- Cheap rates for a variety of driving histories
- Highly rated telematics program with large discounts
- Highly customizable policy options
- Not many discounts
- Additional fee to file SR-22s
- Low customer and claims satisfaction scores
Bottom LineSafeco has extensive insurance products and coverage options to get you fully protected. But the customers who have the highest satisfaction are often the ones with an excellent independent agent, so be sure to find one with an excellent reputation.
Safeco Auto Insurance: At a Glance
|Available in||35 states|
|Owned by||Liberty Mutual Agency Corporation|
|National average premium||$108/month|
|Mobile app||Android, iOS|
|Customer service||1 (800) 332-3226|
|Claims||1 (800) 332-3226|
|Primary competitors||Allstate, GEICO, The Hartford, State Farm|
Safeco — originally known as Selective Auto and Fire Ensurance Company of America — is a Wisconsin-based arm of parent company Liberty Mutual. The company is known for its affordability.
Even though it earns an “Excellent” rating from AM Best, Safeco’s financial strength is still lower than many competitors. The insurer also lags behind the competition in terms of claims satisfaction. Despite this, Safeco doesn’t have an elevated rate of complaints, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
In addition to car insurance coverage, policyholders can insure their homes, businesses, and recreational vehicles through Safeco. Plus, they can get accident forgiveness automatically, as well as access to a great telematics program.
Compare Rates from Top Companies in Minutes
Is Safeco a Good Choice for Car Insurance?
Safeco Insurance can be a good choice for car insurance for the right person. People who want bells and whistles at a cheap rate may get what they need from Safeco. But experiences vary depending on the agent, and many customers report negative experiences online.
Where Safeco stands out
Safeco offers low rates and — though few — some deep discounts to customers. You can also get rare coverage options, like a diminishing deductible and cash back for being claims-free.
Where Safeco falls short
Safeco has issues with low customer satisfaction, which may be, in part, due to its outdated quoting process. And despite its rare coverage options, you can’t get gap coverage through the Wisconsin-based insurer.
Safeco Customer Reviews
Here’s the bad news: positive online reviews were hard to come by. On most review sites, the ratings skewed negative — no reviewer on Trustpilot, for example, gave more than two stars to the company. This should inspire anyone to proceed with caution.
Still, let’s take a look at what real Safeco customers are saying.
The review below speaks volumes, as it’s written by a policyholder who’s also an independent agent. Their lackluster experience shines a light on the front and back end of how the company does business, claiming customer service and claims processing are both frustrating and disappointing.
Still, it’s not all bad news. While admittedly sparse, there were some glowing reviews (even if most of them were from customers who hadn’t appeared to experience a claim or other significant event with the company). The main trend I noticed was that customers were satisfied with the highly affordable rates.
As a final note, I should point out that the company typically operates through independent agents, meaning your agent isn’t a Safeco employee (there are no local Safeco offices). So, for many drivers, your experience with the company will be just as dependent on the quality of your local agent as it is on the company itself.
Always look at reviews of your local agency before purchasing a policy — whether you’re considering Safeco or another agency-based insurer. You likely have access to one with stellar reviews — like the three agencies below that operate in my area.
Safeco National Average Rates
We’ve mentioned Safeco has low rates, but just how low? Here are the national average rates for Safeco’s liability-only and full-coverage policies.
|Liability Only||Full Coverage|
With national averages at $87 per month for liability and $165 for full coverage, Safeco’s rates are relatively cheap. Of course, broad averages don’t always tell the whole story. They don’t illustrate how differing factors that affect insurance rates influence how Safeco prices policies. And they don’t show how Safeco stacks up with its closest competitors, either.
To help you get a better understanding, we’ll show more specific rate breakdowns based on significant factors, like age and driving record, in the sections below. And in the next section, we’ll show how Safeco’s average rates compare to similar insurers.
Safeco Rates Compared to Top Competitors
How do rates stack up against its most similar competitors? Here are the numbers.
|Company||Liability Only||Full Coverage|
When compared to similar insurers, Safeco consistently offers low rates (and often the cheapest overall). Additionally, the company offers coverages and policy perks you won’t find everywhere, especially from SafeAuto and The General.
