The Hartford Review: Auto Insurance
|Same insurance offering as the The Hartford AARP, but available to non-AARP members; highest pricing of all providers|
The Hartford, founded in 1810, is the oldest company we reviewed. With almost 200 years of experience, they provide a wide variety of insurance options and have offices worldwide. The Hartford has been ranked "excellent" in financial strength by several noted third party assessment companies.
During the quote process for all the auto insurance companies we reviewed, we acquired six different quotes. We utilized three different profiles: a 29-year-old, a 37-year-old and a 65-year-old, in two different cities, San Francisco, CA and Springfield, IL. All the profiles were for a single male driving a 2005 Audi Quattro with a clean record. The Hartford was substantially more expensive than the other companies we looked at. In fact, they were almost twice as expensive. If you're a member of AARP and are interested in The Hartford, we recommend getting a quote from The Hartford AARP, which was much less expensive but offers the same service and insurance.
We stepped through their online quote process. The Hartford quote form required much more information than others we reviewed, including The Hartford AARP, its sister program for AARP members. In addition to the standard questions, we were asked whether we had legal custody of children, what our highest level of education was, whether we rented or owned our residence, if our vehicle had any current damage and a number of other very specific questions. Another mark against the process was that unlike some other sites, they didn't seem able to pre-populate what sort of theft prevention devices or breaking systems came standard on the auto we entered. We were stuck trying to figure out if our car had anti-lock brakes or any disabling devices. On the positive side, they clearly asked some specific questions targeted toward offering a discount.
Overall the quoting process took a bit longer usual, mostly due to the number of somewhat extraneous questions they asked. There is also not a vast amount of help available if you have questions. The phone number appears on some of the quote pages, but not all of them, and there is no online chat or email help information displayed. The lack of readily available help is something that we found a bit odd, and out of touch with industry standards.
The Hartford pricing was the highest we saw across all the providers we reviewed. It was even substantially higher than its sister program, The Hartford AARP. A third-party survey indicated policy holders have a high claim-satisfaction level, but this seems to come with an elevated policy cost. For these reasons, we recommend The Hartford for those who don't mind paying a little extra for quality customer service, enhanced claims processing and general piece-of-mind. If you're a price-sensitive customer, you may want to consider another company.
The Hartford offers auto insurance in the following states:
All states except Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, North Dakota and South Dakota
**Based on JD Power and Associates 2009/2010 Ratings
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- The Hartford Review
Here is NextAdvisor's review of The Hartford: http://www.nextadvisor.com/auto_insurance/hartford_review.php