Arbella Insurance History
Arbella Insurance Group was formed in 1988 in Quincy, Massachusetts when Kemper Insurance Group announced its intention to withdraw from the Massachusetts auto insurance market. During this time, the government of Massachusetts set car insurance rates itself, which means a new insurance provider was quickly needed for the Massachusetts market. Within 30 days, the state government had passed a key piece of legislation allowing the formation of Arbella.
In 2008, the Massachusetts commissioner of Insurance decided to end its pre-set insurance rate system, allowing the state’s insurance companies to enter a new era. For the first time since 1977, Massachusetts was allowing full competition in the private passenger auto insurance market.
Since launch, Arbella has focused on an independent agent model, where customers receive quotes through agents instead of through an online form or website. Arbella also serves as a carrier, partnering with independent insurance agencies throughout New England to write lines of commercial and personal insurance for customers.
Arbella Insurance Rankings
Arbella isn’t one of the largest car insurance companies in the United States, so it’s not ranked in J.D. Power’s nationwide rankings. However, Arbella is ranked annually for J.D. Power’s New England region. Here’s how the company scored in the latest rankings:
Overall Satisfaction: 2 out of 5
Policy Offerings: 2 out of 5
Price: 2 out of 5
Billing Process and Policy Information: 2 out of 5
Interaction with Policyholders: 3 out of 5
Claims Satisfaction: 3 out of 5
Overall, Arbella was in the bottom half of the industry for the New England region, earning a score of 2 stars out of 5. That’s the same score received by MetLife, Safeco, MAPFRE, Liberty Mutual, Travelers, and other major providers. USAA and Amica Mutual both earned a perfect 5-star rating for the New England region, with State Farm, GEICO, and Allstate receiving four stars, and Progressive, Nationwide, and The Hanover receiving three stars.
The average New England car insurance company scored 821 on the latest J.D. Power rankings for the New England region. Amica Mutual, at the top, scored 879, while The Hanover, at the bottom, scored 795. Arbella had the third-lowest score in New England, scoring 800.
In terms of financial strength, Arbella received an A- rating from A.M. Best. Typically, most major insurance companies in the United States have a grade of A, A+, or A++. An A- rating is still good, but it’s not as good as most of Arbella’s competitors.
What Makes Arbella Unique?
Arbella Insurance has several features that distinguish itself from the competition, including:
Distractology 101: Arbella offers a free driver training program called Distractology 101. It’s a mobile simulator that goes to various New England schools to educate drivers on the dangers of distracted driving.
Multiple Insurance Products: Arbella offers a range of insurance products, allowing customers to bundle various insurance products together to save money, including business, condo, identity theft, motorcycle, renters, and umbrella insurance.
Only Available in New England: Arbella is a regional-focused insurance provider. The company provides business and personal insurance in Massachusetts and Connecticut as well as business insurance in Rhode Island and New Hampshire. The company does not offer any insurance products outside of the New England region.
Is Arbella a Good Insurance Company? Our Review
Arbella has mixed to poor reviews among car insurance policyholders. The company scores poorly on recent J.D. Power rankings for the New England region, for example, ranking third-worst on the latest rankings for 2018. J.D. Power surveys thousands of policyholders to compile its rankings.
Online review websites are equally as unfavorable towards Arbella. Many online reviewers have poor personal ratings for Arbella. Many claim to have had an unsatisfactory claims experience, for example. Others complain about poor customer service.
Overall, as a smaller company, it’s hard to find objective online ratings for Arbella outside of J.D. Power’s regional rankings for New England. In their analysis, J.D. Power has few good things to say about Arbella in terms of claims satisfaction or pricing.
Arbella Auto Insurance Policies and Products
Arbella offers a standard range of auto insurance policies, products, and discounts. Here are some of the features, however, that make Arbella somewhat unique from certain competitors:
Loyalty Discount: For every year you renew your car insurance policy with Arbella, you’re entitled to a 1% discount.
Low Mileage Discount: If you drive fewer than 10,000 miles per year, then Arbella may give you a low mileage discount.
Driver Safety Course Discount: Complete a driver training course to save 5% on car insurance.
Driver Simulation Course Discount: Complete Arbella’s driver simulation course to save 7% on car insurance.
Paid in Full Discount: Save 3% per year by paying your premium in full.
Student Discounts and Other Advantages: Arbella offers good student discounts. If you are a student, have less than six years of driving experience, and maintain a ‘B’ average or higher, then you’re entitled to savings of up to 5%. Arbella also offers ‘student away discounts,’ where students away at college can save 10% on car insurance while away from home.
Arbella Insurance is a relatively new company targeting customers in New England. Although Arbella is well-known among drivers in Massachusetts, the Quincy-based company is lesser-known outside of the state. J.D. Power rankings have not been kind towards Arbella, although the company manages to offer competitively-priced car insurance quotes to drivers across Massachusetts and other New England states, with high savings (25% and higher) available to those bundling home and car insurance with Arbella.