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Review of Auto-Owners, Policy Options, & How do they Stack Up against Competitors?

If you are in a region where Auto-Owners offers coverage you might want to put them on your list to get quotes. 

Particularly if you are looking for a customized policy and value having a one-on-one relationship with an agent.

Auto-Owners auto insurance was founded by Vern Moulton in Michigan in 1916. In 1935 they expanded operations to Indiana.

Auto-Owners auto insurance quotes compared with USAA, Erie, and State Farm for 25 y/o male driver.Note: Comparing all the insurers illustrated above, Auto-Owners is 2nd most expensive and a little less than State Farm. USAA, Erie, and The Hartford offered substantially lower quotes. This doesn’t included any discounts options.

Today, Auto-Owners is listed as a Fortune 500 company ranking 375.

They have 6 billion in written premiums and over 20 billion in assets.

They are the 17th largest auto insurance company in the United States.

AM Best has ranked Auto-Owners as the highest with A++.

Ratings AgencyRating
AM Best Financial Strength RatingA++
NAIC Complaint Index 0.58 (Better than Average)
Better Business BureauA+

JD Power has ranked the company as the best in the north central region of the country. 

Auto-Owners insurance quotes compared with The Hartford, Erie, and State Farm. Note: For a 25 y/o female driver the quotes came out the same except with a lower price than the male counterpart. Auto-Owners is the 4th least expensive out of the five. USAA, Erie, and The Hartford offered substantially lower quotes.

Policy & Coverage Options

With Auto-Owners car insurance you are able to purchase minimum liability coverage, comprehensive, and collision.

You are able to get Road Trouble Assistance, New Car Replacement, and Rental Car Coverage.

Other optional coverage is Pet Medical Insurance.

Their website doesn’t reveal if you can bundle Pet Medical Coverage or not. 

Auto-Owners compared to USAA, Erie, State Farm, and The Hartford by price for 30 y/o male drivers.Note: As illustrated, out of the five carriers Auto-Owners is the 4th least expensive. Offering quotes on par with State Farm. And substantially higher than USAA, Erie, or The Hartford.

Another feature they offer which should be looked into is the Personal Automobile Plus Package. 

With this package you get 10 additional coverages for one price.

Coverage included are transportation expenses if your vehicle is stolen, legal expenses and bail bonds, waived or reduced deductibles.

If you are in the market for Rideshare Coverage you don’t want to go with Auto-Owners in some states.

You may be able to get a commercial package, however, this can be costly for most Uber or Lyft drivers.

Other optional coverage is below:

Coverage TypeDescription
Glass CoverageIf you get a chip or broken window you are covered.
Gap CoverageIf your vehicle is loaned or leased and totaled, Gap coverage may pay for the difference between the cash value of the vehicle and the unpaid balance of the loan or lease.
Pet CoverageHelps cover veterinary expenses in the event that your pet is injured or dies in a collision.
Rental ReimbursementReimburses the per day cost of a rental car (daily and maximum reimbursement may vary)
Road Trouble AssistanceTypically adds coverage for towing, tire changes, lockout services, and more
Collector Car CoverageCovers your antique or collectors edition car.
Umbrella PolicyAdds protection against liability claims/judgements when your auto insurance liability limits have been reached.

Additional Benefits to an Auto-Owners Policy

If you are in accident with another driver who carries an Auto-Owner policy your collision deductible is waived.

This isn’t a huge benefit, but every dollar counts.

They have another featured called Common Loss Deductible.

If you have your automobile and house covered through Auto-Owners and you have a loss which involves damage to both, they will reduce the auto deductible by the amount of the personal property deductible.

You are probably wondering where this would be of use, but I can think of a couple times teenagers learning to drive and crashed the vehicle into the garage.

Auto-Owners compared to USAA, Erie, State Farm, and The Hartford by quote for 45 y/o female driver.Note: In this instance the quotes clustered between $732 and $865. Auto-Owners is the highest at $865. While USAA is the cheapest at $732. State Farm is offering lower quotes a couple dollars cheaper than Auto-Owners. As I surmised, if you have multiple policies and coverage you fair best with a company like Auto-Owners.

