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10 best auto insurance companies: 2014 customer satisfaction rankings

USAA, State Farm and Farmers earned the highest scores from both auto and home insurance customers in Insure.com’s annual customer satisfaction study. It is USAA’s third year as the highest-rated auto and home insurer in the survey.

Insure.com’s 2014 survey spanned 3,835 current customers of 15 large insurers in auto, home and health insurance, and 14 in life insurance. Ratings are based on five measurements:

• Customer service
• Claims satisfaction
• Value for price paid
• Percent who plan to renew
• Percent who would recommend the company

In the auto insurance category, USAA scored well across the board but did particularly well in measurements for renewal (95 percent of customers surveyed said they planned to renew) and recommendations (84 percent have or would recommend USAA). The insurer sells only to members of the military and their families.

State Farm and Farmers also garnered strong scores in all auto insurance measurements but were outpaced by USAA in renewal and recommendation ratings.

Making decisions
We also asked customers their reasons for deciding to buy from their insurers. Flo is paying off: Progressive has the highest number of customers who made their decision based on seeing a TV commercial (18 percent), followed closely by Allstate (17 percent) and Geico (16 percent). USAA had the lowest percentage of customers (4 percent) who chose the company based on a commercial.

Methodology
Insure.com conducted surveys of 3,835 insurance customers nationwide in February and March 2014 to collect 9,586 company reviews. Only current customers of the insurers on our lists were surveyed. The survey was not open to the general public on the Insure.com website. We collected reviews for auto, home, health and life insurance carriers. Consumers answered questions about their levels of satisfaction with their insurers, and each answer was assigned a point value. Points were then averaged and totaled for each company.

A.M. Best ratings do not affect the scores but are provided as a supplementary resource. The “discounts” and “coverage options” information for auto insurance carriers also does not affect the scores.

We collected data for 15 large companies in each category, so not all companies are represented in the study. The companies for which we collected data were then ranked. The top three companies in each category earned Insure.com's "People's Choice Award." In the life insurance category, a tie for third place resulted in four insurers receiving the award.

1. USAA
Overall score: 93.9
Claims processing: 4.5 stars
Customers who recommend: 83%

2. State Farm
Overall score: 92.7
Claims processing: 4.5 stars
Customers who recommend: 81%

3. Farmers
Overall score: 91.5
Claims processing: 4.5 stars
Customers who recommend: 74%

4. GEICO
Overall score: 91.1
Claims processing: 4.5 stars
Customers who recommend: 75%

5. Auto Club of Southern California
Overall score: 90.5
Claims processing: 4.5 stars
Customers who recommend: 81%

6. Nationwide
Overall score: 90.5
Claims processing: 4.5 stars
Customers who recommend: 76%

7. Liberty Mutual
Overall score: 90.2
Claims processing: 4 stars
Customers who recommend: 74%

8. Allstate
Overall score: 90
Claims processing: 4 stars
Customers who recommend: 78%

9. American Family
Overall score: 89.5
Claims processing: 4 stars
Customers who recommend: 76%

10. The Hartford
Overall score: 89
Claims processing: 4 stars
Customers who recommend: 76%

[Related video: Shopping around for auto insurance]
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