SafeAuto Car Insurance

Safe Auto Insurance Group was set up in 1993 as a privately-owned auto and property insurance carrier by Ari Deshe and Jon Diamond. They decided to focus mainly on affordable nonstandard insurance based on state minimums. They also specialize in high risk drivers, special cases like those with SR 22 requirements.

This company is present and licensed in 17 states with headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. They only have 2 walk-in stores in Ohio and the rest of their business is done online or thru telephone.

The states where Safe Auto is available aside from Ohio are:

In California, its partner is the SCJ Insurance Services and their brokers.

Its annual gross revenue in 2013 was over $300 million under the leadership of Ron Davies, who was the ex SVP for Allstate up until 2012. The 2 founding men now hold positions of chairmen and board directors. Last March 2015, SafeAuto acquired AutoTex MGA and began expanding to the independent agent insurance business.

SafeAuto Overall Performance

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One of the positive notes about SafeAuto is that they are BBB accredited with a rating of A+. They have been accredited with Better Business Bureau since 1997 and according to BBB, the company has shown resolve in dealing with complaints, being evaluated fairly, and improving their standing.

In the past 3 years, SafeAuto has been successful in closing 168 complaints on a variety of issues including warranty, service, billing, and advertising. It also has no record of unresolved issue since it signed up with BBB.

Although SafeAuto is not as popular as other insurance companies because of its limited exposure on a national level, the fact that consumers deal directly with them allows them to offer lower rates. On the other hand, compared to insurance companies that have been around since the 1960, SafeAuto has been in business for only 21 years.

As a nonstandard carrier, SafeAuto welcomes drivers with poor credit and those from zip codes that many top insurance companies shy away from because of high incidents of accidents and road violations. In fact, SafeAuto does not put credit check as one of its top priority.

Safe Auto Full Coverage Insurance

Safe Auto Insurance is known selling minimum coverage at cheap rates. They also cater to those drivers who require nonstandard insurance like the SR22. Safe Auto Insurance is a small privately held insurance company with limited exposure.

Just as they tend to be tight-lipped about specific discount rates and premium rates, Safe Auto Insurance will only state that they offer full coverage which includes comprehensive and collision.

Interesting to note is the common feedback from “graduates” of Safe Auto Insurance’s nonstandard policies is to be seen as a potential risk or a person who was once a high risk driver. Specifics on full coverage can only be acquired by calling a company representative after you have provided certain specific information.

SafeAuto Discounts

Unlike major insurance carriers, SafeAuto offers small discounts or only up to 15%. Their rates tend to be higher than most companies which explains why their discounts tend to be lower. The discounts they offer are:

  • anti-theft,
  • multi car,
  • non owner,
  • and good student (up to 15%),
  • lump sum and daylight running lights (up to 10%),
  • and air bag, anti-lock brakes,
  • and claims free renewal (up to 5%).

Good male students generally get a higher discount than female students and the combined maximum discount anyone can be eligible for is 50% of the total annual amount per coverage.

Aside from the discounts, SafeAuto also has payment plans from bi-monthly, monthly, and annual but only the annual lump sum payment is eligible for discount. Once the first payment has been made through the company’s accredited payment systems (MoneyGram, Western Union, ACE Cash Express) and processed, coverage is immediate. Your hard copy of the policy is mailed to within 3 working days although the company will fax or email you a copy if you need something immediately.

Fees

SafeAuto will charge you extra for additional coverage or services. For example, you will have to pay anywhere from $10 to $40 for SR filing or refilling and $26 for stop payment requests. The company also charges anywhere from $5 to $25 for the following services:

  • installment and renewal bill,
  • cancellation,
  • non-sufficient funds (NSF),
  • overnight payments,
  • and reinstatement.

It is also important to remember that Safe Auto has a default liability coverage that sticks to state minimum. If you want to add, you will have to buy the options which means a higher premium. The initial quote you will get from Safe Auto is highly restricted.

Therefore it will be a little cheaper than other quotes but you should compare the coverage to get an accurate picture of what you are buying.

SafeAuto Comparative Performance

Like a few other auto insurance companies, SafeAuto is an Internet business. Everything can be done online except for submitting claims which must be done through phone calls. The company uses independent contractors after a claim has been filed. They do this to lower costs and save money

This insurance company has one of the most responsive and informative websites in the industry. They also have their mobile app which allows policy holders to make payments, contact customer service, and access a digital ID card.

The online quotes from SafeAuto tend to stay on the higher side compared to the top insurance companies but competitive if you are a high risk driver. Aside from an online presence, SafeAuto is very visible in traditional media and through their direct marketing strategies.

When comparing SafeAuto with other car insurance companies for the average single male aged 21 with 2 at-fault cases, SafeAuto charges over $3,100 per annum which is about 16% than other companies like Geico, State Farm and Allstate. For the average female driver aged 21 with the same 2 at-fault cases, SafeAuto is only cheaper than Direct General and The General.

SafeAuto is also more expensive for drivers under 25 who have an unblemished record. Those who have clean driver’s records and are above 25 will also see that the SafeAuto quotes are anywhere from 10 to 22% higher than other companies.

The company admits to adjusting rates after a policy has come into effect if they uncover unreported violations or if you fail to submit certain required forms.

Summary

The General is an option if you are rushed and need insurance within the day. It is also an option if you have been tagged as a high risk driver and you are being charged extremely high rates with your current provider. The company is financially sound although not available in all states.

The issues seem to happen when you make changes to your policy by improving your credit score or driving record or vice versa. The rates will dramatically change in which case you should start shopping around to find out if the rates you are being charged are within range.

As with all insurance companies, it is advisable to start window shopping at least 3 months prior to the end of your current policy. This should give you enough time to study the rates and inform The General of any changes you want.