- High customer satisfaction
- Good range of coverage options
- Plenty of discounts for low rates
- More complaints than the industry average
- No telematics or rideshare coverage
- Not available everywhere
Bottom LineCONNECT is most valuable to customers of its partner organizations, Costco and Ameriprise Financial, as these policyholders can access special perks and coverages. But the company lacks a mobile app and may not provide an online quote.
CONNECT Insurance: At a Glance
|Available in||44 states|
|Owned by||American Family Insurance|
|Customer service||1 (888) 239-9953|
|Claims||1 (800) 872-5246|
|Primary competitors||Allstate, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, State Farm|
CONNECT Auto Insurance is “powered” by American Family, its parent company since 2019. Headquartered in De Pere, Wisconsin, it’s been writing policies for nearly 40 years.
Costco offers car insurance through CONNECT — but you’ll need to pay for a Costco membership in order to get it. You can still purchase a CONNECT policy without the membership, but you may find it more challenging.
CONNECT insurance coverage has many strong qualities, but it may not be the best fit for everyone. Read on to learn the ins and outs of this lesser-known, large insurance company.
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Is CONNECT a Good Choice for Car Insurance?
CONNECT can be a good choice, especially when purchased as a Costco car insurance policy. Most drivers will find the coverage, discounts, and other insurance products they need to get fully covered. And CONNECT offers good agents to assist you.
However, some customers have noted poor experiences dealing with billing, claims, and policy adjustments.
Ultimately, you’ll need to decide if CONNECT meets your needs, preferences, and budget.
Where CONNECT stands out
Many customers find a low rate with CONNECT, according to several customer reviews. The company also partners with Costco and Ameriprise Financial to offer special coverage options and policy perks (so consider becoming one of their customers if you’re signing up for a CONNECT policy).
Where CONNECT falls short
Despite its high customer satisfaction score, complaints are nearly five times the industry average, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
CONNECT Customer Reviews
CONNECT doesn’t currently have a page on popular review sites, Trustpilot or ConsumerAffairs, which limits the availability of written reviews. I found common themes for where the company does well and where it has some issues.
Among the issues, I found a few customers who had sudden rate increases with and without an accident (more on this later). Quite a few also talked about how difficult it was to get in touch with claims adjusters and claims agents — as in the review below. The customer also had issues with credit card fraud and felt the company wasn’t sympathetic.
Speaking of threatening to cancel policies, I found quite a few customers who experienced a sudden cancellation. In the reviews below, the customers each experienced a cancellation without warning. Both also drove, unknowingly, without coverage.
The customer below had a positive experience, though. They got access to accident forgiveness early (usually, you need to be with the company for three years to get it), which is lucky because they had to file a claim in the first policy period. Not only did they benefit from accident forgiveness, but CONNECT handled their claim quickly.
The reviewer below shows a true instance of service going above and beyond. Not only did they have a positive experience with a claim, but CONNECT agents also continued checking in regularly just to see how they were doing.
How Does Connect Stack Up?
While CONNECT looks good on paper, it’s important to understand how it compares to close competitors and the wider insurance market. For example, CONNECT lacks a mobile app, which all three of the following competitors have (and they’re well-designed). But there are other important variables to consider. Let’s take a closer look.
CONNECT vs. GEICO
GEICO is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. On average, rates are $186 per month, and policy coverage options are fairly similar to CONNECT’s. However, GEICO doesn’t offer gap insurance, which covers the difference between a car’s value and what’s left on your loan if your car is totaled in an accident.
Both companies score higher than the national average in terms of customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power, but CONNECT scores nine points higher than GEICO.
CONNECT vs. Progressive
While car insurance rates tend to be low at Progressive — $181 per month on average — the company offers fewer discount options than CONNECT. But Progressive has a telematics program that offers big savings.
Progressive also offers a larger range of insurance and financial products, including life insurance, dental, health, identity theft, and pet coverage. Both companies offer very similar coverage options.
Progressive scores below average from J.D. Power for customer satisfaction (CONNECT scores 30 points higher).
CONNECT vs. Allstate
Average rates for Allstate are $199 per month. For that price, you can get any coverage option CONNECT offers, plus identity theft, custom equipment coverage, death indemnity, and more added to your auto policy. You can get rideshare coverage and a larger range of insurance products at Allstate.
