You’ve got a car. Now, it’s time to get covered. Ten major car insurance companies dominate the U.S. auto insurance market. Finding the best insurance policy can seem like a big task, especially with big auto insurance companies.
In the U.S., the top ten auto insurance companies comprise 72% of the auto insurance market share. Some auto insurance companies are known as “stock insurance” companies, meaning they offer voting rights to their stockholders. Other insurance companies are “mutual insurance” companies, meaning they are owned by their policyholders.
It’s important to compare car insurance policies before you buy. Ask your insurance broker how to get the coverage that’s best for you and know who’s got you covered.
1. State Farm
State Farm is the biggest auto insurance company in the U.S., comprising 18% of the total U.S. auto insurance market share. Founded in 1922, State Farm operates as a mutual insurance company. It offers property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance, annuities, mutual funds, and banking products. About 25% of all cars in the country are covered by State Farm.
State Farm is ranked 36 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies and has over 58,000 employees. The company has 83.4 million insurance policies, including 44.1 million in auto, 28 million in fire, and 8 million in life. State Farm is also ranked highest on the J.D. Power for Overall Satisfaction.
With lots of policy options, State Farm is a good choice for drivers that need multiple lines of coverage. Policyholders are able to work with local insurance agents or purchase coverage online.
However, drivers looking for more competitive rates may want to look elsewhere. State Farm’s car insurance premiums are more expensive than the average, withholding discounts for accident forgiveness or for automatic payments. In May 2017, State Farm faced legal action from California’s Insurance Commissioner for overcharging premiums on some 250,000 customer accounts.
You’ve seen the commercials. Everybody loves the animated GEICO gecko, but not many people know much about GEICO’s history. Founded in 1936, the Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) originally covered military personnel and government employees. Today, GEICO handles millions of accounts in the private sector and is the second largest auto insurance agency in the country.
GEICO handles 17 million auto policies covering 24 million vehicles, employing more than 40,000 with 17 major offices around the country. GEICO also offers life insurance, flood insurance, general liability insurance, commercial auto insurance, classic car insurance, comprehensive coverage, and more. In 1996, GEICO became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.
GEICO offers great discount programs for members of the U.S. military. It even has a team of military retirees that work with military policyholders. It’s also great for drivers who want to compare car insurance quotes and buy a policy online.
But if you’ve been in an accident before, GEICO might charge you a high premium. A low credit score can also add hundreds to your premium. GEICO offers lots of discounts but unfortunately doesn’t offer discounts for driving electric or hybrid cars. With some of the lowest rates out there, GEICO is hard to beat.
Established in 1937, Progressive is the third biggest insurance company in the U.S. with over ten million policyholders and 33,000 employees. Customers might know the company from its popular ad campaign featuring the fictional Progressive salesperson, Flo.
Not many people know that, in 1995, Progressive was the first major auto insurance company to launch a website. Today, Progressive offers motorcycle insurance, boat insurance, RV and commercial vehicle insurance and provides home insurance through select companies. Like GEICO, customers can purchase insurance directly or sign up through independent agencies.
With over $8 billion in premiums written, Progressive is another titan of the U.S. auto insurance industry. Drivers with different credit and driving backgrounds can also find affordable rates with Progressive. Drivers can even compare insurance quotes online using progrssive’s price comparison feature. Progressive focuses on affordable, fast quotes and an easy-to-use claims process.
While business owners won’t find a lot of coverage options, Progressive does include several great discounts. One discount Progressive is famous for is its Snapshot Discount. Snapshot allows drivers to install a wireless monitoring device on their car. After 30 days of monitored driving, drivers can receive a 30% discount on their rates.
Allstate, founded in 1931 as part of Sears, Roebuck & Co., is the country’s largest publicly-held insurance company. Known for its popular ad campaign featuring Dennis Haysbert, Allstate provides insurance to more than 16 million U.S. households. Drivers are able to work with Allstate through local agencies or online.
Allstate has proven its commitment to automobile safety, supporting safety reforms including seat belts, air bags, and teen driver education. Offering car, home, and life insurance, Allstate is a great option to bundle coverage. The popular Esurance insurance company is also a subsidiary of Allstate. Launched in 1999, Esurance alone has a net written premium of $1.68 billion.
