What Makes an Insurance Company
Best or Worst?
TLTR:This article explores the qualities of the best and worst homeowners insurance companies. It will help you pick the best insurance company to cover your home.
According to CBS8, a recent trend suggests many insurance companies are dropping their coverage of homes in California’s San Diego County. This trend is occurring as the state sees a sharp increase in wildfires.
Weather disasters can be frightening, and to think that your insurance company may drop your home can be even scarier. To make sure your homeowners insurance doesn’t leave you high and dry, you should pick the best homeowners insurance company and stay clear of the worst ones.
In order to differentiate the best from the worst homeowners insurance companies, there are many factors you should take into consideration. Let us give you a hand with that…
In this blog
Qualities of Best Homeowners Insurance Company
Insurance companies are under a lot of pressure to be consistent in their services and build trust with their clients. They need time, effort, and resources for success. It takes commitment from all parties involved with an insurance firm to make the company sustainable over the long term.
Strong Insurance Company Finances
Insurance should be a big priority for anyone who owns a home. Your insurance policy can help you in an emergency arising from fire, hailstorm or any natural disaster as well as theft or vandalism.
You need a homeowners insurance company that will be there to provide financial support. Their pay out on your claim shouldn’t take an excessive amount of time. Therefore, it’s crucial to research companies and their finances before buying a policy.
You can do so by checking out what kind of insurance underwriters have worked with the company over time. Are they financially healthy? A little online research should tell you what you need to know.
Homeowners Insurance Companies Should Have Fair, Easy And Quick Claims
If you’ve ever had to file a claim, there should be no doubt in your mind that the insurance claim process can be frustrating.
When it comes to homeowners’ insurance and filing for damages, just knowing how things work will help you sort the process. It’s important for things to go smoothly when your repairs depend on the claim.
Nowadays most companies do their best work by automating this whole process—doing everything online or by email. Make sure that the company you buy insurance from conducts quick, easy, and fair claim processing.
A good way to find the right insurance for you is by considering your demographic. For example, if you are 60 or older, you can get a senior citizen discount.
Insurance companies offer different rates depending on who they think is likely to make a claim. For example, insurance companies believe that women are safer drivers and hence have lower claim rates. This prompts them to give slightly cheaper premium rates to women.
Knowing such information can help you figure out which insurance company is better for you. It should always be possible to get cheap full coverage insurance within a reasonable price range. It comes down to shopping around and comparing prices. Armed with that knowledge, you’ll be well prepared to negotiate when it comes to buying auto insurance.
Good Client Relations
An insurance company that’s good at what it does is likely to have strong client relationships. The next time you are looking for a trustworthy insurance company for yourself or your home, make sure to check their reviews.
Reading customer reviews online can help you determine what kind of client relationships any particular insurance company tends to have. It will help you make an informed decision on whether or not you should pursue the given company.
An insurance company that has great reviews will likely provide services 24/7, multilingually, and globally.
Homeowners insurance companies should communicate as clearly as possible when they explain benefits, but sometimes jargon gets thrown around that might be confusing or unclear to you as a layman.
This could lead to your not fully understanding policies, so never hesitate to ask a company or an agent to explain anything you don’t fully understand about your policy. Insurance companies that are good at what they do will care about their clients and try to maintain transparency with their terms and conditions.
Qualities of Worst Homeowners Insurance Company
Homeowners insurance companies are, of course, in the business of making money. In order to do so, they use various tactics to make sure they collect their premiums every month while paying out as few claims as possible.
According to Value Penguin, 32% of insureds believe that they have been victims of fraudulent insurance companies. The report suggests that despite the number of fraud cases growing significantly, fraud in general is underreported.
When it comes to insurance, people are often wary and settle for whatever seems okay. Many companies as well as individuals unjustifiably profit from that.
Unfortunately, some homeowners insurance companies train their representatives to persuade anyone who makes a claim to settle for far less than what they really need. Some of the worst practices that a homeowners insurance company can have include:
Homeowners Insurance Companies Offer Low Coverage Offer Low Coverage
Homeowners insurance companies make initial coverage offers that are far below the value of a claimants’ case. The trick here is that even though the higher offers that will come later may still be inadequate to front your losses, they’ll look good compared to that initial low offer. This is one of the most common tactics that insurance companies use.
