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Car insurance companies compete for your attention with goofy commercials and cheeky mascots in an effort to seem friendly and approachable, but the methods they use to determine your car insurance rates are anything but. That makes finding the cheapest car insurance complicated, but we’re here to help. We collected annual rates from the country’s largest car insurance companies and broke them down by some of the factors insurance companies use to determine how much you’ll pay. 

Geico and American Family are two major players when it comes to car insurance, so if you’re looking for a new auto insurance policy, you need to look at what each has to offer. Overall, most consumers will pay less with Geico than with American Family. Geico has a national average representative rate of $1,063, while American Family comes in at $1,326. Only USAA has lower national average rates in our analysis than Geico, but USAA is available exclusively to military personnel, veterans, and their families. As you’ll see as you keep reading, there are many factors that affect insurance rates, which means you'll likely pay something different than the national average representative rate.

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

Average Annual Rates:

Though this comparison between American Family and Geico is based largely on the national average costs revealed by our study, there are plenty of other reasons to choose a specific insurance company. For more information, head over to our full ranking of the best car insurance companies, where you can browse through the feedback and insights of real customers.

How We Did This Comparison

At U.S. News, we’re all about helping people make life’s important decisions. Our college rankings, launched in 1983, set the standard in educational rankings. Our ranking in other fields, like healthcare, government, and the automotive sphere, help people and thought leaders make choices that make lives better. Now we’re continuing to empower you with the information you need to make the right choices for your life with our Best Car Insurance Rankings. 

We surveyed 2,799 consumers who filed a car insurance claim in the last five years, asking questions about their car insurance company. These questions covered satisfaction with the ease of filing a claim, customer service, claim status communication, claim resolution, and overall value. We also asked whether they’d recommend the company and if they planned to renew their policy. We used their responses to build our Best Car Insurance Companies ranking and this head-to-head comparison.

Our Study Rates

To get comparative insurance rates for this study, U.S. News also worked with Quadrant Information Services to analyze a report of insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies, though not every company operates in every state. Quadrant obtained publicly available rate data that car insurers file with state regulators. Our study rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford-F-150, with annual mileage ranging from 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations of certain driver archetypes.

To get the state-wide study rates shown here, we computed the mean rate for male and female drivers ages 25, 35 and 60 who drive 12,000 miles per year, have medium coverage, good credit and a clean driving record. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only and should not be considered “average” rates available by individual insurers. Because car insurance rates are based on individual factors, your car insurance rates will differ from the rates shown here.

American Family vs Geico: Pros & Cons

American Family

    • Customers are generally happy with customer service

    • Lower premiums in our analysis for profile with a DUI

    • Higher study rates than Geico for most profiles

    • Low satisfaction with filing a claim and claims process

    • Ranked last in our study of the largest auto insurance companies

Geico

    • Very low representative rates for most consumer profiles

    • Lower rates than American Family for most demographics

    • Customers are generally satisfied

    • Customers say it’s easy to file a claim

    • Mediocre communication during claims process

    • About a third of customers are unhappy with value

American Family Auto Insurance Information

American Family, originally known as Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, was founded in Wisconsin in 1927 to provide auto insurance specifically to farmers in rural areas. Over the years, the company added other types of personal and commercial insurance policies to its portfolio and changed its name to American Family in the 1960s to reflect its broader product offerings. 

Though American Family provides competitive rates, customers say that service is lacking in a few key areas, which is why the company finishes last in our rankings of the 10 biggest auto insurance companies. Survey respondents gave American Family the lowest marks of all competitors when it came to claim status updates and claim satisfaction. Furthermore, many American Family customers said they’re unlikely to recommend the company and were considering switching to a competitor instead of renewing their policy.

Steven Debenport / Getty Images

Geico Auto Insurance Information

Geico, which was founded in Texas in 1936, started out catering to members of the military and federal employees. In 1964, the company wrote its millionth insurance policy, though it was still years away from the cheeky advertising campaigns that helped make Geico a household name. As of 2016, Geico is the second-largest insurance company in the United States, behind State Farm, and it’s the fourth-ranked insurance company in our study.

