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The 5 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in California

While rates are important, they aren’t the only thing to consider when choosing homeowners insurance in California. If you ever need to file a claim, customer service will be vitally important, as will the company’s ability to pay that claim. You’ll want a homeowners insurance company with low complaints and high ratings in addition to offering the coverage options you need.

MoneyGeek has ranked the top 5 companies based on various factors in the chart below, including J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings, financial stability ratings from AM Best, and overall cost. These rankings are a good way to find the best homeowners insurance in California.


1

USAAScore: 97

4.7/5

Affordability

5/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability


When it comes to customer satisfaction and overall affordability, USAA can’t be beat. They offer the same basic coverages (dwelling, other structures, liability, personal property, loss of use, and medical payments) as the other top companies in California, but what makes USAA different is their exclusivity. Their coverage is only available to members of the U.S. military, veterans and their families. This means that, despite their excellent ratings, they aren’t available to the average person looking for home insurance in California.

2

AllstateScore: 93

5/5

Affordability

4.2/5

User Satisfaction

4.5/5

Financial Stability


When it comes to price, Allstate has the lowest rates in the state of California for most homeowners. They also rank highly with AM Best and J.D. Power. Allstate policies offer dwelling coverage, which protects the structure of your house. They also cover personal property damage and theft as well as damage to detached structures. Allstate offers liability coverage and guest medical protection in case someone is injured on your property. They also cover additional living expenses, which means that they will pay for a hotel rental if your home is uninhabitable after a covered loss.

Read MoneyGeek's Allstate Home Insurance Review

3

TravelersScore: 92

4.9/5

Affordability

3.9/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability


Travelers offers basic policies (dwelling, other structures, liability, personal property, loss of use and medical payments), but with a few differences from other companies. For example, many companies do not set a cap on loss of use coverage, but Travelers caps this particular benefit at 20%–30%. They do offer the ability to upgrade or add on additional coverages for a fee, however, so you may want to speak to your Travelers agent for more information.

Read MoneyGeek's Travelers Home Insurance Review

4

State FarmScore: 91

4.6/5

Affordability

4.1/5

User Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability


State Farm provides basic policies including dwelling, other structures, liability, personal property, loss of use and medical payments. State Farm also offers additional options, including an expanded replacement cost option of 20% on top of their standard dwelling insurance. They also cover homes that are often denied by other companies, such as manufactured homes, farms and ranches.

Read MoneyGeek's State Farm Home Insurance Review

5

NationwideScore: 88

4.4/5

Affordability

4.3/5

User Satisfaction

4.5/5

Financial Stability


Like other home insurance companies, Nationwide offers dwelling, other structures, liability, personal property, loss of use and medical payments coverage, along with two additional types of standard coverage. These additional options are credit card use, which covers unauthorized payments from stolen cards and checks, and ordinance/law insurance, which covers losses caused by enforcement of legal building requirements.

Read MoneyGeek's Nationwide Home Insurance Review

What Is the Average Cost of Homeowners Insurance in California?

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$0

home insurance is 0.0% more than the average.

The cost of homeowners insurance varies widely from state to state based on a number of factors, including the average value of a home in that state and local laws and regulations regarding homeowners insurance. This means that states with a baseline coverage amount of $100,000, like Ohio and West Virginia, are going to be much cheaper than states where the baseline coverage amount is $500,000, like California and Massachusetts.

Despite having one of the highest baseline coverage amounts in the nation, the estimate for homeowners insurance in California is $101 cheaper than the national average.

Home Insurance Calculator: Estimate the Cost of Homeowners Insurance in California

There are many factors that impact your homeowners insurance rates. Some are common sense, such as the value of your dwelling and the age of your home. Other factors might not seem so obvious, such as your proximity to a fire department or the amount of personal property you will need to have covered under your policy.

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Home Insurance Calculator

State

California

Dwelling Coverage

$500,000

Deductible

$500

Liability

$300,000

Personal Property

$100,000
moneygeek-logo

low end

on average

high end

These are annual estimates. Get a personalized quote to determine your costs.

The Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Quotes in California

When it comes to cheap homeowners insurance in California, Allstate comes in at the top of the list. Allstate’s average premium for a $500,000 baseline coverage policy is $1,333, which is a whopping $669 lower than the state average. You can choose to alter your baseline coverage if it would be appropriate in your situation.

