Similarities of the Highest Rated Auto Insurance Companies
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UPDATED: Apr 12, 2020
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The highest rated auto insurance companies in the United States include Amica Mutual, Erie Insurance, Shelter, Auto-Owners Insurance, Ameriprise, and State Farm, according to independent research firm J.D. Power and Associates. These ratings are determined by evaluating a variety of factors based on information collected from actual customers.
Other types of ratings, such as financial ratings, are also very important to check when shopping for car insurance.
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There are a variety of organizations that rate auto insurance companies. Some of these are well-known and well-respected names such as J.D. Power and Associates and the Better Business Bureau.
By obtaining your information from such an organization, you can feel confident that you have gotten accurate, unbiased ratings to help you make your car insurance buying decision easier.
Amica Mutual Tops the Ratings
Amica Mutual has been the recipient for the prestigious J.D. Power and Associates Customer Service award for auto insurance companies for the past 12 years. In 2011, it scored 843 out of a possible 1000.
Based in Rhode Island, this insurer also has an “A++” financial strength rating with a stable financial outlook, according to independent insurance rating firm A.M. Best.
With its top ratings, Amica is a very enticing insurance company. However, it is important to check around and make sure it offers the best coverage at the best price to meet your needs before choosing the company you will go with.
Amica offers coverage in most states throughout the country, but not all, so be sure to check if it sells insurance where you live.
Erie Insurance Shines in Its Service Area
Erie Insurance is the second best insurer in the nation, according to the J.D. Power rankings. Its score in that study in 2011 was 825. In addition, when it comes to financial strength, A.M. Best gives it an “A+” rating with a stable future outlook.
However, Erie Insurance only covers 11 states and the District of Columbia, meaning that many car owners in the nation do not even have access to this particular top auto insurance company.
Shelter Insurance Is an Outstanding Regional Provider
Shelter Insurance, coming in at Number Three in the country, has a very respectable 2011 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Study score of 816. In addition, Shelter gets an “A” in financial strength according to A.M. Best, and has a stable financial outlook.
This company, however, is another regional provider, which means that much of the country cannot opt to carry Shelter auto insurance. It is currently only offered in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.
Auto-Owners Insurance Covers More than Half of the States
The company Auto-Owners Insurance scored 815 on the J.D. Power and Associates study, placing it fourth in the nation. This company has previously held the top place in this study for four consecutive years.
According to A.M. Best, it has an “A++” rating for financial strength with a stable outlook. It currently serves 26 states, making it more accessible to more Americans than Shelter and Erie Insurance.
Ameriprise and State Farm Are Tied for Fifth Place
Ameriprise and State Farm round out the list of top auto insurers in terms of customer service, with scores of 804 each. In addition, Ameriprise has an “A” financial strength rating, according to A.M. Best, with a stable outlook in this area also. Ameriprise offers car insurance in almost all states.
State Farm is the only big name provider that makes it into the highest rated auto insurance companies listing.
It is the largest auto insurance provider in the nation, with 40 million auto insurance policies on its books. Its financial strength rating from A.M. Best is “A+” with a stable outlook.
The Way that J.D. Power Rates Auto Insurance Companies
Since J.D. Power and Associates is the basis of the ratings for this list of the highest rated auto insurance companies, it makes sense to understand how the organization works.
Essentially, it rates auto insurance companies and other industries based on studies it does of the consumers who use such services. J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction study is widely recognized as one of the most reliable resources out there.
In order to present such information, the organization collects data annually from actual customers about their experiences in a variety of aspects concerning car insurance. The rating factors include policy offerings, claims, billing and payment, pricing, and interaction with the insurer. Insurers can receive up to five power circle ratings for excelling in these areas.
J.D. Power evaluates all the auto insurance providers throughout the nation. However, not all make the list. If their results were not good enough, they will not find their name in the ranking at all.
At the same time, some of the top companies are regional insurers like Erie Insurance, meaning that they are not even available to all drivers in the nation.
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The Importance of Independent Insurance Rating Companies
They are completely unbiased and will evaluate the financial strength of all insurance companies regularly, as well as give an opinion of their future outlook.
Just looking at customer satisfaction ratings alone is not enough. As shown above, the companies that do top the J.D. Power and Associates survey, also have good financial strength ratings. All have an “A” or better with a positive financial outlook, which is what you want from any insurer with which you do business.
There is a possibility that a company could have good customer service ratings but poor financial ones. Therefore, it is important to consult such ratings before buying coverage.
Many consumers can easily be lured into a great price on coverage by a company that is desperate for customers, if they do not take the time to check them out.
Often companies that are in financial difficulties will offer enticing premiums but may be unable to pay claims when the time comes. This is not a deal any consumer really wants.
What to Watch Out for When Seeking Auto Insurance Ratings
While there are numerous auto insurance ratings groups and websites out there, not all have the credibility of groups like J.D. Power and Associates, Weiss Ratings, the Better Business Bureau, and Standard & Poor’s. There are some shady ones too.
Not every group claiming to be an auto insurance rating group or every website offering insurance company ratings is actually unbiased.
When you start looking for ratings for auto insurance companies, be sure that you are getting your information from a source that is independent.
Do a little research on the ratings organization. If they are not an established, independent organization or if they receive funds from any insurance company, then they are not a reliable source.
If their website offers auto insurance for sale, you can also safely believe that they do have a financial stake in the information they share with you. It is wise to be wary of any information found on such sites.
You Can Save While Opting for Top Auto Insurance Companies
Every car insurance company offers discounts to policyholders. Even those that are the best rated still need to be competitive in their prices. You need to know what to look for and what to ask for in order to get the best prices possible.
While many of the discounts that you qualify for may be uncovered with the regular series of questions you will be asked during the quote process, some will not.
Some of the typical discounts include: multi-line discounts for having more than one type of insurance with the same insurer; safety device discounts; good student discounts; good driver discounts; driver training course discounts; payment in full discounts, and more.
Other discounts that may be available include those for affiliations with certain groups, staying with the same insurer for a certain period of time, and even subscribing to certain magazines.
If you have narrowed down your choices and found an insurance company that meets your needs and offers a good price, be sure to talk to an agent before purchasing your policy. Ask if you have been given every discount for which you can possibly qualify.
Sometimes, just by asking that one question, you can save yourself an additional 5% or more.
Don’t Discount Regional Insurers
As you can see from the results of the top rated auto insurance companies examined here, many regional companies are outperforming big name insurance providers.
If you find a regional car insurance company that you think might be a good option for you, doing an online search can reveal a variety of information about it.
Search for reviews and complaints about the company by name. Bear in mind that, while every company will have its share of complaints, the important thing is to note how many complaints there are compared to policyholders.
Another way to find out about a regional company is to check with your state’s Department of Insurance. They should have data available about any complaints about the company and the resolution status.
You can get the best coverage from the highest rated auto insurance companies and others by simply shopping around and getting a variety of car insurance quotes.
Compare them carefully based on price, the coverage offered, and of course, the ratings the provider has received from both customers and independent insurance ratings companies.
Get started now with a customized car insurance rate quote by putting your ZIP code in the FREE quote tool!