The latest Consumer Price Index report showed that prices are rising for car insurance. If rising prices are eating into your budget, it may be time to find a budget-friendly auto insurance provider that can help ease some of inflation's sting.
Whether you're adding a teen driver to your policy or grabbing car coverage with a clean driving record, Travelers offers auto insurance rates that are hundreds below the national average. That makes it an attractive option as prices continue to rise in the US thanks to inflation. But how does quality hold up in light of those cheap rates? That's what we're here to answer.
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One of the largest insurers in the US, Travelers is a carrier that's been around for more than 165 years. With that much experience, Travelers is a giant in the insurance business, with a robust list of car insurance coverage options to prove it. Travelers auto insurance is available in 42 states plus Washington, DC, and it offers a great list of coverage at affordable prices. Moreover, the carrier has an extensive repertoire of insurance products that make the company a viable option beyond car insurance, including pet, jewelry and travel insurance.
In this article
- Pros and cons
- Coverage options
- Customer satisfaction and complaints
- Safe-driving telematics features
- Other features
That said, the carrier does raise a couple of red flags when it comes to customer care. Ultimately, deciding if Travelers car insurance is right for you is about the balance between quality and price.
Here's our review of Travelers car insurance for 2022.
- Large range of discounts
- Great price for coverage
- Accident forgiveness add-on
- Gap insurance
- Many insurance products
- Low number of complaints nationally
- Strong financial strength rating from AM Best
- Low customer satisfaction scores
- Not available in all states
Pros of Travelers car insurance
Travelers is a budget-friendly option for car insurance. Signing up for a Travelers policy can save you hundreds, which is especially important as gas prices soar in an economy that may be headed into a recession. Not only are premiums low compared with the national average, but a robust list of discounts can help bring your overall costs down even further.
And these low prices don't mean you'll skimp on coverage. Travelers has a large list of coverage options you can pick from, including some that can't be found with other insurers, like gap insurance, rideshare coverage (only in Colorado and Illinois) and an accident forgiveness add-on.
Cons of Travelers car insurance
Travelers doesn't service every state in the US. If you're in Alaska, Louisiana, Michigan, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming, Hawaii or North Dakota, you won't be able to purchase a Travelers policy.
Customers who do buy Travelers policies seem typically underwhelmed with the service they receive, according to J.D. Power surveys. Whether it's overall satisfaction, digital service experience or satisfaction with the auto claims process, Travelers receives lower numbers than the industry average.
Travelers car insurance cost
Whether you're purchasing a full coverage policy with all the bells and whistles or a minimum coverage policy, Travelers can likely save you money. On average, a Travelers premium for full coverage is $1,447, or $324 less than the national average, according to Bankrate. Tack on a lengthy list of discounts you may qualify for, and you're likely to keep some extra money in your pocket while you drive. Likewise, you can save money with Travelers when purchasing minimum coverage -- just the amount required to legally drive in your state – though we recommend opting for more coverage when possible. Travelers' average annual premium for minimum coverage is $477. That's $68 less than the national average, which sits at $545.
Travelers premium prices
||Average annual full coverage premium||Average annual minimum coverage premium||Speeding ticket||At fault-accident||Adding a teen driver|
Travelers coverage options
Travelers offers just about every major coverage type you might need for an auto policy. Here are some of them:
- Bodily injury liability protection: This coverage pays for injuries to others that were caused by the policyholder or by additional drivers listed on the policy. Bodily injury liability protection is required in most states.
- Property damage liability protection: This coverage pays for damage that policyholders cause to another's property. Most prominently, this applies to other cars, but it can also include other personal property like fences or mailboxes. Property damage liability is required in most US states.
- Personal injury protection: This coverage pays for the medical costs and lost wages of the driver and passengers of the policyholder's car if injury occurs, up to the policy's limits, regardless of fault. PIP may also include coverage for funeral expenses and essential services, like childcare or dog-walking, that you may be unable to perform due to physical injuries. PIP is required in 14 states.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage: This coverage pays for medical expenses for yourself and any passengers up to the policy's limits, when an uninsured or underinsured motorist causes an accident. Insurance carriers are required to offer this coverage in all states, but the consumer may have the option to decline the coverage. Uninsured motorist property damage is available in some states to help cover repairs to your vehicle if damaged by an uninsured driver. Several states even require this coverage as part of the state's minimum insurance requirements to drive.
