Are Major Auto Insurance Companies Better Than Smaller Ones?

Last Updated on July 9, 2020

When it comes time to look for new car insurance, it can be very easy to find the major car insurance companies and overlook the smaller companies that are available. The major companies have large advertising budgets, which means that you are more likely to find them and get their quotes. However, there can be some advantages to using a smaller car insurance company for your auto insurance needs.

Finding the Smaller Auto Insurance Companies

Are Major Auto Insurance Companies Better Than Smaller OnesWhen you get car insurance quotes online, you may only be getting quotes from the major companies. It can be harder to find the smaller car insurance companies that are out there. Some websites give you quotes from multiple sources in a single form submission and will provide you with some companies that you may not have heard of.

The smaller car insurance companies are often local or only available in one or two states. When this is the case, you may not be able to find them or get quotes for them online. A local insurance agent will often be able to point you in the direction of smaller companies in the area. Aside from this, you may want to ask around to friends and family. You may also want to check with community memberships such as your home owner’s association to see if there are smaller insurance companies that they partner with.

Below is a list of the smaller, local companies that we have reviewed. Feel free to search this page for your state using FIND (Command + F (Mac) or Control + F (PC)) to see what’s available where you live.

Insurance CompanyStates Available
1st Auto and CasualtyWisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, Arkansas
A-MAXTexas
AcceptanceAlabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia
AffirmativeTexas, Louisiana, Alabama, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, California
Alfa Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia
Alliance UnitedCalifornia
AllianzAll 50 States (classic cars, rental cars, and business cars only)
AlliedAll 50 States
Amica Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
American NationalAll 50 States
AmeripriseAlabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Anchor GeneralCalifornia, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Texas
ArbellaConnecticut, Massachusetts
AssuranceAmericaGeorgia, Florida, Texas, Arizona, South Carolina, Nebraska, Missouri, Indiana, Virginia
Auto-Owners Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin
Automobile Club of Southern CaliforniaCalifornia
Bristol WestAll 50 States
ClearcoverCalifornia, Illinois, Texas, Ohio, Arizona, Utah, Wisconsin, Louisiana
Cost-U-LessCalifornia
CountrywayNew York, Pennsylvania, Maine, Virginia, Kentucky
CUREPennsylvania, New Jersey
Dairyland Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Elephant InsuranceIllinois, Indiana, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas, Ohio, Virginia
Encompass InsuranceAlabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Erie Insurance District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Farmers UnionColorado, South Dakota, Minnesota, North Dakota, Kansas, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska
Fiesta InsuranceCalifornia, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida, New York, Ohio, Michigan
Fred LoyaCalifornia, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, Georgia, Arizona, Missouri, Indiana, Alabama, Texas
Freedom NationalUtah, Arizona, Georgia
FreewayCalifornia, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Missouri, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York
FremontMichigan
GabiAll 50 States
GAINSCO Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia
GoAutoLouisiana, Nevada, Ohio
Good2GoAll 50 States
GrangeGeorgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin
Kelly KleeAll 50 States
KemperArizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin
MAPFRE Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington
Mercury Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia
Metromile Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington
NJMNew Jersey, Pennsylvania
NoblrAll 50 States
OmniFlorida, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington
Oxford Auto InsuranceIllinois
PEMCOOregon, Washington
Plymouth Rock Assurance Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania
ProntoCalifornia, Texas
Republic GroupTexas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Arkansas
Rodney D. YoungArizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Texas, New Mexico
RootArizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia
Safe Auto Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia
SafewayAlabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas
Safeco Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Say Auto InsuranceMissouri, Kansas, Illinois, Tennessee, Colorado
Shelter Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee
Tesla InsuranceCalifornia
Texas Farm BureauTexas
The CincinnatiAll 50 States
The HanoverAll 50 States
The HartfordAll 50 States
Titan Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia
United Auto InsuranceIllinois, Indiana
WawanesaCalifornia, Oregon
Westfield Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia
Workmen’s Auto InsuranceCalifornia

Advantages of Bigger Auto Insurance Companies

The big insurance companies have a lot going for them. These companies are the most financially stable. This means that if you have to file a claim, you are more likely to get the full compensation that you deserve from your policy contract. Claims may also be handled more quickly because the larger companies have a lot of employees and can get estimates and file paperwork faster than smaller companies.

Big insurance companies have some other advantages as well. You may be able to get better discounts and savings from bigger insurance companies. These major companies are the most likely to have good driver discounts or accident forgiveness programs. You may also be able to bundle your homeowners or renter’s insurance and other types of insurance to save additional money on monthly premiums with big insurance companies.

Disadvantages of Big Auto Insurance Companies

With bigger car insurance companies, you are not going to get very personalized service. You are just one of a million customers, and when you really need help you will likely be dealing with an anonymous representative over a toll-free number. The big car insurance companies are always out for their bottom line rather than taking care of customers because they have enough customers it doesn’t hurt them if you decide to go elsewhere for your policy renewal.

Advantages of Small Auto Insurance Companies

Small car insurance companies offer a much more personalized service. They are more likely to go out of their way to keep you happy with their company. These companies are also often cheaper than the big companies, although they do not offer the same discounts. Small companies are quite frequently local, so when you get your policy through them you are supporting your community. Small companies may also support politics and charities that are important to you.

Disadvantages of Small Auto Insurance Companies

Small companies do have some disadvantages. You want to be careful when you are selecting a small insurance company because not all of them are financially stable. You need to make sure that if you ever have a claim there won’t be any problem for the car insurance company to compensate you according to your coverage.

Another thing to look out for is that some small insurance companies are actually subsidiaries of the major companies. This means that even though you may be getting a deal through the smaller company, you may not be supporting your local economy as it appears on the surface.

Other disadvantages of small car insurance companies include the fact that because they are smaller, they don’t have as much staff on hand. This can mean that your claim is not processed as quickly. You may also have to wait for business hours to contact your car insurance company if you have an accident or other issue arise, and this can delay getting your claim processed further.

Making a Choice – Smaller vs. Bigger Insurance Companies

Really, it is a matter of preference whether you choose a major car insurance company or a small company. These auto insurers will all compete for your business. The best thing to do is shop around for the best rates, both online and through local agents. If a smaller company gives you the best premium quote and checks out as stable enough to pay claims, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going with the smaller car insurance company.

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