- Affordable full-coverage rates
- Plenty of discounts
- Solid online tools and mobile app
- Higher-than-average number of customer complaints
- Actual discount amounts unknown
- Difficult-to-navigate website
Bottom LineSafeAuto can be a highly affordable option for high-risk drivers, and many people will find cheap rates for full coverage. But the company has a history of struggling with customer service.
SafeAuto Insurance: At a Glance
|19 states — AL, AZ, CA, CO, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MO, MS, OH, OK, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA
|National average premium
|1 (800) SAFEAUTO (1-800-723-3288)
|1 (800) SAFEAUTO (1-800-723-3288)
|Bristol West, Dairyland, Safeco, The General
Owned by Allstate, SafeAuto is known for offering budget-friendly car insurance for high-risk (aka “non-standard”) drivers. While the company is largely known for its liability-only policies, it really shines with cheap full-coverage auto insurance. You can get a lot of coverage for less (on average) with SafeAuto.
But the bare-bones nature of SafeAuto has led to poor performance with its mobile apps. And, though the website is usable, it doesn’t stand out for its design. The company has also earned spotty reviews for its claims handling and customer service.
Some policyholders love SafeAuto for its affordable prices. Others had issues with billing, SR-22 filing, and fees. Let’s take a deeper dive into everything you need to know about SafeAuto.
Is SafeAuto a Good Choice for Car Insurance?
SafeAuto offers plenty of coverage options at an affordable price when looking at its average quotes. The company is especially affordable for drivers with a DUI who need full-coverage policies. And it offers cheaper rates to drivers with bad credit for both liability and full coverage when compared to its competitors.
Customer reviews are mixed, and SafeAuto has a higher-than-average number of complaints — 14 times the industry average, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
You’ll have to decide if the savings are worth it based on your specific needs and preferences. We recommend digging into customer reviews and comparing SafeAuto to other options.
Where SafeAuto stands out
SafeAuto specializes in high-risk insurance. It can file SR-22s or FR-44s and has cheaper-than-average policies for drivers with a DUI, making it a great choice for high-risk drivers and people with spotty records. You can also self-manage most of your policy needs online.
Where SafeAuto falls short
Liability rates aren’t usually much cheaper than average with SafeAuto, and the company is known to charge additional fees for things like canceling your policy. It also appears to over-promise at times — for example, advertising “flexible payment options” but only offering standard payment plans you’d find with many other companies (credit, ACH, auto pay, etc.).
SafeAuto Reviews: What Do Customers Have to Say?
Despite the higher-than-average complaint index, SafeAuto earns average or better customer ratings across multiple review sites. I found many positive reviews from new customers, especially. They often cited how easy it was to purchase their policy and how much money they saved, as in the review below.
I also found a few customers talking about SafeAuto’s “no frills” approach to car insurance (as the next reviewer puts it) and how the company’s struggles are worth it for the low costs.
But there were still several notable negative reviews, and I noticed some trends among them. Most notably, several customers talk about being charged additional fees (as in the review below) or having an unexpected adjustment to their insurance premiums in the middle of their policy (check out the customer service section further down for more detail).
I also found more than a dozen reviews describing sudden cancellations, administrative errors, and overpaid premiums. The reviewer below had one such experience: their policy was canceled, but auto pay continued. The customer claims SafeAuto refused to credit them for their payment.
SafeAuto National Average Rates
By this point, you’re probably wondering how much SafeAuto charges for auto insurance. Let’s take a look at the company’s average rates for liability and full-coverage policies.
These rates put SafeAuto well below the national average of $129 per month for standard liability policies but higher than the national average ($157 per month) for full-coverage plans.
That said, national averages aren’t always a great indicator of what you’ll actually pay for your policy. Hundreds of factors can influence your rates, which means pricing can vary dramatically from driver to driver.
A better indicator is how it compares to its closest competitors. Let’s take a look at how SafeAuto stacks up to the competition.
SafeAuto Rates Compared to Top Competitors
We’ve compiled the average rates for SafeAuto and six of its closest competitors in the table below.
You may have noticed that most of the insurers on this list specialize in non-standard coverage, which means they’re uniquely positioned to cover high-risk drivers. GEICO and Progressive are the only exceptions, but both started as non-standard insurers prior to expanding to a larger audience. But the two of them and Dairyland are also the only companies that are highly competitive with SafeAuto’s average rates.
Even so, it’s hard to know how these companies will quote you since each will evaluate your risk differently. That’s why it’s so important to compare your current rates (including all the coverage options and limits) to real quotes from competitors.
View Your Cheapest Personalized Quotes for Free
How Much Is Car Insurance from SafeAuto?
