Best Homeowners Insurance Companies – 2020

October 9, 2020

There are numerous home insurance companies, all advertising affordable rates, and reliable coverage. We decided to put their claims to the test, and rank the best options on the market.

We started by getting quotes from no less than 30 home insurance providers to verify who offers the cheapest policies. Then we examined the leading rankings in customer service and financial strength to see how dependable each insurer is. Finally, we studied how many discounts and optional coverages each company offers and listed our best homeowners insurance choices.

Additionally, since no customer is the same, we compared companies that specialize in a particular demographic or dominate a specific category. These included the finest options for military, new home buyers, and the cheapest option, among others.

This means that whatever your needs and price range are, you’ll find the perfect insurer for you here.

Product
Rating
Key Features
Website
1
OVERALL RATING
5
Expert Review
  • Reliable Customer Service
  • Wide Selection of Discounts
  • Dividend Policies Available
PRICE: $ $143/mo
Get a Deal
2
OVERALL RATING
5
Expert Review
  • Outstanding Customer Service
  • 3rd Best In JD Power’s Homeowners Insurance 2019 study
  • Affordable Insurance
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
3
OVERALL RATING
4
Expert Review
  • Top-Notch Online Tools
  • Cheapest Homeowners Insurance
  • Best Selections Discounts
PRICE: $ $77/mo
Get a Deal
4
OVERALL RATING
5
Expert Review
  • Affordable
  • Best For Military Personnel
  • 2nd Best In JD Power’s Customer Service Rankings in 2019
PRICE: $
Get a Deal
5
OVERALL RATING
4
Expert Review
  • Special Discounts For New Home Buyers
  • Mobile For Claiming and Filing
  • Good Selection of Optional Coverages
PRICE: $ $151/mo
Get a Deal

Best Home Insurance Company Reviews

  • Pricing Reasonable
  • JD Power’s 2019 Rankings 5/5
  • AM Best Rating A+ (Second Heighest)
  • Discounts 5/5
  • Customer Service Best
  • Overall 5/5

Amica may not be the cheapest company around, but it’s rates are still quite reasonable. At $143 per month for our reference house, it ranks in the middle of the pack when it comes to prices.

So, what are you getting for that extra outlay compared to the bargain options? The most reliable customer service out there, of course. Amica achieved the best result out of all the best homeowners insurance companies in JD Power’s 2019 rankings. It obtained full five stars overall, plus the maximum rating in every single category besides “price.”

On top of that, Amica offers a wide selection of discounts and a variety of optional coverages. The company isn’t shabby when it comes to financial strength either — it achieved an “A+” AM Best rating, the second-highest.

The cherry on top comes in the form of dividend policies available for all lines of insurance — these are policies that cost a bit more in the beginning but pay the portion of the premium back. And the reimbursed amount could reach as much as 20%.

Put it all together, and Amica fully deserves the title of the top-rated homeowners insurance.

  • Pricing Affordable
  • JD Power’s 2019 Rankings 3rd Best
  • AM Best Rating A+
  • Customer Service Outstanding
  • Discounts 4/5
  • Overall 5/5

Erie is another outstanding insurer that would have easily won the title if it weren’t for its limited availability. The company currently operates in 11 US states, mostly in the Eastern Region, and in the District of Columbia.

However, if Erie is available in your region, giving it a chance is a no-brainer. For starters, the company delivers outstanding customer service. Erie scored full five stars and ranked as the third-best homeowners insurance overall in JD Power’s Homeowners Insurance 2019 study.

On top of that, Erie is quite an affordable insurer, judging by the information we managed to gather. Still, the company requires you to get a quote through an agent, meaning we could not verify this first-hand. However, we did manage to get the company’s car insurance quotes, and they were quite affordable meaning Erie is among the best auto and home insurance options.

When it comes to financial strength, Erie received an “A+” or “Superior” rating from AM Best. That is the second-best rating possible, and the same as Amica’s.

Additionally, while Erie does not offer many discounts, it has a fantastic selection of optional coverages, and its prices are already affordable enough.

Nevertheless, there’s one department where Erie lags behind the best-rated insurance companies, and that’s online tools. The company does not let you submit a claim online, and we were able to get only auto insurance quotes through its website. Additionally, Erie does not offer a mobile app.

While this will definitely disappoint tech-savvy customers, the combination of outstanding customers’ satisfaction and low prices make Erie worth the hassle.

  • Pricing Cheapest
  • JD Power’s 2019 Rankings 2/5
  • AM Best Rating A
  • Customer Service 2/5
  • Discounts 5/5
  • Overall 4/5

If you want to get the absolute best homeowners insurance for your buck, then Liberty Mutual should be at the top of your list. At $77, it’s almost half as expensive as Amica, our overall winner.

