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

The Hallmark insurance companies sell nonstandard auto insurance through local independent insurance agencies located throughout 15 U.S. states. Nonstandard auto insurance is auto insurance for higher risk drivers some standard or preferred auto insurance companies won’t insure, such as newly licensed or inexperienced drivers, drivers with too many tickets or accidents, or a major driving violation (DUI, DUII, DWI, Reckless driving) or recent license suspension. Does Hallmark Insurance have a lot of customer complaints? How does it compare to competing auto insurance companies like Progressive & GEICO? This blog post will review Hallmark Insurance, evaluating its JD Power, AM Best, BBB (Better Business Bureau) ratings, and customer complaints over the last three years, to let you know if Hallmark Insurance has a better than average, average, or worse than average complaint record.

The information in this review can help you decide if Hallmark is a good company to insure your cars or trucks. The smart insurance shopper checks their eligibility with all the major companies for the right combination of coverage, acceptable claims & customer service, and best price for them. Be sure to use the ad below this paragraph (or the ad at the end of this review) to request price quotes from multiple insurance companies, and find the best insurance company for you.


Hallmark Insurance Review

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

1. About Hallmark Insurance

The main insurance product sold by Hallmark Insurance is nonstandard auto insurance for drivers considered higher risk by insurance companies, such as drivers with tickets or accidents, a recent gap in prior insurance coverage, licensed less than three years, or other reasons. If you qualify for standard or preferred auto insurance with any company, it’s probably a better & less expensive choice for you than Hallmark auto insurance.

Although the Hallmark consumer website states it sells homeowners, mobile /manufactured home, and dwelling-fire property insurance, it has been reported in the Insurance Journal article cited & quoted in Section #2 of this review, Hallmark is no longer selling homeowners insurance, and is limiting the sale of other types of property insurance in areas subject to catastrophic weather conditions. As of 2014, Hallmark has few homeowners, mobile home, or renters insurance policies in force. If you need property insurance, you don’t need to check with Hallmark, but if an independent insurance agent, representing many of the insurance companies sold through independent insurance agencies in your state, recommends Hallmark to insure your residence, you can use Section #4 of this review to check its home insurance (including homeowners, mobile home, and renters insurance) complaint record.

The Hallmark consumer website states Hallmark offers motorcycle & ATV insurance, but the Hallmark agent website says Hallmark does not sell motorcycle insurance at this time, which I believe to be more accurate than its consumer website.

If you are a driver not qualifying for standard or preferred auto insurance coverage, and live in a state where Hallmark is available, you should check to see what coverage and rates Hallmark can offer you. Hallmark sells both minimum liability auto insurance policies and policies with comprehensive and/or collision coverage, to insure your cars from theft or certain causes of physical damage.

Hallmark sells auto insurance in the following fifteen states: Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

Hallmark has most of its auto insurance customers in the state of Texas, which increases its exposure to catastrophic claims from the wild weather common in the Lone Star State. To improve its profitability, Hallmark is trying to sell more auto insurance in other states, which may mean more competitive nonstandard auto insurance rates in states other than Texas, and Hallmark may expand beyond the states where it’s available now. Hallmark has in the last few years stopped selling auto insurance in the state of Florida, because it was paying out much more in claims than it made in auto insurance premiums from Florida customers.

Hallmark Insurance Website & Getting Auto Insurance Price Quotes

You can’t get auto insurance price quotes online from the Hallmark Insurance website, but you can use the site to find the contact information and locations of independent insurance agencies representing Hallmark insurance near you. Like with most insurance companies, Hallmark Insurance customers can pay bills, file claims, or access their insurance information through the company website.

Source: Hallmark Insurance Agent website.

2. AM Best Financial Strength Ratings for the Hallmark Insurance Companies

The Hallmark Insurance companies (Hallmark Insurance Company, American Hallmark Insurance Company of Texas, Hallmark County Mutual Insurance Company, Hallmark National Insurance Company, and Hallmark Specialty Insurance Company) had their AM Best Financial Strength Rating affirmed at A- (Excellent), now with a stable outlook (a ratings upgrade or downgrade is not likely in the near future) on 06/08/2016, revising its outlook from negative when it was last rated in 2015. The AM Best rating of “A-“ is the fourth ranked rating (Three ratings are higher: A++, A+, A) from AM Best.

The reaffirming of AM Best’s financial strength rating with a revised outlook for the Hallmark Insurance Group companies was reported in this Insurance Journal article, Outlooks Revised to Stable for Hallmark Financial Services, Subsidiaries.

Per the article, “The affirmation of Hallmark Group’s ratings reflects its adequate risk-adjusted capitalization, generally positive net earnings and improved underwriting performance in 2014.” As for the reasons for the continued negative outlook, the article explains: “The continuation of the negative outlook reflects Hallmark Group’s volatile operating results, as well as its lower risk-adjusted capitalization over the past five years. This is due primarily to Hallmark Group’s unfavorable underwriting performance in four of the past five years, which resulted in significant underwriting losses. The adverse underwriting results were driven by unfavorable Florida non-standard personal automobile loss experience in the earlier part of the past five years, followed by increased frequent and severe weather-related events in later years.” Hallmark no longer insures vehicles in Florida.

The article details the steps taken by Hallmark Insurance to improve its profitability in 2014:

Corrective underwriting actions include exiting from Florida’s non-standard personal automobile business; de-emphasizing of personal and commercial property exposure in catastrophe-prone areas; exiting certain underperforming states and closing unprofitable products including personal homeowners’ insurance. In addition, significant rate increases have been taken and tighter underwriting guidelines have been implemented.

