Donegal Insurance Group is a Pennsylvania-based insurance company that provides automotive, home and business/commercial insurance policies. Donegal Insurance Group is one of the oldest insurance companies in the United States, it was founded in 1889 as the Conoy Mutual Fire Insurance Company as a company that provided farmers insurance in Pennsylvania. The area received a heavy influx of immigrants who demanded higher protection for their farms and some of the wealthiest created the first insurance branch in the town of Marietta. Donegal Insurance Group has been in the insurance business for nearly 130 years.
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Donegal Insurance Group used to provide farm insurance policies exclusively – now Donegal Insurance Group expanded to automotive and commercial-property insurance. Donegal was originally known as the Conoy Mutual Fire Insurance Company – the name was dropped in the late ’40s when the company shortened it to Donegal Mutual Insurance Company and began acquiring competitors in the insurance business.
Donegal Insurance Group quickly expanded its policies from farm/home insurance to automotive and fire insurance. Donegal biggest expansions were in the 1970s when the company acquired insurance companies outside Pennsylvania. They first expanded to Maryland where they opened their regional branch. The company then started selling their policies in Delaware and Virginia in 70s. Donegal IPO’d in 1986 under the name “Donegal Group INC” when it became a publically-traded company.
Donegal Insurance Group currently sells its policies in 20 states, but their main branch offices are located in New England, the Tri-State area and Pennsylvania. Donegal is located in Marietta, PA.
Donegal Insurance Group home insurance is available for the following:
- Commercial property owners
Donegal Insurance Group is a financially-stable company. Donegal Insurance Group is listed on the Better Business Bureau, a company responsible for rating insurance companies based on their financial stability and customer complaints ratio. The Donegal Insurance Group has an A+ rating for financial stability.
A.M. Best, a respected leader in rating the financial strength of insurance companies, gave the company an A or Excellent rating for their ability to pay out their clients claims.
Donegal Insurance Group provides a basic HO-3 plan with optional upgrades – the company offers protection against natural disasters, home invasions, accidents, and more. Customers can optionally expand their coverage on their main home, insure high-value items or purchase guaranteed replacement plans.
The HO-3 includes coverage for the following:
- The home. The main dwelling is insured for 80-90% of the total coverage that will include all repair and replacement costs. Clients can choose the level of coverage they want for their home – this policy retains the highest coverage compared to other policies. Clients can also decrease their coverage in favor of side structures or purchase guaranteed replacement (that includes any contractor charges above the client coverage – the policy is available as an add-on).
- Side structures. All side buildings on the client’s property are insured. This includes structures such as guesthouses, decks, detached garages, sheds, workshops, animal barns, playgrounds, pools, etc. Clients can optionally choose to increase their coverage on a side structure or take out a % of their home coverage and allocate it to a side structure.
- Personal property. All personal property inside the home that belongs to the client’s family is insured such as furniture, clothing, electronics, guns, appliances, AC units, pool equipment, etc. The only exception to this policy are high-value items such as gold watches, designer clothes, antiques, artwork and other items that exceed a certain $ amount – those can be insured separately as an add-on. The personal insurance policy applies even if the client is away on vacation while their home is damaged – they don’t have to be on their property to collect on this coverage.
- Living expenses. If the client’s home is destroyed and they have to move out while their home is rebuilt or fixed, the company will cover their living expenses. This includes hotel/rental costs, bills, food expenses, and more.
- Personal liability. Personal liability is a policy that provides coverage against lawsuits – if a client causes damage to a neighbor’s property by accident and they wind up in court, the company bears all settlement amounts and legal fees. This protects clients from unexpected litigation from neighbors and homeowners associations.
- Medical liability. The company reimburses clients for all medical charges incurred in the event they are injured on their property. This policy extends to everyone injured on the property including family and guests.
Donegal Insurance Group offers 4 optional add-ons which can be purchased at once or independently. These add-ons can be adjusted to the client’s specific needs (such as coverage $ for high-value items):
- Extended limits. The replacement value on the home can be extended with this add-on up to 130% of the replacement cost. For example, a home that is insured for $250,000 in rebuilding costs can receive up to $300,000 if a contractor overcharges them on the repair.
- Guaranteed replacement. Clients can purchase a guaranteed replacement policy that guarantees the company will cover the full cost of their property in case it’s destroyed.
- High-value items. If clients have high-value items they want to insure such as premium watches, gold, cash, artwork, antiques or more – they can purchase an independent policy that insures those items separately. All high-value items can be added to the main HO-3 policy.
- Identity fraud. If a client’s identity is stolen and used for malicious purposes, Donegal Insurance Group will hire identity fraud agents to help clear out their credit history and reimburse the client for all financial damages caused.
Dwelling Fire Plan
Donegal Insurance Group offers a Dwelling Fire coverage for high-risk properties or secondary homes – this is an alternative to their main HO-3 plan. If clients wish to insure properties that they don’t reside in, such as their rental units, they can purchase a Dwelling Fire policy (as the main HO-3 plan only covers owner-occupied properties). The Dwelling Fire policy is available for more high-risk homes and clients who do not qualify for the standard HO-3 (due to having an old home or home in bad cosmetic condition) – those clients can apply for a Dwelling Fire plan.
Donegal Insurance Group is seen as a reliable company that pays out customers on time – it receives many positive reviews and hears near-perfect ratings by customers. One customer said that they switched from their old provider who had his roof destroyed after his old company wouldn’t help them – Donegal Insurance Group covered them, gave them a lower policy and helped them repair their roof.
Negative reviews for Donegal Insurance Group come from clients who are mostly on their auto insurance policies. Some say the company raised their premiums after they made their first claim, while others rate the company negatively after the company dropped them from their policy. Some reviews say the customer service is unreliable when it comes to making claims, but overall most feedback appears to be positive.