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American Family Insurance Review

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best...

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UPDATED: Aug 6, 2019

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American Family OverviewDetails
Year Founded1927
Current ExecutivesJack Salzwedel - CEO

Number of Employees11,307
Total Assets (2017)$27,502,521
HQ Address6000 American Parkway
Madison, WI 53783
Phone Number1-800-692-6326
Company Websitehttps://www.amfam.com/
Premiums Written (Auto, 2017)$4,381,962
Loss Ratio70.32%
Best ForFamilies with young drivers, bundling
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With more than 90 years in business, American Family Insurance is a homegrown company with a quintessential American Dream story.

Nicknamed AmFam, the company was started by a single insurance agent and eventually grew to be one of the biggest insurance groups in the nation. Today they promise to protect the dreams of other Americans.

In addition to auto insurance, American Family writes home, life, business, and specialty coverage as well. American Family Group encompasses a dozen different subsidiaries operating in different markets, making them a pretty big player in both insurance and financial services.

Should you park your car under the American Family roof?

Like most insurance companies they make a lot of promises, and like most large insurance companies it can be difficult to tell just how well they will live up to those promises for you as an individual.

A clear look at where American Family stands and how well they live up to their slogan will help you make the right call.

We’ve got everything you need to know about AmFam right here. They write policies directly as well as through a list of subsidiary companies:

  • American Family Mutual Insurance Company
  • American Standard Insurance Company
  • American Family Life Insurance Company
  • American Family Brokerage, Inc.
  • American Family Insurance Company of Ohio
  • American Standard Insurance Company of Ohio
  • American Family Securities, LLC
  • Amfam.com Inc.
  • PGC Holdings Corporation (General Insurance Companies “The General”)
  • Homesite Insurance

This review will cover American Family as a company, from financial stability to community involvement, and look at their auto insurance policies in-depth, including how their rates stack up. Read on to learn more.

American Family Ratings

Let’s start with a look at how American Family fares in the ratings. There are a number of companies out there that rate insurance companies, and they don’t all look at the same factors.

Here are the ratings; below we’ll examine what they mean.

Ratings AgencyRating
A.M. BestA
Better Business BureauA
Moody'sN/A
S&PN/A
NAIC Complaint Index0.69
JD PowerClaims Satisfaction 3/5
Shopping Study 4/5
Consumer Reports89
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First up, financial ratings. These help us to be sure a company has the means to pay their claims.

The only one of the three major financial rating companies to have a current rating for American Family is AM Best. They’re the big name in financial stability ratings, and they give American Family an A, or “excellent” just as they have for the past 15 years.

It’s not the top rating available, but it indicates that the company is stable and has a good outlook for the future.

Neither Moody’s nor Standard & Poor (S&P) have a current rating for AmFam, although a couple of the subsidiary life insurance companies are rated by S&P.

The next ratings on the list are more customer-focused. All of them have to do with how satisfied people who have American Family insurance are with their service.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) collects complaints data for insurance companies. For 2018, AmFam’s complaint index of 0.69 is well below the national average of 1.19. That means that for its size, American Family’s complaints volume is on the low side.

J.D. Power is a well-known name since companies are fond of bragging when they win one of the company’s awards.

American Family isn’t an award winner, but they rank pretty well in the national surveys, earning an average score in the claims satisfaction survey and above average for the auto insurance shopping study.

J.D. Power also ranks insurance companies on a regional level, and AmFam’s rankings differ quite a bit depending on the region.

The Better Business Bureau ranks companies on a variety of factors, including complaint volume and response to complaints. American Family has an A rating, a step down from the best available A+ rating. The drop is due to their failure to respond to three complaints filed against them.

Consumer Reports, too, has its own ranking system based on consumer surveys, rating insurance companies out of a possible 100. AmFam rates an 89 here.

Out of 95 ratings on ConsumerAffairs.com, 72 are 1-star reviews and 7 are 2-star reviews, and ten are 5-star reviews. This is pretty typical for this particular site, which is generally a forum for complaints against insurance companies rather than the type of place a customer might go to report how pleased they are. The number of reviews overall is fairly low, which suggests there are plenty of happy customers who didn’t bother to write a review.

Overall, American Family has good ratings. They’re not stellar in most areas, but there’s nothing of concern in the ratings either.

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Company History

American Family was founded in 1927 under the name Famers Mutual by Hermann Wittwer, an insurance salesman who decided to start his own company.

Originally serving farmers in Wisconsin, the company quickly expanded over the following years and decades, moving into other industries and other states.

In 1963, to represent its broader product lineup, the company took on the name American Family Mutual Insurance Company. Two years later they introduced the jingle they still use to this day.

The expansion included acquisition and creation of a number of subsidiary companies, all of which now operate as a part of American Family Group. These include low-cost car insurance company The General and Homesite Insurance.

In 2018, American Family reached number 311 on the Fortune 500 list. Quite a success story for a small company launched by a Wisconsin insurance salesman.

Market Share

In 2015, American Family had a market share in the private passenger auto market of 1.85 percent.

