This guide was written by

Mary Purcell

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

Best for: All-around service Amica

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.

  • A.M. Best Financial ratings: A++

  • 2016 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Ranking: 864 (#1)

  • NAIC Consumer Complaint ratio: 0.29 (Excellent)

  • BBB rating: A+

  • Consumer Reports Reader survey:94 (#1)

  • Website/mobile app: The website provides quick quotes. Amica’s mobile app allows you to pay bills, report a home insurance claim, track your claim, keep a home inventory and review home loss checklists from your mobile device.

  • Discounts available: Nine different discounts available, including loyalty and claims-free discounts.

Best for: Affinity program members Liberty Mutual

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.

  • A.M. Best Financial ratings: A

  • 2016 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Ranking: 799(22nd)

  • NAIC Consumer Complaint ratio: 8.27

  • Consumer Reports Reader survey: 80 (#10)

  • BBB rating:A+

  • Coverage/Policy features: Liberty Mutual’s premium “Home Protector Plus” program provides coverage for replacement cost of personal possessions and for living expenses if your home has been damaged and needs to be repaired.

  • Website/mobile app: The website has a handy coverage calculator that suggests an appropriate amount of liability coverage and a deductible based on basic data like the type of home you own, your age, net worth and level of risk tolerance. The company’s Home Gallery app allows you to record a virtual home inventory of your personal property, with photos, notes and prices.

  • Discounts available: In addition to a handful of common discounts (like multi-policy and claims-free discounts), Liberty Mutual’s affinity program offers group savings to members of more than 17,000 groups, employers, credit unions and associations.

Best for: Active service members, veterans and military families USAA

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.

  • A.M. Best Financial ratings: A++

  • NAIC Consumer Complaint ratio: .52

  • Consumer Reports Reader survey: 92 (#2)

  • BBB rating:A+

  • 2016 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Ranking: According to JD Power, USAA scores high in customer satisfaction, but it is not included in the company’s rankings because of its closed membership structure.

  • Coverage/Policy features: Homeowners policies automatically include up to $5,000 for identity theft coverage (except in New York and North Carolina).

  • Website/mobile app: You can report claims, take photos and view your claim through the mobile app.

  • Discounts available: USAA offers the typical discounts expected from most large homeowners, including claims free and multi-policy discounts.

Best for: Personalized service
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.

  • A.M. Best financing rating: A+

  • 2016 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Ranking: 812 (12th)

  • NAIC Consumer Complaint ratio: .54

  • Consumer Reports Reader survey:77 (#14)

  • BBB:A+

  • Coverage/Policy features: Allstate’s Claim RateGuard feature protects your premium from going up if you file a claim. In 2016 the company launched optional coverage in a handful of states for people who rent their homes out on Airbnb and other home exchange sites.

  • Website/mobile app: The website will direct you to an agent for a quote or other service. A handy “Common and Costly Claims” tool allows you to search for the most common claims made by people insured in your zip code area (and the average cost of these claims).

  • Claims: You can file a claim by phone or online. You can even start a claim from the mobile app.

  • Discounts available: In addition to the common types of discounts – like a multi-policy discount of up to 30% and a safe home discount of 15 percent – Allstate offers discounts for smoke-free homes, storm shutters and hail-resistant roofs.

Best for: Flexible purchasing,
claims and coverage
Farmers

Farmers Insurance covers all 50 states, but you can purchase homeowner insurance in 42 states. The company offers lots of options to purchase a policy either online or through its network of 48,000 agents.

  • A.M. Best financial ratings: A

  • 2016 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Ranking: 807 (17th)

  • NAIC Consumer Complaint ratio: .23

  • Consumer Reports Reader survey: 78 (#13)

  • BBB rating:A+

  • Coverage/Policy features: Farmers offers an “Eco-Rebuild” endorsement which means the company will replace your appliances with Energy-Star appliances and recycle debris if there is damage to your home.

  • Website/mobile app: With Farmers, you can view, manage, change and update your policy online. The company’s mobile app allows you to access your policy information and pay bills from your phone. When shopping for insurance, you can get an online quote in minutes.

  • Discounts available: Affinity, new home, multi-policy, home renovation, protective device, ePolicy, and new roof discounts are available.

Best for: Most policies written State Farm

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.

  • A.M. Best financial ratings: A++

  • 2016 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Ranking: 818 (7th)

  • NAIC Consumer Complaint ratio: .61

  • Consumer Reports Reader survey: 82 (#8)

  • BBB rating: A

  • Coverage/Policy features: State Farm offers special deals to customers who sign up for smart home monitoring systems.

