Kemper Specialty Insurance Review & Complaints: Auto, Home, Life & Health Insurance

Previously known as Unitrin, Kemper is a family of companies offering a range of personal and commercial insurance products. Through its family of companies, Kemper offers a full range of insurance products.

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

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Written by Eric Stauffer
Founder & Former Insurance Agent Eric Stauffer

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2022

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Kemper Specialty Insurance

Financial Strength

Previously known as Unitrin, Kemper is a family of companies offering a range of personal and commercial insurance products. Through this group of companies, they are a one-stop-shop for most coverage needs with often affordable rates, with more than 6 million policies in force across the nation.

What is Kemper?

What is Kemper Insurance? Kemper was founded in 1990 as Unitrin Inc., a spinoff from Teledyne. Their success was so great that within a few years they became the target of hostile takeover attempts, winding up in a legal battle with American General over their stock buyback approach to staying independent. Unitrin succeeded and continued to grow by leaps and bounds through the 1990s.

In 2011, Unitrin officially took the name Kemper Corporation. Most of their insurance products are sold through a network of agents, but Kemper Direct offers direct-buy auto policies to consumers without an agent. Among their subsidiaries include recently acquired California auto insurer Alliance United.

Kemper’s products include auto, home, and life as well as commercial coverage. They also offer several specialty products and have a branch handling customer finance products such as loans. They operate in all 50 states, although not all subsidiaries and products are available in every one.

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What types of insurance products are offered?

Through their family of companies, Kemper offers a full range of products. The various businesses cater to specific market segments.

Are auto policies offered?

Kemper auto insurance options are offered through several different companies. Kemper Auto insurance has choices for direct-buy, auto insurance policy sold through agents, and high-risk coverage options as well.

Kemper auto insurance is the auto insurance company’s direct buy option, offering online quoting and purchasing of auto policy without an agent. They offer coverage in 26 states. In addition to the standard coverage, Kemper Direct also offers features such as accident forgiveness and pet protection coverage options. If your dog or cat is injured in a covered accident, Kemper will provide you $2,000 for medical payments.

These standard policies come with several auto insurance discounts including multi-policy and safety discounts. They also offer a mature driver discount for drivers who are at least 55 years old and have taken an approved accident prevention course.

Kemper Personal and Commercial Lines is the main insurer that sells products through agents. This company offers standard and preferred policies with multiple options available to upgrade such as the Kemper Total option, which offers extended replacement cost coverage instead of actual cash value, this option is available for brand-new leased or purchased vehicles.

Kemper Specialty California is the California-only company offering non-standard auto coverage to high risk drivers with driving record issues or other problems obtaining coverage.

Are homeowners insurance policies offered?

The company sells homeowners insurance coverage through both Kemper Direct and agents, as well as through many subsidiary companies.

They write standard homeowner’s policies offering coverage for the structure, personal property, and liability, as well as offering both condo and renters insurance options.

There are multiple discounts available including a loss-free discount and a mature homeowner’s discount, and they also have a bundling option available. The Package Plus policy, only available through independent agents, offers a single-policy, one bill choice that covers auto and home under blanket coverage.

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Is life & health insurance offered?

Kemper offers a whole and term life insurance policy as well as several insurance coverage options for supplemental health insurance needs. These are sold through two subsidiaries, Kemper Home Service Companies, and Reserve National.

What additional products are offered?

Kemper’s family of companies offer several other specialty products and additional coverage:

  • Boat Insurance
  • Commercial Auto Insurance Coverage
  • Identity Theft
  • Personal Catastrophe Liability
  • Collectibles Insurance
  • Personal Valuables Insurance

Are the company’s insurance rates competitive?

Kemper’s rates are really quite reasonable. Based on our standard rate test, we were able to get a quote that came in about 20% below average. That’s impressive for a company not considered a budget insurer.

This rate quote is from the Kemper Direct system, so it may not reflect the kind of rates offered through agents, where commissions can have an impact on price.

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Can insurance claims be filed online?

Kemper accepts claims both online and over the phone. Their 24/7 toll-free claims line can be used at any time. Claims can be filed through an online form for auto, property, glass, and roadside assistance coverage.

Status updates on the claims process can be found in the Manage My Policy section of their website. Claims typically show within one business day and are subsequently updated every 24 hours.

Claims for life and health policies, as well as those through other subsidiary companies, are filed through each individual company’s claims department and processed independently.

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Are there consumer complaints against the company?

Is Kemper Life Insurance legit? Kemper is not Better Business Bureau accredited but does carry an A+ rating. There are 30 customer service complaints filed against the company in the past three years, 15 of which were closed in the previous 12 months. Of the complaints filed, 19 of them were regarding product and service.

There are a few customer service complaints about Kemper insurance throughout the internet, most of which appear to be written by non-Kemper customers who were involved in an accident with a Kemper health insured. There are also a few positive reviews of the company – something rare enough in the insurance industry to really stand out.

Overall, there are no red flags in the reviews and the company has a very low volume of complaints given their size. The positive reviews give an added boost to Kemper’s reputation.

How is its financial strength?

Rating Company Grade Financial Outlook
AM Best A- Stable
Fitch N/A N/A

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What is the bottom line?

Kemper offers solid products at a good price, with a good reputation to back them. They give insurance shoppers the choice of buying direct or working with an agent to select insurance coverage, which helps them widen their appeal. As far as payment options are considered, you can pay your insurance bill once or twice a year, quarterly, or monthly.

Their website allows you to get a quote or find an agency. If you’re a Kemper policyholder, you can log in to handle your policy. Customers can also register to receive text message billing notifications right to your mobile device and pay anywhere, anytime, directly from the mobile app on your phone. There is also an option for automatic payments, so you don’t need to worry about taking care of your bill each month.

With bundling available and access to all of the basics of Kemper personal insurance, they can provide one-stop shopping for most people. While we are unable to say what their rate would be in the non-standard market, for good drivers Kemper is well worth a closer look.

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