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We look at market share, J.D. Power and A.M. Best ratings to determine the best homeowners insurance companies around.
Your mortgage lender will require that you buy a specified amount of homeowners insurance before you close on your home.
When looking into homeowners insurance companies, you’ll want to consider the company’s financial stability, their customer service, how they handle claims, the level of coverage you're getting, their sublimits when covering personal property, and policy cost.
In this guide:
|HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE COMPANIES||J.D. POWER HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE RATING||A.M. BEST RATING||MARKET SHARE|
|Safeco (a division of Liberty Mutual)||3/5||A||N/A|
Homeowners insurance market share (which includes renters insurance policies as well) as of 2017, per the National Association of Insurance Commissioners
Amica consistently ranks among the top homeowners insurance companies for J.D. Power, and for good reason. It’d be easy to chalk it up to “good customer service”, but what exactly do customers value most when judging how good or bad a company’s customer service is? Insurance claims and how communicable they are through the underwriting process. When filing a claim with Amica, you can be sure it’ll be pain-free, mark it down.
One of the big perks of insuring your home through Metlife is that they offer guaranteed replacement cost coverage – meaning if your home or stuff is damaged or destroyed by a covered peril, your home’s rebuild costs and property will receive the full replacement cost, depreciation notwithstanding. That means if your home is only worth $250,000 but it costs $500,000 to replace, Metlife will pay the full $500,000 to replace your home.
When it comes to rate-saving opportunities, Allstate is in a league all by itself. Featuring an industry-leading stable of discounts, Allstate makes it easy to get a good deal on your coverage. For example, if you bundle your home and auto policies with Allstate, you can save up to 25%. If you haven’t filed a recent claim, you can save up to 20% with Allstate.
With Travelers green home coverage endorsement, you get additional protection that will repair, replace, or rebuild your home with designated “green materials” after a covered loss. Additionally, Travelers offers a green home discount which lets you save up to 5% if your home is certified “green” by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) U.S. Green Building Council, a green energy ratings and verification company.
If you’re a first-time homebuyer who’s never had to deal with an insurance company before, State Farm may be your company. With a helpful website featuring industry-best educational resources, a quick and easy quoting process, and a stellar mobile app where you can view your policy, pay your bill, and file claims, State Farm offers one of the easier insurance experiences in the industry.
Hippo takes the top prize for the fastest, most “how the heck did they do that” quoting experience in the home insurance marketplace. The application process with Hippo is actually quite remarkable — you’re promised a quote in 60 seconds, but it’s really closer to 30. To apply, all you do is type in your address, and Hippo almost instantly shoots you an estimate along with information about your home’s specs.
USAA only sells policies to current and former members of the military and their families and is consistently rated at the top of its class by A.M. Best with an A++ financial strength rating. It doesn’t have an official customer service rating with J.D. Power, but USAA is noted by J.D. as providing “claims satisfaction and shopping satisfaction”. A perk of USAA is if your uniform is damaged or stolen in an event your policy covers and you are on active duty or deployed, USAA will reimburse you without you having to pay a deductible.
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A.M. Best ratings indicate an insurer’s overall financial health: A++ and A+ are considered superior, while A and A- are excellent. There are five other designations for insurers: good (B++, B+), fair (B, B-), marginal (C++, C+), weak (C, C-) and poor (D).
J.D. Power measures customer satisfaction and results are listed by designation: among the best; better than most; about average; and the rest. There’s also an overall winner. Overall performance is calculated on a 1,000-point scale that accounts for policy offering, price, billing, interaction and claims.
Consumer Reports measures customer satisfaction with insurance companies based on a number of benchmarks: ease of reaching an agent, agent courtesy, promptness of response, damage amount, and how timely the companies’ payments are.
While A.M. Best, J.D. Power, and Consumer Reports can tell us a lot about a company and how it treats its customers, the best homeowners insurance policy for you is one that provides you with the coverage you need for your specific situation. A licensed representative from Policygenius can help you compare homeowners insurance policies and quotes until you find a policy that works for you.
Certain companies have low rates because they offer high-deductible policies. To keep your insurance costs down, it may be worth looking into your insurer’s high-deductible options. Just make sure that, in the event of a loss, you can afford whatever deductible you choose.
