American Family Insurance Review 2017: Complaints, Ratings and Coverage

Auto Insurance, Insurance

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American Family reviews and ratings

  • American Family’s customer satisfaction ratings are better than average for auto insurance and about average for home insurance
  • Has fewer customer complaints than other companies of similar size
  • Ranks seventh out of 21 large insurers in NerdWallet’s best car insurance companies

Overview

American Family is the nation’s ninth-largest auto insurance seller and the No. 8 home insurance seller, and has few complaints compared with other insurers. The company also offers a wide selection of other insurance products, so if you like the convenience of bundling policies, American Family might be right for you.

AUTO INSURANCE RATING

American Family ranked seventh out of 21 insurers in NerdWallet’s ranking of the best car insurance companies, earning four stars out of five. NerdWallet’s rating is a score based on:

  • J.D. Power ratings for claims satisfaction and customer service
  • Consumer complaints against the insurer, based on data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners

Complaints

American Family had fewer than the median number of complaints to state regulators in 2016 for a company of its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Auto insurance complaints
Home insurance complaints
Life insurance complaints

4 stars

4 stars

5 stars

Customer satisfaction

  • “Better than most” for overall purchase experience for auto insurance in J.D. Power’s 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Shopping Study
  • “Better than most” for overall auto claims satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2016 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study
  • “About average” for overall homeowners claims satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2017 Property Claims Satisfaction Study
  • “About average” for overall homeowners insurance satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2016 Home Insurance Study

Financial strength

American Family’s financial strength is “excellent,” according to ratings agency A.M. Best. Financial strength is important because it indicates how well an insurer can pay claims.

American Family auto insurance

American Family offers a standard suite of auto insurance coverage types, plus a few additional options:

Gap insurance will pay out if your car is totaled and it’s leased or has a loan balance. Without this coverage, you would receive only the depreciated value of the car minus any deductible — leaving you to pay off the rest.

Accidental death and dismemberment pays out if a car accident causes death or certain injuries, regardless of who is at fault.

Ridesharing insurance is available for customers who drive for services such as Uber or Lyft. It fills a coverage gap while you’re waiting for customers.

Teen Safe Driver is a free program that uses a mobile app to help teens learn safe driving habits. The app tracks a teen’s driving whenever his or her phone is in the car and scores the rides to provide feedback. American Family says the app is good at figuring out who the driver is, but you can delete trips if it logs one where someone else was driving. Once a teen completes a year or 3,000 hours in the program, parents can get up to a 10% discount.

American Family home insurance

American Family Insurance offers standard homeowners insurance options and the following types of coverage:

  • Scheduled property: Pays out for the full value of damaged or destroyed valuables such as art or jewelry, with no depreciation deduction
  • Backup and overflow: Pays out if your sump pump overflows or your sewer backs up
  • Identity theft: Pays for costs associated with restoring your finances if you become a victim of identity theft
  • Home office: Provides additional liability and personal property coverage if you run a business from your home

American Family life insurance

American Family offers a variety of life insurance choices, 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 policy. The application doesn’t require a medical exam, and a policy can be issued in 10 days, which is unusually quick among life insurers. Coverage ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 is available in the following terms:

  • 10 years
  • 20 years
  • 30 years

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.

More about American Family

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

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

DreamVault is American Family’s home inventory app. It lets you keep an updated inventory of your belongings, with photos. If your belongings are damaged or destroyed, a home inventory can help you make an insurance claim.

American Family sells several types of insurance in addition to auto, home and life insurance. Health insurance and travel insurance are available from partner companies through American Family agents.

Other insurance from American Family
  • Motorcycle
  • ATV
  • RV
  • Boat
  • Condo
  • Mobile home
  • Renters
  • Umbrella
  • Flood
  • Business
  • Ranch and farm
  • Snowmobile

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    Methodology

    NerdWallet’s auto insurance star ratings and rankings are based on the following three factors, each weighted equally:

    • 2015 consumer complaints data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The median complaint ratio for the industry is 1. Lower ratios are better. Insurers whose median complaint ratios were more than 1 received fewer points; those lower than 1 received more points.
    • 2015 regional customer service satisfaction data from J.D. Power. The higher the average J.D. Power rating across regions, the more points the insurer scored in our calculation.
    • 2015 auto claims satisfaction data from J.D. Power. The higher the J.D. Power rating, the more points the insurer scored in our calculation.
    • Only larger insurers with data available in all three of these categories were included. In case of ties, NAIC consumer complaints data were used to break the tie. Smaller insurers not listed here may also be good choices and are worth consideration.


    Updated May 30, 2017.