Pemco auto insurance review: Reliable coverage in the Pacific Northwest

Father and son sitting on the hood of their car with woods and sunset in the background.Image: Father and son sitting on the hood of their car with woods and sunset in the background.
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Editors’ take: Pemco auto insurance policies could be a good option for people living in the Pacific Northwest interested in both standard and unique coverage options. Pemco is a mutual insurance company owned by its policyholders. It has lower-than-average complaints and higher-than-average customer satisfaction ratings.

Availability Only available in Washington and Oregon
J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings Above average
Number of complaints in 2021 Fewer than average
How to get an insurance quote Online, by phone or in person
How to submit a claim Online, via the mobile app or by phone

Pros

  • Range of standard and supplemental coverage options available
  • Multiple opportunities for rate discounts
  • High customer satisfaction score
  • Ability to manage your policy and claims online, over the phone or with the Go Pemco app

Cons

  • Only available in Washington and Oregon

What you need to know about Pemco auto insurance

Pemco is a mutual insurance company owned by its policyholders serving residents in Washington and Oregon. The company offers auto, homeowners, condo, umbrella, pet, boat, motorcycle, scooter, ATV, utility vehicle and renters insurance.

Limited availability

Pemco auto insurance is available only to residents of Washington and Oregon. If you live in a different state, you’ll need to work with another insurer to purchase coverage. If you’re moving to the area and want to get a quote, Pemco recommends calling one of the company’s licensed insurance agents for policy options and pricing information.

High customer satisfaction scores

Pemco’s customer satisfaction scores are higher than average, earning the second-highest rating in the Northwest region in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. The company received lower than the average rate of complaints compared to insurance companies of its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Range of supplemental coverages for added protection

Pemco customers can purchase usual auto insurance products, including liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist, personal injury protection, collision and comprehensive. The company also provides some less-common options.

The following are available in both Oregon and Washington:

  • Accidental death coverage — If someone covered by the insurance policy dies in a car accident, their spouse or estate receives a payment of $10,000.
  • Pet coverage — Get up to $1,000 if your dog or cat is injured or killed in a covered crash.
  • Rideshare coverage — This add-on can protect you when driving for a rideshare company like Lyft or Uber.

The options listed below are only available in Washington.

  • Replacing or recoding key coverage — Get up to $500 to replace or recode your vehicle’s electronic locks and key components.
  • Camper, canopy and tonneau coverage — This add-on pays to replace your equipment, up to the policy limit, after a covered loss.
  • Custom parts and equipment coverage — This coverage pays to replace custom after-market equipment like AV systems or custom wheels up to the policy limit.
  • Rental car coverage — If you rent a car that’s involved in a covered loss, this type of coverage pays for the damage.

Auto insurance discounts offered by Pemco

Pemco offers many standard and a few not-so-standard ways to save.

  • Bundling discount — Save money when you purchase your auto and home insurance policies together.
  • Safety discount — Airbags and car alarms can help lower your insurance premium.
  • Good student discount — Full-time students, ages 16 to 24, who have at least a 3.0 GPA are eligible.
  • Defensive driver discount — This coverage is available to drivers 55 and over who take a certified defensive driving course.
  • Loyal auto customer discount — Save on your premium after you’ve been a customer for a year.
  • Homeownership discount — You’re eligible for this discount if you own your home — even if you don’t purchase homeowners insurance through Pemco.
  • Low mileage discount — Drivers who put fewer than 8,000 miles on their car each year are eligible.
  • Educator discount — Public and private school, community college and university employees qualify.
  • New vehicle discount — Drivers with vehicles that are less than five model years old are eligible.
  • Paid in full discount — Pay your annual premium upfront or every six months to qualify.
  • University of Washington alumni discount — Get a price break when you graduate from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s or advanced degree.

Common question: Does Pemco have gap insurance?

Yes, but Pemco calls it auto loan coverage. If your car is totaled, a standard policy only covers the actual cash value of your vehicle at the time the loss occurs. That amount may not be enough to pay off your auto loan or lease if you have one.

Gap insurance or auto loan coverage helps cover the difference between what you owe and what your standard auto insurance policy will pay.

Common question: Does Pemco cover motorcycles?

Yes. In addition to getting insurance for traditional automobiles, you can also purchase coverage for motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and utility vehicles from Pemco.

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

  • Nationwide: Nationwide could be ideal if you’re looking for usage-based auto insurance programs.
  • SafeAuto: This insurance company may be a good option for high-risk drivers who must submit an SR-22 form to prove they have the state’s minimum coverage.

About the author: Jennifer Brozic is a freelance financial services writer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in communication management from Towson University. She’s committed… Read more.