Every state regulates homeowners insurance and insurance companies, but states differ dramatically in how much and what kind of regulation they provide for the benefit of policyholders. The Essential Protections provide a roadmap in four categories that every state can follow in improving homeowners insurance.
Essential Protections When Buying Insurance
Consumers need readily available, easily understandable information about the insurance policies available to them and the insurance companies that offer those policies to shop effectively for insurance. The Essential Protections aim to give consumers full, understandable information about insurance policies and insurance companies so that they can make wise buying decisions and to create competition among companies that leads to better products and fairer prices.
Essential Protections for Coverage
All homeowners need basic protection from their insurance policies and many buy additional protection. The Essential Protections require that policies contain minimum guarantees of protection and that companies offer some kinds of additional protection. Policyholders also need to be protected against unfair cancellation or nonrenewal of their policies, and the Essential Protections set standards there, too.
Essential Protections in the Claims Process
The protection and security that an insurance policy provides must be guaranteed by a fair and efficient claims process. The Essential Protections require insurance companies to provide information to insureds about the claims process and to implement reasonable standards for processing, investigating, evaluating, and paying claims.
Essential Protections for Disaster Victims
Policyholders who suffer losses due to natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, or tornadoes face all of the potential problems that other policyholders confront and more. Many of the Essential Protections for Policyholders that apply in other circumstances are extremely important for disaster victims as well but disaster victims need additional protections as well.
For more background on the Essential Protections project, read these Policyholder Protections Blog posts: