Plymouth Rock Assurance / Bunker Hill Review: Auto & Home Insurance Complaints, AM Best & JD Power Ratings

Plymouth Rock Assurance is a major insurer of automobiles and other private passenger vehicles in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A subsidiary of Plymouth Rock Assurance, Bunker Hill Insurance, insures homes in Massachusetts & Connecticut. How do the Plymouth Rock companies compare to other major insurance companies competing in Massachusetts, like Progressive, GEICO, Commerce, Liberty Mutual, Amica, Safety, and Arbella? This review analyzes the JD Power customer satisfaction ratings, AM Best financial strength ratings, and the most recent three-year home & auto insurance customer complaint records for the Plymouth Rock Assurance companies, and compares them with major competitors. There is a lot of useful information in this review, but if you don’t want to read the entire review, you can skip to my review summary in the last section (section #7), to find out if my analysis concludes the auto & home insurance customer service, claims handling, and rates at Plymouth Rock Assurance is below average, average, or above average. Reading this review will help you decide if Plymouth Rock Assurance is a good choice to insure your cars, trucks, or home.


Plymouth Rock Assurance / Bunker Hill Insurance Review

This Plymouth Rock Companies review is divided into seven parts, consisting of: 1. an overview of the company, its website, and ways to get auto or home insurance price quotes, 2. The AM Best Financial Strength ratings for the Plymouth Rock Companies, 3. The JD Power auto & home insurance customer satisfaction ratings for the Plymouth Rock Companies, 4. the auto insurance customer complaint ratings for each Plymouth Rock subsidiary over the last three years, 5. the home insurance customer complaint ratings for each Plymouth Rock subsidiary over the last three years, 6. Plymouth Rock compared to major competitors, and 7. a Plymouth Rock Assurance 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. Plymouth Rock Assurance, its website, and requesting auto & home insurance price quotes

Here’s some basic information potential customers should know about Plymouth Rock:

About Plymouth Rock Assurance

Plymouth Rock Assurance started in 1982 in Massachusetts, by Jim Stone, former insurance commissioner for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to provide auto insurance in the state. In 2013, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation was the 5th largest insurer of autos in Massachusetts, with 6.21% of the market, behind Commerce Insurance Company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Safety Insurance Company, and Arbella Mutual Insurance Company. Although most of its customers are auto insurance policyholders in Massachusetts (In 2013, only $10,115,603 of the $285,537,812 US auto insurance premium for Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation was from Connecticut), Plymouth Rock Assurance auto insurance is also available in Connecticut. The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies sells auto & home insurance in New Hampshire, too, through Mt. Washington Assurance Corporation, and home insurance in Massachusetts and Connecticut through Bunker Hill Insurance. Bunker Hill Insurance Company is the 20th largest home insurance company in Massachusetts for 2013, and has 1.52% of the the Massachusetts home insurance market.

Source: Plymouth Rock Assurance Website, Massachusetts Division of Insurance Website & Connecticut Insurance Department Website

Plymouth Rock Management Company of New Jersey provides auto insurance in NJ, through the High Point & Palisades Insurance Companies, which are now being marketed under the Plymouth Rock Assurance brand. These companies providing insurance in NJ only are not included in this review, because my analysis of their customer complaint data and JD Power ratings can be found in my previous High Point auto insurance review.

Plymouth Rock Assurance Website, Discounts, & getting auto or home insurance price quotes

You can get an auto insurance quote online through the Plymouth Rock Assurance website, or use the site to find the contact information for a local independent insurance agency representing the company close to you. If you live in Massachusetts or Connecticut, and you are interested in an home insurance quote, Bunker Hill has a separate website. You cannot request an home insurance quote online, but you can locate the contact information for a local agent to quote you.

If you live in New Hampshire, you can request an auto insurance quote or contact an agent through the Mt. Washington Assurance website.

Per the Plymouth Rock website, these discounts are available:

If you have auto insurance with Plymouth Rock Assurance and a home, condo or renter’s policy with Bunker Hill Insurance you may qualify for:

Up to 13% discount on your auto insurance premium from Plymouth Rock

Up to 20% discount on your condo, renter’s or home insurance premium from Bunker Hill

AARP Massachusetts Auto and Home Insurance Program from Plymouth Rock and Bunker Hill

As an AARP member in Massachusetts you can get a discount of up to 6% off your Plymouth Rock auto insurance premium. Purchase your home insurance from Bunker Hill Insurance and the discount on your auto insurance could increase to up to 20%. Additional discounts of up to 26% on your home insurance from Bunker Hill through the AARP Massachusetts Auto and Home Insurance Program from Plymouth Rock and Bunker Hill.

