The bottom line:
Safe Auto specializes in selling minimum required car insurance to drivers who may have trouble getting coverage elsewhere.
Pros & Cons
- Can file an SR-22 if you need one.
- Website available in English and Spanish.
- Far more than expected complaints about auto insurance to state regulators.
- Not available in all states.
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.
In 2021, Allstate announced it was acquiring Safe Auto through its subsidiary, National General.
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Safe 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:
What it pays for
Bodily injury and property damage liability
Costs for injuries, deaths or property damage from an accident you caused.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage
Medical and property damage costs after an accident with a driver who has insufficient insurance or none at all.
Repair expenses from traffic-related accidents, regardless of who's at fault.
A car loan or lease may require it.
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.
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.
Auto 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.
Paying your premium in full, upfront.
Buying more than one insurance product from Safe Auto, such as auto and home coverage.
Getting good grades if you’re a student.
Being over 55 years old.
Pricing based on tracked driving habits
Safe Auto offers pay-as-you-go liability insurance in Illinois and California through Hugo. This option lets 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.
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.
» MORE: Compare car insurance rates
Safe Auto 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 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 consumer reviews and summaries of each state’s minimum car insurance requirements.
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 from Safe Auto
Safe Auto also sells other types of insurance through partner companies, including:
Auto insurance ratings
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.
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
Safe Auto offers car insurance in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.
You can file a claim with Safe Auto online or by calling 800-SAFEAUTO.
Safe Auto was acquired by Allstate, one of the largest insurers in the nation, through its subsidiary, National General. National General specializes in selling auto insurance to high-risk drivers.