AM Best financial strength ratings are not a measure of customer service or the quality of the claims adjusting for the Hallmark 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.

Source: Hallmark Insurance Company

3. Hallmark Insurance JD Power Ratings & BBB Rating

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Ratings

The Hallmark insurance companies, like many other smaller insurance companies operating in a few states or focusing on a specialty line, like nonstandard auto insurance, 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 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 any of the Hallmark Group companies better or worse than larger JD Power rated companies or better-known brands, but it does make it harder to objectively evaluate the quality of customer service provided by a company not rated by JD Power, like Hallmark Insurance.

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. 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.

Hallmark Insurance Company has the highest rating of “A+” from the Better Business Bureau, and Hallmark Insurance Company has been BBB accredited since 04/03/2012. Hallmark Insurance Company had 13 BBB complaints in the last three years, with 3 occurring in the last 12 months. 10 complaints were for the category of a problem with service, 2 complaints were for billing / collections issues, and 1 complaint was for advertising / sales 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 Hallmark Insurance Company should not be a concern for its customers or prospective customers.

Source: BBB ratings for Hallmark Insurance Company

4. Hallmark Auto & Homeowners Insurance Complaints

The most common reasons for people to file auto & home insurance complaints with a state insurance department against insurance companies, are for delays in a claim payment, unsatisfactory payment of a claim, and denial of a claim.

The auto & homeowners insurance complaint statistics for the Hallmark 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 if a Hallmark insurance company has 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 very small market share.

Hallmark is composed of five insurance company subsidiaries, but Hallmark Specialty Insurance Company sells commercial insurance for businesses, not personal auto or homeowners insurance, so its complaint statistics are not included in this review. The use of more than one auto or home insurance subsidiary company is usually to offer different pricing to specific risk profiles (for example, drivers with a clean driving record vs. drivers with tickets and accidents) or affinity groups (for example, Costco members, government employees, etc.), operate in a certain US state or group of states, or offer specific lines of insurance, such as business insurance or motorcycle insurance.

Hallmark Auto Insurance Customer Complaints

Hallmark has four subsidiary companies insuring personal use private passenger cars & trucks in the USA:

American Hallmark Insurance Company of Texas Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = No auto insurance policies in force

2014 US auto insurance premium = $0

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (21.40)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $506,788

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (8.73)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $2,074,687

American Hallmark Insurance Company of Texas currently has no auto insurance customers and is likely not selling auto insurance at this time.

Hallmark County Mutual Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.14)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $19,404,842

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C- (1.08)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $29,995,749

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

2012 US auto insurance premium = $16,318,925

Hallmark County Mutual Insurance Company sells auto insurance in the state of Texas only.

Hallmark Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (4.37)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $38,112,527

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (4.62)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $35,188,393

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (9.13)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $33,701,148

Hallmark Insurance Company has a consistent, worse-than-average auto insurance complaint history from 2012 to 2014.

Hallmark National Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.60)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $6,943,403

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (3.95)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $8,228,484

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (3.64)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $11,708,752

Hallmark National Insurance Company has a consistent, worse-than-average auto insurance complaint history from 2012 to 2014.

Hallmark Homeowners Insurance Customer Complaints

Hallmark has only one subsidiary company insuring homes in the USA. However, as noted in Section #2 of this review, Hallmark is no longer selling homeowners insurance, and may be non-renewing all of its homeowners insurance policies as they expire, which may account for its drop in market share (as measured below by “US home insurance premium” collected each year) since 2012. If Hallmark is still insuring your home, it may be wise to shop for a better home insurance company now, rather than waiting to find out if you are going to be canceled when your Hallmark policy expires.

American Hallmark Insurance Company of Texas Homeowners Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2014 US home insurance premium = $3,805,490

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (5.20)

2013 US home insurance premium = $6,364,596

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (4.34)

2012 US home insurance premium = $14,934,184

5. Hallmark Insurance Review Summary

Here’s my summary to give you the bottom line on the customer service & rates for the Hallmark insurance companies, to see if they perform better than average, average, or worse than average.

Hallmark auto insurance customer & claims service as measured by its 2012-2014 complaint record:

Worse than Average

Hallmark Homeowners insurance customer & claims service as measured by its 2012-2014 complaint record:

Worse than Average

Although an insurance company’s complaint record can be particularly useful for identifying poor claims service & claims satisfaction, it should not be the only tool you use for choosing an auto insurance company. 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.

How does Hallmark Insurance compare to major auto or nonstandard auto insurance companies, like 21st Century, GEICO, Progressive, National General (formerly GMAC), Infinity, The General and others? Compare Hallmark auto insurance with over forty other companies at my home page: smartshopyourcarinsurance.com.

Hallmark Auto 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.

As mentioned above in Section #2 of this review, Hallmark has been pulling out of unprofitable markets, which may account for the decrease in market share for most of its subsidiaries as shown in Section #4 of this review.

Hallmark has been unprofitable in four of the last five years, and one of the ways Hallmark has addressed this problem is through rate increases. However, Hallmark is trying to grow its business outside of Texas, and auto insurance companies need competitive rates to grow. If you have Hallmark auto insurance, it’s wise to shop around for better rates and coverage, to make sure you are not paying too much for your coverage. If you are not insured with Hallmark and don’t qualify for standard auto insurance with any company, contact a local independent insurance agency representing Hallmark to see if Hallmark is a good choice 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, National General, 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!

Did this Hallmark Insurance review explain what you need to know about Hallmark auto & homeowners insurance? Tell me about it. Please leave a comment on my facebook page. Follow me on Twitter for important insurance consumer news and new blog entries at CarInsWatch.