Wawanesa Auto Insurance Review 2024

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Written by Ryan Brady
Lead Writer
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Edited by Lacie Glover
Assigning Editor
Fact Checked

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Wawanesa

1.5

NerdWallet rating 
Wawanesa offers cheap coverage for drivers in California, but received more complaints than expected for a company of its size.

Discounts

Average set of discounts

Ease of use

Average

NAIC complaints

More than expected

Wawanesa

1.5

NerdWallet rating 
Wawanesa offers cheap coverage for drivers in California, but received more complaints than expected for a company of its size.

Discounts

Average set of discounts

Ease of use

Average

NAIC complaints

More than expected

Wawanesa earned 1.5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and financial strength ratings.

Although Wawanesa originally specialized in selling car insurance to California and Oregon drivers, it currently only sells new policies to California residents. Established in 1896 as a farmers’ mutual insurance carrier in Canada, Wawanesa opened up its United States branch in 1974 and sells auto and renters insurance directly to consumers.

In August 2023, Automobile Club of Southern California announced its plans to acquire Wawanesa.

Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our coverage so you can choose the insurance policy that works best for you. These carrier ratings are specific to auto insurance — a company's rating for other products may be different on our site. See our criteria for evaluating auto insurance companies.

In our auto insurance reviews, our editorial team considers both the customer and the insurer. These are some of the factors we take into account:

Financial strength. We use A.M. Best ratings to confirm an insurer’s long-term financial stability and ability to pay claims. NerdWallet does not recommend companies with a rating lower than a B. 

Complaints. These ratings are based on complaints to state regulators relative to a company’s size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The best auto insurance companies have fewer than the expected number of complaints.

Ease of use. This category looks at how easily consumers can interact with an insurer through its mobile app and website. This includes how much coverage information is offered online, whether a user can start and track a claim online and get a quote and mobile app scores based on the Apple and Google Play store ratings.

Discounts. We look at both the kind of discounts a company offers and the total number of discounts available.

Compare to other insurers

Current Product

Wawanesa Auto Insurance
Gainsco Auto Insurance
21st Century Auto Insurance - Direct
NerdWallet rating 

1.5

/5
NerdWallet rating 

1.5

/5
NerdWallet rating 

3.0

/5

Complaints to NAIC 

More than expected

Complaints to NAIC 

Far more than expected

Complaints to NAIC 

More than expected

Ease of use 

Average

Ease of use 

Average

Ease of use 

Average

Discounts 

Average set of discounts

Discounts 

Very few discounts

Discounts 

Average set of discounts

Bottom line 

Wawanesa offers cheap coverage for drivers in California, but received more complaints than expected for a company of its size.

Bottom line 

Owned by State Farm, Gainsco sells policies to high-risk drivers and can provide an SR-22 if you need one.

Bottom line 

21st Century sells bare-bones auto insurance policies in California only.

Wawanesa insurance coverage

When you're shopping for car insurance coverage, it's important to understand what car insurance coverage you want and what you’re required to buy. For instance, most states require a minimum amount of car insurance to drive a vehicle. Alternatively, if you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Read about the most common types of car insurance coverage to see how they work.

Wawanesa offers the usual auto insurance coverages, including roadside assistance and rental reimbursement coverage. If you have comprehensive and collision insurance, you can add vehicle manufacturer replacement parts coverage, which replaces parts from the original equipment manufacturer at an additional cost.

Auto insurance discounts

You may be able to earn the following discounts California by:

  • Meeting Wawanesa’s “good driver” criteria for all drivers on the policy.

  • Taking an approved defensive driver course if you are 55 and older.

  • Insuring more than one car with Wawanesa.

  • Having an auto policy with Wawanesa for a year or more.

  • Buying multiple insurance products from Wawanesa.

  • Being a member of specific organizations Wawanesa partners with.

🤓Nerdy Tip

First time shopping for auto insurance? Unsure of where to start? Check out our guide on how to shop for car insurance.

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Wawanesa homeowners insurance

Wawanesa offers standard home insurance, as well as additional coverage that includes: 

  • Limited earthquake coverage.

  • Scheduled personal property coverage.

  • Identity theft, fraud and home cyber protection coverage.

Wawanesa is currently only selling new home insurance policies in California.

Home insurance discounts

You might be able to earn a discount on your home insurance by:

  • Buying both your home and auto insurance from Wawanesa

  • Having a Wawanesa home insurance policy for at least a year.

  • Not having any claims in your first year with Wawanesa.

  • Ensuring you and any residents of your home are non-smokers.

  • Owning a home with an automated sprinkler system.

  • Owning a home with a burglar alarm or central monitoring system.

  • Equipping your home with a water leak detection device.

Complaints

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

More about Wawanesa auto insurance

Website: Wawanesa’s website clearly outlines coverage details and available auto insurance discounts. You can also pay your bills, view policy information and get your ID card.

App: Wawanesa does not currently have a mobile app..

Other insurance from Wawanesa

Wawanesa also offers condo and renters insurance in California and Oregon. However, the company is not currently offering new condo insurance policies.

Frequently asked questions

You can get an auto insurance quote through the company’s website.

Wawanesa currently sells car insurance policies in California.

You can submit claims online or over the phone. A policy number is required when filing a claim online.

Methodology

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2021-2023. 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. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life 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 and full ratings methodology for auto insurance.

In this review . . .