UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.