USAA ranks high with customers in Consumer Reports survey

Sufficient coverage without overpaying is goal when buying homeowners insurance

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - USAA ranked high among insurance companies when Consumer Reports asked its members to rate their satisfaction after filing a claim with their insurer.

Amica ranked at the top, followed closely by USAA. Eerie and Auto Owners also stood out for overall satisfaction.

While Cheryl’s "she-shed" in State Farm’s commercial is funny, threats and damage to your home are not. That’s where homeowners insurance comes in to protect you.

But shopping for insurance involves a tricky balance of getting enough coverage without overpaying.

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“The key is to get your home and its contents protected at the best price,” said Tobie Stanger, money editor for Consumer Reports.

Once your home is assessed, you can determine how much insurance you need. Consumer Reports recommends insuring for the full replacement cost, which means buying enough to cover labor and materials to rebuild your home.

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“You don’t want to be underinsured. In a catastrophe, you may have to completely rebuild,” Stanger said.

Premiums have been on the rise for years. In Texas, a state vulnerable to extreme weather events, average premiums are approaching $2,000 a year.

To lower premiums, it helps to shop around. Websites such as www.insure.com, www.netquote.com and www.selectquote.com can help.

The Texas Department of Insurance also has a site, www.helpinsure.com, where Texans can plug in their information and get estimates from various companies.

Amica and USAA aren't necessarily on all search sites, so interested customers may have to contact them directly. 

USAA primarily deals with military members, veterans and their families.

Bundling auto and home insurance with the same carrier can mean saving as much as 30%. Another way to save is to raise your deductible.

Certain home improvements can translate into lower premiums. Improvements include replacing old plumbing and adding a security system.

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