In the aftermath of the catastrophic Chicago Fire in 1871, some insurance companies refused to insure churches with tall steeples. Several others charged disproportionate premiums because such structures were highly susceptible to lightning strikes. Consequently, numerous congregations faced considerable risk.
This is how Badger Mutual started as an insurance business in 1887. Badger Mutual Insurance Company was founded to safeguard properties in the Chicago area when nobody else would.
Over time, their coverage options have increased. They’ve expanded their operations to cover more states and utilize the most current technology to make interacting with their agents and clients seamless. Badger Mutual homeowners insurance is now available in seven states: Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, and Iowa. They’ve retained their enthusiasm for hometown support by staying active in several communities, charities, and organizations.
If you’re in the market for home insurance in the Midwest, keep reading! In this review, we’ll dig deep to find out what kind of home coverage Badger Mutual has, and how it can safeguard your prized possessions. We’ll see how they stand financially and what their customers have to say about the service and claims they encounter.
Badger Mutual home insurance coverages
Badger Mutual holds on to that hometown charm by selling its insurance through independent agents. This way, they believe they can foster better relationships by having a personal agent get to know you and your needs to effectively provide you with the best policy possible. That said, we’re not able to get an online quote at the touch of a button.
Different homeowners have distinct needs, so Badger home insurance has several levels of protection to accommodate anyone. At its basic level, Badger provides coverage for your home and any additional structures located on your property, such as a detached garage or shed.
Additionally, it offers protection for your personal belongings whether you’re around them or not. Suppose somebody steals your laptop while you are traveling. In such a case, your insurance will compensate you for the loss. Moreover, if you need to move out while your home is getting renovated, this insurance covers your relocation expenses too.
The Personal Liability Protection plan is designed to shield you in case someone makes a legal claim against you. This could be to claim medical expenses or file a lawsuit against you seeking compensation for an injury sustained on your premises. It may also provide coverage for inadvertent harm you cause to others outside your residence.
Badger has an elite program for homeowners who need a little extra coverage. Badger Trust Home plan offers inclusive and modern insurance options to residents of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. Their program boasts exclusive endorsements automatically applied to encompass its customers in broad protection. These perks include:
- 150% dwelling coverage: In the event of a complete loss to your residence, Badger offers 150% coverage for your dwelling. This means you will receive an additional 50% in coverage to fully replace your home based on its replacement cost value.
- Special limits for personal property: Enhanced protection is available for specific personal property categories. These items can consist of jewelry, watches, furs, watercraft, precious metals like silver, and more, which can be costly to replace after your less-significant personal property has already been considered.
- Debris removal: The expenses incurred in the removal of debris, trees, shrubs, and plants resulting from a windstorm or hail are covered with no deductible.
- Fire department surcharge: In case of an emergency where the fire department must attend to your home, Badger relieves you of the service charge of up to $750 without a deductible.
- Credit card fraud: Should your credit card, electronic fund transfer card, or access device be stolen or used without authorization, this coverage will take care of it without any deductible being applied.
- Refrigerated items: In case of power outages or mechanical failure of freezers or refrigerators, Badger allows a coverage limit of $500 without any deductible for the loss or damage of lost food products.
- Inflation guard: The Inflation Guard endorsement modifies the coverage provided by your insurance policy in response to changes in the construction cost index. So, if the cost of repairing your home increases due to the escalation of material costs, your insurance coverage will increase as well.
- Key theft: In case someone steals your house key, Badger will cover the cost of replacing your keys or re-keying the exterior door locks of your home without any deductible.
- Other structures extension: Likely one of the most unique endorsements we’ve seen is this one. If you don’t happen to have any “other structures” on your property (or not enough other structures to justify its coverage limit) this endorsement combines its coverage limit with your dwelling limit. This will create a total liability limit for your dwelling under your dwelling coverage.
