Ameriprise review: Compare cheap car insurance | finder.com

Ameriprise car insurance review September 2018

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Compare this budget-friendly provider that rewards loyal Costco customers, students and safe drivers.

With so many providers and policies on the market, choosing car insurance can be an overwhelming task, especially since it’s something you hope you’ll never have to use.

The best auto insurance ticks two boxes: It offers good value for the cost and seamless service if you ever need it.

Ameriprise is a Fortune 500 company that sells car insurance in 42 states across the US. It’s often dubbed as Costco insurance, thanks to its partnership with the super-saving retail giant. This hints at Ameriprise’s game: It’s a budget-friendly option for car insurance, complete with a long list of discounts.

Description To cut down on the cost of car insurance, check out Ameriprise — a budget-friendly provider with a high-profile partnership with Costco. Along with low premiums, the company rewards shoppers, loyal clients, students and safe drivers with deep discounts.
States served Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Roadside assistance Included free
Pay schedule 6 months, custom
Claims methods online
New car protection Included Free

Pros

  • 24/7 claims processing
  • Manage your policy online
  • Affordable rates and attractive discounts
  • Unique coverage options
  • Flexible payments
  • Lifetime renewability
  • Financially strong

Cons

  • Limited reach
  • No live chat
  • Poor customer service reviews
  • Not lenient with driving history
  • Inability to monitor claims online
Defensive driving discount Yes
Good student discount Yes
Loyalty discount Yes
Homeowner discount Yes
Military discount No
Safety device discount Yes
Special employment discount No
Usage-based discount No
Other discounts Tenure Discount for reaching the 3 year mark with Ameriprise

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Who is Ameriprise best for?

On a budget? Ameriprise is known for its affordable rates and generous loyalty discounts, which can earn you savings on things you may already do, like driving safely, storing your car in a garage and insuring more than one vehicle.

On the flipside, people with a few strikes on their driving record won’t have access to those cheap rates. If you haven’t heard of Ameriprise yet, that might be because they cut down on advertising costs to pass those savings on to policyholders.

What is Ameriprise?

Founded in 1894, Ameriprise is a global financial company that’s had a few lives. Once a part of American Express, the firm, then called IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company, began selling auto, home and umbrella insurance in Wisconsin before branching out to Minnesota, Ohio, Indiana and Iowa. In 2005, it changed its name to Ameriprise Financial, and today, it’s a Fortune 500 company that’s clocked up 2 million customers and $800 billion in assets.

Its insurance branch, Ameriprise Auto & Home, offers insurance across 42 states, with offices in Green Bay, Wisconsin; Phoenix, Arizona; and Las Vegas, Nevada. The company sells directly to customers and is a familiar name thanks to its 15-year relationship with Costco, insuring more than 350,000 members.

It’s also known for its charitable giving and partnerships with nonprofits like American Red Cross and Feeding America.

Compare car insurance companies like Ameriprise

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Available states
Liberty Mutual
Included free
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
All 50 states
Car insurance through Liberty Mutual will give coverage options for almost any situation.
Allstate
Included free
Yes, cars under 2 years old
All 50 states
Enjoy having your own dedicated agent to help you get the best discounts and coverage.
Root
Included free
No
Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah
Root offers simple, affordable insurance that’s ideal for good drivers. Try the Root app for 2 weeks and see how much you could save. Available in 20 states.
Esurance
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
All states except Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Montana, Vermont, Wyoming
Esurance offers a modern online and mobile experience that helps you take your insurance on the go. Available in 42 states.
USAA
Included free
No
All 50 states
USAA offers affordable car insurance with highly rated customer service to millions of military members and their families. Only available to military members, veterans and affiliated military members.

Compare up to 4 providers

What car insurance coverage does Ameriprise offer?

Like most major insurers, National General offers basic liability protection plus other types of coverage to suit individual needs.

  • Comprehensive. This helps pay damages caused to your car by things you can’t control, such as vandalism, natural disasters, hail storms, fire and falling objects. It also includes stolen key coverage.
  • Collision. This covers the cost of damage to your own car after a collision with another car, pothole or other object whether you’re at fault or not. If your car is a total loss, the company will pay out its current cash value.
  • Roadside assistance and towing. Available on all auto policies, this coverage steps in if your car breaks down, your battery dies, you get a flat tire or you’re stuck in the snow.
  • Rental car liability. If you need to rent a car after an accident, this coverage kicks in to pay for your daily rental charges up to a specified dollar amount. An optional add on, it’s recommended for those who drive a lot and don’t have access to another car.
  • Bodily injury liability. This takes care of the costs if you injure someone in an accident and can help to pay for legal defense. This type of insurance is required in most states.
  • Property damage liability. Covers the damage your car causes to someone’s property as the result of an accident.
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM). To ensure you’re not stuck with the bills for an accident that wasn’t your fault, this coverage helps to pay for injuries or damage caused by a driver who has little to no insurance.
  • Medical expense. This covers for the medical expenses for you and your passengers after an accident. It’s optional — look at your health insurance policy to avoid doubling up.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP). Legally required in some states, PIP pays for a portion of medical care, lost wages and replacement services in case of an accident regardless of who was at fault.
  • Gap. Lease your car? Ameriprise offers gap coverage, which pays the balance of your lease or loan if your car is totalled. Unlike most insurers, Ameriprise pays up to 120% of your vehicle’s value. Gap includes new car replacement coverage for the first year and additional protection for the next two years.
  • Windshield repair. Waives your deductible if you can have your windshield repaired instead of replaced.
  • Accident travel expense. If you’re involved in an accident more than 100 miles from home, the company will reimburse part of your out-of-pocket travel and accommodation expenses.

