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    New auto insurance companies

    When it comes to auto insurance companies, the best ones are often the most versatile in their coverage options and services. In order to put together our list of the best car insurance companies, we’ve scoured the industry looking at customer service, shopping experience, and more. You can also take advantage of our quotes tool to find the best coverage available in your area:
    Find the Best Car Insurance
    Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.
    Ex: 20004
    Price is the single most important factor for a lot of car insurance shoppers. Choosing a policy based on rates alone could cost far more out of pocket when filing a claim, however. Statistically speaking, that will happen to each driver at least once every 18 years. It pays to get the right amount of coverage, whether it’s the cheapest package or not.
    The Simple Dollar’s Top Picks for Best Auto Insurance Companies
    Best Overall: Amica
    Best Customer Service: State Farm
    Best Policy Options: The Hartford
    Best for Military: USAA
    What car insurance is required by law?
    In virtually all states, drivers are required by law to have mandatory liability insurance coverage. This is done as a way to ensure that the driver can cover the cost of damages to other people or property in the unfortunate event of an accident. Some states implement a “proof of financial responsibility” requirement, which is a little more flexible.
    How I Picked the Best Car Insurance Companies
    First, I conducted an in-depth analysis of 15 auto insurance providers. I gathered data on 86 different features (like a 24/7 claims center or discounts for electric vehicles), organized them into 12 categories, and scored each company on a 100-point scale. Below are the categories I used, along with the weight each one was given in the test.
    Category Test Weight
    Policy Coverage 13%
    Vehicle Coverage 13%
    Driver Discounts 11%
    Policy Management 10%
    Getting Started 9%
    Mobile 6%
    Payment Options 10%
    Claim Management 8%
    Support 6%
    Additional Benefits 6%
    Vehicle Discounts 5%
    Learning Materials 3%
    Next I incorporated learnings from auto experts, insured drivers, and third-party studies into my evaluation and calculated the final scores. I organized this research into three distinct categories, which are outlined below.
    Claims and Price Satisfaction: I looked at J.D. Power’s 2014 Auto Claims Satisfaction Reports, Insure.com’s Best Car Insurance Companies for 2014, and Consumer Reports’ 2014 Car Insurance Ratings to get a bird’s-eye view of the industry across the nation. I also conducted a survey of 100 insured drivers who had filed a claim within the past 12 months.
    Ease of Shopping: I applied for quotes from over 15 auto insurance companies to evaluate the shopping experience. I also considered J.D. Power’s 2014 Auto Insurance Purchase Experience Ratings, which asked customers about their personal take on local agents, call-center representatives, and websites.
    Financial Strength Ratings: I used A.M. Best to gauge financial stability. Any company with a “B” grade or below is considered vulnerable, so I chose companies with an “A-” or above.
    The Best Car Insurance Companies of 2017
    Amica: Best Overall Car Insurance Company
    Amica was the strongest company overall in my research, and ranked number two in J.D. Power’s 2015 customer satisfaction report — that means out of 11,469 surveyed drivers, it had the second highest satisfaction rating among more than 20 different companies. It also received the highest Consumer Reports rating among auto insurance providers. Consumer Reports even noted that an overwhelming number of customers reported “relatively few” problems during the claims process.
    Pros
    A high J.D. Power satisfaction rating: Amica received a perfect score in 4 out of 7 categories in J.D. Power’s 2015 auto insurance study.
    High financial stability ratings: Amica boasts a “Superior” financial stability rating from A.M. Best, which is the highest rating available.
    No repair facility restrictions: Unlike most every other insurer, Amica has zero restrictions on which body shop you use for repairs.
    “Platinum Choice” coverage: Amica offers an additional tier of coverage called Platinum Choice, which costs more, but includes identity fraud monitoring, full glass coverage, prestige rental coverage, and rewards for good driving.
    Best array of coverages: Amica offers the most driver and vehicle coverages of all my top recommendations. Its list includes GAP insurance and interior vehicle coverage, which aren’t offered by State Farm, The Hartford, or USAA.
