Car Insurance in the USA

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We’ve taken guesswork out of finding the best car insurance companies by analyzing important factors that will affect your customer experience.

We evaluated large auto insurance companies based on average rates for a variety of drivers, coverage features available, levels of complaints, grades for collision claims from auto body repair professionals and how understandable the insurers’ websites are. See our top picks below.

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Car Insurance in the USA

Choose the US car insurance that fits your specific needs and budget.

  • Get real time quotes from several “A” rated companies
  • Compare quotes quickly and easily
  • Select the best policy for your needs and budget

 

 

According to our 2022 data, the best car insurance company is USAA, but its insurance products are only available to members of the military community. If that doesn’t apply to you, the next best option is State Farm, which holds the No. 2 spot in our analysis.

To determine the best car insurance companies, we analyzed rates data as well as feedback from policyholders, with specific attention to customer service, claims handling, customer loyalty, and policy renewal. We also asked survey participants how likely they were to recommend their existing insurer to a driver shopping for a new policy.

If you’re looking for auto insurance, this list can help you compare insurers based on the factors that matter most to you. Though USAA and State Farm lead the pack, you may find a better fit with one of the other eight companies in our rating. As such, it’s a good idea to compare several insurers and their rates before you purchase or renew your policy.

 

 

COMPANY US NEWS RATING AVERAGE ANNUAL RATE
1. USAA 4.3 $1,000
2. State Farm 4.2 $1,267
3. Farmers 4.1 $1,917
3. Nationwide 4.1 $1,327
3. Geico 4.1 $1,148
6. Allstate 4.0 $2,047
6. Travelers 4.0 $1,371
8.  Progressive 3.9 $1,533
8. AAA 3.9 $2,409
10. American Family 3.7 $1,371

Why Do People Shop for New Car Insurance?

Shopping around for car insurance can result in savings, but many car owners renew their policies each year without checking prices from other insurance companies.

A March 2022 Forbes Advisor survey of 2,000 drivers asked what would motivate them to shop for a new car insurance policy. More than half said any of these three reasons would get them to shop around:

  • A bad experience with a car insurance claim (55%)
  • Looking for a better price (54%)
  • Current company doesn’t have the coverage types I want (52%)

Older drivers (ages 58 to 76) chose price as the No. 1 reason to shop around, while bad claims experiences and coverage types were tops for younger drivers (ages 18 to 25).


Factors That Impact the Cost of Car Insurance

Your car insurance cost will vary depending on several factors that typically include:

  • Your driving record
  • Your age and years of driving experience
  • Where you live
  • Car insurance coverage selections
  • Deductible amount (if you buy collision and comprehensive coverage)
  • Vehicle model
  • Your car insurance history, such as whether you’ve had continuous coverage or lapses
  • Your credit-based insurance score (use of credit in calculating car insurance costs is banned in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan)

How Can I Find the Best Price on Car Insurance?

Once you decide how much car insurance you need, it’s time to start shopping for a policy. Rates often vary widely among companies for the exact same coverage, so it’s smart to compare car insurance quotes from multiple insurers. For example, in California, rates for a good driver range from $1,668 (Wawanesa) to $3,940 (The Hartford)—a range of about $2,270 for the exact same driver.

Here’s what you should do to find the cheapest car insurance.

1. Shop around

If you don’t shop around, you won’t know if your rates are on the high end or the cheapest. Getting multiple quotes will help you find the most affordable car insurance company. You can find free quotes online or by working with an auto insurance agent. Independent insurance agents can provide quotes from multiple companies. Insurance quotes are always free.

2. Ask about discounts

Ask about car insurance discounts when you’re getting car insurance quotes. You can typically knock down your car insurance costs with discounts for:

  • By “bundling” multiple insurance policies from the same company, such as auto and home insurance.
  • Insuring more than one vehicle with the same company.
  • Qualifying for a good driver discount.
  • If you have a student on the policy, getting a discount if they’re a good student.
  • If you have a college student on the policy, snagging a discount if they’re away at school without a car (usually must be at least 100 miles away).
  • Taking a defensive driving class if you are age 55 or older.
  • Paying your car insurance bill in full for the term rather than monthly.

3. Choose a higher deductible

Collision and comprehensive coverage have a deductible. The deductible is the amount of money a car insurance company deducts from an insurance claims check.

The higher your deductible, the less you’ll pay for insurance.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you get into an accident and your car suffers $2,000 worth of damage. If your collision deductible is $500, the insurer will deduct that from the settlement amount, so you’d get a $1,500 check to cover the repairs.

If you decide on a high deductible, try to set aside money for that deductible, so you have it available if you need to file a claim later.

4. Ask about pay-per-mile policy if you don’t drive much

If you own a car but take public transportation to work and don’t drive your vehicle much, check out pay-per-mile auto insurance policies.

These policies charge a monthly base rate and also a per-mile rate. They can be a more affordable option if you don’t spend much time behind the wheel.

Let’s say your pay-per-mile insurance has a base rate of $40 a month and a 5-cent per mile rate. If you drive 500 miles in a month, your monthly bill would be $65 ($40 plus 500 miles times $.05).

5. Ask about usage-based car insurance

Usage-based insurance (UBI), also called telematics, may sound like pay-per-mile, but it’s quite different. With a usage-based insurance policy, the car insurance company tracks your driving closely and creates a driving score.

For instance, a usage-based insurance program might track your speed, braking, acceleration, miles driven and time of day. The program will use a smartphone app or a device attached to the vehicle to track your driving.

These programs often come with an initial discount and then you may save more based on your driving. But not all drivers with UBI can save money. These programs are best suited for excellent drivers.


What Types of Car Insurance Are Required?

Here are types of car insurance that are generally required by states.

Liability insurance: Required in most states. Car liability insurance pays for injuries and property damage you cause to others. A good rule of thumb is to buy enough liability insurance to cover what can be taken from you in a lawsuit.

Uninsured motorist coverage (UM): Mandatory in some states and optional in others. Uninsured motorist insurance pays for you and your passengers’ medical bills and other expenses if someone crashes into you and they don’t have any liability insurance. A related coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, helps with you and your passengers’ medical bills when a driver with insufficient coverage causes an accident resulting in injuries.

Collision and comprehensive insurance: Required if you have a car loan or lease. These are two separate coverage types often sold together. Collision and comprehensive insurance pay for your vehicle repair bills due to problems such as car accidents, car theft, fires, floods, severe weather, falling objects, vandalism and collisions with animals.

Personal injury protection: Required in some states. Some states use a no-fault car insurance system. In these states you’ll make smaller injury claims on your own auto insurance no matter who was to blame. These claims fall under personal injury protection, which is required in no-fault states and available in some others.

 

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