Sentry Auto Insurance Review

Business insurance with several discounts available

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Sentry

Sentry

Investopedia’s Rating
2.1

Our Take 

Sentry has been helping customers with their business auto insurance needs since 1904. With various insurance coverages for multiple industries, Sentry is a good choice for business owners looking for a one-stop shop. Customers have access to several discounts, can manage their accounts online, and can make claims 24/7.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • 24/7/365 support available

  • High AM Best rating

Cons
  • No complimentary roadside assistance

  • No online quotes

  • No online applications

Key Takeaways
  • Sentry was founded in 1904 and insures business vehicles in all 50 U.S. states. 
  • Sentry offers commercial auto insurance, dealership auto coverage, motor carrier coverage, physical damage insurance, and non-trucking liability insurance for businesses. 
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1904
  • Types of Coverage Commercial auto insurance, dealership auto coverage, motor carrier coverage, physical damage insurance, non-trucking liability insurance
  • Purchasing Options Online or in-person through an agent
  • Customer Service Email or telephone (800-473-6879)
  • Official Website https://www.sentry.com/

Pros Explained

  • 24/7/365 support available: Sentry offers an online portal where customers can manage their account, pay bills, and make and monitor claims. This makes it easy for customers to get the help they need when they need it. 
  • High AM Best rating: Sentry has an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best, a company that assesses insurers’ financial stability. This high rating is an indicator of Sentry’s financial strength.

Cons Explained

  • No complimentary roadside assistance: Sentry does not offer complimentary roadside assistance. If a customer needs roadside assistance such as towing, fuel delivery, or flat tire assistance, it will be at an additional charge.
  • No online quotes available: Sentry doesn’t offer online quotes, making it difficult to compare prices to competitors. 
  • No online application available: Sentry does not offer the opportunity to apply or purchase coverage online. Potential customers must speak to a representative to get more information or apply for a policy. 

Introduction

Sentry Insurance offers 401(k) plans and insurance coverage for business owners. Its products include 401(k) plans and life insurance, business auto, business owner policy, commercial property, general liability, and workers’ compensation coverage. Business owners can choose from various auto coverages, including commercial auto insurance, dealership auto coverage, motor carrier coverage, physical damage insurance, and non-trucking liability insurance.

Want to see more? Take a look at our choices for the top car insurance companies.

Company Overview

Founded in 1904 by Wisconsin Retail Hardware Association members, Sentry offers business insurance coverage in all 50 U.S. states. The company is headquartered in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. 

Although Sentry started off providing coverage to the retail hardware industry, it has grown to offer options for construction companies, dealerships, manufacturing and process, trucking, retailers, and distributors. 

Types of Coverage

While Sentry mainly offers business auto insurance coverage, personal motorcycle and nonstandard auto coverage are available through its partner brand, Dairyland. 

Commercial Auto Insurance

Sentry offers commercial auto insurance for business owners whose employees drive as part of day-to-day business activities. This coverage protects vehicles that are leased or owned for business use. Coverage options include collision, comprehensive, and liability coverage, but Sentry also works with companies to determine what other coverage they might need.

Commercial Auto Liability

Sentry’s commercial auto liability coverage protects the company and its employees if a driver is found liable for injuring someone or damaging property. This type of coverage may also pay out for court and lawyer fees.

Physical Damage Insurance

Sentry’s physical damage insurance helps cover the repair, replacement, or actual value cost of a vehicle. There are different types of physical damage insurance, some covering collision damage and others covering non-collision damage. Physical damage insurance includes these coverages:

  • Collision: Coverage if your vehicle collides with another vehicle or overturns
  • Comprehensive: Covers damages not caused by collision with other vehicles
  • Specified perils coverage: Covers perils that pose a threat, although the company does not disclose which specific perils are covered

Depending on a business’s needs, Sentry also offers rental reimbursement, gap coverage, and towing coverage.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance

Sentry’s non-trucking liability insurance covers vehicles when they are in use for non-business purposes, and its optional unladen trucking coverage protects drivers when they are not hauling a load. Its non-trucking liability coverage is even transferable between leases.

Motor Truck Cargo Insurance

Sentry’s motor truck cargo insurance may cover the following:

  • Losses due to mechanical reefer breakdown, debris removal, and freight charges that can’t be collected after an incident
  • Cargo theft
  • Refrigerated trucks and cargo that lose temperature due to sudden and accidental mechanical failure or breakdown of refrigeration or heating equipment

Loss Ratio

If the loss ratio of a company is low, it typically signals that the company is financially healthy. Sentry’s loss ratio is 56.9%, which is low compared to similar companies.

Because they rank on the lower end of the loss ratio scale, it might be expected that Sentry offers lower prices, which isn’t necessarily the case. Sentry’s average annual premium is $4,392, which is the second-most expensive average premium out of 25 companies compared.

Other Features

Sentry customers can file a claim 24/7 through the company’s online portal. Customers can also track and monitor their claims online. 

Customer Service

Sentry offers 24/7/356 customer service support. To contact customer service, you can call 800-473-6879 or send an email using the form on Sentry’s website. Current customers can log in to their portal to manage their accounts, file claims, or make payments. 

Customer Satisfaction 

In general, Sentry has received relatively positive reviews from its customers. It makes accessing a representative via phone or email easy, helping customers get the help they need. Although users appreciate Sentry’s widely accessible customer service, Sentry does have some customer complaints. The company has had close to 90 complaints with the Better Business Bureau in the last three years.

Satisfaction Ratings

Sentry has not been ranked or rated by JD Power, making it difficult to determine how it compares to competitors. 

However, it does have an A+ (Superior) AM Best rating out of a possible A++. AM Best rates insurance companies’ financial strength and stability on a letter-based scale; high ratings signify that insurers are financially sound and can pay out customer claims. 

Complaint Index

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) customer complaint database is a valuable tool if you’re researching insurance companies. NAIC collects consumer complaints about insurers and compares this data across the industry. The industry average complaint score is 1.0, and Sentry has a score of 0.68, meaning the company has less complaints than average.

Account Management

Sentry has an online portal where customers can manage their accounts, make claims, and pay their bills. Customers can also speak with Sentry representatives over the phone or in person.  

How Sentry Compares to Other Auto Insurance Companies

Sentry doesn’t offer online quotes, making it difficult for potential customers to compare their prices to other auto insurance companies. That said, if you're looking for relatively inexpensive coverage, Sentry may not be your best option.

Final Verdict

If you’re in the market for commercial auto insurance, Sentry may be a good choice. The company has been around a long time and has a strong financial reputation. And with its specific industry coverages, Sentry can help you get exactly what your business needs. 

Sentry’s customer service allows customers to get help whenever they need it, either by phone or through the online portal. And though the company doesn’t offer online quotes or online applications, it’s easy to connect with an agent. 

However, if customer satisfaction is important to you, Sentry likely isn’t your best choice. It has more customer complaints than average and could be an expensive option, depending on your location. 

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 Sentry 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. AM Best. "Sentry Insurance."

  2. S&P Global Market Intelligence. "US Private Auto Insurance Faces 'Tough Environment' as Losses Rise in Q2."

  3. NAIC. "Sentry Cas Co National Complaint Index Report."