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Donegal Insurance Group Review & Complaints: Home, Auto, Boat, Umbrella & Business Insurance

Donegal Insurance Group offers commercial and personal insurance in 20 states. Products offered by Donegal Insurance Group include home, auto, farm, commercial, and boat owners insurance as well as a personal umbrella policy.

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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: Sep 18, 2020

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With a long history and a solid product lineup, Donegal Insurance Group offers an alternative to big-name insurance companies. They offer personal and commercial insurance in an ever-expanding list of locations.

About Donegal Insurance

Donegal was started by a group of farmers in Marietta, Pennsylvania, as a mutual company designed to provide protection for homes and farms. It was originally known as Donegal and Conoy Mutual Fire Insurance Company and began operations in 1889.

In 1949 the company shortened its name to Donegal Mutual Insurance Company and began expanding their lineup beyond fire insurance with the addition of auto insurance. The 1970s and the following decades saw the company acquiring other companies and expanding into other states. Operating in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia in addition to their home state, Donegal formed a holding company in 1986, Donegal Group Inc., and went public.

Donegal today serves 20 states through a group of companies and independent agents operating in those states. In addition to their Marietta headquarters, they have branch offices in seven other states. The group’s companies include:

  • Donegal Mutual Insurance Company
  • Atlantic States Insurance Company
  • Southern Insurance Company of Virginia
  • Le Mars Insurance Company
  • Peninsula Insurance Company
  • Peninsula Indemnity Company
  • Sheboygan Falls Insurance Company
  • Southern Mutual Insurance Company
  • Michigan Insurance Company
  • Mountain States Commercial Insurance Company
  • Mountain States Indemnity Company

Donegal writes both personal lines and business insurance policies, with options varying by state. One of Donegal’s subsidiaries, Conestoga Insurance, writes title insurance.

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Donegal Products

Donegal’s products differ by state, where they may be underwritten by any of the companies in the group. They write a basic line of personal insurance products along with business and farm insurance packages. Information on the products found on the company website is limited to general overviews.

Home Insurance

Donegal’s home insurance policy is a standard package, covering the dwelling, your personal property, liability, and loss of use. Coverage options can be added on to customize the policy. These include extended replacement cost coverage for the home, replacement cost coverage on your personal property, identity theft coverage, and riders for high-value items.

A Dwelling Fire product is also available from Donegal. This policy is designed for rental homes as well as for owner-occupied homes that do not qualify for a homeowner’s policy; this is usually due to factors such as age, condition, or seasonal occupancy.

Auto Insurance

Donegal’s auto program appears to be as basic and straightforward as the home program. Coverage includes all of the basics of required state minimums and common options – comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, roadside assistance, and rental car coverage.

Donegal does offer first accident forgiveness, a fairly common extra found at many large auto insurance companies. They also promise a high threshold for chargeable accidents – which means only accidents with a cost over that threshold will result in a rate increase.

A number of common discounts are available, including good student, good driver, and discounts for insuring more than one car or bundling your auto and home insurance with the company.

As with the home insurance, coverage varies by state.

Boat Owners insurance

Donegal writes coverage for a variety of boat types, with protection for the boat itself as well as contents and the trailer. It also offers liability and options like emergency towing and replacement cost coverage for the boat.

A credit is offered on boat policies when Donegal also insures the home.

Personal Umbrella

The site does not list what the coverage limits are, but Donegal offers a personal umbrella policy that provides additional liability coverage above and beyond the limits of the underlying policies. It can cover you for additional liability on your home, auto, and boat policies.

Commercial Insurance

Donegal’s commercial insurance products are comprehensive and offer both packages and a la carte options to create a policy that meets the needs of any business.

The Business Owner’s Package (BOP) is available as a standard package or as a BOP Select plan, which is designed for businesses with more specialized coverage needs. This package policy includes all of the basic coverage any business needs along with customized options.

Donegal also has a commercial package policy, a flexible and customizable package that is offered to businesses that do not fit into the BOP categories.

Among the various coverage options are:

  • Contractor’s Insurance
  • Commercial Auto
  • Commercial Umbrella
  • Garage Insurance
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Liquor Liability
  • Contractor’s Errors and Omissions
  • Loss Control Services
  • Group Programs

Farm Insurance

Farm insurance is Donegal’s original product, and they continue to write package policies for a variety of different farming operations.

Coverage includes the home and any farm structures, farm equipment, livestock and crops, and liability. A specialty policy is available for dairy farmers as well. Donegal even has an umbrella policy specifically for farms.

Rates

Donegal does not offer any online quoting, which is expected given the fact that they are a group of companies with varied rates and coverage options and that policies are sold through independent agents.

The website offers an agent locator that uses a zip code search to point visitors in the direction of a local agent who can provide them with quotes.

