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SafeAuto insurance review 2024

Updated Jun 01, 2024
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At a glance

Bankrate's take

High-risk drivers who struggled to find coverage elsewhere may have  considered SafeAuto. However, SafeAuto no longer writes new policies. The carrier is now a part of Direct Auto, which also offers policies to drivers with similar profiles.

  • Specialized in non-standard auto insurance for high-risk drivers 
  • Availability limited to 11 states
  • Above-average number of complaints with the NAIC

New

What’s new with SafeAuto?

SafeAuto is now a part of Direct Auto. In 2021, SafeAuto was purchased by National General, an Allstate company and parent company of Direct Auto. SafeAuto car insurance policies are now managed and serviced through Direct Auto. Like the old SafeAuto policies, car insurance from Direct Auto is also tailored to high-risk drivers.

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SafeAuto car insurance review

For drivers considered to be high-risk, SafeAuto car insurance could have been one of the best car insurance companies. The company specialized in providing non-standard car insurance for drivers with incidents like multiple tickets or at-fault accidents on their driving records. Coverage was available in 11 states, and the company boasted an easy online quoting system. There was also an online chat feature and a support phone number for customer assistance. 

SafeAuto focused on state minimum coverage, although you could purchase higher liability limits if you need to. SafeAuto did not, however, offer liability limits as high as some other car insurance companies. You could also add comprehensive and collision coverage, and e endorsements like rental car reimbursement or roadside assistance coverage were available in some states.

Pros and cons of SafeAuto car insurance

Comparing car insurance companies may be an important part of finding the best car insurance. Considering the pros and cons of each company may help you decide where to ask for car insurance quotes. Although SafeAuto no longer writes new policies, comparing its features may help you find a suitable alternative carrier. Here’s a summary of some SafeAuto car insurance pros and cons our insurance editorial team identified:

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Pros

  • SR-22 filing available
  • Online chat available
  • Specialized in non-standard car insurance
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Cons

  • Few options for higher liability coverage
  • Limited optional coverage types for a more robust car insurance policy
  • No longer writing new policies
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SafeAuto customer satisfaction

Customer experience can be an important factor for many when it comes to insurance. Unfortunately, SafeAuto was not scored in any of the J.D. Power customer satisfaction studies. Now that the carrier has merged with Direct Auto, looking at Direct Auto customer service metrics may help you decide if that carrier could be right for you. 

SafeAuto auto insurance customer complaints

To get a gauge of policyholder’s satisfaction with an insurer, you can also look to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which routinely studies complaints filed about different insurance companies. NAIC complaints are reflected in the organization's complaint index. This index has a baseline of 1.00, and companies with an index higher than the baseline have more complaints than expected for their size. 

Since SafeAuto’s homeowners and life insurance products were offered by other companies, we did not include complaint index information, but you can check out our full insurance reviews for Hippo and Bestow, which are the companies that underwrote SafeAuto homeowners and life insurance, respectively. 

SafeAuto had an NAIC Complaint Index of 6.66 for its private passenger auto product, indicating that it received significantly more complaints than expected based on its size, which could indicate that customers didn’t have a great experience with the insurer.

SafeAuto car insurance cost

Because SafeAuto is no longer actively writing policies, rates are unavailable. To get a better sense of what a policy from Direct Auto would cost, take a look at our in-depth Direct Auto review page. While you compare rates, it may help to know that the average cost of car insurance is $2,311 for full coverage and $640 for minimum coverage. However, keep in mind that your rates will vary significantly based on your personal rating factors. If you need non-standard coverage, your rates are likely to be higher.

SafeAuto car insurance discounts

Discounts offered by Direct Auto are very similar to the ones SafeAuto used to offer. Direct Auto policyholders may find some car insurance savings with these discounts, but bear in mind that availability will vary on a state-by-state basis: 

  • Military discount: Savings up to 25 percent are offered for qualifying members of the military.
  • Safe driver discount: You could save up to 10 percent by maintaining a clean driving record over 36 months.
  • Good student discount: Unmarried, full-time students doing one or more of the following could save up to 10 percent: making at least a “B” average or better, being placed on the dean’s list, being recognized as an honor student or being scholastically ranked in the upper 20 percent of your class.
  • Senior citizen discount: Drivers 55 and older who have completed a vehicle accident prevention course could save up to 5 percent with Direct Auto
  • Multi-car discount: Savings up to 25 percent are available when you have more than one vehicle on your policy.
  • DynamicDrive: With Direct Auto’s telematics program, DynamicDrive, drivers could save up to 10 percent.
  • Payment discounts: If you sign up for paperless billing, make automatic payments or pay one year in total up-front, you could save.

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SafeAuto home insurance review

SafeAuto did not sell its own home insurance, but it did offer policies underwritten by Hippo Insurance. Hippo could be a good home insurance company for those who want a tech-forward experience. Coverage is available in 39 states and Washington, D.C. Keep in mind, though, that coverage from Hippo is not SafeAuto home insurance, so you may not get the benefits of bundling your auto and home insurance. However, Direct Auto does not sell home insurance policies. 

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This advertisement is powered by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. The offers and links that appear on this advertisement are from companies that compensate Coverage.com in different ways. The compensation received and other factors, such as your location, may impact what offers and links appear, and how, where and in what order they appear. While we seek to provide a wide range of offers, we do not include every product or service that may be available. Our goal is to keep information accurate and timely, but some information may not be current. Your actual offer from an advertiser may be different from the offer on this advertisement. All offers are subject to additional terms and conditions.

Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

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SafeAuto life insurance review

SafeAuto life insurance was provided by Bestow, and policies are underwritten by North American Company for Life and Health Insurance. If you’re shopping for life insurance, SafeAuto might have been a convenient option if you already have policies with the company. However, if you are looking for the best life insurance company, you may want to compare quotes from other companies.

