Auto Insurance: Ratings of Sources
Total of 19 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
Auto Insurer Ratings
by Editors of ConsumerReports.org
Our AssessmentConsumerReports.org surveyed 28,241 people who filed a claim with their auto insurers between January 2006 and June 2009. Editors use survey results to rank 22 companies from best to worst, rating them on claims problems, non-claims problems and timely payment. The same four companies top not only this ranking but also previous rankings from 2006 and 1999. Editors caution against several well-known companies that they say engage in bad business practices.
by Editors of J.D. Power and Associates
Our AssessmentJ.D. Power and Associates surveyed more than 25,000 policyholders about their auto insurance in February and March 2010. Editors rank 34 major insurers in easy-to-read charts based on several criteria related to price and customer service. Top-rated companies here -- Amica Mutual, USAA, Auto-Owners and Erie Insurance -- also tend to get good ratings elsewhere.
Check Out a Business or Charity
by Editors of the Better Business Bureau
Our AssessmentThe Better Business Bureau awards letter grades to many companies, based on how they handle customer complaints. Each local BBB provides its own grades, and a single company may get a C in one state and an A in another; other experts say that this reflects real-life differences in insurance customer service from branch-to-branch. Several companies that get high ratings from other sources, including top-rated Amica Mutual and USAA, also earn A-plus grades from the BBB. Generally, this is the go-to source for checking out your local insurance office.
2010 Annual Ranking of Automobile Insurance Complaints
by Staff of the New York State Insurance Department
Our AssessmentMost states' insurance departments keep track of customer complaints, but only a few issue reports pinpointing the most and least complaint-ridden companies. New York's report is particularly clear, and the best companies here also tend to be the best companies in other reviews. Rankings show which of 40 companies had the fewest complaints upheld against them (per millions of dollars of coverage) in 2009. Three insurers have made the top 10 for four straight years: Chubb, USAA and Amica Mutual.
Property and Casualty Insurers
by Editors of Weiss Ratings
Our AssessmentWeiss Ratings, which is owned by TheStreet.com, rates the financial health of companies, similar to Standard & Poor's and Moody's, but a May 2009 analysis by ConsumerReports.org found TheStreet.com's ratings to be the most stringent. The site publishes a regularly updated list of the financially strongest and 10 weakest auto insurers, which you can access for free if you register. Companies that earn the highest rating of A-plus include USAA, Dairyland Auto (a subsidiary of Sentry Insurance), Hastings Mutual and the Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club (affiliated with the Southern California AAA chapter).
Consumer Information Source
by Editors of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Our AssessmentWhen people file a formal complaint about an insurance company, they usually file it with their state department of insurance. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners collects these complaints and figures out which companies get more or fewer complaints than average for their size nationwide. You can look up companies by name in this database to find this complaint information, as well as a financial profile for each company. Although there are no ratings here, this is an excellent general source for checking up on an auto insurer's complaint history.
Standing the Test of Time
by Editors of Best's Review magazine
Our AssessmentBest's Review magazine rates the financial strength of most insurance companies, from A++ to D. You can look up individual companies in its easy-to-search online database. Some experts recommend dealing only with insurance companies that rate B-plus or higher at A.M. Best, but a May 2009 ConsumerReports.org analysis found Best's Review a lenient grader. This report names 55 property/casualty insurers that have maintained a grade of A or higher for at least 75 years and 55 that have done it for 50 years. Several auto insurers on the list also currently hold the highest rating of A++, including Amica, USAA, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance, Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance and several Chubb subsidiaries.
Insurance Financial Strength Ratings
by Editors of Moody's
Our AssessmentMoody's publishes frequently updated financial ratings for hundreds of insurers, but USAA is the only U.S. auto insurer to earn Moody's highest rating of AAA. You must register at the site for free to access the ratings.
by Editors of Fitch Ratings
Our AssessmentAs at Moody's, USAA is the only U.S. auto insurer to earn Fitch Ratings' highest financial stability rating of AAA. You must register on the website to access these ratings (insurance is listed under the Sectors tab), but registration is free.
