Best Car Insurance Companies Of July 2023

As auto insurance costs continue to rise, finding an insurance company that fits your needs and budget is vital. To help you out, we evaluated insurers to find the best car insurance companies based on rates, available coverage features, complaints and their collision claims processes.

The Best Car Insurance Companies

American Family – Best for Low Level of Complaints
Auto-Owners – Best Cost for Drivers Who Have Caused an Accident
Nationwide – Good for Usage-based or Mileage-based Insurance
USAA – Best for Military Members & Veterans
Geico – Best Overall Car Insurance Rates
Travelers – Best Price for Gap Insurance
Westfield – Best Family Discounts
Erie – Best Grade from Collision Repair Professionals
Progressive – Best Price for Drivers With a DUI
State Farm – Best Renewal Discount

Summary: Car Insurance Company Ratings

What Is the Best Car Insurance Company?

Our analysis finds that American Family, Auto-Owners, Nationwide and USAA are the best car insurance companies overall, with 5 stars in our ratings. USAA auto insurance is available only to military members, veterans and their immediate family members.

The best car insurance companies for you will depend on your driving record, state and other individual factors. Shopping around to compare car insurance quotes will reveal the companies that can give you the best price for your situation.

Best for Low Car Insurance Rates: Geico

Geico comes in with the lowest rates nationwide that are available to the general public when we look at average rates across a variety of driving records and driver ages. (USAA is cheaper but membership is limited to car owners with a military connection.)

Drivers who have poor credit should compare quotes from Geico because of its competitive rates. Getting quotes is worthwhile if you have poor credit because many auto insurance companies charge much higher rates based solely on poor credit

Best for Low Complaints: American Family and Travelers

Complaints against a company are a reflection of customer service. Most complaints about car insurance companies revolve around problems with claims. American Family and Travelers have very low levels of auto insurance complaints, based on verified complaints made to state insurance departments around the country.

Best for Collision Repair: Erie

Erie receives the highest grade from collision repair professionals among the companies we analyzed, with a B+. Collision repair professionals get an inside look at which insurers try to cut corners and which ones have the smoothest claims processes.

Best for Drivers With a Speeding Ticket: Geico and Westfield

Drivers who have gotten a speeding ticket can expect it to affect rates for three to five years, depending on your insurance company and state. Geico and Westfield have the lowest rates for these drivers, among companies open to the general public. Westfield is a regional insurer that sells auto insurance in 10 states, mainly in the Midwest.

USAA also has low rates for military members and veterans who have speeding tickets on their records.

Best for Drivers Who Caused an Accident: Auto-Owners

A “chargeable” accident can stay on your record and affect your car insurance rates for three to five years, depending on your state laws and/or car insurance company. Auto-Owners has the best average rates for drivers stuck in this spot, based on the companies we analyzed.

The severity of the accident, meaning the dollar cost of property damage and/or injuries, can affect the amount of your surcharge. Ask your auto insurance agent how long the surcharge will affect your car insurance rates.

Best for Drivers With a DUI: Progressive

You can’t avoid higher rates after a DUI, but Progressive offers the most competitive pricing for drivers in this situation, based on nationwide averages among the companies we analyzed.

Car insurance companies will usually pull your motor vehicle report when you’re getting a new quote or when your policy is coming up for renewal. This is their chance to adjust rates based on your recent history of problems, and a DUI conviction will be a costly insurance problem.

Best for Military Members: USAA

With its consistently good rates and variety of coverage options, USAA remains the best car insurance option for military members year after year. While the level of complaints about USAA auto insurance has been rising over the past couple of years, its current complaint level is about average for the industry.

Car Insurance by State

Alabama $1,809
Alaska $2,323
Arizona $1,696
Arkansas $2,061
California $2,462
Colorado $2,489
Connecticut $1,730
Delaware

What Is Car Insurance?

Car insurance is a contract between you and the insurance company that provides you with specific coverage in exchange for your premium payments. Your car insurance policy is the contract that outlines what you can make claims for.

The best car insurance policies cover your liability (meaning damage and injuries you cause to others), damage to your own vehicle, and car accident injuries to you and your passengers.

If you fail to pay your car insurance bill, coverage lapses and any claims you make can be denied.

How Can I Find the Best Price on Car Insurance?

Knowing the factors that affect car insurance rates, such as your credit, can help you identify ways to save. Here are the easiest ways to find cheap car insurance.

Shop Around

To find the best price on car insurance, compare car insurance quotes from at least three companies for the same level of coverage. Because rates can vary wildly among companies, shopping around is the best way to get the biggest potential savings.

Choose a Higher Deductible

If you have collision and comprehensive coverage, choosing a higher car insurance deductible is another reliable method for lowering your insurance bill. (There is no deductible for liability insurance.)

Ask About Discounts

Many car insurance discounts will be automatically applied to your bill, such as “pay in full” discounts. But sometimes your insurance company won’t know you’re eligible for a discount, so it’s good to ask. For example, if you have a high school or college-age driver who gets good grades, ask about a good student discount.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost?

Car insurance costs an average of $2,067 a year, based on Forbes Advisor’s analysis of rates from large car insurance companies. That’s $172 per month, on average.

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

What Types of Car Insurance Are Required?

Liability insurance is required in almost all states and is one of the main types of car insurance.  Liability insurance pays for injuries and property damage you accidentally cause to others in an auto accident.

