UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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AFI began in 1887 at an army garrison in Leavenworth, Kansas as Army Cooperative Fire Association. It was founded by a group of officers to provide group fire insurance protection. The company grew to provide insurance for all military members as well as their families.
Today they write a wide range of personal insurance coverage including home insurance, auto insurance, watercraft, and umbrella insurance, and also small business coverage. Some of these products are offered through partner companies and are not underwritten by AFI.
In order to be eligible for coverage through AFI, you must be:
- On active duty, retired, or honorably discharged military, including National Guard and Reserves
- A Spouse or surviving spouse of the above
- An active or retired Department of Defense employee
- An active, retired, or former commissioned officer of the NOAA or PHS
- Service Academy including Merchant Marine or ROTC cadet
- A former spouse or child of a current or former AFI member
AFI’s headquarters is still located in Leavenworth, but the serve military families across the country.
AFI has a long list of products available from basic to specialty. While they do offer auto insurance, it is through partner companies. AFI works as an agent to help their members find auto coverage and does not underwrite that coverage directly. Similar to this, business insurance is also offered through partner companies and not directly.
We will cover only the products actually underwritten by AFI in this review. The website offers only basic overviews of the products.
AFI writes standard homeowners, dwelling fire, renter, and condo insurance policies.
The standard homeowners insurance policy covers the house at replacement cost, other buildings, personal property, liability, and more. AFI has a list of endorsements that can be added to personalize the policy, including off-premises coverage and increased limits on the various coverage options.
Dwelling Fire policies are available to cover non-owner occupied homes as well as homes that do not qualify for the homeowner’s package. This named perils policy is available in three forms with varying levels of coverage.
Condo insurance plans cover the specific needs of condo owners – coverage for the portion of the structure for which the owner is responsible, as well as personal property and liability.
Mobile home coverage is offered through another company, Foremost Insurance.
Specialty Recreational Insurance
AFI writes policies for several types of specialty vehicles. This includes watercraft, motorcycles, and ATVs. The website lists only a few basics about the policies but does not offer much in the way of information.
The website is not clear as to whether or not AFI directly underwrites these policies, but there is no statement that they are handled by a partner provider either.
Other products listed on the website that may or may not be directly underwritten include umbrella insurance, pet health coverage, and valuable items coverage.
Rate quotes are available online for AFI, but require a great deal of personal information to obtain. This includes your eligibility for AFI membership and social security number. Some people may be uncomfortable with providing this level of information in order to get an insurance quote.
Because of the information required, we were unable to obtain a sample quote. Had we obtained a quote, however, it would still be very difficult to compare homeowners insurance due to the very particular nature of the product.
The website offers very limited information regarding claims. There is a toll-free number for filing claims as well as an email address.
Further claims information appears to be available to members by logging into the website. Although it isn’t entirely uncommon for a company mainly focused on home insurance to lack this information, it would be helpful to have a much more comprehensive page dealing with the claims process and what to expect on the company website.
Products that are underwritten by partner companies will have all of their claims handled by those companies.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
AFI has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there have been 11 complaints filed in the past three years. Of those, six were closed in the past 12 months.
Yelp has a few reviews of this insurance company. Of the eight reviews, one is a positive, five-star review and the rest are negative. It is worth noting that one of the reviews is for auto insurance, which should technically apply to the partner company through which the policy was written and not to AFI directly.
Overall, there are not a lot of negative reviews of AFI, which often finds itself compared to USAA, another military insurer. USAA is a much larger company and also underwrites its own auto insurance, which makes it difficult to compare the two in terms of the number of complaints.
The Bottom Line
If you qualify for AFI membership and do not mind that you are unable to truly bundle your auto and home with them, they are worth considering for your insurance needs. With the limited information available, the company does appear to have a fairly good reputation.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.