Best Auto Insurance Companies and Some of the Worst

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Shopping for car insurance can feel overwhelming. But here at Team Clark, we’ve got lots of resources to make things easier.

Whether you’re re-shopping your car insurance to find the best rates or you’re getting car insurance for the first time, comparing quotes from multiple companies is a must! In this article we’ll look at some of the best car insurance companies to consider, including:

Most Recent Article Updates

This article was reviewed and updated in December 2023 and I review it once per month. Details of notable changes can be found here.

Article Updates
  • October 2023: Article updated to add quote received from USAA regarding customer feedback.
  • September 2023: Article updated to address reader feedback received in August 2023 regarding customer service experiences with USAA. We’ve reached out to the company and will continue to update the article as we learn more.

Clark Howard’s Top Picks for Car Insurance

There are so many car insurance companies to consider when shopping around. Most companies advertise features like accident forgiveness, vanishing deductibles and more as selling points in hopes of standing out in the market.

But those features are just a side-show to the main act, which is a company’s reputation with both customer complaints and customer satisfaction after a claim is made. When it comes to being amongst the best, money expert Clark Howard looks at how car insurance companies treat their customers.

And Clark has long sung the praises of three auto insurance companies in particular: USAA, Amica and NJM Insurance Company (NJM).

“Historically, these companies offer the best claims experience,” Clark says. “The whole thing about insurance is not necessarily to have the lowest premiums, but to have the coverage you need if something goes wrong — and these companies all excel in that respect.”


One of the annual car insurance studies that Clark watches closely to get a read on how companies perform is from Consumer Reports. And this year, USAA has taken the #1 spot on their list. USAA also received one of the highest scores for the year from J.D. Power — another source Clark recommends — even though it’s not officially ranked on their list.

USAA isn’t always ranked on top car insurance company lists is because they only provide coverage for military members, veterans and family members. So, while they offer great car insurance and customer support, a lot of people won’t qualify for coverage through USAA. We’ve got more info on USAA below. And if you’re seriously considering enrolling with them, be sure to check out our guide on things to know about USAA before you get a policy.


Unlike USAA, Amica Mutual doesn’t have a military requirement for coverage. Like USAA, however, Amica Mutual is consistently ranked amongst the top car insurance companies. This year, Amica holds the #1 spot on J.D. Power’s U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study.

Consumer Reports ranks Amica Mutual amongst the top three in their car insurance ratings this year. Click here to learn more about Amica Mutual. We’ve also got a guide on things to know about Amica before enrolling in auto insurance.


NJM Insurance

NJM is another top performing car insurance company. In fact, NJM holds the number two spot on both Consumer Reports’ and J.D. Power’s car insurance company rankings this year. Like Amica, NJM is a mutual company.

NJM was the first company to earn a J.D. Power certification for auto claims. This certification isn’t mandatory and doesn’t necessarily mean that NJM is better than every other company. But it does means NJM has gone the extra mile to standout and demonstrate their service.

To get this certification, J.D. Power audits and evaluates NJM’s claims processes and customer service. And J.D. Power has found NJM to be “at or above the Certification Excellence Benchmark Score” for five consecutive years now. See why NJM is first on our list below.

Top 10 Best Car Insurance Companies

Here at Team Clark, when it comes to what companies are best, we focus on the consumer experience. That means even if companies don’t always have the cheapest premiums, they’ll have a good track record for customer service, support and satisfaction with how claims are handled.

These factors are weighed heavily by Consumer Reports and J.D. Powers, which is why we use data from both sources to create our list.

Consumer Reports generates their ratings by reviewing companies in seven key areas, including: premiums, claims, coverage, policy clarity, policy review, service, and help/advice. Companies receive scores in each area based on their customers’ satisfaction with things like the cost of their premiums, the coverage available and how claims and non-claims related issues are handled.

J.D. Power ratings are based on, “customers’ perceptions of their insurer’s performance throughout the entire claims experience.” This experience includes the time period, “from first notice of loss through the repair and delivery of their vehicle or settlement of a total loss.”

