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American Family car insurance review

Affordable coverage and top regional customer satisfaction, but not the best online service.

finder.com's rating: 4 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get a quote if you want affordable rates with a high risk driver on your policy.
  • Pick something else if you want an easy online process.
  • Coverage for anything from classic cars and boats

optional

Roadside assistance

New car protection

Accident forgiveness

Details

States served Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin
Roadside assistance Optional
Accident forgiveness Yes
New car protection Yes
Pay schedule 12 months, monthly, custom
Claims methods online, phone
Rideshare coverage Yes
SR-22 support Yes

Pros

  • Highly rated support
  • Multiple discounts
  • Easy claim filing
  • Innovative products

Cons

  • Limited coverage area
  • Website hard to navigate
Anti-theft device discount Yes
Bundling discount Yes
Defensive driving discount Yes, up to 10%
Good student discount Yes
Loyalty discount Yes
Homeowner discount No
Military discount Yes
Safety device discount Yes
Special employment discount No
Usage-based discount Yes
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Review by


Roslyn McKenna is an insurance expert who's driven to help people get a great deal on insurance to protect their families and finances. Roslyn earned a BA in writing and communications from Maryville College and has written professionally for more than a decade, showing up on Bankrate, MSN and Reader's Digest.

Expert review

American Family auto insurance works best if you live in one of the 19 states it serves and are looking to insure a young driver or work with a local agent. Since this company offers programs for teens and students, you could save on insuring a teen driver.

Despite having limited coverage options, American Family is one of the top 10 insurance companies in the country. Plus with more than 3,500 agents across the US, customer service is both personal and available.

Customers say that getting a cheap quote or finding a local agent are the top reasons that they choose American Family. And J.D. Power ratings show high customer satisfaction if you live in the Southwest.

However, the online process isn’t the best we’ve ever seen, which is in line with most of the other national companies. You won’t find many other negatives with this company, so it’s worth checking out. If you live in American Family’s service area, you can get a free quote online, in person or over the phone.

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How to get a quote for American Family car insurance

Apply for auto insurance with American Family online, by phone at 800-692-6326 or in person with a local agent. To find an agent, use American Family’s agent locator tool on its website.

To get an online quote:

  1. Go to the American Family website and enter your ZIP code. Select Car from the drop-down menu and Start quoting.
  2. On the next page, choose Get your quote today.
  3. Fill out all of your personal information including name, address and birthdate. Then select Continue.
  4. Enter your vehicle, any loan or lease and additional driver details. Choose Continue.
  5. Enter your Social Security number and your current company information, then hit Continue.
  6. Customize your policy or continue without making any changes.
  7. If you’re satisfied with the details, fill out your payment information and buy your policy.

What info do I need to apply?

Gather the following necessary documentation:

  • Personal information including first and last name, birth date and gender
  • Address including ZIP code
  • Social Security number
  • Drivers license
  • Vehicle identification number
  • Financial information
  • Quote reference number if you work with an agent after filling out an online quote

What discounts can I get with American Family?

Young drivers get many opportunities to save with American Family’s generational, teen safe driver, student and young volunteer discounts. Plus, score steep discounts for your car’s safety features like having an antitheft device.

  • Auto safety equipment. Get a 10% to 30% discount based on your car’s safety features.
  • Away at school. Receive a discount if your insured student under 25 leaves the car at home while attending school over 100 miles away.
  • Billing. Take discounts when you set up automatic payments, pay in full and when you sign up for paperless billing and keep your policy documents electronically.
  • Defensive driver. Customers aged 55 and older can save 5% to 10% by completing an approved defensive driving course.
  • Early bird. To get the early-bird discount, you have to get a quote from American Family at least seven days before the policy starts. And you have to do it while you have an active policy with another insurer.
  • Generational. Get a discount if one or both of your parents are insured by American Family.
  • Good driving discount. Drivers without claims, accidents, citations and violations can get reduced rates.
  • Good student. Better grades from your teen driver could get you better rates.
  • KnowYourDrive. Get a discount of up to 20% using American Family’s telematics program.
  • Low mileage. Save more when you drive less than 7,500 miles a year.
  • Loyalty. Receive a discount based on how long you have been an American Family customer.
  • Multipolicy discount. Receive discounts for bundling insurance policies.
  • Multivehicle discount. Insure more than one vehicle and save.
  • Steer into savings discount. Get a discount for switching to American Family.
  • Teen safe driver. Get a discount after your teen completes a year or 3,000 miles with the Teen Safe Driver Program.
  • Young volunteer. Policyholders under age 25 can receive discounts for completing 40 hours of volunteer work per year.