That number rose to 1.87 percent in 2016 and 1.89 percent in 2017.

Those aren’t big increases, but the general trend is upward, which is a good sign for American Family’s future. Their continued expansion into new states should help increase their overall market share.

Sales Approach

American Family uses a captive agent system to sell insurance. That means their agents work solely for American Family and don’t sell policies from a variety of companies like an independent agent.

That’s something of an old-school approach to insurance sales that hearkens back to the days of direct mail and even door-to-door insurance sales. Several of the biggest insurance companies in the nation still use a captive agent system, including State Farm and Allstate.

Like those companies, American Family has also moved into the modern era. They have online quoting available and you can also handle a policy purchase over the phone. That’s in addition to the old-fashioned method of sitting down in an agent’s office.

No matter how you approach quoting or purchasing your policy, however, American Family will pass your information on to a local agent. You may receive calls or emails from that agent, even if you decide not to proceed after getting a quote.

Commercials

American Family Insurance has been using the same jingle, a simple and memorable tune, since 1965, and it still appears in their advertising today.

The current “Insure Carefully. Dream Fearlessly” campaign focuses on the dreams and goals of Americans.

Although they don’t have a single spokesperson like some companies, they do use famous faces. Commercials have featured celebrity brand ambassadors including Derek Jeter, John Legend, Kevin Durant, and Jennifer Hudson.

Some of these have been a part of AmFam’s volunteer-driven One Saturday campaign.

They have also focused on historic American heroes, including a series of Black History Month spots that featured historical figures and modern leaders.

All of their efforts include the hashtag #DreamFearlessly.

Community Service

The One Saturday campaign mentioned above is just one of the ways in which American Family gives back.

The American Family Dreams Foundation operates in local communities offering scholarships, grants, and matching gifts to the tune of $11.7 million in giving for 2017.

A $10 million grant from American Family was announced in 2003 to build the American Family Children’s Hospital at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.  By the opening of the hospital in 2007, several million more was raised by employees and agents.

American Family also partners with PGA golf star Steve Stricker (also a brand ambassador) on the Steve Stricker American Family Foundation. The foundation supports charities and initiatives aimed at helping families and children.

In addition to major foundation work, American Family employees and agents volunteer thousands of hours and raise funds for the United Way.

The Future of American Family

American Family’s market share in the auto insurance industry is increasing, and they rank in the top ten nationwide in spite of the fact that they operate in less than half of the states.

As they continue to expand to new states, it’s likely that they’re going to continue to grow that market share. The future looks pretty good for this company.

Employee Demographics

According to workplace data website Payscale, American Family’s median employee age is 39, with an average tenure at the company of 3.1 years. 75 percent of employees report high job satisfaction.

Among the surveyed employees, the company has an overall ranking of 3.7 out of five for employee satisfaction.

Over at Glassdoor, American Family has an overall 3.4 rating for employee satisfaction. Employees praise the company for great benefits and a good work/life balance, as well as flexible hours and competitive pay.

Awards and Accolades

American Family has won a number of awards over the years, including some recent awards.

In 2018 the Human Rights Campaign named American Family to their list of Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality with a 100 percent corporate equality index rating.  They’ve earned this ranking for three years running.

In 2018 American Family was named Innovation Carrier of the Year by Insurance Nexus at the annual Insurance Innovation Awards.

Forbes ranked American Family at number 447 of the top 500 large companies to work for in the United States for 2019. They also made the Zippia list of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Wisconsin for 2018.

The product lineup from American Family is comprehensive, especially when it comes to their main focus, personal lines. They do offer business insurance as well, and a variety of other coverage including farm & ranch insurance, travel, and even access to health insurance through partners.

Auto Insurance

American Family’s first product offering is still their biggest line of business, and they write all of the basic coverage you would expect on a standard auto policy. There are a few options that are a little less common, such as Accidental Death & Dismemberment coverage.

American Family car insurance discounts are somewhat limited, leaving off some of the more specific discounts many large insurers offer. Available discounts include:

  • Auto/Home
  • Auto/Life
  • Multi-Vehicle
  • Good Student
  • Accident-Free
  • Defensive Driving Course

American Family has an award-winning program for young drivers called the Teen Safe Driver Program. It uses in-car technology called the DriveCam system to record driving behavior and provide feedback that helps teens improve.

Studies of the program have shown large reductions in dangerous driving behavior, up to 70%. The National Safety Council gave the program its Teen Driving Safety Leadership Award in 2010.

American Family also has a usage-based insurance program, which most major insurers have introduced in recent years. Their version is called mySafetyValet, and it’s advertised to policyholders as a method of becoming a better driver.

American Family offers a 5% discount just for signing up for the program, which involves placing a small device in your car to monitor your driving behavior and earn you even more discounts.

Currently, the majority of these systems can only be beneficial to the user, as there is not penalty if the device records poor driving habits, just a reward for good driving. However, some insurance companies are moving towards penalizing unsafe driving habits, so it is something important to be aware of for the future.
Now to where does American Family provide the cheapest rates?
The bottom line with car insurance rates is that every company determines its rates differently.

