Known for its beautiful weather and natural landscape, California is an ideal place to settle down and buy a home. But it's also seen an uptick in home-threatening wildfires, making it extra important to protect your house with a solid homeowners insurance policy. Fortunately for Golden State residents, while the natural disaster risk is high, its premiums are relatively affordable.
The average cost of homeowners insurance in California is $1,565 per year or $130 a month, but there are other factors you should consider when choosing an insurer. Not sure what to look for? Policygenius can help you figure out your coverage needs and compare quotes from multiple top companies in California.
Best homeowners insurance companies in California
Of the companies we evaluated, Mercury has the lowest rate in California, with an average policy cost of $934 per year — more than $600 less than the state average. Average annual rates for USAA, AAA, State Farm, and Farmers are also less than the state average.
While price is an important factor to consider when choosing a homeowners insurance company, there are other key areas you should pay attention to as well — namely a company’s customer service, claims reputation, and the quality of coverage they’re offering.
Looking at the largest companies in California by market share, Policygenius analyzed the latest premium data from Quadrant Information Services to find the average cost of home insurance with each company in 2022. We then looked at 2021 J.D. Power customer satisfaction scores and compared that with the coverage needs of Golden State residents to find the best homeowners insurance in California.
Why State Farm tops our best list
State Farm scored an 835 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power’s 2021 home insurance study — good for 4th place — making it onto our list of the best homeowners insurance companies in California. The insurance giant combines great customer service, flexible coverage options, and an excellent website and mobile app experience. If you’re looking for reliable, affordable coverage from a proven insurance company, you can’t go wrong with State Farm.
How to get a quote
Online through State Farm
Why Farmers tops our best list
Farmers’ $1,445 average annual premium is the highest of any company in our analysis, but that’s still less than the statewide average of $1,565.
Homeowners insurance policies with Farmers come with rate savings features not offered through most providers, such as premium rebates if you go a certain number of years without filing a claim.
We also love its “declining deductibles” feature, where Farmers will subtract $50 from your deductible each year you’re a customer — without it impacting your rate. While the upfront savings may not always be there, Farmers finds creative ways to put money back in your pocket.
How to get a quote
Online through Farmers
Why AAA tops our best list
AAA Club of SoCal has been a household name in the Golden State for some time now. The nonprofit has built its brand primarily as an auto insurance company that offers roadside assistance and other services to its members, but AAA also does homeowners insurance pretty well.
It scored an 834 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power’s 2021 home insurance study, making it one of the top-rated companies in the analysis. Along with its affordable rates and great track record with customer service, you can also get a sizable discount on your house and car premiums if you bundle your home and auto insurance under a single policy package.
The one downside to AAA home insurance is that membership is required for coverage, so you’ll have to pay a membership fee in addition to your insurance bill.
How to get a quote
Online through AAA
Why USAA tops our best list
USAA routinely scores the highest in J.D. Power’s annual homeowners insurance customer satisfaction study. The study measures how well companies interact with customers, coverage affordability, the billing process, the quality of policy offerings, and quality of information about policy offerings.
One potential reason for USAA’s high score is its cheap premiums — a policy with $300,000 in dwelling coverage costs roughly $86 a month. However, you’re only eligible for coverage with USAA if you’re an active military member, veteran, or a family member of one.
How to get a quote
Online through USAA
Why Mercury tops our best list
Mercury's $934 average annual premium makes it the cheapest homeowners insurance company in our analysis. Mercury gives you even more opportunities to save with several available discounts, including up to 15% off your rates when you bundle your home and auto insurance.
While the California-based insurer is known primarily for its excellent multi-policy packages, it's the company’s digital tools that make it one of the best home and auto insurers in the game. Mercury scored an 821 out of 1,000 in the shopping segment of J.D. Power’s 2021 digital experience study — the highest score of any company in the analysis. The study measures insurers’ desktop website, mobile website, and mobile apps based on factors like ease of navigation and clarity of information.
How to get a quote
Online through Policygenius or Mercury
Cheapest homeowners insurance companies by city in California
Looking at average home insurance costs for the most popular insurers in California, we found that the cheapest homeowners insurance companies in the state are Mercury, USAA, and Allstate.
The average Allstate rate in Los Angeles is $818 per year — around 50% less than the average cost of homeowners insurance in California. Farther north in San Jose, residents pay an average of $724 per year with Mercury.
Shopping for homeowners insurance in California
Shopping for homeowners insurance is more than just inputting some information about your house and calling it a day — you’ll want to make sure you’re selecting the correct coverage amounts and a policy that suits your specific homeownership needs. When you’re ready to shop, a Policygenius expert can help you navigate your coverage needs and quotes to help you find the best deal on homeowners insurance in California.
In this section, we break down the average annual home insurance rates in California for different coverage and deductible levels, as well as the cheapest and most expensive home insurance companies in the state for dog and pool owners.
California home insurance costs by coverage amounts
Dwelling coverage is the section of your homeowners insurance policy that protects your house from covered losses, such as a fire or windstorm. Your dwelling coverage amount should be equal to your home’s replacement cost — not its market value. That means your coverage is calculated based on things like your home’s square footage and construction costs in your area, not the amount it would go for on the open market.