- Medical payments: Similar to PIP coverage, medical payments help cover the medical costs of the policyholder and their passengers up to the policy limit, regardless of fault. However, unlike PIP, medical payments coverage does not cover lost wages or essential services. Med Pay is optional coverage in most states, but required in a few states.
- Collision coverage: This coverage pays for damage to your vehicle in an accident resulting from a collision between your car and another car or object.
- Comprehensive coverage: This coverage pays for damage to your car caused by an event other than collision. This includes theft, fire, flood, hail, vandalism and more.
- Gap coverage: Gap coverage helps you pay in the event an accident leaves your car totaled, covering the difference between your vehicle's market value and the amount you owe on it.
- Roadside assistance: Roadside assistance coverage helps you if you're stranded because of car trouble (for example, a flat tire or a dead battery).
- Rideshare coverage: Only available in Colorado and Illinois for Travelers customers. This coverage is essential if you're working for rideshare companies such as Uber or Lyft. In fact, your personal auto policy probably won't cover you while you're driving for a rideshare company, meaning you must purchase this coverage to be protected. Though rideshare companies have insurance policies that cover you partially, there are gaps that could leave you without insurance protection. That's where rideshare coverage comes in. For example, if your rideshare app is on but you have not yet picked up a passenger, your rideshare company's insurance policy will typically only include bodily injury and property damage liability insurance. It's not until you pick up a passenger that services like Uber and Lyft will pick up the tab for damage done to your car. But with rideshare insurance, you'll be covered the entire time you work.
- Accident forgiveness: This feature is part of Travelers' Responsible Driver Plan. It forgives one accident and a minor traffic violation every three years.
Travelers offers a robust list of discounts that can slash your premiums. Here are a few notable ones:
- Home ownership
- Safe driver
- Continuous insurance
- Hybrid/Electric Car
- New car
- Early quote
- Good student
- Student away at school
- Driver training
Customer satisfaction and complaints
While the price tag comes cheap, customers aren't particularly satisfied with Travelers' car insurance services. Travelers scored lower than the industry average on auto claims satisfaction, according to another J.D. Power survey. Travelers scored 871 out of 1,000, compared with an industry average of 880. Lastly, Travelers is toward the tail end in J.D. Power's digital service experience survey, scoring 674 out of 1,000, compared with a segment average of 705.
However, Travelers fares better when it comes to national complaints. For its auto insurance product line, Travelers also receives fewer complaints than the industry average, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners's complaint index. The carrier is indexed at 1.50 compared with a 1.00 industry average. (A 2.00 index would mean a company gets twice the complaints.)
Travelers customer satisfaction and complaint scoring
|J.D. Power Auto Claims Satisfaction||871 out of 1,000|
|NAIC Complaint Index||1.50|
Travelers' telematics program is called IntelliDrive. It's a 90-day program that uses your smartphone and an app to track your driving habits, including the time of day you drive, speed, acceleration and braking. It also tracks "distractions," meaning it checks if you're answering calls, texting or interacting with your phone while driving. By enrolling in this program, you can score an initial discount, and at your next renewal, you may be rewarded for safe driving with up to 30% discount off your policy.
Other features we like
Like many other carriers, Travelers doesn't just offer car insurance. And it offers much more than your typical national insurance provider. From boat, home, renters and condo insurance to pet, jewelry, travel and wedding insurance, Travelers really has it all, making it an easy one-stop-shop for anything you may need to insure.
CNET reviews insurance carriers and products by exhaustively comparing them across set criteria. For auto insurance, we examine average annual premium rates for full coverage, consumer complaints, collision repair scores, the carrier's financial strength, auto claims satisfaction and overall customer satisfaction. Our data comes from a multitude of sources.
Auto insurance rates come from Bankrate, which gathers data using Quadrant Information Services. We also use both J.D. Power annual surveys that collect data on customer auto claims satisfaction and overall customer satisfaction.
Consumer complaints are taken from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which collects consumer complaints across states, indexing complaints on a scale that takes into account the industry average. We collect the financial strength rating of each carrier from the A.M. Best Rating. Lastly, we collected collision repair scores from the Crash Network Insurer Report Card, which collects data from collision repair professionals, including mechanics, to gauge the quality of collision claims service from insurance carriers.
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