Travelers’ red umbrella covers a lot of people; the group is ranked among the top five property and casualty insurers in the country. That’s big coverage for an equally big company that promises shelter from life’s storms.
Travelers is a huge player in the commercial insurance industry, and they offer a good selection of personal products. They are a solid company financially with a good reputation, and they have many auto and home insurance options with several add-on features.
Travelers is an excellent choice for anyone who has both business and basic personal insurance needs. This is because they write a large array of business policies and can likely provide services to most owners while allowing customers to also have their home and auto under one roof.
Travelers Insurance Summary
Travelers began in 1864 as a travel insurance company — the source of their name — in Hartford, Connecticut. Originally providing policies to railroad passengers for protection from the dangers of travel by train, they quickly expanded into property and casualty insurance offering an impressive list of firsts: the first auto policy, the first policy for commercial airlines, and the first space travel policy.
In the 90s, Travelers began a long list of acquisitions, mergers, and expansions. Primerica purchased the company in 1993, and the name changed to The Travelers Group in 1995. A 2004 merger with The St. Paul Companies brought a brief name change to St. Paul Travelers. In 2007, the name changed to The Travelers Companies, dropping the St. Paul name but keeping the new headquarters in Minnesota. Today the company is headquartered in New York City, but they still have large offices in both Hartford and St. Paul.
Travelers policies are sold through a large network of agents across the country, both under the Travelers name and through a number of wholly owned subsidiaries retaining their own company names.
The list of subsidiaries includes:
- St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company
- Fidelity and Guaranty Insurance Company
- American Equity
- Northland Insurance
- Farmington Casualty Company
- Athena Assurance
- Select Insurance
- Gulf Underwriters
- The Standard Fire and Casualty
Today Travelers ranks among the largest companies in the world, sitting at number 116 on the Fortune 500. In a 2014 FIO annual report, Travelers ranked at number five out of the top property and casualty companies in the U.S., taking the number two spot for commercial property and casualty and number nine for personal.
Products and Services
Travelers writes a wide range of products for both individuals and businesses, so it’s easiest to break it down by personal and commercial lines. This way, you can get a good look at the product offerings.
Travelers writes a number of different personal lines insurance types, except life insurance (Travelers Life and Annuity is in fact a subsidiary of MetLife and no longer associated with The Travelers Companies). They offer a solid portfolio of auto, home, and other insurance options.
As of 2015, Travelers ranked as the 10th largest provider of auto insurance in the U.S. Their policies provide all your basic coverage — liability, comprehensive and collision, medical payments, and more.
Travelers offers four add-on packages for auto insurance to provide more extensive and personalized policies:
- Responsible Driver Plan – Includes Accident and Minor Violation Forgiveness
- Premier Responsible Driver Plan – Adds Total Loss Deductible Waiver and Decreasing Deductible to the features of the Responsible Driver Plan
- Premier Roadside Assistance – Provides Trip Interruption Coverage and Personal Property Coverage in addition to towing, labor, and other roadside assistance perks
- Premier New Car Replacement – Includes gap coverage along with new car replacement without depreciation
Travelers offers an extensive list of auto insurance discounts. Common discounts include a Safe Driver Discount, plus some less common options like a Hybrid Car Discount and an Early Quoting Discount for drivers who like to shop around before policy renewal.
Like many major car insurance companies, Travelers recently introduced a usage-based insurance (UBI) option called Intellidrive. The program consists of a device that you plug into your car to monitor driving habits and help you earn discounts for safe driving. Intellidrive offers the added perk of allowing parents to get email alerts when if their teen driver uses the vehicle outside of predetermined rules. You can read a full review on the Intellidrive system here.
Travelers is one of the largest personal property and casualty insurance companies in the nation, and their homeowner’s policies provide all of the standard coverage including replacement cost dwelling coverage, personal property coverage, and liability. Available add-on options include extended personal property coverage, water back-up coverage, and increased replacement cost.
Travelers offers a number of discounts on homeowner’s insurance on top of the expected combined auto/home discount. One unusual discounts is the Green Home discount for LEED-certified homes.
In addition to standard single-family dwellings, Travelers writes insurance policies for condo owners and renters who need personal property coverage for a rental home.
Boat and Yacht Insurance
Travelers has a good range of insurance products for many types of water craft. You can insure yachts, motorized boats, and antique and classic runabouts.
Boat policies are designed to be comprehensive and flexible, protecting the vehicles both on and off the water as well as covering liability and personal property.
Other Personal Products
The rest of Travelers’ personal lines products are an eclectic mix, but they don’t cover motorcycles. Here a few of the products outside of the standard auto and home:
- Umbrella insurance
- Identity theft coverage
- Wedding liability
- Valuable items coverage
- Flood insurance
Travelers is an enormous force in the commercial lines market, ranking as the second-largest commercial property and casualty insurer in the nation. Their product line includes a larger range than many similar companies, insuring businesses of all sizes for a various levels of risk.
