As a subsidiary of the White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd., Esurance Auto Insurance claims its history of strong financial discipline, a commitment to excellence in insurance practices, and pride of ownership as its own. The company has received an A rating (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company, a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Association. A.M. Best bases their ratings on a company's ability to pay claims.
Esurance Auto Insurance is a direct-to-consumer personal auto insurance provider. With over 165,000 policyholders in 19 states, Esurance is also one of the fastest growing auto insurance companies in the United States. By eliminating the expense of brick-and-mortar agencies, Esurance claims to be able to provide some of the lowest prices in the industry.
But is Esurance Auto Insurance really a great deal? Many consumer complaints have been filed against the company for everything from bait-and-switch premium hikes, poor customer service, hidden and unfair cancellation fees, and poor treatment of employees. The most frequent complaint was that a shopper would sign with Esurance after being quoted a rate significantly lower than their current provider, only to have that rate hiked several weeks after purchasing the policy. Consumers reported that they were given various reasons for this, including no proof of previous insurance even though that proof had been provided, accident reports that included no-fault accidents, and poor credit scores despite a consumer having a score of over 700. Consumers state that they are not forewarned that rates quoted may vary pending verification of records.
One policyholder from Jersey City, New Jersey stated that although the rate quoted to her was 40% lower than the rate with her previous insurer, Esurance Auto Insurance charged her an additional $556 in the following weeks because they stated they found record of a chargeable accident, which was incorrect, and that proof of prior insurance had not been provided, despite the fact that Esurance had collected that information from the policyholder's previous provider a full seven days before the rate change took place. Another policyholder was charged more several weeks after she bought her Esurance Auto Insurance policy because she selected different limits than she had on her previous insurance policy, despite the fact that those limits had been chosen when she requested her quote.
When shopping with Esurance Auto Insurance or any other insurance provider, a consumer would be wise to remember the following:
1. Insurance agents are salespeople who do not get paid unless they sell insurance - whether that "agent" is a real flesh-and-blood person or a computer. They have the best interests of their company in mind, not yours. Take every piece of information given to you, including and especially rates, with a grain of salt and read all fine print carefully.
2. Check the company's rating with A.M. Best to make sure it is rated A. Think twice about purchasing a policy with a company with less than an A rating.
3. Read consumer reports on the company or companies from whom you are considering purchasing coverage. Take any repeated complaints you read very seriously - if it happened to those people, it could happen to you.