Travelers Home Insurance Review

Travelers offers comprehensive home insurance policies that are easily customizable, but it’s known for poor customer service.

Travelers offers comprehensive homeowners insurance in all 50 states. Its standard policy covers most basic perils, like fire and theft, but you can customize it further by adding endorsements. It offers some of the best valuables coverage in the industry and it’s one of few companies to offer special coverage for green homes to ensure they’re repaired with eco-friendly materials. So if you’re looking for a flexible policy you can build around your needs, Travelers is certainly worth a closer look.

Travelers struggles with customer service, however. It scored poorly in the 2016 J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey, and several news reports have alleged that the company has resorted to underhanded measures to avoid paying out legitimate claims. If this concerns you, you may want to go with a different company that has a better reputation for customer service, like State Farm or GEICO.

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The Specs

Price Varies by home, location, and other factors
Best For Those who need a flexible policy with high coverage limits
Not For Those who place a high value on customer service
States Served 50
Discounts Green home
Home buyer
Loss-free
Multi-policy
Protective device
A.M. Best Rating A++
Standout Features Financially strong
Green home coverage
Excellent protection for valuables

The Claim

Travelers works hard to provide you with the best possible coverage for your home at an affordable rate. It’s constantly innovating to keep up with the changing marketplace, but it never forgets its dedication to you, the consumer. Agents are standing by 24/7 to answer any questions you may have and claims are paid out as swiftly as possible, so you can get your life back to normal.

Is it True?

Sort of. Travelers offers comprehensive coverage for your home and personal property, as well as other structures like garages or sheds. The basic policy protects against most major perils, including fire, theft, and storm damage. Earthquakes and floods are not  automatically covered without purchasing additional endorsements, but this is typical of all major insurers. Travelers is also one of the few home insurers that offers an endorsement for green homes to ensure that they’ll be repaired with eco-friendly building materials, so it’s worth a closer look if you’re interested in this type of coverage.

It’s difficult to make any broad claims about Travelers’ affordability because insurance rates are highly personalized. The only way to find out what any given policy is going to cost you is to get a quote. According to the latest J.D. Power homeowners insurance survey, Travelers rates are about average. You may be able to reduce that cost by taking advantage of discounts, though. There aren’t many, but most customers will likely qualify for at least one.

Customer service is the area where Travelers falls a little flat. In the J.D. Power survey, it ranked sixth-worst out of 28 companies. Most aspects of the company, from customer interaction with agents to policy offerings, were ruled simply average, though consumers did call out a specific issue with the timeliness and accuracy of the billing statements they received. It fared little better in J.D. Power’s property claim satisfaction survey, this time scoring fourth-worst of 21.

There have also been reports of the company dropping customers for filing multiple claims, allegedly hiding policies from lawyers to avoid paying out the claim, and allegedly doctoring reports to avoid paying claims to victims of Hurricane Sandy. This isn’t to say that’s the typical experience of a Travelers customer, but it’s something to be aware of before making a purchase.

Our Deep Dive

  • Financially strong: Travelers has received the highest possible financial strength rating from A.M. Best, along with AA ratings from both Fitch and S&P, as well as an Aa2 from Moody’s. These ratings are a good indication that Travelers will be around for a while and has the resources to pay out claims when the time comes.
  • Few discounts: Travelers doesn’t give you many opportunities to save on your homeowners insurance, though this is not unusual in the industry. There are the usual claim-free and multi-policy discounts, and installing a security system or having recently purchased a home will also net you some savings, but that’s about it.
  • Additional replacement cost coverage: This is an optional coverage that raises your policy’s limits to cover a total loss. Your standard policy may be enough to cover most repairs, or even a complete rebuild at today’s prices, but as construction costs rise, you may find your policy limit isn’t high enough. In that case, a policy endorsement like this is a nice option to have.
  • Water backup coverage: Water backing up into your home can cause a lot of damage, so Travelers offers an optional coverage designed to protect customers against just that. If water backs up into your home or overflows from your sump pump, you’ll be covered up to a specified dollar amount.
  • Coverage for green homes: When you add the green home endorsement to your policy, Travelers will pay extra in the event of a claim to ensure your home is repaired with sustainable building materials. Owning a green home can also earn you a discount on your premium.
  • Excellent valuables coverage: If you have expensive items like artwork or jewelry that aren’t fully covered by your basic policy, you can add the Valuable Items Plus endorsement. This raises your policy limits on these valuable items to ensure you receive the full replacement cost in the event of a disaster. If that still doesn’t provide enough coverage, you can add a personal articles floater to raise your limits even more.
  • Full replacement value for personal property: Travelers’ contents replacement cost coverage is an optional add-on that pays you the full replacement cost of damaged or stolen personal property without factoring in depreciation.
  • Access your policy on the go: Travelers has mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. They enable you to view policy documents, pay bills, and file a claim from your phone or other mobile device.
  • Identity theft protection: In the unlikely event that your identity is stolen, Travelers will pay up to $25,000 to help you cover the costs of restoring your identity.

