Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

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jayk238
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Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by jayk238 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:06 pm

I know nothing about insurances.

Looking for a good insurer for the following -car, home, rental, umbrella.

At this stage we will be renting so I need a good renters insurance. I will also be buying a car. And I need umbrella.

In two years or so i will buy a house. Eventually I will need life and disability insurance. For now i will use my employers provision to cut costs. Obviously I will buy my own disability and add to the life insurance but i want to wait for two years before doing so.

Right now I need to buy renters insurance as thats my first expense. The car will be in a few months. My current car is my dads vehicle so he pays for everything and its in its last legs. He uses state farm.

What would you recommend I use? I want something that provides everything under the sun (must offer rental home car life disability umbrella and eventually boat and anything else-that last two are probably 10 years from now) has good reputation for not fighting w the customer and has good service. Im leaning towards chubb but i hear its expensive.

clown
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by clown » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:37 pm

If you were in the military (or if you dad was), you are eligible for USAA insurance. They are Aaa rated by Moody's and AA+ rated by Standard & Poor's -- the highest ratings possible. USAA offers all the coverages you have mentioned. Their customer service is top notch. Several frequent posters on the BH forum have USAA and give it high marks.

As background, please know that USAA has broadened their membership criteria in the last several years. Years ago, only commissioned officers were eligible, but that has changed. Eligibility now includes everybody who has ever served in the military (including active duty and veterans) and also their children.
Last edited by clown on Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TLC1957
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by TLC1957 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:38 pm

Go with whoever is the cheapest you do not have enough assets to be covered by Chubb they like $1 million plus homes, BMW's and a large vacation home. You are starting out with limited resources so just get what you need now and worry about the other things later in life.

bloom2708
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:43 pm

www.cinfin.com

See if you have an independent insurance agent in your area that can shop multiple carriers. They will have expertise at what coverage you need at this stage in your life.

Until you have some growing assets to protect, you likely don't need an Umbrella policy. You certainly can choose to have one at any net worth.

Go slow. Get different quotes. Know if you go to a specific insurance company, your quote will be for that company only.

Our independent agent (in business over 100 years) can shop multiple carriers. That doesn't mean they will always be the least cost. Cost is one variable.
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jayk238
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by jayk238 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:23 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:43 pm
www.cinfin.com

See if you have an independent insurance agent in your area that can shop multiple carriers. They will have expertise at what coverage you need at this stage in your life.

Until you have some growing assets to protect, you likely don't need an Umbrella policy. You certainly can choose to have one at any net worth.

Go slow. Get different quotes. Know if you go to a specific insurance company, your quote will be for that company only.

Our independent agent (in business over 100 years) can shop multiple carriers. That doesn't mean they will always be the least cost. Cost is one variable.
Thanks.

I need a new renters insurance policy that has at least 300k in coverage. Should I go with whatever I find here or with someone where Im moving to (another state)?

jayk238
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by jayk238 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:23 pm

TLC1957 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:38 pm
Go with whoever is the cheapest you do not have enough assets to be covered by Chubb they like $1 million plus homes, BMW's and a large vacation home. You are starting out with limited resources so just get what you need now and worry about the other things later in life.
Got it. Thanks!

jayk238
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by jayk238 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:23 pm

clown wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:37 pm
If you were in the military (or if you dad was), you are eligible for USAA insurance. They are Aaa rated by Moody's and AA+ rated by Standard & Poor's -- the highest ratings possible. USAA offers all the coverages you have mentioned. Their customer service is top notch. Several frequent posters on the BH forum have USAA and give it high marks.

As background, please know that USAA has broadened their membership criteria in the last several years. Years ago, only commissioned officers were eligible, but that has changed. Eligibility now includes everybody who has ever served in the military (including active duty and veterans) and also their children.
Not in military. Thanks though!

bloom2708
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:40 pm

jayk238 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:23 pm
Thanks.

I need a new renters insurance policy that has at least 300k in coverage. Should I go with whatever I find here or with someone where Im moving to (another state)?
When are you moving? If in 2 years, use a local agent. Then 2 years from now you can transfer your coverage to an agent in the new area. At those points you can shop coverage.

You will have to discuss coverage with the insurance company. I do not know if you can get a renter's policy to cover $300k in assets. Do you have some gold bars or expensive jewelry? Don't tell us here. Or is that the max liability coverage you want for other types of liability?
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jharkin
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by jharkin » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:30 pm

If you shop just on price you may regret it if you ever have a claim. Since USAA is not an option, I would strongly suggest Amica.

