Philadelphia Contributionship / Germantown Insurance Company Reviews: Financial Strength Rating & Customer Complaint Statistics

Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire, is one of the oldest insurance companies insuring homes in the USA, founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1752. In spite of the appearance of limiting coverage to house fires in its name, Philadelphia Contributionship offers modern home, condo, dwelling, & renters insurance, similar to coverage provided by more familiar insurance companies like State Farm, through its two subsidiary companies, Philadelphia Contributionship Insurance Company & Germantown Insurance Company, insuring properties in some Eastern states. Philadelphia Contributionship is a small insurance company, without a sizeable national market share like Allstate. But if you really want to save money, & have the right coverage options fitting your needs, you should check with many of the insurance companies available in your state. Philadelphia Contributionship has a hard-to-find product that may be preferable to middle & upper class homeowners, as well as products to insure older or low value homes that other property insurance companies may not insure.

This blog post will tell you how you can get insurance price quotes from Philadelphia Contributionship, the type of insurance it sells, its recent AM Best financial strength rating, and most importantly, its home insurance complaint statistics & ratings of its subsidiary companies for the last three years, so you have some objective measure of their customer service. If you’re a customer, this review can help you decide if you should consider other insurance companies. If you are looking for property insurance, this review can help you decide if Philadelphia Contributionship might be a good choice for you. A wise insurance shopper knows there are big differences in price & coverage among home insurance companies, so it’s smart for you to shop with many companies, to find the best price, coverage, and service for you.

Philadelphia Contributionship Home Insurance Review

Philadelphia Contributionship sells homeowners, dwelling, condo, and renters insurance to protect single family & multi-family residences. Unlike other insurance companies, Philadelphia Contributionship is focused on the urban market, insuring row homes, homes with flat roofs, & older homes, which many other insurance companies may not insure. In addition, Philadelphia Contributionship has a home insurance product for suburban and higher value homes, with similar features offered by larger national insurance companies. Unlike most home insurance companies, Philadelphia Contributionship offers a perpetual home insurance policy (since the 19th century!), where instead of paying an annual premium, the policyholder makes a refundable deposit, which has the option to earn dividends. The company also offers an excess liability policy up to $5 million in coverage, to protect high net worth individuals. Philadelphia Contributionship offers Homeowners Equipment Breakdown Insurance, which may be a cheaper alternative to individual warrantees for appliances & electronic equipment. Philadelphia Contributionship (or its Germantown Insurance Company subsidiary) is licensed in Delaware, Washington DC, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, & Virginia, but may not be offering insurance in all these states. Philadelphia Contributionship sells through independent insurance agents, and you can see if there is one in your area on their website. If there is no local agent, or if you prefer to go direct with Philadelphia Contributionship, you can a get a quote through their Franklin Agency, at 1-800-421-4010. You can report a claim to Philadelphia Contributionship by calling 1-800-269-1409. You can find out more at the Philadelphia Contributionship website.

Philadelphia Contributionship AM Best Financial Strength Rating History

AM Best is the most frequently cited insurance company rating agency among companies and the insurance-buying public. AM Best reaffirmed on 3/27/2014 the Philadelphia Contributionship Financial Strength Rating of “A+”, but continues its negative outlook, meaning there could be a ratings downgrade in the future. The negative outlook is based on poor underwriting performance (how much of each dollar earned in premium is paid in claims) over the last three years, a decline in surplus, and high investment leverage vulnerable to equity market swings, as cited in this article about the Philadelphia Contributionship AM Best Ratings.

As of 2/18/2015, AM Best has now downgraded Philadelphia Contributionship companies from an “A+” rating to an “A” (Excellent) Financial Strength Rating, with a stable outlook, meaning no further upgrade or downgrade is expected in the near future. AM Best said the ratings downgrade reflect the Group’s concentration of property business, which has led to several years of underwriting volatility, driven by record catastrophic weather events and other severe storms such as in 2011 (Irene), 2012 (Sandy) and multiple storm losses in 2014, as reported in this Insurance Journal article, A.M. Best Downgrades Ratings of Philadelphia Contributionship Group.

