Home. It's where the heart is, and probably where most of your wealth resides as well. It may be the single biggest thing you purchase in your lifetime, and you want to be sure your house - and its contents - are protected. That's why it's important to get the right homeowners insurance. It will cover your home, belongings and liability in case something goes wrong.
Shopping for homeowner insurance policies can be complicated, so we've done some of the research for you. We've studied dozens of companies and narrowed it down to a list of ten good options. From here you can select a few and get online quotes to compare. The best company for you will depend on your particular situation, budget and priorities. Rates will also vary greatly depending on your home, neighborhood and other personal criteria (such as whether you have an aggressive dog or a trampoline).
Our Top 10 Homeowners Insurance Providers
Founded in 1907, Amica is the oldest mutual insurer of automobiles in the US, but didn't begin writing homeowners insurance until 1956. Amica gets some of the highest financial and customer satisfaction ratings of all the home insurance carriers. It was awarded the highest rating in the 2016 homeowner insurance survey for the fifth year in a row. It does not use agents, so you will always deal with company representatives over the phone, email or U.S. mail. Amica homeowner insurance is available in all states except Alaska and Hawaii.
Liberty Mutual is the third largest homeowner insurance provider in the country, available in every state except Florida. It does not have a great customer service ranking, but if you are a member or employee of one of its 17,000 affinity groups, you can get substantial savings.
USAA offers excellent customer service and rates to its members, who are veterans, military members and their families. It doesn't make a lot of the Top Ten lists because it restricts coverage to members of the military, veterans, and their family members. But that's a pretty large swath of the country, and given their excellent financial and customer service rankings, we decided to include them.
from local agents Allstate
Founded in 1931, Allstate became a publicly traded company in 1993, and today is the largest publicly held personal property and casualty insurer the country. Allstate stands out for its huge network of agents offering personalized service in all 50 states.
claims and coverage Farmers
Farmers Insurance covers all 50 states, but you can purchase homeowners insurance in 42 states. The company offers lots of options to purchase a policy either online or through its network of 48,000 agents.
State Farm is one of the top providers of homeowner insurance in the United States, according to the Insurance Information Institute. It gets excellent financial scores, and its customer rating are slightly above average.
cost coverage MetLife
MetLife does not get top scores in customer service or financial strength, but it does in another area. It is one of the few home insurers to provide guaranteed replacement cost coverage for your home and its contents. This means that it will cover the real cost to replace or repair your home, even if it is more than your policy limit.
Travelers is the fifth biggest home insurance writer in the country, with excellent financial ratings. It has an easy to use website, indicative of its progressive approach, including a focus on supporting environmentally friendly buildings. Its customer satisfaction scores are just average.
Nationwide is one of the world's biggest insurance and financial services companies. It has excellent financial ratings, but its consumer satisfaction ratings are not as impressive. It does, however, prioritize the safety of its policyholders, and especially their children, through joint campaigns with Nationwide Children's Hospital, which serves over one million pediatric patients a year.
for the personal touch Auto-Owners
Although it is only available in 26 states, Auto-Owners' excellent financial rating and customer service record warrant its inclusion on the list. The company prides itself on providing personalized service through its network of 37,000 independent insurance agents and 93 claims offices.
To compile our list, we reviewed dozens of insurance companies and ranked them for a number of factors:
We looked for companies that served a broad section of the US. Most of the companies have national or near national coverage. Some - like USAA - serve a more limited population, but have such excellent reputations that we included them. It's an important reminder that some of the best insurers may be regional in scope, so check on local providers in your area.
Your home is probably your most important asset, and you want to be sure the insurance company will be able to pay out if needed. For that reason, the financial strength of insurance companies is an important consideration. We only included companies with at least an A rating from A.M. Best rating agency.
A financially stable company isn't of much use if it doesn't efficiently and fairly pay claims. We looked at customer satisfaction surveys from JD Power and Consumer reports to determine how these companies treat their clients. We also checked the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' consumer complaint ratio, the Better Business Bureau ratings and Consumer Reports survey ratings.
We made sure all of our Top Ten picks offered standard coverage options, including:
Dwelling: to protect the physical structure of your home
Other structures: to protect separate structures on your property, like a detached garage or a shed
Liability: to protect you in a lawsuit if someone is injured at your house
Personal property: to protect things like furniture, electronic equipment, bikes, etc.
In addition, we looked for companies that offer something extra. This could be the inclusion of identity theft coverage in all policies, coverage for loss of property off-site, generous additional living expenses coverage or the option of green building coverage. Remember, if you want earthquake or flood coverage you will need a separate policy. And homeowners insurance never covers damage from termites or other pests.
Website and Mobile app:
Technology is also important in facilitating the consumer experience. How easy is it to navigate a company website? Can you get an online quote and purchase a policy online? How about a mobile app? In today's fast-paced world, most of us want to be able to handle insurance business online, and many of us do this on the go from our mobile apps. Several offer home inventory tools online, and some are offering their customers unique apps and tools to make it easier to improve home safety and file claims.
Finally, we looked at the discounts each company offers. This can make a policy much more affordable for certain groups of people. The most common discounts include:
Bundling (if you purchase more than one type of insurance policy from the company)
Safety devices: If you have a fire alarm, sprinkler system or burglar alarm, for example
Claims-free: After a certain period without claims, you may receive a discount
New home/newly renovated home
But some insurers offer additional savings to members of certain groups or associations, seniors or those who are newly married, so it pays to shop around for a company that offers discounts to people like you.
Of course, premiums are an important consideration when shopping for homeowners insurance, but your premium is largely determined by your individual profile. Different companies charge different rates for the same coverage, so it pays to shop around. NAIC recommends getting quotes from at least three companies.
Your premium will likely be affected by the value of your home,
what safety features you have, what assets you want to protect,
your age, your home's age and your neighborhood, among
other things. So the company that offers cheapest premium to
one person may be quite expensive for another. With that in
mind, here's an example of three different online quotes for a
standard policy for a single family home in suburban San
Francisco and no additional coverage options:
- Amica: $1,120 per year
- Farmers: $1,081 per year
- USAA: $1,054 per year
The quotes are quite similar, but when you add special considerations (like coverage for expensive jewelry, claims history, and special safety equipment), they will change significantly.
Address, age of your home, and what it is made of
Cost to rebuild your home (an estimate that does not include the cost of the land)
Distance to fire department or fire hydrant
An informative list of things to consider before buying a home, from the Insurance Information Institute.
Provides information articles and videos covering the ins and outs of homeowners insurance.
NAIC has a wealth of information and advice from the insurance professionals.
This interactive map allows you to click on your state to get to your state's Insurance Commissioner. Since insurance is regulated at the state level, the information here will be specific to your situation.
See how Consumer Reports subscribers rated their insurance companies.