Peerless Insurance Review 2014: Auto & Home Insurance

Peerless Insurance, headquartered in Boston, MA., is formerly a regional insurance company insuring autos & homes mainly in the US Northeast since 1901, and is now owned by the large national insurance conglomerate, Liberty Mutual Group. Peerless Insurance sells auto, home, & other types of property & casualty insurance, focusing on the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, through independent insurance agencies located in communities throughout these states. Peerless Insurance insures a lot of autos & homes in the USA, but it does not have enough market share in any one state, region, or nationally, to be included in any of the annual JD Power US auto or home insurance studies. This review looks at the AM Best financial strength ratings and analyzes the most recent three-year home & auto insurance customer complaint records for the Peerless Insurance companies, and compares them with major competitors like Allstate, State Farm, GEICO, and Progressive, to help consumers decide if Peerless Insurance is a good insurance company for them. Does Peerless Insurance have a below average, average, or above average number of customer complaints? My review summary at the end (Section #6), will rate the auto & home insurance customer service & claims handling by Peerless Insurance, based on its complaint record.


2014 Peerless Insurance Review

This Peerless Insurance review is divided into six parts, consisting of: 1. The Peerless Insurance website and the best way to get a price quote, 2. The AM Best Financial Strength ratings for the Peerless Insurance companies, 3. the auto insurance customer complaint ratings for the Peerless Insurance companies over the last three years, 4. the home insurance customer complaint ratings for the Peerless Insurance companies over the last three years, 5. Peerless Insurance complaints & ratings compared to major competitors, and 6. a Peerless Insurance review summary, rating the company average, better than average, or below average, based on its annual auto & home insurance complaint records & ratings over the last few years.

1. Peerless Insurance website and requesting insurance price quotes

The Peerless Insurance website does not provide information about Peerless Insurance products and you cannot use the site to request an auto or home insurance price quote for Peerless Insurance. As part of Liberty Mutual, the Peerless Insurance website refers people seeking auto or home insurance to another Liberty Mutual subsidiary, Safeco Insurance. The Peerless Insurance website does promote its relationship with independent insurance agencies, but unlike many other companies selling their insurance coverage through agents, there is no tool on the website to find a local agent representing Peerless Insurance.

For existing Peerless Insurance policyholders, you can use the website to pay your bill online, and there are contact phone numbers for customer service and filing a claim.

If you are interested in getting a price quote for Peerless Insurance, find a local independent insurance agent in your area at the Trusted Choice website, and contact an agency or two to see if Peerless is available in your state, if the agency is appointed to represent Peerless Insurance, and if the agent or licensed agency employee to whom you speak thinks Peerless Insurance may be a good choice for you. Unless you really want to insure with a particular company an independent insurance agency represents, one of the main advantages of using independent insurance agencies is they represent several companies, and have knowledge of your local auto & home insurance market. Never depend on only one agent to shop your insurance for you, and be sure to check the rates of companies selling direct, through their own agents, and independent insurance agents, to find the best auto or home insurance company for you.

Source: Peerless Insurance Website

2. AM Best Financial Strength Rating for the Peerless Insurance Companies

Peerless Insurance consists of two subsidiary companies: Peerless Insurance Company and Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company. Peerless Insurance Company & Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company had their “A” (Excellent) AM Best Financial Strength Rating with a stable outlook (no possible ratings upgrade or downgrade is expected in the near future) reaffirmed on 08/14/2013. The AM Best rating of “A” is the third highest rating for AM Best.

AM Best financial strength ratings are not a measure of customer service or the quality of the Peerless Insurance companies’ claims adjusting, but an opinion about its ability to pay claims, remain financially solvent, and stay in business. I recommend avoiding, if possible or practical, any auto or homeowners insurance company with lower than an “A-” rating for financial strength from AM Best. Some major auto & home insurance companies have higher financial strength ratings than the Peerless Insurance companies, but the difference in financial strength among A++, A+, A, & A- rated companies is not significant to me unless higher rated companies are the same or better in terms of price, coverage, claims handling, and customer service.

Source: Peerless Insurance Company AM Best ratings

3. Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings for the Peerless Insurance companies

The complaint ratios for the Peerless Insurance companies listed 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. Ideally, you want to choose an auto or home insurance company with complaint ratios less than 1.00 each year, over the last three years.

So you don’t have to worry about comparing complaint ratio numbers, I devised a rating system to help you identify a good or poor complaint record.

Here’s how I establish my auto 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 (1.01 to 1.25) and a plus sign (+) for auto insurance complaint ratios slightly better than average (.99 to .75).

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

Peerless Insurance has two subsidiary companies selling auto insurance:

Peerless Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.11)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $124,717,047

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.80)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $233,964,043

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.03)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $296,510,647

Peerless Insurance Company has an higher than average auto insurance complaint history over the last three years, with its number of auto insurance complaints, in its worst year during this period, at 111% more than the industry average. The auto insurance market share for Peerless Insurance Company has decreased greatly each year since 2011, which may indicate the company’s rates are not competitive in some states, or reflects its parent company’s (Liberty Mutual) strategy, to use its other brand sold through independent insurance agents, Safeco Insurance, to insure personal autos & homes in the USA.

Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.18)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $25,185,419

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (3.06)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $53,839,283

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.07)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $71,633,376

Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company has an higher than average auto insurance complaint history over the last three years (much higher over the last two years), with its number of auto insurance complaints, in its worst year during this period, at 206% more than the industry average. The auto insurance market share for Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company, like the larger Peerless subsidiary company reviewed above, has decreased a great deal each year since 2011, which may indicate the company’s rates are not competitive in some states, or reflects its parent company’s (Liberty Mutual) strategy, to use its other brand sold through independent insurance agents, Safeco Insurance, to insure personal autos & homes in the USA.

4. Home Insurance (Homeowners, Condo, Renters) Complaint Statistics & Ratings for the Peerless Insurance companies

My home insurance complaint rating definitions are the same as my auto insurance complaint rating definitions, and the home insurance complaint ratios work the same as the auto insurance complaint ratios, where you want to see complaint ratios less than 1.00 each year, over the last three years.

Here’s how I determine my home 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 home insurance complaint ratios slightly worse than average (1.01 to 1.25) and a plus sign (+) for home insurance complaint ratios slightly better than average (.99 to .75).

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

Peerless Insurance has two subsidiary companies selling home insurance:

Peerless Insurance Company Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.22)

2013 US home insurance premium = $83,605,066

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.40)

2012 US home insurance premium = $160,884,793

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.39)

2011 US home insurance premium = $188,213,183

Peerless Insurance Company has an inconsistent home insurance complaint history over the last three years. Although Peerless Insurance Company had a better than average home insurance complaint record in 2011 & 2012, its home insurance complaint record for 2013 was 22% higher than the industry average. The home insurance market share for Peerless Insurance Company has decreased a lot each year since 2011, which may indicate the company’s rates are not competitive in some states, or reflects its parent company’s (Liberty Mutual) strategy, to use its other brand sold through independent insurance agents, Safeco Insurance, to insure personal autos & homes in the USA.

Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.14)

2013 US home insurance premium = $21,257,610

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.57)

2012 US home insurance premium = $35,502,581

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.40)

2011 US home insurance premium = $41,033,274

Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company has an higher than average auto insurance complaint history over the most recent two years, with its number of home insurance complaints, in its worst year during this period (2013), at 114% more than the industry average. As with the larger Peerless home insurance subsidiary, the home insurance market share for Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company has decreased each year since 2011, which may indicate the company’s rates are not competitive in some states, or reflects its parent company’s (Liberty Mutual) strategy, to use its other brand sold through independent insurance agents, Safeco Insurance, to insure personal autos & homes in the USA.

5. The Complaint Record for the Peerless Insurance companies compared to the Complaint Records of Allstate, State Farm, GEICO, & Progressive Insurance.

For both personal auto insurance & home (including homeowners, condo, & renters) insurance, Both Peerless Insurance subsidiaries have worse three-year (2011,2012, & 2013) auto & home insurance complaint histories, compared to most of the subsidiary companies of Allstate, GEICO, Progressive and State Farm.

6. Peerless Insurance Review Summary

Rapidly decreasing US auto & home insurance market share, and much higher than average auto & home insurance complaint ratios in recent years for the Peerless Insurance companies should be a cause of concern for Peerless auto & home insurance customers.

Here’s my summary to give you the bottom line on the customer satisfaction & rates for Peerless auto & home insurance, to see if the company performs better than average, average, or worse than average. Since Peerless is not rated by JD Power, my evaluation is based on its three year auto & home insurance complaint statistics. Although a company’s auto & home insurance complaint record can be particularly useful for identifying poor claims service, it’s not helpful for evaluating customer satisfaction or competitive rates. With companies like Peerless Insurance, having their policies sold and serviced through independent insurance agents, the quality of customer satisfaction & service will depend mostly on the agent you choose. As for pricing, the most reliable way to know if an insurance company is over-priced is to conduct your own pricing survey, by requesting price quotes from all the leading insurance companies in your state, to find the best company for you.

Peerless Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction & Claims Handling:

Worse than average

Peerless Home Insurance Customer Satisfaction & Claims Handling:

Worse than average

I summarize the auto & home insurance customer & claims satisfaction in this same way for over 40 other major companies on my homepage. Compare Peerless Insurance with other insurance companies at: smartshopyourcarinsurance.com.

Peerless Auto & Home Insurance Rates

Given the great decrease in US auto & home insurance market share for the Peerless companies over the last three years, it’s not likely Peerless is trying to compete with other companies to have competitive rates. With auto & home insurance, some companies charge twice as much as other companies for the same coverage. If you are insured with Peerless, you may likely be able to save a lot of money, while keeping the same or getting better coverage, by insuring with another company.

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. With auto & home insurance, you don’t get better service or coverage because you pay more. Some of the best companies have competitive rates. But no single 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 think about Peerless Insurance auto or home insurance coverage? Did you find this Peerless Insurance review useful 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.