Esurance Auto Insurance Review: Above Average Cost but Great Features

Esurance Auto Insurance Review: Above Average Cost but Great Features

Higher than average rates remedied through a great mobile experience and various discounts.

Editor's Rating

3.5/5.0

Good for

  • Anyone who wants the ability to manage their insurance policy through a mobile app
  • Someone who is insured and looking to change auto insurers
  • A wide variety of discounts

Bad for

  • Young drivers looking for an inexpensive auto insurer
  • Someone looking for exceptional, in-person customer service from their auto insurer
  • A person with a history of car accidents

Esurance isn’t the lowest cost insurer available, but it offers discounts and a mobile app experience that are hard to beat. If you’re shopping around solely based on price, Esurance probably won’t be the best for your needs at first glance. However, certain drivers will be able to activate discounts that make Esurance a competitively priced insurer.

Esurance: Average Rates But Worthwhile Features

Esurance’s strengths lie in its mobile experience rather than its pricing and customer service. Esurance offers discounts that can significantly decrease your insurance premium, but without the discounts, Esurance is a high cost insurer for various driver profiles—including customers with an accident and drivers over 81 years old. Below, we outline how Esurance’s annual premiums compare to other insurers for our sample driver profiles:

ProfileEsuranceGEICOProgressiveFarmers
18 Year Old Female$8,326$4,702$8,488$9,298
18 Year Old Male$10,268$4,114$7,342$9,542
42 Year Old Married Couple$3,914$1,630$3,046$3,876
42 Year Old Married Couple (one accident)$6,242$3,222$5,622$4,566
81 Year Old Female$3,780$1,740$3,292$2,574

Claim satisfaction should be something you consider when shopping around for auto insurance. In this category, Esurance ranks as an average insurer. The following table displays our ratings for Esurance as compared to those of other major insurance companies:

CompanyAffordabilityClaims SatisfactionCoverageShoppingDiscountsTotal
Esurance4.03.03.03.04.03.5
GEICO5.03.04.05.04.04.0
Progressive5.03.04.05.05.04.0
Farmers3.53.55.04.54.04.0

Highlight Feature: The Esurance Mobile App

The Esurance mobile app is one of the most convenient features we've seen any insurer offer. The app houses your insurance policy information, such as your ID card. You always have it available if your car is ever damaged. It also gives you the ability to update your contact information, make payments, and add a new car to your policy. Esurance’s app even allows you to file a claim and speed up the process by submitting photos or video chatting with an appraiser to get an inspection without them physically present. Once you’ve submitted a claim, you can track its progress through the app.

Esurance Coverage Options and Discounts

Esurance offers a standard set of auto insurance coverages, which we outline below. The company also offers a variety of optional coverages, such as emergency roadside assistance, CarMatch rental coverage, and loan/lease coverage.

CoverageIs It Offered By Esurance?
Medical Payments
Personal Injury Protection
Collision Coverage
Uninsured Motorist

Emergency Roadside Assistance: If you want emergency roadside service—up to $75 worth per breakdown—be sure to add it to your policy when you sign-up for Esurance, as it’s only available when you purchase coverage. However, the service can only be added if you have comprehensive and collision coverage. Unlike roadside assistance from other insurers, Esurance’s service follows the car rather than the driver. Meaning that you won’t be able to use the service under your policy if you get into an accident while driving a friend's car. But you can purchase roadside assistance from Esurance on a per-incident basis. Below, we list the types of assistance that the service can cover:

  • Towing
  • Tire changes
  • Fluid delivery (gas, oil, and water)
  • Battery service
  • Door unlocking

CarMatch Rental Coverage: Add on rental car coverage to your policy if you want Esurance to cover the cost of a rental vehicle if you're in an accident. CarMatch covers the cost of a comparable rental vehicle for up to 45 days or $3,000, whichever limit is reached first. CarMatch helps cover the cost of the rental car for the period during which your car is getting repairs for a covered incident—such as an accident or theft. However, if your rental vehicle’s cost exceeds your limits, you’ll be responsible for the difference.

