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How does Home-Owners stack up for auto insurance?

And why Home-Owners gets just “so-so” in our attorneys’ 2015 guide to the best and worst auto insurance companies

Home Owners car insurance

Home-Owners, despite its name, also sells auto insurance (they really should do something about this, as it confuses a lot of people). But is Home-Owners a good company for purchasing auto insurance?

I’ve been giving my own recommendations in recent weeks, based in large part on our own attorneys’ dealings with every auto insurance company in Michigan. We offer a rather unique perspective that’s different from the normal consumer reviews, because our attorneys see how these insurance companies actually treat people after a car accident. Our clients often find that reality (when you desperately need an insurance company to pay a claim) is very different from what we see on television from these insurance company

As to Home-Owners, our attorneys’ consensus is that Home-Owners gets just a “meh.”  It’s not the best insurance company, but it’s clearly not the worst.

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Below are some reasons Home-Owners made the “for your consideration” category in our “2015 Attorneys Guide to the Best Auto Insurance Companies.”

First, the good news about Home-Owners for auto insurance

  • Home-Owners auto insurance prices are among the least expensive in Michigan. When compared with Michigan’s other largest auto insurers, Home-Owners’ prices were among the least expensive in all 16 of the major Michigan markets examined.
  • Home-Owners pays the third-largest percentage of premiums on claims. Among Michigan’s largest auto insurers, Home-Owners pays the third-largest percentage of its premium dollars in claims for its auto-insurance customers, according to loss ratio data gathered by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS). For instance, for every premium dollar Home-Owners receives from Michigan drivers, it pays out approximately $.69 in auto accident claims submitted by its auto-insurance customers.

The not-so-good on Home-Owners

  • Complaints from Michigan consumers have increased. Consumer complaints against Home-Owners Insurance Company increased 39% between 2007 and 2013, according to data gathered by the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS).
  • Home-Owners accepted auto insurance premium payments on a vehicle, but then claimed the vehicle was not covered once a claim was filed. Here’s an actual case Michigan Auto Law had with Home-Owners:
    • Home-Owners was okay with an insured customer’s ‘owner’ status when accepting her money for years for insurance premiums. But once a car accident occurred and an auto insurance claim was made, Home-Owners objected.
    • Strangely, Ms. Carson’s “owner” status had never been a problem for Home-Owners, which for years happily accepted her money for her premium payments. And even after she was involved in a motor vehicle accident, Home-Owners never voiced any concerns to cause it to refund Ms. Carson’s premium payments for the time period when her “owner” status supposedly prevented coverage under her policy, as they clearly should have done if this were a legitimate objection to her legal status as a vehicle owner.
    • Instead, Ms. Carson’s “owner” status of the Lexus SUV only became a problem for Home-Owners when it meant that the insurance company might have to pay out Michigan No Fault benefits (also known as PIP or Personal Injury Protection benefits) on an insurance claim. We all know that insurance companies do not make money by paying out claims. But these companies do have contractual obligations and they make promises to pay when people need these PIP benefits. The way this claim was handled raised more than a few red flags about how Home-Owners is evaluating claims.  To read more about this case, please check out my Michigan Auto Law blog post, “Yet another insurance company dirty trick (Sigh).”

Our attorneys would like to hear about your experience with the Home-Owners. How do you like it in terms of customer service? And if you’ve been in an auto accident, how did Home-Owners treat you when you were trying to make a claim?

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Blog Author Steven M. Gursten
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