Cost & Coverage
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We look at J.D. Power, A.M. Best, and Consumer Reports ratings to determine the best homeowners insurance companies around.
Homeowners insurance is lender-required protection for your home, your personal property, and your combined assets in the event your property is damaged or you’re held liable for an accident and sued. Every standard homeowners insurance policy has six basic protections, but some companies provide more comprehensive coverage at a better value than others. When comparing homeowners insurance companies, look for an insurer that strikes the perfect balance between affordable and quality coverage. It’s also a good idea to look into companies’ financial ratings, customer service and claims satisfaction ratings, policy discounts, and additional coverage options.
In this guide:
|HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE COMPANIES||J.D. POWER HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE RATING||A.M. BEST RATING||CONSUMER REPORTS SCORE|
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It’s no wonder Amica took home the top spot in J.D. Power’s Home Insurance Study for the 18th year in a row. Amica scored a perfect 5 out of 5 in four key categories: coverage options, clarity and accuracy of the billing process, customer interactions, and the claims experience. Amica is more expensive than most, but it’s more than worth the hefty premium when you consider the superior level of coverage and customer service you’re receiving. When changing and renewing your policy or filing a claim with Amica, you can be sure it’ll be pain-free, mark it down.
A big advantage of insuring your home with Metlife is that they offer guaranteed replacement cost coverage in most states. That means if you lose your home, you’ll be reimbursed for the full rebuild amount rather than just the coverage limit in a standard replacement cost policy. Guaranteed replacement cost coverage is particularly valuable if your home is in a disaster-prone region where the cost of labor and construction materials tend to go up after a natural disaster.
When it comes to discount opportunities, Allstate is in a league all by itself. Featuring eight discounts total, there is no shortage of ways to trim your insurance premiums. 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 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 by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a program within the U.S. Green Buildings Council and one of the leading green home rating systems in the world.
If you’re a first-time homebuyer who’s never had to deal with an insurance company before, State Farm may be your best bet. 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 an incredibly user-friendly experience.
Hippo takes the top prize for a stunningly quick and seamless home insurance quoting experience. 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.
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.
Here are the main areas you’ll want to analyze when comparing companies and insurance policies.
A.M Best rating
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 score
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 score
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.
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 three 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.
Find out 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.
Perhaps the most essential endorsement is replacement cost contents coverage, which reimburses you for personal property loss without subtracting the items' depreciation from the claim check. "Replacement cost will always represent better value because it makes your personal property coverage that much more usable and functional in terms of what you want it to do," said Fabio Faschi, property and casualty team lead at Policygenius. "You want your insurance to work for you, so in the event that you need to file a claim, what are you going to get back for it?"
One distinct advantage of adding endorsements——like flood and earthquake coverage——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. Here are some common endorsements offered by insurance companies.
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:
To ensure you’re getting the best deal on coverage, use our very own homeowners insurance calculator to gauge your coverage needs and compare policies from multiple homeowners insurance companies.
Here’s what you’ll want to consider when setting up your policy.
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 in the event it’s damaged, destroyed, or burglarized. 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 if catastrophe forces you from your home for an extended period. Additional living expenses can add up, so it may be worth the peace of mind to increase this coverage component.
Personal 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. Personal liability coverage 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.
Unfortunately, there isn't a single best homeowners insurance company. The best home insurance company for you will be the one that fits your needs. It should be affordable, cover the right amount for your home and possessions, and match your circumstances, whether you're a first-time homebuyer or looking for specific discounts. Comparing multiple home insurance carriers side-by-side can help you quickly find the right fit.
Bundling home and auto can help you save a lot on your total costs. Most major insurers, like Allstate, Geico, and Nationwide, provide discounts for bundling. However, you still might be better off buying your home insurance and auto insurance from separate companies if they're cheaper individually. An independent licensed expert can help you identify the best combination of products so you get the most affordable option, even if it's with two different companies.
The cheapest home insurance will depend on the individual. Things like your deductible, coverage amount, additional endorsements, and more will affect your cost. You should always be on the lookout for discounts to lower your premiums. The average annual home insurance premium is around $1,200.
The amount of home insurance coverage you need depends on how at-risk your home is to damage, the rebuild cost of your home, the value of your property and posessions, liability risks, and more. You should purchase as much coverage as you need to feel financially comfortable - you'll be on the hook for replacing whatever your insurance doesn't cover.
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Yes, we have to include some legalese down here. Read it larger on our legal page. Policygenius Inc. (“Policygenius”) is a licensed independent insurance broker. Policygenius does not underwrite any insurance policy described on this website. The information provided on this site has been developed by Policygenius for general informational and educational purposes. We do our best efforts to ensure that this information is up-to-date and accurate. Any insurance policy premium quotes or ranges displayed are non-binding. The final insurance policy premium for any policy is determined by the underwriting insurance company following application. Savings are estimated by comparing the highest and lowest price for a shopper in a given health class. For example: for a 30-year old non-smoker male in South Carolina with excellent health and a preferred plus health class, comparing quotes for a $500,000, 20-year term life policy, the price difference between the lowest and highest quotes is 60%. For that same shopper in New York, the price difference is 40%. Rates are subject to change and are valid as of 2/17/17.
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