    Cons
    Quote process is less than desirable: Whether you start online or over the phone, you will eventually wind up on the phone to get an official quote — that can tack an extra 20 to 30 minutes to the process.
    Fewer driver discount opportunities: Amica is missing a few key driver discounts, including pre-pay, low mileage, and military discounts. Consequently, it scored only 46 out of 100 in my driver discount evaluation.
    Few online resources: There are a few FAQs on the site, but Amica lacks in-depth online materials to help customers get a complete grasp on their purchases without having to talk to someone. Additionally, some policy changes require direct assistance from an Amica agent, which can be time-consuming.
    State Farm: Best Car Insurance Company for Customer Service and Interaction
    State Farm is the largest car insurance company in the nation, per Insurance Journal in 2016. Fortunately, it’s also one of the best — especially when it comes to the customer service experience. In 2015, State Farm received high praise from J.D. Power for its service interaction and claims handling. And of all the insured drivers I surveyed, it received the most positive remarks by far.
    It is incredibly easy to get in touch with State Farm. You can call one of the company’s 18,000 agents, go online, or even send a picture of your damaged car with your smartphone using the Pocket Agent mobile app. Compare that to Amica, which doesn’t allow you to connect with an agent via an app, or file a claim through an agent. State Farm also gets high marks for a pain-free shopping experience that lets prospective customers call their local agent or chat with a representative online if they have any questions.
    Pros
    Superior claims handling: No other insurer makes it easier to file a claim — a fact corroborated by its high service rating, 18,000 agents nationwide, and excellent mobile app. Sure, most other auto insurers offer the basic trifecta of phone, app, and email contact to agents, but State Farm’s is the easiest to use by far.
    Great financial standing: State Farm has an A.M. Best outlook of stable, and a “Superior” overall rating — the highest given.
    Best online quote tool: Out of all the competition, State Farm has the simplest online quote tool. In less than five minutes, it’ll guide you completely through the process, replete with thorough examples of coverage options.
    Cons
    Missing a few common driver discounts: Like Amica, State Farm lacks two extremely common discounts: pay-in-full, and automatic pay. These two discounts don’t save a ton of money, but are definitely nice options to have — and are offered by my third pick, The Hartford.
    Lacks a couple of important coverages: Unlike its competitors, State Farm doesn’t offer stacked uninsured motorist or new car replacement coverages. That could be a deal breaker for someone who lives in a state with an incredibly high rate of uninsured drivers.
    The Hartford: Best Car Insurance Company for Policy Options
    The Hartford is only the nation’s 11th largest insurer, but it still packs a punch. In fact, it had the highest score in my 12-category feature evaluation (92 out of 100). It also offers a wide range of policy options and benefits (including rates based on how much you actually drive your car and a new car replacement program for cars totaled shortly after purchase) and was the only insurer to score a perfect 100 in my vehicle-discount evaluation.
    Pros
    Mechanical breakdown coverage: Mechanical breakdown insurance helps cover the cost of repairs that aren’t covered by your car’s warranty. The Hartford is the only one of my top picks that includes this coverage.
    Useful policy benefits: The company provides not only a solid set of coverages, but also a great selection of policy benefits. For instance, frequent travelers will appreciate The Hartford’s towing and roadside assistance programs.
    Excellent purchase experience: The Hartford is one of two national providers to receive a perfect “Overall Purchase Experience” score from J.D. Power.
    Cons
    Less-than-average claims satisfaction: The Hartford received a perfect score in my claims management evaluation, but according to J.D. Power, customers are still less than satisfied — it received only a 2-star rating for service interaction.
    Fewest online educational resources: The Hartford offers the fewest online learning materials among this field of competitors.
    USAA: Best Car Insurance Company for Members of the Military
    Throughout my research, I found that the company’s stellar reputation holds true. If you are a member of the US armed forces, or are related to one, there is no better option than USAA.
    It is one of the three highest-rated automotive insurers in the country. The only downside is its limited availability: USAA only services the immediate families of active and former members of the military. Given those restrictions, the quote process is a bit more intense compared to its competitors, but that’s a small price to pay for its exemplary service.
