Auto-Owners Car Insurance

by Nikola Djurkovic

Carsurance Verdict: Auto-Owners is an outstanding insurer. It’s affordable, and its customer service and financial strength are top-notch. The only downside is the lack of online quotes. But despite that, we highly recommend checking this company out.

Auto-Owners insurance was founded in 1916, and it is headquartered in Lancing, Michigan. The company is among the middle-sized auto insurance providers in the US. Similarly to another insurer we reviewed, Amica, there is nothing fancy about  Auto-Owners Insurance. Their website is relatively plain, and no A-list celebrities were employed in their commercials. In fact, Nascar driver Martin Truex Jr. is the only famous person that appears in their advertisements.

The similarities between Amica and Auto-Owners extends to the fantastic ratings that Auto-Owners insurance reviews assign to the company. After studying in detail what Auto-Owners offers, we have to agree that these two insurance companies are extremely comparable. Check the rest of this review to see why Auto-Owners might be the best choice for you.

Product Overview

Auto-Owners sells its product in 26 US states; the full list is available on the company’s website. You can also use the website to file a claim and track its status. We should note that one thing you cannot do online is get an Auto-Owners insurance quote—sadly, the company does not offer this option, meaning you will have to contact the nearest agent, either by phone or in person.

However, those who prefer using the internet to manage their insurance will be compensated for the hassle by Auto-Owner’s fantastic mobile app. It lets you pay bills, organize documents, track claims, and view and download policy documents. It has excellent ratings on the App Store and Google Play. Furthermore, the company is eager to reply on any review there, by posting instructions or fixing the issue in question.

Auto-Owners car insurance reviews give them outstanding ratings in the customer service department, and the company offers prices that are among the best out there. The number of discounts is average, while there aren’t many coverage options. However, those looking for basic car insurance will be pleased to know that Auto-Owners is among the best companies on the market. And those looking for extra coverage should check Auto-Owners’ excellent signature option.

Signature Feature: Personal Automobile Plus Package

As mentioned in a few Auto-Owners insurance reviews, this coverage can be combined with several others, giving it a far better price than what you’d have if you bought them separately. On top of that, it covers damages in case of identity theft, as well as the cost of rekeying locks, a lost cell phone, and much more. The total number of coverage additions is 10, meaning you will be protected from almost anything.

Financial Strength

This parameter is typically not among the first that buyers consider when they are searching for the right auto insurance. Low prices, excellent customer service, and great extra coverage options usually get the most attention. However, a company’s financial strength is of utmost importance, because if the company is not financially stable, it will not be able to pay claims in the event of an accident.

There should be no such worries here since Auto-Owners insurance company rating from A. M. Best is the best possible: A++, or “Superior.” Additionally, the company is ranked as 375th in the Fortune 500 2018 list. This data indicates that an average shopper can rest assured that Auto-Owners is capable of paying their expenses if the unforeseen happens.

Types of Insurance

It should be noted that this company does not offer as many options to choose from compared to the competition, meaning those looking for a specific add-on to their insurance policy should check other companies.

The basic coverage available with Auto-Owners insurance includes collision, comprehensive, property damage liability, bodily injury liability, medical expenses, personal injury protection, and underinsured/uninsured motorist protection.

Additional Coverage Options

Roadside Assistance

If your car breaks down, this coverage helps immensely. It includes towing, battery jumps, tire replacement, locksmith assistance, oil and fuel delivery, and other similar services. Customers who purchased this coverage can call 1-888-869-2642 at any time on any day of the year. The line is available in all 50 states and Canada.

Additional Expenses

This option covers all the expenses you may have while you are waiting for your damaged vehicle to be repaired. This includes rental car reimbursement, as well as food, lodging, and other incidental expenses in case your car is damaged far away from your residence. Auto-Owners auto insurance reviews will remind you that it’s not often that a company bundles two already useful coverages with such a terrific option.

Gap Coverage

If you suffer a total loss, Auto-Owners will pay the difference between the actual cash value of your vehicle and the amount that is left on your car loan.

Diminished Value

If your vehicle suffers damage in an accident, its value will likely decrease, even after it gets repaired. If you buy this coverage, Auto-Owners auto insurance will compensate you for the difference in cost.

Modified Vehicle/Classic Car Coverage

Auto-Owners also provides car insurance for classic, exotic, sports, and modified vehicles. Because every such vehicle is unique, the particular details of the coverage will have to be discussed with an agent.