What that means is that while we can say one company is expensive overall and another cheap overall, which offers the best rates in any given situation will differ based on that situation.

One company might be a lot cheaper for young drivers, while another might be your best bet if you have an accident on your record.

In order to see where American Family stacks up, we’ll look at the numbers not just on average, but for several different scenarios.

Average Rates By State

Below is a comparison of American Family’s average annual rates compared to the state average. We’ve only listed the states in which American Family operates.

StateState AverageAmerican Family Average Annual PremiumHigher/Lower ($)Higher/Lower (%)
Alaska$3,421.51$4,153.07$731.5517.61%
Colorado$3,876.39$3,733.02-$143.37-3.84%
Iowa$2,981.28$3,021.81$40.531.34%
Idaho$2,979.09$3,728.79$749.7020.11%
Illinois$3,305.48$3,815.31$509.8213.36%
Indiana$3,414.97$3,679.68$264.717.19%
Kansas$3,279.62$2,146.40-$1,133.22-52.80%
Minnesota$4,403.25$3,521.29-$881.97-25.05%
Missouri$3,328.93$3,286.90-$42.03-1.28%
North Dakota$4,165.84$3,812.40-$353.44-9.27%
Nebraska$3,283.68$2,215.13-$1,068.55-48.24%
Nevada$4,861.70$5,441.18$579.4810.65%
Ohio$2,709.71$1,515.17-$1,194.54-78.84%
Oregon$3,467.77$3,527.28$59.511.69%
South Dakota$3,982.27$4,047.47$65.201.61%
Texas$4,043.28$4,848.72$805.4416.61%
Utah$3,611.89$3,698.77$86.882.35%
Washington$3,059.32$3,713.02$653.7017.61%
Wisconsin$3,606.06$1,513.27-$2,092.80-138.30%
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As you can see, in some states American Family is a great deal. Particularly in their home state of Wisconsin, where they come in nearly 140 percent below average. They’re also a great value in Ohio, Kansas, and Nebraska.

Alaska and Washington are the two most expensive states to take out an AmFam policy, with rates at 17.61 percent above average in both states.

State By State Comparison to Top Companies

Here’s a look at how the top ten companies – American Family is one of them – in the U.S. and their rates differ by state. Remember that these are averages, and rates differ based on a lot of factors.

StateAverage Annual PremiumsAllstateAmerican FamilyFarmersGeicoLiberty MutualNationwideProgressiveState FarmTravelersUSAA
Arizona$3,770.97$4,904.10Data Not Available$5,000.08$2,264.71Data Not Available$3,496.08$3,577.50$4,756.25$3,084.74$3,084.29
Colorado$3,876.39$5,537.17$3,733.02$5,290.24$3,091.69$2,797.74$3,739.47$4,231.92$3,270.77Data Not Available$3,338.87
Georgia$4,966.83$4,210.70Data Not AvailableData Not Available$2,977.20$10,053.44$6,484.90$4,499.22$3,384.88Data Not Available$3,157.46
Iowa$2,981.28$2,965.86$3,021.81$2,435.72$2,296.16$4,415.28$2,735.44$2,395.50$2,224.51$5,429.38$1,852.57
Idaho$2,979.09$4,088.76$3,728.79$3,168.28$2,770.68$2,301.51$3,032.19Data Not Available$1,867.96$3,226.29$1,877.61
Illinois$3,305.48$5,204.41$3,815.31$4,605.20$2,779.16$2,277.65$2,711.81$3,536.65$2,344.88$2,499.76$2,770.21
Indiana$3,414.97$3,978.81$3,679.68$3,437.55$2,261.07$5,781.35Data Not Available$3,898.00$2,408.94$3,393.75$1,630.86
Kansas$3,279.62$4,010.23$2,146.40$3,703.77$3,220.65$4,784.42$2,475.59$4,144.38$2,720.00$4,341.43$2,382.61
Minnesota$4,403.25$4,532.01$3,521.29$3,137.45$3,498.54$13,563.61$2,926.49Data Not Available$2,066.99Data Not Available$2,861.60
Missouri$3,328.93$4,096.15$3,286.90$4,312.19$2,885.33$4,518.67$2,265.35$3,419.14$2,692.91Data Not Available$2,525.78
North Dakota$4,165.84$4,669.31$3,812.40$3,092.49$2,668.24$12,852.83$2,560.35$3,623.06$2,560.53Data Not Available$2,006.80
Nebraska$3,283.68$3,198.83$2,215.13$3,997.29$3,837.49$6,241.52$2,603.94$3,758.01$2,438.71Data Not Available$2,330.78
Nevada$4,861.70$5,371.62$5,441.18$5,595.56$3,662.09$6,201.55$3,477.14$4,062.57$5,796.34$5,360.41$3,069.07
Ohio$2,709.71$3,197.22$1,515.17$3,423.01$1,867.19$4,429.74$3,300.89$3,436.96$2,507.88$3,135.16$1,478.46
Oregon$3,467.77$4,765.95$3,527.28$3,753.52$3,220.12$4,334.55$3,176.83$3,629.13$2,731.48$2,892.19$2,587.15
South Dakota$3,982.27$4,723.72$4,047.47$3,768.80$2,940.29$7,515.99$2,737.66$3,752.81$2,306.23Data Not AvailableData Not Available
Utah$3,611.89$3,566.42$3,698.77$3,907.99$2,965.57$4,327.76$2,986.57$3,830.10$4,645.83Data Not Available$2,491.10
Washington$3,059.32$3,540.52$3,713.02$2,962.00$2,568.65$3,994.73$2,129.84$3,209.52$2,499.78Data Not Available$2,262.16
Wisconsin$3,606.06$4,854.41$1,513.27$3,777.49$3,926.20$6,758.85$5,224.99$3,128.91$2,387.53Data Not Available$2,975.74
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Next, we will look at the factors that can land your rate above or below these averages.

