Top 5 most common consumer homeowners insurance complaints

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Written by
Feature Insurance Writer
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Reviewed by
Farmers CSR for 4 Years
UPDATED: 2022-07-22T12:00:46.645Z
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Have you ever been standing ankle-deep in a flooded basement wondering if your insurance company will cover the damage and get you back on your feet? While we all hope to never need our homeowners insurance, we also want peace of mind that our company or agent will help us when we need it.

Many policyholders have had positive experiences with their insurance companies, but it may not always be a walk in the park. Sometimes you just can’t get ahold of your agent or your claim isn’t settled properly. We looked into our thousands of homeowners insurance reviews to find the most frequent complaints consumers had of their homeowners insurance companies.

If you're looking to take action against your current provider, mainly looking elsewhere for service, you can check out other agencies. Depending on the type of insurance you're looking for, there is a wide range of providers on the market. You'll be able to find an insurer who is a good fit for your needs. We also have a free comparison tool that will let you compare quotes from different companies. Doing research on multiple insurers can lead to better informed decisions regarding your desired policy.

5. Cancellation of a policy or threat to cancel

This category includes scenarios in which the homeowners insurance company threatened to cancel or did cancel the customer’s policy.

Reasons discussed in reviews for cancellations included claims the policyholders made or a lack of payment that was often described in reviews as a billing error. In some cases, the company threatened to cancel a policy if the homeowners didn’t make improvements or changes to their property as suggested, such as replacing the roof or updating anything inside.

4. Communication issues

It’s important policyholders can reach their agent or company when they need to, but as some policyholders have noted in reviews, contacting your insurance company isn’t always as easy as it should be. Individuals describing issues with communication gave an overall average rating of 3.17 out of 5.

There are many faults of poor communication in this category, including having issues reaching their agent or company, not getting return calls, being told wrong information or not being alerted about important information or changes. For example, some individuals said they were never notified when they got a new agent.

A fairly common theme in this category was being told wrong information. Reviewers were told something was covered when it wasn’t, that their rate would be one thing but ended up being something else and that a certain level of coverage would be approved, but it wasn’t. The miscommunication often happened between the agent and policyholder.

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3. Insufficient coverage

A big issue policyholders complain about is problems with their coverage, specifically not being covered for things they need. More than 72 percent of homeowners who discussed coverage issues in their review reported they were likely to shop for a new homeowners insurance company.

There’s a wide range of issues that policyholders can have with their homeowners coverage. This category includes policyholders finding out too late that they didn’t have necessary coverage for property damage, coverage levels were too low or there were errors in processing documents. Additionally, this category also includes policyholders who simply don’t like their plan. This suggests that insurers and agents can improve on making sure policyholders have the right coverage and explain their policy if there is any confusion.

2. Claims dispute

It’s no surprise the second-most frequent homeowners insurance complaint is issues with claims settlement. The average overall rating for those discussing a claims dispute in their review was very low at 2.38.

In our blog on the top 10 states with the happiest and least happy homeowners insurance policyholders, one of the trends we found was between claims service rating and happiness level. The happiest states on the list earned a higher average score for claims service than the least happy states.

Homeowners often describe situations in which the insurer denied a claim based on perceived cause (i.e. act of God), plan design (i.e. flooding due to sump pump but not having a sump pump rider) or even based on the amount the insurer will pay (i.e. replacement coverage).

1. Rate increase or cost of policy

The most common consumer complaint on Clearsurance is rate increases or the price of policy being too high. In fact, it also was the most frequent car insurance complaint. We receive many reviews every day in which consumers complain about their insurance rates increasing and many don’t know the cause of the increase. This type of complaint could to some degree be resolved by providing the customers with more information regarding the price hike. However, even if an insurer were to report the increase with plenty of details, there will still be those who feel an increase is unfair.

A quarter of all reviews mention the cost of the customer’s policy. About half of these reviews are negative, mentioning how the cost has increased or the price is too high.

Many consumers are unclear on the causes of their rate increase and this leads to frustrated policyholders. Consumers typically understand a rate increase after filing a claim for a new roof, for example, but even claim-free policyholders may experience increases that are out of their control. Policyholders without a prior claim may experience rate increases because there have been more severe weather or natural disasters in their area, an increase in the cost of home repair, insurance fraud or increased crime rate in their area.

How has your experience been with your homeowners insurance company? Write a review about your experience to help other consumers make a smarter decision while shopping for insurance.

If you need to compare insurance companies, we offer an online free tool that can help you.

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