Mercury is the only insurer on the list that consistently has cheaper rates than Safeco, but it also only offers auto and dwelling coverage — so it may not be a good fit for people needing more comprehensive insurance products.
What Types of Coverage Does Safeco Offer?
Safeco offers all the coverage you would expect from an insurer and then some (though not gap coverage). One of the main perks of this company is its rare coverage options. Here’s each coverage type the company advertises.
- Bodily injury liability: Covers medical and related costs of anyone injured in an accident you cause.
- Property damage liability: Covers the cost to repair or replace property damaged in an accident you cause.
- Collision coverage: Pays for damage to your vehicle resulting from an at-fault collision.
- Comprehensive coverage: Covers damage to your vehicle that occurs through a non-collision event, like if a branch falls on your car in a storm.
- Medical payments: MedPay covers your and your passengers’ medical expenses in the event of a car accident, no matter who’s at fault.
- Uninsured and underinsured motorist protection: Covers you if you’re hit by a driver without car insurance or with insufficient coverage limits.
- New vehicle replacement: Safeco pays for a comparable new car if your vehicle is totaled within its first year and has fewer than 15,000 miles.
- Rental car reimbursement: Pays for a rental car while yours is repaired from a covered claim (up to policy limits).
- Accident forgiveness: Your first accident is forgiven if a certain number of years pass without any at-fault collisions or violations (rules vary by state).
- Claims-free cash back: If you’re claims-free over a six-month review period, Safeco automatically mails you a check for 2.5% of your policy premium (up to 5% each year).
- Diminishing deductible: For every policy period you go claims-free, you get a decrease in your collision deductible — up to five years or until the $500 maximum is reached, whichever comes first.
- Roadside assistance: 24/7 service for towing, lockouts, flat tires, refueling, and engine fluid refills.
Keep in mind that coverage options vary by state, so check with your local agent.
Safeco Car Insurance Discounts
Admittedly, Safeco has fewer car insurance discounts than similarly sized competitors. But the discounts the company offers are usually quite generous, including one of the best telematics discounts on the market today.
Here are some of the company’s most noteworthy discounts.
- Safe driver: Get this discount for going a certain number of years without an accident or ticket.
- Multi-car: Save money for having more than one vehicle on your policy. Insure at least two vehicles to get it.
- Multi-policy: Save up to 15% for bundling insurance products. Purchase at least two policies to earn it.
- RightTrack: Safeco’s telematics program offers as much as 30% off for the lifetime of your policy. Sign up for the program and monitor your driving to take advantage of this discount.
- Safety features: If your car has factory-installed safety features — such as airbags, daytime running lights, or anti-lock brakes — you could save on your monthly premium.
The benefits and availability of many of these discounts change in every state. In New York, for example, you can only get RightTrack with a plug-in device (no mobile app). California, on the other hand, doesn’t allow for the safe driver discount. Again, it’s best to talk to your agent before making the switch.
Safeco Car Insurance Rates by Age Group
Age is one of the most important factors affecting car insurance rates. Teens and young drivers tend to pay a lot more than older drivers due to their increased likelihood of dangerous driving and collisions.
Some companies offer great rates to young drivers, while others are more tailored toward older drivers. So how does Safeco stack up? The table below outlines Safeco’s average rates for different age brackets.
|Age||Liability Only||Full Coverage|
|Young Drivers (18–25 years old)||$126||$228|
|Seniors (65+ years old)||$76||$136|
As expected, Safeco’s rates are highest for young drivers — but those rates drop considerably once drivers reach age 25.
You can expect these rates to continue to fall — though at a gentler pace — until leveling off sometime in your late 30s. While costs will continue to decrease year over year after that (all else remaining equal), they’ll drop by only a marginal amount.
Costs are usually lowest for drivers in their 60s — especially those who have recently retired. But rates will eventually begin to tick up sometime in your 70s since older drivers tend to have slower reaction times that can increase their risk of a collision.
Safeco rates for teens and young drivers: Cheaper than average
Rates for teens at Safeco are typically lower than the national averages of $263 per month for liability and $530 for full coverage. Safeco also offers savings to 25-year-old drivers, with rates between $16 and $27 cheaper than the national average, depending on what level of coverage you choose.