In case Badger Trust is missing a few other endorsements you find necessary, the company issues a couple of other endorsements. These add-ons are ready to help you fill in the gaps in your home insurance coverage. They include:
- Identity fraud: With this coverage, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re protected from the costs associated with identity theft and the extensive measures required to restore your good name.
- Water backup/sump pump overflow: If your plumbing goes haywire and causes water to back up into your house, or if your sump pump overflows, this coverage will mitigate the costs of damage.
- Lateral line coverage: Safeguards your property against the expenses incurred while fixing, unearthing, or reinstating utility cables and pipes under your house.
- Earthquake coverage: Badger provides earthquake coverage, which is usually left out of home insurance policies. This coverage details how you will be reimbursed for damage to your home and belongings caused by earth movement.
Annual premiums & ways to save
As you can expect with an insurer that works with agents to sell their products, you won’t be able to get a solid quote from the company outright. You’ll need to get with your agent who can provide you with a legitimate quote for your home insurance.
On a positive note, Badger home insurance may help you save some money on your annual premiums. Badger Mutual’s serviced states are among some of the cheapest in the nation. Homeowners in Utah need only pay $643 a year on average for $350,000 in dwelling coverage.
Forbes considered Badger Mutual to be among the cheapest insurers in Wisconsin, coming in before the likes of Allstate and State Farm in terms of cost. Customers seem to be happy with their rates as well. One customer is excited about saving more than $500 a year on their annual premium with Badger.
Badger Mutual also provides a diversity of cost reductions to its clients. Their discounts include:
- Group: Badger Mutual offers a 10% reduction in premiums if you choose to insure both your auto and home/condo with them.
- Renewal: They provide a renewal discount to valued customers who have had uninterrupted coverage without making any claims for 2 years. As the number of claim-free years increases, so does the amount of discount.
- American Dream: This discount offers a deduction of about 10% for homes that have no outstanding debts, such as mortgages, home equity loans, or land contracts.
- Badger trust: With this discount, you can save up to 40% if your credit-based insurance score is favorable.
- New home: You can see a reduction of up to 10% of your annual premium if your home is less than a year old.
- Security devices: Additional discounts may be earned by households equipped with 24-hour security monitoring, smoke alarms, and fire alarms.
Customer satisfaction reviews
The NAIC registers a steady decrease in company complaints since at least 2020. Since then, the level of home insurance complaints against Badger has stayed below the national average.
The BBB can corroborate this lack of unsatisfied customers. Even though the company has been in business for over 130 years, the insurer has no reviews on its BBB page. They have been accredited since the 80s and have an A+ from the Bureau with only 1 complaint filed each year.
The company has raked in mostly positive sentiments on the internet, boasting 4.1 stars on Google with nearly 200 reviews. Most customers, from long-term to new homeowners, are happy about their interactions with Badger. They are known for being professional, consistent, and responsive.
To file a claim with Badger, all you need to do is go online or log into your mobile app. They also have a 24-hour claim line at (866) 223-4371. Naturally, you can call your agent to help you get a friendly start on your claim.
Customers don’t have a lot to say about Badger home insurance claims, which may be a good thing. Most issues we see online only have to do with the company dropping clients after claims have been filed.
Financial strength ratings
Even though Badger is a dinosaur in the industry, their financial stability ratings don’t necessarily reflect that. Weiss Ratings provided the company with a C+ for insurance safety. This score represents the company’s ability to stay financially stable and offer what they call fair financial security.
AM Best thinks a little more highly of the company, providing them with an A- (Excellent) score for financial strength and long-term issuer credit.
Badger insurance is perfect for homeowners needing choice coverage for a low price. Additionally, Badger Mutual customers can enjoy extra peace of mind with downhome customer support and community outreach.
Badger has unique coverages and discounts that can help you save hundreds. The best part is, you have a better chance of trusting this insurer’s claims process. If you don’t mind a little lacking in financial stability, Badger home insurance may be right for you.