Pemco is a regional insurer that sells its products only in Washington and Oregon. The company was founded in 1949, and it operates from Seattle, Washington.
PEMCO auto insurance is a mutual insurance company, meaning its policyholders are in full control. Its name stands for Public Employees Mutual Insurance Company.
When we were reviewing other, bigger insurance companies, we often found other experts praising PEMCO.
That’s why we decided to put it under our spotlight. It turns out that the company is an exceptional insurer with only a few minor drawbacks.
Let’s take a look at what PEMCO insurance reviews have to say about this company.
PEMCO Auto Insurance Review
Despite its low A. M. Best rating, PEMCO scores excellently in all other departments. That’s why we highly recommend it to every driver in Washington and Oregon.
- Superior customer service
- Many optional coverages
- Reasonable rates
- Some unique discounts
- Low scores in financial strength
- Available only in Washington and Oregon
PEMCO Auto Insurance Products Overview
Website and Mobile App
PEMCO’s website doesn’t have as many resources as some of the bigger insurers, but it’s still nicely laid out and completely useful. It supports all the primary functions like getting a quote, paying a bill, or making a claim.
And if you prefer using your mobile device, you can use the company’s highly rated mobile app. It offers the same functionalities as the website, plus it can be used to download proof of insurance in case you’re pulled over.
Signature Feature – PEMCO’s Timesaver Repairs Program
This program streamlines repairing your car after a covered accident as much as possible. PEMCO car insurance cooperates with many high-quality repair shops. You just need to contact PEMCO, and a customer service representative will offer you a selection of facilities to choose from.
Once you’ve made your pick, you can take your vehicle directly to the shop for repairs. You won’t have to communicate with a claims adjuster to schedule a damage review. The repair facility will estimate the damage and send photos to PEMCO.
The company will reimburse the shop directly, and you’ll have to pay only for the deductible. And if you don’t like this procedure, you’re always free to choose a vehicle service on your own.
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This is the biggest chink in the company’s armor. The PEMCO auto insurance reviews from A. M. Best are “B++,” or “Good”, which is the lowest we’ve encountered in our reviews.
On the plus side, A. M. Best revised the outlook from negative to stable. Nonetheless, you can expect almost any major insurer to outperform PEMCO in this category.
And an insurer’s financial stability matters a lot. If a company is weak in this department, a major crisis or a natural disaster could put it out of business.
Nonetheless, PEMCO car insurance is financially stable enough that the chances of that happening are very low.
Types of Insurance Available
Pemco may be a smaller company, but that doesn’t stop it from offering a variety of optional coverages.
We applaud this effort since we’ve found in many car insurance reviews that regional insurers often provide only a handful of the optional protection plans.
Here are the coverages you can add to your policy:
Towing and Labor (Roadside Assistance)
If you’re stuck because your car broke down by the road, you can count on your PEMCO roadside assistance coverage.
Like all US insurers, the company offers 24/7 roadside help. If you add this coverage, you’ll have access to services such as towing, battery jump start, tire replacement, and locksmith assistance.
Custom Parts and Equipment
If you installed a custom bumper or rims, this is the coverage to add. But keep in mind that this option is only available in Washington, starting at a $500 basic limit with the option to buy higher limits.
Rental Car Reimbursement
While you’re waiting for your vehicle to get repaired after a covered accident, PEMCO reviews show that it will cover the expenses of a rental car. Keep in mind that this coverage has a daily limit, plus a maximum amount of time you can use it for. You can bundle this option with comprehensive and collision coverage.
Auto Loan Coverage
This option is also known as GAP Insurance. If you total your vehicle, it pays the difference between the actual cash value of your car and the amount that’s left on your loan.
Key Replacement or Recoding
This option is available for Washington residents only. It pays up to $500 for recoding an undamaged key or replacing a lost key.
Camper, Canopy, and Tonneau Cover
According to numerous PEMCO insurance reviews, this company is among the rare insurers that cover this equipment. The default limit is $500, but you can buy even more coverage. Unfortunately, only Washington residents can get this protection plan.
If any covered individual is killed in a car crash, their spouse or estate will get a $10,000 one-time benefit.
This is a terrific choice for those working for companies such as Uber and Lyft since their regular PEMCO insurance policy and ridesharing company’s coverage don’t provide complete protection. This option also covers you while you’re waiting for a match, are on the way to pick someone up, or are already driving a passenger.