To develop the Team Clark grades, we’ve taken the top companies from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power and averaged their scores. Here’s our top ten list:

Team Clark Grade
NJM Insurance Group
Amica Mutual
State Farm
American Family
Automobile Club Group (AAA)
The Hartford

* Because USAA coverage is not available to everyone, we’ve included it as an honorable mention but haven’t included it in the rankings.

Car Insurance Company Rankings Are Down This Year

Compared to last year, car insurance company rankings have significantly dropped across the board. Consider USAA: While this company has consistently been a top pick for Clark and ranked highly with J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, their company rating according to J.D. Power has decreased over the last two years. In 2021, USAA scored 909 (out of 1,000). In 2022, their score dropped to 890.


After publishing our updated auto insurance rankings, we heard from several USAA members who felt the company wasn’t living up to its high reputation. We reached out to USAA and here’s what they had to say:

“USAA is well known for providing outstanding member service, which has defined our association for over 100 years. We certainly appreciate the feedback and would ask for an opportunity to resolve any concerns from our members. Members can reach us by using their USAA mobile app, by logging into their profile at or by calling us at 800-531-USAA.”

USAA isn’t alone though. When it comes to customer satisfaction, car insurance companies have seen, “the largest decline in the past 20 years” this year. J.D. Power found that car insurance company scores have dropped an average of 12 points since last year.

“Satisfaction is down because premiums are up so much,” says Clark. “The time that people are having to wait to get their vehicles back from getting repaired is way up. It’s hard to get the adjusters there, hard to get claims paid, hard to get the work done. It’s a business that people are miserable about right now.”

While some of the company grades on our list are lower than in previous years, these companies are scoring above the rest when comparing data from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power.

Top 10 Car Insurance Companies

Want to know more about the top 10 companies on our list? We’ve got you covered! In addition to the Team Clark grade, you can find the AM Best Financial Strength Rating (FSR) for each company on our list below.

The FSR isn’t factored into the Team Clark grades, but every company on our list has an A, A+ or A++ rating. This means — when it comes to their financial security and ability to pay claims — every company below has excellent to superior financial strength.


Team Clark GradeAM Best FSR

USAA was founded in 1922 and is based in San Antonio, Texas. The company offers multiple lines of insurance (including auto, homeowners, life and more) for military members, veterans and family members.

In addition to the standard liability, collision, comprehensive, and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverages, USAA offers “pay as you drive” options to policyholders. With “pay as you drive” — or usage-based insurance (UBI) — your premiums are “based on how much and how safely you drive.” This is a great way to save for people who don’t drive often. But there are lots of other ways to save, as USAA offers many discounts on car insurance.

1. NJM Insurance Group

Team Clark GradeAM Best FSR

New Jersey Manufacturers (NJM) Insurance Company was founded in New Jersey in 1913. Initially, the company was “established to provide workers’ compensation to New Jersey’s growing business community.” Today, NJM also offers auto insurance, home insurance, umbrella insurance and more.

When it comes to auto insurance, NJM has lots of options for coverage. You can get your standard coverages (like liability, comprehensive, and/or collision). But NJM also offers many endorsements, or extra coverages, to customize your policy. The company also offers many discounts to help you save.


Currently, NJM only offers auto insurance to residents of New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

2. Amica

Team Clark GradeAM Best FSR

Amica Mutual Insurance was founded in 1907 and is based in Rhode Island. As a mutual insurance company, Amica is owned by its policyholders.

Along with standard offerings for auto insurance, you can get other lines of insurance like home, life and more through the company. And the company also offers lots of discounts to their policyholders.

Since Amica is a mutual insurance company, members get to choose between a dividend policy and traditional (non-dividend) policy for protection. A dividend policy lets you “buy into” the company. This means your policy may be more expensive in the beginning, but you’ll likely save money after your first year as a member. That’s because company profits are returned to owners as an annual dividend or reductions in premiums.

