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Great American Insurance Review & Complaints: Commercial, Agricultural & Personal Insurance

Great American Insurance Group serves niche markets with property and casualty coverage. Great American Insurance also covers specialty businesses while also offering retirement products to individuals.

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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 14, 2020

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With over 100 years in the insurance industry, Great American takes its place among the older companies in the nation. Along with the backing of a Fortune 500 parent company, Great American also has a strong financial base. Serving niche markets with property & casualty coverage, Great American covers specialty businesses while also offering retirement products to individuals.

Great American Summary

Great American Insurance Company was founded in 1872 in New York City as the German American Insurance Company. However, the name was changed in 1918 due to the First World War and altering American attitudes. In 1959 Great American Life Insurance was launched, and in the 1960s the company was purchased by National General Corporation and moved its headquarters to Los Angeles.

In the 1970s, National General was merged with American Financial, which became the official parent company of Great American Insurance Group in 2007, and remains so to this day. Also during the 1970s, the company headquarters was moved again to Cincinnati. Although the company offered a variety of personal lines coverage throughout its history, the final purchase by American Financial whittled the focus down to retirement products and niche commercial insurance.

Great American Insurance products are sold through agents across the country and may be underwritten by a variety of subsidiary companies in the group.

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Insurance Products

Great American Insurance is primarily a commercial insurance company, writing business insurance policies for niche companies as well as a wide variety of products for farms. They also write annuities for retirement planning.

Commercial Insurance

Aimed at commercial risks that might not find coverage elsewhere, or need more specific coverage, Great American’s property & casualty commercial products provide insurance for niche businesses. They also write some standard products.

Commercial insurance products are written through a variety of subsidiary companies of the Great American Insurance Group, and the type of product availability varies by company and area.

Among the commercial products the company writes:

  • Aviation
  • Captive Insurance Models
  • Commercial Auto for a number of different types of vehicles
  • Construction
  • Environmental
  • Equine Mortality
  • Excess and Surplus
  • Fidelity and Crime
  • General Liability
  • Human and Social Services
  • Inland Marine
  • Lease and Loan Service
  • Ocean Marine
  • Package Policies
  • Surety Bonds
  • Trade Credit and Political Risk
  • Trucking
  • Worker’s Compensation

Agricultural Business Insurance

Great American writes a wide variety of Agribusiness and farming insurance products.

Agribusiness package policies are available to cover a number of different types of operations, including ranches, dairy farms, equine farms, and many other types of farms. These policies cover basics of liability and property insurance, as well as items specific to the type of farming operation.

Great American also writes crop insurance, offering multi-peril policies, crop-hail insurance, and named peril crop insurance as well.

Personal Insurance Products

As the only remaining personal products available from Great American since the refocus on commercial, annuities are available to help with financial planning for retirement.

Great American writes three main types of annuities:

  • Fixed
  • Fixed-Indexed
  • Variable

These products are written mainly through Great American Life Insurance Company and Annuity Investors Life Insurance Company, both subsidiaries. There are also some smaller subsidiaries offering products.

Great American Rates

As a result of the unique markets and the variability in the needs and requirements of individuals or companies seeking these products, it’s very difficult to make any sort of price comparison. As a niche company, they may not have as many competitors and price shopping is not likely to be as big a consideration for consumers.

Great American doesn’t write either of the products we usually use for price comparisons – neither auto nor life, and as a result, we are unable to rank them in terms of price against our usual measures.

Claims

There is no information provided on the Great American website in terms of how claims are filed or what the process is. This is likely due to the specialty nature of their business, which would involve complex claims likely handled through agents or directly with the company through a policyholder services line.

There is a contact page on the website dedicated to providing a claims contact for each division offered by Great American. This is a nice asset to the website.

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Great American Insurance Group Rating

Although Great American Insurance is not Better Business Bureau accredited, it does have an A+ rating according to the BBB’s multi-factor rating system. There have been just ten complaints against Great American in the past three years.

