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The 10 best car insurance companies in the US

These auto insurance companies are essential for safe, legal driving.

Buying a car? You definitely need insurance.

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No matter what kind of vehicle you drive or where you're going, it's essential that you have car insurance coverage -- and not just because it's the law in 48 of the 50 states. A car insurance policy protects you in the case of property damage or bodily injury liability if you're in an accident. Those costs can accumulate for an uninsured motorist, or even an underinsured one. Having comprehensive coverage can help keep out-of-pocket costs in check. 

Sorting through car insurance companies and offers can be intimidating. There is a lot that goes into a car insurance policy. Factors such as injury liability, property damage and accident forgiveness play a role in quotes and rates. Understanding what goes into insurance coverage will help you make the best decision for your particular situation, but where do you start?

We're making it easier to find the best car insurance for you by narrowing down the list. We've picked the 10 best insurance companies in the country, based primarily on audience satisfaction, as measured by the J.D. Power 2019 US Auto Insurance Study. The study measures five criteria: interaction, policy offerings, price, billing process and claims. 42,759 customers were polled from February through April 2019.

Before getting into the list, it's worth mentioning that not every insurance company has your best interests at heart. A Buzzfeed News report from August revealed that State Farm, Farmers and Erie Insurance are three of a number of insurance companies that have paid off law enforcement to investigate their customers for fraud. All of those companies have been excluded from this ranking.

Read more: How to buy your first car

GEICO

Geico's clever commercials ensure that they remain one of the best known car insurance companies in the country, but their customers know them for the great service and support they offer. Its 97% satisfaction rate speaks for itself, as does its long list of honors, including the most desired insurer according to Kanbay Research Institute. You know, just in case the gecko isn't enough to convince you.

Allstate

Allstate was one of the rare auto insurance companies ranked on every single one of J.D. Power's regional customer satisfaction lists, and was No. 1 in Florida. Allstate prides itself on its scope of coverage and offers a host of discounts that, depending on your circumstances, could easily make it the most cost-effective option available for many motorists.

Liberty Mutual Insurance

Operating globally, Liberty Mutual is the fifth-largest property and casualty insurer in the world. Still, the company makes it very clear that its business starts with you, and the first step in that journey is getting a quote.

Most insurers offer free car insurance quotes on their websites, but Liberty Mutual offers you a discount for using its own -- you can save up to 12% off your rate by getting a quote online.

Auto-Owners Insurance

Auto-Owners Insurance may not have the flashy marketing presence of the competition, but how many of them can say they've been around almost as long as cars have? Established in 1916, the company has nearly 3 million policyholders across 26 states. Its high rankings from J.D. Power might prompt you to check if it has coverage where you live.

Jennifer Van Grove/CNET

Ranked the No. 1 auto insurer in California, Esurance in quickly making inroads around the country (the company operates in 43 states). A division of Allstate, Esurance promises customers that switching or signing up for car insurance can be as easy as possible -- "painless," as the company puts it.

Users agree with the assessment, as reviews on the website call attention to how fast and easy it is to sign up, either online or with the Esurance app.

Progressive

A giant in the insurance world with over 18 million customers, Progressive manages to attract and retain so many satisfied customers with continued commitment to saving its customers money. Progressive was the first auto insurer to offer safe-driving discounts. Even today, customers who switch to Progressive save an average of $699 per year.

Nationwide Insurance

With over 90 years covering drivers, Nationwide has learned a thing or two about what keeps customers happy (and in turn, what keeps them customers). The company's list of visions and values shows exactly where its priorities lie.

Top ratings from a variety of outlets (such as A.M. Best, S&P and Moody's) would suggest that it's working. Those values extend to employees, as well -- Nationwide was ranked No. 53 in Fortune's most recent list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For."

Travelers Insurance

Among the many plans Travelers offers is a car insurance policy that you can customize based on your needs. Rather than upsell users, Travelers offers a host of resources (in the form of blog posts) designed to educate motorists prior to purchase. An informed customer is a happy customer.

Safeco Insurance

A division of Liberty Mutual, Seattle-based Safeco has been in the auto insurance business for over 85 years, and has been a national presence for more than two decades. Safeco partners with local agents who can devote the time and attention that customers need in order to get all of their individual car insurance questions answered and requests met.

Metlife

Auto insurance may not be MetLife's best-known offering, but the company's coverage receives high ratings across the nation. Available through division MetLife Auto & Home, the company's plans are frequently offered at discounted rates through employers or affinity groups -- to the tune of an average of $597 per year.

Disclaimer: The information included in this article, including program features, program fees, and credits available through credit cards to apply to such programs, may change from time-to-time and are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please check the credit card provider's website and review its terms and conditions for the most current offers and information.   

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