Best auto insurance companies

5 Best Auto Insurance Companies of 2018

Finding a great auto insurance company that will keep your costs down can be a challenge. You don’t want to end up dealing with headaches from denied claims, surprise costs, or poor customer service.

A good auto insurer will make it easy for you to get a quote, sign up, understand and manage your policy, and resolve claims. But where can you find ‘the one?’

Here we will share what makes a good auto insurance company and five companies we recommend for 2018.

What makes a good auto insurance company?

To choose the best auto insurance company, you first need to know what makes an auto insurance company good. Here’s a look at the key offerings, features, and factors to consider:

Coverage types

Following are the most common types of coverage you will find available from auto insurers:

  • Collision: Coverage to repair or replace your vehicle if you are in an accident.
  • ComprehensiveCoverage to repair your auto if it is damaged by a covered cause other than an accident with another auto.
  • Bodily Injury Liability: If you cause an accident, this coverage pays for your legal fees and the other person’s medical bills and lost wages (if applicable). Limits are often set per person and per accident.
  • Property Damage Liability: Coverage that pays for property damage to the other party if you cause an accident.
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): If you are in an accident and are hurt, PIP can cover medical costs that exceed your health insurance limits, as well as reimbursing lost wages.
  • Medical Payments: This is like PIP but extends to cover the passengers in your auto, family members who drive your car, and you and your family members if you are injured in another car or as a pedestrian.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist: If you are in an accident and the other person has no insurance (or insufficient insurance), this coverage will cover your medical bills and (in some states) property damage.
  • Guaranteed Asset Protection: When an auto is totaled, this coverage reimburses the owner for the difference between what is owed on the auto and the amount the insurance pays for it.
  • Rental car reimbursement: This covers the cost of renting a vehicle when yours is being repaired due to an accident or other covered damage.

Read more about the types of auto insurance.

Coverage limits/ deductibles

How much coverage is available through the insurer for each coverage type? Each state has laws on the minimum required coverage amount, so ensure your insurance provider can meet the minimum requirements of your state.

Also, check the cost of the deductibles. Typically, insurers will offer more than one deductible option. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium and vice versa. When getting a quote, you will find out what options are available.

Features

Look for special offers and perks from companies such as dividends, usage-based programs, and more.

Claim management

Insurers have varying processes for filing and reviewing claims. Look into how easy it is to file a claim, the length of the review process, and the overall experience reported by current and past customers.

Affordability

Cost is, of course, a factor. As of 2017, the estimated average annual car insurance premium in the U.S. was $1,502, or about $125 per month. Look for companies that offer good coverage, discounts, and affordable prices.

Learn about 37 different auto insurance discounts. 

Accessibility

How easy is it to get and manage auto insurance? Does the company have a nice website? Can you get a quote online? Are there agents near you? Do they have a phone line with decent hours? Do they help customers on social media? All of these can impact your overall experience and satisfaction with the company.

Customer service

How does the company treat their customers? Do they quickly resolve problems? Are they easy to get in touch with when there is a problem? Looking at reviews from past customers as well as ratings from customer satisfaction surveys can help you find the answers.

Financial strength

The financial strength of a company ensures policyholders that it will be able to pay claims when needed.

By weighing these factors, you can determine which auto insurance company will be the best fit for your needs.

Learn six expert tips to getting a good deal on auto insurance.

Here are five of the best companies for 2018

1. Allstate

Allstate is the fourth largest insurance company in the U.S., holding a 9.29% market share and having $21.4 billion in direct premiums written in 2017, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. 

It offers a comprehensive lineup of coverage types and discounts, has a decent customer service ranking, and is highly accessible through multiple channels.

