Safeway Insurance Review

Safeway Insurance
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A family-owned private insurance company, Safeway Insurance is a focused regional carrier aiming to help individuals get the coverage they need. With offices across more than a dozen states, they aim to provide insurance with a personal touch.

Safeway Summary

Safeway was founded in 1959 by William J. Parillo, who remains the head of the company to this day. His brother, Robert is a major shareholder, making the company a family affair. The headquarters is located in Westmont, Illinois, but the company has regional offices across the area they serve.

Safeway is primarily an auto insurance company, but also offers property insurance; in Florida, property is the only product they write. Other coverage states in addition to Illinois and Florida are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Texas. There are office locations in most of these states to provide personalized service.

Safeway Insurance Group has a list of subsidiaries, most bearing the Safeway name, writing insurance policies in their covered states. Products are sold exclusively through independent agents, and the company promises simple, straightforward, affordable insurance options.

Insurance Products

Safeway writes personal lines auto and home insurance for a variety of different property types. Auto is available in all of the company’s covered states except Florida, and property insurance across all covered states.

Auto Insurance

While Safeway is not considered a non-standard insurer, they do offer coverage for both drivers with clean records and those who may have a few blemishes, stating on their website that they may be able to help drivers who have had trouble getting coverage elsewhere.

While there is no detailed information on the auto policies offered, the website indicates that their product is a basic policy with the most common options, such as comprehensive and collision available in addition to liability.

The auto insurance page on Safeway’s website puts a lot of emphasis on their policies as being straightforward and cheap, which makes it clear the company is marketing towards those who are budget insurance shoppers or have received very high quotes elsewhere due to driving record. This points towards a product that is designed to cover all of the legal requirements with a few basic add-ons, and little in the way of trendy or advanced coverage features and benefits.

There is no list of discounts available on the Safeway website, and visitors are urged to contact an agent for more information on products.

Home Insurance

Safeway writes a variety of property insurance products, covering single-family dwelling homeowners, renters and everything in between. Property insurance products include:

  • Homeowner’s Insurance – For owner-occupied single-family dwellings, usually detached. Safeway offers structure coverage as well as liability and personal property, with high-value item endorsements available.
  • Condo Insurance – Covers the parts of the structure under the owner’s domain along with personal property and liability.
  • Mobile Home Insurance – Which is designed for the specific needs of mobile home owners, and includes all of the other standard coverage as well.
  • Renter’s Insurance – Covers personal property and liability for tenants.

Safeway Rates

Safeway does not offer online quoting, instead providing an agent search to obtain a quote locally.

The company advertises itself as a cheap alternative, but since they also offer coverage in the non-standard market, premiums are likely competitive to those drivers who are considered high-risk.

Claims

Although Safeway’s claims page promises to be helpful, it actually offers very little information. The page states that policyholders should report claims to the nearest service center, and states that they should choose from a list, but that list isn’t actually located on the page.

It takes a little more digging to find an actual phone number to call in a claim; the Accident Tips page offers a toll-free number to report accidents. The Claims FAQ page states that claims should be reported to the “in case of an accident” number on the insurance card, which is likely the same one on the Accident Tips page. This page also has the link to the list of locations to contact locally.

This leaves a little confusion as to how exactly claims should be reported, but it does appear there is a direct line to call in addition to the option of contacting the local service center.

Claims are handled in much the same way as many other insurance companies – an adjuster is assigned, investigates, and determines fault and benefits. Repairs can be done at the repair shop chosen by the policyholder, and Safeway will help arrange towing if needed.

Safeway promises to contact the driver within 48 hours after the report of any accident involving injuries or another vehicle.

Consumer Research and Complaints

Safeway Insurance has been Better Business Bureau accredited since 1997 and carries an A+ rating. There are a total of 14 complaints against the company in the past three years, with only five of those in the past 12 months. Those numbers are very low.

Elsewhere, however, there are plenty of complaints. Pissed Consumer lists 96 complaints against the company, nearly all of which appear to focus on poor claims service. Rude agents and refusal to pay claims are the most common complaints.

There are definitely enough complaints registering the same issues repeatedly to raise red flags regarding how Safeway is handling their claims.

Financial Strength

Rating Company Grade Financial Outlook
AM Best A Stable
Fitch N/A N/A
S&P N/A N/A

Bottom Line

Safeway has a less-than-informative website that offers little detail in terms of what is actually offered with each of the company’s products, and a confusing claims page that makes it difficult to figure out where or how to report a claim. They are unlikely to be competitive in terms of rates for drivers seeking standard insurance, although they may be an option for higher-risk drivers.

