Auto Owners Insurance is a company that has been in business for almost a century since its inception in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Current headquarters are located near Lansing Michigan, and there are additional offices in over 20 states.

Auto Owners started to expand outside of Michigan in the1930s and into other insurance lines in the 1940s. The company currently sells multiple lines of casualty insurance, life insurance, health insurance, and other financial planning options such as annuities in 26 states. The company operates through subsidiaries and over 6,000 independent agencies.

Auto Insurance Options

Auto Owners utilizes over 6,000 independent agents to provide insurance for cars, trucks, and motorcycles. They also cover recreational vehicles such as trailers, campers, and motor homes. Coverage can even be extended to antique cars or classic roadsters, golf carts, snowmobiles and All-Terrain Vehicles.

The types of coverage include those that are a requirement in most states, such as bodily injury liability, property damage liability, and Personal Injury Protection (PIP). The liability coverage is a necessity during an accident to cover damages and injuries for the not-at-fault driver. Personal Injury Protection covers medical costs and lost wages for the insured driver and occupants no matter who is at fault.

Auto Owners also offers optional insurance coverage such as collision and comprehensive insurance. These options cover the cost for a driver’s damages and injuries if the driver is at fault or the at-fault party has no auto insurance.

Other optional insurance packages offered by the company include roadside service, glass service, rental car costs, and loan or lease gap insurance. They even provide insurance for a non-owned automobile or for a pet that is injured in an auto accident. They will pay up to $750 per animal, cat, or dog and $1,500 per loss to cover vet expenses or death at no additional cost.

Furthermore, they provide packages on specialty insurance that cover an assortment of losses. They provide a limited amount of travel insurance in the event a vehicle breaks down while on vacation, insurance against the theft of personal property from a policyholder’s vehicle or the theft of a vehicle’s sound system.

Auto Owners also has insurance for a cell phone or other communication device that is lost or stolen. There is even insurance that provides up to a $500 bail bond if the insured is jailed due to an accident or traffic violation and up to $250 a day to supplement the loss of insurance while the person is in locked up.

Market Shares and Financial Holdings

Auto Owners was rated as a Fortune 500 company in 2011. Fortune Magazine listed the company at 425 with $ 5,395.8 million in revenue and $270.6 million in profits.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners lists the company as having over $2 billion in direct premiums written and over $9 billion in assets at the end of 2010. They were ranked number 17 out of the 25 top U.S. insurance companies across all lines of business in 2010. They were listed with over $4 billion in total premiums written and .97% of the market share.

Advertising and Commercials

Auto Owners launched its “Why is it Important…Just Ask…” TV commercials in 2011. The commercials are meant to make viewers think about the importance of insurance in different lines and to different types of consumers. For instance, one commercial asks, “Why is it important that Auto Owners helped to repair over 450 vehicles belonging to volunteer firefighters?” The answer is supposed to be evident as the camera pans to a little girl who has obviously been rescued from a fire, with the announcer stating, “Just ask 5 year-old Jenny Wilson.”

Many of the TV spots used young, cute children in the commercials as a form of emotional persuasion. Auto Owners has opted for relatively serious commercials that highlight their customer service and commitment rather than use characters or comedy.

Auto Owners’ Ratings and Awards

Auto Owners was the award recipient in J.D. Power and Associate’s 2011 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study. The company was awarded five out of five stars in all categories: appraisal, first notice of loss, rental car experience, repair process, service interaction, and settlement. A five star rating indicates that Auto Owners is ranked “Among the Best” by the customers who are polled for the study. It is the fifth year in a row that Auto Owners has won the award for the highest ranking.

Auto Owners also had decent rankings in J.D. Power and Associate’s 2011 National Auto Insurance Study. The company had a four out of five star rating, giving it a “Better than Most” designation. They earned four out of five stars for contacting the insurer, policy offerings, and pricing categories. The company earned three out of five stars for the billing and payment category.

Auto Owners also has high rankings with insurance industry rating organizations. They received an A++, or Superior, rating from A.M. Best. Weiss Ratings, another agency, gave the company an A, or Excellent, rating. These ratings denote that Auto Owners has high financial stability that will allow the company to weather any financial storms in the near future.