Homeowners Insurance: Ratings of Sources
The staff of ConsumerReports.org rates 14 major home insurers. The ratings are based on the results of more than 90,000 customer surveys that focus on satisfaction with the company's estimate of damages, agent availability and speed of payment. However, unlike other products, there are no in-depth reviews of the insurers and no company is specifically recommended.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys nearly 23,000 insurance customers who hold at least one homeowner, renter or life insurance policy regarding their overall satisfaction. For homeowners and rental insurance, companies are graded on price, experience interacting with the company via an agent, phone representative or online; billing and payment, claims handling and more. While the survey provides an unbiased snapshot, it is limited to larger national and regional insurers.
J.D. Power and Associates surveyed more than 6,000 home insurance customers who filed claims between January 2013 and December 2014. Customers rate their satisfaction in the following categories: first notice of loss, service interaction, the estimation process, repair process and settlement. Once again, the survey only covers larger national and regional insurers.
Insure.com surveyed more than 3,800 customers during a three-month period regarding their overall satisfaction with their home insurance company. Specific questions focused on satisfaction with claims processing, customer service and value. Customers were also asked whether they would recommend their insurer to a friend and whether they plan to renew their policy. Financial strength ratings are provided but do not affect survey rankings. The three highest rated companies overall are singled out as People's Choice winners. The survey is limited to 15 large insurance companies.
Fletcher Wilson, the insurance contributing expert at Reviews.com, takes a thorough look at 15 major insurers, focusing on their range of coverage, available discounts, covered perils, add-on options, claims tools, payment options, online tools, customer support options, financial ratings, learning materials, mobile resources and more. The reviews are fairly detailed, but consider only what resources are offered instead of actual customer experiences. An Editors' Choice is named, as well three additional top choices. A separate article provides information on the best cheap homeowners insurance options.
Fletcher Wilson also names top companies for renters insurance. Write ups here are far briefer than the Homeowners Insurance reviews. Wilson gives an overview of each company, touching upon factors such as price, claims, online support and more.
Viewpoints.com offers lots of homeowner reviews of insurance companies, but culling helpful feedback can be a challenge. Reviews range from brief to thorough, and users can rate the company and say whether or not they recommend it. However, each company's listing also includes auto and life customers' opinions, not just homeowners. It can also be hard to gauge whether disgruntled customers who leave negative reviews are telling the whole story since insurance can be quite complex.
TopTenReviews.com ranks 13 of the nation's largest insurers in the following categories: services provided, claims & customer service, available discounts and whether additional policies (such as flood and earthquake insurance) are available. Reviews vary in length and depth, but most include enough information to tell you where a company succeeds and fails.
Similar to its coverage of homeowners insurance, TopTenReviews.com rates 10 major insurance carriers on their renters policies. Reviews again vary in length, but provide enough detail to provide a good picture of a company's pluses and minuses.
Though the Insurance Information Institute does not review or otherwise recommend specific homeowners or renters insurance companies or policies, it's home to a wealth of information that most insurance buyers will find helpful. Articles on insurance basics, buying a policy, filing a claim, and even what to do to prevent needing to file a claim in the first place can all be found.
About.com's Janet Hunt ranks major insurance companies in this article, identifying which ones are top rated in different important categories, such as customer service and satisfaction, price and value, financial strength and claims service. There is little in-depth information on the various companies listed here, though links for a few lead to more detailed reviews or to other information.
ConsumerAffairs.com is a site where users come to vent about a product, service or company that they feel has done them wrong. It's not surprising, then, that negative reviews of homeowners insurance companies overwhelm positive ones here -- even for companies that rate well overall in larger surveys and at other consumer-review sites. Still, it can be a good cautionary exercise to see the types of complaints some customers have with nearly all insurers when it comes to rates, customer service or claims.