UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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About West Bend Mutual
West Bend Mutual Insurance of Wisconsin was founded in 1894 in its namesake town of West Bend, WI. The company has since expanded beyond Wisconsin and serves customers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Ohio as well.
West Bend offers personal lines policies including auto insurance, home insurance, and specialty. They also write business insurance and bonds. They sell products through independent agents throughout the states they serve.
Founded as a mutual company, West Bend today still operates that way and headquarters is still located in the same city.
West Bend Products
West Bend’s products are divided into personal and commercial lines. They have both basic policies as well as some specialty options to choose from.
West Bend’s personal lines insurance includes auto, home, and specialty coverage as well.
Home and Highway
West Bend offers what they call their Home and Highway policy, which is a combined auto and home policy in one. As far as we can tell, there is no option to purchase auto insurance or home insurance individually.
The Home and Highway policy can be issued with a homeowner’s, condo owners, or renters policy, and can include standard auto insurance as well as classic cars. All of the same coverage usually offered on an auto policy is included: liability, comprehensive, collision, and options like the company’s Travel Net roadside assistance.
Homeowner’s coverage also includes all of the standard coverage as well as many optional endorsements. The policy includes guaranteed replacement cost, extra jewelry coverage, pet accident coverage. Several bundled endorsements are also available to enhance the coverage.
Protector Plus adds sump pump/sewer backup, open perils coverage for personal property, mortgage extra expense on total losses, and identity theft protection.
Protector Grand also adds sports equipment coverage, travel deductible waiver, freezer, and refrigerator power loss, and golf cart coverage.
The policy is issued with one premium and one deductible. There are a variety of discounts available, although since it is a single policy there is no auto/home discount offered. Other choices like good student, good driver, and safety features are all offered.
Other Personal Insurance
West Bend also offers specialty vehicle insurance such as RVs, watercraft, and motorcycles.
Their personal umbrella insurance can be purchased to provide additional liability coverage above the limits of the home and highway policy.
West Bend writes package business insurance policies for a long list of business types. Coverage includes business property, general liability, specialty liability, worker’s compensation, and more.
Business policies are customized to meet the needs of each type of business, based on the risks of that industry.
Surety bonds are also available for a wide variety of needs, from contractors to notaries.
West Bend does not offer online quoting, which is normal for a smaller, regional company and especially for one that is agent-driven.
Since they offer the combined home and auto policy, quotes will need to be compared to the total cost of an auto and home policy elsewhere. We do not normally expect this type of company to compete with much larger, direct-buy insurance companies, but this type of combined policy is difficult to estimate.
West Bend has a toll-free 24/7 claims line that can be used for any type of claim. Called DirectConnect, this line will direct the caller to the correct customer service area to get any claim handled. They promise that some claims can be settled and paid in 24 hours; this likely refers to very simple claims such as glass or towing.
Clear Vision is the company’s glass only service that handles claims for auto glass repair quickly. This is a common service offered by many insurance companies.
The company also offers a claim assistance app; while claims cannot be filed that way, you can follow the progress of the claim and use the app to upload pictures and check on policy information.
The Silver Lining Repair program is West Bend’s preferred repair network. This network offers direct connect and guaranteed work from included providers, but customers are not required to use these providers.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
West Bend has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are 16 total customer complaints on file in the past three years. Five of those were closed in the past 12 months. For the size of the company, the complaint volume is low.
With 86 reviews on Google, the company has an overall 3.5-star rating. There are plenty of positive reviews citing a great customer service experience. A look at the negative reviews shows that a lot of them are written by drivers involved in an accident with a West Bend insured, and not the company’s actual customers. Overall, the image of this company is very positive.
The Bottom Line
West Bend is a good choice for anyone who likes the idea of a single policy for both auto and home and also prefers to work with an agent. While we don’t have rate information, they have a very good reputation and some comprehensive products, so the impression is of a company that offers good value to their customers.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.