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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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

UPDATED: Dec 11, 2020

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Pioneer State Mutual Insurance Company

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Michigan-based Pioneer Mutual Insurance Company is a property & casualty insurer providing coverage to residents of its home state. They write a basic list of both personal and commercial insurance policies including auto insurance, home insurance, and business package policies.

What is Pioneer State?

The company has beginnings similar to other mutual insurance companies formed in the early 1900s, having been created in 1908 to protect farmers from losses caused by lightning strike fires. The company was originally titled Farmers Mutual Lightning Protected Fire Insurance Company of Michigan and sold its policies along with lightning rods as a safety measure, a unique approach.

After several name changes, the company landed on State Mutual Insurance Company of Michigan. The Pioneer would be added in 1967 following a merger with Pioneer Mutual. By this time the company had expanded its offerings beyond the lightning fire coverage to offer general insurance.

Policies are sold through local independent agents across the state of Michigan; the company has not sought to expand beyond state borders. The company’s headquarters is located in Flint, MI.

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What Insurance Products Are Offered?

The insurer offers an array of home insurance policies for various types of dwelling, and also offers personal auto, business, and farm insurance.

Home Insurance

The insurer’s base homeowner coverage provides coverage for the structure, personal property, and liability, along with loss of use coverage. The base package also includes several additional benefits, including coverage for debris removal, trees, shrubs, and plants, refrigerated goods, and fire department charges.

There is an endorsement called Pioneer Advantage that can be added to the policy and bundles together several popular additional coverages in one. These include sewer and drain backup, home cyber protection, increased limits for refrigerated goods and fire department charges, and more.

The company also writes renter’s insurance coverage to protect personal property of tenants and provide liability coverage. They also have policies for condos, mobile homes, and rental dwellings.

Auto Insurance

Pioneer State’s auto insurance program provides liability coverage meeting Michigan’s state minimums with the option to carry additional coverage as well. They offer three forms of collision coverage, with no-fault and limited options.

Like the home policy, there is a package endorsement that can be selected. This package includes new car replacement, trip interruption, preferred location towing, personal property coverage, and more.

The company also offers motorcycle insurance policies as well as motorhome and travel trailer insurance.

Farm Insurance

The company’s original product, farm insurance is offered as a farmowner’s package as well as a la carte coverage. Policies are available for various types of operations, including dairy and other livestock, crops, vineyards, orchards, and hobby farms. The package includes home insurance coverage for a dwelling on the property along with all of the standard homeowner’s insurance. It also covers farm liability, equipment, and other farm risks.

Like the other policies, there is a package endorsement for farmowner’s policies that is similar to the one offered for regular homeowner’s insurance.

Also offered are farm equipment breakdown and farm employment practices liability coverage.

Business Insurance

The insurer has a variety of business insurance packages as well as policies available a la carte. Options include a standard business owner’s package as well as:

Are the Rates Affordable?

The only coverage available for quoting online is renter’s insurance, which is also the only policy that can be purchased online.

We ran a rate quote for a 30-year-old with average credit living in the same zip code as the company headquarters in Flint, Michigan. We set limits of $50,000 for personal property, which is the highest amount quotable online (higher limits can be purchased through an agent).

The annual rate returned for this policy was $398. This includes automatically selected limits of $300,000 for liability and $10,000 for loss of use. The deductible on the quote was $500.

Since this company serves only Michigan, we are unable to compare their rates to other areas, and we do not usually compare quotes on renter’s insurance. This information may, however, be helpful to those in search of renter’s coverage, and does seem a reasonable price based on general knowledge of renter’s insurance.

How are claims handled?

Claims can be reported online, but only after logging into the customer portal. The company also has a mobile app that can be used to submit claims; this use of technology is less common in smaller companies and a nice addition to the options.

During business hours claims can be reported through your agent, and there is an after-hours toll-free number available for urgent claims needs outside of business hours. There does not appear to be a dedicated claims line during business hours, but it might be an option through the main customer service line.

A separate line is available for auto glass and roadside assistance claims.

The company does not offer much in the way of information regarding their claims process, but it does state that they have a 97% satisfaction rate based on their own survey; self-reported statistics provided by the insurer is not always the most reliable source of information about a company’s reputation, however.

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Are the Company’s Ratings and Consumer Reviews Positive?

The insurer has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are 12 complaints on file in the past three years. Of the five reviews on the page, the overall star rating is two out of five. The complaints are common ones regarding claims that were denied.

There are 68 reviews of the company on Google, resulting in an overall 3.7-star rating out of 5. Most of the comments are positive, and the company appears to take the time to respond to the reviews and offer assistance to those with negative comments.

The overall impression of this company is of one that has a good reputation among customers and makes an effort to see that issues are dealt with.

What’s the Bottom Line?

The company has a good reputation and will appeal to those that prefer a smaller, local company and also to those that prefer to work with an agent to handle insurance needs. They offer most of the insurance basics in one place, with the exception of life insurance, and have many years of experience. We found no red flags and recommend adding this company to the rate comparison list for those that are ok with contacting agents for quotes.