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      04-07-2020, 02:25 PM   #1
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Let me tell you the best and worst home insurance companies.

I have a side business in restoration mainly dealing with insurance companies. In a nut shell I'm a contractor specializing in home owners claims. After doing this for 5 short years you realize what insurance companies treat their customers well and the majority of others who go the extra mile to deny valid claims, provide little to no compensation for their loss, play the waiting game, hire "experts" who are far from objective and without merit repeatedly side with the insurance companies. The list can go on and on.

Feel free to ask questions, I'm not saying I'm a bona fide expert but I know just enough to get myself killed. (Expression in the fire dept)

(A)INSURANCE COMPANIES
AMICA
CHUBBS



(B)...... no Bs

(B-)
USAA

(C-)
LIBERTY
TRAVELERS
STATE FARM
HOMESITE (Geico)
NATIONWIDE
PROGESSIVE
THE HARTFORD
CINCINNATI


(D AND F)
METLIFE
FARMERS
Allstate
MAPFRE

*Missing from the list are many small cap insurance companies, these are hit and miss but for the most part they treat customers well. An added benefit is most small companies hire a 3rd party adjusters. This is an independent agent who initially submits an estimate of loss after their damage inspection is complete. They don't have meetings like most staff adjusters to limit/minimize estimates or out right deny a claim playing the odds that many insured will not fight the first denial.


Other then Amica, Cubbs and maybe USAA if your house burns down you will be in litigation. Now if you have the money to hold out during that time you will win eventually, receiving the proper funds to rebuild. On the other hand if you don't (like most Americans) chances are you get well below market price and your damage will be greatly underestimated.
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      04-07-2020, 07:09 PM   #2
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Here is my two cents for what it's worth. I'm a long time State farm customer, have everything with them. I heard mixed results on how they handle claims but mine has always been positive. What I have learned each person experience depends on their agent and the total book of business.

If your agent had lots of clients who make lots of claims then your experience will suck even if you never made claim before since insurance company treats all their clients the same way. Also your agent can make a difference in how the company treats you. My agent has a low claim rate and anytime we had to make a claim my agent made sure State Farm took care of our claims, since he has low claim rate State Farm wants to keep him happy.

If you just shop price when it comes insurance do not expect more than you paid for.
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      04-07-2020, 07:27 PM   #3
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Unfortunately we have only small cap companies that come and go in FL. Big insurers left after Hurricane Andrew.
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      04-07-2020, 07:37 PM   #4
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What's the methodology used here? Why is a company an 'A'? What makes a company a 'C-'? What's the sample size for each? Are there certain claim types or dollar thresholds that prove to be more problematic for the insured? Is your assessment representative of the entire country? A significant amount of context is missing.
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      04-07-2020, 08:09 PM   #5
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I have had USAA for 20 years and would not switch from them for even a 50% reduction in premiums. I have had 6-7 claims with 0 issues.

Never had a total fire loss so can't speak to that.
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      04-07-2020, 08:14 PM   #6
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How are you grading these companies? Are the lower tier ones, the ones not paying the inflated supplements?
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      04-08-2020, 05:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro View Post
Here is my two cents for what it's worth. I'm a long time State farm customer, have everything with them. I heard mixed results on how they handle claims but mine has always been positive. What I have learned each person experience depends on their agent and the total book of business.

If your agent had lots of clients who make lots of claims then your experience will suck even if you never made claim before since insurance company treats all their clients the same way. Also your agent can make a difference in how the company treats you. My agent has a low claim rate and anytime we had to make a claim my agent made sure State Farm took care of our claims, since he has low claim rate State Farm wants to keep him happy.

If you just shop price when it comes insurance do not expect more than you paid for.

This right here. I look at it like my Doctor. Get in with one you like early, develop a relationship, and they usually go out of their way to take care of you.
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      04-08-2020, 06:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmtt View Post
I look at it like my Doctor. Get in with one you like early, develop a relationship, and they usually go out of their way to take care of you.
This. I've got a great personal relationship with my agent. I have yet to have a single issue filing a claim, ever. Hell, he even helped me track down the guy that destroyed the front end of the first IS350 I owned.

