April 8

Wawanesa Car Insurance Review


Wawanesa Car Insurance - What You Need To Know

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quick highlights

Very selective. They only want drivers with great records.

Also offers home, renters, and condo insurance.

Quotes available directly from their agents by phone or on their website.

Wawanesa Car Insurance is a great bet for folks living in California, Oregon, or Canada.  

Wawanesa has been around for over 100 years.  They are a stable, long term option for all of your personal insurance needs.

They are pretty choosy about who they will insure, so if you have a good driving record, you are in luck.  

They highly prefer motorists who have no points on their license and they significantly raise rates for those with one or more points on their record. 

J.D. Power regards them as one of the best for their habit of being very transparent.

Being transparent makes me feel at ease with them.  In reviewing their website, I saw that they explain everything in great detail.  This sets them apart from the competition.

My review of Wawanesa Auto Insurance will tell you everything you need to know before you contact them for a quote.

How Does Wawanesa Car Insurance Work?

Wawanesa is only available by going to directly to their website or one of their sales agents.  

They are headquartered in San Diego, California.   

Their website is functional, allowing policyholders to pay a bill, file a claim, or get a quote online.  

Wawanesa's insurance coverage is similar to other comparable companies, as they offer basic liability coverage and full coverage policies.

Like every other car insurance company, they have a selection of optional coverages which includes:

  • Medical Payments
  • Comprehensive  (fire and theft coverage)
  • Collision
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Rental Car Payments
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury
  • Manufacturer's Replacement Parts.
Dodo Definitions

Medical Payments:

A low limit of coverage meant to provide a small amount of money that a claims adjuster can use to settle a bodily injury claim quickly.  A typically limited to $5,000 or less, medical payments coverage gets a claim closed quickly.  You can also access this money sometimes on your own policy when you are hit by another driver.  

Let's go over each available coverage option in more detail. 

Mandatory Coverage

Liability Insurance coverage is mandatory in California and Oregon.  

Wawanesa has you covered.  They have many optional limits of Liability coverage.

I would recommend buying as much liability coverage as possible.  Auto Insurance claims can be confusing and insurance companies can bargain on who was at fault, so your policy might end up paying out on a claim that was not really your fault.  

I know, its weird... Don't ask.

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Don't Make this Dodo Mistake

Watch out for this mistake!

When shopping for car insurance, get quotes with various limits of coverage.  Whatever you do, don’t go with the state mandated minimum limit.   This is a financially reckless decision.

Wawanesa is going to offer you two types of Liability protection:  bodily injury and property damage.  You will want more bodily injury coverage because it those claims can be a lot larger. 

Think about it, if you hit a pedestrian and they go to the hospital with a brain injury, how much is that going to cost?

I know its gruesome, but that is the reality of driving.   

 Let's go over what each of these Liability coverage types will do for you.

Bodily Injury

This is one of the most critical aspects of any type of coverage, as it covers the cost of any injury to another party when you are at fault.

 Bodily injury insurance is mandatory, as it is offered at a lower rate for safe drivers.

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This is mainly to cover any type of medical expenses resulting from an accident that the policyholder caused. 

It is the minimum required in many states.

Property Damage

If you hit someone's car and it needs repairs, this is the coverage that pays for it.  

Most state financial responsibility laws require car owners to carry at least a small amount of this coverage. 

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Dodo Tips

If you cause an at fault accident, the injured party can sue you personally to recover their losses if your insurance limits are not adequate.  An Umbrella Policy will give you an additional $1,000,000 or more in liability protection.  Get a quote!  

Optional Coverage

So we know about the state mandated liability insurance.  Now we can cover the optional coverage that Wawanesa will sell if you want a more robust policy.

Some optional coverage options include: 

  • Automobile medical payments
  • Comprehensive coverage for your vehicle
  • Collision coverage for your vehicle
  • Roadside assistance
  • Rental car coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsurance motorist coverage
  • Manufacturer replacement parts

Does Wawanesa Auto Insurance Offer Discounts?

Wawanesa's base line pricing is already really good for drivers who qualify, so adding their various discounts can really make your car insurance cheap.  Here are the options:

Good Driver Discount

This is one of the most common and easiest ways to receive a discount on your car insurance. 

To be eligible for this discount, you need to hold a valid driver's license for at least three years, only have one point on your license in the previous three years, and have not had a DUI in at least ten years. 

