What home insurance company gets the best consumer ratings?

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The report below focuses on a topic that may be relevant to most any homeowner: what are a few home insurance companies that offer a better value by far than their competitors? To be as neutral as possible, below I will present rankings from 5 different nationwide consumer surveys (including from Consumer Reports, J.D Power, and Clearsurance). Note that I present this info simply as “something that you may want to research further,” not as a personal recommendation of any particular option.

 

SECTIONS:

  1. Summary findings
  2. Background info
  3. The 5 independent studies of consumer rankings
  4. Some comments on those 5 studies
  5. Closing comments

SUMMARY FINDINGS

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In summary, the most-highly recommended home insurance company operating in Arizona appears to be USAA. However, only a fraction of people in Phoenix can get home insurance through USAA (because they only serve military personnel and other qualifying family members).

 

amica insurance company logoThe second-best ratings that I saw are for Amica. They are apparently a company that can insure anyone’s home in Phoenix (unlike USAA). They consistently got rated very well for value by their actual customers who filed claims with them. However, they are not the cheapest (for those specifically targeting the most competitive prices rather than best overall value).

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Finally, I also list 3 other insurance companies below for an “honorable mention,” including The Hartford. People who may be more interested in that insurance company include senior citizens in Arizona (because of the AARP’s special partnership with The Hartford).

 

“But what about MY current home insurance company?”

If you mainly want to know how well past and current clients rated any other insurance company serving Phoenix residents, you can skip ahead to the 5 independent reports by clicking here.

 

Background of why this topic should interest you (which is also why it interests me)

Until recently, I would have been startled to discover that there was a huge range of customer satisfaction ratings for insurance companies. How did I get interested in sorting out the 5-star rated companies from the 2-star rated companies?

For years, I have been interviewing homeowners in greater Phoenix about serious problems they have had with their property insurance companies (and who helped them resolve those issues). Those interviews led to me researching why certain home insurance companies so often produce complaints (or even lawsuits) relating to insurance claims for water damage, roof damage, or other property damage.

Briefly, what I learned was startling. Year after year, I heard homeowners in Arizona tell me tear-filled stories about frustrations with their insurance companies. (Several examples are here.) In 2018, I even discovered several multi-million dollar jury awards to consumers that were defrauded by their insurance companies. (Some examples are here.)

All of that motivated me to explore the topic which home insurance companies consistently receive the highest ratings from their customers (and which do not). So, the latest manifestation of that motivation is this report. By the way, if you wish to make a report about your experiences (good or bad) with a specific insurance company, one website for that (besides the BBB) is linked here.

 

5 independent studies of consumer rankings of home insurance companies

Next is a list showing 5 different studies (plus which insurance company was the top-rated one in each study). I list the 5 studies in the order of how many thousands of people were part of each one (with the largest first). To access any of the full reports, click one of the logo images below.

 

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JD POWER (from nearly 16,000 interviewed consumers as of 2017)
tied for #1: Amica & USAA (The Hartford was #9)

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Clearsurance (from over 12,000 consumer reviews as of early 2018)
#1 USAA (Amica was #3 & The Hartford was #5)

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Consumer Reports: (from over 7,000 consumers in 2018)
#1: Amica (#2: USAA & The Hartford was #7)
Sidenote: the link above goes to a third-party’s website that provides the results of this study as well as related recommendations (like how high of a deductible to purchase and why).

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Insure.com (from over 3,000 consumers in 2018)
#1: USAA (The Hartford was #9)
(Note that only 15 companies were ranked in their study and Amica was not one of the 15).

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ConsumerAffairs.com (from 1000s of consumer reviews as of early 2018)
#1: Trusted Choice
(Note that only 27 home insurance companies were ranked in their report and Amica was not listed. While Amica does have 192 ratings on their site, many of those ratings are apparently for auto insurance).

My comments on those 5 studies

Next are my observations about the rankings above. Note that these conclusions are entirely my own, not those of the owners of Canyon State Restoration. However, I will note that in my many interviews with homeowners in Phoenix who made insurance claims for water damage repairs, I do not recall any complaints mentioning any of the insurance companies below (the ones that I list as being “worthy of further consideration”).

Also, a small complication is that some of the companies ranked above do not operate in Arizona (or, in the case of USAA, are not available for all homeowners in Arizona). So, when we consider a #3 or #5 ranking, note that the companies ranked higher than that may be irrelevant to people who only own a home in greater Phoenix (in contrast to people who also own a second home in another state).

