Is Auto Insurance Cheaper Through Costco?
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Costco now offers car insurance. Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about Costco car insurance, including whether or not Costco auto insurance is cheaper.
What is Costco Car Insurance? How Does Costco Car Insurance Work?
Costco does not technically sell car insurance. However, Costco members can get discounts on homeowners, auto, and umbrella insurance policies offered by Ameriprise Insurance.
According to Costco, the average American adult can save up to $575 by taking advantage of these discounts.
Ameriprise car insurance policies come with extra benefits for Costco members like roadside assistance and lifetime renewability.
That’s all good – but is auto insurance really cheaper through Costco? Or are you paying a similar price to what’s offered by other major insurance companies? Let’s take a closer look.
How Much Does Costco Car Insurance Cost?
Costco car insurance is typically $500 to $600 per year cheaper than similar car insurance options from competing companies.
The average car insurance policy in the United States is around $900 to $1,100.
The average Costco car insurance policy (offered by Ameriprise) is priced at $500 to $650.
As with any car insurance comparisons, rates vary widely depending on your geographic location, driving record, credit score, and countless other factors. Generally, however, Costco car insurance is significantly cheaper than competing options in your area.
Other Benefits of Costco Car Insurance
Costco car insurance is cheaper than most competitors. However, it also comes with other benefits, including:
All Costco members are eligible for free roadside assistance on all Ameriprise insurance plans. If you are stranded on the side of the road due to a flat tire, dead battery, or vehicle lockout, then you will be compensated up to $75 per incident. This $75 does not cover the cost of a battery or fluids (like gas, oil, or coolant), although it can cover towing, tire changes, and vehicle unlocking.
Costco Executive Members are eligible for lifetime renewability with their Ameriprise car insurance. Lifetime renewability guarantees that your coverage will not be dropped after an accident.
There are certain limitations and exclusions to this lifetime renewability. It’s not available to:
- Residents of Maryland or Michigan
- Drivers with “major violations” on their record
- Drivers who fail to pay their premiums
- Drivers who fail to provide requested documentation
- Drivers who move to a state in which Ameriprise is not available
- Drivers who purchase a vehicle that cannot be insured
How Much Does a Costco Membership Cost?
Up above, we concluded that the average Costco car insurance policy is around $500 to $650 per year, which is significantly cheaper than most competitors.
However, you need to factor the cost of a Costco membership into these savings. There are four different Costco membership options available.
Costco Membership Options:
Gold Star: $60 per year
Gold Star Executive: $120 per year
Business: $60 per year
Business Executive: $120 per year
The basic $60 per year plan provides access to all Costco stores, with one card available per household. Gold Star Executive offers 2% off eligible Costco and Costco travel purchases as well as extra benefits on select Costco services.
All Costco members are eligible for Costco car insurance through Ameriprise. Only Costco Executive Members, however, qualify for Ameriprise’s lifetime renewability bonus.
Is Ameriprise a Good Car Insurance Company?
Remember: Costco does not technically sell car insurance. Instead, Costco members can get discounts on Ameriprise car insurance.
You don’t have to be a Costco member to get Ameriprise car insurance. Most Ameriprise policyholders are not Costco members.
Is Ameriprise a good insurance company? Let’s take a look at some of the metrics.
Ameriprise Auto Insurance Rankings and Ratings
First, Ameriprise receives slightly more complaints to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) than similar insurance companies of its size. The NAIC complaint index for Ameriprise is above average.
Second, Ameriprise has a financial strength score of A+ or Superior from A.M. Best. That’s the second-highest rating available to car insurance companies. It indicates that Ameriprise is in a strong financial position and should have no issue paying claims for policyholders.
Third, Ameriprise isn’t a large enough insurance company to be listed on J.D. Power’s annual nationwide insurance rankings, which ranks the top 20 insurance companies in the United States by customer service and claims satisfaction.
However, Ameriprise is listed on J.D. Power’s California subregion rankings. In the 2019 rankings, J.D. Power gave Ameriprise 4/5 stars for overall satisfaction, making Ameriprise the fourth-best insurance company in the subregion overall, behind only Esurance, USAA, and Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group.
J.D. Power gave Ameriprise 4 stars out of 5 for overall satisfaction, price, and billing process and 3 stars out of 5 for policy offerings, customer interaction, and claims satisfaction.
Overall, Ameriprise is a relatively average or above-average car insurance company. Ameriprise isn’t the top-ranked car insurance company in any region, although it’s generally near the top.
What’s the Catch with Costco Car Insurance?
There isn’t really a ‘catch’ with Costco car insurance and Ameriprise. Ameriprise is an average car insurance company that offers the same basic coverage as other car insurance companies.
The only real ‘catch’ is that the car insurance isn’t available in all 50 states.
Ameriprise doesn’t operate in all of the following states: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington, and Wyoming.
Generally, Costco car insurance is one of the cheapest options available. Costco claims its members can save up to $575 by getting their homeowners, auto, and umbrella insurance policies through Ameriprise Insurance.