If you're near an office and your priority is low price, Elephant Insurance could be for you
Elephant Insurance is relatively unique.
It only offers auto insurance online.
Since they don't have a giant network of branch offices, agents, and insurance brokers, they can afford to offer, well, affordable car insurance.
The rub lies in the fact that they only operate in the following six states:
If you're not in one of these states, then move along.
If you do live in one of their covered locations, it's worth taking a look at Elephant's prices, especially if you're a new driver, or have poor credit, or a less-than-stellar driving history.
Just know that many customers have complained about the interactions they've had with Elephant's claims department, even though they offer 24/7 customer service.
Why You May Need The Company's Services
If your goal is to save money on auto insurance, you might be in the right place
Elephant Insurance was born in the U.K. in 2000.
It bills itself as the first entirely online car insurance provider.
After 17 years, it claims to be the third largest auto insurance provider in the U.K.
In 2009, aiming to replicate its success only selling car insurance online, Elephant expanded to the U.S.
At Elephant, there are no agents or broker commissions.
Everything is online.
Thinking about Elephant Insurance? Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you live in any of the states they service? (See list above)
- Are you a good driver and searching for the best good-driving discounts?
- Do you feel you can research and directly purchase insurance online, without the help of an agent or insurance advisor?
- Is finding the lowest price for automobile insurance your main objective?
Why People Love the Company
Reliable coverage with low priced premiums, plus hassle-free signup
It's easy to sign up. Their website is easy to navigate and consumers can purchase a policy in less than 10 minutes.
They offer low premiums. Elephant's prices are significantly lower than competitors, and policy add-ons are not going to cost you an arm and a leg.
Keep in mind, premium prices are determined by a variety of factors, such as driving history, vehicle type, zip code, and more.
You can bundle your policies and save. Elephant only underwrites auto insurance, but if you are an Elephant customer you can potentially save if you bundle your homeowners or renters insurance.
The idea is to have the additional insurance provided by partners of Elephant Insurance, so by keeping you under the "Elephant Umbrella," Elephant makes more money and can, therefore, offer you a discount.
There are many ways to save extra. A wide variety of discounts are available for Elephant customers.
Eligibility for these discounts isn't too restrictive either.
A few ways to save include:
- Good student discount
- 12% off for online quoting
- Multi-policy discount
- Paid-in-full discount
- Electronic signature on-file
- Responsible driver discount
- Paperless discount
You get 24/7 customer service. Specifically, you can reach Elephant online or by phone anytime you want and get answers to any questions that you, as a policy shopper, may have.
Biggest Consumer Complaints
The biggest consumer complaints about the company revolve around payment problems and shoddy customer service
I've always believed that "good business is personal."
That's why we at CreditLoan always pride ourselves for being a brand that cares.
Since 1998, we've been helping to educate consumers on financial issues while providing the assistance and solutions they need to effectively manage these issues.
Unfortunately, you will find numerous complaints about Elephant Insurance.
That said, many posted complaints are from people who were involved in an accident with someone supposedly insured by Elephant.
Meaning not all complaints posted are from Elephant customers.
Still, for a relatively small company, the number of poor customer reviews is worrisome.
Problems with payment. Whether it's canceling a policy, reporting a claim, or receiving quotes, many individuals have reported problems concerning billing and payment.
Customer reviews share many instances of repeat payments despite canceling policies, unauthorized charges, and headache-riddled experiences of trying to receive reimbursement for the erroneous charges.
Difficulty filing claims. While Elephant offers many ways to file claims—like filling out a form on its website—many policyholders say they still experienced difficulties.
Frustrations range from the claims department failing to return calls, to problems getting their cars repaired after an accident.
Others complained that they had a lot of difficulties getting reimbursed for repairs.
Increased premiums without warning. There are reports of monthly premiums increasing without Elephant notifying its customers.
If true, a price hike with no warning is definitely not nice.
Well, no price hike is ever nice.
Elephant Insurance competes with GEICO
GEICO prides itself on selling "low-cost, high-quality" insurance.
Like Elephant Insurance, GEICO sells directly to customers online, allowing the company to sell its insurance for lower premiums.
Compared to Elephant they stand out in more ways than one.
They insure millions. GEICO has more than 16 million customers with active policies, and GEICO insures more than 24 million vehicles today.
While size doesn't necessarily guarantee quality, a healthy demand is a good indication of client satisfaction.