Plymouth Rock sells its insurance through independent insurance agencies authorized to represent the company in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. Remember — unless you really want to insure with a particular company an independent insurance agency represents, one of the advantages of using independent insurance agencies is they represent several companies, and have knowledge of your local auto & home insurance market. Never depend on any 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.

2. AM Best Financial Strength Rating for the Plymouth Rock Companies

These Plymouth Rock Companies (Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation, Pilgrim Insurance Company, and Mt. Washington Assurance Corporation) 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 05/07/2015, which has been their rating since 2011 or longer. The AM Best rating of “A-“ is the fourth highest rating for AM Best.

These Plymouth Rock Companies (Bunker Hill Insurance Casualty Company and Bunker Hill Insurance Company) had their “B++” (Good) AM Best Financial Strength Rating with a stable outlook (no possible ratings upgrade or downgrade is expected in the near future) reaffirmed on 05/07/2015, which has been their rating since 2011 or longer. The AM Best rating of “B++” is the fifth highest rating for AM Best.

AM Best financial strength ratings are not a measure of customer service or the quality of the Plymouth Rock 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 Plymouth Rock Assurance 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: AM Best

3. JD Power Customer Satisfaction Ratings for the Plymouth Rock / Bunker Hill companies

Plymouth Rock is included in only one of the annual JD Power insurance studies: The JD Power US Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction Study — New England region. Bunker Hill is not included in any of the annual JD Power homeowners insurance studies.

2015: Plymouth Rock Assurance scored 24 points (on a 1,000 point scale) or 2.4% below the 2015 New England region average, at 777 out of 1,000 points.

Here is how Plymouth Rock Assurance 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: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

Billing & Payment: Three Power Circles (about average)

Interaction: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

Claims: Three Power Circles (about average)

Overall Customer Satisfaction: Two Power Circles (lowest rating)

These companies scored .9% or more higher than Plymouth Rock Assurance 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 (within 3 points) as Plymouth Rock Assurance in the 2015 New England Region study (from highest scoring company to lowest scoring company): Nationwide, Arbella, and MAPFRE-Commerce.

2014: Plymouth Rock Assurance scored 10 points (on a 1,000 point scale) or 1% below the NE regional study average, at 785 out of 1,000 points.

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

Policy Offerings: Three Power Circles (about average)

Price: Three Power Circles (about average)

Billing & Payment: Three Power Circles (about average)

Interaction: Three Power Circles (about average)

Claims: Three Power Circles (about average)

2013: Plymouth Rock Assurance scored 17 points (on a 1,000 point scale) or 1.7% below the NE regional study average, at 752 out of 1,000 points.

2012: Plymouth Rock Assurance scored 28 points (on a 1,000 point scale) or 2.8% below the NE regional study average, at 756 out of 1,000 points.

Summary: Although Plymouth Rock has scored 1% or more below the regional study average each year since 2012. In spite of its “about average” rating of three power circles for overall auto insurance customer satisfaction in some years, the performance of Plymouth Rock Assurance has been consistently below average in this regional study, when you consider the company’s actual score each year.

4. Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings for the Plymouth Rock Companies

The complaint ratios for the Plymouth Rock 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, at least over the most recent 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.

These Plymouth Rock companies sell auto insurance: Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation, Pilgrim Insurance Company, and Mt. Washington Assurance Corporation.

Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.11)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $285,537,812

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.39)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $255,641,704

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.19)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $223,791,664

Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation sells auto insurance in the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut only, and it’s the Plymouth Rock subsidiary with the most auto insurance customers by far. Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation has a consistent, much better-than-average auto insurance complaint history from 2011 to 2013, with the number of auto insurance complaints in its worst year (2012) during this period, at 39% of the industry average. I prefer to choose auto insurance companies with a consistent history of lower than average number of auto insurance complaints each year, like Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation.

The auto insurance market share for Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation has increased quite a bit each year since 2011, which may be a sign this subsidiary has competitive auto insurance rates in Massachusetts and/or Connecticut.

Pilgrim Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

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

2013 US auto insurance premium = $13,780,558

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.92)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $14,158,302

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.26)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $13,479,610

Pilgrim Insurance Company sells auto insurance in the state of Massachusetts only, but it has much fewer auto insurance customers, having about 20 times smaller auto insurance market share than the Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation subsidiary reviewed above. Complaint ratios are not always reliable as an indication of customer service quality for subsidiaries with small market share, since only a few complaints can result in worse than average complaint ratios. This is the case with Pilgrim Insurance Company, where it had three auto insurance complaints in 2012 and two auto insurance complaints in 2011.

