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: Nov 30, 2020

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Selective Insurance has been in the property & casualty industry for nearly 100 years, providing coverage to residents of 22 different states in the Eastern and Midwestern U.S. They offer auto insurance, home insurance, and business insurance. They are are also one of the biggest flood insurers in the country.

What is the History of Selective Insurance?

Selective was founded in Branchville, New Jersey in 1926. Daniel Smith and a few other colleagues founded the company as Selected Risks Insurance Company in a small storefront. In 1928, the company became a stock company as Selected Risks Indemnity, and a year later formed Selected Risks Fire Insurance Company.

In the 1930s, the company expanded to add general liability and worker’s compensation as well as adding three new states and D.C. to their operations. In 1958, the two companies merged into Selected Risks Insurance Company. The company continued expansion and in 1986 made the final name change to Selective Insurance Company of America.

Today Selective offers coverage in 22 states and D.C. offering personal and business products, although offerings differ by state. Products are sold through more than 2000 independent agents. As mentioned, Selective also ranks as the 6th largest provider of flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

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What Insurance Products are Offered?

Selective covers personal property with its auto, homeowners, and personal umbrella policies, missing just life insurance protection on the list of major personal insurance products. They also write basic commercial insurance.

Can I Get Auto Insurance Coverage?

Selective offers a basic auto insurance program with all of the common coverage options such as liability and collision.

They also offer The Selective Edge, an add-on package of optional coverage enhancements available to customers that take out both auto and home with the company.

The Selective Edge package of optional coverage enhancements includes:

  • Towing and Labor
  • Rental/Transportation Expense coverage
  • Personal Property coverage
  • Accidental Airbag Deployment
  • Key Replacement

Selective also offers a good list of discounts such as multi-policy and an affinity discount on personal property coverage for those in the medical and educational fields.

They also offer convenient billing accommodations with several payment structure options to fit any budget.

Can I Get a Home Insurance Policy?

Selective writes home insurance policies to cover personal property for single-family homes as well as for condominiums, each designed for the specific needs of each type of dwelling.

Similar to the auto program, there is a Selective Edge package of optional coverage enhancements available when you insure both home and auto with the company.

On the home insurance side, the Selective Edge package includes:

  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost
  • Deductible Waiver for large losses
  • Water Backup
  • Extended coverage for high value items
  • Non-building structure coverage

Selective also offers renter’s insurance to cover personal property, valuable items, and liability for tenants who don’t need structure coverage.

Flood Insurance is also available through the National Flood Insurance Program.

What Additional Products are Offered?

Umbrella Insurance

Selective writes personal umbrella insurance for extended liability coverage. Policies are available with $1 million up to $5 million in coverage.

Business Insurance

Selective writes a number of different types of commercial insurance policies to cover many different types of business.

Coverage options include:

  • Abuse or Molestation coverage
  • Business owners Policy
  • Business Income and Extra Expenses
  • Commercial Auto
  • Crime/Fidelity
  • Crisis Response
  • Security breaches
  • Electronic Information Systems
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Commercial Flood
  • General Liability
  • GreenPac Endorsement
  • Identity Theft
  • Inland Marine
  • Miscellaneous Liability
  • Property
  • Surety Bonds
  • Umbrella
  • Worker’s Compensation

Are Selective’s Rates Affordable?

Selective does not offer online quotes, making it difficult to do a quick rate comparison. Quotes are only available through local agents.

Selective does not present itself as a low-cost company, and they use insurance agents to sell their policies, which means commissions and usually higher rates. Rates can differ greatly, and Selective might be competitive for some drivers and not for others; individuals will need to obtain a quote for a fair comparison.

How are Claims Handled?

Selective offers a toll-free 24/7 claims line for calling in insurance claims.

They also have an online form for submitting claims to report property damage directly through their website, something we expect to see from top companies and that is rare with smaller regional companies.

After claims are submitted, a claims representative will contact the insured within 24 hours. The adjuster will then investigate the incident and the damage to property and look at the coverage of the policy. When the investigation is complete, the insured will receive a letter explaining the final decision on the claim. Settlements will then be paid out for the damage to property or personal belongings and the claim closed.

It is worth noting that Selective now offers a mobile app that includes conveniences such as easy access to claims information, contact information for agents, and an auto-fill ability for policy information when filing a claim. Adding an app is a good sign as many companies are now doing so to provide further customer service to their clients.

Selective offers a Collision Care Program including a list of preferred providers that will work directly with the insurance company and guarantee all of their repairs. Policyholders can also choose their own repair shop.

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Are There Any Customer Complaints About the Company?

Selective is not BBB accredited, however, has an A+ rating. There have been only eight complaints against the company in the past three years on its BBB business profile, four of which have been closed in the past 12 months.

Elsewhere on the internet complaints are minimal, but there are a few complaints about slow service after motor vehicle accidents.

What is the Company’s Financial Strength?

Rating Company Grade Financial Outlook
AM Best A Stable
Fitch A+ Stable
S&P A Stable

What’s the Bottom Line?

Selective offers a basic line of products but provides very little information on their website. Their rates are unavailable, making it difficult to judge how competitive they might be. This adds up to a company that is difficult to recommend; most insurance customers will likely find other companies more competitive.

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