Elephant Insurance Review & Complaints: Car Insurance

Elephant insurance rates average at $67 per month for minimum liability coverage. Elephant Insurance claims are hit or miss as the company has been reviewed poorly in the past on the internet, but the Elephant Insurance reviews from the BBB are quite positive. Read this review to see how Elephant Insurance quotes compare against other insurance companies in your area.

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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 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: Apr 29, 2021

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Elephant Auto Insurance

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With just over a decade in business, Elephant Insurance is a relative newcomer to the auto insurance industry. They write auto insurance in six states and offer other personal insurance through a partnership with a variety of companies. Keep reading our review to learn everything you’ll need to know about the company.

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What is Elephant insurance?

Operating in the U.S. since 2009, Elephant chose its name to represent the strength, stability, and protectiveness of an elephant towards its herd. The company promises that all of their consumers are treated as a “part of the herd”, with responsive and helpful customer service.

Who is the insurer owned by? Elephant insurance is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the parent company Admiral Group Plc, a Wales-based insurance company with a strong financial presence in the United Kingdom and one of the U.K.’s leading auto insurance providers.

Elephant Insurance Company began as a U.K. car insurance company in Wales in 2000 – the first entirely online company in the nation – eventually expanding into Canada and then the U.S.

Elephant underwrites only car insurance, but the company offers bundling discounts on policies through partners. Elephant insurance’s partners are Homesite for homeowners insurance and renters insurance as well as for life insurance, and Dairyland for motorcycle insurance.  Non-automobile insurance products are offered by Elephant Insurance Services, LLC and underwritten by Elephant preferred providers.

All Elephant auto insurance policies are sold online as well as over the phone through licensed agents. Elephant’s U.S. headquarters is in Henrico, Virginia, and they sell policies in that state as well as in Maryland, Illinois, Texas, Indiana, and Tennessee.

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What Types of Insurance Products are Offered?

Since auto insurance is the only product directly underwritten by Elephant, our focus will be on that product for the purpose of this review. Check out our reviews of the partner companies for information on their products and services.

Elephant offers all of the basics of an auto policy with coverage options to meet both state legal requirements and lender requirements as well. They also have all of the usual add-on auto insurance policy options including rental reimbursement and roadside assistance.

Elephant offers a few innovative, high-value features that other competitors don’t.

  • Direct to consumer – Elephant has no independent insurance agents; you are buying insurance online
  • Windshield replacement – under the right circumstances, Elephant will repair your windshield for free
  • Diminishing deductible – For each accident-free year, Elephant will reduce your deductible by $100

Moreover, Elephant partners with Urgent.ly to provide roadside assistance to their policyholders. This newcomer promises a modern approach to roadside assistance, servicing drivers with a system similar to Uber. It uses a mobile app to help track your location and dispatch assistance quickly. The service is included in all policies with roadside assistance added on.

Also available on Elephant auto policies are a few of the more popular trends in recent years, usually only seen with larger insurance companies. These include a deductible that diminishes over time (available at an additional insurance premium) and eventually is a $0. Accident forgiveness is added to all qualifying consumers after they have been insured with Elephant for several years; other companies sell this as an endorsement at an additional charge. While both of these come as a bit gimmicky, they do have appeal to many drivers.

One of the most unusual perks offered to its drivers is access to legal advice through the company’s Legal Assistance program. This program requires an additional premium.

Moreover, you can find uninsured motorist bodily injury, underinsured motorist bodily injury, and uninsured motorist property damage coverage from Elephant Insurance. MedPay can cover medical payments/bills and personal injury protection for you and your passengers.

Elephant Insurance Company has a solid list of discounts for auto insurance coverage, including a policy bundling discount of up to 9% if you purchase a policy through one of their partners. Some of these auto insurance discounts are pretty hefty – multi-car discounts can be up to 39% in some locations and up to 27% in all states. They also have a 15% policy discount for quoting online, which is much higher than similar discounts elsewhere. Other common discounts include good student and safety features.

Does the Company Offer Competitive Rates?

The insurer does not offer coverage in our usual sample area, therefore we are unable to offer a comparison of their annual premiums. We did use their online quoting system to run through a quick sample quote, however. We used the company’s headquarters zip code in Virginia to quote a 30-year-old single male driving a 2010 Honda Accord with a clean record.

The quoting process is straightforward and does not require much in the way of personal information. We returned a rate of $67 a month, or $348 for liability-only coverage (bodily injury and property damage liability coverage). The system gave us limits of 100/300/25.

Adding on comprehensive coverage and collision coverage with $500 deductibles increased that quote to $97 a month, or $515 every six months. We were also able to see the charge for legal assistance as well as for the diminishing deductible – each of these will add an additional $60 to the insurance policy.

Additionally, Elephant Insurance requires you to have comprehensive and collision and that your loan is held by a bank to qualify for gap protection.

Again, we cannot compare this quote to our usual sample, so it is hard to say how this company stacks up for value, though it seems to be about average.

Can Claims be Filed Online?

Claims for car insurance policies can be filed in several ways.

There is a system for reporting claims online, which is in keeping with Elephant’s online approach to insurance. There is also an email address available for claims for those who do not want to use the online form.

You can also report a claim over the phone through a toll-free number, although the site does not state whether or not this number is available 24/7. A claims fax number and physical mailing address are also listed. The address for claims is below.

PO Box 5205 Glen Allen, VA 23058

Elephant has a Repair Assistance Program that is essentially a preferred repair shop network. The system helps the insured find a reputable repair shop where claims will be handled directly and work is guaranteed. Policyholders are also welcome to choose their own shop.

For example, if your vehicle is damaged, you can send photos of the damage to estimate how much money you can get. Furthermore, if a vehicle isn’t repairable or the cost of repairs surpasses its current value, it may be regarded as a total loss. Elephant will pay you, or your loan or leaseholder, based on the vehicle’s value.

The website offers a pretty good overview of what to expect from the claims process, and the information is easy to locate.

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Are the Ratings and Consumer Reviews Positive?

The company has been Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited since 2015, and they have an A+ rating. There are 183 customer complaints on file in the past three years, all of which are closed. That volume is a little higher than we normally expect for a smaller, regional insurance company.

Yelp has a total of 31 reviews of the company for a 1.5-star review overall. There are some highly positive reviews mixed in with the negative, which mainly cite slow claims service issues. Some of the complaints are from people who were involved in an accident with an Elephant driver. Elephant does appear to have recently begun responding to Elephant customer complaints on Yelp; there is no response to the older complaints.

The rating on Pissed Consumer, a total of 1.5 stars, but here there are many more reviews, a total of 216. Again, a few good reviews are mixed in with the negative, which include many more complaints about claims being denied and slow, unresponsive claims handling.

The overall complaint volume is higher than we like to see for a company this size, and we would like to see more responsiveness on the part of the company outside of the BBB – something to do appear to be working on. While there are no huge red flags, the repeated complaints about claims handling are of some concern. A lot of people mention getting a low price from Elephant, but they seem to feel it was not worth the savings when they had a claim.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Elephant Insurance seems to have some work to do in the claims department to live up to their “part of the herd” promise. They do appear to have good prices and might appeal to budget shoppers, and some people do report a great customer service experience. Overall, Elephant may be a good choice but do be sure and compare different companies and what they offer before committing to one.

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