Thinking about shopping your Auto Insurance Company? A huge percent of people never shop their insurance needs — and that’s a bad idea considering that modern American business punishes loyalty, rather than rewarding it.
Car insurance ads on TV promise accident forgiveness, vanishing deductibles, and other selling points. But those features are just a side show to the main act, which is a company’s reputation with satisfying customers after a claim is made.
Best and worst Auto Insurance Company
According to Consumer Reports, the top 2 insurers are USAA Property & Casualty and Auto Insurance Company, two of Clark’s longtime favorites. Just a hair behind them is New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, a company that’s never much been on Clark’s radar.
Firmly in the middle of the pack you have insurers like State Farm, Mercury, Geico, American Family and others.
On the flipside, among the lowest rated auto insurers in the country are Farmers Insurance and Hanover Insurance. Just a hair above them you’ll find Allstate, Metlife Auto & Home, Liberty Mutual and Travelers, among others.
When it comes to car insurance, be sure the deductible you have isn’t too low. Having a low deductible pushes premiums higher. It could also tempt you to make a claim for a small incident that will leave you in trouble with insurers going forward.
Auto insurance rates are on the rise
It’s no secret that Auto Insurance Company premiums are going up around the country. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that car insurance rates rose more than 5% from March 2015 to March 2016 at a time when was inflation was negligible at less than 1%.
But the picture is darker than that for your wallet. According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), a deeper and longer dive into the last two years of data found that premiums actually rose an average of 10% during that longer period.
The simple answer to why rates are going up so much has to do with Americans driving more in part due to lower gas prices. But there are actually more moving pieces to the explanation
Begin by identifying solid companies
Clark has long talked about the merits of Amica Mutual and USAA. But those aren’t the only two companies you should look at. Consider buying a one-time subscription to Consumer Reports and checking their latest list of the best Auto Insurance Company to find others that should make it onto your shortlist.
Get your quotes
Once you have a list of candidates, you’ll want to start getting quotes. This typically takes around 15 minutes on the phone per insurer. Have your most recent policy in front of you in case any questions come up about the make and model of your vehicle(s).
Working with an insurance broker is another option. He or she will get multiple quotes for you and you’ll have access to all the insurers they do business with. It’s an easy one-stop shop that lets you still have the flexibility of comparison pricing.
Top Picks for Best Auto Insurance Company
- Best Overall: Amica
- Best Customer Service: State Farm
- Best Policy Options: The Hartford
- Best for Military: USAA
How I Picked the Best Car Insurance Companies
First, I conducted an in-depth analysis of 15 Auto Insurance Company 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Rated by Auto Insurance Purchase Experience
Have you ever started shopping for an auto insurance policy and felt like the whole process stressed you out? These Auto Insurance Company listed below know the importance of providing the customer with the best possible auto insurance purchasing experience. Here are the top ranking companies in the area of overall insurance purchase experience:
- The Hartford
- American Family
- Amica Mutual
- Erie Insurance
- Liberty Mutual
The smartest way to find an autoAuto Insurance Companywho is right for you is to consider all aspects: policy premium price, service record, financial stability, the ability to pay claims and the overall purchase experience. It takes a good insurance company report card in all of these areas to make a top auto insurance company. Finally, you have to go on your own personal experience. After buying an auto policy, pay special attention to how well the company services your policy and processes any changes you request. If you are not satisfied, you may want to consider switching coverage to an insurance company that better fits your needs.
If you think your auto insurance company is not meeting your needs, perhaps its time to consider changing insurance companies. A great place to start looking for the right insurance policy is comparing coverage options through auto insurance comparison websites such as Compare.com or NetQuote.
Liability insurance covers you if you’re in an accident deemed to be your fault. It will cover repairs to damaged property, as well as medical bills resulting from injury to the other driver and his or her passengers. Most states require at least a minimum amount of liability insurance, but it’s a good idea to purchase extra protection if you can afford it.
If you are involved in an accident, collision coverage will pay for the repairs to your car whether or not you’re at fault. If your car is damaged beyond repair, good collision coverage will pay for the value of your car.
If something happens to your car that isn’t related to a vehicular accident, such as weather damage, hitting an animal or theft, comprehensive coverage will pay for the damage to the car.
Personal injury protection
Personal injury protection is imperative for all drivers. Medical bills following an accident can be devastating, and good personal injury coverage will cover medical expenses for you and your passengers, as well as missed work expenses.
Uninsured motorist protection
About one in six drivers is uninsured, even though it is illegal to be in most states. Uninsured motorist protection offers payment when you are in a collision with another driver who is at fault and does not have insurance or after a hit-and-run. It is usually relatively inexpensive to add uninsured motorist protection to a car insurance policy.