With so many car insurance companies advertising on TV, you’re probably wondering: which car insurance company is simply… the best?While it’s hard to say one car insurance company trumps all the others, I can guide you towards one that might be best for you.
Below is a list of some of our the best car insurance providers, whom they’re best for, and some of their coolest features.
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Overview of the best car insurance companies of 2020
|Liberty Mutual||Green cars|
|Esurance||Technology and ease of use|
It’s in the name: Allstate does it all. In fact, there’s hardly a coverage type, discount, or perk that they don’t offer. Accident Forgiveness is a highlight, which won’t raise your rates following your first at-fault accident. Plus, there’s New Car Replacement; if you total your new car within two years, Allstate will buy you a new one, not just cut a check for the old one’s depreciated value.
But my personal favorite is the Claim Satisfaction Guarantee. Some insurance companies lure you in with low premiums, but once you submit a claim, make you jump through hoops like a prizewinning poodle to see a check. With Allstate, if you’re dissatisfied with a claim filing process, they’ll comp your six-month premium.
- Best for – Low-mileage drivers.
- Neat feature –Road Trip “Forgiveness”.
Metromile (currently available in CA, IL, NJ, OR, PA, VA, and WA) is a “pay-per-mile” insurer. With Metromile, you pay a base rate, per month, to cover your car while it’s parked, then a few cents extra for each mile you drive.
Naturally, the Metromile algorithm heavily favors low mileage drivers. Their site claims that customers who drove fewer than 10,000 miles per year saved at least $500 on average compared to their previous coverage.
Nervous about your cents-per-mile adding up during a road trip? No worries; Metromile stops counting after 250 miles per day.
I’m personally torn by the pay-per-mile concept. For better or worse, it disincentivizes driving. It may encourage people to take public transit or walk, but drain the fun out of twilight cruises or spontaneous road trips.
Still, if you’re a low mileage driver who can get over the psychological hurdle of paying extra per mile, you’ll almost certainly save big with Metromile.
- Best for – Green cars.
- Neat feature –Better Car Replacement.
Like Allstate, Liberty Mutual is a “big box store” of insurance providers. Being the sixth-largest in the country, Liberty Mutual offers virtually every type of insurance you could ask for, with discounts out the wazoo.
Those discounts are important because Liberty Mutual’s vanilla premiums start out notoriously high. But once you chisel away at them by being part of an alumni association, being a safe driver, insuring multiple cars, etc. they become much more competitive.
Liberty Mutual even offers a discount for driving a hybrid or electric vehicle. That sounds like a very obvious discount an insurance provider would offer, but it isn’t. If you think about it, why would your provider care what kind of fuel you use?
Not to be one-upped by competitors, Liberty Mutual takes New Car Replacement coverage a step further. Their Better Car Replacement coverage will replace your totaled car with a vehicle one model year newer with 15,000 fewer miles on the odometer. Your old car doesn’t even have to be new; if you wrap your 2014 Mustang with 63,000 miles around a tree, they’ll find you a 2015 model with 48,000 miles.
- Best for – Technology, ease of use.
- Neat feature – Coverage counselor.
Remember Scion? Toyota was worried that American Millennials wouldn’t buy their cars because they were for beige-wearing Baby Boomers, so they created Scion just for us.
Esurance is Allstate’s Scion. It’s newer, “hip” insurance is designed to appeal to Millennials both in marketing and functionality. Rightfully, assuming that they’re not interested in meeting sweaty agents in strip malls, Esurance is online-only.
I like Esurance because it isn’t pandering; it truly is an easy-to-use platform supported by excellent technology. For example, Esurance’s Coverage Counselor will help you determine which types of coverage you need.
- Best for – Cost Comparison.
- Neat feature –Connect your insurer for easy quotes.
Why get one insurance quote when you can get multiple quotes in minutes? Gabi shops several providers to find the best rate to fit your own needs.
Licensed in all 50 states, Gabi works with more than 40 different insurance providers. As a result, customers save an average of $825 annually on insurance premiums by using this service.
To get started with Gabi, all you’ll need to do is link to your current insurer within the app. Gabi will use this information to shop around to see if there’s a better deal out there. If not, you can sign off with the peace of mind of knowing you’re getting a good rate.
