Westfield Insurance Review: Auto & Homeowners Complaints, AM Best, BBB, & JD Power Ratings

Westfield Insurance sells auto, home, and boat insurance in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia through independent insurance agents with offices located in communities across those 10 states. Westfield Insurance is among the nation’s top 50 largest property and casualty insurance groups. How good is Westfield’s auto & home insurance? I’ll review the AM Best financial strength ratings, JD Power customer satisfaction ratings, and Better Business Bureau ratings for the Westfield insurance companies, such as Westfield Insurance Company, Westfield National Insurance Company, and American Select Insurance Company, including their auto & home insurance complaint records over the last three years. My review summary will give you my opinion if Westfield Insurance is performing better than average, average, or worse than average, compared to its competitors, like State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, GEICO and others. The wise insurance buyer shops for the best combination of coverage, price, and service, so be sure to use the ad below this paragraph (or the ad at the end of this review) to get price quotes from multiple insurance companies and find the best insurance company for you.


Westfield Insurance Company Review

This Westfield Insurance review is divided into five parts, consisting of: 1. A company overview including the Westfield Insurance website, and the best way to get an insurance price quote, 2. The AM Best financial strength ratings for the Westfield group of companies, 3. The JD Power customer satisfaction ratings and BBB rating for Westfield Insurance, 4. the auto & homeowners insurance customer complaint records for the Westfield group of companies over the last three years, 5. a review summary of Westfield Insurance rating its complaint record average, better than average, or below average, and comparing its rates and auto & homeowners insurance to competing insurance companies.

1. About Westfield Insurance

Westfield Insurance, founded in 1848 as Ohio Farmers Insurance Company, has been in the insurance business for over 166 years. Westfield Insurance consists of five subsidiary companies (Westfield Insurance Company, Westfield National Insurance Company, American Select Insurance Company, Old Guard Insurance Company, and Ohio Farmers Insurance Company), providing a mix of financial products including commercial insurance & surety bonds for businesses, personal insurance (homeowners, condo, renters, boats & watercraft, cars, trucks, motorcycles, motor homes, snowmobiles & personal umbrella liability insurance), as well as personal & commercial banking services, and is available in many US states through independent insurance agencies appointed to represent the company. However, the Westfield Insurance companies sell personal insurance in only ten states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Tennessee.

Westfield Insurance, like a few other insurance companies such as Encompass, offers a policy that can insure your home and vehicles together, called Wespak and Wespak Estate (for high value homes). The home/auto discount can save Westfield customers up to 15% with the Westfield Wespak® for Home and Car Insurance. Per the company website: “With the Wespak®, we conveniently bundle your home and car insurance policies into one package. You’ll earn extra coverage for free that normally costs more when added to a regular policy. Your Wespak is one policy for home and auto insurance, so you receive only one bill.” The Wespak policies may not be available in all states.

Additional protection and services such as roadside assistance, identity theft and equipment breakdown coverage may also be available.

Other major auto & home insurance companies offer similar auto & home insurance products, coverage, and size of discounts, so consult an agent representing Westfield Insurance to see if the company offers anything unique from competitors. Independent insurance agencies represent other insurance companies selling through independent agents (not companies like State Farm, American Family, GEICO, etc.), so they can answer your questions about how Westfield Insurance compares to the other companies they represent.

The Westfield Insurance website cannot be used to request an online auto or home insurance price quote, which is not unusual for companies using independent insurance agencies to market and sell their coverage. You can use the site to get the contact information for independent insurance agents representing one or more of the Westfield Insurance companies closest to you, and then you can contact an agent for a price quote, if you live in one of the ten states where Westfield offers personal insurance policies.

Remember — unless you really want to insure with a particular insurance company an independent insurance agency represents, one of the main advantages of using independent insurance agencies to get price quotes 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 (like Amica or GEICO or Progressive), through their own agents (like State Farm), and independent insurance agents, to find the best auto or home insurance company for you.

Source: Westfield Insurance website

2. Westfield Insurance AM Best Financial Strength Ratings

The Westfield Insurance companies (Westfield Insurance Company, Westfield National Insurance Company, American Select Insurance Company, Old Guard Insurance Company, and Ohio Farmers 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 11/19/2014. The AM Best rating of “A” is the third highest rating for AM Best. On its website, Westfield claims to have maintained at least an “A” financial strength rating from AM Best for more than 75 years.

