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Pacific Specialty Insurance Company Review

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UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018

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Pacific Specialty Insurance Company
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Pacific Specialty’s area of expertise is right in their name – they are known primarily as a specialty powersports insurer specializing in boats, motorcycles, and more. Beyond that however, they also offer property & liability coverage with a unique approach to bundling policies.

Pacific Specialty Summary

Pacific Specialty Insurance Company is part of The McGraw Group of Insurance companies, which was founded in 1976 and is one of the largest providers of motorcycle and personal watercraft insurance in the country. Pacific Specialty writes policies in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, and also provides homeowners and liability policies. The company is based in Menlo Park, CA.

Other companies under the McGraw Group banner are McGraw Insurance Services, McGraw Powersports, and Western Service Contract Company. Pacific Specialty Insurance policies are administrated by McGraw Insurance Services.

Pacific Specialty policies are sold exclusively through independent agents; there is no online quoting available. Online services do include account access and claims services. The company offers a unique auto-home bundling option for reduced rates. Although they do not write auto insurance, they will provide a package discount to those who insure a home with Pacific Specialty and purchase auto insurance through the same producer.

Insurance Products

Pacific Specialty writes policies in three main markets: property, powersports, and liability. There are several different policy types in each of these categories.

Property Insurance

Property insurance is available for a variety of different home types and needs, from standard single-family homes to specialty policies.

  • Homeowner’s Insurance – Pacific Specialty writes standard homeowner’s insurance policies designed to cover single-family homes. These package policies include replacement cost coverage for the home itself, personal property coverage, personal liability coverage, and a variety of other features.
  • Renter’s Insurance – Pacific Specialty writes policies to cover the personal property of those who rent a home. This type of policy does not have structure coverage, but provide replacement cost coverage for personal property as well as liability coverage.
  • Mobile Home Insurance – Pacific Specialty writes policies to cover the unique needs of mobile home owners, including available coverage for golf carts, personal property replacement, and coverage for the home itself.
  • Condo and Townhouse – These policies are available for all types of condos and townhomes, providing a blended coverage that includes the portions of the structure for which the homeowner is responsible. Personal property and liability are also covered.

Earthquake Insurance – Earthquake damage is not covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy, so Pacific Specialty offers specialty policies to cover earthquake damage.

Powersports Insurance

Pacific Specialty is best known as a major insurer of powersports equipment, such as motorcycles, ATVs, boats, and RVs. These policies are designed for the unique needs and risks of powered toys.

  • Motorcycle Insurance – Pacific Specialty covers a range of different types of street bikes, providing liability, collision, comprehensive and more. There is also coverage available for motorcycle accessories, included with a full package policy, and transportation/trailer coverage.
  • ATVs and Off-Road Vehicles – Policies for ATVs cover liability as well as the vehicle itself. They also include coverage for accessories when a full coverage policy is purchased.
  • Boats and Personal Watercraft – One of Pacific Specialty’s areas of expertise, policies are available for a range of different types of watercraft. Watercraft liability, towing and transportation, and accessories coverage are a few of the package policy benefits.
  • RVs and Travel Trailers – Whether a motor home or a towed travel trailer, Pacific Specialty writes comprehensive package policies to meet the needs of RVers from full-time to seasonal. Policies include personal property and enhanced roadside assistance.

Liability Insurance

Pacific Specialty writes both comprehensive personal liability policies and umbrella policies to protect the insured from lawsuits, negligence claims, and the many ways in which a mistake can become a financial disaster. Umbrella coverage up to $2 million is also available.

Pacific Specialty Rates

Like most insurance companies, Pacific Specialty promises low rates. Quotes are not available through the website, making it difficult to compare to other insurance companies. The company would be expected to be most competitive in the specialty insurance area, since that is their area of expertise.

One of the more unusual things about the Pacific Specialty that affects their rates is their auto/home bundling discount. The company will bundle their homeowner’s insurance policy with an auto policy from any insurance company. Although the website is somewhat unclear on how an insured can receive this discount, it appears that the policies must be purchased through the same producer. In addition to the other discounts available, this offer has the potential to bring rates closer to some of the larger insurance companies.

Claims

The claims department at Pacific Specialty is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and can be contacted by phone, fax, or email. The company also offers online claims reporting through the customer portal, where the insured can also check up on the status of the claim.

Aside from the information regarding how to contact the claims department, there is very little additional information available on the website regarding the claims process or what should be expected by the insured during a claim.

Consumer Research and Complaints

Pacific Specialty has been Better Business Bureau accredited since 2016. The BBB gives the company an A+ rating. There have been only 17 complaints in the last three years, four of which have been closed in the past 12 months.

On other review sites, comments and complaints from those doing business with Pacific Specialty indicates a great deal of difficulty with slow and poor claims response, rude representatives, denied claims, and unexpectedly raised rates.

There are 36 ratings on ConsumerAffairs.com, 31 of the 36 are one star reviews. The overall rating of the company on this site is slightly higher than one star. The company ranks two stars overall on Yelp.

It is not uncommon for insurance companies to have a lot of negative reviews due to the tendency to write reviews only when dissatisfied.

Financial Strength

Rating Company Grade Financial Outlook
AM Best A Stable
Fitch N/A N/A
S&P N/A N/A

Bottom Line

Pacific Specialty writes a good range of specialty products and also offers homeowner’s insurance with a bundling discount that is unlike most other insurance companies. While their policies seem solid, there are quite a few negative reviews that are likely to give some people pause before accepting a policy.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

Summary
Review Date
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Pacific Specialty Insurance
Author Rating
31star1star1stargraygray

About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My 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.

3 Comments

  1. HOW THIS COMPANY SCREWS PEOPLE OVER WITH EXPLANATIONS:

    For the love of Pete, DO NO USE THIS COMPANY! READ THEIR REVIEWS.

    The reviews on their website are hand-picked from likely every person that they have been able to schmooze into writing a good review. Either that, they wrote the reviews themselves, or they paid people to give good reviews.

    [Redacted] – Lying claims rep.

    [Redacted]- Manager of the lying claims rep that does not call back when she says she will. Not even within a few days of when she said she will, as I STILL haven’t heard back from her.

    [Redacted] – Gets a bad attitude and a tone in his voice if you ask him questions that he doesn’t have the answers to.

    [Redacted] – Receptionist – Very nice and TRIED to help, but she is too low level to do anything.

    [Redacted] – Guy who did the estimate on my repairs. This guy is an absolute piece of work. He missed some things on my quote so I sent him pictures of the damage. Then he had the nerve to call me a liar.

    [Redacted] – Guy has an inferiority complex and doesn’t know simple answers to common questions.

    This company will try to cheat you at every single angle they possibly can. I got an original claim stating that my repair cost would be $2800 and that my bike was not totaled. After DAYS of trying to convince them that the quote was missing three damaged pieces, the manager (third level of support), [Redacted], finally agreed to add the items. I gave them VERY CLEAR PICTURES of the damage on the day of the accident. Not until I did this would they even accept that there was damage. Instead they basically just kept calling me a liar without actually using that word. They even told me that without those pictures they wouldn’t have added the damage. [Redacted] said I should have the check, with the cost of the added pieces, by the end of the week. Here we are Tuesday of the following week and I get a call from [Redacted] stating that now they are claiming that my bike is totaled and he didn’t even add the three pieces that [Redacted] said they would. How is this possible? Because this company doesn’t have a clue what they are doing? Then [Redacted] also states that if I want to keep the bike that it will also have a salvage title. PLUS he said that I would only receive $2700, instead of the original $2800. I literally cannot even handle this company anymore. I LOVE MY MOTORCYCLE, but because this company is SOOOOOOO HORRIBLE, they forced me to give up on my bike or lose even more money than they are already trying to screw me out of. Now it’s been 7 weeks and I still do not have a check, a bike, and they have still not refunded me for the insurance costs during that time period.

    HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE ON EVERY SINGLE LEVEL AT THIS COMPANY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  2. We paid our annual bill, and then decided to change to Geico. Since they had received our payment 4 days before, they would not refund our $25 annual fee. We have paid this fee every year for 13 years even though we didn’t know we were. Their insurance is MANY times higher than Geico. I was on hold on the phone for a very long time, and looked up reviews for PSI. They got horrible reviews, which caused me to cancel. I’m glad that I never needed to make a claim with them, because from what others have said, it’s not a good experience…

    Reply
  3. Dear [Redacted],

    Thank you for your nice letters of 16 and 17 January, 2017. Kindly note the following:

    (1) I have committed myself to Pacific Specialty from the beginning to the present moment (last 7 years).

    (2) Pacific Specialty has increased my home insurance on an up-going scale without informing me or telling me why (from $ 500 in 2014 to $ 755 Jan. 2017). Justifications could have been welcome, if convincing and meaningful to continue our cooperation.

    (3) In so far as the present claim is concerned, Pacific Specialty has not acted instantly, a situation which made my wife and me, suffer a lot due to the disuse of our kitchen for more than 8 days.

    (4) We were forced to have the three of our meals daily in a restaurant.

    Given the above considerations, My wife and I would like you to be as fair as possible in so far as Claim no. [Redacted] is concerned (Policy: [Redacted].

    Best regards
    Cordially
    Muhammed Al Dami (M.A., Ph.D.)
    Professor

    Reply

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