September 25, 2019

Largest Auto Insurance Companies


Who is the number 1 insurance company? Depends on how you rank them. Read on for our list of top rated insurance companies.

How Is the Largest Auto Insurance Company Determined?

Auto insurers can be ranked by market share, amount of premiums collected or other factors. Here are some of the sources tracking such data:

  • National Association for Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
  • S&P Global Market Intelligence
  • Insurance Information Institute
  • AM Best
  • Consumer Reports

Keep reading for a list of the Top Auto Insurance Companies in major categories.

Top 10 Auto Insurance Companies by Premium Written

Direct premium written is the total premiums an auto insurer receives from all of its customers or policyholders.

This is an important ranking because it accurately reflects the size of the auto insurance company. It also reveals the growth of an insurance company and shows how much revenue it is bringing in.

As of January 2019, the largest automobile insurance companies by direct premiums written are:

CompanyDirect Premiums
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance$41,817,416
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (GEICO)$29,596,404
Progressive Corporation22,786,034
Allstate Corporation$21,430,405
USAA Insurance Group$13,154,939
Liberty Mutual$11,585,976
Farmers Insurance Group of Companies$10,357,497
Nationwide Mutual Group$7,341,476
Travelers Companies Inc.$4,396,705
American Family Insurance Group$4,381,962

(Ranking Source: NAIC)

TOP: State Farm
The company is both the largest auto insurance provider and the largest property and casualty insurance provider in the United States, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

It offers auto insurance and other types of coverages including life insurance, as well as financial and banking services.

George J. Mecherle, a retired farmer, established State Farm as a mutual automobile insurance company in 1922. At that time, it was owned by its policyholders and sold auto insurance for farmers.

Top 10 Auto Insurance Companies by Market Share

Market share reflects the overall size of the company in relation to its competitors.It is based on the total number of auto policies in force during a certain time period divided by all auto insurance policies in effect during the same period.

For 2019, the largest auto insurance companies by market share are:

CompanyMarket Share
State Farm 17.06%
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (GEICO) 13.45%
Progressive 11.00%
Allstate Corp. 9.22%
USAA 5.88%
Liberty Mutual 4.79%
Farmers Insurance 4.27%
Nationwide 2.74%
American Family Insurance 2.02%
Travelers 1.91%

(Ranking Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence)

TOP: State Farm
Its auto insurance business represents 65% of its property and casualty business. About one in every five dollars spent on private passenger auto premiums in the U.S. goes to State Farm.

The top four auto insurers on the list own more than half of all personal auto insurance policies sold in the U.S. Combined, those top four auto insurance companies have been in business for 350 years.

Largest Auto Insurance Companies by Financial Strength

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Rating companies use letter grades from "A" to "D" to assess auto insurers. Companies receiving an "A" rating demonstrate strong financial strength and stability.

Here are the factors that determine ratings:

  • Financial performance, including past, present, and future
  • Balance sheet or financial reserves
  • Creditworthiness or the ability to pay claims
  • Claims payment history
  • Business focus
  • Management style, including the company's structure
  • How the company compares to its competitors

Keep reading to see which companies receives AM Best's A or higher grade.

Largest Companies with A++ Exceptional Rating

State Farm
This is the only large auto insurance company to take the number one spot on all three lists.

State Farm earns the highest rating possible for its superior financial condition, stellar operation performance, and strong claims paying ability.

The top auto insurer is known for paying claims promptly and reliability since its 1922 founding.

GEICO
The company sells auto insurance to all consumers. It also markets homeowners insurance and life insurance underwritten by other companies.

As the second largest auto insurer in the U.S., GEICO insures over 28 million vehicles.

GEICO's name is an acronym for Government Employees Insurance Company.

USAA
This insurer sells auto, home, and life insurance to past and present U.S. military members and their families. The company also provides banking, brokerage, and investment services to its members. Read more about USAA below.

Largest Companies with A+ Superior Rating

Progressive
This company caters to families, particularly those with high-risk drivers. In addition to automobiles, the company sells insurance for motorcycles, recreational vehicles, boats, and commercial vehicles.

