American Family vs. GEICO Car Insurance (2021)

Our American Family vs. GEICO car insurance guide will help you decide between two great companies when taking into consideration your unique factors such as age, driving record, and credit score. Both companies have competitive rates; however, American Family is better than GEICO for drivers with speeding tickets, accidents, DUIs, and shifting credit scores. Which one is best for you? Continue reading to make your decision and to learn how to find the best car insurance quotes for you.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Feb 22, 2021

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The Highlights

  • Both American Family and GEICO have great customer satisfaction and low customer complaint ratios.
  • GEICO has the highest possible financial strength rating from A.M. Best, and American Family has better rates for drivers with a poor driving record.
  • GEICO has cheaper car insurance rates overall than American Family — but not by much.
  • American Family premiums decrease at a slower rate than GEICO’s based on credit history.
  • GEICO offers more discounts than American Family, though American Family has lower car insurance rates across the board.

American Family and GEICO are both reputable companies with stable financial strength. But which is better for you and your personal situation?

Overall rates between the two companies don’t differ much; however, penalties for a bad driving record or poor credit score differ greatly. GEICO is also defying the assumption that young males are worse drivers.

In our American Family vs. GEICO car insurance guide, we compare rates by age, driving record, and credit score. We also compare available discounts and ratings from agencies with a credible and trustworthy view of car insurance companies.

Keep reading to compare American Family auto insurance and GEICO auto insurance, or enter your ZIP code to start comparing affordable car insurance companies in your local area.

Is American Family car insurance or GEICO car insurance cheaper based on age?

Age is one of the biggest factors in determining your car insurance rates, and rightfully so — as we age, we drive more, so we become more practiced, aware, and safer.

Some states have outlawed using gender and marital status to determine car insurance rates. In some states, it is legal to also use gender and marital status to determine car insurance rates. Take a look at a comparison of American Family insurance rates and GEICO insurance rates based on age, gender, and marital status.

American Family vs. Geico Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Age, Gender, and Marital Status
Age, Gender, and Marital StatusAmerican Family Average Annual RatesGeico Average Annual Rates
Single 17-year-old female$5,997$5,654
Single 17-year-old male$8,131$6,279
Single 25-year-old female$2,289$2,379
Single 25-year-old male$2,695$2,263
Married 35-year-old female$2,203$2,303
Married 35-year-old male$2,224$2,312
Married 60-year-old female$2,203$2,303
Married 60-year-old male$2,224$2,312
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The majority of car insurance companies will charge more for male drivers, especially teens. At GEICO, rates for teen males are 23 percent cheaper than American Family. Additionally, rates for teen females are 6 percent cheaper than American Family.

Car insurance rates for single 25-year-old males is 16 percent cheaper going with GEICO rather than American Family.

GEICO seems to have carved a niche.

GEICO is definitely an excellent choice over American Family if you have a teen (specifically male) driver in your household.

American Family and GEICO car insurance rates are fairly competitive for other age and gender groups.

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Is American Family car insurance or GEICO car insurance cheaper based on driving record?

If you have a record of infractions such as speeding tickets, accidents, or DUIs, it doesn’t matter what company you choose; you will always pay higher rates than drivers with a clean record. Be sure to look into discounts to offset your high rate.

American Family vs. Geico Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record
Driving RecordAmerican Family Average Annual RatesGeico Average Annual Rates
Clean record$2,694$2,146
With one speeding violation$3,026$2,645
With one accident$3,723$3,193
With one DUI$4,330$4,876
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American Family’s car insurance rates are around $500 higher than GEICO’s car insurance rates for a speeding ticket or accident. However, American Family is more forgiving for drivers that incur a DUI.

GEICO’s rates increase more dramatically as you have more serious infractions. We figure this is because GEICO was originally for government employees, so, naturally, there are greater penalties for breaking laws.

In fact, when compared to a driver with a clean record, GEICO penalizes drivers that cause an accident with a 50 percent increase in rates, and drivers with GEICO that get a DUI will pay well over double that of a driver with a clean record.

Is American Family car insurance or GEICO car insurance cheaper based on credit score?

Sometimes bad things happen to good people, and it seems that if the bad thing is a financial thing like divorce or medical bills, then a credit score can plummet in no time. And the lower your credit score the higher your car insurance rates.

You may be thinking, “That’s not fair!” And you aren’t alone.

Unfortunately, car insurance companies make the assumption that drivers with good credit are more responsible, less likely to file a claim, and overall safer drivers.