Rates By Commute

American Family isn’t a company where you have to worry about rising rates with a longer commute. The difference is, on average, less than $100 a year.

Commute TypeAmerican Family Average Rate
10-mile, 6,000 miles annually$3,401.30
25-mile, 12,000 miles annually$3,484.88
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Rates By Coverage Level

With American Family, you can carry a lot more coverage without paying a lot more. In fact, the high coverage level is on average cheaper than medium coverage, and you can go from low to high for less than $100 a year.

Coverage LevelAverage American Family Rate
Low$3,368.49
Medium$3,544.37
High$3,416.40
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Rates By Credit History

American Family doesn’t increase its rates as much as some other companies for poor credit, but there is a definite difference. They rank among the lower-priced insurers on average for those with poor credit.

Credit HistoryAmerican Family Average Rates
Poor$4,467.98
Fair$3,169.53
Good$2,691.74
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Rates By Driving Record

Like all insurance companies, American Family offers its best rates to drivers with a clean record.

Rates for drivers with one speeding ticket, however, really aren’t that much higher. In fact, overall the increases for each of these common scenarios aren’t a huge increase compared to some other major companies.

Driving RecordAmerican Family Average Rate
Clean Record$2,693.61
1 Speeding Ticket$3,025.74
1 Accident$3,722.75
1 DUI$4,330.24
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Coverage Offered By American Family

American Family offers full coverage car insurance policies with a variety of options in addition to the basics.

The policy starts with the required liability and, depending on the state, no-fault coverage. American Family offers all of the following and will help you ensure you’re in compliance with state laws.

  • Bodily Injury Liability
  • Property Damage Liability
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • Medical Expense (Med Pay)
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Property Damage

Coverages can be increased well above the legal minimums to better protect you from the financial impact of an accident.

With the liability basics in place, American Family offers a solid list of optional coverages.

  • Collision
  • Comprehensive
  • Loan/Lease Gap
  • Rental Reimbursement
  • Emergency Roadside Assistance
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)

Bundling Options

American Family offers discounts to policyholders for carrying more than one policy. First up is the multi-vehicle discount, which applies to anyone insuring more than one vehicle.

There is a discount for insuring your home with AmFam as well, and that includes both a homeowners policy and a renters policy. This bundle includes a discount on the home policy as well.

Finally, American Family also gives an auto discount to those that have a life insurance policy in force with the company.

You may also want to consider bundling with the coverage’s listed below:

 Homeowner’s Insurance

American Family’s homeowner’s insurance covers all of the basics – replacement cost for the structure itself, personal property, and liability. American Family also offers a list of optional add-ons and upgrades for homeowner’s, including:

  • Personal property replacement cost
  • Scheduled Personal Property
  • Identity Theft
  • Personal Injury
  • Home Day Care
  • Home Office and Studio
  • Vacant Home
  • Sewer and Sump Pump Backup

Auto and home bundling are available along with other discounts to bring down rates. In addition to covering standard single-family homes, there are also policies for:

  • Condo Insurance
  • Mobile and Manufactured Home
  • Renter’s Insurance to cover personal property for tenants

 Life Insurance

Both standard term with various lengths and whole life are available from American Family, along with two other options. These are a simple term and a more flexible option to round out the offerings.

The SimplyProtected Term Life is an easy to obtain policy good for those who need quick, basic coverage. These policies are affordable and a good place to start if you haven’t purchased life insurance before.

MyLife is a flexible policy with two options. The Freedom option has higher coverage during the years when you need it most, and continuing protection into the later years of life. With this plan no premiums are necessary with reduced coverage in retirement. The Legacy option maximizes both coverage and cash accumulation over the years in order to provide for your family in the future.

 Motorcycle Insurance

American Family offers two levels of motorcycle insurance, the Basic Plan and the Basic Plan Plus. They insure a variety of different types of bikes, from cruisers to sport bikes.

