AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford Car Insurance Review

AARP members can customize their auto coverage and score valuable discounts

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AARP

 AARP

Investopedia’s Rating
4.2

Our Take 

The Hartford is affiliated with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), which means you can tap into this insurer for AARP auto insurance rates and rewards exclusively for members. With affordable car insurance premiums and plenty of discounts available, The Hartford should be on your list as you shop for car insurance.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Special discounts for AARP members

  • Excellent ratings for claims satisfaction

  • Roadside assistance included in all policies

Cons
  • Coverage is geared specifically to AARP members

  • Must be ages 50 or older

  • Mediocre ratings for customer service satisfaction

Key Takeaways
  • The Hartford offers affordable auto insurance for AARP members, which includes Americans who are aged 50 or older.
  • There are an array of auto insurance discounts available for eligible customers, including discounts for bundling homeowners insurance and auto insurance, paying your policy in full, and more. AARP members can also save up to 10% off their premiums.
  • While The Hartford has superior ratings for its claims satisfaction, J.D. Power has given the company mediocre ratings for customer satisfaction.
  • The Hartford offers customizable auto insurance coverage with numerous ways to tweak your policy to your needs.

If you're not an AARP member already, you'll need to factor in the cost of membership before you buy insurance from The Hartford. Fortunately, AARP membership will only set you back $12 to $16 per year.

Specifications
  • Year Founded 1810
  • Types of Coverage Auto, homeowners, business insurance, umbrella insurance, and more
  • Available Discounts 7
  • Purchasing Options Online, phone
  • Customer Service Phone: 1-888-546-9099
  • Official Website TheHartford.com
AARP

 AARP

Investopedia’s Rating
4.2

Pros Explained

  • Special discounts for AARP members: The Hartford offers an array of auto insurance discounts, including savings for bundling policies, paying your policy in full every six months, and more.
  • Excellent ratings for claims satisfaction: The Hartford took the top spot in J.D. Power's 2021 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study with 905 out of 1,000 possible points, beating out 17 other top insurers in the process.
  • Roadside assistance included in all policies: AARP members who buy auto insurance coverage through this company get automatic roadside assistance included in their plan.

Cons Explained

  • Coverage is geared specifically to AARP members: The Hartford auto coverage is for AARP members only, and membership fees are required.
  • Must be ages 50 or older: Joining the AARP requires you to be at least 50-years-old.
  • Mediocre ratings for customer service satisfaction: The company's ratings for customer service satisfaction were less than stellar in J.D. Power's 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. In fact, The Hartford scored a below-average rating in two of the three regions where it was profiled.

Introduction

Founded in 1810, The Hartford originally started as a fire insurance company. Since then, they have grown by leaps and bounds to offer various other types of insurance, from homeowners insurance to umbrella insurance and business insurance. The Hartford is licensed to offer auto insurance in all 50 states, and the company boasts an A+ (Superior) rating for its financial strength from AM Best.

Regarding auto insurance offerings, it's important to know that The Hartford only offers car insurance to AARP members. This means you have to be 50 or older to utilize this insurer.

However, for those who are eligible, The Hartford is worth checking out. The company boasts an array of car insurance discounts you can qualify for, including up to a 10% discount on car insurance premiums for being an AARP member. Not only that, but the company boasts excellent ratings for its claims process and a 24/7 hotline you can use to get your claim started. The Hartford also offers a robust online portal and mobile app that lets you pay your premiums, file and monitor claims, and more. 

Further, auto insurance premiums from The Hartford appear to be lower than much of the competition. If you're hoping to get affordable auto insurance coverage you can customize to your needs, read on to learn more about this company, the policies they offer, and the car insurance discounts you may be eligible for.

Company Overview

Considering the company was founded in 1810, The Hartford has been in business for well over 200 years. In addition to offering car insurance to AARP members, this insurer offers homeowners insurance, business insurance, umbrella insurance, and more. While The Hartford makes it possible to get a quote for car insurance online, they also offer a network of local agents who offer personalized service and in-person insurance planning.

Note that this company offers car insurance in all 50 states.