Baseline coverage is what insurance policies typically refer to as dwelling coverage, which is coverage for the physical structure of your home. This doesn’t include your personal possessions or external items such as solar panels or detached garages, though all of those additions are covered under other sections of your homeowners policy.

If you are looking for homeowners insurance in California, it is important to compare homeowners insurance quotes to make sure you get the best rate.

Cheapest Homeowners Insurance by Dwelling Coverage

Dwelling Coverage:

$500,000

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  • Company
    Amountper year
  • 1. Allstate
    $1,333
  • 2. ASI
    $1,412
  • 3. Travelers
    $1,449
  • 4. USAA
    $1,580
  • 5. AAA
    $1,652

Best Cheap Homeowners Insurance Companies for Expensive Homes

Property values are generally higher in California than in other places. Although even smaller properties can have high value, there are still differences between insuring a standard home and a high-value property. California homeowners insurance rates change dramatically for a high-value home.

If you have a home valued at $2 million dollars or more, the cheapest insurance company for you would be ASI, at $3,991 for an average annual premium. ASI customers can access their policy online or work directly with an agent to make payments or review their coverage.

Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Companies for High-Value Homes

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  • Company
    Amountper year
  • 1. ASI
    $3,991
  • 2. Allstate
    $5,428
  • 3. Travelers
    $5,906
  • 4. State Farm
    $6,256
  • 5. AAA
    $6,575

Best Homeowners Insurance Companies if You Have a Pool

The presence of a pool can increase your insurance premiums because it increases the likelihood of flooding and accidental injury or death on your property, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have affordable insurance if you have a pool.

The most affordable insurance company for pool homes valued at $250,000 or less in California is Allstate, with a $659 average annual premium.

Cheapest Homeowners Insurance for Pool Home

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  • Company
    Amountper year
  • 1. Allstate
    $659
  • 2. ASI
    $688
  • 3. USAA
    $794
  • 4. Travelers
    $804
  • 5. State Farm
    $828

Cheapest Home Insurance in California if You Have Poor Credit

In most states, your credit score can be used to help determine your insurance premium. This is traditionally because people with lower credit are more likely to file a claim than people with higher credit scores. However, California is one of four states that does not allow insurance companies to use your credit score when determining your rates.

According to California Code of Regulations, insurance companies in the state are prohibited from using your FICO score and credit score to determine your premium amounts, which helps prevent people with the lowest credit scores from bearing the brunt of the cost of insurance.

How to Get Homeowners Insurance Quotes in California

When you’re ready to begin searching for the best homeowners insurance in California, you’ll need to make sure you have all of the information necessary to receive an accurate quote.

You will need to know the square footage of your home, the year your home was built, when any major improvements such as plumbing or electrical system upgrades were made, construction details, the age of your roof, how long your home has been insured, your liability coverage needs, details about any claims that were filed in the past five years, and details about potential dangers in your home such as swimming pools or pets.

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Ensure you're getting the best rate for your home insurance. Compare quotes from the top insurance companies.

Other Considerations for Homeowners Insurance in California

Insurance costs are dramatically impacted by your location. The weather in your area or the number of crimes in your ZIP code can have a noticeable effect on your annual insurance premiums.

According to the FBI, California saw a reduction in property crimes, burglary, and larceny from 2017 to 2018. Not only is this a positive shift for the wellbeing and safety of California residents, but it also means that California homeowners could see a reduction in their insurance premiums or, perhaps, a smaller increase than they would have otherwise received.

Hazardous weather conditions and natural disasters can also have a big impact on your insurance premiums. Making sure you are insured against common conditions in California is part of proper emergency preparedness. Below are some of the biggest weather and natural disaster-related issues California residents deal with on a regular basis, and an explanation of how these natural impacts influence your insurance rates.


Do You Need Insurance for Wildfires in California?This is an icon

California is the state with the highest risk of extreme wildfires, with 8,194 wildfires in 2019 that put 2,019,800 homes at risk. Homeowners insurance typically covers damages caused by fire, but you may need to read your policy closely if you live in an area that is prone to wildfires. It is possible for an insurance company to exclude coverage for a common weather event or charge an additional premium for conditions such as wildfires in California.

