UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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About National Interstate
National Interstate Insurance was founded in 1989 in Richfield, Ohio. They operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of National Interstate Corporation, which also owns Vanliner Insurance Company. Through subsidiaries and affiliates, National Interstate operates in Ohio, Missouri, Hawaii, and Alaska.
The product focus in on the commercial transportation industry, with some operations also offering standard commercial coverage. Products are sold through independent agents as well as affiliated agencies. Through partner companies, they provide a comprehensive range of products for passenger transportation, moving and storage, truck transportation, RV coverage, and more.
National Interstate Products
The product lineup from National Interstate is specialized, with custom insurance programs available for much of the transportation industry. They also have some general commercial products in specific areas, and they provide Alternative Risk Transfer (ART) plans as well.
National Interstate’s transportation insurance policies cover a variety of fleet and individual transportation businesses. These include:
- Trucking companies
- Two truck fleets
- Community Medical Transport companies
- Passenger Transport companies including charter buses, limousines, transit fleets, and more
- LP Operators
- Waste operations, including residential waste, construction and demolition debris removal, recycling, and non-hazardous industrial waste
- Ambulance companies
General commercial package policies are available in Hawaii and in Alaska. These policies include commercial liability, business property, and other optional coverage such as commercial auto.
Currently, this type of policy is not offered in any other states.
Alternative Risk Transfer (ART)
ART plans are available for transportation companies that wish to approach their insurance needs a little differently.
These programs are essentially self-insurance; companies pay into a fund to handle claims and can be reimbursed for unused funds at the end of the year or even earn investment income, depending on how the company performs that year.
Also available are crane, rigging, and specialized carriers’ products as well as the option to purchase cyber liability.
RV insurance coverage is available through a partnership with Explorer RV Insurance Agency.
Rates are not available for this company, and that is just what we would expect given the specialty and commercial nature of the products they sell. These types of products require a detailed rating process that cannot be handled via an online quote.
Again, because this company’s products are specialized, they can only be compared to other companies writing the same specialty products in terms of rates.
National Interstate offers online claims reporting, which is unusual for a specialty company like this one.
They also have a 24/7 toll-free line, with a different line for Hawaii and Alaska. Claims can also be submitted via fax – again these numbers differ for Alaska and Hawaii versus the contiguous states.
There is not a lot of claims information, but that is common for this type of company. They do make it easy to find the right contact information and offer several options for filing, after which their representatives will assist with any questions and get the insured through the process.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
National Interstate has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are only three complaints on file in the past three years, all of which were closed more than twelve months prior to this review.
There are 16 reviews on Google with an overall 4.4-star rating. This a pretty high rating, but the content of the reviews isn’t particularly helpful. Some appear to be from people who work for the company, and only one – the single negative review – actually describes a customer experience.
We found little else in the way of reviews for this company, which is not unusual for a specialty insurer.
The Bottom Line
If you are in the market for any of the specialty policies offered by National Interstate, they are likely worth comparing especially given the specific nature of the coverage they write. There’s little to go on in terms of recommending this company, but no red flags to report, either.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.