The auto insurance market share for Pilgrim Insurance Company has been up and down since 2011, with no trend to indicate anything about its auto insurance rates.

Mt. Washington Assurance Corporation Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

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

2013 US auto insurance premium = $9,397,667

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $8,152,643

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.11)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $8,085,030

Mt. Washington Assurance Corporation sells auto insurance in the state of New Hampshire only, and like Pilgrim Insurance Company, has much fewer auto insurance customers than the largest Plymouth Rock subsidiary. Mt. Washington Assurance Corporation an auto insurance market share more than 20 times smaller than Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation, and its even smaller than Pilgrim Insurance Company. As mentioned above about Pilgrim Insurance Company, complaint ratios are not always reliable as an indication of customer service quality for subsidiaries with small market share, since only a few complaints can result in worse than average complaint ratios. This is the case with Mt. Washington Assurance Corporation, where it had two auto insurance complaints in 2011. The occasional year with a worse-than-average complaint ratio caused by only a few complaints should not be a concern for potential or existing customers.

The auto insurance market share for Mt. Washington Assurance Corporation has increased each year since 2011, which may be a sign this subsidiary has competitive auto insurance rates in New Hampshire.

5. Home Insurance (Homeowners, Condo, Renters) Complaint Statistics & Ratings for the Plymouth Rock 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.

These Plymouth Rock companies sell home insurance: Bunker Hill Insurance Casualty Company and Bunker Hill Insurance Company.

Bunker Hill Insurance Company Homeowners Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2013 US home insurance premium = $34,600,074

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.21)

2012 US home insurance premium = $39,482,720

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

2011 US home insurance premium = $38,163,586

Bunker Hill Insurance Company sells home insurance in the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut only, and it’s the Plymouth Rock subsidiary with the most home insurance customers, but its home insurance market share is relatively small compared to other companies insuring homes in these states. Bunker Hill Insurance Company has a consistent, much better-than-average home insurance complaint history from 2011 to 2013, with the number of home insurance complaints in its worst year (2012) during this period, at only 21% of the industry average. I prefer to choose home insurance companies with a consistent history of lower than average number of auto insurance complaints each year, like Bunker Hill Insurance Company.

The home insurance market share for Bunker Hill Insurance Company has decreased from 2012 to 2013, which may be a sign Bunker Hill Insurance Company no longer has competitive home insurance rates in Massachusetts.

Bunker Hill Insurance Casualty Company Homeowners Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2013 US home insurance premium = $7,200,538

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = No home insurance policies in force

2012 US home insurance premium = $0

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = No home insurance policies in force

2011 US home insurance premium = $0

Bunker Hill Insurance Casualty Company sells home insurance in the state of Massachusetts only, and it appears to be a new Plymouth Rock subsidiary, insuring homes starting in 2013. Bunker Hill Insurance Casualty Company had no home insurance complaints in 2013, so it’s off to a good start.

Mt. Washington Assurance Corporation Homeowners Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2013 US home insurance premium = $4,786,796

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2012 US home insurance premium = $4,181,848

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.08)

2011 US home insurance premium = $3,900,274

Mt. Washington Assurance Corporation sells home insurance in the state of New Hampshire only, but it has a very small share of the home insurance market. As I mentioned before about auto insurance complaint ratios, homeowners insurance complaint ratios are not always reliable as an indication of customer service quality for subsidiaries with small market share, since only a few complaints can result in worse than average complaint ratios. This is the case with Mt. Washington Assurance Corporation, where it had only one home insurance complaints in 2011. The occasional year with a worse-than-average complaint ratio caused by only a few complaints should not be a concern for potential or existing customers.

The home insurance market share for Mt. Washington Assurance Corporation has increased each year since 2011, which may be a sign this subsidiary has competitive home insurance rates in New Hampshire.

6. Plymouth Rock Assurance companies compared to Progressive, GEICO, Commerce, Liberty Mutual, Amica, Safety, Arbella & other competing auto & home insurance companies

Plymouth Rock Assurance Auto Insurance compared to

Progressive: Progressive auto insurance has higher JD Power auto insurance customer satisfaction scores than Plymouth Rock Assurance in the 2012, 2013, and 2014 New England regional study, closer to the regional average score. However, In 2014, Progressive received a lower JD Power rating than Plymouth Rock Assurance in the important category of Price.

