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With operations in 120 countries and a ranking as the 8th largest commercial property & casualty insurer in the U.S. in 2013, Chubb is best known as a commercial insurance company. However, they also offer some personal lines products as well, mainly aimed at the wealthy markets.
Chubb was founded in 1882 as a marine insurance company in the port area of New York City. It was started by Thomas Caldecott Chubb, along with his son Percy, and given their name. This small family business, joined by Thomas’ brother Hendon in 1895, began with 100 local customers and grew quickly. By 1967 the growing business established itself as The Chubb Corporation and in 1984 was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Today, Chubb operates in over 120 countries across North America, Europe, South America, and the Pacific Rim. Their headquarters are located in Warren, NJ, but operate in offices around the globe. Products are sold through a large network of agents and brokers.
In July of 2015, ACE Limited – the 5th largest commercial property & casualty insurer as of 2013 data – announced a deal to purchase the Chubb Corporation, combining the two companies, while keeping the Chubb name. The multi-billion dollar deal will create an even larger company, and at the time of this review it is unknown how that will affect Chubb’s product offerings or operations. The deal is expected to be completed in 2016 at which point the two companies will no longer compete for business, but will form a truly formidable force in the market.
Chubb has a long list of subsidiaries, including international companies such as Chubb Insurance Company of Canada and Chubb Insurance Company of Australia (among other countries). There are also a list of American insurance company subsidiaries that include Federal Insurance Company and Pacific National Insurance. Beyond insurance companies, the corporation also holds underwriting managers, The Chubb Services Corporation – a consulting, claims administration, and services company – and even a real estate company, Bellemead Development Corporation.
Chubb is best known as a commercial insurance company, and this is where the majority of their business is written. They have more than 170 commercial insurance products available to cover a wide range of business types and needs, from liability to worker’s compensation and more. The sheer number of products they write, for a vast range of industries, makes them pretty well known in the commercial insurance market.
They also write personal lines products that are generally aimed at the wealthier customer; their clients include Fortune 500 CEOs. This focus on a more affluent market is likely why the company’s personal lines products aren’t well known to the general audience. Although there is no clear statement that says the policies aren’t available to everyone, they don’t tend to market to the same audience categories as companies like GEICO.
Chubb’s top products are commercial lines property & casualty, which has earned them a place among the biggest insurers in the nation. We’ll take a look at the products they offer in this market, and then review the personal lines options as well.
Chubb’s business insurance covers a wide range of businesses with coverage options to suit the needs of various industries. They cover businesses on a global level, from property & casualty to accident & health. They also write for small businesses all the way down to the entrepreneur level.
Chubb writes specialized Industry Solutions package policies to meet the needs of an incredible range of business types, from Entertainment, to Financial Services, to Technology and more. The policies are designed to select the right property and liability coverage for the specific risks associated with each industry. Chubb states that this attention to detail makes their business insurance more personalized to each company as well as each industry.
There are several categories of business insurance available from Chubb.
Professional & Management Liability
Products in this category are designed to provide for the specific liability needs of various business types, such as:
- Crime/Financial Fidelity
- Cyber Crime
- Directors & Officers Liability
- Employment Practices Liability
- Errors & Omissions
- Fiduciary Liability
- Kidnap/Ransom & Extortion
Chubb also has liability solutions designed specifically for private companies, public companies, and non-profits, as well as for multinational corporations. Some of these products are included in the Chubb Industry Solutions plans, which combine the right liability with business insurance basics to cover each specific type of business.
Property & Casualty
This portion of Chubb’s business is their bread & butter and the heart of the commercial program. They offer a range of common to specialty property & casualty products, available as packages and individually.
