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If you’re on this page, you’re probably shopping around for car insurance. That’s a smart idea because car insurance companies can charge very different rates to similar drivers, and getting the best deal can potentially save you thousands. That’s especially true if you’ve recently married, improved your credit score, or added a teen driver to your policy; these are all factors that impact your rates.

Maybe you’re shopping for car insurance because you made a claim with your company and are unhappy with the service you received. That’s another smart reason to shop around, as not all car insurance companies are created equal.

To help you find the best car insurance company for you, we’ve gathered representative rates from the largest car insurance companies in the country. We’ve also collected feedback from customers who’ve made car insurance claims in the last five years about how their insurer treated them. In this article, we’re going to compare two large insurance companies: Geico and USAA. Both have some of the lowest rates in the industry, according to our study, but there are some key differences when it comes to customer service. Let’s dive in.

USAA vs. Geico: Pros & Cons

USAA

    • Best overall company

    • Cheapest average annual rates

    • Need connection to military member to join

Geico

    • Some of the cheapest rates in industry

    • Middle-of-the-road ranking with customers

USAA vs. Geico Customer Satisfaction

The Best Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Our Car Insurance Ranking

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

Read more about the Best Car Insurance Companies »

USAA Auto Insurance Rating

Rating: 4.41/5

 Igor Golovniov / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

USAA is one of the largest insurers in the nation, but it serves a very specific group: members of the military, veterans, and their eligible family members. That’s still a large enough segment of the American population to give USAA 5.7% of the market in 2017, up 0.24 points from the year before.

USAA received some of the highest scores in our survey. They had the highest scores for the ease of filing a claim, but they also had very high scores for customer service and satisfaction with the way those claims were resolved. Nearly nine in 10 respondents would recommend USAA auto insurance to others, and the same percentage were likely to renew their own policies with the company.

Read our full USAA review to learn more »

Geico Auto Insurance Rating

Rating: 4.17/5

Larry Placido / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Geico gecko is climbing the ranks and gaining market share. In 2017, Geico had 12.83% of the market, which is up .91 points from the year before. That makes it the second-largest auto insurer in the country, behind State Farm.

As with many of the top insurance companies in our survey, Geico scored very high when it comes to ease of filing a claim. Respondents were also happy with customer service. The company’s lowest scores were for satisfaction with the value of Geico car insurance, which was also common across all insurers in our study. About a three-quarters of respondents would recommend Geico auto insurance to others, and 72% were likely to renew.

Read our full Geico review to learn more »

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 rankings 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 2,732 consumers who filed a car insurance claim in the last five years, asking questions about their car insurance company. Of the survey respondents, 2888 filed a claim with USAA and 285 filed a claim with Geico. 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 Rankings 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 study rates shown here, we computed the mean rate for male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60 who drive 12,000 miles per year and 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.

USAA and Geico Car Insurance: Which is Cheapest?

When it comes to cost, USAA and Geico are both top choices. USAA is the cheapest of the national companies we studied, with an average overall car insurance study rate of $885. Geico is in the second-place slot with an overall average of $1,168. Those are both well below the national average study rate of $1,416 for the top auto insurance providers in our analysis.

This head-to-head comparison focuses mainly on car insurance rates, but we also looked at how satisfied car insurance customers are with their auto insurance company. For more information, check out our full ranking of the best car insurance companies, and find out what real customers say about USAA, Geico, and their competitors.

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Average Annual Rates:

Read more about the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies »

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USAA and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Men?

 

25-year-old male

35-year-old male

60-year-old male

USAA

$1094.44

$817.91

$767.08

Geico

$1,269.18

$1,133.91

$1,067.01

The average car insurance study rate for the 25-year-old male profile is $1,094 with USAA and $1,269 with Geico. This driver profile would save about 15% with USAA, though both rates are lower than the national average study rates of $1,669 for this demographic profile.

For the 35-year-old male profile, the average representative rate is $818 with USAA and $1,134 with Geico. The average study rate for the 60-year-old male driver profile at USAA is $767, and it’s $1,067 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.

USAA and Geico Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Women?

 

25-year-old female

35-year-old female

60-year-old female

USAA

$1,037.67

$823.10

$767.97

Geico

$1,365.47

$1,119.03

$1,052.97

Often, rates for 25-year-old female driver profiles are lower than the rates for male profiles of the same age. But with Geico, the study rate for the female driver profile at this age has a higher study rate by about $100, at $1,365. USAA shows a cheaper study rate for the 25-year-old female driver profile by about $50, at $1,038.

