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When it comes to car insurance, drivers need comprehensive protection at an affordable price. And with so many insurance companies to choose from, finding the best car insurance coverage can take time.
The Ascent can help. We've researched auto insurance companies, compared prices from insurers nationwide, reviewed customer experiences, and performed in-depth research into dozens of different insurers. With a focus on price, claims handling, and customer service, we've chosen the best types of insurance for drivers in different circumstances.
Drivers from all walks of life -- from typical motorists to high-risk drivers; teens to veterans -- can find recommendations for the best car insurance companies to meet their needs.
State Farm offers multiple opportunities for discounts, including for bundling coverage. But the best savings comes from the different programs it offers for young drivers including Steer Clear as well as a good student discount. With comprehensive coverage options and low premiums, parents and teens can rest assured they're protected in case of an accident.
Auto-Owners insurance offers more coverage than its name implies, but it does shine for its auto coverage, among other policy types including homeowners or renters insurance, life insurance, and business insurance. People can buy all the insurance they need from one company while earning generous premium discounts for bundled coverage. Additional discounts for those who pay in full annually or who make at least 36 months of on-time premium payments can provide even more savings for the budget-conscious buyer.
Geico is one of the most affordable insurers available, and it offers comprehensive auto insurance coverage options at premiums that beat out most competitors. Geico promises to save people 15% or more on car insurance, and assessments of policy premiums shows it lives up to its promise. Insurance is available in all 50 states, and there are additional discounts for military members, good students, federal employees, seniors, and others who belong to certain groups or organizations.
With a claims satisfaction rate of more than 90%, Farm Bureau has proven it'll be there if something goes wrong. Farm Bureau also shines with affordable premiums and multiple ways to save, including by signing up for Driveology and earning reduced premiums by letting the insurer collect data about the motorist's driving habits. With top-notch claims handling service and replacement cost coverage for newer vehicles, policyholders have the confidence of knowing their claims will be handled swiftly and efficiently with minimal out-of-pocket losses if a crash occurs.
USAA offers military members and their families some of the best auto insurance coverage available. Premiums are lower than most competitors, there are plentiful coverage options, and many opportunities to save further with premium discounts. Free accident forgiveness coverage after five years also means premiums won't go up if a crash happens. USAA is open only to military members, veterans, and their families. For those who qualify, it's likely their best bet for car insurance.
Car insurance is a type of insurance policy that protects against financial loss. Auto insurance pays the bills if the policyholder causes an accident. Depending what kind of coverage a person buys, it also helps pay for repairs or replacement of their own vehicle.
Here are some of the costs car insurance can cover:
Motorists don't have to buy all of these types of car insurance coverage. But they should buy the best car insurance coverage to protect against losses they can't afford to pay for out of pocket.
To find the best car insurance rates, drivers will need to get personalized quotes from different insurers. That's because prices can vary dramatically depending on an individual motorist's circumstances.
Drivers should get multiple auto insurance quotes from at least three to five different insurers, and more if possible. There are many online websites that make it easy to get multiple quotes at once, which simplifies this process.
The fastest way to compare multiple quotes is to provide a vehicle identification number (VIN) so the car insurance company can automatically obtain important details about the vehicle.
Motorists should also be sure to look for discounts, including for safe driving or vehicle safety equipment, as well as for good grades for teens or membership in certain organizations.
When selecting an auto insurance policy, drivers need to look for more than just the cheapest car insurance. They need enough coverage to ensure an accident doesn't cost thousands of dollars, which may require paying a higher monthly premium.
How much car insurance coverage a person needs depends on their situation. However, most states have certain minimum requirements. Drivers may also wish to purchase additional protection beyond the minimum coverage required under their state's auto insurance rules. Here are some different kinds of auto insurance drivers may need, or want, to buy.
Liability insurance covers losses that the policyholder causes other people to experience. For example, if a driver caused a crash, injuring the victim and damaging their vehicle, liability coverage would pay for the victim's injuries and damages.
The majority of states require liability insurance coverage, both to pay for bodily injury and property damage. Under California auto insurance requirements, for example, a motorist must have:
Many people may want to buy more than the minimum required insurance if they want the best car insurance. If drivers don't and they cause an accident, they could be held personally liable. If a motorist gets into a collision and causes a death, they could be sued for millions of dollars. Having just $15,000 in coverage would do little to protect their assets.
This pays for losses another driver should cover but can't because they don't have any or enough insurance. Without this, a driver who was involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist or with a driver who had no insurance could be forced to pay for medical bills and vehicle repairs out of pocket.
A few states require uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. For example, in Connecticut, drivers must have $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident in insured motorist coverage.
Personal injury protection, or PIP, pays for the policyholder's medical bills and lost wages in cases of minor accidents, regardless of who is at fault for the crash.
A total of 15 states require PIP. These are called "no-fault" states. People who live in no-fault states must use their own insurance to pay for losses after minor accidents. That's true even if another driver were to blame.
New York is an example of a no-fault state. It requires drivers to buy at least $50,000 in PIP coverage when purchasing New York auto insurance.
There are also three "choice" no-fault states. There, motorists can opt to buy PIP coverage or choose a different policy often called a "full-tort" policy. A full-tort policy always allows someone to sue other drivers, even after minor collisions.
Collision insurance is optional, but it is important coverage many people will want to purchase. Remember, liability insurance won't cover anything that happens to the policyholder's own car, even with the best policy. A driver could buy collision insurance to repair or replace their vehicle in the event of a crash.
Comprehensive coverage is also optional, but many drivers will find they need it. It pays for any losses to a vehicle that don't result from a car crash. For example, comprehensive coverage pays for windshield damage or to repair or replace a vehicle after a tree falls on it.
Most insurers offer car insurance discounts that can help reduce the cost of auto insurance. Commonly available discounts include:
The best car insurance companies calculate rates based on the risk of an accident. Factors that insurers consider include:
The Ascent's picks for the best car insurance for military members include:
Motorists must not drive without their state's required minimum insurance. Doing so could lead to criminal penalties as well as devastating financial loss if an accident occurs.
Fortunately, there are coverage options for drivers who can't buy car insurance from traditional insurers. These include:
Car insurance agents can help drivers to enter the assigned risk pool or to find high-risk insurers.
|Offer||Best For||Next Steps|
|Great For: Best for bundling coverage|
|Great For: Best for bundling policies|
|Great For: Best for price conscious consumers|
|Great For: Best for claims handling|
|Great For: Best for military members and their families|
According to J.D. Power, the highest-ranking auto insurers and scores by 11 geographic regions are:
With close to 6,000 car insurance companies in the U.S., it can be daunting to find the best car insurance company. It is important to first determine your car insurance needs. Then you should shop around and compare quotes from different car insurance companies. Instead of only looking at the cost, you should look at the value and benefits you get. Other factors to consider are customer service, mobile app experience, and reputation of the company. You should also consider third-party ratings and NAIC auto insurance ratings.
The best car insurance companies offer extensive coverage options with affordable rates, are financially stable with a great reputation, and have top-notch customer service. They also have a high rating in customer satisfaction and an easy-to-use claims process that is quick and efficient. Many drivers also look for a robust mobile app experience. It is important to find the best car insurance company that fits your unique needs and offers personalized customer service.
According to The Ascent’s expert analysis, here are the best car insurance companies for 2022:
Car insurance is required in almost all states. Drivers must purchase a mandatory minimum and maintain a certain level of insurance based on their states’ laws. Some states don’t require car insurance if drivers are able to show evidence of financial responsibility, such as a surety bond, cash deposit with the state, or a certificate of self insurance.
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