UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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About Fred Loya Insurance
Fred Loya Insurance was founded by its namesake, a former cattle rancher, in 1974. The company originally served only Texas from its El Paso headquarters, but quickly expanded to cover nine other states, with plans for further expansion in the coming years. Fred Loya Group products are currently available in California, New Mexico, Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, Indiana, Illinois, Alabama, and Arizona, in addition to Texas.
Fred Loya ranks at number 18 on the Hispanic 500 list of top Hispanic-owned and operated companies in the United States. They sell auto insurance through Fred Loya Group branded agencies across their covered states. Agencies are often located inside retailers, including Walmart and grocery stores such as Cardenas and Lowe’s Foods; the goal of this is to provide easy access and draw in customers. There are more than 700 agencies currently in operation. Marketing is heavily weighted towards the Hispanic market, with the promise of low-cost insurance.
Loya Insurance Group includes subsidiaries Fred Loya Insurance, Loya Insurance Company, Young America Insurance, Rodney D. Young Insurance, and National Insurance.
Fred Loya Auto Insurance
Fred Loya is focused entirely on auto insurance, with no other products available. Their aim is to provide customers with a budget option for auto insurance, which often means offering bare-bones coverage to keep rates low.
The company website states that they insure drivers regardless of credit or driving history; although there is no official statement that they are a non-standard insurer, that does appear to be the case. They also offer standard insurance policies, stating that they can insure with or without a credit report.
The website does not list any information regarding policies or coverage offering, though there are links providing basic information on a state-by-state basis. We would expect a budget company offering insurance to higher risk drivers to likely offer state minimum liability policies as a starting point, with basic optional coverage also available.
The Fred Loya site does indicate that a rate can be requested online, but when we attempted to follow through the link, we were stopped by an insecure page warning. This is not something that inspires confidence in the type of business that uses personal information to determine rates.
In another section of the site, the online quote link simply went to a location finder service. Our general conclusion is that Fred Loya does not offer true online quoting but likely sends basic information to an agent in order to have a quote prepared.
Rate quotes are also available by calling a toll-free number, or by calling a local agency.
Because this company is focused on budget insurance, it is vital to compare the coverage on any quote received to that offered from another company. We frequently find rates to be lower due to the quote offering only bare-bones coverage that may not be sufficient.
Fred Loya has a toll-free claim reporting line, but it is not available 24/7 like most auto insurance companies. The claims center is only available from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays (all Mountain Time).
We were unable to locate another option for reporting claims on the online. While there is a customer login area, as far as we were able to determine it is used for mailing for online payments and other policy information, and not for claims.
For a company of this size, the failure to provide a 24/7 claim reporting option is very surprising.
Fred Loya does have a preferred repair shop network that offers a guarantee on claims work. As with all insurance companies, the insured can select any repair shop they prefer.
Ratings and Customer Reviews
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Fred Loya an F rating and the company is not accredited. Of the 186 complaints on file in the past three years; the company has failed to respond to three of them, and four have not been resolved. It is not common to see an F rating for an auto insurance company with the BBB, however, failure to respond and resolve complaints carries a lot of weight with the BBB and dramatically affects a company’s rating.
We found a further 186 reviews on Consumer Affairs, all of which are negative. Of the 33 ratings left in the past year, all were one star. Most of the reviews have a similar theme; Fred Loya avoids paying claims. Complaints are listed from both customers and those involved in an accident with someone insured by Fred Loya. Further complaints include rude customer service and billing issues.
In 2012, the Texas Department of Insurance fined Fred Loya $300,000 for deceptive business practices. In 2014, a class action lawsuit against Fred Loya in New Mexico resulted in a settlement. Yet another class action was filed on behalf of several Fred Loya employees in California in 2013.
The Bottom Line
Fred Loya promises great customer service, though from our research does not seem to be delivering. There are multiple red flags on this company, including several lawsuits and government actions, repeated complaints of a similar nature, failure to respond to complaints, website security concerns, and a lack of easy access to policy information or claims filing. Those in search of good coverage at a good price may want to check elsewhere and be very sure you read and compare policy options.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.