Worst Car Insurance Companies in America (2020 Update)

The worst car insurance companies in America include two of the largest. Allstate, State Farm, and AIG are the bottom three insurance companies for poor ratings and customer service. The best company in our survey was Amica Mutual.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: May 4, 2022

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Car Insurance Industry Overview
Key InfoDetailsSource
Largest Car Insurance CompanyState FarmQuadrant Information Services
Cheapest Car Insurance CompaniesGeico and USAAQuadrant Information Services
Best Financial RatingsGeico, State Farm, Travelers, USAAA.M. Best
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If you own a car, you must have car insurance. It’s for the safety of you and everyone else. Since there is a lot of competition, you would think they would all strive to be the best, wouldn’t you? Well, not everyone reaches that goal. Read on to see the three worst car insurance companies in America.

We made this list by compiling the worst of the worst car insurance company lists. We scoured the web — everywhere from the American Association of Justice to Consumer Reports — for frustrated consumer reviews.

What are the worst car insurance companies?

While you might think the agents offering “instant proof of insurance” on late-night television are the worst, they’re not. According to consumer complaints, the worst of the worst were all brand name insurance companies. So what are the worst insurance companies?

While no car insurance company is perfect, it stands to reason that the larger the car insurance company, the more likely they are to receive both good and bad reviews.

Your best bet for avoiding a horrible insurance company is to shop around and find the company that best fits your needs.

The Test: We called each insurer to see how easy it was to talk to a human rather than a recording, how knowledgeable they were about their products, and how much misinformation they gave us. As it turns out, we should have added a timer.

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Is Allstate a good insurance company?

One company that came up repeatedly in our research was Allstate. From poor customer service to corrupt corporate practices, customers are not happy. The overall consensus from consumers is that Allstate charges you as much as possible for coverage they will refuse to pay claims on.

The Test: We called Allstate on their 1-800 line and had to navigate through several menus before we got a customer service associate on the line. The CSR sounded bored, but she was polite — that is until we started asking questions.

We decided to start by asking the details of Allstate’s various discounts, which their website doesn’t describe at all.

We asked about their good student discount, which can take up to 20 percent off a policy for a single undergraduate under 25 with good grades. The agent responded by asking our age.

We then asked about multi discounts. The agent wouldn’t answer this question until we gave her everything short of our shoe sizes. Finally, we asked point-blank what the agent could tell us up-front. Unfortunately, she referred us to the website.

We consider this a failure. Maybe the agent didn’t know, maybe she wasn’t allowed to tell us before making us switch insurance policies, but either way, our experience was uninformative and unfriendly. We guess you could say they dealt us a bad hand.

Is State Farm a good insurance company?

We’ll give State Farm credit for this much: Unlike Allstate, they don’t have quite as many customer complaints about lying. Instead, they’ve got one heck of a reputation for cutting corners and drenching everything in legalese.

State Farm complaints consistently come in two flavors: (1) Replacement parts from their repair center are shoddy, or (2) the terms of their contracts are so complex that they can make a policy mean anything they want.

In addition, going to court seems to be a common experience among State Farm customers. Either they have to sue State Farm to pay them what they’re owed, or State Farm is suing them to keep from paying.

The Test: State Farm passed the phone test. Their customer service was polite and helpful, clearly explaining any questions we had about discounts, car insurance by state, and a few of State Farm’s rules.

Then we recruited someone with a State Farm policy and called customer service to have them explain a few sections. Customer service reps were as lost as we were.

To their credit, they tried to transfer us to several different departments for assistance. Later, after we’d been on the phone for about an hour, a supervisor in the legal department apologized. We were ultimately referred to the agent and told we should probably make an appointment.

Is AIG a good insurance company?

Finally, we come to our third-place prize winner. To be fair, AIG’s car insurance has nothing to do with its corporate insurance, which got the company into a spot of trouble, as you might remember. On the other hand, when we called their auto insurance division, it seemed that nobody had any idea what they were doing.

Upset customers are frustrated because AIG seemingly has no idea what’s going on. Agents don’t talk to each other, policies aren’t properly communicated, and customer service reps are lost.

The Test: AIG’s reputation for incompetence seems to be richly earned. We called five different times, asking the same questions about policies, discounts, and who was covered and got five different answers.

Apparently, whether or not your girlfriend can drive the car under your insurance depends on which agent you happen to get on the phone.

Of course, all this was punctuated with nice, long wait times.

To their credit, the AIG folks were courteous, but they had no answers. They barely had control of the phone system; we were accidentally transferred to the wrong department twice during our time on the phone.

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Which insurance company pays out the most claims?

Car insurance company ratings from trusted sources can give you an idea of their ability to pay claims. A.M. Best is the most well-known for its financial ratings of auto insurers.

Car insurance companies with good financial strength are typically able to pay an auto insurance claim to their customers. Insurance companies that do not have good financial standing will not be able to pay claims to their customers.

