Connect auto insurance review: Extra perks for Costco members

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Editors’ take: Connect auto insurance is worth a look if you’re a Costco member since it provides “exclusive” discounts to Costco members. Plus, you get extra perks if you’ve sprung for the Costco Executive membership. But Connect doesn’t offer insurance in all states, and its customer complaint record isn’t great.


Connect auto insurance at a glance

Availability Most U.S. states and Washington, D.C.
J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings Slightly lower than average
Number of complaints in 2020 Much higher than usual for insurance companies of its size in the market
How to get an insurance quote Online, over the phone or via an agent
How to submit a claim Online or over the phone

Pros

  • Extra discounts and perks for Costco members
  • Good variety of discounts for all customers

Cons

  • Not available in every state
  • High number of complaints and slightly lower-than-average customer satisfaction rating for parent company
  • Charges a convenience fee for monthly installment payments

What you need to know about Connect auto insurance

Connect auto insurance, formerly known as Ameriprise Auto & Home insurance, is a subsidiary of American Family Insurance. Connect is known for selling its car insurance through a partnership with discount warehouse giant Costco Wholesale and offers exclusive discounts and benefits for Costco members.

Special benefits for Costco members

Costco members who use Connect auto insurance are eligible for exclusive discounts and benefits.

  • Roadside assistance — Flat tire? Connect’s roadside assistance is exclusively for Costco Executive members and covers up to $75 per occurrence. Note that this benefit doesn’t cover the cost of a car battery or fluids like gas or oil.
  • Lifetime renewability — With the lifetime renewability benefit, Costco Executive members will be able to renew their car insurance policy as long as they remain members, though some exceptions apply. This benefit isn’t available in Maryland or Michigan and under certain other circumstances.
  • Exclusive discount — Most Costco members automatically receive a discount on their Connect auto insurance.

Customers should know that most of the above benefits are only available for people with a Costco Executive membership, which adds up to $120 per year. If you have a standard Costco membership, which costs $60 a year, you’re eligible for the Costco affiliation discount in most states.

High complaints and low customer satisfaction

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Connect received three times as many complaints than the average for insurance companies of its size in 2020. Plus, in a 2020 J.D. Power customer claims satisfaction study, Connect’s parent company, American Family, ranked slightly below the industry average.

Keep that in mind if those factors are important to you when you’re shopping for auto insurance.

Policies and benefits not available in all states

Connect auto insurance isn’t available in Alaska, Louisiana, Maine, North Dakota, Rhode Island or Wyoming.

Auto coverage offered by Connect

Connect’s auto insurance coverage offerings are fairly standard. But there are some standout features, including stolen key coverage and accident travel expense coverage.

  • Stolen key coverage: Connect will cover the cost of replacing your locks, up to $250, if your car keys are lost or stolen.
  • Accident travel expense coverage: If an accident more than 100 miles from home leaves you without a car, Connect will help you pay the expenses for travel or hotel stays.
  • New-car replacement: If you total your new car within the first year or the first 15,000 miles, Connect will replace your vehicle with the same make and model (up to 110% of the MSRP).
  • No-deductible windshield repair: If you get a crack in your windshield and repair it rather than replacing it, Connect will waive your deductible.
  • Other auto coverage options: Connect also offers collision coverage, rental car insurance, bodily injury insurance, property damage insurance, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, medical expense and PIP insurance, and gap insurance.

Auto insurance discounts offered by Connect

Connect auto insurance offers a relatively wide range of discounts. And Costco members also enjoy an exclusive discount just for being members.

  • Premier Safety discount: This discount applies to policies where all insured drivers have four years’ worth of clean driving records.
  • Good driver discount: This auto insurance discount is available for California drivers only.
  • Defensive driver discount: You may be eligible for a discount for completing a defensive driving course, either in person or online.
  • Tenure discount: Connect rewards you for reaching certain time-related benchmarks by charging you a lower rate than a new customer looking for the same policy.
  • Vehicle safety features: Connect offers discounts for features such as airbags, anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices.
  • Garaging discount: Connect may offer you a discount for parking your vehicle overnight in a garage.
  • Good student discount and education discount: Connect provides car insurance discounts for students who demonstrate good grades or who complete at least four years of post-high-school education.
  • Multi-car and multi-product discounts: You may get a lower rate by insuring more than one vehicle with Connect, or by bundling multiple policies like car insurance, home insurance, umbrella or specialty insurance.

Common question: Which car insurance does Costco use?

Connect auto insurance, a subsidiary of American Family Insurance, has been offering car insurance policies with exclusive discounts and benefits to Costco members for nearly 20 years.

Not sure if Connect auto insurance is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • The Hartford: This insurance company may be good for customers who are looking for a higher degree of customer satisfaction.
  • Nationwide: Auto insurance customers looking for usage-based discounts may want to consider this insurance company.

About the author: Sarah Sidlow is a freelance writer and editor based near Detroit. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Georgetown University. Sarah’s work has appeared in Luxembourg’s national n… Read more.