  • Website/mobile app: You can get an online quote in about five minutes, and you can conduct most of your business online. The company’s HomeIndex feature allows you to create and manage a home inventory online.

  • Discounts available: State Farm offers multiple policy, safety device and roofing discounts.

Best for: Guaranteed replacement
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.

  • A.M. Best financial ratings: A

  • 2016 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Ranking: 801 (21st)

  • NAIC Consumer Complaint ratio: .54

  • Consumer Reports Reader survey: 83 (#6)

  • BBB: A+

  • Coverage/Policy features: The company’s GrandProtect home insurance package with the Coverage A Plus feature offers some of the most comprehensive coverage available. MetLife also includes identity theft protection as a policy add-on.

  • Website/mobile app: The website has a lot of useful information about homeowner insurance, but it doesn’t have an inventory tool and you can’t file a homeowner claim online.

  • Discounts available: In addition to the typical bundling discounts, MetLife offers a number of safety discounts, which lower your premiums if you have safety features like fire alarms, burglar alarms and deadbolt locks. It also offers discounts to members of a number of groups and organizations that they are affiliated with.

Best for: Eco-friendly Homes Travelers

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.

  • A.M. Best financial ratings: A++

  • 2016 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Ranking: 780 (24th)

  • NAIC Consumer Complaint ratio: 2.18

  • Consumer Reports Reader survey: 80 (#9)

  • BBB: A+

  • Policy features: Travelers was one of the first homeowner insurance policies to offer a green home coverage option. By choosing this endorsement, if you encounter a loss, Travelers will pay to repair, replace or rebuild your home using green materials.

  • Website/mobile app: The easy-to-use website allows you to file claims online.

  • Discounts available: In addition to the standard discounts available from most insurers, Travelers offers a five percent discount to homes that are certified green by the Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) organization.

Best for: Parents of young kids Nationwide

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.

  • A.M. Best financial ratings: A+

  • 2016 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Ranking: 802 (20th)

  • NAIC Consumer Complaint ratio: .75

  • Consumer Reports Reader survey: 84 (#5)

  • BBB: A+

  • Policy features: In addition to offering solid standard coverage, Nationwide offers addition coverage options like Brand New Belongings, which will cover the cost to repair or replace your belongings, beyond the actual cash value.

  • Website/mobile app: Nationwide has an easy to use website where you can file a claim. Their Make Safe Happen mobile app provides great resources for making your home safer for your children, based on their ages and common risks.

  • Discounts available: In addition to traditional discounts for multiple policies or no claims, Nationwide offers up to 15 percent off of premiums for people over 60.

Best for: Old-school shoppers looking
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.

  • A.M. Best financial ratings: A++

  • 2016 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Ranking: 824 (5th)

  • NAIC Consumer Complaint ratio: .58

  • Consumer Reports Reader survey: 84 (#3)

  • BBB: A+

  • Policy features: When you have a claim with Auto-Owners, you contact your personal agent directly. While this may not appeal to online shoppers, it appears to work well for Auto-Owners customers, who consistently give it high ratings.

  • Website/mobile app: The website is quite basic, and the company touts its advantage providing excellent service in person through its network of independent agents. If you want to do most of your insurance business online, this probably isn’t the company for you.

  • Discounts available: Multiple policies, premium paid in full, protection devices, renovated or new homes – these will all get you a discount. Seniors are also eligible for discounts.

Our Methodology

To come up with our list, we reviewed dozens of insurance companies and ranked them for a number of factors:

Population served:

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.

Financial stability:

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.

Customer satisfaction:

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.

Policy features:

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.

Discounts:

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.

Premiums

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.

When shopping for insurance, NAIC suggests you be prepared to answer the following questions:
  1. Address, age of your home, and what it is made of

  2. Cost to rebuild your home (an estimate that does not include the cost of the land)

  3. Distance to fire department or fire hydrant

  4. Credit history

  5. Claims history

Resources

Home Buyers Insurance Checklist:

An informative list of things to consider before buying a home, from the Insurance Information Institute.

Insurance Information Institute:

Provides information articles and videos covering the ins and outs of homeowners insurance.

National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC):

NAIC has a wealth of information and advice from the insurance professionals.

Your state’s Insurance Commissioner:

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.

Consumer Reports Survey Ratings:

See how Consumer Reports subscribers rated their insurance companies.