Instead of leaving you to scour the internet for Safeco Insurance reviews, I’ve done the research to give you an overall guide to buying insurance with the company. Here you’ll find an overview of Safeco, its products and services, rates and premiums, ratings, and more.
I have written about Safeco Insurance three times over the last two and a half years, and this is an accumulation of everything I have learned along the way. I truly hope it will help you in your research.
For many customers, Safeco is an excellent insurance choice with good value. Both their auto and home insurance products are feature-rich and competitively priced. If you’re looking for insurance that covers all the bases—and especially if you’re over 40 and own a home—Safeco is a solid choice.
Below you’ll find more details about Safeco, their products and services, and how their insurance stacks up against competitors.
Safeco Insurance Overview
The company’s primary sales force is a network of independent agents and agencies licensed to sell their products. This is significant because it differs from popular companies like GEICO, Esurance, and Progressive, which are direct-to-consumer companies.
What that means for you: To get a Safeco policy, you work through a licensed agent—an actual human being. This process can be especially beneficial for someone who has a complicated insurance portfolio, but it’s also great for people who want a personal touch. Rather than trusting that an online quote system has their needs in mind, a human agent will help you make the right insurance buying decision.
Safeco’s website does allow you to start an online quote, and in many cases actually see a price. But the policy will ultimately be forwarded on to an agent before it can be finalized.
Products and Services
Safeco is a full-service insurance company, and they sell a lot of stuff. Their bread and butter are auto insurance and home insurance products, but it doesn’t stop there. Here is a breakdown of their primary product offerings, with my comments below the list:
- Auto Insurance – Safeco coverage options for car insurance are standard. Comprehensive, collision, roadside assistance—you name it, they got it. This makes sense because they focus mostly on customers in markets above the high-risk and non-standard levels.
- Home Insurance – Just like their car insurance coverage, the Safeco home insurance portfolio is pretty broad. Remember, home insurance doesn’t just included houses— condo insurance falls under this category, too.
- Renters Insurance – If you don’t own a home, you can still purchase protection for your stuff and potential liability that arises on the property you are renting, like a dog bite or kitchen fire. Safeco’s coverage here is solid.
- Boat & Watercraft Insurance – Your standard coverage package will come with agreed value (you and Safeco agree upon the boat value before signing), personal effects coverage (fishing poles, water skis, etc.), and fuel spill/wreckage removal (if your boat sinks, they’ll clean it up).
- Classic Car Insurance – Like boat insurance, classic car coverage comes with agreed value, so you still get the predetermined amount of coverage, even if the car goes down in value. They also offer pet coverage as an optional add-on—just in case Fido gets injured while hanging out the passenger window.
- Motorcycle Insurance – Because many riding enthusiasts like to customize their bikes, you can personalized your coverage to fit your unique motorcycle. In addition, each policy comes standard with $1,000 of gear replacement for your helmet, boots, etc.
- Recreational Vehicle (RV) Insurance – RV coverage comes standard with 150 days of use. Unless you live in your RV full time or travel across the country during the entire MLB season, Safeco’s standard policy should cover enough days on the road.
- Umbrella Insurance – Umbrella policies act as backups to primary coverage like auto and home insurance, adding an extra level of liability protection once those are exhausted. They also fill in the gap by covering things such as libel and slander lawsuits. Safeco’s website reports umbrella policies are sold in $1 million increments up to $5 million.
Now for my opinion.
In today’s market, insurance serves as both a safety net to prevent financial disaster after some sort of accident or loss, to a feature-rich product that provides benefits and protection beyond covering catastrophes. While these robust packages aren’t for everyone, they are useful for many customers, and Safeco offers wide-ranging insurance products that customers can tailor to their needs.
Safeco’s Diminishing Deductible is included in their auto insurance policies. Every year you go without an accident, your deductible goes down by $100 (up to a maximum of $500). You get rewarded for safe driving—plus the peace of mind that your budget won’t be busted in case you do get in an accident.
Accident Forgiveness is another included-by-Safeco feature, common among car insurance companies. Like Diminishing Deductible, this option is standard with Safeco auto insurance, and your premium includes the cost of the feature.
It’s up to you if you think that these features are worth it. If you are an especially safe driver, it makes sense to go with Safeco because you’ll reap the rewards automatically.
