Pekin Insurance Review & Complaints: Home, Auto & Life Insurance

Pekin Insurance Company writes all of the big three policies in personal insurance - Pekin home insurance, auto insurance, and life insurance – as well as Pekin business insurance and employee benefits. Pekin Insurance quotes are not offered online, but you can find an A+ Pekin Insurance rating on the company's Better Business Bureau page.

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His 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.

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Written by Eric Stauffer
Founder & Former Insurance Agent Eric Stauffer

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 1, 2022

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Pekin Insurance

Financial Strength

Pekin Insurance is an Illinois-based insurer that offers a wide range of products, both personal and commercial. Pekin operates as a group of four companies, providing varied coverage in a number of states.

What is Pekin Insurance?

Pekin has a backstory similar to a lot of other insurance companies; it was started in 1921 by a group of farmers to provide an affordable option for car insurance. Members of the Tazewell County Farm Bureau formed The Farmers Automobile Insurance Association – not related to the well-known Farmers Insurance Group – and began offering policies to locals.

The company started offering 25-hour claim services in 1932, and the company grew rapidly, with 30,000 policies in force by 1945. In 1952 they added fire insurance and continued to add new lines of business over the following decades. The Pekin Life Insurance Company was created in 1965 to write a variety of life insurance policies.

Today they offer a full line of personal and business insurance policies in six states, with a limited selection of products available in nine other states. Pekin’s headquarters remains in its namesake city of Pekin, Illinois, with eight regional claims offices in other states. Policies are sold through independent agents.

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What types of insurance products are offered?

Peking writes all the big three policies in personal insurance – home insurance, auto insurance, and life insurance – as well as several specialty policies. They also write business insurance and offer employee benefits.

Auto Insurance

The auto insurance program covers all the basics, along with many optional coverage enhancements available to customize the policy. These include:

  • Roadside Assistance
  • Rental Reimbursement
  • Accidental Death Benefit
  • $0 deductible for glass claims
  • New car replacement
  • Coverage for sound receiving and transmission equipment
  • Auto/Loan Lease coverage
  • Young Adult Protection Plus (a package endorsement aimed at young adults)

The Auto Guard Endorsement is a package endorsement that includes a wide variety of options in one. This package comes with:

  • Extended rental car coverage
  • Accidental Airbag Deployment
  • Additional Towing and Labor
  • Trip Interruption protection
  • Personal Effects coverage
  • Key Replacement
  • Fire Department charges
  • Pet Coverage
  • Tire Protection
  • Waiver of Deductible

The insurer has a good list of discounts available for their car insurance policies, including common ones like multi-car, good student, and anti-theft devices. Insurance discounts are also offered for longevity with the company and for hybrid vehicles.

It also has a high-risk auto program called Crossroads designed for drivers with difficult driving records.

In addition to auto insurance, the company offers coverage for motorcycles, boats, and ATVs.

Home Insurance

Pekin’s home insurance policy covers all the house and other structures, personal property, and liability as well as loss of use coverage. Coverage endorsements can be added to build on the basic policy.

Both extended replacement cost coverage for the dwelling and replacement cost coverage for personal property can be added to the base policy. Additional coverage enhancements are:

  • Identity Theft
  • Equipment Breakdown
  • Earthquake
  • Refrigerated Property
  • Scheduled Personal Property for high-value items
  • Pet Health Insurance
  • Water and Sewer Backup

Discounts on home policies include protective devices, new roof discounts, and mature homeowner among others.

The insurer writes coverage for single-family homes as well as condos and mobile homes. They also have a renter’s insurance policy.

Life Insurance

Pekin has a wide range of life insurance policies available, both whole life insurance and term life insurance. The website does not give much detail on the policies, but lists all the available options:

  • Universal Life Insurance
  • Term Life with 10, 15, 20, or 30-year term lengths
  • Preferred Whole Life with a variety of payment options including single insurance premium and Paid Up at 65
  • Simplified Issue Whole Life, which can be issued without the need for medical exams, but has a lower death benefit and limited benefits in the first two years.
  • Graded Death Benefit Whole Life
  • Transitional Life, which transitions from a higher death benefit policy to a lower, permanent amount of coverage
  • Funeral Pre-planning
  • Credit Insurance and Debt Protection

In addition to these options, there are several other financial planning products including annuities.

Medicare Supplement

Medicare Supplement insurance coverage is offered in all of the states where the insurer is licensed. Plans vary by state and follow the standards of the state. Most states use the letter-coded system, with a few exceptions.

Business Insurance

The company writes à la carte coverage and Business Owners package policies mainly for small businesses. They have coverage for many business types and can customize a package to include things like business auto and workers compensation.

In addition to covering businesses, Pekin also writes employee benefits packages. These can be employer-paid or employee-paid voluntary benefits. Options include short-term disability and group life.

Does the company offer competitive rates?

The insurance company does not offer any online quoting, and rates are only available by speaking with a local agent. The site provides an insurance agent locator that can put visitors in touch with an independent insurance agent.

Companies like Pekin do not usually compete on rates with big direct-buy insurance companies, but often make up for somewhat higher rates in the customer service department.

How are claims handled?

Pekin has a toll-free 24/7 claims line that can be used for just about any of their products, except for life insurance claims. Online claim filing is also available for home and auto, auto glass claims, and credit insurance and debt protection.

Health claims for Medicare supplement or employee benefits health plans are filed through a different system.

The site does not provide any information on how claims are handled or what to expect. For a company of this size, we expect to see a somewhat more robust claims section that provides some information at the very least.

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Are the ratings and consumer reviews positive?

The company has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1949, and currently has an A+ rating. There are 15 complaints on file in the past three years. There are 13 reviews that add up to a two out of five-star rating.

The reviews include some very positive comments as well as some complaints about customer service and claims issues.

We found eight reviews on Yelp, all of which are negative. They cite denial of claims and slow service.

The overall number of complaints for this company is low considering its size. We did not find any red flags or major issues of concern.

Does Pekin Insurance create a user-friendly experience for customers?

Pekin Insurance’s official website is quite well done, at least from a layout perspective. The website is highly intuitive and easy to navigate. However, certain pertinent information is lacking, such as a claims process or claims response time frame promise. The carrier doesn’t list their business hours on their official website either, only on their Facebook page. The carrier also does not provide 24/7 phone or online claims reporting, which are modern customer service options often expected of insurance companies today. Overall, Pekin Insurance has a ways to go to catch up with other carriers, in terms of user-friendliness.

What’s the bottom line?

Pekin has a very good range of products for a regional company, and should be able to meet the needs of most individuals. Without rates, we cannot speak to their value, but they might be a good choice for anyone that prefers a smaller company and the assistance of an independent insurance agent. They are also a good pick for those in search of high-risk auto insurance coverage.

Today, Pekin Insurance has expanded to offer coverage in 24 states. The carrier offers coverage solutions for individuals and businesses, including home insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, worker’s comp, and more. The insurance company’s LinkedIn profile states that Pekin Insurance currently has 501-1,000 employees, with just under 700 of them found on the social media platform. In terms of financial size, A.M. Best places the carrier in the $250-500 million category.

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