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Wawanesa Insurance Review

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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: Nov 30, 2018

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Wawanesa Insurance
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A major Canadian insurance company, Wawanesa offers insurance in only two U.S. states, but has made a name for itself in the California market with top-tier consumer satisfaction ratings. Wawanesa’s focus on good drivers allows them to offer lower rates to their target market.

Wawanesa Insurance Summary

The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company was founded in 1896 on the Canadian prairies to provide insurance to struggling farmers. The company, named for the town in which it was founded, grew quickly and became one of the largest insurance companies in Canada. After weathering the Great Depression, Wawanesa expanded to serve every province in the nation. The company’s Canadian headquarters is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

In 1974 Wawanesa expanded into California, opening an office in San Diego, becoming the first Canadian insurance company to successfully enter the U.S. market. They later expanded into Oregon as well. In California the company writes both auto and home insurance, while only auto is available in Oregon.

Wawanesa sells its policies direct, without agents, both over the phone and online. Their target market is drivers with clean records, allowing them to offer lower rates.

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Insurance Products

Wawanesa offers a range of products in Canada, including life, property, and auto. In the U.S. they are focused mainly on auto, although home insurance is available in California.

Auto Insurance

Wawanesa offers a solid auto insurance policy without a lot of frills. In addition to mandatory liability (bodily injury and property), they offer common options such as comprehensive, collision, rental car coverage, and roadside assistance. Their offerings are free of any of the more common trends and gimmicks in the auto insurance industry, even such popular ones as accident forgiveness.

Their list of discounts is straightforward, including good driver, persistent (loyalty) discounts, and multi-car discount.

Online quoting is offered in both California and in Oregon, as well as over the phone.

Home Insurance

Wawanesa writes home insurance across Canada and in California.

Home insurance offerings include:

  • Homeowner’s Insurance, with coverage for the structure, personal property, and personal liability. Homeowner’s coverage includes guaranteed replacement cost on property and an inflation guard benefit that ensures replacement cost keeps up with the increased cost of materials and construction.
  • Condo Insurance, with coverage for the portions of the structure that are under the owner’s responsibility, personal property, and liability.
  • Renter’s Insurance, with coverage for the personal property of tenants as well as liability.

Wawanesa offers a range of discounts for home insurance products including, multi-product/policy, sprinkler system, and non-smokers.

Wawanesa Insurance Rates

Wawanesa’s quoting system requires quite a bit of personal information. We were able to obtain a quote, however, not at the same levels for which we normally quote due to the fact that Wawanesa does not offer all of the same options.

Although it’s not a direct comparison, Wawanesa’s rates fall well below the average – and it should be noted that this is with lower deductibles than we usually quote, as Wawanesa doesn’t offer a deductible above $500.

Their rates come in about 22% below average, even with the higher deductibles. That doesn’t make them the cheapest, but it does make their prices quite competitive.

It is important to note that Wawanesa caters to drivers who have a clean record. Drivers with tickets or accidents may find their rates much higher.

Claims

Wawanesa accepts claims both online and over the phone. The 24-hour toll-free claims line can be reached at 1-800-427-9669 or 1-800-57-CLAIM.

The online claims form is easily accessible on the company’s website, but does require a policy number, so if you aren’t the insured and do not have the number, you will need to call in the claim.

Wawanesa provides a claims guarantee that promises quick and fair claims service and contact throughout the process where the policyholder will have a say in the repairs and settlement.

Wawanesa will send an appraiser to review the damage within 48 hours of the claim being reported in order to create an estimate. Customers can use a recommended repair shop or any shop of their own choosing. Wawanesa’s Direct Repair network offers a guarantee on their work.

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Consumer Research and Complaints

Wawanesa has been BBB accredited in the U.S. since 1975. They currently have an A+ rating. The BBB lists 55 complaints over the past three years, 20 which have been closed in the last 12 months.

In the 2015 J.D. Power U.S. Household Survey of auto insurance, Wawanesa was the top-ranked insurance company in California. This ranking is based on overall satisfaction determined by several factors including policy offerings, price, and customer service.

