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Believe it or not, Costco offers automobile insurance to people registered in its membership club. This is, on the surface, a convenient way to bundle together your buyer’s club membership with easy access to what may very well be affordable car insurance. If you’re already a member of Costco’s membership then this deal may seem quite enticing to you.
If you’re not a member then it may seem like a great fit for someone who is on the verge of switching auto insurance providers. But is Costco auto insurance really worth the effort? Will it offer the customer service and prices that will satisfy you? Dive into our Costco auto insurance review to find out.
The Lowdown on Costco Auto Insurance
You may still be asking yourself, “Costco sells car insurance?” Well, not exactly. What really goes on if you sign up for Costco’s auto insurance deal is that they will refer you to Ameriprise, one of the more well-known finance and insurance enterprises in the United States.
What essentially happens is that once you sign up with Costco’s membership deal, you will soon be registered with Ameriprise’s auto insurance program at a discount ranging from five to 10% off of their regular rates.
This is certainly a unique situation as far as car insurance policies go, and if used right, it can really benefit you if you know what all of the perks are. It should be said that this Costco and Ameriprise insurance plan is only available to members of Costco’s Buyer’s club membership, so you already have to pay some cash for this initial membership to gain access to this discounted Ameriprise registration.
Life-Long Renewal Policy
Take for example this perk that is only accessible to members of Costco’s Executive Membership level: a life long policy renewing rule. This is a no-cost benefit which states that Ameriprise will never cancel your policy because of too many accidents.
It doesn’t prevent them from raising your insurance rates and driving under the influence is not included in this rule, but it is an interesting perk that can benefit some drivers. As long as you never consume alcohol and then get behind the wheel, you are guaranteed to have the option to renew your insurance policy at the end of the year. This is a feature which many insurers do not offer.
Benefits and Coverages
Costco auto insurance offers a few interesting perks that help sweeten the deal. For one thing Ameriprise ignores the deductible cost for car glass repair. Another one is what is called “accident forgiveness” which means that Ameriprise will ignore the first accident that occurs from increasing their car insurance rates.
Many other discounts are available from the Costo and Ameriprise insurance bundle. If a driver is on the road for at least three years without causing an accident then they will be eligible for the Safe Driving Discount.
Longevity Discount & Bundled Discount
There is also the Longevity Discount which all clients automatically receive for being insured with Ameriprise for three years. Both of these perks could be very beneficial in the long term for anyone planning on using this Costco auto insurance plan for a while.
Additionally, there is also the Bundled Discount which reduces rates for anyone who purchases more than one insurance policy from Ameriprise so that all vehicles will have a reduced cost. This discount can also be bundled with home and life insurance as well for extra savings.
There is even a Student Discount plan for anyone under the age of 25, has completed four years of post-secondary education and received at least an average grade of a B or higher.
As far as insurance coverages are concerned, Costco auto insurance and Ameriprise have fairly standard collision and comprehensive coverage plans that cover medical payments and personal or physical injury protection.
Collision & Coverage
Clients can also sign up for more protective coverage plans including the Roadside Assistance and towing plan, the Rental Car Reimbursement plan and Gap Insurance. Roadside Assistance covers up to $75 for roadside problems such as flat tires or dead batteries.
Rental Car Reimbursement covers up to $30 a day and $900 per incident of renting vehicles while your main car is in the repair shop after an accident. Lastly, Gap Insurance pays the difference of the load on your car while it is in an accident and the replacement price for said car.
It definitely seems like Costco Auto Insurance and Ameriprise offer a wide variety of perks and benefits for a wide range of inconvenient scenarios. Some are more attractive than others but on the whole, the entire package is certainly quite appealing.
Pricing of Costco Auto Insurance
Arguably one of the best things about signing up with Costco auto insurance is that they and Ameriprise offer rather competitive prices. In a survey done between Ameriprise, Geico, Progressive and State Farm, Ameriprise was almost always the cheapest option for car insurance according to sample quotes for a six month policy.
For example, a 30 year old woman was paying $1,500 for her car insurance with State Farm while another 30 year old woman was only paying $660 with Ameriprise using the Costco auto insurance membership discount. This rate would have been around $700 if not for the Costco discount. This implies that current Ameriprise clients would save a bit of money if they rerouted their Ameriprise insurance through Costco auto insurance.
The Cons of Costco Auto Insurance
While this affordable and benefit-loaded insurance plan may seem like a dream come true, it unfortunately isn’t perfect. What is consistently regarded as the worst thing about Costco Auto insurance is the customer service.
While Ameriprise offers great rates and many perks, they have disappointing results when it comes to customer service, receiving more complaints than your average car insurance company. Many people complained about how long it took for Ameriprise to pay a claim. Despite these complaints, Ameriprise is rated quite highly for long-term stability. Newer clients may be dissatisfied with the initial service but long term users have much higher rates of satisfaction.
The Concluding Remarks
Overall, we consider Costco auto insurance to be a pretty solid choice of car insurance, especially for people who are really looking for a cheaper option. There are many great protective benefits that will come in handy when you least expect it, which is precisely how a good insurance company ought to operate.
The lack of quality customer service is definitely disappointing, but despite this flaw, we would still recommend Costco Auto Insurance and Ameriprise to people who are intrigued by the benefits and are satisfied by the coverage plans.