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Homeowners insurance: Top-rated companies from Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports reviews insurance companies to see which ones offer the best protection for your home when disaster strikes.
April 22, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
Homeowners insurance is a bill Jim Sugrue paid year after year without much thought. That's until a summer storm brought a tree crashing onto his house. Branches came right through the roof, literally cracking the walls. Suddenly, it mattered how good his insurance policy really was.

"I couldn't get over how fast Liberty Mutual worked. The adjuster was there within 24 hours and I had a check within 10 days that covered all of what they promised," said Sugrue.

Sugrue was thrilled with his service from Liberty Mutual. But Consumer Reports says that's not always the case.

"Most people are pretty satisfied with their insurance companies until they put in a claim. So we wanted to find out which insurers really come through for people when they need them most," said Margot Gilman with Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports surveyed nearly 10,000 subscribers who filed homeowners insurance claims and found some companies fared better than others.

"Most people shop for home insurance once and then forget about it. So you never really have a chance to 'test' your policy until you have a problem," said Gilman.

Consumer Reports suggests picking a top insurer. Amica and USAA received top ratings. And, like Sugrue, occasionally reviewing your policy can help ensure you've got the right coverage in a crisis.

Consumer Reports suggests another way to protect yourself is befriending a contractor before you really need one. Hiring someone to do small jobs around your house now means you'll have a relationship with a contractor if you ever need someone to repair major damage.