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Home Insurance Discussion

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by vinny11950, Nov 30, 2012.

  1. vinny11950

    vinny11950 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Messages:
    715
    Loc:
    Eastern Long Island, NY
    Well, in December my home owners policy is up for renewal. I got the paper work in the mail. I am insuring a three bedroom ranch in the south shore of Long Island, built in 1972. It is close to the water but luckily 31 feet above the ocean (Google Earth gives you this info if you are ever curious) so I am not in flood danger according to the flood maps.

    Anyway, I have a small insurance company called Interboro Insurance, based in Long Island. They are rated A by Demotech - never heard of them before looking it up. They are charging me close to $1000 for the policy.

    I am not worried about the premium, but I wonder if I should change to a larger company with more funds, like Travelers or All-State. I worry that in a big catastrophe a small insurance company might go belly up, while the larger ones might be able to pay. Of course, I could be the other way around - bigger company more liability.

    I also read the AM Best is the standard for rating insurance companies, so it worries me that my insurance company is rated by Demotech, which I had never heard of before.

    Any thoughts? Thanks, are always.

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  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Michigan
    Insurance companies are required to have a certain amount set aside for disasters. I wouldn't worry too much.
  3. Gary_602z

    Gary_602z Minister of Fire

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    Lake Odessa,MI
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Nov 18, 2005
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    30,661
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    I have been with Allstate since 1972. Never had a homeowner's claim. The week this house is paid off this year they are out of here. Getting another insurer. Jumped my rate in 2006 saying it was because of bad credit. Turns out what it was is that I don't ever buy anything on credit so I had no credit history. 62 years old and no bad credit history should have told them something. Last year they bumped it five hundred again because of distance to a firehouse. This house and that firehouse have not moved in the 28 years we have lived here.

    The only auto claim I have ever had they sneaked by the body shop while I was in Europe and had them put used parts in a new truck.

    Stick with who ya got now. Those Good Hands are on parts of you where you don't want them.
  5. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    7,455
    Loc:
    N.E. Penna
    I firmly believe, that given enough time, each and every company out there will screw you.

    For the last 6 years we have been with Travelers and very happy. Never have had a homeowners claim, but we have hit 2 deer with the auto's in that time and were great about it. Also, built a garage, changed wood stoves, and did other work here at the house which they were great about as well.

    Before this company, I never spent more than a year or 2 with an insurance company before I became irritated and went elsewhere.

    That said, I'm expecting the worst from Travelers any day now, but they may surprise me for a while.

    pen
  6. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Bend, OR
    Always been happy with USAA, auto & homeowner since 1977.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    30,661
    Loc:
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    Yeah those two are on the January list to talk to.
  8. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    3,336
    Loc:
    Tuscola, IL
    Been with Pekin Insurance for a long time. I have checked with every insurance in town. They all tell me that with my long time standing with Pekiin, they can't come close. Guess I will stay with them.
  9. vinny11950

    vinny11950 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Eastern Long Island, NY
    It is either hit or miss with these companies now. I was reading my contract and it is very complicated and seems to have some exceptions. But I have been reading that since Hurricane Andrew insurance companies keep limiting their liabilities in the contracts.
  10. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Holliston, MA USA
    I have everything (home, auto,life) with Amica and couldn't be happier.
  11. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    south central WI
    First, many insurance companies sell off big chunks of risks to companies called reinsurers, in order to spread the risk around. This allows a lot of small insurers to reduce exposure to big hits.

    Second, I just did some very brief googling on Interboro. Back in 2002, they had a B++ grade (very good) from AM Best and were downgraded to C++ (marginal). In 2007, Interboro announced it was being recapitalized by new investers after three years of insolvency.

    http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/east/2007/01/09/75702.htm

    In more recent news, Interboro is expanding its business and buying AutoOne.

    http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2011/09/06/interboro-chief-exec-seeks-growth-beyond-new-york

    AM Best responded by dropping its rating of AutoOne which previously was rated Excellent because AM Best no longer rates
    Interboro.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/05/idUS185592 05-Jun-2012 BW20120605

    Interesting company story. There are some red flags here. It would depend on your comfort level. If it was me, I would
    shop around for another company but wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    You have to admit though that is a great way to gain the bad credit rating!
  13. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    16,222
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Been with Travelers for several years now . . . only had to deal with a couple auto claims and they were great. Customer service has always been good as I am usually talking with a real, live person who I can understand within a couple minutes of dialing the 1-800 number . . . and every time I check and compare the rate for home/auto are better than other places.

    Parents were with All State . . . I was not impressed with how All State handled their claim.
  14. Retired Guy

    Retired Guy Feeling the Heat

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    485
    Loc:
    Cape Vincent, NY
    Been with AMICA for decades. I am comfortable with the rates and they have great service.
  15. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Have SafeCo and very happy with them. Single best thing I ever did for insurance was talk to a trusted agent who sold us what we needed and explained why spending a little extra was better in the long run. Turns out, all said and done, we wound up spending similar to what we were already laying out, but with nearly 3x the auto coverage and a much better homeowners policy.
  16. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    They sure have been happy to take my money!

    First claim in 10 years, $1800 in damages, my fault. My rates went up $600 when I renewed.

    Last year my truck got hit (lady ran a stop sign). She had USAA as well. Took SIX months to get my truck fixed and returned to me and was a constant fight the whole time. They wanted to put China made repopped tins, didn't want to cover some aftermarket suspension parts (couldn't use stock even... Wouldn't have fit)
    Went to inspect the truck, their "preferred" shop had stolen 80 gallons of diesel (400$!), installed the wrong steering box...Which was leaking anyhow, and busted out one of my taillights!
    I took it for a test drive and it didn't make it 2 miles before the injection pump died (vp44). No idea WTF they did, but in the end I got a new 1400$ pump.
  17. vinny11950

    vinny11950 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
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    715
    Loc:
    Eastern Long Island, NY
    Had not seem this response. Thank you Northwinds. I also did a Google search and only came up with the Auto news.

    After talking to my Insurance agent and telling her that I would soon be self installing my wood stove in the basement, she said to stick with Interboro. If they decide to drop me for self installing the wood stove then it would be easier to switch to another insurer as the stove would already be installed and they would not hassle me over it.

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