Your biggest investment deserves the best protection
The best homeowners insurance providers have the perfect mix of financial strength, coverage options, and customer service. You’ll want to compare quotes between several providers and choose one that offers discounts and coverage for your particular circumstances. Our quote tool can help you compare rates and find the best fit for you.
The Best Homeowners Insurance
Owning a home is an accomplishment and an asset, one that deserves safeguarding. The best homeowners insurance providers offer financial strength, coverage options, and great customer service. It also comes at a great price for your unique circumstances. Use our quote tool to compare rates from several providers and find which offers you the best coverage for the best price.
How We Chose the Best Homeowners Insurance
We started with a list of 99 insurers from the Insurance Information Institute, as well as state insurance department websites. To guarantee our picks for best insurance company would be applicable to all, we looked for providers with coverage in at least 35 states, and no special requirements for membership. While local or special eligibility insurers can potentially write you a great homeowners policy at a competitive rate, large national carriers tend to have more discounts and bundling with Nashville auto insurance opportunities. They’re also better equipped to handle claims in the wake of a disaster. Their rolling claims centers, outfitted with generators, satellite connections, and agent workstations, can make all the difference in areas where power has been knocked out.
Financial strength ratings
The ability to pay claims is the backbone of any insurance, so the best way to compare insurance companies is to look to their financial solvency and outlook. To discover the top-rated insurance companies, we gathered financial strength ratings (FSR) from all three major rating agencies, but paid particular attention to ratings from A.M. Best, the only agency that focuses solely on insurance. We required at least an A rating from A.M. Best, as well as either a “strong” (A) rating from Standard & Poor’s or a “high quality” (Aa) from Moody’s.
Good customer service ratings means painless communication between the homeowner and the homeowners insurance provider in every phase. You’re more likely to receive accurate quotes and sufficient coverage and be properly compensated for claims. We looked to J.D. Power’s annual U.S. Household Insurance Study, which includes scores based on how well “customers rate the claims experience with their current homeowners insurance provider,” and required 3+ Power Circles. Consumer Reports also published data from nearly 10,000 survey respondents who filed claims from January 2010 to June of 2016, in which they rated carriers on criteria including agent courtesy and prompt problem-free claims experiences. We looked for a grade of 80+.
Your best possible price equals a competitive initial quote, plus lots of opportunities to save. Often, the most significant insurance discounts, like those for owning a fire extinguisher or being claim-free, are offered by every provider. However, there are a few exceptional discounts that make certain providers a better fit for certain homeowners. A few examples: Allstate’s “new purchase” discount gives a small break to owners who are moving into their home for the first time. And Travelers’ Green Home Discount knocks 5% off the premium price for homes certified “green” by the Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) organization. We tallied and compared the discounts offered by each provider to help us make personalized recommendations for different homeowners.
The Winner: State Farm
Detailed online quote process
As with most good insurance companies, you can get a quote from State Farm online. But State Farm’s process involves extra-detailed questions about the construction of your home, down to the percentage of carpet-covered floors and the number of corners in your home’s framing. We recommend arming yourself with floor plans, your insurance history, a home inventory, and specific details of your home’s construction so there won’t be any surprises when it’s time to sign a policy contract. The upside is that all of these details provide you with an accurate quote, and an exceptionally well-fitted policy.
How to Choose Your Homeowners Insurance
Calculate your home’s reconstruction cost
In the event of a disaster, it’s vital that you obtain the right amount of coverage — that’s what’s going to pay for your repairs and/or a full rebuild. Your coverage limits for personal belongings and other structures are related to the amount of coverage on your dwelling, so you’ll have better protection for all your property if you lift your dwelling limit. “If you have a mortgage, your lender may only require you to purchase a policy with enough coverage to protect their interest — particularly if you have a low balance,” says Christina Moore, a compliance and risk management VP at SWBC. “But in the event of a substantial or total loss, the cost of rebuilding your property could be much more, leaving you with potentially large out-of-pocket expenses.”
Catalog your belongings
“I recommend that people create video evidence of all their belongings, as well as the inside and outside of their home,” says Jeffrey D. Diamond, adjunct professor of insurance law at Georgia State University College of Law. Many providers have online lists you can help to keep track. “The more ways in which you can establish and prove the features of your home, as well as the quality and quantity of your personal property before a loss occurs,” Diamond adds, “the better your homeowners insurance coverage will serve you at the time of need, if and when the need arises.”
