Home insurance is a very tricky business, and the home insurance company who insures your home can make or break your experience with home insurance in general. You really can’t avoid having home insurance, especially if your home is financed, but you can certainly avoid dealing with a home insurance company who will do nothing but work against you by looking at ratings for each home insurance company you consider.
Many websites offer a place for customers to talk about their experiences with insurance companies, and you can also get reviews about home insurance companies from your friends and family members. These types of reviews can be helpful, but keep in mind that they probably show a heavy bias.
By its very nature, insurance is full of red tape, and you may have minor issues with almost any insurance company when you’re making a claim, but some people are apt to blow minor issues way out of proportion. In general, every home insurance company out there gets bad personal reviews on the web, which may be due to the fact that angry people are likely to find a way to express their frustration while content customers don’t even think about rating their companies on these websites. The same goes for reviews from friends and relatives; those who have had bad experiences will probably have a lot more to say than those who have had good experiences.
These ratings can be helpful, however, if you know how to read between the lines. First of all, it’s usually easy to discern who is trying to be honest about a service they’ve received and who just wants to spout off. Take the honest concerns of customers into consideration, and you can get a picture of how an insurance company tends to deal with certain types of issues.
Another good way to get a reading on a home insurance company is to look at more impartial third party reviews. One company, J.D. Power and Associates, takes information gleaned from thousands of customers and compiles yearly ratings for many major insurance companies. These ratings don’t give you the specific stories that personal reviews might, but they give you a better overall picture of which home insurance company most often pleases its customers.
One last place to look for home insurance company reviews is on your state’s Department of Insurance web page. Every state has this department, which handles customers who feel they’re getting trampled on by their insurance companies. The most useful thing on these sites is a list of the number of complaints the department has received against different insurance companies; people don’t usually complain to the state unless they’re having major problems, so this list will give you a good idea of how competent certain providers are in your state.
Keep in mind that insurance companies can vary differently in specific local areas because agents and offices run differently, so just because your insurance provider in Connecticut was wonderful doesn’t mean that same company will be fabulous in California. To save yourself lots of headaches when making a claim, conduct a few home insurance company reviews before you buy insurance.