Shopping for new home and auto insurance
May 13, 2014 12:48 PM   Subscribe

I'm working with an independent agent to purchase home and auto insurance. The agent has come back with a quote from Vermont Mutual, a company I'm not personally familiar with. Other than searching NAIC and AM Best, what are best practices for vetting an insurer?

I'd certainly be interested for anyone's personal experiences with Vermont Mutual--but I plan on changing the policy terms and endorsements that were in the proposal, so he might suggest a different carrier once the dust settles. No, I do not qualify for USAA, sadly.

So, what I'd like to know is how best to review a carrier before getting underwritten. For instance, NAIC's database suggests that VM has lower than average complaints in MA (were we live) for both home and auto, and AM Best gives VM an A for financial strength and A+ for long term outlook. But if you Google them, you find some less than inspiring BBB reviews (albeit with reasonable sounding responses from the company). VM does not come up in the Consumer Reports or JD Power surveys. Data on the MA insurance commission website was pretty limited.

Again, while I'd be grateful for any experiences with VM, what might be more helpful is any additional resources beyond NAIC, AM Best, etc. to assess whether an insurer really is any good (like USAA good). How long claims take to get paid, how likely you are to be dropped for making claims, customer service, and things like that.

Many thanks!
posted by Admiral Haddock to Work & Money (1 answer total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
When it comes to auto insurance, you could go to a local body shop that does a lot of collision repair and ask them what their experience has been with VM. Conversely, you could also ask who they've had the best relationship with.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:00 PM on May 13, 2014

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