The claims process is one of the most important factors to consider when looking for a home insurance company. There’s no point in buying homeowners coverage if your provider isn’t likely to approve your claim or cover damages.
To help you determine which insurance company is best at paying claims, the This Old House Reviews Team created a guide focused on claims handling. The guide uses surveys from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. Real customers were asked about their claims experiences with the nation’s top homeowners insurance companies.
Best Homeowners Insurance Companies for Claims
J.D. Power and Consumer Reports compile customer feedback to help people make informed decisions when purchasing products and services. Take a look at the home insurance companies that ranked the highest for customer service and claims processes. This data is based on survey responses from more than 12,000 customers.
J.D. Power’s Top 5
Consumer Reports’ Top 5
Note: USAA received a score of 92 from Consumer Reports. However, J.D. Power didn’t include the company in the rankings because USAA doesn’t meet the study’s criteria. This is most likely due to the fact that USAA is only available to current or past military members and their immediate family members.
Reviewers in both the J.D. Power and Consumer Reports surveys ranked Amica® and Auto-Owners highly for their claims processes. Other home insurance providers like The Hartford, Farmers, Nationwide, Erie, and MetLife were mentioned by one company but not the other.
Worst Homeowners Insurance Companies for Claims
Here are the home insurance companies that ranked the lowest for claims satisfaction, according to J.D. Power and Consumer Reports surveys.
J.D. Power’s Bottom 5
|CSAA Insurance Group||842|
|Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group||855|
Consumer Reports’ Bottom 5
Farmers and The Hartford were ranked as the lowest-rated insurance companies by Consumer Reports and the highest-rated by J.D. Power. This isn’t uncommon in the world of insurance. Providers have local agents all over the country, so there’s bound to be some differentiation in terms of customer experience.
More About J.D. Power & Consumer Reports
Every year, J.D. Power conducts a U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction Study scored on a 1,000-point scale that examines home insurance customer satisfaction based on five factors:
- First notice of loss
- Repair process
- Estimation process
- Claim servicing
Consumer Reports compiles ratings from home insurance customers and measures them on a 100-point scale based on the following four factors:
- Damage amount
- Agent courtesy
- Timely payment
- Promptness of response
Factors to Consider Before Buying Homeowners Insurance
The claims process isn’t the only factor you should look at when looking for homeowners insurance. Here are some other factors to consider before buying a home insurance policy:
- Personal information—Certain factors about you will be used to determine the cost of your premium. For example, if you have a low credit score, a history of filing a lot of insurance claims, or a pet with a history of aggression, you may pay more for home insurance coverage.
- Property information—If you’re farther than five miles from a fire station, live in a neighborhood with a high level of crime, or live in a state that’s susceptible to natural disasters, your insurance rate will be higher.
- Discounts—If you’re looking for ways to save money on your policy, research companies that offer multiple discounts. Most insurance providers offer discounts for bundling home insurance with another policy like life insurance or renters insurance, being claims-free, and having safety features in your home. Other companies, like Allstate and Liberty Mutual, offer unique discounts including ones for having a new roof or signing up for paperless billing.
- Endorsements—If you want more than dwelling, other structures, personal property, loss of use, liability, and medical payments to others coverage, you can typically purchase additional coverage in the form of endorsements. Endorsements vary by company, but common ones include coverage for earthquakes, identity theft expenses, personal property replacement costs, and valuable personal property.
- Customer service—If you like to talk to company representatives on the phone, consider a company that offers 24/7 customer service or at least a claims center that’s open 24/7. If you prefer to manage your policy yourself, choose a company that has technological features, like a customer portal and mobile app, so that you don’t have to talk to a representative.
Best Homeowners Insurance Companies
When ranking insurance providers, the This Old House Reviews Team looked at customer service, discounts, state availability, coverage options, and more. These are the companies that received the highest ratings from our team:
- Allstate: Best Overall
- Amica: Best Customer Service
- State Farm: Best Endorsements
- Liberty Mutual: Best Discounts
- USAA: Best Membership Perks
- Travelers: Most Experience
- Farmers: Most Customizable Coverage
- Lemonade: Best Valuable Coverage
Amica, Auto-Owners, and USAA received high scores from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. The providers tout efficient claims processes, fast response times, reasonable payment, and friendly customer service representatives. Use the zip code tool above to compare quotes from these companies and determine which is best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Homeowners Insurance Claims
What is a deductible?
The deductible is the amount you pay when you file a claim. There are three types of deductibles:
- Flat—This deductible is a set dollar amount, like $1,000.
- Percent—This is a percentage of your dwelling coverage. If you have $250,000 of dwelling coverage and you select 1% of dwelling for you deductible, the deductible would be $2,500 per claim.
- Split—Depending on your insurance company and where you live, your deductible may be split up by the type of peril. For example, Allstate splits deductibles in Texas into windstorm/hail, tropical cyclone, and all other perils. Your deductible for each peril will either be a flat or percent rate.
What does the claims process look like?
If an event damages your property and personal belongings, or you’re responsible for causing bodily injury or property damage to someone else, file a claim with your insurance company immediately. You can do this over the phone, through an online customer portal, or on a mobile app. Don’t wait to file a claim just because you don’t have all of the information. Tell the company everything you know and give an update when you receive more information.
If your insurance company approves your claim, you’ll pay your deductible. A claims adjuster will then be assigned to your claim and investigate the incident to determine how much money to give you.
When will my claim get approved?
It usually takes around 48 hours for your claim to be approved or denied. If your claim is approved, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to receive money from your provider.
Will my premium increase if I file a claim?
Your premium might increase depending on the nature of the claim and your claims history. For example, if you file a liability claim, your premium is more likely to increase if the incident was your fault. Liability claims also tend to be more expensive. If this is not your first claim, your premium might also increase.
Will my policy be cancelled if I file a claim?
Your policy will not be cancelled for filing one claim. If you have a history of filing a lot of claims, your provider might cancel your policy. In general, filing more than two claims in the past five years is considered a lot by insurance providers.
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