Best Insurance Companies for “Claims Payout”

Post Best Insurance Companies Question (below)

Here are the best insurance companies for “paying claims”, rated not by the traditional methods – premium cost and financial strength – but by claims payout for:

  • auto
  • home
  • business claims for fire, water, wind, flood damage, etc.

The number and proportion of denied claims are also considered to bring you this list of insurers.

Note: These ratings are based on contributor Ron Cercone’s personal experiences in claim handling in California (as an independent adjuster for 15 years and as a public adjuster for 17 years). No warranties or guarantees are made for any of these companies. All things change. If a company decides to cut costs, it’s service could decline. If two companies merge, claims paying could change. Premium costs were not considered here, though higher premiums do not necessarily equal better insurance. Some companies pay their agents high commissions and skimp on claims payments.

While having a local sales agent can be helpful, most will not fight for you. They are legally agents for the insurer, not you. “Captive agents”, such as for Farmers Insurance and State Farm Insurance, are less likely to fight their only employer. Independents are a better choice for this reason.

Brokers are not recommended since their liability is very limited if you don’t have the proper policy or endorsements in place. Companies not listed here either fall between the recommend and avoid classification, or are so small or so good (such as Chubb) that our contributors have had little or no personal claims experience with them.

Generally speaking, the more a company advertises, the more you need to beware . Good quality insurers don’t need to advertise and they don’t need to replace customers they lost after a claim. That’s our best consumer insurance claim advice. Most honest and seasoned “independent agents” also know who the better insurers are, but be aware that they “can” earn higher commissions from lower quality insurers in some cases (so it pays to know your agent’s integrity well).

Here is a link (http://www.jdpower.com/consumer-ratings/insurance/ratings/909201507/2013-Property+Claims+Satisfaction+Study/index.htm) to a JD Power rating page for 2013 which, based on the subtitles, appears to give more weight to “claims paying” than in their previous years, such as in this link for their 2012 ratings (http://www.jdpower.com/consumer-ratings/insurance/ratings/809201402/2012-US+National+Homeowners+Insurance+Study/index.htm). It will be interesting to see if they change their sub menu in the coming years.

 

Best Homeowners Insurance

Insurer Phone (Claims) Rank
Merced Mutual 800-348-6747 1
Nationwide Insurance 800-462-1825 2
Safeco Insurance 800-826-8921 3
The Maryland Insurance Group 800-852-7570 4
California Casualty Insurance 800-421-8768 5
Automobile Club Of Southern California 209-732-8045 6

Note – While we have not had experience with Chubb Insurance claims, we have heard only glowing reports on how well they pay their claims.

 

Worst Homeowners Insurance

Insurer Rank
CSAA (AAA of Northern California) (Worst)
First American Specialty Insurance
Golden Eagle
Farmers Insurance Group (Fire & Truck Exchanges)
Allstate
State Farm
Allied
CSE (Civil Service Employees)
Sutter
Fair Plan
Residence Mutual
Aetna/Travelers
California Capital Insurance (Not Cal. Casualty)
Unigard
Farmers Home Mutual (Least)

 

Best Car Insurance

Nationwide (800-421-1444) is the only one we strongly recommend. They beat all the others with fast claims service and a generous claim payout philosophy. Oddly enough, their premiums are among the lowest. While they do not have local sales agents in many areas, you can still get their insurance by calling a toll free phone number. Claims are reported to an 800 number. They get an adjuster on the scene quickly, often the same day the loss is reported. This oddly is in contrast to companies with local sales agents that usually take several days to get an adjuster on the scene and/or to inspect a damaged vehicle!

Worst Car Insurance (in the order listed)

CSAA (AAA of Northern California, Fresno and North)
Allied
Mercury
Geico
Metropolitan
Allstate
Colonial Penn
Omaha Mutual
Sequoia
USF&G

91 Responses to “Best Insurance Companies for “Claims Payout””

  1. October 24th, 2008 at 4:01 pm #An Adjuster

    As an Independent adjuster and having to work for many carriers I chose Texas Farm Bureau for my home, truck, 4-wheeler, horse trailer, health, life and my E&O / Liability coverage.

  2. October 25th, 2008 at 9:47 pm #admin

    Thanks for your valuable comments!

    So is it safe to assume that since you are an independent adjuster, you chose Texas Farm Bureau because they pay their claims fairly?

    You should give them a star and text rating in our Consumer Ratings section and add that you are an adjuster.

  3. November 10th, 2008 at 2:47 pm #Chase

    You should know, Progressive sucks too. I’ve been involved with heavy equipment for years and a friend of mine’s son was hired on by them and got horrible treatment by his employer.

  4. November 10th, 2008 at 3:55 pm #admin

    I could not agree more with you on Progressive. :) Thanks for your comments.

  5. February 11th, 2009 at 5:07 am #J. D. Howard

    As a fellow Consumer Advocate, with a Similar Web Site, our Feed Back from Consumers throughout the country has been uniformly favorable for ONE lesser-known insurer … AMICA.

    Would be interested in knowing about your experience when dealing with AMICA.

  6. February 13th, 2009 at 1:57 am #admin

    Thanks J.D. for the heads up. What does AMICA stand for? Do they write all lines of insurance or specialize in auto or home, etc? Are they in certain regions or target certain demographics, like seniors or government employees?

    If you have time, please click on our “Consumer Ratings” link at the top, go to Add an Insurer, and add AMICA with a text and star rating.

    I have never heard of them. They must not be big in Central California. But on the other hand, the best insurers are the quiet ones, with no complaints and little advertising, IMO.

  7. February 26th, 2009 at 8:51 am #C. Christians

    You are SO RIGHT about the uselessness of California Capital Insurance for property claims. It has been nearly three months since a fire in my house and I am still fighting for every single penny, every single repair and replacement. CCI chose their own contractor, with good reason–they must have saved a hell of a lot of money. Cabinets that burned were replaced with cheap crap–doors that don’t meet or align, warped wood, and believe it or not, smaller cabinets than the original. The wrong color paint was used twice in one room, I had to ask for any number of jobs to be redone–and on and on. One cabinet is “attached” to the floor with caulking. Nearly three months after the fire, the shower is still coated with dried ash and black smoke. The oven and the stove exhaust fan don’t work. Worst of all, absolutely no one will take responsibilty. The “charming” adjustor at San Jose has called me “you stud” (I am an older professional woman) and “Madam.” Stay as far away as you can from CIG/California Capital for property claims.

