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Sutter Insurance Company Review (Coverage + More)

Sutter Insurance Company has two product lines including commercial auto insurance with a focus on trucking and non-standard home insurance. Sutter Insurance is currently licensed in their home state along with Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. However, most of their business is in California.

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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: Jul 28, 2020

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Sutter Insurance Company Key Facts
Sutter Insurance Company FactsSource
2019 total assets - $45 millionratings.ambest.com
2017 total assets - $37 millionratings.ambest.com
2015 total assets - $39.9 millionratings.ambest.com
Home office address:
1301 Redwood Way, Suite 200
Petaluma, CA 94954
bbb.org
Phone number: (707) 793-0808ratings.ambest.com
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Sutter Insurance Company is a California-based property and casualty insurer with a somewhat unusual combination of insurance products. The company writes commercial auto and specialty homeowners insurance in four Western states.

We understand that it can be hard to find the right car insurance company. This Sutter Insurance Company review will go into detail about Sutter auto insurance to see if they are right for you. We’ll cover everything from bundles and discounts to company ratings and employee reviews.

Before we dig deep, feel free to enter your ZIP code into our helpful tool above to find auto insurance quotes in your area.

Sutter Car Insurance Rates

Sutter Insurance was founded in 1975 in Petaluma, California, and is currently licensed in several other states. Before we get to those, let’s see the average California car insurance rates.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Company Compared to California State Average
CompaniesAverage RateCompared to State Average ($)Compared to State Average (%)
USAA CIC$2,694.62-$995.00-36.93%
United Financial Casualty$2,851.14-$838.48-29.41%
Geico General$2,886.24-$803.38-27.84%
SAFECO Ins Co of America$3,035.17-$654.45-21.56%
Travelers Commercial Ins Co.$3,350.78-$338.84-10.11%
State Farm Mutual Auto$4,202.72$513.1012.21%
Allstate Northbrook Indemnity$4,533.09$843.4718.61%
AMCO Insurance$4,653.58$963.9620.71%
Farmers Ins Exchange$4,999.27$1,309.6426.20%
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These rates are for an individual with a clean driving record and good coverage of $50,000/$100,000 for bodily injury, $25,000 for property damage, and $50,000/$100,000 for uninsured liability. Online quoting for Sutter’s policies isn’t offered, which is common for a specialty insurance company. You can get quotes from an agent, who will be able to give you an accurate quote.

As a non-standard insurance company, Sutter’s home insurance rates should not compete with big companies offering standard coverage. Homes that don’t qualify for standard insurance are almost always more expensive to insure. Their rates can only be fairly compared to other non-standard insurers.

What is Sutter Insurance’s availability by state?

Sutter Insurance is currently licensed in their home state along with Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. However, most of their business is in California. Their main focus is on commercial auto insurance, including heavy truck insurance, and they don’t offer any other commercial products. Here’s a video on the benefits of commercial auto insurance:

On the personal lines side, the opposite is true. The company doesn’t write personal car insurance but does offer a range of homeowners insurance products. Those products are mainly aimed at the non-standard market.

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Sutter Car Insurance Coverages Offered

Sutter Insurance’s two product lines are commercial auto with a focus on trucking and non-standard home insurance. The company website does not include any details on these policies and provides only a basic overview.

Commercial Auto/Truck

Sutter’s Heavy Truck Liability Program is focused on long-haul interstate trucking across the Western United States, although the company also writes policies for local trucking. Coverage is available for single trucks up to large fleets of 100+.

In California, Sutter offers a physical damage-only policy that’s designed for vehicles that have liability covered under a separate policy. This usually applies to owner-operators driving on behalf of a company. A variety of vehicle types and driver records can be insured under this program.

A business auto program is also offered to insure a variety of vehicles that are owned by a company or used during business activities. Light and medium vehicles operating in a 300-mile radius can be insured. This product is offered only in California.

Homeowners Insurance

Sutter offers several levels of homeowners insurance, all of which are geared toward homes that don’t qualify for coverage on the standard market. The HO-3 program has the highest standards, despite allowing risks that don’t qualify with other companies. It provides coverage on a replacement cost basis, which can be harder to find in the non-standard market.

Coverage is offered for homes that are older but have been updated, homes with risks like swimming pools, and for homeowners with previous losses that have resulted in non-renewals. This program covers homes ranging in value from $75,000 to over $1 million.

The HO-8 program is for homes that are of a lower value, ranging from $50,000 to $300,000 and above. This program insures homes that don’t qualify for the HO-3 program due to needed upgrades, architectural style, or other issues. This policy is an actual cash value program.

The Dwelling Fire or DP-1 program is offered to homes that can’t be covered on the HO programs. These include rental homes, seasonal or vacant homes, or homes that need renovations or repairs.

What are Sutter Insurance’s bundling options?

Sutter does not have any bundling options listed on their site, as few coverage types are offered. Most coverages are specifically given a stand-alone moniker.

What are discounts offered by Sutter Insurance?

Sutter does not have any discounts listed on their website. This doesn’t mean they won’t update this in the future, or that they have nothing to offer if you were to inquire further.

Canceling your Sutter Car Insurance Policy

Sutter Insurance’s website states that you may cancel your policy at any time. This is done by contacting the agent you’ve been assigned.

