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State Farm Car Insurance vs. American Family: Which Is Better?

If you’ve ever been perplexed by the process of shopping for car insurance, you’re not alone. Auto insurance companies use complicated formulas to figure out what to charge each customer, and they’re in no hurry to share that information with consumers. Some of the factors that determine your car insurance rates are in your control and some are not. To help you find the best car insurance for you, we’ll look at State Farm and American Family specifically and provide some context as to how these two companies stack up against their biggest rivals.

When it comes to cost, most consumers will find that State Farm is a better bet than American Family. State Farm has a national average rate in our study of $1,260, which is among the lowest of the nine insurance companies in our survey. Only USAA, Geico, and Travelers are cheaper, and it should be noted that USAA is available exclusively for members of the military, veterans, and some of their family members. With a national average study rate of $1,326, American Family comes in a few places behind State Farm in the overall price ranking.

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

Average Annual Rates:

This head-to-head comparison of State Farm and American Family primarily considers cost, but keep in mind that there are many factors that affect insurance rates, which means you'll likely pay something different than the national averages reported by the study. However, there’s more to finding the right insurance company than just choosing the cheapest one, so for more information, check out our full ranking of the best car insurance companies and learn more about each one based on the feedback 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. 

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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.

State Farm vs. American Family: Pros & Cons

State Farm

    • Great overall satisfaction among customers

    • High overall ranking among biggest auto insurers

    • Generally low average rates in our analysis

    • Communication during claims process could be improved

    • Higher representative rates than American Family for customers with poor credit

American Family

    • Customers are generally happy with customer service

    • Customers cite low satisfaction with filing a claim

    • Customers want better communication during claims process

    • Ranked last in our study based on customer feedback

State Farm Auto Insurance Information

State Farm has nearly 100 years of experience in providing auto insurance. The company was founded in 1922, wrote its millionth auto insurance policy in 1944, and now offers most common types of personal insurance policies, not just car insurance.

Feedback from State Farm’s customers helped the company take the third spot in our ranking of auto insurance companies, just behind USAA and Travelers. According to survey respondents, State Farm’s strong customer service helps the company stand out from the crowd, and respondents who filed claims reported satisfying resolutions. Customers say there is some room for improvement, however. State Farm customers would prefer better communication during the claims process and say that the company could improve the value it provides. Overall, State Farm customers are among the most satisfied in the industry.

American Family Auto Insurance Information

American Family also has decades of experience in the auto insurance industry. The company was founded in 1927 as Farmers Mutual Insurance Company to provide insurance to Wisconsin farmers. Over time, the company expanded its geographical reach as well as its product portfolio, adding other common types of personal and commercial insurance policies to its list of offerings. In the 1960s, the company was rechristened as American Family to better reflect its broader product offerings.

American Family’s very competitive average rates across all demographic profiles in our study are a definite point in the company’s favor, but American Family’s customers expressed plenty of concerns. That’s why American Family lands at the bottom of our rankings of the largest national car insurance companies. American Family had the highest number of respondents who said they’re unlikely to recommend the company and unlikely to renew their policy. According to our survey questions, most customers’ dissatisfaction stems from American Family’s claims process and inability to provide a satisfying resolution to claims.

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

Even though you have no control over your age, it plays a big role in the rates you pay for car insurance. Typically, rates are lower for older, more experienced drivers. According to our study data, State Farm has lower average representative rates across the board for the 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old male driver profiles in our study, though both companies offer competitive rates overall.

For the 25-year-old male driver profile, the average representative rate is $1,501 with State Farm, while American Family's representative rate in our study is $1,596. For the 35-year-old male profile, State Farm’s nationwide average representative rate comes in at $1,237, while American Family has an average representative rate of $1,318. Next up is the 60-year-old male profile, with average representative rates of about $1,125 with State Farm and around $1,196 with American Family.

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

State Farm

$1,501.23

$1,237.06

$1,124.88

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

Next, we're going to look at rates in our study for female driver profiles in three different age groups: 25, 35, and 60. American Family has a lower representative rate than State Farm for the 25-year-old woman driver profile, at $1,360. State Farm’s average representative rate for that demographic profile is $1,373. Study rates go down for the 35-year-old female driver profile. With State Farm, the average representative rate drops to $1,237, while American Family’s average representative rate lowers to $1,304. Representative rates with State Farm drop to $1,125 for the 60-year-old female driver profile. With American Family, study rates for this driver profile drop to $1,182. 

