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Before you hit the road, you need auto insurance. But with so many providers and policies on the market, it can be hard to narrow down to just one.
A leader in the Spanish insurance market, MAPFRE is a global name that’s still building up its brand recognition in the US. It absorbed Commerce Insurance back in 2008, and with a strong financial backing, grew from being a Massachusetts-only insurer to serving 19 states across the country.
Local agents around those states offer customized policies and personalized support.
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Who is MAPFRE best for?
While MAPFRE’s reach in the US is limited to 19 states, it has the financial resources of a massive global company. It also has local agents familiar with the auto insurance laws that apply to each state and conditions that affect drivers. It’s worth looking into MAPFRE if you live in these areas:
What is MAPFRE?
MAPFRE is among the biggest insurance companies in Latin America and Europe, and it’s slowly but surely climbing the ranks in the US. Its history can be traced back to 1972, when Commerce Insurance was founded in Webster, Massachusetts. Over the next few years, the company grew to become the biggest auto insurance provider in the state. In the 1990s through 2010, it signed off on a partnership with AAA, expanded into states across the country and picked up a few subsidiaries along the way.
In 2008, Commerce Insurance was acquired by the Spain-based international insurance giant, MAPFRE. The acquisition brought all the companies under the MAPFRE USA umbrella, discontinuing the Commerce name, though you’ll notice that many reviews use the old branding. Since the changeover, the insurer has added new personal and business lines but still holds the most market share in the New England area.
Today, MAPFRE is in the top 20 largest providers of personal auto insurance in the US. It has a network of over 4,600 local agents in 19 states.
The insurer writes policies under these subsidiaries:
American Commerce Insurance Company
Citation Insurance Company
The Commerce Insurance Company
Commerce West Insurance Company
MAPFRE Insurance Company
MAPFRE Insurance Company of Florida
MAPFRE Insurance Company of New York
What car insurance coverage does MAPFRE offer?
MAPFRE offers a fairly standard suite of coverages.
Bodily injury liability. If you cause an accident, this coverage covers the cost of injuries, damages and potential legal costs. A legal requirement in most states, MAPFRE suggests purchasing enough coverage to protect your assets.
Property damage liability. This compulsory coverage pays for the damage your car causes to someone else’s property as the result of an accident.
Medical payments. In the event of an accident, this helps to pay for any medical and funeral expenses up to the coverage limits you select.
Collision. This covers the cost of damage to your car caused by a collision with another car or object. It’s optional, unless you’ve leased or financed your car.
Comprehensive. Also known as Other Than Collision (OTC) coverage, this pays for damage to your car caused by things out of your control like fire, floods, hail and theft. It’s usually reserved for new, valuable or financed cars.
Substitute transportation. When your car is in the repair shop after an accident, this coverage can pay for a rental car.
Underinsured motorist (UIM). This helps to pay for medical expenses if someone injures you in an accident, but doesn’t have enough liability insurance.
Uninsured motorist (UM). This covers the damages and injuries if you’re injured in an accident caused by a hit-and-run driver or someone who doesn’t have liability insurance.
Towing and labor. When your car can’t be driven, this covers the cost of towing it to a repair shop.
Accident forgiveness. Unlike most insurers, MAPFRE offers accident forgiveness for new and inexperienced drivers and renewing customers. If you opt into this coverage, getting into one at-fault accident won’t increase your premium.
Auto glass repair. When the damage to your car is limited to the windshield or windows, MAPFRE will pay to repair the glass for you. If the glass needs to be replaced, that’ll affect your deductible.
AutoMaster Package Endorsement. Available in some states, this add-on includes coverage for cell phones, laptops, personal belongings and loss of earnings as a result of an accident.
As an agent-driven insurance company, MAPFRE’s rates tend to be a little higher than its competitors. That being said, its discount program helps offset the costs of paying for those commissions. If you’re a safe driver, loyal customer or AAA member, you can likely lower your premium. And while New England is notorious for its expensive car insurance, MAPFRE maintains a solid presence in the area thanks to its reasonable rates.
