Last year, auto insurance providers spent just over $6 billion in advertising to consumers.

They bought expensive ads and invested in social media to make sure you understand you’re in good hands, they’re on your side, and 15 minutes or more can save you money on your car insurance.

In 2011 alone, about 9% of policyholders switched their car insurance, and 27% admitted to shopping around. Consumers are being bombarded with ads that promise low rates and great service — but how do you know which insurance company is really going to be there for you when you need them?

As consumers, we rarely think of our auto insurance as anything other than a monthly expense. That often means picking the cheapest insurance and using that. But car accidents aren’t an “if” — they’re a “when.”

Statistically, the average driver will be involved in an accident every 18 years, which means you’re going to need to use it at least three times in your lifetime.

When that day comes, you need to be sure your car insurance provider is going to be there for you.

Our Methodology

Spent over
200
hours doing research
Analyzed
105
articles and studies
Reached out to
42
insurance experts
Interviewed
50
insurance commissioners
Contacted over
120
body shops & repair professionals
Watched
248
ads from 13 companies
Surveyed
423
insured drivers
Conducted an experiment with
28
unexperienced auto insurance shoppers
Went through the quotes process with the
14
insurers on the final list
What We Learned

Sometimes, Less Really Isn't More

Your Business Is Valuable To Companies — And They’ll Do Anything To Get It

Expert's Corner

How Auto Insurance Looks For Your State

Washington

Annual Average Premium*
State
$1,756
National Average
$1,670
*Estimates based on 35-year old male with a clean driving record
State Minimum Liability
Bodily Injury
Per person
$25,000
Per accident
$50,000
Property Damage
$10,000
Enter Your Zip For Local Rates
Enter Valid Zip Code
List All States

The higher your deductible, the lower the rate you'll pay. A $500 or $1,000 deductible for comprehensive and collision coverage will decrease your premiums. But remember, you'll have to pay the deductible amount if your company repairs your vehicle, so make sure you can afford it.

Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Our Review

Reputation Over Price: How We Made The Cut

To be considered one of the best, insurance providers needed to meet several crucial trust indicators. Insurance providers:

Why Didn’t We Rate Based On Price?

Premiums are important — 34% of drivers we surveyed said they’d choose a provider based on price over service — but our experts told us over and over again that price should not be the determining factor. Instead, look for a company who will be there for you, and then comparison shop.

The most important consideration when purchasing insurance is that your company will be there for you when a claim arises. This is not just a solvency concern, it is actually a quality of coverage issue. Is your company dedicated to you (their customer) and will they be there when you need them. Price is secondary to quality of coverage but unfortunately most consumers do not look at it that way. Insurance is not a commodity. You are purchasing a promise to pay. Not all insurance companies are alike and not all insurance producers are alike. You should always try to balance a company’s (and producer’s) consumer satisfaction rating and reputation with the cost of the insurance.

Joseph Torti

Rhode Island Superintendent of Insurance

The price depends on you.
  • Additionally, it’s hard to forecast the cost of insurance for any one individual, because the cost of insurance varies so widely from person to person and state to state. However, reliability and other trust indicators are universal.
  • For our review, instead, we found the most reliable, trustworthy, and customer-focused insurers. From there, we hope you’ll comparison shop, and be able to find the lowest premium from the best possible company.
Our Review

Our Decision Funnel

We started with a list of 175 companies that provide auto insurance in the U.S. From there, we used 4 filters to narrow our list of approved companies. For more detail on how we made our cuts, just click on the interactive funnel above and you’ll see where companies got cut along the way.

Must have an AM Best rating of Excellent or Superior

A.M. Best ratings focus exclusively on car insurance. This trusted rating system determines whether or not an insurance company has the financial stability to pay out on claims. Any company that does not have an A.M. Best rating of Excellent or Superior might not be able to deliver on their promises.

Companies That Didn't Make The Cut

  • Access
  • Affirmative
  • American Independent
  • AmWINS
  • Arrowhead
  • Baldwin & Lyons
  • Buckeye
  • Cameron Mutual
  • Celina Insurance
  • Century National
  • Colorado Farm Bureau
  • Countryway Insurance
  • Direct General
  • Empower
  • First Chicago
  • Freedom National
  • Georgia Farm Bureau
  • Home State
  • InsureMax
  • Kingsway America
  • Lighthouse
  • Metromile
  • Multi-State
  • National Farmers Union
  • OK Farm Bureau
  • Oklahoma Farmers Union
  • Safe Auto
  • Sun Coast General
  • Union Mutual
  • Unique
  • United Automobile
  • United Farm Bureau
  • Unitrin
  • Virginia Farm Bureau
  • Wolverine Mutual
  • Workmen's Auto

Must be recognized and ranked by J.D. Power and Associates

J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services firm, which conducts surveys of customer satisfaction, product quality, and buyer behavior. Ranking from J.D. Power demonstrates legitimacy and authority.