But in most cases, Gabi will find a better deal for you. You can browse a list of all the quotes, displayed both as monthly and annual cost. You can also see your total savings for each. Simply select the one you want and buy the policy directly through Gabi.
- Best for – Low premiums
- Neat feature –The On Your Side Review.
Besides supporting Peyton Manning’s retirement fund, Nationwide also serves as the world’s largest insurance and financial services company. Supported by an army of 10,000 live agents, Nationwide receives 33% fewer complaints than average for the industry and offers strikingly low rates on auto insurance.
My theory for how Nationwide can afford to offer such low rates is that they barely spend on advertising: a paltry $161 million in 2018 compared to Geico’s $1.5 billion.
Anyhow, Nationwide’s most notable perk is their On Your Side Review. Essentially a live version of Esurance’s Coverage Counselor, the Review involves spending time with a Nationwide agent digging up potential discounts and reducing your premiums. Plus, because Nationwide offers generous bundles on home, renters, etc., you may find building a relationship with an agent now will pay off in future stages of life.
The only real potential drawback to insuring with Nationwide is a (reportedly) slow claims payout process. Plus, they are a Fortune 100 mega-corporation; that may make you feel safe, or icky for not giving the little guys a chance.
But one thing’s for sure; Nationwide is on your side (now good luck getting that jingle out of your head).
- Best for – College students.
- Neat feature – The Geico app.
The Gecko doesn’t lie; 15 minutes really did save me 15% or more on my car insurance.
The nation’s second-largest auto insurance provider (behind State Farm), Geico has carved a competitive advantage through memorable, mascot-driven marketing and by going mostly online-only in operation. Geico’s website, for example, trumps all of its competitors through modern design and user-friendliness.
Even more impressive than geico.com is the Geico Mobile App. Currently the highest-rated insurance companion app in the App Store (4.8 stars), the Geico Mobile App offers you all of the features of the full website, plus several features you didn’t even know you wanted. It’ll pinpoint cheap gas, answer your insurance questions with AI, and if you’ll forgive the alliteration, allow you to postpone your premium payments without penalty.
Best of all, Geico’s algorithm seems to heavily favor college students, and luckily for me, tall guys driving Miatas comically too small for them. Both groups have low premiums.
Best for – Military personnel
- Neat feature –Vehicle storage discount.
Yes, only active and retired military and their families qualify for USAA insurance. But if that’s you and you’re not currently insured with them, you may be in for a helluva deal.
USAA offers extremely competitive rates bolstered by some of the highest customer service ratings in the industry. Plus, in addition to the usual discounts offered by competitors (family, safe driving, etc.) USAA offers a host of military-specific discounts.
If you garage your vehicle on base, you’ll receive a big discount to your comprehensive coverage. If you’re deployed overseas and can garage your vehicle while you’re gone, you’ll qualify for the Vehicle Storage Discount, which cuts your premiums by up to a whopping 60%.
For these reasons, USAA can be considered not just an option, but a perk of military affiliation.
Summary of the Best Car Insurance Companies of 2020
|Provider||Noteworthy perk||Best for|
|Allstate||Claim Satisfaction Guarantee||Discounts|
|Metromile||Road Trip Forgiveness||Low-mileage drivers|
|Liberty Mutual||Better Car Replacement||Hybrid/electric cards|
|Esurance||Coverage Counselor||Easy of use|
|Gabi||Low Price Guarantee||Bargain shoppers|
|Nationwide||The On Your Side Review||Low premiums|
|GEICO||The GEICO App||College students|
|USAA||Vehicle Storage Discount||Military members|
How I came up with this list
When deciding on which companies to include in this list, I looked at the usual:
- Customer service ratings.
But I also dug a layer deeper to distinguish marketing fluff from fact. Naturally, it was at this point that many contenders slipped off the list, either due to a higher-than-average frequency of complaints or stinginess when it came to payouts.
What remained are companies I would personally trust with my business.
No matter who you are, if you own a car, you need car insurance. That is why it is important to find a car insurance company that meets both your coverage needs and budget.
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