Alliance United Insurance Company Review: Complaints, AM Best, JD Power, & Better Business Bureau (BBB) Ratings

Alliance United Insurance Company is a rapidly growing auto insurer in the state of California, and is one of the top five providers of nonstandard auto insurance in the Golden State. More Californians are choosing Alliance United Insurance Company to insure their cars, but how good of a car insurance company is Alliance United Insurance Company? Does it have a lot of customer complaints? How does it compare to competing home & auto insurance companies? This blog post will review Alliance United Insurance Company, it’s JD Power, AM Best, Demotech, BBB (Better Business Bureau) ratings, and its auto insurance customer complaint record over the last three years. There can be a big difference in the cost & coverage offered by different insurance companies, and being a well-known company does not mean being the best. The wise insurance buyer shops the market with all the major companies for the right combination of coverage, acceptable claims & customer service, and a good price. This blog post will help you decide if Alliance United Insurance Company might be a good choice for you. I’ll also show you how the complaint record for Alliance United Insurance Company compares with its competitors, like GEICO and Progressive, to help you comparison shop & find the best car insurance company for you.


Alliance United Insurance Company Review

This Alliance United Insurance Company review is divided into seven parts, consisting of: 1. About the company, 2. its website and how to get a quote, 3. The AM Best Financial Strength ratings for Alliance United Insurance Company, 4. The JD Power customer satisfaction ratings and BBB rating for Alliance United Insurance Company, 5. the auto insurance customer complaint ratings for Alliance United Insurance Company over the last three years, 6. Customer complaints & ratings for Alliance United Insurance Company compared to major competitors, and 7. an Alliance United Insurance Company summary about its auto insurance rates, and my opinion rating its claims & customer service as average, better than average, or below average, based on its annual auto insurance complaint record & ratings over the last few years.


1. About Alliance United Insurance Company

Alliance United Insurance Company is a leading nonstandard auto insurer available only in the state of California. Alliance United Insurance Company sold its first car insurance policy in 2004, and has grown in California over the last few years to be one of the state’s five largest sellers of nonstandard auto insurance in the state. Nonstandard auto insurance is for those drivers or car owners not meeting the state of California’s definition of a “good driver,” and may not qualify for coverage with some auto insurance companies. If you pay a lot for your auto insurance, have trouble qualifying for some auto insurance companies due to your driving record or other reasons, you should consider Alliance United Insurance Company, because its rapid increase in customers may be a strong sign of competitive rates, at least for drivers considered higher risk by insurance companies.

Alliance United Insurance Company grew at least 29% year-over-year in the past five years except 2011, when it grew just 8.17 percent. The company is expected to write more than $300 million in 2014 direct premiums. Kemper Corporation, a group of insurance companies insuring many home and autos in the USA, on 12/11/2014 announced it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Alliance United Insurance Company, and through its purchase reverse the trend of its declining personal lines market share resulting from its other companies.

Source: Insurance Journal article, 12/19/2014, “Private Auto Premiums See Largest Q3 Growth in 10 Years: SNL


2. Alliance United Insurance Company Website & Requesting an Auto Insurance Price Quote

Alliance United Insurance Company auto insurance can be purchased only through insurance brokers appointed to represent the company. Alliance United Insurance Company works with over 900 brokers with about 2,000 office locations in the state. You cannot get an online auto insurance quote direct from Alliance United Insurance Company. The Alliance United Insurance Company website, unlike most insurance company websites, does not provide contact information for agents/brokers. Customers can pay bills online through the website, but it appears claims need to be called into the company. If you have auto insurance with Alliance United Insurance Company, it’s probably best to contact your agent rather than the company directly when you need service. To find a broker near you representing Alliance United Insurance Company to contact for a price quote, call customer service at 1-866-530-5500 or email at policyservices@allianceunited.com. The customer service department is available 7 AM to 7 PM PT Monday through Friday, and 8 AM to 4 PM PT Saturday.

Source: Alliance United Insurance Company Website


3. Alliance United Insurance Company AM Best Financial Strength Ratings

AM Best, the best-known of the insurance company rating agencies, does not rate Alliance United Insurance Company. It’s not unusual for AM Best to not rate very small companies. Companies not rated by large rating agencies, like AM Best, Moodys, Fitch, Weiss or Standard & Poor, are not necessarily less financially stable, but I prefer to avoid them, due to the unknown nature of their solvency. A company called Demotech, Inc. rates some smaller or newer insurance companies not rated by other insurance company rating agencies, but Demotech does not have a rating for Alliance United Insurance Company, either.

Kemper Insurance, a large, Am Best rated group of insurance companies, will soon be acquiring Alliance United Insurance Company, and I’m sure AM Best will rate Alliance United Insurance Company, after its acquisition by Kemper.

Source: AM Best website


4. Alliance United Insurance Company JD Power Ratings & BBB Rating

Alliance United Insurance Company, like many small single state or regional insurance companies, does not have enough customers at this time to be included in the annual JD Power auto & home insurance customer satisfaction studies, which evaluate the largest national and regional insurance companies in the USA. The annual JD Power auto insurance customer satisfaction study consists of about a dozen regional studies, so if Alliance United Insurance Company continues its large customer growth, it may be included in the California regional study some time in the future. Not being included in a JD Power insurance study does not make an auto insurance company better or worse than large or JD Power rated companies, but it does make it harder to evaluate the quality of customer service provided by a company not rated by JD Power, like Alliance United Insurance Company.

