Best Homeowners Insurance Companies

best homeowners insurance companies for 2019

Homeowners Insurance, it’s one of those things you have to deal with even before you close on your home.

If you are going to mortgage your home purchase, you have to have homeowners insurance before you come to closing.

No discussion, period.

The good thing and bad about insurance companies that offer homeowner’s insurance is there are a ton of them to choose from. The good part is competition (lower prices), the bad thing is “who do I choose?”

Many times we find our clients want to bundle their home and auto insurance.  They may already be comfortable with their auto insurance company so they will add their home insurance as well.

Bundling your home insurance policy with your auto insurance policy will typically save you money on both.

In this article, we intend to help the reader make their decision based on coverages, financial stability, customer service, and consumer feedback. Notice how we left out pricing? Here’s why, for most people, the family home is their most valuable asset and to choose a carrier based on a monthly premium is simply ludicrous. I mean, do you choose a car seat for your child because it’s cheap? I hope not.

Probably, the most difficult thing about choosing a homeowner’s insurance policy is that the best choice depends on where you live. Certainly, an insurance policy in Bozeman, Montana is going to differ from an insurance policy in Miami, Beach.

Knowing this, it will be difficult to point you to the best homeowner’s insurance company in your state, but, we can offer you the information you need to know which one out of the top five will likely meet your needs as far as product,  customer service, claims service, and financial stability.

 

First things First – Homeowners Insurance 101

 

One of the positives, when you are comparing the top homeowners’ insurance companies, is that all of them offer a standard homeowners insurance policy. This makes for an easy apples-to-apples comparison. Where things get a little trickier is when you want to compare some of the optional coverages that most companies offer or if you have an unusual home to get coverage for. Comparing rates for historic homes, mountain homes, and coastal homes usually require interaction with a licensed and reputable agent.

 Here are the coverages that are available in typical homeowners’ insurance policies. 

 

Type of CoverageWhat it CoversTypical Limit of CoverageDeductible Applied
DwellingCovers the structure of the home and any attached/built-in appliancesClaims are generally based on replacement cost of the home (land or lot not covered)Yes - Flat amount or % of structure value
Other StructuresCovers any structures on the property not attached to the house such as fences, barns, workshopsUsually 10% of dwelling limit. Can be increased if needed.Yes
Personal PropertyPersonal belongings inside and outside of your home50% of dwelling limit but can be increased or decreased as neededYes
Loss of UsePays for temporary relocation expenses while the home is under repair20% of dwelling limitYes
Personal LiabilityPays for medical expenses and legal expenses if found liability for injuries or property damage to a third-partyTypically available limits are $100,000 to $1 millionNo
Medical PaymentsPays medical expenses for third-party injuries regardless of faultTypical limits are $1,000 to $10,000No

 

As was mentioned earlier, most insurance companies also offer optional coverages that allow a homeowner to broaden the coverage found in a traditional policy. Some of these options like water backup and mold coverage are a no-brainer, others typically depend on the circumstances of the homeowner.

Another issue to consider is that typical homeowner policies have special limits for some valuable personal property items.  Here is a list that every homeowner should be aware of. 

Personal Belongings subject to Sub-LimitsSub-Limit
Money$200
Securities$1,500
Watercraft$1,500 (subject to type of watercraft)
Furs$2,500 (theft)
Jewelry$2,500 (theft)
Silverware$2,500 (theft)
Guns$2,500 (theft)
Business Personal Property$2,500

If you find that these special limits are too low for valuable items you own, ask your agent if you can schedule certain items you own so they will be insured at appraised value rather than actual cash value. If your company does not allow this, you can easily purchase a Personal Articles Floater which provides appraised-value coverage on your most important belongings worldwide instead of only in your home.

Finally, it’s important to know what perils are covered under your homeowners’ insurance because not everything you think is covered may not be. The most common perils that are covered under your policy are:

  • Fire and Smoke
  • Damage from lightning strikes
  • Explosions
  • Vandalism and malicious mischief
  • Damage to your home from an aircraft or vehicle
  • Theft and burglary
  • Falling objects
  • Damage resulting from the weight of snow, ice, or sleet
  • Water damage

To learn more about what a standard homeowners’ policy will cover and not cover, you can download the HO3 Special Form here.

 

See top home insurance quotes>>>

 

Top 10 Homeowners’ Insurance Companies According to Consumer Feedback

Anytime you want the best-of-the-best, you should look at consumer feedback and ratings. Consumer approval is a good determining factor that policyholders will be more inclined to shop with these companies because they do more business across the country.

