American Family Insurance Review

Auto Insurance, Insurance

American Family is the nation’s No. 9 largest auto insurance seller, but it also offers a wide selection of other products, including insurance for homeowners, renters, life, motorcycles, boats, condos and mobile homes. American Family also sells insurance for farms, ranches and businesses, as well as investment and retirement products.

Where American Family Insurance shines

  • American Family gets very good ratings for auto insurance claims satisfaction from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power.
  • Customers also liked the insurer’s prices in a Consumer Reports survey.

Where American Family Insurance falls short

  • American Family ranked only “about average” for home insurance customer satisfaction in a J.D. Power study.

» COMPARE: Car insurance rates comparison tool


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at a glance

  • A.M. Best financial strength rating: A (Excellent).
  • Consumer complaints: Fewer than the median for a company of its size.
  • Size: No. 9 auto insurance company based on direct premiums written, according to A.M. Best.

In this article

American Family insurance products are available in 19 states: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

About 3,500 local agents sell American Family insurance products. Product availability varies by state.

American Family auto insurance

American Family Insurance offers a dozen coverage options, many of which are standard among auto insurance companies. They include:

  • Liability: Pays for injuries and damage you cause to others, but not for damage to your own car.
  • Collision: Pays for vehicle repair if you crash into another car or an object, minus a deductible, which is the amount that insurers will subtract from a claim payment.
  • Comprehensive: Pays out when your car is stolen or damaged by anything other than a car accident, such as by striking an animal, vandalism or flooding. A deductible applies.
  • Medical expenses: Pays for medical treatment for injuries to you and your passengers.
  • Personal injury protection: Regardless of who is at fault in an accident, coverage pays out for medical and child care costs and lost income.

American Family Insurance also offers emergency roadside service coverage and auto rental reimbursement coverage. Another add-on coverage, auto loan/lease protection, pays for the difference between the amount you owe on your loan or lease and the vehicle’s value if it’s damaged beyond repair.

AUTO INSURANCE DISCOUNTS

American Family offers 11 discounts that reward you for such things as a good driving record, good grades in school, completing a defensive driving course and having air bags or other safety equipment in your car.

One discount that’s not so common rewards people under 25 who do 40 hours of nonprofit volunteer work a year.

Discount amounts and eligibility vary.

American Family homeowners insurance

A homeowners insurance policy covers you in the event of theft, vandalism, fire or lightning, natural disaster and other problems. A policy won’t cover you for damage from flooding or earthquakes.

American Family Insurance offers standard homeowners insurance coverage, which pays out for loss of or damage to your home and structures on your property. Coverage also pays to repair or replace your belongings, as well as for your living expenses while your home is being repaired or rebuilt after a loss. Personal liability insurance covers medical and legal costs when someone is injured at your home.

American Family offers additional home insurance coverage options, including:

  • Personal property replacement: Pays out for full value of damaged or destroyed personal items, with no depreciation deduction.
  • Backup and overflow coverage: Pays out if your sump pump overflows or your sewer backs up.
  • Pet coverage: Pays out up to $1,000 for vet or burial expenses if your pet is hurt or killed due to a disaster covered by your homeowners policy.
  • Home office coverage: Provides additional liability and personal property coverage if you’re running a business from your home.

Homeowners insurance coverage features and limits vary by state, and not all are available in every state. American Family also offers condo and renters insurance.

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE DISCOUNTS

American Family offers home insurance price breaks if you:

  • Bought a home within the past three years.
  • Bundle auto and home insurance with American Family.
  • Haven’t had a claim in at least five years.
  • Have home safety or security devices, such as a burglar alarm or smoke alarm.
  • Have replaced your home’s heating, plumbing or electrical systems in the past 15 years.
  • Are age 18 to 30 and your parent has a policy with American Family.

Availability and amount of discounts will vary.

American Family life insurance

American Family offers term life and whole life insurance, including:

  • Simply Protected Term: Available only to existing American Family policyholders, the policy targets younger and first-time life insurance customers looking for a lower-cost product. The application doesn’t require a medical exam, and a policy is issued in 10 days, which is unusually quick among life insurers. Coverage ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 is available in 10-, 20- and 30-year terms.
  • MyLife Flexible: Allows you to adjust your coverage amount and cost to fit changing needs. For example, the MyLife Freedom option lets you reduce your coverage in retirement.

Customer reviews and ratings

American Family auto insurance has fewer than the median number of complaints for a company of its size, according to data compiled by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Its complaint ratio is 0.61, compared with the industry median of 1.00.

In a Consumer Reports survey, American Family auto insurance customers rated the company “very good” on claims satisfaction and “good” on price satisfaction. Overall, American Family scored 83 out of a possible 100, ranking in the middle of the pack among 24 auto insurance companies surveyed.

American Family fared well in J.D. Power’s 2015 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study with 859 points out of 1,000, ranking eighth out of 24 companies.

For home insurance claims satisfaction, American Family came in 18th out of 21 home insurance companies surveyed in J.D. Power’s 2015 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study. It has 841 points out of a possible 1,000. J.D. Power rated it “about average.”

Website and apps

On the American Family Insurance website, you can find an agent, get a quote, pay your bill and report a claim.

With My Amfam, American Family’s mobile app, you can manage your claim, pay your bill, find an agent, view your policy documents and download your proof of insurance. In addition, you can find roadside assistance or an auto or glass repair shop.

Android users rate the app 3.7 out of 5 stars, with a limited sample of reviews. IPhone users rate it only 2 stars, with hundreds of ratings.

Next steps

If you value an insurance company with a wide-ranging line of insurance products and with high ratings for auto claims satisfaction and auto insurance pricing, American Family deserves your attention. As always, it’s best to shop around and get quotes from different companies. When comparing car insurance quotes, NerdWallet’s comparison tool can help.


NerdWallet is a free tool to find you the best credit cards, cd rates, savings, checking accounts, scholarships, healthcare and airlines. Start here to maximize your rewards or minimize your interest rates. Juan Castillo

Juan Castillo is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: jcastillo@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @JCastilloNerd.