The company also offers a telematics program, Drivewise, which can help you save money for good driving habits. Allstate also scores above the national average for customer satisfaction but trails CONNECT by 23 points.
What Types of Coverage Does CONNECT Offer?
CONNECT offers a wide range of coverage options you’d expect from a large insurer, including:
- Bodily injury liability: Pays for others’ medical expenses and related costs when you’re at fault in an accident.
- Collision coverage: Pays for the repairs to your vehicle when damaged in an at-fault collision.
- Comprehensive coverage: Helps cover the cost of repairs or replacement for your vehicle when it’s damaged by non-collision incidents, such as a fire or bad weather.
- Gap insurance: Covers the “gap” between the actual cash value of your vehicle and the amount you owe on your auto loan if your car is totaled.
- Medical expense insurance: Pays medical expenses for you and your passengers resulting from a car accident, regardless of who’s at fault. It’s also known as MedPay.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): Covers your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs related to injuries from a car accident, regardless of fault.
- Property damage liability: Covers the cost of repairing or replacing another person’s property when you’re at fault.
- Rental car insurance: Covers some or part of the cost to rent a car when yours is in the repair shop.
- Roadside assistance & towing: Provides emergency roadside services, such as tire changes, jump-starts, and towing when your vehicle breaks down.
- Uninsured motorist coverage: Covers you when you’re in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the costs of your injuries or damages.
CONNECT also offers accident forgiveness, but it’s available only after you’ve been with the company for at least three years and are claims- and ticket-free.
CONNECT Car Insurance Discounts
Though not the widest array of discounts we’ve ever seen, CONNECT offers some good ones. Here are the discounts and how to get them:
- Good driver discount (CA only): A safe driving discount for California drivers without tickets or at-fault accidents on their driving record.
- Premier safety: A safe driver discount for people outside of California.
- Defensive driver: Complete a “refresher” driving course approved by your state’s DMV or an accredited organization. You must present your certificate of completion to get the discount.
- Multi-car: Discount for insuring more than one car on your policy.
- Multi-product: Discount for purchasing an auto insurance policy with homeowners insurance or an umbrella policy (or all three).
- Tenure discount: A loyalty discount that provides a lower rate for drivers who stay with CONNECT, though when this discount kicks in isn’t specified.
- Good student: Discount for high school and college students who meet certain academic qualifications.
- Student away at school: Discount for insuring a student who spends part of the year at least 100 miles from home without access to a vehicle at school.
- Vehicle safety features: Discount for factory-installed safety features, like anti-lock brakes, airbags, and automatic seat belts.
- Garaging discount: Discount for drivers who park their vehicles in a garage overnight. Not available everywhere.
Does CONNECT Offer Other Types of Insurance?
CONNECT offers a handful of other insurance products, some of which can earn you a discount when bundled with your car insurance policy.
- Home insurance
- Condo insurance
- Renters insurance
- Umbrella insurance
- ATV insurance
- Boat insurance
- Motorcycle insurance
- Classic car insurance
- Flood insurance
- Rental property insurance
- Business insurance
- Commercial auto insurance
- Commercial general liability
- Business owners policy
Whether an insurance product is available depends on your state, so check the offerings specific to your area.
Purchasing an Auto Insurance Policy from CONNECT
To get my quote, I started by going to the car insurance homepage and entering my ZIP code.
In most states, you’ll get the notification shown in the screenshot below inviting you to call to get your quote from CONNECT (and potentially other insurance options). However, I wanted to test the online quoting features, so I tried again with a California ZIP code.
For whatever reason, CONNECT allows California drivers to at least begin their quote online. The next step was to enter my personal information — I used a friend’s address in Los Angeles for this part.
Next, I entered my birthdate and how I heard about CONNECT. It appears the company offers referral incentives.
Next, I entered details about my vehicle.
This included the make and model, vehicle safety features, and its primary use (commuting).
I was also prompted to select potential discounts, such as one for my college degree. The company also wanted to know about my homeownership status — potentially to offer me a bundling discount.
The final steps asked about my driving and insurance history. I included my speeding ticket from 2020.
But as I continued on to get my quote, I wasn’t able to get one online. Instead, I got this message asking me to call in to complete my quote. I noticed that this page didn’t offer me a quote number, which I would usually expect.
