers with poor credit||$2,679||$2,386|
|Full coverage for young drivers||$4,517||$5,340|
Allstate vs. Geico
Our initial breakdown concluded that Allstate was more expensive on average for most drivers than State Farm, Geico, Progressive and Farmers. For other drivers, Allstate remains expensive. Geico remains cheaper for young drivers and policyholders with different backgrounds and coverage limits.
|Minimum coverage car insurance||$1,135||$780|
|Full coverage with one accident||$5,227||$3,194|
|Full coverage for drivers with poor credit||$3,853||$2,386|
|Full coverage for young drivers||$9,133||$5,340|
State Farm vs. Farmers
We found that State Farm tends to be a much more affordable option for most people than Farmers. For a minimum coverage policy, State Farm is 46% cheaper than its competitor. Drivers with poor credit may get the most comparable deal with Farmers, but its quotes are still 33% higher than State Farm's.
|Minimum coverage car insurance||$597||$1,107|
|Full coverage with one accident||$1,979||$5,031|
|Full coverage for drivers with poor credit||$2,679||$3,567|
|Full coverage for young drivers||$4,517||$7,777|
State Farm vs. Allstate
State Farm is cheaper than Allstate for all of the types of drivers included in this survey. Even at its most expensive — car insurance for young drivers — State Farm is still 51% cheaper than its competitor, which offers these shoppers rates higher than $9,000 per year.
|Minimum coverage car insurance||$597||$1,135|
|Full coverage with one accident||$1,979||$5,227|
|Full coverage for drivers with poor credit||$2,679||$3,853|
|Full coverage for young drivers||$4,517||$9,133|
Allstate vs. Progressive
Progressive tends to have cheaper car insurance than Allstate for many different types of drivers. However, drivers with poor credit and young drivers might consider either insurer. Drivers with poor credit were quoted rates by Allstate that were only 19% higher than those from Progressive, while the cost of car insurance for young drivers is only 9% more expensive at Allstate.
|Minimum coverage car insurance||$1,135||$782|
|Full coverage with one accident||$5,227||$3,559|
|Full coverage for drivers with poor credit||$3,853||$3,222|
|Full coverage for young drivers||$9,133||$8,384|
State Farm vs. Progressive
On average, State Farm is 32% cheaper than Progressive. Young drivers may find the best bargain with State Farm, which offers rates that are $3,867 cheaper. Likewise, the cost of insurance for a driver with one prior accident is 46% cheaper with State Farm than Progressive.
|Minimum coverage car insurance||$597||$782|
|Full coverage with one accident||$1,979||$3,559|
|Full coverage for drivers with poor credit||$2,679||$3,222|
|Full coverage for young drivers||$4,517||$8,384|
Recap of State Farm vs. Geico vs. Progressive vs. Allstate vs. Farmers
Average annual cost
Number of discounts
Number of coverage options
Frequently asked questions
Which is the cheapest car insurance provider?
Among the largest car insurance companies, State Farm is the cheapest for most people. On average, its liability-only policies cost $597 per year, and its full-coverage plans are $1,589. State Farm offered the cheapest coverage in 10 states, the most states behind USAA.
Which insurer offers the most discounts?
Farmers Insurance gives its policyholders the most discount opportunities. Many are easy for most people to achieve, such as savings for signing up for coverage online or electing to receive bills electronically and pay automatically. However, due to Farmers' high cost of coverage, Geico — the far cheaper provider with the second-most discount opportunities — gives drivers the greatest potential for savings.
Which car insurance company has the best customer service?
Allstate has the best customer service reputation of any insurer we measured, according to the number of complaints it received from its policyholders. Behind Allstate was State Farm, which also received a small number of complaints relative to its market share.
Which insurer has the most endorsements?
Drivers looking for complete coverage can find the most add-ons with Farmers. Notably, drivers can add coverage for damaged custom and original parts. However, Progressive offers gap insurance, which protects the policyholder financially if their vehicle is damaged before the car's lease or loan is paid off.
Using car insurance rates from across the country, ValuePenguin compared the cost of coverage from State Farm, Allstate, Geico, Progressive and Farmers. We gathered quotes for a 30-year-old male driver with no history of accidents and average credit, 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, as your quotes may be different.