3. Erie

Team Clark GradeAM Best FSR

Based in Erie, Pennsylvania, Erie Insurance was founded in 1925 and offers insurance policies for auto, home, business, and life. For auto insurance, Erie offers base policies for standard auto coverages. But they also offer several optional add-ons (also called endorsements) that you can choose from to get extra coverage. For example, Erie says they offer personal item coverage to, “cover loss to clothing, luggage and personal belongings that are inside a car that we insure (up to $350).”

Erie also has what they call an “Auto Plus” policy, which can be added onto a base policy. The company says that Erie “Auto Plus” adds perks to your policy for “$35 (or less) per year.

Like with most insurers, there are also several ways to save with discounts and incentives.

4. Auto-Owners

Team Clark GradeAM Best FSR

Auto-Owners Insurance is based in Lansing, Michigan and was founded in 1916. The company offers multiple lines of insurance including auto, home, business and life. And since it’s mutual insurance company, it is owned by its policyholders.

Auto-Owners offers policyholders options for standard coverages like liability, comprehensive and collision. The company also offers additional benefits such as rental car coverage and accident forgiveness. Additionally, Auto-Owners offers many common discounts to policyholders, like bundling, multi-car and paperless billing.

5. State Farm

Team Clark GradeAM Best FSR

State Farm was founded in 1922 and is headquartered in Illinois. The company is the largest auto insurer in the country.


State Farm offers all the standard car insurance coverages like collision, comprehensive and liability. The company also offers extra coverage options like rental insurance and rideshare insurance for drivers of ridesharing companies. Many discounts are available including for being accident-free, good driving, and bundling policies. In addition to auto insurance, State Farm offers insurance for homeowners, small businesses, pets and more.

6. American Family

Team Clark GradeAM Best FSR

American Family Insurance is based in Madison, Wisconsin, where the company was also founded in 1927. In addition to auto insurance, American Family offers other lines of insurance like home and commercial.

You can get all the standard auto coverages through American Family, such as liability, comprehensive and collision. But they also offer benefits like accident forgiveness and reimbursements for rental cars. Discounts are also available, including for good driving, multiple vehicles, bundling, and more.

7. Automobile Club Group (AAA)

Team Clark GradeAM Best FSR

Automobile Club Group is a subsidiary of the American Automobile Association (AAA), which was founded in 1902. The company is headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan. To get insurance with Automobile Club Group, you’ll need a AAA membership.

There are many different companies under the AAA umbrella, so your coverage options will vary depending on where you live. And so might the actual company name of your insurer. For example, instead of Automobile Club Group, your policy might be underwritten by Auto Club Insurance South.

8. The Hartford

Team Clark GradeAM Best FSR

The Hartford was founded in 1810 and is based in its namesake city of Hartford, Connecticut. While the company offers many lines of insurance (including auto, home and business), car insurance is offered for AARP members.

So, “you’ll need to be an AARP member or become one to qualify” for auto insurance with The Hartford. Once this requirement is met, you can expect to find all the standard auto coverages along with additional coverages for things like glass, rental cars and car towing. You’ll also find The Hartford offers many common discounts including for bundling, having safety features and completing a defensive driver course.


Team Clark GradeAM Best FSR

GEICO — or the Government Employees Insurance Company — was established in Texas in 1936 and was initially, “targeted to federal employees and certain categories of enlisted military officers.” Today, the company is headquartered in Chevy Chase Maryland, and is amongst the top three largest underwriters of auto insurance in the country. GEICO offers several types of insurance including auto, home, life, business, travel, pet and more.

In addition to all the standard car coverages (like liability, collision and comprehensive), GEICO offers rental reimbursement, mechanical breakdown insurance and other extras to personalize your policy. The company also has several ways to save on coverage, with multiple discounts offered across four categories, including: customer loyalty, driver’s education, driver affiliation, and driving history & habits.

10. Travelers

Team Clark GradeAM Best FSR

Founded in 1852, Travelers Insurance is currently headquartered in New York, New York. Along with auto insurance, the company also offers other lines of insurance like home insurance and specialty policies for pets, events and more.


Travelers auto insurance offerings include standard coverages like collision, comprehensive and liability. But you can also get extra protections like rental coverage, new car replacement and ride share coverage. Finally, there are many discounts available such as a multi-car discount, multi-policy discount, and driver training discount.

