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AAA vs. Safeco: Which company is best for you?

Both AAA and Safeco enjoy widespread brand recognition, but which one is best for you? We've compared both companies to give you an idea of what you can expect as a customer. Read on to find out more.

AAA car insurance

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3 Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

Perhaps best known for its roadside assistance programs, AAA also offers car insurance to its members. In most cases, coverage is not provided by AAA themselves, but through partner companies. AAA simply acts as an intermediary, meaning that coverage options and experiences can be vastly different based on location.

Pros Cons
  • Many bundling options
  • Additional membership benefits
  • Numerous discount opportunities
  • Lack of robust coverage options
  • Customer satisfaction scores are low                                          
Learn More

Safeco car insurance

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3.5 Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

Safeco Insurance is a popular choice for many car insurance shoppers. As a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual, Safeco customers can enjoy a wide array of policy options and coverage levels. There are also many additional lines of insurance that may be bundled with auto policies, potentially allowing customers to streamline their insurance needs and even save money. Find out more about Safeco Insurance below.

Pros Cons
  • Numerous discount options
  • Rideshare coverage available (in some states)
  • Good bundling options
  • Less than stellar customer service history
  • High number of complaints (according to the NAIC)
  • Less appealing to customers who don't bundle coverage 
Learn more

Which company comes out on top?

Safeco


Where these two companies are abundant in multiple discount opportunities and bundling options, they lack in customer satisfaction scores. Safeco is able to offer more coverage options and has recieved a higher overall editorial score, making it our preferred choice. 


AAA vs. Safeco: car insurance rate comparison

Choosing a car insurance company can be tough: companies' rates differ by driving history, age and location. AAA and Safeco are two popular insurers, providing competitively priced policies in most states.

In an effort to simplify the comparison process, we've collected average rates from Safeco and AAA. These rates cover a variety of pricing components, including credit rating, driving history, and age. Take a look at these rates to help you in your search for an affordable policy. Keep in mind, however, that your rates are likely to be different than our samples. 

Want to learn more? Read our full reviews of AAA and Safeco.

Cheapest average rates
Cheapest average rates

AAA has Safeco beat for cheapest auto insurance rates, with their average monhtly rate as $144 to AAA's $163. However, this can vary from person to person, so it's always a good idea to get quotes from many different insurers to see which policy is most affordable.


AAA vs. Safeco: pricing by credit score

If you have very poor credit, Safeco could be the way to go. On average, Safeco offers more affordable rates than AAA for drivers with credit scores of less than 580. Drivers with outstanding credit — a score of 800 or better — should consider Safeco as well, which typically beats AAA by $1,159 per year. View common insurance rates by credit level for Safeco and AAA below.

 

RATES BY CREDIT LEVEL: SAFECO VS. AAA
Credit score AAA avg. annual premium Safeco avg. annual premium
Very Poor (300-579) $6,659 $5,308
Fair (580-669) $4,023 $2,716
Good (670-739) $3,723 $1,967
Very Good (740-799) $3,004 $1,871
Exceptional (800-850) $2,814 $1,655

Auto insurance data methodology

The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on the results of The Zebra's State of Insurance car insurance pricing analysis. This analysis of more than 83 million insurance rates spans every U.S. ZIP code, using a sample user profile: a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord, good credit and full coverage at these levels:

  • $50,000 per person/$100,000 per incident for bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per incident for property damage liability
  • $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage

To generate pricing for particular rating factors, we adjusted the driving profile based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies. These factors include credit score, coverage level, driving record and others.

In some instances, average rates from Liberty Mutual were derived from internally sourced sales data.

AAA vs. Safeco: rates for high-risk drivers

If you're dealing with an at-fault collision, speeding ticket, reckless driving citation, or DWI on your driving résumé, Safeco could be a better choice than AAA. Each insurer has different post-violation pricing structures, so it's worth comparing quotes to understand which insurer suits you.

