Auto insurance reviews

TruStage is primarily a life insurance company and does not sell auto or home insurance directly to shoppers. Instead, it refers its clients to two other insurance providers for coverage: Esurance and Liberty Mutual. The purported benefit of purchasing auto insurance through TruStage is that members of credit unions may receive discounts based on their memberships. However, the discount may not be available when shopping online and in most cases amounts to only a few dollars’ savings per month.

TruStage Auto Insurance: Our Thoughts
TruStage Auto Insurance Coverage
TruStage Alternatives to Consider
Ratings & Reviews of TruStage Auto Insurance Partners
TruStage Auto Insurance: Our Thoughts
TruStage provides car insurance by referring you to one of two prominent insurance companies, either Esurance or Liberty Mutual. Both are reputable insurers with average rates and coverage options. Esurance has a great mobile and web experience but no in-person locations. Liberty Mutual has in-person locations but slightly below-average customer service.

Unfortunately, TruStage doesn’t allow you to compare rates between the two. TruStage will direct you to one of its partners based on your location and whether you already have auto insurance from another company. So even if you qualify for a discount through TruStage and your credit union, we recommend that drivers shop around to check if they can find a better rate elsewhere. In particular, people who belong to a credit union should take a look at MetLife, which provides discounts to members of dozens of credit unions.

Bottom Line: There’s no downside to using TruStage to get an auto insurance quote from Esurance or Liberty Mutual, but it shouldn’t be the only place you shop for car insurance. Credit union members may be eligible for a slight discount. However, other factors common to all insurance quotes, like where you live and your driving history, will have a much bigger impact on your premiums. Make sure to compare quotes from multiple insurance companies.

TruStage Auto Insurance Coverage
TruStage doesn’t provide auto insurance coverage directly, but instead refers consumers to either Esurance or Liberty Mutual. Each is a major competitor in the U.S. automobile insurance industry and offers all of the standard types of coverage you’d expect:

Liability coverage
Collision coverage
Comprehensive coverage
Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
Medical Payments/PIP coverage
Esurance is an online-oriented insurer that is backed by a stable, long-standing insurance company—Allstate. Esurance has a best-in-class mobile app and lots of discount opportunities for safe drivers. However, its standard rates tend to be on the expensive side, and the company does not have in-person locations.

Read our full Esurance review
Liberty Mutual is one of the biggest insurance companies in the U.S. and generally offers rates that are in line with those available from other national insurers. Liberty Mutual has in-person locations, meaning you can work with an agent face-to-face as well as online or by phone. But its less-than-stellar customer satisfaction ratings may give some potential customers pause.

Read our full review of Liberty Mutual
TruStage Alternatives to Consider
Credit union members who are looking to take advantage of discounts should review all the insurers their credit union partners with in offering lower rates. MetLife, for example, offers about average rates to most consumers, but if your credit union has negotiated a group discount, you could save.

Even if you can’t find a credit union discount, it’s worth it to check with several insurance companies to see if you can find a rate cheaper than what’s offered through TruStage. In our research, we found that discounts for credit union members tended to be on the small side—only a few dollars per month. Other opportunities to save money, such as discounts for safe driving or paying for a year upfront—as well as the simple difference in rates insurers charge—will likely make a much bigger impact on what you’ll pay for car insurance than credit union discounts.

Ratings and Reviews of TruStage Auto Insurance Partners
Most people who buy car insurance through TruStage will directly interact with the company only once: when they are referred to an insurance provider. The vast majority of the interactions you’ll have after you’re referred will be with either Esurance or Liberty Mutual. This includes the process of purchasing insurance, as well as making a claim or managing your insurance policy after you’ve signed up.

Esurance and Liberty Mutual both have about average reviews from customers. Neither company is renowned for its customer service, but they do not have particularly poor reviews, either—they received 3 out of 5 and 2 out of 5 rankings in J.D. Power’s claims satisfaction survey, respectively. Each company also had slightly higher than average complaint ratings from the NAIC, suggesting that they received more complaints than normal for a company of their size.

On the plus side, each company is on strong financial footing: Esurance received an A+ (Superior) rating from reviewer A.M. Best, while Liberty received an A (Excellent). This means that consumers should not worry about the companies’ ability to pay out claims after an accident.
After closely evaluating available incentives, monthly premiums, customer service and claim processing policies, our pick for the best auto insurance is GEICO. This popular insurance company might be popular for its silly commercials featuring a gecko, but it was the high customer satisfaction score, low rates, numerous discount incentives and a great mobile app that made it the best car insurance company overall.

That said, it’s important to note that individual insurance rates vary greatly. GEICO may not have the best insurance plan for you. Insurance rates are based on a number of factors, such as your driving record, your car’s make and model, the mileage and year. In addition, claims processing is also difficult to evaluate because every claim in unique and the experiences are largely anecdotal.

What Affects Car Insurance Rates?
Insurance rates are carefully calculated based on numerous factors. Personal factors include age, location, average miles driven, gender, marital status, education and driving record. Financial factors include the replacement cost of the car, repair costs, claim history, insurance history and credit score.

