The process of finding proper insurance and then dealing with any potential claims can be a daunting task for most homeowners regardless of where you live: El Paso, Kansas City, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Miami, etc. What many people do not realize is that there are many resources available to the average person in sorting out the policies. We have compiled the top reference sources you can use in addition to HomeInsurance.org for insurance information and guidance. These sources are designed to provide you with unbiased information that is meant to educate and promote greater insurance understanding among consumers.
Your insurance agents are a good resource as they are licensed professionals who should understand all of the coverages being presented to you. You can check your agents’ license with the state department of insurance to determine if they are in good standing. A licensed agent also has to meet ongoing continuing education requirements set by the state to ensure skills and knowledge are current within an evolving insurance marketplace. The only potential conflict with an agent is the fact that they are frequently compensated based on commissions earned from the placement of your business. This can be perceived as a conflict in that the more insurance you purchase, the more the agent earns.
Department of Insurance
Because insurance is not regulated at a federal level, there is a separate department of insurance in each state. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners provides a good map of the country with a link to each state’s respective department of insurance website. In addition to regulatory matters, the department of insurance often provides valuable information for consumers, explaining the insurance industry and business process. Consumers should look to the department of insurance both when sourcing coverage as well as dealing with any claims issues. The agencies regulate insurance company and agent behavior and take disciplinary action on behalf of consumers as necessary.
Insurance Information Institute (III)
The III is an organization dedicated to improving the public’s knowledge and understanding of insurance. While it is funded by various insurance companies, the Institute’s mission is not to lobby on behalf of insurance companies. Instead, its primary goal is to educate the public and create greater awareness of how insurance functions. The Institute’s website provides a great deal of information for the layperson on basic insurance topics.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
The NAIC is an organization consisting of the insurance commissioners from all 50 states that works to set policy for the insurance industry. They work closely in conjunction with the Center for Insurance Policy and Research to not only help set standards, but also serve as a resource for consumers. Their website, while somewhat technical, can be a source of information and reference for the average consumer. Understanding how the industry comes together to govern itself can offer powerful information for policyholders.