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Penn National Insurance Review

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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...

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UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018

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Penn National Insurance
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Nearly 100 years old, Penn National is a regional insurance outfit born from the common tradition of mutual companies created for farmers. They offer auto and home insurance for individuals as well as business insurance, all from a mutual company owned by its policyholders.

Penn National Summary

Penn National Insurance was founded in 1919 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania under the name Pennsylvania Threshermen’s and Farmer’s Mutual Casualty Company. The company originally offered Worker’s Compensation coverage for farm employees who operated steam-driven threshing machines, but moved into auto insurance as the number of vehicles on the road increased over the years.

Originally covering only Pennsylvania, the company has expanded over the years to offer insurance in nine other states: Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Wisconsin.

Penn National sells policies through independent agents, and offers no online quoting or sales.

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Insurance Products

Penn National writes both auto and home insurance for customers and business insurance coverage for a variety of different companies.

Auto Insurance

Penn National writes basic auto insurance policies that offer all of the required coverage, as well as common options.

The PennPac package is an available add-on that offers several options for a more complete insurance package. The package includes pet coverage, death benefits, seat belt and restraint benefits, towing, trip interruption, and locksmith services.

Towing and labor can also be added as an individual option, as well as gap protection and replacement cost coverage for the vehicle.

Available discounts include multi-policy, good student, driver education, and paid in full.

Home Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance from Penn National is available from basic to full package policies to cover the structure, personal property, and liability. Penn National also offers condominium insurance to cover the specific needs of condo owners, as well as renter’s insurance to protect tenants.

There is also a PennPac package option that can be added to a home insurance policy. This includes identity theft, refrigerated property, and money and credit card theft. Individual coverage options that can be added on include:

  • Personal property replacement cost
  • Personal injury
  • Water back-up and sump pump overflow
  • Identity theft
  • Specified additional coverage
  • Valuable items coverage
  • Loss assessment

Penn offers a range of discounts that includes an auto/home discount.

Additional Products

Business Insurance

Penn National covers a variety of different businesses ranging from auto repair shops to hotels. Their commercial offerings include:

They also offer specialty coverage like Professional Liability, Contractor’s Errors & Omissions, and Cyber Security. Like the other programs, there is a PennPac package that adds a group of options to a commercial policy.

Umbrella Insurance

Penn National writes umbrella insurance both for individuals and for companies for an additional 1 million dollar limit, with the option of a higher limits.

Penn National Rates

Since Penn National does not offer online quoting, we are unable to provide a quote comparison to other companies. Quotes can only be obtained through agents, and the website will direct you to the agent nearest you to get a price comparison.

Companies that sell through agents tend to have higher rates due to the need to pay agent commissions, therefore we wouldn’t expect rates to be competitive with large direct-buy companies.

Claims

Penn National accepts auto, home, and business claims by phone 24/7 at 1-800-766-2245.

They also accept claims via an online claims form, which is somewhat unusual for a smaller regional company and always a good sign that the company is staying on top of technology.

The company promises to contact the insured within 24 hours of the adjuster being assigned, which occurs within one business day. The Penn National website offers an excellent run-down of their claims process. The adjuster will investigate and determine fault, then confirm coverage and estimates and offer a settlement for repairs.

Penn National has a preferred repair network available that will guarantee the repairs on the vehicle, although customers are welcome to select their own repair shop.

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Consumer Research and Complaints

Penn National is not Better Business Bureau accredited, however they have an A- rating currently. The website lists a total of 11 complaints in the last three years, three of which have been closed in the past 12 months.

The BBB lowered the company’s rating to an A- due to their failure to respond to one of the filed complaints. Overall, though, the complaint volume is very low, which is likely why the BBB didn’t lower their rating of the company further – they are generally fairly harsh about failure to respond to complaints.

There are a few negative reviews throughout the internet regarding the company, mainly focused on difficulty with claims. Again, the volume is low and there is nothing unusual about the content of the complaints compared to what we see for other insurance companies of similar size and with similar products.

Overall, for a company the size of Penn National, neither the complaint volume nor the content of the claims leaves any serious feeling of concern.

Financial Strength

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

Bottom Line

Penn National has a long history, a good reputation and a lineup of basic but solid insurance products for home and business. They aren’t exactly one-stop shopping due to the lack of life insurance or specialty offerings, but they do have some good add-on options and an auto/home discount available.

For those who prefers to work with an agent and are willing to put in the time to obtain quotes from agents for price comparison purposes, Penn National could be an OK choice.

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

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Review Information

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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.

12 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, I went through a Broker and ended up with Penn National as my Business Insurer. I was a Transportation Executive and worked with Risk Management for 20 years+. This Company is pitiful. Our business is Gardening and Design.
    1. We had an Employee injured due to a wall collapse on a clients property. 5 Employees witnessed it and the home Owner admitted fault. Penn National lost the case and now I am penalized due to their incompetence. I am the one that insisted upon our Employees be interviewed as to what they witnessed. I alerted Penn National that I would have them available for a phone interview, name the day and time. They never responded. Penn National sent questionnaires out to two of the five. Penn National claims only one responded, that was an outright lie. I spoke with both employees and they completed the questionnaire and mailed them back. Even so, Penn National had all five witnesses available to them upon their request and they were too incompetent to follow-up. The reason for them losing the case….The homeowner denied to Erie Insurance that she ever admitted fault. So what! I have five witnesses that dispute that. Had Penn National done their job, it is highly possible that my five witnesses would have shifted the weight of the case to our side. The final reason given by Penn National….Erie Insurance denied the claim. What gives Erie more leverage than Penn National? Very Poor, extremely incompetent.
    2. My 2017 – 2018 Business Policy expired 6/30/2018 Premium paid in full, no late payments. 2018 – 2019 effective 7/01/2018. October 04, 2018 I receive an invoice in the amount of $1488.00. The explanation, this is an outstanding balance on an expired policy or policies. They are claiming that due to an audit, they did not charge me enough on my previous policy. The previous policy premium was agreed upon when it took effect, all payments were in accordance to the stated amount, the policy terminated 6/30/2018. The contract was satisfied and all payments were made. Once the contract expired, how can Penn National come back and say we did not charge you enough from the beginning. They are “Strong Arming” by threatening cancellation of the current policy, that is paid up to date if I do not pay this erroneous amount of $1488. Contacted Customer Service at the number supplied, they can not answer my questions. I tried twice, just in case the person I was talking to was incompetent. Both times I was told to hold for the Audit Department, no one answers and they want you to leave a voice mail. I did and no one calls you back. I have until 11/18/2018 to pay the erroneous amount or they will cancel my business policy that is paid in accordance to their terms. No wonder the BBB has lowered the rating to an A-. My plan is to pay the erroneous amount and file suit against Penn National for the return of the $1488 plus court costs and expose their “Strong Arm” tactics. The BBB will be my next stop in an effort to ensure that Penn Nationals rating drops further.

    Reply
    • In reference to question #2, it appears you had an auditable policy.

      This means that your policy premium was based on a gross receipt or payroll estimate for the upcoming year.

      Once the year has ended you are sent an audit or a “check” to see what your actual payroll or gross receipts were the previous year and are charged accordingly.

      Sometimes you will get money back as well. You will get an additional bill for this amount.

      This can be broken down into installments. Also, you do not have to increase your current term to match the audited premium unless your business plans on growing beyond this.

      All of the insurance companies do this.

      Sometimes that audited premium can be wrong and sometimes if the person does not answer the audit reporting request they will charge a strange amount since no one answered.

      They do this since your chances of a claim have gone up since you have done more business (if this makes any sense).

      I am an insurance sales agent in NJ.

      Reply
  2. My son has Penn National Auto Insurance. Someone rear-ended his car and totaled it on 10/31/2018 just 3 months after he bought it. We were told we had to file with the other driver’s insurance first before filing with them. They finally denied the claim on 12/18/2018. Then we filed with Penn National. His claim adjuster [Redacted] is rude and arrogant and has delayed his claim multiple times and has an aggressive accusatory tone at all times. He gave a detailed statement online when filing the claim, which she acted like she did not have, so he emailed a statement and gave her a phone statement as well. But every time she called she kept saying still needed his statement! Took over 2 weeks to get car appraised and deemed total loss and that was done on 1/3/2018. She didn’t provide a settlement offer for another week. Then they send your claim off to a title procurement company who sent us a packet to sign for power of attorney and failed to include the paperwork to sign. Took 3 days of constant trying to get the paperwork. Signed it sent it on 1/18/2018 and we still do not have payment for the car! They did at least pay off his lien holder on 1/17/2018 even before getting the POA paperwork back. Today after following up for over a week with no response we are told that the Power of Attorney Paperwork had something marked through on it and they had to get approval to use it. But I have a copy of that signed paper that he FedExed to them and NOTHING was marked through on it when it was sent to them. So not a valid excuse for their delay in payment. Plus the paper says it is voided if any alternations or mark throughs are on it. So no way they could get approval to use a form that was marked through and they did not request that he sign a new one so I call BS on that story totally. Today they said his payment is finally approved and would be mailed out tomorrow REGULAR MAIL and to allow another 7-14 days to get it!!! Who mails large settlement checks regular mail with no way to track it??! If we do by some miracle get that check in 2 weeks we will have been waiting for payment for over a month and a half! And my son has been without a car for nearly 4 months now and can not buy another one until he gets that check!
    But I bet it “gets lost in the mail” or something. I could not recommend Penn National Insurance at all. Their adjusters are rude, they involve third parties that you have no relationship with and mail payments regular mail!!! Would not wish them on my worst enemy. HORRIBLE COMPANY HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE JUST HORRIBLE

    Reply
  3. My son had full coverage on an older car he was still paying for. He was hit head-on by another driver, his car was totaled but they didn’t pay off his note on the car! After that, I am going back to Farm Bureau. Penn National lost my business and anyone else I can convince to drop them.

    Reply
  4. I made a claim for 1063 after a visitor to my home brought his dog, which had no history of bites, and it bit another visitor. They then cancelled at renewal time. A sorry insurance company in my opinion. They want premium money but don’t like paying when it’s their responsibility.

    Reply
    • Why didn’t the visitor pay the damages? If his kid hit another kid and caused stitches etc…that parent is responsible. Dog claims are known to get escalated and it’s a red flag for all companies if you have had one. The “ Bureau” company you mentioned has canceled 100’s of policies for dog breeds without ever biting, so be careful where you jump.

      Reply
  5. I had a claim for a damaged car. After many many phone calls and promises of reimbursement I still do not have a check in hand. It has been 2 weeks! The customer service is discourteous and extremely long waits on the phone. Would not recommend this company to anyone!

    Reply
    • I hear ya! One of their insureds hit me and I can’t get them to return calls so I can get treated! Like I’ve done something wrong…is how they’re treating this. And I did not even call a cop on the guy. I was really nice about it …now this! My accident happened over a month ago and I’ve only managed to get one evaluation that I paid for and HOPE to get reimbursed for! Just WOW! Try not to get hit by anyone with this insurance or anyone at all in case they have PENN NATIONAL!

      Reply
  6. Eric, are you or have you ever been an employee of Penn National?

    Reply
    • Hi Pete,

      No, I have never worked for Penn National.

      Best,
      Eric Stauffer

      Reply
      • I don’t have insurance with penn nat but have had to deal w/ them being a poa for my sister. I have found them to be arrogant and cold. Won’t refund money from canceled premium, their insurance is higher than a lot of company’s and they cancel for lame excuses because they don’t see future profits.

        Reply
        • I feel the same way, Our water heater burst and we never saw an adjuster. Penn national sent out Mommoth who are a BIG RIP OFF…. I had our water heater burst and it seems your adjuster is more interested in saving money by neglecting to remove the carpet or carpet pad. Wet carpet needs to be pulled in total or it just harbors conditions that lead to mold and mildew, yes and further damage! Sticking a blower in a uplifted corner of the carpet WILL NOT get the job done!!! Especially if pad is soaked and needs to be replaced, the fans just dry the carpet, the pad 4 days later is still soaked and starts smelling like mildew….meanwhile the fans that are put in place just blow the mildew smell throught my house. The insurance Co. Refused to take out the carpet….they actually said if they remove the carpet then they wont do the drywall that was damaged…WHAT???!!! Mammoth restoration was absolutely no help at all,..and Penn Nationl insuance dosnt care about their customers or our house. This insurance company sucks

          Reply

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