Safeco was founded in the early 1900s in Seattle, Washington. Now a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual, Safeco is currently one of the largest home insurers on the market. As the sixth-largest personal lines insurer in the country, Liberty Mutual Insurance is a Fortune 100 company with $36,138,703 net premiums in 2021. Safeco insures the greater part of the US, except for Alaska, Hawaii, Delaware, and Florida.
This homeowners insurance company vows to make insurance easier for its customers. With a slogan tagged “Do More.”, we’d like to assume that Safeco is making an important statement in the insurance industry. They have a wide range of insurance products designed to suit many.
Safeco wants you to know that when you’re insured with them, you’re backed by a trustworthy company. We’ll see just how true that holds up.
Keep reading to see how we rate Safeco home insurance. We’ll take a look at their coverage and premiums, plus any discounts they may have to save you some cash. More importantly, we’ll look at what their customers have to say. If their fan base can trust them, perhaps you can too.
SafeCo homeowners insurance coverages
Safeco offers basic coverage for homeowners. Plus, they have a collection of optional coverages to meet the unique needs of their customers. They also have coverage for renters, condo owners, and landlords.
Their standard homeowners policy includes the following coverages:
- Dwelling: Your home will be protected from the basic perils. These include fire, lightning, ice, snow, wind, theft, and vandalism.
- Personal property coverage: If your belongings are damaged or stolen due to a covered loss, Safeco will repair or replace them. Your property is covered by actual cash value at the time of loss.
- Personal liability coverage: Safeco will help you if someone claims you caused an injury or damage by accident. For example, if someone is hurt in your yard or you damage property at someone else’s home, Safeco will cover you.
SafeCo’s optional coverages
Now let’s look at their optional coverages. These can be added or dropped from your policy according to your location and other circumstances.
- Valuable articles: This coverage takes care of any extra costs for the repair or replacement of high-value items such as art, furs, jewels, collectibles, or camera equipment.
- Equipment breakdown: This is a cost-effective way to keep critical household equipment and appliances functioning after mechanical or electrical breakdowns. This endorsement is an extra $2 a month.
- Service line: This coverage insures service line failures. If the service lines connecting your home to the city fail, Safeco will cover the loss.
- Single loss deductible: This unique add-on helps reduce the cost of your total deductible. If a customer experiences a covered loss, deductibles for other Safeco policies also affected can be waived.
- Extended dwelling coverage: This extra endorsement helps extend the cost of your dwelling coverage. With this safety net, you can guarantee your home will be fully repaired or replaced when a catastrophe strikes.
- Identity recovery: This endorsement is only an extra dollar a month. It can help you financially recover from the costs of identity theft.
- Guaranteed repair network: This program gets you connected with any of Safeco’s prequalified professionals for your estimates and repairs.
- Replacement cost for personal property: Instead of actual cash value, this endorsement will guarantee that your personal property is repaired or replaced by its true replacement cost, regardless of wear and tear or depreciation.
- Ordinance or law: When the city ordinance needs your home to be up to code, this add-on helps pay for the extra costs involved.
- Mold, fungus, or rot damage: If parts of your home are damaged due to mold, rotting, or fungus, this add-on helps pay for damage to your home.
- Home warranty: Safeco partners with American Home Shield to provide its customers with a voluntary home warranty. This helps pay for the repair or replacement of appliances and various other systems in your home. The Home Warranty product is only available for single-family homeowners with under 10,000 square feet of living space. This is not available for properties located in Alaska, California, Florida, Iowa, or New York.
- Landscaping: When a covered loss causes damage to your plants and landscaping, Safeco will take care of the costs to fix it.
- Debris removal: This helps cover the costs of removing debris after a disaster.
- Fire department service charge: When you have to call the fire department, Safeco will reimburse you for out-of-pocket fees.
- Arson and criminal conviction reward: This unique add-on will provide an award for the person who catches the perpetrator who made you a victim of vandalism, theft, or arson.
- Volunteering coverage: If you are a volunteer in your community, Safeco will protect your personal property and provide you with liability coverage without a deductible.