Types of Coverage

The Hartford offers a broad range of auto insurance coverage options, which you can use to customize your policy to your needs. Coverage you can purchase includes:

Bodily Injury Liability

Like all insurance companies, The Hartford offers bodily liability coverage to provide you with financial protection if you hurt another person in an accident.

Collision Coverage

Collision auto coverage pays to repair your car after an accident when you are at fault.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive coverage can pay to repair your car when it's damaged in situations other than an accident with another car. For example, comprehensive coverage could come into play if your car is damaged by hail or vandalism.

Gap Insurance

Gap insurance is an optional type of coverage you can purchase if you owe more than your vehicle is worth. With gap insurance, your insurance company will pay the difference if your car is totaled and the cash value of your vehicle is less than your remaining auto loan balance.

Glass Coverage

Glass coverage can pay for glass repair or replacement if you have a cracked or broken windshield or your car requires window repair work.

Medical Payments Coverage

With medical payments coverage, your insurance will pay for medical expenses such as medical bills resulting from an accident or costs associated with rehabilitation.

New Car Replacement Coverage

The Hartford offers new car replacement coverage that will replace your car with one of the same make, model, and equipment after a total loss. This coverage does not make any adjustments for depreciation.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) also helps pay for financial losses caused by injuries after a car accident regardless of who was at fault. In addition to medical bills, PIP can also cover other expenses such as lost wages. 

Property Damage Liability

This type of liability coverage pays for property damage caused by your car. For example, property damage liability coverage can kick in to pay for a fence, a mailbox, and repairs to other cars after an accident takes place.

RecoverCare

This type of insurance can pay for various types of assistance you need after an accident. For example, you can use RecoverCare to pay for house cleaning services, lawn care, snow removal, dog walking, and more.

Rental Car Insurance

Rental car insurance can pay for a rental car while your car is being repaired after a covered accident or event. 

Roadside Assistance

AARP members get automatic roadside assistance in their policies through The Hartford. This assistance includes access to help 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

This type of auto coverage can help protect you from financial losses when you're in an accident with another uninsured driver or lack adequate auto insurance coverage. While optional in some cases, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is required in some states.

The Hartford does not offer rideshare insurance. If you drive for Uber or Lyft and want to purchase additional protection, you should look for another car insurance provider.

Discounts

The Hartford advertises a range of car insurance discounts you may be eligible for, including the following:

  • AARP discount: While you have to be an AARP member to get car insurance through this company, your membership can help you save 10% on your car insurance premiums.
  • Accident forgiveness: Qualify for accident forgiveness, which can overlook your first accident after you have maintained a clean driving record for the previous five years.
  • Disappearing deductible: Customers can see their deductible disappear over time by maintaining a clean driving record.
  • Driver training discounts: Qualify for lower premiums after completing an approved driver training course, such as a defensive driving course.
  • Fuel discounts: You can save on premiums if you drive a hybrid or electric vehicle.
  • Multi-policy discounts: You can save on auto insurance premiums if you bundle your policy with homeowners insurance from The Hartford.
  • Paid-in-full discounts: Get a discount on car insurance when you cover six months of premiums upfront instead of making monthly payments on your policy.

Payment Options

The Hartford offers an Express Services feature that lets you make a one-time payment online without creating a log-in. Customers can also make a payment using the mobile app, or can schedule payments through the online portal.

Loss Ratio

The Hartford features a loss ratio of 53.4% as of Q2 2021, which is mediocre compared to other auto insurance companies profiled. As you compare different insurance companies based on this metric, you should note which of the best auto insurance providers scored better. Top companies with superior ratings to The Hartford include Berkshire Hathaway, State Farm, Erie Insurance, and American Family Insurance, among others.

Other Features

The Hartford has several unique features that can help you save money on auto insurance over the long run. For example, its accident forgiveness program can keep your rates from increasing after your first accident when you have maintained a clean driving record for at least five years prior. The company also offers a diminishing deductible feature that can lower your deductible over time, provided you steer clear of accidents and violations.

