Safeco Auto Insurance Review
Last Updated on November 13, 2022
Safeco is an insurance company backed by a century of experience. Now a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual, Safeco has had several name changes over the years. Safeco was founded in 1923 in Seattle, Washington, and was originally known as The General. Then, in 1953, The General launched a subsidiary called Selective Auto and Fire Insurance Company of America, or SAFECO. Since 2008, Safeco has been a part of the Liberty Mutual family of companies and continues to offer car insurance and other insurance products to policyholders across the United States.
Types of Auto Insurance Coverage Offered by Safeco
Safeco offers similar auto insurance coverage to other major providers across the United States. Drivers can purchase minimum liability coverage to drive legally in any state. Or, they can purchase full coverage car insurance with expanded protection.
Some of the car insurance coverages available through Safeco include:
Liability Coverage: If someone is hurt or you damage their property in an accident, Safeco will help pay for covered damages and expenses, including court costs if you are sued.
Medical Payments Coverage: If you are injured in a car accident and are taken to the hospital in an ambulance, then Safeco’s medical payments coverage can help cover the cost.
Property Damage Coverage: Safeco offers property damage coverage. If you back out of your driveway and hit your neighbor’s fence, for example, then Safeco will cover the cost of repairing your neighbor’s fence to pre-loss condition.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage: Required in some states, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects you and any passengers in your vehicle if you are injured in an accident caused by someone with too little insurance or no insurance whatsoever. This coverage also applies to situations where the other driver is unknown (say, in a hit-and-run).
Collision Coverage: Optional in all states, collision coverage covers the cost of repairing damage to your vehicle after an accident.
Comprehensive Coverage: Also optional in all states, comprehensive coverage covers vehicle theft, vandalism, fallen tree damage, collisions with animals, and other incidents.
New Vehicle Replacement: If you are the original owner of a car less than one year old and with fewer than 15,000 miles, and that vehicle is totaled or stolen, then Safeco will pay the value of a comparable new car.
Rental Car Reimbursement: If your ordinary car is in the shop for a few days and you need to rent a car to get around, then Safeco will reimburse you for the cost of the rental car.
24-Hour Roadside Assistance: You can add 24/7 roadside assistance to your Safeco policy for a few extra dollars per month. This roadside assistance covers the cost of towing to the nearest qualified repair shop along with flat tire changes, fuel delivery, locksmith services, and other roadside emergencies.
What Makes Safeco’s Auto Insurance Unique?
Safeco offers similar coverage to other major providers, although the company also has several features that make it unique.
Some of Safeco’s unique auto insurance perks and features include:
Claims Free Cash Back: If you were claims-free over the six-month review period, Safeco automatically mails you a check for 2.5% of your policy premium (up to a maximum of 5% each year). In other words, drivers with a clean record on their Safeco insurance policy receive a portion of their premiums paid back to them.
Diminishing Deductible: Safeco offers a diminishing deductible plan. If you maintain a clean driving record, Safeco will reduce your deductible by $50 (for six-month policies) or $100 (for 12-month policies) at every renewal, up to a maximum of 5 years or $500. That means if you need to make a claim and pay a deductible at a future date, you may pay a much lower deductible than you normally would (or no deductible whatsoever).
Guaranteed Repair Network: Safeco has a network of repair shops across the United States in its Guaranteed Repair Network. You can choose a Guaranteed Repair Network shop to repair your vehicle, then get covered by Safeco’s President’s Guarantee. That means Safeco guarantees your repairs for the lifetime of your vehicle.
New Vehicle Replacement: Safeco, like some insurers, offers new vehicle replacement. The company will pay you the value of a comparable new car if you’re the original owner of a car less than one year old that was stolen or declared a total loss.
Motorcycle Insurance: Safeco offers motorcycle coverage throughout the United States. Motorcyclists can buy liability coverage, collision coverage, roadside assistance, OEM manufacturer parts coverage, safety apparel coverage, and Harley Davidson replacement cost provision coverage through Safeco.
Classic Car Insurance: Safeco specializes in insuring classic cars. You can buy classic car-specific auto insurance options, including agreed value coverage, limited use coverage, and personal property coverage.
Recreational Vehicle Insurance: Safeco offers insurance for your RV, trailer, and motorhome. You can buy personal property coverage, 24-hour roadside assistance, emergency assistance coverage, loan or lease protection coverage, personal effects coverage, and audio-visual and custom equipment coverage, among other coverages, through Safeco without buying from another company.
ATV, Off-Road Vehicle, Golf Cart, and Low-Speed Vehicle Insurance: Safeco also offers unique insurance policies for ATVs, off-road vehicles, golf carts, and low-speed vehicles. You can buy liability insurance, guest passenger liability coverage, gear replacement coverage, OEM parts coverage, roadside assistance, and other coverages to protect yourself, your passengers, and your vehicle when driving an alternative vehicle.
A subsidiary of Liberty Mutual: Safeco is a large and well-known car insurance company, although the company is also a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual, which is one of the top ten largest insurance companies in the country. Safeco is financially backed by Liberty Mutual. Some policyholders like the experience of a smaller company with a larger firm’s financial strength and backing.
Accident Forgiveness: If you go a set number of years with Safeco without an at-fault collision or violation, then you automatically enjoy accident forgiveness. Safeco will waive the first accident on your policy if you have accident forgiveness. The specific number of claims-free years varies from state to state, and Safeco does not offer accident forgiveness in all states.
