American Family, Auto-Owners, Nationwide and USAA are the best car insurance companies, according to Forbes Advisor’s analysis.
We evaluated a variety of insurers to determine the best car insurance companies based on costs, coverage options, claims processes and complaints. Use our analysis as a jumping-off point to compare top auto insurers and find the best match for your situation.
Here are Forbes Advisor’s picks for the best car insurance companies of October 2023:
- 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 of the Best Car Insurance Companies
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.
How To Find the Best Car Insurance
Finding the best car insurance starts with figuring out your particular coverage needs. From there you can use our list of best car insurance companies and these tips in your search.
- Decide on the car insurance coverage types you need. Determining how much car insurance you need allows you to shop around for the exact same coverage from each company in order to make a helpful comparison. Also, buying only the coverages you need and skipping ones you don’t need lets you get cheaper auto insurance.
- Comparison shop with multiple companies. To find the best car insurance company, compare auto insurance costs among various insurers. Auto insurance companies have their own ways of weighing pricing factors—such as your age, driving experience and vehicle—so by shopping around you’ll see who offers the best price for your specific situation.
- Consider companies big and small. Look beyond the national brands for car insurance and check the rates offered by smaller, regional companies. Many smaller companies offer very competitive rates or more discounts, such as Westfield and its plentiful family discounts.
- Buy with confidence. After you’ve checked out coverage options and costs, you can purchase a car insurance policy knowing you made a good comparison.
- Do it again regularly or when you have a change in your situation. Car insurance isn’t a buy it and forget it policy. Shopping around regularly can be a good idea, and most certainly comparison shop if you have changes, such as adding a driver, buying a new car, moving or any situation that could change your rates. The best insurer for you a few years ago may no longer be a cheap option for your situation.
How To 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 a good deal on cheap car insurance.
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.)