Loan/Lease Coverage: This optional coverage pays you up to 25% of your car’s actual cash value in the event of a total loss. The coverage is meant to make up the difference between what you owe on the vehicle and the actual value. In order to cover the entire difference in value, you’ll need gap insurance. Loan/lease coverage provides less protection at a lesser cost.

Discounts Offered by Esurance

Esurance offers policyholders the standard insurance discounts that can be expected from most national insurers. However, Esurance has a particularly extensive list of what are considered common discounts. So, if your current insurer is offering you a discount, it’s likely that Esurance has it as well. Esurance also provides unique discounts such as the Fast 5, Switch & Save, Pac-12 Discount, an education discount and DriveSense.

Fast 5: The Fast 5 discount offers you 5% savings on your policy premium simply for collecting a quote online. The 5% discount goes away after you renew your policy with Esurance.

Switch & Save: You can receive 5% savings on your policy up until your second renewal for switching from another insurer to Esurance. To be eligible you must be insured with another insurance company at the time you purchase your Esurance policy.

Pac-12 Discount: Students and alumni of Pac-12 schools living in Arizona, Colorado, Oregon or Utah are eligible to save up to 15% on their car insurance. If you live in California—and are a Pac-12 student or former graduate—you may be eligible for a reduced rate. Below, we list the universities that are currently eligible under the Pac-12 Discount program:

  • University of Arizona
  • Arizona State University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Oregon
  • Oregon State University
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Utah
  • University of Washington
  • Washington State University

Education Discount: If you’re a current Esurance customer living in Arizona, Colorado, Oregon or Utah, you could be eligible to receive an education discount, which can be worth up to 15% in savings. The education discount is for individuals who have attained a certain level of education, regardless of what conference their school is in.

DriveSense: Enrolling in DriveSense qualifies you to receive an automatic 10% discount on your auto insurance policy. DriveSense keeps track of your driving habits and reports them to your insurer, which could qualify you for additional discounts. The safer you drive, the larger your discount. Unlike other programs that require a device to be attached to your car, DriveSense is available through a mobile app. You’ll need to use the app at least 50 times every six months in order to qualify for the savings.

Standard DiscountHow You Receive It
Multi-PolicyBundling Esurance insurance policies
Multi-Car DiscountInsuring more than one car on the same policy
Anti-theft DiscountEquipping your vehicle with an anti-theft device
Safety Device DiscountHaving manufacturer-installed airbags or automatic seatbelts
Anti-Lock Brakes DiscountInsuring a car with antilock brakes
Paid-in-Full DiscountPaying your premium in one lump sum rather than with monthly payments
Claim-FreeAll drivers on your policy go at least five years without a DUI or DWI, one person has a minimum of five years of driving experience, and you had auto insurance in place before switching to Esurance
Emergency Roadside Assistance DiscountPurchasing roadside assistance from a provider other than Esurance
Good Driver DiscountHaving a license for three years and having less than one penalty on your driving record
Good Student DiscountBeing a full-time student under 25 years old with at least a 3.0 grade point average

Esurance Quotes Comparison

Based on our study, Esurance offers insurance rates that are higher than average when compared to its competitors. Across all of our sample driver profiles, on average, Esurance offered rates that were 18% and 16% more expensive than the rates offered by Progressive and Farmers, respectively. It’s common for insurers to increase your premium after an accident, but we found Esurance’s rate increase to be among the highest. Esurance offered its most affordable rates to young woman drivers.

How Much Will My Esurance Insurance Increase After An Accident?

However, these figures don’t take into account potential discounts that could be available to you. Given that Esurance has competitive quotes for certain driver profiles, Esurance could be a great option if you consider some of the discounts available, such as the Fast 5 and Pac-12 discount. A young woman driver who qualifies for these discounts could receive 20% in savings.

