First American Insurance, part of the First American Property & Casualty Insurance Group, is a California-based insurance provider that provides automotive, home, and commercial and umbrella insurance. First American is one of the oldest insurance companies on the West Coast, it was founded in 1894 in Orange County, CA as the Orange County Title Company. First American has grown to become one of the largest insurance companies in the United States and internationally. First American exclusively specialized in financial services and offered insurance policies to entrepreneurs in California – First American saw its biggest expansion during the year of 1957 when Donald Parker Kennedy, the son of the owner, expanded the company to offer personal insurance policies and made it a nationwide brand.
First American is an international company with offices in 4 different continents. First American specializes in providing home warranties, home insurance, credit reporting, and other financial services. First American acquired many local and international companies in order to become a truly international conglomerate. The company first expanded internationally 40 years ago, when it opened its first offices in the United Kingdom in 1988. It has since grown to operate in Australia, Canada, Mexico, Korea, and Hong Kong. First American has regional headquarters in North America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. It’s one of the leading financial insurance companies in the United Kingdom.
First American continually expands its reach, and their contemporary specialty is in real-estate financial dealings. First American made a leap forward when it acquired Great Pacific – one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. and they rebranded them First American Property and Casualty Insurance Company at the turn of the 21st century. First American currently offers auto insurance, home insurance, commercial property insurance, and umbrella insurance policies. First American provides quotes to clients directly – clients are encouraged to calculate the cost of their premiums online before they reach out to an agent (quotes vary based on location and coverage). Clients can purchase auto insurance or home/condo insurance separately or as a bundle. First American is located in Santa Ana, CA.
First American home insurance is available for the following:
- Condominium unit owners
- Renters, tenants
- Second homes, vacation homes
- Commercial property owners
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First American is a financially stable company and it was awarded excellent ratings by all major financial institutions in the United States. First American was rated by the big 3: AM Best, S&P and Fitch. AM Best, arguably one of the largest financial institutions (responsible for rating insurance companies based on their financial stability) awarded First American an “A – Excellent” rating for financial stability.
Fitch awarded First American an “A-” rating; while S&P awarded it an “A”. First American is listed on the Better Business Bureau which currently grants it a “B+” rating – the BBB also rates companies based on customer service complaints, and this dropped First America’s insurance to a “D” rating temporarily until they answered most complaints and got back up to a “B+” rating.
In 2018, AM Best reaffirmed First American’s “A” rating for current financial strength (FSR) and reaffirmed the company’s Long-Term Credit Rating (ICR) with an “A” rating. AM Best estimates their balance sheet as very strong.
First American offers a single homeowners policy, the HO-3 plan without upgrades, as their standard HO-3 provides all-around coverage for the home: full guaranteed replacement/repair cost (100% of all costs incurred), side structures, personal belongings, medical liability, living expenses and more. The following are covered under their HO-3 policy:
Coverage A – The Home
First American calls this the Coverage A area as it’s the most important one and the area with the highest % of the coverage – the home usually reserves 80-90% of the total insurance policy, while the rest is spread out for side structures, personal belongings, and liability. The Coverage A policy reimburses clients for any damages to their home, minor damages such as molding/shingle breaking/window breaking or severe damage such as fire/complete house destruction. Clients are protected against all home invasions, fires, natural disasters such as hurricanes/floods, and more.
Coverage B – Side Structures
The side structure policy provides coverage for all side structures that are not attached to the main home. This includes structures found on the client’s property such as visitor’s homes, sheds, workshops, animal barns, playgrounds, de-attached garages, and more. Every side structure is automatically insured. If clients wish to increase their coverage on a certain structure they can inquire about it independently.
Coverage C – Personal Belongings
All personal belongings that belong to the insured person or their family are insured automatically. This includes virtually all personal possessions: furniture, electronics, clothing, phones, kitchen appliances, silverware, AC units, and more. The only exception to this rule is high-value items which must be insured separately (premium watches, gold, guns, designer clothes, antiques, etc).
Coverage D – Loss of Use
If the client’s home is rendered unusable while repairs are being carried out, the client will be covered for all their living expenses: hotel/rental unit costs, bills, food, transportation, etc. First American will pay for their living costs until they’re ready to move in, even if the repairs take months.
Coverage E – Lawsuit Liability
If the client is legally responsible for injury or harm that was caused to another person, First American will finance their settlement and legal costs for the full extent of the damage (the client bears no financial responsibility). For instance, if a client’s tree accidentally falls on a neighbor’s property and the neighbor decided to sue – First American will finance all legal fees and settlement amounts.
Coverage F – Medical Liability
Medical liability covers clients for all medical expenses incurred if they are injured on their property. This policy extends to all family and guests – if any of them are injured in your home or on your property, they are eligible for medical coverage.
First American provides a number of discounts for homeowners who purchase new homes, bundle multiple policies or stay with the company for a long time. The following discounts are available:
- Multi-bundle discount: If clients purchase more than a single policy, such as an auto insurance policy on top of their homeowners policy, they are eligible for a flat 10% discount on their combined premium.
- New home discount: If the home is brand new or built over the last decade, the home is eligible for a 35% reduction in the premium.
- Fire alarm/sprinkler discount: If the home has security equipment such as a fire alarm/motion detector and sprinklers installed, the home is eligible for a discount as its deemed safer.
- Loyalty discount: Clients have to be with First American for only 1 year before they are eligible for a reduction in premiums if they choose to renew their First American policy.
First American receives positive customer reviews – customers praise their fast quoting system that provides immediate quotes for policies, as well as customer support that helps with the purchase/renewal of policies. Many clients find them quick when making claims and say they are eager to help out in case of an emergency. First American is seen as a reputable and reliable company. There are few disputes against First American due to clients who purchased lower coverage, but the company mostly pays out in a timely fashion.
Clients rate First American’s warranties as excellent, because the company has emergency contractors which can dispatch the many areas the company services. Repeat customers who used their warranties to file claims say that First American stands by their contract. Negative reviews for First American tend to come from customers who had bad experiences with their contractors: sometimes the contractors that First American sends out are not ideal and clients had to wait for other contractors. Overall no clients reported having received no assistance by the company, as they seem to be reliable when it comes to sending out teams on location.