State Farm Review
- January 18, 2018 - This review has been updated to reflect the latest evaluations from credit agencies and consumer studies — since our last look, State Farm has risen considerably in its claims satisfaction score. We’ll continue to monitor these rankings and update this page accordingly to ensure consistency with any future research.
Our State Farm Review
State Farm is backed by strong financial ratings and high claims satisfaction that emphasize the insurer’s dedication to its customers. But State Farm isn’t perfect. It’s lacking in supplemental coverage options that would otherwise separate it from the pack, and its comparatively short list of discounts limit its ability to offer you the lowest possible rate.
State Farm does a good job with the policies it offers, combined with service availability that won’t leave you in the dark. We’re confident it will be able to satisfy your insurance needs whether you’re a first time car owner or just looking for choices beyond your current provider. But the coverage and discounts it doesn’t offer ding our overall assessment. Our biggest complaint? There’s just not enough to make us choose State Farm over other insurers.
State Farm claims that it can provide extensive coverage with personalized service unrivaled by other insurers. That means ‘round-the-clock support and policies that will protect you and your assets in the event of an accident.
Is it True?
State Farm is the largest auto insurer in the country, with nearly 18,000 agents located in all 50 states (plus Washington, D.C. and three provinces in Canada). Thanks to 24/7 support and the ability to file claims online or through State Farm’s mobile app, the “good neighbor” insurer will be available when and where you need it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you should choose it as your provider.
Make no mistake: State Farm is a strong insurer, with high financial solvency ratings from three different credit agencies and the second-highest claims satisfaction score of our contenders. But when it comes to actual coverage, State Farm does little to distinguish itself. It performs well on standard protections — but so does just about everyone else. We did like ridesharing coverage that’s available in 37 states and Washington, D.C.; by comparison, Travelers’ ridesharing endorsement is only available in Colorado and Illinois. But without any other exceptional choices, State Farm has fewer total coverage options than our other top picks and lands squarely in the middle of the competition.
State Farm’s scores in claims satisfaction shouldn’t be overlooked: the J.D. Power evaluation is a good representation of customer service, and State Farm performs very well. When you’re dealing with the aftermath of an auto accident, this can make a big difference. But other areas of State Farm’s general service are flawed. Its mobile app has faced some persistent challenges, including issues with connectivity, that could make a bad situation worse when you’re stranded on the side of the road. We don’t think this is sufficient reason to rule State Farm out, but it’s important to consider what your needs will be at the time of an accident.
For many auto insurance customers, discounts can make the difference between a great provider and a good one. Unfortunately, State Farm’s discounts were largely the same story as its coverage. Multi-policy and multi-car discounts reward loyal customers, and deductions for anti-lock brakes, airbags, and daytime lights mean owners of newer cars may be able to find lower premiums from State Farm than those driving older vehicles. But all of these deductions are also available from GEICO, our top overall pick for auto insurance. As with supplemental coverage, State Farm ended up with fewer deductions than many of our other contenders.
Ultimately, the number of total discounts may not matter as much as the number for which you qualify. And given its strong performance in areas like claims satisfaction, you should absolutely get a quote from State Farm when you’re shopping for auto insurance. If you’re eligible for the discounts it does offer, you may be able to find a rate that’s competitive with even the most discount-heavy of insurers.
A Closer Look at Ratings
A.M. Best FSR
There’s no reason to dance around it: GEICO is our favorite overall auto insurer. It offers an impressive range of discounts and supplemental coverage choices, and strong financial solvency guarantees the company’s ability to pay out your claim. Plus, it had the highest claims satisfaction of any of our top competitors, as well as a highly rated mobile app. GEICO doesn’t have everything we’d like to see from such a prominent insurer — it’s missing GAP coverage to pay the difference between your wrecked vehicle’s value and the amount owed on its loan, as well as new car replacement — but the supplemental coverage options it does offer are solid. And with the second-most discounts of our top picks, GEICO will be able to provide coverage at rates that will fit any car owner’s needs.
Travelers was the runner-up in our review of the Best Auto Insurance, and it came close to taking the top spot. Travelers is backed by financial ratings that are among the best in the industry, with more discounts and supplemental coverage options than any of our other top picks. We were particularly impressed by GAP insurance and ridesharing policies that were hard to find even among providers that otherwise offered the most extensive coverage. Beyond the standard discounts we look for in providers, Travelers also gives some less-common deductions for having students away at school and paying your policy in full, as well as accident forgiveness for customers with good driving records. But it scored below the industry average on claims satisfaction, a factor that may not impact your coverage but that’s generally indicative of the relationship between insurers and customers. We have no doubt that Travelers will be able to provide strong coverage — just don’t count on a seamless claims process when the rubber hits the road.
The Bottom Line
State Farm will likely have a policy that fits your needs and it’s wholly worth getting a quote to see how your premium stacks up against its competitors. If you opt for coverage, you can breathe easy knowing you’re backed by strong financial solvency and claims satisfaction that will help you handle the stresses of an accident no matter when life strikes. But if you’re looking for outstanding coverage options and exceptional discounts, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere.