4.2 / 5

Foremost homeowners insurance review

Foremost specializes in insuring high-risk homes and homeowners with poor credit scores. If you're having trouble getting coverage with a standard insurance company, Foremost is the company for you.

Pat Howard 1600Haley Sprankle

By

Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Pat Howard is a senior editor and licensed home insurance agent at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

&Haley Sprankle

Haley Sprankle

Reviews Editor

Haley Sprankle is a former reviews editor at Policygenius who specializes in homeowners and auto insurance. Previously, she was a writer at Wirecutter and The New York Times.

Updated|5 min read

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Foremost

OVERALL

4.2

4.2

THE GOOD

    check mark

    Comprehensive, customizable coverage

    check mark

    Interactive mobile app

THE BAD

    X mark

    You can’t apply to Foremost online

    X mark

    Third-party ratings are trending negatively

THE BOTTOM LINE

Foremost has spent the better part of the last century insuring homes that most insurance companies deem too risky to insure. Is your home over 100 years old? Does it have noticeable cosmetic damage? Do you have a frequent loss history and bad credit? Most standard insurance companies will consider your case “nonstandard” and turn down your application outright. If you were recently non-renewed or you can’t find coverage through a standard carrier, insuring your home with Foremost is a safe option.

Price

Average annual premium cost for a medium-sized home.

8.0

Financial confidence

Financial ratings from credit rating agencies.

8.3

Third-party ratings

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.

5.6

Policy options

Both the quality and number of coverage options, like unique homeowners insurance product tiers and availability of certain coverage endorsements.

10.0

Customer experience

Ease of use, convenience, availability, and claims ratings.

8.0

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The details

The good

Insures old homes and homes with cosmetic damage. If your home is showing signs of wear and tear, cosmetic damage, or if the home's build or plumbing and wiring are obsolete, you may have a hard time getting insured with a standard insurance company. Foremost essentially specializes homes that fall into the substandard category and is a good last resort option if you're running out of coverage options.

Insures people with bad credit and an extensive claims history. Folks with bad credit and a history of filing frequent insurance claims also may run into trouble getting coverage through a standard homeowners insurance company.

The bad

You can’t apply to Foremost online. Foremost doesn't offer an online application or instant quote option, which is an inconvenience if you're looking to compare quotes with another company

Third-party ratings are trending negatively. Since our last review of Foremost in 2020, their National Association of Insurance Commissioners complaint index score has nearly doubled. This, coupled with their already low Consumer Affairs score, is a bit troublesome. We’ll keep an eye on this trend to see how it continues.

Price

Average annual premium cost for a medium-sized home.

8.0

We couldn't rate Foremost on its pricing since we don't have access to Foremost quote data as of January 2022. We'll update this score as soon as that information  becomes available. The current price score is based on available discount opportunities alone.

Discounts

Discount information is difficult to navigate for Foremost customers. However, after scouring some agent information, we found eight possible discounts available. Those include:

  • Multi-policy discounts. This lowers your premiums if you have another policy with Foremost.

  • Claims-free discount. You get reduced rates if you’ve gone an extended period of time without filing a claim.

  • Burglar and fire alarm discounts. If you have a monitored burglar or fire alarm system at your home, you can get a lower premium rate.

  • Home age discount. You could be eligible for a discount if you have a newer home.

  • Pay-in-full discount. If you pay your bill upfront, your premium could be lowered.

  • Affinity discount. This discount applies if you’re a USAA or AFI customer.

  • Masonry discount. If your home is made of masonry or brick, that could lower your annual premium.

  • Companion auto discount. When you specifically bundle your home and auto insurance, you could be eligible for a discount.

If you want to know more discounts you may be eligible for, be sure to ask your local agent.

Financial confidence

Financial ratings from credit rating agencies.

8.3

Homeowners insurance protects your most important financial assets, so you'll want to make sure a company will pay out your claim in the event of a disaster. 

Foremost scores pretty highly among the standard, respected credit issuers.

  • A.M. Best rating: A

  • Moody's rating: n/a

  • Standard & Poor's rating: A

A.M. Best focuses exclusively on the insurance industry. A good score with A.M. Best means a company is more likely to fulfill their financial obligation to you when it comes time to file a claim. With a score of A (effective January 7, 2022), Foremost has the third-highest rating a company can receive with A.M. Best.

Moody's analyzes the value of stocks and bonds with certain companies and what the expected losses would be if a company were to go into default. Moody’s hasn’t rated Foremost yet.

Mainly used by financial investors and other market stakeholders, Standard & Poor's measures companies' creditworthiness and long-term financial stability. An AAA rating is the highest issuer credit rating assigned by S&P. Foremost scored an A which isn’t the highest, but it’s high enough to ensure Foremost is stable.

Third-party ratings

Satisfaction from consumer sentiment institutions and complaints to state insurance boards.

