Safeco Homeowners Insurance Review
Safeco is a popular insurance company in the Western regions of the country, where it has operated for nearly a century. After some periods of uncertainty, it is now owned by Liberty Mutual, and policies are sold through a network of independent agents.
Safeco’s independent agents are an excellent option because they act as unbiased advocates who can help you compare Safeco to other local and national companies, meaning you’re more likely to get the policy that’s right for you, even if it doesn’t end up being with Safeco. Although some of Safeco’s customer satisfaction ratings are cause for concern, Safeco homeowners insurance appears to be a solid choice. For anyone shopping around for quotes, Safeco is at least worth considering.
Supported by Liberty Mutual
Many add-ons available
Some customer concerns with settlements
The Homeowners Insurance Factors We Analyzed
With a score of just two out of five in the “price” category in J.D. Power’s 2019 Home Insurance Study, Safeco doesn’t seem like the policy to go with to save a ton of cash. But because it has so many independent agents with their own profit margins, there may be more flexibility with price in some cases. Your premium will also depend on your individual profile, so it may still be worth getting a quote.
Due to its network of independent agents, the Safeco customer experience can vary, although most signs point to a solid overall track record. It features same-day activation, 24/7 service, and an excellent mobile app, but it has had some issues with settlements in recent years.
In J.D. Power’s 2019 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study, Safeco received three out of five points in every category except “settlements,” where it scored two out of five. These ratings put it well behind the industry leaders. It also fell behind the pack in a separate J.D. Power study measuring satisfaction with homeowners insurance companies as a whole.
On the other hand, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) releases a complaint index measuring the number of verified complaints against a company compared to the company’s percentage of premiums in the U.S market. Safeco did well in the most recent index, receiving fewer than half the complaints expected based on its size in 2018.
Safeco’s basic homeowners insurance policies protect personal property such as furniture, TV, clothing, books, computer, sporting goods, and kitchen gadgets. Safeco says that it aims to tailor coverage to fit the needs of the homeowner — all of the things inside and outside the home that are most important, like family, personal belongings, and guests. But much of that depends on which add-ons the homeowner chooses. Dealing with an independent agent helps make sure that all the boxes are checked.
Some possible add-ons include:
- Personal Property Replacement Cost Protection: Covers the actual cost of replacing belongings (like living room furniture) if they’re stolen, lost, or damaged
- Identity recovery: Covers costs related to recouping identity after identity theft
- Valuable articles: Covers precious keepsakes and memorabilia
- Equipment breakdown: Covers unforeseen equipment breakdowns (not due to normal wear and tear) and will replace any ENERGY STAR-rated appliance. For other items and appliances in the home not covered by your homeowners policy, you’ll want to check out a home warranty.
- One deductible for multiple losses: By bundling home and auto with Safeco, if your home and car, boat, and RV are all damaged in the same event, you could have the option to pay one deductible.
Deals, discounts, and add-ons
Safeco advertises numerous discounts depending on the home. For example, discounts are available if a burglar alarm or a fire sprinkler system is installed in the home, and homes close to a fire station may qualify for a lower rate.
Additionally, a newer home discount could be available if the house is less than 10 years old. And like many insurers, Safeco offers package deals saving up to 15% when homeowners and auto policies are combined. Additional bundled savings are available for other Safeco policies, as well, so it’s a good choice if you already have a policy with the company.
Safeco Homeowners Insurance Overview: Financial Strength, Availability, and History
Safeco was founded in Seattle, Washington, in 1923 by Hawthorne K. Dent as the General Insurance Company of America. The company went through significant restructuring at the beginning of the 21st century, until finally it was purchased by Liberty Mutual in 2008. It remains a popular brand in the West and has continued to flourish thanks to its independent agencies and Liberty Mutual’s strong financial backing.
- In business since: 1923
- S&P Global financial strength rating: A
- Moody’s financial strength rating: A2
- AM Best financial strength rating: A
- States served: 50
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All information accurate as of January 23, 2020.
The Bottom Line
Finding the right home insurance takes time; homeowners can benefit from sourcing a local agent to help with the research. Of course, what Safeco — and every other insurance company — advertises on its website will not be indicative of your personal experience. What really matters is the actual available coverages and discounts reflected on the individual policy. It’s best to compare quotes from multiple providers before making a decision, and if doing so seems too daunting to tackle solo, consulting a local agent to see what is offered in the area and could do the trick.
Safeco Homeowners Insurance FAQ
Besides homeowners insurance, Safeco offers renters, condo, landlord, and valuable article coverage, as well as home warranties.
Safeco is available in all 50 states through its 10,000 independent agencies.
Safeco is underwritten by Liberty Mutual, its parent company.
Safeco’s homeowners policies include coverage to help pay for repairs or rebuilding of the home and other buildings on the property. Typical plans cover the cost to repair damage resulting from foundational troubles like plumbing issues. However, coverage to repair a burst pipe may not be included unless you have a supplementary add-on. Safeco offers a good deal of baseline coverages and add-ons, though you may not find the same level of customization as you would with competitors.