At the Basic level, you get liability, comprehensive, and collision coverage among other basic coverage. The Plus level also adds coverage for a wide variety of accessories from trailers to saddlebags. There are also a variety of discounts available for motorcycle insurance, including one for riders over 50, and multiple cycle discount.

 Recreational and Off-Road Vehicles

Policies are available for recreational vehicles including motor homes and travel trailers, as well as for off-road vehicles such as snowmobiles and ATVs.

Damage and liability coverage specific to the needs of each type of vehicle are included in the policy. Recreational vehicle policies include extended personal property and roadside assistance, while trailer coverage is added for off-road vehicles. American Family has full-time policies for those who live on the road in their RV full-time, providing the extra coverage you need when spending most of your time traveling.

 Boats and Watercraft

American Family covers a wide variety of watercraft, including sailboats, kayaks, and motorboats. Their policies include coverage for boats while on the water as well as on the trailer – and coverage for the trailer itself.

Sails, spars, and rigging are covered for sailboats, while motorized craft are covered for outboard motors and other manufacturer-installed equipment.

 Business Insurance

American Family writes coverage for a variety of different small and mid-sized businesses including offices, medical and dental, janitorial, garage and auto repair.

Their small business package policies include general liability, employment practices liability, business property, and a variety of other coverage specific to the type of business. Some options are available as individual policies; while others come in packages so you can select the coverage you need most.

 Farm and Ranch

American Family was started to serve farmers and it continues to serve them today with Farm and Ranch insurance policies. Coverage is provided for farm equipment, liability, dwelling, and personal property among other farm-specific needs.

These policies are specifically aimed at family-run farms that include a dwelling and personal property, and not at commercial operations.

 Travel Insurance

American Family offers basic options for travel insurance including travel medical, trip cancellation, and both auto and boat coverage for trips into Mexico. The Mexican auto insurance is a convenient option, since many people wind up purchasing it from a random company just before crossing the border – buying from a trusted company provides more peace of mind.

 Health Insurance

American Family offers health insurance products through Time Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Assurant Health. Plans include:

  • Major Medical
  • Dental
  • Medicare Supplemental

 Other Products

There are several other products available from American Family, including flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Plan and umbrella policies to cover excess liability above and beyond underlying policy limits.

Area of Operation

Although they are continuing to expand, American Family doesn’t write auto insurance in every state and their operations are rather limited to 19 states.

AmFam auto is not available in the following states.

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming
  • District of Columbia

Additional Options And Programs

American Family has some other options to choose from that can help reduce your rates or protect you for specific risks. Their list of options isn’t as long as some other companies, however, and absent are things like accident forgiveness.

KnowYourDrive is AmFam’s usage-based insurance program, and like all such programs, it records and monitors driving habits.

These programs have really become popular in the past several years, so it’s not surprising to see a big company like American Family on board the wagon. It uses an app to track driving behaviors such as hard braking and gives drivers a score.

The program provides an initial discount for signing up and will calculate a longer-term discount based on the information gathered. The program isn’t offered in all states, but the site doesn’t say which ones do have the option.

Rideshare Coverage is available in some states (again, they aren’t listed) to provide added protection for those that drive for companies like Uber or Lyft.

With most states enacting laws requiring specific coverage for rideshare drivers, many insurance companies are responding to meet the need. American Family is one of the major insurers to offer this coverage.

American Family also has coverage available for classic cars and for vehicles used for business.

The Dreams Restored Program is American Family’s preferred repair shop network. The program provides quick repair service with a guarantee on the work for as long as you own the car.  It can be used whether the insurance company is paying for the repairs or you are paying out of pocket.

The Teen Safe Driver Program uses an app similar to the KnowYourDrive system and allows parents to keep an eye on their new driver’s habits behind the wheel. The program leads to a discount on the teen’s coverage after one year or 3,000 miles logged.

Discounts

Below are all of the discounts listed on American Family’s website, along with the percentage they’ll save you if provided.

DiscountPercentage Off (up to)Details/Requirements
LoyaltyDepends on length of loyaltyRemain insured with AmFam
Auto and Home29% off auto
20% off home
Have both auto and home in force with AmFam
Auto and LifeNot statedHave both auto and life in force with AmFam
Air Bags10-30%, varies by stateVehicles with factory airbags
55+ Defensive Driver5-10%Drivers over age 55 and take a defensive driving course
Early BirdNot statedSign policy documents at least seven days before effective date
Switching to American FamilyNot statedSwitch from another insurance company
Good driverNot statedMaintain a clean record
Low MileageNot statedDrive less than 7,500 miles a year
Know Your Drive5% for signing up
40% (up to) discount after evaluation period
Must install and use the KnowYourDrive app
Good Student25%Must:
- be a full-time student
- have a B average or be in top 20% of class
Student Away at SchoolNot statedStudents away at school who have not taken a vehicle
Young VolunteerNot statedDrivers under 25 who complete 40 hours or more of volunteer work a year
GenerationalNot statedChildren of AmFam policyholders
AutoPayNot statedSet up automatic withdrawal of premium payments
Full PayNot statedPay full term premium up front
PaperlessNot statedSign up for online policy management
Multi-CarNot statedHave more than one car insured with AmFam
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There are several other discounts that aren’t listed on the American Family website, but that other sources list as available:

  • Anti-lock brakes
  • Farm vehicle
  • Anti-theft
  • Continuous coverage
  • Daytime running lights
  • Passive restraint (seatbelts)

American Family doesn’t provide a lot of information on how much each of these discounts can actually save you. That’s likely because it varies by state, and the site directs visitors to contact an agent for specifics.