  8. March 1st, 2009 at 10:34 pm #admin

    Hello “C.”,

    C, its great you make a rating here, but how come you didn’t go to the “Consumer Ratings” page and rate them? Start a new entry on them. If you want to really get the word out so “the whole world” can easily find them, do it there. You can rate the adjuster, the insurer and their lousy contractor. Please do it! Its why we built that page.

    Now, as to your claim, the best advice I can give you is to go to UClaim.com at the products page, look at the first product “HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE CLAIM ADVICE AND HELP – ALL ASPECTS (deluxe). Look at the table of contents. Do you want to rip CCI a new a____ ? That eBook will show you how a veteran public adjuster does it.

  9. May 15th, 2009 at 11:38 am #Sarah

    If person seeking health coverage is family member of active duty military personnel, Uniformed Family Health Plan (USFHP) is the best choice for him/her with best coverage and very competitive rates.

  10. May 17th, 2009 at 7:52 pm #admin

    Sarah,

    Thanks for that. You should list USFHP in the Consumer Ratings page of this website and give a 5 star rating with your comments. Thanks

  11. October 7th, 2009 at 4:22 pm #Jennifer

    Travelers: be warned not to use Access America for travel insurance. After my bad experience with them- I then found the pages and pages of negative reviews from dissatisfied customers who were victimized by their “reverse insurance fraud”. They do not pay claims. I purchased travel insurance with them through US Air. My aunt died two days before I was scheduled to leave for a vacation. I called Access America and was assured that this would be no problem-just fill out the claim forms. In addition to the claim forms, I also mailed a copy of the death certificate as well as a letter from the funeral home. They are now saying that if there was a pre-existing condition that they will not pay. Travel insurance is meant for unplanned, unforeseen events that cause a consumer to have to cancel travel plans…and that’s exactly what happened. My aunt’s death was unplanned and unforeseen. Be warned…. I have read hundreds of other complaints made by victims raped by Access America Travel Insurance and Assistance. Someone needs to stop them!

  12. October 7th, 2009 at 10:24 pm #admin

    Jennifer,

    But did you save 15% on your premiums ??? (I’m joking of course).

    You should give them a rating on the “Rate Your Adjuster” page of this website. You will reach more people that way.

    Thanks for taking the time and having the guts to speak out.

  13. January 6th, 2010 at 10:34 am #Squirt

    Why is CSAA rated worst and how many votes did that receive? I currently have a claim and would like to post a question but don’t know how to do it on this wonderful website. I hope you can respond.

    Thank you.

  14. January 6th, 2010 at 1:58 pm #admin

    Squirt,
    CSAA is rated worst based on our contributors own claim handling experience. You are welcome to give them your own rating on the “Rate Your Adjuster” page of this website when your claim is done.

    To post a question, pick a category under the Ask A Question and scroll to tghe bottom of the page. Or post your question in the Discussion Forum page.

  15. April 5th, 2010 at 8:04 pm #Malleaux

    Run from Farm Bureau!!

    We’re fighting back in the courts of public opinion. We’ve put up a sign at our burned out property to inform our community and eventually the nation how Farm Bureau Insurance treats it’s customers in their time of tragedy.

    A great watch!!!
    thefiretruth.com

    Malleaux’s

  16. April 7th, 2010 at 6:40 pm #admin

    Malleaux,

    Good for you! Can you take a minute and make a rating on your insurer and others on our “Rate Your Adjuster” page?

  17. September 7th, 2010 at 7:15 pm #TXAdjuster

    I have worked many storm and daily losses for Amica. They are excellent. I wish they would give up IntegriClaim, other than that, they are very fair minded and actually examine the facts of each case to determine if there is a way to cover the loss or part of the loss.

  18. March 3rd, 2011 at 9:43 am #Jeanette Viau

    This is a comment regarding C. Christians’ February 26, 2009 post.

    We are a law firm in California specializing in insurance bad faith claims, solely on behalf of policyholders/insureds. We currently have a lawsuit against California Capital Insurance Company/CIG involving a first party property claim arising out of fire damage. Our client the insured suffered almost exactly the same treatment as C. Christians – and in some ways, even worse. The CIG adjuster advised the insured’s mortgage company that the insured did not intend to repair – which was incorrect. The mortgage company commenced foreclosure proceedings based on the adjuster’s statement. The adjuster testified in deposition that, in fact, he knew the insured intended to repair. CIG also took an across the board 35% depreciation – which is totally improper. Perhaps C. Christians had the same experience.

    We are actively involved in trying to get “bad insurers” to answer for their transgressions. My partner and I have been in practice for almost 50 years combined. For about 13 of my 25 years of practice, I represented insurance companies. When my son was born, I “saw the light,” and switched sides. Would never go back. Our web site is vklawyers.com. Take a look.

    This is a great web site, by the way!

  19. March 8th, 2011 at 11:45 am #admin

    Jeanette – vklawyers.com, Ca Law Firm,

    Thanks for your comments. We would encourage you to add your brief opinion answers to Q&A’s on this website. Its free advice so there is no legal liability for accuracy. It’s also a way to get referrals and your name out there and seo for your own website.

    Consumers need “gutsy” plaintiff lawyers more than ever now in the wake of State Farm vs Campbell …

  20. August 9th, 2011 at 3:39 pm #Mike

    @Malleaux

    Yes Farm Bureau All State and Farmers are all crap. A restaurant caught fire here and I guess they didnt pay claim and the owner did the same exact thing you did. He spray painted his building stating how the insurance sucks and made a website

    Sad. I would never get any of those 3

  21. August 25th, 2011 at 7:41 pm #Craigster

    By far Farmer’s Insurance is the worst. Stay completely away from them. You will get screwed just like I did. Had them for eight years and just recently filed a claim. Just got a non-renewal notice in the mail today. Am cancelling them immediately file a complaint with BBB and State Insurance in Austin.
    Live in West Texas.