What discounts can I get with Ameriprise?

As a low-cost provider, Ameriprise applies a range of discounts to its policies you could qualify for.

  • Costco member. Another reason to love Costco! Gold Star and Executive Members score a discount, reporting an average of $546.46 in savings in the first year of the switch. Not available in Tennessee.
  • Accident forgiveness. For qualifying customers, accident forgiveness won’t add an extra charge for your first at-fault accident after three years of safe driving.
  • Client benefits. If you work with Ameriprise Financial, the parent company, you’ll get a discount.
  • Safe driving. Ameriprise rewards those who boast a three-year driving record free of accidents with a discount, even if they were with a different insurer for part of that time. People with a clean six-year record get a further discount.
  • Defensive driver. This discount gives drivers an incentive to take a refresher course with the DMV. It doesn’t apply to learner drivers.
  • Vehicle safety features. If your car has anti-lock brakes, airbags, automatic seatbelts and anti-theft devices, that’s another discount.
  • Garaging. Do you park your car in a garage overnight? In some states, this’ll earn you a discount.
  • Good student. To Ameriprise, good grades matter. The company offers a discount to students younger than 25 who maintain a B average or better.
  • Student away. Students who study more than 100 miles away from home and don’t have a car of their own are eligible for this discount.
  • Education. Ameriprise offers a discount to students who have completed four years of post high-school education.
  • Multi-vehicle. The more cars you insure with the company, the lower your rates.
  • Loyalty. If you stay with the company for three years, it’ll charge you a cheaper premium than it would for a new customer.
  • Bundling. Bundle your home or umbrella policies to slash your rates.

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What is the Ameriprise Accident Merit Rating?

Along with its loyalty discounts, one of Ameriprise’s standout features is its Accident Merit Rating. The company typically waives your first at-fault accident penalty under accident forgiveness, but that coverage isn’t available in all states. In those cases, Ameriprise reduces the surcharge on your premium each year for three years, so you can put the accident behind you and try to earn back the safe driving discount.

What’s not covered by Ameriprise?

The limitations vary state by state, but in general, Ameriprise won’t take on the risk of insuring super high-end cars, like Lamborghinis or Ferraris. This is so it can maintain its position as a budget-friendly provider. If you’re in the market for an insurance provider for your high-end car, compare other options for high-performance car insurance.

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Are there any coverage maximums?

Maximums depend on your state, but Ameriprise suggests coverage of 250/500/250, which pays a maximum of $250,000 per person and $500,000 per accident, plus $250,000 in property damage.

Pros and cons of Ameriprise car insurance

Pros

  • 24/7 claims processing. Report a claim any time and choose your own repair facility.
  • Manage your policy online. Access your policy, pay bills and update your profile through the online portal.
  • Affordable rates and attractive discounts. These include loyalty discounts: The longer you stay with Ameriprise, the cheaper your premium will be.
  • Unique coverage options. For example, stolen key and windshield repair coverage.
  • Flexible payments. Pay for your six-month policy in full, or in five monthly installments.
  • Lifetime renewability. If you use Ameriprise Financial’s services, you’re eligible for lifetime renewability, meaning Ameriprise won’t cancel your policy after any number of accidents, a rare feature in the auto insurance industry.
  • Financially strong. Highly rated by A.M. Best, meaning it has the cash reserves to pay out claims.

Cons

  • Limited reach. Auto insurance isn’t available in Alaska, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, North Dakota, Rhode Island, West Virginia or Wyoming.
  • No live chat. Unlike many of its competitors, Ameriprise doesn’t offer real-time help online.
  • Poor customer service reviews. On the Better Business Bureau and online forums, customers complain about customer service being slow to respond and issues with billing and filing small claims.
  • Not lenient with driving history. Most insurers look at traffic violations and accidents over the past five years. Ameriprise goes further, requiring a six-year history.
  • Inability to monitor claims online. You can only check up on the status of your claim via phone or email.

What do customers say about Ameriprise?

Ameriprise auto and home insurance has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2012, and has an A+ rating. Though it received 3.74 out of 5 stars, it was a different story with customers. As of this writing, the BBB handled 216 complaints in the last three years, most of which were related to billing, small claims and issues with slow customer service and follow-ups.