One way to find out the quality of an insurer’s customer service is by simply reading testimonials and reviews online. Policygenius has detailed reviews of several of the top home insurance companies in the industry. Once you’re done reading up on companies, you should consider doing a little more digging.
One way to do this is to call the insurance company and see what the hold time is and what the service is like when you wait to speak to a representative about a general inquiry. If the hold time is 3 hours and they don’t seem like an accommodating group, you’re probably not going to want to deal with them after you just lost your house and file a claim.
You should also look into how the company handles the claims process, as the single biggest indicator of home insurance customer satisfaction is the company’s damage estimates. If they have a reputation for not covering the agreed-upon replacement costs of property or dropping customers from their policy for filing a single claim, you should probably avoid that company.
The best companies will also have several supplemental coverage options, or endorsements, that you can add to your homeowners policy. Endorsements can vary, as some provide higher coverage limits for certain types of personal property like jewelry or fine furs; or they can provide supplemental coverage for risks — like water backups, floods, or earthquakes — not covered by home insurance.
One particular advantage of adding endorsements rather than seeking coverage through a separate insurer is that you have all of your coverages in one place. Furthermore, if you have, say, home and flood insurance with the same company and you need to file a home and flood claim, some insurers may only require a single deductible for coverage to kick in. Some endorsements that are indicative of a good homeowners insurance company are:
A good home insurance company offers bundles, loyalty discounts, and will even reward you if you file infrequent claims, but you can also lower your monthly home insurance costs by increasing the number of safety and security features in your residence, such as:
Check with your home insurance company to see what kind of discounts are offered, or speak with a licensed representative at Policygenius who can walk you through the different ways to cut down costs on your home insurance policy.
If you’re looking for another way to save money and limit the paperwork and confusion of having policies with multiple insurers, you should look for companies that can bundle your home and auto policies.
When shopping for homeowners insurance, there are some questions you’ll definitely want answered:
You should make sure that you’re getting the best deal on coverage. There are several tools available on the web, through state insurance agencies and companies like Policygenius, who let you compare rates from multiple insurers for your home.
Your policy’s dwelling coverage is the amount it would cost for a full rebuild of your home. Be sure to check if your insurance company offers extended or guaranteed replacement cost coverage for your dwelling.
Extended replacement cost coverage adds an additional 25% or 50% to your policy’s dwelling coverage limit for a small additional premium. Guaranteed replacement cost coverage — which isn’t available in all states and is limited to just a handful of carriers — pays the full cost of replacing your home with no dollar limit.
Be sure to take an inventory of all of your personal belongings inside the home, value them, and calculate what it would cost to repair or replace your stuff if they’re damaged, destroyed, or stolen by a covered loss. Most of the top home insurance companies will provide checklists, calculators, apps, and other resources to help you keep track of and protect your belongings.
You should also consider replacement cost coverage for your personal belongings. Most standard policies default to actual cash value reimbursements for your contents, which is slightly cheaper but only reimburses you for items’ depreciated value.
Additional living expenses, or loss-of-use coverage is typically a fixed amount – 20% of your dwelling coverage. However, if you live in an area prone to wildfires or hurricanes, it's worth checking with your insurer to see if they offer higher coverage limits in the event a catastrophe forces you from your home for an extended period. Additional living expenses can add up, so it may be worth the added peace of mind to increase this coverage component.
Liability coverage protects your assets if someone is injured in your home and takes legal action against you. It also provides coverage for you if you cause damage to someone else’s personal property.
How much coverage you need depends on your assets, the size of your home, and if you own liability concerns like a pool or treehouse, but most liability limits are anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000.
Should be enough to cover guests’ hospital bills if they’re injured in your home. Medical payments coverage is generally anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000.
Whether you’ve been insured through the same company for a decade or you’re a first-time homebuyer, you should make sure you focus on getting the best coverage at the best value.
For example, insurance company A charges $1,300 a year to insure your home, while company B charges $1,200. But if company A includes a number of additional coverages and higher policy limits that either aren’t offered or would cost extra through company B, the higher-cost policy may be worth it.
As we discussed earlier, you should also check to see what kind of discounts a company has — particularly if they offer bundling discounts. With some insurers, you can save up to 30% if you bundle your home and car policies.
Last updated April 18th, 2019
Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.
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