Dairyland Auto is a smaller insurance carrier that may often be overlooked by consumers due to its modest size.
However, if you are looking for nonstandard coverage or are having eligibility difficulties with larger insurers, Dairyland Auto may be the solution.
This Dairyland Auto insurance review will provide rating results from independent evaluators to help you determine if this insurer is the right fit for you.
The first thing that consumers should look at when evaluating a car insurance company is its coverage offerings.
Dairyland Auto offers a variety of policy options including the basic state-mandated coverages, as well as several atypical add-ons.
Dairyland Insurance Review: Claims, Financial Strength, Pricing
Liability: This is the coverage that is required by most states, and it pays for damages that occur to the injured party when you are the at-fault driver in an accident. Liability pays for bodily injury and property damage.
Collision and Comprehensive: These two options are usually lumped together, and they pay for damage that occurs to your vehicle from a traffic accident or other types of hazards, such as theft, hail, fire, and animal-related incidents.
Lienholder: This coverage is often required by banks or other lenders, and it makes sure your dollar limits are high enough to protect the interest of the lienholder if your vehicle suffers damage prior to the loan payoff date.
Special Equipment: This add-on pays for any damages that may occur to uncommon items installed on your vehicle. There may be limits or restrictions to this type of policy.
Your relationship with your insurance provider begins when you create a policy. While it may remain exactly as is for years, but if you ever need to file a claim you will soon discover how cooperative and dependable your company really is.
Several organizations, including J.D. Power, create insurance studies that focus on various aspects of the claims process. J.D. Power’s research has led them to focus on eight key performance indicators that can be divided into three categories: communication, ease of service interaction, and timeliness.
Though Dairyland Auto is not included in the study results, a look at Dairyland Auto insurance customer feedback on consumer review websites such as the Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot may help you discover the opinions and experiences of local customers.
Make sure to pay attention to the aforementioned factors, taking care to determine the tone and promptness with which Dairyland communicates with its customers, and how easy their purchase and claims process is. Neighbors and friends may also be able to provide some insight into the reliability of this company.
Overall Customer Satisfaction
Although claim processing is the focal point in customer satisfaction studies, it’s also a good idea to take an in-depth look at several other categories that can give a more complete picture of the company’s standing with consumers. These include the company’s policy offerings, pricing, whether it has local agents, how helpful its call center representatives are, and its website.
Better Business Bureau provides a score of A+ for Dairyland’s parent company, Sentry insurance, with regards to customer interaction and support.
Though the posted complaints only give the company 1 out of 5 stars, it’s important to remember that it’s often only the disgruntled consumers who take the time to rate a company. All 112 complaints over the past three years have been answered in a timely fashion, however, indicating that the company responds to queries and takes them seriously.
We chose California, as the country’s most populous state, as the base for a more detailed study of complaint patterns within insurance companies. Viking Insurance Company, (an underwriter for Dairyland Auto), was ranked 31 out of 50 in the California Consumer Complaint Study, with a justified complaint ratio of 5.7. This ratio puts Viking in the same range as more well-known companies such as GEICO, Nationwide, and Safeco.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners keeps a national complaint database for private passenger vehicle insurers. In 2017, Dairyland Auto insurance (NAIC #21164) received 29 complaints, which gave them a 2.27 complaint ratio, more than double the national median of 1.00. Viking Insurance (NAIC #13137), an underwriter of Dairyland Auto, fared slightly better with a 1.98 ratio, and Sentry Insurance (NAIC #24988) as a whole received a score of 1.27, much closer to the median.
There are many factors that go into determining your policy premiums including your age, driving history, the make and model of your vehicle, and your geographical location. Let’s look at the following scenarios from the Maryland Insurance Administration to see how small changes can make a big difference in your premiums.
- Single male (age 23): One car (2009 Honda CR-V), drives 15,000 annually with no accidents or violations, lives in Maryland.
- Single female (age 65): One car (2004 Honda Accord), drives 5,000 annually with no accidents or violations, lives in Maryland.
In the first instance, Dairyland Auto insurance reviews show that the single male would pay $5,272 annually for full coverage, which includes liability, personal injury protection, comprehensive, and collision. This quoted rate is for Allegany County; it jumps to almost double if the consumer lives in Montgomery County ($9,070). Dairyland Auto’s prices are very high compared to other insurers in this area. For the same situation in Allegany County, GEICO is one of the lowest at $992 and several other major carriers are midrange: State Farm ($2,636), Progressive ($1,889), and Allstate ($1,628)
Looking at the second scenario, we see about the same pricing comparison. Dairyland Auto is again one of the highest at $2,646, with all the other major carriers quoting lower fees by a $1,000 or more.
Since Dairyland Auto promotes itself as a nonstandard insurance option, and it has the ability to accept foreign licenses, it could be that price is not as an important factor to its potential customers.
One of the most overlooked factors in any auto insurance review is the ability of the carrier to make payouts, especially if there is a sudden increase in claims due to a natural disaster or some other unfortunate circumstance.
The Insurance Information Institute provides tips on researching a company’s financial health through the top five independent rating agencies: Standard & Poor’s, A.M. Best, Fitch Ratings, Moody’s Investor Services, and Kroll Bond Rating Agency.
Although, each company has their own set of algorithms, by studying the results you can come up with an overall opinion of your carrier’s reliability.
To get a good picture of Dairyland Auto’s insurance ratings, it’s best to look at its parent company. The company’s underwriters are all members of the Sentry Insurance Group, which also includes the Viking Insurance Company and the Patriot General Insurance Company.
Sentry Insurance received an A+ (Superior) with a stable outlook from A.M. Best for the 26th consecutive year. This long-running high ranking should give consumers confidence in Sentry’s and Dairyland Auto’s ability to pay claims that may arise.
The NAIC also provides financial statements for Dairyland Auto and Sentry which can be reviewed by a third-party for added corroboration.
This Dairyland Auto insurance review should help you see if this non-standard insurer is the right fit for your needs. Its stable financial health, unique policy offerings, and broader eligibility requirements may help you overlook the higher premiums.
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