Свежие комментарии

    Рубрики

    Top 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.
    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 auto insurance market in the U.S. is dominated by a few key players. In fact, the top ten auto insurance companies control more than 70% of the market. While the top ten insurance companies underwrite a large number of policies, they have very distinct characteristics. To help you choose the best insurance company for your situation, we created a list of the top ten largest auto insurance companies in the U.S. and discuss what makes each of them unique.
    What are the Biggest Auto Insurance Companies?
    When looking at the rankings of the top auto insurance companies in the United States, most of the names are recognizable due to their national television advertising campaigns. The top ten insurance companies offer varied insurance rates, customer claims experience and features. We discuss the top ten biggest auto insurance companies in the U.S. and what you should know about each of them below:
    Market Share of the Largest Auto Insurance Companies
    1. State Farm
    State Farm operates as a mutual insurance company, meaning that it’s owned by its policyholders. State Farm is the largest auto insurance company in the U.S. and possesses 18% of the total available market share. Nearly one in five dollars spent on private passenger auto premiums in the U.S. is paid to State Farm. The company currently employs approximately 70,000 employees and has nearly 19,000 agents. In accordance with its large market share, State Farm’s latest annual report shows a net gain of over $1.7 billion.
    Our Thoughts: State Farm is a great auto insurance company for anyone who wants a local agent and a personalized insurance experience. However, State Farm doesn’t typically offer drivers the most competitive rates. If you want or need a curated experience, and are willing to pay for it, State Farm is a great choice.
    Read our full State Farm review.
    3 out of 5 rating from J.D. Power for overall satisfaction.
    2. GEICO
    GEICO, well known for its animated gecko, has served as an underwriter to more than 16 million auto policies, which insure more than 24 million vehicles. The company’s size allows it to employ more than 36,000 people across nine regional offices, three service centers and three claims centers. GEICO’s original customer base consisted of U.S. government employees and military personnel. Today, the insurance company’s customer base has expanded to include people in the private sector.
    Our Thoughts: We consider GEICO to be one of the best auto insurance companies. GEICO offers low rates, national availability and an easy shopping experience. If you’ve had a prior accident, however, you’ll likely receive unfavorable rates from GEICO.
    Read our full GEICO review.
    4 out of 5 rating from J.D. Power for overall satisfaction.
    3. Progressive
    Progressive—the third biggest insurance company in the country—was established in 1937. The company offers the ability to purchase auto insurance directly, online or by phone. Alternatively, customers can sign up through independent insurance agents. The company employs over 33,000 people and has over 400 offices. Progressive is a publicly traded company.
    Our Thoughts: Progressive offers highly competitive rates to drivers with previous accidents. However, claims satisfaction ratings and coverage options are average at best. Due to this, we recommend for prospective Progressive customers to shop around and compare rates before signing up for coverage.
    Read our full Progressive review.
    3 out of 5 rating from J.D. Power for overall satisfaction.
    4. Allstate
    Established in 1931, Allstate is the second largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company in America. Similar to State Farm, Allstate has a roster of local agents ready to serve your needs. The company currently employs over 79,000 people. Esurance, a subsidiary of Allstate, operates in the same space. According to Allstate, the Esurance brand is targeted towards self-directed and brand-sensitive customers while Allstate is geared for customers who enjoy local and personal service.
    Our Thoughts: We consider Allstate to be a middle-of-the-road insurance company due to its high rates and average claims satisfaction ratings. Allstate’s redeeming factors are the wide variety of discounts that it makes available to its customers.
    Read our full Allstate review.
    3 out of 5 rating from J.D. Power for overall satisfaction.
    5. USAA
    USAA was founded by 25 Army officers who decided to insure each other’s vehicles in 1922. Today, the company serves millions of members associated with the U.S. military, including:
    Current Military Members
    Former Military Members
    Family of Military Members
    Cadets or Midshipmen
    USAA is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. The corporate campus’ length extends three-quarters of a mile. USAA is the largest private company located in San Antonio.
    Our Thoughts: USAA is one of the best auto insurance companies in the country. If you meet their qualification criteria, you’ll enjoy competitive rates, great customer service and speedy claims responses. The only downside of USAA is its restricted membership.
    Read our full USAA review.
    5 out of 5 rating from J.D. Power for overall satisfaction.
    6. Liberty Mutual
    Liberty Mutual is one of the top insurance companies in the U.S. and has been around for over 100 years. Liberty Mutual also has large international presence—with operations in 17 countries. The international companies sell property and casualty, health and life insurance policies. The auto insurance industry is a large part of Liberty Mutual’s business, representing 36% of their net written premium from insurance as of their latest annual report.
