Auto-Owners Auto Insurance Review

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Auto-Owners insurance

 Auto-Owners insurance

Investopedia’s Rating
4.3

Our Take 

Auto-Owners is an excellent choice for extended coverage, numerous discounts, and superior customer satisfaction. Although you must work directly with an independent agent and service is limited to certain states, Auto-Owners prioritizes personalization with a number of exclusive programs to save you money on your car insurance.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Exclusive programs

  • Consistently strong financial ratings

  • Multiple discounts

Cons
  • Quotes from agents only

  • Limited service area

  • No online chat

Key Takeaways
  • Auto-Owners Insurance includes car insurance and a variety of other products, such as home, life, renters, and flood insurance.
  • You must work with one of Auto-Owners’ 48,000 independent agents to purchase a policy or file a claim.
  • With service in 26 states, Auto-Owners has more than 100 claim offices available. 
  • Auto-Owners offers above-average customer service while consistently holding the highest AM Best rating for 49 years.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1916
  • Types of Coverage Bodily injury liability, Collision, Comprehensive, Property damage liability, Medical payments, Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
  • Available Discounts 13
  • Purchasing Options Local agent
  • Customer Service 1-800-346-0346
  • Official Website https://www.auto-owners.com/

Pros Explained 

  • Exclusive programs: Auto-Owners combines multi-faceted auto insurance with affordable premiums through programs like its Personal Automobile Plus Package and Purchase Price Guarantee.
  • Consistently strong financial ratings: For 49 years in a row, Auto-Owners has received AM Best’s top rating for financial strength.
  • Multiple discounts: Auto-Owners offers extended insurance protection with 13 discounts to help you save.

Cons Explained

  • Quotes from agents only: Auto-Owners car insurance quotes are only available via agents.
  • Limited service area: Not everyone is eligible for auto insurance from Auto-Owners, with service limited to just 26 states. 
  • No online chat: Support options are limited to phone and agent support with no online chat option.

Introduction

Auto-Owners Insurance Group is a Fortune 500 mutual insurance business consisting of numerous companies, including Atlantic Casualty Insurance Company, Concord Group Insurance Companies, and Capital Insurance Group.

Auto-Owners insures multiple types of vehicles, including motorcycles, motorhomes, RVs, boats, trailers, and ATVs. There are also many other types of insurance available, such as homeowners, pet, flood, and life insurance, as well as a full line of commercial products. 

If you don't live in Auto-Owners' service area, check out our choices for the best car insurance companies.

Company Overview

Auto-Owners was established in 1916 by Vern V. Moulton and four of his associates. Headquartered in Lansing, Michigan, today Auto-Owners Insurance Group has 48,000 licensed agents to help in 26 states. Auto-Owners is well-known for its customer service, and has also been awarded a certification from Great Place to Work®.

Auto-Owners started out with just auto insurance and began branching out into life insurance and other types of coverage in 1966. Its 2020 Annual Report shows over 5.35 million policies in force with policyholder surplus topping $13.8 billion. 

Auto-Owners operates in 26 states with over 100 claim offices available.

Types of Coverage

Auto-Owners offers many of the traditional types of auto insurance coverage, but it also specializes in unique types of auto insurance, like classic car insurance and insurance for converted or modified cars, such as vehicles with wheelchair lifts. Auto-Owners also has several types of car insurance coverage that you can include with your policy.

You must work with an independent insurance agent to purchase Auto-Owners car insurance.

Collision

If you are in an accident with another vehicle or object, collision insurance may help pay for the damages.

Auto-Owners goes one step further with its Collision Coverage Advantage, which includes several perks like these:

  • Auto-Owners waives your collision deductible when your accident is with another Auto-Owners policyholder.
  • Animal-related damages will be covered by the greater of your policy’s comprehensive or collision coverage.

Comprehensive

Comprehensive coverage can protect against natural damages, such as those caused by fire, theft, and weather.

Liability 

There are two types of liability coverage: bodily injury liability and property damage liability. While bodily injury liability covers injury to others (medical expenses, etc.), the property damage portion of your policy covers any property damages that you cause to another party.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

Not all drivers have adequate car insurance when they are in an accident. If you are in an accident with a driver that has minimal car insurance or none at all, uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance may pay for injuries or damages that these drivers cause you in an accident. It is required for car insurance in some states. 