Customer Service

This company gets excellent results in the leading studies on customer satisfaction as well as in Auto-Owners insurance claims reviews. In J.D. Power’s global ranking for 2018, Auto-Owners is third from the top in the claims handling department, scoring 4 stars out of 5. The company ranks even better in the insurance shopping study, where it holds second place, behind Erie. Even in the regional J.D. Power study, Auto-Owners has fantastic results. It is ranked first in the North Central region, second in the Central and the Southeast regions, and average in the Florida region.

Auto-Owners’ score on the Better Business Bureau’s website further bolsters the narrative that the company offers outstanding customer service. Auto-Owners currently holds “A+” rating. However, we should note that there are some strikingly negative Auto-Owners insurance reviews on the BBB website. These were probably left by the customers who had a particularly unpleasant experience with the company.Auto-Owners Auto Insurance ratings in customer service


Auto-Owners’ NAIC rating of 0.53 further confirms that the company has outstanding customer service. This result is way below the average (which is exactly 1) for a company of Auto-Owners’ size. To give some perspective, companies such as Geico, Progressive, and Farmers all have worse results, such as 0.62, 0.75, and 0.85. The lower the score is, the fewer complaints the company receives.

On websites like Yelp and Consumer Affairs, the reviews are strikingly negative. Drivers complained about how their Auto-Owners insurance claims were handled, especially if they were hit by the Auto-Owners drivers. However, this comes as no surprise, since all of the major insurance providers get negative ratings on such sites. This is simply because a customer is more likely to leave a review online if the experience was overwhelmingly negative.

Discounts

Auto-Owners offers a decent number of discounts that can significantly reduce premiums, which has been highlighted in several Auto-Owners car insurance reviews. None of these discounts make the company stand out from the competition; however, every saved dollar counts. If you think you are eligible for a significant number of discounts, American Family is worth checking. If you are searching for a single highest discount, you will be pleased to know that MetLife offers up to 50% for the associated companies.

We have repeated ad nauseam how we dislike when a company does not show the exact reduction a discount brings. We have also mentioned numerous times that it is helpful both for the reviewers and the customers to know exactly how much a discount lowers the premium since everyone wants to choose a company where the discount they qualify for is the highest. In this case, we can only plead once more with the company to update its site and advise a potential customer to call the Auto-Owners phone number (1-517-323-1200) to inquire about the details.

Multi-Policy Discount

If you have purchased other policies from Auto-Owners, such as homeowners, condo, and life-insurance, to name a few, you qualify for a discount.

Payment History

If you have paid your premium on time for the last 36 months, you can get a discount on your car insurance.

Paid in Full

If you pay the entire premium before the due date of your first bill, you will get a discount.

Green Discount

If you opt for paperless billing and if you pay your premiums online, you may get a discount. Reviews of Auto-Owners car insurance agree that this is not just a significant discount, but a benefit for the environment as well.

Advance Quote

New applicants who request a quote before the effective date of the policy will get a discount.

Multi-Car

To qualify for this discount, you need to insure two or more private passenger vehicles on one policy at Auto-Owners.

Teen Driver Monitoring Discount

If the insured vehicle has a permanently installed Global Positioning System (GPS), a discount is available after a safe driving record is established.

Deductibles

Auto-Owners auto insurance reviews will highlight that the higher the deductible you choose, the lower your premium will be. Every insurance company in the US offers this option, and we would not call this a discount per se since you end up paying less for worse coverage. Still, it is something worth considering if your budget is tight.

Good Student Discount

Full-time students who have a good academic record (grade point average of “B” or higher) can get up to a 20% discount on their premium. Auto-Owners insurance reviews and ratings will remind you that keeping excellent grades pays off.

Favorable Loss History

If you have a favorable loss history (which in practice means no recent losses), you will get a lower premium. Based on our experience in the insurance industry, we can tell you that every company will offer a lower premium to a customer who is proven to be low risk. Whatever your current car insurance company insurance company is, if you did not get a discount after being loss-free for years, try shopping around, and you will see that there is an insurer that will offer you even lower rates.

Student Away at School Discount

An interesting addition noted in some reviews on Auto-Owners insurance is a discount that is applied if a teen driver on a policy is studying more than 100 miles away from home without a car.

Safety Feature Discounts

If your car is equipped with safety features such as an anti-lock brake system (ABS), airbags, or anti-theft devices, you may qualify for a discount.

TrueRide

This is a discount based on your driving habits. You will receive the initial discount just by enrolling in the program, and Auto-Owners will track how safely you drive by using a mobile app. At renewal, if your results pass the criteria, an even higher discount of up to 35% is available. The great news is that your premium will not increase no matter what the results are.

