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About Grinnell Mutual
Grinnell Mutual started out in 1909 as the Iowa Farmers Mutual Reinsurance Association. After several name changes similar to the original, the company changed its name to Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company in 1963, after the town where they had established headquarters in 1933. In 2017, they dropped the name down to simply Grinnell Mutual.
Grinnell is a major reinsurance company, particularly for farm insurance. They sell auto insurance in several states through a subsidiary, Grinnell Select. They also write home insurance, business, and farm insurance. Their reinsurance arm operates under the name Grinnell Re.
Today Grinnell products are sold in 15 states through a network of local agents. The company headquarters remains in Grinnell, Iowa.
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Grinnell Mutual Products
Grinnell’s products are basic property & casualty insurance options for individuals and businesses. Not all products are offered in every state.
Grinnell’s auto insurance policy is advertised as a comprehensive and customizable product that provides all of the basic coverage, many options, and added benefits with their Auto Plus endorsement. Some of those unusual extras include pet injury coverage, airbag replacement, and lock replacement.
Grinnell also offers their Mile Marker loyalty program. This program includes accident forgiveness – no surcharge for an accident with less than $5,000 in damage – as well as minor violation forgiveness, where there is no surcharge for a minor traffic violation. The company also waive the deductible when two Grinnell insured drivers are involved in an accident.
The Mile Marker plan also offers discounts at one, two, and three years, along with added free benefits in later years.
Grinnell’s auto program also extends to other vehicles, with a specific farm truck policy as well as an RV policy available. They also cover watercraft, and these various vehicles can be covered under the OnePolicy plan that includes a single deductible.
Grinnell writes both homeowners and renters insurance policies.
Their Home Guard homeowners policy includes all of the basics – structures, personal property, and liability, and offers a range of options as well. These include coverage for special items, equipment breakdown, and identity theft.
Renters insurance is also available for those who do not own their home, providing coverage for personal property and liability. This section of the website offers less detail regarding the products than the auto insurance section.
Grinnell’s business insurance is targeted to specific markets, with the particular needs of each addressed in the coverage for each. These include coverage for churches, restaurants, retail stores, and a variety of other small businesses from auto repair to Veterinarians.
Package policies include property, equipment breakdown, building coverage, and can also include specific liability beyond general to cover the particular needs of each industry.
Grinnell’s original product, farm policies, are offered as comprehensive, customizable packages. Coverage is available for crops, livestock, equipment, structures, and various types of liability depending on the type of farm.
Grinnell also offers farm truck coverage, as noted in the auto section, and umbrella insurance for farmers as well. They write policies for farm operations large and small.
Grinnell does not offer online quoting, and quotes are only available by contacting a representative of the company. This is common among agent-driven insurance companies.
The company was named the best value in car insurance by ValChoice for both North Dakota and Missouri, which indicates that their rates – at least in those states – are competitive. Good value includes more than just the rates, however – service, coverage, and of course claims handling are all factors.
Grinnell has a basic but clear explanation of how to file a claim and what to expect on their website. Claims can be filed online by logging into the customer account management section of the website. They can also be filed over the phone by calling the toll-free claims center. The website does not indicate whether or not this line is available 24/7.
Safelite, a large auto glass repair service used by many major car insurance companies, handles auto glass claims directly. There is no indication as to whether or not they have a preferred repair network program.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Grinnell Mutual has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with only three complaints on file in the past three years. There have been no complaints closed in the past 12 months.
There are four reviews on Yelp, one of which is very positive and the other three negative. Few of them seem to be related to personal insurance, and two are not from Grinnell customers.
Overall, there is little in the way of complaints about this company.
The Bottom Line
Grinnell Mutual has a long history and appears to enjoy a good reputation. They may be worth considering for those who like to work with an agent and are looking for a more regional insurance company. Those who are seeking the best rate and prefer to do all of their insurance shopping online may be inclined to look elsewhere.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.