GEICO: GEICO auto insurance has higher JD Power auto insurance customer satisfaction scores than Plymouth Rock Assurance in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 New England regional study, Although GEICO’s score was much better (and above the study average) in 2012 & 2013, its score was only 2 points higher (and 8 points below the regional study average) than Plymouth Rock Assurance in 2014. Although GEICO received lower JD Power ratings than Plymouth Rock Assurance in the important categories of Interaction & Claims for 2014, GEICO received a higher rating in the category of Price.

Liberty Mutual: Liberty Mutual auto insurance scored much higher (and above the study average) in 2012 & 2013, its score was the same (and 10 points below the regional study average) as Plymouth Rock Assurance in 2014. In 2014, Liberty Mutual received a lower JD Power rating than Plymouth Rock Assurance in the important category of Interaction.

Commerce: Commerce auto insurance has lower JD Power auto insurance customer satisfaction scores than Plymouth Rock Assurance in the 2012, 2013, and 2014 New England regional study, 1.4% or more below the regional average score each year. In 2014, Commerce received lower JD Power ratings than Plymouth Rock Assurance in the important categories of Price & Claims.

Safety: Safety auto insurance has lower JD Power auto insurance customer satisfaction scores than Plymouth Rock Assurance in the 2012, 2013, and 2014 New England regional study, 2.3% or more below the regional average score each year. In 2014, Safety received a lower JD Power rating than Plymouth Rock Assurance in the important category of Price.

Arbella: Arbella auto insurance has much lower JD Power auto insurance customer satisfaction scores than Plymouth Rock Assurance in the 2012 and 2014 New England regional study (Arbella has a 3 point better score in 2013), 1.4% or more below the regional average score each year.

Amica: Amica auto insurance has much higher JD Power auto insurance customer satisfaction scores than Plymouth Rock Assurance in the 2012, 2013, and 2014 New England regional study, and the highest scores in the study each year. In 2014, Amica received higher JD Power ratings than Plymouth Rock Assurance in the important categories of Interaction, Price, & Claims.

Bunker Hill Insurance / Mt. Washington Assurance Home Insurance:

Based on their recent home insurance complaint ratios, Bunker Hill Insurance & Mt. Washington Assurance Corp. are better than or about the same as most other home insurance companies.

7. Plymouth Rock / Bunker Hill Insurance Review Summary

Here’s my summary to give you the bottom line on the customer satisfaction & rates for the auto & home insurance of the Plymouth Rock companies, to see if they perform better than average, average, or worse than average.

Since Bunker Hill Insurance is not rated by JD Power for home insurance satisfaction, my evaluation is based only on its three year home insurance complaint statistics of its largest subsidiary. The JD Power auto insurance customer satisfaction scores for Plymouth Rock Assurance are below average, but Plymouth Rock has consistently much better than average auto insurance complaint ratios, leading to these opinions:

Plymouth Rock Assurance Auto Insurance Customer Satisfaction & Claims Handling:

Worse than Average

Bunker Hill Home Insurance Customer Satisfaction & Claims Handling:

Better 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 Plymouth Rock Assurance with other insurance companies at: smartshopyourcarinsurance.com.

Although a company’s auto & home insurance complaint record can be particularly useful for identifying poor claims service, it shouldn’t be the only tool you use for evaluating customer satisfaction. With companies like Plymouth Rock, having their policies sold and serviced through independent insurance agents, the quality of customer satisfaction & service will depend a great deal on the agent you choose.

Plymouth Rock / Bunker Hill Auto & Home Insurance Rates

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, but a recent rapid increase or decrease in market share may indicate whether a company has higher or lower auto or home insurance rates.

Plymouth Rock Assurance, selling auto insurance in MA & CT, has seen rapid growth over the last few years, which may indicate low auto insurance rates. Mt. Washington Assurance Corp, selling auto insurance in NH, is growing as well. However, the subsidiaries selling home insurance have been stagnant or shrinking.

The annual JD Power auto insurance customer satisfaction study rates auto insurance pricing, and the following companies in the New England region rated better for pricing than Plymouth Rock Assurance: Amica, USAA, GEICO, and The Hartford.

The following companies in the New England region rated the same for pricing as Plymouth Rock Assurance: Progressive, Liberty Mutual, Arbella, & Allstate.

The following companies in the New England region rated worse for pricing than Plymouth Rock Assurance: Commerce, Metlife, and Safety.

Some companies charge twice as much as other companies for the same coverage, and size or market share growth may have more to do with advertising than competitive rates. Like with any auto or home insurance company, if you are insured with Plymouth Rock Assurance, you may have good rates or you may 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 Plymouth Rock / Bunker Hill auto or home insurance coverage? Was this Plymouth Rock Assurance 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.