Armed Forces Insurance Exchange Review: Complaint Statistics & Financial Strength Rating

Armed Forces Insurance Exchange (AFIE), founded in 1887, is an insurance company selling auto, home, renters, & condo insurance to active and retired military members, including National Guard & Reserve members, active & retired Department of Defense civilian employees, their spouses and children, and honorably discharged veterans. If you have had an Armed Forces Insurance Exchange insurance policy in the past, you, your spouse or ex-spouse, and your children can always be considered for a new policy.

AFIE also acts as an independent insurance agency, under Armed Forces Insurance Agency, to sell the products of other insurance companies, so if you don’t qualify for AFIE due to your driving record or other reasons, the company may be able to offer you coverage through another insurance company. For auto insurance, Armed Forces Insurance Exchange can quote you multiple companies. If you meet the AFIE eligibility requirements of having a relationship with the US military, you should contact them to see if they have the coverage you need at the best price. You really can save $100s on your insurance, but the only way to find the lower priced companies, is to shop with as many companies as you can. Often, you can find a good deal for insurance offered through special relationships, like an association with the military.

This blog post will tell you how you can get insurance price quotes from Armed Forces Insurance Exchange, the type of insurance it sells, its recent AM Best financial strength ratings, and most importantly, its auto & home insurance complaint statistics & ratings for the last three years, so you have some objective measure of their customer service. I’ll also recommend a few other companies, with special rates for military members & their families, to help you shop for the best price, coverage, and service.

Armed Forces Insurance Exchange Auto & Home Insurance Review

This Armed Forces Insurance Exchange review is divided into seven parts, consisting of: 1. an overview of the company, the Armed Forces Insurance Exchange website, and the best way to get auto or home insurance price quotes, 2. The AM Best Financial Strength ratings for Armed Forces Insurance Exchange, 3. the auto & homeowners insurance customer complaint ratings for Armed Forces Insurance Exchange over the last four years, and 4. Armed Forces Insurance Exchange auto & home insurance compared to major competitors.

1. About Armed Forces Insurance Exchange, its Website, and how to get a price quote for your auto or home insurance

Armed Forces Insurance Exchange is organized as an insurance exchange. As an insurance exchange, there are no investors, such as stockholders or private owners, making a profit off the policyholders. From the AFIE website, the company is “in effect, owned by the policyholders we serve.” AFIE is not unique as an insurance exchange, and the choice of AFIE to operate as an insurance exchange is not a reason to buy its insurance. Armed Forces Insurance Exchange has a very small share of the US auto & home insurance market, with home insurance being its most popular product. AFIE has about 10 times as much in annual premium for home insurance as it does for auto insurance. This might be an indication AFIE auto insurance is not competitively priced, but since AFIE acts as an independent insurance agency, they can quote you multiple insurance companies, so anyone meeting their membership eligibility should contact them for a price quote. Armed Forces Insurance Exchange offers coverage for other personal types of insurance, such as motorhomes, motorcycles, & mobile homes, as well as insurance for businesses, through its relationship with other insurance companies. AFIE does not have local insurance agents, but you can request a quote through their website, or by calling the company, which is located in Leavenworth, Kansas, and is open Monday through Friday, 7:30 am to 6:30 am, Central Time. Armed Forces Insurance Exchange (AFIE) has 24 hour claims reporting service, and can be reached at 1-800-255-017. You can find out more information by visiting the Armed Forces Insurance Exchange website, but be sure to check the financial strength rating & complaint statistics I list below, and read the rest of my review, before you buy.

2. Armed Forces Insurance Exchange AM Best Financial Strength Rating

AM Best is the most popular insurance company rating agency among companies and the insurance-buying public. AM Best recently announced it affirmed the AFIE Financial Strength Rating of “B++ (Good)”, but changed the company’s outlook to negative, meaning there may be a ratings down grade in the future. AM Best did downgrade the issuer credit rating for AFIE, to “bbb” from “bbb+.” The negative outlook is based on recent poor underwriting performance (how much of each dollar earned in premium is paid in claims), elevated expenses, a decline in surplus, and the concentration of coastal properties the company insures, as cited in this article about the AFIE AM Best Ratings. Armed Forces Insurance Exchange had its “B++” (Good) AM Best Financial Strength Rating, but with an upgraded financial outlook to stable, reaffirmed on 06/02/2015.

