Travelers’ extensive network of agents makes it a great choice for those who prefer speaking face-to-face, but that face time may cost you extra.
Travelers offers liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist, collision and comprehensive coverage, plus some extras like new car replacement and lease/loan gap coverage. For those willing to pay a little extra, there’s also accident forgiveness and disappearing deductible. It has a large selection of discounts as well, but unfortunately, these may not save you a ton of money. If your budget is tight, you’re better off going with a company like Geico or Progressive.
Travelers prides itself on its customer service and its nationwide network of independent agents. This is a nice option to have if you prefer to deal with someone local rather than sitting on hold with a call center. However, customers haven’t been very satisfied with the service they’ve received. The company has also had legal troubles in recent years, including one allegation of hiding an insurance policy from a customer’s lawyer to avoid paying the claim. If this concerns you, a company that has a better customer service reputation, like State Farm, may be a better fit.
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|Price||Varies by location, vehicle and other factors|
|Best For||People who prefer to work with local agents|
|Not For||People on a tight budget|
Student Away at School
|In Business Since||1853|
|A.M. Best Rating||A++|
|Standout Features||Good selection of discounts
Lease/loan gap coverage
Coverage for ridesharing drivers (CO and IL only)
Travelers markets itself as an innovator in the insurance industry, continually improving to keep up with your needs. It offers comprehensive coverage, top-notch customer service and “fast, fair, effective claims handling” to keep your car on the road and your mind at ease.
Is it True?
Sort of. Travelers is one of the largest insurers in the nation, and its financial strength ratings suggest it’s going to be around for quite a while. It offers all major types of insurance, including bodily injury and property damage liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, medical payments coverage, and collision and comprehensive protection for your car. It also offers accident forgiveness, roadside assistance and a disappearing deductible to customers willing to pay a little extra. Liability coverage limits range from the state minimum to $250,000/$500,000/$250,000.
Travelers has an impressive selection of discounts, but that doesn’t seem to translate into a low rate. In my quote comparison, Travelers was one of my most expensive options, though you may get different results.
|Insurer||State Minimum Coverage ($25,000/$50,000/$10,000)||Upgraded Coverage ($250,000/$500,000/$100,000)|
Though you can purchase a policy online, Travelers is primarily sold through its network of independent agents across the country. If you’d prefer to deal with a local agent than a customer service rep in some distant call center, Travelers might be a good fit for you. However, customers haven’t reported a high degree of satisfaction with the company’s service. In J.D. Power’s latest auto insurance customer satisfaction survey, Travelers consistently scored average or below, with the selection of policy offerings and the timeliness and accuracy of billing statements being the most common complaints.
Our Deep Dive
- Network of local agents: Travelers is one of the few auto insurers with a network of independent agents in every state. If you prefer to work with a local agent who knows your name, then Travelers is a good choice for you.
- Simple quote process: To get a quote from Travelers, just answer a few basic questions about yourself and your driving history, and then you’ll be presented with a policy you can customize. Choose your coverage limits and what types of optional protections you’re interested in, and then you can purchase your policy right online.
- Nice selection of discounts: Travelers offers discounts to homeowners, those who bundle their home and auto insurance, and safe drivers. If you have young drivers in your household, you can save even more with good student, driver training, and student away at school discounts. Getting your quote early, maintaining continuous coverage, and paying your policy in full are also easy ways to save.
- Driving tracker discount: Travelers’ IntelliDrive is a small device you put in your car that monitors how often you drive. You get a 10 percent discount just for signing up and if you drive less than 13,000 miles in a year, you’re eligible for even bigger savings.
- File a claim anytime: Travelers has a 24/7 claims center, so you can get the claims process going the second you have an accident. You can file a claim online, over the phone, or through one of the company’s mobile apps. Once you’ve submitted your information, you can track the claim online and even look up recommended auto body repair shops and medical care providers in your area.
- New car replacement: This is an optional coverage that will replace your vehicle with a new one of the same make and model if it’s totaled in an accident. Most companies that offer this protection only cover your vehicle up to three years after purchase, but Travelers’ new car replacement is available for cars up to five years old.
- Lease/loan gap coverage: If you have a loan on your car and you total it, your insurance pays you the actual cash value of the vehicle, which isn’t necessarily the same as what you owe. Gap coverage will pay the remaining balance, so you’re not stuck paying a loan for a car you no longer have.
