Consumer News

Consumer Reports: Homeowner’s Insurance Tips

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Source: KDKA-TV) Susan Koeppen
A nationally known, award-winning journalist, Susan Koeppen co-anc...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When a storm slams through your front door, the damages you suffer are often determined by fate.

But, how easily you can pick up the pieces may be determined by your home insurer.

So, which companies offer the best protection when disaster strikes? Consumer Reports has some answers.

Homeowner’s insurance is a bill Jim Sugrue pays year after year, without much thought. That is, until a summer storm brought a tree crashing onto his house.

“You could see the front door is blocked, the walkway is ripped up,” Sugrue said.

Branches came right through the roof and literally cracked 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,” he said.

He 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,” Margot Gilman with Consumer Reports said.

Consumer Reports surveyed nearly 10,000 subscribers who filed homeowner’s 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,” Gilman said.

Consumer Reports suggests picking a top insurer.

Amica, USAA and Auto-Owners all received top ratings.

Like Jim Sugrue, occasionally reviewing your policy can help ensure you’ve got the right coverage in a crisis.

Consumer Reports suggests 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.

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