  22. September 7th, 2011 at 12:56 pm #Artman

    Stay away from Progressive Insurance. Their claims service is horrible!! I had a commercial truck turn left in front of me from the far right lane (I was in the inside lane), he had no working blinker, I had a 3rd party statement from someone I did not know who witnessed the event validated my report AND the truck driver ADMITTED he was at fault! I slammed on the brakes and swerved right but just hit his steel rear bumper wrecking my Honda’s passenger front side. Progressive sent me to a lousy repair facility and gave me 50% responsibility then notified the DMV and I got tagged on my driving record for 5 years!! I will never buy Progressive again and I’m telling anyone who will listen to STAY AWAY FROM PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE!!

  23. October 11th, 2011 at 3:59 pm #Kar

    I agree with the thumbs down on Travelers.
    I made the mistake of going with this Geico-associated company a decade ago. Now, having experienced my first claim situation, am being given the runaround. A different set of claim requirements at each contact, and no definite information as to what is covered. They are too cheap and lazy to send an adjuster, but want to continue racking up expensive premiums and increasing those each year despite no claims til now. (whooo! :)

  24. October 13th, 2011 at 2:08 pm #cw

    Where’s Chubb?? They’re the best.

  25. October 14th, 2011 at 9:21 am #Admin

    You can add Chubb by making a rating at the top of the page. The recommend avoid list is only insurers ICH experts have had claims experience with. Everyone says good things about Chubb. Perhaps thats why most people with Chubb claims never need to hire a public adjuster or attorney.

  26. October 14th, 2011 at 9:24 am #Admin

    Correction, add Chubb on the “Rate Your Adjuster” page under Insurers

  27. December 24th, 2011 at 8:02 pm #CareBear

    I currently have an auto claim pending with USAA and just received a letter saying they would not be paying! Stay away!

  28. January 2nd, 2012 at 7:48 pm #Jim

    I am an adjuster. I have my insurance with Hartford through AARP. Great prices and service.

  29. January 25th, 2012 at 1:46 pm #T.C.

    Hi I had insurance with Progressive and my car was declared a total loss due to a flood in the area, they got everything set very very quickly, car rental, body shop everything. Then I was told that I had to sign over power of attorney to them and that they would take care of everything else, they called 2 days straight wanting me to get the power of attorney over to them, I went in to drop the paper off to a local claims office, and they had a check for me. THe lady asked me for a title i told her that I did not have a title, she made me have a seat while she called to confirm, the department she spoke to told her that was all that I needed to give them. She signed the check and gave it to me, the check said PAY TO THE ORDER OF———-,ONLY, i deposited the check into my checking account it cleared. 2 days later i get a call from them stating that they made an error that the check was to made out to me and the lien holder and that the lien holder would send me the remaining money if any at all. Am I responsible for their misrepresentation? and can they take the money out of my checking account once it has already cleared the bank?

  30. January 25th, 2012 at 6:22 pm #Jason

    We don’t really understand what you mean when it was made payable to the order of ——, only. Is that your official name? If it is, I don’t see an issues.

  31. January 26th, 2012 at 11:11 am #KG

    TC-
    I agree with Jason if the — is your actual name, then there isn’t any issues- but if you still owe on your car, you’d need to pay it off and get the title to Progressive. They can’t go into your bank account.

  32. February 15th, 2012 at 10:13 am #Jim

    I have been an adjuster for 18 years. A General Adjuster for 12.

    You did not mention under good insurors The Hartford.

    They are the insuror for AARP. Great deals, Great coverage.

    The company has been in business since 1810. They are the onlcy insurance company that paid every single one of their claims in the New York, Chicago and San Francisco fires that occurred in the 1800′s.

    They insured Abraham Lincoln and Babe Ruth also. Great Company.

    I work for a lot of companies but I unsure my home and my cars with The Hartford.

    Jim Heiden

  33. March 20th, 2012 at 9:14 pm #Jerry

    AAA of Nothern CA (CSAA) is the worst homeowners insurance anyone can have. i had a flood in January 2012. To date they have not paid the contractors they recommended for any of the work they have done, and done well, nor have they paid me the 49000.00 theyowe me for the repairs to my home. It was for sale and now the people under contract to buy have backed out because no work has been done. The contractor is very good but explained they cannot start until they were paid the 12,000.00 for the work they have already done (completed in january) because the bank will not pay them anything until they are 1/2 done, thus they will be using this money for working capitol. The guy who dried my house out has not been paid and he has now sent me a bill to pay. I do not even know what to do. Pretty soon I will be getting a bill for the 13,000.00 I call and call the asdjuster but she states she is very busy but will be getting to it soon. THIS COMPANY IS NOTHING BUT A JOKE! Can any one help me? The peopkle I am alling are in Colorado and I am California.

  34. March 21st, 2012 at 8:49 pm #Dr. Derrick Smit

    I found the above situation interesting. I had AAA out to my home due to a wind storm which caused structural damage to my home. I am a doctor not a contractor. Upon the arrival of the adjuster to my home it was evident they had no clue on how to fix my home.
    I had concerns whether they would even pay for the damage. I asked the adjuster serveral questions and he kept referring me to the adjuster in Las Vegas who never answers the phones and then I am lucky if they called me back in a day or three. I found this odd in that they have not even seen my home. The adjuster then makes another appointment to come back out and bring a contractor with them. Although I was worried and had to take another day off I figured it was for the best. The contractor they brought out was very intelligent. He explained my damage to me and explained how he would fix it as the adjuster stood listening. The contractor is in the process of repairs and I am very satified . The contractor sold AAA but I am concerned what happens if they do not send out a contractor if I have another problem. So I am reading as much as I can about AAA in hopes of making the right choice at renewal in June. Right now things are not looking that good for them.
    In response to the person before, you said the contractor was good so I suggest you hang on to them and trust they will do right by you as I have been treated by my contractor. One thing about my contractor, he will not discuss policy questions; he made this very clear at the onset of my repair. He was paid for my repairs within a few weeks of coming out and started the reapirs shortly after.

  35. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:52 am #Susan McCormick

    Add STATE FARM, they are crappy too! Enough said!

  36. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:54 am #Susan McCormick

    FOLKS NEED to march on WASHINGTON, the capital and MAKE the changes needed by CONGRESS and REFUSE to pay ANYMORE insurance because of the crooks from ILLinois, is like a nasty dog biting its tail, funded by US! WE need to stop the injustice and legalized THIEVES!

