Best Car Insurance Companies of 2021

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans have decreased their time on the road with little to no work commute and less travel. However, you’re still required to carry auto insurance in every state — even if driving and commuting are down overall. That means in general, the U.S. consumer has to budget an average of $130 a month for proper car insurance coverage.

To help you understand what makes a top-rated car insurance company, it’s important to first find out how much coverage you need. This guide will help you understand what makes a top-rated car insurance company, how much coverage you need and ways to save money when getting a car insurance quote. Don’t worry; our top picks are not based on how good the TV commercials are during the Super Bowl.

The 8 best car insurance companies of 2021

  • Best Overall Car Insurance: Amica Mutual
  • Best Car Insurance for Customer Support: State Farm
  • Best Car Insurance for Discounts: Progressive
  • Best Car Insurance Policy Options: The Hartford
  • Best Car Insurance for Online Experience: Geico
  • Best Car Insurance for Military Members: USAA
  • Best Car Insurance for East Coast Residents: Erie
  • Best Agent-Only Car Insurance Company: Auto-Owners

Why trust us in finding the best car insurance?

Research methodology and car insurance rates

Whether buying your first car insurance policy or switching companies, there is no “best” in auto insurance. This isn’t Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants — your car insurance premium might not fit your best friend’s needs. So what makes a good car insurance company? Our methodology uses five important factors to rate top companies. We evaluate coverage options, discounts, customer support and digital accessibility.

Additionally, The Simple Dollar analyzed millions of car insurance rates in every U.S. ZIP code to determine the average cost by state, carrier, coverage amount, credit score, and other factors from includes analyzing thousands of rates from all 50 states that were publicly sourced from 2019 insurer filings. Rates are based on a 30-year-old male or female that had a clean driving record, and we looked at those who had both good and poor credit. These rates should be used to inform your car insurance shopping process, but your own quote may differ based on your unique driving profile.

Compare 2021 car insurance rates

Make sure when comparing car insurance quotes from different companies you are looking at the same policy type and coverage level. Cheaper quotes could just be a policy with less coverage.

A quick look at the best-rated insurance companies 

Looking to switch car insurance providers soon? We narrowed down the top picks to help you pick the best policy and provider. 

There are a few factors to consider when shopping for providers, including the average minimum premium — or the lowest annual cost you can expect to pay from your provider. You’ll also want to think about the average cost you’ll pay annually for full coverage. 

While you want to save money, picking a new insurance provider isn’t all about rates. Customer service matters just as much. 

In general, Amica and Geico offer the lowest rates all around. Even the providers with the second-lowest rates have a high Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating amongst competitors, though. State Farm also has a high customer service rating, but has more costly premiums for their auto coverage. 

If you’re trying to narrow it down, use the table below to help you decide which insurer is best for you.

SimpleScore rating J.D. Power Average minimum premium Average full coverage premium
Amica Mutual 4.4 5 $559 $1510
State Farm 4.4 4 $764 $1778
Progressive 4.2 3 $869 $2068
Geico 4.2 3 $577 $1367
Erie 4.2 2 $882 $2237
Auto-Owners 3.8 4 $640 $1727
*military only
4.6 5 $656 $1634

Rate data provided by Rates are based on the national average of a 26-year-old driving a Honda Civic. This is an average across all 50 states and credit tiers. Your own rates will differ. Rates for The Hartford were not available.

  • Our SimpleScore uses a five-point scale to evaluate each provider’s discounts, coverage options, customer satisfaction, support and accessibility. 
  • J.D. Power rating was included for additional insight into each provider’s customer service.
  • Our top auto insurance providers include Amica, State Farm, Progressive, Geico, Erie, Auto-Owners and USAA. All of our top choices offer great customer service, affordable rates and a wide range of coverage options.

Best car insurance companies reviewed

Best overall car insurance company – Amica

Amica is the Subway of insurance companies. You don’t have to stick to just ham and bread, it allows you to customize your coverage to your liking.

Amica takes the spot for the best overall company on our list. This provider offers your standard fare of auto coverage, including comprehensive, collision and uninsured motorist. Amica also offers extra features that you won’t find anywhere else –– including free lock replacement, no-charge damaged glass repair and free airbag repair.

