UPDATED: Feb 10, 2020
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About 1st Auto & Casualty
1st Auto & Casualty was founded in 1991 by their parent company, Wisconsin Reinsurance Corporation (WRC). WRC, which provides reinsurance services to mutual companies, created 1st Auto to give mutual customers an auto insurance option that could be bundled with other WRC companies’ products. WRC reinsures a long list of mutual clients; 94 in total are listed on their website.
Initially, the company offered only personal insurance. Eventually, commercial auto, farm truck, and umbrella insurance were added. They offer a 15% discount for bundling a 1st Auto personal auto policy with a home insurance or farm insurance policy from one of their mutual clients.
In addition to their homes state of Wisconsin, the also serve South Dakota, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas. Policies are sold through local independent agents across these states. The company headquarters is located in Madison, WI.
1st Auto & Casualty Products
1st Auto offers only a basic outline of their policies on their website, most of which are different types of auto insurance.
Personal auto insurance from 1st Auto includes standard car insurance, antique or classic cars, travel or utility trailers, motorhomes, and trucks up to one ton. They specialize in policies designed for rural areas, but coverage is available in cities and towns as well.
Discounts are also pretty standard; multi-policy, good student, safe driving record, and mature driver are all offered to reduce rates.
There is even less information on this product than the personal auto. It is available for trucks that are used for farm purposes, including semis. This policy can also be bundled with personal auto and home for a discount.
Once again, few details are offered for this product. 1st Auto offers coverage for vehicles used in the course of business; again, there are bundling discounts available.
1st Auto has both farm and personal umbrella policies available. Unlike some companies, they do not require that the underlying auto insurance policy is with their company, but they do offer discounts when you bundle the coverage.
Umbrella insurance coverage is available in amounts from $1 million up to $5 million.
Online quoting is not an option for this company, which is not at all surprising. They are a regional insurer operating on a very agent-driven basis; it is likely a lot of their business comes through customers who are already with one of the mutual companies on the list and are referred over by their agent to seek out a discount.
As a regional insurer, their rates would not be comparable to our usual sample state. They would be best compared to other small, local insurance companies.
1st Auto does not have an option for filing claims online, but they do offer a 24/7 toll-free claims line. Claims can also be filed by contacting the agent of record directly.
Auto glass only claims are handled through Safelite, which is the glass repair company of choice for many insurance companies both large and small across the country. These claims can be filed online through the Safelite system.
1st Auto has a direct repair network of preferred repair shops; customers are not required to use these shops, but it does expedite claims and add a guarantee to the work.
There is no further information on the claims process found on the company’s site.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
1st Auto & Casualty has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there is only one complaint on file in the past three years. The one complaint listed was closed more than 12 months ago.
There are 12 negative reviews on Google of the company, with an overall 1.2-star rating. Most of the complaints cite a hassle with the claims process, while others are about billing issues.
The company’s Facebook page has a total of three reviews, two negative and one positive. Overall, there is not a lot to go on; smaller companies usually have a smaller number of complaints overall, but it’s still generally a positive thing to see a low complaint volume.
The Bottom Line
There really is not a whole lot of information on this company; the policy details are minimal, rates aren’t available, and there are few reviews out there. That makes it hard to form an opinion. 1st Auto may be worth a closer look for those who have a policy with one of the partner mutual companies, but they are unlikely to have a lot of appeal for most other insurance shoppers.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.