A large variety of insurance offered. Unlike Elephant Insurance, GEICO also sells other types of insurance, such as flood, overseas, and professional liability insurance.
If you bundle them up, you also get a discount like what Elephant offers.
More discounts available than Elephant. GEICO rewards customers for owning safe vehicles.
Discounts are available to drivers with cars that have anti-lock brakes and anti-theft systems, to name a few.
High customer satisfaction ratings. Multiple research institutes and consumer surveys show GEICO being able to satisfy and meet customers' expectations.
Customers in multiple reviews attribute GEICO's success with quality customer service, well-trained staff, prompt service, quick quotes, and customer loyalty.
User-friendly mobile app. GEICO's mobile app is available in both Google Play store and Apple App store.
Their app allows for bill management, ID card viewing, policy review, and more.
They even have an in-app chat that allows users to ask any questions they may have and get real people respond to them back.
The Question Everyone's Asking Now
"Why is Elephant Insurance so cheap?"
Low overhead costs. Since the company was founded, it has been able to keep premiums low mainly by operating as a direct-to-consumer insurance provider.
There are no broker or agent commissions which allows Elephant to pass on the savings in the form of lower rates.
Customers are incentivized to shop for and manage their policies online by receiving discounts for accepting an online quote and going paperless with statements.
Customers are eligible for multiple discounts. Discounts don't stop at just one.
Customers are allowed to apply multiple discounts to policies if they meet eligibility for those discounts.
Save huge for driving responsibly. Elephant's Diminishing Deductions program lets customers save $100 instantly and up to $500 over five years by rewarding policyholders for maintaining an accident-free record each year.
How the Company Works
Low-cost automobile insurance, easily accessible and self-managed
Direct-to-consumer insurance saves money. Elephant doesn't use brokers.
Without a middleman, the company is able to keep premiums low and offer consumers super low prices.
Elephant policies can be purchased online or over-the-phone.
Compare and contrast your policy quotes with other companies' sites to make the best choice for your needs.
Insure your car. Elephant sells auto insurance directly to you, and with that, can insure multiple cars.
You can add cars to your policy throughout the policy's term.
You can purchase liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage with their no-reset guarantee.
This means that your deductible won't reset if you have an accident.
Upgrades for basic auto insurance policies (third-party only) are available to offer more protection.
The company offers multiple discounts to help lower your car insurance premiums
Bundle and save. Bundle your home insurance with your car insurance and save.
Diminishing Deductible can save you big. Enroll in this program and save $100 on the first day of your policy.
For every year you go accident-free you're rewarded for your safe driving under the Diminishing Deductible plan for up to $500 in credit.
Get quotes online. By requesting a quote online, Elephant customers are eligible for up to a 12% premium reduction.
Optional policy add-ons protect your pocket. Accidents happen. Elephant offers roadside assistance in the event of an accident or a flat tire.
For a few extra dollars per month, you can add rental car reimbursement to your policy.
You can purchase Umbrella Insurance for extra coverage. This insurance is designed to help protect customers from major claims and lawsuits in the event of an accident.
It provides an extra layer of affordable protection to protect your personal assets.
Purchase motorcycle, ATV and Collector Car Insurance. Policies for these vehicles are available for new and existing customers through an Elephant partner.
The company connects you with other providers for more types of insurance
Top-rated life insurance policies are available. One of Elephant's partners, AccuQuote, represents top-rated life insurance companies to provide quotes for various types of policies.
Companies that AccuQuote represents include Prudential, AIG, and Fidelity Life to name a few.
If you are an Elephant customer you can save if you bundle homeowners' or renters' insurance.
These policies are provided by Homesite Insurance Group, a partner of Elephant.
Elephant Insurance only sells and sponsors car insurance policies.
They partner with other companies to provide home insurance, renters' insurance, and more, which we'll get into later.
When consumers bundle car insurance from Elephant and its partners, they can get larger discounts.
Home insurance protects more than your home. Typical homeowners' insurance covers damage to the structure and contents of a home, plus loss of use (reimbursement for hotel stays) and liability protection (against lawsuits).
Covered perils include fire, hail, smoke, theft, vandalism and more.
Additional coverage is available for purchase to cover things like jewelry.
Condo and renters insurance protect your pleasures. If you own a condo, then condo insurance provides peace of mind protection for your belongings.
