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ByJackie Nelson Feature Writer

American Family Homeowners Insurance Review

American Family provides protection for your home and most valuable possessions. The company, sometimes known as AmFam, offers homeowners “coverage to protect all of your dreams.” While this is more of a metaphor than an actual description of its coverage, American Family does offer great bundling options for all your insurance needs and has unique discounts that stand out from the competition.

Despite those features, American Family definitely has room for improvement when it comes to overall satisfaction with the service and the simplicity of the entire process. Although these areas rate about average, or sometimes below-average, American Family still maintains a solid popularity among homeowners insurance customers in the U.S. The company ranks eighth-largest in the nation of writers of home insurance by the number of premiums written in 2017. We think the positive aspects of American Family homeowners insurance service might account for that popularity across the nation.

The Claim

American Family claims to be able to get you the right coverage to “protect all your dreams.” It positions itself as “insurance built around you” and often plays with the American Dream phrasing and corresponding ideals of aspirations to homeownership. Their tagline? “Insure carefully. Dream fearlessly.”

Is it true?

Although American Family insurance won’t help you out with your dream to become a pop star or an award-winning author, it certainly can protect your investment in a new apartment or brand new home. While we think the “protecting your dreams” claim is a little unattainable, AmFam does a pretty good job in insurance service categories like agent communication, agent promptness and the availability of 24/7 claims filing and live chat capabilities for all (or at least some) of your questions.

On the other hand, American Family homeowners insurance leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to impressing customers with customer service, the price of insurance coverage, or range of policy options. According to J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Home Insurance Study, American Family was rated a lackluster three out of five in every single factor of customer satisfaction. Despite the small drawbacks of American Family insurance, it still maintains an impressive 3.2% of the market share of homeowners insurance policies according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) — the eighth-highest share. If you’re in the market for a comprehensive homeowners policy, we recommend thoroughly weighing the pros and cons of American Family as a whole.


American Family Insurance

Product Overview

Best for

Homeowners interested in unique discounts, adequate customer service, and easy communication avenues for claims and questions.

Not for

Homeowners wanting a company with impeccable service ratings

Features

Price Varies
In business since 1927
Standout features Diverse discounts
Optional offerings
24/7 claims center and mobile app
Available in all 50 states
Online live chat
No membership requirements
A.M. Best financial strength rating A
Moody’s financial strength rating Aa3
S&P Global financial strength rating A+

Optional add-ons and diverse discounts

American Family homeowners insurance stands out from the competition for the availability of optional features and diverse discounts to help you save on premiums. The insurer’s basic plan can be customized to cover home-based businesses, sewer backup, sump pump overflow, additional buildings on your property, and identity theft protection. The home-based business coverage caught our eye as something many work-from-home entrepreneurs may want to take a look at.

Some discounts available with American Family are also pretty unique, like its “generational discount,” applicable if your parents also have American Family insurance. Or, its “proactive protection” discount will be offered if you’ve equipped your home with a qualifying smart device. The American Family discount selection is the best we’ve seen when it comes to home insurance – there are a whopping 13 different ways you could save.

Communication is a breeze

American Family also makes it easy to communicate with an agent and file your claim online. With 24/7 claims filing available online, you can file a claim ASAP and manage your policy documents. The on-the-go mobile app, MyAmFam, offers payment scheduling and other great features in the palm of your hand. While these features do make insuring with AmFam more convenient, they're also pretty standard for most insurance companies. One of the best communication features that American Family has is its online chat, where agents are available Monday through Friday to answer your policy questions and provide support.

Widely available homeowners coverage

American Family homeowners insurance coverage is available in all 50 states with absolutely no membership requirements to join, although not all of its insurance services are available in all 50 states. You'll have to check with a representative to confirm which services you have access to.

Possible Drawbacks

Basic ratings among consumers

Average ratings from consumers didn’t thrill us or upset us. The right-in-the-middle mark wasn’t alarming, but it did make us think about the possible headaches of filing a claim with a company that isn’t outstanding in its customer satisfaction. In every category reviewed by the 2018 U.S. Home Insurance Study from J.D. Power, American Family scored a very mediocre rating of three out of five — definitely leaving room for improvement.

