Safe Auto Insurance Company (SafeAuto) Review: Customer Complaints, AM Best, JD Power, & Better Business Bureau (BBB) Ratings

Safe Auto Insurance Company, also known as SafeAuto, is a major provider of nonstandard auto insurance and is available in seventeen U.S. states. Does Safe Auto Insurance Company have a lot of customer complaints? How does it compare to competing car insurance companies like Progressive & GEICO? This blog post will review Safe Auto 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 auto insurance companies, particularly for companies designed for higher risk drivers, and being a well-known brand 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 Safe Auto Insurance Company might be a good choice for you. I’ll also show you how the complaint record for Safe Auto Insurance Company compares with major competing insurance companies, like Allstate and State Farm, to help you comparison shop & find the best car insurance company for you.


SafeAuto Insurance Review

This Safe Auto Insurance Company review is divided into seven parts, consisting of: 1. A company overview, 2. a review of its website and how to get a quote, 3. The AM Best Financial Strength ratings for Safe Auto Insurance Company, 4. The JD Power customer satisfaction ratings and BBB rating for Safe Auto Insurance Company, 5. the auto insurance customer complaint record for Safe Auto Insurance Company over the last three years, 6. Customer complaints & ratings for Safe Auto Insurance Company compared to major competitors, and 7. an Safe Auto 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 Safe Auto Insurance Company

Safe Auto Insurance Company is a nonstandard auto insurance company currently available in the states of Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Safe Auto Insurance Company, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, was founded in 1993, and offers only nonstandard auto insurance for drivers determined higher risk by most auto insurance companies, because of their recent claims record, driving record, or other reasons. Safe Auto Insurance Company sells its coverage and provides service to its customers direct from the company, by SafeAuto employees working in 24/7 call centers, and is not available through insurance agents in most states. SafeAuto expanded to California in 2013, and sells & services it auto insurance policies in the Golden State exclusively through its partnership with SCJ Insurance Services, by SCJ’s network of insurance brokers in the state.


2. Safe Auto Insurance Company Website & Requesting a Price Quote

You can get an online auto insurance quote direct from Safe Auto Insurance Company, except for the state of California (in spite of what the SafeAuto website says on its California web page). You can also request an auto insurance price quote by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling Safe Auto Insurance Company using its customer service/sales/claims reporting phone number of 1-800-723-3288. Customers can manage their policies, see their billing information, and make payments through the SafeAuto website, but claims need to be reported by calling the company.

Source for Sections 1 & 2: SafeAuto Insurance Company Website


3. Safe Auto Insurance Company AM Best Financial Strength Ratings

AM Best, the best-known of the insurance company rating agencies, does not rate Safe Auto Insurance Company. It’s not unusual for AM Best to not rate very small companies. Insurance 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 if practical, 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 Safe Auto Insurance Company, either.

Source for Section 3: AM Best website


4. Safe Auto Insurance Company JD Power Ratings & BBB Rating

SafeAuto Insurance, like many other companies specializing only in the nonstandard auto insurance market, does not have enough customers at this time in any one state, region, or nationally to be included in any of the recent annual JD Power auto & home insurance customer satisfaction studies, which evaluate the largest national and regional auto or homeowners insurance companies in the USA. 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 Safe Auto Insurance Company.

Safe Auto Insurance Group is rated “A+” by the Better Business Bureau, which is the highest rating from the BBB, and the company has been accredited since 02/18/1997. There were 159 complaints against SafeAuto in the last three years (73 of the complaints occurring in the last 12 months), with 23 for billing or collections problems, 1 for delivery issues, 124 for a problem with service, and 11 for advertising or sales issues. All complaints have been closed and resolved with the assistance of the BBB.

Although most customer complaints are best directed toward a customer’s state department of insurance, the Better Business Bureau is a well-known and 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.

Source for Section 4: BBB ratings for Safe Auto Insurance Group

5. Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings for Safe Auto Insurance Company

The automobile insurance complaint statistics for Safe Auto 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). 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 insurance company with complaint ratios much 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.

Safe Auto Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.21)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $286,481,185

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.81)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $283,964,437

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.71)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $294,960,334

Safe Auto Insurance Company has a consistent 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 171% 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 may not be a realistic goal for people eligible only for nonstandard auto insurance, and not qualifying for standard auto insurance rates.

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

Many of the subsidiaries of State Farm, Allstate, GEICO, and Progressive have better three year (2011, 2012, & 2013) auto insurance complaint records than Safe Auto Insurance Company, although if Safe Auto Insurance has more years like 2013 in the future, it may eventually have a comparable or better complaint record than some Allstate, GEICO, or Progressive subsidiaries.

7. Safe Auto Insurance Company Review Summary

Here’s my summary to give you the bottom line on the customer satisfaction & rates for Safe Auto Insurance Company, to see if the companies performs better than average, average, or worse than average. Since Safe Auto 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.

Safe Auto Insurance Company Auto Insurance Claims & Customer Service:

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 Safe Auto Insurance Company with other insurance companies at: smartshopyourcarinsurance.com.

Although an insurance company’s 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, and if you qualify only for nonstandard auto insurance, it can be very hard to find a company or subsidiary with a close to average complaint record, much less an auto insurance company with a better than average complaint record. Remember to consider GEICO if you qualify, and buying direct from Progressive as better possible options for you, but if you are limited to the nonstandard auto insurance market, you should consider all the auto insurance companies available to you.

Safe Auto Insurance Company Insurance Rates

For pricing, the most reliable way to know if a car 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. However, a recent rapid increase or decrease in market share may indicate whether a company has higher or lower insurance rates for at least some people. If you look at the annual auto insurance premiums in section 5. of this review, Safe Auto Insurance Company grew slightly in 2013, possibly due to its new availability in California, but has less US auto insurance market share than it had in 2011, which may be a sign its auto insurance rates are now more competitive than they have been in the recent past. There could be many other explanations for this relatively small fluctuation in market share over the last three years, and the smartest thing nonstandard auto insurance customers living in one of the 17 states where SafeAuto is available should do, is contact SafeAuto for an auto insurance company to see how low their rates are for you.

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 Safe Auto Insurance Company, be sure to check with GEICO, Progressive, Infinity, Mercury, 21st Century, Direct General 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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