Direct Auto offers term life insurance policies underwritten by Direct General Life Insurance. Coverage limits are low, only up to $25,000, but Direct Auto car insurance customers can save up to 5 percent when they bundle the two policies together. 

Compare life insurance providers quickly and easily

See which provider is right for you.

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This advertisement is powered by Coverage.com, LLC, a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249) and a corporate affiliate of Bankrate. The offers and links that appear on this advertisement are from companies that compensate Coverage.com in different ways. The compensation received and other factors, such as your location, may impact what offers and links appear, and how, where and in what order they appear. While we seek to provide a wide range of offers, we do not include every product or service that may be available. Our goal is to keep information accurate and timely, but some information may not be current. Your actual offer from an advertiser may be different from the offer on this advertisement. All offers are subject to additional terms and conditions.

Coverage.com, LLC is a licensed insurance producer (NPN: 19966249). Coverage.com services are only available in states where it is licensed. Coverage.com may not offer insurance coverage in all states or scenarios. All insurance products are governed by the terms in the applicable insurance policy, and all related decisions (such as approval for coverage, premiums, commissions and fees) and policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the underwriting insurer. The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way.

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Compare SafeAuto with other insurers

Choosing a car, home or life insurance company often means researching and sourcing quotes from multiple companies. Although SafeAuto is no longer writing new policies, Bankrate highlighted some comparable alternative companies.

SafeAuto vs. Progressive 

Progressive was named the Best Auto Insurance Company for High-Risk Drivers in our 2024 Bankrate Awards. Like SafeAuto, Progressive offers SR-22 forms for high-risk drivers and a long list of potential discounts. However, Progressive edges out SafeAuto in that it offers national service as opposed to just 11 states. Plus, Progressive’s Name Your Price tool and lower average rates (even for drivers with a DUI) may result in cheaper premiums. 

Learn more: Progressive Insurance review

SafeAuto vs. The General

The General is known for offering coverage to high-risk drivers and could be a good fit if you like to handle your insurance digitally. The company has a robust mobile app, an online customer platform and a chat feature on its website. The General has a wide variety of potential discounts, but it also has a high NAIC Complaint Index for its private passenger product.

Learn more: The General Insurance review

SafeAuto vs. Geico

Geico tied for two 2024 Bankrate Awards: Best Car Insurance Company Overall (with Amica) and Best Budget Auto Insurance Company (with Auto-Owners). The company features low average rates and has a long list of discounts that could help you get cheaper car insurance. Like SafeAuto, Geico home and life insurance is underwritten by third-party companies.

Learn more: Geico Insurance review

Was SafeAuto a good insurance company?

With extensive insurance industry experience, Bankrate’s insurance experts aim to give you a broad overview of pricing, coverage types and customer service in our SafeAuto insurance reviews. SafeAuto specialized in minimum coverage car insurance and high-risk car insurance. The carrier also had some modern touches with online chat and an online portal for policy management. However, the carrier did not write its own home and life insurance policies, which could have been a drawback for those who wanted to manage all their policies in one place.

What were real-life customers saying about SafeAuto?

To round out our SafeAuto insurance review, Bankrate’s insurance editorial team looked to online discussion forums to find what real SafeAuto policyholders had to say about the company.

Reddit

By and large, Reddit users who had an at-fault accident on their record were unhappy with how SafeAuto handled the claims process. This could be due to the fact that SafeAuto’s liability limits tended to be lower and closer to the state minimum requirements — which could have left the at-fault party with out-of-pocket expenses if the damage exceeded their coverage limits. Another common discussion point about SafeAuto was how the company handled the transition to Direct Auto. 

Reddit User 1*
Oct 4, 2023
Lapse in coverage because of SafeAuto
“I had a lapse in my insurance from when SafeAuto became Direct Auto. Direct Auto wanted me to to transfer my previous SafeAuto account into their new system which I did, however they didn't transfer my automatic payment set up, so because of this I missed a month of insurance payment.”
Reddit User 2*
Nov 3, 2022
SafeAuto claims
"I have almost exclusively dealt with 3rd party call centers to get anything done. Almost 7 months at this point over a front right bumper."

A coverage lapse is more than a missed bill — it could raise your rate when you sign up with a new insurer and, if you’re involved in an accident, you could be held liable for another driver’s post-accident expenses out of pocket. 

*The quotes and citations included on this page have been verified by our editorial team and are accurate as of the posting date. Outlinked content may contain views and opinions that do not reflect the views and opinions of Bankrate.

SafeAuto company details 

  • Customer service: 1-800-SAFEAUTO (1-800-723-3288)
  • Customer service email: customerservice@safeauto.com
  • Claims email: claims@safeauto.com

State availability

SafeAuto car insurance was available in AZ, IL, GA, IN, LA, MD, MO, OH, PA, TN and VA. SafeAuto home and life insurance availability varied based on Hippo and Bestow availability. 

SafeAuto tools and benefits 

Through various underwriting partners, SafeAuto also offered the following perks and types of insurance coverage:

Frequently asked questions about SafeAuto

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Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze the latest rates in June 2024 for ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Rates include the most recent approved rate changes filed by insurance companies that affect our profile. These revised rates are then weighted based on the population density in each geographic region so that policyholders can see the impact rates have in their areas.

Auto

Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverage that meets each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2022 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually. 

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes. 

Written by
Natalie Todoroff
Writer, Insurance
Natalie Todoroff is an insurance writer for Bankrate, prior to which she wrote for a popular insurance comparison shopping app. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English and has written over 800 articles about insurance throughout her career.
Edited by Editor, Insurance