  37. May 5th, 2012 at 10:46 am #Jason

    All you people,

    You need to get a decent job and take responsibility for yourself. No one deserves handouts which are apparently all you want.

  38. May 21st, 2012 at 1:40 pm #Lynn

    Jason,

    Everyone here BOUGHT, ie. PAID FOR with their HARD EARNED MONEY insurance under contracts which the insurance companies failed to live up to. We responsibly bought insurance. The insurance companies did not responsibly honor their contracts.

  39. July 23rd, 2012 at 8:01 am #Tom

    hi, my fiance rear ended someone and the insurance co has determined the car to be a total loss. first off it’s really not that bad. i can get it fixed at the auto shop i always use for about 1600 (he’s very good on price). second, if i do allow them to total it out and i take the money i will want to buy it back for the salvage rate and get it fixed myself. if i do so the title will stay branded salvaged becuase i hear it’s rediclous to get the repaird approved and a clean title reissued. I still have a loan on the car, any chance the credit union will allow me to carry liability only since it’s tough to get an insurnace company to insure a salvaged title. I plan to continue paying on the loan seeing as though id have to wheather i had the car or not.

  40. August 1st, 2012 at 6:05 pm #Rick Fuller

    Jason

    SHAME on you for your comment. Are you an adjuster or something? Hell, the reason people buy insurance in the first place is to protect their hard-earned property. Maybe You should take responsibility for hating and sticking your bazoo where it doesn’t belong. See where life takes you and you will learn.

  41. August 27th, 2012 at 9:44 pm #Amy

    Jerry and Dr. Derrick Smit,

    I am saddened to hear about your experiences, and honestly and completely shocked about the review on this site as being rated the worst for Homeowners and Auto Insurance. I’m completely baffled. I’ve been an Insurance Agent at CSAA for 8 years and absolutely love the company I work for, especially because I feel they are more than fair in the payout of claims, handle them quickly and we (the majority) actually care about our Members and do what we can to help them. I can honestly say I’ve only had to get involved in a handful of claims in the past 8 years.

    Jerry, have you considered talking to your Insurance Agent? I know I go up to bat for my Clients, and would think yours would do the same, if you bring the issue to their attention. Hope you get it resolved and are happy with the outcome.

    Still shocked at this sites CSAA rating. I don’t understand how we could be an A+ rated company, if we were the worst company. It just doesn’t make sense to me and my experience there.

  42. August 31st, 2012 at 2:32 am #Moderator1

    Amy,

    Your quoted rating is by “AM Best”. Their ratings are not for how generously or cheaply an insurer pays claims, but rather the “financial strength” of an insurer, which is good information for people looking to buy stock in an insurer, not policy holders looking for how “fairly” an insurer pays claims. And A+ is actually not a top rating by AM Best.

    I am sure you are a good agent.

  43. September 1st, 2012 at 3:47 pm #Moderator1

    Amy,

    Take a look at this outrageous “Proof of Loss Receipt and Release” http://www.uclaim.com/docs/img086.gif that your company, CSAA, (AAA of Northern California) uses on it’s own policy holder’s total loss auto claims and tell me that CSAA is not a low quality insurer when it comes to paying claims. I have handled claims for many insurance companies and never seen one (other than other AAA affiliate insurers) use this particular fraudulent tactic. This form is outrageous and illegal, yet CSAA has been using it for at least my 30+ years in the claims business. It’s a perfect example of many insurance industry unfair practices that are ignored by departments of insurance. And it’s a perfect example of how some insurers can become financially strong at the expense of their policy holders and gain a top AM Best A+ rating. Great for stockholders, bad for policy holders. You can see other examples of abusive tactics like this at UClaim.com.

    In all fairness to you, its not your job to get involved with the details of claims. Your job is to sell policies. That’s why insurance companies keep claim departments physically separated from underwriting and sales departments. They don’t want those folks getting to know each other too well. You sound like a good agent. But there is only so much an agent can do, like complaining, when it comes to helping their policy holders who are having problems with the claims department.

  44. November 15th, 2012 at 9:54 am #kathy ramadan

    Hi
    I had a pan leak in my bathroom shower
    my adjuster won’t pay for the wallpaper removal where the toilet is because he said it is a separate room from the bathroom because it has a door. but he is paying for the carpet in that room.
    won’t pay for the tile of the tub only the shower because the shower is not connected
    will only pay for base board two feet and door trim of toilet door
    but not the door or cabinet next to it.
    Is the toilet really considered a separate room from the bathroom? My base board is connected to the towel cabinet and that is connected to the sink. If I ony pain part of it will look funny.
    Is my agent suppose to fight for me or not? He thinks I am right but says he is not suppose to get involved.
    Thanks
    kathy

  45. April 14th, 2013 at 7:01 pm #Jason

    Post to notify me by e-mail.

  46. May 1st, 2013 at 6:06 pm #Toni Douglass

    I have been an Amica customer for 40 years, home and auto. It has been a point of pride that I have been with company for so long, both my marriages combined are 38 years. So when we had 38″ of snow this winter, my huband noticed that my garage roof was sagging in the middle. So with the utmost confidence I called Amica. An adjuster was sent out, he filed his report. All a sudden Amica is sending an engineer to check the garage. I was happy at first, thinking that the engineer would know everything wrong with my garage. My husband’s first words were “they are going to screw us”. When I questioned the claim handler, his exact words were “just because you have been a customer for 40 years and recommended us to other people, you think we should just write you a check”. I was so upset, I started crying. Today the claim handler called and said , No we aren’t going to pay money on the claim. Why, well he said that it was natural settling, or wasn’t build right, wasn’t quite sure why it’s sagging, only that this wasn’t covered. Then tells me that the engineer went to the townhall and found a picture of my house from 2001 and after blowing it up really large, they can can see a sag in my roof. I had a new roof put on 5 years ago and no one mentioned a sag. You can see that the weight of the snow pushed the wall between the garage doors off the foundation, the garage doors can’t come all the way down. I can’t tell you how upsetting this has been to me. Something’s you just depend on and I for 40 years thought that was Amica. Amica is not the same company that I knew. I can’t explain how upsetting it is to lose your faith in a company that you have done business with for 40 years.Amica was great for 40 years until I filed a claim.

