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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UPDATED: Sep 11, 2020

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Utica National Insurance

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Utica National is a group of companies known mainly for business insurance, but offering several lines of individual insurance as well. With over 100 years in business, Utica is a solid company that has grown to be one of the top 100 insurance companies in the U.S.

Table of Contents

Utica National Summary

Utica National Insurance traces its roots back to two companies, Utica Mutual Insurance Company and Graphic Arts Mutual Insurance Company, both founded in 1914. Today the group of companies has grown to include several more under the Utica National Insurance group umbrella, writing a variety of different policies across the nation.

The inclusion of Graphic Arts Mutual Insurance Company as a primary subsidiary has landed Utica a position as a major specialty insurer in the Graphic Communications industries. They also have a lot of business in the area of errors & omissions coverage for insurance agents and similar businesses.

Based out of New Hartford, New York, Utica has offices across the country representing both the primary and other subsidiaries. Their agents are scattered across the nation offering policies for both personal and commercial lines.

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Insurance Products

Although they are best known as something of a specialty commercial insurance company, Utica does offer both basic and specialty personal lines products as well.

Auto Insurance

Utica has a comprehensive auto insurance program that includes all of the basic coverage as well as a few less-common extension features.

The Auto Essentials policy is Utica’s budget-friendly option for good drivers. This option offers a basic policy at a reduced premium. It’s designed for people who do not have a lot of assets to protect and don’t need a lot of options, although it still offers a choice of coverage limits and discounts.

The Auto Extension Pak takes the coverage to the next level with the following features:

  • Diminished Deductible (a program that reduces your deductible for good driving)
  • Accident Forgiveness
  • Airbag Malfunction
  • Gap coverage
  • Emergency Living Expenses
  • Increased roadside assistance
  • Death benefits

Among other benefits, Utica also offers Pet Medical included with their auto policies free of charge.

There is a long list of discounts available, from common features like good driver, to discounts for Electronic Stability Control and a green vehicle.

Other Vehicles

Policies are available to cover other vehicles and “toys” such as motorcycles, boats, and snowmobiles. Each policy includes coverage specific to that vehicle, such as motorcycle gear coverage and trailer coverage

Home Insurance

Unlike the auto program, the Utica website offers very limited information regarding their home insurance policies. Homeowner’s insurance from Utica offers structure coverage, personal property coverage, and liability protection.

Utica also offers Renter’s Insurance policies that cover the personal property of those who live in rental homes and apartments.

Business Insurance

Utica’s business insurance is a big part of their market, offering coverage for both main street businesses and specialty markets.

Coverage is offered for the following business types:

  • Bakeries
  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Child Care Centers
  • Funeral Homes
  • General Business
  • Graphic Communications
  • Libraries
  • Professionals
  • Quick Foods
  • Small Business
  • Religious Institutions
  • Retailers
  • Wholesalers
  • Volunteer Fire Departments

Utica also provides coverage for the following “niche” markets:

  • Artisan Contractors
  • Auto Service
  • Educational Institutions
  • Energy Dealers
  • Financial Institutions
  • Franchised and Non-Franchised Auto Dealers
  • Light Manufacturing
  • Machine Shops

The company also offer bonds, Worker’s Compensation, and Agent Errors & Omissions coverage.

Additional Products

Personal Lines Products

Utica rounds out their insurance offerings for individuals with personal umbrella insurance and identity theft insurance.

Utica National Rates

As Utica is an agent-driven insurance company, online quoting is not available and therefore comparing rates is not easy. In general, insurance companies that use agents to sell their policies tend to have higher rates than direct buy insurance companies who do not need to pay agent commissions.

Utica does offer their Essentials plan, which promises to offer 10% reductions for good drivers. This indicates that those with clean driving records are likely to qualify more easily for competitive rates. A company like Utica is not likely to be particularly low-priced for anyone who has tickets or accidents on their record.

The company has a good list of discounts, which are helpful when it comes to bringing down rates, but will do the most good to those who already qualify for good rates thanks to a clean driving record.

Claims

Utica claims can be reported either through the 24-hour claims line or online on the Utica Customer Care site. There is also fax and mailing address information available on the website.

Similar to most major insurance companies, there is a Direct Repair program through which repairs are guaranteed for as long as the car is owned, as long as one of the in-network shops is used for repairs.

Utica promises fast and fair claims service, and that the claim will be settled as quickly as possible, but does not provide a timeline for claims or further in-depth information about the process.

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Consumer Research and Complaints

Although not accredited, Utica has an A+ rating with the BBB, and in the past three years had only 11 complaints filed, two of which were closed in the last 12 months. This is an incredibly low number for a large insurance company. It should be noted though that this covers only the head office in New York, and there may be other complaints for other branches directly.

There are very few reviews of Utica out there, which is generally a positive sign. People are much more likely to write a review when they are unhappy than when things are going smoothly. As a result no reviews is usually good news when it comes to insurance companies.

Financial Strength

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

Bottom Line

Although it’s difficult to ascertain how competitive Utica’s rates will be without easy access to a quote, everything else about the company points towards it being well worth the time to get one. A solid auto insurance program with plenty of features is the central attraction in their personal lines products, and the long list of discounts is certainly appealing. Those who are looking for the service of an agent, and willing to pay a little more for that service, should consider Utica.

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