Driver Training Discount

Completing a driver training course is recommended, especially for new drivers who have had their license for under two years. 

You can receive significant discounts on your insurance payments by taking these courses and learn essential skills such as defensive driving in the process. 

Mature Driver Improvement Course Discount

When you get older, it is possible that your driving will become impaired, and you may be more likely to get into an accident. Therefore, if drivers over 55 take a refresher course, they are eligible for a discount. 

Multi-Car Discount

Own more than one car?  This discount is easy money!

Loyalty Discount

Wawanesa is in business to make money.  Business Class 101 teaches that its way less expensive to keep a customer than to try and find new ones all the time.  So this discount is meant to keep their existing customers coming back year after year. 

Comparison quotes are quick, easy, and free!

How Much Does Wawanesa Car Insurance Cost?

Like any insurance company, the Wawanesa's rates are going to vary by location.

If you live out in the middle of nowhere and there are very few cars around, your rates are going to be way lower than if you live in the middle of Los Angeles, surrounded by millions of other people.  

This section will check out the rates in each service area, California, Oregon, and Canada.

California & Oregon

If you are under the age of 40 and have a clean driving record in California and Oregon, your insurance will cost you $80/month, which could be significantly more expensive than other options, such as Geico and Progressive. 

However, if you have a speeding ticket on your record, Wawanesa is more affordable, coming in at just $81/month. 

This is much less than Geico, which charges $96/month, and Progressive charges $85/month.

If you have an accident on your record, Wawanese will charge you $103/month, which is less than Geico, which charges $113/month. 

Of course the rates vary depending on the size of your vehicle and your other individual characteristics.  


Canada's insurance rates are on par with California and Oregon, as basic coverage often costs around CAD $1505 annually. 

These rates are also similar to other insurers throughout Canada; however, Wawanesa has better rates for drivers with clean records.

What's the Cost to Add My Teenager to My Auto Policy?

Adding your teen driver to your auto policy can be daunting, as your rates are likely to increase significantly.

With Wawanesa, adding your teenager to your policy depends on many factors, such as:

  • Where you live
  • Type of car they drive
  • School grade point average
  • If they participated in driver's education training
A bear, moose and wolf are riding in a car with a white banner that says Wawanesa Car Insurance

Wawanesa Car Insurance Review

Due to California law, to add your teenager to your auto policy, they must meet the following requirements:

  • They must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Had their learner's permit for six months
  • Have practiced for at least 50 hours, ten being at night

So, the cost to add your teenager to your auto policy could cost over $1,000 extra in premiums annually.

However, this can vary greatly due to the factors mentioned above.

Pros and Cons of Wawanesa Auto Insurance Review

Wawanesa is a reputable insurance company with many benefits, especially for a clean driving record.

 However, they charge higher rates than most if you had gotten into an accident.

 Let's go over, in detail, the pros and cons of their coverage.


  • Cheaper rates for safe drivers
  • Transparent with their decision on whether or not to cover you
  • Award-Winning Customer Service

Cheaper Rates for Safe Drivers

Like many insurance companies, Wawanesa offers significantly lower rates to those with clean driving records. 

However, for Wawanesa, the discounts are extremely significant, as they offer coverage for as little as $81/month for safe drivers.

You could also receive significant rate reductions for taking a driver's education course, having multiple cars on the policy, and a loyalty discount for continuing your policy with Wawanesa consistently for a year.

Application Transparency

Wawanesa is one of the most transparent in the industry.

 They go into great detail about the coverage options offered on their website and how the application process works. 

They tell you how to get the best rates and explain options such as the good driver discount and which coverage types come with the discount.

Furthermore, they are completely transparent about what types of infractions will cause an increase in their rates. 

For example, it clearly states on their website that if you are 51% responsible for an accident, your rates will most likely increase on your policy renewal date.

Roadside Assistance

Like most insurance companies, Wawanesa offers roadside assistance with their auto policies. 

This includes emergency towing, tire changes, battery changes, and fuel assistance. 

Most importantly, their roadside assistance service is available 24/7, giving you the confidence that you're covered no matter what time you're on the road.

However, one of the hallmarks of Wawanesa's roadside assistance is their vehicle recovery services.

 If you become stuck, such as during a snowstorm, in mud, or any other type of situation, Wawanesa will be there to assist. 

