I’m sure you’ve all seen plenty of State Farm commercials over the years, especially on Sundays with Aaron Rodgers “Discount Double Checking” on your TV screen. Retired farmer and insurance salesman, George Mecherle started the company in 1922. Today, State Farm is a mutual company owned by their policyholders. State Farm Employs more than 65,000 people including more than 18,000 Agents that service 81 million policies and accounts throughout the U.S. and Canada.
To measure the pricing of the auto insurance companies we reviewed, we created 3 different driver profiles:
For consistency, we used the same car model: 2008 BMW 335i Sedan, and geographic location: San Francisco, CA.
State Farm came back as having slightly below average rates in our comparison. We see great value here as State Farm is one of the highest rated auto insurance companies for Customer Satisfaction and Purchase Experience.
Detailed Shopping Experience
FinancialAdviser.com took a visit to the StateFarm.com website to try out their online quote process. Once on the site, you see the familiar characters from their latest “Discount Double Check” commercial as well as a link in the center-left to “Get a Quote”. We entered our zip code here and clicked the “Go” button to proceed. The first screen is after your Name, Address, and Birth date. We liked the layout of this screen as each question had a playful/helpful graphic on the top (like a “Hello My name Is…” label above the Name field). This was pleasing to the eye when compared to the long list of vertical fields that most other sites use.
From there, the process was looking for information on our vehicle. One of the first things we noticed is that there was an actual agent’s picture and name for us to contact in the upper right hand corner. Assumption here is this agent was matched to us based on our entered address. Below that were links to click to initiate a Chat or request a call for further assistance.
With our vehicle’s information added, we were asked about our usage information. Standard questions here: Annual mileage and intended vehicle use. There was a unique question here asking if we wanted to participate in the “Drive Safe & Save” program. Further investigation on this makes it sound like a program where they will closely examine your actual mileage driven and possible use that info to provide future rate discounts. Driver information is up next, this includes standard questions about years of driving experience, previous minor violations (that have been dismissed via traffic school), Gender, and Marital status.
The next screen was looking for detailed info for any previous accidents, tickets and license suspensions that have occurred in the last 6 years. While we did not have any of these for the purpose of our evaluation, we found the system for adding these to be well implemented. If you had a ticket to enter, you would click the “+” sign and then would be presented with simple drop downs to explain when the traffic violation occurred and details for that violation.
After confirming the registered owner, we’re ready to click the “Get Quote” button. We’re then presented with 3 different levels of coverage as well as having the ability to customize our coverage levels. Our applicable discounts (such as Good Driver) are displayed on the right. There’s also a helpful note at the bottom that we can call request a chat, call, or even send our quote to an agent to make sure we’re getting the best possible rate.
We at FinancialAdviser.com found State Farm’s website to be one of the best and easiest to use. The rates while not the lowest, are competitive with the rest of the industry. When you combine that with State Farm’s extremely high ratings for customer satisfaction, State Farm is definitely recommended.
elow we cover some of the commonly used auto insurance terms. Terms and coverage offerings can vary by provider. For more specific answers or definitions that aren’t covered here, please talk to the auto insurer directly.
Bodily Injury Liability: If the insured person is found legally liable for an accident, Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) pays for costs related to other people’s bodily injuries or death. It also provides for legal defense costs if you are sued. BIL covers injury to other people, not to yourself and not to your car. This coverage is mandatory in most states. Coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy.
Property Damage Liability: If the insured person is found legally liable for an accident, Property Damage Liability (PDL) pays for damage to others’ property resulting from the accident. Usually this property is their car, but it could be a house or other property damaged in the accident. PDL also pays for legal defense costs if you are sued. Coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy.
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage: If the insured person or their passenger(s) is injured in an accident caused by a driver with no auto insurance coverage or insufficient auto insurance coverage, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UUMC) will pay for medical expenses and other general damages. UUMC may also pay for injuries that occur in a hit-and-run accident. Coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy.
Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Property Damage Coverage: If the driver or owner of a vehicle is legally liable for an accident but does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance, UUMP will pay for damage to your insured vehicle. Coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy.
Comprehensive Coverage: If the insured vehicle is damaged due to an event other than a collision, Comprehensive Coverage (CC) will pay for the damage. For example, CC covers damage to your car if it’s damaged by flood, fire, etc. If your vehicle is stolen, CC usually pays for transportation and loss-of-use expenses. CC pays to fix your car less the deductible you select. Coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy.
Collision Coverage: If the insured vehicle hits or is hit by another vehicle or object, Collision Coverage pays for the damage to your vehicle. This coverage may also extend to a rented or non-owned vehicle that the insured is using. Collision Coverage pays to fix your car less the deductible you select. Coverage is limited to the terms and conditions contained in the policy.
Yes, you do. Auto insurance, or proof of financial responsibility, is required in all 50 states. Each state has specific limits on how much insurance you need to have. Check with your state department of insurance to determine what those limits are.