 
RATES BY CITATION: SAFECO VS. AAA
Violation AAA avg. annual premium Safeco avg. annual premium
At-fault accident (damage < $1,000) $4,078 $2,546
At-fault accident (damage > $1,000) $4,002 $1,969
DUI/DWI $5,530 $2,796
Reckless driving $5,530 $2,853
Speeding ticket $4,078 $2,512

AAA vs. Safeco: rates by age

Insurance companies use a driver's age as an estimator of risk, pricing premiums accordingly. An auto insurance policy is usually priciest for teen drivers — due to their increased odds of being involved in an accident — and more affordable for older drivers. Because every car insurance company prices age brackets differently, it's worth doing some comparison shopping.

As a general rule, teen drivers should choose Safeco: Safeco offers average yearly savings of $2,491, compared to AAA.

 
RATES BY AGE: SAFECO VS. AAA
Age tier AAA avg. annual premium Safeco avg. annual premium
Teens $10,256 $7,765
20s $4,644 $2,566
30s $3,248 $2,566
40s $3,195 $2,128
50s $3,083 $1,114
60s $2,887 $1,028

Costs aside, AAA and Safeco both have pros and cons, including discount programs, customer satisfaction ratings, policy add-ons and financial stability. Be sure to get quotes and compare rates before making a decision.

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Ratings comparison: AAA vs. Safeco

When looking for a new auto policy, prices aren't the only thing to compare. Good scores from customers and third-party rating agencies can help you find an insurance company that provides good rates and great customer service. To help, we've found a variety of ratings for both AAA and Safeco to help you determine each company's customer satisfaction level, number of complaints and fiscal security outlook.

AAA vs. Safeco
Ratings comparison AAA Safeco
Financial strength (A.M. Best) Superior Excellent
JD Power (claims satisfaction) Below average Average
JD Power (customer satisfaction) Average Average
NAIC rating Poor Poor
The Zebra's editorial review score 3/5 3.5/5
The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey 4.6/5 N/A

Which company scores best?

Safeco


While this is a close call, Safeco etches out a victory here for their better scores from JD Power and solid financial strength. While both compnies seem to recieve higher than the average number of complaints according to the NAIC, AAA's below average claims satisfaction score brought it to second place. 


The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey

The Zebra conducted a survey to get a sense of which major car insurance providers are viewed by their customers. Safeco did not meet the criteria to be included in this survey, but you can see how customers viewed their experiences with AAA below.

AAA logo
AAA

Among the carriers on our survey, AAA ranked 13th (out of 15) with a score of 4.2. In general, the company placed near the bottom in almost every category.

  • Younger respondents had a more favorable view than older drivers
  • Best scores came in the trust category

 

The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey methodology

Findings are based on an online quantitative survey of 4,134 current U.S. auto and home insurance customers, with Census-balanced sampling by age, gender and region. Categories with n=<20 responses are considered insufficient sample size and are not reported. This survey was developed by The Zebra and executed by independent research firm Maru/Blue in 2021.


AAA vs. Safeco: discount comparison

Car insurance discounts can help you save big on your insurance premiums. Take a look at how discounts from AAA and Safeco stack up below.

AAA vs. Safeco: discount comparison
Discount comparison AAA Safeco
Good student
Multiple policies
Multiple vehicles
Anti-theft device(s)
Anti-lock brake system
Air bags
Good driver
Defensive driver
Student away at school
Driver training
Green vehicles
Affinity membership alum
Advanced purchase
Pay in full
Home owner
eSign or ePay
Telematics
New Vehicle
Annual Mileage
Military

Due to AAA's partnerships with other car insurance companies to provide policies, some of these discount options may not be available in some locations. If unsure, ask a representative about which discounts for which you may qualify. 


Telematics options: AAA vs. Safeco

AAA and Safeco both offer telematics car insurance programs that can be beneficial to certain types of drivers. Have a look at the comparison below to see if one stands out as a better option for your insurance needs.