Other members here like Geico.

jayk238
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by jayk238 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:56 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:40 pm
jayk238 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:23 pm
Thanks.

I need a new renters insurance policy that has at least 300k in coverage. Should I go with whatever I find here or with someone where Im moving to (another state)?
When are you moving? If in 2 years, use a local agent. Then 2 years from now you can transfer your coverage to an agent in the new area. At those points you can shop coverage.

You will have to discuss coverage with the insurance company. I do not know if you can get a renter's policy to cover $300k in assets. Do you have some gold bars or expensive jewelry? Don't tell us here. Or is that the max liability coverage you want for other types of liability?
Moving in a month to a rental. Rental place requires this. Dont know why. Normally its 100k.

UALflyer
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by UALflyer » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:58 pm

jharkin wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:30 pm
If you shop just on price you may regret it if you ever have a claim. Since USAA is not an option, I would strongly suggest Amica.

Other members here like Geico.
I completely agree with the premise, but would caution you about the conclusion.

Insurance pricing is highly individualized, and there can be enormous price differences among various insurers. Claims handling and contractual features are incredibly important, which is the reason that you should not pick a company based solely on its price, but you also should not limit your insurance shopping to just a couple of insurance companies, as you could easily be leaving a ton of money on the table and could be settling for significant contractual limitations. In our situation, Chubb is significantly cheaper than Amica, and there's a night and day difference between Chubb's contractual protections and claims handling and those of Amica.

Likewise, a ton of people raving about USAA (which is a great company) just do not know enough about the limitations found in its homeowner's policies, or they would think twice about it.

So, selecting an insurance company solely based on something like JD Powers' ratings (particularly since some of the insurance carriers that offer the best contractual coverage are not even mentioned by JD Powers) can be just as dangerous as selecting it solely based on the annual premiums.

bloom2708
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:03 pm

jayk238 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:56 pm
bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:40 pm
jayk238 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:23 pm
Thanks.

I need a new renters insurance policy that has at least 300k in coverage. Should I go with whatever I find here or with someone where Im moving to (another state)?
When are you moving? If in 2 years, use a local agent. Then 2 years from now you can transfer your coverage to an agent in the new area. At those points you can shop coverage.

You will have to discuss coverage with the insurance company. I do not know if you can get a renter's policy to cover $300k in assets. Do you have some gold bars or expensive jewelry? Don't tell us here. Or is that the max liability coverage you want for other types of liability?
Moving in a month to a rental. Rental place requires this. Dont know why. Normally its 100k.
Interesting. You will have to discuss that with your potential new insurer. It seems to go against the general premise of renter's insurance. Insuring your stuff, not the building. Renters (or anyone) tend to not have $300k of stuff. Unless you have some gold bars under the floor boards.

Requiring $300k is interesting. I can't say anything more than that. My first renter's insurance covered $5k. All my stuff probably added up to $500.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renters'_insurance

$300k is most likely the liability limit, not the property coverage part.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:46 pm

AMICA.

jayk238
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by jayk238 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:40 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:03 pm
jayk238 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:56 pm
bloom2708 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:40 pm
jayk238 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:23 pm
Thanks.

I need a new renters insurance policy that has at least 300k in coverage. Should I go with whatever I find here or with someone where Im moving to (another state)?
When are you moving? If in 2 years, use a local agent. Then 2 years from now you can transfer your coverage to an agent in the new area. At those points you can shop coverage.

You will have to discuss coverage with the insurance company. I do not know if you can get a renter's policy to cover $300k in assets. Do you have some gold bars or expensive jewelry? Don't tell us here. Or is that the max liability coverage you want for other types of liability?
Moving in a month to a rental. Rental place requires this. Dont know why. Normally its 100k.
Interesting. You will have to discuss that with your potential new insurer. It seems to go against the general premise of renter's insurance. Insuring your stuff, not the building. Renters (or anyone) tend to not have $300k of stuff. Unless you have some gold bars under the floor boards.

Requiring $300k is interesting. I can't say anything more than that. My first renter's insurance covered $5k. All my stuff probably added up to $500.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renters'_insurance

$300k is most likely the liability limit, not the property coverage part.
Yes. Liability limit. Whats the difference please?

jayk238
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by jayk238 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:41 pm

UALflyer wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:58 pm
jharkin wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:30 pm
If you shop just on price you may regret it if you ever have a claim. Since USAA is not an option, I would strongly suggest Amica.