Back story as it's a good one: Traveling westbound I-40. I might be slightly over the speed limit. I come up on a flat bed truck hauling boulders that were not strapped down. No other cars on the road. Without slowing down, I get in the left lane to pass. As I approach, one of the boulders falls off the back and lands directly on top of my car, front passenger headlight to be exact. Needless to say, I went from 90 to a complete dead stop in a split second. Not fun. I managed to get a picture of the truck as he drove away. No tag on the back and the only identifying numbers on the truck were from where it was used from the company that bought it new, it had been sold twice since then. My agent took care of everything. The only thing I had to do was make the call and take the car to the shop.
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      04-08-2020, 08:58 AM   #9
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USAA for about 30 years now and they’re proven again and again why they’re so respected. We’ve had several claims over the years and never had an issue. When talking to shops after an ‘incident’ they always hesitantly ask what ins do you have? When I tell them, you can see their demeanor change and say great, no problems for them either.
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      04-08-2020, 09:25 AM   #10
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Before IT I worked in insurance as a claims adjuster. I've dealt with pretty much all of the other companies out there. They are all the same. Most have adopted the same exact business practices in order to maximize profits. NONE of them really care about the customers, and the ironic thing is I found that the ones who claimed to care the most were usually the worst.

There are only 3 things that can really help you when dealing with insurance companies:

1. Read the policy/know what is covered and what options you have
2. Act in a professional manner when dealing with reps (use good negotiation techniques)
3. Document everything, and for bigger issues have a lawyer on standby

Insurance companies are counting on people not reading their policy so they can take advantage of them. Know what you can and can't do in these situations and you will be okay. There is a reason these companies make billions in profit every year, and it isn't from helping people.

Edit: I worked for one of the companies in the "C-" range of the OP.
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      04-08-2020, 07:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmtt View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro View Post
Here is my two cents for what it's worth. I'm a long time State farm customer, have everything with them. I heard mixed results on how they handle claims but mine has always been positive. What I have learned each person experience depends on their agent and the total book of business.

If your agent had lots of clients who make lots of claims then your experience will suck even if you never made claim before since insurance company treats all their clients the same way. Also your agent can make a difference in how the company treats you. My agent has a low claim rate and anytime we had to make a claim my agent made sure State Farm took care of our claims, since he has low claim rate State Farm wants to keep him happy.

If you just shop price when it comes insurance do not expect more than you paid for.

This right here. I look at it like my Doctor. Get in with one you like early, develop a relationship, and they usually go out of their way to take care of you.
My wife agrees with you, we have been with the same Dr for long time and he is a family Dr so he took care of the entire family. Now we can call him anytime and he will call in scrip without us having too come in. Saved us the co-pay.

Also wife did the samething with teacher at school, she already made sure to have good relationship with teachers and the teachers already treated our kids well, even the teachers most kids and parents otherwise hated.
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      04-08-2020, 07:22 PM   #12
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Right now State Farm is the best (for me) I change periodically but have had this now for 6 years.
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      04-08-2020, 07:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickFLM4 View Post
Unfortunately we have only small cap companies that come and go in FL. Big insurers left after Hurricane Andrew.
And I'm in Northern California. about ten air miles from the edge of Paradise, which burned to the ground in November, 2018.

Right now, the best insurer is one who will still write a policy. Many people are getting canceled.
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      04-08-2020, 08:54 PM   #14
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Ex SF fire claim specialist from 20+ years ago.

That's why I make such a great agent. You need a good agent these days.

If you are in Virginia and want to check out State Farm with a guy that has owned 3 ones series and a bunch of e30's then PM me.
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      04-09-2020, 09:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skydiver View Post
How are you grading these companies? Are the lower tier ones, the ones not paying the inflated supplements?
No they will outright deny a legitimate claim. They play the odds, if out of a 100 claims made let's say only 50% will fight back. Most people don't know what their rights are and what to do if you are denied a claim.

Other companies will submit a very low sum to complete your restoration project. Example a 50 foot piece of gutter gets destroyed, the bad graded carrier will submit 150 for a new gutter with labor. No one ( legitimate company)is taking a full crew and cutting a piece of gutter for $150.

Had a roof damaged by a tree, instead of doing the right thing and replacing the roof that adjuster told HO he can cut shingles to fit and just do a patch..... this after I submitted The manufacturer's engineering report clearly stating the existing shingles and the ones being produced today cannot be combined

These stories can go on and on


LOOK AT WHAT THE INSURANCE COMPANIES DID DURING SANDY HURRICANE! THEY COMPLETELY CHANGED ENGINEERING REPORTS TO FIT THEIR NARRATIVE
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      04-09-2020, 09:29 AM   #16
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Sometimes agents can help sometimes they actually hurt with false information. They know how to sell policies and if they are any good will make sure you don't get a cut rate policy that has very high deductibles for different perils or non recoverable depreciation.

