Auto insurance provides financial protection against car-related losses. It is typically required by state law and covers liability for bodily injury and property damage to others, medical payments, uninsured motorist, comprehensive and collision coverages, among other options. Choosing the right coverages and deductible amounts is key to ensuring the best possible auto insurance rates.

To make the most of your auto insurance, shop around — prices vary widely, and every insurer weighs factors differently. Then consider a range of discounts available, such as good driver, safe driving and college student discounts. Finally, take into account an insurer’s reputation (e.g., quality of customer service, insurer ratings/solvency) and review its complaint statistics on the Department of Insurance website.

The best auto insurance companies are those that offer competitive pricing, excellent customer service and comprehensive coverages at a reasonable price. They also are easy to work with when it comes time to file a claim. The following 10 insurers offer some of the best overall auto policies based on our evaluations of their premiums, claims handling, customer satisfaction and financial stability.

In addition to the above criteria, we also considered telematics offerings from the top auto insurers in our rankings and their ability to help policyholders cut costs by promoting safer driving habits. For example, Progressive offers a program called Snapshot that personalizes your rate based on your real-world driving behaviors through a mobile app. Other telematics programs that are offered by the major insurers include DriveSafely, eSurance and Allstate Drive, although some of these may not be available in all states.

Aside from choosing the right coverages and deductible levels, it’s important to understand what each type of auto insurance actually covers so you can determine which is best for you. For example, collision and comprehensive insurance are designed to cover the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle after an accident, but they only pay up to a certain amount. You can reduce your rates by lowering your collision and comprehensive coverage limits or increasing your deductible.

In the long run, the most important factor in determining the best auto insurance company for you is to find an insurer that meets your specific needs and budget. That starts with evaluating your coverage needs, such as liability insurance, which is required by most states, full coverage/comprehensive insurance that’s often recommended or required by lenders, and uninsured motorist and medical payments coverages. Then shop for the best auto insurance rates with multiple providers and keep your eyes open for special deals, such as at renewal time when many insurers lower their premiums to attract new customers. Also, always read your policy and be sure you understand what each coverage is intended to do, so there are no surprises when it comes time to file a claim.