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Posted: 1:19 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012

Best and worst home insurers

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By Clark Howard

A new ranking of home insurance companies shows that just focusing on what you pay in premiums isn't necessarily the smartest idea.

The Sept. 2012 issue of Consumer Reports names the best and worst home insurers in the business. Now, keep in mind that the best does not necessarily mean the one with the most affordable premium.

Tied in the top spot, you have Amica Insurance and USAA Property & Casualty, two of my longtime favorites. Just a hair behind them is Auto-Owners Insurance, a company that's never much been on my radar.

Amica and USAA Mutual may not have the best premiums. But remember my rule, homeowners insurance is only for use in a catastrophic situation.

To lower the cost of going with a top-rated insurer, I recommend you take as high of a deductible as you can swallow and your mortgage holder will allow you to have. Do not go with the $500 deductible of yesteryear.

On the flipside, the lowest rated insurers in the country are Allstate Insurance and Farmers Insurance, in a tie. Just a hair above them were Hartford Financial Services, Travelers and Metlife Auto & Home.

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