I recall seeing a thread way back about this topic, but couldn't find it. Anyway, what companies are you using for your homeowner's insurance? I'm looking for a reputable company with great rates. Any assistance is appreciated. Thanks.
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posted: Apr. 16, 2013 @ 6:24a
People keep making the same mistake over and over again in thinking that the fact that an insurance company has offered a competitive quote to a person suggests that they should be competitive for them as well. It does not work like that and never has.
This is not to say that it's impossible to make some general observations regarding some of the companies and their business models. For instance, Esurance is a company that generally targets younger and less affluent clientele. Some of the other insurance companies that have been mentioned in other threads, such as Geico and Progressive, while being SUBSTANTIALLY larger, generally target higher risk non-standard drivers: young drivers, old drivers, drivers with a history of DUI's, accidents, etc... This generally means that their pricing structure is geared towards offering more advantageous terms to those. On the other hand, they tend not to handle the ultra-preferred market particularly well, which tends to be reflected by their pricing and product offerings (Esurance does not offer homeowners' insurance or umbrella -- they broker all homeowners' insurance quotes to Safeco and Security First and all umbrella insurance business goes elsewhere; Geico is an auto insurance company and also does not offer homeowners' policies -- they broker that business on to other companies).
If you fall in the ultra-preferred category, rather than the non-standard category that companies like Esurance, Geico and Progressive generally target, there tend to be much better companies both in terms of pricing and policy offerings. Liberty Mutual, for instance, tends to be very attractive to multi-car households with married drivers, homeowners, college education, high credit scores and excellent driving records (in some states some of this criteria doesn't apply or has limited applicability). Travelers is another carrier that tends to fall in this category -- there is a reason that it has captured a gigantic share of the umbrella insurance market out there. SafeCo, a Liberty Mutual owned company, tends to also appeal to this market segment. Esurance actually sends its homeowner's insurance business to SafeCo (and to Security First), which is kind of funny considering the fact that Esurance is owned by Allstate but SafeCo is owned by Liberty Mutual.
Then there's a company like Chubb, which tends to target the high end market (they offer policy provisions and features that other companies don't, which tend to be attractive for high end cars, expensive houses, etc...). Chubb's philosophy is that they'll never win if price is the only consideration but if you require a higher level of protection (at least in terms of their contractual features) than what can be offered by other companies, they can offer very attractive policies... they won't be cheap though.
Even the above generalizations, while accurate, tend to have lots and lots of exceptions. Some insurance companies are a lot more competitive in some states but not in others. It tends to get even more granular than that, as some companies are much more competitive in certain zip codes, tend to offer better pricing on certain types of cars, and just generally tend to emphasize certain specific factors.
Hence, the reason that all these posts saying "hey, I've got a great quote from company X; give them a try," while certainly well intentioned, are not going to do people any good.
posted: Apr. 16, 2013 @ 7:02a
I use Amica. Initially it was because they were rated high in consumer reports. I've had them a while and they are excellent to work with. After 10 years, there has only been one claim and they were great to work with. They adjusted the claim amount based on the rising costs of building materials. I mentioned it briefly and they were already aware of the pricing of roofing materials had risen. They also send a rebate after you pay to renew for the next year. The insurance rate is competitive when you consider the rebate.
posted: Apr. 16, 2013 @ 7:06a
For home owners and car insurance we use State Farm.No problems, so far.
Senior Member - 7K
posted: Apr. 16, 2013 @ 7:47a
What you should do is get your rate quotes and then investigate the standing of the company by using:
This information has been very helpful- basically, I'm trying to compile a list of companies to contact and see what they offer. Now I know not to waste my time with Esurance, Geico, and Progressive, thanks to geo123.
posted: Apr. 16, 2013 @ 2:27p
statefarm is reasonable for me but i have a huge list of discounts for having multiple types of policies with them. I deal with my local agent who has excellent customer service.
