Sentry & Middlesex Insurance Review 2015: Auto & Home Insurance Complaint Record, JD Power and AM Best Ratings

This review for two of the major auto insurance companies of the Sentry Insurance Group, Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company, evaluates and compares their most recent three-year home & auto insurance customer complaint records with major competitors like Allstate, State Farm, GEICO, and Progressive, to help consumers decide if Sentry or Middlesex may be a good insurance company for them. JD Power & AM Best ratings for Sentry & Middlesex will also be analyzed. Do Sentry or Middlesex 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 for Sentry & Middlesex, based on their complaint record.


2015 Sentry & Middlesex Insurance Review

Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company sells auto & home insurance through independent insurance agencies appointed to represent the companies, located in communities throughout the USA.

This Sentry & Middlesex Insurance review is divided into seven parts, consisting of: 1. The AM Best Financial Strength ratings for Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company, 2. The JD Power auto & home insurance customer satisfaction ratings for Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company, 3. the auto insurance customer complaint ratings for Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company over the last three years, 4. the home insurance customer complaint ratings for Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company, 5. Customer complaints & ratings for Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company compared to major competitors, and 6. a Sentry & Middlesex Insurance review summary, rating the companies as average, better than average, or below average, based on their annual auto & home insurance complaint records & ratings over the last few years.

1. AM Best Financial Strength Rating for Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company

Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company had their “A+” (Superior) AM Best Financial Strength Rating with a stable outlook (no possible ratings upgrade or downgrade is expected in the near future) reaffirmed on 04/30/2014. The AM Best rating of “A+” is the second highest rating for AM Best.

AM Best financial strength ratings are not a measure of customer service or the quality of the claims adjusting for Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company, but an opinion about their 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. S

Source: Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company AM Best ratings

2. JD Power Auto & Home Insurance Customer Satisfaction Ratings for Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company

Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company, like the other Sentry Insurance Group companies, including the Dairyland, Peak, and Viking auto insurance companies I reviewed here, do not have enough market share on a national basis (or regionally for the JD Power auto insurance customer satisfaction study) to be included and rated in any of the annual JD Power insurance studies. This does not make the Sentry Insurance Group companies better or worse than auto & home insurance companies rated in JD Power studies. It means there is only one less reliable measure of customer service available to evaluate Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company, making the complaint statistics in the following two sections important for auto & home insurance consumers to consider.

3. Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings for Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company

The complaint ratios for Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company listed below display the ratio of each company’s U.S. Market Share of closed complaints compared to its 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.

Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.61)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $87,856,485

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.10)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $57,596,326

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.90)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $63,349,439

Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company has a consistent history of a higher than average number of auto insurance complaints each year since 2011, with its number of auto insurance complaints in its worst year (2011) during this period, at 90% more than 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.

The auto insurance market share for Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company has increased quite a bit from 2012 to 2013, which may be a sign Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company now has more competitive auto insurance rates in at least some of the states where it operates.

Middlesex 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 = $40,845,002

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.55)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $16,524,602

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

2011 US auto insurance premium = $656,533

Middlesex Insurance Company has a consistent, better-than-average auto insurance complaint record each year since 2011, with its number of complaints in its worst year (2012) during this period, at 55% 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 Middlesex Insurance Company.

The auto insurance market share for Middlesex Insurance Company has more than doubled each year since 2011, which may be a sign of competitive auto insurance rates in at least some of the states where Middlesex Insurance Company operates.

4. Homeowners Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings for Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company

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.

The homeowners insurance complaint statistics for Middlesex Insurance Company are not included, having far too few home insurance customers for its complaint ratios to be meaningful, with only $305,632 in annual US homeowners insurance premiums for 2013.

Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (3.42)

2013 US home insurance premium = $29,036,771

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.83)

2012 US home insurance premium = $39,485,976

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.90)

2011 US home insurance premium = $45,165,916

Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company has an inconsistent home insurance complaint history since 2011, with a slightly lower than average number of home insurance complaints in 2011 & 2012, but with a much worse than average number of home insurance complaints in 2013, at 242% more than the industry average. I prefer to choose home insurance companies with a consistent history of lower than average number of home insurance complaints each year.

The home insurance market share for Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company has decreased each year since 2011, which may be a sign Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company does not have competitive home insurance rates or is no longer taking new homeowner insurance applications.

5. The Complaint Record for Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company compared to the Complaint Records of Allstate, State Farm, GEICO, & Progressive Insurance.

Auto Insurance: Most of the auto insurance subsidiaries of State Farm, Allstate, GEICO, and Progressive have about the same or better three year (2011, 2012, & 2013) auto insurance complaint records than Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company, but Middlesex Insurance Company has the same or better auto insurance complaint record than most of these companies.

Home Insurance: Most of the Allstate & State Farm home insurance subsidiaries have better three year (2011, 2012, & 2013) home insurance complaint records than Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company.

6. Sentry & Middlesex Insurance Review Summary

Here’s my summary to give you the bottom line on the customer satisfaction & rates for Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company, to see if the companies performs better than average, average, or worse than average. Since Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company are not rated by JD Power, my evaluation is based on their three year auto & home insurance complaint statistics.

Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company Auto Insurance Complaint Record 2011-2013:

Worse than average

Middlesex Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Record 2011-2013:

Better than average

Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company Home Insurance Complaint Record 2011-2013:

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 Sentry & Middlesex Insurance 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 Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company, 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.

Sentry & Middlesex Auto & Home Insurance Rates

For pricing, the most reliable way to know if an insurance company charges too much is to conduct your own pricing survey, by obtaining 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.

Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company have grown their auto insurance market shares which may indicate lower auto insurance rates than at least some competitors.

Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company have little home insurance market share compared to their auto insurance market shares, and even less when compared to the home insurance market share of major competitors. Both companies have seen a decrease in home insurance market share each year since 2011, which is likely to mean Sentry Insurance A Mutual Company and Middlesex Insurance Company do not have competitive homeowners insurance rates, may not be selling new home insurance polices, and may be non-renewing existing home insurance customers.

If you have shopped for auto or home insurance properly, you may be aware some insurance companies charge twice as much as other companies for the same coverage. 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 Sentry or Middlesex Insurance auto or home insurance coverage? Did you find this Sentry / Middlesex 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.