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 place to get it.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Dec 21, 2020

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Central Mutual Insurance

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In business for more than 140 years, Central Mutual is a homegrown insurance company with roots in small-town Ohio. They write both personal and commercial insurance policies in more than 20 states.

What is Central Mutual?

Central traces its roots back to the Van Wert Country Mutual Fire Insurance Company, which was founded in its namesake town in 1876. As the company expanded beyond its home county, a name change to Central Manufacturers’ Mutual took place. Shortly after an expansion that opened the first branch office in Boston, the company simplified the name to Central Mutual Insurance.

The 1950s saw further expansion, with branch offices opened in Dallas and Atlanta, and in 1961 a companion stock company, All American Insurance Company was created. The two companies operate as Central Insurance Companies, and they serve 23 states through local independent agents.

Central Mutual writes auto insurance and homeowners on the personal side as well as business insurance policies. States covered are: Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Utah, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

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What Central Mutual Products Are Offered?

Central Mutual offers three basic product lines. Policy availability and coverage vary from state to state.

Home Insurance

Home, condo, rental, and tenant insurance policies are all available under Central Mutual’s homeowners insurance line.

Their Homeowners policy is available as a base level policy or with one of several enhanced policies. The standard policy covers replacement cost for the home, personal property, liability, and other basics, with the option to add on endorsements.

The Summit policy is an enhanced package that adds on additional coverage, such as higher limits for unscheduled personal property and guaranteed replacement cost coverage on the dwelling. Other added benefits include:

  • Stolen key coverage
  • Credit card and forgery protection
  • Food spoilage
  • Increased debris removal coverage
  • Data recovery
  • Water backup coverage

The Signature policy is the highest level of homeowner’s coverage, and it includes even more added benefits. In addition to guaranteed replacement cost for the home, it also includes replacement cost on personal property. Other benefits include:

  • Replacement cost loss settlement paid even before repairs are complete
  • Cash out settlement option
  • Waiver of deductible for claims over $50,000
  • First claim forgiveness
  • Extended living expenses
  • Tree removal and replacement
  • Utility line protection
  • Water backup
  • Fraud protection
  • Loss prevention device installation coverage

Most of the included items on the package policies can also be added a la carte to the base level policy for customization. A Plus Ten endorsement is offered that adds ten of the most popular endorsements to the policy in one.

In addition to traditional homeowners, Central Mutual also writes policies for condos and for rental units. Renters insurance coverage for personal property and liability is also available.

Auto Insurance

Like the home insurance products, auto insurance is also offered at several levels.

The base policy covers all of the basics, including liability with the option to add full coverage.

The Summit policy offers more comprehensive coverage, with added benefits like

  • Loan/lease gap coverage
  • Lockout coverage
  • Increased medical payments limits
  • Transporation expenses
  • Airbag replacement
  • Personal effects
  • Towing coverage
  • Waiver of deductible on specific types of loss
  • Death benefit
  • Pet protection
    Child car seat coverage

The top-level plan is again the Signature. In addition to everything above, this plan also includes OEM parts replacement, worldwide rental car coverage, and short-term replacement cost loss settlement.

Several individual endorsements are available, as well as a package endorsement called Auto Plus that includes several popular optional coverages.

Business Insurance

Central Mutual writes business package policies for a variety of industries, including light industrial, service industry, wholesalers, auto service/repair, builder’s risk, restaurants, retailers, and contractors. Professional offices can also obtain coverage.

The packages can be customized to each company’s needs based on the industry and include:

  • Commercial property
  • General Liability
  • Commercial Auto
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Specialized liability
  • Cybersecurity protection

Does the Company Offer Competitive Rates?

Central Mutual does not have an online quoting option, in keeping with their long history of sales through independent agents.

It is unlikely that they are competitive with the lowest priced of direct sales insurance companies, but they do offer very comprehensive policies with plenty of add-ons, it might be important to focus on value than the premium here.

Can Claims Be Filed Online?

Claims can be filed online by logging into your myCentral account, through the myCentral mobile app, or even through the company’s Facebook page. We found that last one to be a surprising option, not only for a smaller company but for any company – it is the first time we have seen this option offered.

Claims can also either be filed by contacting your agent directly, or by calling a toll-free line. There is no indication as to whether or not the line is available 24/7. The company also has a separate line for auto glass claims.

The online login can also be used to keep tabs on the progress of your claim. In terms of the actual claims process, there is little information.

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Are the Ratings and Consumer Reviews Positive?

Central Insurance Companies has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with only 9 complaints on file in the past three years. Only two complaints were filed in the past 12 months.

We found only 4 reviews on Yelp, for an overall 2.5-star rating. The complaints are split between billing issues and claims, but all four cite slow response time and lack of helpful customer service.

Overall, there are very few reviews of this company out there, and not a large enough complaint volume to raise any major red flags.

The Bottom Line

Central Mutual offers some very good personal insurance policies, with the option for a lot of bells and whistles as well as a more basic, budget plan. Without any rates, we can’t say just how much value is really offered with these policies, but we don’t see anything in the complaint volume that leads us to be worried about the customer service side. If you want the personal service of an agent and seek value over the lowest price, they might be worth a look.

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