Customers can get a free quote online and customize coverage options to meet their driving and coverage needs. Amica also makes it easy to report and track claims online and hassle-free. You can get a number of discounts for big savings on your policy, too. You’ll save when you’re accident-free for at least three years and when you take a driver safety class. 

Their award-winning service has received the highest Consumer Reports rating among auto insurance providers — as it has every year since at least 1999.

Best car insurance for customer support – State Farm

State Farm is like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich — no thrills and little customization, but still a crowd pleaser.


4.6 / 5.0

SimpleScore State Farm 4.6

State Farm makes it easy to get in contact with an agent. With 19,000 agents, you can easily call them to file a claim. But if you don’t have time for a phone call, the State Farm mobile app allows you to contact a representative or send a picture of the damage. A user-friendly app is something we often take for granted, but not all companies have this luxury. Amica, for example, doesn’t allow you to connect with an agent or file a claim via an app.

Beyond comprehensive, collision and liability insurance, State Farm offers Uber or Lyft drivers rideshare driver coverage. Another useful coverage is State Farm’s emergency roadside coverage, you’ll have access to onsite repairs (up to one hour), towing, a locksmith or the free delivery of gas, a tire, or battery.

State Farm has the best online quote tool, though it lacks a few common driver discounts and important coverage options. However, it’s also one of the best when it comes to the customer service experience. Receiving high praise from J.D. Power for its service interaction and claims handling, State Farm has the most positive remarks by far.

Best car insurance for discounts – Progressive

Flo’s signature red lipstick and funny storytelling aren’t a sham — you really can save by switching to Progressive.


4.2 / 5.0

SimpleScore Progressive 4.2

In addition to the typical insurance coverages like liability, collision and comprehensive, Progressive offers coverage options that other companies lack. Gap insurance from Progessive covers 125% of the cost of the car if it’s totaled while you’re still making payments. An even less common type of coverage, free pet injury coverage that pays any veterinary bills if your pets are injured in an auto accident.

With solid customer experience and plenty of discount options, Progressive has plenty to look forward to. But there is still room for improvement. Its rate guarantee only lasts for the duration of a six-month policy.

Progressive provides customers with an array of discounts and special coverages that have the potential to significantly reduce your monthly bill. Unique to Progressive, the Snapshot tool bases your rate on your driving habits – like how often you drive, if you slam on the break or if you used your phone while driving. You’ll get an automatic discount for using the Snapshot app.

Progressive also earned an “A+ Superior” stability rating from AM Best, which shows its solid financial footing to cover any claims.

Best car insurance for policy options – The Hartford

A great car insurance for retirees, you just need to be over 50 and an AARP member to enjoy the low rates and exceptional customer service The Hartford has to offer.


3.2 / 5.0

SimpleScore The Hartford 3.2

What Hartford offers customers is what you expect from most car insurance companies, though it does add perks for AARP members. Perks include lifetime warranties for repairs done at approved shops and the RecoverCare program that reimburses you for the cost of home services while you recover from a collision. Some of the reimbursable services include home cleaning, snow removal, dog walking, lawn mowing and transportation.

Hartford offers a wide range of policy options and benefits, including rates based on how much you actually drive and a new car replacement program for cars totaled shortly after purchase.

Customers may also inquire about mechanical breakdown coverage and a lot of useful policy benefits. While customers report an excellent purchase experience, The Hartford doesn’t have many online education resources and only has an average claims satisfaction rating.

Best car insurance for online experience – GEICO

We’ve all seen the ads: The gecko with the charming accent, the cavemen, the “wee” piggy and that camel who loves Wednesdays. Catchy advertising aside, Geico stands out from its competitors with low rates and plenty of discounts.

Geico is the second-largest car insurance provider in the United States for a reason. It caters to the tech-savvy consumer. For those who don’t want to speak to an agent or listen to the never-ending elevator music while you’re on hold, Geico’s superior mobile app comes in handy. With the ability to personalize your alerts and access all of your important information, Geico Mobile makes things easy.

