Homeowners who qualify say that they get royal treatment from Chubb, an insurer that targets high-end homes. Clients and brokers say Chubb Homeowners Insurance is willing to pay more on repair claims to make sure workmanship is top-notch, and it has even paid claims it could legally have wiggled out of. Chubb sends appraisers personally to its clients' homes to get proper values for things like hand-painted tiles, and it has been known to fly in craftsmen from Europe to repair or replace special items. Chubb customers rarely find anything to complain about, and the company gets good ratings for financial strength. For the less wealthy, USAA Homeowners Insurance (for military only) and Amica Mutual earn as much praise from their customers and financial raters.
J.D. Power and Associates and ConsumerReports.org poll thousands of homeowners about their insurance companies (including Chubb) to find out which are the best. The Better Business Bureau and National Association of Insurance Commissioners also publish customer complaint data. Best's Review magazine rates Chubb's financial strength. Articles from the Rocky Mountain News (published on ISUInsurance.com) and The New York Times describe how Chubb treats its wealthy clients.
1. J.D. Power and Associates
Chubb rates "better than most" for overall satisfaction in J.D. Power and Associates' latest homeowners insurance survey, although it rates only about average for policy offerings and pricing.
Review: 2010 National Homeowners Insurance Study, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, Oct. 5, 2010
This survey of 10,700 homeowners concentrates on how well insurance companies handle claims. Editors rank 16 companies, including Chubb, according to how many homeowners report claims problems, delayed payments or say they were paid too little for their claims.
Review: Homeowners Insurance Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, September 2009
3. Better Business Bureau
On BBB's trustworthiness scale of A+ to F, Chubb gets an A. BBB reports four customer complaints against Chubb in the past three years, all of which were resolved.
Review: BBB Reliability Report for Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Editors of Better Business Bureau
4. National Association of Insurance Commissioners
The NAIC lists only three homeowners insurance complaints upheld against Chubb by state insurance regulators in 2009, the most recent year available. NAIC's complaint index adjusts for market share, showing Chubb far below the national median for complaints.
Review: Consumer Information Source, Editors of National Association of Insurance Commissioners
5. Best's Review
The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies includes Federal Insurance Co., Great Northern Insurance Co., Pacific Indemnity Co. and Vigilant Insurance Co. -- all of which make A.M. Best's list of insurers that have topped its financial strength list for 50 or more years, and all of which currently hold Best's highest rating of A++.
Review: Standing the Test of Time, Editors of Best's Review magazine, July 2009
6. The New York Times
Chubb clients and brokers tell The New York Times how the company caters to its customers in this older article. Accounts include instances of paying some claims it could have legally wiggled out of or paying for the actual value of an item even if it were insured for less.
Review: Personal Business: A New Fight for a Rich Slice of the Insurance Pie, Joseph B. Treaster, Oct. 15, 2000
Chubb takes unusual care to make sure it covers all unique aspects of a home, this article from 2001 says. Chubb appraisers have been called upon to value elephant-skin wallpaper and timber salvaged from a fire in Yellowstone National Park.
Review: Appraising High-End Digs: Distinctive, Expensive Homes Merit a More Informed Look from Insurance Companies, John Rebchook, March 25, 2001