Arbella Auto & Home Insurance Review

Arbella Insurance Group is a major insurer of automobiles & homes in the states of Massachusetts & Connecticut. This review will discuss this company and how it sells its insurance, analyze the JD Power & AM Best ratings for the companies comprising Arbella Insurance Group, provide you with the most recent three-year home & auto insurance customer complaint record for the Arbella companies, in comparison with major competitors like Allstate, State Farm, GEICO, & Progressive, to give you the information to help you decide if Arbella Insurance might be a good choice to insure your car or home.

The smart insurance buyer shops for the best combination of coverage, price, and service, so be sure to use the ad below this paragraph (or the ad at the end of this review) to get price quotes from multiple insurance companies and find the best insurance company for you.

Arbella Auto & Homeowners Insurance Review

Arbella Insurance Group started in 1988, and was founded in Quincy, Massachusetts, by a special act of the Massachusetts legislature, to assume the customers of the Kemper Corporation, an insurance company seeking to leave the Massachusetts auto insurance market. As of 2012, Arbella was the 4th largest insurer of autos in Massachusetts (8.78% of the MA auto insurance market), one of the 25 largest insurers of homes in Massachusetts. In 2013, Arbella was the 20th largest insurer of cars in Connecticut.

What type of insurance does Arbella Insurance sell? How do you get price quotes?

Arbella Insurance underwrites & sells automobile & home insurance in CT & MA, & business insurance in CT, MA, NH & RI, through independent insurance agencies appointed to represent Arbella, located in communities throughout the states where these products are available. Arbella is available only through those independent insurance agents allowed to represent the company, and for auto & home insurance, only in the states of Massachusetts & Connecticut. You can find the agencies working with Arabella nearest you, at this link from the Arbella Insurance website, to request an Arbella auto insurance price quote. Arbella offers homeowners, condominium, renters, and rental property insurance, and here you can locate an agent authorized to sell Arbella home insurance. Arbella has a special program for car owners renting their primary residence, called Carpartment Insurance. However, “Carpartment” is more a marketing term to sell auto & tenant’s insurance together, which may be no better or lower-priced than buying auto & tenant’s insurance together from other companies. The Arbella website advertises renters insurance for as little as $3 a week, which is about the same price as any other company’s renters insurance.

It’s not indicated on its website, but it seems to me, Arbella, like many auto & home insurance companies, chooses to insure lower risk applicants, so if you have prior claims, a poor driving record, or other factors, you may not qualify for Arbella auto or home insurance. Don’t worry! The independent insurance agencies representing Arbella represent other companies, and should be able to help you with one of the companies they represent. However, do not make the mistake of letting one agent mislead you into thinking they can shop the market for you. You may be able to get the best price for the coverage you need by contacting companies direct, like Progressive or GEICO, and getting price quotes from other agents representing companies the agent does not represent.

AM Best Financial Strength Rating for the Arbella Insurance Group Companies

The Arbella Insurance Group companies, Arbella Indemnity Insurance Company, Arbella Mutual Insurance Company, Arbella Protection Insurance Company, Commonwealth Reinsurance Company, and Covenant Insurance Company, had their “A-” (Excellent) AM Best Financial Strength Rating with a stable outlook (no ratings upgrade or downgrade is expected in the near future) reaffirmed on 09/25/2015. The AM Best rating of “A-“ is the fourth highest rating for AM Best. The AM Best financial strength ratings for the Arbella Insurance Group companies are not a measure of customer service or the quality of claims adjusting, but a measure of these companies’ ability to pay claims, remain solvent, and stay in business. I recommend avoiding, if possible or practical, any auto or home insurance company with lower than an “A-” rating for financial strength from AM Best.

Source: Arbella Insurance Group companies’ AM Best ratings

JD Power US Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study Ratings for Arbella Insurance

The 2015 JD Power US Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study was based on responses from 46,256 auto insurance customers. The survey data was collected in March and April 2015.

The annual JD Power Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study is a compilation of many regional or single state studies. Arbella is included in the New England (Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine) study only, which makes sense, since Arbella sells auto insurance only in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Here are the actual scores & their relation to the study average for Arbella insurance in the JD Power auto insurance customer satisfaction studies (2012-2015) where it was rated:

New England Study

2015: Arbella scored 26 points (on a 1,000 point scale) or 2.6% below the 2015 New England region average, at 775 out of 1,000 points. Arbella was the second lowest scoring company in the 2015 New England Study, beating MAPFRE-Commerce by only one point or .1%.