Do You Need Earthquake Insurance in California?This is an icon

Typical homeowners insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage. They do, however, often cover damage caused by fires that sometimes follow an earthquake. It doesn’t matter if the earthquakes are natural or caused by human activity. If you want coverage for earthquakes, you will likely need to purchase additional insurance from a secondary source, such as the California Earthquake Authority.

Do You Need Flood Insurance CaliforniaThis is an icon

Flood risks are increasing each year in California. Currently, there are more than a million homes — nearly 9% of residences — in the state that are in substantial risk of flooding. While homeowners insurance policies typically cover flood damage, it is usually limited to only interior flooding caused by issues like leaking pipes. If you live in an area that is at an increased risk of flooding, you may need to reach out to FEMA and purchase an incremental private policy through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Expert Advice on Home Insurance in California

  1. What advice would you give for first-time buyers looking for homeowners insurance in your state?

    In the state of California, we have limited choices for insurance companies due to the wildfires. Picking a company based on price could cost you tens of thousands if the home is destroyed in a fire. The only way to get cheaper prices is to reduce the amount of coverage it will take to rebuild the home (replacement cost).

    Make sure you are not underinsured. If your property is completely destroyed, you are faced with a catastrophic loss unless you have enough insurance to rebuild.

    In California, you really need to find a policy that covers fire and earthquake damage primarily. Many don't cover fire damage, which means there are a lot of homeowners struggling right now.

    Get the highest deductible available and only make a claim if you have a significant loss, as a record of claims will result in higher premiums or a cancellation of insurance. If your home is in a fire hazard area, your purchase contract should have as a condition your approval of insurance coverage. Given the history of some zones in the State, fire insurance may be very expensive and very limited. Where normal insurance may cost $1,000.00 per year, in a fire hazard zone the same coverage may cost 10 times that amount.

    Shop around and compare, as you would for most other purchases. Don't simply go with the least expensive. Check the reviews and be sure that the company will be good to work with in case you need to use the insurance. Home insurance policies are usually used in times of crisis and that is not the time to find out that the company you are insured with is not customer friendly.

    Plan to spend some time learning the home insurance industry along with insurance lingo. For example, you will want to learn what the difference is between actual cash value and replacement cost value. If you don't have the time or interest to do the necessary research, consider obtaining the services of an independent agent or broker. They know the industry well and can be a strong advocate on your behalf.

    For first time homebuyers, I recommend they go through a broker vs a captive agency because a broker can look at the prices of several companies at once and compare them side by side. Also, I would suggest a higher deductible to help reduce monthly costs.

    Shop around, but make sure you understand that there is often a big difference between the majors, such as State Farm, and other, “off brand” insurers. Saving a few dollars a year now may come back to hurt you badly if you ever have a claim.

    Talk to an impartial expert who knows the area and statistics of typical damages in the area. This person can help you compare costs and benefits of each kind of insurance and how to minimize expected losses.

    If such an expert is not available, look at statistics yourself. Ask insurance companies what protective measures can lower your insurance premiums.

  2. How do regulations and laws in your state impact the amount or type of coverage a homeowner should buy?

    In California, our laws don’t have a “minimum” for home insurance coverage. It’s between the homeowner and insurance company to determine the right amount to insure the home.

    Insurance is heavily regulated in California, so check with the California Department of Insurance regarding updates and important notices.

    Any California homeowner with a mortgage must also have homeowners insurance. The average policy is around $1,200–1,600 per year. However, this doesn't always cover fire and earthquake damage. You need to examine your policy with care and make sure it covers what you need.

    The only legal requirements to have insurance are created by mortgage lenders who will require a hazard policy and flood insurance if you are in a designated flood zone. Otherwise, insurance is not required, but wise to have in case of a catastrophe.

    The items covered and not covered must be clearly defined. The state requires that insurers identify what is covered and notify homeowners that earthquake insurance is not part of a regular insurance policy. Many homeowners are shocked to learn that their normal Hazard Insurance policy for their home does not generally cover earthquakes or floods, etc. Therefore, it is very important for the insurance buyer to ask questions about what is and is not covered.

    In California, many residents are frequently threatened by wildfires. As a result of recent wildfires, the state enacted a series of laws to help homeowners. These laws include requiring insurers to provide better disclosure about replacement costs, mediating disputes through the California Department of Insurance, and guaranteed renewals in the event of a total loss.