I prefer not to insure with any auto or home insurance company with less than an “A-” rating from AM Best, but if Armed Forces Insurance Exchange has a great rate for you, or better coverage options than its competitors, it may be a good choice for you. Remember, AFIE can offer you insurance quotes from other companies, and these other companies may have higher AM Best ratings. If you want to find out more about what AM Best Financial Strength Ratings mean, read my blog post about AM Best ratings.

Armed Forces Insurance Exchange (AFIE) Complaint Statistics & Ratings

The complaint ratios I show below display the ratio of the company’s U.S. Market Share of closed complaints compared to the company’s U.S. Market Share of premiums for a specific policy type. Complaint ratios lower than “1” have less complaints than average, and complaint ratios over “1” have more complaints than average. The lower the complaint ratio, the less complaints against the company. The higher the complaint ratio, the more complaints against the company. The complaint ratios were obtained from the NAIC Consumer Information Source.

The complaint ratios are number scores, and may not be simple and easy for people to interpret. I devised a grade system, giving grades to auto & home insurance companies based on the complaint ratios, to make it as easy as possible to find the best auto & home insurance companies and avoid the worst insurance companies.

B = Better than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios less than 75% of the average insurance company.

C = Average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios from 75% to 125% of the average insurance company.

W = Worse than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios more than 125% of the average insurance company.


3. Armed Forces Insurance Exchange (AFIE) Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than average C = Average W = Worse than average

2014 Homeowners Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.73)

2014 US home insurance premium = $62,609,648

2013 Homeowners Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.53)

2013 US home insurance premium = $61,008,518

2012 Homeowners Insurance Complaint Ratio = C (.95)

2012 US home insurance premium = $59,417,247

2011 Homeowners Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.41)

2011 US home insurance premium = $58,645,999

2010 Homeowners Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.62)

Like with most home & auto insurance companies, most of the complaints came from claims delays or unsatisfactory claim settlements, but overall, AFIE performed better than the industry average each year from 2010 to 2014.


Armed Forces Insurance Exchange (AFIE) Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than average C = Average W = Worse than average

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = No auto insurance policies in force

2014 US auto insurance premium = $0

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No Complaints)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $57,950

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (7.01)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $2,563,389

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.83)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $6,017,257

2010 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (9.40)

Looking at these auto insurance complaint statistics, it seems AFIE has a terrible complaint record in most years. But AFIE has such a small auto insurance market share, a small number of complaints give it a poor complaint ratio. For example, in 2012 & 2011, AFIE had 2 auto insurance complaints each year. If you get an AFIE auto insurance quote and find other things to like about the company, don’t weigh these auto insurance complaint ratings too heavily. However, updating this article for 2015, the auto insurance market share dropped to having no auto insurance policies in force, so Armed Forces Insurance Exchange may no longer be selling auto insurance, and cancelled existing auto insurance policies as they expire, rather than offering a renewal. From the company website, it seems Armed Forces Insurance Exchange now acts as agent, representing other insurance companies, when selling auto insurance.

4. Alternatives to Armed Forces Insurance Exchange

As I stated at the top of this article, if you are associated with the US military, you should consider AFIE. But there are other companies you also need to consider, to see if they can give you better coverage, value or price. United Services Auto Association has similar eligibility requirements to AFIE, but is a much larger company, with an “A++” Financial Strength Rating with AM Best, and a great reputation for service. You can find out more about this company on my website’s USAA insurance review page. GEICO also has special rates for US Military members, and you can see its complaint ratings and other information on my GEICO insurance review page.

Many people pay too much for their insurance because they never shop for better rates, or if they do shop, they don’t check the rates of enough companies. For a lot of people, the best insurance company is the one with the lowest rates. The ad below will take you to links to get online quotes from leading Home, Auto, Health, & Life insurance companies in your area. Choose the type of insurance, put in your zip, and start shopping now!

Have you heard of Armed Forces Insurance Exchange? Tell me about it. Comment on my facebook page. If you have questions and would like my help, you can reach me at help@smartshopyourcarinsurance.com. Follow me on Twitter for important insurance consumer news & new blog entries at CarInsWatch.