So when you’re dealing with a homeowners insurance company, you should expect a low initial offer. Don’t accept it. Always fight for more. Always aim to get the benefits and compensation you deserve.
Some Homeowners Insurance Companies May Try To Access Your Entire Personal History
Homeowners insurance companies will try to request access to your complete medical history. That’s so when you make insurance claims concerning medical expenses, they can dig through your medical history to look for any possible reason to avoid paying on your claim.
Similarly, in the case of homeowner insurance, they will want your entire credit history, family history, and so on. Having a comprehensive file on you gives them possible loopholes through which they can deny your claims.
If your homeowners insurance company has such a request, have a lawyer make sure that you only sign a personal and medical record authorization that will give the insurance company access to records relevant to your claim.
Asking Too Many Questions
Homeowners insurance companies are well aware of the fact that many claimants have never been through the insurance process before. The companies know that you do not have the legal training required to recognize anything that might hurt your claims.
Bad insurance companies often pressure people who make claims to provide recorded statements in which they answer questions about their claims and any incidents that led up to it.
During this questioning, insurance company representatives mostly ask leading questions in an attempt to make claimants slip up, admit fault, or verbally minimize their losses in order to justify denying or lowering their settlement offer.
In case you’re stuck with an insurance company that makes claim processing difficult, make sure to have a lawyer represent you.
Varied Claim Processing Time Period
We would advise you to stay away from companies that don’t have a uniform claim processing time. Some homeowners insurance companies stretch out claims for as long as they possibly can. But in some cases they may rush to make settlement offers as quickly as possible. They’re hoping claimants will settle these cases before they have a chance to talk to their lawyers and understand the real value of their claim. Another reason insurance companies might attempt to settle cases quickly is so the claimant can sign away their rights before they even recognize all of their losses.
On the flipside of this, Insurance companies understand that people under financial pressure will more easily settle for less. That’s one reason they may take their time when processing claims. Claimants will become more and more anxious and desperate for some kind of insurance pay out as bills pile up and their credit scores take a hit.
Misrepresenting Claimants’ Rights
Most homeowners insurance companies want you to think they have your best interests in mind, but in reality many simply do not. It’s fairly common for insurance company representatives to misrepresent your rights to you.
They’re incentivized to do so when their companies offer bonuses or opportunities for career advancement for keeping payouts low. This is why it is very important to take whatever insurance companies or representatives say with a healthy dose of skepticism. And if the stakes are high enough, make sure to have legal representation.
Research shows that people who had lawyers look over their claims or were represented by counsel end up with significantly higher insurance settlements than those claimants who choose to handle it by themselves.
According to Bankrate, the average home insurance cost is over $1,300 a year. Buying a home is a big investment. And so is making the commitment to protect your home. We understand that you want things that are the best for your home and knowing where to start with insurance can be difficult. Especially if you’re new.
So, make sure to do your research beforehand about your insurance company. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have legal counsel. Make your insurance company work for you so you don’t have to work for insurance you deserve.
Get in touch with our seasoned agents today for a free quote on homeowners insurance companies. Our agents work independently and with many insurance carriers, and can certainly help you find the best homeowners insurance company.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Is My Premium Calculated?
Homeowners insurance premiums depend on many things. Some companies will even take into account your home’s proximity to a fire or police station when determining your premium. Traditionally, factors such as your home’s square footage, your credit score, claim history, condition of pipes and other structural elements, and objects (such as trees or poles) nearby are all taken into consideration.
Companies also look at your geographical location, which includes the state in which you live as well as your distance from the sea/ocean, or forests. Lastly, your coverage limits and demands also contribute to the price factor of your insurance premium.
Do I Need Homeowners Insurance For Mortgage?
According to Travelers, you aren’t mandated by law to have homeowners insurance for a mortgage, but many lenders do make it a requirement.
Imagine you bought your house decades ago. You’re close to paying off the balance on your home loan. Once that last payment is done, your mortgage lender has no say in whether you carry insurance or not. You’re the one who makes that choice.
So consider this: You’ve already spent years investing in that house and building equity, and should a loss occur, you ought to have the protection of insurance for your investment. You’ve turned that house into a home, raised a family, and accumulated a lifetime of memories. With homeowners insurance, you can protect your home and its future. It’s an investment well worth having.