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Best Homeowners Insurance Companies
Updated on 03/05/2019
Homeowners insurance policies protect your home and the people in it. Your policy will include two coverages – property protection and liability coverage. Property protection covers the value of your property when it’s damaged, and liability coverage protects you when someone gets hurt on the premises of your property.
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Compare Homeowners Insurance Companies
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National General Homeowners Insurance offers guaranteed and extended home replacement in the 48 contiguous United States. You can opt for a Green Upgrade, which allows up to $50,000 of coverage rebuilt with sustainable materials. Find out more
Farmers Insurance was originally founded in 1928 in Los Angeles. The company offers a wide range of insurance options, including home, auto, business, motorcycle, umbrella, and renters insurance for interested buyers.
Liberty Mutual is a large insurance company based out of Boston, MA. This trusted company has been providing customers with a selection of insurance policies such as home, auto, and life insurance since it was founded in 1912.
State Farm is a large insurance company headquartered in Bloomington, IL. The company offers a wide range of insurance services, including homeowners insurance, to customers across the United States and Canada.
Well-known as an auto-insurer and emergency roadside assistance provider, AAA also provides customers with home insurance policies. The company offers condo and renters insurance, as well.
Progressive Homeowners Insurance is a part of Progressive Corporation, a large insurance company that was founded in Mayfield Village, Ohio in 1937. The company offers home insurance policies to a range of homeowners and renters.
Allstate is one of America’s largest insurance corporations, and they offer homeowners insurance in addition to auto, rental, motorcycle, life, business, and condo insurance. The company is headquartered in Northbrook, IL.
Nationwide Insurance is a company that was founded way back in 1926. Headquartered in Columbus, OH, this trusted company offers customers comprehensive homeowners insurance policies backed by years of experience in the industry.
USAA is a trusted insurance company that offers benefits to customers who are members of the military as well as their extended families. The company was founded in 1922, and it is based out of San Antonio, TX.
What does homeowners insurance cover?
Homeowners insurance protects the people and belongings in your home if there’s a break-in or an accident such as a fire, windstorm, hail or lightning strike. Some natural disasters, like floods and earthquakes, require separate insurance. Protected items include personal belongings, furniture, shrubs, trees and plants. Your homeowners insurance also protects you if someone gets hurt while on your property.
- Dwelling coverage
If you ever experience the total loss of your home due to a disaster listed in your policy, you’ll want to be sure your homeowners insurance provider would pay enough to rebuild the exact same house in the exact same location.
- Other structures coverage
Other structures coverage protects structures that are part of your property but not attached to your home, such as a fence, if they’re destroyed or damaged due to a covered risk. Some common items that are inclued under other structures coverage include:
- Swimming pool
- Detached garage
- Personal property coverage
Furniture, clothes, electronics, collectibles and other personal items are covered if they are stolen or destroyed by an insured disaster. Most companies will provide personal belongings coverage for 50–70 percent of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home. Each homeowners insurance policy varies in dollar limits or off-premise coverage, so review yours closely.
- Liability coverage
Liability covers homeowners (and even their pets) against lawsuits for bodily injury or property damage caused to other people or other people’s property outside your home. Liability limits generally start at about $100,000, but many homeowners opt for additional coverage or increase their liability policy to cover a much broader range of incidents.
- Additional living expenses coverage
Most homeowners insurance policies will pay for expenses that come up when your home is uninhabitable due to damage from a natural disaster or other event. There’s a limit, though, to how much you can spend.
What does homeowners insurance not cover?
Standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover every risk to your home. You can usually add additional coverage on to your policy, such as insurance to cover risky items like pools and trampolines. You may have to buy separate policies for natural disasters that aren’t covered in your standard policy.
- Emergency living expenses
Some homeowners may require additional coverage for living expenses if they are unable to live in their home due to a covered disaster
Homeowners policies don’t cover flood damage, but depending on where your home is located, you may want to consider flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program through a private insurer. If your home is in a flood plain, your mortgage lender will likely require this additional coverage.
Standard homeowners insurance pollcies don’t cover earthquakes. They might cover damage that results from an earthquake, though, such as if a fire results from an earthquakes and causes damage. You can get earthquake insurance as a separate policy if you live somewhere that’s prone to earthquakes.
- Trampoline accidents
Homeowners policies stay away from trampolines since they are such a high risk. Your premium will likely raise if you have a trampoline, and certain policies won’t cover injuries that result from them at all. Make sure you speak with your insurance agent before you let your kids (or yourself) loose on your backyard trampoline.
- Pool accidents
Pools are another hazard for homeowners, and most home insurance liability policies aren’t enough to cover deaths or accidents caused by or in a pool. If you are getting a pool, you should consider raising your liability to $300,000 to $500,000 to make sure you are covered in the event of a tragedy.