While customers enjoy the discounts and wide coverage that comes with insuring a car with the company, its claims processing seems to be a sore spot.

In J.D. Power’s 2017 Auto Insurance Study, Ameriprise ranked 5 out of 15 insurers in the California Region. It scored better than most for overall customer satisfaction, billing, pricing and policy offerings, but didn’t appear on the top lists for other regions.

How to apply

The easiest way to apply is to hop online, but you can also call and complete the process over the phone.

  1. Go to Ameriprise’s website.
  2. Hover over Products and Services in the main navigation bar and click Auto and Home Insurance.
  3. In the Free Insurance Quote box, type in your ZIP code and click Get Quote.
  4. Fill out questions about your driving history over the past six years, including violations, accidents and claims.
  5. Enter the make, model and year of each car you want to insure and any nominated drivers.
  6. You’ll be able to identify any eligible discounts and benefits and receive a few policy options to choose from.

What info do I need to apply?

You’ll need your driver’s license number, plus details on your driving history, car and people who will be driving it.

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How to find an Ameriprise agent near me

Ameriprise only has auto insurance agents at its offices in Green Bay, Wisconsin; Phoenix, Arizona; and Las Vegas, Nevada. Otherwise, you’ll need to use it’s online tool or call for a quote.

How to make a claim with Ameriprise

To start a car insurance claim, call the claims department 24/7 at 800-872-5246. You can file a claim online if no one was injured and fewer than two cars were involved.

You’ll be assigned a claims representative, who will get back to you within one business day. They’ll go over the details of the accident or incident, and ask for supporting documents, such as photos and medical reports.

The company will send someone to inspect your car at a repair shop of your choice. If you bought rental insurance, they’ll organize a rental vehicle for you.

To file a claim online:

  1. Go to Ameriprise’s website.
  2. Hover over Products and Services in the top navigation bar, and click Auto and Home Insurance.
  3. Click Learning Center in the left-hand navigation bar.
  4. Click Report a Claim at the very bottom of the page.
  5. In the blue box on the right-hand side, click File Your Claim Online.
  6. Enter your User ID and Password and follow the steps needed to report your claim.

An insurance agent will respond to your claim within 48 hours.

How to contact Ameriprise

You can get in touch with Ameriprise customer service by:

  • Email. Send a note to servicepromise@ampf.com
  • Phone. Call 888-554-6368
  • Fax. Send a fax to 920-330-5607
  • Mail. Send overnight mail to: Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance, 3500 Packerland Drive, De Pere, WI 54115-9070

Its customer service team is available Monday through Friday, from 7 am to 10 pm, and Saturdays from 8:30 am to 7 pm CT. Make sure to include your policy number on all correspondence.

Does Ameriprise offer other types of insurance?

While auto insurance is its bread and butter, Ameriprise also offers other insurance, which you can bundle for even more discounts.

  • Home and condo insurance
  • Specialty insurance — ATV, boat, collector car, RV, pets and motorcycle
  • Flood insurance
  • Rental property insurance
  • Umbrella insurance

What are some alternatives to Ameriprise?

When you’re exploring your options, check out Allstate, Geico and National General for low rates and attractive discounts. If you’re a good student, make those late nights and early morning classes count by looking into Liberty Mutual and Nationwide. Or if you’re looking for providers who give you rates for bundling policies like Ameriprise does, explore your options with Progressive or Esurance.

Compare car insurance alternatives to Ameriprise

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Available states
Liberty Mutual
Included free
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
All 50 states
Car insurance through Liberty Mutual will give coverage options for almost any situation.
Allstate
Included free
Yes, cars under 2 years old
All 50 states
Enjoy having your own dedicated agent to help you get the best discounts and coverage.
Root
Included free
No
Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah
Root offers simple, affordable insurance that’s ideal for good drivers. Try the Root app for 2 weeks and see how much you could save. Available in 20 states.
Esurance
Optional
Yes, cars under 1 year old & 15,000 miles
All states except Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Montana, Vermont, Wyoming
Esurance offers a modern online and mobile experience that helps you take your insurance on the go. Available in 42 states.
USAA
Included free
No
All 50 states
USAA offers affordable car insurance with highly rated customer service to millions of military members and their families. Only available to military members, veterans and affiliated military members.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Ameriprise is known for its low rates, stackable discounts and rare freebies, like stolen key replacement and windshield repair, making it a solid budget-friendly option. But it has its limits: It’s only available in 42 states, and it requires a clean six-year driving history, rather than the usual five.

Ameriprise rewards loyalty, so if you’re a long-standing member of Costco, it’s worth getting a quote. Before you sign off on a shiny, new car insurance policy, make sure the price and services suit your situation and you’ve compared all your options.

Frequently asked questions

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Katia Iervasi

Katia is a freelance writer from sunny Sydney, Australia. Her writing — and curiosity — has taken her around the world, and she now calls chaotic, creative New York home. She navigates insurance and finance for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).

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