SafeCo homeowners insurance premiums and discounts
We weren’t able to get a solid price on a basic home insurance product through their site. Safeco insurance is sold only through independent agents. They say it’s because they focus on relationships and offer a better way to receive choices and advice.
Even getting a quote from their parent company proved to be more of a hassle than we would have hoped. Several addresses we entered with various information kept coming back as unable to process.
We can tell you that, based on customer reviews, their premiums must be relatively reasonable. Of the hundreds of public complaints against Safeco, their rates are not one of them. Some verified customers claim to have saved up to $900 by switching to Safeco.
Safeco also offers a few discounts to save you a couple of bucks on your premium. These include:
- Multi-policy: Receive up to a 15% discount for bundling your Safeco home and auto insurance.
- Umbrella multi-policy: Receive a discount for bundling your Safeco home and umbrella insurance policies.
- New home: Receive a discount if your home is less than 10 years old.
- Advanced quote: Receive a discount if your home insurance policy starts just a few days after you’ve gotten a quote from an agent.
- Security systems: Receive a discount when you install security systems in your home.
- Fire Sprinkler System: Receive a discount for having a fire sprinkler system installed on your property.
SafeCo home insurance claims process
Safeco makes it easy to file a claim. All you have to do is take 5-10 minutes to log into your Safeco account and go through the claims filing process. You can access your account online or through their mobile app.
If you don’t have an account or would like to file a claim as a guest, it may take a little longer. You’ll need more information as well, like your policy number. The same can be said for filing claims via their 24/7 claims number, 1-800-332-3226.
Even though Safeco states they want to make things easier for claimants, many of their customers disagree. In fact, several agree that Safeco seems to do anything to avoid paying out their dues. This lack of integrity felt by its insured homeowners has left many of them without roofs, fences, floors, and more.
In fact, according to the NAIC, claims are the most frequent complaint among Safeco’s insured. It didn’t take us long to find out that home insurance claims complaints were more prominent than those for car insurance.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest claims complaint was due to delays. The next biggest complaints were due to unsatisfactory settlements, followed by claim denials and adjuster handling. So much for understanding the claims process can be stressful.
Safeco’s customer reviews
We’ve mentioned throughout this article Safeco customers’ less than favorable view of their insurer. Massive amounts of Safeco homeowners find this company to degrade the name of Liberty Mutual. Many of these customers come to this conclusion based on their claims experience.
There are nearly 1,000 customer reviews on the BBB website as of this review being written. Nevertheless, the average rating is still a depreciating 1.1 stars.
On a redeeming side, NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) reports that Safeco homeowners insurance policies have earned a complaint index of 0.27 in 2022. This is significantly below the national average for all insurance companies which is always set at 1.00. NAIC registered only 83 complaints, while Safeco made up 0.268% of the US homeowners insurance market and earned $1.34 billion in premiums for that year.
Safeco’s financial strength
Although Liberty Mutual is considered an accredited business by the BBB, its child company Safeco is not. They do, however, still have an A+ rating here. In fact, other rating companies also oppose the feelings of Safeco customers.
AM Best has provided Safeco with a steady rating of “A” for several years for financial strength and long-term issuer credit. Weiss Ratings gives Safeco a solid “B” as its insurance safety rating. This is due to several factors, including Safeco’s ability to exceed the minimum levels for rating criteria, and the likelihood of remaining healthy in the future.
A good home insurance company should be judged on its integrity, easy claims process, coverage options, and prices. Unfortunately for Safeco customers, this home insurer seems to lack in some of these areas.
Safeco offers an assortment of coverages and options for homeowners, though. This is fantastic for those who would rather bundle their policies with Safeco for a discount. Speaking of discounts, Safeco offers a few basic premium deductions for certain incentives.
The problem with Safeco lies with its claims process integrity. Their methods for relinquishing cash payouts to customers are lacking, and many don’t even have their claims approved at all. Nevertheless, the data from NAIC indicates that these negative online reviews may represent only a small percentage of Safeco’s large customer base, most of whom are happy with their homeowners policies.
Safeco is backed by many insurance rating companies, which is a plus. Proceed with caution, though, and make sure your policy will take care of all your needs for claims.