Consider your location
We built a map displaying the historical frequency of floods and severe storms based on data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA). If you live in one of the darker blue areas, look for the specific endorsements that apply to your region and which providers offer them. Texas, for example, has the highest count of natural disasters. If you live in a region often affected by floods and storms, you’ll want to look for a company that offers additional flood coverage or purchase it separately through the National Flood Insurance Program.
“Calling around to obtain quotes will take some time, but it is worth it to compare coverage and rates,” says Moore. Unlike auto insurance quotes, homeowners insurance quotes are more accurate when you call. The online tools are attractive because they make it appear easy to compare quotes from multiple carriers at once, but they often oversimplify in their information collection. For instance, you might be eligible for a discount from a certain carrier that wasn’t detailed online, or you might want a specific endorsement it didn’t ask about. Call, go through each carrier’s specific questions, and then you’ll receive quotes that are worth comparing.
Homeowners Insurance FAQ
How much is homeowners insurance?
Coverage varies greatly among regions, homes, and asset portfolios. If you and your neighbor called all the same providers asking for quotes, there’s a good chance the lowest option for you would come from a different provider than the lowest option for them. There’s no universally cheaper carrier. For some context, premiums can range in price anywhere from $500 to $2,000.
This is a non-comprehensive list of factors that may affect the price of your policy:
- Credit score
- Condition of plumbing and electrical
- Claim history
- Security systems and safety features, etc.
What is covered by homeowners insurance?
Simply put, there are six main categories that homeowners insurance covers: your dwelling, other structures, personal property, loss of use, liability, and medical payments. Within each category are particular coverages and exclusions. For example, water damage is covered under “dwelling” as a result of burst pipes or water heater but not as a result of heavy rainfall or flooding (though coverage for the latter can be added separately). And while water damage from the burst pipe is covered, your policy won’t cover the cost of replacing those pipes.
Standard coverages of homeowners insurance
- Dwelling (also called Coverage A). This includes the main building and its plumbing, heating, and air conditioning systems against damage from outside forces.
- Other structures (or Coverage B). This pays for damage to fences, sheds, garages, guest cottages, and any other structure not connected to your house.
- Personal property (or Coverage C). This reimburses you for lost, stolen, or ruined possessions such as furniture, electronics, and clothing, even when they aren’t on your property. You can choose to insure them for their actual cash value (the original value, less depreciation) or their replacement value (what it costs to buy a replacement in similar condition).
- Loss of use (or Coverage D). This pays for your living expenses during the time you’re unable to live in your damaged home.
- Liability (or Coverage E). This covers your financial loss if you or anyone in your family is sued for damages or injuries to someone else. The event doesn’t have to happen on your property. Increased limits for liability coverage — important if you own valuable assets that could be targeted in a lawsuit — can be added on as “umbrella coverage.”
- Medical payments to others (or Coverage F). This is intended to pay for relatively minor medical bills resulting from an injury, like if a friend cuts their finger while helping you make dinner.
As a general rule, any damage from natural or national disasters like earthquakes or war will not be covered. Added to that list is fungi, contamination, wear and tear, and pests
Will my premiums go up after making a claim?
In short, yes. Think carefully before filing a claim on your homeowners insurance, as it will directly affect the amount you’ll pay going forward. If you have two claims within three years, or three claims within five years, that increase can be as high as 20% as you’re shifted into a “high risk” category. It could be another five years before those claims drop off your record and the premium prices decrease.
What’s the difference between homeowners insurance and a home warranty?
Homeowners insurance is there to protect you in the event of a disaster, not to cover normal wear and tear. A home warranty, on the other hand, covers the mechanical breakdown of appliances and systems in the home, like the refrigerator, the washing machine, and the electricity and plumbing that make them run.
Which companies have home and auto insurance bundles?
Many home and auto insurance companies offer discounts if you purchase more than one policy. For example, Allstate advertises bundling deals up to 30%; State Farm up to 17%; and Safeco and Travelers up to 15%. But in reality, multi-policy discounts vary from person to person. Instead of taking your provider’s bundling discount at face value, be sure to compare quotes from multiple home and auto insurance companies. You may save more by insuring your home and car with separate, cheaper providers than by bundling them with one.