Here’s a look at Allstate’s offerings:

Coverage types:
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Liability
  • Medical payments
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Sound system
  • Roadside
  • Personal injury protection
  • Personal umbrella policy
  • Property protection coverage
  • Classic car insurance
  • Ridesharing coverage
Features:
  • Allstate Rewards through Drivewise (usage-based tracking and rewards through a mobile app)
  • New Car Replacement
  • Accident Forgiveness
  • Deductible Rewards
  • Claim Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Safe Driving Bonus Check
  • Preferred Repair Services
Discounts:
  • New Car discount (up to 15%)
  • Anti-lock break discount (up to 10%)
  • Allstate eSmart® discount (up to 10%)
  • FullPay® discount (up to 10%)
  • Allstate Early Signing Discount® (up to 10%)
  • Responsible payer discount (up to 5%)
  • Safe Driving Clubby
  • Anti-theft discount (up to 10%)
  • EZ pay plan discount (up to 5%)
  • Multi-Policy discount (up to 10%)
  • Smart student discount (up to 35%)
Accessibility:
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Modern website with great usability
  • Mobile app
  • Online account management
  • Get a quote online
  • Call Allstate 24/7
  • Contact a local agent in person or over the phone
  • Local agents in over 12,000 brick-and-mortar locations nationwide
Financial strength:
  • M. Best rated Allstate’s financial strength as “superior.”
Customer service:
  • According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Allstate had fewer than the median number of complaints to state regulators in 2017.
  • Allstate ranked “about average” in several studies by J.D. Power and Associates in 2017 including overall purchase experience and overall satisfaction.
Claim management:
  • File a claim over the phone, in-person, online, or via the mobile app
  • Track your claim online and via the mobile app
  • Allstate has 3,500 certified repair sites across the U.S.
Cost:
  • Without discounts, Allstate’s costs were higher than competitors on average but vary with driving history and location.
Summary:

Allstate offers a great combination of online and brick-and-mortar support, coverage options, and discounts. While it may not be the cheapest, there is a great selection of discounts that can help to reduce the costs.

Further, the coverage is reliable, and it offers perks like the Drivewise program and the claim satisfaction guarantee. The Drivewise program tracks your driving performance and rewards good habits with points that can be redeemed for savings on travel, merchandise, your favorite brands, gift cards, and more.

Further, Allstate is the only company to offer a claim satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied with how a claim was settled, you can get a discount on your auto insurance premium for six months.

Read the full in-depth review of Allstate here.

2. Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual is the sixth largest auto insurer in the U.S. with 5.02% market share and $11.6 billion in direct premiums written in 2017. It offers a variety of coverage options and discounts, along with competitive rates.

Coverage types:
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Liability
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist
  • Medical payments
  • Rental car reimbursement
  • New car replacement
  • Liberty Mutual Deductible Fund: Reduce and eliminate your deductible over time
  • Accident forgiveness: Rates won’t rise after the first accident
  • Lifetime Repair Guarantee: Repairs at an approved facility are guaranteed as long as you own the car
  • Better Car Replacement: If your car is totaled your replacement will be one year newer with 15,000 fewer miles
  • Teacher’s auto insurance: This policy includes vandalism loss protection when at school-related events or on school property, collision coverage when driving on school business, and personal property coverage up to $2,500 for teaching materials and school-owned property.
  • Policies available for motorcycles, boats, classic cars, antique cars, ATV and off-road vehicles, and recreational vehicles.
Features:
  • Coverage Compass: Tool to help you understand your coverage
Discounts:
  • Vehicle Safety Features Discount
  • Hybrid Vehicle Discount
  • Multi-Car Discount
  • Multi-Policy Discount
  • Preferred Payment Methods Discount
  • New to Liberty Mutual Vehicle Discount
  • Teen Driver Discount
  • Good Student Discount
  • New Graduate Discount
  • Newly Married Discount
  • Newly Retired Discount
Accessibility:
  • Online account management
  • Mobile app
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Modern website with good usability
  • Twitter and Facebook Messenger
  • 24/7 claim filing
Financial strength:
  • M. Best rates Liberty Mutual’s financial strength as “excellent.”
Customer service:
  • 24/7 claims support
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Manage your account online and through the mobile app
  • Customer support phone line available seven days per week
  • Customers consistently say the overall purchase experience is better than most.
  • Liberty Mutual has received close to the median number of complaints for auto insurance companies.
Claim management:
  • Online claims center for filing and managing claims
  • 24/7 claim phone line
  • 2,000 certified repair facilities nationwide (it’s not necessary to use the insurance’s facilities, but if you do, repairs are guaranteed)
Cost:
  • Liberty Mutual offers competitive rates and many discounts. It is worth getting a quote to see how it stacks up to other options.
Summary:

Liberty Mutual offers all of the standard coverage options along with extras such as the teacher’s auto insurance, accident forgiveness, better car replacement, and the deductible fund. Additionally, there is a wide range of discount options.

