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Best auto insurance companies 2021

Best auto insurance companies 2021
(Image credit: Flickr)

The best auto insurance protects motorists from the costly repair bills that you can expect to pay if you have an accident in your car. Without auto insurance, the cost of getting your vehicle back on the road will likely land in your lap - you’re also leaving yourself open to potentially higher outlays if a lawsuit arises due to your involvement in the accident.   

Choosing from the best auto insurance companies is essential to keeping your car insurance premiums low. With auto insurance rates depending heavily on how experienced you are as a driver, it is particularly important that young drivers, and those who have recently achieved their driver’s license, compare auto insurance companies if they want to keep premiums down. If you’ve been driving for many years, and have rarely troubled your auto insurance company with a claim, rates tend to be more affordable generally, but you could still save by checking various auto insurance policies from different companies.   

Whether you opt for a comprehensive car insurance policy or one that offers lighter coverage will also play a big part in determining the premiums that you’re offered - the more you’re covered for, the more you can expect to pay. However, whatever you want from your auto insurance, this guide is here to help. As well as highlighting the best auto insurance overall, you’ll also find the top-rated auto insurance companies for seniors, ease of claims, and if you’ve had an accident before. Other companies feature for the additional benefits that they offer, the depth of their discounts, and for offering a great bundle option - indeed, many auto insurance policies come with breakdown cover included, which could save you money on buying separate roadside assistance services too. 


1. Erie Insurance: Best auto insurance company overall

Erie Insurance - our best auto insurance company in 2021

(Image credit: Erie Insurance)

Erie Insurance

Best auto insurance company overall, thanks to excellent customer care

SPECIFICATIONS

Gap coverage: Yes | Roadside assistance: Yes | Accident forgiveness: Yes | Pet coverage: Yes | App: No | Diminishing deductible: Yes

Reasons to Buy

Rate Lock system
Diminishing deductible
Superb customer care

Reasons to Avoid

Only available in 13 states

Erie Insurance is one of the best auto insurance companies out there right now, with an ability to straddle the line between great pricing, personal care and huge financial strength. Individual features like Rate Lock to keep prices fixed, diminishing deductible to help good drivers save money, and some of the best customer care in the industry, make this a treat for those people in the 13 states this insurer operates in. It's just a shame Eerie isn't more widely available like some of its rivals.

If you've got pets or like modifying your car, or drive a classic, Erie has special care for you too. You'll even be let off for an accident without it affecting your policy thanks to accident forgiveness. We'd like to see the addition of a mobile app in the future, along with expansion into other states, but aside from that there's little to fault here. The options are huge and varied making this a near perfect auto insurance solution for most people. 


2. Amica Auto Insurance: Best auto insurance customer service

Amica Insurance

(Image credit: Amica )

Amica Auto Insurance

Has excellent customer service, and offers personalized care

SPECIFICATIONS

Gap coverage: Yes | Roadside assistance: Yes | Accident forgiveness: Yes | Pet coverage: No | App: Yes | Diminishing deductible: No

Reasons to Buy

Superb customer service
Ranked number one by JD Power
Lets you pick your repair shop

Reasons to Avoid

Rate increases

Amica Auto Insurance is one of the best companies around when it comes to customer care and, as a result, is one of the best insurers out there period. Ranked as number one by JD Power its features, like the ability to pick a repair shop near you, make this a personalized and freeing option that's hard to find fault with. 

That said, there are some reports of rate increases but with such good customer care even that should be easily cleared up with a call or email exchange. Aside from the superb customer care, via an Amica representative, you get features like flexible billing plans, online policy management and lots of discounts to be earned. There's even a mobile app to help you track your policy and make claims too. All that and this is available in 50 states plus Washington, DC.


