UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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About Alfa Insurance
Alfa Insurance was created in 1946 by the Alabama Farmers Federation, one of many fire insurance companies created across the nation by groups of farmers looking to help protect each other. Initially serving members only in Alabama, the company eventually grew and expanded, adding a wide selection of products.
Today, Alfa serves 11 states through the country through The Alfa Mutual Group and Alfa Corporation, under whose banner there are a number of subsidiaries and affiliated companies.
Alfa’s wide variety of products includes home insurance, auto insurance, farm insurance, life insurance, business insurance, and specialty products. Alfa also offers dental and health insurance plans through Blue Cross Blue Shield. Product availability varies by state, and local agents sell policies across the service area.
Alfa’s headquarters is in Montgomery, Alabama. They also provide coverage in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Virginia, Texas, and Missouri.
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Alfa’s product lineup is varied, including a full complement of personal insurance and coverage for farms and businesses as well.
Alfa’s auto insurance policy includes all of the state requirements for liability coverage and medical payments and is also available in a full coverage policy that includes collision coverage for damage to your vehicle in an accident and comprehensive coverage for non-collision damage. The basic policy also comes with a few included extras at no charge:
- $50 per day for lost wages if you are required to attend court at the insurance company’s request
- $200 in coverage for luggage and clothes owned by you or a family member included with full coverage policies
- Coverage for transportation expenses in the event of the theft of your car
- Included coverage for a family member to stay in hospital with a person injured in a covered incident
Alfa also offers as add-on options for an extra premium:
- Towing and Roadside Assistance
- Loss of use, available in several increments
- Loss of income
There is a good selection of available discounts on car insurance policies. These include common discounts such as safety features, multicar, and bundling discounts for home and life policies. There are also several discounts for driver safety training programs, including defensive driving training and youth driver training discounts. Alfa also offers a good student discount for young drivers who maintain good grades.
In addition to standard auto insurance policies, Alfa’s affiliate, Alfa Vision Insurance Corp, writes non-standard (high-risk) auto insurance in nine states.
Alfa writes several types of home policy: standard homeowners, condo, landlord, manufactured home, and renters. The website offers a limited description of each policy. There are several discounts available based on the type of policy, but most include a multi-policy discount option for bundling home and auto.
Alfa writes several levels of homeowners insurance. The most basic is the Dwelling Protection Policy, which is offered only in Mississippi. This is a named peril policy, which provides coverage for the house and contents only for those risks specified in the policy. This type of policy is usually issued when a home does not meet the requirements for an all-peril policy.
The Homeowner Policy is the standard form home insurance product. It offers coverage for the house and other structures, personal property, and liability. Additional coverage can be added as needed, such as extended coverage for high-value items.
The Extra Homeowner policy covers the same areas as the standard form but includes a higher level of replacement cost coverage for the house.
This policy is much like a homeowner’s policy but includes coverage only for those portions of the house that are not protected by the association policy. It also covers personal property and liability and can include a number of endorsements as needed.
Alfa writes a landlord policy known as Tenant Dwelling. This policy is designed to cover mainly the structure and provide liability protection. It includes very limited personal property coverage since most property in the dwelling belongs to a renter and not the landlord.
The opposite of tenant dwelling coverage, Alfa’s renter’s policy provides protection for the personal property of the tenant. There is no structure coverage since the tenant is not responsible for the house itself, but liability is included.
Alfa offers manufactured home insurance in two forms: replacement cost and actual cash value. Replacement cost is the higher end policy, and pays out the calculated value of a replacement home, while actual cash value pays out at a depreciated value.
Alfa writes both term and permanent life insurance, with a variety of choices available.
Next Chapter Term Life is a basic term life insurance plan available in terms ranging from 10 to 30 years. Coverage starts at 80,000 and flexible premium options are available.
Level premium term life is offered for those ages 0-70. These plans are designed to provide a large death benefit at a lower monthly cost. The plans can be renewed at the end of the term, or converted to a permanent policy at any time.
The 30-year Return of Premium (ROP) plan is an unusual term plan that allows the insured to receive all base premiums and policy fees paid at the end of the 30 years of the policy term. Cancellation of the policy before the term ends will result in a return of a portion of the premiums.
Rapid Issue Term Life is Alfa’s simplified term coverage that does not require a medical exam. Coverage is available for ages 18 and up, in amounts from $25,000 to $75,000.
Alfa has a variety of permanent life insurance plans that provide lifelong coverage and build cash value over time.
First Step Life Insurance is a juvenile plan that is available from birth through age 14. Coverage starts at $15,000 and flexible payment options are available. This plan is designed to set up children with a level lifetime premium while also earning interest on a cash accumulation account.
Interest Sensitive Life is a permanent plan with a focus on growing cash accumulation. It is designed to allow the interest earned to be used to pay premiums if needed and can be issued from ages 0-70.
