The insurance market is very competitive. Insurance companies are trading policyholders every year. A lot of people are upset with their rates and so they begin to shop in the insurance company jungle. There are the familiar names and the not so familiar names. Insurance companies have a tremendous responsibility and their margin for profit is always under siege because of the cost of doing business. How does the average consumer evaluate a homeowner insurance company? The answer is that you cant. That is somebody else’s job. Insurance for us is very personal. Insurance companies try to make it personal but sometimes that is impractical and impossible. The best way to choose an insurance company is to first determine how you want to do business. Do you like personal service and consultation? If you do then you need to purchase your insurance from an insurance agent. If you like the speed of online and telephone purchases then by all means use the cyber world and the 800 number insurance companies.
The insurance company to most people is the agent. The agent is their connection and representative. Most people will either love or hate their insurance company based on their experience with their agent. Companies still love to do business with agents. It’s hard to do business without an agent sometimes. They usually have a staff that assists them in servicing their policyholders. They are involved in the same community with their customers and so there is a bond between them. If you want to do business with an agent then compare home insurance companies that use agents. Ask around. Get a recommendation.
There are more and more folks that want to bypass the agent and do their business on line or with customer service representatives at call centers. If this is your preferable method then you need to compare insurance companies that operate strictly online or by telephone. There are rating guides available that will help you determine the financial strength of each company. The AM Best insurance resource guide is probably the best.