Claims

Claim reporting appears to be centralized for Donegal Group companies. There are two main options for reporting a claim: a 24/7 toll-free claims line, and an online form that can be used only when logged in as a customer.

There is also a separate claims phone number for auto glass claims, which uses the company’s EZ Glass claims service. Glass claims can also be reported online through a separate online system.

An inquiry form is provided on the website to submit questions about an existing claim; there is no need to be logged into the system in order to use it. There is also a variety of local phone numbers in addition to the toll-free line that can be used for questions about a claim.

Donegal’s website does not provide more than contact information for claims. There is no information regarding the process and what to expect throughout that process. It is, however easy to locate claims contact information, and it appears that once logged in an existing customer can view more claims information than is offered to the general public.

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Ratings and Consumer Reviews

Donegal Insurance Group has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with only one complaint on file in the past three years. The one customer review is a glowing five-star recommendation.

Donegal Mutual Insurance Company, the main subsidiary of the holding company, has an A- rating with the BBB, which is due to failure to respond to one of the seven complaints filed against the business.

There are six reviews on Yelp for Donegal Group, with an overall three-star rating, which indicates a mix of positive and negative. There are a couple of highly positive reviews citing an excellent claims process, and several reviews with an opposing view.

Since Donegal is a group of companies, the ratings and reputations of each of the underlying companies may vary from what is seen with the holding company or Donegal Mutual itself, but in general, there appears to be a very low complaint volume.

The Bottom Line

Donegal appears to have a good reputation and a solid, if basic, list of products. For those that are seeking an alternative to the huge insurance companies and prefer to work with a local agent, they and their group of companies may be worth a closer look. Without rates, we are unable to speak to the value offered by Donegal, but as with all companies, it is the total package that each customer should look at when making an insurance purchase.

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

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Review Information

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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. Just recently had a claim in which I feel like I was not at fault –

    The other party had a “store-bought” dash cam and I obtained the video from the police dept

    Donegal rep (in Athens) accepted the other parties claim even though I told him I was in the process of obtaining the video from the city.

    The claim was accepted before reviewing my video from the city.

    The investigating officer reviewed the other parties video at the scene and could not make a determination of fault.

    You can clearly tell in the dash video from the other driver there is a pause, indicating footage was taken out.

    Being in claims for 36 years, I was disappointed the representative handling my claim, did not request a recorded statement from me.

    This was a disputed claim.

    As all representatives should know, if you deny a claim or pay and need to send to inter-company arbitration, you always need statements.

    Very disappointed with the handling of this claim or lack thereof.

    The adjuster did not call me to discuss liability, as I requested.

    The adjuster did not request the other parties video until I urged him to (which ended up against me)

    The liability decision was made without my video from the City.

    I still dispute liability.

    I know the insurance company has the ultimate decision but I’m the paying customer and I feel I did not get quality service.

    My daughter was in a 5 car collision last fall – Donegal rep (in Duluth) never called her.

    My daughter was the insured.

    I took a day off and called all 5 carriers and the attorney’s office who represented the party she was propelled into.

    When I called the Donegal rep, she thanked me for doing her job!!

    My daughter finally got paid for the accident 8 mos after the accident.

    Reply
  2. This insurance company’s parent company SOUTHERN INSURANCE CO OF VIRGINIA, we own a business and had workers comp/liability commercial coverage.

    We went through an audit, which wasn’t conducted properly, as my husband’s salary was counted in WC costs., leaving us with a one-time increase payment of $10,350.

    We were already paying a monthly premium of $467.00 on most of the wages included.

    After submitting this information to SOUTHERN INSURANCE CO OF VIRGINIA, they turned around and sued us for the amount.

    They were able to obtain a judgment and issued garnishment resulting in CLOSING OUR BANK ACCOUNT TO FURTHER DEPOSITS.

    We have been in business for 40+ years, never filed a workers comp claim.

    THIS APPEARS TO BE A COMPANY WITH NO INTEGRITY AND CLEARLY NO REGARD TO CUSTOMER SERVICE.

    The company we made payments to was DONEGAL INSURANCE, ALTHOUGH THE COMPANY SUING US WAS SOUTHERN INSURANCE CO OF VIRGINIA

    Reply
  3. I had a tree fall on my house and garage, this insurance company would not fix my garage.

    They sent Jarvis restoration who the person who they sent is not state license, sent a tree removal company that had no idea what they were doing they were supposed to make take care of the hole in my garage and make sure no water could get in and they did not do a good job.

    They sent out Jarvis cause my agent’s right hand is a Jarvis employee again NOT state license lied about my damage to my porch and my garage.

    My garage is leaning and anyone can notice it she lied about that, told them I wanted an engineer to see if my garage is stable he lied on his report.

