6.5 / 10

Foremost Homeowners Insurance Review

Foremost specializes in insuring high-risk homes and homeowners with poor insurance scores. If you're one of these special cases and you're having trouble getting coverage with a standard insurance company, Foremost is the company for you.

Pat Howard 1600

Pat Howard

Published February 12, 2020

Methodology
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At Policygenius, we're committed to providing objective and transparent advice through strict editorial standards to help you get insurance right. Read more about our methodology.

Foremost

OVERALL

6.5

THE GOOD

    Insures old homes and homes with cosmetic damage

    Insures people with bad credit and an extensive claims history

THE BAD

    You can’t apply to Foremost online

    Not for standard homes that need more comprehensive coverage

THE BOTTOM LINE

Foremost has spent the better part of the last century insuring homes that most insurance companies deem too risky to insure. Is your home over 100 years old? Does it have noticeable cosmetic damage? Do you have a frequent loss history and bad credit? Most standard insurance companies will consider your case “nonstandard” and turn down your application outright. If you were recently nonrenewed or you can’t find coverage through a standard carrier, insuring your home with Foremost is a safe option.

Cost

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6.5

Confidence

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8.3

Customer rating

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6.9

Policy options

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3.3

Customer experience

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7.2

FOREMOST COMPANY SPOTLIGHT

N/A

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J.D. Power Rating

A trusted customer satisfaction and product quality research agency

A+

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BBB Rating

A nonprofit organization focusing on marketplace trust and product quality

A

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A.M. Best Rating

100-year-old U.S. credit rating agency focused on the insurance industry

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The Bottom Line

Foremost's parent company — Farmers Insurance Group — holds an “A” rating with A.M. Best, the leading property insurance credit rating agency. Despite Foremost’s mixed reviews when it comes to claim transparency and customer service, you can be sure that if you’re insured with Foremost, they'll be able to reimburse you for the claims you submit.

The Details


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The Good

Insures old homes and homes with cosmetic damage. If your home is showing signs of wear and tear, cosmetic damage, or if the home's build or plumbing and wiring are obsolete, you may have a hard time getting insured with a standard insurance company. Foremost essentially specializes homes that fall into the substandard category and is a good last resort option if you're running out of coverage options.

Insures people with bad credit and an extensive claims history. Folks with bad credit and a history of filing frequent insurance claims also may run into trouble getting coverage through a standard homeowners insurance company.

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The Bad

You can’t apply to Foremost online. Foremost doesn't offer an online application or instant quote option, which may prove to be an inconvenience if you're simply looking to compare quotes with another company

Not for standard homes that need more comprehensive coverage. Foremost is very much a niche carrier that specializes in insuring substandard properties and high-risk insureds — if you or your home don't fit that description, you should consider a standard insurance company.

Cost

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6.5

While the price of homeowners insurance with Foremost will depend on factors like where you live, your home's construction type, and the age of your home, you can expect to pay around $1,700 annually for coverage with Foremost, according to Policygenius data. That makes Foremost homeowners insurance rates about equal to the average quoted policy with Policygenius.

Discounts

A great way to keep your homeowners insurance costs down is to take advantage of discount opportunities.

Some common discounts include protective devices discounts, claims-free discounts, and new home-buyer discounts.

  • Multi-policy discounts - Lower your premiums if you have another policy with Foremost
  • High deductible discount - You’ll see lower rates if you choose a high policy deductible
  • Claims-free discount - Reduced rates if you’ve gone an extended period of time without filing a claim
  • 50 years or older discount - Save money on your premiums if you’re over 50-years-old

Confidence

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8.3

Homeowners insurance protects your most important financial assets, so you'll want to be sure you're insuring your home, your personal possessions, and other assets with a company that will be able to pay out your claim in the event of a disaster.

  • Year founded: 1952
  • Standard & Poor's rating: A
  • Moody's rating: N/A
  • A.M. Best rating: A

Standard & Poor's measures companies' creditworthiness and is used primarily by financial investors and other market stakeholders. S&P is also valuable in measuring the long-term financial stability of insurance companies. An AAA rating is the highest issuer credit rating assigned by S&P.

