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About Frankenmuth Insurance
Frankenmuth was created in 1868 when a group of local German settlers got together to help cover each other’s property. In 1921, the group officially founded Frankenmuth Mutual Auto Insurance Company in response to the growing number of cars on the road and the need to insure them. Twenty years later, the original association became Frankenmuth Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and in 1958 the two companies merged into one.
The 1970s saw expansion into neighboring states, with Frankenmuth starting operations in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana. The 1990s saw the next bout of expansion, taking the company into the east and southeast. In 2007, the company merged with Patriot Insurance, expanding operations into New England. Today Frankenmuth operates in 15 states under the original name, Patriot, and subsidiary Ansur America.
Frankenmuth’s line of products includes home, auto, and life, as well as business insurance. Policies are sold through a network of independent agents covering all states, although not all products are available everywhere. The majority of personal lines products are offered only in Michigan, Ohio, and a selection of New England states.
Frankenmuth offers the big three personal products, as well as a variety of specialty policies. The company also has a comprehensive lineup of commercial products available.
Frankenmuth writes auto coverage directly in Ohio and Michigan and offers it in three other states (Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire) through subsidiary Patriot Insurance.
Auto policies include all mandatory coverage in each state. The available optional coverage varies from state to state. In the company’s home state of Michigan, optional endorsements include:
- Comprehensive coverage to pay for non-collision damage to your vehicle
- Collision Coverage to pay for damage to your vehicle caused by a collision where you are found at fault
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist protection to pay for damage caused by another driver who is without insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the damage
- Roadside assistance and towing coverage
- Excess electronic equipment
- Non-owned vehicle coverage
In addition to standard auto insurance, Frankenmuth also offers coverage for collector cars.
Like their auto insurance, Frankenmuth offers home policies in Ohio and Michigan, with subsidiary Patriot offering the coverage in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.
The company offers a variety of options for home insurance depending on the needs of the homeowner.
Home Protector is the standard homeowner’s insurance policy. It offers coverage for the house and other structures on the property, the contents of the home, and liability for the homeowner. Options can be added to this policy to cover items of special value, such as jewelry, watercraft, or recreational vehicles. Other options include water and sewer backup coverage and liability for a secondary or seasonal residence. Replacement cost coverage for the home and personal property is not standard with this policy, but available as an option. This is important to note, as most standard policies do include replacement cost – generally, only lower level dwelling policies do not include this coverage.
Ultra Home Guardian is the top-level homeowner’s insurance policy. In addition to covering everything from a standard policy, this product includes many of the items that are optional on Home Protector. It also includes additional benefits such as identity theft protection, evacuation expenses, debris removal, and lock replacement.
In addition to these two homeowner’s products, Frankenmuth offers renter’s insurance to protect tenants, coverage for homes under construction, rental home policies to protect landlords, and specific policies for the needs of condominium owners and manufactured homes. This last policy is only offered in Michigan.
Frankenmuth’s life insurance products are written by subsidiary Patriot Insurance, and offered in four states: Maine, Vermont, Michigan, and Ohio.
Through Patriot, both whole life and term life insurance policies can be purchased. Term life products are available in 10, 20, and 30-year level terms, and can be converted to whole life at the end of the term.
Little policy information is found on the website, instead, visitors are directed to contact an agent.
Other Personal Products
In addition to auto, home, and life, Frankenmuth writes a variety of specialty insurance products for individuals.
- Personal Umbrella coverage is available to provide liability protection above and beyond what is included with a homeowners or auto insurance policy.
- Watercraft insurance covers both boats under 26’ in length and yacht coverage for larger craft.
- Recreational vehicle insurance covers travel trailers, sports vehicles such as snowmobiles and ATVs, utility trailers and motorcycles (motorcycle is offered in Michigan only).
Frankenmuth has a full range of business insurance policies and products for all types of companies.
Commercial Package Policies combine the most common products into one package. Frankenmuth offers custom packages comprising options such as general liability, commercial property, inland marine, equipment breakdown, and more.
Businessowner Policies are available for retail stores and services, contractors, offices, and distributors. These package policies are pre-designed to include all of the coverage needed for the type of business in question.
Other commercial policies are also available from Frankenmuth.
- Commercial Auto
- Surety Bonds
- Workers Compensation
- Commercial Umbrella
- Professional Liability
- Cyber and Data Protection
- Employment Practices Liability
- Industry Specialized coverage
- Equipment Breakdown coverage
Although Frankenmuth has a comprehensive website and an online portal for policyholders, they do not offer online quoting at this time.
Quotes can only be obtained by contacting an agent, which is not uncommon for an insurance company that sells products exclusively through independent agents. In the Internet age, however, we do expect to see some form of online quoting particularly for auto insurance. Without rate information, it is difficult to compare Frankenmuth to other companies.
Frankenmuth Customers can file a claim online for auto, home, or Worker’s Compensation policies. These, along with all other claims, can also be filed by phone directly to the company via a 24/7 toll-free claims line.
For auto claims, Frankenmuth has a network of preferred repair shops in Michigan and Ohio as with all such networks, the insured is free to choose any repair shop, in or out of the network.
As noted in the rating section below, Frankenmuth had 18 total complaints in 2015 with the department of insurance. Of those, 61% focused on claims handling. That’s not surprising, as claims are generally when the largest interaction happens between the customer and the insurance company, and the area most commonly cited in complaints. The total number of complaints regarding this company’s claims handling, however, is minimal.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Frankenmuth Insurance is not Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited but has an A+ rating and a low complaint volume. There have been only six complaints filed with the BBB in the past three years. Only two of those were closed in the past 12 months.
The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services’ most recent complaint information for Frankenmuth is for the year 2015. A total of 18 complaints were recorded across all major personal lines products.
There are 19 reviews of Frankenmuth on Consumer Affairs. Of these, two are positive, although the majority are negative. One of the positive reviews is not by a customer at all, but rather a former employee responding to some of the complaints, and provides little in the way of customer experience. The complaints generally focus on issues that are common to insurance companies and cover mainly auto and home insurance policies. Overall, the complaint volume is low here as well.
Yelp has four reviews, two of which are repeats of those found on other review sites. The resulting rating is a total of three stars.
Overall, there are not many complaints about Frankenmuth insurance, and certainly, nothing to raise red flags concerning their business practice or the customer experience.
The Bottom Line
Without rates, it is difficult to compare Frankenmuth to similar companies. However, based on a very long history in the insurance business and a generally good reputation with a low complaint volume, they can be recommended to those who are willing to seek out quotes via an agent. As with most agent-driven companies, rates are unlikely to compare well to large direct insurers, but the company’s solid standing goes a long way towards balancing higher premiums.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.