Geico’s range of coverage includes the standard fare — collision, comprehensive and liability insurance. Unlike many other companies, rideshare insurance for Lyft and Uber drivers is also available. Geico does offer mechanical breakdown coverage, though it’s only for new cars less than 15 months old with less than 15,000 miles. While it’s not applicable to all people, if you fall into this category, you’ll be able to renew mechanical breakdown coverage for up to seven years or 100,000 miles.

Geico has a lot of upsides. It draws customers in with a superior mobile app and a variety of discounts. Rideshare coverage is a major plus, but Geico lacks gap coverage.

Best car insurance for military members and families – USAA

If USAA was in “Mean Girls,” it’d be Regina George. Everyone wants to be in its inner circle and get its exclusive rates.

Throughout our research, we found that USAA’s stellar reputation holds true. USAA is one of the three highest-rated automotive insurers in the country –– but it isn’t available to everyone. Only active service members, veterans and their families are eligible for a car insurance policy through USAA. Given there are such strict restrictions, you should expect the quote process to take longer and be more involved than other competitors. Though that’s a small price to pay for its exemplary service and established reputation.

USAA provides a standard fare of vehicle coverage and roadside assistance. It may not be the most innovative when it comes to coverages, but it’s one of the highest-rated insurance companies out there. With some of the lowest average premiums, USAA is a great option for car insurance if you fall into one of their eligibility categories. Read our full USAA review.

As a company, USAA offers a flawless purchase experience for its customers. But there are still some catches. Missing a few key vehicle coverages, the main downside to USAA is the strict membership restrictions.

Pro: Cheap prices and great customer service

Con: Only available for military members

Best for consumers on the East Coast – Erie

Although it only serves the East Coast, Erie has world-class auto insurance that can cover your car and more.

Erie Insurance serves customers who live in the South, Midwest or Mid-Atlantic regions. Consistently receiving high marks from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports and with above-average customer service ratings including the ability to personalize your coverage, Erie is worth considering.

Erie’s limited availability is the reason it didn’t make our top five recommendations. It only serves residents of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and certain parts of the District of Columbia.

Erie is one of the best commercial auto insurers, offering policies that come standard with coverage for road service, lawyer fees and loss of earnings. It also has comprehensive coverage options that include extras like money toward rental cars after a crash — which is an add-on policy with most insurers.

Erie also offers between 16% and 25% discounts when you bundle multiple policies— which could add up to big savings. You can also get a discount for driving safely. Plus, if you’re not using your car for at least three months, Erie may offer a discount in your area.

Best agent-only company – Auto-Owners – Auto Insurance

Using an agent-only model, Auto-Owners Insurance is a great choice for people who are tired of pressing buttons and would rather cut to the chase with a real person on the line.


3.8 / 5.0

SimpleScore Auto-Owners – Auto Insurance 3.8

Auto-Owners has the types of coverages you’d expect –– liability, comprehensive and collision coverages. Though unlike many other options, it offers gap insurance to make up for the amount you owe on your vehicle loan or lease should the car be totaled. The Personal Automobile Plus package allows consumers to benefit from 10 additional coverages, including cell phone insurance and rekeying your locks.

If you’re looking at getting a new car, Auto-Owners offers coverage to help replace your new car and protect your car as the value depreciates. If there’s an accident, you’ll also have rental car coverage and road trouble coverage to get you back on the road in no time. 

Auto-Owners Insurance operates in: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Additional reviews on other national car insurance companies

Though not selected as our top-rated car insurance companies, you can find more information about some of the largest auto insurance carriers in our reviews. You can also visit the Insurance Information Institute or NAIC for more information.

How does the auto industry work?

The sales and service of cars drive nearly $953 billion annually across the country, and in 2018 alone, 17.2 million cars were sold nationwide. When you buy a new car, the value depreciates the moment you drive your new car off of the lot because the car goes from new to used right away. Your car also loses value when you drive, get into an accident, or everyday wear and tear. 

Auto insurance helps cover car repairs and personal costs when life happens. Whether it’s an accident, pothole or car trouble, your coverage can help you cover these costs after your deductible. The less your car’s value is, the less you’re likely to pay in premiums — though it will depend heavily on your coverage, state, age and other factors. 

