Auto Insurance Showdown: State Farm, Progressive, Liberty Mutual & Nationwide

One of the most important steps in obtaining auto insurance is thoroughly researching and comparing your options. After all, there are thousands of companies out there and they certainly don’t all offer the same level of protection, service and affordability. Of course, comparison shopping isn’t so much fun when it’s for insurance and you’ve probably been putting it off or considering skipping it all together. Don’t! We’ve done the hard work for you and provided a comparison of three top auto insurance companies:

Car Insurance Comparison Points

So what are you supposed to compare when looking at various car insurance companies? Obviously, finding the lowest rate is a top priority, so you should find out what types of discounts are offered by and see if you qualify for any.

Additionally, you should also take a look at the company’s history, reputation and any other factors that could play into whether it’s a good match for you and your family. The following are the most important points we’ve gathered about State Farm, Progressive, Liberty Mutual and Nationwide.

State Farm Insurance

State Farm has been providing auto insurance since 1922, so they have a long history as a big name within the industry. In fact, they insure more cars in the U.S. than any other car insurance company and are known for  having one of the best reputations.

State Farm Discounts

  • Steer Clear App: Drivers age 25 and under who use this app to complete a driving test can earn up to a 15 percent discount on their rate.
  • Drive Safe & Save: State Farm offers a discount to drivers who are on the road less often. So far, it’s only available to residents of California and Ohio, however.

What Makes State Farm Different?

There are a few ways this auto insurance company stands out against the competition. As the oldest company among the auto insurers detailed here, you know there are decades of experience behind the massive size. Plus, State Farm’s outstanding reputation means you don’t have to worry about service or reliability.

Progressive Insurance

Progressive started out in 1937 as the very first drive-through claims office. It was also the first to offer discounted auto insurance rates for low-risk drivers. Just recently, Progressive was voted as the best insurance website, so you might want to check it out if you consider this company as an option.

Progressive Discounts

  • MyRate: Progressive discounts policies for drivers who present an exceptionally low risk with MyRate. A device is installed in your car that tracks how often, how far and how fast you drive and offers a discount of 5-40 percent if you are considered to be an especially safe driver.
  • Pay-As-You-Drive: Like State Farm, Progressive offers a mileage-based discount called PAYD for short. It’s actually a part of MyRate, but PAYD specifically allows policyholders to pay for coverage based on the number of miles they drive, rather than other components that can have varying affects on premium costs.

What Makes Progressive Different?

Aside from the TV commercials’ surprisingly popular spokesperson, “Flo,” Progressive is best known for their Name Your Price Program. It allows you to fill out a quote and then customize your options until your premium fits your budget.

Liberty Mutual Insurance

Liberty Mutual has been around longer than any of the other companies in this comparison. Founded in 1912, this insurance company has grown to rank in the top 100 of Fortune 500’s largest companies in America. It also held over 45,000 employees worldwide and $104.3 billion in consolidated assets in 2008.

Liberty Mutual Discounts

  • Low Mileage: Liberty Mutual jumps on the infrequent driver discount, lowering rates for anyone who drives less than 7,500 miles per year.
  • Exclusive Group: Liberty Mutual’s affinity program includes certain alumni associations, credit unions and other organizations. If you’re a member or employee of one of these employers or groups, you’ll get a discounted rate.

What Makes Liberty Mutual Different?

This is an auto insurance company that really goes out of their way to bring customers innovative options for improving their driving skills, which leads to few accidents and lower rates. For instance, Liberty Mutual created the entertaining and free game 2099, as well as the Drivers Seat Game, which is targeted toward improving elderly drivers’ hand-eye coordination.

Nationwide Insurance

Last but not least, Nationwide is another longstanding player in the auto insurance arena. Nationwide’s history dates back to 1925 when the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation incorporated the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. They started insuring motorists in 1934 but didn’t change their name to Nationwide until 1955.

Nationwide Discounts

  • Accident prevention/defensive driver: Nationwide rewards policyholders who take extra steps to become safer drivers, so they offer a discount when you successfully complete a motor vehicle accident prevention course approved by your state’s DMV.
  • Farm Bureau Member: Since Nationwide started out as an insurance company just for farmers, they still give them a special discount.

What Makes Nationwide Different?

One of the really great things about Nationwide is that they understand accidents happen. Usually, your insurance company will penalize you for causing an accident by raising your rates. Fortunately, Nationwide’s Accident Forgiveness Program means your rates won’t go up after your first at-fault accident.

As you can see, it’s very important to compare auto insurance since they all offer different products and services. Before you make up your mind, however, don’t forget to get a quote and see who offers you the best rate.