Selective

Editor's Rating

Selective Insurance sells competitively priced auto insurance policies in 15 states and offers shoppers an impressive list of add-on coverages to choose from. However, it doesn't have a particularly strong customer service reputation. Certain subsidiaries receive more than double the complaints that would be expected for insurers of their size.

Read on to learn more about Selective Insurance and decide if this insurance company is right for you.

Good for
  • Customer service
  • Customers outside the 15 states where Selective sells personal insurance
  • Comparing rates online, since you have to call an agent to get a quote
Bad for
  • Affordable rates
  • Impressive add-on coverages
  • Mobile experience

Selective Insurance: Our thoughts

Selective offers drivers very competitive rates. The company's annual premiums range from 1% to 10% cheaper than the insurers with the largest market share in New Jersey, depending on the driver's accident history.

Selective also has a remarkable array of add-on coverages. If you're looking to protect a car you've purchased recently, Selective could be a good option. It offers loan/lease coverage for those who have purchased a used car, and helpful add-ons like agreed value and replacement cost coverage for those who want to protect new cars.

Selective works through a network of independent agents to sell policies. This means you cannot get a quote online; you'll need to contact your local agent to get a quote. Shoppers who prefer the ease of comparing quotes online may want to go with a company like Geico or State Farm, where you can get quotes in a matter of minutes.

However, Selective's customer service reputation leaves much to be desired. Some subsidiaries have no formal customer complaints filed against them, while others have more than double what would be expected for their size. Consider whether delays or a potentially unsatisfactory settlement is worth the extra savings to you.

On the flip side, Selective offers policyholders a fairly solid mobile experience. Policyholders can login to their Selective Insurance account via touch ID or face ID, and have access to a number of helpful features, including:

  • Access to policy information and insurance cards
  • Live chat service for help with policy
  • Ability to contact agent and claims adjuster
  • Call for roadside assistance 24/7
  • Report a claim, add photos and check its status
  • Locate repair shops
  • Bill pay

Apple users gave the app a 4.6 out five, and Android users gave it a 4.0 out of five, indicating that users generally like the app and find it useful. If a reliable mobile experience is important to you, Selective Insurance delivers.

What states is Selective Insurance available in?

Selective sells personal insurance policies in 15 states. If you do not live in one of the following states, you'll need to find another insurer.

  • Arizona
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Which auto insurance coverages does Selective offer?

In addition to the standard car insurance coverages you'd expect to see from any insurance company, Selective offers a number of helpful add-ons. Our review of a New Jersey insurer filing found that Selective offers the following coverages:

Coverage
How it works
Rental reimbursementHelps you find and pay for a rental car if you're in an accident.
Accident forgivenessYour premium stays the same after you've been involved in one at-fault accident, provided you've had a policy with Selective for five years.
Diminishing deductibleGet $100 off your deductible immediately, and another $100 every year you remain claim-free, for a maximum of $500 off your deductible.
Newer car replacementIf your car is totaled, Selective will offer you the actual cash value for a model that is one year newer and has 15,000 fewer miles on it.
Selective Choice Replacement CostIf your car is totaled, Selective will replace it with the most recent model.
Trip interruption coveragePays for the cost of transportation, lodging and meals if your car breaks down or is in an accident.
Towing and labor coverageHelps pay for the cost of towing and labor if your car is disabled.
Transportation expenses coverageHelps pay for alternative transportation if your car is disabled.
Customizing equipment coverageCovers the cost of repairs for any add-ons you add to your van or pickup truck.
Increased coverage for sound, audio, visual and data equipmentCovers the cost of any sound, audio or visual equipment added to your car.
Tapes, records, discs and other mediaCoverage for media in your car that can be added on top of audio, visual and data equipment.
Auto loan/lease coverageIf your car is totaled, this will pay for the difference between whatever you still owe on your auto loan and the actual cash value of the car.
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*Selective plans to roll out these coverages in September 2021.

Featured coverage: The Selective Edge

The Selective Edge is an endorsement available to those who purchase both home and auto insurance coverage from Selective. It includes a number of coverages that wouldn't automatically be included in a standard auto or home policy. These coverages include:

  • Guaranteed replacement cost for non-building structures and theft of jewelry or watches
  • Roadside assistance
  • Pet injury coverage
  • Key replacement
  • Towing and labor costs
  • Reduced or waived rates for transportation expenses coverage
  • Trip interruption coverage

Which discounts does Selective Insurance offer?

Selective's car insurance discounts are in line with what you see from any major insurer. Available discounts include:

  • A multi-policy discount for those who have a homeowners, condo or renters insurance policy with Selective
  • An advanced quote discount for shoppers who buy a policy eight days before their current coverage expires
  • A discount for those who also insure a commercial vehicle
  • A good grades discount for drivers up to age 25
  • A driving training discount for drivers under 25 years old who have completed an approved course
  • A vehicle safety discount for policyholders whose cars have certain safety and anti-theft features
  • A good payer discount for policyholders who consistently make payments on time

How much does Selective Insurance cost?