3. Auto-Owners Insurance: Best auto insurance for affordable care

Auto-Owners Insurance

(Image credit: Auto-Owners)

Auto-Owners Insurance

Great prices, and a well designed phone app too

SPECIFICATIONS

Gap coverage: Yes | Roadside assistance: Yes | Accident forgiveness: Yes | Pet coverage: No | App: Yes | Diminishing deductible: No

Reasons to Buy

Affordable prices
Excellent customer service
Great mobile app

Reasons to Avoid

No online quotes

Despite remaining a medium-sized company Auto-Owners is a Forbes 500 firm that offers superb personal customer care backed by strong financial stability. As such it can afford to offer great prices, which undercut the competition while still giving excellent features. It isn't the absolute cheapest, but manages to balance excellent prices with a suite of decent features.

Available in 26 states, Auto-Owners uses a great app to give control to customers, including accessing roadside assistance when needed. You can speak to a local agent for any concerns or to change your policy for features like classic car cover, gap insurance and more. The only real issue is that Auto-Owners doesn't issue quotes online, so you'll need to go through a longer process to get insurance here.


4. Geico Auto Insurance: Best auto insurance for cheap prices

Geico Insurance

(Image credit: Geico)

Geico Auto Insurance

Offers some of the cheapest policies out there

SPECIFICATIONS

Gap coverage: Yes | Roadside assistance: Yes | Accident forgiveness: Yes | Pet coverage: No | App: Yes | Diminishing deductible: No

Reasons to Buy

Low rate options
Great for multiple vehicles

Reasons to Avoid

Optional add-ons can raise your premiums

As a huge insurance firm, Geico is able to undercut the competition in most cases meaning you end up with the lowest-price insurance available. While Geico does offer lots of features on its policies, with these low prices be sure to check you're covered for anything specific you're looking for - there are different tiers of service, and while that offers customization, you need to make sure you get everything you need with your policy.

The mobile app is impressive with a built-in personal assistant to help you with anything you might need. Quotes are easily obtained online for free and features are varied including breakdown cover, emergency roadside assistance and express auto repairs, to name but a few. It's ideal for anyone looking to cover multiple vehicles, although premiums can start to get expensive fast if you start adding heaps of extra features.


5. Allstate Auto Insurance: Best auto insurance for app support

Allstate Insurance

(Image credit: Allstate)

Allstate Auto Insurance

Has a superb app to help you track your policy

SPECIFICATIONS

Gap coverage: Yes | Roadside assistance: Yes | Accident forgiveness: Yes | Pet coverage: No | App: Yes | Diminishing deductible: No

Reasons to Buy

Outstanding app
Quick claims process
No maximum car rental limit

Reasons to Avoid

Not cheap
No green vehicle benefits

Allstate is one of the biggest auto insurers in the US meaning it offers solid financial stability and a lot of features. One stand-out feature is the mobile app which allows you to access your policy easily but it also lets you make a claim. So advanced is the app it will allow you to take photos of the car, using the phone, and submit them right there from the accident so the claim process can begin right away.

As such the claims process is a fast one with minimal hassle. While that's going on you can get a rental car with no upper limit and there's also accidental forgiveness so that accident shouldn't even push up your premiums. All that, of course, isn't as cheap as some options out there, and there's no green vehicle benefits, but on the whole this is a really great auto insurance offering.


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6. State Farm: Best auto insurance for bonuses

State Farm

(Image credit: State Farm)

State Farm

There are some excellent added value features with State Farm

SPECIFICATIONS

Gap coverage: Yes | Roadside assistance: Yes | Accident forgiveness: No | Pet coverage: No | App: Yes | Diminishing deductible: Yes

Reasons to Buy

Drive Safe & Save benefits
Steer Clear Driver Program
Great rental car system

Reasons to Avoid

No accident forgiveness
Not cheap

State Farm is a huge auto insurer and offers a massive amount of benefits to go with that mighty size. Covering 50 states and with over 18,000 local agents, claims are an easier process than with some insurers. But if you're not claiming you'll be rewarded for being a safe driver, with Drive Safe & Save offering savings based on the mileage you drive.

There's also a Steer Clear Driver program which lets you take a refresher course, to make you're a safe driver, and in doing so gets you a reduction on your premium. The car rental cover, should you need it, is also excellent with it paid up as well as any expenses that go with it all, helping make the repair process easier.