    Called the state of Michigan and filed a complaint for fraud, my contractor read his report and told me if he fixed the garage according to this report I would have nowhere to put my roof.

    They did not want to fix my garage correctly just wanted to put a bandaid.

    Fraudulently sent me a check to help me repairs and forced me to take the Jarvis estimate would not look at mine, and will not talk with my contractors.

    Told me I was responsible to seal up my porch which was leaking water from the gutters were tore off because of the tree, had water inside my porch dripping all over, my porch is cedar and I have wood damage due to this and will not fix it at all.

    They will not replace anything that I had on my porch said it was not documented (what does that mean).

    Canceled my claim cause I did not send in a sworn statement (whatever that is) which I NEVER got.

    Now they just canceled my car insurance due to sworn statement which I was waiting on a duplicate title.

    Mind you they have had my car insurance and my homeowners for at least 15 years.

    Do not get this insurance and I am looking at filing a complaint with the State of Michigan and anyone else that has issues should call the attorney general and file a complaint with them.

    Next thing on my agenda. This company does nothing but commit fraud and we need to stop them thru the state of Michigan.

    I have an independent insurance adjuster looking into my claim and he said this claim is not right, an he was an insurance adjuster.

    Do not get insurance with this company they are very dishonest.

    Reply
  4. I’ve been with Donegal almost 10 years and have had 3 claims over these 10 years while with them. Each claim Donegal paid after the deductible was met, and later they would go after the at-fault insurance company and reimburse me my deductible once they collected so I didn’t have to wait on the other company to drag it out like they often do. I was recently in my fourth incident where an uninsured motorist rear-ended me and caused over $4,000 in damages. It took the adjuster over a week to come to appraise the damage so I could figure out what they were going to do. They were fast to put me in a rental which was great, but due to the adjuster dragging and having to wait on him, I didn’t get my vehicle into the shop for well over a week past when my rental started (and my rental is only good for 30 days). In the past, I’ve been at the body shop and them working on the issue within 48 hours and went smoothly, but this time I have not been pleased with the service I’ve received. Due to this dragging on their part, the only reputable local body shop had 8 other cars ahead of mine that came in a day or two ahead of me and now it will be a miracle if I have my vehicle back in 30 days. Donegal should have exceptions to their rental rules when the timing delays in the beginning were on their contractors and not me. I have excellent credit and Donegal rewards good credit customers with cheaper premiums which is nice and the only reason I have stayed with them, but that may change at next years renewal and I may be shopping for someone else. The lady “S” I speak to at the Georgia office call center can get ill quickly and borderline rude, but I understand she likely deals with some tough conversations throughout the day. I try to be polite and work with her when she requests something, but they are inefficient sometimes and want to pull my hair out when talking to her sometimes. Luckily I have a much friendlier local agent who calms me down. Donegal requires you to make any policy change with your local agent for things that are simple that they could easily do on the phone. It would be great if they would modernize more and make it easier for customers and streamline and speed up the process, but I understand how things can get in this dog eat dog world.

    Reply
  5. This is by far RUDEST people ever. Their at-fault insured rear ended me at a red light, car totaled, hospital, x rays, chiropractor, more x rays, MRI, neck and back pain management, many injections, 8 surgeries with 3 to go. I can’t even walk, They think I’m an idiot. They lied and said well you didn’t go to the ER, have no pain or injuries and we offer 2,000. Hahah I wish I would, they are smart. A..es and they will get you if you let them. Well be like me and don’t let them! My case is still pending but believe me, THEy will PAY ME whats owed and then some.

    Reply
  6. Donegal Insurance is one of these insurance companies that you hear about on TV news. They rip customers off and do not pay a fair evaluation of your loss. A thief stole my trailer and the attachments inside, the value of trailer and attachments were about $5369.00. Donegal adjuster [Redacted] offered me $1675.00 for my loss. So I lose another 3694.00. I don’t know who is worse the thieving Donegal Insurance or the thieves who stole my trailer.
    I would not recommend anyone buy insurance from Donegal Insurance Company. Run if their name is mentioned

    Reply
  7. My husband and I both have impeccable credit ratings, have never submitted a fraudulent claim or been accused of doing so with any company. This is without a doubt the rudest company we have ever dealt with. To make a long story short, we submitted a claim due to my husband hitting a racoon which broke the center of the bumper cover on my car. The estimate was barely over $1000. Because I had three cosmetic scrapes on the cover due to me grazing a curb at a drive up window on the driver’s side of the cover, our claim was denied and rudely at that. We were told there was no DNA evidence of the coon. This car had been run through a car wash by myself the next day (as it is a brand new car) and also by the dealership. This after the claim was reported and we never did hear from the adjuster who was to contact us in a day or two to come look at the car. We had to contact the insurance agency again to find out why no one was contacting us. Still, no response. Finally we were told after we had to contact the agency for the third time that it was not to be covered. No one can believe the audacity of this company or their claims representative. Everyone’s first reaction is that if they treat us like this over a $1075.00 claim, how would they be if we ever had a major incident? They’ve lost us for both our auto and home insurance. I am just thankful I didn’t switch my business insurance to this company.