Selective offered the second-cheapest car insurance rates of the insurers in our study. Our 30-year-old sample driver with a clean record was quoted rates that were 1% cheaper than average, while our 30-year-old sample driver with an at-fault accident on his record received rates that were 10% cheaper than average.

Selective Insurance rates vs. competitors

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Insurer
Clean driving record
One accident
Increase after accident
Geico$1,362$1,92441%
Selective$1,760$2,00714%
NJM$1,943$1,9430%
Progressive$2,015$3,08653%

Selective could be a good fit for drivers with an at-fault accident on their record. The company only raised rates by $246 per year, or 14%, after an at-fault accident. That breaks down to an increase of about $21 per month. The only insurer that offered better rates to drivers with an accident history is NJM, which did not raise rates at all.

Selective auto insurance customer service reviews and ratings

Selective Insurance's customer service reputation varies widely depending on which subsidiary of the company you work with. For instance, Selective Auto Insurance of South Carolina scored a 0.82 on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' (NAIC) Complaint Index, which means fewer than average formal complaints were made against it, given its market share. The average Complaint Index is 1.0.

By contrast, Selective Insurance Company of America scored a 10.07 on the NAIC Complaint Index, which means that it received more than 10 times as many complaints as would be expected for an insurer of its size.

Additionally, many of the company's subsidiaries have no Complaint Index at all, making it difficult to assess how well they're meeting the needs of auto insurance policyholders. Ask your insurance agent which Selective subsidiary will manage your policy before making a purchase.

Selective also has a mixed reputation when it comes to financial stability. AM Best awarded individual Selective subsidiaries an "A" financial strength rating, which means that these subsidiaries have an "excellent" ability to meet claims obligations.

However, the Selective Insurance Group as a whole has only a B+ financial strength rating, indicating that AM Best believes that it has only a "good" ability to meet financial obligations.

Given these discrepancies, we recommend seeing if you can't get a better rate from another insurer before buying a policy from Selective. You want to be confident that your insurance company can pay out a claim when you get in an accident.

Contact Selective Insurance

Customers who need to file an auto insurance claim with Selective can contact the company in one of four ways:

  1. Log in to your Selective Insurance account to file a claim.
  2. Sign in to the Selective Insurance app to report a claim.
  3. Use the "report a claim" page on the Selective Insurance website, which does not require login.
  4. Call the Selective Insurance claims phone number at 1-(866) 455-9969 to speak with a company claims representative.

Customers who need to contact Selective via mail about an insurance claim should look up their regional claims office address. While the main Selective company claims service centers are located in Kentucky and Virginia, different parts of the country have dedicated claims offices to better service customer needs.

Customers should also note that Selective Insurance does not have a dedicated customer service number. Instead, the company urges you to contact your insurance agent for assistance with your policy. To discuss insurance payments with Selective, customers can call 1-(800)-735-3284 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time during the work week and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.

About Selective Insurance

Headquartered in Branchville, New Jersey, the Selective Insurance Group operates primarily as a holding company for 10 property and casualty insurance companies, including:

  • Selective Insurance Company of America
  • Selective Way Insurance Company
  • Selective Insurance Company of South Carolina
  • Selective Insurance Company of the Southeast
  • Selective Insurance Company of New York
  • Selective Insurance Company of New England
  • Selective Casualty Insurance Company
  • Selective Fire and Casualty Insurance Company
  • Selective Auto Insurance Company of New Jersey

While Selective Insurance carries a number of different personal and commercial insurance lines, it stands out because it offers shoppers flood insurance policy coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

To help businessea and individuals manage their risk, Selective Insurance offers the following insurance products:

  • Homeowners insurance
  • Renters insurance
  • Condo insurance
  • Umbrella insurance
  • Abuse and molestation coverage
  • Business income and extra expense coverage
  • Business owners policy
  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Commercial flood insurance
  • Crime/fidelity insurance
  • Crisis coverage
  • Cyber liability coverage
  • Data compromise coverage
  • Electronic information systems coverage
  • Errors and omissions
  • General liability coverage
  • GreenPac
  • Identity recovery (IDR)
  • Inland marine
  • Management liability
  • Product recall
  • Property insurance coverage
  • Surety bonds
  • Workers compensation coverage

Selective Insurance's business insurance is more widely available than its personal lines. States where Selective sells commercial insurance policies include:

  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Methodology

Our sample drivers for this study were two 30-year-old men who live in New Jersey and drive a 2015 Honda Civic EX. One driver has an at-fault accident on his record; the other driver has a clean record. We gave them the following limits on a full coverage policy:

Coverage type
Study limits
Bodily liability$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
Personal injury protection$10,000
Property damage$25,000 per accident
Uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury$50,000 per person/$100,000 per accident
Comprehensive and collision$500 deductible

Quadrant Information Services provided the rate data used in this analysis. Rates were publicly sourced from insurer filings. They are intended for comparative purposes only. Your own rates will likely differ.

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.