Kemper is a major insurance brand that offers auto insurance, homeowners insurance and boat insurance, among other products. With a nationwide presence and an expansive array of personal auto insurance options — including specialty auto insurance — Kemper has developed a reputation for insuring individuals who otherwise struggle to qualify for car insurance.
However, its recent history of providing poor customer service and its uncompetitive monthly premiums make it a a less than great bet for most drivers.
In this guide, we'll take a look at Kemper Auto's strengths and weaknesses. You'll learn about the policy options you can purchase through Kemper and whether Kemper is the best auto insurance for you.
Best for FinancialSstrength
Kemper holds an A- (excellent) rating from AM Best, a credit rating agency that specializes in the insurance industry. AM Best determines a company's rating by evaluating its creditworthiness, business strategy, the state of the market it's operating in and other key factors. An excellent rating means that Kemper is unlikely to become insolvent anytime soon. For consumers, it signals that Kemper has the capacity to pay out for auto insurance claims.
Kemper Auto Insurance Pros and Cons
Like all insurance companies, Kemper Auto excels in some areas and does poorly in others. In this section, we'll take a look at Kemper's strengths and weaknesses, so you can make an informed decision when selecting your next auto insurance provider.
- Offers SR-22
- Has a range of coverage policies
- Has add-on options available
- Low customer satisfaction
- Poorly-rated mobile app
- Can be costly
Kemper is a solid choice for drivers in need of nonstandard auto insurance, which refers to special insurance offerings tailored to the needs of risky drivers. It also provides policyholders with a solid range of coverage policies and add-on offerings.
Many states require drivers who've run afoul of certain driving-related laws to file an SR-22 form, also known as a certificate of financial responsibility. For example, you may have to file an SR-22 if you've received a DUI or too many parking tickets within a certain time frame. This form confirms that you've met minimum insurance-related coverage.
Has a range of coverage policies
Kemper provides a solid lineup of insurance products that range from the commonplace to the niche, such as insurance for reconditioned vehicles, classic cars and drivers without a driver's license.
Has add-on options available
Add-on coverage options can enhance your insurance coverage and further protect you from major unexpected expenses. Gap insurance and new car replacement coverage are two popular add-ons Kemper offers.
Both of these insurance add-ons protect consumers from vehicle depreciation. Most standard auto insurance policies only pay out up to a vehicle's actual cash value, which is the amount of money you could reasonably expect to sell your car for on the open market.
Kemper has several weaknesses, including poor customer satisfaction ratings, a poorly rated mobile app and higher-than-average premium costs.
Low customer satisfaction
Perhaps the biggest drawback to using Kemper auto insurance is its bad track record with customer service. This pattern holds true across a number of review platforms and survey results.
On the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website, Kemper holds a one out of five star rating. Common complaints mention poor customer support experiences, incompetent agents, mishandled claims and weak communication efforts.
Poorly-rated mobile app
Kemper is a relative newcomer to the world of apps built for mobile devices. This comes through in the 2.4 out of five star rating held by its mobile app on the Google Play store, as well as its 1.5-star rating on the Apple App Store. App reviewers complain about poor user experiences, including nonworking payment features and difficult-to-read text. Kemper policyholders can still get service through the company's website, over the phone or in person with an agent.
Can be costly
Comparing prices can be tricky since so many variables go into determining individual car insurance premiums. However, when comparing car insurance quotes generated through a range of auto insurance companies, Kemper routinely ranks in the bottom half of insurance providers. In addition, Kemper offers only an average range of discount selections. If price is a major concern for you, use our review of the best cheap car insurance companies to find a provider that fits your needs.
Kemper Auto Insurance Plans/Offerings
Kemper offers a variety of auto insurance plans and coverage options. In this section, we'll examine four of the most commonly sought auto insurance policies. Depending on your state's laws, you may be required to purchase one or more of these policies with a minimum coverage amount.
Bodily injury and property damage liability coverage
These coverage options help to pay for damages caused when you're the at-fault driver in an accident. Bodily injury coverage will cover the medical expenses incurred by the other driver, their passengers and pedestrians.
This insurance coverage also covers injury-related costs, such as lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering and even funeral expenses. Bodily injury coverage typically won't cover you or passengers in your car.
Property damage liability coverage pays to repair or replace valuable possessions damaged by your vehicle during an at-fault accident or collision. This form of insurance covers a range of property types, including other vehicles, houses, storefronts, signs and streetlights. Property damage liability coverage will usually not cover your own vehicle.
Uninsured/Underinsured motorist coverage
These two insurance products often get lumped together. Uninsured motorist coverage protects you against drivers without insurance coverage, while underinsured motorist coverage will bridge the gap between what the other driver's insurance can cover and your total expenses.
Roughly half of all states require drivers to hold one or both types of insurance. However, even if you live in a state that does not require this insurance, you may benefit from purchasing it.
According to a 2021 Insurance Research Council study, roughly one out of every eight drivers in America is uninsured. This percentage may rise in certain locations. While you can hold an uninsured motorist legally responsible for the damages they've caused, you may not see much or any money if the uninsured motorist doesn't have a well-paying job or significant personal assets.
