Safeco Auto Insurance

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Company Details
Address:

Safeco Plaza
1001 4th Ave

City:
Seattle
State:
WA
ZIP Code:
98154
Phone Number:
(206) 545-5000
Year Founded
AM Best Rating:
Company Rating 1 (2 reviews)

Things to Remember...
  • Safeco Insurance is a property and casualty insurance company founded in 1923
  • Safeco also insures motorcycles, boats, recreational vehicles, and even classic cars
  • Safeco was awarded call-center certification for the second consecutive year by J.D. Power and Associates
  • Safeco prefers to work through independent agents because they believe such agents offer a better fit for customers

Safeco Insurance is a property and casualty insurance company founded in 1923 by businessman Hawthorne K. Dent.

The company’s original name was General Insurance Company of America, a name Safeco still uses for some of its products.

General Insurance went on to establish a second company, Selective Auto and Fire Insurance Company of America (S.A.F.E. Co.), some three decades later, and finally adopted the corporate Safeco name for all of its businesses in 1968.

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Originally just a property and casualty insurer, Safeco has slowly added other products to include life insurance, title insurance, business policies, and a limited number of investments including mutual funds.

In 2008 the Liberty Mutual Group acquired Safeco for some $6.2 billion.

Today the company claims nearly 5 million auto insurance policies across the United States, servicing its clients through a network of brokers and local, independent agents.

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Safeco Products

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Auto insurance is far and away the most popular insurance product the company sells.

In fact, most links to the Safeco website direct your web browser to a quote page designed to get you started finding the right auto policy.

Safeco offers the opportunity to review and purchase auto insurance directly from them through their website, or, consumers may use an independent agent located in their area.

This is true for all types of insurance company provides.

Along with many types of auto insurance, Safeco also insures motorcycles, boats, recreational vehicles, and even classic cars.

Where housing is concerned you can find homeowners insurance, renters insurance, condo policies, and landlord protection coverage.

Finally, Safeco provides umbrella coverage, business insurance, and life insurance.

Safeco Agents

In the world of insurance sales, there are two types of agents: captive and independent. Captive agents represent a single insurance company and sell only that company’s products.

An independent agent can represent as many as eight different insurers and all the different products they offer.

Safeco prefers to work through independent agents because they believe such agents offer a better fit for customers.

One of the reasons cited by Safeco is the fact that independent agents have more flexibility and are able to compare the products of several insurance providers in order to find the best fit individual customers.

Independent agents also tend to be more personal because customer service is at the heart of their livelihoods.

An independent agent is much more likely to understand the individual needs of each customer and will be able to review and adjust coverage in relation to changing circumstances.

As part of their commitment to independent agents, Safeco is one of the founders, and a current sponsor of, the Trusted Choice program.

This program consists of a group of some of the best independent agents who have committed to the highest quality customer service and proven that commitment within the realm of their daily business dealings.

Safeco provides an agent locator tool on its website where consumers can find a Trusted Choice agent in their area.

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Safeco Locations

Safeco’s corporate office is located in Seattle, WA. Their contact information is as follows:

Safeco Corporation
Safeco Plaza
1001 4th Ave
Seattle, WA 98154
(206) 545-5000

The company’s structure is broken up into eight separate regions, each with its own regional headquarters.

Regional offices are located in Aliso Viejo, CA (California), Fairfield, OH (mid-Atlantic), Golden, CO (Mountain), Seattle, WA (Northwest), Richardson, TX (Central), Indianapolis, IN (Midwest), Keene, NH (Northeast), and Duluth, GA (Southeast).

There are also three customer care centers and four service centers scattered around the U.S.

Safeco Claims

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Consumers who have purchased their Safeco insurance through an independent agent are most likely to begin the auto insurance claims process through that same agent.

The independent agent has the local expertise and knowledge to help process a claim quickly and effectively.

Barring that, Safeco customers can always contact a regional office or customer service center to file a claim.

Customers with online accounts can check the status of their claims through the company website.

For auto policy customers Safeco offers their OneStop Claims Service. The OneStop program is designed to help customers take care of business after an accident and get back on the road as soon as possible.

It includes benefits such as speedy claims processing, free rental car, repair progress monitoring, and repair inspection prior to vehicle pickup.

The company claims that it can have most drivers repaired back on the road within two days time.

Safeco Reviews

Safeco reviews abound all over the Internet. Most of the reviews are hosted on independent review sites which solicit customer opinion based on premium cost, claims response, and overall customer service.

A quick comparison of the reviews shows consumers split about 50-50 in terms of their happiness with Safeco.

However, it must be noted that such review sites are notoriously slanted toward the negative for any company, not just Safeco.

This is because unhappy consumers are more likely to vent their frustrations by writing a review than satisfied customers.

A more accurate gauge of whether or not an insurance company is meeting the needs of its customers is to look at awards given by third parties.

For example, Safeco was awarded call-center certification for the second consecutive year by J.D. Power and Associates.

The certification is awarded after an independent audit that looks at the insurer’s call center operations. Receiving the certification means the company provides “An Outstanding Customer Service Experience,” according to J.D. Power.

On the other hand, most of the negative reviews found on a Safeco have to do with customer dissatisfaction with claims of service.

Complaints ranged from unresponsive claims adjusters to low-ball estimates on totaled vehicles.

A common thread in the complaints seems to be that Safeco car insurance is more likely to pay out at a level lower than most customers expect.

This may be just the normal state of the industry rather than any specific problem with Safeco.

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2 Reviews

  1. Andrea January 31, 2012
  2. Mark Allen November 24, 2016

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