Homeowners need readily available, easily understandable information about the insurance policies available to them and the insurance companies that offer those policies in order to shop effectively for insurance. Insurance companies mostly provide only one kind of information—price. Statutes, regulations, and administrative action are needed to provide consumers with more and better information. Giving consumers full, understandable information about insurance policies and insurance companies enables them to make wise buying decisions when shopping for insurance and when renewing insurance policies, and it creates competition among companies that leads to better products and fairer prices.
Consumers should have easily available, understandable information and tools for comparing coverage in insurance policies.
• Insurance departments should post online commonly used policy forms and comparisons of key policy provisions for consumers to view and compare.
Consumers should have easily available, understandable information about insurance companies’ claim practices.
• Insurance departments should post online information about insurance companies’ practices in paying claims for consumers to view and compare.
Policyholders should be given clear information about their own insurance policies.
• Insurance policies and notices to policyholders should be clearly organized and written in plain language.
• Insurance companies must give to applicants for insurance and policyholders at the time of renewal clear explanations of key policy terms, significant limitations and exclusions, the need for and availability of additional insurance for natural disasters, and any new and altered policy terms in the case of renewal.