    Our Thoughts: Liberty Mutual is a mediocre insurance company. The competitiveness of Liberty Mutual’s car insurance rates will depend on your geographic location. While this is often true with most insurers, Liberty Mutual’s rates vary more than typical. In addition, Liberty Mutual’s customers rank the insurance company’s claims satisfaction process as below average.
    Read our full Liberty Mutual review.
    2 out of 5 rating from J.D. Power for overall satisfaction.
    7. Farmers
    Farmers began as an insurance company providing coverage to rural farmers’ vehicles. Since then it has evolved to become the seventh largest insurance company in the country. It’s hard to find an insurance company that offers more products than Farmers. It offers basic auto insurance, pet insurance, and even investment products among a variety of other insurance products. Farmers employs nearly 21,000 people, which allow it to underwrite over 19 million policies across 50 states.
    Our Thoughts: Farmers offers decent discounts, coverage options and great customer service. Ultimately, Farmers’ non-competitive rates hold it back from becoming a great auto insurance company.
    Read our full Farmers review.
    3 out of 5 rating from J.D. Power for overall satisfaction.
    8. Nationwide
    Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company, paid over $18 billion in claims and other benefits to members in 2017. The company does business across several verticals—including financial services, commercial lines and personal lines—in all 50 U.S. states. Nationwide has contributed over $430 million to nonprofit organizations since 2000.
    Our Thoughts: Despite Nationwide not being the most affordable insurance company, its customer reviews tend to be positive. The company offers customers the standard coverage and discounts that you’d expect from a large national insurance company.
    Read our full Nationwide review.
    3 out of 5 rating from J.D. Power for overall satisfaction.
    9. Travelers
    Travelers is more than 160 years old, making it one of the oldest insurance companies operating today. In fact, Travelers issued its first auto insurance policy in 1897, before the Ford Model-T was invented. The company has over 30,000 employees and 13,500 independent agents and brokers in multiple countries—including the United States, Canada, and Brazil.
    Our Thoughts: Low complaint ratings and competitive rates make Travelers an excellent choice for auto insurance coverage. In particular, Travelers offers great rates for families with clean driving histories. However, drivers with previous accidents and violations should steer clear as Travelers’ rates rise significantly with an accident on record.
    Read our full Travelers review.
    3 out of 5 rating from J.D. Power for overall satisfaction.
    10. American Family
    American Family was established with the initial goal of insuring farmers. In the 1930s, the company expanded and began to focus on insuring non-farmers as well. Today, the company is one of the biggest insurance companies in the U.S. In a recent year, American Family paid out over $3 billion in home, auto and umbrella insurance claims.
    Our Thoughts: American Family is a solid choice for your auto insurance needs. The company offers decent rates, which have the potential to be great when policyholders utilize some of its many discounts.
    Read our full American Family review.
    3 out of 5 rating from J.D. Power for overall satisfaction.
    Mutual vs. Stock Insurance Companies
    The main difference between mutual and stock insurance companies is the ownership configuration—stock insurance companies are privately or publicly owned companies that offer voting rights to stockholders. Mutual insurance companies, however, are owned by their policyholders.
    Since stockholders benefit from the stock’s appreciation, people argue that the short-term interests of investors don’t always align with the long-term interest of the company. Many feel that mutual insurance companies are better because the policyholders’ interests align well with what’s best for the company, specifically lowering insurance rates and paying out dividends to attract more customers. Below, we list the top ten auto insurance companies by type, excluding USAA, which is an insurance exchange for military personnel.
    Mutual Insurance Companies Stock Insurance Companies
    State Farm GEICO
    Liberty Mutual Allstate
    American Family Progressive
    Nationwide Farmers
    Travelers
    Big vs. Small Insurance Companies
    The trade-off between large insurance companies and small ones typically involves giving up competitive rates for an improved customer experience. When using a small insurance company for your auto insurance, you’ll likely communicate exclusively with one insurance agent. While you generally lose a personal connection when selecting a large national insurance company, the large auto insurance companies tend to have more financial stability. In fact, the top insurance companies in the country underwrite and pay out billions of dollars per year. Additionally, the large insurance companies are able to leverage their resources to offer drivers lower insurance rates.
    It’s possible that you’ll have to worry about solvency if you choose a policy from a small company. If you manage to find a small insurance company with a base level of financial stability that you’re comfortable with, consider how much in price you’re willing to pay for better service. If you value great service, you might prefer a small insurance company.
    Another consideration when choosing between a large and small auto insurance company is availability, coverage options and discounts. While you’re likely to have a better experience with a small insurance company, it may not have the availability, benefits and discounts that large insurance companies do. For example, the major insurance companies in the U.S. often have representatives that are available 24/7. Additionally, small insurance companies don’t typically offer the long list of discounts and coverage options that national insurers, like Allstate and State Farm, offer. If around the clock availability or having discounts and coverage options are important to you, consider a large insurance company.