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Pemco car insurance review

Oregon and Washington drivers can score big on discounts, wide protection and excellent service.

finder.com’s rating: 5.0 / 5.0

★★★★★

  • Get a quote if you want wellrounded coverage and excellent customer service.
  • Pick something else if you can’t get the rate you’re looking for.
  • Only drivers in two states can buy a policy with Pemco.

Included free

Roadside assistance

New car protection

Accident forgiveness

Details

States served Oregon, Washington
Roadside assistance Included free
Accident forgiveness Yes
New car protection No
Pay schedule 6 months
Claims methods online
Rideshare coverage Yes
SR-22 support

Pros

  • Wide range of discounts available.
  • Award-winning customer service.
  • Convenient mobile app.

Cons

  • Limited availability based on location.
  • Customer complaints of increased rates.
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 Yes
Usage-based discount No
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Review by


Gabrielle Pastorek is the shopping and travel publisher at Finder, helping readers to round up the best deals, coupons, retailers, products and services to make sound financial decisions. She's contributed more than 800 articles to the site and is a quoted expert in Best Company and DealNews. She earned an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh, with essays and short stories published in The Collagist, Blue Monday Review, Blotterature and others. When she’s not writing, Gabrielle can be found out in the barn with her horse, Lucy.

Expert review

Pemco is a worthy contender for responsible Washington and Oregon drivers to consider for car insurance, especially for those who qualify for multiple discounts.

We also can’t miss talking about Pemco’s top-tier customer service, one of Pemco’s strongest draws. The insurer garners high ratings from the BBB and J.D. Power and sees little in the way of customer complaints, all of which show that customers are satisfied with Pemco’s service.

Yet some customers end up paying more with this local insurance company than they would through a nationwide company.

Add Pemco to your list of insurers to compare if you do live in the Northwest, especially if you’re looking for wide protection along with excellent customer service. But consider several car insurance companies to make sure you’re balancing coverage with the perks and prices that you need.

How to get a free quote with Pemco car insurance

Applying for Pemco car insurance online is a streamlined process. But if you’d like, you can find an agent nearby by entering your location in the agent locator tool and contacting an agent from the listing.

  1. Go to Pemco’s site and enter your ZIP code in the green Get a Quote box. Click Get Your Quote.
  2. Enter your personal information, including your name, address, birth date and policy start date.
  3. Answer some questions about where you live, your gender, your education and your accident history to see if you could qualify for discounts. Click the button that says Add Driver at the bottom of this page if you would like more than one driver on your policy.
  4. Enter your car’s VIN number, or look it up by its make, model and body style.
  5. On the final page, you should see an insurance quote in a green box on the right side of your screen. If more information is needed to generate your quote, you may see a message asking you to fill out an online contact form so an agent can give you a call.
  6. If you have any questions during this process, you can click the orange Chat button at the bottom of the screen to speak with an agent.

What info do I need to apply?

You’ll need this information handy when you apply:

  • Your basic personal information, such as your name and address
  • Your car’s VIN or the make, model and package of the car you’d like to insure
  • Information for any drivers you’d like to add to your policy
  • Social Security number — Entering this is optional during the quote process, but may be required if Pemco can’t verify your credit information using your name and address.

What discounts can I get with Pemco?

You won’t see a shortage of discount opportunities with Pemco, even though it’s a local insurance company.