    Pros
    Rated no. 1 nationally for purchase experience: USAA received the only perfect score in J.D. Power’s 2016 report.
    Solid financial stability: A.M. Best gives USAA the highest possible stability rating: “Superior.”
    Cons
    Membership restrictions: USAA is only available to members of the military and their immediate family.
    Missing three key vehicle coverages: USAA doesn’t offer GAP insurance, interior vehicle coverage, or new car replacement coverage.
    Other Car Insurance Companies to Consider
    Progressive
    Progressive is worth noting due to its variety of discounts and special coverages that could shave a decent amount of green off your monthly bill. For example, the Snapshot tool allows Progressive to reward you based upon your driving habits. Have an anti-theft device? There’s a discount for that too. The company also offers pet injury coverage — which is included with collision, and comes standard in most states. However, Progressive’s scores across the board were only average, and I couldn’t justify recommending it over my top picks. And, despite what Flo, Progressive’s famous, peppy insurance cashier, would lead you to believe, its mobile apps ratings average out to just under 3 out of 5 stars.
    Erie Insurance
    If you live in the South, Midwest, or Mid-Atlantic regions, Erie Insurance is worth your consideration. Erie has consistently received high marks from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, but didn’t make it into my top four recommendations due to limited availability — it only serves residents in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and certain parts of DC.
    Outside of that, Erie is one of the best commercial auto insurers, offering policies that come standard with coverage for road service, lawyer fees, and loss of earnings. It also has particularly comprehensive coverage options that include extras such as money toward rental cars after a crash (this is usually an add-on policy with most insurers).
    Auto-Owners
    Auto-Owners Insurance is available in 26 states located primarily in the South and Midwest. It uses an agent-only model that promotes customer relationships, so if you prefer talking to a human being, Auto-Owners is a great choice. The company also scored a nearly perfect score in J.D. Power’s 2015 satisfaction report, falling short only in the realm of its rental car experience.
    States Serviced by Auto-Owners:
    Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin
    Choosing the Right Amount of Coverage
    Let’s say I live in Florida and cause an accident that injures another person to the tune of $40,000. If I only have the state’s minimum bodily injury protection ($10,000 per person, $20,000 per accident), I’d be responsible for the remaining $30,000. But, if I had purchased more than Florida’s minimum — say $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident — I wouldn’t have to pay a single dime out of pocket.
    Sure, upgraded coverage means a higher monthly premium. But which would you rather do: Pay an extra $80 a month or wind up owing a lump sum of $30,000 out of pocket? It would take an accident-free 30 years to spend the same amount on the extra coverage. And remember: statistically speaking, you are going to get in a wreck every 18 years. Hopefully, it’s nothing more than a fender bender, but if the worst should happen, you’ll appreciate being fully covered.
    That’s why it’s incredibly important to understand what type of coverages you need, and how much coverage you need, before you start shopping for a policy. And in the same vein, it’s also crucial to compare rates that include more than your state’s minimum required coverages (which you can find online at your state’s DMV). You do not want to be the victim of a serious accident only to find out after the fact that you’re underinsured.
    Below is a comparison of the coverages offered by my top four auto insurance companies, and a breakdown of each type of coverage.
    Vehicle and Policy Coverages Amica State Farm The Hartford USAA
    Bodily Injury Liability ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓
    Personal Injury Protection ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓
    Property Damage Liability ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓
    Rental Car Coverage ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓
    Stacked Uninsured Motorist Coverage ✓ X ✓ ✓
    Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓
    Pet Injury Coverage X X X X
    Collision ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓
    Comprehensive ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓
    GAP Insurance ✓ X X X
    Interior Vehicle Coverage ✓ X X X
    New Car Replacement ✓ X ✓ X
    Types of Auto Insurance Coverages
    Bodily Injury Liability: Coverage against bodily injuries to others in an accident that is your fault.
    Personal Injury Protection: Coverage for injuries sustained by the driver or any passengers, often including medical bills and lost wages.