Customer Service

The Hartford offers car insurance to AARP members online, over the phone, and through its network of insurance agents. They also offer a wide range of customer service numbers on its contact page, and its customer service hours tend to be fairly generous. You can call customer service to get an auto insurance quote from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET on Monday through Friday.

When it comes to claims, the company offers a 24/7 claims hotline as well as the ability to start your claim online or using their mobile app. The company's mobile platform only has fairly average ratings, with 3.4 out of 5 stars on Google Play and 3.9 out of 5 stars in the App Store.

Satisfaction Ratings

Regarding customer satisfaction, The Hartford has its share of mixed reviews. For starters, The Hartford took the top spot in J.D. Power's 2021 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, which means customers were more than satisfied with the claims process overall. 

However, the company has mediocre ratings for customer service satisfaction at best. The ratings for customer service satisfaction were less than stellar in J.D. Power's 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, where the company received a below-average rating in two of the three regions where they were profiled.

Complaint Index

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) maintains a database of insurance company complaints, making it easy to search and compare companies using this metric. Each insurance company in the database also receives a complaint ratio, representing the number of complaints received the previous year compared to its market share.

NAIC complaint ratios of 1.0 are considered average. Companies with scores above 1.0 received more complaints than average, while companies with scores below 1.0 received fewer than average. The 2020 complaint ratio for The Hartford was 1.04.

Account Management

The Hartford offers quite a few ways to monitor your policies, pay your bill, or make changes to your account. It all starts with their robust online platform, which lets you create an account log-in and oversee all your insurance policies and details in one place. You can also utilize the company's mobile app, which offers all the online portal functionality, including the ability to start a claim.

One benefit of The Hartford is that this company still uses insurance agents. While you don't have to reach out in person to start a claim or get help with your policy, the fact they still use agents means you can get personalized help if you find you need it. 

How The Hartford Compares to Other Auto Insurance Companies

Buying car insurance requires a lot of thought and consideration. After all, you have to make sure you're purchasing enough coverage to protect you financially in any number of situations. However, you also have to make sure your auto insurance premiums are affordable and in line with market rates. 

With that in mind, we compared the median annual premiums for dozens of auto insurance companies that offer policies within the United States, including The Hartford.

Ultimately, median annual premiums for car insurance from The Hartford worked out to $1,550, which is on the lower end of the spectrum. In fact, most other top providers we profiled featured higher median annual premiums, including Allstate ($1,674), Farmers ($1,909), Amica ($2,374), and more.

Of course, some of the major auto insurance companies we profiled also featured much lower median annual premiums, including Erie Insurance ($1,082), Country Insurance ($1,122), and State Farm ($1,251).

Final Verdict

The Hartford is unique among car insurance companies because they only offer coverage to AARP members. This means its client base includes drivers ages 50 and older exclusively and that you'll have to consider another insurance company if you're too young to qualify.

Even so, you may want to consider this company if you fall into the right demographic and you're looking for a way to get excellent coverage for an affordable price. The Hartford offers quite a few car insurance discounts, including 10% off just for being a member of the AARP. Not only that, but they make it easy to get a free quote, and you can work directly with an agent if you want a more personalized experience.

Methodology

Investopedia is committed to providing readers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of auto insurance companies. All of our reviews are based on extensive research and analysis of each company’s coverage, customer service, pricing, years in business, accreditation, and more. To rate providers, we developed an auto insurance review methodology that compares the auto insurance coverage types, additional features, discounts, account management, and other features.

Article Sources
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  1. J.D. Power. "Auto Insurance Claim Satisfaction Rises on Combination of Soaring Vehicle Values and Growth of Straight-Through-Processing Claims Management, J.D. Power Finds." Accessed Feb. 9, 2022.
  2. J.D. Power. "Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Stalls Despite $18 Billion in Premium Relief, J.D. Power Finds."

  3. AM Best. "AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and Subsidiaries."

  4. S&P Global Market Intelligence. "US private auto insurance faces 'tough environment' as losses rise in Q2."

  5. App Store. "The Hartford."

  6. Google Play. "Auto & Home at The Hartford."

  7. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Hartford Accident & Ind Co National Complaint Index Report."