Best Insurance Companies

The Best Insurance Coverage 2009: Best Companies, Best Insurance Policies

Every year the STREET LAW FIRM compiles a list of the “best” and “worst” insurance companies in America and publishes the lists on our web site, . These lists are eagerly anticipated by our clients, as well as the tens of thousands of consumers who view our site, many of whom base their choice of a liability insurance carrier upon our recommendations. For this reason, we take our responsibility quite seriously and, while our opinions are by necessity somewhat subjective, they are nonetheless based upon our fifty years of experience in personal injury and wrongful death litigation and daily contact during that time with these carriers.

While it was relatively easily to pick those insurance companies to include in our “Worst Insurance Companies—2009” list (after all, there are truthfully far more “bad” insurance companies than “good”), it was a bit more challenging to decide on five insurance companies worthy of inclusion in our “best” category. In the first place, insurance companies, by their very nature, are not likely to endear themselves to a personal injury law firm or its clients. (We might note here for the record that the STREET LAW FIRM does not accept any compensation of any kind from any individual or insurance company to influence our endorsement, even though our web site is one of the highest-rated legal web sites in the world and receives tens of thousands of visitors. The insurance companies on our “best” list are there solely because, in our experience, they are more likely to at least attempt to be fair than those not on our list—and they are infinitely more fair than those on our “worst” list).

Secondly, the essence of insurance is to take in premiums and not pay out benefits—hardly the way to win any popularity contests. That’s why this is not a popularity contest—we have not adopted anybody else’s opinion as our own—but is instead a compendium of our own experiences.

Thirdly, almost all research one is likely to find regarding “best” insurance companies is based solely on price. As we discussed at length in our “worst insurance companies” article, price is among the least important factors (though, admittedly, it is the one most consumers rely on almost exclusively in making their choice of an insurance carrier). (For those of you who may not have read our “worst insurance companies” article, the number-one criterion that should be considered in choosing an insurance company is, “How likely is this insurance company to pay when I need them?” As we pointed out in our article, there is no agency, group, or web site anywhere of which we are aware that compiles facts on this all-important statistic. We’ve done it for you in our article.)

Finally, it was just unbelievably hard to find five “best” insurance companies. But here they are, based upon our fifty years experience in personal injury and wrongful death litigation:

  1. CHUBB CORPORATION — First established as a marine underwriting company in 1882 by Thomas Chubb and his son, Percy, “Chubb & Son” has grown into one of the top ten publicly-traded insurance companies on the New York Stock Exchange. Now called The Chubb Corporation, Chubb has more than $44,000,000,000 in assets and writes insurance for automobiles, homes, and business properties. While not having a large presence in Texas, we have found that the adjusters at Chubb (perhaps because they aren’t a predominant force in Texas) consistently adjust claims fairly and accurately. They are as different from Progressive, Farmers and Allstate as night is from day. Instead of seeing how much they can cheat the claimant, they instead seem genuinely interested in reaching a just settlement. Because dealing with Chubb is usually a positive experience for our clients, Chubb is our number one choice for “Best Insurance Companies—2009.”
  2. WAUSAU — You may remember Wausau from its funny name (the one most people pronounce “War-Sore”) or from its commercials years ago, usually during college football games. First established in Wausau, Wisconsin, in 1911, Wausau originally wrote only workers’ compensation insurance (then known as “workman’s comp” before political correctness came into vogue). In 1999, Wausau became affiliated with the mammoth Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, thereby extending its reach into all 50 states. While still a leader in workers’ compensation insurance, Wausau now writes automobile and general liability insurance, as well. We have found that the adjusters who work for Wausau conduct themselves with dignity and class and they treat claimants and their attorneys with equal respect, thus earning Wausau the second spot on our list of bests.
  3. AMICA MUTUAL — Based in Lincoln, Rhode Island, Amica has actually been around for almost 100 years, yet few people have ever heard of it. Those who have, however, seem to like it: 94% of its customers renew after the first year, and fully 1/3 of its policyholders are still with Amica after 20 years. Even though Amica enjoys an A++ rating by A. M. Best Company (the strongest rating given), it is not in the top 10 insurance companies in size. That’s a shame because, being a “mutual” company, it is owned by its policyholders and, we’ve found, employs the fairest, most even-handed claims-settlement practices in the industry. The adjusters are professional, know their business, and treat us with courtesy and respect. It is always a pleasure negotiating claims with Amica and, for all these reasons, Amica earns third place among our “Best Insurance Companies—2009.”
  4. TRAVELERS — Founded in 1864, later merging with St. Paul Insurance, and now known as St. Paul Travelers, our fourth choice for “best” has only about six million policies nationwide, so you are not likely to run into one of their insureds (please excuse the pun). But, if it’s the other way around and they run into you, at least you will know that St. Paul Travelers has a reputation for fair claims settlement practices. We have found them to consistently pay more often and in higher amounts than most insurers. Because of that, their insureds are less likely to get sued by law firms like us—which makes St. Paul Travelers a good choice for you.
  5. USAA — This was a tough one for us and barely made our list. USAA, based in San Antonio, is a huge insurance company but it offers insurance for only its “members,” which is a narrowly-defined group including only active duty military personnel; former spouses and adult children of USAA members; National Guard and reservists; and candidates in commissioning programs such as ROTC, the Naval Academy, etc. The reason USAA just made it onto our list by its fingernails is because, even though USAA in years past paid more and without us having to threaten lawsuits to obtain settlements, they have noticeably tightened the purse strings in recent years in response to “tort reform” and its effects on juries. Even so, USAA still pays more money on a more consistent basis than almost any other large insurer. Because of this, USAA makes our list as the number five “best.”

Well, there you have it: five insurance companies that we have found give you the most bang-for-the-buck. Let us be perfectly clear: Not one of these five gives money away (what insurance company does?), but we have found these five to at least attempt to be fair and honest in their claims-adjusting practices (unlike those on our “worst” list). It is for this reason alone that you should switch to one of these five for your liability insurance needs. After all, if your insurance company deals fairly with a claimant whom you have injured by your own negligence, that claimant is unlikely to hire the STREET LAW FIRM —and you are unlikely to get sued. And isn’t that what liability insurance is for?

See our picks for the best insurance companies and worst insurance companies of last year.

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Abogado de Accidentes

News & Notes

The worst insurance companies we have here do the absolute least to attempt to settle claims fairly or in a timely manner.  They are also the most likely to leave you vulnerable to a car wreck lawsuit when you need them the most.
The worst insurance companies are some of the most popular. Why? Because you get what you pay for, and sometimes that's a car wreck lawsuit .
The best insurance companies? It's a rare breed these days, but we have our opinions on where your insurance dollar is best spent.
To find an accident lawyer, it takes a little bit of legal knowledge. Just as with any other kind of professional, when seeking help, it's important to know something about the area of practice in which you need help.
What to do after an auto accident...a handy printable "fill in the blank form" to keep in your glove box in case you become involved in an auto accident.