Auto-Owners Insurance review: Consistently high customer satisfaction

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Editors’ take: With Auto-Owners Insurance, you must reach out to an insurance agent to get a quote, file a claim or manage your policy. This could be ideal if you want one-on-one support — especially since the company consistently gets high customer satisfaction ratings. But if you prefer online access, you might want to look elsewhere.


Auto-Owners Insurance at a glance

Availability Available in 26 states
J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings Higher than average
Number of complaints in 2020 Fewer than expected for auto insurance companies of its size in the market
How to get an insurance quote Through an agent
How to submit a claim Through your agent or a 24-hour emergency claims hotline

Pros

  • High customer satisfaction rating
  • Insures a range of vehicle types
  • Opportunity to save based on how you drive (Ohio only)

Cons

  • Must work with an agent
  • No ability to get an online quote
  • Not available in every state

What you need to know about Auto-Owners Insurance

Founded in 1916, Auto-Owners Insurance offers a range of insurance products, including auto insurance, life insurance, homeowners insurance, renters insurance, business insurance and even pet insurance. The company works with 48,000 local, independent agents in 26 states.

High customer satisfaction ratings

Auto-Owners Insurance consistently receives above-average customer satisfaction ratings across J.D. Power studies. The company ranked third in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study and holds the top spot for the Central region in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study. The company also ranked fourth in the North Central region and fifth in the Southeast region. In addition, the company ranked fifth for mid-size insurers in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study.

In terms of customer complaints, the insurer received significantly fewer than usual complaints for a company of its size in the market in 2020, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Ability to save based on how you drive

If you live in Ohio, you may be able to get a premium discount based on how you drive. TrueRide is a usage-based insurance program that tracks your driving behaviors through a mobile app on your smartphone. You’ll get a discount for participating in the program and could earn a larger discount if you consistently drive safely.

Must work with an agent

In order to get an insurance quote, purchase coverage, make changes to a policy or file a claim, you’ll need to work directly with an agent. Auto-Owners doesn’t offer quotes online or through a mobile app, and you can’t file a claim online. This could be a pro or a con, depending on whether you prefer one-on-one support or managing your policy on your own.

Not available everywhere

Auto-Owners Insurance offers auto insurance in the following 26 states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Auto coverage offered by Auto-Owners Insurance

The following auto insurance coverage options through Auto-Owners are pretty standard:

Additional coverage options include the following:

  • Gap coverageThis helps cover the difference between what your insurance covers and the amount you owe on your car loan, in the event your vehicle is stolen, damaged or declared a total loss.
  • Additional expense coverage — This coverage helps pay for expenses like rental cars as well as food or lodging if you’re stranded away from home after an accident.
  • Diminished value coverage — If your car’s value depreciates after an accident, this coverage will pay you back for that reduction in value.
  • Personal Automobile Plus package — This package includes more than 10 types of coverage, such as cellphone replacement, re-keying locks and identity theft protection.

Auto-Owners Insurance policies also come with some perks. For example, if you’re involved in an accident with another Auto-Owners Insurance customer, your collision deductible will be waived. Auto policies also include common loss deductible coverage, which means that if both your home and vehicle are insured with Auto-Owners Insurance — and both are damaged in the same incident — your total auto deductible will be reduced or waived.

In addition to cars, Auto-Owners Insurance offers coverage for motorcycles, motorhomes and RVs, boats, trailers, ATVs, and other off-road vehicles. It also writes policies for classic and vintage cars as well as converted or modified vehicles (such as wheelchair-accessible vans).

Auto insurance discounts offered by Auto-Owners Insurance

Auto-Owners Insurance offers quite a few discounts, though most of them are what you’d expect from any auto insurance company. Here are a few.

  • Multi-policy discount
  • Multi-vehicle discount
  • Paid-in-full discount
  • Payment history discount — You could save if you pay your insurance premium on time for 36 months or more.
  • Green discount — Save if you opt into paperless billing.
  • Bundling discount — People with a qualifying life insurance policy with Auto-Owners can save on their auto policy.
  • Safety features discount — You may be able to save if your car has certain safety features, such as anti-lock brakes, airbags or anti-theft devices.
  • Good student discount — Students who maintain a cumulative B GPA (or higher) may be able to save up to 20%.
  • Teen Driver Monitoring discount — You may be able to save if you choose to have a GPS device installed on the car your teen drives.

Does Auto-Owners Insurance have accident forgiveness?

Auto-Owners Insurance doesn’t mention accident forgiveness anywhere on its website, but it provides discounts for drivers with a positive claims history, and the company waives your collision deductible if you’re in an accident that involves another driver who uses Auto-Owners.

Who owns Auto-Owners Insurance?

Auto-Owners Insurance Company was founded in 1916 by Vern V. Moulton and four associates. The carrier has since acquired nine subsidiary companies, which collectively make up the Auto-Owners Insurance Group. These include Auto-Owners Life Insurance, Home-Owners Insurance and Property-Owners Insurance. Auto-Owners Insurance is headquartered in Lansing, Michigan.

Is Auto-Owners Insurance good?

With top customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power, fewer than average customer complaints, and an A+ rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, Auto-Owners Insurance may be a good option if you value customer service and want to work with an agent. It could also be a solid choice if you’re concerned about company stability: The company holds an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best — the highest possible rating.

But before you buy a policy from Auto-Owners Insurance, it’s a good idea to compare car insurance quotes from a few insurance companies to help make sure you’re getting the best possible rate for the coverage you need.

Not sure if Auto-Owners Insurance is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Progressive: This company may be a great choice if you prefer to buy and manage your policy online or through a mobile app.
  • Geico: Geico could be a good option if you want your policy to include accident forgiveness.

About the author: Stephanie Colestock is a personal finance writer with a passion for helping readers take control of their money. If it has to do with planning for the future, getting out of debt, or eve… Read more.