Connect Auto Insurance was established in 2019 when Ameriprise sold its auto and home insurance division to American Family insurance. Ameriprise used to sell this type of coverage through its partnership with Costco, and now Connect continues that tradition.
Has this transfer reduced the service quality? What do long-term clients have to say? We’ve checked their Connect Insurance reviews and conducted an in-depth analysis to find out what the company has to offer.
We studied its customer service and financial stability. We also took a peek at Connect’s website to see which discounts and optional coverages the company offers. Read on to see how it compares to other car insurance companies in the US.
Ameriprise Auto Insurance Review
Ameriprise offers reasonable prices and top-of-the-line customer service. It’s quite expensive for drivers without a pristine record, but everybody else should give it a chance.
- Mostly great customer service scores
- Affordable for safe and experienced drivers
- Some interesting and unique features
- High NAIC ratio
- Expensive for young or high-risk drivers
Connect Auto Insurance– Product Overview
Connect is not as famous as its larger rivals, such as State Farm or Progressive, mainly because it doesn’t spend much on advertising. Instead, it relies on the Costco member pool to acquire clients. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a quote and buy insurance directly from the company. The company also has a strategic partnership with Ameriprise Financial, its previous owner.
Connect insurance is available in 44 states and the District of Columbia. The company tries to present itself as a “customers-first” enterprise and an affordable insurer. It offers the same services as its larger competitors, plus some unique twists.
Costco Connect Insurance Features
CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance, writes personal auto, home, and umbrella insurance through a partner-based distribution model. It is based in De Pere, Wisconsin, and employs over 1,700 people.
As the name says, it is part of the American Family Insurance group. American Family was founded in 1927, and today it’s the nation’s 13th-largest insurance group, ranking No. 232 on the Fortune 500 list.
You can buy Connect insurance by requesting a Costco car insurance quote, buying it directly on the Connect website or from an exclusive American Family Insurance agent (available in 19 states). Whatever purchase method you decide on, you will enjoy good coverage that won’t cost you dearly.
Namely, being a part of such a large company and Costco partnership program that eliminates the need for marketing expenses enable Connect to offer interesting products at low prices.
Connect and Costco Auto Insurance Partnership
These two companies work closely together. Costco serves as a seller of car insurance to the members of its buyers’ club, while Connect underwrites those policies. Customers getting auto insurance through Costco can qualify for additional discounts on Connects’s already affordable prices. On top of that, they can receive some handy benefits, such as free roadside assistance and home lockout help.
Connect Auto Insurance Reviews – Website and Mobile Apps
This is one of Connect’s worst sides. The company has a website, and you can buy insurance, pay bills, get acquainted with the products, discounts, etc. However, even though you can file a claim, you can’t track it.
If you try to find the functionalities you need in the Connect mobile app, you will be disappointed. Namely, unlike with Ameriprise car insurance before, there is no Connect mobile app for the time being. This is surprising because you would expect an essential online tool like this to have been developed in three years the company is operational.
What makes it even worse is that it took over hundreds of thousands of Ameriprise clients when it bought the auto insurance division, and those insurance clients were used to having a smartphone app.
Connect Car Insurance Signature Feature – Lifetime Renewability
One such perk is the Lifetime Renewability of your car insurance policy. As long as you meet specific conditions, Connect won’t cancel your policy. And it doesn’t matter how many violations you pile up.
This. however, does not include severe violations or a failure to pay the premium. Also, you should note that this doesn’t keep Connect from raising your rate. Finally, this feature is limited to Costco Executive Members, and it is not available in MD and MI.
American Family Car Insurance – Financial Strength
A.M. Best reviewed Connect’s parent company and gave it a rating of “A” or “Excellent.” This is the third-best rating this agency awards.
The slightly lower score doesn’t come as a surprise given that American Family is not as big as some competitors, like Geico or State Farm. Still, an ordinary customer has nothing to worry about. In conclusion, the company is more than capable of paying claims.
