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A home is the biggest asset most Americans have, according to Mike Gulla, director of underwriting at Hippo. He told Business Insider that unlike renters insurance, which is basically liability coverage for your personal belongings, homeowners own their home and have an interest in making sure it is well maintained. 

If the mailman slips and falls on your sidewalk, the dog bites a guest, a tree falls on your roof, or the neighbor’s kid injures himself doing a cannonball in your swimming pool, homeowners insurance can protect you. However, if your provider isn’t responsive to your claims request, that can cost you.

The latest study from J.D. Power, a consumer research company that conducts consumer surveys, shows that an insurance company’s customer service and reputation are driving factors for customers when they’re selecting a homeowners insurance carrier. Now that we’re spending more time in our homes due to the coronavirus pandemic, it makes sense that having a reputable company that responds to claims is important. 

Gulla noted that the J.D. Power study showed a consumer trend change — customers want a partnership with providers, not to be simply viewed as a “policyholder.” Homeowners insurance is something you pay for hoping that you never need it, he continued. However, when you do need it, you expect something for all those premiums paid. He said the industry is seeing a paradigm shift towards amazing customer service and value-added service in order to maintain customer loyalty.

Before the pandemic, people would be home 30% to 40% of time. Now, people are at home