There are a number of companies, such as A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s, which rate insurance providers on various financial strength aspects in order to help consumers make more informed decisions (insurance company ratings).
If you’re in the market for insurance, you should look for an organization that’s been around a while, with a proven ability to repay claims if you’re involved in an accident.
After all, it’s a lot more likely an insurer will pay your insurance claim if they’re still in business…
Each state also has a department of insurance that monitors the financial status of insurance companies and regulates their practices.
You’ll also want to consider customer service, which might not be reflected in the financial strength of an insurance company, along with price. There are plenty of solid insurance companies to choose from, so you certainly don’t need to overpay for a particular brand name.
When it comes down to it, no one will ask or care who you’re insured with, it’s definitely not something one shows off. I’ve never heard of a conspicuous insurance consumer. But it’s nice to know you’re insured with a reliable company.
All that said, here are the the top insurance companies in the United States by market share (not necessarily quality), according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC):
Top 10 Insurance Companies (All lines)
1. State Farm Insurance Group
2. Liberty Mutual Insurance Group (also owns Safeco)
3. Allstate Insurance Group (also owns Esurance)
4. Berkshire Hathaway Group (also owns Geico)
5. Progressive Insurance Group
6. Travelers Insurance Company
7. Chubb Limited Group
8. United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
9. Farmers Insurance Group (also owns 21st Century Insurance)
10. Nationwide Insurance Company
Those that just missed the cut include Hartford, Auto-Owners Insurance, Erie Insurance. After that, you probably won’t recognize many of the names.
Most of the top insurance companies listed above have maintained that real estate for a long time, and probably will always be in the top 10. However, there’s definitely been some shuffling over the past decade. This might coincide with marketing spend, not anything to do with quality of product.
American International Group (AIG) was in the top 10 before the financial crisis struck, and may return once they get their act together, but most haven’t departed the top rankings.
If we consider just auto insurance premiums written, here is how the top 10 is laid out:
Top 10 Insurance Companies (Auto only)
1. State Farm Insurance Group
2. Berkshire Hathaway Group (also owns Geico)
3. Progressive Insurance Group
4. Allstate Insurance Group (also owns Esurance)
5. United Services Automobile Association (USAA)
6. Liberty Mutual Insurance Group (also owns Safeco)
7. Farmers Insurance Group (also owns 21st Century Insurance)
8. Nationwide Insurance Company
9. Travelers Insurance Company
10. Erie Insurance Group
The auto insurance companies that just missed the cut include AAA Insurance, Auto-Owners Insurance, and Mercury Insurance.
*These lists are based on company filings from March 1st, 2018 and include the top ten insurance companies based on 2017 data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Figures for 2018 aren’t available until the year ends.
Biggest Isn’t Always Best
By “top,” they mean the largest insurance companies, not necessarily the best insurance companies. Remember, bigger isn’t always better, and in many cases could mean more red tape and hassle when dealing with them. And even a higher price!
After all, the fact that you’ve heard of all these companies means they’ve paid an awful lot of money to advertise to you, constantly. All that branding money needs to be recouped somewhere.
The companies that don’t spend billions per year on celebrity endorsements and Super Bowl commercials might actually offer you a better deal for the same basic coverage.
Keep in mind that insurance companies, much like other large corporations, don’t always specialize in just one thing. However, they do tend to stick to insurance and financial services.
The insurance companies listed above may offer a combination of property, casualty, life, and/or health insurance coverage, along with an array of financial products as well. The first set of rankings are based on all lines of insurance, and the second set of rankings is for private passenger auto only.
The first group also happen to be some of the largest car insurers around, which is driving their rankings (no pun intended). But they may also offer things like life insurance, homeowners insurance, and health insurance that pad their numbers as well.
There are thousands of insurance companies out there to choose from; some focus on only one type of insurance or one specific region of the United States. For those reasons, they may not be on this list, despite being really great companies.
For example, Mercury Insurance is one of the biggest auto insurance companies in California, but might be a relative unknown on the East Coast or the Midwest.
It’s certainly not necessary to purchase an insurance policy from one of the companies listed above to ensure you receive adequate coverage and service.
In fact, it’s recommended that you obtain insurance quotes online and consult with an independent insurance agent so you can compare all your options (even companies you’ve never heard of) to obtain the best possible price.
Related: Top 10 U.S. car insurance companies.