Companies such as State Farm Geico, Travelers, and USAA with a high financial strength rating payout the most claims.

What is the number 1 insurance company in America?

So is it hopeless? Nope. One company got consistently high praise and kudos, no matter where we went: Amica.

Amica gets top marks for its customer service, and when we put it to the test, we found that was 100 percent correct.

The agent had all the answers, was incredibly polite, and never tried to scam us out of money. If we asked to be transferred to a department, they did so cheerfully and quickly.

Amica also gets excellent marks for honesty and timeliness. Our suspicion is that because Amica is a mutual insurance company and policyholders actually own a piece of it, employees are a bit more motivated to do their jobs.

When it comes to car insurance, one size does not fit all. Be sure to shop around and carefully compare options to find the company that is best for you.

What are the largest car insurance companies?

There are several insurance companies that are larger than others. Below are the largest auto insurers in the country.

Top 10 Car Insurance Companies by Market Share
rankCompaniesdirect premium writtensource
1State Farm$41,963,578,000Quadrant Information Service
2Geico$33,075,434,000Quadrant Information Service
3Progressive$27,058,768,000Quadrant Information Service
4Allstate$22,663,214,000Quadrant Information Service
5USAA$14,467,936,000Quadrant Information Service
6Liberty Mutual$11,776,654,000Quadrant Information Service
7Farmers$10,496,476,000Quadrant Information Service
8Nationwide$6,726,799,000Quadrant Information Service
9Travelers$4,697,743,000Quadrant Information Service
10American Family$4,687,909,000Quadrant Information Service
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The largest company in the United States is State Farm.

Loss Ratios for Insurance Companies

Below are the loss ratios for the largest insurance companies.

Top 10 Car Insurance Companies by Loss Ratio
Liberty Mutual62.7567.3567.1662
State Farm66.177.0268.7963
American Family64.1165.0670.3269
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A loss ratio is the ratio of losses to premiums earned. Loss ratios under 40 percent are too low, and over 75 percent is too high. Loss ratios that are too low mean the insurance company is collecting more premiums than the number of claims it is getting. Loss ratios that are too high mean that the insurance company is not collecting enough premiums for the claims it is getting.

Companies with high loss ratios are not necessarily facing bankruptcy.

What other companies have a lot of complaints?

No company is without complaints, but some have more complaints than others. Complaints in the table below are from 2019.

Top 10 Car Insurance Companies by Complaints
Farmers Insurance Group1
Amica Mutual 52
Nationwide Corp Group71
American Family Insurance Group81
Progressive Group105
Liberty Mutual Group167
USAA Group277
Allstate Insurance Group334
State Farm Group1,547
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Some car insurance companies will have more complaints because they have more customers, but others will have a lot of complaints because they have too many unsatisfied customers.

How do you file a complaint against your car insurance company?

Car insurance companies are not perfect. When you are upset with your car insurance company, you don’t have to put up with their terrible service. If you are filing a car insurance company complaint, you might be doing it for one of many reasons. You could have had a mistake made on your claim, been overcharged for your premiums, received terrible service, or don’t understand the fees you are getting.

If you have never filed a complaint with your insurance company, it may be a bit confusing on how the process goes.

When filing a complaint, you should first contact your insurance company to see if they can resolve your issue. If you don’t get your problem solved within one call, you will need to contact your state’s Department of Insurance or Department of Motor Vehicles.

If you decide to contact the Department of Insurance or Department of Motor Vehicles online, you will need to provide your name, address, phone number, and address of your insurance company. You may be asked to describe your complaint. Try to describe it without too much emotion.

You are not guaranteed to hear back from someone about your complaint.

You should report your insurance company to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB will follow up with your complaint until it is resolved. Be sure to answer all their questions and follow through with the requests they have; this will help resolve your cause.

What are the car insurance companies’ financial ratings?

Every car insurance company gets a financial rating from A.M. Best. Below are the financial ratings for the largest car insurance companies.

Top 10 Car Insurance Companies by Financial Ratings
State FarmA++
American FamilyA
Liberty MutualA
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A.M. Best rates insurance companies from A++ to D. A++ is excellent while D is poor. Companies with bad financial ratings should be avoided. Geico, State Farm, Travelers, and USAA have the best financial strength rating.

Which car insurance companies are the best rated?

When it comes to car insurance carriers, there are many factors that affect the level of customer satisfaction. Car insurance companies in the United States are rated by customer satisfaction. Which insurance company has the highest customer satisfaction? Below are the best car insurance companies in the region throughout the United States from J.D. Power.

  • California – Esurance
  • Central – Shelter
  • Florida – Allstate
  • Mid-Atlantic – Erie Insurance
  • New England – Amica Mutual
  • New York – New York Central Mutual
  • North Central – Westfield
  • Northwest – PEMCO Insurance
  • Southeast – Farm Bureau Insurance – Tennessee
  • Southwest – The Hartford
  • Texas – Texas Farm Bureau

In New England, Amica is one of the highest-ranked insurance companies despite its flaws. Below are the rankings for the largest car insurance companies in different regions. The rankings are based on a 1,000-point scale.