  • Accident forgiveness. Pemco’s accident forgiveness program applies to all drivers on your policy. It’ll go into effect if you’ve been a Pemco auto insurance customer for five or more years without an accident.
  • Advance purchase. Get a discount when you buy a Pemco insurance policy at least seven days before it’ll go into effect.
  • Alumni. If you have a degree from the University of Washington and still live in either Washington state or Oregon, you qualify for some savings.
  • Auto and home bundle. Bundle your car and homeowners or renters insurance together to save on redboth.
  • Defensive driver. Drivers who are 55 or older can complete a defensive driving course to save on their policy.
  • Distant student. You can save if you have a student who goes to school more than 75 miles away from home and doesn’t have a car at school.
  • Educator. Get a discount if you work for a public or private school, community college or university. You can even keep the same discount when you retire.
  • Good student. Get a GPA of 3.0 or higher and earn a discount on your car insurance policy.
  • Low mileage. If you drive your car less than 8,000 miles per year, you can snap up a discount.
  • Loyal auto customer. Pemco rewards loyal auto insurance policyholders with discounts starting at their one-year anniversary.
  • Minor ticket forgiveness. No tickets for your first five years with Pemco? Your rates won’t go up after your first one, thanks to the company’s minor ticket forgiveness program.
  • New vehicle. You’ll qualify for this discount if your car is less than five model years old when your policy starts.
  • Paid in full. Save even more when you pay your bill in one annual payment or two six-month payments.
  • Safety feature. Is your vehicle equipped with airbags and a car alarm? Pemco will give you a discount.

What add-ons and benefits does Pemco offer?

You can get many add-ons with Pemco that you’d find with larger brands in the market, making Pemco a solid choice for coverage.

  • Towing and labor. Pemco’s version of roadside assistance, which comes in handy if you break down and need work right on the spot or if you need to be towed to a shop.
  • Rental reimbursement. You’ll be reimbursed for the cost of a rental car while yours is being repaired. You can bundle this with collision and comprehensive coverage to save.
  • Auto loan. Also called gap insurance, if your car is less than three years old and is totaled, auto loan coverage will pay off your car loan, provided the amount left on your loan is more than what the car is worth.
  • Accidental death. If any covered person is killed in a car wreck, $10,000 will be paid to his or her spouse or estate.
  • Rideshare. Coverage extends your auto insurance coverage while driving for Lyft, Uber or other rideshare services.
  • Pet. Pays up to $1,000 for your dog or cat if injured or killed in a covered collision.

A few additional coverage options are available to Washington residents only.

  • Replacing or recoding key. Lost your key, or need your electronic keypad recoded? This insurance coverage pays up to $500 toward these costs.
  • Camper, canopy and tonneau cover. Pays up to $500 to cover these items, with the option to purchase additional protection.
  • Custom parts and equipment. Pays up to $500 for custom parts and equipment, with the option to buy more coverage.
  • Rental car reimbursement. If your rental car is damaged in an accident, this coverage pays for the costs of repairs, plus any administrative fees, diminished value or other expenses.

        Pemco car insurance reviews and complaints

        Pemco is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), yet it earns an A+ BBB rating as of 2021. The company has closed only six complaints in the last three years, though a handful of customer reviews have left Pemco with an overall 2 out of 5 stars.

        Of the customer reviews left, loyal customers are upset with steeply increased insurance rates, despite having been with the company for several years. Other customers had trouble getting in touch with a claims rep, drawing out the claims process and causing frustration.

        To put these BBB ratings and reviews in perspective, Pemco earns a 0.46 rating for private auto insurance on the National Association for Insurance Commissioners complaint index. Since the national standard is 1.00, Pemco’s rating means that it sees far fewer complaints than normal for the industry.

        Pemco also ranks No. 2 out of 12 insurance companies in the J.D. Power’s 2020 Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study. It scores an above-average 827 out of 1,000 points for the Northwest region of the US.

        Our star ratings for Pemco, explained

        Finder’s car insurance experts rate Pemco well above average because it offers a suite of coverage options that you can’t always find with local car insurance companies. We also like Pemco’s high BBB and J.D. Power ratings, along with its few customer complaints. These ratings paint a picture that customers are happy when working with this company.

        However, Pemco’s B++ AM Best financial rating isn’t as high as most insurance companies on the market — so it could stand to improve its financial stability.

        Compare alternatives to Pemco

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        What car insurance coverage does Pemco offer?

        Pemco may be a small company compared to its nationwide competitors. But it keeps an extensive list of car insurance policy options, starting with the basics.

