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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.