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How Do I Find The Best Home Insurance Companies?
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Article 6 of 9 in How to Purchase Home Insurance
As you are comparing home insurance quotes, you will have several things to consider before you select the right policy. In addition to the type of home insurance coverage and the cost of your policy, make sure you choose the best home insurance company. The best home insurance companies will not only provide you with a good policy at a fair price, but will be available 24/7 and have a streamlined claim process that helps you get back on your feet quickly. Rating home insurance companies can be simple if you know what questions to ask, where to find the right information, and what you are looking for in a company.
Finding the Best Home Insurance Companies
There are several things about each company that you need to review during the home insurance comparison process. Use the check list below:
- Ask your insurer if they use company claims adjusters or independent adjusters- this will let you know if you will always be dealing with someone outside the company in the event of a claim.
- Ask if they have 24 hour claims service with a toll free number-will you have to leave a message in the middle of the night or can you reach a live person?
- Make sure that they have the coverage for your odd or obvious risks-- Do you have an art collection or high valued jewelry? Do you need home business insurance because you work from the home?
- Find out about their standard operating procedure with regards to processing and claims-what are their guidelines on response time? This can change in high volume situations like disasters, but you can at least get an idea if they even have a guideline in place!
- Ask your prospective insurer if you report claims to your agent or directly to the insurance company?-this prevents a middle man from getting the facts confused.
TIP: These are just some examples of questions to ask. If you have any specific concerns unique to your situation, ask the company before you buy! Find the best company for your needs before you purchase home insurance coverage.
More Home Insurance Comparison Advice
There are several other factors to consider in choosing the best home insurance company.
- First, the insurance company must be licensed to transact business in your state. Check with your state department of insurance to make certain that the company offering you insurance is an admitted insurance company in your state.
- Second, a home insurance comparison must include reviewing the financial strength of the insurer. This is important! The last thing you need to experience is finding what you think is the perfect insurance company, only to have a claim and find out the insurer is insolvent. Make certain that the company you choose maintains sufficient reserves in order to pay claims in the event of large catastrophic disasters. You can do this by choosing a home insurance company rating that is between A+ and A. Check out sites like AM Best, Moody's, or Standard and Poor to review the home insurance company rating of your choice company. Each service uses a different rating scheme -- you should read the ratings definitions for that service. Stick with companies that meet the service's criteria for being in the top categories--such as "excellent" or "very good." Be sure that any ratings you review have not been changed since the publication date of the source.
- Third, ask your neighbors and friends for their opinion of the best home insurance companies, their experience and the service they have received. You may find that a lot of your neighbors are insured with a company due to their good track record with respect to payment of claims, excellent customer service and excellent response time.
Making sure you choose the best home insurance company for your family will ensure that in a time of need, your company will do what it says it will to help you get back on your feet. Get started with free home insurance quotes by clicking here and visiting the Free Advice quote center today.