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Wawanesa Insurance Summary
The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company was founded in 1896 on the Canadian prairies to provide insurance to struggling farmers. The company, named for the town in which it was founded, grew quickly and became one of the largest insurance companies in Canada. After weathering the Great Depression, Wawanesa expanded to serve every province in the nation. The company’s Canadian headquarters is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In 1974 Wawanesa expanded into California, opening an office in San Diego, becoming the first Canadian insurance company to successfully enter the U.S. market. They later expanded into Oregon as well. In California the company writes both auto and home insurance, while only auto is available in Oregon.
Wawanesa sells its policies direct, without agents, both over the phone and online. Their target market is drivers with clean records, allowing them to offer lower rates.
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Wawanesa offers a range of products in Canada, including life, property, and auto. In the U.S. they are focused mainly on auto, although home insurance is available in California.
Wawanesa offers a solid auto insurance policy without a lot of frills. In addition to mandatory liability (bodily injury and property), they offer common options such as comprehensive, collision, rental car coverage, and roadside assistance. Their offerings are free of any of the more common trends and gimmicks in the auto insurance industry, even such popular ones as accident forgiveness.
Their list of discounts is straightforward, including good driver, persistent (loyalty) discounts, and multi-car discount.
Online quoting is offered in both California and in Oregon, as well as over the phone.
Wawanesa writes home insurance across Canada and in California.
Home insurance offerings include:
- Homeowner’s Insurance, with coverage for the structure, personal property, and personal liability. Homeowner’s coverage includes guaranteed replacement cost on property and an inflation guard benefit that ensures replacement cost keeps up with the increased cost of materials and construction.
- Condo Insurance, with coverage for the portions of the structure that are under the owner’s responsibility, personal property, and liability.
- Renter’s Insurance, with coverage for the personal property of tenants as well as liability.
Wawanesa offers a range of discounts for home insurance products including, multi-product/policy, sprinkler system, and non-smokers.
Wawanesa’s quoting system requires quite a bit of personal information. We were able to obtain a quote, however, not at the same levels for which we normally quote due to the fact that Wawanesa does not offer all of the same options.
Although it’s not a direct comparison, Wawanesa’s rates fall well below the average – and it should be noted that this is with lower deductibles than we usually quote, as Wawanesa doesn’t offer a deductible above $500.
Their rates come in about 22% below average, even with the higher deductibles. That doesn’t make them the cheapest, but it does make their prices quite competitive.
It is important to note that Wawanesa caters to drivers who have a clean record. Drivers with tickets or accidents may find their rates much higher.
Wawanesa accepts claims both online and over the phone. The 24-hour toll-free claims line can be reached at 1-800-427-9669 or 1-800-57-CLAIM.
The online claims form is easily accessible on the company’s website, but does require a policy number, so if you aren’t the insured and do not have the number, you will need to call in the claim.
Wawanesa provides a claims guarantee that promises quick and fair claims service and contact throughout the process where the policyholder will have a say in the repairs and settlement.
Wawanesa will send an appraiser to review the damage within 48 hours of the claim being reported in order to create an estimate. Customers can use a recommended repair shop or any shop of their own choosing. Wawanesa’s Direct Repair network offers a guarantee on their work.
Wawanesa has been BBB accredited in the U.S. since 1975. They currently have an A+ rating. The BBB lists 55 complaints over the past three years, 20 which have been closed in the last 12 months.
In the 2015 J.D. Power U.S. Household Survey of auto insurance, Wawanesa was the top-ranked insurance company in California. This ranking is based on overall satisfaction determined by several factors including policy offerings, price, and customer service.
ConsumerAffairs.com shows a total of 34 ratings of Wawanesa. Of 34 ratings, five were rated five star and 26 reviewers gave the company a one star rating. There are also negative reviews, but it’s very important to point out that positive reviews are very unusual on this site, and it is always encouraging to see them.
Negative reviews are mostly centered on difficulty reaching customer service representatives at the company. There is little else of note in the reviews, and an unusual lack of complaints in regards to claims service, which is where we usually see the bulk of the complaints.
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Wawanesa has solid products without gimmicks and maintains a good reputation. Although they are relatively new to the U.S. insurance market, they have been around for over 100 years in Canada and are an experienced company.
Wawanesa’s rates are very competitive, but they aim their rates at good drivers, which means anyone who has blemishes on their driving record may do better elsewhere in terms of premiums. For residents of Oregon and California who have a clean record and generally meet the lowest-rate standards of most insurance companies, Wawanesa is well worth a look and a comparison quote.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.