Browse releases

By date

September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006

Media Resources

Print

Release Date: 08/03/2009

Top Consumer Reports Homeowners Insurance Group Ratings

Survey finds 53 percent of consumers who switched companies got better rates

Sept 09 Cover YONKERS, NY — Excellent homeowners insurance coverage can be costly and hard to get according to a Consumer Reports’ survey that asked 10,700 readers about their satisfaction with their homeowners insurance claims service in the last few years.

Respondents rated Amica Mutual Group, USAA Group, and the Chubb Group of Insurance Cos. higher for claims satisfaction than most other insurers. But USAA homeowners insurance is available only to those with a connection to the U.S. military, and Chubb markets itself as a high-end insurer, with premiums to match. (Amica says it has moved away from its tradition of selling only to those referred by policyholders.)

Consumer Reports’ survey also found claims problems with some large insurers. Thirty-five percent of Allstate Insurance Group clients reported having problems with that carrier, the nation’s second-largest. That contrasts with 14 percent who reported problems with highly-rated Amica. Allstate and Travelers Insurance Cos., another large insurance group, were also among the lower-rated groups overall.

Delayed payments are common. Twenty-one percent of respondents said they faced delays having claims paid. Amica and USAA got better marks than most.

The Consumer Reports National Research Center surveyed readers about their experience with homeowners insurance claims in the last few years.  Insurance companies were rated on respondents reports of overall satisfaction and claims of reported problems, including dissatisfaction with claim pay out amounts, and payment delays. 

Consumer Reports’ survey did find some good news, especially for people with decent credit and claims history. Lots of consumers are finding lower prices.  More than half (53%) of the respondents who switched companies in the past few years, said they had found a better premium with their new carrier.

And respondents were reasonably content. Overall, 73 percent were highly satisfied with their current carrier. That compares with a satisfaction rate of 77 percent in 2003, the last time Consumer Reports published ratings of homeowners insurance. Only 5 percent indicated their claims were rejected, and 11 percent said they received too little payment for their claims. The remaining 84 percent got what they expected with the settlement of their claims.

Consumer Reports’ home insurance group survey is part of a larger investigative report that found that insurers are scaling back coverage, imposing high deductibles on claims for damage from windstorms in many places, and cutting coverage for mold and dog bites. Some companies are using credit-based insurance scores to reject prospective clients and to raise premiums of current ones. In some areas, insurers have abandoned homeowners coverage entirely.

Disasters and dire situations are when consumers truly need coverage that lives up to its promises. Yet CR’s evaluation of home insurers found that doesn’t always happen. Consumers can find excellent insurers, but they can also face a whirlwind of complexity, cost, and difficulty getting their due. Consumer Reports offers some quick tips to get started:

  • Thoroughly read your policy and any other correspondence. Ask your agent to
    explain anything you don’t understand.
  • Learn how to deal with the adjuster, who might be your chief connection with the insurer after you make a claim.
  • Compare prices at least every five years, even if you’re not being elbowed out. Consumer Reports Ratings for claims service are a good place to start shopping. Make sure you compare costs of identical policies. Check with an independent agent or insurance-shopping Web site for a wide selection of quotes.

For more comprehensive advice on how to buy adequate homeowners insurance, advice for making a successful claim, or more survey data and insurance group ratings check out the special feature in the September issue, available August 4th. The complete report is also available at www.ConsumerReports.org.

See press release archive

RSS News Feed

Get all the latest information from the CR Press Room delivered right to your desktop.