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Kemper Insurance Review 2020

Jan. 29, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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  • One of the nation’s largest auto insurers.
  • Has a high number of complaints to state regulators, relative to its size, for auto, home and life insurance.
  • Can provide an SR-22 form if you need one.

Kemper is best known for providing auto insurance for high-risk drivers, but the company also offers an array of other coverage, including homeowners, life, and supplemental health insurance. Auto insurance policies are available in most states through independent agents or, in some states, directly from Kemper.

If you’ve had trouble getting car insurance elsewhere because of poor credit or your driving record, Kemper may be worth a look. It’s a popular choice, ranking slightly below the top 10 biggest car insurance companies at No. 13. But be aware that not all of its customers are happy with the experience: Kemper ranks below average in J.D. Power studies of consumer satisfaction.

Kemper auto insurance

3.5 NerdWallet rating

Kemper offers liability auto insurance, which pays for damage to others if you cause an accident. Kemper also offers comprehensive and collision coverage, along with other typical features such as roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement.

Other auto insurance options from Kemper vary by state. High-risk drivers buying nonstandard insurance from Kemper may have different coverage options than those buying standard policies.

For high-risk drivers, Kemper offers:

  • SR-22 availability. States often require an SR-22 form to prove you have insurance after a DUI or some other serious violation.
  • Insurance for salvaged vehicles. Kemper will insure most “salvage title” vehicles that were rebuilt after being totaled in an accident.
  • Text alerts to warn you if your policy is at risk of being canceled for nonpayment.

Options for Kemper’s standard auto policies include:

  • New car replacement. If your new car is seriously damaged in a covered accident, Kemper’s new-car replacement coverage will pay to repair or replace it (whichever costs less), even if it’s more than the actual cash value of the car.
  • Gap insurance. For vehicles no more than 3 years old, Kemper’s gap insurance will cover the difference between your car’s actual value and the amount you owe on your loan or lease if the vehicle is totaled.
  • Accident forgiveness. If you have a good driving record, accident forgiveness means your premiums won’t automatically go up the first time you cause a crash.
  • Trip interruption. When you have a wreck or breakdown while traveling more than 100 miles from home, this coverage will pay up to $600 toward costs such as transportation and lodging.
  • Pet coverage. Kemper will pay up to $2,000 in medical expenses for your dog or cat if it’s injured in a covered wreck.
  • Child car seat replacement. After a covered accident, this option will pay to replace a child’s car seat with no deductible. This coverage isn’t available in every state.
  • Dependent coverage. Kemper will pay up to $1,000 in day care costs if you can’t care for your child because of a covered wreck. This coverage also includes a $10,000 death benefit if the crash kills someone.

Auto insurance discounts from Kemper

Kemper’s auto insurance discounts vary by state and type of policy. You may be eligible for discounts for:

  • Avoiding accidents and traffic violations.
  • Insuring more than one car.
  • Owning a home.
  • Having a homeowners or renters policy with Kemper.
  • Making a large down payment on your policy premium or paying the full premium upfront.
  • Having safety equipment such as air bags, anti-lock brakes, anti-theft devices, automatic seat belts, daytime running lights, or a tracking system that helps locate your car if it is stolen.
  • Having your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) etched on the windows to discourage theft.
  • Going paperless, signing documents online and choosing automatic payments.
  • Having good grades, if you or someone insured on your policy is a student.
  • Leaving the car at home while away at school.
  • Completing a course in defensive driving or accident prevention.
  • Referring someone who buys a Kemper auto insurance policy.
  • Staying loyal to Kemper with no lapse in coverage until your policy is renewed.
  • Signing a pledge to be a focused driver.
  • Being married or in a legally recognized civil union or domestic partnership.
  • Staying continuously covered with a previous insurer before switching to Kemper.
  • Being older than 65.
  • Having a teen driver on the policy, if your coverage hasn’t lapsed in the past two years.

» MORE: Compare car insurance rates

Kemper homeowners insurance

Homeowners insurance from Kemper includes standard home coverages such as liability, outbuildings, and personal property. In addition, Kemper offers a variety of options.

  • Replacement cost coverage is available for your house as well as its contents. With this coverage on your home, Kemper will pay more than the amount you insured your house for — as much as 150% — if the face value isn’t enough to rebuild your destroyed property in a covered claim.
  • Contents replacement coverage from Kemper would pay up to 70% of the amount you insured your house for, less your deductible, to repair or replace damaged belongings. Without this extra coverage, the cap is 50% of your policy’s face value.
  • Identity fraud coverage will reimburse up to $15,000 in expenses such as attorney fees if you are a victim of identity theft.
  • Valuable items coverage lets you put extra insurance on specific items with no deductible, though you may need appraisals for high-dollar items. You can list individual items on your policy and their values, or you can get up to $50,000 in blanket coverage for valuables like jewelry or golf clubs, or for a group of similar items, such as a collection.

Homeowners insurance discounts from Kemper

If you buy both auto and homeowners insurance from Kemper, you may get a discounted “Package Plus” bundle that includes replacement cost coverage and other features.

You may also qualify for discounts for:

  • Buying three or more coverage upgrades.
  • Insuring a home less than 15 years old.
  • Having a roof less than 6 years old.
  • Purchasing a home within the past 24 months.
  • Having updated heating, wiring and plumbing systems if your house is older than 25 years.
  • Being married or in a legally recognized civil union or domestic partnership.
  • Having safety features such as fire alarms, smoke detectors, and burglar alarms.
  • In some coastal states, having a hip roof with slopes on all four sides.
  • In hurricane-prone areas, having storm or hurricane shutters.

Complaints and Kemper

Relative to its size, Kemper has more than the expected number of complaints to state insurance regulators for homeowners insurance and far more than the expected number of complaints for auto and life insurance, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

More about Kemper

  • Website: Kemper’s website lets you get a quote or locate an agency. If you’re a Kemper policyholder, you can log in to manage your policy. The Kemper website also lets you start a claim and find a repair shop if your car has been damaged.
  • Mobile app: Kemper Photo Inspection is available for both Apple and Android devices. If your adjuster approves, you can use the app to upload photos of damage to your car after an accident to speed up the settlement of your claim. However, Kemper doesn’t offer an app for overall policy management.
  • Payment options: You can pay your insurance bill once or twice a year, quarterly, or monthly. Discounts are available for paying larger amounts upfront. You can mail a check, pay by phone with a debit or credit card, or pay by automatic draft from a bank account.

Recap: Kemper pros and cons

Can get an SR-22 if you need oneFar more than the expected number of complaints about auto insurance to state regulators
Many coverage types and discountsNo mobile app for managing policy

Auto insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints, website transparency and affordability. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Methodology: Insurer complaints

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2016-2018. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.

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