According to J.D. Power 2019 Auto Insurance Study, PEMCO car insurance has the highest customer satisfaction in the Northwest.

 

The “Defender of Your Northwest” needs no introduction. With customized policies, award-winning customer satisfaction, great prices, and a strong focus on community, PEMCO Auto Insurance has established a name for itself in the regional auto insurance business. Here, we take a close look at PEMCO’s car insurance coverage options, costs, claims process, customer reviews, and more. That way, you have the information you need to figure out if a car insurance policy from PEMCO can give you the top-tier service you want.

Recently, we also reviewed the best car insurance providers in the country based on different factors such as coverage, costs, financial stability, and availability. While PEMCO may not have made it on that list, it is undoubtedly one of the most popular providers in the Pacific Northwest.

Whenever you shop for car insurance, we recommend getting quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverage and rates. In addition to the insurance company you choose, factors such as your age, vehicle make and model, and driving history can affect your premium, so what’s best for your neighbor might not be best for you.

Use our tool below or call (855) 518-0148 to start comparing personalized car insurance quotes:

 

 

In this article:

PEMCO Auto Insurance At A Glance

PEMCO auto insurance provides coverage to customers in the states of Washington and Oregon. While it was founded in 1942 by Robert J. Handy as an auto insurance company for teachers who were members of the School Employees Credit Union of Washington, it later expanded its offerings to include home, renters, condo, umbrella, life, and boat. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

PEMCO is a mutual insurance company, which means it’s owned by its policyholders. PEMCO stands for “Public Employees Mutual Insurance Company.” In 2018, it wrote around $340,000,000 in private passenger auto premiums, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. 

PEMCO is known to take an active role in the communities they serve, donating to worthy causes and encouraging employees to take paid time off to volunteer at charities. 

PEMCO Auto Insurance Coverage

PEMCO has a huge range of car insurance coverage options to suit different needs. The table below breaks down the different types of coverage in each category.

Liability Coverage

Liability Property Damage Coverage

Helps pay for damages to the other person’s car and/or property and court defense costs if you are responsible for the crash.

Liability Bodily Injury Coverage

Helps pay for injury and defense costs in covered accidents.

Coverage for You, Your Family, and Pets

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage 

Pays for medical expenses, income loss, and more if you, your family, or other passengers in your car are injured in an accident. This is a required coverage in Oregon.

Accidental Death Coverage

Provides $10,000 to a spouse or estate if a covered person dies in a car accident.

Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist, Bodily Injury Coverage

Pays for medical costs and other related expenses if a covered person is injured in a car accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured motorist. This type of coverage is required in Oregon.

Pet Coverage

Pays up to $1,000 if your dog or cat dies in a covered collision.

Coverage for Your Car

Collision Coverage

Pays for car damage in an accident and comes with a deductible. May be required if your car is financed.

Comprehensive Coverage

Covers car damage from theft, fire, natural causes, vandalism, etc.

Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Covers damage to your car if the accident was caused by an underinsured or uninsured driver.

Rental Reimbursement Coverage

Covers the cost of renting another car while your car is being repaired after an accident.

Replacing or Recoding Key Coverage

Pays up to $500 for recoding or replacing undamaged electronic car key components. Available only in Washington. 

Custom Parts and Equipment Coverage

Pays up to $500 for customization with an option to buy additional coverage. Available only in Washington.

Towing and Labor Coverage

Covers costs if your car has to be towed or repaired on the spot.

Auto Loan Coverage (Gap Insurance)

Helps pay off your car loan if your car is totaled in an accident and the remaining loan amount is more than the value of your car.

Camper, Canopy, and Tonneau Cover Coverage

Pays up to $500 for the covered equipment with an option to buy additional coverage. Available only in Washington. 

Rideshare and Rental Coverage

Rideshare Coverage

Extends your current PEMCO coverage when you drive for companies like Lyft or Uber.

Rental Coverage 

Helps pay for damages if your rental car is in a covered collision or comprehensive loss. Available only in Washington.

 

PEMCO Auto Insurance Costs And Discounts

PEMCO auto insurance has tiered policy levels, which means that people with good driving records may receive better rates for insurance premiums. If you have filed recent claims, it can make your premiums go up.