Individual Products Include:
- Environmental Liability for pollution risks
- Equipment Breakdown
- Excess & Umbrella Liability
- General Liability
- Multinational insurance for global operations
- Risk Management
- Worker’s Compensation
Package Products Include:
- Customarq Classic Package – Chubb’s standard package policy, is their flagship package and offers coverage for companies of all sizes
The Customarq Classic package policy features property coverage with an automatic $500,000 blanket limit to cover certain areas of property loss with one overall coverage, general liability to cover the basic liability needs of a business, and business income coverage. It offers broad “all risk” coverage in many areas and flexible valuation. This package policy is also available with a global extension that addresses the particular risks of international business.
Chubb also tailors the Customarq package policy specifically for the needs of markets with slightly different necessities, particularly:
- Cultural Institutions
- Law Firms
- Life Sciences
These packages include the coverage of the Customarq Classic package, with additions addressing the specific risks of equipment and liability that come with each of these industries. Broadcasters’ packages, for instance, will provide coverage for antennas and other broadcasting equipment, while the Cultural Institutions package covers things like historic buildings and collections.
Accident & Health
With a range of products focused on things like Accidental Death & dismemberment, Travel Accident, and Hospital Indemnity Plans, Chubb offers plans for groups and individuals. These products are sold in three main categories:
- Employee Benefits – helping employers care for their employees and their families
- Special Risk – providing coverage for sponsored events
- Consumer Solutions/Affinity Markets – with programs for members of groups, associations and other membership services
Chubb writes surety and guarantee bonds for a variety of industries including:
- National Engineering & Construction
Chubb’s Masterpiece products are designed to meet the needs of affluent people with a lot of assets to protect. As a result, their home and auto aren’t likely to be of much interest to the average insurance customer, but for those with a higher tax bracket, Chubb’s products provide a list of coverage and features designed specifically for this market.
To be clear – there is no rule about how much has to be on your paycheck to take out a Chubb policy, but the plans are most definitely skewed towards the wealthier customer and are not going to be a budget option in terms of premium. As a result of the positioning of these products, Chubb isn’t well known as a personal lines insurer, except perhaps in certain circles.
- An agreed upon value clause, under which the insured and the company agree to the value of the car ahead of time
- Up to $15,000 for Loss of Use, without a daily limit as seen on most policies
- Use of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts for repairs
- No depreciation on parts
Chubb also has a collector car policy available to cover antique and collectible vehicles. These policies are Agreed Value policies, and don’t place any restrictions on the mileage you can drive for hobby use, unlike some other collector car policies.
Chubb’s Masterpiece home insurance policy is designed to protect high value homes, with features that include extended replacement cost, generous loss of use limits, complimentary services during a claim, and a cash settlement option.
Chubb also offers insurance for condos and for renters, in addition to single-family detached homes.
Finally, they have a flood insurance program that is advertised as being better than the National Flood Insurance Program. The Chubb program offers extra coverage for property, a generous loss of use allowance, and a broader definition of what constitutes a flood.
This unusual plan from Chubb offers coverage for the insured and family when they are the victim of a handful of possible crimes – such as carjacking, stalking, road rage, or home invasion. This coverage is available anywhere in the world, and is designed to cover expenses incurred in relation to any of these crimes.
Chubb’s Valuable Articles insurance policies are designed for high-value items such as jewelry, collectibles, art, and more. These policies are for items that are far beyond the coverage included with a homeowner’s policy.
Chubb writes watercraft insurance for boats of all sizes, from small runabouts to large yachts. Coverage is comprehensive and includes liability, damage to the boat, and transportation coverage.
In keeping with their focus on the affluent, Chubb writes excess liability policies that provide coverage for up to $50 million. This type of policy goes above and beyond the typical umbrella policy.
Prices & Premiums
Chubb premiums are difficult to compare to other companies due to the nature of their business. Since the majority of their products are commercial, and business needs vary greatly, it is difficult to compare rates.
Customers who are seeking out Chubb for personal insurance are not likely to be the type of people concerned about the cost of the policy, but more so the coverage. Since these policies are aimed at the more affluent market, price shopping and budget are unlikely to be a major issue.
Chubb does not offer any sort of online quoting, and sells all policies through agents, whose commissions are likely to drive the prices up somewhat. The company positions itself as focused on good coverage and good service, and not as a budget option.