Similarly, the “simplicity of the process” and “damage amount” from a claim were rated about average by consumers. When it comes to financial strength, American Family received solid scores from A.M. Best, S&P Global, and Moody’s financial rating, but none of them were top-of-the-line scores. If any of these areas are a particular concern to you, make sure to weigh this aspect of service when making your decision.

Limited bundling availability

The good news? American Family offers great bundling options for multiple insurance policies under their brand. The bad news? It’s not always available. In fact, only 19 states in the U.S. have the option for auto insurance through American Family. These states include: Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The Competition

Enter your ZIP code for quotes in your area

  American Family State Farm Farmers Allstate
A.M. Best financial strength rating A A++ A A+
J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Home Insurance Study score 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5
24/7 claims support

American Family vs. State Farm

American Family and State Farm scored three out of five possible marks for a variety of insurance service factors, ranging from policy offerings to billing processes, to price. They also both have 24/7 claims support and high ratings in three categories rated through Consumer Reports — ease of reaching an agent, agent courtesy, promptness of response, and timely payment. However, American Family scored below State Farm in categories of simplicity of the process and damage. State Farm has an additional leg up when it comes to financial strength, scoring two levels above American Family according to A.M. Best. For efficient payouts on claims, you’ll fare better with coverage by State Farm. But if you want to save on premiums with a variety of discount options, you’d be better off with a policy from American Family.

American Family vs. Farmers

American Family goes toe-to-toe with Farmers according to consumer-facing scores from J.D. Power. Farmers also has unique offerings, like eco-rebuild for policyholders, that rival American Family’s unique insurance coverages. Policies diverge when it comes to Consumer Reports — American Family scored a couple points behind Farmers. American Family and Farmers are very similar in service rating comparisons, so we recommend getting a quote from both companies to take your unique policy’s price into consideration.

American Family vs. Allstate

Allstate offers similar rating scores of consumer services according to J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. However, Allstate scored one level above American Family in the category of financial strength, meaning it’s slightly better in its ability to pay your homeowners claims. When it comes to comparisons, we really wanted to look at their discount offerings side to side. Allstate comes close to the impressive variety of discounts offered, at 10 total discounts compared to American Family’s 13.

So what does Allstate have that American Family doesn’t? An early shopper discount and a welcome offer for new customers. American Family offers bill pay in full, e-bill, loyalty, new/renovated home, and a smart home discount that Allstate does not. If you’re interested in discounts, we recommend getting a quote from both insurers to price out coverage with your specific discount eligibility.

American Family Homeowners Insurance FAQ

What does American Family homeowners insurance cover?

American Family homeowners insurance coverage may vary depending on the policy and add-on coverage you choose for your home. Basic policy protections include the following types of damage: fire, windstorms, hail, theft or other covered events and losses. American Family will also pay to house you while your home is being repaired or rebuilt from covered damage. Last but not least, all homeowners policies with American Family will include liability protection if someone is accidentally hurt on your property.

How can I save money with American Family insurance?

There are more than a few ways you can save on your monthly insurance payment with American Family’s discounts. Discounts are offered in so many categories, it’s likely you’ll qualify for some sort of savings. Consult with your local agent if you’d like more detailed information on these available discounts:

  • Multi-Policy
  • Pay bill in full
  • Paperless bill
  • Autopay
  • Claim-free
  • Burglar and fire alarms
  • Loyalty
  • Generational
  • New purchase
  • New/renovated home
  • Smoke alarm/leak detection
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Sprinklers
  • Smart home

The Bottom Line

American Family homeowners insurance is a great option for bundling policies (if you’re eligible), scoring great discounts, and adding on unique value to your coverage plan. Even though customer service and financial strength ratings are around the industry average, the number of perks and discounts bring in significant value to customers looking to insure their home.


American Family Insurance

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