UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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About Badger Mutual
Badger Mutual was founded in 1887 as a mutual aid society for local churches, which were difficult to insure due to the risk of a lightning strike on tall steeples. Over the decades, the company added more products, including auto insurance and home insurance as well as business insurance for a variety of small businesses.
Today Badger Mutual serves ten states: Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Coverage and availability of products vary from state to state. Their headquarters is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and they sell their products through local agents across the service area.
Badger Mutual Products
Badger Mutual has both personal and commercial insurance products, focused on property & casualty lines. Of the big three personal insurance products, they only one they don’t write is life insurance.
Badger offers a standard auto insurance policy with the option to add on special coverage for a comprehensive product. While the website does not outline which, if any, auto coverage is offered in other states, it does describe the Wisconsin TRUST auto program. This program offers discounts of up to 33% to drivers with a good credit score.
Also offered is Badger’s Concierge Service, which is basically a vehicle replacement program. This program ensures that a car totaled within three model years of new will be replaced with a new vehicle, while cars between four and ten years old will be replaced with a vehicle of equal value.
Badger’s auto program includes policies for classic and antique cars, motor homes, and conversion vans, among other specialty products. The list of available discounts includes most of the common choices offered by larger insurers, such as multi-policy, loyalty, and a mature household discount.
Badger writes a standard homeowners insurance policy that covers the structure, personal property, and liability. Like their auto program, they have introduced a home TRUST program in Wisconsin that offers discounts to policyholders with good credit. The TRUST program also includes 150% replacement cost on the dwelling as well as a host of added features such as lock replacement ad refrigerated goods to give more value to customers that the company considers to be financially responsible.
Among the options offered on this program is a special Hail Deductible endorsement. Hail damage is covered with a 20% of the repair cost deductible with a maximum of $3,000. This is designed to make small hail repair claims more affordable.
There are a variety of discounts available for the homeowners policy, including the American Dream discount for those who no longer owe anything on their home.
Badger also offers a renters insurance program that provides personal property coverage and liability coverage to tenants. The renters policy also qualifies for the auto/home discount.
Badger Mutual offers a range of commercial insurance packages and products to cover a variety of small businesses. They have specialized programs for restaurants, sports bars, and taverns, and also have basic commercial package policies.
Among the a la carte offerings are things like cyber liability, employment practices liability, and commercial umbrella insurance for added liability coverage.
Business insurance is offered in all ten states.
Badger is an agent-driven company and does not provide an online quoting service. The website directs visitors to an agent search which will provide the contact info for the nearest local agent.
It is common for small, regional insurers to operate this way, but in the modern age, many customers expect to be able to obtain rate information online without the time consumption and solicitation risk of contacting an agent. The lack of online quoting may deter some people who prefer to gather information on their own time before speaking to anyone directly.
In spite of being behind the times on online quoting, Badger Mutual does offer online claims reporting. They also have a toll-free business hours line as well as an after-hours claims line to ensure 24/7 availability. Claims can also be reported to the policyholder’s agent.
Badger uses Safelite for auto glass only claims, one of the most popular glass repair services used by many insurance companies of all sizes. There is no indication as to whether or not the company has a preferred repair shop network system in place.
All in all, the claims information provided on the website is minimal.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Badger Mutual has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are a total of 16 complaints on file in the past three years of those, two were closed in the past 12 months.
Of the 13 reviews on Google, most are positive, resulting in an overall 3.8-star rating. Of the negative reviews, some are vague, stating poor service, with a few stating claims denial. It is worth noting that some of the positive reviews come from agents that work with Badger and not customers.
Of the handful of reviews on Yelp, one is positive and the other two negative.
Overall, the complaint volume is low and there are enough positive reviews to balance out the negative.
The Bottom Line
Badger Mutual has a good reputation and is likely to appeal to those who prefer to work with an agent and obtain their coverage from a smaller insurance company. They are not likely to have the lowest rates when compared with national-level direct sales insurance companies like Geico but do appear to present a solid value to their customers, especially when multiple discounts are applied. This company is likely to be best for customers with a good driving record and good credit.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.