American Family Auto Insurance Review 2023

By Kayda Norman 

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Our Take

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

American Family offers a long list of insurance discounts, and it receives fewer consumer complaints than expected for a company of its size.

American Family Auto Insurance
NAIC complaints
Far fewer than expected
Ease of use
Average
Discounts
Great set of discounts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Fewer customer complaints than expected for a company its size for auto and life.
  • Many coverage types offered.
  • Wide range of discounts.

Cons

  • Not available in all states.

Full Review

American Family earned 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.

American Family is the nation’s ninth-largest auto insurance seller and has far fewer than the expected number of auto insurance complaints for a company its size. 

American Family is a good auto insurer for most customers. The company also offers a wide selection of other insurance products, so if you're looking for a one-stop shop for insurance, American Family might be a good fit for you.

American Family is rated No. 2 on NerdWallet’s 2023 list of Best Car Insurance Companies.

Why you can trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to ensure fairness and accuracy in our writing and data analyses. You can trust the prices we show you because our data analysts take rigorous measures to eliminate outliers and inaccuracies in pricing data, which include rates from every locale in the country where coverage is offered and data is available. When comparing rates for different coverage amounts, ages and backgrounds, we change only one variable at a time, so you can easily see how each factor affects pricing.

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.

Where American Family stands out

Coverage options. American Family offers more auto insurance coverage options than many other insurers, including rideshare insurance and original equipment manufacturer coverage. It also sells multiple life insurance products, including whole life insurance for children and seniors.

Discounts and telematics programs. American Family offers more discounts than most other companies and offers two different programs for drivers that want to participate in a telematics programs, which tracks your driving habits. In exchange, you could earn a discount. Teen Safe Driver is offered to drivers 21 or younger, while KnowYourDrive is available for everyone.

Accident forgiveness. You can buy accident forgiveness through American Family if you meet their requirements, which ensures your rates won’t go up if you have an accident. However, what makes the insurer stand out is that you can earn accident forgiveness for free if you’re claim-free for at least five years.

Where American Family falls short

State availability. Not everyone can buy coverage from American Family, as it doesn’t sell policies nationwide.

Compare to other insurers

American Family

State Farm

Travelers

Star rating

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

NAIC complaints

Far fewer than expected.

Fewer than expected.

Fewer than expected.

Discounts

Great set of discounts.

Average set of discounts.

Great set of discounts.

Ease of use

Average.

Above average.

Average.

Bottom line

American Family offers a long list of insurance discounts, and it receives fewer complaints than expected for a company of its size.

State Farm is a popular insurer with fewer complaints compared to other large competitors.

Travelers offers a broad range of coverage options and discounts to help you customize your car insurance policy.

Read our detailed reviews

American Family auto 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.

American Family offers a standard suite of auto insurance coverage types plus a few additional options, including these:

  • Gap insurance will pay out if your car is totaled and it is leased or has a loan balance. Without this coverage, you would receive only the depreciated value of the car minus any deductible — leaving you to pay off the rest.

  • Accidental death and dismemberment coverage pays out if a car accident causes death or certain injuries, regardless of who’s at fault.

  • Ridesharing insurance is available for customers who drive for services such as Uber or Lyft, but not in every state. It can be added to your personal auto policy and fills a coverage gap while you’re waiting for customers, so you’re fully insured the entire time the app is on.

  • Original equipment manufacturer coverage pays for your vehicle to be repaired with parts made by your car’s manufacturer rather than aftermarket parts.

Accident forgiveness coverage can be purchased to ensure your premium won’t go up if you’re at fault for a wreck. You are eligible to purchase accident forgiveness if you haven’t had an at-fault accident or violation in the past year and you haven’t had more than one at-fault accident in the past three years.  (Note that you can earn accident forgiveness for free if you go five years without a claim.)

Auto insurance discounts

You may be able to  save on your American Family auto policy by: 

  • Bundling policies.

  • Insuring multiple vehicles.

  • Meeting American Family’s criteria for a “good driver.”

  • Switching to American Family from another insurance company.

  • Getting an American Family quote at least seven days before your policy takes effect, if you’re switching from another insurer.

  • Owning a vehicle with safety equipment like air bags.

  • Completing a defensive driving course for drivers 55 and older.

  • Driving fewer than 7,500 miles per year.

  • Earning good grades as a student. 

  • Enrolling in a safe driver program as a teen.

  • Having your car parked at home while going to school at least 100 miles away. You (or the student on your policy) must be under 25 years old to qualify.  

