Founded in 1922, State Farm has grown to become one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S.
This article explores the pros and cons of State Farm’s auto insurance, so you can decide whether their insurance is a good fit for you. We’ll go over the 10 discounts State Farm offers, its generous rental car and travel expense coverage and the areas where the company’s car insurance falls short.
State Farm car insurance pros and cons
- Multiple discount options available
- Great options for rental car and travel expense coverage
- Excellent customer service
- Discount percentages, availability and eligibility vary by state
- Does not offer GAP insurance options
There are several factors where State Farm stands out, such as its customer service, rental and travel coverage as well as several discounts options to help customers lower their premium costs.
Multiple discount options
State Farm offers discounts for customers who maintain accident-free driving records, take safe-driving classes or have safety and anti-theft features in their cars. These discounts include the following:
- Defensive driving course discount: You can get this discount by taking a driver safety course.
- Accident-free discount: If you keep an active policy with State Farm for at least three consecutive years without an at-fault accident, you can get a driving discount of up to 25%. (An at-fault accident is an accident where you are deemed to be the cause of damage to property or bodily injury.)
- Good driving discount: If you’re a new State Farm customer, you can get this discount if you’ve gone for at least three years without a traffic ticket or at-fault accident.
- Student away at school discount: If anyone on your State Farm auto insurance policy is a student under the age of 25 who only uses a covered vehicle when they visit home, you can get this discount.
- Good student discount: If a student listed on a State Farm auto policy gets good grades (top 20% of their class, qualifying test scores or 3.0+ GPA), you can get up to 25% off your rate.
- Driver training discount: If all the drivers on your policy who are under 21 years old take a State Farm-approved driver education course, you can qualify for a discount.
- Steer clear discount: If you’re a new driver or under 25 years old, and you haven’t had any moving violations or at-fault accidents for the past three years, you might qualify for this program and save up to 15%. To qualify, drivers must complete five training modules that include lessons, driving practices and quizzes.
- Drive safe & save discount: To save up to 30%, you can download State Farm’s app and authorize it to track your driving. Safe driving habits — such as avoiding speeding, quick accelerations, hard braking or using your phone while driving — will earn you a discounts.
- Anti-theft discount: You qualify for this discount if your vehicle has an alarm or other approved anti-theft device.
- Passive restraint discount: If your car model is from 1993 or older and equipped with a factory-installed air bag or another passive restraint system, you can get a discount of up to 40% on medical-related coverage.
Great options for rental car and travel expense coverage
State Farm car insurance pays for a rental vehicle if yours is in the shop because of a covered incident. It also pays for lodging, meals and transportation if you’re stranded over 50 miles from home. Coverage varies by state, and you need State Farm’s full-coverage car insurance (comprehensive or collision coverage) to receive these benefits.
Excellent customer service ratings
At a time when auto insurance companies are struggling with high customer dissatisfaction, many State Farm customers on third-party review sites mention the friendliness and helpfulness of their local agents. Ten out of 11 regions surveyed by J.D. Power had State Farm exceeding the regional average in customer satisfaction.
The main drawbacks of State Farm insurance are that it doesn’t offer guaranteed asset protection (GAP) insurance and its discounts vary depending on where you live. This means you’ll have to dig a little for the info or contact an agent to learn about those available to you.
Discounts, availability and eligibility vary by state
While State Farm offers several discounts to help customers save on their premiums, it doesn’t offer these on a national level.
For example, State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save program is not available in CA, MA or RI. Another discount it doesn’t offer in California is the passive restraint discount, however it does offer a loyalty discount (which is not available in Florida, Texas or New York among others).
To learn what discounts are available state-by-state customers have to contact an agent or go to the discount page and use the “search for discounts in your state” tool.
Does not offer GAP insurance options
GAP (guaranteed asset protection) insurance covers the difference between what your car is worth (what your insurance will pay out) and the remaining car loan balance if it’s totaled or stolen. GAP insurance doesn’t help you purchase a new vehicle; it helps you avoid the financial responsibility of paying the remaining car loan balance on a totaled vehicle.
Most auto insurance companies offer this type of insurance, but State Farm doesn’t. State Farm does offer something similar, the Payoff Protector, but this is not an insurance product and it’s only available if the car loan is from State Farm Bank.
State Farm car insurance plans
State Farm provides an array of plans and policies, depending on the state where you live.
The Steer Clear drivers program
If you have a young driver in your policy, you can save on State Farm’s insurance rates if they participate in the Steer Clear program. This program offers training on safe driving, and requires drivers to record their trips.
The Steer Clear app provides quizzes and safe driving videos. Participating drivers must be under 25 years of age and have had no at-fault accidents or moving violations in the past three years.
Commercial auto insurance (also known as business insurance) for rideshare drivers can be expensive. State Farm’s rideshare driver coverage, which extends your personal auto insurance to protect you while you’re doing rideshare work, might help you save some money. Adding this coverage will typically add 15% to 20% to your personal policy premium.
State Farm’s rental car and travel expenses
If your car is in the repair shop due to damage covered by your comprehensive or collision policy, State Farm’s car rental reimbursement will help with the cost of renting a car. There are daily and per-claim limits to the coverage. For example, State Farm might pay up to $16 per day and up to $400 per occurrence. State Farm also pays up to $500 per loss for transportation, lodging and meals if you’re stuck over 50 miles from home.
Car rental and travel expense coverage are optional, so you need to ask for it when you’re getting a State Farm car insurance quote so the cost is added to your total.
State Farm car insurance financial stability
According to the three major credit rating agencies, State Farm is on stable financial footing and earned the following ratings:
- A.M. Best: A++
- Standard & Poor’s: AA
- Moody’s: Aa1
To determine these Financial Strength Ratings (FSR), credit agencies analyze a company’s financial statements, business practices and other factors such as the economy and a company’s position within the industry.
State Farm car insurance accessibility
State Farm is available (almost) nationwide, although some coverage options and discounts, such as rideshare insurance and the Drive Safe & Save discount, are not available in all states. To find out what coverage and discounts are available in your location, you’ll have to contact a local agent.
State Farm sells new policies in 48 states plus Washington, D.C. The exceptions are Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
State Farm’s general inquiry phone number is 800-782-8332. The company’s phone number for auto insurance claims is 800-732-5246. Unfortunately, State Farm does not list a customer service email on its site. You can request a quote on their website, but expect to be connected with a local agent for more details.
State Farm customer satisfaction
The Better Business Bureau gives State Farm an A+, but customer reviews give it a one star out of five. Its record with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), however, shows that it receives less complaints than other similarly sized providers.
State Farm has a 1.2 customer rating out of five on the BBB’s website. Many positive reviewers praise the excellent customer service they’ve received from their local agents. Negative reviews tend to mention claims denials they felt should have been approved, as well as damaged vehicles staying in the repair shop too long because State Farm wasn’t responding to the shop’s calls.
The NAIC’s complaint ratio is the number of complaints relative to a company’s size. A ratio lower than 1.00 indicates that the insurance company has a complaint level below the industry’s national average. State Farm’s NAIC score is 0.70, which means it’s received less complaints than the average. The NAIC reports customer complaints such as unexpected delays or denials for claims payments and unsatisfactory settlements.