I just bought a new car last month. Part of the car buying process is getting insurance. Y'all trying to find the best car insurance can be a real job! We all know the big car insurance brands: State Farm, Geico, Progressive, Allstate… you know, the ones with the cool commercials. But, after browsing those sites, I’m never sure if I’m actually getting the best deals. And you know I'm all about research before making a decision. Before I bought my car I searched several car sites, dealer sites, and review sites. Why wouldn't I do the same when looking for insurance? So this time I used Clearsurance, and what I found totally caught me by surprise. All those household brands we all see advertised so often? They aren’t ranked very highly.
Clearsurance, which is a website that collects reviews from people about their insurance company, uses the data it gathers to create unbiased rankings of car insurance companies, both by state and nationally for 2018. The detailed breakdown helps you compare companies and find coverage that’s actually the best deal for your location and driving history.
Once I got over my surprise, I decided to see what companies other consumers ranked as the best car insurance options in Illinois and if my car insurer was rated highly by other consumers. I didn’t even recognize some of the companies that ranked ahead of the giants in car insurance, including my own insurer.
For instance, Amica Mutual, which offers a homeownership discount, was founded in 1907 and ranks as the fifth best company in all of Illinois. Amica Mutual’s 4.46 rating out of 5 on Clearsurance is significantly higher than that of Progressive (4.16) and Allstate (4.1).
Take a look at what companies are ranked as the top 5 car insurers in Illinois on Clearsurance:
- USAA — 4.68
- Meemic Insurance Company — 4.57
- Erie Insurance Group — 4.48
- California Casualty Group — 4.47
- Amica Mutual Insurance Company— 4.46
These aren’t the names we typically associate with car insurance. So why are these brands so much better than the big companies we all know? Clearsurance has tons of great information to help you navigate your car insurance coverage, and one of the things I discovered is that companies like Geico and Allstate spend billions of dollars a year on advertisements to become the names we think of when it’s time to buy car insurance or consider switching car insurance. But those advertising dollars have to come from somewhere, and it ends up driving up the cost of our insurance premiums.
Why should we be paying more to insure our cars so that our insurer can solicit new business?
For the most part, the companies rated highly in Illinois are lesser known than the big names. But the bottom line is, they’re better. These are the companies that other policyholders have found offer fair prices with good customer service and claims handling.
Still, we’re not all eligible for these top insurers, and we don’t all have the same insurance needs. That’s something else Clearsurance understands and helps you navigate. For example, USAA is the best car insurance company for Illinoisans, but it only serves active and former military members and their families. And at a company like Meemic Insurance, if you pay your bill in full, you can earn a discount, but that might not be a good option for you if you work on a month-to-month budget. Plus, not all car insurance companies cover high-risk drivers, so if you have a lot of accidents on your record or a DUI, you may not be able to obtain coverage from one of these companies.
What are the best options for high-risk drivers in Illinois?
I did some digging into the car insurance companies that sell in Illinois and offer policies to high-risk drivers, often referred to as non-standard drivers. Using their ratings on Clearsurance, I found two companies for high-risk drivers:
- Safe Auto – With a rating of 3.91, Safe Auto doesn’t compare as well with the highest rated companies in Illinois, but it tops the list among companies that cover high-risk drivers. The reviews talk about Safe Auto being among the cheapest options people could find, and consumers seem to have pretty good overall experience with the company after a claim.
- The General – The most well-known among companies on this list, The General has a rating of 3.68. Consumers seem to believe The General offers cheap prices, but the low rates are reflected in the customer service and handling of claims.
Finding the best car insurance for you or your family shouldn’t have to be completely mind-boggling. Once you step outside the buzz of all those big name brands, figuring out which companies actually offer the best customer service at the best price becomes a lot easier, especially if you’ve got Clearsurance on your team.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you by Clearsurance and Acorn Influence. All opinions are my own.