Today, we’re going beyond the shelf and investigating Costco car insurance.

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Today, we want to find out if Costco car insurance is worth it. In this Costco auto insurance review, we’ll look at the company’s coverage options, customer service, perks, and more.

Overall, we think Costco auto insurance offers an average customer experience but also great prices. If you can get by without an app to manage your car insurance, you might find a great deal with Costco.

Costco car insurance is part of the company’s discounted offerings called Costco Services, which also provide services such as life insurance, vision insurance, Costco Travel, and payment processing for businesses.

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In this article:

Costco Car Insurance Overview

Costco car insurance is part of the company’s discounted offerings called Costco Services, which also provide services such as life insurance, vision insurance, Costco Travel, and payment processing for businesses.

It should be mentioned that Costco auto insurance is really Ameriprise auto insurance. While drivers can purchase car insurance plans through Costco, Ameriprise is the company that backs those plans. When we refer to Costco car insurance in this article, the term is synonymous with Ameriprise car insurance. However, not all Ameriprise customers can get the discounts reserved for Costco members.

The Costco Discount

Shopping at Costco is all about the discounts, and we’d expect no less when looking at Costco car insurance. While the exact amount depends on eligibility and underwriting criteria, most Costco members can expect to save between 5 and 10 percent on an auto policy with Ameriprise.

Costco Car Insurance Pros And Cons

Pros Cons
Discount reserved for Costco members Insurance not available in every state
Low average premiums No app for claims or customer service
Call in a claim 24/7 Safe driving discount only in California
Extra perks like the Glass Deductible Waiver No rideshare coverage
 

 

Coverage Options From Costco Car Insurance

Here are the basic coverage options you can get with Costco auto insurance:

Bodily Injury And Property Damage Liability

This type of insurance is required in most states. It covers medical and property damage costs for other people and cars when you are found at fault for an accident. A common coverage minimum is 25/50/25, which translates to $25,000 bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability per accident.

Collision

This insurance covers damage to your car no matter who caused the accident. Collision insurance also covers your car if you hit a fence, drive over a big pothole, or get into other accidents on your own.

Comprehensive

This is the coverage that repairs your car after events like hail, fire, flood, or vandalism. The combination of liability, collision, and comprehensive is called full coverage.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM)

This coverage protects your financial stability if you get hit by an uninsured driver or a driver without enough insurance. You can still sue them, but if they don’t have insurance, they probably don’t have much to repay you with anyway. Some states require minimum UM or UIM coverage.

Medical Payments (MedPay)

Costco car insurance offers MedPay, which is required in just two states. MedPay covers medical expenses like ambulance fees, doctor visits, surgeries, and funeral costs. You can use it regardless of who caused the accident, and it doesn’t typically have a deductible.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

This option is similar to MedPay, but it can also cover lost wages and services like childcare. PIP can require a deductible.

Additional Coverages

All of the coverages just mentioned are fairly standard for most car insurance providers. Here are a few things that you can get with Costco car insurance that aren’t as typical:

  • New Car Replacement: If your new car is totaled, this option will pay to replace it with the same model, instead of covering its value at the time of the accident. This applies to cars that are less than one year old and that have fewer than 15,000 miles.
  • Gap Insurance: This coverage will pay the difference between your car’s value and the amount you have left on your loan.
  • Rental Reimbursement: With this coverage, you can get reimbursed for using a rental car up to the amounts you specify in your policy.
  • Roadside Assistance: Adding this option to your Costco car insurance policy will cover towing, spare tire installation, lockout services, jump start services, and fluid delivery. It covers up to $75 per occurrence.

Extra Benefits With Costco Auto Insurance

There are a few perks that come with Costco auto insurance policies

Glass Deductible Waiver If your windshield can be repaired instead of replaced, Costco car insurance will cover your glass deductible.
Stolen Key Coverage Comprehensive insurance covers stolen keys automatically. Also, if the cost to replace your locks is less than $250, you won’t have to pay a deductible.
Accident Travel Expense If you get into an accident more than 100 miles from home, Costco car insurance will contribute toward your unexpected lodging and travel expenses.
 

Plus These… Benefits?

On its website, Ameriprise auto insurance also lists some other benefits, which we’ll mention here. However, we think most shoppers expect these options today. It’s a bit like a bank bragging that it offers checking accounts. Anyway, these benefits are:

  • Hassle-free claims reporting by phone, 24/7
  • Customer service focus
  • Online policy management

It would be more surprising to find a car insurance company that didn’t allow you to manage your policy online or report a claim any time of day. Highlighting these common features as standout benefits might also draw attention to the fact that Ameriprise doesn’t have an app for car insurance.

Ameriprise Financial has an app for finance and investing, but it doesn’t have an app for reporting claims, managing your policy, or even viewing your insurance card.

Costco Membership Perks

There still are some great benefits to Costco car insurance. The main benefit is the discount we mentioned above. To get the Costco discount on Ameriprise car insurance, you need to be a Costco member, of course. The Gold Star and Business memberships cost $60 per year, while the Gold Star Executive and Business Executive memberships cost $120 per year. Even if you don’t shop at Costco, the discount will usually pay for the membership price and then some.

