AutoInsurance.com
Published: December 9, 2022Last updated: December 12, 2022

Safeco Auto Insurance Review

The ins and outs of what Safeco auto insurance plans offer and who they cater to

First established in 1923, Safeco started out selling life and fire insurance as a subsidiary company of The General. Today, Safeco is a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual and focuses exclusively on personal auto and home insurance.

Safeco is available in 48 states, has low average annual rates ($1,373), and offers various insurance coverage options for your car, motorcycle, boat, and other types of vehicle. It offers a variety of features and add-ons, like pet insurance and rental car reimbursement, that allow you to customize the best plan for your needs. On top of that, Safeco has some great discounts for safe drivers and motorists, as well as a unique coverage plan catered to Harley-Davidson riders.

Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Safeco’s coverage options, discounts, availability, additional features, and more.

Key Takeaways

With the financial backing of a leading provider, several ways to customize your insurance, and decades of experience in the industry, Safeco is a great provider if you live in a state where it’s available. The provider is also a good option if you’re looking to bundle or consolidate insurance plans for your car, motorcycle, RV, boat, ATV, golf cart, and more.

Who It’s Best For

  • Low-mileage drivers
  • People who want to bundle their insurance
  • Motorcycle riders
  • Safe drivers

Who It’s Not Best For

  • Young drivers
  • People who live in Delaware, Hawaii, or Washington, D.C.

Pros and Cons of Safeco Auto Insurance

Pros

  • Affordable rates: Safeco has an average annual rate of $1,373, which is almost half the price of the national average.

  • Financial backing of Liberty Mutual: With the backing of Liberty Mutual and an excellent A.M. Best financial score (A), you can depend on Safeco to pay any promised benefits or fulfill future claims.

  • Flexible coverage add-ons: Safeco offers a wide variety of coverage add-ons that allow you to customize your insurance plan.

  • Ample discounts: You can lower your auto insurance rates with one of Safeco’s many discounts, which we’ll take a closer look at below.

Cons

  • Limited availability: Safeco is not available for drivers living in Delaware, Hawaii, and Washington, D.C.

  • Lower-than-average customer service ratings: Of the top midsize insurance providers, Safeco received an 845 J.D. Power rating, which is slightly lower than the segment average of 858. It also has a 1.69 NAIC complaint rating, which means customers complain to Safeco at rates higher than the expected market average.

What Does Safeco Cover?

  • Bodily injury liability: Bodily injury liability covers any injuries or deaths that you cause with your vehicle. Every state requires bodily injury liability except Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Virginia.
  • Property damage liability: Like bodily injury liability, most states require property damage liability, which provides you with coverage for damages that you cause to someone else’s car or their property (such as their house, fence, or garage).
  • Collision: Collision insurance helps cover payments for if you hit an object/vehicle or if someone hits your car while its parked. Although no state requires collision coverage, we recommend adding it, since liability coverage only covers the other party.
  • Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage reimburses you for thefts and damages that don’t result from collisions, such as falling trees, fires, rocks, potholes, and natural disasters.
  • Medical payments: Medical payments coverage covers any medical bills that you or your passengers incur in an accident. Medical payments coverage is only required in 15 states, but we recommend it for the added protection it provides you and your passengers.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: If you get into a collision with someone who is uninsured or underinsured, this coverage reimburses you if they’re at fault. This is a good option for hit-and-run situations.
  • New vehicle replacement: Safeco will pay for the value of a comparable car if your car is totaled or stolen. However, you must be the original owner of the car, and it must be less than one year old and have fewer than 15,000 miles.
  • Rental car reimbursement: If your car needs repairs after a covered loss, Safeco will help you pay for a rental until your car is ready to drive again.
  • Rideshare coverage: If you drive for a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft, rideshare coverage fills the insurance gap that neither your personal insurance nor your personal insurance will cover.

    Rideshare companies provide insurance only after you’ve accepted a ride or while you’re transporting a passenger. At the same time, your personal insurance may not cover you during the window in between rides (also known as period one) because you’re technically working as a contractor. If you get into an accident while your rideshare app is on and you’re waiting for a request, you might be liable to pay for the damages/injuries without any help from a provider. That’s where rideshare coverage comes in.

CheckDID YOU KNOW?

Most car insurance companies place a per-day and overall cap on rental reimbursement benefits, so the more expensive your rental car, the more quickly your reimbursement benefits will dry up.

What Will My Auto Insurance Rate Be?

The average annual cost of Safeco is $1,373, which is significantly lower than the national annual average of approximately $2,000. Factors like your location, marital status, gender, driving history, and age play a role in your auto insurance rates, so reach out to a local agent and ask for a quote.

Discounts

Safeco has a range of discounts that can help you save on car insurance. Talk to an agent to see if you’re eligible for any of the following savings opportunities.

  • Bundling discount: Save up to 15 percent off your policies when you bundle home and auto insurance.
  • Insurance claims-free cashback: If you go claims-free over a six-month review period, Safeco will mail you a check for 2.5 percent of your policy premium.
  • Safe driver discount: If you sign up for and complete Safeco’s RightTrack safe driver program, you can save up to 30 percent on your car insurance. The RightTrack app will track your driving habits (such as braking, acceleration, and nighttime driving) to calculate your total savings. Keep in mind that poor driving habits can increase your premiums, so sign up with discretion.
  • Low-mileage discount: If you drive less than 8,000 miles per year, you’ll qualify for Safeco’s low-mileage discount. Discount earnings vary depending on where you live, so speak to an agent to find out how much you can save.
  • Accident-prevention course discount: Save on your premium by signing up for and completing a safe driver course. Speak with an agent to see how much you can save and to make sure you’re eligible for the discount.
  • Safety equipment discount: You might be eligible for a safety equipment discount if you install an approved safety device, such as anti-lock brakes or an anti-theft device.
  • Multivehicle discount: If you own more than one vehicle, you can earn a discount by insuring both of them with Safeco.

