Major Auto Insurance Companies – What You Need to Know

| February 12th, 2020

Finding the right auto insurance for your needs can be difficult, especially when all the major auto insurance companies are constantly clamoring for your attention. We’ve boiled down what each company offers below to give you a snapshot of every major auto insurance provider.

American Family

American Family was first established at the beginning of the 20th century, and with the initial goal of ensuring farmers and their vehicles. They eventually expanded to include non-farmers and their insurance policies and grew to become one of the biggest in the nation. They normally cover people in the West and Midwest of the country, and they have a handy mobile app that allows you to manage your coverage plans or file claims without visiting an office. They also offer other types of insurance, like certain kinds of home or life insurance policies.

Travelers

Travelers is an insurance company that’s more than 160 years old and currently operates in several countries, including Canada and Brazil alongside the United States. Policies can be bought online rather than having to visit a physical office, and their mobile app is integrated with Amazon Alexa. They also sell multiple types of insurance but offer discounts if you buy more than one type of coverage from their company.

Nationwide

This Fortune 500 company operates in all 50 US states and is one of the more expensive insurance providers in the country. However, they do offer significant discounts if you get more than one type of insurance beneath their umbrella coverage, making them a good choice if you don’t mind high premiums for low deductibles and want most of your insurance needs to be handled by a single company.

Farmers

As the name suggests, Farmers was originally an auto insurance company that focused on rural vehicles for farmers and the like. This included both automobiles and vehicles like tractors. Eventually, they grew to encompass many more vehicles than just those in rural states and now they offer multiple types of insurance, including pet insurance. Their auto insurance policies tend toward the basic variety, though, without many options for more niche coverage plans or needs.

Liberty Mutual

This insurance provider is one of the few that allows for coverage for vintage or classic cars, as well as specialized coverage plans for all-terrain or off-road vehicles or recreational vehicles and trailers like RVs. Their rate can be competitive depending on your geographical location, which is wider than most other providers, as well; they’re an international insurance presence. As such, they’ll be a good option for some states but a subpar choice due to their premium expenses in others.

USAA

USAA was originally founded by veterans from the U.S. Army who pool their money together to ensure each other’s vehicles. In today’s world, this association with the US military has continued, making them the premier insurance option for former or current military members. They're one of the best auto insurance companies in the country and provide phenomenal rates and excellent coverage options. Of course, their clientele is extremely limited; you have to be either a veteran or active military number yourself or be a part of a member’s immediate family to qualify. They also sell different types of insurance to make things easier for service members and their families.

Allstate

Allstate was originally founded in 1931 and is now the second-largest publicly traded casualty and property insurance company in the entire country. They employ close to 80,000 people and provide local and personalized service to people in all 50 states. They offer lots of discounts based on the insurance packages you choose, although some of their premium rates can be quite high depending on your geographical location. Their mobile app is among the most comprehensive on the market.

Progressive

Progressive is the third biggest auto insurance company in the entire country and was originally founded in 1937. They make it easy to purchase auto insurance without having to negotiate with an agent, offering options to buy the insurance either by phone or online. They also are relatively unique in that they allow customers to sign up for independent insurance providers or agents. Their rates are typically highly competitive, especially if you have previous accidents on your record which still affect your premium rate. However, their coverage options or plan variation is a bit mediocre, so they’re best for those who need typical coverage rather than something specialized.

GEICO

This famous auto insurance company ensures more than 24 million vehicles today. They're one of the best auto insurance companies in the nation thanks to their low premium rate and their national availability. They also offer a very easy shopping experience when it comes to finding a plan that works best for your vehicle collection and/or driving needs. However, there one of the most unfriendly insurance companies if you had a prior accident, with sky-high rates and a limited plan selection.

State Farm

Finally, State Farm is one of the few mutual insurance companies; it’s entirely owned by the policyholders themselves. This unique structure has allowed it to become the largest auto insurance company in the country. As a result, they have local agents all throughout the nation and provide personalized insurance packages for most of its members. It’s easy to find a custom insurance package through their offerings, even if you have more specialized or niche needs like classic car insurance. However, their rates aren’t as competitive as something from GEICO in most cases.

Big or Small: Which is Right For You?

The above are some of the most well-known major auto insurance companies, but how do you know if they’ll be right for you as opposed to a local and small auto insurance company?

The big trade-off is that small insurance companies provide you with a more personalized experience while larger companies have more financial stability and often more competitive rates. They can afford to pay out millions of dollars each year in auto insurance claims whereas getting your claims fulfilled with a smaller insurance company might be a little trickier.

It’s a good idea to browse the above options and determine whether any of these major auto insurance companies will be right for your needs before looking at a smaller or more local solution.

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