Foremost Insurance Review: From an Industry Expert on Home Insurance - YA
Foremost Insurance Review
Foremost is a national insurance carrier operating in 50 states. While they offer all kinds of insurance products, they are best known for covering mobile homes, vacant homes, and multiple landlord properties. Foremost actually created the first ever mobile home insurance policy!
They are often referred to as a specialized insurance carrier and can cover many hard to price property risks. Foremost also has a non-standard auto carrier called Bristol West which can cover auto liability for drivers with messy driving records. If you had an unlucky string of events that are stuck on your driving record, they might be worth checking.
Both Foremost and Bristol West are owned by Farmers Insurance Group, which was founded in Los Angeles in 1928.
The Coverage - Mobile Homes
Foremost Mobile Home Policies include:
- Comprehensive Coverage - which covers the below perils:
- Optional Replacement Cost - allows you to be covered at replacement cost instead of actual cash value.
- Agreed Loss Settlement - if your home is destroyed by something covered above, you get the full amount of coverage for your home (minus the small deductible).
- Liability Coverage - if someone sues you.
Foremost also offers add-ons (not included by default) such as
- Additional Living Expenses - if you are forced to live somewhere else why your home is repaired
- Trees, Shrubs, Plants and Lawns
- Debris Removal - surprisingly expensive to remove a fallen tree
- Emergency Removal/Repair Services
- Credit Card and Check Forgery
- Fire Department Service
- Food Spoilage Coverage
The Coverage - Vacant Homes
The DP1 is your most basic homeowners insurance policy. It provides the bare minimum coverage for a vacant property. It’s also a named perils policy. This means that it only offers coverage from a short list of events. Common named perils for this policy are fire & lightning, smoke, explosion, and a few others. If damage happens to the property outside of the named perils, it would not be covered.
One important note, DP1 policies tend to be Actual Cash Value (ACV) policies. This means that if you have a claim on your house under this policy, it won’t be paid at the replacement value, but at the ACV. As a result, you aren't guaranteed to get your entire house back, and sometimes will just get a check for the ACV coverage amount on the policy.
The Coverage - Landlord Homes
This DP3 policy covers houses from single to multi-family that function as rental properties (excluding apartment complexes which would be insured through a commercial real estate policy). The DP3 is the policy for anyone who rents out property, covering the building’s structure and rental income from the property. However, it does not cover the renter’s belongings (coverage can sometimes be purchased as an add-on).
If you own a duplex, triplex, or quadplex and live in one of the units while renting out the others, then you will sometimes need a DP3 as well to protect the areas of the home not inhabited by the owner.
Foremost is rated A by AM Best so I wouldn't worry about them going anywhere anytime soon. They are well financed under the Farmers Insurance umbrella.
Claims are always a contentious subject and a lot of the confusion and frustration in claims comes from not knowing what is covered in your policy. Do your best to understand what is covered up front so you are not surprised down the road. As with some older insurance carriers, Foremost is known to be slow at processing/paying out claims. Something to consider when evaluating them for your insurance options.
Foremost reviews have been mixed, mainly around the claims experience. A lot of this may be due to the fact they are on legacy technology that is slower to process and pay claims. We hope they can improve this technology over time to better serve their customers!
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Disclosure: Foremost is one of the many options Young Alfred offers for home insurance. Young Alfred did not receive any compensation or direction from Foremost in writing this review.