With a Gold Star or Business membership, you get the automatic discount on Costco car insurance. If you have an Executive-type membership, your insurance policy will automatically come with roadside assistance coverage. Also, you’ll get lifetime renewability. That means Ameriprise won’t cancel your policy for accidents or moving violations (excluding serious infractions).

Costco Auto Insurance Quotes And Claims Processes

Ameriprise has a straightforward online quotes process with four main steps. You’ll need your car’s information, driver’s license, and Costco membership number to complete it.

It’s also pretty easy to file a claim under your Costco auto insurance policy. To file any type of claim, you can call a 24/7 claim number. If you just want to file a comprehensive or collision claim, you can do so on the website.

Ameriprise recommends that you collect information at the scene including drivers’ contact info, insurance policies, and witness information. Once you contact Ameriprise, you’ll be assigned a claims representative (this can be a different person each time). An adjuster will contact you within one business day to analyze the accident.

After that, you’ll be asked to send anything else you have, like before and after photos. Once all the information is collected, it’s up to Ameriprise and other insurance companies to settle the claim. According to J.D. Power's 2019 U.S. Auto Claims Satification Survey, it takes the top 25 car insurance providers about 13 days on average to settle claims, but Ameriprise customers might experience longer times. After your claim is settled, you can expect your rates to rise during your next policy term if you were at fault – a small scratch might be worth repairing outside of your insurance coverage for this reason.

Other Discounts On Costco Car Insurance

Other discounts offered by Ameriprise include:

  • Good driver discount (only in California)
  • Premier Safety discount (requires all drivers in your household to have clean driving records for the last four years)
  • Defensive driver discount
  • Discounts for safety features
  • Garaging discount
  • Good student discount
  • Multi-car discount
  • Multi-policy discount (auto/home, auto/umbrella, or auto/home/umbrella)

Unfortunately, Costco car insurance doesn’t offer a usage-based discount or policy option.

Drive For Uber Or Lyft? Pass On By

If you drive for a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft, you need specialized insurance to cover certain working miles. Your rideshare company will usually cover you when you are driving to pick up a person or drop them off, but not when you are waiting around on the app to accept a trip request. Unfortunately, Costco car insurance doesn’t have an option for this type of coverage.

Costco Insurance Reviews

Ameriprise car insurance won five Power Circles for the California Region on J.D. Power’s 2018 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. The study rated car insurance companies on customer interaction, coverage, price, billing processes, and claims according to answers from 44,622 customers. Unfortunately, that was the only state that rated Ameriprise so high – the company wasn’t a top 10 contender for any other region.

Ameriprise wrote about $822 million in premiums in 2018 and has less than 1 percent of the auto insurance market. It has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, but its customer ratings aren’t very impressive – it has a one-star rating on the BBB. Looking at Costco insurance reviews on the company’s BBB page shows that many people aren’t satisfied with its service. Overall, there are two five-star ratings, one four-star rating, and the rest are either two- or one-star ratings.

One Costco auto insurance review was by a driver who thinks they didn’t deserve to receive 50 percent of the fault for an accident. The driver states that there was a witness that Ameriprise never contacted, even though they had asked the company to do so. While drivers might not be the best judge of fault, it’s a little concerning that Ameriprise wouldn’t contact a witness in this case.

In another Costco auto insurance review from the same page, the customer said they had to deal with rude service while trying to renew their policy. Their policy was finally canceled with a piece of mail dated after the cancellation date. That caused a lapse in their coverage, which their lender charged them for.

Costco Car Insurance: Our Verdict

In our own research into the top car insurance companies, we found Ameriprise to be an average car insurance provider. You can’t get it in every state, and while you might be able to find good prices, its customer service and technology are somewhat lacking.

If you’re already a Costco member, it could still be a great deal. Also, you might not mind that Ameriprise auto insurance doesn’t have an app for reporting claims or managing your policy. It’s still a company worth looking into, in our opinion.

Make Sure These Providers Are On Your List, Too

The great thing about shopping for car insurance is that you can get as many free insurance quotes as you want. We’d recommend getting at least three, so you have a better idea of what kind of coverage and premiums are available to you. Any of the following companies would be great to check into since they are all at the top of our auto insurance rankings. Plus, they all offer affordable rideshare coverage.

USAA is the best choice overall if you’re eligible. USAA customers can find some of the cheapest rates in the industry. Plus, they have access to first-rate customer service and a number of discounts. In our review, USAA was the only provider that we rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Best for Military Families

★★★★★

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Our best overall pick: Offers great customer service to military members and their families.

 

Geico came in second place on our car insurance rankings. We think it’s the best option if you’re ineligible for USAA, and it also gives many drivers great insurance rates. For that and its great customer service, we rated the company 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Best Company Overall

★★★★★

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Best for those ineligible for USAA: Offers competitive pricing and great coverage.

 

Progressive is our third choice for car insurance, also earning 4.5 out of 5 stars. Progressive has a great usage-based option through Snapshot, and its app is easy to use for managing your account and submitting claims.

Great for Discount Bundles

★★★★★

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Offers a number of ways to get a discount, including the Snapshot tool or bundle options.