Notable among the discounts are several unusual options for young drivers, such as the volunteer discount. The generational discount is also unusual and would be helpful to young drivers who no longer live at home and are getting coverage individually.

A lot of the discounts are aimed at bringing new customers in as well as keeping existing customers.

Absent from American Family’s discount list is any kind of affinity group discount. They don’t have discounts for first responders or for members of the military, either.

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How To Make a Claim

American Family offers a good range of options for filing a claim, and it’s easy to find the information on their website. The claims tab is located clearly at the top of the page and leads to detailed information with contact information front and center.

Loss ratios can tell us something about how an insurance company is doing with their claims payments. A ratio that’s too high indicates the company is paying out a lot; if it’s over 100 percent, they’re actually paying out more than they’re taking in.

If the number is too low it indicates that the company isn’t paying out as much as they should be.

Premiums Written and Loss Ratio201520162017
Premiums Written$3,694,271$4,005,549$4,381,962
Loss Ratio (American Family)60.73%65.06%70.32%
Loss Ratio (Industry Total)68.33% 71.97%68.87%
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American Family’s private passenger auto loss ratios have been steadily increasing over three years, but are pretty closely in line with the industry total.

They’re neither too low nor too high, which indicates they’re paying claims as they should and in no danger of financial difficulty due to overpayment.

Claim Filing Options

There are three ways to file a claim with American Family:

  • Contact your agent directly
  • Call American Family’s 24/7 claims line at  1-800-MY AMFAM (1-800-692-6326)
  • Filing online on the American Family website
  • Using the MyAmFam app on your smartphone

There’s no need to log into a customer account in order to file online, which allows non-customers who were involved in an accident with an American Family insured to use the system as well.

It also means you won’t have to remember your password at a stressful time.

How To Get a Quote Online

You can start an online quote for car insurance with American Family right on the company’s front page.

American Family Insurance Quote

 

To start the quote, you will have to enter your name, address, birthdate, and email address. From there, the system will automatically locate vehicle and driver information for that address.

American Family Quote 2

 

You can select the vehicles and drivers you want to insure.  The system will then take you through coverage options and provide a quote.

 

In some cases, the system will be unable to provide a quote online, and will then direct you to contact an agent or customer service representative for assistance.

American Family Quote 3

This happened as we attempted a sample quote, but the system did not explain why we were unable to get quote information online.

 

Reaching this screen is likely to cause some frustration from those hoping to get quotes without having to speak to an agent.

Here’s a look at what you will need to have on hand to get an online quote from American Family.

InformationRequired/Not Required
Driver's License NumberNot required
Social Security NumberOptional
Phone NumberNot required
Email AddressRequired
Vehicle Identification NumberNot required
Home AddressRequired
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If the site is unable to pull information from existing records on the vehicles and drivers at your address, they may require you to enter that information manually.

Social security numbers and drivers licenses will be required to complete the application. Entering your social security number is optional during the quote process; bear in mind that if you choose not to enter your SSN it may impact the accuracy of the quote.

American Family’s Website and App

American Family has an easy to navigate website that has a wealth of information available to help both existing and potential customers.

The drop-down menus are intuitive and offer the most relevant information, including product details, claims information, and contact information.

It’s just as readable on a smartphone screen or a tablet as it is on a desktop or laptop, making it easy to use regardless of your device.

The MyAmFam app is available for both Apple and Android phones and allows you to take care of a number of tasks on the go. These include:

  • Pay bills
  • Access electronic ID cards
  • Request roadside assistance
  • View policy details
  • File a claim
  • Contact customer service

The app has a 4.8-star rating on the iTunes store and a 4.4 rating in the Google Play store. There are some complaints about the app, including trouble with paying bills and constant requests for updates. Overall, however, customers have a positive experience with the app.

AmFam App

 

The screenshots above will give you an idea of what the app looks like. It’s clean and appears easy to use.

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Pros and Cons

We’ve covered a lot of ground and looked at a lot of information about American Family Insurance. Now let’s wrap it up with a simplified look at the pros and cons of choosing AmFam for your car insurance.

ProsCons
Combines personal service of an agent with modern techonologyOnline quote system doesn't always work, results in solicitation
Very low rates in some statesNot available in all states
Not a lot of add-ons and extras availableGood list of discounts, particularly for younger drivers
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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have questions? We’ve got some more answers, and if we didn’t answer it, you can head on over to American Family’s FAQ section for more details.

Is there a risk to using the KnowYourDrive app? American Family won’t increase your premiums based on any information gathered by the app, it can only be used to calculate a discount.