Companies That Didn't Make The Cut

  • ACE Group Auto Insurance
  • Acuity
  • AIG
  • ALFA
  • Allmerica
  • American Freedom
  • American Modern
  • American National
  • American Reliable
  • Ameriprise Group
  • Atlantic States
  • Bear River
  • Bristol West
  • CAIC
  • Cal Casualty
  • California Capital
  • Capital Insurance Group
  • Central Mutual
  • Chubb
  • Cincinnati Insurance
  • Co-Operative Insurance
  • Columbia Insurance
  • Commerce Group
  • Concord
  • CUNA Mutual Insurance Group
  • Dairyland
  • Donegal Mutual
  • Electric
  • EMC
  • Encompass
  • Everest National Insurance Company
  • Farm Family Life
  • Farm Bureau
  • Farm Bureau of ID Group
  • Farmers Mutual of Nebraska
  • Federated Insurance
  • Fireman's Fund
  • Foremost
  • Frankenmuth
  • General Casualty
  • Grange
  • Grinnell
  • GuideOne
  • Hanover
  • Horace Mann
  • Hastings Mutual
  • IMT Insurance
  • Integrity Mutual
  • Iowa Mutual
  • Kemper Specialty
  • Kentucky Farm Bureau
  • MEEMIC
  • Merchants Insurance Group
  • Metromile
  • Mid-Century Ins Co
  • Middlesex
  • Millers
  • Mississippi Farm Bureau
  • MMG Insurance
  • MO Farm Bureau
  • Motorists Mutual
  • Mutual Benefit Group
  • Mutual Enumclaw
  • National General
  • National Grange Mutual
  • Nodak Mutual
  • Norfolk and Dedham
  • North Star
  • Ohio Mutual
  • OneBeacon
  • Oregon Mutual
  • Partners Mutual
  • Patriot
  • Pekin Insurance
  • Penn National
  • Pioneer State Mutual
  • Preferred Mutual
  • Quincy Mutual
  • Rockford Mutual
  • Safety Group
  • SECURA
  • Sentry
  • Shelter
  • Southern Farm Bureau
  • State Auto
  • The General
  • Umialik
  • Unigard
  • Utica National
  • Vermont Mutual
  • West Bend Mutual
  • Western National
  • Western Reserve
  • Westfield
  • Zurich Insurance

Must have Above Average JD Power Overall Satisfaction Index Score (source)

Power’s most trusted and important index is the Overall Satisfaction ranking, which focuses on customer approval. We only wanted to recommend companies which consistently satisfy their customers.

Companies That Didn't Make The Cut

  • 21st Century
  • Allied
  • Arbella
  • Auto Club (AAA)
  • Auto Club Group
  • Farm Bureau Mutual (IA Group)
  • Harleysville
  • Infinity
  • Infinity
  • Mercury
  • New York Central Mutual
  • NJM
  • Peerless
  • Plymouth Rock
  • Safeco
  • Titan
  • Victoria

Must be nationally available. (source)

Lots of small insurance companies might be trustworthy and reliable, but if they’re not available nationally, we didn’t feel comfortable recommending them to nationwide readers.

Companies That Didn't Make The Cut

  • Alfa
  • American Family
  • Auto Club of Southern California
  • Auto-Owners
  • Country
  • Erie
  • Indiana Farmers Mutual
  • NC Farm Bureau
  • PEMCO
  • Shelter
  • Tennessee Farm Bureau
  • Texas Farm Bureau
  • Wawanesa
Read Our Reviews

Our Finalists

We’ve reviewed a lot of insurance companies. Check out our in-depth reviews of each of our finalists.*

*Two of the companies we reviewed didn’t make our final cut, but you can still read up on them: Check out the reviews for 21st Century and The General now.

Conclusion

The Best Insurance Is What's Best For You

Shopping based on price alone may be easy, but when you’re standing next to the steaming wreck of your only way to get to work, you’re going to want an insurance provider who’s in your corner and ready to help out.

The perfect insurance company is the one that offers a combination of great service, solid coverage, and a price that fits your budget. When shopping for car insurance, the best way to find your perfect match is to decide what matters to you, which providers are the most trusted in your area, and then get quotes to find out who will give you the most coverage for the lowest monthly premium.

Wondering why your insurance company didn’t make the list?

We went by a very rigid and specific review methodology that brought our list from 159 insurers down to 14. If your insurance company is missing from our list, it is most likely because it didn’t meet the requirements set forth within our review methodology.

If you think that there has been a mistake, please let us know by tweeting @reviews and we will fix the mistake and update our review!