My conclusions:

The best overall home insurance company for those who qualify (military personnel & their family members): USAA
It was ranked in all 5 studies above. It was #1 in 3 of them, #2 in 1, and finally #8 (out of 27). If that does not impress you, I’m not sure what would!

Best overall home insurance company for general public: Amica
It was ranked in 3 of the 5 studies above. It was ranked #3 in the Clearsurance study and #1 in the 2 others (by J.D. Power and Consumer Reports). Again, those results seem quite impressive.

Honorable mentions:
The Hartford (They received zero #1 rankings, but were rated in all 5 studies above and placed rather well in all of them: 5th, 5th again, 7th, 9th, & 16th)

Trusted Choice (I had never head of them. They were only ranked in 1 of the 5 studies above, but did come in #1 in that study.)

Erie Insurance (Note: does not operate in Arizona, but listed here because they received good ratings consistently and so many part-time residents / “snowbirds” in Phoenix own a home in another state. Here the list of the 11 states where they operate: https://www.erieinsurance.com/states-of-operation )

 

Closing comments on the best value for home insurance in Phoenix

1) Does any of this mean that you do not need an expert to advocate for you if you have water damage or some other property insurance claim?

No, you will still benefit from having an ally both with relevant expertise and a financial interest in your getting everything that you are legally owed. Note that even these top-rated companies have LOTS of complaints reported to the BBB. See for yourself at the links below.

Keep in mind that insurance companies in general tend to have AWFUL consumer reviews on the BBB. Of these 4 top-rated insurance companies, all of them have an A+ BBB rating, but the best consumer review rating among them is only two out of five stars.

By the way, I did not consider this data in my main report because, for one thing, not all of these complaints are from actual policyholders (like complaints about being sent email promotions after requesting to be unsubscribed). I also ignored reviews on Yelp for the same reason.

So, even if you hire one of the best-rated home insurance companies, please read our article on

Why you STILL need an expert ally when making a property insurance claim

Feinman gold medal
2) The photo at the top is only slightly related to this article. A law professor (on the left) was receiving an award for Distinguished Service from the New Jersey Association for Justice in 2014.
In addition to teaching law, that professor has also published over 50 articles and 7 books, including the one shown here. (Click the image for more information on the book.)
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3) A study that I did not use (because they excluded smaller companies and, for the larger companies, simply used the ratings of provided by organizations including JD Power and Consumer Reports):

4) Complete ratings of 44 insurance companies operating in Arizona:
Best homeowners insurance # of reviews CS Score
1 USAA 1291 4.66
2 Horace Mann Companies 58 4.42
3 Amica Mutual Insurance Company 267 4.41
4 Country Financial 174 4.41
5 Encompass Insurance Company 50 4.39
6 Kemper Corporation 50 4.32
7 American National Insurance Company 77 4.30
8 American International Group, Inc. (AIG) 104 4.24
9 Auto-Owners Insurance Group 138 4.23
10 Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance (Costco) 42 4.23
11 Pekin Insurance 54 4.22
12 The Hartford 270 4.20
13 Chubb Group of Insurance Companies 38 4.20
14 State Farm Insurance 4467 4.19
15 CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA Insurer 91 4.19
16 California Casualty Group 36 4.18
17 State Auto Insurance Companies 44 4.16
18 Geico Insurance Company 1230 4.16
19 Progressive Corporation 932 4.16
20 Safeco Insurance 292 4.16
21 Allied Insurance 83 4.16
22 Acuity, a Mutual Insurance Company 86 4.14
23 Farmers Insurance Group 1059 4.13
24 Liberty Mutual Insurance 1011 4.13
25 MetLife, Inc. 336 4.11
26 Travelers Companies, Inc. 562 4.08
27 Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance 69 4.08
28 Esurance, Inc. 129 4.08
29 Allstate Insurance 3391 4.07
30 AEGIS Security Insurance Company 56 4.06
31 Nationwide 779 4.05
32 Mercury Insurance Group 61 4.05
33 Foremost Insurance Group 127 4.02
34 American Family Insurance 755 4.02
35 Badger Mutual Insurance Company 35 3.98
36 American Bankers Insurance Co. of Florida 25 3.98
37 Farm Bureau Financial Services 257 3.92
38 Assurant Group 31 3.92
39 Cincinnati Insurance Company 57 3.80
40 First American Property & Casualty Insurance Company 27 3.78
41 American Modern Insurance Group 56 3.68
42 American Strategic Insurance Group (ASI) 65 3.43
43 National General Insurance Company (Integon) 27 3.41
44 Homesite Group Incorporated 32 3.33
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