AM Best financial strength ratings are not a measure of customer service or the quality of the claims adjusting for the Westfield insurance companies, 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. Some major auto & home insurance companies have higher financial strength ratings than the Westfield 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: AM Best Rating for Westfield Insurance

3. Westfield Insurance JD Power Ratings & BBB Rating

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Ratings

Westfield Insurance, like many other smaller regional insurance companies, does not have enough auto or homeowners insurance customers at this time in any one state, region, or nationally to be included in any of the recent annual JD Power 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 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 the Westfield insurance companies.

Better Business Bureau (BBB) Rating

Although 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 companies. If many customers are having difficulty resolving an issue with their insurance company and 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.

Westfield Insurance is rated “A+” by the Better Business Bureau, which is the highest rating from the BBB, although the company is not currently BBB accredited. Westfield Insurance has 20 BBB complaints in the last three years, with 8 complaints occurring in the last 12 months. 13 complaints were for the category of a problem with service, 6 complaints were for billing / collections issues, and 1 complaint was for delivery issues. All complaints have been closed and resolved according to the BBB.

I don’t consider an A+ BBB rating to be a reliable indication of a good insurance company, but a lower than “A” rating should be considered as a sign of below average customer service. To date, the BBB rating & complaint record For Westfield Insurance should not be a concern for its customers or prospective customers.

Source: BBB ratings for Westfield Insurance

4. Westfield Insurance Auto & Homeowners Insurance Complaints

The auto & home insurance (homeowners, condominium-owners, and renters) complaint statistics for the Westfield insurance companies listed below were calculated by the NAIC, and 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. 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 & homeowners 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.

I prefer companies with the longest recent history of “B” ratings each year (or at least in the most recent three years). Companies with “B” or “C+” ratings are okay, too, particularly if they have less market share, with less than $100,000,000 in premiums for that line of insurance (auto or home) each year. I prefer to avoid companies with a consistently higher than average number of complaints, or with inconsistent complaint records, unless there are mitigating factors, such as small market share.

Westfield Insurance consists of five subsidiary companies, but Ohio Farmer Insurance Company sells only Fidelity & Surety insurance (bonds) and Old Guard Insurance Company sells only commercial insurance for businesses. Below are the complaint statistics for the other three subsidiaries: Westfield Insurance Company, Westfield National Insurance Company, and American Select Insurance Company.

Auto Insurance Customer Complaints

Westfield Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.74)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $147,312,530

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.76)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $153,527,751

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.51)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $151,742,857

Westfield National Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.07)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $144,916,482

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.12)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $153,865,509

2011 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.23)

2011 US auto insurance premium = $148,033,868

American Select Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.58)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $37,422,846

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.53)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $17,030,299

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

2011 US auto insurance premium = $19,277,414

All three Westfield subsidiaries had a lower than average number of auto insurance complaints each year from 2011 to 2013, with Westfield National Insurance Company having a much lower number of auto insurance complaints each year (compared to the industry average) than the other two Westfield subsidiaries. Unfortunately, the eligibility requirements for which subsidiary you qualify is determined by the insurer, so Westfield National Insurance Company may not be available to everyone.

Why do insurance companies have more than one subsidiary selling auto or home insurance? It can be for several reasons. Sometimes a subsidiary is set up to operate in a specific state or states. Often it’s to offer different pricing based on targeting a select type of customer, such as an affinity group of public employees or customers meeting a “preferred risk” profile less likely to file claims. It may be Westfield National Insurance Company, although about the same size as Westfield Insurance Company, insures customers meeting a profile of lower risk and less claims.

Auto & home insurance complaints filed with a state’s department of insurance are largely regarding claims. The auto insurance complaint ratios for Westfield National Insurance Company may only be much lower than average because much fewer of its customers file auto insurance claims. If this is the case, the auto insurance complaint ratios for Westfield Insurance Company may be more representative of the company’s claims service, which is still lower than the industry average number of complaints.

Homeowners (including Homeowners, Condo, Renters) Insurance Customer Complaints

Westfield Insurance Company Homeowners Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.44)

2013 US home insurance premium = $90,695,131

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.40)

2012 US home insurance premium = $90,540,053

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.56)

2011 US home insurance premium = $86,363,336

Westfield National 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 = $113,246,491

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.28)

2012 US home insurance premium = $114,171,945

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.23)

2011 US home insurance premium = $104,107,041

American Select 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 = $15,991,465

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

2012 US home insurance premium = $1,765,776

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

2011 US home insurance premium = $1,951,941

As with the auto insurance complaint ratios, the homeowners insurance (including condo & renters policies) complaint ratios are much different between the two Westfield subsidiaries with about the same homeowners insurance market size: Westfield Insurance Company and Westfield National Insurance Company. As stated in the auto insurance complaints section, this difference in complaint ratios may be because a lower percentage of customers with Westfield National Insurance Company filed claims than Westfield Insurance Company, and most complaints are regarding claims.

