Back in 1876, a small insurance company which would one day grow to be known as Central Insurance began in Van Wert, OH. The originally started out as a fire insurance company selling their policies through independent agents as opposed to company salesmen.
Fast-forward 140 years later, and Central Insurance (together with All America Insurance Company) is now a $1 billion company. Central operates many independent regional entities. Their Central Regional office manages policies in MI, IL, IN, OH, and KY; their Northeast Regional office sells policies in NY, NH, MA, and CT; the Southeast Regional office primarily operates in MD, VA, TN, NC, SC, and GA; and lastly (but not leastly) the Central Southwest Regional office assists customers in CO, OK, TX, NM, and AZ.
Everyone who pays for an automotive insurance policy wants two things: good customer service, and the assurance that their provider will pay out claims should the need arise. And for the most part, it looks as though Central Insurance possesses both of those attributes. A.M. Best has evaluated their financial strength with an “A”, meaning “excellent”, and the BBB has given them their A+ stamp of approval.
|A.M. Best (2016)||A|
|Better Business Bureau (2016)||A+|
|Customer Reviews||3/5 stars (average)|
As far as independent customer reviews go, there are a few easily-accessible websites online which have customer and former employee testimonials from those who have done business with Central in the past. And while some of these individuals have wonderful things to say about the company, a slightly smaller minority was Markedly unsatisfied with the way they do business.
Because Central is such a large company and offers policies in so many different states, it is difficult for them to offer the same discounts everywhere. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to qualify for as many of the following as possible:
|Discount||How to Qualify|
|Package Credit||Bundling your auto and homeowner’s insurance into one single policy|
|E-Credit||Signing up for both of Central’s “E-Billing” and “E-Policy” options ($5 annual credit)|
|Customer Loyalty Credit||Credit earnings begin after 2 years of consecutive service; may culminate in a 10% discount after 10 years|
|“Insurance” Score||Policy discounts available for drivers with good credit scores|
|Payment Timeliness||Earn a credit on renewal policies if you’ve never received a cancellation notice for non-payment|
|Higher Deductible||Choosing a higher available deductible on your policy will earn you a credit|
|Elite New Policy Discount||For new policy holders: a) carry higher Liability coverage limits b) have and maintain a good “insurance” (read: credit) score c) keep traffic violations to a minimum|
|Paid in Full||If you pay your automotive insurance premium annually instead of monthly, you can earn a 5% discount|
|Vehicle Safety Features||Have passive restraint and antitheft devices installed on your car|
|Accident Prevention||Completing an approved accident prevention course|
|Teen Driver Discounts||When you add a teen driver to your family auto policy, you can earn discounts for teenSMART driver safety courses, good grades, and driver training|
If you’re just in the market for a basic policy from Central Insurance, you can choose from the bare minimum coverages and coverage limits to drive legally where you live, or add other options:
But if that isn’t enough to protect your vehicle, you can also choose between:
Comparing quotes between companies is a great start toward getting the best deal on your automobile insurance. But the reality is that your personal circumstances can also have a dramatic effect on your rate:
The chart above contains estimated quotes from Central Insurance for different driver risk profiles for motorists who live near their corporate office in Van Wert, OH. Notice how “low-risk” drivers (drivers with good credit and few/no accidents) have the lowest rates. Higher risk drivers, on the other hand, can see anywhere from a 50% rate hike in monthly premiums to a four-fold increase based on accident history and poor credit, respectively.
|A good variety of policies to choose from||Coverage not available in every state|
|Strong ratings with credit agencies and the Better Business Bureau||Polarized customer reviews; people either really like or really dislike this company|
|Low rates for good credit and few or no accidents||Potentially high premium hikes for drivers with poor credit scores|
All-in-all, Central Insurance has enough to offer potential customers to be competitive in the auto insurance market. They have a strong financial foundation, a variety of policies and coverages to offer their customers, and pretty good customer service. If you have an ideal, low-risk driver profile and Central Insurance has an office in your area, you might get a pretty good deal. But if they don’t operate near you, or if you have a higher-risk profile, you should definitely compare their quotes to other local insurance providers.Corporate Headquarters