    Regulations and laws do not necessarily impact how much coverage a homeowner can buy. What the homeowner does need to know is that the agent is using a "cost replacement calculator". This determines and suggests how much the home should be insured for because the insurance company is going to help repair or rebuild the home after a covered peril based on how much it would cost to repair or rebuild the home.

    In California, the insurance commissioner does a good job of making sure that all policies include the basic coverages that one initially needs. However, basic is often not enough and the whole purpose of insurance is to protect oneself from a loss that they cannot afford so gaps in coverage can be very costly down the road.

  3. Are there any environmental factors homeowners should consider when selecting a home insurance plan in your state?

    Mudslides, earthquakes, sinkholes and floods are not covered by standard home insurance in California. To address those concerns, homeowners would need separate policies for those coverages. Earthquake and flood insurance are also separate policies.

    Here in California, you should consider earthquake insurance.

    California homeowners absolutely need fire insurance. Earthquake insurance is a good investment, but if you're a lifelong Californian you may consider it unnecessary. Unless you live near a fault line, you may be right. On the plus side, flood insurance in Southern California is rarely necessary.

    Depending on where the homeowner lives, they may need to consider the risk of flooding. A standard homeowner’s policy does not cover damages due to flooding. Homeowners who live in areas with a high probability of flooding (due to the rise in sea levels because of global warming, flooding of rivers, or bursting of dams/reservoirs) should consider purchasing flood insurance.


