Costco car insurance: How does it work?

Costco members can get a discount on Ameriprise car insurance when they purchase coverage through the wholesale store

Anna Swartz 1600

Anna Swartz

Published January 21, 2020

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Costco doesn’t sell its own car insurance, but it does offer Costco members a discount on car insurance through its partner, Ameriprise

  • Car insurance one of several financial products that Costco offers its members at a discount

  • However, even with the Costco savings applied, Ameriprise might not be the best deal on car insurance, so you should still shop around and compare quotes from other carriers

If you belong to the membership-only “warehouse club” Costco, you probably already know that they offer much more than the bulk items on sale in their brick-and-mortar stores.

In addition to the wholesale goods sold in Costco stores, Costco members also have access to a wide range of discounts on everything from vision insurance to RVs to travel. As one of its membership perks, Costco also offers auto and home insurance through Ameriprise, a recent subsidiary of American Family Insurance.

So when you buy Costco car insurance, you’re actually buying an insurance policy from Ameriprise with special savings for Costco members. Costco is acting as the agent, but not the insurance carrier. With that out of the way — should you buy your car insurance through Costco? The answer is, as is often the case with car insurance, it depends.

In this article:

Does Costco do car insurance?

The answer is, no, not on their own. Costco doesn’t sell car insurance, but it does offer members a discount on car insurance through a partner company.

If you look online at the members-only services offered by Costco, you’ll see a list of various financial products from companies that offer discounts to Costco members. Auto and home insurance are a couple of these products.

Selecting auto and home insurance on the Costco website takes members to the Ameriprise website, where you can apply for auto insurance through the regular process. Costco members will receive a quote from Ameriprise, with a special Costco membership discount applied to the quoted premium.

In addition to discounted car insurance from Ameriprise, Costco members also qualify for the Costco Auto Program, which offers discounts on car parts, services and auto servicing through local service centers that partner with Costco. The Costco auto program can also offer car-buying deals to Costco members by partnering with Costco-approved car dealerships. Like with car insurance, Costco is just the middleman for its auto program, there to connect you with service centers and car dealers.

What kind of insurance does Costco offer?

As we mentioned above, Costco doesn’t underwrite any insurance products itself, but your Costco membership does earn you a discount on various insurance policies from its partner providers.

In addition to a car insurance policy, you can apply for Ameriprise home insurance as a Costco member. Costco members also get special deals on dental plans through DeltaCare, life insurance through Protective Life and vision insurance for businesses through MESVision.

Is Ameriprise car insurance good?

Costco directs its members to Ameriprise, a car insurance company backed by American Family Insurance. In addition to homeowners and auto insurance, Ameriprise offers renters insurance, landlord insurance, umbrella insurance and speciality insurance for ATVs, motorcycles, RVs, boats and classic cars.

Ameriprise auto insurance offers the standard components of car insurance you’ll find with any major carrier. Remember, a car insurance policy is made up of multiple types of coverage that all offer you different types of protection — a typical full coverage policy includes the following:

Coverage TypeWhat It Does
Bodily injury liabilityThe part of your liability coverage that pays for medical bills if you've injured someone in an accident
Property damage liabilityThe other part of liability coverage, covers the cost of property damage you've caused in an accident
Personal injury protectionCovers medical expenses for you or your passengers after an accident
Uninsured/underinsured motoristCovers the costs if you're in an accident caused by a driver with little or no car insurance
ComprehensiveCovers damage to your car that happens when you're not driving
CollisionCovers damage to your car after a car accident, no matter who was at fault

As for how Ameriprise is rated by its actual customers, Ameriprise earned a reader score of 79 out of a possible 100 from Consumer Reports, which aggregated information from 90,352 of its readers based on their experiences with their car insurance companies.

Ameriprise’s reader score of 79 was middling — customers rated it “very good” when it comes to claim satisfaction and customer service and just “good” in the categories of price, help and advice and the thoroughness of the policy options.

The best way to get a sense of whether or not an insurance carrier is right for you is to read reviews of different companies and consider your priorities.

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Is Costco car insurance cheaper?

The cost of car insurance varies depending on a number of factors, like your age, ZIP code, credit score, driving history and the make and model of vehicle you drive. Because of that, it’s difficult to predict what any given person might pay for car insurance.

However, to get an idea of what an Ameriprise car insurance policy might cost with the Costco membership savings applied, we ran a quote for a sample driver. Our driver was a single, 30-year-old woman in Minneapolis, Minnesota who drives a 2014 Toyota Camry. With her Costco discount, Ameriprise quoted her $816.50 for a six-month premium. Let’s take a look at the details of the policy:

Basic CoveragesPolicy Limits
Bodily injury liability$100,000 each person, $300,000 each accident
Property damage liability$50,000 each accident
Personal injury protection$40,000 each person
Uninsured/underinsured motorists bodily injury$50,000 each person, $100,000 each accident
Comprehensive$500 deductible
Collision$500 deductible
Rental car reimbursement$30 per day, $900 maximum

Remember, car insurance prices can vary widely from company-to-company. It’s possible that, even with the savings from a Costco membership discount, your Ameriprise quote might be higher than an insurance quote from a different car insurance company.

That’s why it’s important to shop around and compare prices when you’re looking for car insurance coverage. An independent agent can help you compare quotes from multiple car insurance companies and choose the best policy for you.

Insurance Expert

Anna Swartz

Insurance Expert

Anna Swartz is a Managing Editor at Policygenius in New York City, and an expert in auto insurance. Previously, she was a senior staff writer at Mic, writing about news and culture. Her work has appeared in The Dodo, AOL, HuffPost, Salon and Heeb.

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

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