Uninsured motorist insurance is another type of car insurance that’s required in many states. If an uninsured motorist crashes into you, this coverage will pay you and your passengers’ medical bills. Although in states with a “no-fault” car insurance system, you’ll use your own personal injury protection (PIP) for the medical expenses of you and your passengers, no matter who was to blame for the accident.

Collision and comprehensive insurance are likely required for your car loan if you financed your vehicles. Even if you don’t have a car loan it’s smart to have these types of car insurance, especially on newer vehicles.  Collision insurance covers car accidents with other vehicles or objects, such as a building or pole, and pays regardless of fault. Comprehensive auto insurance covers car theft, fires, damage from severe weather, floods, hail, falling objects, vandalism and striking an animal.

Overview of Car Accidents in the U.S.

Fatal car accidents are on the rise nationwide. In 2021, more than 39,500 fatal car crashes occurred on U.S. roads, a 10% increase from 2020. In some states, dangerous driving tends to be more common, putting you at greater risk when you get behind the wheel. But what state has the worst drivers?

To find out, Forbes Advisor compared all 50 states and Washington, D.C., across six key metrics. Our analysis identifies which states have the worst drivers and provides insight on the types of dangerous driving behavior in each state.

Key Takeaways About States With the Worst Drivers

Texas tops the list of worst drivers by state, while Washington, D.C., is home to the best drivers in the nation.
Five of the top 10 states with the worst drivers are in the South, including Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kentucky and South Carolina.
Seven of the top 10 states with the best drivers are in the East Coast area, including Washington, D.C., Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island.
Montana is home to the most drunk drivers involved in fatal car accidents (19.01 per 100,000 licensed drivers) and New Mexico reports the highest number of fatal car accidents involving a distracted driver (9.54 accidents per 100,000 licensed drivers).

Methodology

To identify the best car insurance companies we evaluated each company based on its average rates for a variety of drivers, the coverage options offered, complaints against the company and collision repair grades from auto body professionals.

Auto insurance rates (50% of score): We used data from Quadrant Information Services to find average rates from each company for good drivers, drivers who have caused an accident, drivers with a speeding ticket, drivers with a DUI, drivers with poor credit, drivers caught without insurance, adding a teen driver, senior drivers and young drivers.

Unless otherwise noted, rates are based on a 40-year-old female driver with a Toyota RAV4 and coverage of:

  • $100,000 for injuries to one person, $300,000 for injuries per accident and $100,000 for property damage (known as 100/300/100).
  • Uninsured motorist coverage of 100/300.
  • Collision and comprehensive insurance with a $500 deductible.

Car insurance coverage options (25% of score): Any auto insurance company can provide the basics of liability insurance, collision and comprehensive coverage and other standard offerings. But it’s also important to have access to additional coverage types that can provide greater protection or cost savings. In this category, we gave points to companies that offer accident forgiveness, new car replacement, vanishing deductibles, usage-based or pay-per-mile insurance and SR-22s.

Complaints (20% of score): We used complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Each state’s department of insurance is in charge of logging and monitoring complaints against the companies that operate in their states. Most auto insurance complaints center on claims, including unsatisfactory settlements, delays and denials. The industry complaint average is 1.00, so companies with a ratio below 1.00 have lower levels of complaints.

Best car insurance companies

Geico

Best for most drivers

The top-scoring auto insurance provider overall was Geico, reporting high customer satisfaction levels in all regions of the country. This insurance carrier is also ranked among the cheapest car insurance coverage providers (and a premium can be a huge expense). Its customers give it superior ratings for great service and support, along with some of the most reasonable insurance prices.

Geico’s clever commercials have made it one of the best-known car insurance companies in the country, and it ranks high in overall customer satisfaction and auto claims satisfaction, according to J.D. Power surveys. It receives fewer consumer complaints than other major insurers, and has the highest financial strength rating from A.M. Best. That is, if you need something besides the gecko to convince you.

Check out our full review on Geico Auto Insurance.

Travelers Insurance

Best for discounts
Travelers offers car insurance policies that you can customize based on your needs. Rather than upselling users, Travelers offers a host of resources (in the form of blog posts) designed to educate motorists prior to purchasing coverage. An informed customer is a happy customer.

Like most of the companies on this list, Travelers offers savings on insurance bundles, giving you up to 13% off home and car policies under the same roof. So, if you’re able to bundle your auto and homeowners or renters insurance, you can save a pretty penny. Travelers also offers discounts for safe driving, multicar policies, becoming a loyalty member, having hybrid and electric vehicles, paying on time, completing driver training programs and being a good student.

How to choose an auto insurance provider

If you’re looking for an insurance provider, follow these steps:

  1. Determine your needs and preferences. Different providers have different strengths and weaknesses. If you’re looking for the least expensive policy, you may have to sacrifice on customer service support. 
  2. Ask friends and family for recommendations. Check with friends and family in your area to get testimonials about pricing and satisfaction.
  3. Compare prices. As with any product or service, it’s worth your while to shop around. An independent insurance agent can help you get quotes from multiple providers, or you can use each company’s online quote tool.

How does auto insurance work?

Auto insurance is a financial product that helps you pay for damages to your vehicle and medical expenses in the event of an accident. As a policyholder, you pay a premium (monthly or annually) for coverage. Your premium is priced according to specific factors including your driving history, where you live and what kind of vehicle you drive. Auto insurance typically features a deductible, which is the amount you’ll have to pay out of pocket for repairs and medical expenses before your insurance kicks in.

What does auto insurance cover?

It depends on the type of policy. You can buy a comprehensive policy or a basic one and add options such as roadside assistance. 

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