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Safe Auto Insurance Review 2021

Safe Auto specializes in selling minimum required car insurance to drivers who may have trouble getting coverage elsewhere.
June 1, 2021
Auto Insurance, Insurance
Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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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 several states.

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

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

Safe Auto Insurance

3.5 NerdWallet rating

Safe Auto 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.

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:

  • Personal injury protection, or no-fault insurance, to pay for medical and funeral expenses, lost wages and household services if you’re injured in an accident, regardless of who was at fault.
  • Accidental death benefit coverage if a covered vehicle is involved in a fatal accident.
  • SR-22 availability. Your state may require an SR-22 form to prove you have insurance after a DUI or another serious violation.
  • Pay-as-you-go liability insurance through Hugo. This option lets Illinois and California drivers pay a flat rate for insurance only on the days they drive. Customers can buy this insurance in packages of 3, 7, 14 or 30 days and can turn their coverage on and off via text message or an app.

» 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

Over three years, Safe Auto has drawn far more complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size, according to a NerdWallet analysis of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

More about Safe Auto insurance

Website: Safe Auto’s website is available in English and Spanish. Policyholders can log in to view policy information, pay premiums and report a claim. The website also features summaries of each state’s minimum car insurance requirements and consumer reviews.

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.

State availability: Safe Auto offers car insurance in several states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Other insurance types: In addition to auto insurance, Safe Auto offers other types of insurance through partner companies, including:

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

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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