Home Insurance Companies
A home is one's castle. It makes sense to protect it in the event of an accident, emergency, or major issue. The right home insurance companies will give homeowners a reliable policy that protects the home if it burns down or experiences major damage. Some plans will even cover the home in the event of vandalism or because of a burst pipe flooding the space.
It is important to never settle for less when it comes to choosing between companies. Comparing benefits and rates online means that people can find out what different groups have to offer. A cheap monthly premium or payment shouldn't be the only thing one looks into. Instead, it is important to compare homeowners insurance ratings, what different plans do and do not include, and what experts and past and current customers have to say about different groups.
Comparing groups online allows a person to look at their offerings side by side to see which offers the best value. Using a website like ours means that one can see all of the different options and make an educated decision. This broadens or expands one's options. Brokers and agents may push one agenda or group over another whereas a website allows users to pick and choose as they go.
Evaluating Different Insurers
Though you may want to find out as much as you can about home insurers, consumers don't always have easy access to the most important information. Instead of spending hours on the Internet trying to find evaluations of various home insurers, you can consult our insurer reviews for concise but thorough assessments of most major house insurers.
We will give you valuable information on the insurers' history, customer satisfaction ratings, and financial stability. We've included everything you need to know in order to select an insurer in our helpful reviews.
Allstate is the largest publicly held insurer in the U.S. The company is also the nation's second-largest home and auto insurer, behind State Farm. Founded in 1931, Allstate began as a division of Sears, Roebuck and Company. In 2007, the corporation reported revenues of $36.8 billion and a net income of $4.6 billion. Allstate sells a variety of insurance lines, including home, auto, life, and commercial insurance. Allstate now also offers investment and retirement products as well as some banking services.
Many homeowners may not even be able to consider Allstate as a potential home insurer because the company has recently dropped coverage in many coastal states. After Hurricane Katrina, many home insurers have begun dropping catastrophic loss coverage in areas most susceptible to mass disasters, and Allstate is no exception. In the last few years, Allstate has dropped coverage in coastal areas of the Carolinas, Maryland, Virginia, and Alabama. Most coastal portions of Northern states have also been dropped from Allstate's coverage map. Similarly, Allstate also recently dropped earthquake coverage in Washington state and Alaska. In other areas prone to tornados and severe thunderstorms, such as Texas, the company has stopped offering windstorm coverage in its policies.
'Nationwide is on your side' has become a trademark expression of Nationwide Insurance for the last decade as this company has come out of the shadows to reinvent and prove itself a contender for national prominence in the industry. Nationwide Insurance is headquartered in Ohio - the state where it began its small and unassuming beginnings before the Great Depression, making it one of the oldest insurers in the United States.
Nationwide Insurance began in 1925 as the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (FBMAIC) with the intention of simply providing low-rate auto policies for rural drivers in Ohio. It began expanding to other states as early as 1928 and began to offer property insurance policies as well. In 1955 the owners of the company realized that they had expanded so far beyond their original scope and boundaries that the name of the company did not quite suit it any longer. So with an additional expansion to the Western United States, the company changed its name to Nationwide Insurance. In 1997, Nationwide Financial went public and in 2007 Nationwide Bank opened to the public.
Founded in 1912, the Massachusetts Employee's Insurance Association (MEIA), now known as Liberty Mutual, was begun to workers' compensation insurance to Massachusetts workers in accordance with state law. Expanding coverage to include all 48 states back in 1937, the company originally prided itself on being one of the few insurers of its time, since insurance was regarded back then as a luxury option as opposed to prudence or even legal obligation.
For nearly 100 years now, Liberty Mutual has grown significantly from its humble beginnings to a national organization that is able to compete with the largest insurers in the nation including Allstate, Progressive and State Farm. They offer a full product line including home, auto, office, & life insurance lines at competitive rates that help keep them at the top of the corporate dog pile. Liberty Mutual had a significant period of time with an A rating until 2008 when it acquired Safeco. Shortly after that acquisition, Standard & Poor's announcement came through that it was lowering their rating to A- with a stable outlook. The announcement was met with a formal protest from Liberty Mutual, but their rating remains unchanged. Regardless of their financial status downgrade, Liberty Mutual remains a significant insurance juggernaut, both reliable and capable of handling all of its financial obligations.
With origins that go back to 1863, Metropolitan Life Insurance Inc., commonly known as MetLife, is an insurer with legs. Officially founded in 1868, it wasn't until the dawn of the new millennium that the company based in New York City went public. Debuting in 2000 on the New York Stock Exchange, MetLife has favored a long history as one of America's most successful insurers - and her largest with assets in excess of $3 trillion. Belying this serious history - including buying 51% of the war bonds offered during World War II.
Curiously, MetLife does receive high ratings from JD Powers for its customer service and among the best in customer satisfaction. While many online complaint sites paint an anecdotal picture to the contrary, particularly for MetLife's auto insurance, any objective look at MetLife places them near the top of the heap for customer service. One downside is the company's reliance on overseas phone banks. With a strong financial outlook in a weakened economy where former giants need federal bailouts, Metropolitan Life is an old guard company that reacts to its customers with the intention of improving customer service. But that is downgraded by the poor customer ratings of their claims service which is really where the rubber meets the road. That leaves MetLife in the good column, but not superior. Our report card score is an A-.
Headquartered in Ohio, Progressive, known on the New York Stock Exchange as PGR, was founded in 1937. It's annual revenue is approximately $15 billion. Known primarily by the public for its humorous auto insurance ads, Progressive is made up of three providers which are collectively known as Progressive Corporation. The three are: Progressive Agency Pool, Progressive Direct Pool and Progressive Commercial Auto Group. With over 11 million policies in force, Progressive is known for its specially modified fleet of white Ford Explorers and Escapes known as "Immediate Response Vehicles" or IRVs. The company is known for its cheeky advertising featuring checkout girl "Flo," and the smart tagline, "Now that's Progressive!"
JD Powers and Associates puts Progressive in the middle of the pack where customer service is concerned, with 3 out of 5 stars. But it can be difficult to ascertain how they came to that decision. The reason is that while customer service is a component of their rating, so is "overall experience," premium rates, quality of billing and payment system, as well as quality of communication with their customers. With a strong financial outlook in a weakened economy where former giants are needing federal bailouts, Progressive is a strong performer that reacts goes above and beyond with mold-breaking programs to improve customer service and satisfaction. And with good rates to boot and open quoting in order to compare your potential rates against your current premiums, Progressive may well be your next provider.