The website and mobile app make it easy to manage your policy, make payments, find answers, and file claims. Overall, it’s a financially secure, tech-savvy insurance option that may be able to offer you the best deal.

Read the full in-depth review here. 

3. Esurance

Esurance is an insurance provider that specializes in offering its services online. Customers benefit from cutting-edge technology when signing up for service, managing their policy, and filing claims. Another interesting fact, Esurance is a wholly owned subsidiary of Allstate.

Coverage types:
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Liability
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist
  • Emergency roadside service
  • Rental car
  • Loan/lease gap
  • Personal injury protection (PIP
Features:
  • Online tools: DriveSense (usage-based car insurance)
  • Policies sold online
  • Coverage Counselor: Get tailored recommendations
  • Photo and video claims
  • RepairView: Track repairs and even receive daily photos
  • WhatIf Calculator: See how certain events will impact your costs
Discounts:
  • Fast 5® discount (save 5% off your first month’s premium)
  • Multi-Policy discount
  • Paid-in-Full discount (save up to 10%)
  • Switch & Save® discount (save up to 5% on your first two premiums)
  • Claim-Free discount (save 10 to 25% off your premium)
  • Homeowners discount
  • Renters Plus® discount (save up to 30% of your renter’s coverage premium)
  • Emergency Road Assistance discount (save up to 5%)
  • Pac-12 discount* (save up to 15%)
  • Online Shopper discount®
  • DriveSense discount (save 5% for signing up)
  • Defensive Driver discount (save up to 10%)
  • Good Driver discount (save up to 40%)
  • Good Student discount (save up to 10%)
  • Multi-Car discount
  • Anti-Theft discount (save up to 25%)
  • Safety Device discount (save up to 33%)
  • Antilock Brakes discount (save 5%)
Accessibility:
  • Modern website and mobile app with great usability
  • Social media profiles
  • Email support
  • Phone support seven days per week
  • Claim support 24/7
  • Over 3,000 associates nationwide
  • 17 offices around the country
  • Serves 43 states
  • No local agents
Financial strength:
  • M. Best rates Esurance’s financial strength as “superior.”
Customer service:
  • Online account management
  • Customer support line opens every day from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. CT
  • Esurance mobile app
  • Social media profiles
  • Close to the median number of customer complaints amongst auto insurance companies its size
  • In J.D. Power and Associates 2017 Auto Insurance shopping Study, Esurance ranked “about average” for its overall purchase experience.
  • Esurance received the J.D. Power award for “Highest Customer Satisfaction Among Auto Insurers in California.”
Claim management:
  • Online tools help to streamline claims
  • Can call to file a claim 24/7 or complete it online
  • 10 days or less to settle most vehicle damage claims
  • Mechanical/ auto body repair network
Cost:
  • Esurance’s rates are competitive, and it has a nice lineup of discounts. Further, you can earn rewards through the DriveSense program.
Summary:

If you prefer to manage your policy online, Esurance may be the perfect fit for you. It offers mobile apps, an easy-to-use website, and helpful online tools. Further, you can choose from a comprehensive lineup of coverage types, there are many discounts, it’s financially strong, and it has a decent reputation for customer service.

Read more about Esurance here. 

4. USAA

Despite exclusively serving U.S. servicemembers, USAA Insurance is the fifth-largest U.S. auto insurer with 5.7% market share and $13.2 billion of direct premiums written in 2017. This company is known for great service and affordability.

