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Car Insurance: Who do you trust?

State Farm since 1965. No complaints.

My family uses Pemco which until more recently only insured in Washington State and has expanded into Oregon. Since 1969 for my parents and we’ve never had an issue. Probably not the cheapest option but better service.

Got rear ended by a Progressive customer. A lady hit my truck’s trailer hitch with a small car.

Progressive handled everything very well. No issues at all.

We had State Farm for a very long while. A few minor claims and one big one. Service was OK.

I’m not saying personal insurance endorsements aren’t nice but the question was from 2007. Getting close to a record for elder questions at 13 years.


You’ll find different views on insurance companies depending on what state you live in. Each state has their own ins regulations.

I’ve been with Progressive quite a while and they have treated me well. My agent used to handle an OK only insurance company which was great. However, about a dozen years ago they decided to change their name and expand operations into KS and TX. When that happened and over the period of about 2 or 3 years my homeowners insurance doubled and car insurance tripled.
That was the end of them as far as I was concerned.

I’ve had GEICO since I was 22 on my own, and was on my parent’s GEICO policy before that. Way back then you had to be a government employee to buy GEICO, or in my case, closely related to one. The service is good and the body shops they sent me to were all professional and did good quality work. USAA used to be for current and former military, and I imagine it is still that way.

We’ve used USAA for all our insurance for years now and been very happy. When I check prices occasionally with other companies, USAA’s rates are always very competitive. The few times we’ve had a wreck or other incident, their customer service was top notch.

My family and I have used USAA forever. I will agree that “some” companies are a little less expensive and I tried a couple of times but month to month but nobody is as easy as USAA. I want to add a car, I open the app and presto. No taking it to be evaluated, no hassle on claims, just ease of use. Friendly people when you call.

My opinion only…
Find a local insurance agent and build a relationship with them.
Avoid any insurance company that advertises everywhere constantly. Guess who’s paying for all those ads?

And just how are you going to do that ? All companies advertise in the markets they service .

I’ve used one of those big companies that advertise everywhere for almost 50 years. The price is competitive and the service is excellent.

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I’m insured with a smallish company that only writes policies in NJ, PA, & CT.
They are consistently ranked as the #1 or #2 insurance company in entire US in terms of the competitiveness of their rates, their claims-paying record, and their customer service… and they advertise.

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Car Talk has been digging into car insurance lately. This may be helpful since you’re new to the game.

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I would hope that the person who asked this question in 2007 has found an insurance policy by now.


Gee this started in 2007. Still a good topic. In 1966 I got my first auto policy with State Farm. Cost me $26 for six months. I’ve been with them ever since and not sorry although the agents have changed over the years. Agent is just down the street and when I worked I could visit the home office on my lunch break. Each their own though but I have seen how some other companies operate. It doesn’t matter that much if it is the lowest lowest bid as long as the rates are reasonable.

As far as national, continual advertising, I remember all the ads constantly on TV for mortgages up to 125% of value. We saw how that ended. Nothing against spending a lot on advertising but you have to ask why?

I was not quite 21when I bought my first car. I had Farm Bureau insurance. I had a clean driving record–no claims and no tickets. Every year my rates went up. I got married before I was 25 and still the rates increased. I was told that I was in the wrong age group. I went to an independent agent. He had much lower rates, but thought I ought to try Horace Mann insurance since I was a teacher. He was right. I got a lower price from Horace Mann. Some years later when I had purchased a new car, Horace Mann went from part time agents who were faculty members to full time agents. Something got messed up and I wasn’t sure the insurance had been transferred to my new car. I had a next door neighbor who was an independent insurance agent. He said he thought he could beat Horace Mann’s rates. He set me up with a company called Commercial Union. I had never heard of the company, and was concerned about how reputable the company might be. Two weeks after I went with Commercial Union, I read in the newspaper that Commercial Union had received the contract to insure the ships that were dredging the Suez Canal. I then figured I was o.k. with them. Some years later, Commercial Union just insured big companies, so I went with Nationwide.

Unfortunately that doesn’t usually work. When you have a claim…the person you bought the policy has ZERO influence over how it’s handled…AND I MEAN ZERO. The adjuster is a completely different entity of the insurance company…and some times a completely different company (insurance companies outsource that out sometimes).

That’s not the point. If you buy insurance direct over the internet, you pay your money and hope they will stand behind you in time of need. An agent usually represents multiple insurers. They try to find the best deal for you. And, if they start running into issues with one, they tend to steer clients away. Because they only make money when you’re satisfied and stick around.

They have contracts with those companies that last multiple years. Some are exclusive contracts.

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