The average auto insurance representative rate for the 35-year-old female driver profile is $1,119 at Geico, and $823 at USAA. For the 60-year-old female driver profile, Geico’s average study rate is $1,053, and USAA’s rate is $768. This profile saves about 25% with USAA.

We created driver profiles for females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles have a clean driving record, 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.

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

 

12,000 miles annually

USAA

$884.69

Geico

$1,167.93

A typical amount of driving in America is 12,000 miles per year. Driver profiles with this many miles on their odometer annually have an average auto insurance representative rate of $1,168 at Geico and $885 at USAA. That’s a difference of about $280.

To find the average rates in our study based on annual mileage, we created driver profiles for customers who drove 12,000 miles per year. The profiles 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.

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

 

6,000 miles annually

USAA

$829.27

Geico

$1,106.54

With half as many miles on the odometer, about 6,000, that doesn’t mean driver profiles get to pay half as much for car insurance. In fact, the average study rates from these two insurance companies are similar to their rates for higher mileage. At USAA, the average auto insurance representative rate for 6,000 miles a year is $829, and it’s $1,107 with Geico. Those study rates are only about $60 less than the rates for 12,000 miles a year.

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. 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.

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

 

Good credit

USAA

$869.53

Geico

$1,174.83

Driver profiles with good credit histories usually see lower car insurance study rates. The average for these driver profiles with USAA is $870, and the average study rate with good credit at Geico is $1,175.

Our study reviewed the effects of credit score on car insurance rates using male and female driver profiles aged 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 driving. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 are the vehicles used in our analysis.

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

 

Poor credit

USAA

$1,653.19

Geico

$1,854.73

Driver profiles with poor credit see higher study rates no matter which insurance company they go with, but USAA and Geico’s representative rates are among the cheapest available for this profile, at $1,653 and $1,855, respectively. Again, USAA has the lower study rates, but the difference is only about $200. All other average rates in our study for driver profiles with poor credit were above $2,000.

To compare the effects of credit score on car insurance rates, we used male and female driver profiles aged 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.

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

 

Clean record

USAA

$884.69

Geico

$1,167.93

Driver profiles without accidents or violations on their records have some of the lowest auto insurance representative rates, and the rates from these two companies are the two cheapest we found for this group. USAA’s average auto insurance study rate for the driver profiles with a clean record is $885, and Geico’s average study rate is only about $280 more, at $1,168. Those are both well under the national average of $1,416 for good drivers.

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 driving 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.

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

 

With 1 speeding violation

USAA

$1,040.78

Geico

$1,510.16

Speeding can increase the chance of an accident, and accidents lead to claims. Drivers with a speeding ticket can expect to see their rates go up, even from two of the least expensive auto insurers in the country. The average study rate for a driver profile with a single speeding ticket is $1,510 with Geico, which is about $470 more than USAA’s average representative rate of $1,041. 

To analyze these rates, we particularly looked at driver profiles with one speeding violation. These driving record representative profiles included 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles of driving 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.

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

 

With 1 accident

USAA

$1,228.98

Geico

$1,802.17

Insurance companies are less than thrilled to pay out for claims, so after an accident, drivers are likely to see their insurance rates go up. The average auto insurance representative rate after a single accident is $1,802 with Geico and $1,229 with USAA. This driver profile saves more than 30% with USAA.

Geico places a heavier penalty on drivers with an accident than USAA. On average, the driver profile with a speeding violation with Geico pays about $600 more than the one with a clean record. USAA charges driver profiles with a single accident about $350 more than the profile with a good driving history.

We analyzed driver profiles with one accident to find these average rates. These driving record representative profiles included 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles of driving 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.

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

 

With 1 DUI

USAA

$1,683.36

Geico

$2,957.84

Driving under the influence is another easy way to raise your insurance rates, and they will go up a lot. At USAA, the cheapest insurer in our study, driver profiles with a DUI on their record have an average representative rate of $1,683. That’s about almost twice as high as the study rate for driver profiles with a clean record with USAA.

Geico’s average car insurance study rate for driver profiles with a DUI is $2,958, which is already about $1,300 more than USAA’s average study rate for this group. Geico's representative rate for driver profiles with a DUI is nearly $2,000 more than for the profile with a clean record. That’s a jump of more than 150%.

We compared driver profiles with one instance of driving under the influence (DUI) to arrive at these average rates in our study. 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.

The Best Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Our Car Insurance Ranking

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

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Average Annual Rates:

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