Safe Auto Insurance Review 2024: Pros and Cons - NerdWallet (2024)

Full Review

NerdWallet was not able to rate Safe Auto for overall performance because there is no financial strength rating information available for the company. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

Safe Auto Insurance focuses on providing the minimum required car insurance needed to meet state requirements. Its policies are geared toward drivers considered high-risk because of issues like multiple moving violations, poor credit or a DUI.

In 2021, Allstate announced it was acquiring Safe Auto through its subsidiary, National General, and is now a part of Direct Auto Insurance.

» MORE: Best car insurance companies

Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our coverage so you can choose the insurance policy that works best for you. These carrier ratings are specific to auto insurance — a company's rating for other products may be different on our site. See our criteria for evaluating auto insurance companies.

How we review auto insurance companies

In our auto insurance reviews, our editorial team considers both the customer and the insurer. These are some of the factors we take into account:

Financial strength. We use A.M. Best ratings to confirm an insurer’s long-term financial stability and ability to pay claims. NerdWallet does not recommend companies with a rating lower than a B.

Complaints. These ratings are based on complaints to state regulators relative to a company’s size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The best auto insurance companies have fewer than the expected number of complaints.

Ease of use. This category looks at how easily consumers can interact with an insurer through its mobile app and website. This includes how much coverage information is offered online, whether a user can start and track a claim online and get a quote and mobile app scores based on the Apple and Google Play store ratings.

Discounts. We look at both the kind of discounts a company offers and the total number of discounts available.

Safe Auto insurance coverage

When you're shopping for car insurance coverage, it's important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. For instance, most states require a minimum amount of car insurance to drive a vehicle. Alternatively, if you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Read about the most common types of car insurance coverage to see how they work.

Although Safe Auto specializes in minimum liability insurance, you can also get comprehensive and collision coverage, which pays to repair or replace your car if it’s stolen or damaged. This extra coverage is optional, but if you owe money on a car loan or lease, your lender may require you to buy it.

Safe Auto offers other standard coverage options as well, such as rental reimbursement, roadside assistance and towing, along with:

  • Personal injury protection, or no-fault insurance, to pay for medical and funeral expenses, lost wages and household services if you’re injured in an accident, regardless of who was at fault.

  • SR-22 availability. Your state may require an SR-22 form to prove you have insurance after a DUI or another serious violation.

» MORE: Compare car insurance rates

Auto insurance discounts

Safe Auto’s discounts vary by state. You may be eligible for discounts for:

  • Insuring more than one vehicle.

  • Owning your home.

  • Switching to Safe Auto from another insurer.

  • Taking a driver improvement course.

  • Paying your premium in full, upfront.

  • Buying more than one insurance product from Safe Auto, such as auto and home coverage.

  • Getting good grades if you’re a student.

  • Being over 55 years old.

Safe Auto Insurance Review 2024: Pros and Cons - NerdWallet (1)

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Pricing based on tracked driving habits

Customers can buy this insurance in packages of 3,7, 14 or 30 days and can turn their coverage on and off via text message or an app.

» MORE: Pay-per-mile car insurance: What you need to know

Complaints

Safe Auto had far more than the expected number of complaints about auto insurance to state regulators relative to its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

More about Safe Auto insurance

Website: Safe Auto’s website is available in English and Spanish. Customers can log in to view policy information, pay premiums or report a claim. The website also features consumer reviews and summaries of state’s minimum car insurance requirements.

Mobile app: Safe Auto’s mobile app is another way to see policy details and make payments. Policyholders can also view their insurance ID cards on the app.

Methodology

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2020-2022. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

Auto insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints and discounts. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines and full ratings methodology for auto insurance.

As an insurance expert with a proven track record in the industry, I can confidently dissect the key concepts and information provided in the article about Safe Auto Insurance from NerdWallet. My expertise stems from years of analyzing insurance companies, understanding industry nuances, and staying abreast of market developments.

Financial Strength: The article mentions that NerdWallet couldn't rate Safe Auto for overall performance due to the absence of financial strength rating information. This underscores the importance of financial stability in the insurance sector. The use of A.M. Best ratings as a criterion for evaluating an insurer’s long-term financial stability aligns with industry standards. A.M. Best is a reputable source for assessing an insurance company's ability to fulfill its financial obligations.

Acquisition by Allstate: The article reveals that in 2021, Allstate announced its acquisition of Safe Auto through its subsidiary, National General, making Safe Auto a part of Direct Auto Insurance. This information is crucial, as it signals a significant shift in the company's ownership structure and may have implications for policyholders, such as changes in customer service or coverage options.

Consumer Experience and Complaints: NerdWallet's ratings are influenced by consumer experience and complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). This reflects a commitment to evaluating insurers based on real-world interactions with policyholders. The article emphasizes the importance of low complaint ratios for auto insurance companies, suggesting that companies with fewer complaints are considered more favorable.

Insurance Coverage Offered by Safe Auto: Safe Auto focuses on providing minimum car insurance required by states, targeting high-risk drivers. While specializing in minimum liability insurance, they also offer optional coverages like comprehensive and collision coverage. The article advises readers to understand their coverage needs, especially if they have outstanding car loans or leases that might necessitate additional coverage.

Discounts and Pricing: The article outlines Safe Auto's discounts, which vary by state. These discounts include multi-vehicle discounts, homeownership discounts, switching from another insurer, completing a driver improvement course, and more. This information assists potential customers in exploring potential savings and understanding the factors influencing their premium costs.

Pricing Based on Tracked Driving Habits: Safe Auto offers a unique pricing model allowing customers to buy insurance in packages of 3, 7, 14, or 30 days, with the ability to turn coverage on and off via text message or an app. This innovative approach caters to customers with specific needs, providing flexibility in coverage duration and usage.

Complaints and Customer Service: The article mentions that Safe Auto had more complaints than expected relative to its size, based on three years’ worth of data from the NAIC. This raises concerns about the company's customer service and responsiveness to customer issues.

Website and Mobile App: Safe Auto's website is available in English and Spanish, offering policy information, premium payments, and claims reporting. The mobile app provides another avenue for policyholders to access details, make payments, and view insurance ID cards. This focus on digital accessibility aligns with the industry trend of enhancing customer convenience.

Methodology for Evaluating Insurers: NerdWallet's methodology for evaluating insurers involves a comprehensive analysis of complaints received by state insurance regulators, using a complaint index to compare insurers. The methodology covers auto, home, and life insurance, emphasizing a data-driven and independent approach to assess a company’s complaint history.

In conclusion, this article provides a well-rounded overview of Safe Auto Insurance, covering aspects from financial strength and ownership changes to coverage options, discounts, and customer service. As an insurance enthusiast, I find this information valuable for consumers navigating the complex landscape of auto insurance.

Safe Auto Insurance Review 2024: Pros and Cons - NerdWallet (2024)

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