State Farm car insurance review
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- Largest provider of car insurance in the United States
- Good option for drivers with imperfect driving records such as speeding tickets or DUI
- Slightly better than average performance for number of customer complaints
About State Farm
If size matters in the car insurance market, then State Farm is at the top of the list. The company writes more policies than any other carrier, with a market share of about 16%. Depending on your perspective, that might be a positive or a negative. State Farm certainly has great financial strength to accompany its size, and generally speaking the company is fairly well liked by car insurance customers for a number of reasons.
While State Farm’s rates are not rock bottom, they are fairly competitive for the coverages that many customers choose. Furthermore, the company is known for not increasing premiums as much as most other companies after tickets and at-fault accidents.
- Largest car insurer in the US
- Large exclusive agent network
- Many discounts available
- Solid claims service
- Insures higher risk drivers
- Aggressive upselling by well-trained agents
- Some customers see premium increases over time
- No accident forgiveness
The buying process
For those who prefer an agent to guide them through the quoting and buying process, as well as to be there to answer questions and provide assistance throughout their tenure as a customer, State Farm has a very strong network of over 18,000 agents. Hence there is a good chance you’ll find a State Farm agent conveniently located near you.
For those who want to apply for a quote directly on the company’s website, State Farm provides a simple interface that walks you through each step in the process. The company also offers a mobile app that allows you to file and manage claims, talk to your agent, get roadside assistance, and access your insurance ID cards.
As a full-service insurer, State Farm offers customers the convenience, and in some cases savings, of bundling policies under one roof. In addition to car insurance, you may also choose to purchase policies such as home, life, and business insurance from State Farm, allowing you to manage all of them with one relationship.
Like most companies, State Farm offers discounts on premiums based on a number of different factors. The pricing benefits can be especially great for safe drivers.
One of the newer discounts is the optional Drive Safe & Save program, which can reduce premiums by up to 50%. The program measures both the amount you drive and the way you drive. Customers who drive less and do so more safely are at lower risk of accidents, and State Farm allows them to share some of their resulting savings in the form of lower premiums.
Drive Safe & Save is built into the State Farm app you can download to your phone, following you wherever you go and measuring your mileage and certain safety parameters such as speed, time of day, and how smoothly you accelerate and brake. Some drivers don’t like this concept, because they don’t like feeling as if they are being “spied on,” and in an age of data misuse, this could be a valid concern. But for those who don’t mind, if you are a good driver, the savings could be significant.
State Farm’s Steer Clear Safe Driver Discount provides discounts for drivers under the age of 25 while helping them improve their driving skills. Steer Clear is a training course that helps teen and young adult drivers to better understand and practice safe driving habits. In order to receive the discount, youthful drivers must have no at-fault accidents for the prior 3 years in addition to completing the training program.
State Farm offers a host of other discounts, including:
- Accident-Free Discount
- Defensive Driving Course Discount
- Discount for 3 or more years without moving violations or at-fault accidents
- Good student discount and student away at school discount
- Multiple vehicle discount
- Discount for bundling with homeowners, renters, condo, or life insurance
- Safe vehicle discounts, based on the safety records for your car’s make and model, air bags, and anti-theft devices
It is challenging to make a blanket statement about how a company handles claims, and whether customers find them to be very good, very poor, or somewhere in the middle. Many of the reviews that appear online for State Farm’s service show a general lack of satisfaction from customers, and in some cases downright anger and outrage.
This same statement can be made for many insurers, so it must be put into context. When it comes to insurance claims, it is more likely that dissatisfied customers will write reviews. And no one wants to have to make a claim in the first place, meaning that almost by default the process starts from a less than desirable place.
It’s understandable that if the insurer is not 100% accommodating in covering or processing the claim, the customer who has been paying premiums with the intent of having all such problems smoothly and promptly taken care of is likely to be angry. In some cases the anger is completely justified, and in others it may not be. The point is, it’s critical that we all take these reviews with a grain of salt.
Generally speaking, State Farm seems to be no worse in terms of unhappy customers than many other large car insurers. You can find reviews of State Farm on TrustPilot.
One of the most important things to look for when choosing an insurance company is how it rates in terms of financial strength, which is a good way to measure whether it will be able to maintain solvency and pay out claims. This strength is particularly important in times of financial difficulty, whether in the economy as a whole, or in association with financial challenges specific to the company.
State Farm ranks highly in terms of its ability to maintain solvency and pay out claims. Its Financial Strength Ratio (FSR) from rating agency A.M. Best is “Superior: A++”, which is the highest rating possible and is due to State Farm's superior financial condition and operational performance. The company has a AA rating from S&P Global Ratings, which is one of the highest possible scores, the only higher being AA+ and AAA.
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