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Auto-Owners car insurance review

High customer ratings show off this company's main strength, but it could upgrade online tools.

finder.com's rating: 4 / 5

★★★★★

  • Get a quote if you want top-notch service with a dedicated agent.
  • Pick something else if you want more online tools.
  • Rewards drivers with a clean driving history

Included free

Roadside assistance

New car protection

Accident forgiveness

Details

States served Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin
Roadside assistance Included free
Accident forgiveness Yes
New car protection No
Pay schedule 12 months, custom
Claims methods online
Rideshare coverage No
SR-22 support

Pros

  • Local agents
  • Satisfactory claims process
  • Safe driving incentive
  • Multi-policy bundling
  • Customer center
  • 24/7 roadside assistance
  • Financially strong

Cons

  • Limited reach
  • No live chat
  • No online quoting system
  • Inability to file a claim online
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
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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

With its headquarters in Michigan, Auto-Owners has been in the game for over 100 years. The Fortune 500 company works exclusively through local agents, and it consistently offers top customer satisfaction rankings from customers and review sites.

However, Auto-Owners has one foot in the past and one in the future. Policyholders can’t get a quote, apply for coverage or file a claim online, which is unusual and less tech-savvy than competitors.

Yet its TrueRide app is innovative and offers similar savings as national brands with a safe driving app. And while it only operates in 26 states, it has local agents in each, meaning customers get personalized attention.

Overall, Auto-Owners’ policies offer solid value and attractive discounts that offset the cost of agent-driven insurance. If you’re looking to bundle your insurance or want highly rated customer service, it’s worth calling for a quote. But skip this one if you’re not in the half of the US that Auto-Owners serves.

How to get a free quote for Auto-Owners car insurance

Auto-Owners only operates through local agents, so you’ll need to find an agent near you to apply.

  1. Go to the Auto-Owners Insurance Company’s site.
  2. On the main navigation bar, click Find an Agent.
  3. In the Find an Agent box, type in your address or ZIP code and press Enter.
  4. Choose an agent from the list.
  5. Contact the agent via phone or email to express your interest in getting a quote or applying for a policy.

What info do I need to apply?

When your local agent gets in touch, you need a few documents and details on hand to complete your application.

  • Your driver’s license number
  • Details on your driving history, including violations, accidents and claims
  • The car or cars you want to insure
  • The nominated drivers for each car

What discounts can I get with Auto-Owners?

To stay competitive, Auto-Owners provides a variety of discounts to its policies, including discounts for students and monitoring teen drivers.

  • Multicar. You’ll save on your premium if you insure more than one car with the company.
  • Multipolicy. Auto-Owners stands apart from other companies by offering a deep discount if you combine any its policies, including auto and life, or auto and umbrella.
  • Payment history. Paid your premiums on time for the past 36 months? You’ll be rewarded with a discount.
  • Paid in full. If you pay your annual policy premium in full and on time, you can save money in the long run.
  • Green. Auto-Owners offers a discount to customers who enroll in paperless billing and pay their premiums online.
  • Advance quote. It pays to be proactive — this discount applies to new applicants who request a quote before the effective date of the policy.
  • Safety feature. Is your car equipped with anti-lock brake systems, airbags or anti-theft devices? You might qualify for a discount.
  • Favorable loss history. If you have a clean claims history, Auto-Owners may reduce your premium.
  • Good student. Maintain a B or better grade-point average, and score a discount of up to 20%.
  • Student away at school. Students who attend a school more than 100 miles away from home and don’t have a car of their own are eligible for this discount.
  • Teen driver monitoring. Does your teen drive your car? If you install a GPS monitor, Auto-Owners might lower your premium.

What add-ons and benefits does Auto-Owners offer?

Auto-Owners offers a suite of add-ons to boost your car insurance protection, including recouping your car’s lost value after an accident. Its add-ons and perks include:

  • Additional expense. Stranded after an accident? This coverage kicks in to help pay for a rental car, as well as food, lodging and other incidental expenses.
  • Collision coverage advantage. The company will waive your collision deductible if you’re involved in an accident with a vehicle insured with Auto-Owners. And any damage caused by a collision with an animal is covered by either comprehensive or collision coverage — whatever pays you most.
  • Common loss deductible. If your car and home are bundled with Auto-Owners and both get damaged in an accident, the insurer combines the two deductibles into one or waives them altogether.
  • Diminished value. If your car is worth less than after your accident even after repairs, this coverage compensates you for that loss of value.
  • Loan gap and lease gap. Do you lease your car? If you get into an accident, you’re liable for the difference between the current value of your car and the amount you owe on your lease or loan. Auto-Owners’ gap coverage pays that balance.
  • Personal automobile plus package. Unique to Auto-Owners, this option adds 10 perks to pay for expenses from identity theft, lost or damaged cell phones, lock rekeying, legal expenses, damaged or stolen audio and video equipment.
  • Rental cars. When driving a rental car, you’re covered for the broadest coverages and limits on your policy, as well as other fees the rental car company could charge.
  • Roadside service. Access 24/7 towing and roadside assistance when driving in all 50 states plus Canada.

What is TrueRide by Auto-Owners?

TrueRide is Auto-Owners’ smartphone app that rewards safe drivers. You’ll get a discount just for enrolling in this optional program. Once you activate the app on your iPhone or Android, it records your driving behavior in real time, whether the app is open or not.

The technology clocks your mileage and the smoothness of your driving, including harsh acceleration or braking, as well as the time of day and the type of road you’re on — from major highways to local roads. Your score is updated with each drive, and at your first renewal, your agent will use the most recent number to determine your discount, which can range from 0% to 35%.

You can opt out of the program at any time, but you will lose the discount that comes with it.

Auto-Owners car insurance reviews and complaints

Auto-Owners Insurance Company has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2016 and has an A+ BBB rating, as of April 2021. Within the last three years, the BBB has handled 100 complaints, many related to a slow claims process or unresponsive claims representatives. But for such a large company, its complaints are minimal, and you can find negative reviews for nearly all car insurance companies available.

Also, Auto-Owners scored a 0.64 on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index for private passenger vehicles. The industry standard is 1.00, showing that Auto-Owners sees much fewer complaints than average for its size.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 Auto Insurance Study, Auto-Owners took the top spot in the Central US, and it scored above the region’s average in the North Central and Southeast states. The company scored “among the best” for overall customer satisfaction, billing, pricing and policy offerings. Along with these ratings, Auto-Owners tied with USAA in the third spot for highest claim satisfaction, according to J.D. Power’s 2020 Claims Satisfaction Study.

On forums, customers find Auto-Owners local agents helpful, appreciating the familiarity of working with a person and that they don’t need to go through centralized call centers.

Our star ratings for Auto-Owners, explained

Our car insurance experts rate Auto-Owners above average because it provides a solid list of coverage and discounts, including an add-on to regain your car’s lost value after an accident. We also like that Auto-Owners receives the highest A++ financial rating from AM Best, proving its financial soundness to back customers’ claims. Plus, it receives some of the highest customer satisfaction scores compared to other insurers, boosting its Finder rating.

Compare alternatives to Auto-Owners

Name Product Roadside assistance New car protection Accident forgiveness Safe driver discount Available states
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Your dedicated agent can help you find the best savings with multiple discounts and rewards programs.
Progressive
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Discover coverage that’s broader than competitors, valuable discounts up to 30% off and perks like shrinking deductibles that reward no claims.
The AARP Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford
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Yes
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Enjoy low rates for mature drivers, plus perks like new car replacement and lifetime repair guarantees. Only for drivers over age 50.
Root
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Track your driving to receive a low rate that reflects your driving skills, and enjoy a fully app-based policy experience.
Savvy
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Depends on provider
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Get quotes in 30-seconds from 100+ companies, and save an average of $800 or more per year. Requires online login to your existing insurance.
Liberty Mutual
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Earn free accident forgiveness after five years claims-free and customize your policy anytime online at the tap of a button.
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What car insurance coverage does Auto-Owners offer?

Auto-Owners offers a pretty standard suite of coverage, along with extras that can enhance the value of your policy — often at no extra charge.

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability. Takes care of the costs if you injure people or damage their property in an accident. It also contributes to your legal defense if you’re sued as a result.
  • Collision. Covers the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle after a collision, whether you’re at fault or not.
    Comprehensive. Helps to pay for damages to your car caused by things other than collision, such as fire, vandalism, extreme weather, theft and accidents with animals.
  • Medical payments. An optional add-on, this covers the medical, hospitalization and rehabilitation expenses for you and your passengers after an accident. Before saying “yes,” check out your health insurance policy, as it may already have this provision.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP). Legally required in some states, PIP pays for a portion of medical care, lost wages and replacement services in the event of an accident. It doesn’t take into account who’s at fault.
  • Uninsured (UI) and underinsured motorist (UIM). So you’re not slapped with a bill for an accident that’s not your fault, this coverage pays for injuries or damage caused by someone who has little to no insurance.

States where Auto-Owners offers car insurance

This regional insurer only operates in 26 states, meaning that it isn’t ideal for those who live outside these states.

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Pros and cons of Auto-Owners car insurance

Pros

  • Local agents. As a policyholder, your local agent is your first point of contact. That agent manages your case from start to finish, and takes care of quotes, claims and renewals.
  • Satisfactory claims process. Auto-Owners ranks highly for customer satisfaction and speedy claims processing. There are 100 claims offices in 26 states, and local agents handle policyholders’ claims personally.
  • Multipolicy bundling. Auto-Owners goes above and beyond with bundling, offering reduced premiums for unusual pairings, such as auto and life or auto and umbrella.
  • Financially strong. The insurer holds an A++ rating with A.M. Best, the highest financial rating a company can receive to show its ability to pay claims.

Cons

  • Limited reach. Despite being in the business for over a century, the auto insurer only offers policies in 26 states.
  • No online quotes. Policies are sold exclusively through agents, so you can’t get a quote through its site.
  • No online claims. You can’t submit a claim online — though you can monitor it afterwards.

How to make a claim with Auto-Owners

You can file a car insurance claim with Auto-Owners by calling your agent.

  1. Collect the name, address, driver’s license number, insurance info and license plate number of the other driver or drivers involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, ask for their names and addresses, too.
  2. Take photos or videos of all the vehicles involved.
  3. Call your local Auto-Owners agent. If it’s an emergency and you can’t reach your agent after business hours, call the after-hours hotline at 888-252-4626. The service is available on weekdays from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. Eastern standard time, and 24 hours a day on weekends and holidays.
  4. Your representative will ask for details about the accident as well as any evidence, and then they’ll walk you through the claims process.

How to contact Auto-Owners Insurance Company

For help with claims, billing or anything policy-related, Auto-Owners pushes you to get in touch with your local agent. Otherwise, you can contact the customer service team via:

  • Email. Scroll down to the bottom navigation bar on the homepage and click Contact Us. On that page, you can fill in an email form.
  • Phone. Call 517-323-1200, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern standard time.
  • Fax. Send a fax to 217-323-8796.
  • Mail. Send mail to the corporate office: 6101 Anacapri Blvd, Lansing MI, 48917.

For towing and roadside assistance, call 888-869-2642. It’s available 24/7 for covered customers.

Frequently asked questions about Auto-Owners 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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