Connect Auto Insurance From Costco – Types of Available Insurance
You can buy all six standard types of car insurance from Connect. These include:
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
On top of that, Connect offers all the common optional coverages, together with some unique protection plans.
If your car breaks down, this coverage comes to the rescue. It’s an inexpensive add-on that provides services such as towing, fuel and oil delivery, battery jump starts, and locksmith assistance. If you need help, you can call the Connect insurance phone number, which is 1-888-742-4572. The line operates 24/7.
This coverage pays the difference between the actual cash value of your car and the amount that’s left on your loan if the car was totaled. With Connect, GAP will cover up to 120% of the value of your totaled vehicle. It also includes new car replacement within the first year of ownership. This means you will get a brand new car that’s the same make and model.
Connect-Costco Car Insurance New Car Replacement
You can even purchase this option separate from GAP coverage. If you total your car within the first year of ownership or the first 15,000 miles, Connect will get you a brand new car that’s the same make and model. The maximum payout equals 110% of the suggested retail price.
A cracked windshield is among the most common types of damage to your car. If it can be repaired instead of replaced, the company will waive your deductible. Costco insurance reviews submitted by clients highlight that this coverage can come very useful.
Rental Car Reimbursement
While you’re waiting for your vehicle to get repaired after a covered accident, Connect will provide you with a rental car to get around. This coverage is not as cheap as roadside assistance, but it’s equally useful. Keep in mind that it has a daily limit, plus a maximum amount of time you can use it for.
This is a nice perk that all safe drivers will love. As many Connect insurance reviews note, not many companies are this generous. If you’ve had your Connect policy for more than three years, your first at-fault accident will not increase your premium.
Stolen Key Coverage
Nowadays, car keys are expensive and sophisticated devices, and we can expect that the future of cars will bring even more elaborate designs. With Connect, you won’t have to worry about stolen keys. Connect insurance claims their comprehensive coverage includes replacing stolen keys and locks for up to $250 without any deductible. The best thing is, this type of coverage comes with no extra cost.
Accident Travel Expenses
If an accident happens while you’re on vacation, there is no need to worry. Namely, the Accident Travel Expenses coverage will pay for travel and accommodation expenses if your car was damaged at least 100 miles away from your home.
Connect/Costco Vehicle insurance — Customer Service
Ratings for the company’s customer service are quite ambiguous. In the 2021 J.D. Power regional rankings, the company holds second place in the California region. It has easily beaten the established insurers like Geico, Allstate, and State Farm. Due to its small size, Connect doesn’t appear in any other J.D. Power rankings.
On the other hand, Connect’s NAIC ratio was 1.02 in 2021, but was a whopping 6.30 in 2020. This result is way above the average for a company of its size. For instance, insurers like Travelers, Allstate, and Progressive get 0.4, 0.48, and 0.75, respectively.
We must mention that Ameriprise insurance reviews were much more positive, around 1.3. For clarification, the expected number of complaints is represented as 1. The lower the ratio, the fewer complaints the company gets.
However, bad results in 2020 can be attributed to the reorganization the company was undergoing after it changed hands the year before. The significant reduction in complaint numbers in 2021 supports our theory.
Connect reviews from its customers are somewhat better than the competition, although they are also remarkably bad. The company holds 1.5 stars on Yelp and 2.5 stars on ConsumerAffairs. Believe it or not, these numbers are a good sign given how overwhelmingly negative reviews on these sites typically are. They indicate a higher number of satisfied customers.
Overall, we tend to give more authority to J.D. Power’s ratings compared to the NAIC ratio, meaning we believe Ameriprise has excellent customer service.
Connect Auto Insurance Discounts
There are many different discounts to choose from. Most of them are standard for the auto insurance industry. Nonetheless, there are some unique offers designed to entice customers.
If you’re a reliable driver, with a pristine driving record, you can expect to pay a lower car insurance premium.
Vehicle Safety Features
Don’t miss selecting this discount when getting a quote, since it’s among the easiest to get. If your vehicle has safety measures such as anti-lock brakes, air bags, automatic seatbelts, or anti-theft devices, your Costco auto insurance quote will be lower.
