A company founded in Australia, QBE has grown to be one of the largest insurance providers there. They focus on commercial insurance but do offer personal home and auto policies to customers. What they offer is quality and encompassing, but their customer satisfaction seems to be lacking.
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QBE is a merged company of three different Australian insurance providers. Originally founded in 1886, they were known as the North Queensland Insurance company. They then merged with Banker’s and Trader’s Insurance in 1921 and Equitable Probate and General Insurance in 1959. The combination of these three companies led to the establishment of the name QBE. QBE is almost 150 years old and is the largest insurance provider in Australia. This lends credibility to QBE’s practices and shows that they offer quality service to their customer base.
In 1991, QBE expanded into the United States where they began to offer personal as well as commercial insurance policies. They specialize in commercial insurance for corporations and conglomerates, but their personal policies are decently competitive. They began to underwrite some personal policies through partnered insurance providers in an attempt to establish their commercial wing. QBE still offers personal insurance policies, but they operate through independent agents who work on commission.
The services they provide are rather basic and expected of your typical insurance company. The discounts can help with any heightened premiums, and they seem to gear their policies towards safe drivers. QBE is an experienced company in Australia but relatively new and unknown here in the States.
Financial situation – rates and claims
QBE offers comprehensive coverage for home and auto as well as a multitude of specialty insurance products. They also provide business policies to help cover the commercial wing of the insurance market. Their auto insurance offers a “FlexAuto” program that rewards good drivers and provides accident forgiveness. With their FlexAuto coverage, you will be protected from underinsured drivers, bodily injury, car damages, and medical payments. For a company that specializes in commercial coverage, QBE does have a rather inclusive auto insurance program.
QBE’s homeowners insurance is offered through their “FlexHome” program which provides the customer with different levels of coverage. You can purchase a “FlexHome Value”, “FlexHome Plus”, or “FlexHome Ultra” policy – each more inclusive than the last. You can also be covered for condos and apartment living through QBE. QBE offers a range of discounts to help lower your premium. Their auto insurance benefits safe drivers and offers an accident forgiveness program. Good student discounts are available as well as a multi-policy discount. QBE rewards their customers decently well.
QBE provides specialty coverage for anything that isn’t home, auto, or business. Coverage options include aviation, cyber, and inland marine protection. QBE’s business options cover both large corporations and small mom-and-pop shops. Your business can be covered for crime, worker’s compensation, general liability, etc.
Their rates are offered through an independent agent, so they will vary based on situation and provider. QBE is a larger company so their premiums might be lower than some regional insurance providers, but their focus is commercial insurance; this might lead to more expensive personal rates. It also should be noted that because the policies are provided through independent agents, commission will be added to the amount you pay for a policy.
QBE does not allow customers to file claims online which is rather unusual for a company of this size. Typically, you could expect some path through their website that will enable the claims process but this is not the case for QBE. You either have to work directly with your agent or contact a toll-free number to get the claims process started. Once started, QBE operates just as any insurance company does when servicing a claim.
QBE is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau as they have a D- rating. For any company regardless of size and experience, this is a bad sign. Consumer reviews tend to lean towards the negative end of the spectrum. It seems that QBE is rather unresponsive when it comes to dealing with complaints as a number of filed issues remain open and unaddressed. The reviews by customers seem to be about their claims process and how they are handled.
While there is a relative lack of reviews from customers, the reviews seem to be mostly negative and focused on a similar topic. QBE having such a low rating from the Better Business Bureau is also of concern. It seems they need to fix their claims process and provide more attention to their personal insurance sector.
Pros and cons
QBE provides its customers with plenty of discounts and coverage options. Their auto and homeowners policies are useful and provide protection where they need to. Premiums won’t be the best, but the discount options will reward safe drivers rather well.
QBE does not seem to put too much attention into their personal insurance policies as they focus most of their efforts commercially. This can lead to customers feeling stranded and without hope of having their claims serviced. QBE has many insurance options but needs to work on their consumer response time.