The discount will vary based on the information, and not everyone will get the top-end percentage off, but there’s no risk of increases. American Family promises they won’t share your personal information with anyone else.

Do I have to have an agent? Yes.  American Family’s policies are all administered by local agents, so one will be assigned to you even if you quote online.  They take care of completing things and are your go-to person for questions.

But if you prefer to deal with things minus human interaction, nearly everything can be taken care of online or with the mobile app. You can choose your own agent if you don’t want to have one assigned to you.

Are passenger vehicles the only policies that can be bundled? No! American Family will bundle specialty vehicle policies as well, including RVs, classic cars, boats, ATVs, and more under the multi-vehicle discount.

The discount varies, but American Family does offer increased discounts the more you bundle.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed
American Family Insurance
Author Rating
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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

14 Comments

  1. Worst insurance company ever.

    Reply
  2. [Redacted] in Lacrosse WI. should be avoided. She does not call back, nor is she very often in the office. When she is she is, she is said to be busy with someone else according to her gatekeeper.

    Reply
  3. I was hit by one of AFM drivers. The insured driver even put himself at fault! The police report states that AF insured driver was at fault . I called AF to report the accident some agent called me to tell me to take 25% at fault in they will pay 75% . Why should I take 25% at fault when they insured driver didn’t yield. I had the right away because I didn’t have to yield nor stop, there wasn’t any traffic lights either! I’m so upset!

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  4. I had American Family Insurance for my Home Owners Insurance in Northern Nevada. When I applied for the insurance I told them that I had a Manufactured Home, they came out & inspected the premises and property and wrote the insurance. When I received the policy it was for a Homeowners policy. I called them and told them that it was written as a home and not a mobile. They explained that that is how they write their manufactured home policy. Five years later my home insurance was non-renewed. I corrected the problems they had with our place and still it remained non-renewed. When I asked the agent why, they said that they are basically getting rid of their manufactured home policies that were written as Ho3’s. Trying to find new insurance after you have been non-renewed is a nightmare. Thanks a lot [Redacted] of Carson City Nv, thanks for nothing and thanks for your lack of effort to be a mediator between the policy holder and the Company of underwriters. I would discourage anyone I know against getting ANY insurance with American Family Insurance.

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  5. On Feb. 13 I took out a car insurance policy with AmFam and paid 6 months of premiums in advance. Within 3 weeks, they sent 3 “changes to your policy” notices, which wanted to raise the premium I’d already paid. The notice that came March 9 said that because I wasn’t signed up for automatic premium withdrawals, there was an added fee. The original policy did NOT have any such statement in it; in fact, it said that there was a discount for paying 6 months in advance. I spoke with the agent and said that the reason I paid in advance was because I refuse to give anyone access to my bank account. I feel like this was a bait-and-switch deal, and said to cancel the policy immediately and refund the remaining five months worth of premiums I already paid. Will never do business with them again and certainly won’t recommend them to anyone. Isn’t it illegal to try to change the terms after the original policy has been issued and paid for?

    Reply
  6. American family crooks! Hit 4 cows in the road middle of nite on a corner on a bridge total of 15 cows out. Total my sons truck him and I built together. CLAM DENIED! CROOKED [Redacted]!

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  7. amfam sucks I had a new car that was taken.when I got it back the engine was messed up amfam would not fix it.when I stared a law suit they lied and got out of the law suit.so here I sit I owe $15,000 on a car I don’t even have,my credit is messed up.it makes it hard to start a new family with bad credit.all because amfam did not pay for something they should have. There all nice to you tell the day you need them,meaning tell the day you have to file a claim.its not worth it go somewhere else.

    Reply
  8. I have had a burglary at my house and it was in March of this year I have done everything I was ask to do and now I am told it is being investigated by the Atty of the American family ins. They made me feel like i am a liar and i have been recorded and then had to notarize a loss statement form and now no one will tell me anything at all except there atty will be contacting me . WoW. I am floored by this .

    Reply
  9. Since years my friends Family in Wisconsin has American Family Insurance- for 3 cars.. 2 houses..I They were always pleased. But now they have a severe mold problem and Racoon faces in the attic.
    It causes to everybody who lives in the house:
    Cough
    Wheezing or other breathing difficulties
    Sore/hoarse throat
    Skin and eye irritation
    Fever
    Upper respiratory infections, including sinus infections.
    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), says: mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture. Leaking roofs, leaky plumbing, sewer backups and frequently overflowing washing machines can create environments for this dangerous (some say deadly) mold. I very much wonder why American Family insurance is not paying for getting ride of these problems????
    My friend is seriously thinking of switching the insurance..

