Which Insurance Company Is The Best?

The simple answer – The One That Pays!

But is one insurance company really better than another?  Well, consumer reports think so.  In fact you may be quite surprised to learn that your insurance company may be at the bottom of that list as one of the worst.  And likely you’re not going to find out for yourself until you have a loss and experience things for yourself.  Up until that point you probably don’t even care and are simply looking to get insurance at a good price and fulfill your mortgage company’s obligation to carry insurance for your home or property.

Let’s take a look at Consumer Reports 2018’s list of worst homeowner’s insurance companies are;

  1. Auto Club Group
  2. State Auto
  3. American Family
  4. Allstate Insurance
  5. State Farm Insurance

Does this mean if you have one of these insurance companies that you should toss your policy into the trash and go get another one?  Probably not.  Let’s take a look at JD Power’s top 10 homeowner’s insurance companies for 2018;

  1. USAA
  2. Amica Mutual
  3. Auto Club of So. Cal
  4. Cincinnati Insurance
  5. Erie Insurance
  6. State Farm
  7. Mapfre
  8. Allstate Insurance
  9. Auto Owners
  10. Farmers Insurance

Three of the worst insurance companies on Consumer Reports ratings are on the top 10 for J.D. Powers.  How in the world are you supposed to be able to trust these consumer reports and choose the best insurance company?

Likely you cannot.  While USAA and Amica share the top 2 spots on both reports, USAA limits it’s members to military or direct family of military.  Amica is a mutual insurance company and it’s costs are generally higher especially in the first year.  Quite possibly this is a “you get what you pay for” cliché.

These reports are based on criteria that quite possibly you’re not hyper-focused on.  Mainly overall customer satisfaction, attentiveness, response times, accuracy of damage payout, ease of claim’s process, etc.  Maybe you don’t care about how attentive your adjuster was and only care about the claim’s payout.  Once again, the best insurance company is the one who pays! But maybe Mrs. Jones cares most about how nice the adjuster was.  Sure, they didn’t pay everything but the adjuster sure was a sweetheart.  They sat for an hour and just chatted about the good ‘ole days.  Insurance companies can often find a way to make you feel good when they’re not paying everything that might be owed.  And thus, you walk away willing to give a very good referral when asked to do so.

When choosing an insurance company it may be good to review reports like these.  But good old fashion word of mouth often goes a long way.  Insurance companies can vary greatly from state to state.  While State Farm might be exceptional in California, they may be less favorable in Illinois.

It’s also important to know that most insurance policies are basically the same in terms of structure and wording.  Most homeowners have what is known as an HO-3 policy which provides coverage on an All Risk basis with a series of exclusions.  Therefore, since most policies are all the same or relatively the same, your experience with your insurance company is going to come down to their claim’s handling, communication, and ultimately an accurate payout so you can get your home back together again.

Therefore;

  1. Know before you buy homeowner’s insurance or renew your policy.  Put a little research into your particular state and the best ratings for where you live.
  2. Do not shop just for the best deal like most people.  Be willing to pay a couple hundred extra bucks a year to get all the coverage you need.
  3. Ask around – talk with neighbors, friends, colleagues and even internet chat rooms or comments.

You’ll be glad you made a more educated decision hopefully for a great outcome if you ever do suffer a loss that you need your insurance company to step up!

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