The bottom line:
Safeco auto policies offer some unique features, such as accident forgiveness.
Pros & Cons
- Fewer than the expected number of customer complaints for auto insurance.
- Offers accident forgiveness and diminishing deductible.
- Many options to customize auto policies’ coverage.
- Customer satisfaction ratings are below average for auto insurance claims.
Safeco Insurance sells personal auto and other insurance products. Safeco’s parent company, Liberty Mutual, is an insurance giant — the sixth-largest auto insurance seller.
» MORE: Best auto insurance companies
Safeco 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.
While Safeco policies include these standard types of coverage, the company also offers these unusual features that set it apart from most insurers:
Accident forgiveness: After a certain number of years with no accidents or violations, Safeco won’t raise your rates after your first accident.
Claims-free cash back: Receive a check for 2.5% of your premium every six months if you don’t have any claims.
Diminishing deductible: If you don’t make a car insurance claim, Safeco will reduce your collision deductible each year, up to $500 or five years.
In addition, you can choose from several coverage options if they’re available in your state, including:
Rideshare coverage: If you drive for a company like Uber or Lyft, your personal policy is suspended while you use the app. Meanwhile, the ridesharing company’s insurance is limited between rides. New car replacement: If your car is totaled or stolen and is less than one year old with fewer than 15,000 miles, Safeco will pay to replace it with a comparable new car.
Rental car reimbursement: Pays for the cost of a rental car if your vehicle is being repaired after a covered accident.
Personal property coverage: Pays out if your belongings are damaged in an accident or stolen from your car. Typically, this is covered by renters or homeowners insurance if you have it.
Gap coverage: If your car is totaled or stolen, Safeco pays the difference between how much is left on your loan or lease and the value of your car.
Electronic key and lock replacement: Pays to replace lost or stolen electronic keys, remote control pads and locks, with no deductible.
CD and DVD replacement: Pays out when your audio-visual media such as DVDs, CDs and videotapes are damaged or stolen.
Custom equipment coverage: Protects equipment that was not installed at the factory or dealership, including permanently installed audiovisual equipment, a modified or custom engine, roll bars, custom wheels, murals and decals.
Pet coverage: Pays for veterinary expenses or a death benefit if your cat or dog is injured or dies in a collision.
» MORE: Compare car insurance rates
Auto insurance discounts
Multipolicy (bundling) discount.
Safe driver discount.
Accident prevention course discount.
Discount if your vehicle has safety features.
Pricing based on tracked driving habits
In some states, you can get a discount for allowing Safeco to monitor your driving for a 90-day period through the RightTrack app. The program tracks behaviors such as hard braking, acceleration, nighttime driving and total miles driven. A discount is guaranteed just for completing the program, and drivers can potentially save more based on driving behavior.
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 and customer satisfaction
Safeco had fewer 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.
Safeco ranked in the middle of the pack for auto insurance according to J.D. Power’s 2021 customer satisfaction studies.
2021 J.D. Power study
Auto insurance shopping
No. 7 of 12 companies.
Auto insurance claims satisfaction
No. 12 of 18 companies.
More about Safeco auto insurance
Website: Safeco’s site is easy to navigate and lets you track a claim, get a quote, pay your bill and view or download policy documents. If you prefer the personal touch of an agent, you can find one via the Safeco website.
Mobile app: Safeco’s app lets you log in and manage your policy, pay bills, check the status of a claim and more.
Homeowners insurance from Safeco
Safeco offers standard homeowners insurance coverage, along with additional options. To learn more, read our Safeco home insurance review.
Other insurance from Safeco
Other insurance products available from Safeco:
Landlord protection insurance.
Boat and watercraft insurance.
Classic car insurance.
Golf cart insurance.
Pet insurance is also available through the Hartville Pet Insurance Program.
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
You can buy an auto insurance policy and get a quote only through an independent agent. You can find an agent through the Safeco website.
Yes, Safeco has accident forgiveness for your first crash as long as you haven’t had a claim for a certain amount of time. Eligibility varies by state (not available in California).
You can file a claim online, with your agent or through the Safeco app.