Some insurance companies cover only a certain type of client. USAA, which serves only military families, is one example; it is covered in the section on Best Home Insurance Companies. Reviews say some of these niche insurers are terrific, if you qualify.
Chubb Insurance is another example; it caters to wealthy clients. "Long ago, the Chubb Corporation figured out that wealthy people would pay a little more to insure their mansions and yachts if, when it came time to collect on a claim, they were treated royally," The New York Times says in an older article. "It did not quibble over costs" when paying claims, and brokers and customers talk about how Chubb has even paid extra on some claims. "I just submitted the bills and they paid," one Chubb homeowners-insurance policyholder tells The New York Times after her Florida condo suffered $75,000 worth of storm damage. "They were as cooperative as anyone could possibly hope."
Chubb will even send appraisers to clients' homes, to make sure they're properly covered for pricey items like hand-painted tiles, bull-nosed granite countertops -- and in one case, hundred-year-old wallpaper made from elephant skin. (The appraiser said he couldn't put a value on it, as shooting elephants is restricted now, but he priced it "the same as leather wallpaper, which is very, very expensive.")
As a result, Chubb homeowners insurance policyholders rarely complain, the company gets great marks in customer surveys and it's graded high for financial strength. It gets better reviews than any other insurer that targets wealthier clients-- including Fireman's Fund, a subsidiary of Allianz, which ranks last in J.D. Power's latest customer survey. Although some publications say Chubb targets houses starting at $300,000 to $400,000, a Chubb spokesman says the company doesn't set a minimum dollar amount on the homes it insures.
We also found a few highly rated insurance companies that serve limited geographic regions. The Interinsurance Exchange of the Automobile Club of Southern California serves AAA members in southern California. Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance serves Tennessee only, and New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance accepts clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania who meet certain criteria (such as working for certain employers). All of these earn high ratings for both financial strength and customer satisfaction from multiple sources.