Many of the Geico customers who participated in our study described the company as reliable and easy to work with, though some said they felt rates were too high or the company provided a poor value. However, Geico’s rates were among the lowest in every demographic examined in our study.

American Family and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Men?

Age is one of the biggest factors in determining car insurance rates, and even though your insurance company won’t explain exactly how age factors into their algorithms, you can still get an idea of how your youth or experience will affect your premiums. 

With both companies, the average representative rates in our study go down steadily as customers age. At age 25, our male driver profile will pay an average representative rate of $1,120 with Geico, while with American Family, that driver profile will pay an average representative rate of $1,596. American Family charges an average representative rate of $1,318 for our driver profile of 35-year-old men, while Geico’s nationwide average rate representative rate comes in at $1,057 for that profile. For our driver profile for 60-year-old men, American Family’s representative rate  comes in at $1,196, while this driver profile has a representative rate of about $998 with Geico.

To find the average rates in our study based on gender and age, we created driver profiles for males in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles also have a clean driving record, insurance coverage for 12,000 miles per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Company

Single 25-year-old male

Married 35-year-old male

Married 60-year-old male

American Family

$1,596.01

$1,318.24

$1,196.08

Geico

$1,120.01

$1,057.20

$998.26

American Family and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Women?

Next, we’ll consider female driver profiles in the same age groups as the male profiles we just looked at. American Family’s national average representative rate for the 25-year-old female profile is $1,360, while Geico’s representative rate comes in at $2,379. For 35-year-olds, American Family shows a representative rate of $1,304 and Geico has a representative rate of $1,032. Upon reaching age 60, our driver profiles shows can expect to pay a representative rate of $1,182 with American Family. Geico’s national average representative rate is $973 for the 60-year-old female profile.

We created driver profiles for females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles also have a clean driving record, insurance coverage for 12,000 miles per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Company

Single 25-year-old female

Married 35-year-old female

Married 60-year-old female

American Family

$1,359.75

$1,303.84

$1,181.99

Geico

$1,160.30

$1,031.61

$972.89

American Family and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for High Mileage?

Another factor that may affect your auto insurance rate is the number of miles you rack up in a year, the theory being that the more you’re on the road, the more opportunity there is for something to go wrong. First, we’ll look at the rates for the high-mileage driver profile, defined as 12,000 miles annually. Geico’s representative rate – $1,063 – is the second-lowest average for this driver profile in the study, behind USAA. American Family's representative rate of $1,326 is about average among the companies in our study.

To find the average rates in our study based on annual mileage, we created driver profiles for customers who drove 6,000 miles per year and customers who drove twice that amount. The profiles also have a clean driving record, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Company

12,000 miles annually

American Family

$1,325.99

Geico

$1,063.10

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American Family and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Low Mileage?

Some companies will cut you a break if you drive a lot less than average, but you probably won’t save as much as you think. 

The study examined average rates for auto insurance customer profiles who drive 6,000 miles a year. Geico’s national average representative rate of $1,004 for this profile is the second-lowest for this profile among the major insurance companies in our analysis, trailing only USAA. American Family’s average representative rate for this profile comes in at $1,265.

Our profile with 6,000 miles of driving per year year has a clean driving record, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Company

6,000 miles annually

American Family

$1,265.33

Geico

$1,004.62

American Family and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Good Credit?

If you have a good credit score and history, you’ll probably be rewarded with some of the lowest available auto insurance rates. If you’re wondering why credit history matters to car insurance companies, it’s because drivers with good credit are perceived as more responsible overall and less likely to take risks behind the wheel. 

Our data show that Geico and American Family are both good auto insurance companies for driver profiles with good credit. Geico’s average national representative rate for this profile is $1,041, and American Family comes in with a representative rate of $1,326, which is several spots lower on the list than Geico, but still considerably less expensive than the most expensive companies for this profile. 

Our study reviewed the effects of credit score on car insurance rates using male and female driver profiles with the ages of 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. We created a profile for each level of credit score (good, fair, and poor) and assigned the profiles a clean driving record, a medium level of insurance coverage, and 12,000 miles of annual mileage. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 are the vehicles used in our analysis.