Progressive is known for being innovative—it was the first auto insurer to offer 24/7 claims reporting and the first to sell policies on its website. The company also pioneered mobile browsers and smartphone apps to manage policies and usage-based auto insurance.

Allstate
Founded in 1931 as part of Sears, Roebuck and Company, they eventually spun off from Sears to become a completely independent company. Allstate also sells home, fire, life, inland-marine, business, and workers' compensation insurance.

Nationwide
Nationwide began in 1925 as a small mutual auto insurer for farmers in Ohio. It now offers insurance products to consumers across the U.S., including home, life, dental, accident, medical, and banking and investing services.

Nationwide is one of the first insurers to offer mileage-based auto insurance.

Largest Companies with A Excellent Rating

Liberty Mutual
Established in 1912, this global property and casualty company has 50,000 employees in 30 countries. Liberty Mutual is unique in the way it sells its auto insurance policies. Consumers start with its standard policy and can customize with add-on protection and coverages.

Farmers
The company was originally established to offer auto insurance to farmers, ranchers, and rural truck drivers. Today, it is a subsidiary of Zurich Insurance Group and sells auto, home, and small business insurance throughout the U.S. It has over 48,000 Farmers agents and independent agents.

Travelers
This global insurance company has about 30,000 employees and 13,500 independent agents and brokers throughout the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Brazil. It sells auto and home insurance for individuals, and insurance products and solutions for businesses.

American Family Insurance
Started in 1927 as a low-cost auto insurance company for Wisconsin farmers, Am Fam now offers vehicle insurance, property and business insurance, and life, health, and travel insurance products.

Top Auto Insurance Company in Each U.S. State

The following qualities define the top auto insurance companies in each of the 50 U.S. states:

  • Exceptional overall coverage that provides a good value for the price

  • A claims satisfaction rating of "5," which is the highest ranking given by J.D. Power

  • A financial strength rating of "Superior," which is the highest ranking given by AM Best

Some U.S. states may have multiple companies meeting this criteria, so they are listed accordingly. Others may have none—in those instances, auto insurers with the next best rating are listed, with their rankings indicated.

In states where USAA is the top auto insurer, the second place insurer is also provided since USAA limits selling its auto policies to active and retired military personnel and their extended family.

Best Auto Insurers By State

© CreditDonkey

StateBest Insurance
AlabamaAuto-Owners and USAA
AlaskaUSAA; Second place: Allstate, GEICO, Progressive, and State Farm, all with a "3" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
ArizonaAuto-Owners and USAA
ArkansasAuto-Owners and USAA
CaliforniaUSAA; Second place: Nationwide with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
ColoradoAuto-Owners and USAA
ConnecticutUSAA; Second place: Nationwide with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
DelawareUSAA; Second place: Nationwide with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
FloridaUSAA; Second place: Amica, with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
GeorgiaAuto-Owners and USAA
HawaiiUSAA; Second place: Allstate, GEICO, Progressive, and State Farm, all with a "3" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
IdahoUSAA; Second place: Nationwide with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
IllinoisAuto-Owners, Erie, and USAA
IndianaErie and USAA
IowaUSAA; Second place: Nationwide with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
KansasUSAA; Second place: Nationwide with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
KentuckyAuto-Owners and USAA
LouisianaUSAA; Second place: Allstate, GEICO, MetLife Auto and Home, Progressive, and State Farm, all with a "3" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
MaineUSAA; Second place: The Hartford with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Excellent" for financial strength
MarylandErie and USAA
MassachusettsUSAA; Second place: Allstate, GEICO, MetLife Auto and Home, Progressive, State Farm, and Travelers, all with a "3" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
MichiganUSAA; Second place: Nationwide with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
MinnesotaAuto-Owners and USAA
MississippiUSAA; Second place: Nationwide with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
MissouriUSAA; Second place: Nationwide with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
MontanaUSAA; Second place: Allied, Allstate, GEICO, MetLife Auto and Home, Progressive, and State Farm, all with a "3" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
NebraskaUSAA; Second place: Nationwide with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
NevadaUSAA; Second place: Nationwide with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
New HampshireUSAA; Second place: Amica and Nationwide, both with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
New JerseyUSAA; Second place: Amica with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
New MexicoUSAA; Second place: The Hartford with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Excellent" for financial strength
New YorkUSAA; Second place: Amica and Nationwide, both with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
North CarolinaAuto-Owners and Erie
North DakotaUSAA; Second place: American Family with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Excellent" for financial strength
OhioErie and USAA
OklahomaUSAA; Second place: The Hartford with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Excellent" for financial strength
OregonUSAA; Second place: Amica and Nationwide, both with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
PennsylvaniaAuto-Owners, Erie, and USAA
Rhode IslandUSAA; Second place: Amica and Nationwide, both with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
South CarolinaAuto-Owners and USAA
South DakotaAuto-Owners and USAA
TennesseeErie and USAA
TexasUSAA; Second place: Amica and Nationwide, both with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
UtahUSAA; Second place: Nationwide with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
VermontUSAA; Second place: Nationwide with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
VirginiaErie and USAA
WashingtonUSAA; Second place: Nationwide with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength
West VirginiaErie and USAA
WisconsinAuto-Owners, Erie, and USAA
WyomingUSAA; Second place: The Hartford with a "4" for claims satisfaction and "Excellent" for financial strength