Though the company doesn’t offer many discount opportunities, drivers 25 and under can still take advantage of RightTrack, which can earn them a significant discount (as long as they practice safe driving).
Safeco rates for seniors and retirees: Cheaper than average
Rates for seniors at Safeco are cheaper than national rates, especially for full-coverage policies. While the average Safeco driver with a liability policy will save around $48 per year, people with full coverage save around $336.
Safeco doesn’t have any senior-specific discounts or coverage programs, but older drivers can typically enjoy a deep bundling discount. You can also find rarer coverage perks, like accident forgiveness, diminishing deductibles, and claims-free cash back, which can save you even more.
Safeco Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record
Your driving record is perhaps the most important factor when it comes to how much you pay for car insurance. It may not come as a surprise that good drivers with clean records get the best rates, while people with recent accidents, tickets, or DUIs pay quite a bit more.
Below are the average Safeco rates depending on a policyholder’s driving history.
|Driving History||Liability Only||Full Coverage|
As you can see, even at a company known for affordable rates, premiums rise when you no longer have a clean record. For example, at-fault accidents raise rates for the average driver by more than 25% for full coverage, according to national average rate data from Compare.com. Interestingly, even non-at-fault accidents can raise rates by around 16%.
Safeco rates after an accident
Rates for drivers with an at-fault accident are significantly cheaper with Safeco when compared to the national averages of $122 per month for liability and $256 for full coverage. To help lower costs, consider a telematics program, adjust your policy options, and review your policy for any discounts you may have missed. Even improving your credit score can help you get a better rate in most states.
You should also compare rates from a few car insurance companies at the end of every policy term (at least).
Get Cheaper Rates in Minutes
Safeco rates after a speeding ticket: Cheaper than average
When you get a speeding ticket, you can expect insurance rates to increase by around 37%, according to Compare.com data. Plus, those rates stay elevated for several years (usually at least three), which adds up significantly over time.
Luckily, rates at Safeco come in at a discount when compared to the national averages of $110 per month for liability and $236 for full coverage.
But you can still find ways to trim your premiums. Most importantly, maintain a clean record going forward. You can also raise your comprehensive and collision deductibles, complete a defensive driving course, and use usage-based insurance to lower your rate even more.
How to Purchase a Car Insurance Policy from Safeco
The Safeco website appears to offer online quotes at first glance. But when we began the quote process, we soon discovered that the company doesn’t provide online rates of any sort. To get a quote, you either need to contact a local independent agent or call customer service (which is easy, but not as easy as getting a quote online and seeing all your options laid out).
Once you get a quote, you can move forward with the purchasing process. Your agent will send documents electronically (or by mail if you prefer). Plus, you can set up an online account quickly and access your insurance documents and proof of insurance.
Even so, when compared to competitors, this process is both cumbersome and outdated.
Safeco Customer Service
Overall, Safeco appears to lag behind its competitors in terms of customer service. The company scored below average on the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, which gauges overall customer satisfaction across the industry. Safeco also scores low across online customer review sites, including Trustpilot, ConsumerAffairs, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
So what’s the issue? Common complaints range from difficulties in contacting customer service to unexpected late fees, as the reviewer below points out. Paying even a day late not only resulted in a fee for this customer but also required them to pay for the following month up front.
As we mentioned earlier, finding positive reviews for Safeco was notably difficult, especially for auto insurance policies. But there were some gems on Reddit, where I found a collection of glowing reviews about customer service and claims handling.
Take this cluster of responses to a query asking about Safeco’s reputation. The first reviewer points out something very important — so much comes down to the local insurance agent you work with. And if you don’t work with a local agent, you’ll probably have to deal with a call center (as the above reviewer did). But this reviewer claims this is only “occasionally frustrating.”
Additionally, it’s hard to know how easy it is to get in touch with customer service when you need them. Many of my local agents who sell Safeco policies have excellent reviews and were very easy to get in touch with by phone. When I called the Safeco customer service line, I was easily connected with someone as a prospective customer. But I can’t help but notice that experiences vary greatly, especially with claims.
