March 2, 2010

Top Insurance Companies to Consider for Auto Insurance in 2010

Anyone who watches television even a little must be aware of how heavily auto insurance companies advertise for your business. Obviously they must be having success running non-stop commercials, or they wouldn’t keep doing it. If you are in the market for a new motor vehicle policy, you might be tempted simply to call one of the firms that you see on TV. Usually they will be happy to give you an auto insurance quote. That’s one way to make your decision, and not necessarily a bad way, either. However, because this is such a competitive industry, there exists a wealth of data to assist the careful consumer. A little research can yield valuable insights about the top auto insurance companies. Here are several choices for your consideration in 2010.

One important factor is the overall financial strength of the company. Make sure to examine the “letter grade” awarded by an Independent Ratings firm. If you register with A.M Best, for example, you will gain instant access to their huge members-only credit rating database. Using the search function you can quickly pull up the file on any of the major auto insurance carriers. Some highlights: Travelers Auto Insurance Co., GEICO, and Progressive all receive A or A+ marks or better for financial strength rating. AAA Auto Clubs has many different franchises organized by state or region; their ratings vary from B++ to A+.

Customer service is also a critical factor for most drivers. If you focus exclusively on price, and only look at the auto insurance quotes, you may be frustrated and disappointed if you are in an accident and need to file a claim. This is where consumer advocacy groups can be helpful. Visit the websites of the Better Business Bureau (, Consumer Reports (, and Public Citizen ( for lots of independent reviews and exposes.

Finally, consider the many “Top Ten” lists that are available online. While the criteria and bias of the different websites can always be debated, it is a good place to start. Reading reviews and comments from other consumers can be very revealing. Usually the rankings are a combination of elements, like affordability, value of services, and responsiveness, in addition to price, of course. The following twenty companies seem to be highly regarded by large and varied segments of the critical press. They are listed alphabetically: AAA, AARP, Allstate, American Family, Ameriprise, Cotton States, Esurance, Farmers Insurance, Geico, GMAC Insurance, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, OML, Progressive, Safeco, Seminole Casualty Insurance, State Farm, Travelers, 21st Century Insurance, and USAA. Somewhere in that group is a coverage plan that will fit your needs. The “top” choice will depend on you; as the saying goes, “your mileage may vary.”