It’s helpful to think of the auto industry as a never-ending cycle. We pour money into cars and maintenance, but car insurance helps cover the cost if anything goes wrong.

What’s factored into auto policies and rates? 

Your auto policy and the premium will depend on a few factors. It will also determine whether or not an insurer is a good fit for your car coverage needs. Most policies depend on the following:

Depending on these and other factors, you could pay more or less in car insurance. Think about buying a brand new, high-end car when you turn 21 years old. You’re likely to pay more for the car’s year, make and model. You may also pay more as a young driver with a less established driving record. You’re also likely to pay more if you live in California than your friends in South Carolina are paying. Keep in mind that your policy and premium are unique to your needs, driving record and other personal factors.

What’s happening in the car insurance industry today?

At the start of the pandemic, some insurers offered drivers a reimbursement on their monthly payment to help economically. Policyholders were driving less due to COVID-19 nationwide lockdowns. Allstate offered their drivers a 15% Shelter in Place payback on their premiums for April, May and June. Other providers offered credits toward premiums instead. Since that point, drivers have been on the road less often. If you’re working remotely but still need auto insurance, it’s the perfect time to look into low-mileage auto insurance for extra savings or switch carriers for extra savings. You’ll only pay for the miles you drive, and you’ll still have all the coverage you need.

Guide to finding the best car insurance for you

There’s a lot to know about the car and insurance industries to fully understand how auto insurance works, but we don’t want to bore you with a long history lesson. Here’s what you need to know to help make a well-informed decision about your car insurance.

What makes the best auto insurance companies?

The best auto insurance companies give policyholders flexibility, affordability and simplicity from beginning to end. Whether it’s getting a free quote, paying a monthly premium or filing a claim, today’s top picks are giving customers what they need when they need it most. 

Coverage options 

Start by looking at a provider’s coverage options. You’ll want an insurer with a number of policies and coverage options to meet your needs. Ask your agent what types of car insurance they offer and if any add-ons are available, including rental car coverage and Roadside Assistance. Many insurers will offer a few options including collision, personal injury and gap coverage. 

Customer service 

Switching insurance providers isn’t all about rates. Service matters just as much, if not more. After all, you’ll be working closely with an agent to handle your policy, claims and any other concerns. Take a look at your agent’s BBB rating or J.D. Power rating to see what other customers think, and to weigh any pros and cons. You can also give your agent a call for a first-hand customer service experience to ask about claims, coverage, rates and more. 


Your auto insurance shouldn’t break the bank. Shop around for the most affordable rates by speaking with agents and getting free quotes online. Be careful when aiming for the lowest rates, though. Cheaper coverage doesn’t always mean it’s the best. You may pay a low monthly price, but the policy could lack the coverage options you need. Make a list of necessary coverages and find the most affordable rate for your needs. 

Once you’ve found a premium you’re comfortable with, give the agent a call to get more information on discounts and other ways to lower the cost. You may save money on your rate by bundling home insurance, driving safely or taking a driver’s safety course. 

Steps to finding the right coverage for you

Finding the right auto insurer is easy. All it takes is a few simple steps to get you on the road with the coverage you can rely on. 

  1. Make a wish list of what you’d like to get from your auto insurance policy. Include how much you want to pay a month and what coverages you’re not willing to budge on when it comes to your car and driving safety.
  2. Research auto insurers in your area to see what options are available. Take a close look at coverage options and get a free quote based on your wish list and personal information. Remember to get multiple quotes from different insurers to compare. 
  3. Talk to an agent once you’ve narrowed down your choices. Evaluate the quality of their customer service and ask any questions about the policy, coverage or available services.
  4. Once you’ve found an agent you like and the coverage you need, review your policy. Make sure you’re happy with the ins and outs of your coverage. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or for clarification on anything.
  5. Understand your payment cycle and when it’s time to renew your policy. Remember to keep your insurance card and insurer’s information readily available to file a claim. The best way to do both is to download the mobile app if your insurer has one.