    Property Damage Liability: Coverage against property damage to another party in an accident that is your fault.
    Rental Car Coverage: Coverage for your rental car if it is damaged or stolen.
    Stacked Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Coverage that allows you to combine or “stack” the individual limits of coverage on multiple insured vehicles in the same household.
    Uninsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage: Coverage that protects against property damage caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist.
    Pet Injury Coverage: Coverage for injuries to your pets sustained in an auto accident.
    Collision: Coverage against any damage resulting from a collision.
    Comprehensive: Coverage against any non-collision vehicle damage including fire, theft, or vandalism.
    GAP Insurance: Coverage that pays the difference between the actual value of a totaled car and the balance remaining on an auto loan.
    Interior Vehicle Coverage: Coverage of personal belongings inside of the car, like your clothes, sound system, or purse.
    New Car Replacement: Coverage that will replace a totaled car with a brand-new version if it is less than one year old.
    Are car insurance extras worth it?
    As the name suggests, car insurance extras are coverage options that usually do not come with a standard policy. Examples include roadside assistance and accident forgiveness. These coverages can be added to a policy for an extra cost. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if they are worth it. By carefully assessing your coverage needs, you can come to a conclusion whether the extras are worth the cost or not.
    You should shop for a policy every two years
    Contrary to popular belief, car insurance companies don’t just calculate rates on risk alone. It goes much deeper than that. Welcome to the world of “price optimization,” which is the practice of setting rates based upon how much insurers think customers are comfortable paying. Simply put, it’s a way to maximize profit.
    In 2013, Earnix found that 45 percent of larger insurance companies analyze a ridiculous amount of customers’ personal data (like social media posts, credit scores, and web shopping habits). Then, they churn the data through a proprietary algorithm that estimates how likely you are to shop around. By doing so, they can charge you based upon a perception of your level of comfort, raise profit margins, and do it all without causing you to lift an eyebrow.
    The best way to prevent falling victim to this practice is to shop for a new policy every one to two years. Companies are aware of your online activity, so the more quotes you get, the less likely you are to be tagged as someone who won’t jump ship for a better deal. Plus, it helps you find a policy rate that reflects you as a person and isn’t based on predictive analytics.
    Find the Best Car Insurance Rates
    Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.
    Ex: 20004
    Should I use an agent or go online?
    Depending on which companies you consider, you may have to decide whether to do business with an insurance agent or purchase a policy online. If you value face-to-face relationships and personal service, it’s hard to beat an agent. But all agents aren’t created equal. Some are “captive,” meaning they sell car insurance for only one company. Others are “independent,” meaning they can sell car insurance for multiple companies. Here are a few things you should consider for each scenario.
    Using Captive Agents
    The biggest benefit to captive agents is that many aren’t primarily motivated by commission. That means they have less of a reason to “sell you” and more of a reason to spend quality time educating you. Going with a captive agent also makes sense if you’re already committed to a particular company. Additionally, they will know their company’s policies and coverages from top to bottom.
    Using Independent Agents
    Independent agents have special access with several companies and help you to find the best rate available. However, some companies pay higher commission than others, and that means you may face pressure to choose a particular company or coverage plan.
    During my research, I interacted with several independent agents who refused to give me a single detail about higher-priced plans. Despite my persistence, I was repeatedly asked, “Why would you want to consider something that costs more?” and did not get the information I wanted. On the flip side, if your rates go up after committing to a policy, independent agents are best-suited to help you negotiate a lower price.
    Shopping online
    Some companies allow customers to do business directly online. If you’re a self-starter, this could very well be the most convenient option. And in some cases, it may also be the cheapest option.
    The biggest downside to buying a policy on your own is the risk of underinsuring yourself. Buying the wrong policy, or a policy that doesn’t have state-mandated coverage levels, could cost you a pretty penny if the worst should happen.
    What are some helpful tips for keeping insurance costs down?
