State Farm has cornered the largest chunk of the car insurance market, and because of that, it can accommodate a large range of customers -- often including those with spotty driving records. Though rates may be slightly higher than competitors', customers say helpful, personable agents make the price worth it. State Farm's army of local agents can be a double-edged sword, however -- a bad one can mean a bad overall experience.
High satisfaction with agents. State Farm receives fair or good marks in customer surveys of satisfaction with claims. Customers report satisfactory interaction with agents and generally smooth repair and settlement processes, but average experiences with appraisals and the rental-car process. Though State Farm maintains a list of approved repair shops that meet certain performance standards, customers may also select their own. State Farm does not require the use of parts manufactured by the original vehicle manufacturer during repairs. Coverage for rental-car reimbursement is available.
Rates tend to the high side. Customers report average satisfaction with State Farm's premiums. Rates tend to be higher than those of some of the other largest auto insurers, some reviewers say, but many insist the prices are warranted by prompt, personable customer service. Others say quality of service can vary depending on local agents. The company gets high marks for a smooth shopping experience, plan flexibility and a wide range of discounts, which include lower rates for good students, safe drivers and multiple policies. Policyholders may report claims 24 hours a day.
ConsumerReports.org editors rate 25 national and regional auto insurers. The ratings are reliable and unbiased, and are based on customer surveys that focus on satisfaction with speed of service, the claims process, estimates and premiums. Unlike other products, there are no in-depth reviews of the insurers with editorial comments.
Review: Car Insurance Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
2. J.D. Power & Associates
State Farm receives 4 circles out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction. It also receives 4 circles, or an above-average ranking, for first notice of loss, service interaction, and the repair and settlement processes. The company receives 3 circles, an average rating, for the appraisal process and rental-car experience.
Review: 2012 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, Oct. 29, 2012
3. J.D. Power & Associates
State Farm receives strong marks in regional rankings, getting 5 circles out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction in the West, as well as the north-central and Southeast U.S. The company gets 4 circles in California and the central U.S., and 3 in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic.
Review: 2012 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, June 25, 2012
4. J.D. Power & Associates
State Farm receives 4 circles out of 5, or above-average marks, for overall purchase experience in J.D. Power and Associates' auto insurance shopping study. The company receives 5 circles for policy offerings, 3 for price, 4 for local agents and 5 for its website.
Review: 2013 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, April 29, 2013
State Farm receives 4 out of 5 stars overall in Insure.com's customer satisfaction ratings. It receives 4.5 stars for claims processing and customer service, and 3.5 for value. Seventy percent of customers say they would recommend State Farm to a friend, while 88 percent say they will renew their policies.
Review: Best Insurance Companies: Customer Satisfaction Ratings for 2013, Editors of Insure.com, Not dated
State Farm earns 80 out of 100 points in more than 770 reviews. It receives 4 out of 5 for both customer service and available plans. Ratings also include home and life insurance. Most reviewers praise the company for its service and response time; others say they had poor experiences getting claims paid and low valuations after accidents.
Review: State Farm Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com, As of May 2013
State Farm earns 3 out of 5 stars in more than 250 reviews on Epinions.com. Many reviewers praise the responsiveness of their local agents, speed of service and fair rates. However, some customers say they had problems getting claims paid or were unfairly dropped from the company.
Review: State Farm Group - Auto, Contributors to Epinions.com, As of May 2013
State Farm is seventh in this ranking of 10 major car insurance companies, earning 8.4 out of 10 points. They fare best for policy flexibility and benefits and discounts, but lower for response and repair and customer service/claims timeliness.
Review: 2013 Best Car Insurance Reviews and Comparisons, Editors of TopTenReviews.com, Not dated