If your cat or dog gets injured or killed in a covered accident, PEMCO will pay up to $1,000 for the veterinarian bills or burial expenses.
PEMCO Customer Service
In regions where the company’s insurance is available, the customer service team is second to none.
For starters, PEMCO’s NAIC ratio is 0.14. This is the lowest rating out of any US insurance company that appears in our reviews, and we’ve reviewed more than 20 of the leading companies. More prominent companies like Geico, Travelers, and State Farm score 0.62, 0.40, and 0.44, respectively.
J.D. Power’s Rankings
On top of that, PEMCO insurance rating is among the highest for customer service satisfaction in the Northwest Region in J.D. Power’s 2020 Regional Rankings. It’s the only company that achieved five out of five stars besides USAA. However, USAA was listed as a special mention since it’s only available for the US military.
The BBB and Customer Reviews
Finally, PEMCO holds an “A+” on the Better Business Bureau website, although it’s not accredited yet.
PEMCO insurance reviews outperform the competition even on pages like Yelp and USInsuranceAgents. While they’re still strikingly bad, no car insurance company gets high praises on these websites.
In the end, we must conclude that, when it comes to treating customers fairly, PEMCO is among the best companies out there.
PEMCO Insurance Discounts
PEMCO already offers reasonably priced policies, but that should not stop you from taking the full advantage of discounts and pay even less. What PEMCO offers is pretty much standard for the industry, which means it’s easy to compare their discounts with other offers. There are even unique options, like a discount for university employees.
One thing we dislike is how the company’s website doesn’t show the precise price reductions in percentages. This is especially disappointing because PEMCO auto insurance is a regional insurer, meaning there’s no significant variation depending on the state.
The following discounts are available:
If you’re purchasing homeowner’s insurance from PEMCO in addition to auto insurance, you can get a discount.
If your car is equipped with an anti-theft device such as an alarm or engine blocker, or if it has safety features like airbags or an antilock brake system (ABS), a discount is available.
Full-time students aged 16–24, who maintain a GPA of “B” (3.0) or better can qualify for a substantial discount.
To qualify, you don’t even have to be a professor. It’s sufficient that you work in a public or private school, community college, or university. PEMCO auto insurance claims you can even keep your discount when you retire.
If you have a teen or young adult on a policy who studies at a school that’s more than 75 miles away and seldom drives the car, you can get a discount.
University of Washington Alumni Discount
University of Washington graduates that hold a bachelor’s or advanced degree can qualify for this discount. You cannot receive this discount if you’re already getting the Educator discount.
Accident Forgiveness Benefit
If you had a PEMCO insurance umbrella policy for five or more years without an at-fault accident, your first minor accident won’t lead to a higher rate. The great news is that PEMCO offers this discount for each listed driver on the policy.
Loyal Auto Customer
After your first year with Pemco, your premium will decrease for each consecutive year you spend with the company.
Just by owning a home or condo, you can get a discount, no matter where you insure that property.
When you are completing a PEMCO insurance quote, you’ll need to provide your planned mileage. If it’s below 8,000 miles annually, you’ll get a discount.
Paid in Full
The main advantage of putting money down is a lower car insurance premium. If you pay your bill either in one installment or in two six-month payments, you will save up to 10%.
If you buy your insurance from PEMCO at least seven days before the coverage starts, and you’re a new customer, you can get a discount.
New Vehicle Discount
If your car is fewer than five model years old upon the policy’s effective date, you may qualify for a lower premium.
About Insurance Rates
To verify the rates that the company offers, we got a PEMCO auto insurance quote with limits that we would define as full coverage. Our reference location was the city of Seattle. We found PEMCO offers quite reasonable prices. No discounts were applied, meaning the premiums could be 20–40% lower when you finally sign up for a policy.
This reduction would put it among the cheapest insurers in Washington and Oregon. It’s somewhat surprising that a regional insurer maintains such affordable rates, but that only serves to prove how fantastic an option PEMCO is.
PEMCO Auto Insurance Review Comparison With Its Top Competitors
PEMCO vs. Geico
If you’re worried about PEMCO’s financial strength, then Geico is the right alternative for you. Geico is a subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, which is the third company in the 2020 Fortune 500 list. It also has a slicker website and more affordable premiums.
However, you’ll have to put up with average customer service if you choose Geico. PEMCO is a clear cut winner in that department and many PEMCO auto insurance reviews cement this statement.
