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Top 10 Auto Insurance Companies

10 Auto Insurance CompaniesEveryone wants to know which company is the best auto insurance company out there. However, the list of the top 10 auto insurance companies will be different from driver to driver. Each driver has different car insurance needs, so some companies will be deemed better than others.

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There are a few ways to rate the auto insurance companies that truly shine. Financial ratings, consumer-based ratings, and a few other factors can be used to separate the best from the rest. Basically, you need to identify those factors that matter to you, and then find a company that excels in those areas.

Factors That Might Matter to You

There are many facets to an auto insurance provider, and some may matter more than others to you personally.

Every driver has different needs and different personal yardsticks they use to measure quality.

When labeling a car insurance company as one of the best, you must decide which factors about an insurance company truly matter to you.

Auto Insurance CompaniesIdentifying these factors will allow you to utilize a car insurance provider that truly exhibits those best practices that you value. You have to pay for auto insurance, so you may as well reward a great insurer that will mirror your beliefs and credos. Identify your most important factors:

  • The insurer has the cheapest rates.
  • The company is known for offering many discounts.
  • The insurer also offers other insurance packages such as home insurance and life insurance so you can group services.
  • The company also offers other financial packages, such as annuities.
  • The insurance company offers affordable rates for young drivers.
  • The company offers programs like vanishing deductibles and accident forgiveness.
  • Auto Insurance Companies Top 10The insurance company caters to at-risk drivers who need insurance.
  • The company has a website that is easy to navigate and allows you to adjust your coverage, pay online, etc.
  • The company has an office in your area, and you will have a dedicated agent who knows you by name.
  • Insurance agents are available 24 hours a day.
  • The insurer has been in business a long time.
  • The insurance provider has a reputation for excellent service.
  • The insurer has high financial ratings.
  • The company participates in corporate responsibility by donating time and money that benefit nonprofits and the community.
  • The company has really funny commercials.

One Factor that Should Matter Less

If one of your most important factors was that the insurer has the cheapest insurance, you might want to rethink that. Cheap doesn’t generally mean the best when it comes to car insurance, so that factor really should matter less.

That cheap factor needs to be converted to an affordable factor.

While there is no need to overpay for auto insurance, those companies that provide rock-bottom prices can do so because they are going to fight you tooth and nail over paying your claim.Top 10 Auto Insurance

For instance, you have just been involved in an auto accident, you have injuries and damages to your car, and you need an insurance provider to help make you whole again. Which would you prefer? The cheap auto insurance provider who stalls, denies your claims, and is unhelpful at every turn? Or would you prefer the affordable insurer who costs a bit more every month, but walks you through the claims process and pays your bills promptly?

Cheap car insurance providers are likely to leave you in the lurch if you suffer an accident, theft, or other loss. The last thing you need after an accident is a cheap provider who adds insult to injury by turning the headache of an accident or loss into a nightmare.

The Biggest Company

While biggest is not always the best, it is true that the biggest auto insurance companies got that way for a reason.

Generally, the biggest auto insurance providers fulfill a number of those factors that really matter to consumers.

They have the ability to offer reasonable rates to safe drivers, they have well-created websites with a number of options, and they also usually have brick-and-mortar offices with dedicated agents. Furthermore, they have high financial ratings, and they are generally some of the biggest donors of time and money to worthy causes.

Top Auto Insurance Companies 10The largest auto insurance companies are rated by the number of customers they have. That number can be calculated into a percentage of the overall market. This information concerning market shares is collected by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and published in the 2011 Market Share Data report.

The ten largest auto insurance companies in the U.S. are:

  1. State Farm, with 18.62% of the overall market and more than $31 billion in premiums
  2. Allstate, with 10.32% of the market share and more than $17 billion in premiums written
  3. GEICO, (Berkshire Hathaway) with 9.07% of the market share and more than $15 billion in premiums Auto Insurance Companies Top
  4. Progressive, with 7.94% of the market share and more than $13 billion in premiums written
  5. Zurich Insurance Group, with 5.9% of the market and over $9 billion in premiums
  6. United Services Automobile Association Group, with 4.60% of the market and over $7 billion in premiums written
  7. Liberty Mutual Group, with 4.54% of the market and more than $7 billion in premiums
  8. Nationwide, with 4.05% of the market and more than $6 billion in premiums
  9. Traveler’s Group, with 2.08% of the market and over $3 billion in premiums
  10. American Family Insurance Group, with 1.8% of the market and more than $3 billion in premiums

Consumer-Rated Best

Some of the best data that can be relied on to assess a car insurer’s worth is consumer-based ratings. Ratings, such as those compiled by J.D. Power and Associates, are based on customer responses to surveys on a wide range of factors. The survey’s statistics are then turned into Power Circle ratings, with the best companies scoring five out of five circles.

Consumer-based ratings that are compiled by a reliable source allow you to see the true reputation of an auto insurance provider in action.

If a company has poor customer service or really high rates, those factors will be revealed by consumer-based ratings.

10 Auto Insurance Companies TopThe 2012 Auto Insurance Survey was broken into three categories, with an award of excellence going to the highest scorer in each. In the first category–the Buying Experience–the winner was the Hartford. The category rated offerings, prices, local agents, the website, and the call center representatives. Other high scorers were Auto Club Group, Nationwide, and Liberty Mutual.

The next category was Auto Claims, and it rated factors such as the service, the appraisal, and the settlement. The winner was Auto-Owners Insurance. Other notable high scores came from New Jersey Manufacturer’s Insurance Company and United Services Automobile Association Group, or USAA.

The last category rated auto insurance providers overall, on factors such as billing and payments and contacting the insurer. The winner was WAWANESA, a California-based insurer. Honorable mention went to USAA, the Hartford, and State Farm for high ratings as well.

Using Financial Ratings

10 Auto Insurance TopAnother way to assess the worth of an auto insurance company is to look at the company’s financial ratings. Financial ratings agencies review the assets and revenues of companies and businesses such as insurance providers. They compare those against the premiums an insurer has written, and assign a rating to indicate whether the company is making sound financial decisions or not.

Financial ratings are important to ensure that your auto insurance company will be able to honor its financial commitments to its policyholders. This needs to be true even in the event of undesirable situations such as a rocky economy or a large natural disaster that generates a high number of claims.

Ratings companies such as A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, and Weiss Ratings are all well-known companies with a history of sound ratings. Only the best auto insurance companies, or those in the top 10, have a high financial rating.

Comparing Companies

One last, sure-fire way to find the top 10 rated auto insurance companies for you is to compare prices. The simplest and easiest way to achieve this is to utilize auto insurance quote comparison websites. They allow you to quickly and easily compare the range of prices available for your unique situation as a driver.

10 Auto Insurance Top CompaniesThis is an excellent way to find those affordable rates: You can also find a lot of cheap rates, but if those companies aren’t rated highly in consumer-based ratings and financial ratings, then forget them.

As a case in point, a 2012 study conducted by the Consumer Federation of America found huge differences in auto insurance pricing. The study was focused on comparing auto insurance rates for people in low-income areas, but they also revealed some startling results about pricing in general.

In the study, the exact same driver demographics were used to get quotes for auto insurance coverage from four of the major auto insurance providers in the country. Not one jot of information about the driver was different, down to the city in which the driver resided and the make and model of the car she drove.

Companies 10 Auto Insurance Top Despite the exact same information about the driver, the study found auto insurance rates that ranged from $762 to $3,390! It is important to note that the quotes came from some of the largest providers of insurance in the country; those providers who should be able to offer reasonable quotes to those with good driving records. A difference of more than $2,000 for coverage for the exact same driver is a major revelation.

The lesson here is that comparing car insurance quotes will allow you to determine which auto insurance providers are in your top ten.

Generally, they have affordable rates, a good reputation with their customers, and high financial ratings to weather any storm. Be sure that you are comparing apples to apples.

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