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How to Find the Best Illinois Homeowners Insurance Company

How does one choose the best Illinois homeowners insurance company? It is certainly important when buying homeowners insurance in Illinois to get the company out there that will best fit your needs.

There are approximately 12 million people in the state of Illinois, thus making it one of the most populated states in the central region of the United States. With so many residents we can assume that the demand for homeowners insurance is very high. But with so many companies out there how can we get to the one that is best for us?

In this article you will be given a few tips and important information to assist you in this important process of choosing the best Illinois homeowners insurance company for your needs.

Financial Ratings And Illinois Homeowners Insurance Companies

When we speak about homeowners insurance in the state of Illinois we are speaking about a multimillion dollar industry. Because of this it is very important for you to get a company that is in good shape financially. Having an Illinois homeowner’s insurance policy is basically a way of protecting you and your family from any unexpected catastrophe or accident that might happen. Because it is based on the future it is important to see how well a homeowner insurance company is doing in the present.

A company that is excellent financially will more than likely not have any problem when it comes to assisting you with a claim or giving you money right away after an accident. Companies without good financial ratings usually take a little bit more to deliver the reimbursements after a claim.

There are several ways in which you can check a company’s financial strength. You could either call the company and ask an agent for the latest financial rating figures, or go online and search in their websites. There are also rating companies such as A.M. Best, Standard and Poor’s, Fitch, etc; that will allow a customer to search for any insurance company and get their ratings. It is important to highlight that because a company is known nationally it does not mean that they are in good financial standing. You must always check first before making any assumptions.

The Yellow Pages And The Internet Can Help You In Your Search For Illinois Homeowners Insurance Companies

You might be asking yourself how to find the best IL homeowner insurance company out there in the market. The fact of the matter is that every person might have a different feeling about a certain company, and for this reason the best thing to do is to try and research each company that sparks a little interest in your. There are two ways in which you will be able to search for the company that is best for you.

One of them involves getting your local yellow pages and searching for insurance companies. Before actually deciding on which one is good for you try giving them a call and speaking to their agents. If you find that the company interests you at least a bit, then go ahead and visit them personally. Once you are there you will be able to clarify some doubt on how the company works. Do the customers seem happy with the treatment they receive? Are the agents knowledgeable of the insurance industry? Is the place in a clean and organized condition? Do they offer good customer service? Are there any awards on the walls? By just looking for certain things you will be able to make a prediction of each company.

The other way in which you can do some research and try to find the best company for you is to log online and search Google or Yahoo for homeowner insurance companies in you area of Illinois. After you do that you will be able to visit company websites and research about their history, awards and the path to their present success. Some companies will even allow you to see the plans and some discounts. It is important to mention that almost all companies nowadays will let you get quotes online or give you a number on their website where you can call to apply for a quote.

Select Illinois Homeowners Insurance Companies

This last section of the article is specifically designed for the people that want examples of the many companies available in the state of Illinois. It is important to understand that these are just some of the companies and that there are many more out there. You will be able to see the history and the rankings of each just to give customers a better understanding of the importance that each of those two factors have in the Illinois homeowners insurance industry.

American Family Insurance: This Company has been on the main map of insurance in the United States since October 3, 1927. It was on that date that Mr. Herman Wittwer decided to start selling insurance products to farmers in the state of Wisconsin. The reasoning behind this was that farmers were driving less than other drivers and they deserved lower rates. The company kept growing and nowadays they also offer homeowners, life annuity, health, business, ranch and farm insurance. Presently they also have more than $4.8 billion in policy holder equity. $15.5 billion in assets (according to their website) and they also operate in 18 states of the country extending from the Pacific State of Washington all the way to Ohio by the Great Lakes. They claim to employ an estimated 8,200 people and another 3,975 agents. With more than nine million policies in force, this company will only keep growing.

Madison Mutual Insurance Company: This company just like the other was founded in the 1920’s, but the only difference is that it has been a steadily contender of property and casualty insurance in the state of Illinois. They have kept growing at tremendous rates simply because they have been expanding their products and providing customers with excellent customer service. At the end of calendar year 2006 they had written $32.7 million in premiums and had approximately $71.4 million in assets. All through the state of Illinois they offer insurance in 131 independent agencies and with the help of 398 qualified licensed agents. The company is expected to keep its tremendous grow through the entire state and it is expected to start expanding to other states as their assets become larger.

There Are Many Top Illinois Homeowners Insurance Companies

As said before there are many homeowners insurance companies out there in the state of Illinois that will do all they can to provide coverage to the many people that are house searching within the state. When looking for the best company for you, always look at their history and financial ratings (remember that rating agencies can help).

What Does a Life Insurance Company Rating Mean?

Most people, comfortable with their own sense of immortality, might look to a Life Insurance Company rating as an indication of the lowest premiums for x amount of Life Insurance. A bit more important is the Company’s financial stability and its ability to pay its claims.

When you are shopping for Life Insurance and feel all proud of yourself for being responsible and taking care of the risk management portion of your long term financial planning process, it is easy to concentrate solely on the cost of premiums. After all, most people are expecting to lost their wager with the Insurance Company and are getting Insurance for the “what if” and not the “when.”

Yet, although comparative premiums play a part in the Life Insurance Company rating, financial stability is a more important consideration. If an Insurance Agent offered you a million dollar term policy for a couple of cents a year, it might seem like a very, very good deal. Yet, if the Company has folded up shop and moved to Central America when your beneficiaries come looking for their payout, it was really a wasted couple of cents.