AAA logo
AAA OnBoard

Depending on the state in which they reside, some customers may be able to sign up for OnBoard, AAA's telematics option. The company boasts savings of 15% at sign-up, with total savings of up to 30% possible for eligible drivers. However, there is no separate app at the time of writing, meaning that all participants must download the AAA mobile app.

Safeco RightTrack
Safeco RightTrack®

Safeco RightTrack® allows customers to choose either a plug-in device or an app to monitor your driving for 90 days. The company claims that safe drivers may be eligible for savings between 5 and 30%, though no savings are guaranteed.

Zebra tip: Explore both companies for telematics offerings


If you are a safe driver, the telematics options from both companies could be a great way to find savings.


Roadside assistance: AAA vs. Safeco

No one wants to be caught on the side of the road after a breakdown. Check out the different roadside assistance packages offered by both AAA and Safeco below.

AAA

Perhaps no other company is more closely associated with roadside assistance than AAA. For that reason, it's no surprise that the company has an expansive selection of options available to both members and policyholders. Below is a list of options available:

  • Jumpstarts
  • Towing
  • Fuel delivery
  • Vehicle lockout
  • flat tire service
  • Stuck vehicle services

AAA offers different levels of membership that apply to roadside assistance. Those in higher tiers are often reimbursed for larger amounts or eligible for towing for longer distances. The highest tier even offers trip interruption coverage.

 
Safeco

Safeco offers and optional roadside assistance package that is on par with most other major carriers. Roadside assistance can be requested through the company's mobile app or by calling 1-877-762-3101. Drivers who choose to add roadside assistance from Safeco can expect the following services:

  • Towing
  • Battery jump start
  • Fuel and fluids
  • Flat-tire change
  • Lock-out services
tow truck

AAA vs. Safeco: home insurance

While both companies are major providers of auto insurance, they differ for home insurance. AAA partners with many other insurers to provide homeowners coverage, allowing policyholders a wide breadth of coverage options. Safeco, however, offers only a basic homeowners package. Read more about each company's home insurance offerings in our comparison below.

AAA homeowners insurance review

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4.0 Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

As with AAA's car insurance offering, the company partners with a number of affiliated insurers to provide homeowners coverage. These companies include CSAA and Auto Club Indemnity Company. Ratings of AAA's home insurance offering are a composite of these companies in an effort to give a broad idea of what customers can expect.

  • The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey — 4.2/5: AAA ranked 14th in the overall homeowners carrier category of The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey.
  • Customer Service (J.D. Power) — Below Average: The average J.D. Power ranking of CSAA and Auto Club of Southern California Insurance group comes in just shy of the average for customer satisfaction. 
  • Financial Strength (AM Best) — Excellent: With a financial rating of “excellent,” you can rest assured AAA will be able to handle your claims.
  • Claims Satisfaction (NAIC)  Good: The average number of complaints across different branches of AAA homeowners insurance companies is fewer than average.
Learn more

Safeco homeowners review

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3.5 Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

In general, Safeco provides good homeowners insurance coverage at relatively affordable rates. The company offers all of the basic coverage types one would expect, plus additional options for valuable items and equipment breakdowns. The company tends to be among the cheapest home insurance providers, which could certainly be appealing for some. However, customer satisfaction scores remain below average, meaning that customers looking for a high level of service may be disappointed.

  • The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey — N/A: Safeco was not included in The Zebra's homeowners insurance customer survey. 
  • Customer satisfaction (J.D. Power) — Average: Safeco customers expressed average levels of satisfaction, according to J.D. Power's 2021 study. 
  • Financial strength — Excellent: Safeco's excellent financial strength — tracked by AM Best — indicates a strong ability to pay out claims.
  • NAIC rating — Poor: The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) received more complaints than average regarding Safeco in 2020.
Learn more

Which company comes out on top?