J.D. Power Rankings for Top 10 Car Insurance Companies by Region
RegionAllstateAmerican FamilyFarmersGEICOLiberty MutualNationwideProgressiveState FarmTravelersUSAA
New England830n/an/a836808822825844810898
New York831n/an/a823819822815845845884
North Central822820818836802828828841803891
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USAA keeps a high ranking in every region. Other companies have varying scores depending on the region. Some companies did not rank for certain regions. Car insurance companies, such as Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Progressive, and Travelers, all have ranked under 800 at least once.

In 2019, J.D. Power did a study about car insurance customer satisfaction. J.D. Power found that customers had higher satisfaction when direct service models were in use. They also found that customers were happier when they were able to bundle their car insurance policy with another policy. Customers were more likely to renew their policies if they could bundle things such as home and car insurance.

Who are the top 5 insurance companies in the nation for claims? According to J.D. Power’s nationwide survey, they are:

  • Amica Mutual
  • COUNTRY Financial
  • Erie Insurance
  • Geico
  • State Farm

As you can see State Farm does seem to redeem itself in recent surveys. Of course, J.D. Power’s list of car insurance companies leaves out many small, local companies that might rate well.

Which car insurance company has the highest rates?

When shopping for car insurance companies, you will notice that car insurance companies have varying rates for drivers. You will have to compare many quotes to truly find the lowest rates.

You may notice that the companies you see in commercials and on billboards do not have the best affordable rates. You would think they would because they are so popular and widely known, but that is not always the case. Check out the video below to see which are the best and worst car insurance companies.

Below are the different rates for the different coverage types for the largest companies in the United States.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Level
State Farm$3,055.40$3,269.80$3,454.80
American Family$3,368.49$3,544.37$3,416.40
Liberty Mutual$5,805.75$6,058.57$6,356.04
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You would get the lowest rates going with USAA, but you would also have to be in the military. So you would have to go with Geico, they have the lowest rates for all coverages.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Level by Driving Record
CompaniesClean recordWith one accidentWith one DUIWith one speeding violation
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.75$4,330.24$3,025.74
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.01$3,636.80$3,186.01
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$6,204.78$7,613.48$5,701.26
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If you were looking for a coverage policy and had an accident history on your driving record, you would get the lowest rates with Geico. You would pay the most with Liberty Mutual.

Depending on your age and gender, you will pay different rates for car insurance, but certain companies charge a lot more than others. Below you will see the rates by age and gender.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Level by Driving Record by Marital Status, Age, and Gender
CompaniesMarried 60-year-old femaleMarried 60-year-old maleMarried 35-year-old femaleMarried 35-year-old maleSingle 25-year-old femaleSingle 25-year-old maleSingle 17-year-old femaleSingle 17-year-old male
State Farm$1,873.89$1,873.89$2,081.72$2,081.72$2,335.96$2,554.56$5,953.88$7,324.34
American Family$1,992.92$2,014.38$2,202.70$2,224.31$2,288.65$2,694.72$5,996.50$8,130.50
Liberty Mutual$3,445.00$3,680.53$3,802.77$3,856.84$3,959.67$4,503.13$11,621.01$13,718.69
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Liberty Mutual has the highest rates for car insurance for those who are not just a teenage driver. State Farm has the lowest rates for non-military drivers.

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Should I change my car insurance company?

If you are having problems with your current car insurance company and you are not satisfied with your service, you can change companies. There is no law that says that you have to stay with your current car insurance company though there are laws that say you must have car insurance. If you are moving from one company to another, you will need to do it quickly.

It’s illegal to drive without car insurance. Getting caught without insurance can get you into trouble. You can get fined and/or lose your license. Make sure you know the facts before signing with a specific insurance carrier. Don’t go with the first company that gives you a quote, compare quotes with different companies, and find the lowest one

Frequently Asked Questions: Worst Insurance Companies in America

Still have some questions? We have more answers here.

#1 – What are the top 10 auto insurance companies in the USA?

The 10 companies by market share are:

  • State Farm
  • Geico (Berkshire Hathaway Group)
  • Progressive
  • Allstate
  • USAA
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Farmers
  • Nationwide
  • American Family
  • Travelers

#2 – What are the worst homeowners insurance companies?

Insurance ratings for cars are not always the same as those for home insurance. The bottom five in J.D. Power’s home insurance survey are MetLife, Chubb, National General, Homesite, and UPC Insurance.

#3 – What are the worst health insurance companies?

The National Committee for Quality Assurance rates health insurance companies. Their bottom three, and the only companies with an abysmal 1.5 rating, are American Postal Workers Union Health Plan, Tokio Marine Pacific Insurance Ltd., and Union Health Service.

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