Other members here like Geico.
I completely agree with the premise, but would caution you about the conclusion.

Insurance pricing is highly individualized, and there can be enormous price differences among various insurers. Claims handling and contractual features are incredibly important, which is the reason that you should not pick a company based solely on its price, but you also should not limit your insurance shopping to just a couple of insurance companies, as you could easily be leaving a ton of money on the table and could be settling for significant contractual limitations. In our situation, Chubb is significantly cheaper than Amica, and there's a night and day difference between Chubb's contractual protections and claims handling and those of Amica.

Likewise, a ton of people raving about USAA (which is a great company) just do not know enough about the limitations found in its homeowner's policies, or they would think twice about it.

So, selecting an insurance company solely based on something like JD Powers' ratings (particularly since some of the insurance carriers that offer the best contractual coverage are not even mentioned by JD Powers) can be just as dangerous as selecting it solely based on the annual premiums.
So for you is chubb or amica better. Im confused. Why did you go with the company

Jags4186
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by Jags4186 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:57 pm

I used to do insurance myself, called around for best rates every year, etc. etc. This year I used a broker and she did better than I’ve ever done and it required no work on my part. Depending where you live you’ll find there are dozens of insurance companies that aren’t consumer direct—you need to go through a broker.

To give you an example we are getting home owners + car insurance for cheaper than we used to get just car insurance. Sure the company we went with has so so review with regards to customer service, but I’d rather deal with a little hassle and save $1000+/year. At the end of the day as long as they payout that’s all that matters. We are with NJ Skylands now FWIW.

UALflyer
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by UALflyer » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:13 am

jayk238 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:41 pm
So for you is chubb or amica better. Im confused. Why did you go with the company
Chubb and other insurance companies like it tend to offer the types of service and policy features that standard insurance companies, like Amica, can only dream about. If you happen to be in their sweet spot, these higher end insurance companies can also offer policies that cost the same or are even cheaper than those offered by standard companies, like Amica.

My point here is that if people are limiting their search to just Amica and USAA, they could be making a big mistake, as there are plenty of other standard companies that offer similar claims handling, similar or better contractual features, and, depending on the situation, a much better price. In certain situations, you can even be in a situation where companies like Chubb and others like it, which offer far better coverage, claims handling and policy features, are actually cheaper.

Andymoler58
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by Andymoler58 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:33 pm

Allstate is the absolute worst insurer. It's absolutely worth it to pay more for good insurance.

Chubb is one of the best. Having bad insurance can cost you serious money 30-40k if you have a claim.

I'm a Public Adjuster and I see this on a regular basis.

golfCaddy
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by golfCaddy » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:26 pm

Chubb covers the HNW market. Some quotes below give you an idea of the clientele they target. They offer some unique services: umbrellas above $5M, kidnap and ransom insurance, and public relations firms. If you have normal insurance needs, Chubb may be no better than the mass market carriers.
For over a hundred years, we’ve offered unparalleled stability and protection for small boats, yachts, luxury mega-yachts, and more.
Do you employ personal staff at your home, such as a nanny, housekeeper or gardener? Do you have a yacht with a crew?

carguyny
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by carguyny » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:34 pm

Have Chubb here, we're HNW which sadly, it means you're a bit of a target - my wife is being sued by a "friend" in a liability case. Chubb has been fighting it for 3 years now without us having to do or worry about a thing. I would call it a true outsourced claim solution.

UALflyer
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by UALflyer » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:52 pm

golfCaddy wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:26 pm
Chubb covers the HNW market.
That's correct.
If you have normal insurance needs, Chubb may be no better than the mass market carriers.
If you don't fit their target market, they are likely to refuse to insure you or, if you are not in their sweet spot, they may not be attractively priced. The coverage options and claims handling are head and shoulders superior to any policy offered by the mass market carriers:

On the homeowner's side, high end carriers like Chubb offer the following benefits that none of the mass market carriers can match:

* in most markets, they waive your deductible for all claims that exceed a certain threshold.

* they offer water and sewer backup coverage up to your entire face amount of the policy. This is an ENORMOUSLY valuable benefit to most people, and many mass market insurance companies only cover up to $10,000. Even if they allow you to purchase more, there's usually a very low limit, like $25,000 or $50,000. The reason that the mass market companies do this is because these types of claims are fairly common and tend to be enormously expensive.

* in most markets, they offer true guaranteed replacement policies. This means that if they've underinsured your house, the risk is on them and they will pay whatever it takes to restore it. Practically no mass market insurance companies still offer this benefit.