    Selecting the right insurance company for you doesn’t mean your work is done. There are still some steps you can take to keep insurance costs down. Some are obvious – such as shop around and compare insurance costs before purchasing a car. But here are a few others to consider:
    Explore options for group insurance: Getting insurance through your employer or other professional group can allow companies to lower costs.
    Think about purchasing additional insurance at one company: Some companies work with drivers who purchase multiple forms of insurance, or have more than one car insured with them. This isn’t a guarantee, but it doesn’t hurt to find out if the option is available.
    Request a higher deductible: This is of course dependent on your financial standing. You want to make sure you have enough finances saved to cover the expense. But, requesting higher deductibles up front can lower coverage costs anywhere from 15%-20%, depending on the amount you pay up front.
    Keep an eye on your credit score: Maintaining a solid credit score is recommended no matter what. But it’s especially important when your score is being referenced to develop your auto insurance policy. Just as you investigate a car’s accident history before purchasing, insurers are investigating your payment history before doing business with you. The higher the risk, the higher the policy costs.
    The Bottom Line
    In the end, you’ll need to first determine your exact needs when it comes to coverage and then shop for an affordable policy. Just because an auto insurance policy is cheap doesn’t mean it’s the best. Our quote tool can also help you put together a list of candidates. All you need to do is input your ZIP Code and start comparing rates from our top picks (State Farm, USAA, Amica, The Hartford) and more.
    Best Car Insurance Company for Overall Value — GEICO
    We recommend GEICO because it offers a well-rounded package of coverage protection at some of the cheapest auto insurance rates with around-the-clock daily customer service. Based on our research, we found that GEICO had one of the largest selections of discounts on car insurance for everything from the typical multi-car policies to emergency deployment for active military members. True its roots as a company formed for government employees, GEICO also offers special savings for prospective policyholders who are federal employees or military members (up to 8 — 15% off their premiums). These reasons help to explain why the company is one of the largest underwriting auto insurance in the United States, and is praised by customers for its great liability coverage at affordable premiums.
    Best Auto Insurance Company with Agents — Allstate
    One of the best features we like about Allstate’s auto insurance is their network of agents. They’re well-versed in the various auto insurance coverage types as well as Allstate’s features and benefits. With over 20,000 sales representatives, and 9,300 agencies across the United States, there is sure to be an agent within driving distance. We also like that Allstate has added a number of thoughtful components to their policies with their customers in mind. For example, Allstate offers a Claim Satisfaction Guarantee for any policyholder unhappy with their claims payout or experience. They also offer accident forgiveness and safe driving bonuses as optional features. All in all, we recommend that drivers who prefer in-person interactions consider Allstate as their car insurance company.
    Best Car Insurance Company for Military Members — USAA
    Our pick for the best car insurer for members of the military is undoubtedly the United States Automobile Association (USAA). Time and time again, USAA and its affiliates have the cheapest rates we’ve seen in our rate studies. Policyholders must be either active or retired members of the military (coverage is extended to family members too). In addition to affordable rates and great coverage, the USAA offers additional military-specific discounts. For example, armed force members who garage their cars on a military base can save up to 15% on their comprehensive coverage. The best benefit, however, is the network of community support and forums that USAA hosts on their website to support spouses and veterans. Members also have access to experts with experience in navigating and advising financial considerations of military members. Customers consistently rave about the excellent customer service and claims fulfillment they receive from representatives, and the company continues to win awards from industry associations such as JD Powers.
    Best Auto Insurance Company for Older Drivers (>50) — AARP / The Hartford
    What makes the AARP’s program with the Hartford our selection for best car insurer for older drivers? The many special and thoughtful benefits that accommodate for the lifestyles of adults 50 years old and above, such as RecoverCare and longer locked in rates. RecoverCare is a program that eases the transition back to a normal life after a car accident. Insureds can see up to $2,500 of costs covered for getting help with daily tasks such as buying groceries, cooking, housekeeping, and gardening. We like that AARP is also cognizant that its members receive fixed pensions and retirement income, and has worked with the Hartford to lock in annual rates so seniors can better plan their budgets. With such considerate care and attuned attention to its members’ needs, it is no surprise that the AARP is our choice for best company for older drivers.
