A Comparison of Four Major Car Insurance Options: Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm

When you think about car insurance, these four companies are typically top of mind: Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm. They are all long-time companies in the insurance business, and their commercials run so frequently that you can at least picture the gecko in the Geico commercial from memory, right?

Consumer Affairs lists all four at the top of their 10 most-reviewed auto insurance companies. Geico is No. 1 on that list with a whopping 2,906 reviews. Of course, that doesn’t mean all the reviews are positive, just that they are the most-talked about car insurance company.

If you’re in the market for car insurance — and most of us over the age of 16 are — why not start by looking at the big four? We’ve broken it down for you, comparing the perks and deals offered by each company and any potential negatives as well.

Allstate

Founded in 1931, this behemoth in the insurance industry definitely has the funds to back up claims. A.M. Best, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s all give Allstate high financial strength ratings, which mean the company has the assets to back the coverage it provides, which is important. If you want a reliable company with an agent to guide through the process and take care of you, then Allstate could be a good choice.

If you mainly care about price, or want something bare bones, then you should probably look elsewhere, because Allstate is not the cheapest deal. But it is a solid one.

Perks:

  • Drivewise.
    This Allstate program earns you 10% cash back just for getting started and then you can earn up to 25% cash back every six months for your safe driving. You can also get Allstate reward points for completing safe driving challenges, redeemable for auctions and savings on a variety of brands.
  • Roadside assistance.
    There are three roadside packages to choose from. You can get help for getting a jump start to a flat tired to being towed.
  • Personalized help.
    You can talk to an agent and get an insurance plan specifically geared to your needs. The website also offers a wealth of information, tools and resources.
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Geico

This company has also been around a long time. Founded in 1936 in the midst of the Great Depression, Geico currently has 15 million policyholders and insures more than 24 million vehicles, according to its website.

Geico puts its primary focus on price and customer service. It is also simple to access claims and other paperwork online, making the company feel very modern despite its long history.

If you’re looking for a web-friendly insurance company that offers lots of discounts, you might try Geico.

Perks:

Besides the company’s assertion that Geico is 15% less than other car insurance, it does offer discounts for a lot of things. You can get extra savings for:

  • Having certain vehicle equipment, such as airbags and daytime running lights.
  • A good driving history (which is standard for insurance companies). If you’ve been accident-free for five years, you may be able to save up to 26% on most coverages.
  • Education. If you take a defensive driving course, you can save. If a young driver completed driver’s ed (no longer required by most schools), he or she can get a discount. Also, being a good student at school might earn you a discount as well, depending on your grades, state, etc.
  • Driver affiliations, including discounts for members of the military, a federal employee or a member of a long list of organizations that you can search through on their site.
  • Customer loyalty.

Progressive

Founded in 1937, Progressive is known for its insurance rate comparison tool, which reveals and compares rates from competitors. The company is also favored for its convenience. It’s easy to get a quote online and you’re given a discount for doing so, typically 7%. If you sign your paperwork online you’ll save an extra $50.

Perks

  • In addition to the online discounts, the company offers many more built-in discounts, including safe driver, pay-in-full, multi-car, continuous insurance and more.
  • Offers a plug-in tool called Snapshot that reveals how you drive and can earn your further discounts
  • There’s a “Name Your Price” option that can get you good deals. Of course, you may sacrifice in terms of coverage if you go too low.
  • If you bundle your auto with home or condo insurance, you save another 5%
  • The company’s “Concierge” claims service takes care of repairs from start to finish, including rental car pickup from service centers.
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State Farm

State Farm is the biggest auto insurer in the U.S. and is a top 50 Fortune 500 company. It was founded in 1922 by a farmer — hence the name — and aims to bring a sense of chummy neighborliness to the insurance industry. If you want a solid track record and security, this is the company for you.

Perks

  • Personal service. The company has more than 18,000 agents nationwide, so there probably one near to you to help you out in person.
  • Bundle car and home insurance and save on both.
  • Programs that reward safe driving with discounts.
  • Discount for anti-theft devices such as car alarms.
  • State Farm has the full buffet of insurance products available, such as homeowners, renters,  life and auto, as well as banking and other financial products.

Next steps

All four of these are solid insurance companies that have been around for a very long time. Allstate is best if you desire personal service. Geico probably will get you the best price. Progressive is the most convenient to use and State Farm has the biggest range of services on offer so you can basically fulfill most of your financial needs in one place.

For a review of these and other car insurance companies, visit SuperMoney.com. 

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