When it comes to insurance, they can get it for you wholesale.
Do you shop at Costco, the famed warehouse club known for selling merch in bulk—from rotisserie chicken to Kirkland shirts? As it happens, you can get more than just 12-packs of hammers and baked beans at Costco. Through its joint program with insurance company Ameriprise, you can now purchase auto, home, and even life insurance.
Buying Costco insurance is a unique opportunity that has both its benefits and drawbacks. Read on to learn how you can take advantage of Costco auto insurance and compare offers with Insurify.
Who’s eligible for Costco insurance?
In order to be eligible for Costco insurance, you must be a Costco member. Not already a member? Here are the membership fees for each tier:
|Membership Type||Annual Cost||Features|
|Gold Star||$60||Entry to all Costco stores
One card per household
|Gold Star Executive||$120||2% off qualifying Costco purchases and Costco travel purchases|
|Business||$60||Ability to add additional people to membership for an extra $60 annual fee
Memberships and all purchases qualify for resale
|Business Executive||$120||All possible membership services: 2% off select items; ability to add additional members; resale value on goods|
Costco, in this case, is merely the affinity group associated with the insurance program, not the actual insurer. That means that Costco doesn’t actually provide the insurance—Ameriprise does all of the underwriting. Costco members who decide to switch coverage to this program are eligible for further discounts (see below).
According to Ameriprise’s website, over 300,000 Costco members have their auto and home insurance covered by through this affinity program.
There are some exceptions to the rule. Costco and Ameriprise don’t offer auto insurance in the following states: Alaska, Louisiana, Maine, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Wyoming. Additionally, Tennesseans will not qualify for rate discounts through Costco auto insurance, whereas only Executive Costco members are eligible in Massachusetts.
What are the benefits of Costco insurance?
Costco offers auto, home, health, and life insurance through its affinity program with Ameriprise. Ameriprise is known for its strong (if not industry-gold-standard) rates, discounts, and coverages.
Coverage and Benefits
Costco auto insurance provides all of the standard coverage that drivers need: these include liability coverage (bodily injury and property damage), collision and comprehensive coverage, and personal injury protection. Members have the freedom to use their licensed facility of choice for auto repair.
Costco’s life insurance product is through Protective, which enjoys a positive industry reputation. However, it’s worth noting that the policy offered to Costco members through Protective is a universal life insurance policy. Universal life insurance tends to have lower premiums, but it is a form of permanent coverage with an investment savings component, so it depends on overall market stability to work.
Optional coverages that drivers can buy for their car insurance policy include:
- Roadside assistance and towing for minor roadside issues, be it a dead battery or a flat tire. Costco auto insurance covers up to $75 per incident. This coverage is automatically included for Executive members.
- Gap insurance. This coverage refers to the difference between an outstanding owned amount on a leased or loaned car and its replacement cost in the event that the vehicle is totaled.
- Rental car reimbursement insurance. Costco will pay (part of) the bill for a rental if your vehicle is undergoing repairs after an accident. Coverage extends to up to $30 a day and $900 per incident.
All Gold Star and Business members receive a $50 Costco cash card for Gold Star and Business members. Gold Star Executive and Business Executive members receive a $100 Costco cash card. Just remember to ask for this voucher, as it might take a while to get to your door:
Executive members stand to earn additional benefits, including:
- Lifetime renewability. Members who qualify for this free benefit will never see their policy canceled if you’re too risky of a driver. However, this doesn’t mean your rates won’t increase after an accident. Moreover, you’ll also risk cancellation after a more serious incident such as a DUI —so it still behooves you to drive as safely as possible.
This feature is not available to you if you:
- Have any major violations on your record
- Fail to pay your insurance premium
- Can’t provide necessary documentation
- Buy a vehicle that is uninsurable
- Live in Maryland or Michigan
- Move to a state where Ameriprise insurance is unavailable
- Reimbursement for home glass repair. In the event that a window in your home has broken or shattered, Costco insurance will cover the cost up to $1,000, allowing for up to two claims within a year.
- Home lockout assistance. It’s all in the name. Costco insurance will cover the bill for up to $100 in locksmith services (per occurrence, allowing for up to two claims within a year).
Overall, Costco boasts that members who saved on their policy save an average of around $575 the first year of their switch.
All members get 5 to 10 percent off Ameriprise’s standard rate. This will reduce one’s auto insurance quote by a few dollars, but of note is that this discount is about the same price (or more!) than a Costco membership.
Discounts available to Costco car insurance policyholders include, but are not limited to:
- Safe driving discount. If you can demonstrate an excellent driving record, you may qualify for a safe driver discount from Costco. Three-plus years of driving without an accident may unlock you a discount. Taking a defensive driving course might qualify you, too.
