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Good car insurance? Take the road less traveled

car insurance

So much for hefty advertising budgets.

Consumer Reports surveyed 40,000 of its subscribers to gauge the best car insurers in the nation and survey says: go small.

“Big car insurers like Geico, Progressive, and Allstate may be the most recognizable, but it’s their lesser-known competitors that consistently earn higher satisfaction scores,” Consumer Reports reported. “Most of the ten largest insurance groups in the country — including big advertisers Progressive and Allstate — got this passable overall grade from our members.”

The magazine went on to explain that “Amica, NJM, and USAA have each been among the top three in every one of (our) car insurance ratings since 2004.”

However, before you cancel your coverage, here’s the fine print: “three of the four top car insurers limit whom they cover,” the magazine said. For example, USAA was the only insurer “with superlative scores across all ratings categories” and yet it limits its offerings to the U.S. military, their families and their descendants. The others limit to specific states and regions; Amica was the only insurer with an almost nationwide program (it excludes Hawaii) to finish at the top, according to the report.