Javascript is not enabled.

Javascript must be enabled to use this site. Please enable Javascript in your browser and try again.

Skip to content
Content starts here
Leaving Website

You are now leaving and going to a website that is not operated by AARP. A different privacy policy and terms of service will apply.

What Makes a Good Auto Insurer?

4 ways to tell if your auto insurer will do its best for you

spinner image What Makes a Good Auto Insurer
When looking for the right auto insurance, do your research beforehand to find the best coverage.
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Getting the right amount of coverage is important, but it’s just as important to place your business with the right carrier. Here’s how to separate the great from the rest.

It’s licensed in your state. Only do business with a carrier that’s licensed to sell insurance where you reside. This enables you to seek assistance from your state’s insurance department if you have problems. The insurance department’s website should have a list of licensed insurers, but if not, a call to the agency will get you the information you need.

spinner image Image Alt Attribute

AARP Membership— $12 for your first year when you sign up for Automatic Renewal

Get instant access to members-only products and hundreds of discounts, a free second membership, and a subscription to AARP the Magazine. Find out how much you could save in a year with a membership. Learn more.

Join Now

Take the AARP Smart Driver online course

It is financially healthy. An insurer that’s in poor financial shape may not have the resources to pay your claim. Standard & Poor’s (, A.M. Best (, Fitch ( and Moody’s ( all evaluate and report on the strength of insurance companies, though these ratings aren’t always easy to find on their websites. If you are considering a lesser-known provider, experts recommend you consult ratings from at least two agencies before saying yes. 

It has a low rate of justified complaints. The website of your state’s insurance department should offer a report that gives the number of justified complaints received by insurance carriers. This report typically provides a “complaint ratio” that compares the number of justified complaints with the company’s total amount of business in the state. You can also find an insurance company’s complaint ratio by visiting, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners website, and clicking on Consumer Information Source. Look for a carrier with a relatively low complaint ratio. 

It’s easy to contact. You want an insurer that you can contact in all circumstances. If you find yourself on hold for a long time or face other difficulties when shopping for a carrier, there’s a good chance you’ll face similar problems — or worse ones — as a customer. Choose a carrier that’s easy to reach and pleasant to deal with.

Discover AARP Members Only Access

Join AARP to Continue

Already a Member?

close up of a gold car parked near the water during sunset

AARP Auto Buying Program Powered by TrueCar

Shop for a car with safety features you want. Buyers can get a free AARP Smart Driver course.

close up of a gold car parked near the water during sunset

Please Select Make

Please Enter ZIP Code

Please Select Make

Please Enter ZIP Code