Best Car Insurance Companies Of January 2022

Best Car Insurance Companies Of January 2022


    The beginning of the year can be a good time to evaluate whether you car insurance company can go the extra mile if you run into trouble.

    We evaluated insurers to find the best car insurance companies based on average car insurance rates, levels of complaints and grades for collision claims from auto body repair professionals provided by CRASH Network.

    Car Insurance Company Ratings Summary

    CompanyAuto insurance ratesCollision repair gradeComplaint levelForbes Advisor rating
    ErieVery goodA-Higher than the industry average
    State FarmVery GoodCLow
    TravelersGoodC+Very Low
    NationwideOKCVery Low
    FarmersPoorCHigher than the industry average

    How Much Is Car Insurance?

    Here’s a look at car insurance rates based on averages nationwide among the largest insurance companies.

    Type of driverAverage annual rate
    For good drivers$1,556
    For drivers who have caused an accident with property damage$1,732
    For drivers who have caused an accident that injured someone else$2,541
    For drivers with one speeding ticket$1,732
    For drivers with a DUI conviction$2,595
    For drivers who have poor credit$2,860
    For drivers who were caught without insurance$1,764
    Rates are based on a female driver, age 30, insuring a Toyota RAV4 with liability coverage of 100/300/100 and collision and comprehensive insurance. Averages are based on rates from 10 large auto insurance companies.

    How Can I Find the Best Price on Car Insurance?
    It’s a good idea to shop for car insurance before you buy a car. Without car insurance in place, you may not be able to drive your new wheels off the dealer’s lot.

    Once you decide how much car insurance you need, it’s time to start shopping for a policy. Prices often vary widely among companies, so it’s smart to compare car insurance quotes from multiple insurers.

    You can find free quotes online or by working with an auto insurance agent. Independent insurance agents can provide quotes from multiple companies.

    Insurance quotes are always free.

    What Types of Car Insurance Discounts Should I Look For?
    Ask about car insurance discounts when you’re getting car insurance quotes. You can typically knock down your car insurance costs with discounts for:

    Buying multiple policies, such as auto and home insurance
    Insuring more than one vehicle
    Being a good driver
    If you have a student on the policy, a discount if they’re a good student
    If you have a college student on the policy, a discount if they’re away at school without a car
    Taking a defensive driving class if you’re age 55 or older
    Paying your full car insurance cost up-front
    What Types of Car Insurance Are Required?
    Here are types of car insurance you should know:

    Car liability insurance. This pays for injuries and property damage you cause to others. A good rule of thumb is to buy enough car liability insurance to cover what can be taken from you in a lawsuit.

    Required? Yes, in most states.

    Uninsured motorist coverage (UM) and Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM). These coverage types pay for your medical bills and other expenses if someone crashes into you and they don’t have liability insurance or have inadequate insurance.

    Required? Uninsured motorist coverage is mandatory in some states and optional in others.

    Collision and comprehensive insurance. These are two separate coverage types often sold together. Collision and comprehensive insurance pay for car repair bills for problems such as car accidents, car theft, fires, floods, severe weather, falling objects and collisions with animals.

    Required? If you have a car loan or lease, your lender or leasing agent will likely require that you have these. Otherwise collision and comprehensive are optional.

    Factors That Impact the Cost of Car Insurance
    Your car insurance cost will vary depending on several factors that include:

    Your driving record
    Your age and driving experience
    Where you live
    Coverage selections
    Deductible amount (if you buy collision and comprehensive coverage)
    Vehicle model
    Your car insurance history
    Your credit-based insurance score (use of this in car insurance costs is banned in California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan)
    The Insiders’ View of Car Insurance Claims
    If you’re lucky, you’ll have very little experience with collision repairs. That also means you won’t necessarily know if you’re getting superior claims service compared to other insurers.

    Collision repair professionals have the advantage of dealing with insurers daily and seeing which companies try to cut corners on claims, and which companies have processes that slow down the repair process.

    For this reason we incorporated grades of insurance companies from collision repair professionals, supplied by CRASH Network.

    “Drivers pay their auto insurance premiums every month, yet they only find out how well that insurer will take care of them when they file a claim—which happens about once a decade for the average driver,” says John Yoswick, editor of CRASH Network, which has a weekly newsletter covering the collision repair and auto insurance market segments.