While SafeAuto’s national rate is $136 per month, costs vary widely based on factors such as your gender, address, relationship status, and insurance history. To give you a clearer picture of how SafeAuto handles some of the most significant characteristics that influence cost, we’ve provided average rates below based on age, driving record, and credit score.
We’ll also talk about how and why each factor affects your rates, as well as how to reduce your costs.
Comparing SafeAuto car insurance rates by age group
Your age has a big effect on your auto insurance rates. Let’s take a look at how SafeAuto prices each age group.
|Teens (18 years old)
|Young adults (25 years old)
|Adults (40 years old)
|Retirees (65 years old)
By the time you’re 25, your rates should level off, while costs tend to be lowest for middle-aged drivers — so long as you keep a clean driving record.
Retirement-age drivers also tend to see great rates based on their experience, driving habits, and tendency to take fewer risks on the road. But rates eventually creep up as we age because seniors cause more accidents than middle-aged drivers.
Teens and young drivers
National average monthly rates for 18-year-old drivers are $297 for liability and $676 for full coverage, making SafeAuto about average for liability ($296 per month) and much cheaper than average for full coverage ($573 per month). Liability and full-coverage rates for 25-year-old drivers are right around the national averages of $109 and $266 per month, respectively.
But there are plenty of discounts drivers younger than 25 can use to get cheaper rates, especially:
We’ll cover more of SafeAuto’s discounts later in this article.
Seniors and retirees
SafeAuto’s national average rates for 65-year-old drivers are $97 per month for liability and $221 for full coverage, meaning SafeAuto policyholders pay a little less for liability ($36 less annually) and a lot less for full coverage ($288 less annually) than with many other companies.
SafeAuto also offers a discount of up to 5% to seniors who complete an accident prevention course.
Comparing SafeAuto rates by driving record
We’ve touched on it a bit, but your driving record is one of the most important factors that determine your rate. Here’s how your record impacts average rates at SafeAuto.
|With a speeding ticket
|With an at-fault accident
|With a DUI
As with most insurers, a single speeding ticket can increase rates quite a bit. But at-fault accidents and DUIs cause higher rate increases since insurers consider them to be more serious infractions.
I should also note that other serious traffic violations, such as reckless driving and receiving multiple speeding tickets in a short period will also cause significant rate increases.
SafeAuto rates after an accident
Drivers with a recent at-fault accident tend to pay a little more with SafeAuto. Both full-coverage and liability-only policies tend to be more expensive than the national average of $256 and $122 per month, respectively.
Either way, you can still save money after an accident, especially if you focus on safe driving. Taking a defensive driving course qualifies you for a discount with SafeAuto. Telematics programs, such as DynamicDrive, also encourage safe driving practices.
SafeAuto rates after a speeding ticket
Speeding tickets increase rates less than an accident, but it still adds up. The average driver pays about $444 more each year for liability and $876 more for full coverage compared to drivers with a clean record, based on our research. At SafeAuto, drivers with speeding tickets spend about $5 more per month for liability coverage but $13 less for full coverage.
If you get a speeding ticket, be sure to look into ways to reduce your points or even keep the ticket off your record. And if you can’t reduce the effect of your ticket, be sure to compare quotes from other insurers every six months.
SafeAuto rates after a DUI
Drivers with a DUI save a lot of money, on average, with SafeAuto. Since the national averages are $179 per month for liability and $413 for full coverage, the average driver saves about $492 and $1,380 annually with SafeAuto. You can also take advantage of discount opportunities open to drivers with a DUI, including:
- Multi-car discounts
- Homeowner discount
Other ways to save include raising deductibles, shopping around, and making another driver in your household the primary insured.
Comparing SafeAuto rates by credit score
In every state but California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Michigan, car insurance companies can use your credit score to set your rates. Here’s how SafeAuto prices policies based on the driver’s credit score.
SafeAuto offers lower-than-average rates for drivers of all credit scores. Notably, the company also appears to penalize drivers with poor credit scores less than most companies, charging them about 40% more than drivers with excellent credit. Compare that to the national average, where liability rates for poor credit ($189 per month) are about twice the cost of rates for drivers with simply “good” credit ($91 per month), and you can see SafeAuto weighs credit score much less than other companies.
So, if you have a less-than-stellar credit score, SafeAuto could be a great option for affordable auto insurance coverage.
SafeAuto Car Insurance Discounts
Discount programs are one of the best ways to keep your car insurance rates low — and SafeAuto offers quite a few discounts that you can take advantage of. Here are the 14 options you’ll have as a SafeAuto customer.
- Military: Active military members can save up to 25%. Provide a copy of military orders (or similar) to the company to qualify.
- Safe driver: People without accidents or tickets can save up to 10%. Be accident- and ticket-free for 36 months or more to qualify.
