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

ACE Group sells auto, homeowners, and other types of personal property & casualty insurance to meet the needs of high net worth individuals & families. You don’t need to be one of the super rich to consider a company like ACE Group, and anyone with a home worth at least one million dollars, or owns high value cars, boats, vacation homes, or personal property, should contact agents representing companies specializing in properly covering high value property & the insurance needs of their owners, to see if there are expensive gaps in their coverage.

ACE competes with companies like Chubb, AIG, and PURE, offering specialized insurance coverage for the owners of high value property. This ACE review may be of particular importance to auto & home insurance customers of Fireman’s Fund, another insurer of high value homes, because ACE is purchasing the renewal rights of these customers from Fireman’s Fund, as Fireman’s Fund ceases operations, starting in 2015.

Surprisingly, many of the affluent are insured with companies like GEICO, Progressive, Allstate, State Farm, etc. and may be paying too much to be under-insured. A company with competitive rates to insure a $250,000 or $500,000 home may have expensive rates for million dollar homes. If you have a high value home, which company specializing in providing insurance coverage is best for you? How good is ACE auto or homeowners insurance? To help you decide, I’ll review the AM Best financial strength ratings and any JD Power customer satisfaction ratings for the ACE insurance companies, such as Bankers Standard Insurance Company, ACE Insurance Company of the Midwest, and Atlantic Employers Insurance Company, including their auto & home insurance complaint records over the last three years. My review summary will give you my opinion if the ACE Insurance companies are performing better than average, average, or worse than average. You can use the ad below this paragraph (or the ad at the end of this review) to get price quotes from major insurance companies, to see how much the rate varies among insurers to cover your high value property.


ACE Insurance Review

This ACE Group Insurance review is divided into five parts, consisting of: 1. A company overview including the purchase from Fireman’s Fund and the ACE Insurance website, and the best way to get an insurance price quote, 2. The AM Best financial strength ratings for each of the ACE group of companies operating in the USA, 3. The JD Power customer satisfaction ratings for ACE Insurance, 4. the auto & homeowners insurance customer complaint records for the ACE companies over the last three years, 5. a review summary of ACE Insurance rating its overall auto & homeowners insurance complaint record as average, better than average, or below average, and a comparison to competing companies.

1. About ACE Group

The ACE Group is a major global conglomerate of companies based in 54 countries selling many types of insurance and reinsurance. ACE provides homeowners, automobile, valuables, umbrella and recreational marine insurance to meet the needs of the affluent through ACE Private Risk Services, with subsidiary companies licensed in every U.S. state.

ACE offers a package policy, called the ACE Platinum Portfolio, to insure high value homes and condominiums with unique features, vacation and secondary residences, multiple cars and drivers, fine art, antiques, jewelry, collectibles, pleasure boats and yachts, and provide protection from costly liability lawsuits. In most instances, customers will have just one package policy to track and one bill to pay. ACE claims to provide broader and higher levels of coverage than standard industry policies do. On the ACE website, you can see a auto, home, valuables, umbrella liability insurance coverage comparison to the Ace Platinum Portfolio policy.

ACE to Buy Fireman’s Fund Personal Lines Customers

ACE is acquiring the personal lines business of high-net worth customers from Fireman’s Fund. Although the deal is pending regulatory approval, it should become final by the end of second quarter of 2015. As reported in this Insurance Journal article:

ACE said the Fireman’s Fund business will be integrated into its existing high net worth personal lines business, ACE Private Risk Services, which offers coverage for homeowners, automobile, umbrella and excess liability, collectibles and yachts. In 2013, Fireman’s Fund had $891 million in personal lines gross written premiums and ranked third among insurers serving the U.S. high net worth consumer market. The sale includes the renewal rights, reinsurance of existing liabilities, and access to a network of 1,100 agents and brokers, according to the announcement.

Once the deal closes & is implemented, Fireman’s Fund personal insurance customers should receive coverage offers from ACE when their Fireman’s Fund policies expire, and their agent formerly representing Fireman’s Fund will represent ACE, at the discretion of ACE.

ACE Insurance Website & Price Quotes

Existing ACE customers can register on the ACE website and manage their policies through the site online, including paying a bill, printing insurance documents like proof of insurance, filing a claim, & access to additional services, like customers can do with many major auto & home insurance companies these days. You can’t get auto or home insurance price quotes online from the ACE Insurance website, but you can locate the offices of independent insurance agencies representing ACE near you, and contact an agent for price quotes.

Remember: 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, but talking to several independent insurance agents with experience & expertise insuring the needs of high net worth customers, representing the companies specializing in the high value property insurance market, is essential to helping you obtain the proper coverage and avoid coverage gaps.

Source: ACE Insurance website

2. ACE Insurance AM Best Financial Strength Ratings

The ACE Group of property & casualty insurance companies operating in the USA (ACE American Insurance Company, ACE Fire Underwriters Insurance Company, ACE Insurance Company of the Midwest, ACE Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Agri General Insurance Company, Atlantic Employers Insurance Company, Bankers Standard Fire and Marine Company, Bankers Standard Insurance Company, Illinois Union Insurance Company, Indemnity Insurance Company of North America, Insurance Company of North America, Pacific Employers Insurance Company, Penn Millers Insurance Company, Westchester Fire Insurance Company, and Westchester Surplus Lines 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) upgraded on 04/11/2014. The AM Best rating of “A++” is the highest financial strength rating for AM Best.

ACE Life Insurance Company had its AM Best financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) affirmed on 04/11/2014 with a stable outlook. A- is the fourth highest rating for AM Best.