Their roadside assistance is offered four times per vehicle every policy period.  That is significantly more than other car insurance companies, who would limit you to one tow per policy term.

 Furthermore, even if you do not use a company within Wawanesa's network, they will reimburse you for the tow and recovery cost.

Award-Winning Company

Wawanesa has been recognized for its achievements within the insurance industry by prestigious institutions such as J.D. Power & Automotive and was ranked as the top insurance company in California in 2013. 

In a customer satisfaction survey conducted by J.D Power, Wawanesa ranked first, ahead of second and third-place finishers, State Farm and The Hartford, as many customers have been satisfied with the price, policies, and claims. 

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  • High rates for drivers with one or more points
  • Limited service area (California, Oregon, and Canada)
  • Only pays the minimum limits required by law if an unlisted driver causes an accident

Not Recommended for Drivers with Points

Wawanesa seems to have a preferred profile of drivers that they like to insure; therefore, if you have points on your license, especially if you were at fault in an accident, Wawanesa is not recommended.

 Rates could skyrocket up to $103/month for a single-vehicle if you have one or more points on your license. 

Limited Service Area

In the United States, Wawanesa only offers coverage to drivers who reside in California and Oregon. 

Therefore, if you wander away from these two states, you may want to consider other options. However, if you live in Canada, Wawanesa offers coverage nationwide. 

Minimum Liability Coverage for Unlisted Drivers

If you let a friend drive your car and they cause an accident, Wawanesa may only pay the state mandated minimum in liability coverage.

In California, that is $15,000 per person in bodily injury.  

$30,000 per accident in bodily injury.

 And a very small amount of $5,000 in property damage coverage.

This could be problematic if your friend causes a major accident while driving your car.

What are Wawanesa Car Insurance's Financial Ratings

Wawanesa has acquired financial ratings from a variety of different institutions. 

Their parent company, The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company, is rated by the A.M. Best Company as having an "A" rating for financial strength.

This is due to their high performance each quarter and high liquidity on their balance sheet. 

They also praise Wawanesa on above-average profitability, strong relations with their shareholders and brokers, and diversity of operating locations.

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Wawanesa Car Insurance Reviews and Complaints

Wawanesa Car Insurance Reviews are quite positive overall, with just a few complaints about coverage due to points on some applicant's licenses.  

They are unusually persistent in addressing any complaints on the Better Business Bureau website.  

Most major insurers don’t take the time to handle complaints so publicly.  

I find this to be a good thing. 

 They take responsibility for their claims service and try to explain the reasoning behind a settlement.

Many customers who had clean driving records with no points praised the company for their competitive rates and great coverage.

 Furthermore, many customers praised their top-notch customer service and inexpensive premiums. 

Various Wawanesa reviews highlighted the significant discount they received with multi-car plans as well.

Many Wawanesa reviewers also had positive things to say about their claims resolution process, as it was straightforward, and customer service kept them updated on new developments.

Many complaints were from customers who had points on their license, as they stated that their rates increased significantly. 

Furthermore, there were a few complaints about their website, as some customers found it difficult to navigate.

Compare Policies

Action Item:  When comparing auto insurance companies, don’t decide based on price alone.  Get two to three quotes, then call or chat online with the company and ask about their claims process.  Does it sound easy and reliable?  You can get started comparing quotes here. 

Wawanesa Auto Insurance BBB Reviews

The Better Business Bureau is one of the most highly respected institutions when rating businesses on their performance. Wawanesa BBB reviews were subpar, coming in at 2.5 stars, as many customers stated less than ideal customer service and changing protocols that negatively affected the customer. 

Another customer stated that their policy was abruptly canceled without notification, leaving them uninsured without their knowledge. 

This seems to be a common issue with many insurance companies, so Wawanesa is not an outlier in this regard.

There were also some rather positive Wawanesa BBB reviews, such as customers praising the company for their affordability and transparency with any changes they made to their policy.

Wawanesa Review - Final Thoughts

In general, Wawanesa is comparable to similar insurance companies. They favor those with clean driving records and deny coverage to those with more than one point on their license. Their rates are low for those with clean driving records but are much more expensive than comparable insurance companies.

One of the only downsides is their limited coverage area within the United States, as it is only limited to California and Oregon. However, if you live in Canada, you can receive coverage in most provinces. 

However, if you live in any of their coverage areas and have a clean driving record and plan to remain with the company for over a year, Wawanesa is likely your best car insurance option.


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