  • Earl L Jones
    Earl L JonesInsurance Agent and Agency Owner at Farmers Insurance
    Evan W. Walker
    Evan W. WalkerAttorney
    Jake Hill
    Jake HillCEO of DebtHammer
    Robert Taylor
    Robert TaylorProfessor at the College of San Mateo
    Ray Calnan
    Ray CalnanAssociate Professor of Real Estate at California State University, Northridge
    Bud Nelson
    Bud NelsonAdjunct Professor of Finance at Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Blanca Montejano
    Blanca MontejanoCEO/President of Vianca's Insurance & Financial Services
    Frank McEnulty
    Frank McEnultyFinance Lecturer at California State University, Long Beach
    Dr. Dima Leshchinskii
    Dr. Dima LeshchinskiiAssociate Professor of Finance at Menlo College
    Nuriddin Ikromov
    Nuriddin IkromovAssociate Professor at California State University, Sacramento
  • Earl L Jones
    Earl L JonesInsurance Agent and Agency Owner at Farmers Insurance
    Evan W. Walker
    Evan W. WalkerAttorney
    Jake Hill
    Jake HillCEO of DebtHammer
    Robert Taylor
    Robert TaylorProfessor at the College of San Mateo
    Ray Calnan
    Ray CalnanAssociate Professor of Real Estate at California State University, Northridge
    Bud Nelson
    Bud NelsonAdjunct Professor of Finance at Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Blanca Montejano
    Blanca MontejanoCEO/President of Vianca's Insurance & Financial Services
    Frank McEnulty
    Frank McEnultyFinance Lecturer at California State University, Long Beach
    Dr. Dima Leshchinskii
    Dr. Dima LeshchinskiiAssociate Professor of Finance at Menlo College
    Nuriddin Ikromov
    Nuriddin IkromovAssociate Professor at California State University, Sacramento
  • Earl L Jones
    Earl L JonesInsurance Agent and Agency Owner at Farmers Insurance
    Evan W. Walker
    Evan W. WalkerAttorney
    Jake Hill
    Jake HillCEO of DebtHammer
    Robert Taylor
    Robert TaylorProfessor at the College of San Mateo
    Ray Calnan
    Ray CalnanAssociate Professor of Real Estate at California State University, Northridge
    Bud Nelson
    Bud NelsonAdjunct Professor of Finance at Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Blanca Montejano
    Blanca MontejanoCEO/President of Vianca's Insurance & Financial Services
    Frank McEnulty
    Frank McEnultyFinance Lecturer at California State University, Long Beach
    Dr. Dima Leshchinskii
    Dr. Dima LeshchinskiiAssociate Professor of Finance at Menlo College
    Nuriddin Ikromov
    Nuriddin IkromovAssociate Professor at California State University, Sacramento
  • Earl L Jones
    Earl L JonesInsurance Agent and Agency Owner at Farmers Insurance
    Evan W. Walker
    Evan W. WalkerAttorney
    Jake Hill
    Jake HillCEO of DebtHammer
    Robert Taylor
    Robert TaylorProfessor at the College of San Mateo
    Ray Calnan
    Ray CalnanAssociate Professor of Real Estate at California State University, Northridge
    Bud Nelson
    Bud NelsonAdjunct Professor of Finance at Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Blanca Montejano
    Blanca MontejanoCEO/President of Vianca's Insurance & Financial Services
    Frank McEnulty
    Frank McEnultyFinance Lecturer at California State University, Long Beach
    Dr. Dima Leshchinskii
    Dr. Dima LeshchinskiiAssociate Professor of Finance at Menlo College
    Nuriddin Ikromov
    Nuriddin IkromovAssociate Professor at California State University, Sacramento
  • Earl L Jones
    Earl L JonesInsurance Agent and Agency Owner at Farmers Insurance
    Evan W. Walker
    Evan W. WalkerAttorney
    Jake Hill
    Jake HillCEO of DebtHammer
    Robert Taylor
    Robert TaylorProfessor at the College of San Mateo
    Ray Calnan
    Ray CalnanAssociate Professor of Real Estate at California State University, Northridge
    Bud Nelson
    Bud NelsonAdjunct Professor of Finance at Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Blanca Montejano
    Blanca MontejanoCEO/President of Vianca's Insurance & Financial Services
    Frank McEnulty
    Frank McEnultyFinance Lecturer at California State University, Long Beach
    Dr. Dima Leshchinskii
    Dr. Dima LeshchinskiiAssociate Professor of Finance at Menlo College
    Nuriddin Ikromov
    Nuriddin IkromovAssociate Professor at California State University, Sacramento
  • Earl L Jones
    Earl L JonesInsurance Agent and Agency Owner at Farmers Insurance
    Evan W. Walker
    Evan W. WalkerAttorney
    Jake Hill
    Jake HillCEO of DebtHammer
    Robert Taylor
    Robert TaylorProfessor at the College of San Mateo
    Ray Calnan
    Ray CalnanAssociate Professor of Real Estate at California State University, Northridge
    Bud Nelson
    Bud NelsonAdjunct Professor of Finance at Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Blanca Montejano
    Blanca MontejanoCEO/President of Vianca's Insurance & Financial Services
    Frank McEnulty
    Frank McEnultyFinance Lecturer at California State University, Long Beach
    Dr. Dima Leshchinskii
    Dr. Dima LeshchinskiiAssociate Professor of Finance at Menlo College
    Nuriddin Ikromov
    Nuriddin IkromovAssociate Professor at California State University, Sacramento
  • Earl L Jones
    Earl L JonesInsurance Agent and Agency Owner at Farmers Insurance
    Evan W. Walker
    Evan W. WalkerAttorney
    Jake Hill
    Jake HillCEO of DebtHammer
    Robert Taylor
    Robert TaylorProfessor at the College of San Mateo
    Ray Calnan
    Ray CalnanAssociate Professor of Real Estate at California State University, Northridge
    Bud Nelson
    Bud NelsonAdjunct Professor of Finance at Point Loma Nazarene University
  • Blanca Montejano
    Blanca MontejanoCEO/President of Vianca's Insurance & Financial Services
    Frank McEnulty
    Frank McEnultyFinance Lecturer at California State University, Long Beach
    Dr. Dima Leshchinskii
    Dr. Dima LeshchinskiiAssociate Professor of Finance at Menlo College
    Nuriddin Ikromov
    Nuriddin IkromovAssociate Professor at California State University, Sacramento

Methodology

MoneyGeek analyzed homeowners insurance premiums from 16 of the top insurance companies in California that were provided in partnership with Quadrant. Our analysis includes quotes from ZIP codes across California. Quotes were gathered with an average home profile of 2,500 square feet, built in 2000, with an average dwelling coverage value of $500,000, liability coverage of $100,000 and personal property coverage of $100,000.

About the Author


expert-profile

The MoneyGeek editorial team has decades of combined experience in writing and publishing information about how people should manage money and credit. Our editors have worked with numerous publications including The Washington Post, The Daily Business Review, HealthDay, and Time, Inc., and have won numerous journalism awards. Our talented team of contributing writers include mortgage experts, veteran financial reporters, and award-winning journalists. Learn more about the MoneyGeek team.


sources