ConsumerAffairs.com shows a total of 34 ratings of Wawanesa. Of 34 ratings, five were rated five star and 26 reviewers gave the company a one star rating. There are also negative reviews, but it’s very important to point out that positive reviews are very unusual on this site, and it is always encouraging to see them.

Negative reviews are mostly centered on difficulty reaching customer service representatives at the company. There is little else of note in the reviews, and an unusual lack of complaints in regards to claims service, which is where we usually see the bulk of the complaints.

Financial Strength

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

Bottom Line

Wawanesa has solid products without gimmicks and maintains a good reputation. Although they are relatively new to the U.S. insurance market, they have been around for over 100 years in Canada and are an experienced company.

Wawanesa’s rates are very competitive, but they aim their rates at good drivers, which means anyone who has blemishes on their driving record may do better elsewhere in terms of premiums. For residents of Oregon and California who have a clean record and generally meet the lowest-rate standards of most insurance companies, Wawanesa is well worth a look and a comparison quote.

For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.

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Review Information

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Wawanesa
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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.

9 Comments

  1. If I could give no stars to wawanesa then I would. I have had this insurance company for a while now over 2 years and I never had any accidents or claims. For once I go and buy myself (a single mommy) a brand new Toyota Corolla 2019 for me and my two kids and someone backs straight into it while it is parked. Mind you I had someone witness it all happen and she gave her info and statement for me no problem cause she knows I worked hard to get me and my kids a new car. So after it’s hit turns out the person who hit me was driving an illegal car so of course her coverage did not cover mine so I went through wawanesa. Horrible, horrible, horrible customer service horrible adjuster and horrible supervisor. So let’s start with the representatives, first off they told me I had no rental coverage but in my case since I wasn’t at fault and getting no coverage from the other party they said I would have to pay out of pocket and that in the end I would email my invoice for the rental and get reimbursed. I called several times and several of the representatives told me the same exact story so I thought okay I have two kids I need a car let’s up charge the last bit on my credit card screw it my credit will go down but I will get reimbursed and have a car to take my kids to school and back. So I did. Before I did I called once more and confirmed the same story (pay out of pocket and wawanesa would reimburse me and go after the person that hit me on top of the damage costs to my car.). Now the adjuster, he told me he saw no damage in the photos and that my car looked perfectly fine he said In fact we will paint your grille. Bahaha!!! You do not paint grilles!!! Even I know that! You REPLACE THE GRILLE not paint!. So I had to argue with him and I kept telling him you won’t paint my grille. Secondly when I took it in to the body shop I chose they thought the adjuster estimate was obnoxious and rude and a joke also a waste of time. I also agree upon that it was a complete waste and all 0’s across the time and total costs. ( Turns out my grille was cracked and the shock absorber also had damage.) Something the wawanesa adjuster can’t see through photos but he was so sure of himself and so rude to me.
    Third problem is that wawanesa wanted to put aftermarket parts on an OEM 2019 Toyota corolla. So my estimator at my body shop had to argue with them saying he will not put aftermarket parts on a brand new OEM Toyota Corolla. Got that resolved thanks to my adjuster at my body shop I chose. Fourth problem he wanted to run a CRIB scan on the dtc’s codes cause they can get thrown off by any slight bit of an accident and it won’t set off a dashboard light. My adjuster had to call wawanesa and get them to approve for the code scanning on my car also and they didn’t want to approve of that. Now the fifth and final problem I turned in the rental got my invoice and emailed it in just to find out that what all the representatives that had told me to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed through wawanesa was a complete and total joke. So my card is charged up around $540 for a rental and I would not have gotten it, if it weren’t for the assurance of the representatives on my reimbursement. I got in contact with the supervisor her name is Nancy Marie and she was very rude to me and told me my rental will not be covered no matter what those representatives said to you cause you do not have rental insurance. So she is practically saying that these representatives could be telling several others the same thing and these others will pay it out and expect a reimbursement just to be told it was a lie and a joke and to learn to not trust wawanesa cause they are manipulate people, and lie. I would not recommend wawanesa auto insurance to anyone or any of the insurance coverages that they have cause they are full of lies.

