American Family Auto Insurance Review

American Family is the nation’s ninth-largest motor vehicle insurance company. That’s especially noteworthy as it is not available in much of the country. However, if you live in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, some Western states or Georgia, you can avail yourself of the company’s auto and other insurance products. American Family insurance is not available in New England, California, the Mid-Atlantic states and most of the South, including Texas.

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Overview of American Family Auto Insurance Company

Pros

  • Higher than normal rated satisfaction among major insurers

  • Claims processing reported to be easy and satisfactory

  • Good company stability for the long term

Satisfaction Rating

Claims Rating

Shopping Rating

Offerings Rating

Stability Rating

Discounts Rating

What Makes American Family Auto Insurance Stand Out

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When customers experience issues with their automobile insurance, it generally involves the claims process. That’s not the case with American Family, which is rated “excellent” by the international marketing information services company J.D. Powers and Associates. American Family is proud of the cutting-edge technology it uses to enhance the customer experience.

Approximately 86 percent of customers intend to renew their policies with American Family.

As with claims, American Family’s customer service record is outstanding.

The company lives up to its motto, “All your protection under one roof.”

Types of Car Insurance Available

American Family offers all the standard types of car insurance and works with customers to find the types of insurance that best meet their individual needs. Here are the basics:

  • Liability coverage - Each state has a minimum amount of liability coverage that each driver must carry. Liability coverage pays for bodily injury and damage to property for which the driver was at fault. Many people make the mistake of carrying only the minimum amount of liability coverage, which can put them in serious financial straits if there is an accident. If a person has only $15,000 in liability coverage and causes $50,000 worth of damage, they are responsible for that $35,000 above their liability limit. They could end up in court and lose everything they have in a judgement for the people whose property or bodies they harmed. It’s wise to carry sufficient liability coverage so you have peace of mind when you’re driving.
  • Collision coverage - This optional coverage pays for damage to your vehicle – after a deductible – when the car is damaged in an accident and whether or not you were at fault. While collision insurance is not a state requirement, if you lease your car or have a loan on it, the lender will almost certainly require collision coverage. Collision coverage only pertains to repair or replacement of the vehicle, not to any bodily injury resulting from the crash.
  • Comprehensive coverage - Usually purchased in tandem with collision coverage, comprehensive coverage pays for damage occurring when the car is not being driven. That could mean a tree falling on it in your driveway, flooding, fire, vandalism and theft. Since you can never tell what kind of incident may befall your car, purchasing both collision and comprehensive coverage is a good idea if your car has any value. Low value vehicles often don’t need these types of coverage, since an insurance company will not pay for $10,000 in repairs on a $1,000 car. Some people may cover their vehicles with collision and comprehensive insurance when the cars are new but drop that part of their coverage as the autos age.
  • Classic Car Coverage - If a vehicle is at least 20 years old and a rarity because of its unique design and condition, or a replica of a classic or antique car, American Family can create a custom-tailored classic car policy. Eligible cars are used for pleasure driving, not for running daily errands or commuting. Qualifying drivers must have another vehicle for daily use.
  • Commercial Car Insurance - Any vehicle used in a business needs commercial car insurance. This type of insurance covers many of the same items as a personal auto policy, including liability, collision and comprehensive.
  • Satisfaction - Overall, American Family customers are quite satisfied with their insurer. The company’s customer satisfaction ratings are higher than average.
  • Claims - If you’re in an accident, file your American Family auto insurance claim online or with your agent. You can also file via a toll-free number.

    Through the Dreams Restored Program, American Family customers may have auto repair done through a network of repair shops in their area. Because the relationship with the insurance company is pre-established, repairs can begin faster. There’s no need for multiple estimates, and bills – minus deductibles – are sent directly to the insurance company. Repairs done via the Dreams Restored Program have a lifetime guarantee provided by the insurer. If the customer would like their own repair shop to fix their vehicle, that’s not a problem, although the process is a little more involved.

    American Family has another special program for cracked windshield or broken window repairs. Customers can contact an affiliate glass repair shop through the company’s glass claims only department.
  • Shopping/Value - Shop for an American Family auto insurance policy either with an agent, online or by calling a toll-free number.

    American Family’s rates are competitive. Its website offers information on the right way to compare insurance rates, explaining that’s it not just a matter of looking at the overall premium price. Each person is unique and has needs that are better filled by some insurers than others. American Family advises checking out the discounts offered by individual insurers, but also reading the fine print as to limitations. American Family recommends checking out multiple insurance companies before coming to a decision, always making sure that the information you provide to each company is consistent to ensure an honest comparison. A company giving such details about the ways to check out competitors has confidence in its own products and their value.