- Safety feature discount. Depending on the safety elements of your car, you might be eligible for a safety feature discount. Modern security devices like anti-theft alarms and regulation safety features such as airbags will ensure that your car is eligible for a discounted rate.
- Student discount. You and other members of your policy have the potential to score big under this type of discount. If you or anyone else in your family has finished four years of postsecondary education, Ameriprise will lower your rates. The same goes for any full-time student under the age of 25 with at least a B average, and families of car-less students living outside a 100-mile radius from the homestead.
- Bundling discount. This discount refers to policyholders who purchase more than one insurance policy from Ameriprise. These customers are eligible for a reduced rate across the board for any type of bundle: auto plus home, auto plus home plus life, or multiple vehicles on an auto policy.
- Longevity discount. If you stick it out with Costco car insurance for three years, you’ll get a longevity discount to your premium as thanks for your customer loyalty.
How much does Costco insurance cost?
Because Costco members save 5 to 10 percent on an Ameriprise policy, it could very well work in your favor to buy your insurance through Costco rather than directly from Ameriprise—even if that requires signing up for a new Costco membership.
How do you know you’re getting the best deal for your driver profile and specific needs? Costco insurance will cost different amounts for each policyholder, but typically, Ameriprise offers competitive rates.
Let’s investigate. The following quote from Ameriprise corresponds to the following driver profile: male; single; 36 years old; living in Chandler, Arizona; driving a 2016 Acura ILX; has no kids who drive; owns a home; has a clean driving record.
Ameriprise offers this quote in the form of a 6-month total premium.
The data scientists at Insurify then compared auto insurance quotes for the same driver profile using Insurify’s quick quote comparison flow:
For this driver profile, Ameriprise proved to be among the cheapest deal for a 6-month policy period! However, each driver profile is different, so it’s important to keep in mind which elements of your driver history and personal life might impact your rates.
You may very well unlock some savings on your current premium while switching to Costco auto insurance, but you can’t be sure if it’s the absolute best option for you unless you do some online car insurance quote comparison of your own.
How do I get Costco insurance?
If you’re a Costco member considering switching over to Costco’s coverage through Ameriprise, there are only two things you have to do next:
- Get a quote from Costco. Click here to see if you qualify for a Costco car insurance policy and see what rates Ameriprise will offer you.
- Compare your quote with top insurance companies with Insurify.
Insurify can help you contextualize your quote from Costco and compare your quote with others from dozens of top-ranked insurance companies. Through comprehensive auto insurance quote comparison, you’ll be able to see, in real time, if your driving profile and needs can lead to a better quote than what Costco can offer.
Insurify’s intuitive flow will guide you through the steps to unlock discounts and specify the elements of your risk profile. You can unlock savings opportunities and bundle packages for which you’re eligible, all in a matter of a few minutes.
Once you get 5-7 quotes from top insurance companies, you’ll be able to compare available rates to that of Costco’s. You’ll then know that you’re getting the best value based on your needs and risk profile.
How well will Costco insurance file my claims?
Suppose you go with Costco insurance after you’ve compared quotes and found the best coverage for you. Since Costco car insurance, as well as its other coverage packages, is underwritten by Ameriprise, it’s the latter company’s customer service that you’ll be relying on every step of the way.
In terms of Ameriprise’s financial reliability, you should be able to rest easy. Ameriprise itself is noted for its stability. A.M. Best, the foremost credit rating agency for the insurance industry, has given the company an “Excellent” rating. You should have no problem with your claims being paid.
Furthermore, Ameriprise has an Insurify Composite Score of 79. The Insurify Composite Score, measured out of 100, is calculated by analyzing multiple factors that indicate the quality, reliability, and health of an insurance company. Rankings from A.M. Best as well as financial strength ratings from Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch are all taken into account for these ratings. The Insurify Composite Score also weighs J.D. Power ratings, Consumer Reports customer satisfaction surveys, mobile app reviews, and user reviews. Overall, Ameriprise’s score of 79 can be seen as average to above average in terms of industry standards.
So, what are customers saying about Costco insurance? Several real-life customers have been quite positive about their claims experiences with Ameriprise:
What’s more variable is Ameriprise’s customer service record.
Several customers have commented on Ameriprise’s slower-than-average claims processing and lack of responsiveness. Notably, the company has a sizeable number of poor reviews on its Better Business Bureau profile. Typically, customers will complain about the amount of payment they receive after filing a claim and how long Ameriprise took to pay out these claims.
Is Costco auto insurance right for you? Here’s our assessment:
- Its coverage and discount options might be very appealing to current and prospective Costco members looking for unique insurance perks.
- Costco car insurance will likely cost about the same as your current premium, depending on your driver profile and needs.
- Comparing auto insurance quotes and then assessing these against your quote from Costco will give you a fair idea of just how much you can be saving on your policy.
Happy shopping…shopping in bulk, that is.