UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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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 insurance agents, but Kemper Direct offers direct-buy auto insurance 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 insurance. They also offer several specialty products and have a branch handling consumer finance products such as loans. They operate in all 50 states, although not all subsidiaries and products are available in every one
Through their family of companies, Kemper offers a full range of insurance products. The various businesses cater to specific market segments.
Kemper offers auto insurance through several different companies. They have choices for direct-buy, policies sold through agents, and high-risk coverage as well.
Kemper Direct is the company’s direct buy option, offering online quoting and purchasing of auto insurance 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. These standard policies come with several discount options including multi-policy and safety discounts.
Kemper Personal and Commercial Lines is the main insurance company 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 a brand-new leased or purchased vehicle.
Kemper Specialty California is the California-only company offering non-standard insurance to those with driving record issues or other problems obtaining coverage.
Kemper sells home insurance through both Kemper Direct and agents, as well as through many subsidiary companies.
They write standard homeowner’s insurance offering coverage for the structure, personal property, and liability, as well as offering both condo and renter’s 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 agents, offers a single-policy, one bill choice that covers auto and home under blanket coverage.
Life & Health Insurance
Kemper offers whole and term life as well as several options for supplemental health insurance needs. These are sold through two subsidiaries, Kemper Home Service Companies and Reserve National.
Kemper’s family of companies offer several other speciality products:
- Boat Insurance
- Commercial Auto
- Identity Theft
- Personal Catastrophe Liability
- Collectibles Insurance
- Personal Valuables Insurance
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.
Kemper accepts claims both online and over the phone. Their 24/7 toll-free claims line can be reached at 1-800-536-7376.
Claims can be filed through an online form for auto, property, glass, and roadside assistance.
Status updates for claims 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 handled independently.
Kemper is not Better Business Bureau accredited, but does carry an A+ rating. There are 30 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 complaints about Kemper on the throughout the internet, most of which appear to be written by non-Kemper customers who were involved in an accident with a Kemper 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.
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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.
With bundling available and access to all of the basics of personal insurance, Kemper 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.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.