The bottom line:
Wawanesa offers cheap coverage for “good” drivers, but received more complaints than expected for a company of its size.
Pros & Cons
May offer cheaper rates since customer base is “good” drivers.
Transparent about what traffic violations will result in application denials.
More auto insurance complaints than expected.
Available only in California and Oregon.
Wawanesa specializes in selling car insurance to California and Oregon drivers who have relatively clean driving records. 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.
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Wawanesa 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.
Eligibility to apply for Wawanesa car insurance varies between California and Oregon. Applicants with more than one at-fault accident or traffic violation point in the last 36 months won’t qualify for a premium quote. Drivers must also have had a license continuously for the past three years. While guidelines to apply are stricter than other insurers, Wawanesa says its auto insurance rates are 25%-35% cheaper than standard rates.
Wawanesa offers the usual auto insurance coverages, including roadside assistance and rental reimbursement coverage. If you have comprehensive and collision insurance and your vehicle is less than 11 years old, you can add vehicle manufacturer replacement parts coverage, which replaces parts from the original equipment manufacturer at an additional cost.
» MORE: Compare car insurance rates
Auto insurance discounts
Discount if you have a policy with Wawanesa for a year or more.
Good driver discount (California only).
Discount for drivers 55 and older who take a driver improvement course.
Driver training discount for those under age 19 who complete a driver education course (Oregon only).
Insurance score discount (Oregon only).
Discount if the vehicle is equipped with a recovery device, such as LoJack (Oregon only).
Military discount (Oregon only).
Discount for using monthly autopay (Oregon only).
Discount based on insurance status prior to applying for coverage with Wawanesa (Oregon only).
Multicoverage discount if you also have an active Wawanesa renters property policy (Oregon only).
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.
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 discounts for both California and Oregon drivers. You can also pay your bills, view policy information and get your ID card.
Mobile app: Wawanesa does not currently have a mobile app.
Other insurance from Wawanesa
Homeowners and condo policies are currently unavailable as the company makes changes to its policies.
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 get an auto insurance quote through the company’s website or by calling a Wawanesa quote specialist.
Wawanesa sells auto policies in Oregon and California.
You can submit claims online or over the phone. A policy number is required when filing a claim online.