I prefer not to insure with any auto or home insurance company with less than an “A-” Financial Strength Rating from AM Best. If you want to find out more about what AM Best Financial Strength Ratings mean, read my blog post about AM Best ratings, or go to the AM Best website.

Philadelphia Contributionship Complaint Statistics & Ratings

The complaint ratios I show below display the ratio of the company’s U.S. Market Share of closed complaints compared to the company’s U.S. Market Share of premiums for a specific policy type. Complaint ratios lower than “1” have less complaints than average, and complaint ratios over “1” have more complaints than average. The lower the complaint ratio, the less complaints against the company. The higher the complaint ratio, the more complaints against the company. The complaint ratios were obtained from the NAIC Consumer Information Source.

The complaint ratios are numerical scores, & may not be simple and easy for people to interpret. I devised a grade system, giving grades to auto & home insurance companies based on their complaint ratios, to make it as easy as possible to find the best auto & home insurance companies, and avoid the worst insurance companies.

B = Better than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios less than 75% of the average insurance company.

C = Average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios from 75% to 125% of the average insurance company.

W = Worse than average. Insurance companies with complaint ratios more than 125% of the average insurance company.

Here are the complaint ratios & ratings for the two subsidiary companies making up Philadelphia Contributionship:


Philadelphia Contributionship Insurance Company Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than average C = Average W = Worse than average

2013 Homeowners Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.22)

2013 US home insurance premium = $49,893,740

2012 Homeowners Insurance Complaint Ratio = W (1.51)

2012 US home insurance premium = $48,179,399

2011 Homeowners Insurance Complaint Ratio = C (1.08)

2011 US home insurance premium = $45,074,361

2010 Homeowners Insurance Complaint Ratio = C (1.00)

Like with most home insurance companies, many of the complaints came from claims delays or unsatisfactory claim settlements. I prefer insurance companies with a consistent history of a better than average complaint record. This Philadelphia Contributionship subsidiary complaint history is about average, with 2012 being an off-year, and may not be a trend toward the worse. I prefer to avoid companies with a consistent complaint history of worse than average.


Germantown Insurance Company Home Insurance Complaint Statistics & Ratings

B = Better than average C = Average W = Worse than average

2013 Homeowners Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (0)*

*No home insurance complaints reported to the NAIC for this year.

2013 US home insurance premium = $33,739,737

2012 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.27)

2012 US home insurance premium = $30,345,664

2011 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.30)

2011 US home insurance premium = $26,998,702

2010 Home Insurance Complaint Ratio = B (.36)

Germantown Insurance Company has a strong better than average complaint history. Germantown is about half the size of the Philadelphia Contributionship Insurance Company subsidiary. The reason for the different complaint histories for the two subsidiaries may mean they operate in different states, or more likely, Germantown may be designed to insure lower risk customers, which usually means less complaints.

If you are quoted Germantown Insurance Company, I think its low complaint record is a strength. If you are quoted Philadelphia Contributionship Insurance Company, and you are having a hard time qualifying with other insurance companies, due to a flat roof or other concerns, I would not let its complaint history be the sole reason to deter you from buying their policy, though you may want to choose to buy it from a competent local independent insurance agent, so you can get a better level of service, if you have a problem with the company.

Is Philadelphia Contributionship Home Insurance a Good Choice for You?

Home insurance policies & prices can differ a lot among competing insurance companies. The only way to make the best choice for you is to talk to several agents from different insurance companies, including a few independent agents, to get price quotes, discuss coverage, and review the pros and cons of any policy before you buy. Many people pay too much for their insurance, or don’t have the right coverage when they have a claim, because they never comparison shopped with other companies. Or, if they do shop, they don’t check the rates of enough companies. The ad below will take you to links to get online quotes from leading Home, Auto, Health, & Life insurance companies in your area. Choose the type of insurance, put in your zip code, and start shopping now!

What do you think about Philadelphia Contributionship insurance or this blog post? Comment on my facebook page. If you have questions and would like my help, you can reach me at help@smartshopyourcarinsurance.com. Follow me on Twitter for important insurance consumer news & new blog entries at CarInsWatch.