- Stolen cash
Stashing cash under your mattress or in your coffee can isn’t just a bad idea from an investment standpoint. It can also leave you high and dry in the event of a burglary or other disaster. Generally, $200 is all that home insurance policies will cover, so you’re out of luck if you have $5,000 in cash sitting around the house that gets stolen or lost in a fire. Get your cash into a bank account now so you don’t wind up paying for it later.
How much is homeowners insurance?
On average, U.S. homeowners spend around $95 per month on homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance costs can vary widely depending on where you live, the company you purchase insurance from and what types of and how much coverage you buy. Adding coverage for a pool or trampoline will increase your cost. Compare premiums and coverage costs from multiple companies before choosing a provider. Understand how deductibles and premiums work to make sure you’re getting the best coverage you need for a price you can afford to pay every month.
- Deductibles: A deductible is the portion of a covered loss you must pay before your insurance company will pay. When an insurance policy has a high deductible, the insurer will generally charge less for annual premiums.
- Premiums: Yearly homeowners insurance premiums vary widely and depend on multiple factors including how much coverage you need depending on the value of your home and the personal possessions inside of it.
- Discounts: Many insurance companies offer specific discounts on deductibles and premiums for things such as bundling insurance, being a loyal customer, installing safety and security devices in your home, or not filing a claim for a certain period of time.
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Types of homeowners insurance policies
HO-1 is a basic form policy with limited coverage. It’s a named peril policy, meaning it only covers 10 things that are explicitly named in your coverage such as damage from fire/smoke, explosions, lighting, hail, windstorms, theft, damage from vehicles and aircraft, riots and volcanic eruption.
This provides dwelling coverage for 16 named perils along with personal liability and personal belongings if they are named in your coverage.
This is the most common type of home insurance policy and is also known as a “separate form policy.” They’re affordable and cover most natural disasters. They’ll specifically spell out what’s excluded from your policy. These policies include dwelling coverage, liability and other structures coverage.
This is renters insurance and protects you against all 16 named perils. It only covers personal belongings because the owner of the property is the one who insures the dwelling. Most HO-4 policies also include liability coverage.
This is a more comprehensive version of HO-3 insurance. It’s open policy and can cover damage from things like earth movements, floods, water damage, pets, mold, war and deterioration, among others. Not every home is eligible for HO-5 insurance, and not every insurance provider offers it.
Otherwise known as condo insurance, this type of homeowners insurance is specifically for condo owners and usually offers protection from the same risks as HO-3 insurance. The dwelling is usually covered through the homeowners association.
This insurance is like an HO-3 but is specifically for owners of manufactured or mobile homes.
This insurance is very similar to HO-3 but is specifically for old homes, including historic homes, which might have a replacement cost that’s higher than the home’s cash value.
What to look for in homeowners insurance
Homeowners insurance policies are usually only needed in urgent situations, so speed is always a factor when dealing with the insurance company. Homeowners insurance companies vary greatly in terms of how quickly they can get insurance claims processed and paid.
- Claims processing: A bureaucratic company can take a while to process insurance claims, which can be inconvenient when a homeowner needs money for a repair or help in an emergency situation. Other companies may be known for fighting policyholders over claims amounts.
- Claims adjuster: During the claims process, the insurer’s adjuster will assess the damage caused by incident and provide a preliminary estimate of the total cost for clean up, repairs and restoration. Most homeowners insurance adjusters work directly for private insurance companies, while you can also hire an adjuster who works independently to conduct “non-sanctioned” appraisals. These public adjusters are often used by homeowners who are dissatisfied with the insurance company’s claims adjuster.
Customer service is essential for policyholders who have questions about their coverage or require assistance during a time of emergency. Some homeowners insurance companies communicate directly with customers and do not deal with independent agents. Other companies use middlemen, who can be independent insurance agents or “captive” insurance agents (who only work for one insurance company).
- Central customer service: Some insurance companies offer one central contact location for customer service, where all problems are heard and handled.
- Localized customer service: Some homeowners insurance providers use individual local agents to communicate with and handle the needs of policyowners.
- Digital customer service: Some companies use various online methods to communicate with customers, making the access to service convenient no matter where the customer is located.
Homeowners insurance companies are rated by major insurance industry services including A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. Highly rated insurance companies will have a minimum rating of A- and tend to have customers who are happy with their service and coverage. The lower an insurance company’s rating, the less financially secure it is, the greater risk there is that it could be unable to pay on customers’ claims, and the less likely it will be well-liked by customers.
- Customer service & satisfaction ratings: Insurance companies are rated by such firms as J.D. Powers & Associates in the area of customer satisfaction, which is a reflection of how well customers’ needs are met.
- Price & policy value ratings: A valuable homeowners policy will provide the coverage you need at an affordable premium.
- Financial strength ratings: These ratings measure a company’s ability to pay claims to policyholders, which indicates whether or not the company will be around when disaster strikes.
- Claims service ratings: Insurance providers are also rated on how effectively they handle claims filing, processing, adjustments and payments.
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