It might seem like customer service is a low-priority requirement when you look for Pennsylvania home insurance quotes, but it would be wise to reconsider it. Consumers who have had to file claims would attest to how important customer service is, especially in an emergency.

Consider how you might feel if you had a catastrophic loss, such in a fire or in a hurricane. You are dealing with so much you don’t have time to worry that your carrier is not responding to you. You will have many questions and you will want prompt answers. So, yes, customer service really does matter.

Directly after a loss, customer service is a high priority. That’s why you need to assess their response rates and claims handling.  One good way to do that is to look at customer reviews for the carrier. Cut out the very low and very high reviews and you will get a clear picture of what it is like to work with each carrier on a claim.

These are the hot button issues:

  • Can you reach someone right away in an emergency? You want to get answers and you need to know how to file a claim. Can you call someone 24/7?
  • The carrier’s representative should be able to tell you what is covered and what is not and how you would need to go forward for prompt claim reimbursement. This is not a time for generalities.
  • Courtesy and sensitivity count. You want to be put at ease and you want them to understand your emotions at this very difficult time. They should get the level of upset and stress you are under and still know how to work with you.
  • An agent must be able to handle difficult customers who might be short-tempered or in tears.
  • The claims process needs to be easy—you may not have access to your computer easily and there must be a way for you to quickly file.
  • Reimbursements must be quick so you are able to pay for what you need. A catastrophic loss means you may have lost almost everything and a good agent will be able to help you find a way to replace those things you need.

These are the kinds of things you need to have in mind when you assess your options.