If you're a renter, Elephant has partnered with Homesite Insurance Group to help you save money on renters' insurance.
Secondary vehicle insurance will protect all your wheels. Whether it be a motorcycle or ATV, Elephant's partner, Dairyland, has you covered.
In fact, most utility or sports vehicles will likely find coverage.
Key Digital Services
The company operates completely online for quicker quotes and cheaper policies
Elephant Insurance is able to keep its premiums low because it operates online and doesn't use brokers or agents.
Get quick quotes online. It's important to shop around for insurance and Elephant's website boasts quick policy price quotes.
This makes shopping for auto, home, and life insurance easier and quicker—allowing customers to view and compare quotes and terms with other insurance providers.
Monitor your insurance from your smartphone. Elephant Insurance has a downloadable app available in both the App Store and Google Play store.
Users can make a payment, view insurance ID cards quickly, and access accident collection forms within the app.
Manage your policies online. Elephant offers policyholders the option to create a MyElephant account where customers can manage auto, home, renters', and motorcycle policies.
All you need is your policy number.
Using their MyElephant account, customers can print ID cards or make a payment.
If I need to file an auto insurance claim, who handles it?
Claims representatives at Elephant will handle claims and their claims department is "dedicated to taking care" of customers.
Simply call 1-855-ELEPHANT.
How do I check the status of my auto insurance claim?
Call 1-855-ELEPHANT to speak to a claims representative about the status of a claim.
How do I cancel an existing policy?
Call 1-855-ELEPHANT and speak with a representative directly to request cancellation.
Where does Elephant Insurance offer policies?
Currently only in six states: Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia
Does Elephant Insurance have gap coverage?
Does Elephant Insurance have roadside assistance?
Yes, for an additional cost, roadside assistance can be added to any auto policy.
Should I opt for automatic payments and renewal or shop around after my policy quote is done?
Always shop around after a policy is finished because you never know what other companies will quote you.
How quickly will my auto insurance claim be processed?
Every situation is different, so the time will vary.
Elephant says any simple claim will be resolved in a few days.
Can I take my vehicle to a repair facility of my choice?
Yes. If you don't have a preferred facility at the time of filing, Elephant will help you select one through the Repair Assistance Program.
How does an auto insurance claim affect my premium?
Your current policy rates will remain the same during the duration of the policy's term.
Accidents and traffic violations typically have an effect on future insurance rates, but the severity of the accident will affect how soon your future premiums will increase.
Where can I get my car inspected for damage?
Customers can take it to a repair facility of their choosing, or use Elephants Repair Assistance Program to find a facility.
Call 1-855-ELEPHANT for more info.
What if more damage is found after the facility starts repairs?
The repair facility will report any supplements (additional adjustments) to Elephant to complete the new estimate.
How quickly can I have my car repaired?
Report a claim as soon as possible and Elephant's goal is to "handle every auto insurance claim quickly and fairly".
The length of time for the repair depends on the damage done and the facility you choose.
Will Elephant pay for a rental car after an auto insurance claim is made?
If you have purchased this optional addition to your policy, and your car is out of commission due to theft, vandalism or an accident, Elephant will pay for your rental.
The rental car reimbursement is an optional addition to policies.
How does the Diminishing Deductible work?
If you enroll for the Diminishing Deductible, you can earn $100 off of your collision deductible for each year of safe driving, for up to $500 in credit.
This applies to all insured vehicles and can only be added at policy renewal if you are an existing customer.
What happens if I get into an accident while enrolled in Diminishing Deductible?
Your deductible will stay at its current amount until the next policy period and you will be eligible for another reduction following the next entire year you've gone accident-free.
While Elephant's partnerships are expansive, customer complaints and limited coverage are red flags
As a smaller company, one would expect Elephant to provide stellar customer service, but customers are quick to report less-than-ideal interactions and difficulty following through with their claims process with the company.
This is a red flag for any potential insurance customer.
The bad news for Elephant is the fact that customers in these six states can most likely receive better customer service and comparable—or even lower—prices from better-established providers like GEICO or Progressive.
The key is to shop around and know what you want.
If you're willing to put up with weak customer service in exchange for low premiums, then check out small providers like Elephant aside from the big guys.
Do you use Elephant Insurance?
How has the company's service worked out for you?
Any great tips (or nightmares) to share with the rest of us?
Let us know in the comments below.