Here is how Arbella rated in the New England Region for the five factors used to determine its overall auto insurance customer satisfaction score in 2015:

Policy Offerings: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

Price: Three Power Circles (about average)

Billing & Payment: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

Interaction: Three Power Circles (about average)

Claims: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

Overall Customer Satisfaction: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

These companies scored 1.1% or more higher than Arbella in the 2015 New England Region study (from highest scoring company to lowest scoring company): USAA, Amica, State Farm, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, GEICO, Progressive, Hartford, Metlife, Safety, Travelers, and Safeco.

These companies scored about the same as Arbella (within 3 points) in the 2015 New England Region study (from highest scoring company to lowest scoring company): Nationwide, Plymouth Rock Assurance, and MAPFRE-Commerce.

2014:

Arbella auto insurance scored 19 points (on a 1,000 point scale) or 1.9% below the 2014 New England regional study average, at 776 out of 1,000 points.

Here is how Arbella rated in the five factors used to determine its overall auto insurance customer satisfaction score in 2014:

Policy Offerings: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

Price: Three Power Circles (about average)

Billing & Payment: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

Interaction: Three Power Circles (about average)

Claims: Three Power Circles (about average)

Overall Satisfaction: Three Power Circles (about average)

In spite of its three power circle (about average) rating for overall satisfaction, Arbella’s score was almost 2% below the study average, which means it is performing worse than average for auto insurance customer satisfaction. Amica, State Farm, Nationwide, & the Hartford all scored higher than the average in the 2014 New England study, and more than 2.5% better than Arbella. Even companies scoring slightly below the 2014 New England average, like Allstate, Progressive, and GEICO, scored more than 1% higher than Arbella.

2013 New England Study

Arbella Insurance received the average rating of three power circles (about average) for auto insurance customer satisfaction, scoring 755 points out of 1,000 points. Although receiving the average power circle rating, Arbella actually scored 14 points (1.4%) lower than the regional average score of 769 points on the 1,000 point scale. State Farm & GEICO, both scoring 794 out of the 1,000 potential points, were 25 points (2.5%) above the NE regional study average, and 39 points (3.9%) above Arbella. GEICO & State Farm each was rated 4 power circles (better than most) in the New England region, and their scores show significantly higher auto insurance customer satisfaction than Arbella. Allstate score 781 out of 1,000 points in the NE region, 26 points (2.6%) higher than Arbella. Progressive scored 775 out of 1,000 points, and 20 points (2.0%) above Arbella, showing the four biggest names in auto insurance provide higher auto insurance customer satisfaction, as measured by the 2013 study, for the New England region.

Arbella auto insurance rated above average only in the category of customer / company interaction, and about average in the category of auto insurance pricing & the category of claims handling. Arbella auto insurance scored higher in the 2013 study than Plymouth Rock, The Hanover, Commerce, Metlife, Travelers & Safety auto insurance. For 2013, Arbella Insurance scored much higher than its 2012 Northeast regional study score, by 22 points (2.2%), but in spite of this improvement, Arbella auto insurance is still performing below the industry average for auto insurance customer satisfaction. For auto insurance customer satisfaction, GEICO or Progressive would be a much better choice than Arbella auto insurance.

2012 Northeast Study

Arbella auto insurance received the lowest rating of two power circles, and was the lowest scoring company in the 2012 NE region study, scoring 733 points out of 1,000 points, which is 51 points (5.1%) worse than the 2012 Northeast study’s average score of 784 points on the 1,000 point scale. GEICO, State Farm & Progressive scored above the 2012 NE regional study average, and all the companies in the region scored much better than Arbella, except The Hanover, which scored about the same.

Summary: Arbella auto insurance, in spite of its “about average” (three power circles) rating for overall auto insurance customer satisfaction in 2013 & 2014, has scored 1% or more lower than average each year from 2012 to 2015, which is enough below the average to say it provides consistently less than average customer satisfaction.

