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The Hanover Fire Insurance Company was founded in 1852 in Manhattan, and that same year appointed it’s first independent agent to sell policies in Cleveland, Ohio. As the company expanded out into the rest of the nation, they added more policy types such as auto insurance and marine insurance. By the 1950s they were operating as The Hanover Insurance Group, with multiple subsidiaries.
In the 1990s the company saw incredible growth and profits, and in 1994 changed the name to Allmerica Property & Casualty, with Hanover Insurance as a subsidiary. The following year the company spun off Allmerica Financial Corp, which a few years later acquired Allmerica Property & Casualty. In 2005, after several years of major acquisitions (including Citizens Corporation) the company went back to the original name as The Hanover Insurance Group.
Today, The Hanover Insurance Group is the parent company to two main subsidiaries: Hanover Insurance and Citizens Insurance Company of America. These subsidiaries write a variety of insurance products, both personal and commercial.
Policies are sold through a network of independent agents nationwide. Not all products are available in all areas.
The Hanover Group offers a range of different products for both individuals and businesses.
Hanover’s auto program is positioned as top-notch, trading low rates for better coverage and service. As a result, it is not the auto insurance company for those on a budget or with increased risk factors.
Platinum Essential is Hanover’s base policy. This policy includes features such as waiver of deductible for multi-policy claims, child restraint replacement coverage, enhanced rental car coverage, and enhanced towing and labor coverage.
Beyond the Platinum Essential policy, the following add-ons are available:
- Platinum Auto Advantage – adding elements such as Accident Forgiveness and new car replacement.
- Platinum Auto Elite – providing the highest level of coverage with additional rental car benefits, pet medical, trip interruption, and more.
Hanover’s Platinum home insurance program offers products for single-family dwellings, condos, apartments, and renters. Coverage is specifically tailored to the particular needs in each type of home.
The package policies include basic coverage as well as several available endorsements, such as:
- Equipment Breakdown
- Guaranteed Replacement Cost
- Water and Sump Pump Backup/Overflow
- Waiver of Deductible
- Roof/Siding Restoration Coverage
The Hanover writes business insurance policies for small and mid-sized businesses. Policies include liability and business property coverage, commercial auto, professional liability, and worker’s compensation.
In addition to the above, the company also writes specialty business insurance for companies with special risks, surety bonds, and commercial umbrella insurance policies. Some policies are underwritten by subsidiaries such as AIX.
Both RV and Watercraft coverage are available as endorsements to the Platinum package policies. Personal Umbrella and Identity Theft are also available from The Hanover.
The Hanover offers insurance quotes solely through agents, making it difficult to compare prices. The auto insurance section of the company website makes it clear that their auto program is not designed to be the most affordable, but rather to offer superior service, opening with the statement that “the cheapest car insurance may not always mean it’s the best insurance”.
Between this and the fact that agent commissions drive up rates, it seems unlikely that The Hanover’s rates will be competitive with other major insurance companies, particularly direct-buy competitors like Geico and Progressive.
The Hanover offers several options for claims reporting. There is a 24/7 claims reporting phone number as well as an option to report your claim online. The website has multiple online claims forms specific to each insurance product.
Hanover also offers an email address as well as a fax number for claims, making them one of the most comprehensive companies in terms of number of claims reporting options. Customers who hold Platinum policies have a separate phone number to file claims and obtain benefits.
The Hanover also has a claims survey option that customers can use to report back to the company about their claims experience, a sign that the company is concerned about claims satisfaction and is providing customers with a voice.
The Hanover Insurance Group has been BBB accredited since 1959, and holds an A+ rating at the time of this review. In the past three years the BBB has received 39 complaints, split fairly evenly between product issues and billing issues. Twelve of those complaints were resolved in the past 12 months. The number of complaints in 3 years is quite low for a company of this size, however, it may not reflect complaints against subsidiary companies.
Negative reviews of the company’s auto insurance program on ConsumerAffairs.com are mainly in regards to slow claims service or claims that have been denied. There are only 36 reviews of the company found here, with an overall rating of 1.5 stars, again an overall low number.
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The Hanover is a company that may be best suited to those seeking business insurance. Their personal lines products seem to have been improved since previous reviews, however, the available feedback paint something of a mixed picture in terms of satisfaction. In the end Hanover’s rates are unlikely to be competitive against other major insurance companies, and insurance customers looking for lower rates will most likely find a better fit elsewhere.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.