    How to Find the Best Car Insurance
    Getting the best insurance for your car is about having the right kind of coverage with appropriate limits. If you’re looking for the cheapest rates and minimum liability coverage, the best car insurance company for you will be different than the best option for a driver that wants full coverage and top-rated customer service. We’ll walk you through deciding which ones or what level of protection make the most sense for you.
    The Right Kind of Coverage: The Standard Policy May Not Be Enough to Protect You
    The car insurance landscape can be quite confusing with multiple types of coverage. There are a couple of add-on protections that can be useful depending on where you live in, and the peace of mind you need. These are: comprehensive, collision, medical payments, personal injury protection, and umbrella insurance.
    Should I get Comprehensive and Collision Coverage?
    Basically, collision coverage covers damages after your car crashes into something — such as a car or stationary object. Comprehensive (also known as OTC) coverage is everything else: Mother Nature, and acts of God, to thefts and vandalism (more info). Comprehensive and collision get bundled together, and pay for repairs or replacements up to the car’s current cash value (car’s market value — salvage value).
    Whether this coverage is right for you depends on the value of your car and where you live. If you have a new car and live in an area with lots of storms and a large deer population, you should likely get comprehensive and collision coverage. If you have an old car, however, the current cash value your policy pays might not be worth the cost of the premiums and deductible for the coverage. It’s generally not cost-effective when the current cash value of your car is less than $3,000. Weigh the annual out-of-pocket cost to you (premiums + deductible) against the current cash value to see if it makes sense.
    Personal Injury Protection vs. Medical Payments vs. Health Insurance
    Personal Injury Protection (PIP) covers medical, psychiatric, and rehabilitative expenses for you, your passengers, and permitted drivers of your vehicle, and at times your lost wages. It’s mandatory in some states like New Jersey and New York. Medical Payments (MedPay) pays for reasonable and medically necessary expenses, and is optional.
    If you have a good health plan with a low deductible, then you probably won’t need PIP or MedPay. If your deductible is high, however, then weigh the cost of the extra premium against the benefits for PIP and MedPay. One benefit of PIP and MedPay is that it covers other passengers in your car who might not have health insurance.
    Umbrella Coverage: For Extra Assets and Everything Else
    If you have a significant amount of financial assets, or regularly engage in activities that could lead to a liability claim being made against you, then umbrella protection is the best benefit to add to your coverage. It steps in when claims and payouts under all your other coverages are used up, but you still have more damages to pay. While infrequent, car pile-ups or severe accidents resulting in death are the types of incidents that could get covered by your umbrella policy. It’s just a few dollars more, but can get you up to millions more in necessary protection when there’s a lot to lose.
    Appropriate Limits: The Cheapest Rates May Not Get You the Best Protection
    Buying a basic policy with your state’s minimum level of financial responsibility can save you a few bucks now. However, it’s at the risk of exposing your assets when your insurance limits can’t cover an injured party’s damages.
    So how much liability coverage should you get? As much protection as you can afford that is greater than or close to how much your assets are worth. Add up your bank balances, stock and bond investments, retirement funds, trust funds, real estate, etc., and then find a liability limit that exceeds or is closest to what you can afford (more info).
    Here’s why: you have no control over how bad a car accident can be: who gets injured, or how much their medical expenses will be — and you can be on the hook if they sue you. A car crash damaging the fingers of a skilled neurosurgeon will cost you more than injuring an average person, and their car can crash into other vehicles.
    Getting the Best Auto Insurance Coverage for You
    In conclusion, the best auto insurance depends on a number of factors: the value of your assets, how much risk you’re comfortable with, and what protection you want. You should buy as much coverage as need to make sure your assets are protected in the case of an accident, or other incident. If it’s more important to you to get the cheapest protection, then just bear in mind that your assets can be put at risk.
    Finding the Best Car Insurance Companies & Rates
    The best auto insurance companies will be able to provide a balanced blend of the right amount of coverage at the right rates for consumers’ vehicles and budgets, and follow through when claims are submitted. Here’s how you can go about looking for the best companies and negotiating the best rates.
