Is PEMCO Good for Auto Insurance?

Last Updated on November 28, 2020

If you live in the Northwest area of the U.S., you may have heard of PEMCO Insurance Company. PEMCO, which stands for the Public Employees Mutual Insurance Company, is a mutual insurance company, which means policyholders are owners of the company.

PEMCO is not new. It has been around since 1942 when Robert J. Handy initially created it. Handy’s vision for PEMCO at its inception was to provide insurance to local teachers who were members of the School Employees Credit Union of Washington, and the company does remain affiliated with that Credit Union and offer similar parks.

However, today’s version of PEMCO is not the same as it was in 1942. Now it not only offer auto insurance for educators, but also includes renters’, boat, umbrella, homeowners’, and condo insurance. You can even get life insurance through PEMCO Life if you are a member of the teacher’s credit union.

You may wonder if PEMCO is a good insurance option, especially if you live in the Washington area. Like most insurance companies, PEMCO has its benefits and disadvantages; therefore, it is best to familiarize yourself with this insurance company and see if it is the right financial fit for you.

is pemco auto insurance good?

PEMCO Customer Service Ratings are a Good Place to Start

Any time you are researching a potential insurance company, the first place to look is their customer ratings. Currently, PEMCO has a B++ with the A.M. Best insurance rating organization. Initially, PEMCO had received numerous complaints about their poor customer service, which led to equally poor reviews. However, by January 2016, the company turned itself around, and the outlook for its insurance company went from negative to stable.

The JD Power and Associates award for customer satisfaction has gone to PEMCO since revamping their customer service, and they received one of the highest rankings in customer service for automobile insurance companies in the region.

One Note: PEMCO is Not Accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

PEMCO does not carry a BBB accreditation, but no company is necessarily required to have one. However, most insurers do get accredited as a way to show to interested customers how they handle customer complaints and issues.

Despite no accreditation, PEMCO, like other non-accredited companies, can still receive a ranking on the BBB, and they still have an A+, which is always a good sign.

What Does PEMCO’s Auto Insurance Coverage Look Like?

PEMCO does carry all of the coverage that other insurers have, including bumper-to-bumper collision and comprehensive, medical costs for accidents, liability, and even rideshare and rental car coverage for customers. They also have the usual towing and labor coverage, auto loan coverage (GAP), accidental death coverage, and pet injury coverage policies too, but the pet injury only applies to those in Washington. Another perk exclusive to Washington residents is the replacement to re-key or re-code a camper, canopy, and other custom parts.

PEMCO also carries personal injury protection (PIP) coverage for those who need it. You can also unlock underinsured motorist coverage.

PEMCO Discounts – Are there Discount Opportunities?

PEMCO has quite a few auto insurance discounts that you can take advantage of. For example, PEMCO has a Defensive Driver Discount, but this is for drivers over the age of 55 that take an approved course in the state of Washington. View the table below to see other PEMCO discounts.

PEMCO DiscountDiscount Description
Accident forgivenessIf you've been accident-free for five or more years, your rates won't increase if you have an accident.
Advance purchase discountIf you buy your PEMCO policy 7 days before coverage starts, you will receive a discount.
Alumni discountUniversity of Washington graduates receive a PEMCO discount.
Auto plus home discountPolicyholders that bundle home and auto insurance with PEMCO can save.
Defensive driver discountIf you are 55 (or older) and complete an approved course, you will receive an insurance discount.
Distant student discountDiscount for students who live more than 75 miles from home and do not have a car at school.
Educator discountIf you are employed by a school, college, or university, you can save money with PEMCO.
Good student discountIf you are a full time student and have a GPA above 3.0, you can receive a discount.
Home ownership discountIf you own a house, condo, or mobile home, you'll receive a discount on your PEMCO auto insurance.
Low mileage discountIf you drive less than 8,000 miles per year, you'll get a discount.
Loyal auto customer discountPolicyholders who have stayed with PEMCO for longer than one year receive a discount.
Minor ticket forgivenessIf you haven't had an accident or ticket in 5 years, your rates won't increase if you do get a ticket.
New vehicle discountIf your car is less than 5 years old, PEMCO will give you a discount.
Paid in full discountIf you pay your policy in full (6 or 12 months at once), PEMCO will give you a discount.
Safety and security feature discountIf you car has features like airbags and car alarms, PEMCO will give you a discount.

PEMCO Ease of Access

Some insurance companies are impossible to reach after hours, but PEMCO allows you to file a claim with their company 24 hours per day, seven days per week. You can also find affiliate repair shops using the online claims portal, and you are not required to pay your deductible for glass chip repair services. You can make your payments online, upgrade coverage, and even add a new driver online through your portal.

The Benefits of PEMCO for Auto Insurance

Those who live in Washington benefit the most, as many of the exclusive member benefits only apply to those in the state. However, those in Oregon can receive PEMCO insurance as well. As long as you have a clean driving record and credit record, you can receive reasonably competitive rates from PEMCO for auto insurance.

The Disadvantages of PEMCO for Auto Insurance

PEMCO is regional, which means that if you live outside of Washington or Oregon, you cannot apply for coverage. PEMCO also is not as forgiving for drivers with accidents or tickets on their record; therefore, you may save more with a national insurance company over regional. PEMCO has tiered levels of policies, and best rates go to those in the preferred tier. Also, if you have past claims with other insurance companies, you are less likely to receive a reasonable price.

Conclusion: is PEMCO a Good Option?

Overall, PEMCO Insurance offers excellent benefits to those in Washington and Oregon, but only if you have a clean driving record. Therefore, they are ideal for those with no accidents or tickets on their driving record and no insurance claims filed with past companies. Likewise, if you travel a lot, you may want a national insurance carrier rather than a regional one.

PEMCO Insurance Company Info
Address325 Eastlake Avenue East
Seattle, WA 98109
Phone Number1-800-467-3626
Fax Number1-206-628-5971
James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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