Talk to your friends and family. Find out who they use for their homeowner's insurance, what types of policies they have and if they have had good experiences with their providers. If you know anyone who has actually had to file a claim with their provider, talk to them and find out how the process went. Were the people they dealt with helpful? Did they make every effort to process the claim and take care of their needs?
If you do not know anyone who has had to file a claim, don't worry. There are other ways to find information like that (Internet, independent rating agencies, etc.) Just get whatever information is readily available to you and you can proceed from there. Remember that you do not have to limit yourself to looking at home insurance companies that people you know use. You can and should look at other providers as well. Just because a neighbor went with one company does not mean that is the right one for you.