First American Insurance Review & Complaints: Property, Auto & Umbrella Insurance

First American Insurance specializes in property insurance but has also gone to offer auto coverage and umbrella policies. Its home and auto programs offer plenty of features, coverage levels, and discounts. What type of policy you will end up with is determined by a number of factors. There aren't currently any advertised discounts, but First American prides themselves on being worth the extra cost. 

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Written by D. Gilson, PhD
Professor & Published Author D. Gilson, PhD

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 Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2022

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First American Insurance

Financial Strength

First American Property & Casualty specializes in property insurance, but has gone on to also offer auto and umbrella policies for customers. With a long history, First American has made it’s mark on markets throughout the world.

What is First American Insurance?

From humble beginnings in 1894 as the Orange County Title Company, First American Financial Corporation has grown to become a major provider of title insurance and financial services nationally. It began its rapid growth in 1957 when Donald Parker Kennedy, the grandson of the founder, developed a plan to expand the company.

Since then, First American has opened new offices and acquired existing title and abstract companies. They have also expanded into other financial services including home warranty products, credit reporting, and more. Since 1988, they have also expanded internationally with offices in Canada, Mexico, Korea, and Hong Kong. In addition, First American now has the leading market share for title insurance in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Along with the expansion in other real estate-related financial services, First American acquired Great Pacific as a subsidiary and renamed it First American Property and Casualty Insurance Company in 1999. The newest insurance subsidiary offers auto, home, and umbrella insurance coverage as a natural extension of its first contact with insurance customers.

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What types of insurance products are offered?

First American writes a shorter list of products than many national companies. Allowing them to focus on personal insurance coverage for multiple types of homes. This can provide peace of mind to potential customers, who don’t have to spend hours sifting through various policy options.

Home Insurance

First American writes four different types of home insurance policies, each designed for a particular type of dwelling:

  • Homeowners Insurance – Covers the structure, personal property, liability, and several additional benefits.
  • Condo Owners Insurance – Offering similar coverage to homeowners, but tailored to the specific needs of a condo where an association is responsible for the main structure.
  • Renters Insurance – Covering the personal property of a tenant, as well as providing liability coverage, with no structure coverage.
  • Dwelling Fire Insurance – Covering the structure and liability along with specific coverage for non-owner-occupied homes, such as loss of rent.

First American home insurance offers a base policy with three levels of enhancement in terms of optional coverage:

  • Enhancement Plus – With 125% replacement cost on the home, 20% more personal property coverage with replacement cost coverage, and identity theft along with a few other features
  • Eagle Premier – Which goes up to 150% replacement cost for the home in addition to the features of the Enhancement Plus package, along with building code coverage as well
  • Eagle Platinum – The highest level of coverage with guaranteed replacement cost, business property coverage, and extra coverage for high-value items

Auto Insurance

First American offers a solid auto insurance program with a hefty multi-policy discount for bundling auto and homeowners insurance policy.

Coverage includes all of the expected basics as well as built-in new car replacement. There are also plenty of discounts available in addition to the multi-policy, most of which are common discounts such as multi-car, loyalty, safety features, accident-free, and more.

Do they have additional products?

First American also offers personal umbrella coverage for extended liability and flood insurance policy products. However, as mentioned above, they have a curated list of services offered, so that it’s not stressful for customers. The insurance business is vast, so by having a smaller, more efficient amount of policy options, First American can focus on the quality they advertise.

Are the company’s rates competitive?

First America does offer online quoting to compare rates. As an agent-drive company, they are likely to be a little on the higher side when compared to larger direct-buy companies such as GEICO.

As previously discussed, First American does offer some substantial discounts for auto/home bundling. Such a discount is likely to have quite an impact on premiums and as a result, make the company more competitive.

First American does not advertise budget insurance solutions, but rather presents itself as a company offering great products and good service for a little extra in terms of monthly cost. However, it is interesting to note that many reviews of the company do mention low rates, which suggests that prices may be more competitive than one would expect from an agent-driven company.

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Is the claims process simple?

First American claims can be filed online or over the phone through their toll-free customer service line: 1-888-922-5344.

Claims are then passed from the customer service representative to an adjuster. The adjuster will then review the facts of the incident, determine fault, review coverage, and provide a settlement.

First American does not appear to work with a specific repair network, therefore, customers are free to select any licensed repair shop for auto claims. The assigned claims adjuster will work with the repair shop and pay directly when the claim is settled.

Are there consumer complaints against the company?

First American is not BBB accredited and carries a very surprising F rating. There are only a few complaints registered against the business – 14 in the past three years, one of which was closed in the past 12 months. That is a very low number for a company of this size, however, the BBB notes that the company failed to respond to two of those complaints and one was not resolved. The BBB can be fairly quick to drop ratings for companies that fail to respond to complaints.

With a company like First American, it is sometimes hard to distinguish the reviews for the property & casualty insurance company from the title insurance company. Sorting through the reviews on various sites such as Yelp, there are several customer complaints about denied claims and poor customer service. However, the overall number of complaints is really quite low for a company this size, and nothing that raises any big red flags.

What’s the company’s financial strength rating?

Rating Company Grade Financial Outlook
AM Best A Stable
Fitch A- N/A

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What’s the bottom line?

First American Property & Casualty is worth a look for anyone who is planning to insure both home and car, and who wants the personalized attention of an agent. Their product lineup is basic, but their home and auto programs appear solid and offer plenty of features, coverage levels, and discounts.

It is difficult, however, to fully recommend a company with a low BBB rating and complaints that have not received a response. Fixing that rating would be a big step towards First American earning a reputation as solid as their products appear to be. It would be in a potential customer’s best interest to compare insurance carriers before settling on a decision.

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