I become concerned with any auto, home, or life insurance company / subsidiary with less than an A- rating for financial strength from AM Best.

AM Best financial strength ratings are not a measure of customer service or the quality of the claims adjusting for the ACE Group 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 the same or slightly lower financial strength ratings than the ACE Group 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 Bankers Standard Insurance Company

3. ACE Insurance JD Power Auto & Homeowners Claims & Customer Satisfaction Ratings

ACE Insurance, like other insurance companies focused on a smaller specialized market (high net worth homeowners), 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 any ACE insurance subsidiary better or worse than 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 ACE Group companies.

4. ACE Insurance Auto & Homeowners Insurance Complaints

The auto & homeowners insurance (including condominium-owners and renters insurance) complaint statistics for the ACE 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.

ACE has primarily four subsidiaries selling auto and/or homeowners insurance in the USA, some of which may be available in the same states: Bankers Standard Insurance Company, Atlantic Employers Insurance Company, Illinois Union Insurance Company, and ACE Insurance Company of the Midwest, and their auto & home insurance complaint ratios (2012-2014) are shown in this section below.

The ACE subsidiary, Ace American Insurance Company, had only $42,731 in total US home insurance premiums, and $11,216 in total US auto insurance premiums, collected from all its customers in 2014, and have decreased each year from 2012-2014, showing this subsidiary is most likely not selling new auto or home insurance policies, and has too few of these customers for its complaint data to be meaningful or worth reviewing. However, if you are one of the very, very few auto insurance customers insured by ACE American Insurance Company (I estimate it has at most 50 customers), it has a terrible auto insurance complaint record from 2012 to 2014, and you should consider insuring your autos elsewhere.

Other ACE subsidiaries operating in the USA sell types of insurance other than auto & homeowners insurance, such as commercial insurance for businesses.

So you don’t have to worry about comparing complaint ratio numbers, I devised a rating system to help you identify if an ACE subsidiary 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 $50,000,000 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.

I. ACE Group Auto Insurance Customer Complaints

ACE has three subsidiaries selling auto insurance in the USA.

Bankers Standard Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.57)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $116,950,743

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = C+ (.75)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $115,266,138

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.65)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $111,748,734

Bankers Standard Insurance Company is licensed in all U.S states, but may not be selling auto insurance in every state where it is licensed. Bankers Standard Insurance Company is the ACE subsidiary with the most auto insurance customers.

Atlantic Employers Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

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

2014 US auto insurance premium = $10,081,300

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $2,676,931

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = No auto insurance policies in force

2012 US auto insurance premium = $0

Atlantic Employers Insurance Company insures private passenger vehicles (cars & trucks under a certain size) in New Jersey only.

ACE Insurance Company of the Midwest Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

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

2014 US auto insurance premium = $7,118,756

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $6,377,173

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

2012 US auto insurance premium = $5,329,629

ACE Insurance Company of the Midwest is licensed in Florida, Louisiana, and Indiana, but has most of its auto insurance customers in Florida.

II. ACE Group Homeowners (including Homeowners, Condo, Renters) Insurance Customer Complaints

ACE has four subsidiaries selling homeowners insurance in the USA.

Bankers Standard Insurance Company Homeowners Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.17)

2014 US home insurance premium = $236,934,956

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.24)

2013 US home insurance premium = $233,287,334

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.41)

2012 US home insurance premium = $216,865,295

Bankers Standard Insurance Company is licensed in all U.S states, but may not be selling homeowners, condo, or renters insurance in every state where it is licensed. Bankers Standard Insurance Company is the ACE subsidiary with the most home insurance customers.

Atlantic Employers Insurance Company 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 = $13,792,960

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2013 US home insurance premium = $3,707,812

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = No homeowners insurance policies in force

2012 US home insurance premium = $0

Atlantic Employers Insurance Company insures property in New Jersey only.

ACE Insurance Company of the Midwest 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 = $16,110,206

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2013 US home insurance premium = $14,910,895

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

2012 US home insurance premium = $12,979,759

ACE Insurance Company of the Midwest is licensed in Florida, Louisiana, and Indiana.

Illinois Union Insurance Company 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 = $8,466,264

2013 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0) (No complaints)

2013 US home insurance premium = $7,436,351

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

2012 US home insurance premium = $6,333,190

Illinois Union Insurance Company is licensed in all states, but may not be selling insurance coverage in all states.

5. ACE Insurance Review Summary

Here’s my summary to give you the bottom line on the customer service & rates for ACE Group auto & homeowners insurance, to see if it performs better than average, average, or worse than average.

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

Better than Average

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

Better than Average

What can make ACE a much better or worse insurance company for you is the quality of service & expertise of the independent insurance agency from which you choose to buy it, and it can be hard to find an agency with real expertise serving the needs of the high net worth customer and their high value property. Don’t rely on the opinion of only one independent agent, but speak to several agencies to make sure you get the best coverage advice.

If you are having trouble finding a good agent representing several companies specializing in high value home coverage to get comparison quotes, both the auto insurance companies, GEICO & Progressive, represent a leading company in this market, called CHUBB, and they may be able to quote you this company. The ad below will take you to links to get online quotes from leading Home, Auto, Health, & Life insurance companies, including GEICO & Progressive. Choose the type of insurance, put in your zip, and start shopping now!

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

Did this ACE Insurance review explain what you need to know about Bankers Standard Insurance Company and the auto & homeowners insurance of other ACE subsidiaries? 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.