Central Mutual Insurance Review

Central Mutual Insurance
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Central Mutual Insurance is headquartered in Van Wert, Ohio, where it’s operated since 1876. Together with its sister company, All America Insurance, it forms the Central Insurance Companies. It was originally a fire insurance company, specifically marketing its products to small Midwestern communities that the larger insurers of the time would not sell to. Today, its offerings have expanded, but it celebrates its roots by maintaining a fire museum of antique fire-fighting paraphernalia. If you’re in Van Wert, you can drop by for a visit to see one of the best privately owned collections of antique fire equipment.

Altogether, Central Insurance has around 328,000 active policies in 18 states, making it a relatively small company for its geographic reach. Policies are sold through independent agencies rather than dedicated agents or direct-to-consumer marketing. The company sells homeowners & auto insurance, as well as business policies.

The Central Insurance website is packed with information, including a lengthy resources page offering explanations of insurance topics to consumers. The site also has a Facebook presence where it shares more safety tips, collects consumer ratings and enables visitors to connect with agents. The company’s web presence overall invokes a sense of caring and knowledge, but the design is haphazard and a little overwhelming to navigate thanks to the sheer amount of information packed onto every page.

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Insurance Products

Auto Insurance

In reviewing Central Mutual Insurance we have found they sell coverage for personal automobiles as well as specialized vehicles including boats, recreational vehicles and food trucks. Basic policies include coverage for liability, collision, comprehensive and personal injury protection.

If you want more coverage, Central Insurance sells a “Plus Endorsement” that enhances basic coverage. For example, the Plus Endorsement allows for a deductible waiver for hit-and-run accidents, expanded medical payments limits and towing coverage for non-accident-related breakdowns.

Central Mutual also sells a premium-level insurance plan called the Summit Policy, which has the highest level of protection. Summit policies include full glass coverage, which lets you replace a broken windshield without a deductible, and lease gap coverage for new vehicles. Other perks, like pet injury coverage and personal property replacement coverage, round out the policy.

Home Insurance

Central Mutual sells property insurance for homes and condos. It also offers renter’s insurance for apartment dwellers and others who need protection for their personal belongings when renting from others. A “Home Business Plus” endorsement provides additional protection to people running businesses from their homes.

Like most homeowners plans, Central Mutual policies protect against a set list of common perils, with coverage applying to your home, its contents and related structures on the property like a shed or detached garage.

People looking for more protection can purchase a Summit Homeowners policy, which has extended limits for personal property, more covered perils, and replacement coverage that will allow your home to be rebuilt after a disaster even if it goes beyond the policy’s limit. Not all of these features are available in every state, though, so you’ll want to check before buying the policy.

If you carry both home and auto insurance, you can bundle the two together for a discount. Other discounts are based on your history as a customer, the protective devices installed in your home or vehicle, the age of your home and its location. People living in gated communities can receive reduced insurance costs thanks to the boosted security.

Business Insurance

Aside from the home business endorsement offered through its homeowners insurance, Central Mutual sells several types of business insurance coverage. A number of industries are represented, including service businesses, restaurants, retailers, offices and contractors. Each business will have its own unique needs, so the exact coverages offered will vary between companies and industries, but in general business insurance focuses on liability.

Central Insurance offers loss control services to reduce the liability risk of any given company. It also sells workers’ compensation insurance and first-party coverage to protect commercial autos and properties.

Central Mutual Insurance Rates

There is no way to get a quote online through the company’s website, and Central Insurance doesn’t sell directly to customers so calling their general information line at the regional office won’t help with obtaining a quote. You will need to work through an independent agent.

If you don’t already have an agent who sells Central Insurance policies, you can find one through the “Find an Agent” box on the left-hand side of any page on the Central Insurance website.

Claims

You can file a claim online by logging into the “myCentral” portal on their website. The claims form is available only to people with accounts, though, so a claimant filing against a Central insured would need to call the company instead. The claims number is 888-263-2924. Alternatively, you could contact your agent, who would facilitate the claim on your behalf.

Interestingly, Central Insurance also offers a few high-tech claims reporting alternatives. One is the “myCentral Mobile” app available for Android and iOS. The other is the ability to report a claim right from the company’s Facebook page. To use either of these, you’ll still need to register a myCentral account.

Consumer Research and Complaints

Central Mutual is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau, but it has an “A+” rating on the site and just five complaints listed against it. Other sites have similarly low numbers of reviews, but most are negative, citing issues with poor customer service, long claim handling times and billing difficulties. The company’s Facebook has a review section sporting a 4.2-star rating (out of five) with 55 ratings. Interestingly, none of the five-star ratings include comments from customers. All of the visible reviews with text are 1 or 2-star reports, again bringing up billing issues and poor customer service.

It is worth noting that the customer complaints on the Facebook page are addressed personally and swiftly by the company.

Financial Strength

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

Bottom Line

Central Mutual is a small company with a long history. It offers plenty of flexibility in its products, and its web presence and use of technology suggests that it’s receptive to the needs of its insureds. The negative reports from customers throw up a big warning sign, though. Overall, it’s hard to tell whether the negative reviews are indicative of a serious problem or if the company is just too small to gather much customer feedback.

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

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Review Information

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Central Mutual Insurance
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Comments

  1. Steve says

    Absolutely one of the worst experiences I have ever had with an insurance company. Our car was hit by someone “insured” by Central Mutual. If this happens to you, be prepared for a lengthy battle. This company is shady and very slow to pay. Getting in touch with the person handling our claim was next to impossible, I only managed to speak to him once despite numerous calls. As another person pointed out, you must take the issue into your own hands or nothing will get completed. Our car had a supplemental claim due to hidden damage that was quite sizable. I had to hound Central to get them to pay and when they did, it was by check. Forget receiving equitable compensation for loss of use. They wanted me to pay for a rental car for over a week while we were waiting for the vehicle to be repaired (the body shop could have done it in less time if it were not for waiting for Central Mutual). In the end, Central only paid a fraction of what it would have cost for a rental, glad we found other means or we would have been out hundreds. Avoid this company at ALL costs!

  2. Abbey Bumgarner says

    Literally the most agonizing process of my life was dealing with an insurance agent with Central Insurance. A guy who has insurance with them hit me and totaled my car. The accident happened on a sunday and it was almost a week before the insurance agent reached out to me. It took him another week to send an adjuster to my home to estimate my car, and another week before telling me there were going to total my car. This guy arranged to have my car picked up before even starting the paperwork to give me my payment for my car. He also took the day off work on the day my car was supposed to be picked up and I had not yet received any indication that I would get payed for my car. He told me all it took was for him to send me an email back and my check would come in 4 days. He never emailed me back. I had to take my car accident into my own hands because this bone head couldn’t do anything for me. If you get in a wreck with someone who has this insurance… I’ll pray for you.

  3. Jacqueline says

    Overall the company is good. Ive worked with [Redacted] and [Redacted] who are both extremely helpful and sweet. The agents who handle claims on the other hand, not so much. Hopefully you don’t get the pleasure of working with [Redacted] if a driver hits you and then tries to sue you with a cheap attorney even though you have a witness and the driver is underinsured. Instead of telling you what he’s doing he will just make you think everything is okay and that he will take care of you, come to find a year later (after you’ve never heard from him about it) that he didn’t want to go to court so he settled a $28,000 claim at your fault :) Oh and then you call him over and over, leave voicemails, and email him only to get no response.

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