How Does Auto-Owners Compare to their Competitors?

The only draw back to Auto-Owners car insurance is the price.

Both USAA and Erie offer practically the same coverage for less.

Two other companies which are lower in price is Country Financial and The Cincinnati.

Below I have compared four other companies with Auto-Owners.

USAA and Erie offer quotes which are cheaper than Auto-Owners.

The Hartford is about on par, however, they are cheaper for young drivers.

Auto-Owners compared to USAA, Erie, and The Hartford by quote for 40 y/o male drivers.Note: Quotes clustered between $896 and $1,098 which is a wide variance. Auto-Owner is the 4th least expensive with quotes $14 less than State Farm. USAA, Erie, and The Hartford offered quotes less than Auto-Owners. However, for this age the only one substantially lower is USAA.

State Farm offers coverage which is more expensive.

For older drivers State Farms coverage is less expensive than Auto-Owners.

If you are looking for the least costly coverage you are going to find coverage which cost less elsewhere.

For overall satisfaction and policy coverage protection put Auto-Owners on your list to get quotes. 

Driver ProfileAuto-OwnersUSAAErieState FarmThe Hartford
25 y/o female$1,566$1,287$1,398$1,646$1,462
25 y/o male$1,789$1,488$1,650$1,820$1,704
30 y/o female$1,244$1,005$1,102$1,287$1,180
30 y/o male$1,489$1,265$1,327$1,512$1,411
25 y/o male (1 driving violation)$2,322$1,908$2,231$2,532$2,300
30 y/o female (1 driving violation)$1,875$1,532$1,763$1,945$1,779
40 y/o male$1,098$896$1,022$1,112$1,065
45 y/o female$865$732$774$863$840
55 y/o male$697$594$673$684$652
55 y/o female$558$492$532$519$509

Discounts Offered

When I did a comparison of quotes I wasn’t able to apply discounts.

Auto-Owners offers an assortment of discounts to help drivers save a little money on their premium.

All of the discounts are typical ones which national companies offer.

Auto-Owners quotes compared to USAA, Erie, and The Hartford by price for 55 y/o driver.Note: For a 55 y/o driver the quotes clustered between $594 and $697 which is a $103 variance or about 20%. Auto-Owners is the most expensive out of the five illustrated insurers. Erie, State Farm, and The Hartford are essentially offering comparable quotes. While USAA is substantially cheaper with a low quote at $594.

Personally, I think this one of the advantages of the company.

I have found many large companies are looking to insure everything for you including your house, car, life, and other items.

If you have the ability to bundle policies you could find the price reasonable.

Some of the discounts offered are:

Multi-policy: If you combined policy packages you will get a lower rate through all premiums. 

Payment History: Pay your premium on time or early, discounts are applied.

Multi-car: Have more than one vehicle you may pay less for each.

Student Discount: Student away at school, good grades, and teen monitoring can all be applied when you have a teen driver. 

Paid in Full: Pay your premium for six months or a year and save 10% or more. 

Life Multi-Policy: If you have life insurance and you combined with auto insurance you possibly get a discount on both.

Below is a table of the additional discounts offered by Auto-Owners and a comparison with other companies. 

CompanyGood DriverMulti-PolicyPassive RestrainLow MileageStudent Away DiscountMulti-VehicleSafety Features
Auto-Owners
Erie
Harleysville
Amica
Donegal Mutual
Atlantic States
State Farm
General Casualty
State Auto
Allied

Other Coverage Offered

With Auto-Owners you will be able insure about everything from a boat, ATV, or your classic vehicle.

Any type of life insurance coverage to include annuities, long-term care, and disability.

About anything related to business to include bonds, workers compensation, and loss control.

This is a huge advantage for anyone who has a lot of assets looking to save.

One of the main perks is to insure many items then bundle where you find decent savings.

If you are looking for a company to stay with long term Auto-Owner should be one to look into.