        • Collision. If your car is damaged in a crash or rollover, collision coverage pays for the cost of repairs, regardless of who’s at fault. If you have a car loan, your bank will most likely require this coverage.
        • Comprehensive. Covers costs from anything other than collision damage, such as theft, fire or vandalism.
        • Liability bodily injury damage. If you are legally liable for causing bodily injury to someone else, this coverage will take care of the costs, as well as any defense costs if you go to court.
        • Liability property damage. Covers the costs of the other person’s car and belongings if damaged in an accident. It also covers the defense costs if you have to go to court.
        • Personal injury protection. Pays for medical expenses and lost wages for you or family members who are injured or killed in an automobile accident.
        • Uninsured/underinsured motorist. Covers you if your car is damaged in an accident caused by someone else with no insurance or insufficient insurance.

        What is the Timesaver Repairs Program?

        Pemco’s Timesaver Repairs Program expedites the repair process after an accident. If you visit one of these qualified repair shops, you can bypass getting a Pemco adjuster to review your vehicle damage. Instead, you work directly with the repair shop, which prepares your damage estimate.

        What to expect when you’re using this repair network:

        1. Take your damaged vehicle to one of Pemco’s Timesaver Repair Shops that are prescreened for quality and customer service.
        2. Get your estimate and wait for repairs to be complete. No haggling or dealing with an insurance adjuster.
        3. Once your car is fixed, pick it up and you’re done.
        4. After you pay your deductible, the shop will send Pemco the final bill.

        Pros and cons of Pemco car insurance

        Pemco’s wellrounded coverage and top-rated customer service give huge credibility to this local insurer. But it could improve its financial strength.

        Pros

        Pemco gets major points for offering these benefits as a local company.

        • A suite of coverage and discounts. Whether you’re a teacher, UW alumni, have a new car or do great in school, you’ll most likely find an opportunity to save on your car insurance policy.
        • Ticket and accident forgiveness. After five years of insuring with Pemco, your first accident or ticket won’t increase your rates — a perk that’s not always available with local companies.
        • Highly rated customer service. Pemco has been named the highest in customer satisfaction among auto insurers in the Northwest region for five years in a row by J.D. Power.
        • Easy-to-use app. Download the Go Pemco app to get instant access to your policy, download proof of insurance and make insurance claims 24/7.

        Cons

        The company leaves room to improve one major part of its business, and you can’t qualify for a policy in many states.

        • Limited availability. Pemco auto insurance is only available to residents of Washington and Oregon.
        • Financial ratings aren’t the highest. While Pemco scores a B++ (Good) rating for financial strength, the company has room for improvement compared to other companies in the industry.

        How to make a claim with Pemco

        Pemco makes filing a car insurance claim as simple as possible. You can do so through its mobile app, online or by calling 800-467-3626. You can file an insurance claim 24/7 everyday, so there’s no need to wait until Monday or after a holiday if your accident happens on a weekend or on, say Christmas.

        After getting in contact with your agent and Pemco’s claims office, claims can take around 10 business days to process.

        To make a claim online:

        1. Go to Pemco’s website and click Claims in the top navigation bar.
        2. Click the green Report a Claim button.
        3. Sign into your Pemco account.
        4. Enter the required information regarding your claim.
        5. Submit your claim.
        6. Wait for a claims representative to contact you to walk you through the process.

        What info do I need to make a claim?

        No matter how you choose to file a claim, you’ll likely need to provide the following information.

        • Your policy number
        • Date, time and location of the accident or incident.
        • The names, addresses and telephone numbers of registered owners, injured people, occupants of other cars and witnesses.
        • Description and license numbers of the other cars involved.
        • Photos taken after the accident or incident.
        • Police report number, if applicable.

        How to contact Pemco

        There are a few different ways you can reach Pemco customer support:

        • By phone. Call 800-467-3626 on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT and on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. Dial 711 or 800-833-6384 for Washington relay for the hearing impaired services.
        • By email. Go to Pemco’s site and click Contact Us at the bottom of the page. Click Secure Online Form to email customer service.
        • By fax. You can send a fax to customer support at 206-268-2735 or the claims department at 206-268-2715.
        • With the Go Pemco mobile app. Contact customer service from your mobile device by logging in to the app.
        • By mail. Send snail mail to:

        PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company
        PO Box 778
        Seattle, WA 98111-0778

        Frequently asked questions about Pemco

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