      What add-ons and perks does American Family offer?

      American Family boosts your protection with helpful add-ons as well as guaranteeing proper repairs to your car after an accident.

      • Accidental death coverage. If you or others insured on the policy get seriously injured or die in an accident, you can receive a one-time payout.
      • Gap insurance. Bridge the gap between what your policy pays out for your car’s market value and the amount leftover on your loan, if your car gets totaled.
      • Rideshare insurance. Fill in the holes of low to no coverage while waiting for a passenger, if your rideshare company doesn’t provide enough insurance.
      • Helps with SR-22 forms. Let American Family file your proof of insurance form with your state if it’s required.
      • Insures classic cars. Find a policy here even when your ride is a prized classic or antique weekender or show car.
      • Lifetime repairs guarantee. Repairs done through American Family are guaranteed that the work will be done properly to restore your car to working condition.

      American Family car insurance reviews and complaints

      American Family is not currently accredited on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, as of April 2022. However, it does hold an A rating from the BBB for handling complaints on the site.

      Customers score the insurance company with a little over 1 out of 5 stars based on about 40 BBB reviews. The company also has over 180 BBB complaints filed from the last three years, with customers calling out problems with billing for canceled policies, unexpected rate hikes and delayed or denied claims.

      Despite the complaints, American Family has received a 0.59 score on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index for private passenger vehicles. The industry standard is 1.00, showing that the insurer sees fewer complaints than average for its size.

      American Family also earned the second-highest ranking in the 2020 J.D. Power Auto Insurance Satisfaction study for the Southwest, scoring 834 out of 1,000 points and tying the spot with Geico. Customers on forums report that they stayed with American Family because of cheap rates or a helpful local agent, though not everyone saw the cheapest rates.

      Our star ratings for American Family, explained

      Our car insurance experts rate American Family with 4 out of 5 stars because of its well-rounded coverage — including rideshare coverage that you can’t find everywhere — and solid customer and financial ratings. Its A BBB rating shows that the company takes care of complaints quickly, and AM Best also rates the insurer with an A for its financial strength.

      Case study: Amy’s experience

      profile pic

      Amy Stoltenberg
      Writer

      In all honesty, I signed with American Family Insurance because my parents use it, and they sort of passed it on to me when I set out on my own.

      It may not be as cheap as an online powerhouse like Progressive or Geico, but I know my agent by name. And when I email him about my car insurance policy, we talk about life too. He knows a bit about my personal story, so I’m more than just answers to a 10-question application.

      It’s comforting to know that he’s in an office not far from my neighborhood. And if I get in an accident, we can talk things through face to face. That’s something I’d pay more for any day.

      Alternatives to American Family

      Name Product Gap insurance Homeowner discount Telematics Has an app? Available states
      Progressive
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      Yes
      Snapshot
      Yes
      All 50 states & DC
      Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
      The Zebra
      Yes
      Yes
      Yes
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      USAA
      No
      Yes
      SafePilot
      Yes
      All 50 states & DC
      Affordable car insurance with highly rated customer service. Only available to military members and veterans and their family.
      Liberty Mutual
      Yes
      Yes
      RightTrack
      Yes
      All 50 states & DC
      Earn free accident forgiveness after five years claims-free and customize your policy anytime.
      Bankrate
      Bankrate
      Yes
      Yes
      Yes
      Yes
      All 50 states
      Compare personalized rates from multiple insurance companies in one go. Plus, access a live agent for any questions along the way.
      Quinstreet - Insure.com
      Quinstreet - Insure.com
      Yes
      Depends on provider
      Depends on provider
      Depends on provider
      All 50 states
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      What car insurance coverage does American Family offer?

