Top Ten Reviews posed several questions to the insurance companies we evaluated for our review of the best homeowners insurance.

While we spoke with regular customer support representatives and agents for consumer-type questions, we contacted each company's corporate media or public relations department to obtain more information about the insurance company, specifically agent training, emergency assistance and claims processing.

While not all companies responded, Allstate did. Below is transcript of this Q&A:

Agent Training

What type of agent training is provided?
Agency owners are required to have the appropriate state licenses for our portfolio of products. In addition, we provide education to agency owners and their staff prior to being appointed. The focus of the education is to better prepare agency owners to successfully lead an agency, understand customer needs and provide the customers with the information they need to help them make decisions regarding their individual insurance needs. This education involves a variety of delivery methods to include virtual on-demand, virtual instructor led and face-to-face.

What type of ongoing training is provided?
Agency owners and their staff receive ongoing education to continually build skills, support new products or system changes.

Does training include extensive add-on and rider coverage?
The education curricula is holistic and includes all pertinent information on our products.

Certification or grading system? How are agents held accountable?
We have contractual requirements that agents and their licensed staff be knowledgeable on our products and services as well as any changes related to those products and services. We monitor agency-related customer complaints and any irregularities in quoting practices or application submission as well as survey our customers on a regular basis to help ensure our agents are knowledgeable and appropriately assisting customers with their insurance needs.

Are there limitations as to the services they can provide?
Allstate agents can provide the services permitted by the licenses they hold.

Do you require that they are available certain hours?
We do require that our Agency Owner s locations be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Agency Owners are also required to be open at least 44 hours per week to maintain adequate levels of customer service. As Agency Owners are independent contractors, they have control over which hours they are physically in the office; however, offices are required to be staffed with licensed personnel when they are open. Agency Owners also have the discretion to be open on weekends or after the core business hours. All agency phones must be forwarded to our customer service number outside their normal operating hours.

Emergency Assistance

What's the process to receive home relocation assistance?
Most Allstate homeowner and renter products provide protection for additional living expenses resulting from a covered loss that makes the insured residence premises uninhabitable.

How long might placement take?
When temporary placement arrangements are needed and covered by the policy, Allstate begins assistance immediately. The amount of time it takes to place someone in temporary accommodations varies based on many factors including the needs of the policyholder.

How long can you receive assistance?
For most Allstate products, protection is limited to the least of the following: 1) the time period required to repair or replace the property covered, using due diligence and dispatch; or 2) if you permanently relocate, the shortest time for your household to settle elsewhere; 3) the designated period of time within the policy. It is important to note that additional living expense protections vary by product and may be limited by time periods provided within the policy or capped at a quoted limit.

Is pet relocation assistance included?
Allstate provides relocation assistance for pets residing with and owned by our policyholder when a covered loss makes the insured residence premises uninhabitable.

Claim Processing

Local damage accessors?
Allstate claim adjusters service all areas within the United States.

Local affiliated contractors?
Allstate s Good Hands Repair Network includes contractors covering the majority of the United States.

Are there representatives available to manage rework?
Allstate claim adjusters manage all aspects of claims received.

What kind of documentation is required?
Allstate products detail the requirements a policyholder must comply with when a claim is made but claim complexity varies. Allstate works with each policyholder to fairly evaluate their claim therefore, documentation requirements may vary based on the facts of a particular claim.

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