7. Farmers Auto Insurance: Best auto insurance for easy claims

Farmers Insurance

(Image credit: Farmers)

Farmers Auto Insurance

Offers cheap cover with a very easy claim process

SPECIFICATIONS

Gap coverage: Yes | Roadside assistance: Yes | Accident forgiveness: Yes | Pet coverage: No | App: Yes | Diminishing deductible: No

Reasons to Buy

Super affordable
Useful app
Accident forgiveness

Reasons to Avoid

No smart-driving program
Rental reimbursement not always included
Pricing varies by location

Farmers Auto Insurance is one of the most affordable options out there without meaning you have to worry about the claims process, as that works well. Policies are available for as little as less than $100, for the very minimum cover. Spend a bit more and you get lots of features.

The car replacement service means if you total your car, that's newer than two years and has done under 24,000 miles, you'll get a brand-new model to replace it. Also, with accident forgiveness, your premium won't change for an accident in three years of safe driving. You'll even be reimbursed for loss of use while your car isn't with you.


8. Travelers Auto Insurance: Best auto insurance for discounts

Travelers Insurance

(Image credit: Travelers)

Travelers Auto Insurance

Offers frequent discounts, especially for careful and green drivers

SPECIFICATIONS

Gap coverage: Yes | Roadside assistance: Yes | Accident forgiveness: Yes | Pet coverage: No | App: Yes | Diminishing deductible: No

Reasons to Buy

Accident forgiveness
Gap coverage
Hybrid/electric discounts

Reasons to Avoid

Claims satisfaction could be better
Limited to 43 states

Travelers Auto Insurance, as one of the country's oldest, is a great option for those looking to enjoy discounts for a wide selection of personalization options on their policy. These include savings for things like driving a hybrid or electric vehicle, students getting good grades or for having multi-car policies. 

Travelers is limited to 43 states but works superbly where it's available, with an A++ Superior rating of financial strength from AM Best. Great features sell this, including gap insurance, new-car replacement and accident forgiveness as easy to access options on a policy.


9. American Family Auto Insurance: Best auto insurance bundle

American Family

(Image credit: American Family)

American Family Auto Insurance

Has good payouts, and offers decent policy bundles

SPECIFICATIONS

Gap coverage: Yes | Roadside assistance: Yes | Accident forgiveness: Yes | Pet coverage: No | App: Yes | Diminishing deductible: Yes

Reasons to Buy

Friendly, local customer service
Gap insurance
Death payout

Reasons to Avoid

Claims processing times vary

American Family Auto Insurance is tenth largest in the US yet manages to have some of the fewest complaints thanks to its friendly local-based service. Since it offers different types of insurance it also gives great incentives for bundle deals which can save you money.

Another great way to save money is to use the KnowYourDrive program which tracks your driving, if you opt-in, and lets you save up to 40 percent if you're a safe driver. Roadside assistance 24/7 and gap coverage are also nice extras but we love the MyAmFam app which is a great way to process payments, download proof of insurance, track claims and even call out roadside assistance if you need it.


10. Progressive Auto Insurance: Best auto insurance if you've had an accident previously

Progressive

(Image credit: Progressive)

Progressive Auto Insurance

Best for customers with previous claims on their record

SPECIFICATIONS

Gap coverage: Yes | Roadside assistance: Yes | Accident forgiveness: Yes | Pet coverage: Yes | App: Yes | Diminishing deductible: Yes

Reasons to Buy

Super affordable
Discount programs
Good for those who have history of accidents

Reasons to Avoid

No brick-and-mortar stores

Progressive is a big scale insurer that can afford to give drivers with a history of accidents another chance. It not only offers cover to those prone to accidents but also offers really low prices and plenty of discount programs to reward safe driving.

Thanks to a direct model, rates can be kept low and you can enjoy more unique features like pet cover and car modification coverage. Other features include gap insurance, roadside assistance and Snapshot which tracks your driving style to potentially save you money.