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Overview of Ameriprise Insurance
Ameriprise might not be a household name since they don’t tend to advertise in mainstream media as much as companies like GEICO or Progressive. However, they are actually one of the largest financial services companies in America.
They are headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and their insurance coverages include auto, home, health and life insurance. Their life insurance is brokered through RiverSource Life Insurance.
The company started in 1894, which gives them the right to boast boast over 100 years in business. During that time they have managed to serve over 200 million customers.
They used to be a subsidiary of American Express, but they are now their own company. As you’ll see below, even though they parted ways with Amex, they’re financial health has remained strong.
Today Ameriprise offers insurance products in 42 states and has more than 1,200 employees. It is not available in Alaska, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, North Dakota, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Wyoming, or the territory of Puerto Rico. This makes accessibility one of their biggest downfalls.
As it stands, they are known for their excellent service, however, they have customer complaints worth considering.
Now that you know the basics of Ameriprise, lets dig into the details.
Ameriprise Financial Health
Ameriprise’s assets are large, totaling in over $400 million. They also have over 2 million customers nationwide. Consumers should feel confident in their financial health as they are listed as a Fortune 500 company and their main insurance subsidiary, IDS Property Casualty, has received a financial strength rating of “A” from A.M. Best.
However, strong financial health isn’t the only thing to consider when choosing an insurance company.
Ameriprise offers affordable home and auto insurance, comparable with their competitors. Significant discounts are offered through their partner, Costco.
The company offers online quotes for renters, home, auto, and personal umbrella insurance. Specialty insurance is underwritten by affiliates. Policies are sold through partner companies (like Ford and Costco) or licensed financial advisors.
Costco members get a member-only discount on home and auto insurance. According to Costco, over 300,000 members have switched their coverage to Ameriprise.
They also offer benefits that can reduce pricing for certain individuals.
Ameriprise’s main competitors are GEICO, Progressive, Allstate and State Farm. Both GEICO and Progressive tend to be the most affordable options. However, both Ameriprise and Progressive offer gap coverage that helps with your lease or loan in case you have an accident.
Compared to its competitors, Ameriprise stands head and head, but there are some issues with customer satisfaction, which we’ll cover next.
Ameriprise ranks fifth overall in satisfaction by JD Powers & Associates as of 2009. The company is also considered one of the best places to work.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) rates Ameriprise as an A+. Since the file with the BBB was opened in 1963, it’s managed to acquire a composite score of 3.68 out of 5 stars. Of the 44 complaints sent to the BBB, 29 were issues related to services and products, 4 with delivery problems, 7 for billing, and 4 related to ads and sales.
Here are their insurance ratings from top organizations:
Standard & Poor’s: A-
A.M. Best: A (excellent)
Fitch Rating: A-
Ameriprise uses representatives, often independent franchises, that begin working with customers by creating financial plans. The nice part about this is that most brokers only worry about the investments instead of a customer’s overall financial plan.
However, Ameriprise does have complaints that may worry some customers:
According to Claims Journal, Ameriprise was sued by a customer due to the company refusing to pay the entire amount for uninsured motorist coverage. “ The insured sued Ameriprise alleging that Ameriprise breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing by forcing the insured to arbitrate the claim without fairly investigating, evaluating and attempting to resolve it. The trial court dismissed the complaint and the insured appealed.”
It was reported that in at least three states, regulators fined Ameriprise due to advisers forging signatures of their clients. Later, it was found out that one of their units, Medical Capital, sold hundreds of millions to medical bill receivables that later was discovered to be a Ponzi scheme.
Most insurance and financial services companies are not without their own sins, but their history is something to consider when deciding whether or not you want to purchase insurance with them.
Ameriprise offers both homeowners and car insurance discounts. Here’s a rundown of both:
For Homeowners Insurance
- Ameriprise Tenure Discounts
- Claims Free Discount
- Ameriprise Multi-Product Discounts
- Age of Home Discount
- Renovation Discounts
For Auto Insurance
- Accident-Free Discount
- Accident (Merit) Discount
- Vehicle Safety Features
- Ameriprise Safe Driving Discount
- Defensive Driver Discount
- Multi-vehicle Discount
- Ameriprise Garaging Discount
- Away Student Discount
- Ameriprise Good Student Discount
- Loyalty Discount
- Ameriprise Education Discount
- Tenure Discount
A quick note about Costco discounts: exclusive discounts are offered to Gold Star and Executive Members only. The average Costco member saves an average of $555.17 on their auto insurance in the first year they use Ameriprise. Benefits include Roadside Assistance, Lifetime Renewability, Glass Repair Reimbursement and Home Lockout Assistance.
Coverage Options from Ameriprise
Ameriprise Homeowners Insurance Coverages
- Personal Property Insurance
- Dwelling Coverage
- Earthquake Insurance
- Scheduled Personal Property Coverage
- Ameriprise Other Structures Coverage
- Medical Payments Coverage
- Ameriprise Homeowners Endorsements
- Personal Liability Coverage
- Mine Subsidence Insurance
- Ameriprise Loss of Use Coverage
- Insurance Deductible
Ameriprise Auto Insurance Coverage Types
- Liability Insurance
- Collision Insurance
- Property Damage Insurance
- Ameriprise Comprehensive Insurance
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Insurance
- Rental Insurance
- Roadside Assistance and Towing
- Ameriprise Medical Expense Insurance
- Bodily Injury Insurance
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage
- GAP Insurance
The bottom line? Ameriprise is definitely affordable if you are a Costco customer or have no history of accidents or citations. If you want to save a few bucks, here are five things you can do:
- Purchase a safer vehicle to avoid your car being targeted by thieves or damaged in small incidents.
- Tell your insurer about changes in your life like driving less because you work from home.
- Improve your credit. This information can get you lower insurance rates.
- Higher deductibles mean your monthly premiums are deducted (but your out-of-pocket costs in the event of an accident or claim will be high).
- Defensive driving courses can help you improve your driving and can lead to discounts on your premium.
Those are some ways to save with Ameriprise, because if you’re not a Costco member, you might find them to be costlier than GEICO or Progressive.
Unfortunately, Ameriprise isn’t available in every state. So make sure that your state qualifies before going through the motions of getting a quote.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the complaint ratio is pretty high for Ameriprise.
Take all of this into consideration when approaching Ameriprise for a quote. Those with good records seem to have the best experiences.