* if your house is destroyed and you don't want to rebuild, you have the option of just requesting a cash out of your entire face amount of the policy. In most states, mass market insurance companies won't allow you to do this. This means that if a mass market insurance company has grossly overinsured your house and it is destroyed, unless you are in one of the very few states that require it (and even then, there are hoops to jump through), a mass market insurer will only pay to restore your house, so you don't get the benefit of the excess coverage, and have to remain in temporary housing until the house is rebuilt.

* for damaged personal property, you can be paid in full without being forced to replace it. The vast majority of mass market insurance companies will only pay you a tiny percentage of your damaged personal property up front (they only pay its actual cash value, which is its heavily depreciated value) and only pay you its replacement value if you actually replace it. In a lot of situations though, you wouldn't want to replace it and would much rather take cash.

On the auto side:

* they guarantee OEM parts. Most mass market insurance companies only pay for aftermarket parts.

* they write agreed value policies, where the value of your auto is generously set up front. This way, if the vehicle is totaled, there is no fight with the insurance company. They simply write you a check for the agreed value on the spot.

They are also very generous in the way that they pay, what types of expenses they cover, etc...

There's also stories like this, where it may or may not be right, but if you have one of these insurance companies, you'll certainly appreciate the service: https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/weste ... ir-n869061
Last edited by UALflyer on Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

Kompass
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by Kompass » Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:26 pm

UALflyer wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:52 pm
golfCaddy wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:26 pm
Chubb covers the HNW market.
That's correct.
If you have normal insurance needs, Chubb may be no better than the mass market carriers.
If you don't fit their target market, they are likely to refuse to insure you or, if you are not in their sweet spot, they may not be attractively priced. The coverage options and claims handling are head and shoulders superior to any policy offered by the mass market carriers:

On the homeowner's side, high end carriers like Chubb offer the following benefits that none of the mass market carriers can match:

* in most markets, they waive your deductible for all claims that exceed a certain threshold.

* they offer water and sewer backup coverage up to your entire face amount of the policy. This is an ENORMOUSLY valuable benefit to most people, and many mass market insurance companies only cover up to $10,000. Even if they allow you to purchase more, there's usually a very low limit, like $25,000 or $50,000. The reason that the mass market companies do this is because these types of claims are fairly common and tend to be enormously expensive.

* in most markets, they offer true guaranteed replacement policies. This means that if they've underinsured your house, the risk is on them and they will pay whatever it takes to restore it. Practically no mass market insurance companies still offer this benefit.

* if your house is destroyed and you don't want to rebuild, you have the option of just requesting a cash out of your entire face amount of the policy. In most states, mass market insurance companies won't allow you to do this. This means that if a mass market insurance company has grossly overinsured your house and it is destroyed, unless you are in one of the very few states that require it (and even then, there are hoops to jump through), a mass market insurer will only pay to restore your house, so you don't get the benefit of the excess coverage.

* for damaged personal property, you can be paid in full without being forced to replace it. The vast majority of mass market insurance companies will only pay you a tiny percentage of your damaged personal property up front (they only pay its actual cash value, which is its heavily depreciated value) and only pay you its replacement value if you actually replace it. In a lot of situations though, you wouldn't want to replace it and would much rather take cash.

On the auto side:

* they guarantee OEM parts. Most mass market insurance companies only pay for aftermarket parts.

* they write agreed value policies, where the value of your auto is generously set up front. This way, if the vehicle is totaled, there is no fight with the insurance company. They simply write you a check for the agreed value on the spot.

They are also very generous in the way that they pay, what types of expenses they cover, etc...

There's also stories like this, where it may or may not be right, but if you have one of these insurance companies, you'll certainly appreciate the service: https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/weste ... ir-n869061
If you can buy it. I am a HNW investor and experiencing a regional issue with them. I have been trying to buy $10m umbrella from Chubb for over a year, they only have two reps in my current state one of which only does businesses, the other of which has been promising policy details and not delivering for months. I currently have $5m in Allstate with a back up of another $5m tacked on from Mount Vernon. I'm not happy about it, but they don't seem to want business.
The large print giveth and the fine print taketh away.

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celia
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by celia » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:03 am

It would probably be good to learn how to evaluate insurance companies, even those with which you are familiar. I recommend bookmarking AMBest.com so you can see the ratings of any insurance company. As a consumer, you can get a free account after they have your email addresses. They have never sent me spam or junk mail. In fact, I don't think I've ever received an email from them.

