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How To Avoid Problems With Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners Insurance is something that most homeowners have, but many don’t necessarily understand all the nuances of their policy or, in the case of policies that may have been originally purchased years ago, not know that they don’t have sufficient coverage today. If there are problems with the policy, or with the company the policy is issued by, the problem often rears it’s ugly head after a loss is suffered and the homeowner goes through the claim process.

So, how do you avoid a bad homeowners insurance scenario?

The same as you avoid most trouble, do your homework first, get an understanding of the policy you are buying as well as investigate the reputation of the company behind the policy.  While price is certainly a factor, when it comes to something as important as the insurance on your home, you don’t want to be penny-wise and dollar foolish.

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Check out the great resources from the Department of Insurance below the Consumer Complaint Index Table below or by clicking here.

Where to find good resources to learn more about homeowners insurance and avoid problems:  

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Fortunately, there are good sources out there in this area but one of my favorites is the Missouri Department of Insurance.  After all, they are the ones charged with overseeing the insurance industry in the state of Missouri as well as educating and protecting the consumer about insurance. A good place to start is with the department’s consumer complaint index which measures how many complaints the Missouri Department of Insurance has received over a three year period relative to the amount of premiums billed in the state.  In the index a “100” indicates the number of complaints received against the company were what would be expected by the department.  Anything below 100, means the company had fewer complaints than would be expected based upon their billings in Missouri (the lower the number the better) and anything over 100 means they had more complaints than would be expected (the higher the number the worse).   Below, is a list of the 20 largest homeowners insurance providers in Missouri (based upon premiums billed) showing their market-share in Missouri as well as their Consumer Complaint Index:

2013 Complaint Index
(an index of 100 is considered average)

Company Name

Market Share 

2011-2013

Number of Complaints 

2011-2013

Complaint 

Index

STATE FARM FIRE AND CASUALTY COMPANY

23.75%

305

74

AMERICAN FAMILY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY

14.55%

237

94

SHELTER MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY

7.22%

78

62

FARM BUREAU TOWN & COUNTRY INS CO OF MO

4.77%

107

129

SAFECO INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA

3.69%

48

75

AUTO CLUB FAMILY INSURANCE COMPANY

3.65%

90

142

FARMERS INSURANCE EXCHANGE

3.46%

55

92

TRAVELERS HOME AND MARINE INSURANCE COMPANY THE

2.52%

75

171

NATIONWIDE AFFINITY INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA

1.91%

31

94

UNITED SERVICES AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION

1.84%

16

50

ALLSTATE PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY

1.57%

48

176

MID CENTURY INSURANCE COMPANY

1.41%

17

69

LIBERTY MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY

1.16%

28

140

FIRE INSURANCE EXCHANGE

1.10%

26

137

FOREMOST INSURANCE COMPANY GRAND RAPIDS MICHIGAN

1.09%

24

126

LIBERTY INSURANCE CORPORATION

1.03%

26

145

USAA CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY

0.95%

7

43

STANDARD FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY

0.95%

18

110

AUTO OWNERS INSURANCE COMPANY

0.92%

18

112

ALLSTATE INDEMNITY COMPANY

0.83%

34

236

Source: Missouri Department of Insurance

Additional Resources From The Missouri Department of Insurance;

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