Kemper Auto Insurance History
Kemper Direct Auto and Home Insurance is a direct to consumer car insurance company that traces its history back to the year 2000 when Unitrin, Inc. founded an insurance company called Unitrin Direct. In 2002, Unitrin Direct acquired eKemper, then combined the business under Unitrin Direct. It wasn’t until 2011, however, that Unitrin officially began operating under the name Kemper Corporation. By 2012, Unitrin Direct was operating as Kemper Direct.
Today, Kemper Corporation is a publicly traded company (NYSE:KMPR), and Kemper Direct continues to sell car insurance to customers across the country. After acquiring Infinity Insurance in 2018, much of Kemper Direct’s business has been combined with Infinity Insurance. Today, Kemper seems to be moving the Infinity Insurance brand forward under the name Kemper Auto / Infinity. However, it’s possible that the Infinity Insurance name will be removed entirely in the near future.
Although headquartered in Chicago, Kemper Direct also has offices in Carlsbad, Scranton, Plymouth Meeting, Chattanooga, and Tampa. Today, the company is known for offering competitively-priced premiums, strong benefits, and special features for certain demographics.
Kemper car insurance actually consists of three separate companies, including Kemper Preferred, Kemper Direct, and Kemper Specialty. The three companies operate independently of one another but all exist under the Kemper umbrella. Kemper also owns four other insurance companies, including Infinity Insurance, Alliance United Insurance, Unitrin Auto Insurance, and Financial Indemnity Company.
Kemper Auto Insurance Rankings
Kemper is a middle-of-the-road car insurance company in most categories. The company ranks about average with its competitors across the United States.
Since Kemper isn’t one of the largest auto insurance companies in the United States, the company isn’t ranked by J.D. Power, which typically ranks insurers based on claims satisfaction and other metrics.
However, financial strength rating agency A.M. Best has ranked Kemper Financial. The company received an “A-” or “Excellent” rating in January 2019, indicating that Kemper Financial and its subsidiaries like Kemper Auto Insurance should have no issue paying their liabilities.
What Makes Kemper Auto Insurance Unique?
Kemper offers many of the same car insurance policies and features as other major insurers across the United States. Some of the features that make this company unique include:
Only Available Through Insurance Agents: One thing that immediately distinguishes Kemper from its competitors is that quotes are not available online or over the phone. You cannot buy coverage directly from the company. You must work through one of Kemper’s independent car insurance agents. However, customers can still log into their accounts online and manage their claims easily. You can make a claim through your Kemper insurance agent or through the 24/7 online claim processing form.
Multiple Kemper Companies: Kemper has three core divisions, including Kemper Direct (which sells online-only insurance policies direct to consumers without using insurance agents), Kemper Specialty (which sells specialty car insurance in California and other states to high-risk or specialty drivers), and Kemper Preferred (which sells ordinary car insurance premiums through a network of insurance agents nationwide).
Competitive Pricing: Generally, Kemper is known for offering competitive pricing on its premiums. Most studies indicate that Kemper’s premiums are slightly lower than the average. However, due to the fact that Kemper consists of multiple insurance companies, rates vary widely across demographics and states.
Family-Oriented Discounts: Many of Kemper’s discounts revolve around families, including good student discounts, home insurance bundling discounts, and multi-policy discounts, making this company one of the best options for families.
Is Kemper a Good Car Insurance Company? Our Review
Kemper offers a wide range of insurance products through its family of insurance companies, including Kemper Preferred and Kemper Direct. Generally, the company is known for offering competitive prices on car insurance premiums. However, Kemper has poor to average claims satisfaction ratings overall.
It’s also important to note that while Kemper charges low rates to certain demographics, other demographics pay much higher rates. For example, Kemper is particularly popular among families who can access discounts for home/auto insurance bundling and good student discounts, but it’s more expensive for single adults, retirees, and others.
Your experience with Kemper will vary based on the number of discounts for which you qualify. For example, families with multiple students earning good grades will pay much cheaper rates with Kemper than a single adult. Families bundling home and auto insurance policies together can qualify for even further discounts. Other discounts are available for driver safety classes, students away at college, and more.
If you’re getting car insurance through Kemper Preferred, then you will only be able to purchase insurance through the company’s network of independent car insurance agents. You cannot buy coverage online or over the phone. However, you can buy Kemper Direct through the company’s online-only comparison form. And, since Kemper recently acquired Infinity Insurance, you can still request a quote through the Infinity Insurance website to get a Kemper auto insurance quote.
Overall, Kemper offers a standard range of car insurance products available at discount prices for certain drivers and higher prices for other drivers.
Kemper Auto Insurance Policies and Products
Kemper Insurance offers a standard set of auto insurance coverage options along with a few additional options. Some of the features that make Kemper car insurance policies unique include:
Kemper Total: Kemper Total bundles multiple benefits for new car owners together into one convenient package. Kemper Total includes new car replacement (even if your vehicle is more than one year old) and increased rental car allotment while your vehicle is being repaired, among other features.
Parked Auto Protection: Kemper has a feature we don’t see with many other insurance companies. If your car is parked and unoccupied and struck by another vehicle, then your collision deductible is waived through the Kemper Parked Auto protection system.
Car Insurance Discounts: Kemper offers a range of discounts available to policyholders, including many of the same standard discounts seen with other providers. There are discounts for students away at school, for example, students achieving good grades, car safety features (anti-lock brakes, anti-theft device, etc.), multi-policy discounts, home and auto insurance discounts, and more.
Standard Coverage Options: Kemper offers a range of standard coverage options for car insurance policyholders, including liability (bodily injury and property damage), uninsured motorist, collision, comprehensive, and roadside assistance coverage.
The Kemper family includes three separate brands, including Kemper Direct, Kemper Specialty, and Kemper Preferred. The three companies operate independently of one another, and pricing and plans vary widely between companies. Typically, Kemper Direct and Kemper Preferred are the two companies people refer to when buying Kemper insurance. Since the acquisition of Infinity Insurance in 2018, however, many Infinity customers have been added to the Kemper as part of the “Kemper Auto / Infinity” name.