Best Insurance Companies 2018: Customers rate today’s top carriers
It’s easy to feel like you got your money’s worth from a delicious meal or a much-anticipated vacation, but what about when it comes to something you don’t necessarily want but need – like which are the best insurance companies?
Each year, Insure.com’s Best Insurance Companies Survey reveals the 20 best auto insurance companies and the 15 best insurers for health, home and life insurance.
So instead of worrying that you’re not getting the best that hard-earned money can buy, you can enjoy that sweet satisfaction that comes with being a savvy consumer.
Auto, health and home insurers were ranked based on the ratings from surveyed policyholders in the categories of customer service, claims service, value for price, plan to renew, and would recommend. This year Insure.com also asked policyholders to weigh in on their insurance companies’ website and apps, to see which carriers have the most useful and accessible onscreen experience.
Unlike evaluations you might find elsewhere, Insure.com"s Best Insurance Companies is the result of a survey of current customers – people just like you. We believe it to be the most comprehensive, up-to-date assessment available.
“Our survey is a great tool in helping alleviate the anxiety of wondering if there’s something better out there that you’re missing,” says Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for Insure.com. “You might ask five or six family members for recommendations or spend hours online or on the phone. We’ve asked more than 3,000 people, and in one glance, you can make the best determination for your needs.”
Gusner also provides an insurance company comparison tip for each category, but if you have a question not answered here, you can ask her directly by sending it to our “Ask the Insurance Expert” queue. The Insurance Advisor tool she developed with the Insure.com staff can also help you identify gaps in coverage.
Best auto insurance companies Car insurance companies assess many factors when setting your rate, including your driving record, your age, the type of car you drive and the frequency and cost of car insurance claims in your ZIP code. One company might rate the area in which you live more favorably than another, so it’s always worth comparing quotes at least every year so you can take advantage of best rates available.
1. USAA 89.98 88.04 90.47 94.51 84.56 92% / 94% 2. American Family 88.34 84.47 89.51 92.63 86.34 93% / 94% 2. Allstate 88.34 84.8 89.35 94 84.4 89% / 93% *USAA requires military affiliation in order to have an account.
USAA auto insurance not only ranks No. 1 overall, but also on the individual metrics of customer service satisfaction, claims processing, value and plan to renew. Its limited membership, however, means it’s not available to everyone.
“They actually care about you as a person and not just a client. Not only do they have the best rates, but they give you a lot of benefits with a really low rate.” – policyholder quote American Family car insurance tied for second overall, but in the top spot for most serviceable website and apps and in the top four on all other metrics but cost. For price it landed in the middle of the pack, in ninth place. But policyholders had positive experiences with customer service, which is likely why American Family was one of the companies with the most customers who said they were likely to renew their policies.
“They look out for you to make sure you have the correct amount of insurance and work with you to make sure you can afford it.” – policyholder quote Allstate car insurance, tied for second, ranking in the top four for claims, customer service and for how easy and useful its website and apps were. Feedback showed it to be a well-balanced company, but not cheap. “Overall good coverage, but a bit pricey,” was a sentiment some shared, which shows in the ranking with Allstate’s price to be average and coming in eighth in value for price.
“They have great customer service and proactively make sure I get the coverage I need and any discounts I am entitled to receive.” – policyholder quote Car insurance comparison tip: “Shop your policy upon renewal, as well as when you move, add or drop a car or driver, have any significant life event or change in your credit score. Get at least three quotes and be sure to use the same level of coverage for all of them,” says Gusner. “Beware that lots of discounts doesn’t necessarily mean you pay less. Some companies with lots of discounts have a higher base rate, so they can wind up being more expensive than companies with a lower base rate with fewer discounts.”
Best health insurance companies Health care in the U.S. can be an overwhelming field to navigate, so finding a company with which you can feel satisfied and cared for is like winning the Olympic Gold Medal at Adulting. Whether you have insurance through your employer, the Marketplace, or an individual policy, familiarizing yourself with the players in the game and their plan offerings and can help you make better choices come open enrollment.
Plans to recommend Would renew 1. Horizon BCBS of New Jersey 89.46 89.2 89.6 89.84 86.6 89% 96% 2. EmblemHealth 89.29 88.68 90.57 90.18 86.79 97% 89% 3. Humana 87.59 87.02 87.6 90.3 84.23 89% 87% Horizon BCBS of New Jersey ranked first overall and on price, and second on customer service and website/app service. It landed in the middle of the pack for claims handling, at eighth, but the difference between it and the top score was less than one point. Still, it was among companies with the highest percentage of policyholders who said they’d renew coverage.
Great customer service, paid claims on time.” – policyholder quote EmblemHealth is No. 2 overall and for price, but took the top spot for customer service, for having the highest percentage of policyholders say they’d recommend them and for having useful and easy-to-use website/apps.
“They understand the needs and questions of their clients, it’s easy to reach a live person and they have a wide range of services and coverage that fit my needs.” – policyholder quote Humana ranked No. 3 on most metrics, overall score, customer service, claims satisfaction, price and useful websites/apps. However, it recently stopped selling individual health plans, though you may still see it offered as an option for your health benefits from your employer.
“I am quite satisfied with the service offered by my insurance company and its representative is always willing to help me with what I need, plus I always get the best specialists so I feel that my family and I are protected.” – policyholder quote Health insurance company comparison tip: “Ask these questions: How is the plan structured? For instance, a health maintenance organization, or HMO, generally doesn"t cover care outside its provider network. A preferred provider organization, or PPO, also features a network of providers, but still provides some coverage when you see providers outside the network.
Who is in the network? Make sure the providers you want to see are included in the network.
What’s covered? Check to see if the prescription drugs you take are included in the plan"s list of covered medications.
How much do you pay out of pocket for care? Review the deductible, copayment and co-insurance amounts.
How much do you pay for coverage? Compare the annual premium among health plans with the same coverage.
See scores and rankings for all 15 health insurance companies in the survey.
Best home insurance companies Your home insurance protects what is likely your most valuable asset. But many homeowners don’t review their coverage after they close on the house, leaving them at risk for being underinsured. Industry research suggests that three out of five American homes are underinsured by an average of 20 percent. Even if you have sufficient coverage, if you don’t shop your policy you could be overpaying. Assess your needs and your current policy, then compare the options carefully, and rest a little easier.
Plans to renew Would recommend 1. USAA 90.38 89.24 89.92 94 86.09 97% 89% 2. Chubb 89.75 90.39 88.82 90.55 86 94% 99% 3. Allstate 88.34 85.73 88.94 93.26 83.95 92% 89% USAA homeowners insurance not only ranks No. 1 overall, but also on the individual metrics of customer service satisfaction, claims processing and useful website/apps. Its limited membership, however, means it’s not available to everyone.
“USAA listens to your needs and helps you find the best coverage at an affordable rate with the ability to increase or decrease your coverage as needed.” – policyholder quote Chubb homeowners insurance scored second overall, and also placed in the top three for value, likely to recommend and customer service. Though Chubb specializes in wealthy homeowners, you don’t have to be well-to-do to take advantage of its generous coverage options not offered by other carriers, such as cash settlement and extended liability payouts and wildfire protection.
“It has fair prices, cares what happens to its customers, and finally, the claim process is very easy and responsive.” – policyholder quote Allstate homeowners insurance was well liked by its surveyed policyholders, ranking third overall and second in two key areas – claims and customer service satisfaction. Allstate customers say the company is very good at explaining coverage in a way that’s easy to understand and in walking you through scenarios so you can confidently decide how much coverage you need.
“We have always had great service and received good advice from them, and I feel like they are always looking out for our best interests.” – policyholder quote Home insurance company comparison tip: “I recommend buying enough dwelling coverage to rebuild or repair your home with equitable materials in today’s market and $300,000 or more in liability coverage,” says Gusner. “More and more companies are offering special coverages, such as replacement value with no extra cost, so be sure to put companies with perks on your short list.”