(Ranking Source S&P Global Market Intelligence)

Most Highly Rated Nationwide

© CreditDonkey

Three auto insurance companies ranked as tops in most of the states: Auto-Owners, Erie Insurance Group, and USAA.

All three had the highest ratings possible, a "5" for claims satisfaction and "Superior" for financial strength. Keep reading for a closer look at each.

Auto-Owners

Located in Lansing, Michigan, Auto-Owners is a mutual insurance company, meaning it is entirely owned by its policyholders.

It sells auto, home, business, and life insurance products in 26 states—you can only purchase polices through independent agents.

Auto-Owners, the 17th largest insurance company in the U.S., also owns Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company and Concord Group Insurance Company.

Auto-Owners is famous for its "No Problem" claims service, which explains its highest claims satisfaction score.

The company also operates on 10 core values, which ensure financial strength and stability. They focus on: honesty, hard work, prudence, loyalty, the team, relationships, opportunities for associates, the customer, stability and consistency, and profit that gives rise to possibility.

Erie Insurance Group

Founded in 1925, Erie is a publicly held insurance company. That means shares of its stock can be purchased by the public.

The Fortune 500 company sells auto, home, commercial, and life insurance products. It does business in 12 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

In terms of revenue as of 2018, Erie Insurance ranks 378th among the largest public U.S. companies.

The mission of Erie insurance is to provide its policyholders with "as near perfect protection, as near perfect service, as is humanly possible, and to do so at the lowest possible cost."

USAA

The United Services Automobile Association was founded in 1922 by 25 U.S. Army officers when they were unable to get auto insurance. As military officers, insurers perceived them as high-risk.

Today, USAA is a Fortune 500 diversified financial services group, ranked #100 as of 2018. It sells auto, home, and life insurance to past and present U.S. military members. Additionally, the company provides banking, brokerage, and investment services to its members. Its worldwide services are also extended to families of military members.

Based in San Antonio, Texas, the company is a reciprocal inter-insurance exchange. This means it is an unincorporated association of members who exchange contracts of indemnity with each other. So, not only do policyholders own USAA's assets, they are insured by each other.

USAA sells most of its auto insurance policies via direct marketing, by phone, or over the internet.

Keep reading to learn the pros and cons of choosing a large insurance company.

Advantages of Largest Auto Insurance Companies

When it comes to auto insurance, the size of the insurer can make a difference in several areas:

Greater Availability
A lot of smaller carriers only market their auto insurance policies in a certain region or a few states.

Lower Prices
Larger auto insurers tend to have more affordable rates because they insure more drivers.