PEMCO also offers a number of discounts and benefits that can help drive down your final costs for a car insurance policy:

  • Auto plus home discount: When you bundle home (rent or own) and auto insurance
  • Educator discount: For all employees of schools, colleges, or universities
  • Defensive driver discount: For drivers aged 55 and above who have completed a certified defensive driving course
  • Safety/security feature discount: If your car has features like airbags and alarms
  • Good student discount: Available for full-time students between ages 16 and 24 with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Distant student discount: Available if the student studies more than 75 miles away from home and does not have a car at school
  • University of Washington alumni discount: For University of Washington graduates with a bachelor’s or advanced degree
  • Accident forgiveness: No rate increase after your first minor accident if you’ve been accident-free for five or more years
  • Minor ticket forgiveness: No rate increase for your first minor ticket if you haven’t had a ticket or accident in five years
  • Loyal auto customer discount: Available after having a policy for more than one year with PEMCO
  • Homeownership discount: For customers owning a home, mobile home, or condo
  • Low mileage discount: Available if you drive your car less than 8,000 miles a year
  • New vehicle discount: For cars less than five model years old
  • Paid in full discount: Available if you pay in one annual payment or two six-month payments
  • Advance purchase discount: Available for new policies purchased at least seven days before coverage starts

How To Get A Quote

We like how PEMCO has an online quotes tool that simplifies the process of calculating how much you can expect to pay for your car insurance policy. To get a quote, submit personal information such as: 

  • Name, address, marital status, and other details for each driver
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN) or vehicle year, make, and model
  • Your driving habits
  • Auto insurance history

Since your credit history is also used to calculate your premium, you may be asked to provide your Social Security Number if the tool is not able to retrieve your information with your name and address alone.

To compare your PEMCO quote to those of other insurance companies, call (855) 518-0148 or use the tool below:

 
 

PEMCO Auto Insurance Claims Process

If you have a PEMCO car insurance policy and have an accident, you can file a claim online anytime using your PEMCO account or call the company. 

Have the following information handy:

  • Date, time, and location of the accident
  • Names and contact information of other people in the accident and/or witnesses
  • Photos or descriptions of the cars involved
  • Police report number (if applicable)
  • Insurance information 

After you report a claim, PEMCO claims representatives will walk you through the process, review your coverage at the time of the accident, and explain how it will apply in your situation. The PEMCO Claims Department will further investigate the accident and evaluate the damages. Since every claim is different, this may involve other steps such as obtaining a bid from a contractor for repairs or reviewing an estimate. 

After the evaluation is complete, PEMCO will make the required payments as per your policy. 

If you have PEMCO towing coverage, you just fill out an online form to file a claim for your covered towing expenses reimbursement.

PEMCO car insurance policies don’t require you to have your vehicles repaired only at particular repair facilities. However, you can speed up the claims process and have the repair center directly manage the paperwork by choosing a shop that is a member of the PEMCO Timesaver Repair Program. This avoids the need to wait for a PEMCO adjuster to review the damages and give you an estimate. Instead, the shop will handle all the paperwork for you. You will, of course, have to pay the deductible, and the shop will directly bill PEMCO for the remainder of the bill.

PEMCO Auto Insurance Customer Service

PEMCO’s mission is to “free communities to worry less and live more.” The company focuses on Northwestern residents and highlights how important it is for customers to have insurance from companies who understand their specific needs. 

But does it live up to its promise? We took a look at what PEMCO customers have to say online. 

While PEMCO has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, we noticed a few customer reviews who were unhappy because of rate increases. In general, policy rates can be affected by a number of factors, including changes to your credit, address change, tickets, accidents, etc. PEMCO doesn’t offer a rate lock for its auto insurance policies.

Our team likes how PEMCO has a well-designed online portal for its customers where they can create an account to view all their policies, make changes, pay bills, and file claims. Even customers without an online account can still pay their bills using their policy number, name, and zip code. PEMCO also has a convenient mobile app for customers. We have seen that such features give customers more transparency and increased control over their policies, which can lead to higher levels of satisfaction. 

J.D. Power ranks PEMCO Auto Insurance the highest in customer satisfaction in the Northwest region in its 2019 Auto Insurance Study. This is the seventh time in a row that PEMCO has received this distinction. The 2019 study took into consideration several factors like policy offerings, price, billing process, claims, and policy information and was based on responses from over 45,000 customers. 

Our Verdict: PEMCO Auto Insurance 

While PEMCO is a good insurance company, is it the right choice for you? It depends. 

If you live in Washington or Oregon and want reliable car insurance from a local provider with strong community ties, PEMCO would be a viable option. However, its rates seem to be on the higher side compared to other bigger, nationwide providers, and this could work against it if the price is one of your biggest concerns. Since PEMCO has a tiered rate policy, the rates could also be a problem if you have accidents or tickets on your record. However, they do have a long list of discounts, which may apply to your policy. 

As with any major purchase, we recommend you shop around and get at least three quotes from auto insurance providers before you buy insurance for your car. Before you begin, don’t forget to read our review of the best auto insurance providers in the country where we evaluated some of the most popular players in the industry for several factors, including financial strength, customer service, costs, and coverage.

We recommend that you get matched with the best quotes in your area by calling (855) 518-0148 or filling out the form below:

 

USAA car insurance, Progressive car insurance, Geico auto insurance, and State Farm auto insurance scored the highest in our rankings. While USAA has the best rates if you are eligible for it, Geico is not far behind and ranks as our “Best Overall” auto insurance company overall with a 4.5 out of 5 rating.

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