Elephant Auto Insurance Review 2022

Dec 17, 2021

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Our Take

The bottom line:

Elephant offers auto insurance in eight states, but it has far more complaints than other companies of similar size.

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Elephant Auto Insurance
Elephant Insurance
NAIC complaints
Far more than expected
Ease of use
Above average
Discounts
Great set of discounts

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers a wide variety of discounts.
  • Legal assistance coverage available.
  • Can bundle auto insurance with non-Elephant policies.

Cons

  • Available in eight states only.
  • Far more complaints to state regulators than similar-sized companies.

Full Review

Founded in 2009, Elephant is a subsidiary of Admiral Group, a large insurer in the U.K. Elephant Insurance is a small company that writes auto insurance policies in eight states only: Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. However, it sells other types of insurance, such as homeowners and renters, from other companies and offers a bundling discount in some states. Elephant sells policies directly to consumers, both online and over the phone.

Elephant auto 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 in order to drive a vehicle. Although minimum coverage requirements vary from state to state, they generally include liability insurance and uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

If you want extra protection, you may be interested in full coverage insurance. Full coverage isn’t a specific policy type; it's 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 type

What it pays for

Required?

Bodily injury and property damage liability

Costs for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.

Typically required.

Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage

Medical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.

Often required.

Collision coverage

Repair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.

A car loan or lease may require it.

Comprehensive coverage

Repair 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.

Elephant offers typical car insurance coverage options, including comprehensive, collision and roadside assistance. It also offers:

  • Rental reimbursement: Helps pay for a rental car if you can’t drive your vehicle due to a covered loss.

  • Non-owner car insurance: Provides car insurance coverage if you regularly drive a vehicle you don’t own. You may also want this policy if you are trying to avoid a gap in insurance coverage or need an SR-22 after a DUI or other serious traffic violation.

  • Loan/lease insurance: Helps pay the difference (up to 25%) between your car’s value at the time it’s totaled and your loan amount.

  • Legal assistance coverage: Starting at $6 per month, policyholders can add this coverage, which pays for legal fees associated with one minor traffic violation annually. You also receive a 25% discount off other legal services needed for estate planning, family law and more.

  • Diminishing deductible: An extra option available only if you have collision coverage, it must be purchased with the initial policy or at renewal — not mid-contract. When you sign up, Elephant takes $100 off your collision deductible immediately for yearly policies or $50 for six-month policies. Going forward, you’ll get the same amount reduced each time you renew your policy, as long as you remain accident-free. Should you have a wreck, the collision deductible won’t reset — it’ll stay the same for a year and then continue to decrease as you stay accident-free.

Customers who purchase collision insurance automatically receive pet insurance coverage, which provides up to $1,000 of coverage if your pet is injured during a covered accident.

In addition, all Elephant customers receive free perks, including:

  • Accident forgiveness: If you remain accident-free for three years, you’ll automatically earn accident forgiveness. This means that your next at-fault accident won’t increase your premium. For an extra cost, you can get accident forgiveness immediately.

  • Custom parts and equipment coverage: Covers permanent enhancements to your car such as window tinting and custom paint jobs. Elephant automatically includes up to $1,000 of coverage. You can raise that limit for a fee if you have collision and comprehensive insurance.

  • YourMechanic: Elephant offers customers discounted rates for certain repair and maintenance services that can be done at your home or office including an oil change, battery replacement and alternator repairs.

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Auto insurance discounts

Discounts from Elephant vary by location and coverage type but may include:

  • Multi-car discount.

  • Online quote discount.

  • Multi-policy (bundling) discount.

  • Responsible driver discount.

  • Paid-in-full discount.

  • Good student discount.

  • Discount for buying your auto policy before a previous one expires.

  • Referral discount.

  • Discount if you work from home.

  • Paperless discount.

  • E-signature discount.

Auto insurance buying guide

Before you compare car insurance companies, you’ll need to collect some basic information. This includes the driving history of everyone who will be on the policy, as well as facts about your car, such as safety features and annual mileage driven. You’ll also want to determine 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 make your decision based on price alone. Look at how many consumer complaints each company has, as a high number of complaints could be a red flag about the quality of service you'll 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.

Complaints 

Elephant had far 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 Elephant auto insurance

Elephant’s website lets you pay bills, print ID cards, get a quote, file a claim and more.

Other insurance from Elephant 

Elephant offers motorcycle insurance through a partnership with Dairyland. Other types of insurance from Elephant’s partners and third-party insurers include:

  • Homeowners insurance.

  • Condo insurance.

  • Umbrella insurance.

  • Life insurance.

  • Renters insurance.

Methodology

Insurer complaints methodology

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.

Frequently asked questions