Auto-Owners Auto Insurance Rate Comparison

We were unable to conduct our research on the prices that the company offers since the online quote is not available. We did carefully compile and evaluate the data we had on hand to make the appropriate estimates. However, this means that if you would like to get an Auto-Owners quote, you will have to call the nearest insurance agent or visit the office in person.

For a six-month quote requested by ValuePenguin in Boulder, Colorado, Auto-Owners offered prices that are on par with Geico for all age categories. Given that Geico was the second cheapest option in our comprehensive analysis, this means that Auto-Owners is certainly among the least expensive options in the market.

It should be noted that this comparison is based on other Auto-Owners auto insurance reviews, meaning we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the data presented here. Additionally, the exact amount you will see on the final quote will always depend on several additional elements, such as your location, driving record, and many other factors.

Auto-Owners Car Insurance Compared with Its Top Competitors

Auto-Owners vs. Allstate

Auto-Owners is a significantly cheaper option than Allstate according to the best auto insurance reviews we checked. It also scored better in J.D. Power’s 2018 claims satisfaction and shopping study. When it comes to discounts and optional coverages, neither of these two companies really excel.

One thing that Allstate offers is guaranteed claims satisfaction, meaning you will get a refund if you are not pleased with the way your claim was processed, which is a great feature. However, the overall metrics indicate that Auto-Owners is a better option for the average customer, mainly because of the lower prices and top of the line customer service.

Auto-Owners vs. State Farm

We were unable to find a direct comparison between the rates of these two companies. However, given the fact that State Farm is among the most expensive insurers in our test, it is safe to assume that Auto-Owners is a cheaper option. Additionally, you’ll see that it gets better results in the Auto-Owners insurance reviews from the JD Power 2018 study in claims satisfaction and insurance shopping.

The advantages of State Farm may be its willingness to take risky drivers and its bigger network of agents. However, we would choose Auto-Owners in most cases, because of the superb customer service, the excellent mobile app, and the great prices that the company offers.

Auto-Owners vs. Travelers Insurance

Given the fact that Auto-Owners insurance reviews show them to be offering some of the best prices on the market, it comes as no surprise that the company is cheaper than Travelers. When it comes to the discounts that can reduce the premium significantly, Travelers offers a few more options. It is also an excellent choice for electric/hybrid car owners and new car owners, and it has a bigger network of local agents.

On the other hand, Auto-Owners has better scores when it comes to the customer satisfaction department. In the end, we think that competitive prices and excellent customer service are the two most important factors when choosing a car insurance, meaning we have to give a slight edge to Auto-Owners.

Best Alternatives

The fact that Auto-Owners car insurance is among the best options on the market should not mean that it’s not worth considering some other companies. The overall insurance experience varies based on your location and your preferences. Thus, before making a final decision, it’s always smart to acquire a couple of quotes from different insurers to see which one fits your needs.

If you are looking for superb rates, Geico and Progressive are the top choices for all age demographics, while the latter company is also willing to accommodate riskier drivers. Amica Mutual and Erie are worthy alternatives if you are looking for the finest customer service available, and they both offer reasonable rates. If you like to be spoiled with extra optional coverage choices, check Nationwide. If you are an older driver, The Hartford might be the right place for you.

Expert Thoughts

Auto-Owners insurance reviews hold the company in high regards. J.D. Power, a leading authority in the auto industry, ranks the company as third overall in the claims processing satisfaction, and second overall in the insurance shopping study.

Other reviews praise the company too, placing it near the top in their rankings and citing fantastic rates and exceptional customer service as the most significant advantages, while noting the lack of optional coverages and online tools as disadvantages. We fully agree with this assessment, and we recommend anybody looking for car insurance check Auto-Owners.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Auto-Owners good insurance for cars?

Yes. Our analysis and Auto-Owners insurance consumer reports indicate that the company offers superb customer service, low prices, and substantial discounts. Some disadvantages are the small number of optional coverages and lack of online quotes; however, they are outweighed by the excellent overall quality the company offers.

2. Does Auto-Owners have accident forgiveness?

We could not find any information on this coverage on the company’s website. Still, the option might be available locally. It is always worth calling the Auto-Owners customer service number to inquire about the exact details.

3. Does Auto-Owners operate in Florida?

Yes, the company operates in the Florida region, meaning they write the policies in the namesake state. You will need to call the Auto-Owners customer service center to get a quote since the online option is not available.

4. What is Auto-Owners Insurance’s A. M. Best rating?

Auto-Owners has the best possible A. M. rating, which is A++, or “Superior.” Additionally, the company is ranked as 375th on 2018’s Fortune 500 list. Auto-Owners insurance reviews agree that this indicates a strong financial capacity, meaning your expenses will surely be covered in case of an accident.

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