- Good student: Unmarried, full-time students in high school and college with good grades can save up to 10%. Provide proof of academic performance to qualify.
- Senior citizen: Drivers older than 55 who have completed driver training can save up to 5%. Complete an approved driver education course to qualify.
- DynamicDrive: Drivers who use SafeAuto’s telematics program can save up to 10%. Join the program, download the app, and monitor your driving habits to qualify.
- Driver education: Drivers who complete driver training can save up to 10%. The main driver of the insured vehicle must complete the course to qualify (drivers younger than 21 can always earn the discount so long as they complete an approved course).
- Multi-car: Customers who insure more than one vehicle with SafeAuto can save up to 25%.
- Vehicle equipment: People who drive vehicles with anti-theft or safety features can save up to 10%. Your car must have an installed anti-theft device (e.g., alarm system) and safety equipment (e.g., airbags) to qualify.
- Prior coverage: Drivers switching from a competitor can save up to 25%. You must have been continuously insured for at least six months without a lapse in coverage longer than 90 days to qualify.
- Homeowner: Drivers who own their homes can save up to 15%. Own a house, townhouse, or condo to qualify.
- Welcome back: Policyholders returning to the company can save up to 6%. Return to the company after switching to a competitor for at least six months to qualify.
- Affinity: The company also offers discounts of up to 5% for members of affinity programs. Be an active member of a partnered affinity program to qualify.
- Payment: You can also get discounts for how you pay your policy. Save up to 9% by enrolling in auto pay, getting paperless billing, or paying in full.
- Multi-policy: People with more than one insurance product through SafeAuto can save up to 10%. Purchase an auto and another insurance policy (home, renters, etc.) to qualify.
Keep in mind that some discounts may apply to all or part of your premium.
How to Purchase a Car Insurance Policy from SafeAuto
You can purchase a policy from SafeAuto either online or by calling customer service. To buy online, you’ll fill out the company’s online questionnaire to get your quote. Once you have your quote, you can adjust your policy options as needed — things like coverage levels, deductibles, and optional coverage.
When you’re happy with your policy choices, you can purchase your policy online. This is a good time to sign up for auto pay and paperless, as they can earn you an additional discount. And if you can swing it, pay in full for more savings.
When I went through the SafeAuto quoting process, I found the website to be user-friendly. The information was clear and easy to understand. I felt like I flew through the process, which took a total of just six minutes.
Let’s take a look at how the process went for me, from start to finish.
Getting a quote from SafeAuto
I went to the SafeAuto car insurance home page and entered my ZIP code to start the process.
Next, I answered a few preliminary questions about my policy and myself.
Then, I had to provide the make and model of my car and whether I’m making payments (I am).
Next, I provided more information about myself and my driving record. I had to add my speeding ticket from a few years ago here.
It took about 30 seconds, but SafeAuto was able to produce a preliminary quote for me pretty quickly. While the web page wasn’t necessarily aesthetically pleasing, it was easy to read and understand exactly what was included in my potential policy.
As I scrolled through the coverage details, SafeAuto made it very clear what each option was and its potential limitations.
The policy was easy to adjust by clicking “edit” for policy and vehicle coverages. I added uninsured and underinsured motorist protection and medical payments to my policy. I also increased my liability limits and deductibles.
These changes raised my quote by $19 per month, which I think is worth the extra peace of mind and financial protection.
To complete my purchase, I was asked for additional information, including my driver’s license number and VIN.
The downsides of the quote process were few, but notable. Mainly, the page doesn’t itemize your policy options so that you know how much each part of your policy costs. The “auto policy fee” of $30 was also surprising, as I haven’t seen fees like this in quotes from competitors (though it’s possible they include these fees in the final price in other ways).
What types of car insurance coverages does SafeAuto offer?
SafeAuto offers everything you need for state-minimum coverage, plus plenty of extras for drivers who want full-coverage policies. Here’s a complete list of coverage options from SafeAuto.
- Bodily injury liability coverage: Pays for injuries you cause to others in an accident.
- Property damage liability coverage: Pays for damage you cause to others’ property.
- Collision coverage: Covers damage to your car in a collision, regardless of fault.
- Comprehensive coverage: Covers non-collision damage from theft, vandalism, or some natural disasters.
- Uninsured motorist auto coverage: Covers your injuries if you’re hit by a driver without insurance.
- Underinsured motorist auto coverage: Covers your injuries if you’re hit by a driver without enough insurance to cover your expenses.
- Accidental death coverage: Provides a benefit if you die due to an accident.
- Rental reimbursement: Covers rental car expenses while your car is being repaired after an incident.
- Towing and labor: Covers costs of towing your car to a repair shop if it’s disabled while driving.