Coverage types:
  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Liability
  • Personal injury protection (PIP)
  • Extended benefits coverage
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist bodily injury and property coverage
  • Roadside assistance
  • Rental reimbursement
  • Accident forgiveness k
Discounts:
  • Safe Driver
  • Defensive Driving
  • Driver Training
  • Good Student
  • New Vehicle
  • Multi-Vehicle
  • Annual Mileage
  • Vehicle Storage
  • Family Discount
  • Bundle and Save
  • Length of Membership Savings
  • Military Installation Discount
Accessibility:
  • Website with online services and great usability
  • Customer support online and over the phone
  • Mobile app
  • Financial centers in Colorado, New York, Maryland, and Texas
  • Serves all 50 states
Financial strength:
  • With roots dating back to 1922, USAA earned a “Superior” rating from A.M. Best.
Customer service:
  • USAA is among the best regarding claims and shopping satisfaction.
Claim management:
  • Online claims center
  • Claim support phone line
Cost:
  • USAA provides very affordable premiums and a range of discounts.
  • A nationwide survey of new customers found that they saved an average of $376 when they switched to USAA.
Summary:

USAA customers recommend the company’s auto insurance. It provides all the coverage policyholders need along with good customer service and affordable prices. The downside is that it is only available to active and retired members of the military and their families. If you qualify, this is an insurer worth considering.

Read more about USAA auto insurance. 

5. AAA

Lastly, AAA is an insurance carrier based in Livonia, MI. The company was founded in 1902 and offers auto insurance in 50 states (and Washington, DC). AAA is a federation of independent clubs throughout the United States and Canada.

Coverage types:
  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Liability
  • Accidental death, dismemberment
  • Car rental or transportation expenses
  • Excess medical payments
  • Medical payments
  • Personal injury protection
  • Uninsured collision
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist
Features:
  • Policyholder savings dividends
  • AAA Accident Assist: they’ll help you after a crash and get your claims process started
  • Free insurance policy review
Discounts:
  • Auto and Home (Save up to 15.7%)
  • Auto and Condo (Save up to 11.2%)
  • Auto and Renters (Save up to 3.7%)
  • Auto, Home, and Life (Save up to 19.4%)
  • Multi-vehicle (Save up to 27.3%)
  • Select Professionals/Alumni Association (Save up to 7.4%)
  • Loyalty (Save up to 5.6% with at least one year of continuous automobile insurance)
  • Good Driver (Save up to 20%)
  • Verified Mileage (Save up to 19.1%)
  • Student Away (Save up to 46.7%)
  • Good Student (Save up to 14.3%)
  • Driver Training (Save up to 4.7%)
  • Car club (Save up to 5%)
Accessibility:
  • Online policy management
  • New customers get a $100 travel certificate
  • Local agents in branches
  • Get a quote online
  • Mobile app
  • Social media profiles
Financial strength:
  • AAA has earned A.M. Best ratings that range from “Excellent” to “Superior.”
Customer service:
  • AAA’s customers mostly recommend its auto insurance citing good prices and great customer service.
Claim management:
  • 24/7 claim management
  • Get priority service and a lifetime warranty on workmanship through AAA Preferred Repairs Program
  • AAA has a service that helps you start your claim process after an accident (Accident Assist)
  • The network for repairs offers competitive prices
Cost:
  • AAA has earned a reputation for offering competitive rates and discounts. Plus, you can earn money back through dividends.
Summary:

AAA is a great option, offering many coverage types, affordable prices, quality customer service online and in branches, and the opportunity to earn money back through dividends. Most people think of roadside assistance when they hear AAA, but the company has expanded its great service in the world of auto insurance.

Read an in-depth review of AAA auto insurance.

Find the best auto insurance company for you

There you have five of our top picks. In 2018, it’s more important than ever for companies to be accessible in addition to offering value. As shoppers, we want it to be easy to get quotes and compare options.

All of these insurers have a well-established online presence, along with a comprehensive line-up of coverage types and discounts, great customer service, streamlined claim management, competitive costs, and good accessibility. Further, they are all rated an A or better in financial strength.

If you’d like to compare these five auto insurers against others side-by-side, head over to our Auto Insurance Review Page.

Remember, you won’t know exactly what an insurer can offer you until you apply and get a quote. Get a few quotes and weigh the costs along with the other factors mentioned above to find the best value for you.

Browse and compare auto insurers now.

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