  • Completing 40 hours of volunteer work a year for a nonprofit if you’re under 25 years old.

  • Becoming an American Family customer as a young driver with a parent who is also an American Family customer.

  • Going paperless, setting up automatic payments or paying your premium in full, upfront.

🤓Nerdy Tip

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

Pricing based on tracked driving habits

If you’re willing to let American Family track your driving behavior, you could save up to 20% on your auto policy. The KnowYourDrive app monitors actions like speeding, hard braking and distracted driving (such as sending a text). Your rate won’t go up for unsafe driving.

Another app, Teen Safe Driver, is designed specifically for young drivers up to age 21. It tracks distracted driving and other unsafe behaviors to encourage better habits. You can get a discount up to 10% once you participate for at least 3,000 miles or you are enrolled for at least one year.

American Family life insurance

American Family offers a variety of term and whole life insurance choices, including:

Simplified term: The application doesn’t require a medical exam, and a term life insurance policy can be issued in 10 business days. 

Coverage ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 is available in the following terms:

  • 10 years.

  • 15 years.

  • 20 years.

  • 30 years.

Term: This policy offers more coverage, though you may need to take a medical exam. These policies are also available in 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year terms, and in some cases can be converted into permanent insurance at the end of the term.

DreamSecure 15 Pay Whole Life: This type of permanent life insurance is fully paid after 15 years but offers coverage throughout your life.

DreamSecure Whole Life: This policy features level premiums until age 100 and builds cash value you can borrow against or leave to your heirs.

Whole life for seniors: Available if you’re between the ages of 50 and 80, this policy doesn’t require a medical exam and comes in two coverage amounts, $10,000 and $15,000, depending on your needs. It may be a good option if you want to make sure your funeral expenses are covered.

Whole life for children: Permanent life insurance is available for your child in $25,000, $50,000 or $75,000 amounts. You’ll pay off the policy in either 10 or 20 years depending on your plan’s premiums, but your child will remain covered for life.

Complaints and customer satisfaction

American Family had far fewer than the expected number of complaints for auto insurance to state regulators for a company of its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

American Family received an overall satisfaction score of 80 out of 100 by a pool of its customers in a NerdWallet survey conducted online in June 2022. To put that in perspective, the average score among seven insurers was 77, and the highest was 82.

Customer satisfaction ratings for American Family’s auto insurance are better than average, according to J.D. Power.

2022 J.D. Power study

American Family ranking

Auto insurance shopping

No. 6 out of 11 companies.

Auto insurance claims satisfaction

No. 8 out of 21 companies.

More about American Family insurance 

Website: On the American Family website, you can find an agent, get a quote, pay your bill and report a claim.

Apps: MyAmFam, American Family’s mobile app, lets you manage claims, pay bills, contact your agent, view policy documents, download proof of insurance, get roadside assistance and find an auto or glass repair shop.

American Family also has two apps to monitor driving habits: KnowYourDrive and Teen Safe Driver. These programs allow you to earn discounts on your insurance premiums.

Home and renters insurance from American Family

American Family also offers home and renters insurance. To learn more about the coverage options available, read our American Family homeowners insurance review and American Family renters insurance review.

Other insurance from American Family

American Family sells several types of insurance in addition to auto, home and life insurance, including:

  • Motorcycle.

  • ATV.

  • Umbrella.

  • RV.

  • Boat.

  • Business.

  • Condo.

  • Ranch and farm.

  • Manufactured home.

  • Snowmobile.

  • Classic car.

American Family also offers the following types of insurance through third parties:

  • Travel insurance.

  • Health insurance.

  • Pet insurance.

  • Flood insurance.

Methodology

2022 auto insurance survey methodology

The survey of 7,755 adults age 18 and older was conducted online by Russell Research on behalf of NerdWallet in June 2022. Respondents were asked to rate one auto insurance brand they obtained or renewed a policy with within the past 12 months, and the policy had to be in their name at the time of the survey. These brands were rated on overall satisfaction, overall value, online experience, trustworthiness and customer support on a scale of 1-100. 

Of those respondents: 300 were Progressive customers, 300 were State Farm customers, 299 were Allstate customers, 299 were Geico customers, 121 were USAA customers, 116 were Liberty Mutual customers, 105 were American Family customers, 105 were Farmers customers, 105 were Travelers customers and 101 were Nationwide customers.

The results have been weighted to be nationally representative. Additional subgroup sample sizes may be available upon request. Any differences noted between subgroups have been tested at 95% confidence level.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2019-2021. 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.

Frequently asked questions