Bear River Mutual Insurance Company is Utah’s oldest and largest personal lines property and casualty insurance company. It was founded organized July 1, 1909, in the small town of Garland in Northern Utah. The company was initially known as Farmers Mutual Insurance Company because the company was formed to provide farmers affordable insurance. The name changed once they expanded past farmers as Bear River added auto insurance in the 1930s and homeowners insurance in the late 1950s. Since then, they have added condo, dwelling, renters, and umbrella coverages.
An important item to note, Bear River Mutual is a mutual company, not a for-profit insurance company. Meaning, if operating costs low and positive earnings are achieved the surplus amount comes back to policyholders aka you as an insured.
Throughout Bear River Mutual’s history, they have only provided insurance within Utah. So if you do not live in The Beehive State you will need to seek insurance elsewhere. Bear River’s auto policy coverages include:
- Liability – If you cause an accident, liability coverages include bodily injury coverage which will assist with the other parties’ medical expenses and property damage. Property damage covers damages caused to another vehicle or any type of property such as a fence or wall.
- Collision and Comprehensive – Collision coverage covers your vehicle if it is involved in an accident regardless of fault. Comprehensive coverage includes damages caused by vandalism, theft, or a storm.
- Uninsured Motorist – This line of coverage will help if you were injured in an accident and the at-fault driver can’t be identified, doesn’t have valid insurance, or doesn’t carry enough liability coverage.
- Personal Injury Protection – Also known as PIP, this pays the medical and hospital costs for you or your passengers when there’s an auto accident, regardless of who caused the accident.
- Rental Car Reimbursement – While your car is being repaired after a covered loss, you receive a rental with no daily expense limit. Your policy also provides coverage while driving your rental replacement vehicle.
- RV/Motor Home/Trailer – In addition to standard auto policies, they offer coverage for these types of personal recreational vehicles.
A.M. Best Review
As of March 2017, A.M Best downgraded Bear River Mutual Insurance Company from an “A” to an “A-” rating. An “A-” rating still falls under the “Excellent” category but it is an important distinction because only 10% of insurance companies qualify with an “A” or “A+” rating.
- As a not-for-profit company, Bear River Mutual is able to provide extremely competitive rates.
- Customer service scores rank higher as they are more hands-on than most insurance companies.
- Their 24/7 roadside assistance is rated extremely well because they only provide coverage within Utah. And by keeping a limited scope of coverage, they are able to build their network providers easily.
- A vast amount of local and independent agents. Bear River Mutual has been able to provide a statewide insurance company presence because of its long history and ability to focus on Utah’s most common needs.
- Only available in Utah.
- Online presence is almost nil. The ability to obtain an online quote or make policy changes online is not possible. It is possible to file a claim online through their website but the system leaves a lot to desire. You’re better off reporting a claim over the phone to make sure the information is submitted properly.
- The multi-policy discount isn’t as strong compared with larger insurance carriers.
Across all review websites, the average score for Bear River Mutual Insurance Company is 4.3 out of 5 stars. Bear River Mutual’s extremely strong score is associated with great prices and customer service. Because they only handle Utah, they are able to cater to what Utah citizens care most about. If you live in Utah and don’t plan on moving to another state, Bear River Mutual should be one of your first insurance companies to consider. Their ability to compete with the mainstream nationwide carriers speaks to their well-planned out business model.
However, if you prefer handling things online then Bear River Mutual may not be the best option for you. Bear River Mutual focuses on providing good customer service more than providing faster online services. You will need to call for sales and policy changes so this may be a deterrent for some. The same applies if you need to file a claim or contact your claims adjuster. However, speaking with your claims adjuster is typically the best means of communication. So for those who may not want a more hands-on insurance carrier, chances are you will want that extra time and effort during a claim especially if the rates are competitive.