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State Farm is one of the largest car insurance companies in the country. USAA isn't quite as large, but it's growing. If you’re shopping for car insurance and have a connection to the military (more on that later), USAA and State Farm should definitely be on your list.

We’re going to compare State Farm and USAA so you can decide which company is right for you and your situation. As you’ll see, different insurance companies charge very different annual rates, even for the same driver. While USAA tends to be cheaper overall than State Farm and other companies, you need to be a member of the military, a veteran, or an eligible family member to qualify for USAA membership.

Also, keep in mind that car insurance isn’t all about cost. You want to find a company that will treat you right when you make a claim. We have information from real customers on how State Farm and USAA handle claims. Let’s take a look.

USAA vs. State Farm: Pros & Cons

USAA:

    • Best overall

    • Cheapest average annual rates

    • Need military connection to join

State Farm:

    • Cheaper rates than most

    • Good option if you don’t qualify for USAA

    • High rates for drivers with poor credit

USAA vs. State Farm 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

Customers with USAA auto insurance all have something in common: a connection to the military. To qualify for a USAA policy, you must be a member of the military, a veteran, or the spouse or child of a USAA member. It’s a select population, but it’s large enough to make USAA the fifth largest auto insurer in the country. It has a 5.7% share of the market, up a quarter of a point in 2017.

In our survey, people who used USAA auto insurance were quite happy with it. The company came in the with the highest overall score. Respondents were particularly pleased with overall customer service  and how their claim was resolved. More than 80% of  respondents were likely to renew their insurance policy with USAA, and would recommend it to others.

Read our full USAA review to learn more »

State Farm Auto Insurance Rating

Rating: 4.06/5

State Farm holds the No. 1 spot as the largest auto insurer in the United States. It has 18.13% of the market, which is about 5.5 points ahead of second-place Geico.

State Farm did very well in our survey, coming in fourth place. Respondents were mostly happy with the way their claim was resolved by State Farm and with the company’s customer service. Only about 44% would recommend State Farm car insurance to others, but more than half would renew their policy with the company.

Read our full State Farm review to learn more »

How We Did This Comparison

Pattanaphong Khuankaew / EyeEm / Getty Images

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, 288 filed a claim with USAA and 463 filed a claim with State Farm. 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.

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USAA and State Farm Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest?

When we looked at the largest car insurance companies in the country, we found that USAA was at the top with the cheapest rates in our study. Driver profiles with USAA paid an average auto insurance representative rate of $895. State Farm was a few places further down the list, with an average study rate of $1,260. That was cheap enough to put State Farm in fourth place. The overall averages for both State Farm and USAA are lower than the national average rate in our study of $1,323.

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Average Annual Rates:

Read more about the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies »

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

 

25-year-old male

35-year-old male

60-year-old male

USAA

$1,094

$818

$767

State Farm

$1,469

$1,205

$1,098

For 25-year-old male driver profiles the average auto insurance study rate at USAA is $1,094. With State Farm, it's $1,469. USAA is cheaper by around 25%. Representative rates go down for profiles at age 35. Male driver profiles of this age pay an average study rate of $818 with USAA and $1,205 with State Farm. That’s a difference of more than 30%.

Sixty-year-old driver profiles pay the lowest representative rates of any age group in our survey. The average study rate for male profiles of this age is $767 with USAA. It’s $1,098 at State Farm, which is again about 30% higher than USAA’s study rate. 

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 State Farm Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Women? 

 

25-year-old female

35-year-old female

60-year-old female

USAA

$1,038

$823

$768

State Farm

$1,330

$1,205

$1,098

The average study rate for 25-year-old female driver profiles with USAA is $1,038, and it’s $1,330 with State Farm. These rates are only about $300 apart.

For female profiles at ages 35 and 60, the average auto insurance representative rates from these two companies are very close to those for male profiles of the same ages. USAA’s average study rate for the 35-year-old female profile is $823, dropping to $768 at age 60. State Farm’s average car insurance study rates are identical for male and female profiles in these age groups, at $1,205 for 35-year-olds and $1,098 for 60-year-olds.

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

 

12,000 miles annually

USAA

$885

State Farm

$1,234

Many Americans drive about 12,000 miles a year. USAA has the cheapest auto insurance study rates for driver profiles with 12,000 miles on the odometer each year, at an average of $885. State Farm’s average study rate for this annual mileage is $1,234, which is about $350 more.

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

 

6,000 miles annually

USAA

$829

State Farm

$1,114

If you drive half as much – 6,000 miles a year – you will still pay nearly the same rates as those who drive more. At State Farm, the average auto insurance study rate for a driver profile with this mileage is $1,114. At USAA, it’s $829. That’s about a 10% decrease for both of these insurers, and those are bigger discounts than many other insurers offer for driving less.

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

 

Good Credit

USAA

$870

State Farm

$1,231

On average, drivers with good credit have some of the lowest car insurance rates. State Farm’s average study rate for the driver profile with good credit is $1,231, and it’s $870 with USAA. That’s a difference of about $361.

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

 

Poor Credit

USAA

$1,653

State Farm

$2,745

Drivers with poor credit pay higher car insurance rates than those with good credit. State Farm’s representative rate more than doubles for driver profiles with bad credit, to an average of $2,745. That’s one of the highest rates in our study. USAA’s average study rate for these driver profiles also doubles, to $1,653, but it’s the lowest rate we found. It’s also lower than State Farm’s representative rate by about $1,000.

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

 

Clean record

USAA

$885

State Farm

$1,234

Having a clean record goes a long way toward having a low car insurance rate. The average study rate for a profile with a good driving history is $1,234 with State Farm and $885 with USAA. That’s a difference of about $350, but both are lower than the national average study rate of $1,416 for driver profiles with clean records.

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

 

With 1 speeding violation

USAA

$1,042

State Farm

$1,375

Speed increases the chance of an accident, and insurance companies do not like accidents and the claims that come with them. A driver profile with a speeding ticket raises the average auto insurance study rate to $1,042 with USAA and $1,375 at State Farm. Based on these study rates, drivers could save about 25% with USAA. 

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

 

With 1 accident

USAA

$1,229

State Farm

$1,487

Having an accident on your record will almost definitely raise your insurance rate. At State Farm, the average study rate for our driver profiles after a single accident is $1,487. At USAA, the average representative rate is $1,229. These are the two lowest rates in our study for this profile, with State Farm’s average rate being only about $250 higher than USAA’s. 

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

 

With 1 DUI

USAA

$1,683

State Farm

$1,681

There’s no easier way to quickly raise your auto insurance rate than to drive under the influence. A DUI conviction on our driver profile's record raises the average rate in our analysis at State Farm to $1,681 – about a third higher than its average study rate for driver profiles with a clean record. USAA raises the study rate for driver profiles with a DUI to an average of $1,683. USAA's representative rate nearly doubled compared to its average for a driver profile with a clean record, bringing it within $2 of State Farm’s rate for this profile.

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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Get Cheap Car Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Get great auto insurance coverage at an even better price.