Best life insurance companies Due to the unique nature of life insurance products, claims processing and likelihood of renewal are omitted from the scoring. The categories of customer service, value for price, usefulness of website/apps and would recommend are the weighted factors measured in ranking the best life insurance companies.
Would recommend 1. Lincoln National 89.02 88.91 90.3 82.02 94% 2. Allstate 88.68 88.39 89.65 83.74 91% 3. MetLife 88.01 88.48 87.93 85.24 85% Lincoln National ranks No. 1 overall, and also on the individual metrics of customer service satisfaction, price and the percentage of people who would recommend it. It placed eleventh for usefulness of website/apps. It offers policies with a long-term care component with a range of riders you can add to customize your policy. Lincoln National has competitive rates for those with health conditions. It also has life insurance policies with accelerated benefit riders (ABRs) that let policyholders use their policies to pay for care for chronic illness, terminal illness, and long-term care.
“They treat you like a person not a robot. Plus, you speak to real people when you call. And they work with you to get the most out of your coverage, when it is needed.” – policyholder quote Allstate life insurance ranked second overall, and second for customer service, and fifth for price, but was still less than one point beyond the No. 1 spot for those categories. It placed eight for website/apps merit. Allstate provides one-stop insurance shopping, as you can also buy home and auto protection.
“I have had nothing but good experiences with my life insurance company. They are kind, caring, and very detailed when discussing your plans with you. They show that they care, and are always willing to answer any questions you send their way. They also seem to always be available.” – policyholder quote MetLife ranked third overall and for price, fifth on usefulness of its website and apps, and landed in the middle of the pack at eighth for customer service and seventh for those who’d recommend it. Despite that, it was less than one point behind the leaders in all categories except customer service. For those ages 45 to 75, MetLife offers a Final Expense Whole Life Insurance policy, also known as guaranteed acceptance life insurance, as it doesn’t require a medical exam or questionnaire, and is sold online or over the phone. This policy builds cash value and its premiums never increase.
“Have been with them over 30 years and never a problem at all with any of the reps we have dealt with. Easy to reach, and good solid products at competitive prices, so that is why I would recommend them.” – policyholder quote Life insurance company comparison tip: “With life insurance, the hope is that you’re in it for the long-haul, so you do want to check the financial strength of any company you are considering to be sure it is, too,” says Gusner. “Don’t buy more than you need. In many cases, a simple term life policy is sufficient. Also, some companies are more affordable for smokers and those with poor health than others, so be sure to research those issues before buying a policy.”
Customer satisfaction is king While everyone loves a bargain, price was overshadowed by service when surveyed policyholders were asked to leave feedback. When customers described their insurance company, the overwhelming majority commented about how the company treated them, how responsive the company was in answering questions about coverage or claims and about features of the coverage, such as discounts and apps. It’s not that price wasn’t mentioned, but rather that it wasn’t the main reason policyholders liked – or disliked-- their insurer.
Agree with our findings? Disagree? Join the conversation by sharing your own experience with your insurance provider in the commenting forum below. To see all the comments for each company, as well as detailed information on each company’s coverage and discounts, visit our company pages by clicking on the company links in the text of this article.
Methodology Note that this is an independent editorial analysis devoid of affiliations or partnerships of any kind– companies did not pay to be included.
Insure.com commissioned Op4G to survey more than 3,100 insurance customers nationwide in December 2017. The survey collected customer ratings for 20 leading companies in the auto category and 15 leading companies in each of the home, health and life categories. Only current customers of the insurers on our lists were surveyed, and the survey was not open to the general public on the Insure.com website.
Auto, home and health insurers were ranked according to a weighted 6-point measurement of the following factors: customer service, claims processing, value for price, merit of website/apps, would recommend and would renew. Life insurers were rated on a weighted 4-point measurement on customer service, value for price, merit of website/apps and would recommend.
The A.M. Best ratings, discounts and coverage options noted in the survey do not affect the scores, but are provided as a supplementary resource.
Insure.com makes these ratings freely available via this site. The views and opinions expressed by users do not reflect the views and opinions of Insure.com. Insure.com expressly disclaims any and all liability in connection with the ratings.
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