Save Money / Consumer News
Are you protected by your homeowners insurance?
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- If a disaster strikes your home, can you be sure your insurance company will cover your claim? In a recent Consumer Reports survey, subscribers say disputes are common over how much should be paid. There are ways to protest the payout.
A huge tree fell on Michael Matra's house last summer due to high winds. A year later, he's still trying to get the insurance company to pay for damages.
"They didn't come through with paying for damage of the landscaping, the rock wall, the sidewalk. There was some internal stuff that they have not taken care of yet at this point," said Matra.
Discrepancies between the payment a homeowner expects and what an insurer actually covers are not unusual, according to Consumer Reports National Research Center. It surveyed more than 11,000 subscribers who've filed claims in the past few years.
"We found for large claims - when the damage was $25,000 or more - 19 percent of the people we polled did not agree with the amount their insurers wanted to pay," said Amanda Walker, senior editor, Consumer Reports.
Some of the lower-rated national insurers are big-name companies, including Farmers Insurance and Allstate.
"But we also found most people were very satisfied with their insurer," said Walker.
Among the top-rated home insurers in the Consumer Reports survey are Amica and USAA, a company that primarily serves families with some connection to the military.
"If you've got a large claim and you're not happy with the amount your insurer is offering to pay, try disputing it," said Walker. "People with a large claim that did so received $6,000 more on average than those who did not."
When disputing an insurance claim:
- Request a meeting to review your estimate line by line.
- Ask to see specific contract language if you're told your policy does not cover the damage. As a last resort, consider getting a public adjuster.
- And be sure you read your policy over carefully before disaster strikes to make sure it's up to date and covers what you expect it to.
Since rates are expected to rise again this year there are two ways you can cut costs: Get your home and car insurance with the same company, and consider increasing your deductible from $500 to $1,000.
consumer reports, save money / consumer news, ric romero
- Water main break floods Santa Ana neighborhood 2 min ago
- Blind man falls on tracks, survives train 54 min ago
- Bitcoin mystery: CA man denies being creator
- IE cross memorial removed after complaints
- Oxnard hit-and-run victim in critical condition
- OC man arrested for pot brownie sales to kids
- CSULB researchers launch 'Kelp Watch 2014'
- Dodger lot beating: federal gun indictments
- US economy adds 175,000 jobs in February 13 min ago
- Obama: West won't let Kremlin carve up Ukraine
- abcnews: PA woman charged w/ teen's illegal abortion 20 min ago
- Factors that may lead to Alzheimer's disease
- Justin Bieber's urine test video released
- OTRC: Angelina Jolie talks 'Maleficent,' daughter
- Latest weather with Garth Kemp
47 min ago