Light BulbPRO TIP:

Safeco’s low-mileage discount is a scaling discount, so the less you drive, the more you’ll be able to save.

Safeco Customer Service

You can manage your Safeco customer service needs through a phone call, online portal, mobile app, email, or in person at a local agency.

Safeco’s J.D. Power Index score (845 out of 1,000) is right around the average (855) for its size and is considered high for most industries. According to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Safeco also receives fewer complaints than most of its competitors. We’ll take a closer look at those numbers below.

Mobile Apps and Online Features

The Safeco app is easy to use, sleek, and comprehensive in its features and capabilities. With the mobile app and online portal, you’ll be able to take the following actions:

  • Pay your bills.
  • Enroll in automatic payments.
  • Look into why your premiums increase (if they ever do).
  • Receive policy documents.
  • File a car insurance claim.
  • Get roadside assistance.
  • Update an address.
  • Add or delete drivers to your policy.
  • Update your deductible.
  • Connect with a customer service representative.

The app has a 4.2 out of five rating from the Google Play Store and a 4.8 rating from the Apple Store. You can also manage your Safeco RightTrack account through your mobile device. It’s as simple as downloading the RightTrack app, updating your settings, and allowing it to track your driving automatically.

Third-Party Ratings

Safeco has respectable scores from third-party ratings and providers.

  • J.D. Power Index: The 2022 J.D. Power U.S. Insurance Shopping Study looked at customer satisfaction ratings with auto insurance companies across two categories: large and mid-sized insurers. J.D. Power gave Safeco a score of 845 out of 1,000, which is about two percent below the average.1 Although Safeco received a below-average score, an 845 is still high on the 1,000-point scale.
  • Better Business Bureau rating: Safeco has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which is the highest possible BBB rating. The BBB rating is meant to represent how a business is likely to interact with its customers, which is great news for Safeco and its customers.2
  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: As recently as July 2022, A.M. Best gave Safeco an excellent (A) rating for its financial strength and stability.3 A robust financial rating means a provider is in a good position to pay for claims, provide benefits, and cover you while you’re on the road.
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC): In 2021, the NAIC recorded 160 Safeco customer complaints, giving it a Complaint Index score of 1.69.4 The index mean is always at 1.0, so Safeco received 1.69 times more complaints than is expected for its market size. While Safeco’s score might be higher than the NAIC mean, it still scored lower than comparable insurance companies, with Mercury scoring 2.51 and the National General scoring 6.03.

Company History

Safeco began in 1923 when insurance executive Hawthorne K. Dent started the company. At the time, Safeco was known as “The General;” it didn’t have its current name until 1953 when The General established Safeco as a fire and life insurance subsidiary. In 2004, Safeco sold its life insurance and investment division to focus on property and casualty insurance. Finally, in 2008, Safeco became a part of its current parent company Liberty Mutual and has offered auto, home, and small business insurance since the merger.

Other Insurance Safeco Provides

  • Additional auto insurance: Motorcycle, boat and watercraft, classic car, RV, ATV, off-road vehicle, and golf cart
  • Property insurance: Homeowners, renters, condo, landlord, and home warranty
  • Business insurance (through Liberty Mutual): Business owners policy (BOP), commercial auto, and workers compensation
  • Miscellaneous: Umbrella, pet, and identity recovery

Cancellation Policy

Safeco does not have any cancellation fees. To cancel your Safeco insurance, contact your local agent or call the customer service team at 1-800-332-3226.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Safeco make claims payments?

If your claim payment qualifies, Safeco will send you an email with a link to its payment center. From there, you can request that Safeco transfer your money to an existing debit card or PayPal account. You can also ask for a bank account transfer (expect a one- to two-day wait) or a check in the mail.

Is Safeco affordable?

With an average annual rate of $1,373, Safeco is one of the most affordable providers in the country. Safeco’s average rate is almost half the national annual average of $2,071 and is more affordable than its competitors on average.

How does Safeco determine my insurance rates?

Safeco will determine your insurance rates based on several factors, including your location, age, vehicle, gender, credit score, and driving history. Rates vary significantly depending on these individual determinants, so the best way to learn about your rates is to speak directly with an agent.

What is Safeco best known for?

While Safeco writes mostly auto and home insurance policies, it’s also known for its motorcycle insurance (especially for Harley-Davidson riders).

Citations

  1. Auto Insurance Rate Hikes Erode Price Satisfaction, Drive Surge in Value Shopping, J.D. Power Finds. J.D. Power. (2022, May 23).
    https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2022-us-insurance-shopping-study

  2. Safeco Insurance Companies. Better Business Bureau. (2022).
    https://www.bbb.org/us/ma/boston/profile/insurance-companies/safeco-insurance-companies-1296-13343

  3. Safeco Insurance Company of America. AM BEST. (2022, Jul 27).
    https://ratings.ambest.com/DisclosurePDF.aspx?AMBNum=2448

  4. Results by Complaint Index. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2022).
    https://content.naic.org/cis_refined_results.htm?TABLEAU=CIS_COMPLAINTS&COCODE=35882&REALM=PROD