In the end, in WA and OR, both Geico and PEMCO are quote-worthy.
PEMCO vs. State Farm
PEMCO is superior to State Farm in all areas besides financial strength. It has significantly better customer service scores and considerably lower premiums. It may miss the highly polished mobile app and website that State Farm offers, but we think PEMCO is a better option unless financial strength is your number one priority.
PEMCO vs. American Family
PEMCO and American Family have similar prices, except in the case of younger drivers. That particular demographic will see about $100 more monthly in its PEMCO car insurance quote. The extra cost may be worth it since PEMCO has a better score in customer service, although the difference is small. When it comes to the available discounts and financial strength, American Family has a clear lead.
Given all this, there’s no clear cut winner in the comparison of these two insurers. This only confirms it’s prudent to get a quote from both companies.
The Best PEMCO Insurance Alternatives
PEMCO is surely among the top insurers in Oregon and Washington. Nonetheless, before you settle for one company, you should get a quote from at least four other insurers.
Here are the companies we’d consider adding to our quote:
It’s more affordable and has impressive online tools and the best financial strength possible. However, it scores lower in customer service.
This insurer outperforms any company in the US, including PEMCO. However, it’s only available to members of the military and their family.
The champion of low prices and a safe haven for high-risk drivers. It’s financially stronger than PEMCO insurance, but it’s considerably worse in the customer service department.
This company also has customer service scores almost as good as PEMCO’s, and it is a tad cheaper. It also has marginally better financial strength. On top of that, as we noted in our American Family review, it offers numerous discounts.
This is an excellent alternative to PEMCO for senior customers. It excels in customer satisfaction, and the prices are quite affordable.
Our PEMCO Auto Insurance Expert Verdict – Highly Recommended
PEMCO’s main weakness is its low A. M. Best rating, which is only “B++,” or “Good.” Despite that issue, the company scores excellent in all other departments.
That’s why we highly recommend every driver in the Washington and Oregon region at least get a quote from PEMCO.
The only reason why you shouldn’t give PEMCO a chance is if you have a restricted budget or you’re looking for a unique feature that only one insurer offers. Otherwise, it’s near the top of the list of the best auto insurance companies.
People Also Ask
The company was founded in 1942 by Robert J. Handy as an alliance of several insurance companies, and its focus was providing insurance for school teachers.
It was incorporated in 1950 and became PEMCO. The name stands for Public Employees Mutual Casualty Company, which means it is mutually owned (the policyholders own the company). It doesn’t have a parent company.
PEMCO has a very high J.D. Power ranking. In fact, this famous market research company says that PEMCO has the highest customer satisfaction among car insurance companies in the northwestern region.
What’s more, the company has maintained that status for five consecutive years. When it comes to A.M. Best rating, things are a bit less shiny.
The company has a “B++” or “Good” rating. On the upside, even though it’s not one of the best, it’s still a good indicator that the company is capable of paying its clients’ claims.
PEMCO Insurance is a regional insurance provider with headquarters in Seattle, Washington. Unfortunately, it offers coverage in two states only – Washington and Oregon.
There are some expansion plans, though. The company is also licensed to do business in Idaho, but the expansion will have to wait because the management is focused on increasing the company’s market share in Washington and Oregon.
Your policy will cover you for the occasional use of automobiles you rent in the U.S. and Canada, depending on the coverage you’ve purchased. It also covers certain expenses the rental car company may charge, such as administrative fees, diminished value, and loss of use.
Your liability insurance will also pay for the damages if you cause an accident while driving a rental car.
PEMCO is not the cheapest option out there. It provides good coverage and excellent customer service, and features like these never come cheap.
Fortunately, the company offers all kinds of discounts, and many clients can find more than one discounted category to fit in. As far as the specific prices are concerned, the average cost in Seattle is $246 per month, but without discounts.
They wary from 5% to 10%, and if you combine several, it can considerably lower the final price.
PEMCO stands for Public Employees Mutual Casualty Company. It was established in 1936 by a Seattle schoolteacher Robert J. Handy. PEMCO is now one of the largest personal insurers in the northwest region.
At first, the main focus was on school workers, but thanks to its client-focused business model, the company quickly grew and started to offer insurance to the general public. Most of the PEMCO insurance reviews you can find online praise PEMCO’s excellent customer service, and we can honestly agree.