  47. May 1st, 2013 at 6:28 pm #Jason

    Toni,
    If you select the first active link above, you will see that Amica is one of the top rated insurance companies as reported by consumers.

    Insurance does not cover every single thing that goes wrong with a house. The length of time being a customer does not dictate whether a claim will be paid or not. In fact, time of coverage does not mean anything. Only the a cause of loss that is listed in the policy as a covered cause of loss will determine coverage.

    I can’t suggest that you find another insurer because you already have one of the top rated companies as your insurance carrier. A rightfully denied claim by an insurance company does not mean the company is not a good company.

  48. May 3rd, 2013 at 1:38 pm #Toni Douglass

    Jason, Amica has changed, it was a great insurance company. Just the way I was spoken to was so out of bounds. I was rejected on a picture that they found at the assessor office from 12 years ago, that they say when blown up really large it shows a sag. But when I asked for the blown up picture to see what they were talking about, I was told that they couldn’t print it. The claim was totally rejected on this picture that they can’t product. I think Amica is changed and still milking the reputation they had for years. I have pursue this claim because I just feel so ripped off.

  49. May 9th, 2013 at 10:54 am #Daria

    I have American Family insurance for auto and home. Recently my home was severly damaged by hail including the roof and 3 sides of the house. My issue with American Family is that they won’t cover siding on the 4rth side of the house even though the origianal siding is no longer avail (that company has gone bancrupt), so 3 sides of the house will have different siding than the 4rth, which will reduce the value of my house.

    I was wondering if you have any advice for me on my claim. And how does American Family rank on their claim payouts?

    Thank you

  50. May 9th, 2013 at 11:09 am #Jason

    Daria,
    If you want to see how American Family pays out, look at the information at the top of this page under BEST AND WORST INSURANCE COMPANIES.

    Similar siding can be found to get a very close match. That is the stance of the insurance industry. However, insurance companies do cave-in to complaints and demands that all sides should be replaced despite the insurance policy indicating it will pay only for direct damage. If the 4th side isn’t damaged, it is not considered part of the claim.

    The policy is silent on the topic of matching and numerous courts have ruled that when there is an inside corner, outside corner, elevation change, or other physical barrier, that is where the scope of the damage should end.

    Refusing to accept 3 sides being replaced and holding out for all 4 sides is probably your best bet in the claim process. Many people have been successful in this approach. If you have to go to court to compel the insurance company to pay for 4 sides, it will likely be unsuccessful.

  51. May 14th, 2013 at 4:25 pm #Steve

    Progressive low bids their repair estimates and then offers a cash payout. They would not look at any data to support the actual cost of repairs and always stick to their script that they only pay on THEIR estimate. The few hundred they saved will cost them 10 times that much in bad press from me! Seems like they should operate more like Nationwide and give people a good experience so they will buy their product and have a good opinion of them. Progressive, stop putting money into Flo and give fair claim payouts!

  52. June 3rd, 2013 at 4:43 pm #Garry Dhaliwal

    How do we get Swett & Crafford from Atlanta, GA to file a claim to their E & O Policy ???

  53. June 3rd, 2013 at 7:17 pm #Jason

    Garry,
    When you file a written, formal complaint to Swett & Crafford, they should be obligated to notify their E&O carrier of their exposure. If that doesn’t get them to involve their E&O carrier, a lawsuit will most certainly require them to notify, and involve, their E&O carrier of your claim.

    E&O insurance coverage is rarely ever needed to respond to claims unless serious and blatant error or omissions have occurred.

    You may want to seek the counsel of an attorney to see if you situation qualifies for the E&O insurance company involvement. Without knowing the details, it most likely does not.

  54. July 19th, 2013 at 1:37 pm #Miriam

    I have had two separate nightmare experiences with STATE FARM INSURANCE. In both instances they denied my claim. I live in a vertical condominium that has CC&Rs which clearly set forth the fact that the “owner” is responsible for all single use pipes and their hot water heaters. Owners are reminded annually that they should have routine inspections and maintenance performed on their water heaters. Owners have sole access and control the tanks located in their individual units.

    The water heater in the unit above me (owned by a private trust, managed by a realty company and rented to a lovely single mom) burst flooding my kitchen for at least two hours. State Farm said that because it could not have been anticipated (no visual evidence) that the tank would burst, the owner/State Farm was not liable.

    I know for a fact that the owner (a trust) never performs routine inspections or maintenance on the tank. All printed material suggests that the tanks needed to be drained at least once a year to remove sediment that causes the tanks to corrode. In any event, State Farm drug this out for two months and then called to say my claim was denied.

    Meanwhile, I sit with huge holes in my ceiling and wall and no funds to repair the damage without making a claim on my policy, which in turn will probably cause my rates to go up.

    A BIG THUMBS DOWN TO STATE FARM. THEY EXIST TO COLLECT PREMIUMS AND TO NOT PAY CLAIMS. THEY PROBABLY REWARD THEIR CLAIMS REPS BASED ON THE NUMBER OF CLAIMS DENIED.

  55. July 22nd, 2013 at 7:47 am #Jason

    Miriam,
    Insurance companies don’t care about the clear maintenance language, or even vague maintenance language, in a condo bylaws. If there is no negligence of their insured, they won’t accept liability where none exists. Even if the maintenance was done as indicated, that will not assure a water leak will not ever occur. Accidents happen and that is the purpose of you having insurance on your unit – to provide coverage for things out of your control.

  56. July 29th, 2013 at 7:48 pm #Nate

    Insurance is a crazy biz. My mother’s former homeowners would only cover her pianio for 25K, half of it’s 50K value. Chubb came to the rescue. They cover higher end homes but don’t yank your chain when it’s their time to belly up. My home wasn’t high enough in value only 550K. Eded up with Encompass a notch below Chubb. Only great things to say about them, top notch insurance company and not much more than the average companies.

  57. September 10th, 2013 at 8:26 pm #Mary

    Can anyone comment on Acuity? Rates are reasonable. I’m wondering how they respond when a claim is filed. Thank you.

  58. September 10th, 2013 at 8:36 pm #Jason

    Mary,
    On this site, there is an area to look at certain companies at the top of this page called BEST AND WORST INSURANCE COMPANIES. Acuity isn’t in those categories. Other than asking, you can do independent research on the internet to see comments or ratings of Acuity claims feedback.