The good news is several states have passed bills making it illegal for car insurance companies to base rates on credit score. Let’s take a look at how American Family and GEICO handle drivers with good, fair, and poor credit scores.

American Family vs. Geico Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Credit Score
Credit History SummaryAmerican Family Average Annual RatesGeico Average Annual Rates
Good Credit (670-739)$2,692$2,435
Fair Credit Score (580-669)$3,170$2,987
Poor Credit Score (300-579)$4,468$4,260
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Overall, GEICO’s car insurance rates are cheaper than American Family’s car insurance rates based on credit score. However, GEICO is harsher when it comes to the difference in rates for a driver with fair or poor credit.

American Family rates increase by 18 to 66 percent the worse the credit score. Alternatively, GEICO rates increase by 23 to 75 percent for those with a fair or poor credit score.

No matter what your credit score is, GEICO is a better option overall. But, if you choose GEICO and you experience financial trauma, expect your rates to skyrocket. If that happens, it may be a good idea to change companies.

It could be though, in your state, it is illegal to determine car insurance rates based on credit score. To know for sure, study up on car insurance laws in your state and compare rates from a variety of companies by reading your state car insurance guide. 

Does American Family or GEICO have better car insurance discounts?

Our data source shows only three discounts offered by American Family. GEICO offers 14 discounts and gives a bigger discount for having airbags which is the only discount American Family and GEICO share.

American Family vs. Geico Car Insurance Discounts
DiscountsAmerican FamilyGeico
Anti-lock BrakesN/A5
Anti-TheftN/A25
Claim FreeN/A26
Daytime Running LightsN/A1
Defensive Driver10N/A
Driving Device/App40N/A
Emergency DeploymentN/A25
Federal EmployeeN/A8
Good StudentN/A15
MilitaryN/A15
Multiple PoliciesN/A10
Multiple VehiclesN/A25
Passive Restraint3040
Safe DriverN/A15
Seat Belt UseN/A15
Vehicle RecoveryN/A25
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If you are considering GEICO and have a bad driving record or a poor credit score, you should rely heavily on some of GEICO’s discounts. Some of GEICO’s highest discounts are on anti-theft devices, vehicle recovery, being claim-free, insuring multiple vehicles, and if you are in the military and are urgently deployed.

There are two discounts American Family has that GEICO does not: completing a defensive driving course or using their mobile driving app or device to track your driving habits.

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Does American Family or GEICO have better car insurance mobile apps?

Most of the bigger car insurance companies have two different types of apps. One is a general app used to show electronic verification of coverage, pay your bill, or adjust your coverage levels. The driving app may use your mobile phone to record your driving habits, or the company may request that you install a device into your car.

This is called usage-based car insurance, and it is a very hot topic in the car insurance industry.

One thing to note: GEICO was the last of the top 10 car insurance companies to design and implement a usage-based driving app, so be aware that they may still be working out the bugs.

Read about American Family’s KnowYourDrive and GEICO’s DriveEasy usage-based car insurance apps in our American Family company review and our GEICO company review.

How do American Family and GEICO car insurance compare in financial strength and customer satisfaction?

Getting the best car insurance rate is something worth celebrating, especially if you get to take advantage of a discount that applies to your individual situation.

But just as critical as available discounts is a company’s financial strength, customer satisfaction with the claims process, and customer complaints. The following three credible and trustworthy agencies shine a light on these factors:

A.M. Best scores companies based on their ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations such as balancing premiums collected and claims paid. The highest score A.M. Best awards is Superior A++.

Consumer Reports collects annual data from its subscribers regarding customer satisfaction of the claims process, step by step. In their 2017 survey, 27 insurance companies were rated, and scores ranged between 86 to 96.

And the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) calculates a complaint ratio based on the total number of customers against the total number of complaints. In 2017, the national average complaint ratio was 1. The lower the ratio, the better.

American Family vs Geico Financial Strength and Credit Ratings
AgenciesAmerican Family RatingsGeico Ratings
AM BestA (Excellent)A++ (Superior)
Consumer Reports8989
NAIC Complaint Ratio0.79 (total of 73 complaints)0.68 (total of 333 complaints)
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Both American Family and GEICO have positive feedback from customers that go through the claims process and do well with managing customer complaints. Additionally, the financial future of both companies is strong, but GEICO carries the highest rating possible from A.M. Best.

Ready to buy car insurance? When you’re unsure which company to choose, you can always use our FREE comparison tool to compare American Family vs. GEICO car insurance to other companies’ car insurance rates in your area.

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