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What discounts can I get with MAPFRE?
With MAPFRE, there are a few ways to cut the cost of your premium and squeeze more value out of your policy with these discounts:
AAA. MAPFRE has a longstanding association with AAA, and members of the auto club score a discount of up to 10%.
Bundling. If you purchase auto and home insurance, you’ll earn a discount. Add umbrella insurance to slash your premium even further.
Paid-in-full. Pay your premium up front, and you’ll be eligible for a discount.
Student away from home. If your kid is at school more than 100 miles away, and is listed as a driver of a car on your insurance, you may earn a discount.
Low mileage. Don’t drive that much? Since you’re less of a risk, MAPFRE may offer you a discount.
Multicar. The more cars you insure with the company, the lower your premium.
Antitheft device. Is your car equipped with safety features? You can expect a discount.
Shop Smart. For new policyholders who’ve made the switch to MAPFRE, this discount applies if you’ve had no lapse in coverage within the last three years.
Good student. Maintaining a B average? On the Honor Roll? The insurer will reward that with a discount.
Smart Driver. If you participate in MAPFRE’s teenSMART or InControl Crash Prevention training programs, the provider will cut down your premium by 10% to 15%.
Green discount. Go green and enroll in paperless billing for a discount. This can’t be used in conjunction with the paid-in-full discount.
Clean in three. Do you have a clean driving record free of accidents and traffic violations for the past three years? You might earn a discount.
Does MAPFRE offer special programs?
Yes, if you choose auto insurance with MAPFRE, you can enjoy any one of these special programs:
Disappearing deductible. Safe drivers are awarded $50 in credits for each continuous year of clean driving. In the fifth year, you will get a $100 credit. The maximum credits you can earn is $300.
teenSMART. Aimed at young drivers, this program combines computer-based training with in-car exercises that teach teens about safe driving habits. When your teen completes the program, MAPFRE will apply a discount of up to 15% to your policy, and keep it there until they reach the age of 21. In other words, the earlier your teen does the course, the more you’ll save in the long run.
Car EZ. Accidents are stressful, and MAPFRE tries to make the repairs process as seamless as possible. For Car EZ, the provider has partnered with repair shops around the country. After an accident, your local shop will contact you within 24 hours, arrange to pick up your car, organize a rental car if necessary, repair and clean your car before delivering it back to you.
What’s not covered by MAPFRE?
The limitations vary from state to state, but in general MAPFRE tries to offset the costs of agent-driven insurance by steering clear of classic, collector, exotic and super luxe cars. To find out if your set of wheels falls into that category, call your local agent or compare high-performance car insurance providers.
Are there any coverage maximums?
It varies from state to state. In California, the coverage maximums are as follows:
Bodily injury liability — up to $500,000 per person, per accident
Property damage liability — up to $100,000 per accident
Medical payments — up to $50,000 per accident
Uninsured motorist injury — up to $500,000 per accident
Pros and cons of MAPFRE car insurance
24/7 claims processing. File a claim online or over the phone at any time.
Local agents. The company has more than 4,600 agents across the US to offer specialized knowledge and attention.
Manage your policy online. Access your policy, pay bills, make and monitor a claim on the portal.
Sophisticated app. Use the GO MAPFRE app to make payments, file claims and upload accident photos and witness statements.
Safe driving programs. Those who sign on to do the teenSMART or InControl Crash Prevention programs are rewarded with discounts.
Financially strong. An international insurance giant, MAPFRE has an A rating from A.M. Best. This means it has the funds to pay out claims.
Limited reach. Policies are limited to 19 states.
Expensive base rates. MAPFRE’s agent-based policies are on the higher side. However, the insurer has a good discount program.
No centralized claims line. The company doesn’t have a dedicated claims line; instead, policyholders need to call the customer service number for their state.
No live chat function. Customers can’t get real-time help online.
What do customers say about MAPFRE?
