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New rankings: The best auto insurance companies in your part of the country

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Clark Howard Web Staff, Clark.com

Ever heard the saying “All real estate is local?” It means that market conditions are specific to wherever you are? Well, the same could be said of auto insurance.

While there are a handful of national insurers — mainly the big companies you see advertising on TV — a lot of the action in the auto insurance market is regional. There are a number of smaller players around the country who do a great job insuring motorists in their local area. You just may not be all that familiar with them because they don’t have the ad budgets of the big guys.

That’s why when you think about auto insurance rankings, you really want to know who’s doing well and satisfying customers in your neck of the woods. And J.D. Power’s latest ranking of the auto industry does just that.

RELATED: Best and worst home insurance companies

Here are the best auto insurers where you live

J.D. Power surveyed 44,622 auto insurance customers between February and April of 2018 and asked them to grade their insurer on five metrics:

  • Customer interaction
  • Policy offerings
  • Price
  • Billing process and policy information
  • Claims.

The results that emerged show overall satisfaction with auto insurers is at a record high, with the industry as a whole scoring 826 on a 1,000-point scale.

Here’s who is doing a great job in your region of the country, according to the survey:

California

  1. USAA
  2. Ameriprise
  3. Wawanesa
  4. Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group
  5. The Hartford

Central Region

  1. USAA
  2. Shelter
  3. Auto-Owners Insurance
  4. GEICO
  5. Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group

Florida

  1. USAA
  2. MetLife
  3. Allstate
  4. GEICO
  5. Esurance

Mid-Atlantic Region

  1. USAA
  2. NJM Insurance Co.
  3. Erie Insurance
  4. GEICO
  5. The Hartford

New England

  1. USAA
  2. Amica Mutual
  3. State Farm
  4. Allstate
  5. GEICO

New York

  1. USAA
  2. New York Central Mutual
  3. MetLife
  4. Allstate
  5. Travelers

North Central Region

  1. USAA
  2. Auto-Owners Insurance
  3. COUNTRY Financial
  4. Cincinnati Insurance
  5. Erie Insurance

Northwest Region

  1. USAA
  2. PEMCO Insurance
  3. The Hartford
  4. American Family
  5. State Farm

Southeast Region

  1. USAA
  2. Farm Bureau Insurance—Tennessee
  3. Auto-Owners Insurance
  4. GEICO
  5. NC Farm Bureau

Southwest Region

  1. USAA
  2. CSAA Insurance Group
  3. The Hartford
  4. State Farm
  5. American Family

Texas

  1. USAA
  2. Texas Farm Bureau
  3. Allstate
  4. MetLife
  5. Farmers

Analysis of the results

One thing is immediately clear: USAA scored the highest in every single region of the country! However, USAA is only available to those in the military or affiliated with the military through direct family ties, so it may not be available to you.

Another of Clark’s favorite insurers, Amica Mutual, only showed up as a Top 5 pick in one region — New England.

Meanwhile, there was a surprisingly strong showing from some big-name insurers. GEICO was named a Top 5 choice in five regions of the country — the Central Region, the Mid-Atlantic states, Florida, New England and in the Southeast.

Other widely known insurers who also fared well were The Hartford and Allstate, which were both named top picks in different four regions.

However, there is one caveat we want to point about GEICO: If you’re interested in bundling your auto and home insurance through GEICO to get a multi-policy discount, you should know that GEICO offers home insurance through any of a number of affiliated and non-affiliated insurance companies.

What does that mean in plain English? Simply that while GEICO definitely writes its own auto insurance, the home insurance you buy through GEICO will be underwritten through someone else — not GEICO.

We recently discovered this during a home insurance shopping exercise we conducted here at Clark.com. Just something to keep in mind as you’re out there shopping the marketplace!

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