In my dealings with agents is that they have very little knowledge in claims and adjustments. Countless times have I been told by customers that their agent said "no way will they replace this or that" and in the end the home owner was granted full replacement.
I'm to the point now I recommend they don't contact their agent and just submit the claim following the normal procedure.

Agents have helped when their carriers have dined claims to their client's.

I always make a point to ask ALLSTATE ADJUSTERS who they use for their insurance needs...I have never met one who uses ALLSTATE HA.
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      04-09-2020, 09:46 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adc100 View Post
Right now State Farm is the best (for me) I change periodically but have had this now for 6 years.
If you bust the front window on your BMW and you have full glass with State Farm, you will hire a company to fix your front shield.... you find out the replacement window they want to give you is a Chinese replica that is far less quality then dealer glass. You tell the glass place you want dealer glass installed, they will tell you your insurance has to approve it. In my experience you will have a fight on your hands. Now if you have AMICA like I did.... they ordered it and replaced it even before the insurance gave them the go ahead because they know it won't be an issue getting reimbursed.
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      04-09-2020, 09:52 AM   #18
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The best vs. the worst is all relative. It really depends on what office you are dealing with, which is why many of the comments about X company being better than Y company are useless.

I remember having two completely opposite experiences dealing with different branches within the same company on certain claims I had. I could call one branch in TX and work with extremely competent individuals and get everything done efficiently, then call another branch in IL about a similar claim and it be a nightmare. Like any other customer service business, it depends who you get on the phone, and how competent their manager/department is.
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      04-09-2020, 09:59 AM   #19
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While living in the US I had Amica for homeowners and auto. I never made a homeowners claim but they were good when we needed to make an auto claim. I think we were one of the few homes in our neighborhood that didn't receive any damage from the super storm Sandy. From what I recall they were very competitive when we bundled the two insurances. My brother had All State and they were not so great from his experience.
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      04-10-2020, 07:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infamousdiz View Post
Sometimes agents can help sometimes they actually hurt with false information. They know how to sell policies and if they are any good will make sure you don't get a cut rate policy that has very high deductibles for different perils or non recoverable depreciation.

In my dealings with agents is that they have very little knowledge in claims and adjustments. Countless times have I been told by customers that their agent said "no way will they replace this or that" and in the end the home owner was granted full replacement.
I'm to the point now I recommend they don't contact their agent and just submit the claim following the normal procedure.

Agents have helped when their carriers have dined claims to their client's.

I always make a point to ask ALLSTATE ADJUSTERS who they use for their insurance needs...I have never met one who uses ALLSTATE HA.

I'd agree with that about 95%...with the exception of agents who once were old school "out in the field" adjusters who were around when companies did it right. I fight for my clients when things go off the rails. I've gotten stuff paid that was originally denied. I will also help you read the policy to truly understand what the reason was a denial occured.

Most agents are sales guys. Nothing wrong with sales guys.

But this is too important to leave to someone who doesn't truly understand their product and is too worried about putting numbers on the board.

If you are in Virginia PM me!
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      04-10-2020, 07:54 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuckle View Post
I have had USAA for 20 years and would not switch from them for even a 50% reduction in premiums. I have had 6-7 claims with 0 issues.

Never had a total fire loss so can't speak to that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by N54Yankee View Post
USAA for about 30 years now and they’re proven again and again why they’re so respected. We’ve had several claims over the years and never had an issue. When talking to shops after an ‘incident’ they always hesitantly ask what ins do you have? When I tell them, you can see their demeanor change and say great, no problems for them either.
Also with USAA for 20+ years for home and auto. Thankfully never had a claim on home, but auto has been fantastic. We will never leave USAA for those. That said, we tried to do a refi with their mortgage team about 10 years ago. Worst. Experience. Ever.
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      04-10-2020, 08:14 AM   #22
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Another USAA member here. 5 autos and home currently on policy. Had 3 home claims and they went above and beyond what I expected. 7 months after moving into our current home we had built we had a small tornado come through and knock a tree down in backyard that hit another tree knocking it over into neighbors yard. Destroyed his fence and damaged one of his trees. We were relatively lucky and it only broke a very small piece of facia board and a corner of a gutter. USAA payed to clear all the trees, rebuild fence, replace all of our gutters on house (said they have to match so full replacement required) and painted entire house (same deal, all paint must match so they can't just paint small area). We were able to find a paint color and brand we liked more than we had and got upgraded gutters. Only cost our deductible. Had several small auto claims (never our fault) without any issues and premiums have never changed.
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