Consider these factors when shopping for car insurance

Check your state requirements: not every state is the same

In nearly all states, drivers are required by law to carry some form of car insurance or proof of financial responsibility. Every state has requirements for the level of insurance and the minimum amount of coverage each driver must have. Use the Insurance Information Institute’s guide to determine the insurance requirements for your state.

After you’ve found what’s the minimum amount of insurance required for your state, you should know if you live in a no-fault or fault state. If you live in a no-fault state, regardless of if an accident is your fault, collision damages and medical expenses will be covered by your insurance company.

We’ve researched state requirements and the best carriers across all 50 states:

What is an at-fault state?

There are two kinds of state laws when it comes to establishing fault in an accident:

  • No-fault state — This means that drivers only assume responsibility for their own injuries and damages. No-fault state drivers are required to carry personal injury protection (PIP) to ensure that you have the adequate coverage to pay for medical expenses from an accident.
  • At-fault state — Also known as a tort state, this means that the person responsible for the accident pays for all of the damages associated with that accident, including the other driver’s expenses.

Choose the right amount of coverage for you: Full coverage vs minimum

Full coverage annual rates are significantly higher than minimum coverage rates. But an inclusive car insurance policy isn’t something you should opt out of just to save money— especially if there’s a collision. Full coverage pays for damages to your car caused by an accident, while the state minimum, also known as liability insurance, will cover damages you cause to other people and their car while driving.

Even though a cheaper monthly premium might seem attractive, having more than the imposed state minimum will ensure that you’ll pay less out-of-pocket in case there’s an accident.

For example, in a major car accident, an individual’s medical expenses are likely to exceed $15,000, yet that’s the minimum liability limit in some states. When shopping for liability insurance, it’s a good idea to choose a coverage that will exceed what you might need.

While different states will require different types of coverage, the most basic auto insurance policies are bodily injury liability, personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability. There are additional coverage options as well, which typically cover things like pet injuries or new car replacement costs, among other expenses. Some examples include:

Below is a comparison of the coverages offered by our top car insurance companies, and a breakdown of each type of coverage. Note that not every type of coverage is available in all states.

Vehicle and policy coverages Amica State Farm The Hartford Geico USAA Progressive
Bodily injury liability
Personal injury protection
Property damage liability
Rental car coverage
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
Pet injury coverage X X X X X
GAP insurance X X X X
New car replacement X X X X X

Understand your deductible and how it affects your premium

Most coverage options will have a deductible –– the amount of money you have to pay out-of-pocket towards a covered loss before your insurance policy will step in. Collision, comprehensive and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will all have a deductible.

While you shouldn’t opt out of coverage options just to save money, there are times it just doesn’t make sense to have the extra coverage. A classic example is collision coverage. If your car’s value is too close to the deductible, you probably won’t get reimbursed from your insurance company after a loss.

Let’s say your car is worth $1,000 and your deductible is $1,000. If you get into an accident and your car sustains $800 worth of damage, you wouldn’t get an insurance payout because your deductible would cover the entire cost. It’s always important to determine which types of coverage make sense for you, but especially if you have an older car that’s low in value.

How to save money on car insurance

Now that we’ve laid out the most important aspects that you should know about car insurance, here are some tips on how to save money on your car insurance policy.

1. Compare car insurance quotes

Risk isn’t the only factor that car insurance companies use to calculate your rate. Many insurers also use “price optimization,” meaning they set rates based on how much customers are willing to pay.

Large insurance companies analyze an enormous amount of customers’ personal data, such as social media posts, credit scores and even your online shopping habits. Then, they run the data through a proprietary algorithm that estimates how likely you are to shop around or just renew your existing policy each year. Shopping around every year or two is the best way to avoid this practice and it will help you find the cheapest car insurance options. For most car insurance companies, getting a quote is an easy, online process that you can do in minutes. You’ll just need to provide information like your address, vehicle information and driving history.

[ For You: Understanding Auto Insurance Quotes ]

Shopping around every year or two is the best way to avoid this practice and it will help you find the cheapest car insurance options. For most car insurance companies, getting a quote is an easy, online process that you can do in minutes. You’ll just need to provide information like your address, vehicle information and driving history.