Westfield Insurance Company had worse than average home insurance complaint ratios in 2012 & 2013, being 140% and 44% more than the industry average each year respectively. Although Westfield National Insurance Company and American Select Insurance Company had much better than average home insurance complaint ratios from 2011 to 2013, the worse than average complaint ratios for Westfield Insurance Company may be more representative for these two subsidiaries if you have a claim.

5. Westfield Insurance Review Summary

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

Westfield Insurance auto insurance complaint record:

Better than average

Homeowners insurance complaint record (Westfield Insurance Company subsidiary only):

Worse than average

Homeowners insurance complaint record (Westfield National Insurance Company & American Select Insurance Company subsidiaries):

Better than average

My major concern with Westfield Insurance is the poor 2012 & 2013 homeowners insurance complaint records for its one subsidiary, Westfield Insurance Company. Westfield Insurance Company & Westfield National Insurance Company operate in some of the same states, and have about the same size home insurance market share nationally, so why does Westfield National Insurance Company have a great homeowners insurance complaint record, and Westfield Insurance Company has a poor homeowners insurance complaint record? It may not be because the Westfield National subsidiary insures lower risk homeowners insurance customers and has less claims.

Not all of the department of insurance websites for each of the ten states where Westfield Insurance insures autos & homes has market share information for these two subsidiaries, but I gathered some information from Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. For Indiana, both Westfield Insurance Company & Westfield National Insurance Company insure autos & homes in the state, and although Westfield National has a much greater share of the Indiana market than Westfield Insurance Company, both subsidiaries have a very small share of the Indiana market, and few of each subsidiaries total number of auto & home insurance customers are from Indiana. In Pennsylvania, only the Westfield Insurance Company subsidiary insures autos & homes, and $34,216,207 of Westfield Insurance company’s $90,695,131 total homeowners insurance premiums for 2013 came from Pennsylvania, which is about 38% of its 2013 homeowners insurance business. In Ohio, both subsidiaries insure autos & homes, but Westfield National Insurance Company has many more homeowners insurance customers, and a significant share of the Ohio homeowners insurance market. $75,947,014 of Westfield National Insurance company’s $113,246,491 total homeowners insurance premiums for 2013 came from Ohio, which is about 67% of its 2013 homeowners insurance business.

What do I think the data above means? The Westfield Insurance homeowners complaint record may be better or worse than average based on it’s state’s insurance operations. In 2012 & 2013, Westfield Insurance Company received the most complaints from the states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. It may be wise to consider other home insurance companies if your home is insured with the Westfield Insurance Company subsidiary in either PA or WV, but this subsidiary’s homeowners insurance complaint record may be less of a concern in other states.

How does Westfield Insurance compare to other major auto & home insurance companies, like State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide, GEICO, & Progressive? Compare Westfield Insurance with over forty other insurance companies at my home page: smartshopyourcarinsurance.com.

Westfield Insurance Rates

For pricing, the most reliable way to know if your 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 for the three Westfield Insurance companies in section #4 of this review, the auto insurance market share for the American Select Insurance Company subsidiary increased significantly from 2012 to 2013, while the subsidiaries still with the most significant auto insurance market shares decreased from 2012 to 2013. Overall, Westfield Insurance has more auto insurance customers in 2013 than it had in 2012.

If you look at the annual home insurance premiums for the three Westfield Insurance companies in section #4 of this review, the still very small homeowners insurance market share for the American Select Insurance Company subsidiary grew greatly from 2012 to 2013, and the subsidiaries with significant homeowners insurance market share decreased slightly for Westfield National Insurance company, and stayed about the same for Westfield Insurance Company.

The slight change in overall auto & homeowners market share is not a strong signal Westfield Insurance has either low or high auto & homeowner insurance rates compared to its competitors. However, when you shop for auto and/or home insurance, be sure to contact an independent insurance agency representing Westfield and other companies only available from independent insurance agents, to make sure you are not missing out on a company having the best auto and home insurance coverage and rates for you.

It pays to shop. 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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