As you can see, State Farm was the top auto insurance provider in California in 2008 (the most recent data available), according to the California Department of Insurance.
The company grabbed 12.9% market share with $2.54 billion in written premium, followed by The Automobile Club, which raked in 8.9% market share with $1.76 billion in written premium.
The California State Automobile Association grabbed the third spot with 6.8% market share and $1.34 billion in written premium, followed closely by Mercury, with 6.6% market share and $1.3 billion in written premium.
Rounding out the top five was Allstate, with 6.4% market share and $1.26 billion in written premium.
A number of other notables are in the top 25, including Farmers, 21st Century, Progressive, Geico, and Esurance.
Perhaps rather surprisingly, Geico held only a 1.8% share of private passenger insurance in California in 2008, despite their strong advertising push; Esurance held less than 1% market share.
Also note that many insurance companies have subsidiaries and are listed multiple times.
Insurance providers often write through multiple “companies” with the same name, which is referred to as the “holding company.” The reasons can be many.
For example, it is darn near impossible for an insurer to raise rates in California, so “another company” may be formed to introduce a new, more expensive product line.
Or a company may sell both direct to the public and through independent agents. That’s what Mercury, Allstate, and others are doing here.
One product cannot have both credit and non-credit lines, so each would need to be written under a different company.
As I mentioned before, this isn’t necessarily a gauge of quality, but more about market share, and the names an independent agent may throw your way.
Read more: Top 10 auto insurance companies by market share.