As the table below highlights, more dwelling coverage means higher homeowners insurance rates. In California, the most significant rate jump occurs in the $400,000 to $500,000 range — a nearly $1,000 difference in premiums between those two coverage levels.
Personal liability coverage is the section of your homeowners insurance that pays for legal, medical, and repair bills if someone is injured or their property is damaged and you’re found legally responsible.
In other words, if your dog bites your neighbor or a visitor falls down your stairs and the injuries require surgery and other medical bills, liability coverage may cover those expenses. This coverage also covers expensive lawsuits in the event the injured party decides to sue, so you’ll want enough liability protection to cover the value of all of your assets.
As highlighted in the table below, more liability coverage generally means a higher home insurance premium. But the difference between coverage levels is minimal in California. For that reason, it’s worth maxing out your liability coverage to ensure your livelihood is fully protected.
California home insurance costs by deductible amount
Your deductible is the amount you’re responsible for paying toward a covered loss when you file a claim. So if you filed a claim for $5,000 in roof damage and you have a $1,000 deductible, your insurer would reimburse you $4,000 for a new roof.
A higher policy deductible means lower premiums, and vice versa. In California, you can save an average of more than $600 per year if you choose a $2,000 deductible over a $500 one. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to pay more out of pocket in the event your property is damaged or you’re a victim of theft.
Home insurance discounts in California
The average discount for deadbolts and smoke alarms on a house with $300,000 in dwelling coverage is 0.3% and 0.5%, respectively. This means you’re not likely to see big rate savings if your house has these features and nothing else. With an average discount of 3%, burglar alarms provide a slightly larger discount for Cali homeowners.
Home insurance companies in California for dog owners
Certain dog breeds are responsible for a bulk of dog bite liability claims, and because insurance companies are responsible for reimbursing the injured party, some will charge you higher premiums if you have a so-called aggressive dog breed. Some major insurance companies, including GEICO and Farmers, may even exclude the dog from coverage or deny you coverage altogether if your dog is one of these breeds.
Here is the average yearly policy cost from five insurance companies for a homeowner who owns a dog breed that’s considered aggressive. Mercury has the lowest average rates, while Farmers rates are the highest.
Home insurance companies in California for pool owners
Having a pool impacts two sections of your policy:
Your liability coverage, since pools are considered an “attractive nuisance” — aka a liability risk
The section of your policy that covers damage to the pool itself, since you’ll need extra dwelling or other structures coverage to cover its full value
For that reason, insurance companies typically charge extra if you have a pool in your backyard. As highlighted in the table below, USAA has the lowest average rates for a California home with a pool, while Farmers has the highest rates.
How to buy homeowners insurance in California
With so many insurance options for California homeowners, it can be overwhelming trying to find the right company and policy that best suits your needs. Because of the potential for extreme weather events in Cali, it’s important to get a policy that will work for you when you need it most.
3 coverage options to consider when buying home insurance in California
In addition to looking at how much each insurance company charges for different coverage levels and risks, you should also be aware of what your policy does and doesn’t cover. When you buy homeowners insurance in California, there are three additional coverage options you may need to consider to protect against the state’s frequent natural disasters.
Wildfires have likely surpassed earthquakes as the disaster California homeowners should be most concerned about. While wildfire damage is generally covered by homeowners insurance, it's getting increasingly difficult for homeowners in wildfire-prone areas to find coverage due to the increased risk of expensive claims.
If you’ve exhausted all of your options and still can’t find a policy, you may need to purchase separate fire insurance through an entity like the California FAIR Plan — a source of last-resort coverage for Golden State residents.
Most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, so you’ll want to consider separate flood insurance if you live in a floodplain or coastal area prone to flooding. In addition to comparing home insurance quotes, Cali homeowners can also compare private flood insurance rates with Policygenius, or choose a policy through a government entity like the National Flood Insurance Program.
Most homeowners insurance policies also don’t cover damage caused by earthquakes or tremors, so California residents may want to consider separate earthquake insurance to protect against the state’s frequent quakes.
While the probability of a severe earthquake impacting your house is fairly low, earthquake insurance may be worth it if you live within close proximity to an active fault or if your house is made of stone, brick, or other materials that make it more at risk of collapsing during a quake.
California residents can purchase earthquake insurance through either the California Earthquake Authority or private insurers via Policygenius. Some home insurance providers also offer earthquake coverage as a separate policy add-on.
Find home insurance in your city:
Policygenius has analyzed home insurance rates provided by Quadrant Information Services in March 2022 for ZIP codes in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C., for a 40-year-old female homeowner with no claim history, good credit, a $1,000 deductible, and the following coverage limits:
Other structures: $30,000
Personal property: $150,000
Loss of use: $60,000
All rates based on the above coverage limits except where otherwise noted.
Some carriers may be represented by affiliates or subsidiaries. Rates provided are a sample of costs. Your actual quotes may differ.