The Final Expense Plan is a simplified issue policy without a medical exam. This type of policy is designed to pay final expenses, and issue age is from 15-80. Although the benefit amount is not listed on the Alfa site, this type of policy usually has a lower maximum benefit level.
Guarantee Acceptance Life is also a simplified whole life insurance plan and is issued to customers ages 40-80. The maximum benefit on this plan is $25,000, making it a good final expense plan for those who need a small amount of coverage and want to avoid a medical exam.
Alfa offers a Flexible Universal Life Insurance plan that can be issued to ages 0-70. This type of plan is a permanent life insurance policy that allows for an increase or decrease of benefits, suspension of premium payments when applicable, and a cash accumulation account earning interest.
Annuities are available with contributions starting at $600 annually for the flexible premium deferred annuity, and $5000 for the single premium deferred annuity. These plans are designed to provide retirement income.
As a company originally created to protect farmers, Alfa continues to provide insurance specifically for agricultural needs.
Alfa’s Farmowner policy covers the dwelling located on the farm as well as other structures and outbuildings. It also includes coverage for personal property and farm equipment and property. Livestock is also covered in the package for a variety of risks. Liability coverage on the policy includes protection for farming accidents.
The Farmowner Policy can be customized with a variety of endorsements, including increased perils coverage for outbuildings and structures, coverage for poultry houses, and coverage specific to the needs of dairy farmers.
Alfa offers a package business policy for the needs of a variety of different industries. The policy can be customized and includes coverage for structural elements, business equipment, and liability.
Also available as additions to the plan are commercial auto and commercial umbrella policies.
Health and Dental
Alfa assists customers with obtaining health and dental insurance in the state of Alabama. Several plans are available, all of which are offered through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama.
Due to the complex nature of health insurance, it’s best to contact an agent to discuss the plan details and what coverage you need.
Alfa’s range of products also includes several specialty products.
Watercraft insurance covers recreational watercraft for damage as well as providing liability insurance for injuries. Coverage includes a variety of perils as well as protection for the trailer.
Church insurance plans are available to cover places of worship for property and liability, with two forms of coverage offered.
Personal Umbrella coverage is available to provide extended liability above and beyond an underlying policy. The site, however, does not list the available coverage amounts.
Alfa also offers flood insurance through Wright Insurance Company.
The Alfa website has a “Get a Quote” box on the website, offering options for auto, life, and health. However, when we entered the zip code for the Alabama company headquarters as a sample, the system returned a message with a toll-free number to be put in contact with an agent. So although the site appears to offer online quotes at first glance, customers are in fact redirected to contact an agent. This may differ in other zip codes as we only tested one. Being the local zip code of the headquarters, we would anticipate that this would set a standard for the company.
Therefore, we were unable to obtain any rates as Alfa does not write insurance in our usual sample area. That said, we are unable to offer a form of comparison in any location.
Alfa claims can be reported in several different ways. There is an online claims form that can be used for most of the policy types.
Claims can also be reported via a toll-free claims line, or directly to any Alfa office. The website offers a basic “what to do” list and encourages the insured to report claims immediately. After this initial report, the claim will be assigned to an adjuster, who will contact the insured as soon as possible.
For auto claims, Alfa has a network of preferred shops in their Direct Repair Program, which is designed to expedite claims and repairs. The insured can also choose the repair shop they prefer, even if it is not on the list.
The claims information is mainly focused on home and auto, with little information on other types of claims.
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Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Alfa Insurance has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) based on the file for the head office in Montgomery, Alabama. This particular record does not have any complaints on file in the past three years, although there are multiple different BBB files for Alfa offices across the service area with scattered complaints. It’s also worth noting that there are several subsidiaries that may have their own BBB record.
The 2016 J.D. Power Automobile Insurance Satisfaction survey ranked Alfa four out of five in overall satisfaction. The company ranked lower in the policy offerings and interaction sections but ranked better in claims, price, and billing areas. The overall ranking places them in the “Better Than Most” category.
There are 136 reviews of Alfa on Consumer Affairs. Of those that left a star rating, 101 were 1-star. There were ten 5-star ratings. Overall, the company has a 1.5-star rating. It is not uncommon for the majority of reviews to be negative, and it is good to see a few positive reviews. In general, the number of complaints is not high for a company of this size.
Pissed Consumer has 43 reviews of Alfa that are mainly negative. As with the other reviews we saw, many were related to claims issues and denial of claims, as well as difficulty contacting the company. It is worth noting that several of the complaints were written by people who were involved in an accident with an Alfa customer, and were not Alfa customers themselves.
The Bottom Line
Alfa Insurance gets good ratings from consumer agencies and has a complaint volume on the lower side for a big company. The lack of online quoting for a company of this size may frustrate some insurance shoppers, but Alfa is worth considering for those who prefer to work with an agent. They have a wide range of products and are a good choice for those in search of one-stop insurance shopping.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.