What is the best way to compare homeowner’s insurance companies?
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Asked June 22, 2010
Ultimately, the best way to find the right insurance company is to do some online comparisons. Get quotes and comparisons from several different sites, to give you the best idea of what the policy is going to cost. Make sure that you are comparing equal policies, as subtle differences can make a huge change in the premiums.
Independent agents can do a lot of the footwork for you. Instead of working for a single company as a captive agent, they work your the policyholder, and deal with a number of different insurance providers to get the best deal for their customers. Independent agents can customize a policy for you, putting together only the coverages you need without bloating the policy with items that you don't.
Before you get the policy, check the financial ratings of prospective insurance companies. A.M. Best is one of the more prominent insurance ratings companies, and offers a simple grade such as A- or AAA to indicate the overall financial health of the company. In the case of a natural disaster which cause many local homeowners to file claims simultaneously, this financial rating could mean the difference between getting your claim settled quickly or having the case drag out for years. Be wary of choosing a policy that could last for many years from a company that is having economic woes.
Talk to other homeowners in your community. Find out who has had successful dealings with insurance companies, and which companies are not well liked. Check with the Better Business Bureau and find out if any complaints have been filed against the insurance company, and how those complaints were resolved. Over time, any company is subject to have customers file incorrect complaints, but having a track record of resolving complaints satisfactorily can be an important factor in the kind of customer service you can expect from the company.
Answered June 22, 2010 by Anonymous