This is a small number of complaints for a large company, but it’s not surprising given the nature of the business Great American writes. Mainly a commercial insurer, Great American’s customers are less likely to use a forum like the BBB to deal with a problem than are individuals purchasing personal insurance. There are no major red flags in the complaints.

Financial Strength

Rating Company Grade Financial Outlook
AM Best A+ Stable
Fitch N/A N/A
S&P A+ N/A

Bottom Line

Great American offers mainly commercial insurance and may be a good option for those running small or specific businesses that need a particular kind of coverage. They also specialize in farm insurance, covering a lot of different areas of farming and ranching. Those seeking general business insurance can obtain it here but may be better off going with a larger, more generalized insurer.

Great American also offers annuities through their life insurance company, but that is the limit of their individual products, which may lead some people to choose a more diverse company with more of a focus on individuals rather than businesses.

There is not a lot in the way of reviews that is of major concern, and of the few complaints out there, some are several years old. Although it’s difficult to say with a mainly commercial-focused company how many issues may have been resolved without the use of Internet forums to review. Overall, there is nothing serious against the company, and they may be the right choice for those with very specific needs.

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.

6 Comments

  1. Beware truck drivers and consumers that use CARGO INSURANCE!

    Great American Insurance Group is the worst commercial insurance your money can buy.

    Take your business and hard-worked money somewhere else.

    My truck was damaged during transport and I filed a cargo claim with them almost 2 month ago.

    Until this day they are doing investigation and wining about paperwork when I already provided a copy of the title for the truck in my name.

    They asked for a mountain of documents, but failed to present a plan to either repair or replace my truck.

    It’s been 2 very long and frustrating months that my 2017 F250 was damaged.

    I call and email the people working on this claim (and their supervisors) every day.

    They don’t pick up the phone and don’t call back.

    Sometimes I get an email from them but all they say is that they are still investigating.

    I have no clue what’s going on.

    Terrible handling of claims and customer service.

    Reply
  2. January 2018.
    My home was severely damaged by Hurricane Irma in September! This company cheated me out of some of my money that I needed desperately to repair my home! Now I have to do laundry in the rain and cold! My home needs a new roof! Did I mention that I am a widow and 81 years old! When I asked why they were keeping this money, her reply was if I could prove that I had this much damage, then they would give me this money! Duh, their insurance adjuster was here and thoroughly examined my home, even got on the roof! What more do I need to prove? Terrible! I hope they sleep well because I lay awake at night trying to figure how to put my home back together! Hope I can find a way soon as my age tells me I need to get this done!

    Reply
  3. I only give this so called insurance company 1/2 star. I have been dealing with them for months and they keep delaying, sending more forms to complete. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS INSURANCE COMPANY TO ANY BODY.

    Reply
  4. Great American does sell equine insurance, and if all you want covered is colic they may or may not be fine, but the coverage is only for surgery done under general anesthesia. Since MANY equine surgeries are done under local anesthesia, they are not covered. Of course you only find this out if you read their “definition” of surgery at the very end of the endorsement and who would think you need to read the definition of a surgery – my vet called is surgery and he went to school to learn what a surgery is
    In my case a almost $5,000.00 surgery where my horses scull was drilled in two places was not covered. The vet said it had to be done under a local because if she was on her side her lungs would have filled with blood and puss and she would likely have died. But according the Great American, drilling two big holes a horse’s head is not surgery. I will go elsewhere next year.

    Reply
  5. BEWARE OF the (NOT SO) Great American Insurance Group. I rented a storage unit in Rocky Mount, NC and was required to purchase insurance which happened to be with this company. Less than 2 weeks later Hurricane Matthew came thru and my storage unit flooded. I was told I would hear from the adjuster within 24 hours. I did receive a phone call saying that they would get back to me the following day with instructions for my claim. Well, about 10 days later I finally received a call saying that I was not covered. The storage unit CLEARLY has a sign saying that the Insurance Does Cover Hurricanes. Not happy and my Attorney will be contacting this firm.

    Reply
    • I would love to hear what happened with this suit. I too am I victim of the exact same scenario in South Carolina. My unit was flooded from Hurricane Matthew and they have denied me coverage.

      Reply

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