Survey: Only 17% of homeowners will work with new insurers

Wed Feb 20 2019

We surveyed 320 homeowners and asked if they would work with a new home insurance company. Here's what they said.

Would you be willing to work with a new home insurance company?

We get it – no homeowner wants to trust just any insurance company with their most prized and valuable purchase. Savvy homeowners put a lot of care and consideration into choosing their home insurance provider. And we wanted to find out just how much the name recognition of a company plays into that decision-making.

So we surveyed 320 insured homeowners and asked point blank: Would you be willing to work with a new home insurance company you haven't heard of before?

To be frank, we were a little surprised when almost 83& of respondents said no – because that means they are missing opportunities to save money on their coverage.

83% of respondents said they would not be willing to work with a new home insurance company they haven't heard of before.

Survey results

What would make you most inclined to work with a home insurance company you haven't heard of before?

Insured homeowners weigh in on the factors that would most inspire them to work with a new home insurance provider.47.8%14.5%12.1%10.4%8%6.1%1.2%Motivating FactorPercentage of RespondentsNothingCheaper premiumsBetter coveragePositive customer reviewsGood claims serviceStrong financial ratingEase of getting insured0%10%20%30%40%50%What would make you most inclined to work with a home insurance company you haven't heard of before?

Before we unpack our takeaways from the survey results, here they are in full:

  • 82.7% of homeowners said they are not willing to work with a brand-new insurance company. However:
    • 14.5% would if it meant cheaper premiums.
    • 12.1% would if it meant better coverage.
    • 10.4% would if the company has positive customer reviews.
    • 8% would if the company has good claims service.
    • 6.1% would be depending on the company’s financial rating.
    • 1.2% would if it were easy to get insured.
    • 33.5% of respondents have never changed home insurance providers.

Behind the numbers

To be fair, our survey findings dovetail with recent polls. The 2017 World Insurance Report found only 40 percent of policyholders trust their current providers, and only 26.3 percent of its respondents trust insurtechs (i.e., new insurance companies).

In other words, trust in the insurance industry is already low, so it makes sense that homeowners may be hesitant to welcome newcomers.

Unsurprisingly, the potential to save money and get better coverage are the biggest motivators for our respondents to take a leap on a new provider. The good news is that new insurance providers usually enter the market to help homeowners save on their premiums and to offer coverage to homeowners in regions that traditional insurers often neglect.

That’s why Kin Insurance exists, at least.

50% of policyholders who switched insurers in the last three years found a better price.

The case for shopping for your home insurance regularly

When was the last time you changed home insurance providers?

Insured homeowners on when they last switched home insurance providers.9.8%16.2%16.6%23.9%33.5%Number of Years AgoPercentage of RespondentsLess than 11 to 3510 or moreNever0%10%20%30%40%When was the last time you changed home insurance providers?

About a third of our survey respondents said they’ve never changed home insurance providers, and nearly 24 percent said it’s been 10 or more years since they’ve switched.

No one is suggesting you jump from insurance provider to provider whenever the spirit moves you. But neglecting to see what other offers are out there can cost you.

According to Consumer Reports, 50 percent of policyholders who switched insurers in the last three years reported finding a better price.

Failing to comparison shop may also mean you miss opportunities to get better coverage and take advantage of new technology and other service conveniences.

But how often should you shop around and compare insurance offerings?

About once a year is a good rule of thumb – well before your current policy expires. That way you can switch to a better, more affordable policy without experiencing gaps in coverage.

Compare insurance offers about once a year to make sure you're still getting the best coverage at the best price.

How to tell If you can trust a new home insurance provider

There are a number of ways homeowners can be sure they’re working with a reliable yet new provider.

  • Ask people you trust. Ask your family, friends, and neighbors if they’ve heard of the company you’re considering. If you don’t have a new provider on your radar, ask for recommendations.
  • Check for responsive customer service. Ideally, you should be able to reach a new home insurance provider via phone, online, or via social media seven days a week. The customer service representatives should be knowledgeable and eager to answer your questions.
  • Understand what financial stability really means. A good new insurance provider will have a record of financial stability and offer products underwritten by top-rated carriers.
  • Learn about the claims process. Do a little digging to see how your potential insurer handles claims. A company representative should be able to answer questions about claim turnaround times.
  • Read the customer reviews. If nothing else, you can trust fellow customers to give you an honest impression of how they liked working with a new insurance provider. Check TrustPilot and Consumer Reports. Enthusiastic customers are usually a strong indication that a new provider is doing good work.

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