My boss has statefarm and had damage to her roof after a storm a few years ago, she had no problems with the claim and getting it repaired in a timely manner. My neighbor has farmers. A tree fell on his house last year and he was stuck with a tarp for over a month waiting on the insurance company.
posted: Apr. 16, 2013 @ 2:29p
Senior Member - 1K
posted: Apr. 16, 2013 @ 3:03p
Chubb. For the amount and type of coverage we were considering, Chubb was roughly the same price as other insurers. Since the willingness to actually pay a claim can be even more important that the cost of the premium, I would have selected Chubb even if their coverage was modestly more expensive than other insurers that we have used previously.
For lower total amounts of coverage, Chubb is probably more expensive than other insurers.
I just got Amica and they were surprisingly cheap for my house. I used Selective and they sucked. They're a big company, that lets small companies use them under a different name, so it's moderately confusing, and the smaller company ended up filing a claim by mistake etc. Just not a pleasant experience.
posted: Apr. 16, 2013 @ 4:27p
I have State Farm for everything. Generally speaking, I found the biggest cost savings come not from having the cheapest company, but rather having all my policies (2 cars, homeowner's, personal property, liability umbrella) at one company.
I previously was with USAA which was competitive with State Farm for everything but homeowner's for which they were double ($600 vs $1200/year). I talked to a few other friends and relatives who also said that USAA generally is quite a bit less price-competitive on HO and despite pushing pretty hard as an existing customer to have them get closer to State Farm's rate, they would not come down at all on the $1200/year.
Happy with both companies, but then again I've never made a claim (so I guess they are happy with me too).
posted: Apr. 16, 2013 @ 4:45p
johnnybs said: This information has been very helpful- basically, I'm trying to compile a list of companies to contact and see what they offer. Now I know not to waste my time with Esurance, Geico, and Progressive, thanks to geo123.
I just did some shopping and got a very good quote from Esurance. I fall in the "multi-car households with married drivers, homeowners, college education, high credit scores and excellent driving records" category. They did send me to SafeCo for homeowners. I was denied due to being on a slab (huh?), so I have homeowners elsewhere for a small savings over what I had (Allstate).
posted: Apr. 16, 2013 @ 4:47p
liegelr said: I talked to a few other friends and relatives who also said that USAA generally is quite a bit less price-competitive on HO...Just as I mentioned in the first post in this thread, it depends on where you are, the type of house that you have, etc... Hence, the reason that these types of statements just don't make any sense.
...and despite pushing pretty hard as an existing customer to have them get closer to State Farm's rate, they would not come down at all on the $1200/year.Homeowner's and auto insurance rates are regulated in almost every state if not every state. In other words, agents/representatives do not have the discretion to offer you retention deals and the like. So, don't waste your time asking P&C insurance companies to rate match a competitor.
What people need to realize, however, is that P&C carriers are constantly tinkering with their rate structures, as they respond to market conditions, their loss ratios, etc... So, it can help to call your current carrier to ask if they have another program that they could put you into that can save you money. In another words, at the time of the application you might be put in rate class Y. A year later, customers with the same exact insurance profile as yours might be put in rate class Z, which might be cheaper, but the insurance company won't volunteer this information until and unless they are asked.
By the way, with a number of carriers out there the way that you apply for their coverage also makes a difference in your premium. With many companies, applying through a small agency that doesn't bring all that much business to the carrier will cause your quotes to be slightly higher than if you were to apply through a gigantic agency that does a ton of business with that carrier. Further, a number of insurance carriers offer affinity discounts, so be sure to investigate those before you apply.
You input a few variables and it will give you a table of sample Rates, Business Rating, the "Form" they use, etc. It's at least a starting point for the people you will want to research/call for quotes.
As always YMMV but I would pick someone with a decent rating if you ever have to make a claim.