    Personal experience and research has given me comfort that Amica and USAA are top rated companies that have good claim feedback from their customers.

  59. September 10th, 2013 at 8:48 pm #Mary

    Thank you for your speedy response, Jason. I had looked at the BEST AND WORST INSURANCE COMPANIES lists at the top of the page. Since I didn’t see Acuity there, I thought I’d ask whether you or others had any experience with them. I appreciate your recommendations and your taking the time to maintain this blog.

  60. September 10th, 2013 at 8:57 pm #Jason

    Mary,
    You can look at bbb ratings, claim complaints, other things with acuity. I find nothing of concern doing a quick review of acuity. I would say that your claim response with acuity would be acceptable.

  61. September 14th, 2013 at 8:37 pm #Amanda

    This may be off topic, but I know your all a bunch of insurance legal ease. I live In Oklahoma an obvious high policy state. However, I have began to notice that my policy premiums are 3,4,5x the state average, with only 1 claim ever being made by me which was recent. I’ve had the policy since 2008, it’s an ACV homeowners policy for up to 115k replacement, $1500 deductible. My home is built 1984,1200 sq feet fire hydren in my front yard, a fire station less than 1 mile and I live in an incredibly low crime city (almost unheard of,besides normal teenagers goofing off). So why do you think I’m getting quotes for $3,000 annual premiums??? Is there anything I’m not doing, that could be doing to get a lower premium. This just seems outrageous.

  62. September 15th, 2013 at 8:25 am #Jason

    Amanda,
    The way you might be looking for insurance quotes such as online quotes or with big insurance companies such as state farm, allstate, or farmers may be the wrong approach to find the best insurance deal.

    Find an independent insurance agent and have him/her find you some competitive insurance rates. To have an ACV policy for your home makes no sense when you should have a replacement policy for much less.

    With an independent agent, they can compare several different company’s rates with other companies and find you the most competitive rates for your insurance needs. You can even try a couple of different independent agents in your area and let them do the work of finding you the best deal. Your single claim should not be a huge factor that puts you out of the competive market for insurance coverage. With home owner insurance, longevity with a single company does not guarantee you the lowest rates. Insurance comapanies don’t seem to reward long-term customers so look for a different company immediately.

    Currently, my home and personal property is insured for replacement w/$1000 deducitlbe for a home described much like yours. The premium I pay is $366/year. It’s a small mutual insurance company in Wisconsin that insures homes in the the mostly rural, and some smaller urban, areas of the upper midwest area. You should be able to find something much less expensive.

    You are not off topic. Premiums are an important part of insurance, and are as important as receiving a fair claim payout when you do have a claim.

  63. September 21st, 2013 at 1:15 pm #Jeff

    I made a home insurance claim 5 years ago to fix a leaky sunroom caused by snow damage. Since then, the roof has leaked a bit in extreme weather. We have had a fer roofers in to try and fix problems but we have recently been told that the roof was not built to code. It is a metal roof and does not have enough pitch to allow water to run off quickly enough. Is my insurance responsible for this after all this time?

  64. September 21st, 2013 at 3:36 pm #Jason

    Jeff,
    No – the one responsible for the roof not having enough pitch is the person or company who built the roof. Due to the amount of time since the roof was placed on the structure, it is very unlikely you will be able to collect from that person or company. Your insurance cannot control the actions of contractors and builders.

    Although the insurance won’t pay to correct a deficiently built roof, they may cover the water damage. You have to keep in mind that insurance covers sudden and accidental damage unless the cause of damage is excluded. There is nothing sudden about a roof that leaks because its pitch is too low; in fact, it’s expected to leak on occassion.

  65. October 1st, 2013 at 8:38 am #Suengineer

    I’ve had my autos insured with USAA for 22 years now, and as long as they keep working like they do, I’ll never insure with anyone else. Claims have been paid VERY fairly and VERY quickly. That being said, I’m researching homeowners insurance right now, and I’m finding that USAA not only has higher premiums, but their services come up short. Perhaps they should start using their auto insurance adjusters start handling their homeowner claims.

  66. October 1st, 2013 at 9:11 am #Jason

    Suengineer,
    Good to hear about USAA paying very fairly and quickly. We all have come to expect that of USAA. The higher premium may still be worth it for USAA and your homeowner coverage. I can’t accept your statement that USAA is ranked poorly in service and claim payments for home owner insurance. Industry-wide, that is not the general consensus.

    However, if you are intent on switching, look at Amica, or some smaller mutual insurance companies that have good claim payment ratings. When it comes to claim payment ratings, that is kind of important and should outweigh the premium concerns, even if the premiums are higher. If you want both high premiums and poor claim payment service, look into Farmers or Allstate.

  67. October 2nd, 2013 at 1:30 pm #Suengineer

    Jason, thank you for the input. I’ll definitely check further into USAA.

    I know that CSE Insurance Group is on the “Worst” list above, but can anyone provide some more specific/detailed feedback? I work at a State job, and received a quote for insurance from them, but I agree that it’s worth a little more money to get better service.

  68. October 2nd, 2013 at 4:06 pm #Jason

    Suengineer,

    Here are a couple of real-person reports of CSE:

    “I had a claim for water damage and I am surprised how disorganized and incompetent CSE is. They demanded that I only use their contractors, who only offered to install inferior products. CSE is a insurance company to stay away from. It seems like everyone in the claim process know each other and are buddies, and are there only to take advantage of the insured. Stay away from CSE, better to purchase insurance from a larger and more well known company like Farmers, etc.” – California

    *****Comment by Jason – Farmers may be well known but you don’t want to trade one bad insurance company for another one.*****

    ‘Worst insurance company in the business. Harasses you when you make a claim and does not pay on claims, and makes you use their contractors, who offer inferior, low quality work. ***STAY AWAY FROM CSE*** – Anonymous

    There is a reason CSE is on the bottom. Most people would pay a higher premium if they could forecast the future and see how terrible their company is when they make a claim.

