Mendota / Mendakota Auto Insurance Review: Customer Complaints, AM Best, BBB, & JD Power Ratings

Mendota Insurance Company, and its wholly owned subsidary company, Mendakota Insurance Company, sell nonstandard auto insurance through local independent insurance agencies in many U.S. states. In some areas of the country, independent insurance agents have the best rates for drivers not qualifying for standard insurance rates due to their driving record or other reasons. If an agent tries to sell you and auto insurance policy from Mendota Insurance Company or Mendakota Insurance Company, is it really a good choice for you?

If you have no problem qualifying for standard auto insurance rates, you should not insure with a nonstandard auto insurance company like Mendota or Mendakota Insurance Company. Nonstandard auto insurance is automobile 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, license suspension, or a major driving violation, such as a DUI, DUII, DWI, reckless driving.

If you’re the type of driver that needs a company like Mendota /Mendakota Insurance, is there a better auto insurance company for you? Does Mendota / Mendakota auto Insurance have too many customer complaints? How does Mendota or Mendakota compare to competing auto insurance companies like Progressive & GEICO? This blog post will help you answer these questions and review Mendota & Mendakota insurance companies, evaluating their JD Power, AM Best, BBB (Better Business Bureau) ratings, and customer complaints over the last three years, to let you know if Mendota or Mendakota Insurance Company has a better than average, average, or worse than average complaint record or competitive auto insurance rates.

The information in this review can help you decide if Mendota Insurance Company or Mendakota Insurance Company 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.


Mendota /Mendakota Auto Insurance Review

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

1. About Mendota /Mendakota Auto Insurance

Mendota Insurance Company was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Eagan, Minnesota. Eagan, Minnesota. Mendakota Insurance Company & Mendota Insurance Company are subsidiary companies owned by Kingsway Financial Services.

Mendakota Insurance Company & Mendota Insurance Company sell nonstandard car insurance for drivers considered higher risk by insurance companies, such as drivers with tickets or accidents, a recent lapse or no prior insurance coverage, drivers licensed less than three years, or other reasons. If you qualify for standard or preferred auto insurance with any company, even if you want only your state’s minimum coverage, it’s probably a better & less expensive choice for you than Mendakota Insurance Company or Mendota Insurance Company.

Mendakota Insurance Company & Mendota Insurance Company sell their auto insurance using a network of local independent insurance agencies across the country, but most of their auto insurance policyholders are located in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, & Nevada. Mendakota Insurance Company & Mendota Insurance Company are available in other states, but in some states only one of the subsidiaries is available.

If you are a driver not qualifying for standard or preferred auto insurance coverage, and live in a state where either Mendakota Insurance Company & Mendota Insurance Company is available, you should check with an independent insurance agency and see if Mendakota Insurance Company or Mendota Insurance Company offer the coverage you need at the lowest rates. Mendakota Insurance Company & Mendota Insurance Company sell minimum liability auto insurance policies, but also offer policies with comprehensive and/or collision coverage, to insure your cars from theft or certain causes of physical damage.

Nonstandard auto insurance companies often restrict who is an insured driver. According to the Claims FAQ page of the Mendota Insurance Company website:

You can lend your vehicle to another driver occasionally without having them listed on your policy. Your policy will provide some coverage for drivers who have your permission to use your vehicle. However, all regular operators of your vehicle and any household members age 14 and older should be listed on your policy. If they are not listed, they may not be covered if they are involved in a claim.

Other companies may have broader or more restrictive coverage when it comes to insured drivers.

Terms of coverage and exclusions can vary a lot among nonstandard auto insurance companies, so shop with several agents knowledgeable about the nonstandard auto insurance companies where you live, to find the best nonstandard auto insurance company for you. If you can qualify for Progressive or GEICO, they may offer broader coverage and better service.

Mendota Insurance Website, Getting Auto Insurance Price Quotes, & Reporting Claims

You can’t get auto insurance price quotes online from the Mendota Auto Insurance website, and unlike many insurance company websites, you can’t use their site to locate a local agent representing the company. However, if you call the company, they may be able to refer you to a few local agents appointed to sell auto insurance for Mendakota Insurance Company &/or Mendota Insurance Company.

Mendota / Mendakota auto insurance customers can make online payments and report claims through the company website.

Mendakota Insurance Company & Mendota Insurance Company Customer Service Phone Number and Hours of Operation:

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm Central Time

Phone: 1-800-422-0792 or 1-651-468-2910

Fax: 1-800-843-9970 or 1-866-385-0553 for proof of prior auto insurance.

Mendakota Insurance Company & Mendota Insurance Company Claims Reporting Phone Number:

1-800-422-0793 to report your claim 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Source: Mendota Insurance Company website

2. AM Best Financial Strength Ratings for the Mendota / Mendakota Insurance Companies

Neither Mendota Insurance Company nor Mendakota Insurance Company are currently rated by AM Best for financial strength.

On Oct. 19th, 2011, Kingsway Financial Services requested to have its insurance subsidiaries no longer participate in the AM Best rating process, and AM Best withdrew its ratings for the Kingsway companies, including Mendota Insurance Company and Mendakota Insurance Company. At the time, the AM Best Financial Ratings for Mendota Insurance Company & Mendakota Insurance Company were at “C+ (Marginal)”, placing these companies well into the “vulnerable” category, as defined by AM Best.