Offerings

American Family touts itself as providing a customized approach to car insurance. Besides standard auto insurance offerings, American Family has policies or additions to policies addressing the needs of certain customers and giving an extra layer of protection to others. These include:

  • Lease/Loan Gap Insurance – Whether you lease your car or obtained a car loan, American Family’s gap insurance can help. Leases often run for five years, and during that time a car may depreciate in value significantly. That means you may owe more on your lease than the vehicle is worth. The same holds true with long-term auto loans. What happens if you’re in an accident and the car is totaled? You could end up thousands of dollars more than the car’s cash value. Gap insurance fills those gaps, so you aren’t making payments on a lease or loan for which there is no car. Gap insurance adds just a few dollars monthly to the cost of your lease or loan, and it is money well-spent.
  • Ridesharing Insurance – If you’re a Lyft or Uber driver in some states, American Family can add ridesharing insurance to your personal policy. While the company you’re working for covers you while you are on a call, that’s not true when you’re waiting for customers. Depending on the stage of the rideshare, the rideshare company may not pay for any collision damage to your vehicle. The ridesharing insurance fills that gap.
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance – If the worst happens, this type of insurance pays out no matter who was at fault.
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance 24/7 – If you get stuck, this add-on to your policy covers towing to the nearest garage, changing a flat tire, bringing fuel if you’re out of gas (you pay for the gas itself), battery jumping and a locksmith to open your car if you’re locked out. This offering also includes up to one hour of labor for a mechanic to work on your vehicle by the roadside and get you moving once more.
  • Rental Car Reimbursement Coverage – Add this offering to your comprehensive and collision coverage and receive reimbursement for a rental car while your vehicle is under repair due to an accident or some covered damage, such as vandalism. Rental car reimbursement does not apply to normal repair and maintenance situations. Limits are per day and per accident. Rent from one of American Family’s approved providers, and the bill is sent directly to the insurance company. Rent from a provider of your choice and send in receipts for reimbursement. Because customers differ in the type of rental vehicle they want, they can pay a somewhat higher rate and receive a more upscale rental vehicle.
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage – If you get into an accident with an uninsured motorist, this type of coverage can protect you financially. Otherwise, you could pay many expenses out of pocket during a difficult and stressful time. This coverage also kicks in if you or an insured on your policy is involved in a hit-and-run pedestrian or bicycle accident. This coverage helps pay for medical expenses, lost wages and funeral costs.
  • Underinsured Motorist Coverage – This coverage is similar to uninsured motorist coverage but starts working when the at-fault underinsured motorist’s policy damage limit is reached.

Stability

American Family Auto Insurance has been in existence since the 1920s. It began in 1927 as the Farmers Mutual Automobile Insurance Company of Madison, Wisconsin. Fast forward several decades, and American Family assets surpass $1 billion by 1981. Today, its annual revenues are $8.8 billion, and it’s the fourth-largest Wisconsin-based insurance company and ranks number 315 on the Fortune 500 list. American Family employs over 10,000 people, including 3,000 agents.

Discounts

Because American Family offers a variety of discounts, few customers will pay full price for their insurance and many may qualify for several discounts, bringing the cost of their auto insurance down considerably.

Multi-vehicle discount – Insure multiple vehicles with American Family and enjoy a reduction in your premium costs.

Multi-product – Bundle your auto, home and other insurance products with American Family and receive a discount. Customers who rent their home rather than own can qualify if they purchase renter’s insurance through American Family.

Loyalty Discount – Remain an American Family customer for a specified period of time and receive the loyalty discount.

Early Bird Discount – if a customer has an active policy with another insurance company and receives a quote from American Family at least seven days before the policy goes into effect, they are eligible for a discount.

Steer into savings – Coming to American Family from a competitor can also get customers an auto premium discount.

Good driver – Drivers who have no claims, violations or accidents may receive a good driver rate reduction.

Low mileage – Don’t drive more than 7,500 miles per year? You’re eligible for our low mileage savings on your premium.

KnowYourDrive – Not available in every state. This program can help you save as much as 40 percent on auto insurance when you learn improved safety and driving habits and do well during KnowYourDrive evaluation periods.

Defensive Driver – Also available in certain states, the defensive driver discount allows those aged 55 and up to qualify for 5 to 10 percent rate reductions after passing an approved defensive driver course.

Generational – Those whose parents are American Family customers can receive a discount on their motor vehicle insurance.

Auto Safety Equipment – Another state-dependent program, eligible drivers may receive up to a 30 percent discount on their policies if their vehicles have factory-installed air bags.

Young Volunteer – If you’re under age 25 and perform 40 hours of volunteer work annually for a certified non-profit organization, your reward – besides knowing you are helping a particular cause – is saving money on your auto insurance.

Teen Safe Drivers – Parents who enroll their teens in this free safety program may receive a discount on their policy when their teen becomes insured.

Good Student – The parents of students with top grades may receive auto insurance discounts when their kids are put on the policy.

Away at School – Students under age 25 at least 100 miles away at college receive savings during the time the car is parked at home. Parents of these students can opt to have the savings on their policy instead.

Customer Full Pay – Pay your bill in full when you purchase it and receive a discount.

Paperless – Save money on insurance when you enroll in paperless billing and policy document e-delivery.

Autopay – Enroll in automatic payments and qualify for a discount.

Sources:

  • https://www.amfam.com/resources/articles/understanding-insurance/compare-car-insurance-quotes