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Policies are sold through agencies, and the company’s website is mostly designed to inform agents and attract them to working with the company. There is some client-oriented information as well, including product and claims info.
It is interesting to note that Mendota is sometimes referred to as Mendakota Insurance on various review sites, with an address in Saint Paul listed for the company. However, calling the phone numbers provided for Mendakota will connect you with Mendota, indicating that the businesses are one in the same. Whether this confusion arose due to a typographical error or a company name change isn’t clear, but it’s something to bear in mind if you decide to do further research on the business.
Mendota Insurance specializes in non-standard auto coverage for individuals. Non-standard, or high-risk, insurance applies to people who may have difficulty obtaining insurance through other companies due to their driving history or age.
The company does not provide any additional information about its products or services, so there is not an indication of whether it offers any particularly unique packages or discounts.
In addition to auto coverage, Mendota also markets flood insurance. This insurance is actually underwritten by American Bankers Insurance Company, or ABIC, which is a subsidiary of Assurant. Similar to most flood insurance plans, coverage sold by ABIC is backed by the government.
In general, non-standard insurance companies advertise low rates for their policies, and this is true of Mendota as well, since the company references its rates (without specific figures) on several of its pages. Generally, the low cost of non-standard auto insurance is due to the very low coverage limits on the policies.
Basically, high-risk drivers can only carry bare-bones policies with low limits and often high deductibles. This type of policy tends to be inexpensive, and marketing it to lower-risk drivers is a smart way to pad a company’s risk pool while advertising low rates.
Despite the mention of its rates online, Mendota does not offer an option to obtain a quote online and offers zero examples of its rates, so you would need to speak with an agent to see the actual prices.
It should be noted that standard risk drivers will more often than not get a better rate by going with a standard carrier over a high-risk insurer.
24-hour claims service is available by calling Mendota at 800-422-0793. You can also contact your agency to file the claim that way.
Once the initial report has been filed, you’ll need to wait for the adjuster to contact you to finish the claims process, including obtaining an estimate and, if necessary, providing a written statement about the loss.
Although not accredited, there is a listing for Mendota Insurance on the Better Business Bureau website, however it is for a Miami location and not for the headquarters in Minnesota. The website gives the company a D- rating. The website shows 37 complaints in the last three years, 16 of which were closed in the last 12 months.
Consumer Affairs lists multiple negative reviews for the company, with an overall rating of one star. Many complaints are filed by claimants who did not have their claims paid after being in an accident with a Mendota driver. Other complaints cite poor customer service, long claim handling times (some taking months to resolve), and claim denials. There were only three reviews listed as 5-star.
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Some small insurance companies are hard to review because the amount of information available for them is minimal. Some raise red flags due to their high numbers of consumer complaints. Mendota is guilty of both. Between the uninformative website and large volume of complaints against the company, Mendota looks like an insurer you might be better to pass by if you can qualify for coverage through another insurer.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.