Insurance Company Ratings - Homeowners Insurance Melbourne, Florida





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Published on Feb 9, 2010

Insurance Company Ratings - Homeowners Insurance Melbourne, Florida
Insurance Center of Central Florida

Get FREE information about Insurance Rates and Insurance Company Ratings, AM Best, Demotech. Log on to www.TheInsuranceCenter.us for complete details.

Frank: One of things to consider when buying insurance is the strength of the company. There's basically two different rating agencies. There's a company called A.M. Best, and there's a second company called Demotech. A.M. Best is the one most often used on a national basis. They require five years of business before they'll give you a rating.

Kevin: Right. And it's extremely important that you understand what the rating of your company is or that you have an insurance agent who is willing to explain to you the importance of your insurance company's rating and why that matters is because when you have widespread damage, catastrophic losses like we have in Florida when hurricanes come through. These are not isolated incidents. This is not one house getting blown down. This is damage across counties, across communities that can add up to be millions and millions and millions of dollars worth of damage. And when that potential is there, you need to be sure that you've got an insurance company that is financially strong enough and has the infrastructure to be able to handle that many claims at once and to be able to pay you what you think you're supposed to be getting when you buy the insurance from them in the first place. An insurance agent can help you understand that by simply going over what the rating of the company is and telling you a little about how that company does business.

Frank: A couple of things to think of. In Florida, we basically have two types of companies. We have the national companies, which are the household names: Metropolitan, State Farm, Travelers, Allstate, Nationwide. Most of these companies really now have stopped taking on new policies, so what you have is you have some regional ones, and you have two sets of regionals. You have regionals that started after Hurricane Andrew. Now, they've been around now for about 15 years. Those companies, what's nice about them is they've been through the '04 hurricane season. They have a very good handle on how to get your claims fixed and resolved in a timely manner. What you have now is, after the '04 and '05 hurricane seasons, there's a lot of new startup companies that are new. They really don't have that experience to go through a hurricane. I like to equate it to directions. If you go somewhere once on a first time, you may get lost. The second time, it's a little easier. The third and the fourth, it gets a little easier. Probably no problem. When you have a hurricane and there's widespread damage, you don't want it to be the first time your company's ever had that experience. So, you want them to know how to handle this, not going through it for the first time. So, again, I would really look at the company, ask the agent how long he or she has represented this company, how did they do during the '04 and '05 hurricane season, have they had any experience in this? I think it's important.

Kevin: It's extremely important because the last thing you want is to have your claim getting delayed or to have your claim not being settled to the way you think it's supposed to be settled because the insurance company can't keep its house in order. That's the last thing that you as a policy holder want to hear after the worst has happened. So, it's a good idea to talk to your insurance agent, find out a little bit of information about the insurance company that they have your policy with, because it's the company that's going to need to be there with the money to help you get your life rebuilt after the worst has happened. It's extremely important to have enough confidence in your insurance company to know that that's going to happen if there is catastrophic damage. And a conversation with your insurance agent is the best way to answer that question.

Frank: Again, give your agent a call, review your policy, and if youd like a second opinion, give us a call at the Insurance Center of Central Florida. Our number is below.

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