Car Insurance Companies To Avoid

Just because a company didn’t make our list doesn’t mean it can’t meet your needs. But, if you’re considering other companies, we want to make sure you know which ones to avoid.

Research any company you’re considering and pay close attention to reviews and ratings that reflect how the company treats its customers — especially in a time of need. Clark trusts J.D. Power and Consumer Reports for this.

“What makes an insurance company good or bad by the standards these people use is: When the chips are down and you have a problem, are they treating you right? Are they fighting you like you’re the enemy, or are they working as your partner to get your life back together?” Clark says.

J.D. Power’s car insurance rankings are free, and they have lists of their highest ranked car insurance companies based on customer satisfaction by region.

To see rankings from Consumer Reports, you’ll have to pay a subscription fee. But their rankings include overall scores and a breakdown of how companies perform in each of the seven categories I mentioned above.

The companies with the best quality scores might not have the lowest rates. But remember, Clark doesn’t recommend going with a company just because they’re cheap.

“Sometimes you’re better off paying a little more to be with a quality insurer who will be there when the chips are down,” Clark says. “If cost is a limiting factor for you, you can still compare companies that offer coverage within your budget to see how they’re rated when it comes to how they treat customers.”

“If you’re willing to roll the dice for a lower price, go for it. On the other hand, if you have experience in this area — you know how important it is that an insurer be there when you have a problem — then go by the ratings.”

Clark’s Advice When Shopping for Car Insurance

Along with reviewing company reputations, Clark recommends you shop for car insurance every three years. This is a great way to save money and make sure you’re getting the best rate for your needs. Let’s look at two tips for re-shopping your car insurance.

1. Shop Around to Compare Quotes

According to ValuePenguin, you might be able to save around $1,000 a year by shopping around for car insurance. So — if you’ve never done it before — it’s time to start comparison shopping!


You can do this by using a lead generation site (like The Zebra or Insurify) to get quotes from several companies at once. If you have an insurance broker, asking for quotes from companies they work with is another option.

Or, you can look at the companies on our list and call a few of them directly. Calling the companies takes a bit more time, but you’ll ultimately get the most accurate quotes. We recommend choosing at least three companies to compare.

When you get quotes, make sure each quote is based on the same types and amounts of coverage. For example: if Company A is quoting you 100/300/100 in liability only, your quote from Company B should also be for 100/300/100 in liability only.

One word of advice: you need more than the state minimums for liability if you own a home, have savings, or any other assets. Why? Because even a seemingly minor accident can leave you and your assets seriously exposed for liability. If you’re a renter and don’t have substantial assets, then the state minimums are acceptable. Check out our tips and advice to help answer questions about how much car insurance you need.

For more info on comparing quotes, check out our step-by-step by guide on how to re-shop your car insurance.

2. Ask About Discounts

I have yet to come across an insurance company that doesn’t offer some type of discount to its customers. While the rate of savings varies from company to company, here are some of the discounts I’ve seen offered by many companies:

  • Anti-theft devices
  • Bundling (multiple policy types with the same company)
  • Completion of defensive driving courses
  • Customer loyalty
  • Low annual mileage
  • Multiple vehicles

Many insurance companies also offer unique discounts. So — when you’re shopping around — it’s important to always ask what discounts are offered!

Looking for more ways to save? Check out these additional discounts and ways to save on your car insurance.

Final Thoughts

It’s been estimated that, “26% of Americans have never compared multiple insurance quotes.” But shopping around is one way that most people can save money on car insurance. The only way to know how much you’ll save is to start comparing quotes.

When you’re ready to find out how much you can save, our list of the best auto insurance companies is a great place to start. Call around and get quotes for identical coverage from each company you’re considering. An apples-to-apples comparison is the only way to ensure you’re getting fair rates.


But also, remember this: quality car insurance is about more than your premiums.

“When something goes wrong, that’s when you find out what kind of insurer you really have.”

You’ve got to look at customer satisfaction, complaints and company reputations when serving customers during times of need.