AAA


Both AAA and Safeco can pair customers with good homeowners policies. According to these reputable third-party organizations, these carriers are farily evenly matched when it comes to financial strength, but AAA received fewer customer complaints than Safeco on average. AAA's coverage suite is also more robust than Safeco's, so for these reasons, we feel that AAA wins for homeowners insurance.


AAA vs. Safeco: home insurance rate comparison

The average annual home insurance rates for AAA are $1,212. Coming in a bit higher, Safeco's average annual homeowners insurance rate is $1,236.

Your individual rates are likely to vary from one company to another. This is because companies have different methods for underwriting. Your rates are highly dependent upon both where you live and your individual profile, and each company will place a different weight upon factors such as area crime, proximity to fire-fighting services and the age of your home. For this reason, it's highly recommended that you shop for homeowners quotes from a number of different sources, as this will likely lead you to the best rate.

Cheapest average rates
Cheapest average rates

Based on the data we have available, AAA has the cheapest home insurance rates at around $101 per month.

Homeowners insurance data methodology

The homeowners insurance rates published in this guide are based on The Zebra's analysis of the cost of home insurance in every U.S. ZIP code. These rates are based on a sample user profile: a 45-year-old married homeowner living in a 2,500-square-foot single-story home built in 2011 with these coverage levels:

  • $200,000 for the dwelling
  • $20,000 for other structures
  • $100,000 for personal property
  • $100,000 for personal liability
  • $1,000 deductible

To generate pricing for particular rating factors, we adjusted the homeowner profile based on common pricing factors used by major home insurance companies. These factors include location, coverage limits, claims record and others.


AAA vs. Safeco: homeowners discount comparison

Home insurance discounts are a great way to save money on your premiums. Both companies offer such discounts, though they lack in numbers compared to similarly-sized comapnies. 

AAA VS. SAFECO: HOMEOWNERS DISCOUNT COMPARISON
Discount comparison AAA Safeco
Claims free
Recent home buyer
Multi-policy
Early signing
Newer/more durable roof
Protective devices (smoke/burglar alarms, etc...)
Paid in full
Early signing
Auto pay
Newer home

Zebra tip: Check out AAA if you are seeking home insurance discounts


Qualifying customers have a number of discounts to choose from, including discounts for being claims-free, having a newer or updated roof and protective devices However, even with extra discounts, other companies may still offer more affordable rates. 


Other insurance products and bundling options

AAA and Safeco both have options for bundling multiple policy types. Bundling policies can lead to savings in many cases. See our table below for a side-by-side comparison.

AAA VS. SAFECO: Other insurance products
Other products AAA Safeco
Boat insurance
Condo insurance
Life insurance
Homeowners insurance
Travel trailer insurance
Renters insurance
RV insurance
Motorcycle insurance
Mobile home insurance
Umbrella
Offroad vehicles and ATVs

Find the best insurance policy for your needs.

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RECENT QUESTIONS

How do i dispute a driving record with AAA

The only way you can dispute a claim on your driving history is to contact LexisNexis. That is the database that reports accidents to other companies.
Sep 21, 2018 Los Angeles, CA

I want to get my own car insurance, but my mom won't let me.

Because your mother has an umbrella policy through AAA, she is likely required to have you rated as a driver on her policy. This is a common requirement with insurance carriers who offer umbrella insurance.
Jul 21, 2022 Danville, CA

Can I get AAA roadside assistance without having insurance with them?

You should be able to purchase roadside assistance with AAA without switching your insurance coverage to AAA. Their roadside coverage is actually offered separate from their insurance policies for this specific reason.
Feb 14, 2017 Yuba City, CA

Can a bank add insurance to my loan when I already have insurance?

This sounds like a processing error. Short of that, I would say that this issue is unfortunately too specific to your policy for me to accurately advise.
Jun 4, 2019 Chino, CA

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.