Safe Auto Insurance

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Safe Auto Insurance Company (or SafeAuto) is a direct non-standard auto insurance provider that specializes in car insurance policies that only fulfill the state-required minimum. It currently quotes auto insurance in 17 states, and in some states, greater minimum coverage limits are also available. If you have a less-than-perfect driving record, or are just looking for an affordable way to satisfy your legal financial responsibility, SafeAuto’s insurance policy may be worth considering. We recommend that you shop around for quotes, however, as we've found that Safe Auto's quotes tend to rank among the costlier end for the sample drivers we looked at - including those with decent driving records. Read on for our review of SafeAuto’s policy costs, coverage, and features, or go to the end and find out about its available discounts.

Features we like best about Safe Auto:

  • 20+ years of specialization in offering state-minimum auto insurance policy
  • Provides convenient policy management option

Considerations about Safe Auto:

  • More costly policy premiums than other non-standard auto insurers based on our sample drivers
  • A relatively small insurance company in size, with less national availability
  • Mixed reviews on claims handling

Table of Contents:

Safe Auto Car Insurance Quote Comparison

How do SafeAuto’s state-minimum policy premiums fare compared to other auto insurers? We found that they may be higher than most for typical drivers, based on quotes our sample drivers received. We took rate data from our Louisiana state auto insurance study, for 4 different sample driver profiles across 7 different insurers, including SafeAuto. These insurers include both non-standard auto insurers (marked with *) and ones that are commonly identified as standard auto insurers. All drivers operate a 2012 Toyota Camry, with clean driving history in the recent years.

Company

Single Female
age 21

Single Male
age 21

Married Male
age 30

Married Female
age 60

Direct General* $2,196 $2,652 $971 $716
The General* 1,618 2,050 1,094 903
SafeAuto* 2,206 2,318 1,131 833
Progressive 3,306 3,706 612 530
Allstate 1,428 1,644 1,075 1,080
State Farm 2,112 2,532 917 687
GEICO 1,356 1,356 677 544

SafeAuto for young drivers under 25: if you are a young driver under the age of 25 – an age group insurers deem higher-risk than older drivers – but with clean driving record, a SafeAuto policy would not be our top recommendation for you. For both of our 21 year-old sample male and female drivers, SafeAuto quotes ranked in the more expensive half among our insurers. While a young male motorist may find his SafeAuto quotes around the average cost of his other offers, young female drivers, on the other hand, might find their SafeAuto quotes to be as much as $850 costlier than her lowest option, in our case, GEICO.

SafeAuto for drivers 25 and above: if you are a driver with clean driving records and have passed the 25 age threshold, there may be less reasons for you to include SafeAuto in your insurer shortlist. From our sample rates, SafeAuto quotes are 10% - 22% higher than the average quotes received by married female and male drivers, respectively, age 30 and above. Besides, since you are pass the age 25, you likely have more assets to protect in the event of accident, and a state-mandated minimum car insurance policy may not be the most appropriate coverage for you.

SafeAuto for drivers with at-fault accident history: if you are a young driver with at-fault accidents, you may really want to take advantage of what non-standard auto insurance providers have to offer. However, will SafeAuto offer you the best quotes? Based on our sample drivers, it may not be. Below is a table comparing the cost of car insurance for two young drivers – a single female and a single male – across the same 7 insurers listed above. Both of them have 2 at-fault-accident records and operate a 2009 Toyota Camry.

Company Single Female, age 21 Single Male, age 21
Direct General* $2,506 $2,787
The General* 2,436 3,059
SafeAuto* 2,417 3,106
Progressive 1,960 2,325
Allstate 2,161 2,742
State Farm 2,363 2,919
GEICO 1,610 1,860

Our analysis indicates that young single male drivers will find SafeAuto most costly when they have past at-fault accident records. Our sample driver found his Safe Auto quote - $3,106 a year – 16% higher than the average quote he received from all 7 insurers. Compared with his cheapest quote, $1,860 a year, from GEICO, SafeAuto’s quote is 65% higher.

Safe Auto Car Insurance Review

There are a couple of factors that make up our review of SafeAuto Insurance Company: its geographical coverage, policy coverage options, and car insurance service features. From our sample drivers' quote comparison, we find SafeAuto to be less competitive because its state-minimum policies specialization don't seem to translate into more affordable premium costs. Nevertheless, consumers in these 17 states will find exactly what they expect a policy that satisfies their state-mandated liability auto insurance requirements, choice of physical damage coverage, and a small perk on the side.