    Reply
  8. am insured with this company more then 5 years with (2)auto and home. Never claimed anything. Paid premium on time , even every renewal 70 to 100 dollars increase. 3 months ago my wife was hit by someone. Donegal was not at help at all. I did file claim to other insurance company and they denied claim as there was no eye witness for accident ( 7:30 am working day). So finally i open claim at my own (donegal). [Redacted] talked to me first time like I am a beggar and very rude behavior on phone. she told me at one point ” Do you want to fix your car or not?” No email communication. No phone calls. No replies. Finally, i fixed my car with the deductible. Now they want to make a short cut to pay for my rental. I contacted my agent ( [Redacted], [Redacted] agency, McDonough, GA). No help at all.

    Even when I went to repair my car to several body shops, they said we never heard about this company.

    I know insurance companies are very shady business but this company and all agents as well as claim agents are very unprofessional.

    All I can say i waste my 5 years to build a relationship with wrong people.

    Reply
  9. My Son is insured with Donegal as am I. The other day my son received a notice from his auto loan company that his insurance was cancelled back in May. He was paid up for the year, they claimed they increased his premium because he lost his discount moving out to another area and they claim they sent him a bill for this small increase. Fact is he never received additional bills, notices of cancellation or refund He was paid in full and they are sitting on some 700 dollars of his! He called and got the run around telling him to call his broker. Well we called the broker who in turn called Donegal. They claim they mailed all these things to him back in May, but apparently someone at the company made a typo with his Zip code! None of this made sense, as the mail should have been returned to sender when they couldn’t deliver to that address in that Zip code. They also claimed they notified the Broker (but he states he received NOTHING) so now Donegal is claiming they mailed him two letters and a refund check (None received or cashed) they claim they mailed the broker a cancellation (none received by Broker according to him) he has no insurance didn’t know it and may receive a fine from Penndot for driving without insurance even though he didn’t know it! Worst company I ever dealt with!

    Reply
  10. We have had nothing but problems with this insurance company. We made a payment, they took another payment from our account without our permission and then billed us again for it. After many hours of back and forth arguments, calling our bank to provide proof that they STOLE our money, they finally paid it back then billed us for the amount again saying we owed it. Today we finally thought it was all straightened out and then our mail comes and we received a bill in the mail AGAIN only this time, telling us they are going to suspend our insurance if we don’t pay it. How can they get away with taking our payment, STEALING our money, and then billing us again. They are NOT a company I would EVER recommend, unless you enjoy being ripped off and STOLEN from.

    Reply
  11. I was hit by a person insured by this company 6 weeks ago. I was told after filing the claim that I would be contacted. I have heard nothing. I’ve reached out to [Redacted], my adjuster, and have had no response. I’ve called my insurance for assistance in contacting her, emailed her, called her numerous times leaving voicemails each time. I can understand if they are waiting for information, but I have had no notification of that. Just 5 minutes of your time to know that the claim is pending. That you aren’t waiting for anything from me.

    I have never been in an accident and this has been a horrible experience. Having insurance is the law. But apparently the insurance can create policies preventing the law abiding citizen from receiving results. The “insured” can continue to ignore the insurance company and my car will never be fixed.

    I’m just fortunate that I have a working car. A car that I am so proud of. I’m a single mother of 2 who has gone through old used car after old used car. Experiencing all sorts of car trouble. I finally reach a point in my life where I can afford to finance a beautiful Toyota Prius, giving me peace of mind. I pay my insurance every month. Then 6 months later, I get hit by a girl with Donegal insurance and have a huge dent. I’m scared to use the back passenger side door or window, worried they will get stuck or worse. Imagine if my car was totaled! I’d be struggling to get to work while waiting for a claim that will never happen. How is this fair?

    Reply
  12. I would not recommend this company!!!! They under insured me and then expected me to pay my premium after I had a compound open fracture and was out of work for four months. After I could not afford to pay my bill they dropped me. To tell you the truth it was the best thing because I found better coverage at a better rate!! So if your thinking about buying their insurance I would think again and look around!!!!!

    Reply
    • you don’t mention if the injury you sustained was due to a covered auto accident.

      Reply
    • How would you not know what coverage you paid for? You should always compare coverage and pricing before choosing a company to insure you and you should know what coverage you want so that you know you are not under insured.

      Reply

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