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Safe Auto Insurance Review 2020

Jan. 28, 2020
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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  • Specializes in selling car insurance to high-risk drivers.
  • Has far more than the expected number of complaints to state regulators for auto insurance.
  • Can provide SR-22 forms to drivers who need one.

Safe Auto Insurance focuses on providing the minimum required car insurance needed to meet state requirements. Its policies are geared to drivers considered “high risk” because of issues like multiple moving violations, poor credit or a DUI. You can buy a Safe Auto policy, by phone or online, in 17 states.

» MORE: Best car insurance companies for high-risk drivers

Safe Auto insurance

2.5 NerdWallet rating

Safe Auto auto insurance earned 2.5 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.

Although Safe Auto specializes in minimum liability insurance, you can also get comprehensive and collision coverage, which pays to repair or replace your car if it’s stolen or damaged. This extra coverage is optional, but if you owe money on a car loan or lease, your lender may require you to buy it.

Safe Auto offers other standard coverage options as well, such as rental reimbursement, roadside assistance and towing, along with:

  • SR-22 availability. Your state may require an SR-22 form to prove you have insurance after a DUI or another serious violation.
  • Non-owner policies. If you need an SR-22 but don’t own a car, a non-owner policy can meet your insurance requirement, and you’ll be covered if you drive someone else’s vehicle. These policies come from Safe Auto’s partners.

» MORE: SR-22s, insurance and how to get cheaper rates

Safe Auto car insurance discounts

Safe Auto’s discounts vary by state. You may be eligible for discounts for:

  • Insuring more than one vehicle.
  • Owning your home.
  • Switching to Safe Auto from another insurer.
  • Taking a driver improvement course.
  • Avoiding accidents and traffic violations.
  • Paying your premium in full, upfront.

Other payment options: With a down payment, Safe Auto customers can make payments monthly or every other month.

» MORE: Compare car insurance rates

Complaints about Safe Auto

Safe Auto had far more than the expected number of complaints to state regulators relative to its size for auto insurance, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners

More about Safe Auto insurance

Website: You’re invited to ask the company questions when you visit Safe Auto’s website. If you want to see what other customers have asked, and how Safe Auto has answered, often you just need to scroll to the bottom of a page. On the website, which is available in both English and Spanish, you’ll also find a summary of each state’s minimum car insurance requirements. Policyholders can log in to view policy information and pay premiums, but claims must be reported by phone.

Mobile app: Safe Auto’s mobile app is another way to see policy details and make payments. You can also view your insurance ID card on the app.

Same-day pay: After a claim is approved, you can choose to have the money immediately deposited into a bank account, prepaid card or debit card instead of waiting for a check to be mailed.

Other insurance types: In addition to auto insurance, Safe Auto offers other types of insurance through partner companies. You can get the following insurance types through Safe Auto:

Homeowners insuranceHealth insurance
Renters insuranceDental insurance
Motorcycle insuranceBusiness insurance
Life insuranceAccident insurance

Recap: Safe Auto pros and cons

Can get an SR-22 if you need oneFar more than expected complaints about auto insurance to state regulators
Website available in English and SpanishNot available in all states
Claims can be initiated only via phone

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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