Allstate offers some interesting coverage options, including sound system coverage. However, Allstate writes six-month policies versus the industry standard of twelve months. This increases their policyholders to more rate hikes.
The United Services Automobile Association (USAA), founded in 1922, was designed to be able to insure military members considered high-risk. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA provides insurance, banking, investments, and retirement products. Ranked 100 on the Fortune 500 List, USAA has a net income of $2.4 billion.
USAA currently boasts a perfect rating on the J.D. Power for Overall Satisfaction. With great products, competitive rates, and deep discounts, USAA is one of the best insurance providers out there.
There is a catch. USAA members must be active or former military members or family of military members. However, this service can be “passed down.” Children of USAA members are eligible to receive their parent’s coverage.
6. Liberty Mutual
Founded in 1912, Liberty is the U.S.’s fifth largest property and casualty insurer. Liberty Mutual’s presence extends globally, with over 50,000 employees across 800 offices.
Liberty Mutual offers plenty of discounts, including a discount for driving an electric vehicle. They also offer accident forgiveness discounts and discounts through their RightTrack program, which tracks your driving habits over 90 days. Minimum coverage policies are cheap with Liberty Mutual, but teen drivers are expensive to insure.
Those looking for a local agent will have to choose another insurer. Liberty Mutual recently moved all its service roles to centralized call centers. Rates can also be high if you’re not in a multi-car household.
7. Farmers Insurance
Founded in Los Angeles in 1921, Farmers Insurance was formed as a way to get farmers lower premiums on their vehicles. In 1998, Farmers was acquired by Zurich Financial Services and currently employs 21,000 people. Holding more than 19 million individual policies, Farmers Insurance is known for its ad campaign featuring actor J.K. Simmons.
Farmers offers auto, home, life, motorcycle, and business insurance, and also does bundle discounts when you combine coverage. Members of certain eligible occupations like architects, engineers, dentists, firefighters, and police can also receive discounts on their insurance through Farmers.
Founded in 1926, Nationwide has grown from a small mutual auto insurer to #66 on the Fortune 500 as of 2019. Nationwide offers virtually every type of insurance, including auto, home, boat, pet, life, and farm insurance.
Best known for its slogan, “Nationwide is on your side,” the company currently employs over 34,000 people. Nationwide is praised for its treatment of its employees, being ranked 57 in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. Performers of the company jingle have included Julia Roberts and Peyton Manning.
9. Travelers Insurance
Travelers Insurance was founded in 1864 and is the oldest company on this list. It is the only property and casualty insurer listed in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Offering car, home, life, and even aircraft liability insurance, its 30,000 employees and 13,500 independent agents are able to process claims anywhere.
Travelers paved the way for the other companies on this list, introducing accident insurance in 1864 and automobile insurance in 1897. In 1889, Travelers offered liability insurance to employers, which is today known as workers compensation.
The multi-policy discount at Travelers allows you to save by bundling your auto, home, and other coverage. However, because it’s so old-fashioned, Travelers requires its customers to finalize the purchase of their policy over the phone. Drivers with bad records should also steer clear of Travelers, which raises your rates significantly after an accident.
10. American Family Insurance
Rounding out the list is American Family Insurance, another mutual company, founded in 1927. American Family, also known as AmFam, offers auto, property, casualty, commercial, life, and ranks 311 on the Fortune 500 List. With low premiums, deep discounts, and bundled policy coverage, American Family is good for those looking for a competitive rate. Its small network of just 3,500 agents can help you get the best rate possible.
Whether stock or mutual, big or small, your insurance company should always be on your side. Bigger companies are able to offer cheaper car insurance rates and more availability, whereas smaller companies offer better customer service.
Before deciding on a car insurance company, call a FrontLight broker today. Having an experienced insurance broker on your side will ensure that you are getting the best rates for the best coverage. Your broker will check all the discounts and programs that you may qualify for. Always compare car insurance quotes with your insurance broker to find the policy that’s right for you.