Here are the top 10 homeowner insurance companies in no certain order:

1. Amica Mutual Insurance Company

The stats on Amica

Features & BenefitsComments
States ServicedCurrently all states except Hawaii
Best Suited forHomeowners who are most concerned about outstanding service
RatingsA.M. Best A++
DiscountsAlarm system, auto-detection device, claim-free, auto-pay, electronic file delivery, multi-policy, new home, company loyalty
Outstanding FeaturesExcellent customer service, large discount offerings, dividends, customized coverage.

Amica Mutual is awarded almost every accolade in the industry. They were the only insurance company to receive the 5-star customer satisfaction rating from J.D. Power survey in 2017.

Being ranked at the top for customer satisfaction is no easy feat since the internet allows every person who has a problem with a homeowner claim to make it known to the world.

As far as rates are concerned, Amica Mutual rates are very competitive and if that is your only concern you can stop reading here. If, however, you are concerned about financial stability, in other words, will they pay claims even in a disaster, the answer is yes according to A.M. Best rating services who awarded Amica Mutual with an A++ rating.

2. Erie Insurance Company

The state on Erie Insurance Company

Features & BenefitsComments
States ServicedErie is a regional company operating in 12 states
Best Suited forHomeowners who are concerned with getting 100% replacement cost
RatingsA.M. Best A+
DiscountsAlarm system, auto-detection device, claim-free, auto-pay, electronic file delivery, multi-policy discount up to 20%
Outstanding Features100% replacement cost along with the best coverage for theft, valuables coverage, cash and precious metals, and animals, birds, and fish.

As with other top-rated carriers, Erie will be there for you 24/7 for customer service or claims service. Their coverage even pays when you have to relocate while your home is under repair or being replaced. The liability coverage applies on a worldwide basis to provide protection when you need it most.

Erie has been awarded accolades for their performance from J.D. Power, WARD’s 50, Fortune 500, and all of the national rating services. With Erie Insurance, price should not be an issue or concern.

3. State Farm Insurance Company

Like the other companies listed here, State Farm offers substantial discounts when policyholders bundle their coverage using home, auto, renters, and life insurance. Additionally, homeowners who are also business owners can get small business coverage from State Farm as well.

The stats on State Farm

Features & BenefitsComments
States ServicedState Farm offers homeowner’s insurance nationally.
Best Suited forHomeowners who are concerned with getting 100% replacement cost
Ratings• A.M. Best A++
• S&P Global AA
• J.D. Power 825 (out of 1,000)
• Consumer Reports Reader Score 85
DiscountsMulti-policy, home security, impact-resistant roofing and windows, and gated community
Outstanding Features100% replacement cost along with the best coverage for theft, valuables coverage, cash, and precious metals. Helpful agents on practically every corner.

State Farm is one of the few homeowners’ carriers willing to insure practically any structure including farms and ranches. In fact, most individuals and families refer to State Farm as their number one resource for personal insurance because they also offer life, health, disability, umbrella, and banking services.

4. Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual made our top 5 list of homeowners’ insurance companies because of its 6% market share across the country and solid consumer satisfaction ratings. In Consumer Report’s ratings (Reader Score) for 2018 Liberty rated 81 out of a possible 94.

The stats on Liberty Mutual

Features & BenefitsComments
States ServicedLiberty Mutual offers homeowner’s insurance nationally and globally.
Best Suited forConsumers who prefer a one-stop shopping experience for home, auto, renters, and condo.
Ratings• A.M. Best A
• S&P Global A
• J.D. Power 825 (out of 1,000)
• 6.7% market share
DiscountsMulti-policy, new home or newly remodeled home, smart lock, and auto-pay
Outstanding Features100% replacement cost including inflation protection, replacement cost on belongings and extra living expense if displaced resulting from a claim

5. Allstate Insurance Company

As far as market share is concerned, Allstate is second behind State Farm. Both insurance companies are competitively priced but Allstate separates itself when it comes to consumer resources and customizable coverages. Allstate policyholders have access to valuable tools and resources on their website and like State Farm, they have agents on virtually every corner.

The stats on Allstate Insurance Company

Features & BenefitsComments
States ServicedAllstate offers its insurance products in all 50 states.
Best Suited forConsumers and small businesses who prefer a one-stop shopping experience for home, auto, renters, condo, RV and boat insurance, and motorcycle insurance. Allstate also provides commercial business and vehicle insurance for small to mid-size businesses.
Ratings• A.M. Best A+
• Consumer Report Reader Score 80/100
• J.D. Power 825 (out of 1,000)
• 8.4% Market Share
DiscountsMulti-policy, new home, claim-free, auto-pay and pay-in-full.
Outstanding Features100% replacement cost along with inflation protection, replacement cost on belongings and extra living expense if displaced resulting from a claim.

