Costco members can purchase a lot more than bulk food, clothes, and health and beauty aids. In fact, they’ve become almost a brick and mortar Amazon store. A lot of people really like the idea of shopping for a product at the store where they can pick it up, touch it, and in cases of groceries, even sample them.
But today’s Costco offers much more than regular products. They even sell vehicles through their website and if you’re going to buy a vehicle through Costco, you may as well go ahead and insure in while you’re at it. Actually, you can buy car insurance through Costco whether or not you buy a vehicle or anything else for that matter. You only have to be a member.
Costco Car Insurance
Costco offers car insurance to its members by partnering with Ameriprise Auto and Home Insurance Company. When you purchase a policy from Ameriprise, you get a discount simply because you are a Costco member. After you purchase an Ameriprise policy through Costco, you will be doing business directly with Ameriprise since they are the underwriter of policy or policies (similar to AARP and The Hartford).
Costco members can purchase auto insurance, homeowners’ insurance, and personal umbrella policies, and capture significant savings because they are a Costco member. In fact, Ameriprise car insurance through Costco is very competitive when compared to the top 10 auto insurers in almost every state.
Can I get all the Coverage I need Through Ameriprise?
Ameriprise offers the standard package of auto insurance coverages that most other well-known companies offer:
|Bodily Injury Liability||Pays for injuries to other drivers or passengers in an at-fault accident subject to the limits in the policy.|
|Property Damage Liability||Pays for repairs or replacement of another person's vehicle or property during an at-fault accident subject to the limits of the policy.|
|Medical Payments||Medical Payments covers medical expenses for you and other passengers in your vehicle in an accident no matter who's at fault. This coverage will even cover you for injuries sustained in another person's vehicle or as a pedestrian up to the limit in the policy.|
|Personal Injury Protection (PIP)||PIP covers the driver, all passengers, or a pedestrian involved in an accident no matter who's at fault. PIP helps pay for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of services, and funeral expenses up to the policy limits. This coverage is typically mandatory in "no-fault" states.|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist||Uninsured/Underinsured motorist covers your medical expenses if the other driver (at-fault) is uninsured or underinsured. Some states also allow uninsured/underinsured property damage that covers your vehicle as well.|
|Comprehensive Coverage||Comprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle after a non-collision event such as fire, vandalism, theft, or acts of nature subject to your deductible.|
|Collision Coverage||Collision coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident that involves another vehicle or object subject to your deductible.
|Emergency Roadside Assistance||Roadside assistance is available if you are locked out of your vehicle or required roadside assistance like a tire change or fuel for an empty tank. Your coverage for each event is subject to the limit you purchased on your policy.|
|Rental Reimbursement||Rental reimbursement helps pay for rental expenses if you are in an at-fault accident or
hit by an uninsured driver. Most policies will have a limit per-day and per-accident.
How Much Liability Coverage Should I Purchase?
Since bodily injury and property damage liability claims can be significant (especially if you are the at-fault driver in a multi-vehicle accident) vehicle owners should purchase as much as they can afford. Most insurance companies will offer limits between $25,000 and $300,000 but the state where your car is registered will have minimum limit requirements in order to register your vehicle. Some states require very low limits but others require much higher ones. Here is an example of how state requirements can differ:
- Low – Florida 10/20/10
- Medium – Georgia 25/50/25
- High – Maine 50/100/25
The good news is the representative who will be working on your quote will know the minimum requirements for your state in advance.
What about Financial Stability and Consumer Ratings?
Certainly, logic would suggest that a large company like Costco would never partner with an insurance company that could cause customer dissatisfaction, but it makes sense to check the company’s ratings before you sign the dotted line.
A.M. Best, the most well-known insurer rating service in the U.S. has affirmed the credit rating for Ameriprise Home and Auto with an A (Excellent) rating which means the company has an excellent outlook for paying policyholder claims.
Also important to consider is how the company ranks as far as customer satisfaction (this typically includes customer service and claims service). J.D. Power, one of the most dependable services for publishing customer satisfaction ranked Ameriprise Home and Auto very high ratings for consumer responses in the California region.
The company also scored very high from Consumer Reports who awarded it an 89 out of 100 for consumer satisfaction with claims and customer service.
What about Discounts?
Savvy insurance consumers know that rates can be significantly impacted by discounts so the more a company offers the better. Ameriprise can significantly reduce its insurance rates for customers who qualify for any or all of the following:
- Vehicle safety features
- Safe driver
- Multi-policy (bundling)
- Accident-free drivers
- Safe garaging
- Defensive driver certificate
- Student away at school
- Loyalty (your tenure with Ameriprise)
- Level of education
- Insurance score
What about Drawbacks with Costco’s Ameriprise Offer?
All in all, Costco appears to have selected a solid insurance partner that offers high-ratings for customer service, claims service, and competitive premiums; however, it’s important to note that the Costco/Ameriprise offer is not currently available in the following six states:
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island