SafeAuto Coverage Map

SafeAuto’s state-minimum-required coverage policies are mostly available in the southern states of the US. It currently operates in a total of 17 states: Arizona, California (through SCJ service), Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

This map shows where SafeAuto underwrites car insurance policies directly

Auto Insurance Policy Coverage

Whereas a complete auto insurance coverage policy would include bodily injury and property protection liability coverage, collision and comprehensive physical damage coverage, and in some cases an uninsured motorist coverage, SafeAuto’s default insurance coverage does not go beyond liability coverage. However, while coverage limits may be restricted, optional coverages are available at additional costs.

SafeAuto Mobile App Features: Payment Card Scanner & Digital ID Card

While accessing one’s policy through a mobile device is becoming a standard option from most car insurance companies, SafeAuto’s perks include the ability to scan your card and make payments through your mobile device. Another feature that is also common but nonetheless convenient is the digital auto insurance ID card.

Key features of the mobile app include the following:

  1. Make payments with Quick Pay or by scanning your payment card
  2. Access digital insurance ID card
  3. Contact customer service

This screenshot shows consumers the user interface of the SafeAuto smartphone app

Industry Ratings of SafeAuto

SafeAuto’s industry ratings are just below average. It received great ratings for being a business that has been around for more than 20 years, but the NAIC complaint index indicated that the ratio of complaints against SafeAuto is much higher than the market average (even considering it as a non-standard auto insurer).

Metric Rating
BBB A+
NAIC 3.36 (1 being the market average)

SafeAuto Claims

All SafeAuto claims, whether you are a policyholder or making a third-party claim, must be made through its customer service number listed below. You will also find a guide to making claims through this number for your reference. There is no online option.

Claim number: 1 (800) 723 – 3288

Collision Claims

  • Press 3 for claims
  • Press 2 to get info about existing claims
  • Press 3 to file a new claim
    • Press 3 -> connects to agent

Glass Claims

  • Press 3 for claims
  • Then press 4 to report glass-related claims

SafeAuto Car Insurance Discounts & Fees

Available SafeAuto discounts depend largely on the state that the driver resides in. Nevertheless, below is a list of the possible discounts that one may find with SafeAuto. Also included are the discounted coverages and the discount amount for consumers’ reference.

Discount Type Discounted Coverage Discount %
Airbag MED 5
Anti-Lock Brake BI, PD, MED, Coll 5
Anti-Theft Comp 5-15*
Claims-Free Renewal BI, PD, MED, UMBI, Comp, Coll 5
Good Student BI, PD, MED, UMBI, Comp, Coll 10 or 15**
Daytime Running Lights BI, PD, MED, UMBI, Comp, Coll 10
Homeowners BI, PD, MED, UMBI, Comp, Coll 5
Multi-Car BI, PD, MED, UMBI, Comp, Coll 15
Non-Owner BI, PD, MED, UMBI, Comp, Coll 15
Paid-in-Full BI, PD, MED, UMBI, Comp, Coll 10

*discount % depends on type of anti-theft device equipped.
**10% discount for female students, and 15% for male students.
^Maximum total discount, per coverage, from all discounts, is 50%.

As a common practice of non-standard car insurance companies, SafeAuto has an established list of fees that would apply should the insured drivers fail to make payments or need to file a SR22. Again, these fees could vary by state, but here is a picture of the types of fees drivers should look out for:

Fee Type Amount
Installment (incl. renewal bill) $10
Insured Request Cancellation 25
NSF 20
Overnight Payment - next morning 25
Overnight Payment - next day 15
Reinstatement 10
SR-22 Filing and Refiling 10 - 40*
Stop Pay 26

* filing fee varies by state.

About Safe Auto Insurance Company

SafeAuto was founded in 1993 in Columbus, Ohio. While it began specializing only in state-required minimum auto insurance, as competition grew SafeAuto now offers a range of coverage limits in a couple of states. As of end of March, 2015, SafeAuto is expanding into the independent agent insurance business after acquiring AutoTex MGA, a Dallas based special auto insurance agency.

Company website: www.safeauto.com

Comments and Questions

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