Safeco Mobile App: Safeco offers a mobile app where you can obtain ID cards, pay your bill, view policy documents, and get roadside help when needed. The app is available for iOS and Android.
Home & Auto Insurance: Safeco offers a wide range of insurance products, including home insurance and other products. If you want to bundle home and auto insurance with a single company to save money, Safeco can help you do that.
RightTrack: Safeco offers a unique insurance program called RightTrack. You allow Safeco to track your driving habits, and Safeco provides customized insurance premiums based on your recorded habits. Safeco uses an app to track your braking, acceleration, nighttime driving, and mileage. The safer you drive, and the less you drive, the more you’ll save. According to Safeco, drivers can save $513 per year with RightTrack, and you keep this discount for the life of your policy. Safeco also provides you with a discount just for signing up for RightTrack.
How Much Are Safeco’s Auto Insurance Rates?
According to our research, the average Safeco policyholder pays around $1,442 per year for full coverage car insurance.
In comparison, the average American pays around $1,500 per year for full coverage car insurance.
Safeco’s insurance rates vary widely across the United States. Some customers report paying significantly less with Safeco than they did with virtually any other company, while others report paying slightly higher-than-average rates.
Safeco’s Auto Insurance Discounts
Safeco offers a range of discounts, including standard discounts and unique options. Here are some of the ways to save money with Safeco:
RightTrack Driver Tracking Discounts: As mentioned above, Safeco offers a driver tracking discount program called Safeco. You download the Safeco mobile app, and the app tracks your driving behavior to determine your risk. The fewer miles you drive, and the safer you drive, the cheaper your car insurance premiums will be. Safeco provides a discount just for signing up for RightTrack, and some drivers save over $500.
Rewind Accident Forgiveness Discount: Safeco Rewind is an accident forgiveness program unique to Safeco. Like Right Track, it’s a telematics program. It monitors your driving habits after an accident in exchange for accident forgiveness.
Bundling Discounts: Safeco offers home insurance and other insurance products. Customers who bundle multiple policies together can save money.
Multi-Car Discounts: If you insure multiple cars in your household with Safeco, then you receive a discount across all cars.
Safe Driver Discounts: Drivers who go a certain number of years without a moving violation or at-fault accident could save money.
Low Mileage Discount: Safeco offers a low mileage discount to drivers who drive fewer miles per year than average. You may need to send pictures of your odometer to Safeco to verify you qualify.
Teen Safety Rewards Discounts: Safeco makes it easy for teen drivers to save money on car insurance. Teen drivers who get good grades, complete a driver’s education course, or attend school more than 100 miles away from home could qualify for various discounts.
Paid in Full Discounts: Safeco will provide a discount if you pay for your entire auto insurance premium upfront.
Pros and Cons of Safeco
Some of the advantages and disadvantages of buying car insurance from Safeco include:
- Backed by a larger insurance company (Safeco is a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual)
- Claims-free cashback program
- Accident forgiveness
- Low mileage discount program
- Wide range of insurance products and services
- Lower-than-average number of complaints relative to companies of its size
- Average to below average ratings from J.D. Power
- Specific products, services, and insurance experiences may vary from state to state
- Fewer discounts than competitors
Safeco Reviews: What Do Customers Have to Say?
In its 2022 rankings, J.D. Power ranked Safeco average or below average in most subregions. Safeco ranks the largest insurance companies across the United States by polling policyholders who have recently made a claim. Safeco scored 819 in the Southwest region (compared to a regional average of 827), 847 in the Southeast region (compared to a regional average of 849), 816 in the Northwest region (compared to a regional average of 829), and 834 in the North Central region (compared to a regional average of 838). These scores indicate most customers ranked Safeco as average for claims handling, customer service, pricing, and availability.
A.M. Best assesses the financial strength of insurance companies. The organization has awarded Safeco’s parent company, Liberty Mutual a financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent). Safeco also has ratings of A2 (Good) from Moody’s Investor Service and A- (Strong) from Standard & Poor’s.
Safeco has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, although the company also has a 1.11-star rating of 5 based on 700+ customer reviews. However, a low BBB rating isn’t unusual for insurance companies; many of Safeco’s larger competitors have similarly dismal reviews. Few people leave BBB reviews for their insurance company unless dissatisfied with a claim.
Consumer review websites have average reviews for Safeco. WalletHub rated the company as 2.2 stars out of 5 based on 530+ reviews, for example, while ValuePenguin rated the company as 3.5 stars out of 5. NerdWallet was more positive, ranking the company with 4.0 stars out of 5 and praising Safeco for having fewer complaints than expected while being easy to use.
Overall, Safeco has average reviews from most industry organizations and consumer ratings organizations. The company does not have particularly bad reviews from any organization, nor do they have particularly excellent reviews.
Final Word on Safeco
Founded in 1923, Safeco has a century of experience selling insurance to policyholders across the United States.
Today, as a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual, Safeco continues to sell auto insurance to customers nationwide. The company offers well-rated car insurance with cheaper-than-average pricing, and most Safeco customers are satisfied with their Safeco policy.
To learn more about Safeco or to request a quote today, visit the official website or contact a Safeco agent.
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