Filing a Claim with Safeco
You can file an auto insurance claim with Safeco 24/7 and track it online or with the company’s mobile app. After you file your claim, Safeco will assign you a claims agent. They’ll help you get your estimate at a repair shop, schedule your repairs, and manage your claim. You should also contact your local agent if you work with one.
Once again, Safeco lags behind competitors in terms of claims satisfaction, according to J.D. Power — and online reviews definitely back this up. The main trends I found included difficult-to-contact claims agents, inexplicable claims denials, and even one customer who was accused of insurance fraud.
The reviewer below illustrates the confusion around the claims process well. Their claims adjuster allegedly didn’t stay in contact with the customer and was unable to walk them through the next steps in the claims process.
But there were a small handful of positive (or at least less negative) reviews of the claims process, including the one below. It’s worth noting that this customer wasn’t at fault for the accident (which usually leads to better reviews, in our experience). While they needed an attorney to help them through a sticky claims process, the customer still found Safeco easy to work with.
As a final note, we found more positive claims reviews for homeowners insurance claims. It’s possible that that branch of the company performs better than auto claims handling.
RightTrack is Safeco’s (and Liberty Mutual’s) signature telematics program. Drivers who sign up and demonstrate safe driving earn a discount between 5% and 30% — one of the best telematics discounts out there. Additionally, the company doesn’t increase rates if you’re found to be driving with less-than-optimal habits, such as hard braking, quick acceleration, or aggressive cornering. The program is also available in most states where the company does business (though not in California).
Safeco RightTrack also scores well with customers and car insurance professionals alike, including a 4.2/5 rating from WalletHub’s editors. If you’re considering a Safeco policy, it’s definitely a good idea to sign up for RightTrack.
Does Safeco Offer Other Types of Insurance?
Yes, Safeco has a full suite of insurance options to ensure you’re fully covered. It also offers a discount for bundling multiple policies with Safeco.
You can find the following insurance types through Safeco:
- Boat and watercraft
- Classic car
- Golf cart
You can work with your independent agent to decide which policies and coverage levels you need to protect yourself financially. Most people need auto and home coverage, and an (inexpensive) umbrella insurance policy is usually a good idea if you can afford it.
Bottom Line: Is Safeco Car Insurance Right for You?
Despite its great rates, Safeco appears to lag behind other auto insurance companies in terms of customer and claims satisfaction. And the independent agent model the company uses makes it impossible to get a quote or buy a policy online.
But that’s not the whole story. Safeco offers only a handful of discounts, but typically with higher benefits than many of its competitors. Plus, customers who work with great agents report higher satisfaction.
So, check out the reviews at your local office. Chances are you’ll be able to find an agent who does their job well. Combine that with Safeco’s competitive rates, and you could have a real winner with Safeco.
Safeco Auto Insurance FAQs
We’ve broken down the answers to the most common questions about Safeco by drivers like you.
Does Safeco have the cheapest car insurance?
While Safeco doesn’t offer the lowest rates of any insurer, the company could still be the cheapest option for you. The best way to find out is to compare your Safeco quote with quotes from competitors. The average Safeco customer pays around $108 per month for coverage.
Does Safeco offer auto and home insurance bundling?
Yes, Safeco offers bundling options for auto and home insurance with a potential discount of up to 15%, according to its website.
Can you purchase a policy from Safeco 100% online?
No, Safeco doesn’t provide the option to purchase a policy entirely online. To get a quote, you must call a local agent or Safeco’s customer service center at 1 (800) 332-3226.
Is Safeco good at paying claims?
Despite a somewhat lower-than-average claims satisfaction score from J.D. Power, Safeco has the financial stability to be able to pay claims.
Is Safeco hard to deal with?
Some customers report Safeco as being hard to deal with. The insurance company scores fairly low customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power but has average rates for customer complaints, according to the NAIC. The bottom line: dealings with Safeco can vary, especially depending on your agent.
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 September 12, 2023.
- Reddit, “Safeco vs state farm,” Accessed September 12, 2023.
- Trustpilot, “Safeco Insurance,” Accessed September 12, 2023.
- BBB, “Safeco Insurance,” Accessed September 12, 2023.
- ConsumerAffairs, “SAFECO Auto Insurance,” Accessed September 12, 2023.