Getting in the car and hitting the road is one of the great conveniences of modern life, making it easy to get from point A to B quickly and comfortably. But as with anything, driving comes with certain risks. That’s especially the case with so many motorists finding themselves distracted by their digital devices — while traveling at speeds well beyond the limit. Having the best possible car insurance is an important protection for you, your passengers, your vehicle, and others on the road.
The truth is, even the most cautious of drivers can find themselves making dangerous mistakes behind the wheel. A survey of 2,000 Americans revealed that 27% of U.S. drivers “zone out” while driving. More than half (55 percent) reported regularly feeling as though they are driving on autopilot as often as four times per week.
More research shows that 80 percent of drivers use their cell phones while behind the wheel. With as many as 1.6 million accidents per year caused by cell phone usage while driving, it’s perhaps more important than ever to have sufficient auto protection before taking to the road.
And of course, speeding is as problematic as ever. According to a recent study, speeding is by far the top cause of automobile accidents. The authors made the determination after analyzing tracking devices in vehicles from 28 million trips to find possible links between four common bad driving behaviors: speeding, hard acceleration, hard cornering, and hard braking, and the likelihood of crashes. Scientists found that speeding is a strong predictor of car crashes, but they couldn’t find statistically significant links for other types of aggressive driving.
Finding the best auto coverage for your needs can feel like assembling a 1,000-piece puzzle. That’s why we at Study Finds did the hard work for you and searched the web for the consensus best car insurance companies. Here’s our list of the five most recommended companies across 10 expert reviews, but as always, if you have a suggestion that we didn’t share, let us know in the comments!
The List: Best Car Insurance Companies, According to Expert Reviews
1. State Farm
Our top pick was included in 100% of the rankings we reviewed. State Farm earns its spot as an affordable insurer with thousands of glowing reviews for customer service. “With generous coverage and discounts for good driving habits, State Farm is a popular insurer with better customer satisfaction ratings compared with other large competitors and low customer complaints,” says NerdWallet. “State Farm tops the field in customer service and claims satisfaction,” adds CNET.
State Farm’s insurance options are fairly comprehensive, with protection for all kinds of drivers. “State Farm offers liability coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, and rideshare insurance if you use your car for Lyft or Uber,” Business Insider says. In addition to wide coverage options, State Farm also provides various discounts, “including ones for safe driving and young drivers,” CNBC notes.
For active military, veterans, and their family members, USAA provides top-notch coverage, service, and rates. At Bankrate, USAA earns the number one spot in their ranking. “No matter what type of auto insurance you are looking for — minimum coverage to full coverage — USAA offers all the standard coverage options plus a few extras, like roadside assistance and car rental reimbursement,” says Bankrate. “There is a clear winner for the best car insurance for veterans, military personnel, and their families: USAA,” adds MoneyGeek.
While limited by eligibility requirements, those that do qualify enjoy highly rated customer service and some of the lowest rates available. “If we were judging solely on satisfaction, the United Services Automobile Association would take the top spot among our best list here,” says CNET. “USAA is one of the most cost-effective insurers out there, offering prices that even beat Geico’s.”
At number three, Geico solidly earns the title of budget favorite for non-military members. “The best car insurance company is Geico because of its competitive premiums and its wide variety of coverage options and discounts, including good-driver and vehicle safety discounts,” WalletHub states. “Thanks in part to its overall lower-than-average premiums and plentiful discount opportunities, Geico may be a good choice for drivers looking for a cheap premium,” adds Bankrate.
Beyond their affordable rates, Geico also earns accolades for customer service. “The top-scoring auto insurance provider overall was Geico, reporting high customer satisfaction levels in all regions of the country,” CNET says. “It receives fewer consumer complaints than other major insurers.”
Many experts recognize Nationwide for its loyalty perks and usage-based rates. If your car spends a good amount of time sitting in your driveway rather than on the road, Nationwide may be able to offer you a competitive rate that reflects your habits. “Nationwide’s wide variety of coverage options and low number of complaints make it a solid choice for many consumers,” says NerdWallet.
In addition to flexible policy options, Nationwide is available to most drivers. “Nationwide offers one of the widest car insurance networks, with coverage available in 47 states and the District of Columbia,” CNET says. For residents of states where Nationwide is available, it is likely to have more diverse options than competitors. “Our Nationwide Insurance review found that the company offers coverage options that may not be found at other insurance carriers,” Bankrate adds.
As our fifth pick, Progressive is a great option for drivers with a DUI or a teenager on their policy. While prices are average for good drivers, those with DUIs or who need to include a teenager on their policy can find lower than industry average rates. Progressive also includes “unique perks such as free accident forgiveness for most customers,” adds NerdWallet.
“Policyholders who value digital capabilities, move throughout the country or need high-risk insurance might consider Progressive as their company of choice,” Bankrate says. “Policyholders can easily file a claim with the company, since it offers the option of filing online or via the mobile app, plus a 24/7 claims support phone line,” WalletHub notes.
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links.