I tried a few times to get an online quote, changing my location and leaving out my ticket. The quote obviously wouldn’t have been accurate, but that would have allowed me to see how the online quoting functions.
For example, I don’t know if the site allows users to adjust coverage levels or deductibles.
When I called to continue my quoting process, the agent told me to return to the website and get my quote there. Frustrating indeed. I called again and spoke with an agent who told me it’s generally easier to get a CONNECT quote as a Costco member.
CONNECT Customer Service
I called two more times after trying to get my quote. Both times, I got an agent right away. All my calls were between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. ET on a Saturday, and the agents I spoke with were helpful and knowledgeable.
When I used the chat at 6:30 p.m. ET on a Monday, I got help in three minutes. However, this representative ended the chat without asking if I had any more questions.
How are actual customers reviewing the company? As with most insurers, the feedback is mixed. I noticed a few that mention issues with the website, as in the one below.
Some negative reviews were about customers having difficulties making policy changes. The policyholder below wanted to remove their mother from their policy. They were allegedly hung up on during the first call, and the second agent wouldn’t transfer them to a supervisor.
On the positive end, several reviewers named their helpful agent. The one below explains how the agent helped them understand and select their coverage options.
And despite my experience, several customers mentioned having an easy time with the quoting process, like the customer below.
You may have noticed that some reviews are clearly from Costco members. Members can access additional policy perks, but the customer service and claims assistance are the same.
Filing a Claim with CONNECT
You can file a CONNECT auto claim 24/7 online or by calling the claims number. You can also submit a roadside assistance claim through your online account. You’ll need your policy number, vehicle information, car accident details, and, if applicable, the police report and the other party’s insurance information.
The company allows you to choose your own repair shop or find one through the provided search tool.
But what do customers think of this process? Reviews are mixed again. On the negative side, there were two main themes: First, several customers cited issues contacting their claims adjuster, as in this one below.
The second negative theme was in regard to substantial premium increases after a claim — even for small claims, such as this customer’s auto glass repair.
But that’s not the experience of this customer below, who explains they had a pain-free claims experience when their car was stolen. They later submitted a claim for their townhouse and had no issue resolving it.
Bottom Line: Is CONNECT Auto Insurance Right for You?
CONNECT customers seem to be fairly happy with the company and its rates. You can access many coverage options — more if you’re a Costco member — and plenty of discounts. There are some negative reviews online, but also plenty of positive ones. Plus, a high customer satisfaction score from J.D. Power.
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CONNECT Auto Insurance FAQs
A lot less is known about CONNECT than its parent company, American Family, so prospective customers have many questions about the insurer. Below are the answers to the most common questions asked about CONNECT.
Does CONNECT have the cheapest car insurance?
There’s no single car insurance company that offers the cheapest rates to everyone. Too many factors influence the cost of premiums for this to happen. For some drivers, CONNECT will offer the cheapest rate, but the only way to know is to compare quotes from several companies.
Does CONNECT offer auto and home insurance bundling?
Yes. You can bundle homeowners and car insurance policies through CONNECT for a discount. You can also bundle auto with umbrella insurance or get home, auto, and umbrella together.
Can you purchase a policy from CONNECT 100% online?
CONNECT doesn’t appear to allow drivers to purchase a policy 100% online. Online quoting is limited to California, and when I tried to get a quote, I had to call customer service to finish my quote because the company needed more information.
Is CONNECT good at paying claims?
CONNECT has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best, which means the company is financially capable of paying claims. While there are plenty of positive reviews of the claims experience, there are also negative ones. So, it’s difficult to definitively say that CONNECT is good at paying claims for all drivers.
Is CONNECT hard to deal with?
Given the company’s higher-than-average customer satisfaction score, CONNECT appears to be an easy company to work with. But the company also has a higher-than-average number of customer complaints (4.71 times the national average). So, experiences vary with CONNECT.
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.
- J.D. Power, “2023 U.S. Auto Insurance Study,” Accessed November 6, 2023.
- NAIC, “American Family Connect Ins Co National Complaint Index Report,” Accessed November 6, 2023.
- AM Best, “American Family Connect Insurance Co,” Accessed November 6, 2023.
- Better Business Bureau, “CONNECT, Powered by American Family Insurance,” Accessed November 6, 2023.
- Reddit, “Anyone have experience with Connect Auto Insurance (American Family via Costco)?,” Accessed November 6, 2023.