Medical Payments 

Medical payments coverage provides protection in case you or your passengers experience injuries, regardless of who is at fault.

Personal Injury Protection

Personal injury protection, or PIP, also offers coverage for medical expenses and even lost wages, regardless of which party is at fault for the accident. PIP is required in many states, although it may cost more as an add-on to your policy.

Additional Expenses 

Should your car require repair, additional expenses coverage means that you could receive reimbursement for a rental car while your car is temporarily in the shop. If you experience these damages on the road, this coverage could also reimburse you for meals, hotels, and other expenses.

Purchase Price Guarantee

Cars are subject to normal depreciation, but the Purchase Price Guarantee program ensures your vehicle valuation is based on the purchase value and not the current value.

Rental Car Coverage

If you need to rent a car due to an accident, rental car coverage could reimburse you for rental fees and other charges you may incur.

Loan Gap/Lease Gap

Thanks to depreciation, you could be left paying the balance on a wrecked vehicle if you owe more than its current value. Gap insurance, also known as loan or lease coverage, ensures that your insurance company pays the balance.

Diminished Value

Diminished value covers the difference if your car’s value is reduced due to accident-related repairs.  

Personal Automobile Plus Package

Auto-Owners Automobile Plus Package bundles many of the most popular services in an exclusive and affordable package for drivers. This includes more than ten additional benefits like cell phone replacement, locksmith services, and identity theft expense coverage. 

Discounts

To cut car insurance costs, Auto-Owners offers several car insurance discounts that lower the total cost of your premium.

Vehicle Discount

  • Safety Feature Discounts: You could save money if your vehicle has airbags, an anti-lock brake system (ABS), or an anti-theft device.

Driver Discounts

  • Favorable Loss History: Auto-Owners can reward you if you have a history of no or minor claims.
  • Teen Driver Monitoring Discount: This is a telematics-based discount that uses your vehicle’s GPS or a mobile app to track safe driving habits. 

Student Discounts

  • Good Student Discount: Auto-Owners rewards students with up to 20% off their policies when they maintain a cumulative "B" or higher grade point average.
  • Student Away at School Discount: Students can save money when they leave their car at home while attending a school over 100 miles away.

Payment Discounts

  • Multi-Policy Discount: You can save when you purchase multiple policies from Auto-Owners, such as a home and auto insurance bundle.
  • Life Multi-Policy Discount: If you bundle life insurance with your auto insurance, you could receive discounts on both.
  • Payment History: Auto-Owners rewards you for making timely payments for a minimum of 36 months. 
  • Paid-in-Full Discount: When you pay your policy in full, you can pay less than a monthly installment plan would cost.
  • Green Discount: There are savings when you enroll in paperless online billing. 
  • Advance Quote: If you are a new applicant, you could save when you request a premium quote before your policy’s effective date.
  • Multi-Car Discount: If you have more than one private passenger vehicle, you could save on your insurance policy if you insure them both with Auto-Owners.
  • Lower premium: You could save money on your monthly payments when you increase your deductible.

Payment Options

Auto-Owners accepts payments via phone (1-800-288-8740) or you can send an email inquiry. The billing department is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.

You may also make payments by mail:

Auto-Owners
PAY BY MAIL
PO Box 740312
Cincinnati, OH 45274-0312

Loss Ratio

An insurance company’s loss ratio is a great way to determine whether that company is financially healthy. A lower ratio means the company makes more money than it pays out, and generally indicates better financial health. Auto-Owners’ loss ratio of 60.89% is about average for the industry and means that it’s doing fairly well. 

Other Features

In addition to its car insurance coverage, Auto-Owners offers several other services to help ensure driver safety on the road.

Roadside Assistance

Auto-Owners offers a 24/7 Road Trouble Service that includes a variety of resources, including tire changes, jump-starts, and gas delivery, as well as locksmith and towing services.

Glass and Windshield Repair

Auto-Owners also gives the option of glass and windshield repair to assist with covered damages. As a partner with both Safelite Solutions and Quest Claims Service, Auto-Owners can help you find a local repair shop for service.

Customer Service

You can use the online search tool to find a local agent or use the online email form to send a message to the specific department needed. 

