Auto-Owners Review: Is it the Best Choice for Car Insurance in 2024?

Auto-Owners’ average rate of $75 per month makes it one of the cheapest options around. Despite some mixed customer satisfaction ratings, this insurer’s combination of low rates and generous discounts makes it a good option for budget-conscious drivers.

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Compare.com Rating ?
3.18

Pros

  • Below-average rates
  • Plenty of available discounts
  • Gap insurance available

Cons

  • Below-average customer satisfaction rating
  • Only available in 26 states
  • Must call to receive a quote

Bottom Line

Auto-Owners sets itself apart from other mid-size insurers thanks to useful optional insurance products like purchase price guarantee and rental car coverage. Drivers on a budget should consider Auto-Owners because of its below-average rates, especially if they have an accident or ticket on record.

Auto-Owners Insurance: At a Glance

Founded 1907
Available in 26 states
Owned by Private (mutual company)
National average premium $75 per month
Mobile app Android (link), iOS (link)
Customer service 1 (800) 346-0346
Claims 1 (888) 252-4626
Primary competitors Erie Insurance, American Family, Nationwide

Auto-Owners is one of the largest auto insurers in the country by market share, serving nearly three million policyholders across 26 states. For more than a century, this Michigan-based insurer has prided itself on excellent financial strength and a wide range of coverage options.

Auto-Owners has some of the lowest average rates in the country. Groups that typically struggle to find affordable rates — such as teens and people with mixed driving records — may find surprisingly affordable car insurance quotes from Auto-Owners. Unfortunately, Auto-Owners’ customer satisfaction scores lag behind competitors, so you may want to consider other options if customer service is your top priority.

Is Auto-Owners a Good Choice for Car Insurance?

Drivers looking to save should consider a car insurance policy from Auto-Owners. Its average rate of $40 per month for liability-only insurance is one of the cheapest options, and you can easily add additional coverage to better fit your needs.

Still, no company is perfect. Between a below-average customer satisfaction score from J.D. Power and just a 3.1 customer rating for its iOS app, Auto-Owners may not offer the seamless customer experience you’re looking for.

Where Auto-Owners stands out

Auto-Owners stands out for affordability across just about every demographic, including drivers with poor credit, teens, seniors, and people with an accident, speeding ticket, or DUI on their driving record.

Where Auto-Owners falls short

Drivers looking for impeccable customer service might find Auto-Owners lacking in some areas. The company scores just 2.4 out of 5 from users on Trustpilot and doesn’t offer online quoting. That means you’ll have to speak directly with an insurance agent, which could make it harder to bypass the company’s mixed customer experience.


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Auto-Owners Customer Reviews

Auto-Owners insurance reviews are mixed on several different platforms. Generally, customers have issues with Auto-Owners’ claims process and online experience. At the same time, customers tend to appreciate the affordable rates.

On the Better Business Bureau (BBB) site, several customers complain about Auto-Owners’ inefficient claims process, including slow responses from insurance agents and delayed claims payouts.

Auto-Owners customer review

Auto-Owners’ online experience also received criticism from customers. Many users find the company’s official app to have limited capabilities and compatibility with certain devices, such as older iPads. For example, the customer below was dissatisfied with bill pay on the Android app:

Auto-Owners customer review 2

The below Reddit exchange gets to the central conflict with Auto-Owners: the prices are good, but you get what you pay for when you encounter their limited online services and slow claims process.

Auto-Owners customer review 3

How Much is Auto-Owners Insurance?

Now that we have a sense of Auto-Owners’ reputation among customers, how much should you expect to pay? The table below breaks down the company’s average rates for basic liability-only and full coverage.

Liability Only Full Coverage
$40 $110

Auto-Owners’ average liability rate is $91 less per month than the national average, while its full-coverage average price is $161 below the national monthly average. But prices vary based on various factors, such as your age, driving history, and credit score.

Read on to see how Auto-Owners’ prices stack up for drivers based on these rating factors.

