Insurance companies you can count on

Insurance companies you can count on »Play Video
Tree falls into Bothell home on Jan. 11, 2014.

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.

Most people are pretty satisfied with their insurance company - until they put in a claim.  And most people only 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.

Consumer Reports wanted to find out which insurers really come through for people when they need them most.

Consumer Reports surveyed nearly 10,000 subscribers who filed homeowner's insurance claims and found some companies fared better than others. Companies were rated based on damage estimates, problem-free claims experience, premium paid, agent courtesy and timely payment. 
 
Some homeowners reported quick response and few hassles.  Others had to fight to get their claims honored.  Still others were told their policy was not being renewed because of their claim.

For best results when you need to file a claim for major repairs, Consumer Reports suggests going with a top-rated insurer.  Amica, USAA and Auto-Owners (not available in Washington State) all received top ratings. By contrast, some of the most visible companies, scored surprisingly low.  The results are included in the May 2014 issue of Consumer Reports magazine on newsstands through May 5.