Elephant Auto Insurance Review

Elephant Auto Insurance Review

Elephant has great rates and impressive add-on coverages, but its customer service reputation is lacking.
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Elephant

Editor's Rating

Elephant Insurance is a newer auto insurance company available in just eight states. It stands out for its impressive array of add-on coverages and its affordable rates — but policyholders will likely have to tolerate lackluster customer service to enjoy these perks.

To learn more about Elephant Insurance's rates and offerings, read our comprehensive review.

Good for
  • Affordable rates
  • Pet owners
  • Safe drivers who want to protect their good rates in the event of an accident
Bad for
  • Customer service
  • Shoppers outside the eight states Elephant covers

Elephant Insurance: our thoughts

For an insurance company that's just over a decade old and only serves eight states, Elephant boasts competitive rates and remarkable coverage offerings.

Elephant isn't the absolute cheapest insurer out there, but it beat out some major national competitors by a significant margin. Our analysis found that car insurance quotes from Elephant were 14% cheaper than average. We recommend getting a quote if you live in one of the eight states where Elephant sells auto insurance policies:

  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Maryland
  • Indiana
  • Tennessee
  • Illinois
  • Ohio
  • Georgia

The company also offers customers a plethora of interesting coverages in addition to standard offerings like liability, collision and comprehensive coverages. Pet owners, for instance, will appreciate that pet injury protection is automatically included in collision coverage. Safe drivers who want to protect their low rates can take advantage of benefits like accident forgiveness and diminishing deductibles.

Bear in mind, however, that in exchange for these benefits you may have to deal with the headache of a poor customer service experience. Elephant receives a higher volume of complaints than would be expected of an insurer of its size — not an uncommon problem for a young company, but certainly one you should be aware of before buying a policy.

Elephant auto insurance quote comparisons

Elephant's monthly car insurance quotes were 14% cheaper than the average of the insurers in our study. Those are solid savings — but competitors had even better rates. Geico stood out as the most affordable insurer, charging 31% less than average, while State Farm came in third, charging 5% less than average.

A chart of Elephant Insurance rates vs. competitors

Find Cheap Auto Insurance Quotes

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Insurer
Monthly rate
Geico$111
Elephant$139
State Farm$153
Farmers$242

Get a quote from Elephant Insurance to see how it compares to other auto insurers, either online or via its toll-free call center. Our rate analysis shows you may be able to snag a solid deal.

Elephant Insurance discounts

In addition to standard discounts, such as multi-car and multi-policy, Elephant offers a number of unusual discounts not available from many major insurers, such as a work-from-home discount and a referral discount.

Elephant's discounts include:

  • Multi-policy: insuring multiple cars on the same policy.
  • E-signature: signing your policy via e-signature.
  • Online quote: getting your quote online.
  • Early bird: purchasing your policy early.
  • Referral: referring a friend or being referred.
  • Multi-policy: bundling multiple policies.
  • Good student: earning good grades.
  • Pay in full: purchasing your entire premium up front.
  • Work from home: working from home discount.
  • Responsible driver: avoiding accidents over a period of time.
  • Homeowner: owning a home.
  • Paperless account: opting for paperless payment.

Ask about these discounts when you get a quote from Elephant. The company advertises that policyholders can save up to 40% off their premiums.

Elephant auto insurance coverages

Despite being a small and fairly young insurer, Elephant offers drivers an exceptional number of unusual coverages. It particularly stands out for its automatic pet injury protection and its diminishing deductible add-on, which allows drivers to reduce their collision deductible to $0 with safe driving.

Diminishing deductible

Elephant's diminishing deductible enables safe drivers to eliminate their deductible altogether. Pay $60 per year ($30 for a six-month policy) and your collision deductible will go down by $100 ($50 for a six-month policy). For every policy term that you remain accident-free, your deductible will go down by $100 ($50 for six months) — up to a maximum of $500 total.

If you do get into an accident, Elephant does not penalize you by resetting your deductible to its original amount. Instead, the company locks it in for the duration of one policy term. After that policy term ends, you can pick up where you've left off and continue working to reduce it by avoiding accidents.

Roadside assistance

Elephant Insurance offers roadside assistance coverage via Urgent.ly to help drivers in an emergency. When users call the dedicated Elephant roadside assistance number, they'll be connected with a local service provider and receive real-time updates as the provider makes its way toward the user's location.

Providers can help with the following roadside emergencies:

  • Towing
  • Battery jump
  • Flat tire replacement
  • Fuel delivery
  • Lockout services

Pet injury coverage

Elephant automatically includes $1,000 of pet injury protection in your collision coverage, making it a great choice for drivers who often travel with their pets.

While many other insurers make you pay extra to protect your pets, Elephant does not. Up to $1,000 of coverage can be applied to two pets, provided these pets are dogs or cats that were inside the car with you during the covered accident.

Accident forgiveness: standard and upgraded

Drivers who manage to stay accident-free for three years earn a degree of accident forgiveness. This means that should you get into an accident after the three-year mark, your premium will stay the same and you won't receive an accident surcharge.

Accident forgiveness can be upgraded by drivers with a clean record who have not yet hit the three-year mark but still want to protect their current rate.

YourMechanic

All Elephant policyholders have access to a service called YourMechanic, which allows you to book a repair service at your home or office at a reduced price. This eliminates the hassle of taking your car to a service center. Services from YourMechanic have a year-long, 12,000-mile warranty.

