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Safeco 2019 Auto Insurance Review: Rates, Claims Satisfaction, and Coverage

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Summary:  

Safeco was founded in 1923 in Seattle and was acquired by Liberty Mutual in 2008. They primarily sell insurance through a national network of local independent agents. Safeco offers a wide variety of coverage options within auto insurance. They are also backed by the financial strength of their parent company, Liberty Mutual, which was rated an Excellent score by A.M. Best. In addition to auto and vehicle insurance, the company offers other types of personal insurance including property insurance, umbrella insurance, pet insurance, and identity recovery coverage. The two drawbacks to its auto insurance, however, are its rates and its claims satisfaction rating. They are not known to have the most affordable rates or high claims satisfaction. However, drivers who have had a blemish on their driving record should consider requesting a quote from them given their historically competitive rates in that demographic.

Pros:

  • Safeco has the financial backing of its parent company, Liberty Mutual, with an Excellent rating by A.M. Best.
  • Low mileage drivers and drivers with an accident on their driving record should consider Safeco. They offer unique discounts including a 20% discount if you drive less than 8,000 miles a year.
  • According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Safeco’s complaint ratio is approximately the same as the national average.

Cons:

  • Safeco’s 2018 U.S. Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Study rating is below the industry average.
  • Their rates are more expensive for younger drivers and drivers with poor credit compared to other national providers.

The Value Equation ($$$)

The cost of auto insurance is one of the primary factors that consumers look at when trying to select an auto insurance company.  Car insurance companies also take into account a number of factors when they set their rates. Some of these factors include, in addition to the company’s base rate, your age, location, type of car, coverage options, marital status, and driving history.

To get a quote from Safeco, you can go to its website and input your zip code and your personal information. They sell their insurance through a network of local independent agents so after you submit your information online, you will be contacted by an agent. You will not be able to purchase auto insurance online unlike its parent company, Liberty Mutual, which does offer direct online purchase.

Here is a glimpse of how the company stacks up with other auto insurance companies.

 Liberty MutualSafecoGEICO
18 year old, no accident$6,428$7,610$3,438
30 year old, no accident$2,646$2,528$1,200
Drivers with DUI$4,130$2,761$2,518
Drivers with 1 at-fault accident $2,080$1,939$1,556
Poor Credit$3,147$5,175$2,000
Good Credit$2,077$1,937$1,463
Exceptional Credit$1,783$1,647$1,059

Safeco’s rates are higher than GEICO. However, GEICO is online only and they are known for their competitive rates. If you prefer the personal touch of an agent, you could consider Safeco. In comparison to its parent company, they offer lower rates especially for drivers with a DUI and or at-fault accident and drivers with good or exceptional credit.

Discounts

Safeco offers a number of discounts which customers may qualify for to lower their car insurance premiums.  These are the discounts that the company has available.

  • Safeco Package – combine home and auto insurance and save 15%.
  • Safety Rewards – earn benefits and discounts for being a safe driver, having a safe car, and taking an accident prevention course.
  • Accident Prevention Course – if you are in an approved age range and a state approved accident prevention course, you get a discount.
  • Teen Safety Rewards
  • Low Mileage Discount – Save up to 20% if you drive under 8,000 miles a year
  • Multi Car Discount – Insure more than one car with Safeco and get a discount on your policy.
  • Anti-Theft Device Discount – You may qualify for this discount if your car has an anti-theft device that works as either an audible alarm or a disabling device.
  • Anti-Lock Brake Discount – You can get a discount in some states for having an anti-lock brake system.
  • Homeowner Discount – get a discount on your auto insurance for being a homeowner.
  • RightTrack – this is a telematics program which tracks your driving habits and can allow you to reduce your rate by between 5% and 30%. The program is not available for consumers in Alaska, California, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, or New Jersey

Like with other auto insurance companies, the discounts that you qualify for with Safeco Auto Insurance are mostly determined at the time when you obtain the policy.  You can, however, add discounts that you become qualified for later to save on your rates. Moreover, just like with other auto insurance companies, you must remain qualified for the discounts that you receive throughout the life of your policy to maintain the discount.