    “But auto body repair shops see every day which insurance companies prioritize cost-savings by pushing to use the cheapest parts and repair methods, and which insurers take better care of their policyholders by prioritizing repair quality and the use of automaker-recommended repair methods and parts,” he says.

    CRASH Network produces an annual Insurer Report Card that gives insight into insurers’ claims processes that others don’t see. Auto body repair professionals across the country are asked, “How well does this company’s claims handling policies, attitude and payment practices ensure quality repairs and customer service for motorists?”

    “This knowledge gives body shops a unique perspective on which insurance companies consistently earn an ‘A’ when it comes to customer service and a proper repair for their policyholders, and which insurers deserve a ‘C” or ‘D,” says Yoswick.

    This year among 75 insurers scored by CRASH Network, only North Carolina Farm Bureau, Chubb, Erie and Michigan Farm Bureau received grades in the “A” range.

    More About Erie Car Insurance
    Erie sells insurance for cars, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, classic cars and boats. You can also purchase insurance for snowmobiles, RVs, ATVs and golf carts. Optional add-ons include:

    Roadside service
    Transportation expenses and rental car coverage
    Lease loan protection
    Ridesharing coverage
    For drivers who recently purchased a new car, Erie sells new car protection. With this coverage, your car will be replaced with the latest model if it’s deemed a total loss due to an accident covered by your policy. Erie also offers better car protection to replace your vehicle with a car two years newer.

    Erie Auto Insurance Discounts
    Erie offers several auto insurance discounts, especially for safe drivers. If you have a driver under 21 years old on your policy, look for Erie’s discount for young drivers. If you don’t use your car for an extended amount of time, you could benefit from the reduced usage discount. Other discounts include:

    Safe driving discount: Safe drivers with a clean driving record may be eligible for a discount.
    Car safety equipment discount: You can get a discount if your car has safety features like factory-installed airbags, passive restraint, or anti-theft devices.
    Multi-car discount: Drivers who insure two or more vehicles under the same policy may be eligible for this discount.
    Multi-policy discount: If you bundle other insurance types (like homeowners insurance) with your auto insurance, you can typically score this discount.
    Reduced usage discount: If you don’t use your car for at least 90 consecutive days during your policy period, you could be eligible for this discount.
    Young driver discount: Do you have a driver who is under age 21, unmarried and lives with you? If so, you could save on your auto insurance policy.
    Annual payment plan: If you pay your annual auto premium in one lump sum, you could save money on your auto coverage.
    College credit: If your college driver is away at school without access to your car, you may be eligible for a discount.

    More About USAA Car Insurance
    USAA sells insurance for cars, motorcycles, ATVs, motorhomes, boats and classic cars. And, for those who fly to their destinations, aviation insurance. Optional coverage types include roadside assistance and rental reimbursement.

    Current and former U.S. military members, and spouses and children of U.S. military members are eligible for USAA insurance.

    For drivers concerned about a rate increase after an at-fault accident, USAA offers accident forgiveness insurance. If you remain accident-free for five years, your premium won’t go up after one at-fault accident.

    USAA also offers rideshare coverage for drivers with Uber, Lyft and other services.

    USAA Auto Insurance Discounts
    If you’ve had USAA auto insurance for a few years, you can benefit from the Length of Membership Savings. Other discounts include:

    Safe driver discount: Do you have a clean driving record for the past five years? If so, you could save money on your premiums.
    Defensive driver discount: If you take an approved course to improve your driving skills, you may receive a discount.
    Driver training discount: Are you younger than age 21? Drivers under 21 can take a basic driving course and save money on their auto insurance policy.
    Good student discount: For students who maintain good grades, you can receive a discount on your auto insurance.
    New vehicle discount: For cars that are three years old or newer, you can qualify for this discount.
    Multi-vehicle discount: If you have two or more vehicles on a policy, you can save money on your policy.
    Annual mileage: Based on the number of miles you drive per year, you may qualify for a discount.
    Vehicle storage: When you store your vehicle, you can save up to 60% on your auto insurance.
    Family discount: If your parents have USAA insurance, you can save on your premium.
    Military installation discount: When you garage your car on the base you could save up to 15% on your comprehensive coverage.
    Length of membership savings: If you maintain coverage with USAA for several years you may save money on your insurance.
    When you add auto insurance to your homeowners or renters insurance policy, you could also save up to 10%. Keep in mind, not all discounts are available in every state.

    More: USAA Car Insurance Review

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