2. Raise your deductible

A higher deductible means a lower monthly cost. It’s a better budget option but know that if you get into an accident, you’ll have a steeper up-front cost to pay for the damages.

3. Raise your credit score

A good credit score saves you money on just about every monthly service or bill and car insurance is no exception. If you focus on improving your credit score first, you’ll save hundreds and thousands of dollars on your annual premium. Look for ways to improve your credit score ahead of shopping.

4. Ask for discounts

If you want a policy with a lot of additional coverage, the end price can feel a little overwhelming. Especially when you consider car insurance isn’t something you’re actively using every day. Capitalizing on the discounts providers offer is one way to ease that financial burden. When you’re shopping around, look for discounts that tailor to your needs. Here are some of the common discounts offered by most providers:

  • Defensive driving discount
  • Good driver discount
  • Low mileage discount
  • Safe driver discount
  • Multi-driver or multi-policy discount
  • Student discount

5. Bundle your insurance

Do you pay separate companies or have separate policies for your renters, home or motorcycle insurance? Renter + auto discounts and home + auto discounts are common. Ask your insurance provider if there is a chance you could be saving money each month by bundling separate insurance.

Car insurance FAQs

Non-owner car insurance policies protect you if you are in an accident that damages someone else’s car while driving it. It’s a lot cheaper than a regular car insurance policy and many of the best car insurance carriers offer this type of coverage.

The amount you pay for car insurance depends on the coverage you choose, where you live and other demographic data. We found that the average cost of car insurance for a full coverage policy is about $130 per month, while a policy that just requires the state minimum coverage is under $100. If you are paying more than the $130 monthly premium, it’s worth shopping around for other car insurance companies or asking your current insurer why your rates are so high.

Regional providers often outshine nationwide options because they have fewer customers, allowing them to dedicate more time to each policyholder. So if customer service and the availability of representatives is important to you, a regional option may be best for you.
However, because regional insurance providers have fewer customers, they also tend to have more expensive premiums and fewer discounts.

Your car insurance coverage extends to a rental car within the U.S. If you’re planning to rent a car overseas, your credit card may provide coverage. If not, you may need to buy additional insurance from the rental agency.

After an accident, regardless of if you are at fault, you need to file a claim with your car insurance company. After the claims process, you will be able to get your car fixed and still keep your current car insurance.

However, your car insurance monthly premium will likely go up after an accident. The amount depends on the type of claim or driving incident.

In most states, car insurance is required by law. Not having coverage can result in license suspension and fines. But even if your state doesn’t require car insurance, you could be left with hefty car repair fees and medical bills to cover if you’re found at fault in an accident.

Ask the Experts

Can a policy become more expensive over time?

Your policy could become more expensive, especially as your career or financial situation changes, your risk of an accident or auto theft could increase your insurance rates. Missing loan payments could indirectly affect your rates since it will lower your credit score and car insurance companies significantly consider credit scores when determining your rates.

Can certain jobs affect my coverage?

Specific job titles can also affect your rates since being in a profession where you could be more distracted while driving can make you a more risky driver. Every provider will analyze this differently since being on the road more could significantly impact your car insurance rates even when your occupation is perceived as more responsible. 

We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the car insurance companies we recommend. Contact us at with comments or questions.

If you’ve been denied coverage by private insurance companies due to past driving incidents, there are state assistance programs that can provide proper coverage and keep you safe from high bills or driving illegally. A handful of states have government-sponsored programs to help low-income families afford cheap full coverage car insurance. Hawaii, California, Maryland and New Jersey offer government-sponsored car insurance for low-income individuals. 

Usage-based car insurance (UBI) is determined based on your driving behaviors and miles driven. Powered by vehicle installed devices, plug-in devices, or even mobile apps, this type of insurance allows the carrier to monitor your driving habits and best align your premium with your actions while behind the wheel. Carriers such as Progressive and Allstate offer these programs.

If you are considered high risk to insure, it might be helpful to hire an independent insurance agent to find the best deal for you across multiple companies.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are struggling to pay monthly bills. You are not alone. There are some companies offering support, delayed payments and discounts to help.

Don’t give up! There are multiple ways to get car insurance if private companies are offering high rates or don’t have a policy available. 

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