Is there a cancellation fee?

Sutter’s webpage does not list a cancellation fee. If you were to become a client of theirs, this would be a question worth raising.

How to Make a Sutter Car Insurance Claim

Sutter Insurance has a toll-free claims line, but it doesn’t state if this line is open 24/7. The bottom of the page does list business hours for the main office, and it appears likely that the claims reporting line is only open during these hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

With both auto and home insurance policies, emergency claims are common, so we would hope that Sutter provides its policyholders with an after-hours option for reporting. This may be provided with the policy, but if not, it’s definitely a matter of concern.

The website also has claims forms available for download and provides fax, email, and mailing addresses for submitting them. There is little information or instruction regarding the claims process.

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How to Get a Sutter Car Insurance Quote Online

As mentioned, Sutter doesn’t provide the ability to search quotes online. What we can do, however, is look at a table showing Sutter’s contact information.

Sutter Insurance Contact Information
Contact TypeInformation
Phone number(800) 530-1124
Fax number(707) 793-0808
General inquiriesemail@sutterinsurance.com
Claims departmentclaimsemail@sutterinsurance.com
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Now, let’s look at Sutter Insurance’s ratings as a company.

Sutter Car Insurance Ratings

Sutter Insurance isn’t accredited, nor do they have a rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). This is due to a lack of verified information, and it’s a little unusual for a company that’s been around for more than 40 years. There are no complaints or reviews on the file, either.

There are two one-star reviews of Sutter on Google. Both are short comments and don’t describe the specific problem the writer had with the company.

With that being said, Sutter does have an A.M. Best rating of B++. A.M. Best is a third-party company that provides ratings for insurers. This video explains a little more about A.M. Best:

Let’s look at a table that shows A.M. Best’s rating system.

A.M. Best Insurance Rating System Details
Rating LevelRating SymbolsRating NotchesComments
SuperiorA+A++Assigned to insurance companies that have a superior ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations
ExcellentAA-Assigned to insurance companies that have an excellent ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations
GoodB+B++Assigned to insurance companies that have a good ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations
FairBB-Assigned to insurance companies that have a fair ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations
Financial strength is vulnerable to adverse changes in underwriting and economic conditions
MarginalC+C++Assigned to insurance companies that have a marginal ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations
Financial strength is vulnerable to adverse changes in underwriting and economic conditions
WeakCC-Assigned to insurance companies that have a weak ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations
Financial strength is very vulnerable to adverse changes in underwriting and economic conditions
PoorD-Assigned to insurance companies that have a poor ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations
Financial strength is extremely vulnerable to adverse changes in underwriting and economic conditions
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As you can see, of the seven rating levels, A.M. Best says Sutter is at the third-best position, but teetering just below the second-tier position.

Sutter Car Insurance History

As mentioned, the Sutter Insurance Company has been operating since 1975 in California. A.M. Best has provided ratings for Sutter since 1982 and continues to do so today. This lends the company a certain level of credibility despite a surplus of available information regarding their history.

Let us now move on to Sutter’s web presence.

How is Sutter’s online presence?

Sutter’s online presence is limited. In terms of direct involvement, there is just their company website.

Does Sutter have commercials?

As of this time, Sutter Insurance does not have commercials. Generally, only the heavyweight insurers have commercials.

What do Sutter Insurance’s employees have to say?

Sutter does not have a presence on Glassdoor, the primary employee company review site. Linkedin lists a few employees, but no reviews.

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Design of Sutter Insurance’s Website & App

While Sutter does not have a mobile app, they do have an easy to navigate website. The Sutter Insurance Company website provides important information for its customers including their efforts in regards to the coronavirus.

Sutter’s website includes the option to make online payments. And, if you’ve been in an accident, Sutter Insurance Company has a convenient claim submission option on their website.

Sutter Insurance: The Bottom Line

Sutter Insurance may be a good choice for the type of specialty insurance they provide, but due to a lack of information, it’s difficult to provide a recommendation one way or the other.

Most of their business probably comes in through agent sales, and an agent would be the best source of further information on this company for those seeking either commercial auto or non-standard home insurance in their coverage area.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Sutter Insurance

If you still have some questions about Sutter, we have some more answers here.

#1 – Is Sutter Health Insurance the same company?

No. Sutter health and life insurance policies are sold by an entirely different company with no connection. The Sutter Health Insurance login is found on a different website. For information on Sutter Health Plus chiropractic coverage, where Sutter Health insurance is accepted, the Sutter health insurance phone number, and to read Sutter Health Plus HMO reviews, look for details on that company.

#2 – What other companies might be mistaken for Sutter Insurance?

Other companies with similar names but no connection include Sutter Select insurance and Sutter, McLellan, & Gilbreath insurance agency.

References:

  1. https://www.bbb.org/us/ca/petaluma/profile/insurance-companies/sutter-insurance-company-1116-55087
  2. https://www.sec.gov/divisions/marketreg/mr-noaction/am030305.htm

 

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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.

1 Comment

  1. Worst insurance company ever to deal with. They won’t even verify coverage of the person who hit us and keep referring to 1 person who takes forever to call back. They must be some small mom and pop insurance company with nobody who can help you. It’s ridiculous.

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