Pros:I receive a good price and usually receive my cash back after price corrections.
Cons:Very old fashioned, everything has to be done by mail, no way to contact Encompass.
The Bottom Line: If you have not discovered Internet this is an okay choice, but you still won't be able to call them.
Yes, it does! In fact this is the worst experience I ever had with insurers, I have no idea how they survive consistently being among the worst on JD Power ranking! This year, allegedly, they improved, but I felt nothing.
Recommend this product?
Okay, why am I so stupid to have this insurance in the first place then? Simply because there is some little firm that made me fake insurance documents so I could pay half the price. But lets make this story more readable:
When I needed to get a car insurance, I called companies from Yellow Pages (in Massachusetts there is some kind of a stupid law that is supposed to protect small businesses and large insurers are prohibited there you have to sign with a mom-an-pop shop that will still give you a MetLife/Commerce/Encompass). Given the fact that I had zero years of experience, lived in Cambridge and had my previous insurance cancelled for non-payment
I received a quote for $1,700 that I had to pay in full. So I went to my last hope a local Slavic company owned by a woman with harsh accent who gave me an interesting quote: "Pliz kam hear ant ve vill discass zet". Well, did I have any choice?
To make a long story short I paid $900 for exactly the same insurance and received six years of driving experience (I apparently drove a car since my 16th year birthday), plus full discount for every possible thing you can imagine- alarm, alarm clock, color of the car, location, etc
The only drawback was that their last insurer dropped them for exactly the same thing and now they only had Encompass.
What Is Encompass?
Why is it so scary to have insurance from Encompass? I will start by saying that I never ever had a car accident (I am a reckless driver and have a good temper, but never hurt anyone or myself), so I have no personal experience with handling of claims. Instead I will give you some averaged idea about that. JD Power rates Encompass as 11th in the list of its Auto Insurers giving Amica the 1st place with all five stars (I hate Amica since they really go after you if you are at fault, but thats a different story). Accordingly to Power, Encompass gets overall three stars, two stars for pricing (???), three for policy offerings and four for ease of contact. This does not seem right to me at all.
I strongly disagree with those ratings. First of all, Encompass gave me best quote of all and I really enjoy paying little. After getting the insurance, I considered switching, but noone could give me a better deal.
The problems start when you want to acknowledge the fact that we now live in XXI century. Until recently there was no way to pay your bill online, only by mail (now some of the customers can do that, but not me or anyone I know could). You can now check you credit score, check card balance, or even call international... nut not pay insurance.
This old school way of doing business is extremely upsetting for me I have to travel a lot and cannot keep track of my account by calling the mom-and-pop store and asking them to call Encompass to ask how much do I need to pay! Why can't they simply make an easy to handle online system? It seems like they really oppose the very idea of client having any info about their product whatsoever.
This is where second problem starts: there is no way to get this info from Encompass itself! There is NO customer service phone number on the insurance card at all!
You have to be a subcontractor to be able to reach them. Plus, the company I received insurance from is not in the list on their website. Dont believe me? Try this link: http://www.encompassinsurance.com/consumer/cc/contact_us/default.asp this is supposed to be a "contact us" page! First of all, I do not understand why would you ever need an iNVERTED cASE oN that page??? Second, as you may see, there is no easy-to-find number to call. Why? Because they do not want you to call! They do not want to bother with customers, they prefer dealing with subcontractors.
Finally I found a number there. I called them and waited for 30 min on hold until a person picked up the phone. I gave her my number and she told me that this number does not exist. Apparently it had to be two more digits longer. Where did I get this number? FROM THE PLASTIC CARD THAT ENCOMPASS SENT ME! She advised me to contact the local Massachusetts company.
I thought that may be, I can check that online? Now way! My number did not fit into the "number" field there. I called the company and asked if it is actually for real and they really sold me Encompass insurance and not their own homemade "insurance". I was told that everything is okay and that problem like this one OFTEN happen with Encompass.
At the end I surrendered and had to simply accept that in the age of digital technologies there is no better way to pay for your insurance than by sending a check by mail and receiving all the info with huge delays by the same route. This is so pathetic.
While having Encompass Insurance is not for someone who knows how to use Internet, it is still a decent company. They always paid me back the difference accumulated over a year when my SDIP was going down, they always gave me best rates and never cancelled me without prior notice (two notices). But thats what we expect by default, right? There is nothing superior here.
I did check with my friend who was "lucky" to use Encompass services and they do handle your claims in a timely manner. He had no complains about that and everything worked well he received few extra points and had to pay for that :-) But at least they are for real he did not go to jail for not having coverage at all.
Encompass is a company that operates on a low profile and tries to cut the expenses by saving on customer services, website and any support you may want from them. Instead of using technology to save money, they try to avoid using it to save money. Apparently it still works for some rednecks who have no idea that Internet Era already occurred, but everybody else is better off with other company. I have no idea where Power found those easy to reach Encompass people, but I saw none. Having to deal with Encompass is a loss of time and post stamps and, thus, precious trees! Make our planet green, do not use letters and checks, do not use Encompass!
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