Claims Satisfaction

An auto insurance company’s claims satisfaction rating is as important as premium price to most people who are shopping for auto insurance. Safeco’s claims satisfaction rating is significantly below the industry average.

How easy is it to file a claim with Safeco?

  • File a claim by visiting the website at: https://www.safeco.com/claims
  • File a claim by calling:  1-800-332-3226
  • Contact your insurance agent to file a claim.

What is the average customer experience and satisfaction with National General?  

Every year, J.D. Power surveys an estimated 10,000 customers who have filed a claim in the last six months.  Insurance providers are ranked on a 1000-point scale based on the survey. Safeco falls near the bottom of the list of auto insurers with a score of 848/1000.  The industry average score is 861/1000. When comparing Safeco to its parent company Liberty Mutual, Liberty Mutual’s claims satisfaction rating was slightly lower with a score of 847/1000.  The two largest insurance companies, State Farm and Geico scored and 864/1000 and a 857/1000 respectively.

*Safeco scored higher than the industry average on J. D. Power’s Insurance Shopping Survey.  The insurance company scored an 843/1000 with the industry average being a 839/1000. This time, however, Safeco scored below its parent company, Liberty Mutual, which scored an 845/1000.

Coverage Options

Safeco offers a variety of coverage options which is traditionally found with the larger well-known car insurance companies.  These coverage options include:

  • Comprehensive
  • Collision
  • Bodily Injury Liability
  • Property Damage Liability
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • Medical Payments
  • Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage
  • Accident Forgiveness
  • Diminishing Deductible
  • Car Rental Reimbursement
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Gap Insurance
  • New Car Replacement
  • Rideshare

In addition to the coverage above which are typically offered by major auto insurance companies, Safeco also offers some unique coverage options such as the following:

  • Emergency Assistance Package – This includes roadside assistance. If you get in an accident more than 25 miles away from your home, you are also covered for up to $100 in expenses and up to $500 in meals, lodging, and transportation
  • Electronic Key and Lock Replacement
  • CD and DVD Replacement
  • Audio-Visual and Custom Equipment Coverage – Covers any custom equipment or AV not installed at a factory or dealership. This includes stereo or DVD players, custom engine, wheels, murals, decals, roll bars, and lift kits
  • Pet Coverage – Pays for medical bills and a death benefit if your cat or dog is injured or killed in a collision
  • Personal Property Coverage – Reimbursement for your belongings stolen from your car

Other Insurance

Safeco offers a variety of other insurance in addition to the traditional auto insurance.  As for additional vehicle insurance, the company also insures motorcycles, boats, watercrafts, classic cars, motor homes, trailers, RVs, ATVs, off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, golf carts, and low speed vehicles. SafeCo also offers property insurance which includes homeowners insurance, renters insurance, condo insurance, landlord insurance, home warranty, and valuable articles insurance. Moreover, the company offers umbrella insurance, pet health insurance, and identity recovery coverage.

Website Experience

Safeco offers a very nice website for its current and future policyholders.  On the site, you can find out about all the insurance products that the company offers.  You can find out about all the company’s car insurance coverage options and discounts, get a quote, pay your bill, manage your policy and file and manage a claim.  The site is easy to navigate. The company also offers voice and mobile apps.

The Bottom Line

  • Safeco is a financially sound auto insurance company that offers a few more coverage options than traditional auto insurance companies. The company does not offer the best rates for all demographics and they have a below average claims satisfaction rating.
  • Safeco does offer good rates for drivers with a DUI or accident when compared to other national insurance companies. They also offer a 20% discount for low mileage drivers (under 8,000 miles a year)
  • They offer property insurance, umbrella insurance, pet insurance, and identity theft coverage in addition to traditional auto insurance.
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