In the world of permanent Life Insurance and the combination of Life Insurance with savings and investment, financial stability and a good track record in selecting and managing your investment are the factors that constitute a good Insurance Company Rating. The ratings and evaluations of any single Company are subject to change during the life of your policy. The need to understand ratings and to follow them closely does not end when the policy is purchased.

There are several reputable Rating services and they present their ratings online, so it is easy to obtain them. In addition, the Insurance regulatory agencies of most States can provide additional information on Company performance. The Insurance Marketplace Standards Association (IMSA) provides a Seal of Approval to Companies with ethical standards and a good performance records.

Remember, the Life Insurance Company Rating is a combination of a number of factors. These include competitive rate comparisons, but more important are the ratings that indicate long term financial stability and a good performance and investment track record. The ratings are tools that can be used to make the important choices involved in the selection of the best Company for your Insurance needs. Make sure you use them and do not be afraid to discuss them and their meaning with your Insurance Agent.

Insurance Company Complaints – Who Are the Top 10 Companies With the Least Number of Complaints?

The New York State Department of Insurance (DOI) just released the 2008 Annual Ranking of Automobile Insurance Complaints. The report has been issued to help consumers find the automobile insurer that best meets their needs. You can use this report to compare the ranking of the insurance company you are doing business with now, or check another company you may be considering.

This report analyzed data collected from 2006 and 2007. It only ranks companies doing business in the State of New York. However, as New York is a heavily populated state, with both big urban centers and big suburban areas, the report can be considered a good representation of insurance company performance nationwide.

How The Ranking Works

The insurance companies are ranked on a complaint ratio. The ratio is calculated by the number of complaints upheld against companies as a percentage of their total private passenger auto business.

Insurers with the fewest upheld complaints per million dollars of premiums are shown at the top of the list. The companies with the highest ratio of complaints are ranked at the bottom.

Other Information to Consider

The ranking of an insurance company is important, but it is only one characteristic that consumers should weigh when considering doing business with an insurance company. Others are:

o Referrals from friends, relatives, neighbors or co-workers about the experiences they had with their insurance companies
o Price of the premium versus perceived value
o Search the Internet for other ideas
o Check your state’s DOI website, which may contain valuable consumer information about companies doing business in your state.

What The Ranking Does and Does Not Contain

o Private passenger insurance is the only type evaluated.
o It only includes the complaints referred by consumers to the DOI. It does not include complaints made directly to the insurance companies.
o Complaints are “upheld” when the DOI agrees with a consumer that an insurance company made an inappropriate decision.
o Information from prior years is included in the tables so consumers can see if the company has improved or gotten worse.
o All companies with at least $10 million in premium in 2006 and 2007 are included in the ranking. Insurers with less than $10 million were included if they had 10 or more complaints against them.

Top Three Most Common Complaints

1. Monetary settlements – settlement amount is too low.
2. Policy terminations
3. Promptness of insurance payments

2007 Auto Complaint Listing (ranked lowest number at top, higher as you go down)

1. Mercury General Group
2. American Express, Amex Assurance, IDS Property Casualty
3. Eveready Insurance Co.
4. Electric Insurance Group
5. Amica Mutual
6. Preferred Mutual Insurance Co.
7. United Services Automobile Assurance Group (USAA)
8. Chubb
9. Utica Mutual
10. State F*arm
11. Central Services Group, Central Insurance Group, NY Central Mutual Fire Ins.
12. Main Street America Group, National Grange Mutual
13. Progressive
14. Liberty Mutual
15. Kingsway Insurance Group, Lincoln General Ins.
16. Response Insurance Group
17. Nationwide Insurance
18. American Modern Ins. Group, American Family Home Ins.
19. St. Paul Travelers
20. Unitrin Group, Kemper
21. Erie Insurance Group
22. Berkshire Hathaway Insurance, GEICO
23. Allstate Insurance
24. The Hartford Insurance Group
25. Hanover Insurance, Citizens Ins., Allmerica Financial Alliance
26. Metropolitan Group
27. American National Financial Group
28. Allianz Insurance Group
29. GMAC, Integon, MIC P&C, National General Ins. Co.
30. Zurich Ins.Group, Foremost, Maryland Casualty
31. Hannover RE Group, Clarendon National
32. State Wide Insurance
33. White Mountains Group, OneBeacon, Esurance, Auto One Ins.
34. Countrywide Insurance
35. Safeco Insurance Group
36. American International Group (AIG)
37. Tri-State Consumer Ins. Group
38. Interboro Mutual
39. Infinity Property & Casualty
40. Long Island Insurance

Conclusion

If your auto insurance provider is not shown on this list, it could be that they don’t sell insurance in New York. Or, it could be that their number of complaints is worse than the company in the #40 position!!

Think about this statement, my friends.

The only thing that truly matters about your auto insurance is what happens when you submit a claim. Claims are about KEEPING PROMISES. When the insurance companies don’t keep their promises, the complaints pile up!

So, why would you EVER consider doing business with any insurance company LOWER than NUMBER 10 on the list?

If you are one of the unfortunate people who experience an automobile loss of any kind, you’ll need to know how to handle your insurance claim so that you maximize your recovery. I’ll even be so bold as to say this: If you do not use the strategies for submitting a claim found in my book, you will not collect all the money you are entitled to collect. You will need to know how to take control of your insurance claim, and add hundreds or even thousands more dollars to your claim settlement. For more information, check out the website shown below in the Resource Box.