Costco Auto Insurance ReviewThursday, 07 November 2013 17:01
Ameriprise and Costco have teamed up to offer a variety of vehicle, renters, specialty, and umbrella insurance products to Costco members with some exclusive discounts. Costco insurance is offered in 42 states and the District of Columbia. There are mixed reviews of Costco auto insurance online, with many customers expressing their satisfaction with the affordable price and unique discounts, and others expressing difficulties with customer service among other issues. Ameriprise insurance is known for its affordability and cost savings, and J.D. Power rated Ameriprise favorably for overall customer experience with 4 out of 5 power circles in the California market. With favorable reviews from J.D. Power along with potential insurance savings, current Costco customers may benefit from getting a quote from Ameriprise for auto or other insurance needs.
Company Background Information
Costco is a membership warehouse company founded in Seattle that is primarily known for selling discounted and wholesale consumer products, but the company recently added Costco branded auto insurance to its service offerings. The insurance is underwritten through Ameriprise Insurance Company and IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company, both of which are divisions of Ameriprise Financial. Costco members can purchase auto, home and renters insurance through Ameriprise, along with specialty insurance for select vehicles and umbrella insurance. At the moment Costco insures 300,000 members through Ameriprise.
Ameriprise Financial, Inc. is primarily a financial services and planning company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and offers property and casualty insurance through the Ameriprise Auto & Home division. Although the auto insurance enrollments are rising Ameriprise is not ranked among the top 25 largest auto insurance providers in the United States. Ameriprise Auto & Home is rated A by A.M. Best for its financial stability and was rated 4 out of 5 by J.D. Power for Customer Satisfaction in the California region. Costco is a company that is known for its commitment to its customers, so the decision to team up with Ameriprise may have been based on Ameriprise’s reputation for good customer support.
Pros of Costco Car Insurance
- Rated 4 out of 5 for overall customer satisfaction in California
- Rated highly for price satisfaction
- Exclusive member discounts
Cons of Costco Car Insurance
- Not as many discounts as other providers
- Not available in every state
- A relatively unproven insurance program
Costco is known for offering its members exclusive discounts from product manufacturers and service providers, and the car insurance program is no different. Members are eligible for some exclusive discounts from Ameriprise Auto & Home although some of the discounts common amongst other auto insurance providers.
- Costco members get an exclusive discount. Although the discount amount is not listed, the company claims that its customers can save up to $500 or more on auto insurance per year for switching to Ameriprise auto insurance.
- Safe driving discounts are offered to current customers and customers who switch. Any customers who switch can transfer their safe driving history with them.
- Multiple vehicle discounts are offered for insuring more than one vehicle.
- Multiple policy discounts are available for purchasing combinations of home, renters, specialty auto, and umbrella insurance.
- Vehicles equipped with safety devices such as air bags, anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices are eligible for discounts.
- Education discounts are available for high school students and college students.
- Loyalty discounts for keeping the insurance for more than three years are offered.
- And others
Although this list of discounts is not complete, it is not clear which other discounts are offered exclusively to Costco members compared to standard Ameriprise auto customers. However there are some extra member benefits that are offered to Costco Executive members.
Types of Insurance Offered
There are five major types of insurance offered to Costco customers: auto, renters, home, umbrella and specialty.
Costco Auto Insurance
- Costco offers all of the standard liability, comprehensive and collision coverage options that can be found at most other auto insurance providers.
- Auto plans are eligible for a windshield repair deductible waiver.
- Accident forgiveness is available with only a three year minimum requirement for safe driving.
- Members get to pick any repair facility that they want.
- Costco Executive Members get unique member benefits.
Specialty Auto Insurance
- Collector vehicle coverage is available for antique or high performance vehicles of all varieties.
- ATV, RV, motorboat, sailboat, jet ski, and recreational vehicle insurance is also available.
- Umbrella coverage is offered to cover personal liability that exceeds the maximum allowed by its auto plans.
- Umbrella insurance can offer extra coverage if a Costco policy holder is sued and needs a lawyer for legal defense.
- Umbrella policies may be eligible for discounts for combining them with auto or home policies.
Costco also offers multiple discounts for its home and renters insurance products including multiple policy discounts for combining them with auto insurance, a member discount, and many others.
Costco Executive Members
Costco Executive members get extra benefits including a member discount and a few more:
- Roadside assistance – Executive members get roadside assistance which can take care of dead batteries, tire problems, gas delivery or other roadside issues.
- Lifetime renewal –Executive members will never have their insurance cancelled no matter how many accidents they have.
Customers have posted mixed reviews regarding Costco/Ameriprise insurance and there have been some negative experiences with claims processing, increasing premiums, and random customer support issues, however there are also many positive reviews of Ameriprise that expressed satisfaction with claims processing, fast and courteous customer support, and low rates. Each customer experience is unique, but it should be noted that the most recent 2013 J.D. Power claims satisfaction survey did not include Ameriprise, possibly due to the fact that Ameriprise is a smaller auto insurance provider.
Ameriprise is one of the top auto insurance companies rated by price and customer satisfaction with price, and with the unique discounts that Costco customers are eligible for, most would benefit from getting a quote and seeing if they can save money compared to their current insurance. Customers have reported some negative experiences with Ameriprise customer support but these reports should not be assumed to represent the majority, and there are also several positive reviews of Ameriprise online. If you happen to be shopping for auto insurance now you can type your zip code on this page and receive quotes from Ameriprise and other insurance providers.