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Auto-Owners auto insurance review for 2021

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

Auto-Owners Insurance found its start in Monterey, California in 1898 and has focused on insuring Western United States residents in Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Auto-Owners is best for customers looking for more than just basic liability insurance. The carrier offers gap insurance, pet coverage and insurance for additional expenses beyond what a typical policy would cover. As far as customer service, Auto-Owner insurance complaints are lower than many of its larger competitors, proving the auto insurance company is customer-focused.

Auto-Owners Quickpoints

  • Average full coverage premium: $1,308
  • Region offered: West (Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington)
  • Market share: 1.28%
  • AM Best rating/financial strength profile: A++
  • J.D. Power claims satisfaction rating: 5/5
  • Specialty coverages: high value, rideshare

Auto-Owners customer satisfaction and complaints

Auto-Owners insurance reviews are mostly positive, placing the company as above-average in customer satisfaction. Coverage looked at the JD Power customer satisfaction studies from 2019 to compare how the Auto-Owners insurance rating stacks up to other carriers. JD Power has three different studies, each focused on a specific segment. The two Auto-Owners received rankings for were:

  • Overall satisfaction study: 869/1,000 points
  • Claims satisfaction study: 870/1,000 points (5/5 Power Circles)

While Auto-Owners scored well in the overall and claims satisfaction studies, the regional insurance carrier didn’t rank in the regional customer satisfaction studies. This may not necessarily be negative; it could mean they were beat out by larger, national car insurance competitors with a bigger market share, and the few Auto-Owners customers who responded weren’t enough to help the insurer rank in the study.

How factors affect Auto-Owners’ auto insurance rates

Coverage sampled multiple quotes to come up with the average cost of car insurance rates for Auto-Owners. The average price for full coverage was $1,308 per year, and minimum coverage was $398 annually for a driver with a clean driving record and good credit score. Depending on your driving background and other factors, rates can vary even further:

Average ratesAccidentSpeeding ticketPoor credit
$1,308$1,740$1,802$2,490

How driving record affects Auto-Owners car insurance rates 

Accidents

Although Auto-Owners is one of the low-cost car insurers for the West, its rates jump for drivers with an accident on-record by about $400 a year. It’s important to keep this in mind when evaluating insurance carriers, if you have a spotty driving record to account for. 

However, Auto-Owners doesn’t penalize you for being in an accident in which you were not at-fault. And fortunately, it offers Accident Forgiveness, excusing the first at-fault accident you have so you can avoid higher premiums. Safe driving is a long-term way to preserve low rates, as insurance companies factor an accident on your record for up to three to five years.

Speeding ticket

For speeders, rates are even higher; a ticket can add about $500 to your annual rate. Rates are often high for speeding as it is an indication to insurers that you practice unsafe driving habits, and speeding can potentially result in much costlier claims.

Poor Credit

An insurance company will check your credit history in most states as an assessment of your overall risk profile. If you failed to pay your bills and have late payments, accounts in collections or judgements against you, the insurance company might classify you as riskier than a reckless driver. Based on average premiums for those with poor credit, that factor results in an additional $1,100+ to your annual rate. Work to improve your credit to save money in the long run with Auto-Owners or other insurers who weigh credit in the determination of your premium.

Auto-Owners auto insurance discounts

If you’re thinking of switching insurance companies, Auto-Owners has the standard discounts common among providers, such as paperless billing, autopay and good student discounts. Plus, if you pay your insurance bills on time for 36 months, your premiums are reduced. The carrier also has some other unique discounts worth note.

Unique discounts offered by Auto-Owners 

Advance quote discount 

Auto-Owners values drivers committed to maintaining continuous coverage. If you contact the company for a quote before your current car insurance lapses, you’ll be eligible for additional savings.

Favorable loss history discount

Favorable loss history is the industry term for “no claims.” If you historically haven’t filed any claims and aren’t at fault in any accidents or losses, you can save money on your car insurance premiums. 

Auto-Owners auto insurance premium length

Auto-Owners favors drivers with a high level of responsibility; poor credit will cost you nearly double in premiums, and speeding tickets hold the same (or more) weight than an at-fault crash. Conversely, paying your premiums on time and getting quotes on your car insurance in advance earn you extra savings. 

That being said, policyholders who practice safe driving habits will benefit the most from Auto-Owners’ 12 month policy terms, which lock in rates for the year. If your driving record or credit history needs improvement, a six-month policy may help afford you opportunities to improve your premium faster. But for responsible drivers, the 12 month policy can be a big advantage. 

Auto-Owners vs. other insurance companies

CompanyJ.D. Power Score (Overall)J.D. Power Score (claims satisfaction)AM BestAverage rate full coverage
Auto-Owners8695/5A++ (Superior)$1,308
AAA8693/5A (Excellent)$1,948
Allstate8584/5A+ (Superior)$1,896
American Family8783/5A (Excellent)$1,218
Amica8615/5A+ (Superior)$1,449
GEICO8673/5A++ (Superior)$1,308
Erie8805/5A+ (Superior)$1,141
Farmers8492/5A- (Excellent)$1,540
The Hartford8954/5A- (Excellent)$1,572
MetLife8612/5A+ (Superior)$1,923
USAA9005/5A++ (Superior)$1,260

Auto-Owners mobile app and digital experience

The Auto-Owners’ website is clean, user-friendly and easy to navigate. The online quoting tool gets you the price you need in just a few steps. But many people are looking for a mobile experience. Here’s what the Auto-Owners’ app lets you do:

  • Manage your account
  • Set up autopay
  • Pay your bill
  • Ask for roadside service
  • Track your claims status, (you can’t file a claim using the app)
  • View your policy documents and ID card

Alternative insurance products offered by Auto-Owners

In addition to car insurance, Auto-Owners rounds out insurance offerings with products for homeowners, renters and life. 

ProductDiscounts
HomeownersMulti-policy
On-time payments
Protective devices
New home
Renter’s
Car/renter’s bundle
LifeMulti-policy

In the spotlight 

  • Auto-Owners auto insurance reviews are above-average in customer satisfaction.
  • You’ll have a wide variety of coverages available beyond basic liability insurance.
  • If you’re a responsible driver who pays bills on time and drives defensively, you could qualify for one of the lowest car insurance rates in the nation.
  • Auto-Owners partners with the American Red Cross, American Heart Association and Habitat for Humanity to give back to communities. 

Methodology

Coverage Utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze quoted rates from thousands of zip codes across all 50 states, using Auto-Owners’ premiums written. Quoted rates are based around the profiles of a 30-year-old male and female with clean driving records, good credit and the following full coverage details:

  • $100k bodily injury liability per person
  • $300k bodily injury liability coverage per crash
  • $100k property damage liability coverage per crash
  • $500 collision coverage deductible
  • $500 comprehensive coverage deductible

Minimum coverages were applied to match state requirements. Both drivers used a new, financed 2018 Toyota Camry, commuting 5 days a week and driving 12,000 miles per year.

An accident was defined as an at-fault accident with $3k in property damage. A speeding incident was defined as speeding 16-20 MPH over the limit.

These rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings and should be used for comparative purposes only – your own quotes may be different.

Cynthia Paez Bowman

Writer

Cynthia splits her time between Los Angeles, CA and San Sebastian, Spain. She travels to Africa and the Middle East regularly to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development.

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