5.6

It's important to know what experts think about homeowners insurance companies — but it's also good to know what actual customers and consumer sentiment sites are saying, too.

  • Consumer Affairs: 2.1/5

  • Consumers Advocate: 3.8/5

  • Trustpilot: n/a

  • NAIC complaint index: 1.18

Consumer Affairs is a platform that lets customers directly rate companies. Foremost has a pretty low score of 2.1 out of 5. Many of the reviews center on issues with claims. We’ll continue to monitor this to see how it trends. 

Consumers Advocate rates companies based on stability, reputation, and policy coverage. Foremost scored a 3.8 out of 5 which is pretty good.

Trustpilot is another platform that allows consumers to rate companies directly. Trustpilot hasn’t rated Foremost yet.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) tracks the number of complaints submitted to state insurance departments with their national complaint index. A score of 1 is the baseline average, and a score of 0 means there weren't enough complaints to count. Foremost scored a 1.18, which is almost twice as high as its previous score of 0.41. We plan to follow this to see how the company continues to trend.

Policy options

Both the quality and number of coverage options, like unique homeowners insurance product tiers and availability of certain coverage endorsements.

10.0

Foremost has comprehensive, customizable coverage available. They currently offer three tiers of coverage—Standard, Plus, or Platinum. While their website doesn’t outline the differences between the three tiers, we know that they offer a basic HO-3 policy for their standard coverage that is likely included in all packages.

  • Dwelling coverage. This covers the cost to rebuild or repair your home in the case of a covered incident.

  • Other structures coverage. If you have a shed in your backyard, or a detached garage, this coverage ensures their repair and replacement after a covered incident.

  • Personal property coverage. Extensive coverage of personal property and belongings for protection against fire, theft, and other losses.

  • Additional living expenses. If you have to stay elsewhere while your home is being repaired, this covers the cost of things like lodging, food, and travel.

  • Personal liability coverage. If someone gets hurt, or if a visitor’s property is damaged, while on your property, this will pay for medical and legal expenses.

  • Medical expenses. If a guest is injured at your home and requires medical attention, this covers their medical bills.

Foremost also offers a series of add-ons and endorsements you can attach to any policy. Those include:

  • Guaranteed replacement cost coverage. This coverage ensures your home will be repaired or rebuilt completely, including your favorite features like the type of hardwood flooring or kitchen countertops.

  • Extended replacement cost coverage. If you add this to your policy, your total coverage to rebuild your home is increased by a certain percentage.

  • Service line coverage. This covers damage to underground service and utility lines from your house to the curb

  • Personal property replacement cost coverage. With this coverage, Foremost ensures that your personal items will be replaced at their original value, regardless of any depreciation.

  • Scheduled property coverage. If you have valuable items, like jewelry or fine art, adding this will increase their coverage limits a certain percentage so you can have more financial protection for them.

  • Equipment breakdown coverage. When your appliances break down during a covered incident, this coverage ensures they are repaired or replaced.

  • Home business coverage. If you work from home, or you run your own business out of your home, this protects the items involved in that, from computers to woodworking materials.

  • Home share endorsement. Renting out your home in any capacity can be risky, so this endorsement helps cover the costs associated with that, like theft or guest injuries.

Again, it’s not clear what’s included in each package, but we assume all tiers include the standard HO-3 policy mentioned above alongside some variation of these add-ons and endorsements.

Note: The information above represents potential policy options and may not be available for every applicant. Speak to a licensed expert for a personalized look at your coverage options.

Customer experience

Ease of use, convenience, availability, and claims ratings.

8.0

Foremost is widely available and allows customers to pay bills and file claims online. But it lags behind its competitors in terms of digital offerings — there's no automatic online quote tool which has become standard for leading insurers

State availability

Foremost homeowners insurance is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Digital tools

  • Electronic policy delivery

  • Online bill pay

  • Online claims filing

  • Mobile app

  • Mobile app claims filing

  • Mobile app bill pay

  • Blog resources

  • Emailed quotes

Ease of claims

To file a claim with Foremost, you have a few options: you can file a claim online through their easy-to-access claims portal, through their mobile app, or you can call their claims hotline at 1-800-527-3907.

Since Foremost is technically owned by Farmers Insurance, it may cause confusion about who’s exactly managing your claim (Farmers or Foremost?) and that can lead to accountability issues. Several customer complaints have  involved  speaking with different adjusters throughout the claims process, which is not ideal. The claims process is generally best handled by one point of contact who tracks how your claim is progressing.

If you file a home insurance claim with Foremost and you’re passed off from one adjuster to another, be sure to take down their names and contact information.

Payment methods

  • Online

  • Mobile app

  • Phone

  • Mail

  • Automatic credit card and debit card payments

  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)

Policygenius offers insurance policies from many of the nation's top insurers, who pay us a commission for our services. However, all editorial choices are made independently.