Whether you drive a lot for business or just to go to the grocery store once a week, having car insurance to protect you in the event of an accident is essential.
In fact, most states require that drivers carry minimum liability insurance to help pay for any injuries or damages sustained in an accident. However, you may want to add more protection, which increases the cost of auto insurance.
That’s why it helps to qualify for any discounts that could bring down the cost of your car insurance premium. Costco offers auto insurance, among other insurance policies, and its warehouse club members might receive discounts on their auto premiums.
But does this mean that Costco auto insurance is a good choice for Costco members? Let’s explore the answer.
Costco auto insurance: Is it worth it?
|Our verdict: Costco’s CONNECT car insurance may be a good option for Costco members. However, if you’re not a Costco member, the savings on car insurance may not be enough to justify getting a membership.|
What is Costco?
Costco is a membership-only warehouse retailer that has locations in eight countries around the globe. The first Costco brand warehouse opened in 1983 in Seattle, Washington. Within just six years, Costco made $3 billion in sales.
Today, Costco operates 830 warehouses, the majority of which are in the United States. Costco also has locations in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Spain, Iceland, France, and China.
The wholesale retailer offers its members various goods and services at discounted prices. At Costco, members could buy high-end electronics, furniture, clothing, jewelry, tires, and groceries and get discounts on travel, insurance policies, and car loans.
The company has grown to become the fifth-largest retailer in the world. Over 111 million people paid for an annual Costco membership in 2021.
|Types of coverage||
|Where you can use it||
Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT
Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT
|Availability||44 states and Washington, D.C.|
What insurance does Costco offer?
Costco offers auto insurance through a partnership with American Family Insurance under the CONNECT brand. CONNECT insurance products are available in 44 states and Washington, D.C.
CONNECT auto coverage options
CONNECT auto insurance has the following coverages that you could include in your policy:
- Bodily injury liability: This type of liability insurance coverage covers the costs of injuries to other drivers if you have an accident where you are at fault.
- Property damage liability: This is a cost coverage for repairs or replacement of a vehicle or property if you get into an accident that is your fault.
- Collision coverage: Collision insurance covers damages to your vehicle caused by a collision with another vehicle or object.
- Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle that isn’t related to collisions, such as damage from a storm or an impact with an animal.
- Uninsured motorist: This coverage kicks in when you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver. Uninsured motorist coverage covers your injuries or property damage from an accident with a driver who doesn’t have adequate car insurance.
- Medical expense: This coverage helps pay your medical bills if you get injured in a car accident.
- Personal injury protection (PIP): This protection covers your medical expenses, lost wages, or funeral expenses regardless of who was at fault in an accident.
- Guaranteed auto protection (GAP) insurance: If you get in an accident with a new car, GAP insurance pays the difference between the current value of your vehicle and the original amount of your car loan.
- Roadside assistance & towing: This coverage provides assistance if you get a flat tire, your battery dies, you are locked out of your car, or in other situations when there is something wrong with your car.
- Rental reimbursement coverage: This insurance provides rental reimbursement that covers the cost of a rental car if your own car was damaged in an accident and is getting repaired. This coverage is different from rental car insurance, which insures a vehicle you are renting.
CONNECT auto insurance benefits
Costco members get exclusive access to Costco’s coverages since the retailer only offers auto insurance to its members. All Costco members who buy CONNECT insurance also receive:
- Glass repair deductible waiver: If accidental windshield damage could be repaired, Costco will waive the deductible you’d normally pay to repair your windshield.
- Accident travel expense coverage: This coverage helps you pay for accommodation or travel expenses if you get in an accident more than 100 miles away from home.
Costco Executive Members also receive additional benefits such as free roadside assistance. They also receive lifetime renewability that guarantees your auto insurance policy will always be renewed, even if you’ve had minor traffic violations or accidents. However, this particular perk isn’t available in Maryland or Michigan.
CONNECT products and availability
CONNECT offers more types of insurance policies, and you might be able to save money by bundling your car insurance with other insurance products it offers.
Connect offers condo, rent, and home insurance policies. It also offers umbrella insurance policies, which provide additional personal liability coverage above and beyond what your auto, home, and other insurance policies cover.
Costco’s CONNECT is available in 44 states and Washington, D.C. The six states where CONNECT isn’t available are Alaska, Louisiana, Maine, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.
Despite its broad range of coverages and availability, CONNECT doesn’t have the best track record in customer service. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), CONNECT receives higher-than-average customer complaints than other insurance companies.
Costco auto insurance: how cheap is it?
The cost of Costco auto insurance varies depending on your coverage level. However, there are several discounts to qualify for that might bring the cost down.
How to find insurance discounts
According to Costco, members who use CONNECT auto insurance save an average of $583.60 in the first year they have the insurance. CONNECT auto insurance offers discounts for safe driving and vehicle safety, including:
- Premier safety discount: This program might reward you for your safe driving habits by giving you additional discounts on your car insurance. To qualify for this discount, you need a clean driving record without traffic violations, accidents, or claims in the past four years.
- Good driver discount: Similar to the premier safety discount, this discount is available to drivers with safe driving habits. However, this discount is only offered to California-based Costco members.
- Defensive driver discount: You could earn this discount if you take a refresher driving course through your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and present a copy of completion to CONNECT.
- Vehicle safety features discount: Safety features like anti-lock brakes, airbags, automatic seatbelts, and anti-theft devices might help reduce your insurance premiums.