But there is more to consider than premium cost when you buy insurance. Do they deny reasonable claims or do you have to "fight" for your payment afterwards? How is their customer service/ timeliness in paying claims? Can they afford to pay off all the claims in a massive localized disaster? If they don't have enough reserves to pay the claims, what good is the insurance? (This is why some of the ACA insurers pulled out of certain markets after the government subsidies ended.)

To help you understand the renter's insurance you will be buying, ask them for an example of when they would pay out $300K. This will show you what the landlord is trying to prevent.

megabad
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by megabad » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:39 am

I would just call up every turnkey insurer with a reasonable AM Best Rating personally. Make sure you get all the coverage you need as most agents don't have a clue in my experience. Make sure liability limits and deductibles are exactly identical between policy quotes to compare. Also, make sure the replacement value (for home) is reasonable and consistent across the quotes. I found that most companies calculators are either way too high or way too low. For my house, one replacement estimate was roughly half of another.

Here are my thoughts on the ones I have contacted within the past few years:

1) Chubb - a relative had them and they actually came out to his home to do a rebuild value estimate before they quoted the policy. He got white glove service thru a massive kitchen fire (his kitchen is roughly the same square footage as my entire house). He didn't have to lift a finger. When I called them, they took my name, ran my credit and asked for my address. Within 2 minutes they said no thank you have a nice day to me.

2) USAA - don't know much about it, but consistently at the top of the rankings. I'm not military.

3) Amica - Always at the top of the rankings. One of the few insurance companies I called that was willing to listen and give me proper coverages without argument. Then came the questions. They had at least several hundred questions for me about my insured things. I eventually said I didn't know too many times and they gave up on me and would not finish the quote.

4) Liberty Mutual / Safeco - Used them a few years. Middle of the road in everything in my experience (price, service, etc). If you want the best price, go thru an agent (ie. AAA) and get a Safeco quote. It is essentially the same company and same coverages in my experience. Reasonably priced up front but they will jack the price up every year (in my case ~15% per year).

5) State Farm - most popular insurer in my area. By far the most expensive, but my yearly costs don't go up anywhere near as much as Liberty Mutual. They are about 30% higher than the next highest price. I had to handhold them thru the quote process to make sure they selected appropriate coverages.

6) All State - by far the cheapest apples to apples for me. However, they could not provide the coverages I wanted.

7) Eerie - they are expensive but they only quoted me guaranteed replacement value home insurance, which is a lot different than a standard policy (arguably better). They asked a bunch of questions too, but nowhere near the interrogation that Amica gave me.

8) Geico - not a turnkey provider (no homeowners) so I didn't consider. They just package other insurers and resell.

UALflyer
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by UALflyer » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:40 am

Kompass wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 11:26 pm
If you can buy it. I am a HNW investor and experiencing a regional issue with them. I have been trying to buy $10m umbrella from Chubb for over a year, they only have two reps in my current state one of which only does businesses, the other of which has been promising policy details and not delivering for months. I currently have $5m in Allstate with a back up of another $5m tacked on from Mount Vernon. I'm not happy about it, but they don't seem to want business.
Chubb only sells policies through independent agents, so it sounds like you're having a problem with an independent agent.

There are several companies that offer the above benefits, so you don't need to limit your search to just one company.
celia wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:03 am
It would probably be good to learn how to evaluate insurance companies, even those with which you are familiar. I recommend bookmarking AMBest.com so you can see the ratings of any insurance company.
All that AMBest does is show the companies' financial strength. Further, your insurance is never with Chubb, Allstate, Geico, State Farm, USAA, etc... Every insurance carrier has a number of subsidiary entities that policyholders are placed with. Insurance companies do this for countless reasons, but the point is that although you may be under a "USAA" or "Chubb" or some other corporate umbrella, each subsidiary entity under it could easily have different AMBest ratings. So, just looking up Geico's parent company's AMBest rating, for instance, tells you nothing about the specific subsidiary entity that you are with.

Most importantly, AMBest ratings tell you absolutely nothing about the policy features or the claims handling, so they're of very limited use to most people.
Last edited by UALflyer on Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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celia
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by celia » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:23 pm

UALflyer wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:40 am
celia wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:03 am
It would probably be good to learn how to evaluate insurance companies, even those with which you are familiar. I recommend bookmarking AMBest.com so you can see the ratings of any insurance company.
All that AMBest does is show the companies' financial strength. Further, your insurance is never with Chubb, Allstate, Geico, State Farm, USAA, etc... Every insurance carrier has a number of subsidiary entities that policeholders are placed with. Insurance companies do this for countless reasons, but the point is that although you may be under a "USAA" or "Chubb" or some other corporate umbrella, each subsidiary entity under it could easily have different AMBest ratings. So, just looking up Geico's parent company's AMBest rating, for instance, tells you nothing about the specific subsidiary entity that you are with.

