Among the best homeowners insurance providers, Travelers is a large national (and international) provider with a nearly four percent US market share. The company has a 160 year history, so it knows a thing or two about insurance - as well as homeowners insurance, it offers a wide range of insurance products for individuals and businesses.
However, its recent ratings are somewhat mixed. On the one hand, the latest JD Power Home Insurance survey awards the company just two out of five stars for overall customer satisfaction for its homeowners insurance proposition. Yet on the other, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ statistics show that Travelers received fewer than the median number of complaints to state regulators for auto and home insurance in 2018 relative to its size.
What to believe? One thing we know for certain is that Travelers is a popular company with a long history, so it must be doing something right.
Travelers Homeowners Insurance review: Features
Information support: Good online information hub, tackling subjects beyond basic insurance.
Customer support: Telephone, email and online support available. The company is also on social media.
Interface: Browser, mobile app and Amazon Alexa.
- Solid standard features
- Good list of add-ons
- Extra discount for green homes
That Travelers only scores two out of five for policy offerings in the latest JD Power survey is something of a mystery. The company puts considerable effort into making sure you have the right policy for your personal requirements.
It offers standard dwelling cover, of course, and ‘other structures’ coverage that takes in sheds, garages and fences on your property. Personal property coverage means you’ll be compensated for the loss of personal items, from furniture and clothing to electronics, so long as they are damaged in a covered loss.
Travelers’ homeowners insurance will also provide ‘loss of use’ coverage, which will help pay for living expenses while your property is being repaired. Personal liability coverage helps cover you if you are sued and need to pay damages; for example if somebody falls down the stairs in your home.
This is a fairly standard list, but Travelers also offers a comprehensive range of add-ons. These include valuable items cover, which is great for items like musical instruments, computers and jewelry, and water back up coverage. Unusually, Travelers also offers green home coverage, meaning it will help repair, replace or rebuild with green materials after you file a claim.
In terms of discounts, Travelers may reduce your premium if you buy more than one insurance product from the company, if you have a claim free period, and if you install protective devices (alarms, sprinkler systems, connected smart systems) in your home. More unusual is the ability to save up to five percent if your home is already certified a “green home” by the Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) organization.
Travelers Homeowners Insurance: Interface and usability
- Good website portal
- Manage your account with Alexa
Travelers’ website is neat and easy to navigate. Simple tabs introduce you to homeowners insurance, with an overview that then digs deeper into what’s covered and ways to save (discounts), as well as an in depth FAQ section.
The website also acts as a portal that lets you access all of your insurance information, pay bills, file and track claims and more. Elsewhere, the site features a detailed information section, with articles covering everything from buying and selling a home and fire and home safety, to smart home technology and insurance. These are informative and easy to read.
Travelers also has a mobile app (for iOS and Android), through which you can pay bills, file a claim and view your policy documents. However, the app only receives an average score from users on both app stores.
Interestingly, you can also manage your account with Amazon Alexa. Hardly any other providers - Liberty Mutual being an exception - offer this service.
Travelers Homeowners Insurance: Quality of product
- Very strong financials
- Customer service may need focus
Travelers has good basic cover with decent add-ons, all supported by a clean and user friendly website. Despite these features, its JD Power survey scores never rise above average.
Customer service is clearly an issue, with the company doing particularly poorly on policy offerings and billing. Agents may need to spend more time with customers to ensure they have the coverage they need and understand how the billing process works, and are aware of any discounts to which they are entitled.
Travelers does better on price and interaction, though only attaining “about average” ratings in both. Slightly worryingly, the overall customer satisfaction rating has not improved from 2018, when it was also two out of five. The company has improved marginally in one or two of the individual categories.
Nevertheless, it can at least boast some serious financial strength, with an A++ rating from A.M. Best. Of the firms we’ve reviewed only State Farm can match this rating, which means the company’s ability to pay out on claims is not in any doubt.
Should you use Travelers Homeowners Insurance?
On the surface, Travelers does most things right. Its basic policy is good, with some attractive add-ons and a decent range of discounts. Its online presence is well thought out, and it boasts a couple of real innovations in terms of a green homes discount and account management via Amazon Alexa.
Despite this and reasonable pricing, many customers do not think they get anything other than average service from Travelers. A renewed focus on customer service and support would certainly help to make its homeowners insurance a more attractive option. As it is, it may still be worth considering if you already buy auto insurance from the company, have a green home or want to talk through your requirements with a local agent.
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