Company

Good Credit

American Family

$1,325.99

Geico

$1,041.20

American Family and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Bad Credit?

Next, we’ll take a look at our driver profiles for customers with poor credit. If you have a low credit score or a bad credit history, it’s likely that you'll pay higher car insurance premiums than if you had good credit. That's because auto insurance companies think customers with bad credit are a higher risk, so they charge more to offset that risk. 

Geico comes in at $1,853, the second-lowest representative rate in the study for this driver profile. American Family falls several spots behind, with a national average representative rate of $2,226.

To verify that a bad credit can impact car insurance rates, we created driver profiles insured through American Family and Geico with a poor credit score. The profiles were based on 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles of driving per year, a clean driving history, and a medium level of insurance coverage. Vehicles used in the analysis are the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Company

Poor Credit

American Family

$2,226.30

Geico

$1,853.45

American Family and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Good Drivers?

How does your driving history affect your auto insurance rates? We looked at national average rates for driver profiles with a clean record and those with a variety of moving violations to see how those offenses affected prices. 

In general, driver profiles with a clean record are in good shape with Geico, which charges a national average representative rate of $1,063. That's the second-cheapest of the car insurance companies in our study for this profile. American Family’s national representative rate for this profile is $1,326.

We compared driver profiles including those with a clean record, those with one speeding violation, those with one accident, and those with one instance of driving under the influence (DUI). These driving record representative profiles included 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles of mileage per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis are the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Company

Clean driving record

American Family

$1,325.99

Geico

$1,063.10

American Family and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest After a Speeding Ticket?

Since we just looked at rates for driver profiles with a clean record, it’s time to examine what happens if a profile's driving history has racked up some demerits. Speeding tickets are one of the fastest ways, no pun intended, to make your auto insurance rates go up. Even after you’ve coughed money up for fines, fees, and court costs, you’ll likely pay for that ticket for years.

 Our study data and driver profiles can help show how much this moving violation can potentially cost. The good news is that American Family and Geico are both among the most affordable insurance options for driver profiles with a single speeding ticket. Geico has an advantage here with a national average representative rate of $1,356, which is the cheapest in the study aside from USAA. American Family comes in at a representative rate of $1,548, higher than Geico but still one of the better choices overall.

We also tested our driving profiles to check rates following a speeding ticket. These driver profiles for males and females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles have 12,000 miles of driving per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Company

With 1 speeding violation

American Family

$1,548.21

Geico

$1,356.17

American Family and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest After an Accident?

Car accidents are almost certain to make your car insurance costs go up, so the study looked at each company’s national average rate for driver profiles with a single accident. According to our driver profiles for consumers with a single accident on their driving record, Geico is the better choice in this situation, with the third-lowest average representative rates in the country: $1,691. American Family’s national average study rate of $2,018 comes in about midpack.

To compare the rates offered by American Family and Geico to driving profiles with an accident on their driving history, we used male and female profiles in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles also have a clean driving record, insurance coverage for driving up to 12,000 miles per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Company

With 1 accident

American Family

$2,018.34

Geico

$1,691.06

American Family and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest After a DUI?

According to our study data and driver profiles, driver profiles whose records are marred by a single instance of driving under the influence, or DUI, are probably better off with American Family than with Geico. American Family comes in at $2,206, while Geico comes in at $2,806. This is the only profile in our study for which American Family has a lower representative rate than Geico.

We analyzed car insurance rates for driver profiles with a DUI. These profiles were males and females aged 25-, 35-, and 60-years old. They had a good credit score, a medium level of insurance coverage, and 12,000 miles of driving per year. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 are the vehicles used in our analysis.

Company

With 1 DUI

American Family

$2,206.08

Geico

$2,805.50

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The Best Car Insurance Companies

This head-to-head comparison looks mainly at cost. For more information, check out our full ranking of the Best Car Insurance Companies and learn about what real customers say about American Family, Geico, and their competitors.

Our Car Insurance Ranking:

  1. USAA
  2. Travelers
  3. State Farm
  4. Geico
  5. Farmers
  6. Nationwide
  7. Progressive
  8. Allstate
  9. American Family

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

For more information, check out our full list of the cheapest car insurance companies.

Average Annual Rates: