American Family vs. Direct Auto: Which provider is better?

American Family vs. Direct Auto: Which provider is right for you?

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American Family vs. Direct Auto

American Family and Direct Auto are both smaller companies in the insurance world. Direct Auto only serves 13 states in the US, and American Family offers coverage in only 19 states, although it is the 10th-largest insurance provider in the US.

Unfortunately, most of the similarities end there. American Insurance gets high marks in customer satisfaction, earning a 4 out of 5 rating from J.D. Power and a B+ from the Better Business Bureau. While Direct Auto gets consistently poor reviews from its customers and earns an F from the BBB.

However, Direct Auto is known for providing insurance for high-risk drivers. If you fall into this category, Direct Auto might be worth considering despite its reputation for poor customer service.

Here are the rest of the details you need to choose the right insurance provider for you.

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American Family

American Family

Direct Auto

Direct Auto

About the provider For 90 years, American Family has worked hard to give quality rates and services. In addition to auto insurance, it offers home, life, business, and farm and ranch insurance with a strong commitment to protect its customers. Founded in 1991, Direct Auto Insurance offers low-cost insurance policies to “nonstandard” drivers — also known as high-risk drivers — who might have a hard time finding coverage elsewhere. But beware, the company gets very poor reviews and only services 13 states.
Price Policy costs depend your personal situation. Visit American Family for a quote based on your specific needs. Policy costs depend your personal situation. Visit Direct Auto for a quote based on your specific needs.
States served 19 13
User satisfaction* B+ F
J.D. Power ratings** 4/5 on overall claims satisfaction N/A
Driver discounts View driver discounts View driver discounts
Vehicle discounts View vehicle discounts View vehicle discounts

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* Based on Better Business Bureau’s company rating
** Based on the 2016 U.S Auto Claims Satisfaction Study


Driver discounts

American Family

American Family

Direct Auto

Direct Auto

Good student Varies. Teen Safe Driver Discount + Generational Discount (18-24 with a parent who is an American Family customer) Up to 10% (unmarried, full-time student, B average or better)
Defensive driver 5-10% (55+, completed defensive driving course)
Good driver Up to 10% (violation and accident-free for 36 months)
Pay in full discount
Multicar Up to 25%
Military Up to 25% (active service member)
Homeowner Up to 15%
Other discounts Loyalty discount Early-bird discount

Steer into Savings discount

Low mileage discount – Drive less than 7,500 miles per year

Teen Safe Driver discount – Enroll teen in free program

Young volunteer discount
– Under 25, 40+ hours per year volunteering for non-profit

Generational discount – 18-24 with a parent who is an American Family customer

KnowYourDrive discount – Up to 40% on your car insurance (based on evaluation during KnowYourDrive periods)

Senior citizen – Up to 5% (55+, completed a motor vehicle prevention course)

Prior coverage discount – Up to 25% (at another insurance company for 6 months, no more than 90 day lapse between coverage)

Renewal discount – Up to 20% (no policy lapse in prior 12 months, renew 7-10 days prior to expiration)

Welcome back discount – Up to 6%


Vehicle discounts

American Family

American Family

Direct Auto

Direct Auto

Anti-theft device N/A
Anti-lock brake N/A
Passive restraints N/A
Air bag N/A
Other discounts Auto safety equipment – 10-30%

Bottom line

American Family has a solid reputation and offers discounts in effort to make car insurance more affordable. But if you don’t qualify for insurance through American Family because of a less than perfect driving record, Direct Auto might be worth considering.

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