If the financial position of these companies has improved, it would be a good sign if Kingsway sought to once again be rated by AM Best. I recommend avoiding, if possible or practical, any auto or homeowners insurance company not rated by AM Best, or with an AM Best Financial Strength Rating lower than an “A-” rating for financial strength from AM Best. When it comes to the higher cost of nonstandard auto insurance in general, consumers often make their choice of company based on the lowest rates, and don’t always have many options for companies with higher AM Best ratings.

AM Best financial strength ratings are not a measure of customer service or the quality of the claims adjusting for an insurance company, but an opinion about its ability to pay claims, remain financially solvent, and stay in business.

Source: Mendota Insurance Company AM Best Rating and Mendakota Insurance Company AM Best Rating

3. Mendota / Mendakota Auto Insurance JD Power & BBB Ratings

JD Power Customer Satisfaction Ratings

Mendota Insurance Company, like many other smaller insurance companies focusing on a specialty line, such as 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 Mendota / Mendakota Auto Insurance 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 Mendota / Mendakota Auto 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.

Mendota Insurance Company has the lowest rating of “F” from the Southeast Florida office of the Better Business Bureau, and it is not BBB accredited. Businesses are under no obligation to seek BBB accreditation, and businesses are not accredited simply because they have not sought BBB accreditation.

Mendota Insurance Company had 14 BBB complaints in the last three years, with 8 occurring in the last 12 months. Twelve complaints were for the category of a problem with service and two complaints were for billing / collections issues. According to the BBB website, reasons for the low rating for Mendota Insurance Company are for having 14 complaints and the company’s failure to respond to two of those complaints.

I don’t consider higher BBB ratings to be a reliable indication of a good insurance company, but a lower rating may be a sign of below average customer service. To date, the BBB rating & complaint record For Mendota Insurance company should be a concern for its customers or prospective customers in Florida. Although I don’t think its number of BBB complaints are greater than most other auto insurance companies when adjusted for its size, the fact the company did not respond to two complaints shows a lack of regard for acceptable customer service.

Source: BBB ratings for Mendota Insurance Company

4. Mendota / Mendakota Auto Insurance Complaints filed with a State Agency

The most common reasons for people to file car insurance company complaints with a state insurance department are for delays in a claim payment, unsatisfactory payment of a claim, and denial of a claim.

The auto insurance complaint statistics for Mendota Insurance Company and Mendakota Insurance Company listed below are 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 interpreting complaint ratio numbers, I devised a rating system to help you identify if the Mendota / Mendakota companies have 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.

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.

Mendota Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (12.67)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $52,451,870

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (7.60)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $55,726,156

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (5.31)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $38,669,512

Mendota Insurance Company has a consistently worse-than-average auto insurance complaint record each year from 2012 to 2014. although Mendota Insurance Company had a slight decrease in auto insurance premiums from 2013 to 2014, its auto insurance market share has increased quite a bit from 2012, which may indicate Mendota Insurance Company has competitive auto insurance rates in at least some states or zip codes where it’s available. Mendota Insurance Company auto insurance customers are mostly in Florida, California, & Nevada, but the company is available in other states, too. In spite of overall U.S. auto insurance premiums decreasing from 2013 to 2014, Mendota Insurance Company increased its Florida auto insurance market share by more than 10% from 2013 to 2014.

Mendakota Insurance Company Auto Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

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

2014 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.33)

2014 US auto insurance premium = $41,408,719

2013 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (3.80)

2013 US auto insurance premium = $40,041,540

2012 Auto Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (2.92)

2012 US auto insurance premium = $42,802,962

Mendakota Insurance Company has a consistently worse-than-average auto insurance complaint record each year from 2012 to 2014. The U.S auto insurance market share has remained about the same since 2012. Most Mendakota Insurance Company auto insurance customers are in Nevada, Illinois, & Colorado, but the company is available in other states, too.

5. Mendota / Mendakota Auto Insurance Review Summary

Here’s my summary to give you the bottom line on the customer service & rates for Mendota / Mendakota auto insurance, to see if the company perform better than average, average, or worse than average.

Mendota / Mendakota Auto 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 a car insurance company with a better than average customer complaint record.

However, even for a nonstandard auto insurance company, the auto insurance complaint record for Mendota / Mendakota Auto Insurance is very poor, and I would not choose either company unless it has a much lower rate than all other companies, and you care only about price.

Remember to consider GEICO if you qualify, and buying direct from Progressive as better possible options for you. However, if you are limited to the nonstandard auto insurance market, you should consider all the auto insurance companies available to you.

How does Mendota / Mendakota Auto 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 Mendota / Mendakota Auto Insurance with over forty other companies at my home page: smartshopyourcarinsurance.com.

Mendota / Mendakota Auto Insurance Rates

For pricing, the most reliable way to know if your 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.

Based on its increased U.S. auto insurance market share since 2012, as measured by total auto insurance premiums collected by Mendota Insurance Company, as shown in Section #4 of this review, Mendota Auto Insurance may have competitive auto insurance rates in at least some of the states where it operates, particularly Florida.

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 Mendota / Mendakota Auto Insurance, 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 Mendota / Mendakota auto insurance review explain what you need to know about Mendota or Mendakota Insurance Company? 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.