It seems like a steal, right?

Not quite. While Amica is the leader in customer satisfaction, Liberty Mutual’s record is nothing to shout about. The company achieved a subpar two out of five stars in JD Power’s rankings and took sixth place from the very bottom.

There’s another trade-off you’ll have to make for choosing the cheapest homeowners insurance. You’ll have to settle for a company that’s a notch below Amica in financial strength. Still, Liberty Mutual AM Best rating (“A” or “Excellent”) is solid enough that there should be no practical difference when it comes to the claim paying abilities of these two companies. Additionally, even if an insurer goes bankrupt, each state’s insurance guaranty associations will cover the expenses up to a certain limit for a specified set of benefits.

Nonetheless, it’s not all bleak for our value champion. Besides offering cheap house insurance, Liberty Mutual provides some of the best selections discounts and optional coverages, and its website is intuitive and packed with a lot of useful information. For instance, it provides all the details you may need to prepare for a homeowners’ inspection.

All in all, we wish Liberty Mutual would fix its customer service record. Until then, we still think it’s worth stretching your budget and buying the best home insurance coverage — Amica. But if you are ready to be patient with Liberty Mutual’s customer service, it’s worth a shot.

  • Pricing Affordable
  • JD Power’s 2019 Rankings 2nd Best
  • AM Best Rating A++
  • Customer Service 5/5
  • Discounts 4/5
  • Overall 5/5

USAA could have easily been our champion if it weren’t for its limited availability. The company offers its products only to the current and former US army members and their close families. However, if you are eligible, USAA is among the best home insurance companies around.

To start with the customer service ratings, USAA achieved the full five stars and took the second-best position behind Amica in JD Power’s 2019 rankings. The company is in excellent financial health too. Its AM Best rating is “A++,” or “Superior,” which is the best result possible. This indicates that the USAA has the means to cover your claims expenses.

When it comes to prices, we could not verify them first hand due to USAA’s limited availability. Nonetheless, according to reliable sources, the company is among the most affordable options around. The positives do not end there. Home insurance reviews also praise the quality of the company’s website and mobile app.

When it comes to discounts and optional coverages, USAA offers all standard choices, plus some options tweaked for the military personnel. These include property insurance that extends to war zones, as well as uniform coverage under standard policies, without any deductible. Finally, USAA provides excellent auto insurance, as well as banking and financial services, if you are want to go all-in with one company.

Whether you are looking for a bundle, or just want top homeowners insurance, we urge you to give USAA a shot if you are eligible.

  • Pricing Costly
  • JD Power’s 2019 Rankings 3/5
  • AM Best Rating A+
  • Customer Service 3/5
  • Discounts 5/5
  • Overall 4/5

Did you recently purchase your home? Are you still in the process of choosing the houseplants that’ll survive your neglect? (hint: Sansevieria).

Then Allstate might be the one for you. This major US insurer offers special discounts for new home buyers, along with a helpful website, filled with useful information for first-time homeowners.

However, despite offering excellent discounts for this group, Allstate does not provide cheap home insurance. At $151 per month, it was among the most expensive companies we tested. Still, there is a solid selection of discounts to help you reduce the price a bit.

Additionally, Allstate might not be the insurer for you if you want spotless customer service. The company achieved only three stars in JD Power’s rankings. Nonetheless, Allstate scored the better-than-average 7th place, which indicates it may not be the best, but it is still reliable enough to recommend.

The story is much better when it comes to other departments. Allstate’s AM Best rating is “A+,” the second-best rating possible. Additionally, the company’s website and mobile app are all top-notch and provide advanced services such as filing and tracking a claim online. The selection of optional coverages is excellent too.

That’s why, while not the market leader, Allstate is still among the best home insurance options, not just for new home buyers.

Choose Allstate for special discounts for new homeowners and solid performance across the board.

Look elsewhere if you want the cheapest company or the best customer service.

What Does a Homeowner Insurance Policy Cover?

Dwelling Coverage (Coverage A)

This section of your policy covers the damage to your house, including its plumbing, electric systems, heating, and roof. It does not cover any additional detached structures, but it will include porches or decks.

You’ll likely have an option to choose RC or ACV policy. RC, which stands for “replacement cost,” covers the expenses of replacing your house or the damaged section with the same or similar materials. ACV, which stands for “actual cash value,” reimburse the expenses of the “actual worth” of the damages sections (RC minus the Depreciation). ACV is always lower than RC unless the house is brand new. Our advice is to stick to RC.

