Ranking of homeowners insurance companies – the good, the bad and the ugly

How does your homeowners insurance company rank? The only time you don’t want to find out they’re at the bottom of the list is when it’s time to file a claim. Insurance companies are good at collecting your premium on a monthly basis, but when it comes to paying out claims, some companies score better than others.

Most of us never think about our homeowner’s insurance until it’s time to file a claim. In fact, for years we can just send our premium payments and never even call our agent to say hello. Then comes the day when you have to file a claim and you discover that bureaucracy and bureaucracy is the name of the game. Most recently, this situation played out all too well during Hurricane Katrina, where certain homeowners’ insurance companies fought tooth and nail to avoid paying out claims to victims of this devastating event.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can find out how good your insurance company is and if they can do more than just provide a hassle-free quote. A number of online and offline resources track insurance company reviews and custom satisfaction scores to help you be a more informed consumer.

AM Best (www.ambest.com) is one such resource that provides information on the financial health of your homeowners insurance company. They track insurers’ ability to pay losses in the event of a major disaster. Their rankings are the industry standard for measuring the financial well-being of all property, casualty and life insurance companies.

When it comes to actual customer satisfaction ratings, the data isn’t as well tracked as the financial ratings. A number of websites provide consumer feedback on insurance companies, as well as policyholder reports on the handling of routine inquiries by general insurance companies. The best source of insurance company satisfaction ratings can come from others in your community who often have first-hand experience with many of the local homeowners insurance companies in your area.

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