#good car insurance
Safeco Insurance. Overall a Good Company
Review by beckish
in Online Stores & Services
Cons: Claim #3 as noted in the Epinion
Shortly after my ex-husband and I divorced I contacted my agent to split our insurance into separate policies. At that time we had Pemco. He called me back and suggested I switch to Safeco Insurance. noting that doing so would save me about $600 a year. That was a significant price difference, so I told him to go ahead and make the change.
That was back in 2001. Now that I reflect back, during the time since the switch I have made four claims. Wow. I’m surprised they haven’t canceled us. Only one of them went down as our fault, which I will talk about later on in this review.
I went into the grocery store, did some shopping, and came out to find someone had crunched the front of my car. Nice of them. Didn’t leave a note, or a card, or any way to identify them. Safeco was wonderful, though. I paid my deductible and they fixed my car. They even provided a rental car.
My sixteen-year-old daughter was taking her sister and some friends to Silverwood, a semi-local amusement park. She was the victim of a deliberate accident, in which a young man in a pickup truck passed her and then slammed on his brakes on the off ramp, causing her to rear-end him. He was quite upset when we told him we would not just pay him a couple hundred bucks; no, we were contacting our insurance. Safeco ruled in our favor, as the deliberate rear-end accident on the off ramp was becoming quite popular by the scammers. They fixed the car after I paid my deductible.
Same daughter as in claim #2. She was hit by a driver who was speeding, racing, and ran a red light. He hit her so hard he knocked her SUV up on two wheels and almost tipped it over. Fortunately neither she or her passenger was seriously hurt. The police at the scene ticketed the driver with reckless driving. The driver was angry, and when his wife showed up with the insurance card she was angry too. They were both screaming at my daughter and at the police, and at one point after the male kicked a child car seat and hit the patrol car, the police threatened to arrest him and charge him with reckless endangerment. Two weeks later I found out the driver did not have valid insurance, even though they had provided an insurance card to the police officer. A few weeks after the accident I checked into the results of the ticket and found it had been dismissed.
Dismissed? I was livid. I called the prosecutor and asked him what on earth he was thinking? He told me there had been a “special investigation” and the police had determined the accident was my daughter’s fault after all. Excuse me? I disagreed strongly and also asked him “since when is it legal to not only drive without insurance, but provide false insurance documents to officers at the scene of an accident?” At this he was not happy and assured me that he would contact the officers and have additional charges pressed against the driver.
In the meantime, we were dealing with a truly wonderful claims representative at Safeco. She personally viewed the vehicles, did an accident re-creation, and determined that the accident was definitely the other driver’s fault. Thank goodness.
A few weeks later, my daughter got a call from the Safeco attorney assigned to her case. He told her that Safeco had decided the accident was her fault and was going to pay the other driver the $12,000 he was requesting in the lawsuit he had filed against Safeco. What. His car wasn’t worth that much to begin with! I called the attorney and was told “You don’t want to cause problems with this. You never know, Safeco might decide to cancel you.”
I called the “special investigator” that had been assigned to the case and went off on him. He was rude and did a great job of trying to threaten and intimidate me into dropping my disagreement with the situation. In fact, now that I look back he was laughable. I brought up each point, such as the fact the guy ran a red light. His response? “Maybe the light was yellow when he entered the intersection.” Well, how about the fact he was driving with no insurance? His response? “Sometimes people don’t know they don’t have insurance.” And then the lightly veiled threats, that I would be very sorry if I pursued the matter.
So I called the claims representative. She was not happy with the way Safeco was handling the situation and in fact had been removed from the case because she disagreed with it. The new representative was cold and informed me that Safeco had made their decision and that was that.
So here I was, being threatened by the attorney handling our case and the police officer who did the follow up investigation of the accident. I was appalled and frankly didn’t know what to do. I was also very confused; how on earth could things have been switched around like this?
A couple weeks later I found out. The “special investigator” – who in fact is a highly decorated officer in the Spokane Police Department – was the uncle of the man who hit my daughter. And more than that; this “special investigator” got that particular driver out of EVERY ticket he got in the city of Spokane.
I called our first claims representative back and told her this information. She was horrified and promised to take it up the chain of command. Despite this new information, Safeco paid the other driver the $12,000 he was asking for. and charged the accident to my policy as my daughter’s fault. The end result of this is that my daughter had a terrible time getting reasonable insurance rates when she switched to her own policy.
My husband and I were in a head-on collision. Thanks to my 1999 Ford Escort, we were not seriously hurt. (You can read about that experience and that car here: 1999 Ford Escort Wagon: Fond Memories of Saving My Life
Safeco sent a claims representative to view the vehicle within a day, waived the deductible because the accident had been caused by another Safeco -insured driver, and had a check to us within a week.
Overall, Safeco has been a pleasure to deal with. They have paid quickly, I only had one bad experience with a claims representative, and that was in claim #3 when they switched our representative to one who would follow the party line instead of trying to handle the situation based on the truth.
My rates might be pretty horrible; I pay about $2000 a year for four cars and three drivers. I have decided to check into that next time the policy comes up for renewal. It may be that Safeco will lose my business if I find I can get less expensive insurance.
I do recommend Safeco because my overall experience has been positive, but as I said, it may be that their rates are higher than they were when I first signed up with them so I recommend doing a rate comparison before you decide to switch to Safeco.