MAPFRE has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2016 and holds an A+ rating. The BBB has closed 56 complaints within the last three years, most related to issues with billing, collection and claims.
In J.D. Power’s 2017 Auto Insurance Study, MAPFRE was ranked 14 of 16 insurers surveyed in the New England region for overall customer satisfaction. The region’s average is 811 on a 1000-point scale, and MAPFRE earned 789 points. It scored two out of five stars for overall customer satisfaction — the lowest the system allows — though it did get three out of five stars for its claims and repairs processes.
The same sentiments are echoed in online forums. Customers praise the repairs process and appreciate speaking to a local agent, but complain about poor customer service.
How to apply
If you live in Arizona, California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Washington, you can get a quote online.
Go to MAPFRE’s website.
On the homepage, click Get a Quote.
Select your state from the dropdown and click Start Quote.
Enter your personal information, and answer the questions about your driving history, cars and who will be driving them.
Review and adjust your coverage options.
For all other states, you’ll need to hop on the phone or contact a local agent to get a quote.
What info do I need to apply?
You’ll need your driver’s license number plus details on your driving history, the car you’re insuring and the people who will be driving it.
How do I find an MAPFRE agent near me?
Head to the website and click Find an Agent in the red box on the homepage.
Enter your city and state, and a list of local agents and their contact details will appear.
Pick an agent to contact. All of them will know the ins and outs of your state, but if you prefer in-person contact, choose one that’s close to you.
How to make a claim
You can file a claim online, on the app or over the phone 24/7. The quickest way to submit a claim is online. The company doesn’t have a dedicated claims department line, so if you want to call, your best bet is your local agent.
Make an online claim
On the homepage, click Report a Claim.
Select Auto Claim.
Select MAPFRE Policyholder/Behalf of Policyholder.
Enter your policy number, ZIP code, license plate number, last name and incident date. Click Next.
Enter your driver’s license number and details about the accident or incident as well as any damage caused.
Submit photos and other supporting documents.
You’ll then be assigned a claim representative and an appraiser to inspect your vehicle. If the damage is minor and impacts two parts or panels of your car, like two doors or a door and a window, you can use MAPFRE’s ePICS system to send photos via email within 48 hours. This eliminates the need to drive to an appraisal facility or wait for an agent to come to the scene.
If the damage is more extensive, the claims department will send an appraiser to the site to inspect your vehicle, answer questions and offer advice. And if you’re in Massachusetts and can still drive your car, you can head to one of the drive-in appraisal centers. To find a location, go to the MAPFRE website, hover over Insurance and then click Auto Insurance. Select Drive-in Appraisal-locator and enter your city to find a center near you.
How to contact MAPFRE
While you can get in touch with MAPFRE by phone or mail, it’s much easier to contact your local agent. The contact details are on your policy documents, or you can use the search function on the website.
There are a bunch of numbers listed on the Contact page. Scroll down to your state, and if you’re a new customer, dial any of the phone numbers that appear. There are two to four numbers listed for each state, including numbers for MAPFRE’s subsidiaries.If you’re an existing policyholder, look at your policy documents to find out the underwriter for your policy, then call that number.
Send mail to your local agent’s office or MAPFRE’s headquarters. The address is:
211 Main Street
Webster, Massachusetts 01570
Does MAPFRE offer other types of insurance?
Property and home insurance — including homeowners, renters and condo
Business insurance – including commercial auto, liability and fire policies
Watercraft, boat and yacht insurance
Recreational vehicle insurance – including ATVs, snowmobiles and horse trailers
What are some alternatives to MAPFRE?
For regional coverage, check out Arbella for New England and NJM for New Jersey.
To lower your premium, you could also explore budget-friendly providers like Progressive and Esurance.
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As one of the top 20 largest auto insurers in the country, MAPFRE combines the financial strength of an international insurer with the personalized service of a company that’s run by a network of local agents.
While there’s room for improvement in the customer service and billing departments, MAPFRE is worth looking into if you live in the 19 states it services.
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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