UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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About National Indemnity Company
National Indemnity was founded in 1940 in Omaha, Nebraska, writing insurance for taxis. Their efforts to streamline taxi service during World War II earned them an award from the War Department, which adopted the plan nationwide to save on gasoline.
In 1967, Berkshire Hathaway acquired National Indemnity, making it a part of their large group of companies. The company is cited as a large part of the group’s property and casualty business and instrumental to its growth. Through subsidiaries, National Indemnity has grown over the years and expanded into multiple markets, including reinsurance.
National Indemnity sells its specialty insurance products through a chain of retail and contracted general agents across the country. Their products are commercial and do not include personal lines.
National Indemnity Products
National Indemnity mainly focuses on the transportation industry, including commercial auto, garage liability, and cargo. They also offer a few other niche property & casualty products.
Commercial auto products are offered in four categories:
- Business auto, covering a variety of vehicles used in the course of business operations.
- Passenger Transport, which provides coverage for various types of transportation companies including buses, daycare vans, and more.
- Commercial Trucks and Truckers, which includes coverage ranging from long-haul trucking to tow trucks and dump trucks.
- Specialty Operations, which covers a wide variety of other vehicle types, including ambulances, mobile concessions, mobile operations, and security vehicles.
National Indemnity’s wide array of commercial vehicle products provides for a lot of niche markets that may be difficult to insure, which has been part of their approach since their founding.
Garage products are separated into two categories. These policies cover the specific risks of garage-related industries, including liability.
Dealer policies are available for everything from standard car dealerships to those selling RVs, trucks, trailers, ATVs, and more.
Service and Repair Shops products provide package insurance for body shops, mechanics, car washes, and several other similar businesses.
General Liability insurance can be purchased for a wide range of businesses. National Indemnity, again provides options for niche businesses such as bounce house rentals that may be difficult to insure.
General Liability categories from National Indemnity are:
- Installation, Service, and Repair
- Manufacturing and Distributing
- Stores & Rental Operations
- Miscellaneous Businesses
National Indemnity covers cargo hauled directly by the company or by a hired hauler. The coverage includes loading and unloading, refrigeration breakdown, and lost income.
Cargo coverage can be purchased separately or added to a commercial package policy.
One of the more, unique niche products offered by National Indemnity, prize indemnification provides protection for prizes with a value up to $1,000,000. This can include a fundraiser and contest prizes.
Liability and medical payments coverage for events from small gatherings to large festivals are part of this product offering. Coverage can include fairs, rallies, parades, concerts, and community events.
National Indemnity does not write the type of policy for which quick online quoting is feasible, therefore it is not surprising that it the company does not offer online quoting.
Rates for these products can vary widely based on the type of business, the size, and the coverage that is needed.
National Indemnity accepts claims in a variety of ways. While there is no online form to submit a claim, there is an email address that can be used to start the process. There is also a 24/7 toll-free claims line available. The claims page provides a fax number and a mailing address.
Little information is offered on the claims process, which is common for this type of insurance company, where claims can be complex and involve a lot of different factors.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
National Indemnity Company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). There have been eight complaints filed in the past three years, two of which have been closed in the past 12 months.
There are six reviews on Google, most of which are simply star ratings and the few with comments do not provide much detail. One is a complaint regards premium costs, and the other refers to policy cancellation. The overall star rating is 3.7, which is generally good for an insurance company of any kind.
This company’s niche market does not lend itself much to Internet reviews, so it is not surprising that the number and content of the reviews are limited.
The Bottom Line
National Indemnity is a niche insurance company and is most likely to come to the attention of business owners seeking out specific types of coverage through an agent. With a long history and a good reputation, National Indemnity would seem to be worth considering for anyone in the market for those particular specialty products they offer.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.