Another thing you should consider when you compare homeowners insurance is what coinsurance percentage to get. Most insurers would not let you go below 80%, and we advise choosing that number. It can provide a slight saving, and you’d still be covered unless a loss is total or near-total.

 

Other Structures (Coverage B)

Besides your dwelling, house insurance companies also offer coverage for detached structures such as sheds, garages, and barns. It’s typically required that no one lives regularly in these detached structures. On the policy, they are listed as coverage B. Since their worth is usually considerably lower than the value of the main dwelling, insurance companies are not concerned as much about their condition or covering them up to the value.

They’ll only react if the inspection discovers that the shed is worth much more than initially stated, or it’s in a terrible condition.

Personal Property Coverage

All homeowners policies typically include personal property insurance. It covers the belongings of the house owners, such as TVs, Hi-Fi, furniture, fridges, if they perish in a fire or get stolen, for instance. The limits may be actual cash value or replacement cost.

However, in case you lose any item due to neglect, that will not be covered. Additionally, expensive items such as furs, jewelry, and rare art, are typically scheduled under a separate coverage.

Liability Coverage

If a guest visits you and she trips on an uneven walkway, falls and breaks her hand, she can sue you for the injury she suffered while on your property. If you are found guilty, homeowners liability insurance will help you cover the expenses. It typically has high limits meaning the chances that you’ll be covered in almost all situations. It includes both injuries and property damage other people may suffer while on your premises, as well as necessary legal fees.

Guest Medical Protection

This is another coverage that reimburses injuries other people may suffer on your premises. However, unlike liability, it can kick in prior to any legal actions. Additionally, it does not matter if you were at fault for the injuries. This is the reason why this protection plan is often called “goodwill coverage.” Medical Protection has limits that are considerably lower than liabilities, typically around $5,000. Your home insurance company will offer this coverage since it helps settle small injuries without initiating costly legal processes.

Loss of Use Coverage

If your home undergoes lengthy repairs due to significant damage, you’ll likely have to live somewhere else. Loss of Use Coverage can help you cover these expenses.

Moreover, you may reimburse any additional outlays such as moving, laundry, transportation, storage for household items, parking, pet boarding, or increased grocery expenses.

What is a Homeowners Deductible?

Affordable home insurance policies typically have a higher deductible. It represents the amount you’ll have to pay before your coverage kicks in. For instance, if you suffered $2,500 in damages and your deductible is $1,000, you’ll receive a $1,500 settlement.

Standard homeowners policies have theft, wind/hail, and all perils deductible, which applies to almost all losses.

How to Find Cheap Homeowners Insurance

Consider Lowering Your Deductible 

The lower your deductible, the less your insurance company has to pay to cover the loss. In turn, this means that your premium will be lower too. However, think twice before you do this. Essentially, you’ll be trading a lower premium for inferior coverage; while this might seem better in the short-term, long-term — it might come back to haunt you.

Study Homeowners Insurance Reviews 

Not all insurance companies are made equal. Some offer top-notch customer service, others excel in financial strength, while some are the champions of affordability.

Likewise, no two customers are alike. Each individual resides in a different house and has different insurance needs.

That’s why exploring the market is an essential task for all customers. And the optimal way to do it is to start from the top-rated home insurance companies according to the independent reviews. Make a group of 5–8 companies with the best scores then get a quote for each and move them down the list if you don’t like the prices. 

Get the Most out of Discounts

The simplest way to get more affordable insurance is to take full advantage of discounts. To do that, select all premium reductions you are eligible for.

That’s easier to do online since the system will automatically offer you discounts to check. If you are getting a quote by phone, make sure to remind the agent about the most recent updates and the safety features of your home, even if they are not mentioned in the insurance application.

Compare Home Insurance Quotes

If we had to give just one piece of advice on how to get a more affordable policy, this would be it. Comparing quotes from different insurers is the optimal way to see who offers the best deal for your profile.

It’s essential that you do it yourself instead of relying on comparisons on websites like this one. That’s because every home is unique, and each insurer will assess it differently.

It’s also crucial to make this comparison every year, since the prices may change. For instance, a major player like Allstate may offer more expensive quotes at the moment, but if its market share starts to decline, it will slash the prices to attract more customers.

What Influences Home Insurance Rates

Building’s Value

Buying a policy that’s more than just liability will influence your premium the most. After all, the building’s value indicates how much an insurer needs to spend to fix any damages or rebuild the entire dwelling.

That’s why insurers insist on getting accurate estimates while insuring the building up to its value. To make sure you did your part, ask your agent to deliver a professional estimate to your insurance company.