Auto-Owners is Available in 26 States & Quote Comparison by State

Below is a list of 26 states where you are able to purchase an Auto-Owner policy.

The area of the country where they dominate is North Central U.S.

Think Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

They are very competitive in those states.

Auto-Owners quotes compared for driver with violation to USAA, Erie, and The Hartford.Note: For a driver with a violation Auto-Owners appears to be slightly more competitive than drivers without a violation. They are the 4th least expensive behind State Farm. The Hartford is practically equal with Auto-Owners. Both with quotes at $2,300 and $2,322 respectfully. For four companies there is not much of a variance particularly for a young driver. USAA is able to offer substantially lower quotes.

The three states where they offer higher than average quotes are Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Virginia

Included in the list is the average rate hike you might find year over year.

The average is from 2% to 3% which is normal.

If you get a traffic violation the rate hike could be 20% or more.

This is normal for all carriers.

Compared to the state average quote Auto-Owners is below from 5% to near 15%.

If I would have to give you an opinion, in general, they have about average quotes across all states.

The main advantage offered through Auto-Owners is the policy options, claims customer service, and discounts.

StatePercentage Rate Hike 2017State Average QuoteAuto-Owners QuoteDifferenceRideshare CoverageSatisfaction Out of 5
Alabama2%$1,529$1,421-$108Y4.5
Arizona4%$1,400$1,354-$46Y3
Arkansas4.5%$1,342$1,322-$20N4.3
Colorado1.4%$1,558$1,421-$137Y4.5
Florida4%$1,843$1,773-$70Y4
Georgia3%$1,955$1,811-$144Y4
Idaho3%$1,053$896-$157Y4.5
Illinois6%$1,653$1,543-$110Y4.0
Indiana2.4%$1,202$1,043-$159Y4.5
Iowa1.4%$1,058$943-$115Y4.5
Kansas1.4%$1,358$1,276-$82Y5
Kentucky1.6%$1,503$1,438-$65Y4.5
Michigan
2%$2,367$2,165-$202Y4
Minnesota1.8%$1,360$1,321-$39Y5
Missouri2%$1,207$1,221+$14Y4.5
Nebraska1.9%$1,317$1,287-$30Y4
North Carolina3%$1,060$974-$86Y4
North Dakota1.5%$1,710$1,653-$57Y4.5
Ohio2.3%$1,160$1,095-$65Y4.5
Pennsylvania4.5%$1,943$2,005+$62N3
South Carolina3%$1,316$1,254-$62Y3.5
South Dakota1.8%$1,557$1,479-$78Y4.5
Tennessee3%$1,397$1,265-$132Y4.5
Utah3%$1,192$1,093-$99Y4
Virginia

4%$1,722$1,721+$1N4
Wisconsin4%$1,087$960-$127Y4.5

Bottom Line

If I was in the market for a policy in one of the states where Auto-Owners auto insurance is offered I would certainly get quotes.

While the prices are higher than their competitors, it appears Auto-Owners is doing this intentionally using the strategy of many national carriers.

Which is get the customer in and try to insure everything.

Large companies, such as Auto-Owners, have a much better strategy for doing this.

They will have a long-term customer.

If you have more than one vehicle, a house, or anything else, you are the type which would find competitive rates with Auto-Owners auto coverage.

A single young driver insuring only their vehicle is going to find them on the higher price side.  

If you own a home or have another policy you could effectively get all the coverage through Auto-Owners and the prices would be reasonable when you apply discounts.

At first, I didn’t understand why JD Powers & Associates gave the company such a high rating.

Through policy offerings, customer service, and discounts this makes Auto-Owners a highly competitive company.

References

https://www.auto-owners.com/

http://ratings.ambest.com/CompanyProfile

https://www.iii.org/publications/a-firm-foundation-how-insurance-supports-the-economy/state-fact-sheets/michigan-firm-foundation

Jeffery Davidson

Jeffery Davidson

Jeffrey Davidson is a writer with Reply!. He has more than 25 years of marketing research, public relations consulting and freelance writing experience and work in all areas of the auto industry.

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