- Garaging discount: Costco members might receive a discount on their auto insurance premiums for parking their cars in a garage overnight, rather than leaving it outside exposed to the elements.
Additionally, CONNECT offers discounts for teen drivers who attend school, such as:
- Good student discounts: Auto insurance for teenagers tends to get expensive. If your teen is a good student, their grades could qualify them for a good student discount.
- Student away discount: If your son or daughter attends a school that is located over 100 miles from your home, you may be eligible for this discount. Your student stays on your policy and is still covered if they are home on weekends or during breaks. If your student has their own vehicle at school with them, you won’t be eligible to receive this discount.
Lastly, policyholders could save more on premiums by including more cars in their insurance coverage, having several insurance policies, or simply keeping their insurance for a while:
- Multi-car discount: Having CONNECT auto insurance policies on more than one car might give you lower auto insurance rates.
- Tenure discounts: These discounts are like an anniversary present to celebrate how many years you’ve been a CONNECT customer. These discounts depend on your state, so it’s a good idea to check if you qualify for any of them occasionally.
- Bundling discounts: You might get a discount on your insurance premiums when you buy multiple insurance policies through CONNECT. You could bundle your auto insurance with your homeowners, renters, or umbrella insurance policies.
How to maximize savings
There are various factors that affect your car insurance rates. To maximize your Costco car insurance savings through CONNECT, you may select higher deductibles on your coverage.
You could also save money by removing comprehensive and collision coverages from your policy if your vehicle’s value is too low to justify the premium you pay for these coverages. Keep in mind that you may pay high out-of-pocket costs if you get in an accident without collision coverage.
If you lease your vehicle or are still making payments, your lender may have specific requirements about how much coverage you need to have on your car insurance policy. Most states also have minimum car insurance coverages, so always check for the coverage you’re legally required to have.
How to get an insurance quote from Costco auto insurance
Learning how to get car insurance from Costco is simple since you can quickly get your quote online or by calling (855) 531-9253.
CONNECT auto insurance quote process
You don’t need to be a Costco member to request a quote, but if you like the quote you see, you have to be a Costco member or sign up for their membership because your membership number is required for buying the policy.
When applying online, after entering your zip code, you’ll be redirected to the external American Family Insurance CONNECT website. The information you will need to fill in is your:
- First name
- Last name
- Date of birth
- Email address
- Residence address (including city, state, and zip code)
- How many years you’ve lived at the residence
CONNECT automatically fills in most details from your title and registration documents. It also fills the liability limit from your current declarations page. Next, you may need to verify the vehicle you want to insure.
After that, you’d provide information that may help you get various discounts, such as education level, defensive driving course completion, and accidents and claims history. You could also add more cars to your policy for a bundling discount.
Other questions may include:
- What is the zip code of where your vehicle is kept?
- Where is this vehicle parked?
- How is this vehicle primarily used?
- Would you like to add another vehicle to your policy?
- Age first licensed in the United States?
- What vehicle do you drive most often?
- Have you had any accidents or claims in the past six years?
- Have you had any traffic violation convictions in the past six years?
- Do you have another driver?
Once you’ve completed the online application, you immediately get a quote for a six-month Costco car insurance premium. The quote is also emailed to you, and you have 60 days to act on it.
If you like the Costco auto insurance quote, you need a Costco membership to take advantage of it. All Costco CONNECT insurance products are available for members only. These memberships begin at $60 per year for Gold Star members and $120 per year for Executive memberships.
Important factors to consider
Before joining Costco just to get its car insurance, you may want to consider how much the membership costs. Compare this cost to how much money you save on the insurance policy to determine if Costco insurance is worth it.
On the other hand, if you are a current Costco member, you may want to get a quote on Costco’s auto insurance even if you're happy with your current insurance provider. You could find that you can save money on your car insurance premiums.
For example, I decided to switch when the six-month premium quote I received from Costco was almost $57 less than what I currently pay. The Costco insurance plan also offered better coverage than my current plan.
FAQs about Costco auto insurance
What is Costco's car insurance called?
Costco’s car insurance is sold under the brand name CONNECT. All policies are provided by American Family Insurance, one of the largest insurance providers in the U.S.
Is Costco car insurance available only to Costco members?
Yes, you can only get Costco’s CONNECT car insurance if you are a Costco member. However, you don’t need to be a member to get a quote from Costco to see if it offers better rates than your current insurance company.
Is CONNECT insurance a part of Costco?
CONNECT insurance is not technically part of Costco. The CONNECT brand is owned by American Family Insurance and offered to Costco members through a partnership with the warehouse club.
Costco’s CONNECT insurance offers rates that might help you save money on car insurance. However, CONNECT isn’t available in six states, and you need to be a Costco member to access it in the states where it’s available.
You don’t have to be a Costco member to get an auto insurance quote. You could go through the quote process to compare it to what the best car insurance companies offer and decide if a Costco membership is worth it.
If you are already a Costco member, you may find it beneficial to bundle your car insurance with your renters or homeowners insurance to save more on your total insurance costs. Keep in mind that CONNECT receives more-than-average customer complaints than other insurance providers.
FinanceBuzz researches a number of factors in each auto insurance provider to create our reviews. These factors include cost and discounts, complaints and customer satisfaction, coverage, and ease of use. We also gather information from sources such as J.D. Power, AM Best, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and the Better Business Bureau to ensure we provide the most useful information to our readers