Most importantly, AMBest ratings tell you absolutely nothing about the policy features or the claims handling, so they're of very limited use to most people.
AMBest DOES tell you about the financial strength of each subsidiary. I just looked up USAA and Chubb and didn't realize that Chubb has branches in many other countries. Of course, insurance would be regulated differently in each country, so this would be expected.

When I was looking for a Medicare supplemental plan and was looking at all the insurers and costs for my zip (on my state's Department of Insurance website), I saw some potential good candidates whom I had never heard of. So I started with those that had the best rate for me and looked up the financial standing of the 3 best to narrow my choices quickly. Of course, it helped that the state's website already had the premiums listed for each age and zip.

GreenGrowTheDollars
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by GreenGrowTheDollars » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:47 pm

Not all insurers offer insurance in each zip code even if they sell insurance in that state. Though my adult daughter's previous policy was with State Farm in another state, they wouldn't write a renter's policy for her because her apartment on the 22nd floor was in an address in Manhattan that was considered at risk for floods. (Even though renter's insurance doesn't include flood damage. :confused )

She used some on-line search tool to find companies that would cover her.

pshonore
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by pshonore » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:52 pm

UALflyer wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:58 pm

Likewise, a ton of people raving about USAA (which is a great company) just do not know enough about the limitations found in its homeowner's policies, or they would think twice about it.

So, selecting an insurance company solely based on something like JD Powers' ratings (particularly since some of the insurance carriers that offer the best contractual coverage are not even mentioned by JD Powers) can be just as dangerous as selecting it solely based on the annual premiums.
Most HO policies are written on standard Bureau forms with a few minor variations. Please tell us more about those USAA limitations. And forget JD Powers, check the complaint ratios at your State Insurance Dept.

UALflyer
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by UALflyer » Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:15 pm

pshonore wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:52 pm
Most HO policies are written on standard Bureau forms with a few minor variations.
Most residential homeowner's insurance policies are based on the HO3 form (or, some of the better ones, on the HO5 form), but it doesn't mean what your posts suggests that it means, which is that contractual features are all going to be the same across different carriers. I've already pointed out some of the significant contractual differences upthread.
Please tell us more about those USAA limitations.
USAA, together with a number of other mass market carriers, only covers up to $10,000 in water and sewer backups and does not give you the option of purchasing an endorsement to expand this coverage. I do not know whether this is the case in every state, but it is certainly the case in quite a few of them.

This is an absolutely enormous hole in coverage, particularly if you have a basement. Water and sewer backups are incredibly expensive and account for a significant number of claims, which is the reason that many mass market carriers are limiting their exposure this way. So, USAA's great claims handling only takes you so far, as it won't help you if your claim far exceeds the $10,000 limit (depending on the property and the extent of the damage, just the clean up costs incurred as a result of a sewer backup can alone exceed $10,000, and this is before you even get to repairing the damage).

About 3 years ago, one of my co-workers, who has USAA, had a water backup in his unfinished basement. It wasn't a sewer backup (sewer backups can be a lot more expensive to remediate) and the basement was unfinished. USAA did pay without any issues, except that their limit of coverage was USAA's standard $10,000, while his damage ended up costing him in the $23,000-$25,000 range. So, he had $13,000 - $15,000 in uninsured damage.

In all fairness, USAA isn't the only carrier that does this, but there are mass market carriers that will still allow you to expand the water and sewer backup coverage above $10,000. High end carriers all cover water and sewer backups up to the full face amount of your dwelling coverage.

Here's a link to Chubb's brochure showing the differences among the standard HO-3, HO-5 (depending on the insurance company, the policies can be endorsed to cover some of the gaps) and its policy: http://www.chubb.com/access/chubb17699.pdf Please note that Chubb is one of several insurance companies that offer this type of coverage, so it has competition.
celia wrote:
Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:23 pm
AMBest DOES tell you about the financial strength of each subsidiary.
You typically do not learn the exact name of the subsidiary until after you've purchased the policy, so this doesn't exactly help you with up front research. Also, it is common for many subsidiary entities not to include the parent's name in its name, so it's not like you can search for "Amica" or "Chubb" or anything else up front and know that you've pulled up every subsidiary that it has.