How do Auto-Owners’s rates compare to competitors?

Auto-Owners’ rates are far lower than the national average, but how do they compare to other large auto insurers? Here’s how Auto-Owners stacks up to industry giants like State Farm, Allstate, and more.

Company Liability Only Full Coverage
Auto-Owners $40 $110
Allstate $87 $223
GEICO $42 $97
Progressive $72 $146
State Farm $60 $112

Auto-Owners is the cheapest option of the bunch when it comes to liability-only insurance, with average rates of just $40 per month. GEICO is the next cheapest option, at $42 per month. But GEICO outdoes Auto-Owners with a monthly full-coverage rate that’s $13 cheaper.

While Auto-Owners is the cheapest option here, GEICO and State Farm aren’t far off. You should compare quotes from these insurers (and more) if you’re looking for a bargain. No two drivers are the same — so the following sections will explore the average rates different types of drivers pay.


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Auto-Owners Average Rates by Age Group

Age is one of several rating factors car insurance companies use to determine your rates. Generally, rates start higher for young drivers, then decrease as you age.

We’ve broken down the average rates Auto-Owners charges for different age groups in the table below.

Age Liability Only Full Coverage
Teens (18 years old) $121 $280
Young adults (25 years old) $56 $148
Middle age (40 years old) $40 $111
Seniors (65 years old) $41 $103

Auto-Owners’ rates by age are as predicted: Teens pay the most, while middle-aged drivers and seniors pay the most reasonable rates.

Auto-Owners rates for teens and young drivers

Teen drivers pay the most for Auto-Owners insurance, with an overall average rate of $201 — but this is well below the $397 per month the average American teen pays for auto insurance. Auto-Owners also offers plenty of discounts for teen drivers, including a good student discount, student away at school discount, and teen driving monitoring discount.

Once you reach 25 years old, rates fall by an average of $65 for liability-only insurance and $132 for full coverage.

But what about beyond 25 years old? The next section explores rates for middle-aged and senior drivers.

Auto-Owners rates for seniors and retirees

Auto-Owners’ rates fall even lower once you reach middle age. This age group’s average monthly rates of $40 and $111 align with Auto-Owners’ overall average rates.

These rates remain low for senior drivers. While they tick up by a dollar for liability-only insurance, full-coverage rates drop to just $103 per month.

Auto-Owners Average Rates by Driving Record

Driving record may be the most important rating factor that car insurers consider. Drivers with at-fault accidents, speeding tickets, or DUIs on their record will typically pay higher rates.

Let’s take a look at how Auto-Owners rates change based on your driving history.

Driving History Liability Only Full Coverage
Clean record $40 $110
Speeding ticket $58 $147
At-fault accident $55 $141
DUI $96 $226

The table highlights how your rates will increase after a traffic violation, especially if you receive a DUI. At-fault accidents and speeding tickets have similar effects on your insurance rates.

In the next section, we’ll look at the effect of a speeding ticket.

Auto-Owners rates after a speeding ticket

On a national level, Compare.com  data shows that rates go up by 37% after a speeding ticket. Drivers with Auto-Owners insurance see their rates go up by about 37% on average after a speeding ticket — right in line with the rest of the industry.

Auto-Owners policyholders with a ticket on their record can save even more when they earn discounts for installing safety features on their car, paying their bills in full and on time, and enrolling in paperless billing.

Auto-Owners rates after an accident

The average driver sees their rate go up by 44% after an accident, according to Compare.com data. For drivers with Auto-Owners insurance, rates spike by about 30% after an at-fault accident, making Auto-Owners a particularly affordable choice if you’ve had a recent accident.

Drivers with coverage from Auto-Owners can save more after an accident by choosing a higher deductible going forward or bundling their policy with Auto-Owners’ homeowners or renters insurance policies.

Auto-Owners rates after a DUI

Policyholders with Auto-Owners auto insurance see their rates more than double after a DUI. Again, this increase aligns with the national average increase of 94% after a DUI.