Safeco Rates and Premiums
As I mentioned above in the Overview, Safeco operates with an agent-driven sales model, which means customers work directly with a licensed agent to get a policy.
While it is true that some insurance companies that use the agent-only model cost more than their direct-to-consumer counterparts, this isn’t always the case. Plus, direct-to-consumer insurance companies spend a lot on marketing, but can sometimes make up the difference from bypassing the agent and their commissions.
Safeco Provides Great Value
Because of their rich product offerings and focus on independent agents, Safeco packs a lot of value into their insurance policies.
For their home insurance product, Safeco offers equipment breakdown coverage at just $2 per month. This coverage offers protection in the event that you have an unexpected mechanical or electrical breakdown on household items including:
- Washers and dryers
- Refrigerators and freezers
- Ovens and microwaves
- Garbage disposals
- Heating and air conditioning systems
- Water heaters
- Swimming pool equipment
At just two bucks a month, this type of warranty coverage serves as a valuable alternative to home or retail warranties, which can be confusing and time-consuming to work with.
As side note, Safeco is set up as a mutual insurance company, which means their policyholders are more like shareholders. Safeco can share the company profits by reducing premiums or issuing dividends, but that is not guaranteed.
Advertising and Media
For those who reside in and around Seattle, Washington (like me), Safeco is a pretty big name when it comes to sports. The city skyline is flanked to the south by both the baseball field occupied by the Seattle Mariners, and the football field where the Seattle Seahawks play. The baseball stadium is called Safeco Field, which opened in 1999.
Safeco bought the naming rights to the stadium prior to opening, and owns it until 2019.
For years, Safeco ran what they called the “Do More” television advertising campaign, which features elderly couple Marty and Edna, who provide commentary on daily life and current events.
During my research about their advertising practices, I did not uncover anything that seemed alarming. For the most part, they try to compete with the humor-based TV ads frequently run by Allstate, State Farm, and Farmers.
Thankfully Safeco doesn’t rely on pushing the industry standard “Drivers Save $XXX by Switching to Us” mantra. Insurance companies that do this are taking advantage of the fact that most people switch because they save money. That’s why they can pretty much all make that claim. Not because they are generally cheaper.
The process of filing a claim with Safeco is straightforward. Although Safeco claims must be filed over the phone, their claims center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- 800-332-3226 – File a claim
- 877-762-3101 – Roadside assistance
Some of the less-positive reviews for Safeco revolve around their claims process and claims handling. I’ve included a couple of these complaints in the Customer Feedback section below.
When looking at customer complaints and testimonials, many people seem to love working with independent agents. But there are some common complaints related to claims, rates, and customer service.
Here are some typical Safeco reviews I found online:
I have used Safeco for many years. I love having an independent agent. Safeco is great to work with. I just filed a claim, and it was seamless.
The agent provided all the info I needed for a Home Owner’s Insurance Policy, including pricing and her contact info.
– john c
I joined Safeco Insurance summer of 2013. The application process was easy to get through and I was approved right on the spot. The price I pay for my insurance it a very reasonable deal. What I really like is my payments are divided out for 12 months instead of the normal 6 months. I would highly suggest to use Safeco for car insurance needs to all my friends and family.
I was in a minor car accident–I got rear ended at a very low speed–a few months ago, and Safeco was very helpful in providing me with a short term car rental while my car was in the shop. They were polite throughout the entire process, which is atypical in my experience with insurance companies who are usually rude and take a very excruciatingly long time to get back to people who have been in minor accidents. The only reason I’m rating them average is because they’re not as quick as some of the insurance companies I have heard of from friends.
I would rate my local Safeco office as average. Premiums are inexpensive and I am aware they have many customers as a result. You get what you pay for in many cases. My main issue is that they do not follow through with answers to questions, or even on new services I have asked about.
In 2015, J.D. Power rated auto insurers in its U.S. Auto Insurance Claims Satisfaction Study. Safeco fairs fairly well, earning average-or-above ratings in all categories, and above-average ratings for “First Notice of Loss” and “Rental Car Experience.”
Although Safeco may seem pricier that some alternatives at face-value, this is often because certain features like Diminishing Deductibles, usually added on by insurance companies, are built right in. If you like these features, you don’t have to worry about paying extra to add them.
I’ve come across some complaints about their claims process, but the fact that you work with independent agents can be a real advantage.
As always, just make sure to shop around for options, and then decide what’s most important to you.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.