Overall, the reviews are some cause for concern in terms of how claims are handled, and with a lack of clear information and red flags in the claims department, we can’t recommend Safeway Insurance.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed
Safeway Insurance
Author Rating
3

Comments

  1. A C. says

    I don’t have Safeway Insurance, but the person who made an illegal uturn at an intersection in Mesa, AZ on 8/9/16 does have this company as their insurance. I T-Boned her little white mazda with my full size Nissan Armada. Both cars are totaled. I received a call the very next day from an adjuster but handed me off to someone who handles injuries…. today is the 2nd day. I will post more as the process continues. After reading what goes on with this company, I feel like getting an Attorney. I must say the first person was really nice, but I won’t be dealing with her.

  2. Briana says

    First time dealing with a car accident. First of all it has been horrible. Second of all the lady I am dealing that works at the insurance place has a horrible attitude. Myself and my friend who was in the accident, have had nothing but stress dealing with [Redacted]. I understand that car accidents are stressful to begin with but having to add more stress with your own insurance is the last thing we need. As soon as this is all over I will never use safeway insurance again. All I needed was a few answers and all I got was a bad attitude from someone who clearly hates her job. I advise nobody to use Safeway insurance.

  3. Ashley says

    DO NOT GO WITH THIS INS CO!!
    Boyfriend has safeway and his car was stolen in July. Took them almost 3 wks to finally complete the claim because their computer system was supposedly down for days and the agent never returned calls. Finally got an answer but only to tell us they won’t cover his car that was stolen, wrecked, and gotten back. They left the totalled car on the street in front of our house leaving us to deal with moving it.
    They said there was a clause in the contract that if there isn’t any signs of forcible entry they don’t have to cover.
    We’ve contacted a lawyer because this just isn’t right. We pay for insurance for a reason!

  4. Melba says

    This the worst insurance company ever. They do not honor its obligations. They give you the run around and do everything possible to prevent paying claims. They ask for the same information over and over again instead of settling the claim. They do not return phone calls. Do not do business with this company. They are absolutely horrible!!!!

  5. lisa says

    I don’t like this insurance company at all. Reported incident 3 weeks ago still haven’t gotten my car fixed. The claims rep is never in. When I actually got a chance to talk to her she is giving me the run around as used she doesn’t know what she is doing. Asking question as if I’m not sure or lying. I feel very dishonored as if this company doesn’t respect their customers. I don’t recommend to anyone

  6. Cori says

    Worst insurance company ever!!! 4 months claim still not resolved!! Won’t return phone calls, get an attorney if dealing with this company!! Safeway insurance is horrible!!

  7. Brooke says

    I would NEVER recommend this insurance to anybody!! Absolutely awful. Took 3 months for them to send me a check for an accident. The lady really played stupid and didn’t know anything to be a representative. Pitiful.

    • tnb says

      All of them are rude!!! I told them I was tired of bad customer service. They were mad because AAA was giving me a better rate and GOOD discounts and perks. I just wanted to get in my flesh and go off just a few moments ago. And how dare they charge a cancellation fee because someone offers lower and better coverage. Not to mention the local agent in town was rude to the AAA agent because I was switching, then had the audacity to lie like my coverage had lapsed. Well how is that when they just got my money 3 days prior to me getting a 2nd vehicle. I wouldn’t recommend this insurance to any of my haters…sad but true

  8. Desiree Arnold says

    This company has the worst customer service ever. I was involved in an accident with a Safeway policyholder and everything from getting the vehicle in the shop to renting a car was a task and a nightmare. The claims representative did not answer his phone or return my calls. After calling for four days I had to delay getting my vehicle fixed by one day because he was the person responsible for reserving a rental car. [Redacted] finally made the reservations, however, he reserved a compact car. I drive a 3 seat SUV (Chevy Trailblazer EXT). In an attempt to rectify this problem I tried to contact him and continued to receive a voicemail until I pressed 0 and spoke with an operator. The operator transferred me to [Redacted]. She was very rude and argumentative and wanted to know what I needed an SUV for. She continued to be uncooperative even when speaking with my husband who advised her that my part-time weekend business requires me to carry tables, mannequins, and other displays to and from home parties. [Redacted] stated she could only upgrade us to a Chevy Cruze which is still not large enough for me host my party this weekend and I was forced to cancel. This company has shown me no compassion for being in an accident at the fault of their client and their rude representative is quite opposite from their website claim of friendly representatives.

    Safeway gets an F. Do not support this company.

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