- Medical payments: Pays medical bills if you or your passengers are injured in an accident, no matter who’s at fault. Also called MedPay.
- SR-22 coverage: Special insurance filing for high-risk drivers notifying the DMV of your continuous coverage (or loss of coverage).
- Mechanical repair: Coverage for car repairs beyond regular maintenance.
- Accident forgiveness: Prevents rate increases after your first accident.
Does SafeAuto offer other types of insurance?
Though SafeAuto primarily focuses on auto insurance, the company offers a number of other insurance products. It also works with partners to offer additional insurance options, including:
- Boat and private watercraft
- RV and trailer
- Renters insurance
- Homeowners insurance
- Business insurance
- Health and dental
- Life insurance
Insurance partners include Dairyland for motorcycle coverage, CoverWallet for business insurance, Hippo for home insurance, and Augeo Benefits for health coverage. Service and satisfaction vary, so be sure to look into reviews specific to the product and partner.
Evaluating SafeAuto Customer Service
When I called SafeAuto, it was easy to find an agent to help me with a new policy. I was connected with someone within 90 seconds. But calling for other issues took longer. And the chat feature on the website also took a long time to get me in touch with an agent — who then took two minutes to reply to each message I sent.
But I did find a lot of customer reviews talking about how easy it was to work with customer service on a number of issues. The two-year customer below has experienced a wide range of interactions with customer service and has nothing but positive feedback.
But not everyone has had such a good experience. As I alluded to earlier, many customers talk about sudden rate increases after their first month with a policy. Most of the reviewers — like the one below — say that the price discrepancy was due to an error by SafeAuto, which makes things more frustrating.
Customers also had mixed feedback for the claims process, which I’ll go over next.
Filing a Claim with SafeAuto
You can submit an auto insurance claim through your online account or by contacting SafeAuto’s customer service over the phone. There’s also a claims chat, but I found that it mostly pushed me to file my claim through the online portal. I had to ask for a claims agent directly to get connected with one, and (after waiting seven minutes) the agent directed me to call or go online.
Once you submit your claim, you can track it through your online account or by contacting your claims adjuster. The adjuster should be able to answer your questions and get your claim processed quickly.
Customer reviews that touched on the claims process were mixed. Some customers had an easy time managing their claims, while others talked about a long and uncommunicative process. I thought this review from a longtime customer was particularly informative.
But, again, customer experiences vary. This reviewer has yet to have their claim processed after three months of back and forth (plus allegedly getting hung up on by customer service).
Bottom Line: Is SafeAuto Car Insurance Right for You?
SafeAuto is a solid choice for your next auto insurance policy. The company offers solid coverage options, usually at a great price. That’s especially true for drivers needing a non-standard, full-coverage policy.
But if you need top-of-the-line tech features, SafeAuto isn’t the company for you. Evaluate for yourself whether the pros outweigh the cons here. And be sure to measure the value of a SafeAuto policy with those of competitors.
SafeAuto Car Insurance FAQs
Below are the answers to some of the most common questions prospective policyholders ask about SafeAuto.
Is SafeAuto car insurance worth it?
SafeAuto’s worth depends on your needs. The company offers basic coverage at low costs for some drivers and can be an especially good fit for high-risk drivers.
How much is SafeAuto car insurance?
Costs vary by factors like location, driving history, and coverage. Generally, SafeAuto offers affordable rates compared to full-service insurers. The company’s national average rate is $136 per month, according to Compare.com data.
What is SafeAuto rated?
Compare.com rates SafeAuto 4.2 out of 5 stars. It’s often considered a decent option for basic coverage but may lack some features offered by higher-rated insurers.
Who owns SafeAuto?
SafeAuto is owned by American Independent Companies Inc., a private insurance group focused on non-standard auto coverage.
Is SafeAuto difficult to deal with?
Dealing with SafeAuto varies — some customers have an easy time, while others experience challenges with claims and service. The company has a much higher-than-average number of customer complaints.
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.
- Journal of Risk and Insurance, “Biological and Psychobehavioral Correlates of Credit Scores and Automobile Insurance Losses: Toward an Explication of Why Credit Scoring Works,” Accessed August 5, 2023.
- Traffic Injury Prevention, “Collisions Involving Senior Drivers: High-Risk Conditions and Locations,” Accessed August 6, 2023.
- NAIC, “Safe Auto Ins Co National Complaint Index Report,” Accessed August 6, 2023.
- Trustpilot, “SafeAuto,” Accessed August 7, 2023.
- ConsumerAffairs, “SafeAuto Insurance,” Accessed August 7, 2023.
- WalletHub, “SafeAuto,” Accessed August 7, 2023.