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

State Farm

$1,373.10

$1,237.06

$1,124.88

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

The number of miles you drive in a year can also affect the rates you pay for car insurance. We broke our demographic profiles down into two representative groups: high-mileage drivers and low-mileage drivers. Let’s look first at the high-mileage driver profile with 12,000 miles annually. State Farm has the advantage here, with a nationwide average representative rate in our analysis of $1,260. American Family’s representative rate of $1,326 is a little higher but still reasonable compared to most rivals.

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

State Farm

$1,260.12

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

Most customers will save a little money if they drive less, but the savings aren’t that significant, according to our analysis. Between the two insurance companies in this comparison, State Farm has the lower national average representative rate for this driver profile, coming in at $1,138. That’s a savings of about $120 compared to this company's rates for the high-mileage driver profile. American Family’s average representative rate for this driver profile in our study is $1,265. That’s a savings of only about $60 compared to the higher-mileage driver profile insured through this company.

The profiles with 6,000 miles of driving annually 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

6,000 miles annually

American Family

$1,265.33

State Farm

$1,137.50

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

You might not realize it, but your credit history and credit score are among the factors that play a role in car insurance rates. Customers with good credit pay lower rates than those with mediocre or poor credit. State Farm’s average national representative rate for the driver profile with good credit is $1,260, which is the fourth-lowest in the study. American Family's representative rate for this group is $1,326, which is higher than the average for this profile among all the insurers in our study.

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

State Farm

$1,259.74

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

If you have a less-than-stellar credit history, you should expect to pay higher rates for auto insurance than the examples you saw above, according to our study data and driver profiles for drivers with poor credit. That’s because most car insurance companies think drivers with a low credit score pose a higher risk, and therefore charge more to those customers. In this case, you should look at American Family before State Farm. American Family’s national average representative rate of $2,226 is among the cheaper options for the poor credit driver profile, while State Farm comes in on the high side with an average national representative rate of $2,815.

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

Bad Credit

American Family

$2,226.30

State Farm

$2,815.36

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

Good drivers – those without any accidents or offenses on their record – can generally expect to pay the best rates available. Driving records have a significant impact on car insurance rates, according to our study. Our study looked at the national average rates charged by the top insurance companies to driver profiles with a clean record, as well as rates for driver profiles with a single speeding ticket, with a single accident, and with a DUI. This enables us to get an idea of which companies are better for each profile, as well as how each of those offenses affects rates. 

When we compare these two insurance companies’ average representative rates for the driver profile with a clean record, State Farm comes out on top. State Farm has an average representative rate for this profile of $1,260, which is the fourth-cheapest rate for this profile. American Family’s representative rate is $1,326.

To find out just how much of an effect driving record has on insurance rates, 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

State Farm

$1,260.12

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

Next up, we’ll look at the cost of a speeding ticket as it affects car insurance. Our study data and driver profiles can help show how much this moving violation can potentially increase insurance premiums.

If you want to keep your car insurance costs down, keep an eye on the speedometer. Drivers with one speeding violation on their record are almost certainly going to pay higher premiums. Our analysis shows State Farm and American Family are both among the better choices for auto insurance for the driver profile with one speeding ticket. American Family has an average national representative rate of $1,548 for driver profiles with one speeding violation, while State Farm’s representative rate comes in at $1,409 in our study.

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

State Farm

$1,408.71

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

According to our driver profiles for consumers with a single accident on their driving record, a car accident is another incident that’s almost sure to make your car insurance costs go up. If you’re shopping around for car insurance and you find that your past accident makes insurance too expensive, take a look at State Farm. State Farm’s national average representative rate for the driver profile with one accident is $1,502, among the lowest in the study. American Family’s national average representative rate for this profile is $2,018.

To compare the rates offered by American Family and State Farm 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

State Farm

$1,501.96

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

According to our study data and driver profiles, those with a single incident of driving under the influence, or DUI, on their record are probably better off with State Farm than American Family. State Farm has a national average representative rate of about $1,692 for the driver profile with one DUI, which is the lowest representative rate of all major auto insurers for this profile. American Family’s study rate for this driver profile comes in at $2,206, which is about midpack among the companies in our analysis.

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

State Farm

$1,692.09

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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 State Farm, American Family, 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: