Car Insurance / Car Insurance Buying Guide / What is the best car insurance?

What is the best car insurance?

If you buy things online, you’re probably used to asking your preferred search engine to point you to recommendations for the “best” version of what you’re buying. Many reviewers, both professionals and consumers, are happy to tell you why their favorite widget is the best widget and which widgets to avoid altogether.

Reviewed by: Max Cho, Licensed Insurance Broker NPN 20377411

In this guide: Best car insurance / Recommended car insurance / When to buy / How to buy

Sometimes you get useful advice, but with complex financial products, this approach probably won’t help you much. People’s expectations of car insurance vary wildly, but more importantly, people’s car insurance needs vary wildly. You should not rely on word of mouth to choose car insurance.

The best car insurance companies

We think trying to find the “best car insurance company” isn’t a good way to shop for car insurance.

Policy details

In reality, the car insurance companies are all about the same. What differs is the policies they offer. Often we think of our “coverage” as our “policy.” These are not synonymous. Your coverage limits are one part of your insurance policy, but so are all of the rules that say what the insurer will pay for and when.

The actual policy is where the rubber meets the road on whether or not you have a good insurer. And the insurers don’t show you the policy before you buy!

Customer reviews

You could try to rely on online customer reviews to decide what the best insurance company is, but each person’s insurance experience is different and personalized, so crowd-sourced data from laypeople isn’t really helpful either. 

Here’s an example. In the same city, with the same insurance company, you could have a great claims adjuster who does everything right and thrills their customers while a lazy one that works in the same office makes their customers' post-claim life a nightmare. How could you judge the company based on the performance of one claims adjuster?

Professional reviews

CRASH Network’s Insurer Report Card asks car repair shops which insurers ask them to take shortcuts (use cheaper parts) when making repairs. That we have access to this data is great, and their downloadable PDF is full of helpful information, but it’s incomplete. Many regional insurers are not included in their survey of collision repair shops. We love that they point out the better grades given to each insurance company by repair shops that work directly with an insurance company vs independent shops.

Ease of purchase

You might look at how easy an insurance company makes it to get a quote and buy insurance as a measure of “best” but none of that matters once you sign on the dotted line. All that tells you is which insurance company is best at getting your money.

Watchdog data

One place for trustworthy data (though typically not super useful), is the non-profit organizations acting as consumer watchdogs for the insurance industry. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) makes it hard to access their information, though if you did the work yourself, what you’d find is that most insurers have roughly the same number of complaints per customer, but you should definitely stay away from Safe Auto.

At the end of the data, most of this information doesn’t get you any closer to buying the right insurance for your needs, but Coverage Cat can help with that.

The best car insurance coverage

Is the best coverage the minimum coverage? It might be if you’re struggling to pay your bills every month. Is the best coverage the “full coverage” option? It might be if you are highly risk averse and you have a lot of assets to protect.

The best insurance coverage is highly personal, based on your financial situation and your risk tolerance. If your motto is “better safe than sorry” then more coverage is a good idea (if you can afford it).

Sometimes the best car insurance coverage is packaging your policy with umbrella insurance (secondary liability coverage). This option gives you significantly more liability protection with a lower monthly insurance bill (combination of your premiums).

Adding umbrella insurance to your insurance mix is the kind of smart policy recommendation you’ll get from Coverage Cat.

Need help shopping for car insurance?

Coverage Cat shops for your insurance for you. We search across dozens of major insurers, and use data science to compare millions of real quotes, to find the best combination of policies, coverage, and price for your personal financial situation.

Our promise:

  • We will never share your personal information with anyone other than the insurance companies we get quotes from
  • You will not receive any phone calls from us or any other insurance companies
  • We will only send you a few emails while we find the perfect insurance for you

We can only optimize car insurance for people in: California, Florida, New York, Texas, and Washington state. More states are coming soon.

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Coverage Cat, Inc. is a licensed insurance broker (or producer). In California Coverage Cat does business under the name Coverage Cat Insurance Services. Coverage Cat’s license numbers are listed here. Coverage Cat places insurance with a number of insurance companies, each of which is not an affiliate of Coverage Cat.