Collision coverage pays to repair or replace your vehicle after an accident. This coverage option kicks in regardless of who's deemed at fault. For example, your collision coverage will kick in if you hit a parked car. Most lenders will require that you purchase collision coverage during the loan period. However, if you own your car outright, the coverage will generally be optional.
With Kemper, you can also opt for the rental reimbursement add-on, which will pay for you to use a rental car while you're waiting for your car in the shop.
Comprehensive coverage will pay for damages sustained by your vehicle that aren't collision-related. Commonly covered damages include vandalism, smash and grabs, and acts of nature, such as falling tree branches, storm damage and running into animals on the road.
Like collision coverage, most lenders will require that you purchase comprehensive insurance while you're paying off your loan. However, once you own your car outright, coverage becomes optional.
Kemper Auto Insurance Pricing
Kemper Auto caters to risky customers. Since these individuals would struggle to qualify for car insurance policies elsewhere, Kemper can offer substandard rates, i.e. more expensive than those for less risky drivers. Drivers who aren't deemed at risk and who don't have special auto insurance requirements will probably find other insurers who offer better rates.
If you would like to change your auto insurance provider, check out our guide on how to switch car insurance. Keep in mind that Kemper may charge you an early cancellation fee if you decide to end your policy prematurely.
Kemper Auto Insurance Financial Stability
Financial stability refers to the health of a firm's balance sheet. Companies that are financially stable are unlikely to go insolvent or become unable to meet their financial obligations. For consumers, the financial stability of their auto insurance company matters because financially unstable companies may fail to pay out insurance claims.
AM Best recently gave Kemper an A- (excellent) rating. This means that Kemper Auto is capable of meeting its financial obligations, including claims filed by its customers.
Kemper Auto Insurance Accessibility
Like most major insurers, Kemper Auto is accessible through multiple channels. You can reach them over the phone, online, via snail mail or in person through an authorized Kemper insurance agency.
Kemper Auto scores well on availability. Unlike some other auto insurance companies, it provides an email address for customers and members of the public. Kemper also offers customer support over the phone Monday through Saturday, and policyholders can communicate with a service representative via an online chat feature.
Kemper maintains two separate mailing addresses: one for general inquiries and one for claims-related matters. You can also speak to one of Kemper's 33,500 agents and brokers in person to receive personalized advice and service. Kemper Auto operates nationwide, meaning there's likely an agent near you.
You can contact Kemper Auto through one of the following channels:
- Phone: You can reach a Kemper customer service representative by calling its toll-free line at 800-782-1020. File a claim by calling 800-353-6737.
- Email: You can email Kemper at email@example.com.
- Snail mail: Send general inquiries to P.O. Box 830189, Birmingham, AL 35283-0189. Address claims-related letters to P.O. Box 2843, Clinton, IA 52733
- Set up an in-person meeting: Find an agent through Kemper's online lookup tool. Kemper Auto operates in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Kemper also offers an online chat feature available only to existing members. Over-the-phone claim reporting is available 24/7. However, you can only reach customer service representatives between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. CST Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST on Saturdays.
Most policyholders report negative customer service and claim handling experiences according to various review websites, such as the BBB, and industry groups, such as the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and J.D. Power and Associates. On the BBB website, you can find numerous complaints, which deal mostly with unprofessional representatives, poor communication and unreturned calls.
Kemper Auto Insurance customer satisfaction
Aside from its uncompetitive rates, you might not want to use Kemper auto insurance due to its lackluster customer service performance. Evidence for Kemper's consistently poor customer satisfaction comes from three sources:
- The BBB: On the BBB website, Kemper's average user rating is one out of five stars, with 181 reviews. Common complaints include unresponsive customer service agents, unprofessional service and mishandled claims.
- The NAIC: This body monitors complaints against insurance companies. The NAIC (National Associatio of Insurance Commissioners) calculates how insurance companies stack up by dividing the company's share of complaints by its share of premiums.For example, if a company issued 10% of all auto insurance policies in the U.S. and received 10% of all complaints made against auto insurers, then it would have a score of 1, which is considered average. A company with good customer service will have a score below 1. Kemper's score is 3.6. In other words, Kemper receives 3.6 times as many complaints as the average insurance company.
- J.D. Power and Associates: This consumer research group creates annual reports on customer satisfaction with major insurance companies. In 2022, Kemper scored dead last in California, the only region in which it appeared.
Kemper Auto Insurance FAQ
Will Kemper Insurance insure you if you have a DUI?
Are Kemper's rates competitive?
Is Kemper Auto Insurance good?
How we evaluated Kemper Auto Insurance
We evaluated Kemper Auto Insurance along several metrics, including:
- Policy options
- Geographic reach
- Customer reviews
- Rankings by industry groups
- Nonstandard coverage options
- Likelihood of high-risk individuals qualifying for an insurance policy
Summary of Money's Kemper Auto Insurance Review
Kemper Auto stands out for its willingness to insure individuals who may struggle to find insurance elsewhere. The company operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., making it an accessible choice to consumers nationwide.
However, you should take into account its history of providing poor customer service and its higher-than-average prices when making a purchasing decision. Individuals with a checkered legal history or who have unique insurance needs might benefit from the service. However, most drivers will likely be better off elsewhere.
Curious about auto insurance for your business? Check out our guide to the best commercial auto insurance companies.