AAA to offer auto, home insurance in Hawaii
AAA Hawaii's affiliated insurer won state approval yesterday to begin offering automobile and homeowners insurance to its 120,000 members in the islands.
AAA has provided a host of auto and travel services to its members in Hawaii since 1912, but until now it has not offered its own insurance program in the islands, said Jeff Spring, a spokesman for AAA.
Auto and homeowners' insurance products will be provided by the Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club, which is rated A+ Superior for financial stability by insurance industry analyst A.M. Best.
Spring said the company insures more than 1 million cars in California, and also provides insurance to members in Texas, New Mexico, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire.
Hawaii Insurance Commissioner J.P. Schmidt said the company has earned an outstanding reputation for customer service in California, where it was originally organized in 1912.
"It's good news when a company decides to do business in Hawaii, bringing competition and more choices for Hawaii's citizens," Schmidt said.
AAA applied to enter Hawaii's insurance market last June, Spring said.
"Most of our experience has been in California, but we are growing," he said.
AAA Hawaii had already provided services including roadside assistance, maps, travel planning and reservations; pedestrian and traffic safety programs; and financial services including consumer loans, deposit accounts and credit cards.
With yesterday's approval, Hawaii AAA members who have paid their annual $54 membership fee are eligible to be insured by the company. Nonmembers can call for a free quote, but will have to become members to sign up for insurance.
"Numerous discounts on auto insurance may be available, such as multiple vehicles, safe driver, multiple policies, and others," said AAA Hawaii Insurance Manager Quyen Le.
Homeowners insurance on a primary residence is also provided through AAA Hawaii. Discounts are extended for smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, burglar alarms, newer homes, multiple policies and more, said Le. In addition, loss assessment coverage, personal property replacement coverage and extended replacement cost coverage is available, she added.