The best car insurance company isn’t necessarily the cheapest. It’s tempting to shop for a new insurance policy based on price alone, but you need a company that will be there for you when it comes time to make a claim. After all, you don't want to choose the cheapest car insurance quote only to find that it doesn't provide the protection you need.
Our Best Car Insurance Companies for 2021 use pricing data and real customer feedback to help you find the best car insurance policy for you.
What Is the Best Car Insurance Company?
USAA is the best car insurance company for 2021, but you need to have a military affiliation to get it. If you don’t qualify for USAA, State Farm is the second-best auto insurer according to our data.
We asked real customers from nine of the top auto insurance companies across the country about their experiences. Their feedback provides valuable insight on how well these companies serve their customers, which can help you decide on the insurance company that most deserves your business.
We used this survey to identify the best insurance company in the country, as well as the best companies in the areas of customer service, claims handling and customer loyalty. It also identifies the insurers that are most likely to be renewed and recommended by their policyholders.
Top Ranked Car Insurance Companies
USAA is the best car insurance company we found. In our survey, USAA customers say they are very satisfied with this insurance provider's customer service. They also love the company's easy process for filing a claim, as well as the frequent updates on the status of claims.
The only negative we could find for this company is its limited availability. USAA only offers its services to veterans, members of the military and their families. As a result, many consumers won't qualify for insurance from USAA.
2. State Farm
State Farm makes it easy to file a claim, according to most survey respondents, many of whom plan to renew their policy. State Farm is also the best auto insurance company if you do not have a military affiliation.
State Farm earned slightly lower marks when we asked if customers were satisfied with the company's status updates during the claims process. Drivers insured through State Farm reported that the company is a good value overall.
Who Has the Best Car Insurance?
In addition to determining the best car insurance companies overall, our survey helped us determine how these companies stack up in five key areas. We identified the companies with the best customer service, claims handling and customer loyalty. We also noted the companies that policyholders are most likely to renew with or recommend to a friend.
USAA swept all five of these subrankings in addition to taking the top spot in our overall ranking for the Best Car Insurance Company. However, not all policyholders will meet USAA’s membership requirements. For that reason, we’ve identified the runner-up in each category so that all consumers can learn about the best option in each of these areas.
We asked policyholders to rate their experiences with their insurance companies on a five-point scale and explain their reasoning. Respondents were split into two groups, those who opened a policy in the last five years and those who filed a claim. The latter group was asked additional questions about their satisfaction with the process during and after filing the claim, as well as their satisfaction with how the claim was handled.
This information was compiled into the subrankings below to determine the company with the best customer satisfaction in specific areas.
Best for Customer Service: State Farm
If you don’t qualify for USAA but customer service is your top priority, check out State Farm. Our survey shows that State Farm customers are generally happier than customers of rival companies.
One of State Farm’s specific advantages is that many areas have local offices. This provides a more personal customer service environment when compared against insurers that offer primarily phone- and web-based interaction. One survey respondent noted, "I know if I ever have a problem, I can visit their office and speak face to face with an actual person who is a member and supporter of our community."
Best for Claims Handling: Nationwide
The best possible outcome with car insurance is that you’ll never have to use it, but that’s unlikely. When it comes time to file a claim, Nationwide is the best choice for consumers who want a claims process that’s as pain-free as possible. Of survey respondents who had filed a claim with Nationwide, 76% were completely satisfied with the ease of claims filing, 62% were completely satisfied with claim status updates, and 74% were completely satisfied with the claim’s resolution.
Best for Customer Loyalty: State Farm
Our survey’s scoring methodology measures customer loyalty based on the answers to a range of questions. After USAA, State Farm enjoys the best customer loyalty of the companies in our rankings, with generally high scores and positive customer feedback. Survey respondents noted competitive rates and good customer service as highlights of the State Farm experience.
Most Likely to be Recommended: Geico
Our survey shows that Geico customers are most likely to recommend this company to friends and family. This is an excellent measure of overall customer satisfaction. About 41% of survey respondents who had not filed a claim said they’d be very likely to recommend Geico, and of those who had filed a claim, that number went up to 49%.
Most Likely to be Renewed: State Farm
If a car insurance company retains most of its customers at policy renewal time, it’s doing something right. Our survey shows that aside from USAA, State Farm is best at customer retention, which indicates high satisfaction. About 61% of State Farm customers who filed a claim are very likely to renew their policy, and another 20% reported that they are likely to renew.