Insurance Rating List: Property/Casualty
by Editors of Standard & Poor's
Our AssessmentUnlike other financial raters, Standard & Poor's doesn't list its highest-rated insurance companies, but you can look them up individually. We checked ratings for the biggest auto insurers and those that are top-rated by our other sources, and only USAA earns S&P's highest financial-strength rating of AAA.
High Net Worth Consumers Rank USAA, Chubb, and American Family Top Three P/C Insurers
by Editors of Insurance Journal
Our AssessmentUSAA "significantly outperformed" other property/casualty insurers in a survey of wealthy people by the market-research firm Luxury Institute, this insurance-industry journal reports. Chubb and American Family are runners-up in a field of 15 major insurers. The Luxury Institute surveyed more than 2,100 households with at least $200,000 in gross yearly income and a minimum net worth of $750,000.
Choosing the Right Auto Insurer
by Editors of SmartMoney magazine
Our AssessmentThis article does a great job explaining which types of insurance companies are best for certain types of drivers -- safe, higher-risk or rural. SmartMoney names specific companies for each category, but it doesn't pick any favorites.
The Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America
by American Association for Justice
Our AssessmentThis trial lawyers' group (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) names America's 10 worst insurance companies based on "thousands of court documents, SEC and FBI records, state insurance department investigations and complaints, news accounts from across the country, and the testimony and depositions of former insurance agents and adjusters." Although the report isn't dated, it cites sources from as late as June 2008. The anecdotes about insurance companies are compelling, but this report doesn't name any good companies. Five auto insurers make the list of worst companies: Allstate, AIG, State Farm, Farmers and Liberty Mutual.
Insurance -- Auto
by Contributors to Epinions.com
Our AssessmentConsumers rate dozens of insurance companies here, but some have only one or two reviews. However, USAA, an insurance company for military families, maintains an outstanding 4.5-star rating (out of 5) with 187 reviews. Several other insurers have lots of reviews, too, including all of the biggest companies and some smaller ones like Erie and Amica. You'll find positive, negative and neutral reviews here.
Auto Insurance Reviews
by Contributors to Viewpoints.com
Our AssessmentConsumers rate 89 auto-insurance companies here. Some big companies get hundreds of ratings, including USAA. It's the top-rated company, earning an average rating of 4.6 (out of 5) with nearly 500 ratings posted.
by Contributors to CarReview.com
Our AssessmentConsumers have rated 18 insurance companies at this site, including most of the big names, and most companies get plenty of reviews. However, some of the reviews are outdated. No company gets very good marks at this site, partly because it accepts reviews from crash victims; companies that get good marks elsewhere from their policyholders (such as USAA) earn complaints here from people who have been crashed into by those policyholders.
Auto Insurance Consumer Reviews
by Contributors to My3Cents.com
Our AssessmentYou'll find positive and negative consumer reviews here, organized by company, although there are no ratings to help you pick the best auto insurer. The very biggest companies get plenty of reviews, but others get only a handful.
by Contributors to ConsumerAffairs.com
Our AssessmentThis website collects consumer complaints and presorts them neatly -- in this case, by auto-insurance company. Lawyers review all complaints for free and may contact the complainant. However, none of the complaints have been verified as accurate, and you can find complaints about almost every company. The site also publishes news and how-to articles about auto insurance.
FBIC Ranking 100
by Editors of Fight Bad-faith Insurance Companies
Our AssessmentIt pops up often as a link on trial lawyers' websites, but this website doesn't identify who runs it and gives no street address (although it does prominently provide a way to make online donations -- it says it's a nonprofit). It divides 100 companies into Hall of Fame and Hall of Shame categories based, it says, on how satisfactorily they pay claims, but its "research sources" and "methodology" sections say only vaguely how this is decided. However, two of the site's top-rated companies -- Chubb and Amica Mutual -- are also highly rated by reliable sources. Allianz also earns a top ranking.