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Acceptance Auto Insurance Review: Insurance for Imperfect Drivers

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Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency...

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Reviewed byJoel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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You may have seen television ads or billboards lately for “Acceptance Insurance,” which as the name implies, will probably accept you as a customer if you just give them the chance.

Their flagship product is Acceptance auto insurance, though they also offer roadside assistance and some other types of insurance too.

I’ve seen billboards along the freeway here in Southern California, with ads saying something like get car insurance for as low as X per month. I forget the exact number, but it was something low, like $20, which you can probably pay with a credit card.

Anyway, let’s dig in and find out more about this fairly large, publicly-traded insurer to see if they could be a good fit for you. At last glance, their stock is worth about $68 million, which makes it a small fry in the industry.

Where Acceptance Insurance Does Business

Acceptance Insurance (parent company First Acceptance Corporation) is based out of Nashville, Tennessee, but does business in a variety of states, including the following:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia

They also offer personal auto insurance in California now because that’s where I saw the billboards…it’s not on this list from the Acceptance website because the move into the Golden State was a recent one after an acquisition.

Their business profile notes that they write personal automobile insurance policies in 17 states, but issue policies as a licensed insurer in 13 of those 17 states (those seen above). Additionally, they are licensed as an insurer in a total of 25 states.

Anyway, Acceptance markets its insurance under a number of different brands, including Acceptance Insurance, Yale Insurance, and Insurance Plus, and has more than 350 retail locations nationwide.

So there’s a good chance you’ve heard of them if you’re in one of their target markets.

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Acceptance Says They Offer the Lowest Possible Rates

We know there are seemingly countless auto insurance companies out there, so why choose Acceptance?

Well, first off they claim to be “different than other companies, and proud of it,” though they don’t really get into the why.

However, Acceptance does say they offer the “lowest possible rates,” handle insurance claims quickly, and provide great service. Nothing earth shattering here…

Perhaps something that truly differentiates them is the fact that they have hundreds of physical locations, unlike many insurers that operate call centers you can’t walk into.

This allows customers to get in touch with someone face-to-face if they feel the need. This can be especially helpful while dealing with a claim, because anyone that has ever dealt with a claim knows it can be a huge pain in the you know what.

Acceptance Is a Non-Standard Insurer

All that fluff aside, Acceptance is a non-standard insurer, otherwise known as “high risk.” It’s basically car insurance for those who don’t fit the traditional mold for one reason or another, whether it’s previous accidents or points or a combination of both.

Sometimes, teens and elderly drivers fall under this distinction as well. In any case, Acceptance offers a number of categories of insurance that others may not, including:

As you can see, there are some unique offerings you might not find with the big boys simply because those companies are more interested in insuring drivers who will rarely (if ever) get into an accident or slip up otherwise.

Speaking of risk, A.M. Best has given them a Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of C++ (Marginal), which compares to A-ratings for the big companies like Allstate and State Farm.

Aside from auto insurance, Acceptance also offers a variety of other policy types such as renters insurance, motorcycle insurance, roadside assistance, hospital benefits, med pay, and Ohio Bond policies.

However, they don’t offer health insurance, home insurance, or life insurance, at least not at the moment.

Acceptance Has Employee-Agents

If you call Acceptance, chances are you’ll speak with an “employee-agent,” which means the staff at Acceptance is composed of insurance agents.

And there’s a good chance you’ll be sold a non-standard personal automobile insurance product underwritten by Acceptance because that appears to be their main product.

In many of the states Acceptance does business in, there’s also a decent likelihood you’ll be pitched a complementary (not free!) renters insurance policy to go along with your auto insurance.

Offering this additional insurance provides them with a way to squeeze a little more profit, whether you need it (or want it).

In the states of Illinois and Texas, select retail locations sell insurance products that are serviced and underwritten by other third-party insurance carriers, not Acceptance.

And in four other states (California, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada) that were newly-acquired, the insurance policies might be underwritten by other third-party insurance carriers.

Put another way, in many of these states you’ll actually receive a policy from a company other than Acceptance Insurance even though they’ll be the ones selling it to you for a commission.

By the way, if you’re an independent insurance agent you can sign on with Acceptance Insurance to sell their products.

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Acceptance Might Be a Good Choice for Imperfect Drivers

Overall, Acceptance Insurance seems to be a growing brand for the non-standard market, delivered in a neat package with a logo that reminds me of Esurance.

It seems to be working against the typical “Crazy Sal” brand of low-cost insurers, thus making bad drivers feel better about obtaining car insurance.

You can also get free quotes online and do the entire process over the phone, instead of having to speak to another human being, something Millennials are increasingly against doing.

Acceptance Insurance seems to be a rapidly growing brand, especially after acquiring Titan Insurance in mid-2015. Thanks to that merger they picked up 83 new retail locations.

In the meantime, as mentioned, many of the insurance products sold in these states will come from unrelated car insurance companies.

To sum it up, if you’ve had trouble obtaining car insurance, Acceptance might be another company to add to your list, though the BBB complaints are a bit unsettling, as is the A.M Best strength rating.

Of course, there are pros and cons to all insurers, and when you have to settle for a non-standard policy, choices become more limited.

Maybe most insurers have bad reviews, especially the non-standard ones for high-risk drivers.

While you’re at it, you may also want to address why you’re non-standard to begin with and perhaps attempt to remedy the situation so you can access all carriers and save some dough on your policy and related products going forward.

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