Safeco auto insurance review: Standard coverage sold through a local agent

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Editors’ take: Safeco offers standard auto insurance options throughout the U.S. with a handful of discounts. But other insurers may offer more opportunities to save, and Safeco’s service has some limitations. You can only get quotes through local agents, and Safeco saw a relatively high number of customer complaints in 2019.


Safeco auto insurance at a glance

Availability Available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings Average
Number of complaints in 2019 More than usual for insurance companies of its size in the market
How to get an insurance quote Via a local agent
How to submit a claim Online or over the phone

Pros

  • Opportunity for rate discounts based on your driving in some states
  • Claims-free cash back program
  • Mobile app allows you to conveniently manage your policy and get roadside help

Cons

  • Must go through an agent to get a quote
  • Limited discounts compared to some other insurers
  • Higher than average number of complaints in 2019

What you need to know about Safeco auto insurance

Safeco auto insurance, a part of Liberty Mutual, is available to drivers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. It also provides insurance for golf carts and low-speed vehicles, ATVs and motorcycles. Here’s what you need to know about Safeco auto insurance.

Provides most standard auto insurance options

Safeco provides most standard auto insurance policy options. Medical payments and property damage come standard, while things like collision and comprehensive coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and 24-hour roadside assistance are optional.

Limited discount opportunities

Compared with other auto insurance companies, Safeco has a fairly limited selection of discounts. Two standout discount opportunities include the RightTrack usage-based insurance program, which rewards you for safe driving habits, and Safeco’s claims-free cash back program, which reimburses you for 2.5% of your policy premium for every six-month period you go without a claim.

Quotes only available through local agents

Safeco insurance is sold exclusively through independent agents, which means you’ll need to work with an agent to get a quote and build your policy.

While the company says its agents can help clients find the best coverage for you, some customers may prefer to build their own insurance policy online or independently. Unfortunately, that’s not an option with Safeco.

Potential issues with customer service

Once you’re set up with a policy, you can manage your policy online or via Safeco’s recently redesigned mobile app. Those options may add a level of convenience to your experience with the insurer.

But there’s reason to take a closer look at the Safeco customer experience. While Safeco auto insurance earned an average customer satisfaction rating in a 2020 J.D. Power survey, Safeco insurance as a whole had nearly twice the expected number of complaints for an insurer of its size in 2019, according to National Association of Insurance Commissioners data.

Auto coverage offered by Safeco

Safeco offers fairly standard auto insurance coverage options, so it might not fit more specific needs for some customers.

  • Medical payments
  • Property damage
  • Collision coverage
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • New-vehicle replacement
  • Rental car reimbursement
  • 24-hour roadside assistance

Auto insurance discounts offered by Safeco

Safeco offers several ways to earn a discount on your auto insurance premiums, but you may be able to find more options from other insurers.

  • Accident forgiveness
  • Claims-free cash back — Safeco mails you a check for 2.5% of your policy premium for every six months you don’t file a claim
  • Diminishing deductible
  • RightTrack safe driving reward program

Common question: Are Liberty Mutual and Safeco the same?

Safeco became part of Liberty Mutual Insurance in 2008. Liberty Mutual, which offers a range of insurance products and services, is the parent company, and Safeco deals exclusively with personal insurance.

Common question: Does Safeco insurance have accident forgiveness?

Safeco auto insurance waives your first accident, but only after a certain number of years with Safeco without an at-fault collision or violation. Accident forgiveness varies by state, and it isn’t available in California.

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

  • Geico: Geico provides a similar range of auto insurance policies with a wider range of potential discounts.
  • The General: This insurance company may be the right choice if your driving record isn’t perfect.

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.