Most importantly, as I mentioned earlier, this tells you absolutely nothing about the policy features or claims handling. For a typical homeowner, the difference between an A- rated company and an A++ one is highly unlikely to have any practical significance. On the other hand, if that A- company covers $50,000 or $100,000 in water and sewer backups, while the A++ company only covers up to $10,000, that difference in coverage could end up making an enormous practical difference.

Malinois000
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by Malinois000 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:31 pm

State Farm hands down. I've been insured with them for all my insurance needs for over 30 years.

jayk238
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by jayk238 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:12 pm

Hi folks,

Thank you all for your help!

I asked the inlaws the other day as we were driving on a road trip. Told they have had erie insurance for decades and have had great experience with them with all sorts of issues from flooding to kitchen problems to foundation issues and have had full coverage and everything paid for with no questions asked. We have decided to use them for our new apartment and will continue to do so until I become a HNW family in need of Chubb!!

petras52
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by petras52 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:23 am

I recommend ANPAC, (American National Property and Casualty) based in Mo. I have homeowners, umbrella and auto insurance through them. The unique attraction about them is that after 3 claim free years, (no at fault claims), they refund 25% of your first years auto/home premium. The following year as long as you have no claims, 25% of your second years premium is refunded and so on in succeeding years. Living in southern Indiana, my liability only 6 month premium for me and DW on 2 cars is currently $335 or $670yr.

jayk238
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by jayk238 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:30 am

petras52 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:23 am
I recommend ANPAC, (American National Property and Casualty) based in Mo. I have homeowners, umbrella and auto insurance through them. The unique attraction about them is that after 3 claim free years, (no at fault claims), they refund 25% of your first years auto/home premium. The following year as long as you have no claims, 25% of your second years premium is refunded and so on in succeeding years. Living in southern Indiana, my liability only 6 month premium for me and DW on 2 cars is currently $335 or $670yr.
Based on price alone probably good but what about when you need it.

SC1959
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by SC1959 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:03 am

Go to an independent agent. The more these larger carriers advertise the less they can afford to pay claims. Ask about Cincinnati Ins.

petras52
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by petras52 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:19 am

jk238..you bring up a good point and so far I've had no claims so I can't vouch for ANPACs quickness in paying claims. However they have been in business many years, have an excellent rating from S&P and A.M.Bests, and don't spend any money advertising so they're under the radar. Any company that's been in business since 1905 must be doing something right..

Trism
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by Trism » Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:31 am

DO NOT BUY INSURANCE BASED SOLELY ON PRICE.

Sorry for yelling, but it's that important.

Also, you should be shopping all of your insurance policies every 2-3 years, so don't choose a company today based on what your needs might be in three years.

Another vote for Amica from us. We just moved two homeowners, three auto and an umbrella to Amica from State Farm. We aren't saving five cents, but by all accounts Amica has customers who are more satisfied after making a claim.

All insurance coverage is good enough when you don't need it.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by ClevrChico » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:21 am

I'm a happy Amica customer. Auto premiums actually went down this year. (No changes on my side.)

My experience is that independent agents tend to give one cookie cutter coverage, which may not be optimal for a boglehead's situation.

UALflyer
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by UALflyer » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:37 am

Trism wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 7:31 am
DO NOT BUY INSURANCE BASED SOLELY ON PRICE.

Sorry for yelling, but it's that important.
I agree, but a lot of people misinterpret this statement to mean that they should stay with the same insurance company for life, or, to the extent that they do shop their policies, limit the search to only 2-3 companies, which is just as dangerous.

This has a lot to do with failing to understand contractual coverage options, as is evidenced by a lot of posts in this thread. So, what happens is that people who don't know how to compare contractual coverage options (I mentioned a number of important ones upthread) end up picking insurance companies based on largely irrelevant criteria (or, to the extent it is relevant, only relevant in a specific context), such as their AM Best or JD Power's ratings.

What this means is that if you are trying to decide between Amica and State Farm, for instance, and the contractual coverage options are identical, you'd be insane to pay $1,000 more for Amica. If you only limit your price shopping to a few companies, however, and State Farm is not on that list, you'd never know just how much money Amica is costing you (in this example). Likewise, if you only base insurance shopping decisions on the JD Power's ratings and don't look into them in depth, you won't realize that the ratings do not even mention some of the better insurance carriers, and that a lot of the ratings are based on the criteria that has nothing whatsoever to do with policy features and claims handling.