  69. January 10th, 2014 at 6:22 pm #Steve

    As a Public Adjuster I can assure you that ALL insurance companies are looking out for their best interest, which is their company. I am so puzzled when I am speaking to a possible client at the time after their loss, mostly fire, and they tell me that they are covered by their insurance company and don’t need to pay for my services. I what to shake them and say “it’s the fox guarding the henhouse. Dont you see that?” Understand that after any loss, car, home etc. you have become a liability to the insurance company and they want to pay you off at the lowest amount you will take and move on to the next claimant. It is your responsibility to prove what you lost and show any documentation to support your claim. So many insureds believe that Nationwide is on their side and they are in goods hands…Wrong! If you think you can outsmart the insurance without help form a Public Adjuster you are very mistaken. You wouldn’t go to court without a lawyer would you? So when I read these post above, about how bad the insurance company was, well it was your fault for not seeking help and believing those adds we see on T.V. using our football hero’s like Coach Harbaugh. Insurance is big business and they didn’t get that way by paying large losses.

  70. January 10th, 2014 at 7:54 pm #Jason

    As a contributor that has posted responses to thousands of questions on this site, let me expand on Steve’s statements.

    For the most part, he is correct that the insurance company’s are in the business to make money. In order to make money and exist as an on-going venture, the insurance company has to keep it’s revenue coming in and pay for actuarily assumed claim costs that are payable by the policy. The insurance company has to do this in a fair manner in order to keep to keep their revenue coming in. If they fail to live up to their policy coverages and customers leave, the insurance company will lose money and that could lead to the company failing. Overall, if an insurance company is collecting an appropriate premium from its customers, it should be able to appropriately pay for the losses of its customers. The on-going success of an insurance company requires satisfied customers and if the claims are settled fairly, then they will retain the customers to continue their continual business arrangement.

    Now, let’s talk about public adjusters. Steve didn’t mention that public adjusters represent the claim for insureds usually on a percentage basis. This percentage differs but let’s say they charge 30-40 percent of the total claim value. This means if you have $20,000 worth of damage to your home, you will pay the public adjuster $6000-8000 of the $20,000 you receive from the insurance company.

    So, that leaves you with $12,000-14,000 to repair $20,000 worth of damage. I think this example makes it clear what is going on.

    One additional thing I would like to add is that if you have a total loss of your primary residence in WI, TX, OH, or 17 other states that has a valued policy law, you will collect the face value of your policy of your claim settlement with very little effort. However, in this case if you contracted with a public adjuster, they will require you to pay 30-40% of your policies face value just because you signed a contract with a public adjuster. A public adjuster for a total loss in a valued policy state makes a public adjuster much, much worse than a fox in a hen house. Just do the math.

    Steve compares a public adjuster to a lawyer. A lawyer is not a public adjuster and a public adjuster is not a lawyer. Don’t go to court with a public adjuster when you need a lawyer.

    Now, to be fair to public adjusters, they can serve a purpose to help an insured obtain coverage for an otherwise denied claim. However, since the payment to either a lawyer or a public adjuster is about the same percentage, you have to weigh who will help you more based on your specific circumstances, especially if you and the insurance company have to settle differences in court.

  71. January 10th, 2014 at 10:04 pm #Moderator1

    To elaborate on public adjuster fees. Most public adjusters typically charge 10% on a $100,000 loss where there are no coverage issues. Some public adjusters will lower the fee percentage as the loss size goes up. I have seen Greenspan charge 3% (Three) on a $500,000 covered fire loss. But if the claim was denied, msot public adjusters would not take a denied claim for less than 30% to 50%. Any public who wants over 15% on a covered loss should be considered very carefcully and price shopped, IMO.

  72. January 13th, 2014 at 12:28 am #Dee

    I had an auto accident the other driver was at fault. We both had liabilty insurance. I am being told that even though my max is $50k (plus $2k for medical) that $15k from the other insurance company is deducted from my maximum. This limits my insurance companys liability to me to $35k. Is this the way insurance companys legally reduce their liability even though I was paying for $50k in coverage? The other driver was under insured and that was the maximum on their policy.

  73. January 13th, 2014 at 7:50 am #Jason

    Dee,
    In your third sentence, who told you that? I have to ask because it makes no sense. And because your question refers to statements that don’t make sense, I am unable to answer the question.

    Rephrase your question and/or don’t tie the question to unreliable information someone told you.

  74. January 17th, 2014 at 8:50 pm #PROGRESSIVE SUCKS

    PROGRESSIVE IS BY FAR THE WORST AND WILL FIGHT EVERY PENNY TO NOT HAVE TO PAY A CLAIM OF THERE AT FAULT DRIVERS. POLICY LIMITS OF $25,000 MEDICAL BILLS AND WAGE LOSS OF $96,000 Setttlement OFFER $1,500. is that legal? well then they fight you tooth and nail make you hire an attorney drag on for years and end up paying $0.00. SUCH A JOKE!

  75. January 17th, 2014 at 8:57 pm #Jason

    Progressive,
    Yes, progressive is rated as one of lowest rated insurance companies but based on your usage of capital letters in your post, you are speaking on the basis of emotion rather than facts.

    You have not mentioned anything about your case other than an offer so it is impossible to comment with any clarity. Offers are based on circumstances of each claim.

    If you hired an attorney, you may need to find out what happened from your attorney’s perspective. If we were to comment, we would be shooting in the dark.

  76. February 22nd, 2014 at 10:53 am #robert sanders/stansberry costruction

    Hi, I’ve been in the insurance construction business in Nevada since 1969. At one time or another I have been on all the major carriers preferred contractors list in good standing. After hurricane Andrew in the early 90′s I notice a change in the way they handle their insured. Prior to then they would bend over backwards to cover the claim properly. then it changed from replace it to repair or deny it. That’s where I drew the line if I couldn’t do correctly I wouldn’t do it all. As you might guess one by one I lost there business. In Nevada your name is everything and once you pull a permit to do the repair your name stays with that property forever. I’ve had realitors call me 10 years later to see if remember or still had a file on that job. So to get to point I’ll explain something. In the early years I would work hand in hand to not off the public adjustor because the insurance would cover everything needed to do the job correctly. Now you have to fight to get it to pass building codes even if you have code upgrades. I got tired of that so I started working public adjustors. They know what should be covered and fight tooth an nail to get it . In last ten years every customer I’ve worked with has come better covered claim wise because the insurance company knows they can’t get away with anything. I’ve never seen P.A. charge more than 10% in the whole time I’ve work with them and in if the customer with sign with me to repairs I would part of or all of the 10% to the PA. So it’s a win win for the insured. I can only speak for Las Vegas a Public Adjustor or well Qualified insurance contractor and not one they provide is the way to go.

