Wawanesa auto insurance review: Worth it for California drivers?

Man and woman sitting together in the front seat of their convertible, smiling as they drive across the Golden Gate BridgeImage: Man and woman sitting together in the front seat of their convertible, smiling as they drive across the Golden Gate Bridge
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Editors’ take: Wawanesa auto insurance could be a suitable choice for California residents looking for a top-rated insurance company with standard coverage options. Wawanesa has been ranked atop J.D. Power’s auto insurance customer satisfaction rankings for two consecutive years in California.


Wawanesa auto insurance at a glance

Availability Available in California (current and new customers) and Oregon (current customers only)
J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings Top marks in California
Complaint ratio in 2021 Higher than industry average
How to get an insurance quote Online or by phone
How to submit a claim Online or by calling an always-open hotline

Pros

  • Highest-rated auto insurer for customer satisfaction in California by J.D. Power
  • Offers discounts on insurance premiums

Cons

  • Only available in California
  • Higher-than-average complaint ratio
  • No mobile app

What you need to know about Wawanesa auto insurance

Wawanesa Insurance offers new auto insurance coverage plans in California. The insurer is not offering coverage in Oregon but can help those with an existing auto policy. This can be frustrating for new potential customers. If you’re considering Wawanesa for your auto insurance needs, here are a few key factors you should be aware of.

Top-rated auto insurer for customer satisfaction in California

J.D. Power named Wawanesa as the top-rated auto insurer for customer satisfaction in California — with a score of 853 out of 1,000 in its 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. This was the second consecutive year Wawanesa topped this list in California.

Above-average ratio of consumer complaints

Despite ranking as the highest auto insurance provider in California in J.D. Power’s study for customer satisfaction, the insurer has an above-average complaint ratio based on National Association of Insurance Commissioners data for auto insurance. The insurer received a 1.37 score, which means the company received 37% more complaints than expected in the market. The complaint index is determined by dividing the company’s share of complaints in the U.S. market by the company’s share of premiums in the U.S. market.

Limited availability

Despite being licensed to write business in California and Oregon, website disclaimers state Wawanesa is not currently offering policies to new drivers in Oregon.

Quote process

Wawanesa requires full payment of a six-month premium before providing coverage. Potential customers must acknowledge this requirement before getting a quote. The insurer only accepts checking or savings account payments and will not take credit card payments. Additionally, photos of the vehicle’s odometer, registration, vehicle identification number and exterior are required for all vehicles on the policy.

Auto coverage offered by Wawanesa

Wawanesa offers relatively standard auto insurance options and some optional add-ins for customers in California.

Coverage includes …

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability

Coverage options include …

California state law requires drivers to carry insurance. Keep in mind, the minimum liability insurance requirement in the state is …

  • $15,000 for the death or injury of any one person in an accident
  • $30,000 for the death or injury of more than one person in an accident
  • $5,000 for property damage per accident

Auto insurance discounts offered by Wawanesa

Wawanesa offers discounts that may help you save on insurance coverage. Customers in California may be eligible to receive the following discounts:

  • Good driver discount — A discount for having a driver’s license for at least three years, no DUIs in the last 10 years, and a maximum of one violation point or at-fault accident in the last three years.
  • Mature driver improvement course discount — Available to drivers age 55 or over who complete a California-approved driving course.
  • Multi-car discount — A discount for insuring more than one vehicle
  • Loyalty discount — Get a discount after being insured for one full year with the company.
  • Multipolicy discount — This discount is available if you have multiple Wawanesa insurance policies.
  • Affinity discount A discount for being a member of a group that Wawanesa partners with.

Common question: How long has Wawanesa Insurance been in business?

Wawanesa Insurance was created in 1896 in Wawanesa, Manitoba, Canada, as a farmer’s mutual insurance carrier. Wawanesa started offering insurance in the United States in California in 1974.

Common question: How do I get in contact with Wawanesa Insurance?

You can reach Wawanesa’s customer service department by calling 1-800-640-2920. New customers can email insure.us@wawanesa.com. Existing customers can email service.us@wawanesa.com. If you need to make a claim, call 1-888-929-2252.

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


About the author: Lance Cothern is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance. His work has appeared on Business Insider, USA Today.com and his website, MoneyManifesto.com. Lance holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in … Read more.