Cost Rundown

The only way to determine how much your homeowners insurance is going to cost you is to get a quote. Premiums are highly personalized, taking factors like your home’s location and age into consideration, along with your creditworthiness. While all insurers look at the same information, each weighs it slightly differently, which is why you end up getting different rates.

Find the Best Home Insurance Rates

Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

Your premiums will also vary depending on how much coverage you want. A basic homeowners policy protects against the following perils:

  • Damage caused by aircraft
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Explosion
  • Fire or lightning
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Smoke damage
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Windstorm or hail

Earthquakes and floods are not included on this list because of the inherently costly nature of these disasters. If you live in an area that’s prone to them, you’ll want to look into purchasing extra coverage to protect against them. You may also want to purchase additional coverage if you have expensive items like jewelry, furs, or artwork that may not be fully covered under a standard policy.

Cheaper (or Free!) Alternatives

Mortgage lenders require homeowners insurance, so there’s no way to avoid it unless you own your home outright, and even then, that’s not a wise move. Instead, here are some other steps you can take to minimize your costs without compromising coverage:

  • Shop around. Get quotes from several insurance companies and compare their rates and coverages. Go with the one that offers you the greatest coverage at the best rate.
  • Bundle your home and auto policies. Nearly every insurer, including Travelers, gives discounts to customers who purchase their home and auto insurance through the same company.
  • Raise your deductible. This will cost you more when you file a claim, but the reduction in premiums should be more than enough to compensate for this.
  • Work on your credit. All insurers look at your credit reports as a means of determining how responsible you are. A higher credit score will translate into lower insurance rates.
  • Disaster-proof your house. Install storm shutters, for example, if you live in an area prone to bad storms. This will lower the amount of damage to your home and decrease your chance of filing a claim.
  • Install a security system. Many home insurers give discounts to customers who have a monitored security system installed in their home.

The Competition

GEICO: Even though GEICO is one of the largest insurers in the country, it doesn’t underwrite its own homeowners policies. Instead, it pairs customers up with another insurer who actually underwrites each individual policy. According to the J.D. Power survey, customers seem pretty happy with this arrangement. It scored fourth out of 28 companies. Before you make a purchase through GEICO, though, you should do some research on the company that will be underwriting your policy, since that’s who you’ll be dealing with in the event of needing to file a claim.

Allstate: With one of the best selections of homeowners discounts in the industry, Allstate also has above-average rates to begin with. On the upside, it’s one of the few home insurers to offer a claim forgiveness option, which prevents your rates from going up following your first claim.

State Farm: Offering comprehensive homeowners policies that cover all the basics, including fire, storm damage and theft, State Farm is known for its quality customer service. State Farm scored well in the J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey, so it’s worth investigating if customer service is a high priority to you. It doesn’t offer much in the way of discounts, but its rates are generally reasonable.

Progressive: Like GEICO, Progressive doesn’t underwrite its own policies. You’re paired with another insurer who offers this service. In the J.D. Power survey, Progressive’s customers were satisfied with the price and policy offerings available to them, but it received an average rating overall.

What Others Are Saying

  • Insurance Journal reported that Travelers has begun offering discounts to customers who have smart home devices installed. These devices can alert homeowners of an emergency right away, which can help minimize the damages. A company spokesperson said of the decision: “Creating a smart home with a variety of innovative connected devices can provide many benefits to consumers, including helping to keep their families and property safe.”
  • The Boston Globe wrote an article about insurance companies unexpectedly dropping customers for filing too many claims. One Travelers customer was dropped for filing two claims in a single month. The customer complained to the Better Business Bureau, at which point the company reconsidered and renewed his policy, though they also boosted his premium. When asked to comment about this, the customer said, “I’m exhausted, but in the end they did the right thing…It takes a certain amount of stubbornness.”
  • Insurance Journal published another article in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, alleging that Travelers had doctored engineering reports in order to avoid paying out claims to the victims. The company was sued by some of its customers who claimed that the company “reaps greater profit by driving up claims handling expenses and denying legitimate claims.”

The Bottom Line

Travelers offers solid coverage and plenty of endorsements to help you build a policy around your needs. Its customer service leaves something to be desired, but it’s still worth getting a quote to see what it can offer you.

Find the Best Home Insurance Rates

Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

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