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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.

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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

USAA vs. State Farm: Which Is Cheaper?

When we looked at the 10 largest car insurance companies in the country, we found that USAA was at the top with the cheapest rates. Customers with USAA paid an average auto insurance rate of $2,537. State Farm wasn’t far behind, with an average rate of $3,260. That rate was cheap enough to put State Farm in third place. (Geico was sandwiched between them in the No. 2 spot.) The overall averages for both State Farm and USAA are lower than the national average of $3,953.

How We Did This Comparison

U.S. News worked with Quadrant Information Services to provide a report of average insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies. The rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 17, 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2018 Honda Civic, 2018 Toyota RAV4, 2018 Ford F-150, 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage of 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. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only. Individual rates will differ.

We also 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.

USAA Auto Insurance Information

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 percent 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 how easy it was to file a claim and how the claim was resolved. More than nine in 10 respondents were likely to renew their insurance policy with USAA, and to recommend it to others.

State Farm Auto Insurance Information

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

State Farm did very well in our survey, coming in third place behind Travelers. Respondents were mostly happy with the ease of filing a claim with State Farm and with the company’s customer service. Only about 62 percent would recommend State Farm car insurance to others, but three in four would renew their policy with the company.

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

Company

Single 17-year-old female

Single 17-year-old male

State Farm

$5,953.88

$7,324.34

USAA

$4,807.54

$5,385.61

New drivers tend to make mistakes, and mistakes can lead to expensive claims. That leads to expensive car insurance for this demographic. USAA has some of the cheapest auto insurance rates available, and that holds true for teens as well. The average USAA rate for a 17-year-old female driver is $4,808, and it’s $5,386 for a male driver of the same age.

State Farm’s average auto insurance rates for teens are lower than most insurers’ rates, but they are higher than USAA’s average. At State Farm, the average rate for a teen female driver is $5,954, which is about $1,150 higher than USAA’s rates. The average for a male teen driver with State Farm is $7,324, nearly $2,000 higher than with USAA. Rates from both companies are well below the national average car insurance rate of $8,293 for all teen drivers.

Though they’re lower than the competition, these rates for teen drivers are still more expensive than for any other demographic from these two companies. You can bring these rates down a bit with discounts for teen drivers. Both USAA and State Farm offer good student discounts for drivers in school who maintain a B average or better. USAA also offers a discount for young drivers who complete a driving course.

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

Company

Single 25-yearold male

Married 35-year-old male

Married 60-year-old male

State Farm

$2,554.56

$2,081.72

$1,873.89

USAA

$2,126.14

$1,540.32

$1,448.98

Once drivers are out of their teens and have a decade of experience on the road, rates drop fast. That’s especially true at USAA and State Farm, where rates are lower than the national averages for every age group. For 25-year-old male drivers, the average auto insurance rate at USAA drops to $2,126. With State Farm, it drops to $2,555.

Rates go down a little more at age 35. Male drivers of this age pay an average rate of $1,540 with USAA and $2,082 with State Farm. That’s a difference of less than $550.

Sixty-year-olds pay the lowest rates of any age group in our survey. The average rate for males of this age is $1,449 with USAA. It’s $1,874 at State Farm, which is about $425 higher than USAA’s rate.

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

Company

Single 25-year-old female

Married 35-year-old female

Married 60-year-old female

State Farm

$2,335.96

$2,081.72

$1,873.89

USAA

$1,988.52

$1,551.43

$1,449.85

For 25-year-old female drivers, rates drop quite a bit. The average rate for these drivers with USAA is $1,989, and it’s $2,336 with State Farm. These rates are only about $350 apart.

For women at ages 35 and 60, the average auto insurance rates from these two companies are very close to the rates for men of the same ages. USAA’s average rate for 35-year-old women is $1,551, dropping to $1,450 at age 60. State Farm’s average car insurance rates are identical for men and women in these age groups, at $2,082 for 35-year-olds and $1,874 for 60-year-olds. These rates are all below the national average rate of $2,275 for all 60-year-old drivers.

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

Company

12,000 miles annually

State Farm

$3,344.01

USAA

$2,591.91

Many Americans drive about 12,000 miles a year. USAA again has the cheapest auto insurance rates for these drivers, at an average of $2,592. State Farm’s average rate for this annual mileage is $3,344, which is about $750 more.

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

Company

6,000 miles annually

State Farm

$3,175.98

USAA

$2,482.69

If you drive half as much – 6,000 miles a year – you usually don’t have to pay as much for car insurance. The average rates from the top auto insurers are only about $85 cheaper for drivers that put fewer miles on the odometer. At State Farm, the average auto insurance rate for this mileage is $3,176. At USAA, it’s $2,483. Those are bigger discounts than many other insurers offer for driving less.

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

Company

Good Credit

State Farm

$2,174.26

USAA

$1,821.20

On average, drivers with good credit have some of the lowest car insurance rates. State Farm’s average rate for these drivers is $2,174, and it’s $1,821 with USAA. That’s a difference of only about $350.

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

Company

Poor Credit

State Farm

$4,951.20

USAA

$3,690.73

Drivers with poor credit pay higher car insurance rates than those with good credit. State Farm’s rate more than doubles for drivers with bad credit, to an average of $4,951. USAA’s average rate for these drivers also doubles, to $3,691. That’s still lower than State Farm’s rate by $1,260.

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

Company

Clean record

State Farm

$2,821.18

USAA

$1,933.68

Having a clean record goes a long way toward having a low car insurance rate. The average rate for a good driver is $2,821 with State Farm and $1,933 with USAA. That’s a difference of nearly $900, but both are lower than the national average rate of $3,124 for drivers with clean records.

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

Company

With 1 speeding violation

State Farm

$3,186.01

USAA

$2,193.25

Speed increases the chance of an accident, and insurance companies do not like accidents and the claims that come with them. A driver with a speeding ticket raises the average auto insurance rate to $2,193 with USAA and $3,186 at State Farm. USAA is still about $1,000 cheaper.

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

Company

With 1 accident

State Farm

$3,396.01

USAA

$2,516.24

Having an accident on your record will almost definitely raise your insurance rate. At State Farm, the average rate after a single accident is $3,396. At USAA, the average rate is $2,516. USAA is again cheaper, this time by $880, but both companies increased rates by about $580 on average.

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

Company

With 1 DUI

State Farm

$3,636.80

USAA

$3,506.03

There’s no easier way to quickly raise your auto insurance rate than to drive under the influence. A DUI conviction raises the average rate at State Farm to $3,637 – about $800 more than its average rate for drivers with a clean record. USAA raises the rate for drivers with a DUI to an average of $3,506.

That’s only $130 less than State Farm’s rate, which is more expensive in every demographic we studied. However, it’s nearly $1,600 more than USAA’s average rate for drivers with clean driving records. The rates from both of these companies for drivers with a DUI conviction are still lower than the national average auto insurance rate for this group, which is nearly $5,000.

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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 USAA, State Farm, 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. Liberty Mutual
  10. American Family

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies

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

Average Annual Rates:

Liberty Mutual car insurance rates are not currently available.