You can get a discount by bundling policies together. The more policies you get from Connect, the higher the discount will be. Furthermore, if you are a Costco member, you can anticipate lower auto insurance prices.
Good Student Discount
This is a great remedy for the high rates that younger drivers usually encounter. Full-time students aged 25 or younger, who maintain a GPA of “B” (3.0) or better, can qualify for a significant reduction in their car insurance premium.
As many Connect insurance reviews note, not many companies offer this discount. If you keep your car overnight in a safe garage, you may get a lower premium. Availability of this discount is limited.
Similar to bundling, this option warrants lower premiums for those who are insuring additional cars, motorbikes, trucks, RVs, or vans with Connect.
Whether you have home insurance or auto coverage, if you’re a loyal customer, you will pay less. To qualify, you need to have been with the company for at least three years.
This is a terrific opportunity for senior drivers to refresh their knowledge and get a discount on their Connect/Costco auto insurance quotes To obtain it, they need to complete a DMV accredited defensive course and provide a certificate.
This is another option that’s not so common in the industry. To get this discount, you or another named policyholder has to have at least four years of post-high-school education.
Student Away at School
This is a prudent way for younger drivers to save. If a student listed on the policy is attending a school more than 100 miles from the place where the vehicle is garaged, a discount is available. Obviously, the discount is not available if the student keeps the car at school.
Rates for Car Insurance Through Costco/Connect
To verify the rates that the company offers, we got a quote in Los Angeles, California. We included full coverage limits. Overall, Connect offers reasonable rates. Older and more experienced drivers, in particular, can expect low prices.
On the other hand, younger or high-risk drivers will have to shell out more for their policy. They may want to consider Progressive, Wawanesa, and Geico if budget prices are their priority.
Connect vs. Ameriprise Auto Insurance – What’s Changed for Clients
After acquiring Ameriprise Auto & Home insurance division in 2019 for $1 billion, American Family announced its expansion plans. It rebranded the new company as “Connect – Powered by American Family Insurance,” and a plan to transform it from a regional insurance company into a national-level player was set in motion.
One of the most significant changes was in the sales channels. The company went from exclusive agency owners and partners like Costco to selling through multiple channels. This was supposed to increase the high Ameriprise insurance rating the new company inherited.
However, there is a sense that not much has been done in that department. Namely, the company is still primarily present in California, with an almost neglectable national market share.
Another thing that stands out is the lack of a mobile app. However, everything remains pretty much the same when it comes to coverage types, prices, and discounts. The company even kept the same numbers for roadside assistance, which is commendable.
Top Competitors vs. Connect Reviews
Connect vs. Allstate
Connect is a more affordable option than Allstate for all age demographics. On top of that, it scores significantly better in the customer satisfaction category.
Nonetheless, Allstate offers more interesting optional coverages and a variety of useful features. Its Claims Satisfaction Guarantee stands out the most. It warrants that the company will reimburse you with up to six months of your premium if you are unhappy with the way Allstate handled your claim.
We would recommend Connect to buyers looking for everyday auto insurance, while we would suggest Allstate to those willing to pay more for extra options.
Connect/Costco Auto Insurance vs. Geico
This is a tough choice because every company has its unique advantages. Geico is a more affordable insurer with a financial strength that’s second to none. It also has a superior website and mobile app.
Connect, on the other hand, has a considerably better score in customer service. Furthermore, its rates are still affordable, although not as cheap as Geico’s. Given these results, we would get quotes from both companies when looking for our next auto insurance.
Connect vs. Progressive
When American Family Insurance rebranded Connect, it didn’t change the prices much, so they are still affordable. But, not as affordable as Progressive’s. Namely, the latter costs around $88 less monthly.
The difference is particularly striking for younger or high-risk drivers. It also has better financial strength and a lower NAIC ratio, indicating it gets fewer complaints than Connect. Furthermore, it has an excellent quote system and mobile tools.