  77. February 27th, 2014 at 12:55 pm #Margaret Naper

    Fireman’s Fund is the insurer from HELL! They are promoted by the brokers who sell Chubb which is top drawer. I used Fireman’s Fund for 7 properties I owned, one duplex got stripped and I had $40,000 worth of receipts for materials I had purchased during a rehab. FF spent months trolling around town trying to find someone who would help them incriminate me for fraud. People let me know what they were up to. Then when they could find no one, they argued that there was no way I had that amount of merchandise in the property because it wouldn’t fit in there. I had witnesses and store managers who verified delivery. Then they fought me for a whole year back and forth, giving me supposed developer tract housing pricing per square foot for the repairs. It was hell on earth dealing with this scum. I complained to my broker and she replied “We only insure rich people” What????? They loved taking my $$$ no problem..that was Elaine Sevilla of AON Private Risk Management.
    Well in the end FF paid maybe 10 cents on the dollar and due to a crazy Illinois law insurers can get away with not paying any claims under $70,000. Beware of this horrible company, they are pure evil and so dangerous to deal with. What if I had had an enemy out there who wanted to hurt me? They wanted me in jail instead of paying a claim!

  78. March 11th, 2014 at 5:46 pm #David

    The experience I had with Chubb was positive. They evaluated the claim fairly and paid it at an appropriate stage of the process.

  79. June 10th, 2014 at 2:35 pm #Jonathan Ojeda

    I got to a car accident a couple years ago and now is coming to the time that’s about to be settled but the final the main table with a different number how long does it take for USAA to reissue out a check with the right amount

  80. June 10th, 2014 at 10:41 pm #Jason

    Jonathan,
    Post a coherent post with a coherent question.

    After trying to read your post several times, it looks like you may need to contact USAA’s check issuing department intead of this site. I believe USAA has distinguished itself as a fair and reliable insurance company.

  81. July 15th, 2014 at 1:05 pm #George B

    I live in Tucson Az. A micro storm hit our neighborhood house and took off his roof. It the roof landed on my car,park next door on the street.
    The neighbor has AllState insurance.
    My car only had liability on it. So my insurance is not in the picture.
    I called his agent and left a message there is damage on my car. I think it is totaled.
    I am a Vietnam vet and I had the car I saved for a month. Now wiped out.
    What can you tell me about coverage from Allstate insurance and potential problems with them paying me and the damage caused by thier house to my car and other homes around?
    Can I get a rent a car? Is my car covered by Allstate?
    I am low income and don’t know what to do.

  82. July 15th, 2014 at 6:39 pm #Jason

    George,
    You will not receive a dime from Allstate. Allstate owes you nothing. It doesn’t matter from whose house the material that damaged your car was from. When it is removed by a storm, it is considered debris and an act of nature. No one is responsible for acts of nature.

    If you want to get a rental, get a rental. Be aware that you will pay the entire cost of the rental and you won’t be reimbursed by anyone or any company.

    If you want your car to be protected, you need to have physical damage insurance for your car. Since you had none, you will absorb the entire loss yourself. I keep repeating this – don’t rely on other people’s insurance to protect your property.

  83. July 17th, 2014 at 5:37 pm #JAB

    A note about Amica for homeowners insurance:

    I was going to go with them because multiple reviews gave it top ratings, including a 2014 Consumer Reports.

    Unfortunately, they said it was an automatic decline if you live in California and the foundation is not bolted (independent of whether or not you want earthquake coverage).

    As this is an insurance policy for a house that I am purchasing and do not yet own, I had the inspector investigate the foundation, and it is in excellent shape despite not being bolted. I plan to have it bolted in the first year or two… so perhaps I will give Amica a chance after that.

  84. July 27th, 2014 at 6:05 am #Not so Fast

    Auto Owners of Michigan is terrible for not paying claims. I just cancelled my policy with them because of them refusing to pay a claim. They will take thousands in premiums but will avoid paying a claim at all cost.

  85. August 4th, 2014 at 1:58 pm #Not so Fast Too

    Not so fast about Hartford providing great service. I had Harftord homeowners coverage and had a large hail damage claim. A huge storm that damaged hundreds of homes throughout our area, Colorado. They (Hartford) were absolutely terrible about altering the damages submitted by an independent appraiser (which they hired by the way) to chop down the amount of the settlement, and they never did pay fully for the replacement cost of several damaged windows where the window frame was broken by the large hail stones. They claimed it was only the glazing bead, not the frame. Even though they were never on site and just going off of digital pictures which clearly showed the damage to the frame. Then, a year after I dropped them the insurance agent said that Hartford would have paid, BUT no one told me that while the claim was still open.

  86. September 10th, 2014 at 3:32 pm #Worst Auto Insurance Companies In Georgia | autoshope.com

    [...] Best Insurance Companies for “Claims Payout” – Insurance … – Best Car Insurance. Nationwide (800-421-1444) is the only one we strongly recommend. They beat all the others with fast claims service and a generous claim payout …… [...]

  87. September 11th, 2014 at 4:53 pm #2014 Insurance Company Ratings | Monday's Great Deal

    [...] Best Insurance Companies for “Claims Payout” – Insurance … – Here are the BEST insurance companies for paying claims, rated NOT by premium cost – but by CLAIMS PAYOUT. Also listed are the WORST companies…. [...]

  88. September 17th, 2014 at 1:46 am #Top Insurance Underwriting Companies | Help Me Insurance

    [...] Best Insurance Companies for “Claims Payout” – Insurance … – Here are the BEST insurance companies for paying claims, rated NOT by premium cost – but by CLAIMS PAYOUT. Also listed are the WORST companies…. [...]

  89. September 17th, 2014 at 1:29 pm #Sally

    How do you rate USAA for car and/or home insurance? Thanks,

  90. September 17th, 2014 at 1:33 pm #Sally

    Any thoughts on Allied?

  91. September 17th, 2014 at 2:21 pm #Jason

    Sally,
    Don’t take my word for it. Do some research. There is a good link at the top of this page to the Best and Worst Rated Insurance Companies.

    USAA is a good insurance company. You will have to do research on Allied. I am not familiar with Allied’s claim satisfaction rankings.

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