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Review of Acceptance Auto Insurance

Financial Health
Pricing
Customer Satisfaction
Discounts
Coverage Options
Average

Verdict

Acceptance Auto is a non-standard carrier offering auto coverage to high-risk drivers throughout 17 U.S. states. The insurance company has a history of high cost policies and low satisfaction service that’s usually overlooked by high-risk motorists desperate for coverage. 

Overview 

For over five decades, Acceptance Auto Insurance has been selling automobile insurance to high-risk drivers. The non-standard insurer is based in Nashville, TN but sells coverage throughout 17 U.S. states. Acceptance Auto maintains nearly 400 neighborhood retail locations and works with around 700 insurance agents. This insurance company also sells coverage under the Yale Insurance and Insurance Plus brands, as well as being domiciled under the name First Acceptance (OTCQX: FACO). Customers may also purchase motorcycle insurance, renters insurance, life insurance, homeowners insurance, commercial auto insurance, pet insurance, travel insurance, and telemed insurance. 

Financial Health

Over more than a 3-year period, Acceptance Auto Insurance only earned a “C++ (Marginal)” Financial Strength Rating (FSR) from A.M. Best. However, earlier this year A.M. Best finally upgraded Acceptance Auto and its subsidiaries to a “B- (Fair)” Financial Strength Rating. The rating upgrade is attributed to Acceptance Auto’s improvements in their balance sheet assessment, particularly the company’s positive net income and pre-tax operating income over the last two years. This development is a positive signal for insureds that want to be confident their auto carrier will be able to payout approved claims, should an accident occur. 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has published Acceptance Auto’s financial data for the last three years. The dollar amounts Acceptance reported for 2018 and 2019 are probably part of the reason for their improved A.M. Best rating. The auto insurer revealed an increase in total annual net income ($12.3M), an impressive direct written premium ($127M), and positive assets/capital totals ($306M). Each of these factors hints at Acceptance Auto’s solid financial footing. 

Pricing

Quotes for Acceptance Auto insurance policies can be completed online through the company’s website. Consumers may also turn to one of the company’s agents or retail locations for a quote. 

Acceptance Auto is a non-standard company which means their pricing, underwriting, and coverage is geared towards motorists that are classified as high-risk. Drivers with spotty histories may expect to receive a middle-of-the-road premium in comparison to other companies. However, for motorists with clean driving histories, they’ll most likely pay an average of 38% more than with other, standard companies like Geico, State Farm, or Progressive. 

The best (and most accurate) thing to do is compare Acceptance Auto Insurance quotes with that of other similar, non-standard insurers. 

Customer Satisfaction

Better Business Bureau (BBB) gave Acceptance Auto an “A+” rating despite consumers giving the company 1.0/5.0 stars. It’s also worth noting that the insurance company is not officially accredited by BBB. We read through 129 total customer complaints over the last three years, of which 79% were classified by BBB as being problems with the product or service.  The details of these complaints mostly point towards consumer dissatisfaction with billing and claims processing. 

The NAIC website shares plenty of details about Acceptance Auto, including their abysmal national Complaint Index Report. Basically, this report evaluates the company’s number of official customer complaints in comparison to their competitors. In the case of Acceptance, the insurer’s complaint volume for private passenger auto policies was as much as five times higher than the national average (1.0) for similar companies. Here’s the breakdown: 3.35 (2017), 5.70 (2018), and 4.37 (2019). By far the most frequent consumer complaint was related to claims processing. 

Claims Processing

Acceptance Auto insureds may file a new claim on the company’s website or via email (newclaims@acceptanceinsurancecom). Customers may also file a claim over the phone when they call the Assurance toll-free claims phone number (1-800-779-2103). Acceptance does offer free mobile apps for use on both iPhone and Android devices which can be used for filing claims. 

One area of frustration for Acceptance insureds is that claims representatives are not available 24/7 as with most other companies. New claims can only be filed by phone Monday thru Friday, 6am to 8pmCST and Saturdays, 8am thru 5pm CST. Perhaps Acceptance doesn’t maintain 24/7 claims staff since there are electronic filing options available. 

Acceptance Auto has dedicated phone lines that are specific to towing assistance and rental coverage. 

Discounts

The Acceptance Auto Insurance website doesn’t share much insight into the types of premium discounts that are available. However, based on other reports, we believe the below discounts are being offered. 

  • Autopay
  • Paperless policies
  • Military veteran
  • Multi-car
  • Multi-policy
  • Good driver
  • Good student
  • Advance quote
  • Defensive driving course
  • Signing up for coverage online
  • Low mileage driver
  • Paying premium in full upfront
  • Having been insured by any company for six months
  • Homeowner (even if your home isn’t insured by Acceptance Auto)
  • For memberships in certain organizations or clubs

It’s obviously best to talk with an Acceptance agent about which discounts you may qualify for and how much of a discount you can expect. 

Coverage Options

Acceptance Auto is a non-standard insurer which means their bread and butter are high-risk drivers that find it difficult to get coverage from other insurance companies. 

Below are examples of common Acceptance auto insureds: 

  • Those that must have an SR-22 (SR-44 in FL & VA) form filed with their respective states proving the motorist secured proper auto coverage
  • Those charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • Those with poor credit ratings
  • Those with two or more driving violations
  • Those with lapsed or cancelled insurance policies
  • Those that were rejected by other insurance carriers
  • Those with a severely poor claims history
  • Teenagers, in particular single males aged 16-24

Consumers in the following 17 U.S. states can shop for an Acceptance auto policy: 

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia

Of course, the most popular Acceptance coverage is liability-only policies that meet state minimum requirements. In addition to liability, Acceptance does offer other typical auto plans including comprehensive, collision, personal injury, uninsured or underinsured motorist, medical payments, and roadside assistance. 

Other Optional Insurance

In addition, there are a few other Acceptance auto insurance options that consumers may choose to purchase. 

TicketProof: Few other insurers offer this unique type of protection. Under the TicketProof plan, motorists will be repaid for fines related to minor traffic violations (e.g. speeding 15mph or less over the legal limit, running a stop sign) up to $650 per year. TicketProof includes roadside assistance as well so drivers don’t have to buy that coverage separately. Average premium is $15/month. 

Hospital Indemnity: If you’re admitted to a hospital because of a car crash, this coverage will take care of any medical expenses up to $125 per day. This protection also includes accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D) insurance up to $10,000, excess medical payments up to $1,000, and a Rx Discount Plan (see below). It’s very uncommon to have hospital indemnity on an auto insurance plan. Average premium is around $8/month. 

Rx Discount Plan: This is sometimes available to health insurance policyholders but rarely offered for auto insureds. Under this Acceptance coverage, insureds may receive a 20% discount on prescription drugs regardless of the reason for the prescription (car accident or not). Average premium is around $3/month. 

Conclusion

Motorists with a checkered driving history or other personal challenges may find Acceptance Auto Insurance to be a good option, or perhaps the only option. The insurance company certainly has plenty of cash available to make good on any approved claims. However, Acceptance has higher-than-average premiums and low customer satisfaction that most motorists will want to avoid. So, standard drivers should probably leave Acceptance Auto off their radar and focus on getting insured through more traditional carriers.