    Step 1: Decide What Kind of Insurer You Want
    What is most important to you? Cost or personal interaction and local expertise? If you have a budget, then a national and direct insurance company that does most of their business online will likely get you better rates. An agent-based insurer focuses on providing a more high-touch and local experience — helpful when submitting a claim, but costs can be higher.
    Step 2: Evaluate Their Complaint Ratios and Industry Awards in Your State
    The next step is to look for a list of reputable and dependable insurers licensed in your state. States often produce annual reports that rank companies by their complaints. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners publishes complaint data at the Customer Information Source. A third source we recommend are industry surveys and consumer organizations. J.D. Powers, for example, measures satisfaction on pricing, policy offerings, and claims handling. AM Best’s Financial Strength Rating measures a company’s financial ability to pay out insurance claims. Pick a handful of companies from these sources, about three to five, that are generally well rated.
    Step 3: Get Quotes
    Here’s the information you’ll need to get an accurate quote: your SSN, driver’s license, VIN, (or vehicle specifications including airbag, anti-lock, alarm etc.), a record of accidents or traffic violations, the number of miles you drive a year, as well as a list of the memberships / associations you belong to. Go to each insurer and get a quote for the liability limits you’re comfortable with.
    Step 4: Negotiate Rates and Ask for Discounts
    Once you have a few data points, it is time to pick up the phone and negotiate with representatives. Call them and share the cheaper rates you’ve gotten from competitors, and 1) see what they do, or 2) follow up with: can you do better than this? Afterwards, ask them for any discounts that aren’t available on the website, or what they can offer you from the discounts we’ve listed below.
    Car Insurance Discounts
    Here’s a list of common discounts you can run the insurance customer representative through to maximize your savings.
    Good Driver Discounts: No accidents or traffic violations in the past three years (some insurers stretch this out to five years)
    Discounts for Homeownership: Can be combined with a multi-policy discount if you insure your vehicle and house with the same company
    Lower Rates for Married Couples
    Student Discounts: Earning grades of B and above, making the honor roll, leaving for college or living far away
    Safety Features Discount: For cars with anti-lock brake systems (ABS), airbag capacity, daytime running lights, and anti-theft devices
    Lower Rates for Reduced Miles Driven: Typically for annual mileage less than 10,000
    Multi-Vehicle Discount
    Discounts for Professional and Organization Affiliations: Some companies discount premiums for nurses, teachers, policemen, safety officers, federal employees, and military members in recognition of their services. Check for discounts for your employer, alumni association, trade group, sports conference, or industry organization
    Discounts for Mature Drivers: Proof you’ve passed a licensed mature driver improvement course can get you up to 5 — 7% off
    Defensive Driving / Driver Education Savings: If you take a licensed driver re-education course every couple of years, you can save up to 10%
    Lump Payment Methods: Paying in full and going paperless avoids installment and administrative fees
    Customer Loyalty: If you should be a long-standing customer of a company, you should squeeze some extra consideration for this by asking for loyalty discounts.
    Green / Hybrid Vehicle Discounts
    Now that you have your list of companies, ratings and scores, and their best offer on quotes, you can decide on the best auto insurance company for you.
    Best Car Insurance Rates
    We surveyed 9 national auto insurance companies to see how their rates stack up for a few sample driver profiles to help you shop for auto insurance. The rates are sampled from select cities across the country, so your actual quote will differ based on your driving history and where you live. Alternatively you can enter your information in the form below to get quotes from insurers that serve your area.
    Independent car insurance site Clearsurance recently ranked the best car insurance companies. The list is based on factors such as affordability, customer service, the scope of coverage and users’ likelihood to recommend their insurance to others or renew with the company.
    Surprisingly, only two national insurance companies made the cut. The others were smaller and mid-size companies.
    Clearsurance sifted through more than 39,000 customer reviews that policyholders submitted on the website. Here’s their list of the top 10 insurers: