UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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Selective Insurance 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 become 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 states. 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.
Selective Insurance writes auto and home as well as personal umbrella, missing just life insurance on the list of major personal lines products. They also write basic commercial insurance.
They also offer The Selective Edge, an add-on package available to customers that take out both auto and home with the company.
The Selective Edge package 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 for those in the medical and educational fields.
They also offer several payment structure options to fit any budget.
Selective writes home insurance 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 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 and liability for tenants who don’t need structure coverage.
Flood Insurance is also available through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Selective writes personal umbrella insurance for extended liability coverage. Policies are available with $1 million up to $5 million in coverage.
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
- Crisis Response
- Security breaches
- Electronic Information Systems
- Employment Practices Liability
- Commercial Flood
- General Liability
- GreenPac Endorsement
- Identity Theft
- Inland Marine
- Miscellaneous Liability
- Surety Bonds
- Worker’s Compensation
Selective Insurance does not offer online quoting, 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 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 fair comparison.
Selective offers a toll-free 24/7 claims line for calling in claims: 1-866-455-9969. They also have an online form for submitting claims 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 look at the coverage on 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 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-full 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.
Selective Insurance is not BBB accredited, however, has an A+ rating. There have been only eight complaints against the company in the past three years, 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.
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Selective Insurance 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.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.