- Accident forgiveness: Travelers’ optional Responsible Driver and Premier Responsible Driver plans include accident forgiveness. Every 36 months, Travelers will forgive one accident and one minor violation, so you don’t have to worry about rate increases.
- Disappearing deductible: If you’re interested in being rewarded for your safe driving, you should consider the Premier Responsible Driver plan. For every six-month policy term you go without an accident, your deductible is lowered by $50. And if your car gets totaled, Travelers won’t make you pay a deductible at all.
- Coverage for ridesharing drivers: Travelers is one of the few auto insurance companies to offer coverage to drivers of ridesharing services, like Uber and Lyft. Currently, this coverage is only available to Colorado and Illinois residents, but it’s likely that it will be made available in other states in the future.
- Roadside assistance: This is another optional coverage that will help you out if you find yourself stranded on the road. Just contact Travelers and they will send someone to bring you gas or change your flat tire. It will also cover food and lodging if you’re over 100 miles from home and your vehicle is in the shop for more than a day.
- Rental car reimbursement: If you select this optional coverage, Travelers will reimburse you for the cost of renting a vehicle while yours is in the shop.
- Connect to your policy on the go: Travelers has mobile apps for Android and iOS devices. You can use these apps to view your policy documents, make payments, report a claim, and get roadside assistance.
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It’s impossible to predict what your auto insurance rate is going to be without getting a quote. This is because companies consider a variety of factors, including your address, age and driving history when determining your premiums, and they will each weigh these factors a little differently. Quoted prices can vary significantly — in my case, by $190 per year — for the same coverage. That’s why it’s important to explore several options before committing to any of them.
Unless your budget severely constricts your options, you should consider more than price. Of course, we all hope that we’ll never have to use our insurance, but it’s inevitable that we eventually will. And it’s only when you go to file a claim that you truly understand the value of customer service. Friendly agents and efficient claims handling can do a lot to decrease the headache of recovering from an accident, while poor customer service just leads to more frustration and time spent waiting for answers.
Cheaper (or Free!) Alternatives
There’s no legal way to avoid auto insurance. And given the financial risks that accompany uninsured driving, that’s not a good idea. Your best bet to saving money on auto insurance is to compare rates across several insurers and choose the best one. If you’re unsatisfied with the results, there are additional steps you can take to lower your rates across all insurers:
- Work on your credit. A higher credit score universally translates into lower insurance rates.
- Notify your insurer about life changes. Graduating college, getting married and turning 25 all help lower your rates.
- Spend less time on the road. Less time driving means a lower chance of accidents, making you less of a risk to insure.
- Choose a safe vehicle. Consider something with high safety ratings and avoid models that are frequently targeted by thieves.
- Take a defensive driving course. Many insurers will give you a discount if you’ve completed a defensive driving course within the last three years.
- Allstate: Like Travelers, Allstate has a lot of auto insurance discounts, though you wouldn’t know it from their rates. Allstate was my most expensive quote, though this may not be the case for you. It offers all major auto insurance coverages, as well as less common options, like sound system coverage. It also has a claim satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not happy with the way the claim was handled, Allstate will refund your money up to a six-month credit.
- Geico: This company is worth checking out if you’re on a budget. Geico consistently offers low rates on all major coverages, and you can choose limits ranging from your state minimum up to $250,000/$500,00 per accident. Its customer service, however, isn’t great. In J.D. Power’s survey, Geico scored average or below in most regions, so if this is a concern for you, you may want to choose another company on this list.
- State Farm: State Farm has a reputation for providing excellent customer service in addition to quality coverage. Its rates aren’t as affordable as Progressive’s or Geico’s, but for some, it may be worth paying a little extra for more efficient claims handling. State Farm offers coverage for classic cars as well, so it’s worth considering if you own one.
- Progressive: This is another major insurer that offers low rates to all drivers. Like Geico, however, Progressive’s low price comes with a bit of a trade off in customer service, and if that concerns you, you may prefer a company like State Farm. In addition to all major coverages, Progressive offers unique add-ons, like pet injury and custom parts coverage, which you won’t find with many other insurers.
The Bottom Line
If you’re strictly looking at price, Travelers probably isn’t the right choice for you. But if you’re interested in unique coverage options like ridesharing or lease/loan gap coverage, or you prefer dealing with local agents, Travelers is a solid option.
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