    Reply
  2. Whoever thinks Wawanesa is a good insurance place must work there because they are the worst insurance company ever. Claims are delayed by months or even some up to a year and when you call there nobody has any idea what’s going on. Claims that are legit have been denied and it’s never their fault. Huge staff turnover and it’s pretty obvious the management there is very inexperienced. They keep upping their premiums but yet the service is just getting worse and worse. Never sign up with Wawanesa unless you want to overpay and jump through hoops if you ever have a claim.

    Reply
  3. We have been with Wawanesa for over 12 years and have recommended them to at least 20 family and friends who have ALL went with them!
    Our policy went up last year, I just went with it, they were still much cheaper than most companies, however, I just got our new policy packet and oh my gosh! It went from $2000 a year to over $4000! How is that ok? What do they think they are doing? How do they justify a 50% increase?
    And they say they have new easy payment options? um yeah right! They used to offer yearly policies with the option to pay in full, split it in to 3 instalments or 9 instalments, BUT now they ONLY offer 2 options, split it into 2 payments or monthly by auto draft! How is that a positive change for the customers? If we choose to stay with them, our monthly payment will be changing from $197 pr month to $337 pr month!!!

    I am wondering what happen to this company, what corporate changes took place, are there new owners?

    Their customer service used to be EXCELLENT… BUT now it SUCKS!!! I seriously get put on hold for over 45 min EVERYTIME, I have even been on hold for 90 min before they answered, then was put on hold for another hour total! And they transfered me around to other agents!
    I am definitely shopping for new insurance, unless they make big changes and I will NEVER recommend them again!

    Reply
  4. We are going through a flood and we have both sewage backup and flood insurance, it has been over 3 weeks now and nothing has been done. I asked my Insurance Broker (He is the most arrogant, ignorant person) he keeps blaming it on someone else. I am done with this Company for good once our contract is up and I will let everyone know all about how horrible this company is and how they treat their clients. (like complete [redacted]) You should be ashamed of yourself Wawanesa disgusting!!!!!!!!! DO NOT EVER GO WITH THIS COMPANY!!!!!!

    Reply
  5. I was in a no-fault accident in which I was rear-ended and my vehicle totaled. I had full coverage. The other driver was underinsured. Wawanesa is my insurance company. It has been almost 30 days now and they still haven’t settled with me and my adjuster, [Redacted], has never once answered her phone for my calls. Just waiting for them to hit the 40 day mark so I can get the CA Dept of Insurance involved. NEVER use this company!!!

    Reply
  6. My truck was just stolen from my property, and i called to Wawanesa and was informed that my coverage doesnt include theft or rental! So pretty much screwed! Really whats the point of having that coverage in the event of a theft? I don’t recommend Wawanesa to anyone

    Reply
  7. My vehicle was involved in a not-at-fault accident. The other party has Wawanesa. I have 2 car seats in the vehicle and, because they don’t have any visible damage, they are refusing to replace them. I have been given verbal and written instructions from the car seat manufactures, not to mention…it’s stated very clearly in the car seat manuals that they are to be replaced after every accident, regardless of whether there is any visible damage to them or not because there may have been some internal damage that cannot be seen from the outside. I could understand them not wanting to replace car seats for someone who is at fault for the accident, but they should be replacing the seats 100% for the other party when their insured are at fault. F grade for Wawanesa!!

    Reply
  8. My custom vehicle was stolen, Wawanesa quoted me a premium and value of $18000.00 that we agreed too, now they are trying to low ball and screw me by 50%! Who protects the consumer from misleading us and stealing from us?????

    Reply
    • Hello,

      Hello John, I just read about your experience with Wawanesa.
      I’m in the same boat, I have A jeep completely up fitted for off road I provided receipts for over $16,500 in custom lift kit, wheels, tires, new engine, new bumpers, new winch, new differentials on and on, they even came over to my house and took pictures. After a total loss. they first offered me $4700 then $6300 now their final offer is 8300 and I get to keep the jeep. Really?
      after 16.5 dollars plus the value of the Jeep and mind you I only put 8k miles on it,

      How did you end up?

      Carlos

      Reply

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