UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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About American Bankers
American Bankers was founded in 1947 and has its headquarters in Miami, Florida. They operate as a subsidiary of American Bankers Insurance Group, and they use the name Assurant as their DBA (doing business as) brand.
American Bankers underwrites home and flood insurance policies in most states under the Assurant Specialty Property name, while two other subsidiary companies are the underwriter for Assurant in Minnesota and Georgia.
The company writes specialty homeowners that includes manufactured homes and has a strong focus on renters insurance. The website setup is confusing, with several web addresses and links, all with different information. Unless you know to look under the name Assurant Specialty Property, you would have a hard time finding the correct website. The last time we reviewed this company the offerings were more widespread, but they appear to have focused in on two main products.
Assurant does offer coverage to individuals but also has a lot of business in the lender-placed insurance market. That means they provide force-placed insurance policies on homes for lenders when the owners fail to meet the insurance requirements.
American Bankers/Assurant Products
The company website has a very limited description of the available products, making it very difficult to make sense of what they offer. It is also difficult to make clear which policies are underwritten by American Bankers and which by other companies.
Listed on the main website are homeowner’s insurance and renters insurance; there is also a link to a manufactured home insurance program.
The homeowner’s insurance products are named – Choice and First Select – however, we were unable to find further information on them.
Manufactured home insurance appears to be mainly a product offered to lenders and manufactured home communities, although there is a direct to consumer policy available as well. Manufactured home insurance links off to a different part of the website under the name Property Solutions, adding to the confusion. This part of the site was more helpful than other areas.
Renters insurance is also available and again appears to have its own separate web link, where little in the way of detail is available once again. This coverage is specifically listed as being underwritten by American Bankers, unlike the other sections where the underwriter is not made clear.
Flood insurance is also available through the National Flood Insurance Program.
The only part of the Assurant website that offers an online quote is for manufactured homes, so we ran a sample. The system was easy to use and straightforward. We used a standard single-wide manufactured home in our usual Southern California area for the sample, with a value of $75,000.
The rate returned for our quote was $759/year.
Since we do not normally run samples on manufactured home coverage, we are unable to provide a comparison for this rate or offer an opinion on the value offered. The system did offer several payment options which is helpful, and a variety of choices for coverage and deductibles.
Claims can be filed online through the member login area on myassurantpolicy.com, yet another branch of the convoluted Assurant web presence. While we found this information only in the section for renter’s insurance, it appears to be the place to file claims for all individual Assurant products.
There is also a toll-free number available 24/7 to report a claim. Again, this was found on the renter’s insurance site, and may only be for that purpose. However, since this is the only product we were able to readily confirm is underwritten by American Banker’s, it is the most important to this review.
The main page does have a list of contacts for claims information broken down by product type. This leads to a contact form that can be submitted to have a representative contact you.
Ratings and Consumer Reviews
American Bankers Better Business Bureau (BBB) file is found under the Assurant name, where they have an A+ rating. There are 1,258 complaints on file in the past three years. This is a bit of an alarming number, but it has not affected the overall BBB rating. The company has been accredited since 2009.
Consumer Affairs has a page dedicated specifically to Assurant renter’s insurance, which is underwritten by American Bankers. Of the 64 reviews, 59 are one-star reviews. Many complaints refer to denied claims, and there are also comments about the difficulty in getting any response or contact from the company.
Yelp has a handful of positive reviews mixed in with the negative ones, but the overall rating is still a dismal 1.5 star based on 31 reviews. Complaints are similar here.
The Bottom Line
This company has a confusing website and a confusing system for obtaining information, and with that, it does not come as a surprise to read that customers had trouble with claims. Those in search of a simple and straightforward approach to buying basic property insurance might find that there is more readily available and clear information available with other companies.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.