Senior Member - 1K
posted: Apr. 16, 2013 @ 7:51p
If anyone is on a slab like asabase s/he probably would not qualify for life insurance at any good rate.
posted: Apr. 16, 2013 @ 7:58p
MEEMIC. If you are a teacher and in Michigan, go check them out.
posted: Apr. 16, 2013 @ 8:52p
So Geo123, what you are saying is one insurance company doesn't fit all. I could have said that in one sentence. It's unfortunate that people still don't realize this and consider that even your geographical area that you live in greatly affects rates!
posted: Apr. 16, 2013 @ 9:01p
I have shelter insurance. Well reviewed on JD power and cheaper by far when I searched.
posted: Apr. 16, 2013 @ 9:01p
I have shelter insurance. Well reviewed on JD power and cheaper by far when I searched.
posted: Apr. 17, 2013 @ 1:39a
AAA, State Farm, NationWide. Doesn't matter which one and how long, they do jack up the price every year.
posted: Apr. 17, 2013 @ 3:39a
I shop around almost every year for insurance. My auto has been with Esurance for maybe 3 years or so. They were far lower than everyone else, and they've kept my rate steady. I'm an unmarried guy in my late 30's with a good driving record. My home owner's policy is currently with Farmers, but I'm about to tell them where they can shove their policy...35% increase over last year! Seems like they all sucker you in with a low premium and hope you won't shop around when your policy renews. I can usually save more by comparison shopping than a multi-policy discount would offer.
posted: Apr. 17, 2013 @ 4:56a
travelers was pretty cheap for me, about 70% of what I was paying for liberty mutual. it goes up every year about 10%, (never filed a claim). some quotes recently have been telling me my roof is too old so watch out for that if you have an older home, (my house is 22 years old).
posted: Apr. 17, 2013 @ 7:12a
mikeh76 said: some quotes recently have been telling me my roof is too old so watch out for that if you have an older home, (my house is 22 years old).If you have an asphalt shingle roof, it is only rated for 20 years. If you are located in an area in which roof claims are common, lately insurance companies have wised up and have stopped issuing policies on houses with roofs very close to or over their expected life expectancy, as this greatly increases their customers' incentive to file a roof claim.
posted: Apr. 17, 2013 @ 8:47a
I used Farmers, excellent rate and excellent service.
Senior Member - 1K
posted: Apr. 17, 2013 @ 8:54a
enc0re said: MEEMIC. If you are a teacher and in Michigan, go check them out.
Or you can easily join an educational credit union and be eligible for Meemic... However AAA was slightly cheaper
posted: Apr. 17, 2013 @ 9:39a
I used Progressive. I also have auto insurance with them, so I got extra $54 off.
posted: Apr. 17, 2013 @ 9:46a
LukFilm said: I used Progressive. Progressive is an auto insurance company and does not offer homeowners' insurance policies. Instead, just like Geico, they broker all homeowners' insurance business on to other companies, such as Homesite, American Strategic Insurance and First American Property and Casualty. It is right on their website.
I have Safeco for my homeowner's insurance - I had trouble finding a place that would offer me any insurance on my built-in-1931 house. I've never had to file a claim, but their rates haven't gone up on me or anything, so...
Senior Member - 1K
posted: Apr. 17, 2013 @ 4:25p
When comparing two similarly priced policies ask policyholders with similar needs about the claims process before making a decision. The concept of replacement cost can vary greatly between firms.
I am with Penn National after years of being with Travellers.
posted: Apr. 20, 2013 @ 12:57p
So, is it advisable to avail services of a broker when I'm shopping for Life insurance - term (for husband n wife) Auto insurance Renters insurance Umbrella policy?
Problem is I know what I want ( for the most part) but unwilling to commit research hours. Still would like a fair deal for all of above. Importantly, if direction is to go with a broker, how to find a good one? ( in Bay Area , peninsula )
posted: Apr. 20, 2013 @ 5:28p
I'm shopping for homeowners insurance currently as well with a pending new home purchase. I've found the best rates by getting quotes from brokers. There are some insurance companies that will only provide insurance through brokers, so it is a definitely a good way to go. I'm going to let them quote my auto as well to see what they come back with. To give an idea of the savings, with traditional insurance quoting I was getting quoted between $1100-1400 for coverage. With a broker I'm getting $750-900 from different ins companies.