Alliance United Insurance Company was rated “B+” by the Better Business Bureau when I first wrote this review in January of 2015, but it now is rated “A+,” which is the highest rating from the BBB. Alliance United Insurance Company has been BBB accredited since 08/10/2007.

Factors lowering the rating for Alliance United Insurance Company back in January 2015 included eight serious complaints filed against business. There were 162 complaints against Alliance United Insurance Company in the last three years (93 of the complaints occurring in the last 12 months), with 11 for billing or collections, 130 for a problem with service, and 20 for advertising or sales issues. All complaints have been closed and resolved with the assistance of the BBB.

As of 9/23/2015, There were 198 complaints against Alliance United Insurance Company in the last three years (83 of the complaints closed in the last 12 months), with 18 for billing or collections, 165 for a problem with service, 14 for advertising or sales issues, and 1 complaint for guarantee/warranty issues. All complaints have been closed and resolved with the assistance of the BBB. There is no longer mention of the seriousness of any complaint lower its rating.

Although most customer complaints are best directed toward a customer’s state department of insurance, the Better Business Bureau is well-known and a popular choice for consumers filing complaints against a company. If many customers are having so much trouble resolving an issue with their insurance company, they take the time to contact the Better Business Bureau about it, it’s a pretty good sign customers in general may be unhappy with the service provided by their insurance company. If a lot of complaints are made to the BBB about a company, in greater numbers than similar-sized insurance companies, it’s reflected in the BBB rating, and is one indicator the company may have more dissatisfied customers than some of its competitors.

I don’t trust an A+ BBB rating to be a reliable indication of a good auto insurance company, but a lower than “A” rating should be considered as a sign of below average customer service.

However, poor ratings for nonstandard auto insurance companies are common, so price is usually the deciding factor when a driver is looking at high auto insurance rates and a limited number of companies willing to insure them.

Alliance United Insurance Company is sold only through insurance brokers, so the quality of customer service and problem resolution you experience with Alliance United Insurance Company will be heavily influenced by the broker you choose, so select a broker carefully, making sure they have the knowledge, professionalism, and commitment to customer service you deserve.

Source: BBB ratings for Alliance United Insurance

5. Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings for Alliance United Insurance Company

The car insurance complaint statistics for Alliance United Insurance Company listed below display the ratio of the company’s U.S. Market Share of closed complaints compared to its U.S. Market Share of premiums for a specific policy type (in this case, personal auto insurance). 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 (1.05 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.

Alliance United Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (5.16)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $334,912,929

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (4.51)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $243,046,248

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.42)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $158,941,737

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.19)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $105,219,965

Alliance United Insurance Company has a consistent, worse-than-average auto insurance complaint history each year since 2011, with its number of auto insurance complaints in its worst year (2014) during this period, at 416% 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, but this type of company may not be available to the nonstandard auto insurance customer.

6. The Complaint Record for Alliance United Insurance Company compared to the Complaint Records of Allstate, State Farm, GEICO, & Progressive Insurance

Almost all of the subsidiaries of State Farm, Allstate, GEICO, and Progressive have better three year (2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014) auto insurance complaint records than Alliance United Insurance Company.

7. Alliance United Insurance Company Review Summary

Here’s my summary to give you the bottom line on the customer satisfaction & rates for Alliance United Insurance Company, to see if the companies performs better than average, average, or worse than average. Since Alliance United Insurance Company is not rated by JD Power, my evaluation is based on their three year auto insurance complaint statistics and Better Business Bureau rating.

Alliance United Insurance Company Auto Insurance Claims & Customer Service:

Worse than average

I summarize the auto & home insurance complaint records in this same way for over 40 other major companies in this review. Compare Alliance United Insurance Company with other insurance companies at: here.

Although a company’s auto & home insurance complaint record can be particularly useful for identifying poor claims service & claims satisfaction, it shouldn’t be the only tool you use for choosing an auto insurance company. With companies like Alliance United Insurance Company, having their policies sold and serviced through independent insurance agents or brokers, the quality of customer service (other than claims) can depend a great deal on the agent/broker you choose. However, brokers selling mainly nonstandard auto insurance don’t usually focus on customer service, so you may want to avoid brokers selling mostly nonstandard auto insurance, and try to find a broker selling a mix of standard auto, home insurance, and nonstandard auto insurance, with an emphasis on providing better service than competitors.

Alliance United Insurance Company 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. Alliance United Insurance Company has grown its California auto insurance market share greatly each year, which is a very good sign of lower car insurance rates than some other nonstandard auto insurance companies.

If you meet California’s definition of a “good driver,” you probably can get much better rates & service from another auto insurance company. However, if you have a problem qualifying for some auto insurance companies because of your driving record, lack of driving experience, or other factors, you should find a broker representing Alliance United Insurance Company and ask for a price quote. It pays to shop. You may not have your choice of companies with the best complaint records, but you can still see, among the companies willing to insure you, big variations in the prices they charge for the same coverage. In addition to Alliance United Insurance Company, be sure to check with GEICO, Progressive, Infinity, Mercury, 21st Century, and others.

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. 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!

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