      American Family provides a wide range of coverages to suit most needs, and its lifetime guarantee on car repairs can give you extra peace of mind after an accident.

      • Bodily injury liability
      • Collision coverage
      • Comprehensive coverage
      • Personal injury protection
      • Property damage liability
      • Rental reimbursement
      • Towing and roadside assistance
      • Uninsured and underinsured motorists

        Where is American Family available?

        American Family provides auto insurance in 19 states, though it scores the highest customer satisfaction in Southwestern states like Arizona, Colorado and Utah.

        • Arizona
        • Colorado
        • Georgia
        • Idaho
        • Illinois
        • Indiana
        • Iowa
        • Kansas
        • Minnesota
        • Missouri
        • Nebraska
        • Nevada
        • North Dakota
        • Ohio
        • Oregon
        • South Dakota
        • Utah
        • Washington
        • Wisconsin

        Pros and cons of American Family car insurance

        Pros

        • Multiple discounts. Pay less when you bundle services, add multiple cars, drive safely, have a good student and more.
        • Claim filing options. File a claim online, over the phone or in person with your American Family agent.
        • Innovative products. Keep an eye on your kids with the Teen Safe Driver Program, which allows you to review videos of your teen on the road.

        Cons

        • Limited coverage area. If you don’t live in one of the states that American Family services, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
        • Website can be difficult to navigate. American Family’s website is tricky to use and requires you to enter your vehicle’s VIN when applying for a free quote.
        • Lengthy application and claims process. Though online applications and claims options are convenient, both processes are quite time-consuming.

        How to contact American Family

        You can contact American Family by email, live chat, phone or mail.

        • Phone. 800-692-6326
        • Mail. 6000 American Parkway, Madison, WI 53783

        What is American Family?

        American Family Insurance was established in 1927, originally insuring farm trucks and equipment. It’s since expanded into several product lines and has more than $1 billion in assets. Though it offers coverage in fewer than half the states in the US, American Family is the ninth-largest insurance provider in the US.

        American Family has also made steps toward sustainability, including an on-site fish hatchery and garden plots for employee use.

        Frequently asked questions

        What’s the difference between online rates and rates from an agent?
        Your rate will be the same if you and your agent decide the same coverage levels, deductibles, discounts and options you chose online, are the best options for you.

        How are my rates affected if I use the KnowYourDrive program?
        The KnowYourDrive device is designed to benefit you by helping you form smarter driving habits — and can ultimately save you money! Your discount can fluctuate over time depending on your driving behavior, but your premium will never go up based on how you drive with the program.

        How do I file a claim?
        If you’d like to file a claim by phone, you can call 800-692-6326 to get the claims process started. Or, file a claim online.

        1. Visit the American Family homepage
        2. Hover over Claims, then select File a claim.
        3. Enter your personal information, including your policy number, then choose Next.
        4. Enter the accident information, then select Next.
        5. Read through your claim summary and hit Submit if everything is correct.
        6. Once submitted, American Family will reach out to you once your claim has been processed.

        Car insurance ratings

        ★★★★★ — Excellent

        ★★★★★ — Good

        ★★★★★ — Average

        ★★★★★ — Subpar

        ★★★★★ — Poor

        Our insurance team analyzes car insurance providers to help you choose the best car insurance for you.We rank insurers from one to five stars based on key factors including customer satisfaction, policy options, price, billing, claims, and support. We create these rankings to help you narrow down an insurance provider that best suits your budget and coverage needs.

        Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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