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Workmen’s Auto Insurance Company (WAIC) has sold private passenger vehicle insurance for nearly 70 years. This carrier is focused exclusively on non-standard auto insurance for California drivers.
WAIC products are geared towards drivers with bumpy motor vehicle reports. WAIC provides basic coverage for customers with a record of suspensions, multiple accidents, DUI charges, and SR-22 filing requirements.
Three years ago WAIC was purchased by Mercury General Corporation (NYSE-MCY). Mercury General has a broader reach geographically since they offer products in ten states. They also sell more than simply auto insurance, including homeowners, renters, condo, umbrella, and business coverage.
The WAIC website states their corporate values are integrity, customer focused, empowered, and motivated. However, their customer reviews tend to conflict with this position. In our investigation, we found WAIC had a higher than average customer complaint ratio which we’ll detail below.
Overall WAIC seems to provide most of the basic features Americans have come to expect. For example, WAIC offers insureds the ability to manage policies online, select various payment methods, and use premium discounts.
We did plenty of research to make your shopping experience easier. So let’s take a closer look at what California drivers might expect from WAIC.
We found very little information about WAIC’s financial strength. Without a published industry rating, it is hard for consumers to know if investing their premium dollar with WAIC will be a wise choice.
However, it’s worth noting that WAIC’s parent company, Mercury General, consistently earns high ratings from A.M. Best. In 2017 the revered rating agency awarded Mercury General with another “A (Excellent)” rating.
During our investigation, we also found that WAIC collected a respectable amount of premium dollars from their California customers. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) reports WAIC amassed $29,233,168 in 2017 premiums. This could mean that if finances are well-managed, WAIC would stay in business well into the future.
This is another area of review we found a bit challenging. WAIC’s website doesn’t allow you to run quotes. Instead WAIC directs shoppers to their network of producers for policy quotes.
Unfortunately, since we can’t check the pricing online, we aren’t able to advise how WAIC’s auto insurance rates compare to other non-standard insurers within the state.
One thing we do know is that WAIC provides a few discounts including good driver, multiple vehicle, and paid in full. These types of reductions are always a welcome tool in lowering premium costs.
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In the case of Better Business Bureau (BBB), we found WAIC is not an accredited organization. Only one customer complaint appears on the BBB website.
The BBB dispute was in relation to a customer’s dissatisfaction in claims processing. Of course, this is not an entirely unusual complaint when it comes to insurance.
However, we did find WAIC has very low customer ratings on their Facebook profile (2.6 out of 5.0 stars), as well as on Yelp (1.5 out of 5.0 stars). The majority of customer reviews rated WAIC low because of poor customer service and inferior billing practices.
Finally, last year the NAIC published an annual report showing WAIC with a 3.49 complaint ratio. This rating is significantly higher than the 1.00 median complaint ratio.
WAIC instructs their insureds to report a claim via an electronic form on their website or by phoning a toll-free claims number available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.
You also have the ability to look for an auto repair shop by using a zip code search. Of course, using an auto shop that’s in the WAIC network means a better use of policy benefits.
WAIC offers a very short list of products. It appears the company does sell full coverage insurance. However, they mostly focus on liability policies.
One WAIC plan meets California’s standard liability requirement of 15/30 and the other plan has a higher 25/50 liability limit.
Workmen’s Auto Insurance Company (WAIC) sells non-standard auto insurance for high risk California drivers. WAIC customer service reviews are lower than the national average.
Non-standard auto insurance is a completely different animal than traditional policies sold by larger carriers. Therefore, it really isn’t fair to compare WAIC to carriers like Progressive or Liberty Mutual.
WAIC only makes sense for those drivers with a challenging motor vehicle report. If you are one of those people, please keep in mind that WAIC does come up short in regard to their customer satisfaction. Plus, claims processing and financial health remain a bit of a mystery.
One WAIC customer may have summed it up best in their Yelp review: “It usually takes a little bit long to get someone in the call center but when I consider it’s relatively cheap price, it makes sense for me.”