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serbeer
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by serbeer » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:35 am

UALflyer wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:37 am
..What this means is that if you are trying to decide between Amica and State Farm, for instance, and the contractual coverage options are identical, you'd be insane to pay $1,000 more for Amica...
It only seems insane -- until you have serious accident or damage to your property and discover that you have to fight your own insurance company to pay it, and in the end, after they pay most of it, you still lose several times more in payout than you saved in premiums in several years that passed since you switched. And then you join thousands who posted bad review on http://www.badfaithinsurance.org/indexdetaillist.html and perhaps, just perhaps, remember this post of yours and cringe.

If you are comparing Amica, USAA, and Chubb based on price alone, that's one thing.
Or, say, State Farm and Allstate -- no problem there either.
But trying to price-compare between tiers is not a good idea, you cannot have the same expectations for companies that have different kind of reputation and history of handling claims, you should not shop for them based on price alone.

Also, you should not look at numbers but at percentages. If you have single car coverage that costs $1,200, then yes, paying $1,000 more is a big problem. But if you have insured multiple properties, cars, boat, and umbrella and paying $7,000 per year for the package, then paying $1,000 more for much better company, while not insignificant, does not seem nearly as "insane."
Last edited by serbeer on Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dm200
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by dm200 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:44 am

I/we have been with State Farm for 45+ years. No problems and rates are good.

I hear even better things about USAA. Our son has it (through several girlfriends) and they have treated him very well.

UALflyer
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by UALflyer » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:58 am

serbeer wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:35 am
UALflyer wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:37 am
..What this means is that if you are trying to decide between Amica and State Farm, for instance, and the contractual coverage options are identical, you'd be insane to pay $1,000 more for Amica...
It only seems insane -- until you have serious accident or damage to your property and discover that you have to fight your own insurance company to pay it, and in the end, after they pay most of it, you still lose several times more in payout than you saved in premiums in several years that passed since you switched. And then you join thousands who posted bad review on http://www.badfaithinsurance.org/indexdetaillist.html and perhaps, just perhaps, remember this post of yours and cringe.

If you are comparing Amica, USAA, and Chubb based on price alone, that's one thing.
Or, say, State Farm and Allstate -- no problem there either.
But trying to price-compare between tiers is not a good idea, you cannot have the same expectations for companies that have different kind of reputation and history of handling claims, you should not shop for them based on price alone.

Also, you should not look at numbers but at percentages. If you have single car coverage that costs $1,200, then yes, paying $1,000 more is a big problem. But if you have insured multiple properties, cars, boat, and umbrella and paying, say, $7,000 per year for the package, then paying $1,000 more for much better company, while not insignificant, does not seem nearly as "insane."
I agree with everything that you've posted, but in my example you're comparing Amica and State Farm, which are two upper tier mass market carriers. Both are fine, and neither is spectacular. If the rates are similar between them and the contractual features are virtually identical, I'd also go with Amica, but no one in his or her right mind should be paying $1,000 more for Amica than for State Farm. This is true even if you're paying $7,000/year for your insurance package.

Comparing a high net worth carrier/policy to a mass market carrier should never be done based on price alone, as their contractual features are going to be quite different. With two upper tier mass market carriers, such as Amica vs. State Farm, if the contractual features are otherwise very similar (they may or may not be, so you have to pay attention), you have to heavily weigh the price differences. Hence, the reason, for instance, that assuming that the policy features are very similar, you should never be willing to pay a substantial premium to be with State Farm vs. Geico, or Travelers, or Liberty Mutual, etc... (or vice versa), as with those types of carriers, it's a Ford vs. Chevy debate.
If you are comparing Amica, USAA, and Chubb based on price alone, that's one thing.
Amica and USAA are mass market carriers, while Chubb is a high net worth carrier. From the standpoint of the policy features and claims handling, it's not a fair comparison, as Amica and USAA's contractual protections are significantly more limited.

jbuzolich
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by jbuzolich » Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:23 am

Another +1 for Amica. I've had a total car loss with them and they made it comfortable as it could be. All our policies are with them and I don't expect that will change.

Mardoc01
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Re: Best insurer? Allstate vs chubb vs AAA or others

Post by Mardoc01 » Sat Jun 30, 2018 2:16 pm

So if you're high net worth , Chubb is not only best in service , But also least expensive ??? Apples to apples. Price wise that is ??

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