6. USAA

The stats on USAA Insurance Company

Features & BenefitsComments
States ServicedAll states if the homeowner is an active or retired member of the military or a family member.
Best Suited forEligible applicants who want to bundle their coverages and take advantage of outstanding rates and customer service.
RatingsA.M. Best A++
DiscountsUSAA offers 10 discounts that applicants who qualify for can substantially reduce their rates.
Outstanding FeaturesReceived 5 out of 5 stars from J.D. Power for overall customer satisfaction.

7. Progressive Insurance (ASI)

The stats for Progressive Insurance (ASI)

Features & BenefitsComments
States ServicedAll states including the District of Columbia
Best Suited forHomeowners who want additional coverage choices. Progressive provides three levels of coverage: Base Policy, HomeShield, and HomeShield Plus. The HomeShield and HomeShield Plus offer additional coverages that most homeowners need.
RatingsA.M. Best A+ (Superior)
DiscountsTo reduce your insurance premiums, Progressive offers a bundling discount, Pay-in-full discount, Electronic Document discount, Alarm and Safety Device Discount, and a discount for getting a quote 10 days before your coverage starts.
Outstanding FeaturesBesides getting quick and easy online quotes, Progressive's claim services can be done online or with the Progressive app.

8. Farmers Insurance Company

The stats on Farmers Insurance Company

Features & BenefitsComments
States ServicedAll states including the District of Columbia
Best Suited forHomeowners who want choices in coverages and not a cookie-cutter policy. Farmers' agents go through rigorous training so each agency has an experienced and reputable insurance professional to serve you.
RatingsA.M. Best A (Excellent)
DiscountsTo reduce your insurance premiums, Farmers offers a multi-policy (bundling) discount, claims-free discount, Declining deductible benefit, and claim forgiveness.
Outstanding FeaturesAgents available in all states, multiple coverage tiers that can be customized for individual needs, and outstanding financial ratings.

9. Nationwide Insurance Company

Our stats on Nationwide Insurance Company

Features & BenefitsComments
States ServicedAll states including the District of Columbia
Best Suited forHomeowners who prefer a one-stop-shop for all of their insurance needs whether personal lines or commercial lines.
RatingsA.M. Best A+
DiscountsNationwide offers discounts that can significantly reduce your cost on homeowners' insurance. Applicants can save money for having protective devices against fire and burglary, loss-free claims history, new home purchase, multi-policy purchase, new roofs or roof made of wind-resistant materials and gated community discount.
Outstanding FeaturesAfter being founded in 1926, Nationwide has become a well-respected insurer who earns very high ratings from all of the rating services year after year.

10. Universal Property & Casualty

The stats on Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company

Features & BenefitsComments
States ServicedUniversal Property & Casualty offers homeowners insurance in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia
Best Suited forHomeowners who live in states that are known for natural disasters and/or have homes that are difficult to insure. UPCIC was one of the first companies that opened in Florida with the major carriers fled the state.
RatingsDemotech A
DiscountsUPCIC has no shortage if discounts. They currently offer prior insurance discount, claim-free discount, a discount for loyalty, new roof, Burglar and fire alarm system discount, automatic sprinkler system, windstorm protection devices, and a discount for seniors.
Outstanding FeaturesWhile operating in states that have regular natural disasters, UPCIC continues to grow its company and take great care of its loyal customers.

The Bottom Line

Having so many insurance carriers to choose from can make the homeowners shopping experience cumbersome and stressful. But, on the other hand, having a great deal of competition will reduce the cost of insurance to consumers. There are as many resources that rate insurance as there are insurance companies so we recommend always checking with companies like J.D. Power and Consumer Reports since their information is based on consumer feedback rather than an insurance company’s PR releases.

Frequently asked Questions

Do insurance companies with the lowest rates have good policies?

If an insurance company is offering the standard HO3 policy, it will typically offer comprehensive coverages. There are many insurance companies, however, that offer additional optionsl coverages and can therefore provide better coverage but with higher rates.

Will my homeowners policy cover flood damage?

Why do i need life insurance

Homeowners’ insurance never covers damage that is the result of flooding (rising water). For this coverage, you will need to purchase a stand-alone flood policy through the National Flood Insurance Program.

I am planning to buy a home on Florida’s coast and heard homeowners insurance won’t pay for hurricane damage?

If you live in a coastal area in Florida and inside the “wind zone”, you’ll likely have to purchase a windstorm policy from Citizens Property Insurance, a state owned insurance company.

Why can’t I get Erie Insurance in Florida?

Erie auto insurance review

Erie Insurance Company is a regional insurer and only doing business in 12 states currently.