Homeowners insurance company ratings can help inform a buyer

Homeowners insurance company ratings are a snapshot of how well an insurer approaches the job of giving homeowners peace of mind. The ratings vary, but any company that consistently ranks relatively well is a safe bet to be a good company for most consumers.

The rankings are predicated on such elemental factors as how accessible a claims center is for policyholders. Nothing is more frustrating for a homeowner than not being able to have a claim processed quickly while his house is in ruins around him. That is the clarion moment when the phrase “fast service” keeps replaying in the mind. Immense amounts of anxiety are dispelled when the claims center answers on the first ring.

Other criteria used in determining homeowners insurance company ratings include the ease of use of the company’s website. Websites have become the front door for insurance companies, with policy introductions and quote forms presented for people who have never been in a company office. When a visitor finds a site navigable, interactive, and a true link to a company agent, his personal rating of the company shoots up.

Professional rating of companies is part of the rankings data base as well. J.D. Power and Associates is a higher profile evaluator that measures insurers and gives each a score, which can be compared online. A.M. Best rates insurers and gives them letter grades, such as A+ and B-. Standard and Poor’s rating is another ranking service. These companies and others evaluate each insurer’s level of customer satisfaction, financial strength, and transparency.

How helpful are these homeowner insurance company ratings? They are only valuable if a homeowner accesses them. Comparing the attributes of the companies, side by side, can give a homeowner some idea of which companies to consider and which not to consider. Because the ratings services are independent of the companies being rated, the information is objective.

Still, homeowners insurance company ratings can’t tell the whole story. For example, some of the top-ranked companies may not offer insurance where a homeowner lives. Some may not offer particular discounts, such as multiple-policy breaks, that will benefit a particular homeowner. In the end, a homeowner’s judgment and personal situation will determine where he will buy a policy. The gathered data just informs his decision.

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