To give you an idea of what a low-risk insured person might look like compared to a high-risk person, see these two extremes:

Low-Risk: A 40-year-old married female who is college educated and lives in a low-incident area. She also has a better than average credit rating, a good driving record, steady previous insurance and no claims in over five years. The car has low repair costs and is not tied to a bank loan. She might only be required to pay $60 to $90 per month for insurance.

High-Risk: A 23-year-old unmarried male without a college education who lives in a high-incident area. He would have spotty or bad credit, a DUI or other major moving vehicle violation, has been without insurance in the past and has recently submitted claims. The car is expensive to fix and a there is a loan on the vehicle. This person’s premium may be over $300 per month. In this case, some insurance companies may even deny coverage.

As you can see, numerous factors contribute to your premium. In addition, there are no protections in respect to gender, education, location or credit discrimination. Insurance companies are allowed, to the best of their ability, to calculate the risk of insuring individuals. If you are in the high-risk category, you might have to take a higher rate until you can build up a better history and or perhaps trade to a lower-priced, paid-off car.

If you are in the low-risk category, you may save some money by bundling your auto insurance with other plans such as homeowners or umbrella insurance. Some insurance companies also offer discounts to those who pay premiums in advance or by automatic payment. Discounts aren’t always listed on the company’s website, so you’ll want to ask about discounts before you enter a new contract so you can get the best possible rate.

Obtaining Auto Insurance Quotes
First and foremost, get more than one quote. We recommend that you obtain three quotes from three different insurance agencies. In our research, we learned that in most cases you can obtain ballpark quotes with just your basic information. However, eventually you will have to submit your social security number, VIN and other personal information to actually obtain the insurance coverage. Most will check your credit reports and driving status as well before they will provide coverage.

You can obtain a quote by visiting the insurance company’s website. On the website, you can enter your zip code or state information and obtain a quote in only a few minutes. You’ll need to enter your basic information such as name, address and car make. You will also be asked about your driving history, credit and average driving distances. The company will most likely mention a few discounts, but you should also ask about additional discounts before you sign up.

Possible discounts you might be eligible for include: good driver, good student, senior, hybrid vehicle, safety features, security features, multiple auto, defensive driving course discounts, farm vehicle, automatic payments, pay in advance, teen discounts and more. We noticed that Allstate specifically seems to offer a wide range of discount options. Many also offer discounts to military personnel or government employees, so it is worth asking about if you are associated with these organizations.

You should also consider supplemental add-ons such as:

Uninsured Motorist: Most people should consider this add-on. It helps cover medical or repair expenses when the other driver is at fault and has no insurance.
Roadside Assistance: These plans often include towing and tire changing.
Rental Car Coverage: Covers car rental expenses during the time your car is being repaired.
Gap Coverage: If your car is totaled, gap insurance will help pay the difference between the payout and what you still owe on your car loan.
Pet Insurance: This plan helps cover veterinarian expenses that may occur if your pets are injured in a car accident involving the covered vehicle.
Umbrella Policies: These cover a wide range of liability situations that other insurance policies may not cover completely.
Medical Payments Coverage: Helps pay medical costs related to an accident.
Sound System Insurance: This will cover the cost of replacing stolen or damaged audio or video equipment.
How We Compared Auto Insurance Companies
Because auto insurance premiums differ from person to person, no single company is best for every person. We tried to find out which company offers the best rates to the most people, and which ones have the best consumer experience reputation. We researched industry news, consumer reviews, financial reviews, third-party reviews and more. We also conducted our own research.

For the quote comparison, we obtained quotes for five of the most commonly purchased cars in the U.S. for rather average customer profiles in numerous zip codes. Some quotes were obtained online and others by telephone. We averaged the quote price per vehicle and compared quote rates against their competitors. With this information, we were able to determine whether you might expect to receive a lower than average, average or higher than average quote price from the insurance company. Of course, your quote experience will vary from our test model, but our scores can help you decide which companies you may want to obtain a quote from.

We obtained consumer satisfaction scores by quantifying numerous industry ratings alongside our own experience with the companies. We were somewhat surprised to discover that the 12 insurance agencies scored pretty close together. Most consumers seem happy with their insurance company until they need to file a claim and things don’t go the way they wanted. And since most drivers are only involved in a few accidents in their lifetime, they usually do not have to go through the claim processing experience often, so satisfaction scores are generally high. The company that rated the highest was State Farm, with GEICO and AAA only a few points below it.

Our Verdict and Recommendation
Once you find the insurance companies that look like they might satisfy your needs, we recommend that you obtain three quotes. Low-risk drivers can likely obtain low-cost auto insurance from GEICO. Seniors may benefit from using their AARP membership to receive discounts from the Hartford Financial Services Group. Those who can qualify for accident-forgiveness can benefit from a three-year accident forgiveness policy from Farmers. Make sure to answer the questions as accurately as possible when submitting your quote information. Incorrect information could be cause for non-payment later, so accuracy is critical.

Once you obtain your quotes, it is helpful to call up the insurance company and ask about additional discounts. As tedious and confusing as it may seem, carefully look through the fine print of your policy information. It might even be helpful to consult with an insurance specialist to explain industry terms you don’t understand. Careful shopping can help you obtain the best rate for the type of coverage you want.