Legal resources plan

Policyholders willing to pay an additional $6 per month receive full coverage of attorney fees for one minor traffic violation each year and a 25% discount off other attorney services, such as will preparation, family law and real estate transactions.

Other add-on coverages from Elephant Insurance

In addition to the standard coverages you'd expect to see from any major auto insurer, Elephant Insurance also offers the following add-on coverages to enhance your car's protection on the road:

  • Loan/lease: covers up to 25% of your car's actual cash value if you get in an accident or your car is stolen and you still owe money on it.
  • Rental reimbursement: covers the cost of a rental car while your own car receives covered repairs.
  • Non-owner car insurance: covers liability claims for those who frequently drive cars they don't own.
  • Custom parts and equipment: covers enhancements to your car, such as custom rims, tires or a wheelchair lift.

Is Elephant a good car insurance company?

If strong customer service is a top priority for you, consider another company. Elephant's auto insurance division receives 62% more complaints than expected for an insurer of its size.

Additionally, Elephant offers a mixed auto insurance mobile app experience. The company's app has a limited number of features. Users can view their policy and insurance card and make changes, and they can contact Elephant and its emergency assistance. More sophisticated mobile apps allow you to file claims and submit photos, but Elephant's app does not offer these functionalities.

Experientially, iPhone users tended to like the app more than Android users. Customer reviews of the Elephant auto insurance app in the Apple App Store averaged 4.5 out of five, while ratings in the GooglePlay store averaged 3.6 out of five.

Rating system
Maximum points
Elephant rating
NAIC Complaint Index1.0 (average rating)1.62
Apple App Store rating5.04.5
Google Play rating5.03.6

Also of note is that Elephant's app has a telematics feature. By turning on location services, drivers can share their driving data with Elephant and receive auto insurance discounts.

Elephant pledges that it will not raise rates based on this data, so if you're comfortable sharing your location at all times — including for bike rides or trips during which you're a passenger — you have nothing to lose. However, the app is not especially well-publicized or reviewed. It is not mentioned on the Elephant website at all, and users complain that it does not record trips correctly. Given these drawbacks, we recommend opting for another insurer if a solid telematics program is important to you.

About Elephant Insurance

Elephant Insurance was founded in 2009 and is a subsidiary of Admiral Group plc, a major insurer in the United Kingdom. It currently serves eight U.S. states, including Texas, Virginia, Maryland, Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois, Ohio and Georgia. Elephant sells insurance policies directly to consumers, so you won't have the personal touch of an independent agent.

In addition to auto insurance, you can also purchase homeowners and renters insurance from Elephant to protect your home. Elephant partners with several different third-party providers to sell other lines of insurance. If you combine Elephant insurance with insurance from one of these partners, you'll still be eligible for a bundling discount.

Insurance available from Elephant partners includes:

  • Condo insurance, through Homesite
  • Motorcycle insurance, through Dairyland
  • Life insurance, through LifeDirect
  • Umbrella insurance, through RLI

Contact Elephant Insurance: claims, payments and cancellations

To file a claim with Elephant Insurance, policyholders have two options:

  • Option 1: call the Elephant Insurance claims department phone number at (844) 937-5353. You can file new auto insurance claims with Elephant from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends. You can contact them about existing car insurance claims from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during weekdays. Elephant has a separate number for glass insurance claims, such as windscreen replacement, which is 1-800-413-8860.
  • Option 2: file your claim via the online form. You do not need to log in to an Elephant auto insurance account to file a claim, though you can sign in to your account to expedite the process. You can also use your online account to review the status of your claim.

To make a payment to Elephant Insurance, you can use your online account. If you'd rather send a physical check than pay your insurance bill online, you can send Elephant a check to the following mailing address:

Elephant Insurance P.O. Box 75658 Baltimore, MD 21275-5658

To manage your car insurance policy — such as when you change a car or change your payment method at renewal time — you can use your Elephant online account. If at any point you decide to turn down the option for renewal and cancel, you'll need to call an agent at (877) 321-2095. You can't cancel your Elephant car insurance policy online.

What states does Elephant Insurance cover?

Elephant Insurance sells auto insurance policies in eight states: Texas, Virginia, Maryland, Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois, Ohio and Georgia.

Where is Elephant Insurance located?

Elephant Insurance's headquarters are located in Henrico, Virginia, next to the state capital of Richmond, Virginia.

Who is Elephant Insurance owned by?

Elephant Insurance is owned by parent company Admiral Group plc, a major insurer in the United Kingdom. Admiral Group plc was founded in 1993 and its headquarters are in Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom.

Methodology

We pulled monthly auto insurance quotes for a 30-year-old software engineer who lives in Richmond, Va., in a rental apartment. He drives around 10,000 miles each year in the 2015 Honda Civic EX that he owns, and has a clean driving record and a bachelor's degree. We gave him the following coverages:

Coverage
Limits
Bodily injury liability coverage$25,000/$50,000
Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage$25,000/$50,000
Property damage liability coverage$25,000
Uninsured motorist property damage coverage$25,000
Comprehensive coverage$500 deductible
Collision coverage$500 deductible

Where relevant, our driver opted for paperless transactions, which gave him a discount from several insurers. To calculate the average monthly rate from Geico, we averaged the total cost per month because the company has an initial lower-cost down payment for the first month.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.