More Coverage Options
Larger insurers offer plans for all types of drivers and more flexible, comprehensive coverage.

Greater Financial Strength and Stability
Major auto insurance are less likely to go out of business or fail to pay out on claims.

More Agents and Claims Adjusters
They have a larger workforce to respond to customers' needs.

Technology-Driven
Usually, major auto insurance companies are the first to implement new technology, such as apps, websites, and programs that lower the cost of your policy.

24/7 Service
Bigger auto insurers have around-the-clock customer and claim service to meet the needs of customers in all time zones.

Disadvantages of Largest Auto Insurance Companies

On the flip side, large auto insurers cannot offer some of the benefits small and midsize auto insurance companies can. Some of the disadvantages of large auto insurance companies are:

Less Responsive Customer Service
You may wait longer to talk with a customer service representative or go through a lengthy line of prompts before reaching a live agent.

Most large insurers have call centers for responding to customer service inquiries. Representatives who answer your call are usually not located in your state.

Claims Satisfaction
Larger auto insurers tend to have more complaints when it comes to satisfactorily resolving claims. That's because they tend to follow a set procedure when evaluating claims. Some also may recommend using one of their preferred auto repair centers. This may not always work to the customer's advantage.

Slower Issue Resolution
Whether service- or claim-related, concerns need to go through several channels in large insurance companies. Sometimes you have to wait a month or more before hearing back.

Fewer Ways to Buy Policies
Some larger auto insurance companies offer products only through their own agents or on their own websites.

Higher Prices Based on Driving History
Policies can be much more expensive depending on previous accidents or violations. Unlike smaller companies, there is less forgiveness for previous claim history.

How to Buy Auto Insurance

Start by getting several quotes from different auto insurance companies. The price of insurance varies by your location, vehicle type, driving record, and other factors, so it pays to compare.

The best way to get several auto insurance quotes at once is online or through an independent insurance agent or agency.

  • Online Insurance Marketplaces
    Enter some information and receive quotes from several auto insurers instantly. You can review the policies by coverage and compare prices. You can even purchase the policy directly online.

  • Independent Insurance Agents
    These agents may work for themselves or for an independent insurance agency in your local area. You can call, visit the office, or schedule a home visit to get quotes.

    Some agencies also have an auto insurance quote form on their websites. An independent agent can help you compare coverages and prices and find the right policy for your needs.

An auto insurance policy covers the vehicle, not the driver. Therefore, a member of your household or anyone else you allow to drive your vehicle is covered by your policy.

Know Your Coverage Needs

When buying auto insurance, be sure you are getting complete coverage. Most states require both bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverages. Beyond that, consider both collision and comprehensive coverages.

Comprehensive automobile coverage pays for things that happen to your vehicle not caused by a collision. Some examples are:

  • Your car is stolen or damaged by theft.
  • Your vehicle is damaged by hail or fire.
  • Your front hood is damaged and windshield shattered from hitting a deer.

Some auto insurance policies include convenient coverages for free or a low price. These include:

  • Rental car coverage
  • Roadside assistance or towing coverage
  • Windshield repair

When comparing prices for auto insurance, be sure to compare coverages and deductibles. The deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket in the event you have to file a claim.

If all things are equal, base your buying decision on the company with the highest rating for financial stability and claims satisfaction.

Bottom Line

The largest auto insurance companies are those with the largest market share and the most direct premium written. These are usually major insurance companies that do business in the majority of U.S. states and even internationally.

With so many large auto insurance companies, it's difficult to know which ones are the best to do business with. That's where insurance regulatory agencies, consumer organizations, and insurance rating companies can lend a hand.

Each year, they rank auto insurance companies based on their size, financial stability, customer complaints, claims satisfaction, and a host of other factors. These ratings help consumers differentiate one large auto insurer from the next so they can make an educated decision when buying auto insurance.

A large auto insurance company may not be the best one to meet your auto insurance needs. Consider all your options to find the right fit for you.

More from CreditDonkey:


Types of Auto Insurance


What Should I Be Paying for Car Insurance


Why is My Car Insurance So High

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