One thing Progressive cannot match is Connect’s score in J.D. Power’s rankings in customer satisfaction. While Connect holds the second spot in the California region, Progressive holds the fifth.
This means that we would recommend Connect to those drivers who are willing to pay a little bit more for reliable customer service.
Best Alternatives to Connect by Amfam/Costco
If you live in California, Wawanesa is the number one alternative to Connect. It scores better in customer satisfaction, and it offers more affordable premiums. That’s why we named it the best auto insurer in our California guide. If you aren’t a Californian but still want first-rate customer service, Erie, Auto-Owners, and Amica are top options for reliable customer service per our reviews.
You should give Geico a chance too, regardless of your zip code. Its customer service ranks lower than what you’ve seen here in our Connect review, but Geico has more affordable prices and better financial strength. If that’s what you’re looking for, Progressive also deserves your attention. And if you want excellent online tools, give Esurance a chance. The company specializes in younger demographics who prefer to handle everything online.
Finally, if you’re a US army member or a close relative, it’s hard to look past USAA. It offers all that you could ask for, including first-rate customer service and cheap premiums.
Our Expert Verdict – Summary of Connect Auto Insurance Reviews
Connect is undoubtedly an appealing option. It offers reasonable prices and top-of-the-line customer service. Furthermore, Lifetime Renewability is a great perk that not many others offer.
However, Connect is quite expensive for drivers without a pristine record, as well as for younger demographics. That’s why we cannot give a universal recommendation to this company. Nevertheless, more experienced drivers should definitely check it. They might be in for a treat.
People Also Ask
Is Connect Insurance Good?
Yes, Connect insurance is good. It has an “A” (Excellent) A.M. Best rating, which means the company is more than capable of paying claims made by its clients. In addition, it is backed up by one of the largest players on the market- American Family Insurance. It provides good coverage, affordable prices, and good customer service. It is especially suitable for older and safer drivers because it offers them low premiums.
Is Connect insurance part of Costco?
No, Connect Insurance is not a part of Costco. The company is owned by American Family insurance. The company cooperates with Costco, though. The store offers its members discounts on car, home, and umbrella insurance policies through Connect. Besides significant discounts, the clients also get other perks, but you must have Costco membership to buy insurance. The membership will cost you between $60 and $120 a year.
Is Connect an insurance company?
Yes, Connect is an insurance company. Its full name is “Connect, powered by American Family Insurance,” and it writes auto, home, and umbrella insurance policies. The company was named Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance until 2019, when American Family Insurance bought it. In 2020, they changed the name to one we see today.
Is Connect a good car insurance?
Yes, Connect is good car insurance. It is owned and backed up by American Family Insurance and has an Excellent “A” A.M. Best rating. It means that it’s financially solid and capable of managing its claims. Thanks to the affordable prices, good optional coverage, different discounts, and strategic partnerships with companies like Costco, it managed to become a significant player on the market.
Is Costco Auto Program worthwhile?
Yes, we would say that the Costco Auto Program is worthwhile. Besides getting you great prices for new and used cars, it also enables users to get many other discounts for parts or services. You can even buy Connect car insurance with a discount. Of course, you would have to buy a Costco membership card first. This will cost you between $60 and $120 for a yearly subscription, but it is not much compared to the savings.
What company does Costco use for auto insurance?
Costco sells “Connect, powered by American Family Insurance.” The clients get lower premiums and many different discounts. The company claims that the average saving when switching to its insurance is $607. However, this insurance is available only to clients who bought Costco membership. The membership costs from $60 to $120 a year and offers all kinds of perks to its members.
Does American Family own Ameriprise?
American Family Insurance bought Ameriprise Auto & Home in 2019 and subsequently changed its name to “Connect, powered by American Family Insurance.” The company maintained its primary business, writing insurance policies. It’s important to mention that Ameriprise sold just its insurance business and that the company still exists under that name but doesn’t sell insurance. We can agree with many Connect insurance reviews that say this transition did not affect the service quality.