In 2015, Arbella received the lowest rating of two power circles for overall auto insurance satisfaction and the important category of claims, being the second lowest scoring company in the New England region. Most of the major auto insurance companies competing with Arbella in the New England region have higher auto insurance customer satisfaction during this period, as referenced above.

Source: JD Power Insurance Ratings

Arbella Insurance Group Complaint Statistics & Ratings

Of all the Arbella Insurance Group subsidiary companies, only two of them sell auto & home insurance: Arbella Mutual Insurance Company in the state of Massachusetts, and Covenant Insurance Company for Connecticut customers. Most of Arbella’s auto & home insurance customers are in Massachusetts, insured by Arbella Mutual Insurance Company. Arbella Mutual has more than 10 times the number of customers, as measured by annual written premium, than it’s Connecticut subsidiary, Covenant Insurance Company.

I analyze the most recent three-year complaint records for these two companies in two sections: 1. auto insurance complaints, and 2. home (homeowners, condo, renters) insurance complaints. I also look at the growth or reduction in annual premium each year, as an indication of low or high pricing.

The most common reasons, for people to file auto & home insurance complaints with a state insurance department against insurance companies, are for delays in a claim payment, unsatisfactory payment of a claim, and denial of a claim. The complaint statistics used in this Arbella Insurance review are the number of upheld complaints filed against an Arbella company with a state’s insurance regulatory authority, adjusted for the subsidiary company’s market share to establish a complaint ratio, as determined by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners NAIC. 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. Ideally, you want to choose an insurance company with complaint ratios much less than 1.00 each year, over the most recent last three years or longer.

Don’t worry about comparing complaint ratio numbers, I devised a rating system to help you identify if Arbella has a good or poor complaint record.

Here’s how I establish my auto & homeowners insurance complaint ratings:

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. I use a minus sign (-) to indicate auto insurance complaint ratios slightly worse than average (1.05 to 1.25) and a plus sign (+) for auto insurance complaint ratios slightly better than average (.95 to .75).

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

I prefer companies with the longest recent history of “B” ratings each year (or at least in the most recent three years). Companies with “B” or “C+” ratings are okay, too, particularly if they have less market share, with less than $50,000,000 in premiums for that line of insurance (auto or home) each year. I prefer to avoid companies with a consistently higher than average number of complaints, or with inconsistent complaint records, unless there are mitigating factors, such as a very small market share.

Arbella Insurance Group Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

Here are the complaint statistics for each Arbella subsidiary insuring personal use autos & trucks:

Arbella Mutual Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.16)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $393,316,558

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.15)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $378,541,185

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.11)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $362,895,827

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.10)

2011 US auto insurance premium = 346,294,809

Arbella Mutual Insurance Company, operating only in Massachusetts, has had an exceptionally lower-than-average auto insurance complaint record over the last three years, with its number of auto insurance complaints, in its worst year during this period, at only 16% of the industry average. The auto insurance market share for Arbella Mutual Insurance Company has increased each year since 2011, which may indicate competitive pricing for its auto insurance in Massachusetts.

Covenant Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.41)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $25,150,385

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.88)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $24,564,423

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.41)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $23,505,766

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.38)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $22,348,136

Covenant Insurance Company, operating only in Connecticut, has had a lower-than-average auto insurance complaint record over the last three years, with its number of auto insurance complaints, in its worst year during this period, at 88% of the industry average. Covenant is about 1/10th the size of Arbella Mutual, and only one, two or three complaints can result in a much higher complaint ratios for company’s the size of Covenant. This is the case for Covenant Insurance Company during 2011 to 2013, so it would be inaccurate to say Covenant performs much worse for auto insurance complaints than Arbella Mutual. The auto insurance market share for Covenant Insurance Company has increased slightly each year since 2011, which may indicate competitive pricing for its auto insurance in Connecticut.

Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners website

Arbella Insurance Group Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

Here are the complaint statistics for each Arbella subsidiary insuring houses, condos, mobile homes, and tenants personal property:

Arbella Mutual Insurance Company Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.24)

2014 US home insurance premium = $152,207,467

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.17)

2013 US home insurance premium = $144,326,737

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.38)

2012 US home insurance premium = $135,788,097

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.07)

2011 US home insurance premium = $126,258,001

Arbella Mutual Insurance Company, operating in Massachusetts only, has had a much lower-than-average home insurance complaint record over the last three years, with its number of home insurance complaints, in its worst year during this period, at 38% of the industry average. The home insurance market share for Arbella Mutual Insurance Company has increased each year since 2011, which may indicate competitive pricing for its homeowners insurance in Massachusetts.

Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners website

Covenant Insurance Company Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.51)

2014 US home insurance premium = $17,890,518

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.24)

2013 US home insurance premium = $17,513,590

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.47)

2012 US home insurance premium = $17,288,051

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0)
No home insurance complaints in 2011

2011 US home insurance premium = $16,153,824

Covenant Insurance Company sells home insurance (Homeowners, Condominium, Renters) in Connecticut only, but has a small share of the Connecticut home insurance market. A few complaints can result in high complaint ratios for companies with small market share. For example, Covenant Insurance received an home insurance complaint ratio 24% greater than the industry average in 2013, but the company had only two home insurance complaints for that year. Covenant Insurance Company had no home insurance complaints for 2011. With small companies like this, the occasional year with a much higher than average complaint ratio, if caused by a low number of complaints, should not be a reason to be concerned. Home insurance market share has increased only slightly since 2011, which may be a sign home insurance coverage or pricing for Covenant Insurance Company may not be competitive, compared to other companies.

Arbella Insurance Group Auto & Home Insurance Complaint Ratings Compared to Allstate, State Farm, GEICO, & Progressive Insurance

This comparison is for Massachusetts consumers considering or having auto, homeowners, condo or renters insurance through Arbella Mutual Insurance Company. For Connecticut consumers considering or insured with Covenant Insurance Company, compare the complaint ratings for Covenant in this review with the reviews for the companies below (link to reviews provided in this section).

Allstate Insurance

Auto insurance complaint record: Most of the Allstate subsidiaries have a history of a worse annual auto insurance complaint ratios than Arbella Mutual Insurance Company.

Home insurance complaint record: Most of the Allstate subsidiaries have a history of worse annual home insurance complaint ratios than Arbella Mutual Insurance Company.

You can check Allstate’s complaint statistics in my Allstate Insurance complaints & ratings review here.

State Farm Insurance

Auto insurance complaint record: The State Farm subsidiaries have a history of worse annual auto insurance complaint ratios than Arbella Mutual Insurance Company.

Home insurance complaint record: Te State Farm companies have a history of worse annual home insurance complaint ratios than Arbella Mutual Insurance Company.

You can check the State Farm complaint statistics in my State Farm Insurance complaints & ratings review here.

GEICO Insurance

Auto insurance complaint record: The GEICO companies have a history of worse annual auto insurance complaint ratios than Arbella Mutual Insurance Company.

You can check the GEICO complaint statistics in my GEICO Insurance complaints & ratings review here.

Progressive Insurance

Auto insurance complaint record: Most of the many Progressive companies have a history of worse annual auto insurance complaint ratios than Arbella Mutual Insurance Company.

You can check the Progressive auto insurance complaint statistics for each Progressive subsidiary here.

You can read more of my auto & home insurance company reviews for over forty different companies, rating each company’s pricing, claims handling and customer service, at smartshopyourcarinsurance.com.

Arabella Insurance Review Summary

Arbella Insurance has a history of good complaint statistics, but it poor scores in the 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 JD Power auto insurance customer satisfaction studies are a cause for concern. Since Arbella Insurance is sold through independent insurance agents usually representing many other companies, any agent quoting you Arbella may be able to recommend a better company. Consider the company if Arbella has competitive auto or home insurance rates for you or better coverage, and you feel confident the agent selling you the policy provides adequate customer service. Always speak with several companies and agents to make sure you don’t overpay for coverage or miss a coverage option you need.

Most people make the mistake of never shopping with other auto & home insurance companies. If you shop with enough companies, you’ll find many insurance companies charge a lot more than other companies for the same coverage, or some companies offer much better coverage for the same price. However, no company has low rates for everyone. You have to shop with all the leading companies, to find the company with the best coverage and best price for you. 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!

What do you know about Arbella auto & home insurance? Did you find this Arbella Insurance review helpful to you? Comment or ask me questions on my facebook page. Follow me on Twitter for important insurance consumer news & new blog entries at CarInsWatch.