Connect (formerly Ameriprise) car insurance: 2021 review | finder.com
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Connect (formerly Ameriprise) car insurance review Apr 2021

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Safe drivers and Costco members save with loyalty discounts and free perks, but slow claims.

finder.com's rating: 4 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get a quote if you’re looking for budget-friendly coverage with discounts.
  • Pick something else if you find better claims support.
  • Rewards loyal Costco customers, students and good drivers

optional

Roadside assistance

New car protection

Accident forgiveness

Details

States served Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Roadside assistance Optional
Accident forgiveness No
New car protection Yes
Pay schedule 12 months, 6 months, monthly
Claims methods online, phone
Rideshare coverage No
SR-22 support No info available

Pros

  • Affordable rates and attractive discounts
  • Free perks
  • Flexible payments
  • Financially strong

Cons

  • Poor customer service reviews
  • Not lenient with driving history
  • Not available in some states
Anti-theft device discount Yes
Bundling discount Yes
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 Costco member discount

Expert review

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Review by


Katia Iervasi is a staff writer who hails from Australia and now calls New York home. Her writing and analysis has been featured on sites like Forbes, Best Company and Financial Advisor around the world. Armed with a BA in Communication and a journalistic eye for detail, she navigates insurance and finance topics for Finder, so you can splash your cash smartly (and be a pro when the subject pops up at dinner parties).

Expert review

Founded in 1894 as a financial company, Connect sells car insurance directly to customers and holds a 15-year relationship with Costco, insuring more than 350,000 members.

Connect is known for its generous loyalty discounts for being a Costco member, using Connect Financial or keeping its car insurance for an extended time. The insurance company also offers rare freebies, such as extending its maximum car replacement payout if you buy gap coverage.

The company does have its limits: Your exact rates depend on your driving record and state, so not everyone sees savings. And Connect could improve its claims process with reachable customer support and faster claims payments.

But Connect rewards loyalty, so if you’re a long-standing member of Costco, it’s worth getting a quote. Customers have confirmed that they save hundreds of dollars a year with Connect over top national brands.

How to get a quote for Connect car insurance

The easiest way to apply for Connect car insurance is to hop online, but you can complete the process over the phone.

  1. From the main website, type in your ZIP code, choose the insurance type and click Get Quote.
  2. Fill out questions about your personal details and car, entering your vehicle’s make, model and year.
  3. Fill out your driving history and provide details for any nominated drivers.
  4. Identify any eligible discounts and benefits you qualify for and choose your coverage options.
  5. Review your application and receive your quote.
  6. If you like the cost and benefits, move forward with buying a policy.
  7. Make your first payment and start your policy.

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.

Where to find a Connect agent near me

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

What discounts can I get with Connect?

As a low-cost insurance company, Connect applies a variety of discounts to its policies, including multiple loyalty discounts for using partner services or keeping your policy with Connect long term.

  • Costco member. Another reason to love Costco! Gold Star and Executive Members score a discount, reporting an average of $600 in savings after switching their auto and home insurance. Not available in Tennessee.
  • Client benefits. If you work with Connect Financial, the parent company, you’ll get a discount.
  • Safe driving. Connect rewards those who boast a four-year driving record free of accidents with a 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 Connect, good grades matter. If you think a student driver on your policy may qualify, talk with a representative.
  • Student away. Students who study more than 100 miles away from home and only drive cars at home on weekends or school breaks are eligible.
  • Education. Connect 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 an extended time, 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.

What car insurance coverage does Connect offer?

Like most major insurers, Connect offers the minimum coverage required for states and financing. But it also includes freebies like no deductible to replace stolen keys and new car replacement with gap coverage.

  • 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.
  • 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 and doesn’t charge a deductible to replace keys that cost under $250.
  • 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.
  • Gap. Lease your car? Connect offers gap coverage, which pays the balance of your lease or loan if your car is totalled. Unlike most insurers, Connect 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist. 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.

What free benefits does Connect offer?

If you have a Costco membership or buy through a Connect Financial agent, you’ll find extra perks. For Gold members, you get this coverage at no charge:

  • 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. This coverage easily saves you over $100 in hotels, meals and transportation after an accident.
  • Accident forgiveness. One of Connect’s standout features is its Accident Merit Rating, which waives your first at-fault penalty if you have a history of no claims. But this perk isn’t available in all states.

Costco Executive members also receive:

  • Roadside service. Adding roadside assistance to car insurance typically costs anywhere from $15 to $50 per year, sometimes more. Executive members get this perk at no extra cost with coverage up to $75 per service call.
  • Lifetime renewability. Connect won’t cancel your policy after any number of accidents, a rare feature in the auto insurance industry. You may be eligible for this perk as a Connect Financial customer too.

Connect car insurance reviews and complaints

American Family Connect Property & Casualty and American Family Connect Insurance Company are the group of companies that bought Connect car insurance. Both American Family companies issue policies for Connect car insurance, depending on the customer’s state. Connect Insurance has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2012 and holds an A+ rating, as of April 2021.

For a full picture of customer reviews, Ameriprise Home and Auto is also rated with an A+ from the BBB. On Ameriprise’s BBB profile, customers complain about undelivered claims checks, delayed claims and policies canceled without the customer understanding the reason. The BBB has listed over 140 customer complaints from the past three years.

American Family Connect Property & Casualty also received a 1.46 on the 2020 National Association of Insurance Commissioners complaint index for private passenger vehicles, while American Family Connect Insurance Company received a 3.06 based on three NAIC complaints filed. The industry standard complaint rating is 1.00, showing that Connect sees slightly more complaints than normal for its size.

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. That said, Ameriprise ranks in the top five out of 16 insurers in California, according to J.D. Power’s 2020 Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study.

Compare alternatives to Connect

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
Progressive
Optional
30%
All 50 states
Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
Root
52%
Available in 30 states
Track your driving to receive a low rate that reflects your driving skills, and enjoy a fully app-based policy experience.
The AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford
Optional
Yes
All 50 states
Enjoy low rates for mature drivers, plus perks like new car replacement and lifetime repair guarantees. Only for drivers over age 50.
Allstate
13%
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Your dedicated agent can help you find the best savings with multiple discounts and rewards programs.
Liberty Mutual
Optional
30%
All 50 states
Earn free accident forgiveness after five years claims-free and customize your policy anytime online at the tap of a button.
USAA
Optional
Yes
All 50 states
Affordable car insurance with highly rated customer service. Only available to military members and veterans and their family.
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Pros and cons of Connect car insurance

Pros

  • Attractive discounts and low-cost policies. The longer you stay with Connect or use your Costco membership for discounts, the cheaper your premium. The company also cuts down on advertising costs to pass savings on to policyholders.
  • Free perks. For example, stolen key protection with comprehensive coverage and free coverage for Costco members.
  • Flexible payments. Pay for your six-month or annual policy in full or in five installments.
  • Financially strong. Highly rated by A.M. Best, meaning it has the cash reserves to pay out claims.

Cons

  • Poor customer service reviews. Customers complain about slow service and responses along with billing issues and problems filing small claims.
  • Not lenient with driving history. This company requires a spotless record for four years to receive a safe driving discount, while some companies keep a shorter timeline than that.
  • Not available in some states. Auto insurance isn’t available in Alaska, Louisiana, Maine, North Dakota, Rhode Island or Wyoming.

How is CONNECT car insurance related to Connect?

CONNECT is the rebranded name for Connect. Connect was bought by American Family Insurance in 2019 and switched the company name as part of their new marketing. You’ll see references to the company name as CONNECT, powered by American Family throughout its website. However, most of its coverage and benefits remain the same.

How to make a claim with Connect

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 Connect’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 Connect

You can get in touch with Connect 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: Connect 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.

Frequently asked questions about Connect car insurance

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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