Moody's is very similar to Standard & Poors, except rather than measuring a companies ability to remain financial stable and creditworthy, Moody's measures what the expected losses would be if a company were to go into default. It's particularly valuable in analyzing the value of stocks and bonds with certain companies. An AAA rating is the highest possible score you can receive from Moody's.

A.M. Best is the most reliable credit-rating tool insureds can use to gauge the financial health of a particular company. Unlike S&P and Moody's, A.M. Best is focused exclusively on the insurance marketplace. A good score with A.M. Best means a company is more likely to fulfill their financial obligation to you when it comes time to file a claim. With a score of A, Foremost has the third highest rating a company can receive with A.M. Best.

Customer ratings

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6.9

It's important to know what experts think about homeowners insurance companies - but it's also good to know what actual customers and consumer sentiment sites are saying, too.

  • J.D. Power: N/A
  • BBB: A+
  • Consumer Affairs: 2/5
  • Consumers Advocate: 3.8/5
  • Trustpilot: N/A
  • NAIC complaint index: 0.41

J.D. Power provides studies that rate insurance companies across policy offerings, price, clarity of billing and policy information, interaction, and claims. An overall satisfaction score, "based on how customers view every experience of their experience with homeowners insurance providers," is reflected here and used for our ranking.

The Better Business Bureau ranks companies across a large swath of criteria. While consumers can submit ratings to the BBB, these scores are not taken into account in their rating, although tangential metrics that take into account customer experience are.

Consumer Affairs is a platform that lets consumers directly rate customers, while Consumers Advocate rates companies based on stability, reputation, and policy coverage.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners tracks the number of complaints submitted to state insurance departments with their national complain index. A score of 1 is the baseline average, and a score of 0 means there weren't enough complaints to count. It's important to know what experts think about homeowners insurance companies - but it's also good to know what actual customers and consumer sentiment sites are saying, too.

Policy options

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3.3

Foremost has two home insurance product offerings: Foremost Classic ACV and Foremost Classic CL. Foremost Classic ACV is for older homes that don’t qualify for replacement cost coverage, while Classic CL is more comprehensive coverage for homes that don’t qualify for a standard home insurance policy.

Foremost Classic ACV

  • Actual cash value dwelling, other structures, and personal property coverage
  • Optional replacement cost coverage for personal belongings

Foremost Classic CL

  • Replacement cost dwelling and other structures coverage
  • Actual cash value personal belongings coverage
  • Optional replacement cost coverage for personal belongings
  • Optional extended replacement cost coverage
  • Optional additional living expenses
  • Optional additional coverage for jewelry, watches, and furs
  • Optional business property coverage

Customer experience

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7.2

Foremost is widely available and allows customers to pay bills and file claims online. But it lags behind its competitors in terms of digital offerings — there's no automatic online quote or claims filing via smartphone app with Foremost.

State availability

Foremost homeowners insurance is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Digital tools

  • Web policy viewer
  • Web bill pay
  • Web claims filing

The application

As of this review, Foremost doesn’t have an online application. To apply, you can head to the home insurance section of their website, where you plug in your ZIP code, and you’ll get a list of all of the agents in your area who can sell you Foremost home insurance.

Ease of claims

To file a claim with Foremost, you have a couple of options: you can file a claim online through their easy-to-access claims portal, or you can call their claims hotline at 1-800-527-3907.

Since Foremost is technically owned by Farmers Insurance, it may cause confusion about who’s exactly managing your claim (Farmers or Foremost?) and that can lead to accountability issues. Several customer complaints to the Better Business Bureau centered on speaking with several different adjusters throughout the claims process. The claims process is generally best handled by one point of contact whotracks how your claim is progressing.

If you file a home insurance claim with Foremost and you’re passed off from one adjuster to another, be sure to take down their names and contact information.

Payment methods

  • Automatic credit card and debit card
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

Policygenius offers insurance policies from many of the nation's top insurers, who pay us a commission for our services. However, all editorial choices are made independently.