Small Business Insurance
Travelers Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) for small business is called Travelers Pac, and is offered for many different business types, including:
- Apartment buildings
- Commercial buildings
Small business offerings include commercial auto policies, commercial umbrella, and workers’ compensation. Travelers also offers a cyber security insurance policy option, called CyberFirst Essentials, for small businesses.
For medium-sized businesses, Travelers writes their IndustryEdge policies that cover a range of different needs for all sorts of business types, including:
- Architects and engineers
- Healthcare companies
- Food manufacturers
- Publishers and printers
- Wood, metal, and mineral manufacturers
- Real estate
Travelers’ also provides mid-sized businesses policies for special risks, which can include the following industries:
- Inland and ocean marine
- Oil and gas
- Financial institutions
- Renewable energy
Travelers writes property and casualty coverage for large businesses, including industrial parks, schools (including colleges and universities), amusement parks, hospitals, and more. They also write for specialized industries, ultimately covering a remarkably large range of businesses.
A perk for large businesses is a comprehensive risk management system, called e-CARMA, that helps large businesses track information and stay on top of losses.
Management and Professional Liability
Travelers writes policies to protect financial institutions, private companies, nonprofits, professional firms, and public companies from the various liability risks associated with doing business. These policies are tailored to the company’s needs and include:
- Employment practices liability
- Errors and omissions coverage
- Directors and officers (D&O) liability
- Commercial crime coverage
In addition to the many business policies and coverage they write, Travelers also writes contract and commercial surety bonds.
Travelers Prices and Premiums
Travelers has never promoted itself as the most affordable insurance company around, which makes sense since their auto premiums are generally on the higher side. Our standard rate quote test returned a price that was 33.5% higher than the average for auto insurance rates.
Travelers does offer a good list of discounts, especially for their auto insurance policies, and also has multi-policy discounts available so that those who choose to bundle can get a better rate on all of their policies. The Intellidrive pay-as-you-go (usage based) system is also a good new way to bring the premiums down.
Travelers policies are exclusively sold by agents, which means commissions, and as a result higher premiums overall. Although the company is very competitive in terms of market share in both auto and personal property & casualty markets, their biggest arm is their commercial lines. Because they make so much of their money from the commercial side, which differentiates them from other large personal insurers, they may have less impetus to work on bringing auto rates down. This allows them to focus on top-tier drivers with lower risks.
Travelers does offer online quoting for their auto insurance to help consumers compare rates with other companies. Their website promises an average savings of $415 per year for those who switch to Travelers, but as always those promises have to be taken with a grain of salt. Insurance companies can claim savings based on those customers who did choose to switch, without mentioning how many people got a quote and decide not to switch – potentially a large population who found the rates too high.
Travelers accepts claims reports both online and over the phone depending on the type of policy. The contact information for reporting a claim varies, with different contact information for personal and commercial policies.
Personal lines claims including all auto, property, and boat claims can be reported via:
- Phone at 1-800-252-4633
- Online through the claims form on the website
For commercial lines claims, the contact information varies based on the type of policy:
- 1-800-238-6225 – For Auto, Property, General Liability, specialty, and Worker’s Comp
- 1-800-832-7839 – National Accounts Claims
- 1-800-243-2490 – Constitution State Service Claims
- 1-877-828-4132 – Construction Claims
- Bond and Specialty Insurance claims contact information is found on this page
- Some claims can be reported online
Because business insurance claims can be complex, the Travelers website offers a list of guides and information to help handle claims reporting and processing.
Travelers website offers a very simple access point to allow customers to track claims and get information on the process. There is also a great deal of information to help with just about any type of claim in the claim support center area of the website.
Various claims processing centers also provide service and information that is specific to the type of policy and claim, something that is particularly important with such a wide range of business insurance products.
When it comes to claims satisfaction, Travelers ranks at about average among its competitors. They got an overall ranking of three out of five stars on the 2015 J.D. Power U.S. auto insurance customer claims satisfaction survey, similar to companies like Allstate, Farmers, and Safeco.
A look at reviews for Travelers shows some complaints about claims handling, which we’ll get into next.
The BBB gives Travelers an A+ rating, which they based on a number of different factors including response to complaints. They have a total of 385 complaints in the past three years, with 101 of those closed in the last 12 months. For a company of this size, those numbers are not alarming.
Travelers is a very large company, which means negative reviews are bound to exist. This is common across the board for insurance companies of this size. Interestingly, I found fewer total reviews compared to the other large insurers such as Allstate and GEICO, which have hundreds. The disparity might have something to do with the fact that part of what makes Travelers so big is their commercial lines, and businesses may be less likely to take to review sites to share their thoughts.
It’s always important to note that customers are far more likely to write an online review when they are displeased than when they are content, so that has a tendency to skew online reviews. That said, the complaints about Travelers are generally focused on claims.
Travelers is a good value for many customers because you get quite a big bang for your buck. They do lack a few extras such as life insurance and RV, ATV, and motorcycle polices. If you need to combine personal insurance with business, there are few options better than Travelers.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.