UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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Arbella Insurance was founded in 1988 in Quincy, Massachusetts. They offer auto insurance, home insurance, and business insurance in Massachusetts and Connecticut and business insurance in New Hampshire and Rhode Island.
In 2005 the company created the Arbella Insurance Foundation to support a variety of charitable causes. These include nonprofit organizations such as the New England Center for Homeless Veterans and Arbella’s own Let’s Drive Out Hunger program.
Arbella sells all of its products through independent agents across the service area and is committed to the agent-driven system of selling insurance. They also present themselves as deeply committed to the communities they serve, evidenced by both charitable donations and employee volunteer efforts.
Arbella writes the basics of personal insurance in two states and also offers business coverage in four states.
Arbella offers a comprehensive car insurance program in Connecticut and Massachusetts. In addition to the basics, they also offer a list of options and standard coverages that include some of the biggest trends in car insurance.
Disappearing Deductible Rewards Plus is a package endorsement that not only reduces or eliminates your deductible as a reward for three years of claim-free driving, it also covers accidental airbag discharge and rental loss of income. That is a bit of an unusual grouping of coverages, and the disappearing deductible is a bit on the gimmicky side although it is a common endorsement at bigger companies.
The Customer Care package includes new vehicle replacement, enhanced rental car coverage, enhanced roadside assistance, and more. The website states this is offered at no charge on qualifying policies, but it does not say what the qualifications are.
Also available as endorsements are accident forgiveness, pet protection, personal property coverage, snowplow coverage, and an OEM parts endorsement. Availability of these varies by state.
Arbella offers their Wheel Focused app, which appears to operate like many usage-based driver habit tracking apps with the exception that it does not seem to provide any discount. The website simply states that it can be used to get feedback on your driving habits, and also says it can be used regardless of which company carries your insurance.
In addition to car insurance, Arbella also writes coverage for motorcycles.
Carpartment is a rather unique bundle option from Arbella that offers a combination of auto and renters insurance.
This bundle adds renters insurance onto a car insurance policy, for what the website states comes out to as little as $3 a week. In reality, it is a bundle like any other, offering a reduced rate on renter’s coverage when you take out your auto with Arbella; as far as we can tell it does not really differ from any other auto/renter’s insurance bundle out there.
Arbella writes home insurance for single-family homes, condos, and rental properties (and, as noted above, for renters too). Coverage is again available in Connecticut and Massachusetts.
The base policy includes coverage for structures, personal property, and liability, and has the option to increase limits and replacement cost coverage to customize the policy. Add-ons include the Home Systems Protection endorsement and Home Cyber Protection.
Arbella’s rental property program provides the coverage specifically needed by landlords to protect against the risks inherent in renting out your home.
Arbella’s personal umbrella insurance policy is offered with limits ranging from $1,000,000 up to $5,000,000.
The policy is designed to provide extended liability coverage above and beyond the limits on underlying Arbella home and auto policies.
Available in all four states Arbella covers, business insurance is offered as package policies and with a la carte options.
Available programs for business are:
- Commercial car and truck
- Business Owner Package
- Commercial Package
- Worker’s Compensation
- Commercial Umbrella
- Crime and Identity Theft
- Inland Marine
- Data Breach and Cyber
- Loss Control services
A wide variety of business types can qualify for coverage, including retail, wholesale, contractors, and more.
Arbella is dedicated to the agent model and therefore does not offer online quoting; they defend this decision by stating on the website that they believe an agent can provide a more accurate quote based on the coverage each person really needs. There is an easy to use agent locator on the website.
Although smaller companies that rely on agents do not often compete well in terms of rates with large national companies, Arbella does offer a good list of discounts that may bring rates down to a more competitive level.
Arbella may not offer online quoting, but they do have online claims filing. A claim can be initiated by filling out a readily available form on the claims page of the website. Those that are logged in to the customer area of the site can also file and manage claims there.
Alternately, claims can be filed by calling the toll-free line available 24/7.
Arbella does have a preferred repair shop network available to clients but states clearly that any repair shop can be used. In Massachusetts, they have several drive-in claim centers where estimates for repairs can be done quickly.
The website provides a basic outline of the claims process and also promises that every step will be explained in detail by the adjuster once a claim is submitted.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Arbella has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are a total of 11 complaints on file in the past three years. This is quite a low complaint volume for a company of this size.
On Yelp we found more reviews – a total of 52 for an overall 2-star rating. Most of the complaints center on claims issues, with some billing issues mixed in. Common complaints include slow response time on claims. There are a few positive reviews here as well, and Arbella appears to take the time to respond to all reviews, both positive and negative. A company responding to reviews is always a mark in a company’s favor in spite of the fact that the number of complaints here is a little higher than we like to see for a smaller company.
The Bottom Line
Arbella is a small, regional company that may appeal to those who prefer to work with a local agent and a local insurer. Without rates, it is hard to compare them for value, but they do appear to have some good programs, albeit with a few gimmicks thrown in. They might work out well for those that qualify for multiple discounts, but be sure to compare rates from multiple companies before committing to one.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.