Auto-Owners Average Rates by Credit Score

Drivers with excellent credit histories generally pay lower rates than drivers with poor credit. Car insurance companies see drivers with poor credit as less likely to pay premiums in full and on time, so many charge them higher premiums to offset these risks.

The table below breaks down the average rates Auto-Owners customers pay based on credit score.

Credit Score Liability Only Full Coverage
Excellent $29 $81
Good $40 $111
Average $49 $132
Poor $109 $295

Drivers with poor credit pay average monthly rates that are $147 higher than drivers with excellent credit scores. Generally, the rates among drivers with excellent, good, and average credit scores aren’t that different — but the average spikes significantly when it comes to drivers with poor credit.

What Car Insurance Discounts Does Auto-Owners Offer?

Taking advantage of discounts is one of the easiest ways to reduce the cost of your car insurance policy. Auto-Owners offers plenty of generous discounts to drivers, including:

  • Multi-policy discount: Drivers who bundle their auto policy with life insurance, homeowners insurance, or renters insurance from Auto-Owners can save.
  • Payment history: Paying premiums on time for 36 straight months can pay off in the form of a discount.
  • Green discount: Drivers who turn on paperless billing and pay online can qualify for this discount.
  • Multi-car discount: Covering multiple private passenger vehicles with an Auto-Owners car insurance policy can lead to a discount.
  • Safety feature discount: Equipping your car with advanced safety features such as anti-lock brake systems (ABS) or anti-theft devices can unlock savings.
  • Favorable loss history: Drivers with minimal claims in their insurance history can qualify for a discount.
  • Good student discount: Students can save up to 20% when they earn a “B” average or higher.
  • Student away at school discount: Students attending college more than 100 miles away can save when they leave their car stored at home.

What Types of Coverage Does Auto-Owners Offer?

Auto-Owners offers drivers plenty of options when it comes to coverage. Here are a few:

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability coverage: Required in most states, liability coverage pays for damages after an at-fault accident. Your coverage limits can be adjusted to your preferences.
  • Collision coverage: An optional coverage that kicks in to cover repairs to your vehicle after an accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage: If your car is damaged in a non-collision incident, such as severe weather, comprehensive coverage handles repairs to your vehicle.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: This covers vehicle repairs or medical bills caused by a driver who doesn’t have sufficient insurance.
  • Road-trouble service: Commonly known as roadside assistance, road-trouble service has your back if you lock your keys in your car, run out of gas, or otherwise need service while out on the road. It applies 24/7 in any state or Canada.
  • Loan or lease gap: Gap insurance covers the difference between your car’s current value and the amount left on your car loan or lease. Not offered by all insurers, gap insurance is a valuable add-on for drivers with financed cars.
  • Rental car coverage: Don’t worry — you’re covered to the extent of your existing coverage limits when you drive a rental car if you’ve added this to your policy.

Purchasing a Car Insurance Policy from Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners is unique in that you must work with an agent directly to receive a quote and set up your policy. In a time when many car insurance companies let you sign up and purchase a policy online, Auto-Owners’ slightly old-fashioned process may be a pro or con depending on your preferences.

Luckily, getting started is easy. Just go to the Auto-Owners’ website and press “Find an Agent for a Quote.”

Auto-Owners Find an agent screenshot

Enter your ZIP code on the next page. Auto-Owners only operates in 26 states, so you won’t be able to proceed if your ZIP code isn’t in Auto-Owners’ network.

Auto-Owners Find an agent screenshot

After successfully entering your ZIP code, Auto-Owners will provide a list of local agents. Here’s an example of what I found in my area:

Auto-Owners Find an agent screenshot 3

Auto-Owners prides itself on its network of independent agents, who provide a more personalized “human touch” to the insurance purchase process. Once you connect with an insurance agent, you’ll need to provide the basic information you’ll find during any quoting process:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Information about your vehicle, including your license number
  • Driving history information, including past claims

Agents need quite a bit of information to provide an accurate quote, so be sure to have important documents on hand, such as your vehicle registration, driver’s license, and current policy forms if you’re switching from another insurance company.

