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 10 largest auto insurance companies in the U.S. and discussed what makes each of them unique.
What are the Best Car 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 number one auto insurance company in the country in terms of market share and premiums written is State Farm, followed by Geico, Progressive and Allstate.
Yet the 10 largest insurance companies offer varied insurance rates, customer claims experiences and features. For shoppers looking for cheap rates, we always recommend comparing quotes from multiple insurers to find the best price.
Below we list the top 10 biggest insurers in the U.S. and provide more detail regarding what you should know about each of them. Click on any of the links in the table below to learn more about a particular insurer.
1. State Farm
State Farm is the largest auto insurance company in the U.S. and possesses 16% of the total available market share. Over 15% of dollars spent on private passenger auto premiums in the U.S. is paid to State Farm.
The company currently employs approximately 60,000 employees and has nearly 19,000 agents. State Farm operates as a mutual insurance company, meaning that it’s owned by its policyholders.
Among the largest widely available car insurers in this list, State Farm offered the cheapest car insurance rates in most parts of the U.S.
Geico, well known for its advertisements featuring an 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 40,000 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.
According to our research of the largest auto insurance carriers, Geico is the best insurer for college students.
Progressive — the third-biggest insurance company in the country — was established in 1937. The company offers the ability to purchase auto insurance in-person, online or by phone. Alternatively, customers can sign up through independent insurance agents.
The company employs more than 35,000 people and has over 400 offices. Progressive is a publicly traded company.
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 more than 46,000 people.
Esurance, a subsidiary of Allstate, operates in the same space. According to Allstate, the Esurance brand targets self-directed and brand-sensitive customers, while Allstate is geared towards customers who enjoy local and personal service.
In this list of the biggest car insurance companies, Allstate is our pick for the best customer service.
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. The corporate campus’ length extends three-quarters of a mile. USAA is the largest private company located in San Antonio.
Because of its focus on the U.S. armed forces, USAA is our top pick for the best and cheapest car insurance for veterans and military service members.
6. Liberty Mutual
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 sells 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 began as an insurance company providing coverage to 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 13,000 people, underwriting more than 19 million policies across 50 states.
Nationwide does business across several verticals — including financial services, commercial lines and personal lines — in all 50 U.S. states. Nationwide has contributed more than $430 million to nonprofit organizations since 2000.
Nationwide has a motto called “On Your Side” that influences how auto insurance claims are handled, and how 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. Nationwide calls this consultation its “On Your Side” Review.
Among this list of the largest car insurance companies, Nationwide offers the best deals for customers looking to bundle their home and auto insurance policies.
9. American Family
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 17 states.
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 more than 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 your rates by assessing your safe driving behavior 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.
How Can I Find the Best Price on Car Insurance?
It’s a good idea to shop for car insurance before you buy a car. Without car insurance in place, you may not be able to drive your new wheels off the dealer’s lot.
Once you decide how much car insurance you need, it’s time to start shopping for a policy. Prices often vary widely among companies, so it’s smart to compare car insurance quotes from multiple insurers.
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.
What Types of Car Insurance Discounts Should I Look For?
Ask about car insurance discounts when you’re getting car insurance quotes. You can typically knock down your car insurance costs with discounts for:
- Buying multiple policies, such as auto and home insurance
- Insuring more than one vehicle
- Being a good driver
- If you have a student on the policy, a discount if they’re a good student
- If you have a college student on the policy, a discount if they’re away at school without a car
- Taking a defensive driving class if you’re age 55 or older
- Paying your full car insurance cost up-front
What Types of Car Insurance Are Required?
Here are types of car insurance you should know:
Car liability insurance: This pays for injuries and property damage you cause to others. A good rule of thumb is to buy enough car liability insurance to cover what can be taken from you in a lawsuit.
Required? Yes, in most states.
Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UIM): These coverage types pay for your medical bills and other expenses if someone crashes into you and they don’t have liability insurance or have inadequate insurance.
Required? Uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in some states and optional in others.
Collision and comprehensive insurance: These are two separate coverage types often sold together. Collision and comprehensive insurance pay for car repair bills for problems such as car accidents, car theft, fires, floods, severe weather, falling objects and collisions with animals.
Required? If you have a car loan or lease, your lender or leasing agent will likely require that you have these. Otherwise collision and comprehensive are optional.
Factors That Impact the Cost of Car Insurance
Your car insurance cost will vary depending on several factors that include:
- Your driving record
- Your age and driving experience
- Where you live
- Coverage selections
- Deductible amount (if you buy collision and comprehensive coverage)
- Vehicle model
- Your car insurance history
- Your credit-based insurance score (use of this in car insurance costs is banned in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan)
How to Get the Cheapest Car Insurance Quotes
We’ve done the heavy lifting to find out which major car insurance companies are likely to have the best rates for you, but you won’t know exactly how much you’ll pay until you start getting quotes.
Insurance companies base rates, in part, on data that shows older drivers and married drivers make fewer claims. You shouldn’t get married just to save on insurance and you can’t change your age. However, you can consider these steps to save on car insurance and get the cheapest rate possible:
Comparing quotes from multiple companies is the first step toward getting cheap car insurance. Be sure to ask each insurer about how to adjust your level of coverage to fit your current needs.
Ask for Discounts
Nearly every insurance provider has discounts available for its customers. These can include lower rates for customer loyalty, maintaining a clean driving record and good students.
Increase Your Deductible
The rates that you pay are directly related to your deductible, which is the amount that you agree to pay if you need to file a claim. Opting for a higher deductible is one way that you can lower your insurance premiums.
Look for Local Insurers
It’s possible that a large insurer might not be the best or cheapest match for your coverage needs. Check with smaller insurers or with a local agent to see if you can find a lower rate.
Improve Your Driving Record
Insurance companies reward safe drivers with clean records by giving them lower rates. This is because good drivers are less likely to file a claim.
Switch to Pay-Per-Mile Insurance
This type of coverage replaces your traditional car insurance policy, and the main difference is that you pay for auto insurance by the mile. If you put only a few miles on your car every year, the savings can be worth making the switch.
Review Coverage Annually
Take a look at your policy when it’s time to renew. Adjust your coverage, such as your deductible or the number of miles that you drive, to fit your current needs.
Pay Premiums Annually
Most insurance companies will allow you to pay for coverage monthly, biannually or on a yearly basis. However, paying your premiums annually will almost always save you money.
Improve Credit Rating
In most states, drivers with poor credit scores are penalized with higher insurance premiums. Maintain a good credit score, or take steps to improve your credit, and you’ll likely secure a better rate.
Bundle Your Insurance
Most companies offer car insurance discounts if you buy two or more policies. This could include adding a renter’s or homeowner’s policy to your coverage, as well as insuring multiple vehicles together.