Chubb has a simple, easy to locate and access, claims reporting system. The claims page on their website lists contact information front-and-center – no searching around for the right information.
Most claims, including auto and home can be reported through the same toll-free number at 1-800-CLAIMS-0.
Worker’s Compensation claims can be reported at 1-800-699-9916. They can also be faxed to 1-800-300-3528.
There is also an online claims reporting option that is easily accessible, and can be used for multiple types of claims including auto and home.
Finally, claims can be submitted through your local agent or broker. Some claims require a special process that is outlined on the claims website, depending on the type of policy and the type of claim.
Chubb promises an unprecedented response time of 6 hours to a claim for property or auto. The process is then explained to the insured by the adjuster, who will send out automated updates as the claim proceeds. After the damage is inspected and coverage verified, repairs will proceed and Chubb will pay damages after the deductible and up to the policy limits. Chubb offers a network of approved repair shops for auto claims, or allows the customer to use the repair shop of their own choosing.
Settlements are paid within 48 hours of the final determination in most cases, according to the Chubb website.
Claims for business policies may be complex and involve a longer process than a personal insurance policy. Chubb makes every effort to complete the claims process as quickly as possible, but there is no promise in terms of how long it will take. The business claims process is much the same as on the personal lines side, but may have a more complex and involved investigation period.
Consumer Feedback & Reputation
Chubb’s head office location has a shocking rating of F with the BBB. They are not accredited and show only 15 complaints in the past three years, 2 of which the company did not respond to. These numbers do not seem to add up to an F rating, particularly for a huge international company.
The main thing that appears to bring the rating down is the two complaints to which the company did not respond; a rating of F based on this, considering the lack of negative reviews (only one) and the overall low complaint number, seems extreme.
In contrast, the office in Phoenix, AZ, has a rating of A, with only 2 complaints, although one was not resolved. This is a marked difference from the head office rating, which seems to stem from the 2 complaints to which the company didn’t respond. Overall, the number of complaints is very low.
Although there are definitely some negatives out there regarding Chubb, the reviews are so few in number that it doesn’t raise many red flags.
That said, a company like Chubb that serves mainly businesses and high-end clients doesn’t see as many online reviews or complaints overall, as these are not the kind of clients to deal with their issues by leaving a bad review.
While it’s not surprising to see fewer reviews for a company like Chubb than other insurance companies, the very low number of complaints overall when compared to the size and scope of the company generally leaves a fairly positive feeling. All in spite of the fact that the BBB has harshly penalized the company in its rating for failing to respond to two complaints.
Chubb has a fairly good rating according the Insure.com customer satisfaction survey. The rating is 75.3 and 93% of people surveyed said they plan to renew. That seems to say more than a few complaints, seeing as that all insurance companies have some complaints. However, not all insurance companies can claim a 93% renewal rate.
The company certainly receives its share of accolades from other institutions. They were named one of America’s Most Trustworthy Companies by Forbes in 2010. Forbes also named them one of America’s Most Admired Companies from 2003-2008. They’ve also won awards around the world for service and products.
Chubb is a huge player in the business insurance market, and is about to become even bigger with the ACE merger. That makes them a top choice for many companies, especially large companies with global business interests. For most medium-to-large companies, Chubb will be well worth comparing rates and coverage.
In terms of personal insurance, Chubb is likely to appeal primarily to wealthier markets. Although they don’t deny a quote to anyone, their website is clear that products are aimed at a higher tax bracket. They are not likely to come close to competing with other insurance companies in terms of rates, so the average person will want to look elsewhere for coverage.
Overall, Chubb has a strong history, strong claims system, and enough positives to overcome the surprising BBB rating. It seems doubtful that those who choose Chubb will be disappointed by the service they receive.
However, the upcoming buyout deal with ACE is likely to make some changes in the company, so those looking to switch insurers may want to wait until the dust settles to make a final decision.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.