Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: Jul 8, 2021

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The best auto insurance companies to stay with are those with the best reputations, such as State Farm, Allstate Insurance, Geico, and USAA. In

general, you should also stay with an insurance company if you have had good results with it and you are happy with the price you are paying for a policy.

Compare auto insurance rates by placing your ZIP code in the FREE quote box!

There are different factors that go into calling an auto insurance company the best and they can vary from person to person. Some drivers may go by price, while others look at customer service or how a company handles claims.

That is why calling a company the best is relative and may change over time.

Financial Stability

From an objectionable and financial standpoint, how a company stacks up financially determines how great it is. Companies such as Standard and Poor’s and A.M.

Best look at the financial aspects of insurance companies and give them a rating as well as speculate about their future performance.

The first thing you should look for is the financial strength rating.

A company that is considered to be secure will have a rating of B++ or B+, which is considered to be good; an A or A-, which is considered to be excellent; or an A+ or A++, which is considered to be superior.

If a company receives a rating of B or worse, it is considered to be vulnerable.

You should also take a look at the company’s outlook, which looks towards the next year to three years. A positive outlook means that its rating will probably be upgraded, a stable outlook means that the rating will probably continue to stay the same, and a negative outlook predicts that the rating will possibly be downgraded in the near future.

State Farm, which is a company that has been around since the 1920s, consistently receives high ratings. It currently has a rating of A+ and a stable outlook.

The well-known Allstate Company also has an A+ rating with a stable outlook.

Geico may not seem like a serious insurance company, based off of its commercials featuring the little green gecko.

However, the company shines as an insurance company with the highest rating of A++ and no indication of it changing anytime soon. USAA also claims an A++ and a stable outlook.

Consumer Ratings

Consumer ratings are another way to judge how good an auto insurance company is. Those drivers who have had personal experience with the companies are pretty good judges of their character.

One good source to check out is J.D. Power and Associates. This site publishes ratings from customer reviews for companies like Allstate and Geico.

Because not every insurance company sells insurance in every state, it is nice because it breaks the insurance companies down into different areas of the country. You can check and see who rates highest for the companies that are in your area.

J.D. Power also breaks it down into different rating factors, such as pricing, how easy it is to contact the insurer, what policies are offered, payment and billing, and overall satisfaction.

State Farm received the highest rating for the North Central region as well as in the West. USAA also rated consistently high in the West, Southeast, Northeast, North Central, Mid-Atlantic, and California.

In your local area you should also check out your Better Business Bureau. You can fill in your city or zip code and the keyword “auto insurance” and all of the businesses in the area will show.

The BBB allows you to see if any complaints have been reported against particular agencies in your neighborhood, and what they are, which helps narrow your down search.

The different types of complaints that may be reported include delivery issues, sales and advertising issues, collection and billing issues, warranty and guarantee issues, and issues with the service or product.

It also states whether the complaints were handled appropriately by the particular business.

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Claims Processing

When you pay your policy premiums to the insurance company, what you get in return is financial assistance in the event of an accident, theft, or other incident that is car-related. Your expectation is that your claim will be paid quickly and fairly.

Unfortunately, there are companies out there who will willingly take your money but then fight paying any claim that you file.

They may question who was at fault and lay blame on the other party, they may argue that the damage wasn’t as bad as you claim, or they may try to settle for way less than you deserve.

Finding a company that treats your claim fairly is pertinent. If you have filed a claim with your company in the past and it has honored it and paid quickly and efficiently, that is one very good reason to stay with them.

You can see how different companies rate in regards to claims through J.D. Power and Associates.

Part of their consumer rating system deals with all of the aspects of a claim, including service interaction, first notice of loss, appraisal and repair process, rental car experience, settlement, and overall satisfaction.

USAA was rated quite high, receiving mostly fours and fives, as did State Farm. Allstate and Geico fared in the average range, with mostly threes and fours. Reference the J.D. Power website to see how your current company rates.

Price

Because car insurance is one of the bigger expenses in your budget, staying with a company is often a good idea if you are happy with your premium rate. There are many insurance companies that are competing for business, so offering low rates for good customers is a good business move.

Discounts are one way that insurance companies save you money.

The best companies are ones that offer you deals for being a safe and responsible driver. If your driving habits and vehicle features are such that your chances of being in an accident are lowered, you should be rewarded.

Check with your agent periodically to see if there are any discounts for which you are eligible.

Although price is an important aspect of your car insurance, price is not the only reason why you should stay with a company.

If you are paying a cheap rate for your policy but are not happy with the other aspects of the company, you should probably not stay with them.

Reasons to Change Insurance Companies

No matter who is your current auto insurance carrier, there are a number of reasons why it may be a good idea to switch to a different company. One is price, as was mentioned previously.

If you feel that the amount you are paying for your car insurance policy is too high and it is stretching your budget, it may be worth your time to shop around.

Another reason to switch is customer service. With so much competition out there, companies need to be on top of their game when it comes to dealing with customers.

If you are with a company that only has Internet or phone access, you may want to switch to a company that has agents for a more personal touch.

Even if you currently use an agent, the customer service may not be stellar. He or she may not be attentive to your needs or may not be in contact with you as much as you would like.

In that case, if you are unhappy with your agent but still want to stay with the same company, you can just switch agents, which is often easier than changing companies.

As was discussed earlier, how your company handles claims is a good reason to stay as well as switch. If you are paying a good amount of money every month for car insurance you deserve to have your claims paid.

If you do decide to switch insurance companies, make sure that you keep your current policy until the new one is in effect. Having any sort of gap in your coverage will usually cause your rates to increase.

How to Report a Company

If you have had a bad experience with a particular insurance company, it is a good idea to report its actions so that other drivers such as yourself can be warned and have all the information possible in order to make a good decision.

If it is a local office, feel free to report it to the Better Business Bureau. There is a link on the BBB website that allows you to make a complaint against the company and include details.

If it is a company that cares about keeping customers, it will take the steps necessary to fix the problem

Another good way to file a report against an insurance company is through your state insurance department.

This is also a good resource if you feel your claim is not being handled correctly and your insurance company is not cooperating with you.

You can find contact information for your state through the map on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website.

It is easy and fast to hunt for affordable car insurance rates by placing your ZIP code into the FREE quote space provided!

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