Esurance Customer Reviews and Complaints

Customer reviews of Esurance’s claims process rate the company as average compared to its peers. Esurance ranked 13th among the 24 auto insurance companies that were rated by J.D. Power’s 2017 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. The study rated the insurance companies based on several factors including initial claims reporting, claim servicing, the appraisal process, etc. We highlight the results of the survey below, where categories are rated from one to five with five being the highest:

CompanyOverall RatingInitial Claim ReportingServiceAppraisalRepairRental CarSettlement
Esurance3333233
GEICO4444344
Progressive3333343
Farmers3333233

Your experience with Esurance, will vary depending on what part of the country you live in. In California, Esurance was ranked as the insurer with the highest overall satisfaction from its customers. However, residents of Florida and the North Central United States reported having either average or below average experiences with Esurance. What the company lacks in physical locations, it makes up for with over 3,000 associates available nationwide. It's headquartered in San Francisco with 17 regional offices spread out across the United States. Esurance became popular in the last decade partly due to its popular mascot, Erin Esurance. Esurance’s extensive coverage means it has the resources to help you, whether it's online, or through the Esurance app. Below, we outline Esurance consumer reviews from different regions where Esurance is available:

GeographyClaims Rating (Out of Five)
California5
Florida3
North Central2

Filing Claims and Esurance Policy Cancellation

If you’ve been in an accident, you can file a claim with Esurance by calling 1-800-378-7262. While the Esurance claims department is available 24/7 by phone, you can also file a claim online or through the Esurance mobile app. If you need roadside assistance, you should call 1-888-374-6472. Esurance recommends having the following information on-hand when reporting your claim:

  • Contact information for all parties involved and their insurers
  • Insurance policy numbers for the involved parties
  • Descriptions of the vehicles involved in the accident (make, model, year, license plate number)
  • Pictures of the damaged vehicles

After you report your accident, you’ll be assigned an Esurance representative within 24 business hours. The representative will schedule an inspection of the vehicle at the time of your choosing. Alternatively, if the damage is minor, you can submit photos through the Esurance mobile app.

If you need to cancel your Esurance policy, you’ll need to call 1-800-378-7262. The customer service department is available from 6 A.M. to 12 A.M. CT seven days a week. Have your policy number handy and be ready to answer a few questions to verify that you’re the policyholder. We recommend that you request proof of cancellation so that you’re not liable for any erroneous future charges. If you cancel your policy, Esurance can charge you a cancellation fee of 10% of your remaining premium or a flat fee between $30 and $50. This makes it hard for you to switch insurers without either incurring a fee or having a lapse in coverage. So, if you need to switch insurers, it’s best to do so towards the end of your policy.

Esurance Complaints and Financial Strength Ratings

Overall, Esurance has respectable ratings from independent industry experts. Specifically, Esurance is highly rated for its financial ability to fulfill auto insurance claims, while its complaint rating is just above average. Esurance, which is owned by Allstate, has an A.M. Best Rating of A+, which represents superior health. Allstate, the parent company, is also rated A+ by A.M. Best Ratings Services.

However, Esurance received a complaint rating of 1.14 from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The national median complaint rating is 1.00. The NAIC’s findings were consistent with what J.D. Power reported in its findings. Therefore, you can expect to receive average customer service from Esurance.

Industry ReviewerRating
NAIC Complaint Index1.14
A.M. Best Rating Services (Esurance)A+
A.M. Best Rating Services (Allstate)A+
J.D. Power3

Methodology

Our rating for Esurance was calculated through our assessment of the insurance company’s affordability, claims handling, coverage, shopping experience and discounts. Affordability and claims handling represent 30% of the rating, coverage represents 20%, and shopping and discounts represent 10%, for a total of 100%.

Sources:

National Association of Insurance Commissioners

J.D. Power Claims Satisfaction

Comments and Questions