posted: Apr. 22, 2013 @ 10:10a
dobby10 said: I'm shopping for homeowners insurance currently as well with a pending new home purchase. I've found the best rates by getting quotes from brokers. There are some insurance companies that will only provide insurance through brokers, so it is a definitely a good way to go. I'm going to let them quote my auto as well to see what they come back with. To give an idea of the savings, with traditional insurance quoting I was getting quoted between $1100-1400 for coverage. With a broker I'm getting $750-900 from different ins companies.Right, but it's not just any insurance brokers. As I pointed out above, while not all insurance companies use the profit center model where insurance prices vary depending on the way that you are applying for insurance, some do. So, with everything else being equal an insurance broker who doesn't do all that much business with a particular insurance company can often end up quoting a somewhat higher price than if you obtain a quote through a very large insurance agency which sends a ton of business to that company.
It is absolutely true, however, that a number of insurance companies only sell insurance through brokers, so people who only get online quotes are often missing out on a number of companies. This is especially true for those with higher end houses/cars, as many insurance companies that specialize in those only sell coverage through brokers. Even those that sell their insurance online as well, don't have the most robust websites (and there's no way to know this when you are getting a quote) and may not end up giving you quotes with multi-policy discounts, etc... Further, you generally cannot get an umbrella quote online anyway, so you have to call in.
Amica has been #1 for the past 11 years, by the way.Personally, I've always wondered what these JD Power insurance ratings really mean. For instance, it seems strange to rate carriers on their "pricing" for the precise reason that I explained in my initial post.
I also don't understand why there's a separate "billing and payment" rating category. I've been with plenty of insurance companies and have never noticed any appreciable difference in the way that they bill or the payment methods that they accept.
The same is true for "contacting the insurer" -- they all have 24/7 claim reporting (which is all psychological, since an adjustor doesn't get assigned until later anyway), all have reasonably knowledgable CSR's, etc...
The "policy offering" category is also strange. For instance, Chubb is given only 3 stars in that category even though it offers the types of policies and the types of language that's not offered by many other insurers.
So, to me, the most important considerations (aside from the price, which is not something that you can't realistically rate) is policy language (Chubb, for instance, includes an "agreed value" in its auto policies, so that in the event that the vehicle is totaled, you get the full agreed value; every other carrier pays out the "actual cash value" for the vehicle, which tends to be lower and typically causes a huge fight) and claims handling. Neither of those considerations are present in JD Power's survey. Hence, the reason that I'm not sure what purpose this JD Power survey serves, as personally, I'd much rather be with Chubb than with Amica. If you ask insurance experts, they'll generally tell you that these two aren't even in the same league.
USAA has the same top ranking in all categories as AMICA, USAA was not actually ranked in the list however by JD Power because USAA is not open to everyone. USAA Is more expensive but its policy terms are more favorable to the customer.
posted: Apr. 22, 2013 @ 2:43p
Liberty Mutual just came in at 1/2 of what State Farm wanted for me...and I have auto with State Farm.
posted: May. 29, 2013 @ 8:37p
Shopping home insurance for a property in Bay Area. I'm getting broad range for replacement cost quotes on a 3/2 1500 sq ft. 332,000 for replacement cost estimated from travelers - $1256 annual cost. 412,000 replacement cost estimated from Amica - $1705 annual cost. What other comparisons should I make to choose? Any thoughts?
Travelers quote: Dwelling $ 332,000 Other Structures $ 33,200 Personal Property $ 232,400 Loss of Use $ 99,600 Personal Liability $ 300,000 Medical Payments $ 5,000 Deductible $ 2,500 Limited Fungi Repl Cost Contents Additional Repl Cost Prot (25%) Workers Comp Res Empl $ 8.00
Amica Quote: Dwelling $ 412,000 Other Structures $ 41,200 Personal Property $ 206,000 Loss of Use $ 123,600 Personal Liability $ 300,000 Medical Payments $ 5,000 Additional Dwelling Coverage (25% i believe) Has some enhanced special limits for jewelry,etc Water back up/sump pump Credit card coverage $5000
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