Building’s Age

All things being equal, older buildings will be more expensive to insure. That’s because any homeowners insurance company will take into account the higher chances of something breaking down due to wear and tear.

Some insurers will even refuse to write very old buildings.

Roof and HVAC Updates

One way to substantially reduce the insurance expenses of an older building is to update its roof and electric, plumbing, and heating systems. Replacing the older systems with new ones significantly reduces the chances of a leak or a fire, and insurance companies will reward these actions with lower premiums.

Materials Used for Walls, Roofs, Plumbing, and Wiring

These factors have a significant influence on home insurance rates. For instance, masonry homes are more resistant to wind and fire and circuit breakers are less likely to spark. Opt for the materials and systems with good safety records, and you’ll pay less.

Fire Protection Class

How far is the nearest hydrant and fire department? Are the roads to your house accessible all year long? Every homeowners application has these or similar questions. That’s because the answers may be the difference between $5,000 in damages and a total loss.

Additional Liability Risk Factors

If you bought the liability coverage, any items that are typically not excluded would increase your premium. These include dogs, pools, any slides, and treehouses, among others. If you have any of these, consult with your home insurance broker about adding an endorsement to exclude such risks as well. Your wallet will thank you for it.

Building Style and Foundation

Foundation type and the building style typically have minor influence over the premium. However, if a particular kind of risk is always present, it may affect the prices more. For instance, if the house is in the earthquake zone, underwriters will prefer a home with more stable foundations.

Protective Devices

Fire and smoke detectors, sprinklers, burglar alarms, and similar devices all mitigate the possible damage. That’s why property insurance companies will ask about their presence in the application and grant lower rates if they are installed.

Flood/Hurricane/Earthquake Zones

Do you live in an area that’s known for hurricanes? Then the underwriter will prefer a masonry building with a stable foundation and protective shutters installed. They will charge more or even refuse to cover frame buildings. However, even if your house is up to spec, insurers will charge more if natural disasters are frequent.

Similar rules apply to all-hazard zones.

Occupancy

Is the building vacant? Occupied just seasonally, or year-long? How many people, and how many families live inside? The answer to these questions influences the premium and how the underwriters will assess the building as a whole. Homeowners insurance companies will prefer a vacant building that’s inspected frequently, but also secured and with the utilities turned off, for instance. So, make sure you conduct timely inspections; especially so if the building remains empty most of the time.

FAQs

Who has the best homeowners insurance?

Based on our detailed research, which included more than 20 leading insurers, Amica is the best home insurance option in the United States. It offers the unparalleled quality of the customer service, reasonable prices, solid financial strength, and a variety of discounts and optional coverages.

Erie is a solid alternative with reliable customer service and even lower prices, but it’s available in a limited number of states. USAA is also an excellent choice, but it’s accessible only to the military.

Is home insurance required by the law?

Technically, it’s not required to have homeowners insurance policy to own a home legally. However, if your property is financed, your bank or mortgage company will almost certainly require insurance as part of the deal.

Additionally, we would advise all homeowners to purchase insurance. Natural disasters or malfunctioning utilities can cause significant damage. Moreover, somebody getting injured on your property will lead to lawsuits that will decimate your wallet. To avoid all these, purchasing at least some affordable home insurance will help.

How much is the average house insurance?

We requested quotes from various companies for our $210,000 house in Chicago, with $500,000 liability limits, and $5,000 medical coverage.

Our average price was $135 per month.

Who is the best insurance company for home and auto?

Our champion of homeowners insurance, Amica Mutual, is also the best home and auto insurance choice. Other worthy options are Erie, Auto-Owners, Progressive, and GEICO.

What insurance company is the cheapest?

According to our research, which included the top 24 US home insurers by market share, Liberty Mutual is the cheapest option. This company requested $77 per month for our $210,000 reference house in Chicago. The liability limits we choose were $500,000.

Other affordable options are Travelers and Nationwide.

What should I look for when buying home insurance?

You should look for a company that offers the best homeowners insurance rates but also provides reliable customer service. We would start by comparing reviews and then getting quotes from a couple of companies that score the highest marks.

Additionally, make sure that you adjust the coverage limits to match the risks. The optimal way to do this is to talk with an experienced agent and determine which endorsements to add.

How do I get the best deal on home insurance?

If you want to get the lowest prices, the key is to shop around. Get quotes from various insurers, and you’ll see that the offers differ drastically.

But do not settle for the cheapest company. The best homeowners insurance option also needs to have dependable customer service and high financial strength ratings. Once you found the company that offers the perfect mix of affordability and reliability, make sure to mention all the upgrades to your home in the application. That can lower your premium considerably.