You can also contact support by phone. General and billing support is available Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET. However, it is closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Department Contact Information 
Mailing address: Corporate office Auto-Owners Corporate Office
6101 Anacapri Blvd.
Lansing, MI 48917
Mailing address: Payments  Auto-Owners Payments
PO Box 740312
Cincinnati, OH 45274-0312 
General support  1-800-346-0346 
Billing: Auto, home, and business  1-800-288-8740 
General fax  1-517-323-8796 
24/7 Roadside assistance  1-888-TOW-AOIC (1-888-869-2642) 
Emergency claims  1-888-252-4626 
After-hours claims support  1-888-252-4626 
Windshield & glass repair: Safelite Solutions  1-877-492-7768 
Windshield & glass repair: Quest Claims  1-888-295-2590 
Billing inquiries for medical providers  1-877-876-5621 

For help with a claim, policyholders should always contact their local agent first.

Auto-Owners receives excellent ratings for both customer satisfaction and financial strength.

Customer Satisfaction 

One way to determine the quality of a company’s claims processing is to look at its grade from the leading rating provider, AM Best. An AM Best rating indicates a company’s financial strength; a better score indicates more efficient and reliable claims/payments processing. 

Auto-Owners proudly shares in its 2020 Annual Report that it has earned AM Best’s highest possible rating of A++ (Superior) for 49 consecutive years. It makes the insurer a stand out within the industry since many other companies struggle to attain this level.

Satisfaction Ratings

In J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, Auto-Owners was not rated in every region. However, where it was rated, it performed well with above-average scores in the Central, North Central, Florida, and Southeast regions. In J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, Auto-Owners once again received above-average ratings with a total score of 874/1,000 among midsize insurers.

Only in J.D. Power’s 2021 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study did Auto-Owners fall below average with a total score of 829/1,000 for the Service category, although it did very well in the Shopping category.

Complaint Index

Each year, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) assigns insurance providers a customer complaint index score based on the number of complaints a company receives. Using a baseline score of 1.00, this rating helps consumers determine what level of customer satisfaction to expect. 

Auto-Owners scored well with an average rating of 0.89 in 2021. This is a slight increase since 2020’s score of 0.86, and 0.67 in 2019. Regardless, Auto-Owners outperforms many of its competitors with high customer satisfaction.

Account Management

Auto-Owners does have a mobile app available for both Apple and Android systems, but no online chat is available. 

If you need to file a claim, Auto-Owners offers what it calls “‘No Problem’ Claim Service.” You are required to contact your insurance agent directly, but there are over 100 claim offices to help. 

There is an online Customer Center available for easy account management, with a number of tools and resources including:

  • Account activity
  • Payments
  • Claims tracking
  • Paperless billing
  • Proof of insurance
  • Road Trouble Service cards

You also have the ability to pay your bill without logging in.  

How Auto-Owners Compares to Other Auto Insurance Companies

With a 4.3/5 Investopedia rating, Auto-Owners ranks better than other car insurance companies like Alfa, Allstate, and Kemper, but worse than USAA and Country Insurance. Our research finds that Auto-Owners has an average annual premium of $1,785 per year, making it cheaper than State Farm, Farmers, and Auto-Club. 

Its service area is more limited than many other providers, and you must work with an independent agent. Still, if you are eligible, Auto-Owners’ car insurance is an excellent choice for reliable, multi-faceted coverage for your vehicle. 

Final Verdict

Auto-Owners consists of a number of subsidiaries designed to provide personalized coverage to select regions. With coverage in 26 states, Auto-Owners works with over 48,000 licensed agents spread across more than 100 offices. In addition to excellent customer satisfaction ratings, Auto-Owners further inspires confidence with its long-running record of perfect financial ratings from AM Best.

Methodology 

All of our reviews of auto insurance companies are based on extensive research and analysis of each company’s coverage, customer service, pricing, years in business, accreditation, and more. To rate Auto-Owners and other providers, we developed an auto insurance review methodology that compares the auto insurance coverage types, additional features, discounts, account management, and reported customer experiences to help us provide insights into things like customer service and the strength of each company’s offerings. 

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Fortune. "Auto-Owners Insurance | 2021 Fortune 500."

  2. Auto-Owners. “Annual Report.”

  3. NAIC. "NAIC Market Share Reports 2018-2020."

  4. J.D. Power. “J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Auto Insurance Study."

  5. J.D. Power. “J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study.”

  6. J.D. Power. “J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Insurance Digital Experience Study.”

  7. NAIC. "CIS Refined Results."