Reviewing Auto-Owners Customer Service

Auto-Owners has mixed reviews when it comes to customer service, so I called on a Monday afternoon to get a better idea of the company’s real-life customer service experience.

I called its 800 number, which provides customer service from 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. ET from Monday through Friday. After directing my call to the billing service line, I was on hold for about five minutes before connecting with a representative.

Once I connected, I was asked for my policy number, and the experience proceeded smoothly. While my customer service experience wasn’t necessarily seamless or fast — which many customer reviews mention — I got my billing question answered. It just took a few minutes longer than I would have liked.

Filing a Claim with Auto-Owners

Auto-Owners notes that while many car insurance companies are centralizing their claims process, the company is opening more local branches so that drivers have an easier time connecting with local independent insurance agents.

To file a claim, simply call your local agent. If you’re filing a claim after hours, you can call 1-888-252-4626.

Unfortunately, customers who’ve filed claims with Auto-Owners have mixed experiences:

Customer review - Auto-Owners 1

Customer review - Auto-Owners 2

The vast majority of customer reviews on ConsumerAffairs complain of a claims process that’s slow and unpleasant. While customer reviews tend to skew negative across the insurance landscape, the volume of negative reviews about Auto-Owners’ claims process is worth keeping in mind as you shop.

Does Auto-Owners Offer Other Types of Insurance?

Don’t let the car-centric name fool you. Auto-Owners offers several types of insurance, including:

  • Homeowners
  • Life
  • Term life
  • Whole life
  • Universal life
  • Business
  • Commercial auto
  • Condo
  • Renters
  • Mobile home
  • Umbrella
  • Farm
  • Pet
  • Flood

Bottom Line: Is Auto-Owners Right for You?

While Auto-Owners is one of the cheapest car insurance options around, you may have to deal with a frustrating claims process.

Still, drivers looking for diverse coverage options — like gap insurance and rental car coverage — as well as extensive discounts should certainly consider Auto-Owners for their auto insurance needs.

But the best way to find the right insurer for your needs is to get a quote from as many companies as possible.


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Auto-Owners Insurance FAQs

Want to learn even more? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Auto-Owners insurance.

Is Auto-Owners a legitimate company?

Yes. Auto-Owners has been in business for over a century, with millions of policyholders across 26 states. With high financial strength ratings and an A+ from the Better Business Bureau, Auto-Owners is a legitimate company.

Does Auto-Owners have the cheapest car insurance?

It depends. Drivers will be happy to learn that Auto-Owners offers some of the cheapest rates, but that won’t necessarily be the case for every driver.

The company’s quotes are lower than major insurers like State Farm and Allstate, though GEICO ($70 per month) and USAA ($62 per month) are slightly cheaper, on average.

What’s the financial rating of Auto-Owners Insurance?

Auto-Owners has an AM Best financial strength rating of, indicating excellent financial strength and an ability to pay out claims.

What company owns Auto-Owners?

Auto-Owners is a mutual insurance company, which means it’s owned by its policyholders.


Methodology

Data scientists at Compare.com analyzed more than 50 million real-time auto insurance rates from more than 75 partner insurance providers in order to compile the quotes and statistics seen in this article. Compare.com’s auto insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers’ vehicles, driving records, insurance histories, and demographic information. All the quotes listed in this article have been gathered from a combination of real Compare.com quotes and external insurance rate data gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. Compare.com uses these observations to provide drivers with insight into how auto insurance companies determine their premiums.


Sources

  1. J.D. Power “2024 U.S. Auto Insurance Study,” Accessed January 22, 2024.
  2. Insurance Information Institute, “Facts + Statistics: Auto insurance,” Accessed January 22, 2024.
  3. National Association of Insurance Commissioners, “2022 TOP 25 GROUPS AND COMPANIES BY COUNTRYWIDE PREMIUM – Total Private Passenger Auto,” Accessed January 22, 2024.

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