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Kemper Insurance Review 2021

Kemper sells insurance to high-risk drivers who may struggle to find coverage, but has far more complaints than similar-sized companies.
Aug. 24, 2021
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 and home 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 auto 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 receives far more than the expected number of consumer complaints to state regulators, based on its size.

Kemper pros and cons

Can get an SR-22 if you need one.Far more than the expected number of complaints about auto insurance to state regulators.
Many coverage types and discounts.No mobile app for managing policy.

Kemper auto insurance

3.5 NerdWallet rating

Kemper auto insurance earned 3.5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account pricing and discounts, ease of filing a claim, website transparency, financial strength, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and more.

Common types of car insurance coverage

When you’re shopping for car insurance, it’s important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. Most states require car insurance to drive a vehicle, although minimum coverage requirements vary from state to state. This generally includes liability insurance and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

If you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Full coverage isn’t a specific policy you can buy, but rather a combination of coverage types like liability, collision and comprehensive insurance.

Check out the most common types of car insurance coverage below to see how they work:

Coverage typeWhat it pays forRequired?
Bodily injury and property damage liabilityCosts for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.Typically required.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverageMedical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.Often required.
Collision coverageRepair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.A car loan or lease may require it.
Comprehensive coverageRepair costs from events outside of your control — including weather events, hitting an animal while driving, theft and vandalism.A car loan or lease may require it.

Kemper auto insurance options 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.
  • Broad form coverage, which provides insurance for a specific driver, rather than the car. This may be a lower-cost option if you own more than one vehicle.

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.
  • Enhanced coverage. This package of extra coverage options includes accident forgiveness, a waiver of your deductible if your car is damaged while parked, a diminishing deductible credit if you drive safely and coverage for personal property in your vehicle. The package also covers the replacement of a key or entry transmitter device and expenses if a trip is interrupted by a covered accident.

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 or having a renters insurance policy.
  • Having multiple insurance policies 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-theft devices or automatic seat belts.
  • 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.
  • Being married or in a legally recognized civil union or domestic partnership.
  • Staying continuously covered with a previous insurer before switching to Kemper.
  • Being 55 or older and completing an accident-prevention course.

» MORE: Compare car insurance rates

Auto insurance buying guide

Before you compare car insurance companies, you’ll need to collect basic information, such as the driving history of everyone on the policy and facts about your car, including safety features and annual mileage driven. You’ll also want to understand which types of coverage you need. For example, do you want only the bare minimum insurance that your state requires, or do you need more extensive coverage, such as gap insurance or rideshare coverage? Check that each company you’re considering has the options you want.

When comparing rates among insurers, make sure each is offering the same coverage limits and deductibles. You may not want to decide based on price alone. Look at how many consumer complaints each company has, as high numbers can be a red flag about the quality of service you might receive.

Depending on which company you choose, you may be able to buy insurance online, over the phone or through an agent. For more guidance, see how to get car insurance.

Kemper homeowners insurance

Homeowners insurance from Kemper includes standard home coverage. In addition, Kemper offers a variety of options:

  • Replacement cost dwelling coverage ensures that if your house is destroyed in a covered disaster and the value of your dwelling coverage isn’t enough to rebuild, Kemper will pay up to 150% of your coverage amount.
  • Contents replacement coverage pays for brand-new belongings if yours are stolen or ruined for a covered reason, rather than the depreciated value.
  • Identity fraud coverage will reimburse 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.

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:

  • Being claim-free.
  • Being a loyal Kemper customer.
  • Buying three or more coverage upgrades.
  • Having multiple policies with Kemper.
  • Being a mature homeowner.
  • 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 about 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, 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.

Life insurance

Kemper offers whole life, term life and guaranteed issue life insurance. Not all types of policies are available in all states. To get more details about coverage options and discounts, see our Kemper life insurance review.

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 and discounts. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. 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 2018-2020. 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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