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  10. I had American family auto insurance for years and was pleased with my policy with [them], but i am pretty disgusted with the way that [they] dealt with my sister’s home owner insurance. She has been paying [them] home owner’s insurance for over 30 yrs now, and has only ever put in 1 claim since having it for when her house was bugalarized. [They] had sent someone out to inspect the property to see if she needed to up her insurance coverage, but instead [they] make a claim that she needs to reroof her house, and made her sign a disclaimer on having any insurance on the roof of her house as [they] found it to be just normal weather damage on her roof. Now we are being forced to replace the roof on the house by March 2015, which is still winter time in Minnesota. We have had a couple of years with a tornado and high wind weather damage in our area just before they came out as well. Now here is the funny part; both houses on each side of her house had there roofs replaced by their insurance agencies due to bad weather, but yet we are in the middle and her house only has normal weather damage, yeah right !! She had not put in for the claim on the roof just yet as she was just let go from her full time job and now was down to part time job and we were barely able to make ends meet let alone come up with a deductible for the roof. I live with her and am only receiving disability. Now i would have to say that coming up with the deductible would of have been a whole lot easier than it is being forced to come up with all of the cost to replace the roof. Which as [they] have pretty much gathered has been impossible for us to do. So here we sit in a house that has no coverage on the roof. I feel that her agent should of have done more to try and help with replacing her roof, instead of dumping this huge expense in our laps that we cannot afford to begin with. Especially after all the years that she has paid [them] for her coverage. She put all new windows in without [their] help, but yet [they] cannot find it in [their] company to help replace her roof. I wished they could of have seen the other 2 houses roofs on each side of her house before [they] came out and decided to dump my sister’s roof in her lap. As they looked just as bad and one was even worse than ours. He was unemployed at the time and yet his insurance company worked with him to get his replaced with a new roof because of the weather damage. So what i am saying is that this makes [them] look pretty bad, and i would like to know how much of a bonus did that [redacted] adjuster of [theirs] get for saving [them] money by not helping to replace her roof?? I will never recommend [their] company to anyone ever again that’s for sure. I am totally ashamed of [their] company. Especially after reading other comments from [their] customers.

    Reply
  11. I am currently with American Family Insurance for my renters, car and my umbrella policies and currently working on getting my life insurance with them as well. If you are looking to get the cheapest rates possible I suggest going to a company that doesn’t care to educate you about what you are buying. If you want to do business with one of the best companies in the industry you would be wise to pay a little more.

    As being cacelled for making claims I have heard of all insurance companies doing the same thing. If you want your stuff to be covered from a flood or sewer backup maybe you should ask to have the policy reviewed with you and ask if it is covered up front. You might need flood insurance.

    In any case do your research and don’t always worry about price. I can gaurantee you that if you have a bad claims experience with an insurance company that saved you money up front you would gladly pay a little more to not go through that situation. Find a good agent with a good company and pay a little more. Because if your house burns down or your car is totalled your money up front could save you thousands.

    Reply
  12. I have American , family motorcycle insurance and recently was in a wreck to find out that only part of my motorcycle is covered it seems that fareings and saddle bags are excluded so whatch out guys with baggers

    Reply
  13. I have been a policy holder of American Family insurance for the last 24 plus years. This year my home in Janesville, Wisconsin was burglarized and I submitted a claim. American Family paid that claim to my satisfaction, however, in April of this year my basement was flooded due to a backup of the city sewer system in a period of heavy rain. American Family denied that claim as not being covered under my policy. I disagree with that decision, however can live with it. On September 20, 2013, I received a letter from a Mr. [Redacted], District Underwriter, notifying me that my homeowners policy was to be terminated as of November 24, 2013 as a result of filing those to claims. I am simply astonished. After 24 years of paying for that policy and filing only 2 claims in all those years, only one of which they paid anything on, to be terminated is beyond belief. What audacity they have.

    Reply
  14. I went to American Family Insurance to get a quote to see if their rates would save me money. I wanted to think it over and come back in after discussing it with my spouse and also doing some research about the company.
    After researching the company,on line and with one of their insured, I went back in to inform the agent we decided not to change our insurance provider. I was informed, at that time , that an insurance agent would coming to take photos the next day. I said I wouldn’t be home and also I did not want the insurance. I was told I did not need to be home for them to come and take pictures. I told them my property is fenced and has no trespassing signs so no one is welcome without calling first, and that I DID NOT want their insurance. I was very clear that I did not want their insurance. About a week later a woman, from American Family, climbed over our 6 foot high gate and knocked on the door and said she was there to take pictures. She was told we did not have their insurance and the she had walked past 2 NO TREPASSING signs and could have been injured climbing over our gate. If she had been injured climbing to get in and climbing over to get out, we and our insurance company would probably been liable for her injuries.

    She insisted we had their insurance policy. We do not and have never signed anything or paid for anything. I could have not been more clear that we did not have their insurance and we were especially clear she was trepassing. It was windy and raining heavily and there were large tree branches fallen and falling. We have trees that are at least 150 feet tall. We don’t wander around our 5 acre property during wind storms and a downpour. It is dangerous. We have lived here 20 years and managed to never get injured by being aware.

    I will never refer this company to anyone. I will indeed tell all our family and friends about this. This company,in my opinon, is unprofessional and incompetent.

    Reply

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