View Full Version : Who's the best home owner's insurance company?

2009-06-12, 17:43
USAA is who I use for most things but they won't cover any homes in my area at all. Seems they are protesting those of us who live by the seas.

So who's a good company that I should look at? I'm really hoping for personal experience rather than a report from Consumer Reports or some news caster. The home is not in a flood zone so I don't plan on flood insurance, though I haven't ruled that out.

One thing please, don't solicit me personally here. I will only go with a local agent based on referrals from friends here locally, I just want to work with a good company. Thanks!

2009-06-16, 02:01
Wow, ask for an opinion on the web and get no response. :confused:

I am on AppleNova aren't I? :p

2009-06-16, 02:07
These threads pop up from time to time. They always end the same way. Everyone recommends someone they've had a good experience with. Someone else comes in and posts a horror story about whoever someone had a good experience with.

Rinse, repeat.

Check Angie's list. :)

2009-06-16, 02:17
Never heard of that site. Thanks, I'll check it out.

2009-06-16, 04:59
There's no such thing as a good insurance company. Pick a rich, well run, well financed one. Read your policy and figure out the details when you buy it. From then on, keep your head down, make your payments and keep your credit clean. DON'T contact them, even to ask questions, unless absolutely necessary, ie, change of terms - remodel, new additions, renters, etc...

If you call them for every little niggle -- rain damage, cosmetic stuff, broken windows -- they will drop you as soon as state regs allow, usually 30-60 days notice prior to yearly expiry. If you call them asking too many questions about niggling things, they will get suspicious, check your credit, which is illegal in some places (so then they get their brokers to do it) and otherwise find a way to screen you out. You will still get a notice, " sorry we cannot renew your policy at this time..."

Pay it, but never, ever use it. Every year you're betting them that the place is going to be destroyed, when it's not, they win an you get to play again next year. If it ever happens, you win, but now you have to try to collect. Having a "clean" history, a well financed company, good records, and a competent lawyer (just in case) all help your prospects of recovering a fair value for damages.

2009-06-16, 07:34
Sadly, that's why I hate insurance. If I'm paying for it, shouldn't I use it? Your last paragraph actually sums it up better than I've seen before.

I guess my question is more geared for the fact that I live on the coast and am "prone" to hurricane damage. I'm hoping for a company that handles claims like that well in major destruction situations for multiple houses in a major event.

2009-06-16, 07:44
Depends on what you are trying to accomplish. I think Chubb is best but they are expensive. But their claims process is very fair. Stay clear of Allstate.

2009-06-16, 08:02
I love Liberty Mutual. I have home, auto & life through them. I've only had to use the auto portion of my policy to date, but they've done well by me.

In '97, I was driving my Mitsubishi Precis (rebadged Hyundai Excel) and hit a deer on the highway. Car was totaled. After the deductible, I was paid hundreds more than I paid for the car in '93. The best part is since animal hits are covered under comprehensive, my rates didn't budge.

A few years later, the car I replaced my Precis with had a tree fall on it. Not too much damage, but it did mess up the trunk a bit. I had to pay a $500 deductible on the repair, but again, the rest was covered under comprehensive and again, my rates didn't go up.

I've called Liberty Mutual up twice with questions and unsolicited, the operator offered to go over all of my policies. Both times I ended paying less than I had before the phone call. Remember, this was the company's operator offering me discounts unsolicited (I had called for something completely different).

Basically, Liberty Mutual's excellent customer service and no nonsense handling of my two claims have made me a happy customer.