UPDATED: Mar 18, 2020
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About 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.
Peking writes all of 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.
Pekin’s auto insurance program covers all the basics, along with several 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
Pekin has a good list of discounts available for their car insurance policies, including common ones like multi-car, good student, and anti-theft devices. Discounts are also offered for longevity with the company and for hybrid vehicles.
Pekin also has a high-risk auto program called Crossroads designed for drivers with difficult driving records.
In addition to auto insurance, Pekin offers coverage for motorcycles, boats, and ATVs.
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
- 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.
Pekin writes coverage for single family homes as well as condos and mobile homes. They also have a renter’s insurance policy.
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 of 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 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, Pekin has several other financial planning products including annuities.
Pekin offers Medicare Supplement insurance coverage in all of the states where they are licensed. Plans vary by state and follow the standards of the state. Most states use the letter-coded system, with a few exceptions.
Pekin writes a la carte coverage and Business Owners package policies mainly for small businesses. They have coverage for many different 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.
Pekin does not offer any online quoting, and rates are only available by speaking with a local agent. The site provides an agent locator that can put visitors in touch with a local 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.
Pekin has a toll-free 24/7 claims line that can be used for just about any of their products, with the exception of 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.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
Pekin Insurance 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.
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 a local agent. They are also a good pick for those in search of high-risk auto insurance coverage.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.