Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Written by Shuman Roy
Content Writer & Entrepreneur Shuman Roy

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Jun 3, 2022

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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 for an auto insurance policy or really any sort of coverage for your personal property, 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 cost. There is a wide range 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, so 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. That’s why it’s best to look at various companies, so you get the best option when it comes to insurers.

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):

What are the top ten insurance companies for all types of coverage?

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 insurers that just missed the cut include Hartford, Auto-Owners Insurance, Erie Insurance. After that, you probably won’t recognize many of the names. Rest assured, there is still a wide range of providers out there.

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 ten. However, there’s definitely been some shuffling over the past decade. This might coincide with marketing fluctuation, not anything to do with quality of the insurance products that are being offered.

American International Group (AIG) was in the top ten 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:

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

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What are the top ten insurance companies (for an auto policy 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.

With researching auto insurance rates, you can certainly use this list as a template, though you should always check out more than the largest insurance companies. Sometimes, the smallest names will end up having the most affordable rate, depending on what you’re looking to insure.

*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.

Isn’t the biggest always the best?

Bigger doesn’t necessarily equal better. It just means they write more insurance than their competitors, and chances are they also spend more on marketing. It’s perfectly fine to go with a non-top ten insurer and you might even save money!

By ‘top’ they mean the largest insurers, not necessarily the best. 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. Some of the largest companies may offer every single coverage option under the sun, which means you’ll have to focus on other aspects of the company to determine if they’re a good fit. Find out if they provide excellent customer service, and see if they offer some sort of multi-policy discount since you may be able to use them for all your coverage needs.

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. This merely serves to show you what your option range would be, should you choose one of the top ten companies.

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.

Remember, focus on customer satisfaction, which you can find in online consumer reports, as well as what the average cost in your area will be with that specific insurer. Don’t let popularity cloud your perception of quality. When a company suffers from consumer complaints, that can have a huge impact on customer satisfaction, which could end up losing an insurer potential customers.

Related: Top 10 U.S. car insurance companies.