Choosing the best homeowners insurance company requires some effort from the person shopping for a policy. While most homeowners insurance policies are similar, differences between them make some companies better for homeowners. We analyzed and compared major and national carriers to see which were at the forefront of their field.
- Best Homeowners Insurer For Cheap Rates
- Best Homeowners Insurance Company By Ratings
- Highest Overall Customer Satisfaction: Amica Mutual
- Best For Technology-Savvy Policyholders: State Farm
- Most Comprehensive Coverage: Amica Mutual
- Best For The U.S. Military And Their Families: USAA
To see who has the best homeowners insurance rates in the U.S., we gathered hundreds of quotes from a number of carriers for a sample policy. Our analysis of the available data for some of the largest carriers showed that Progressive and State Farm ranked as two of the most affordable homeowners insurance companies.
No single homeowners insurance company offers the lowest rates for every customer because they each calculate premiums differently and no two homeowners are exactly alike. To ensure a homeowner is getting the best rate, they should shop for a policy by gathering quotes from a number of different insurance companies. A long list of factors might have different impacts on the cost of premiums depending on the insurer. For example, one carrier might charge more than another if a policyholder has a certain dog breed of dog, or to insure a vacation home.
The financial strength and customer satisfaction ratings of homeowners insurance companies are important to consider when choosing the best company. Amica and Erie Insurance were rated the best for overall satisfaction in 2016, but a number of other companies were also rated favorably. Having a pool of well-rated companies allows shoppers to choose the right one based on smaller details.
|INSURANCE COMPANY||OVERALL SATISFACTION (2016)*||CLAIMS PROCESS SATISFACTION (2016)*||AM BEST (2016)||S&P|
*J.D. Power Ratings represent the following: 5-Among The Best, 4-Better Than Most, 3-About Average, 2-The Rest.
Most of the large homeowners insurance companies in the U.S. were included in J.D. Power’s 2016 Home Insurance Study, which evaluated carriers based on overall satisfaction, policy offerings, price, billing, interaction and claims. In the table above, we listed a number of companies included in the study, as well as their marks from two prominent financial rating agencies: Standard & Poor's and A.M. Best. Financial strength helps provide a measure of how much financial resources companies have to pay out claims that homeowners file, and the companies listed here have the means to do so.
Amica Mutual Insurance Company is perhaps the best homeowners insurance company in the U.S. The carrier was J.D. Power’s 2016 award recipient for both Homeowners Insurance and Property Insurance Claims categories. Amica Mutual was also recognized as being among the best across a number of categories. The variety of coverage options offered and the price of premiums contributed to the award, as well as the clarity and accuracy of its billing. Out of all the companies included in the J.D. 2016 Home Insurance Study, Amica Mutual was rated above all others in customer interaction with agents, representatives on the phone and the company’s website.
As a mutual company, Amica is owned by its policyholders rather than stockholders or investors. It pays dividends – a sum of money paid regularly – to auto, home, marine and umbrella insurance policyholders. The dividends Amica policyholders receive will never be more than the annual cost of their premium, but the money can be put toward it. The company website says a typical dividend is about 20% of an annual premium. For example, if an Amica policyholder pays a $1,000 annual premium, they could expect to be offered a dividend of $200 resulting in a net cost of their policy of $800. Although dividends are not guaranteed, Amica says it has been paying them for more than 40 years, according to the company.
Most of the large homeowners insurance companies have their own mobile applications for phone and tablets with iOS and Android operating systems. But State Farm offers a suite of well-developed applications to better serve their policyholders. The flagship app, called Pocket Agent, enables customers to view their insurance card, submit or file claims online, pay bills, and contact their agent or a local one. In addition to homeowners insurance, policyholders can access any other State Farm policies they have, as well as any State Farm Bank or State Farm Mutual Fund accounts.
Tech-savvy homeowners might already be comfortable with managing their insurance policies and online banking using a mobile app, but others might not be. The nice thing about State Farm’s Pocket Agent app is that it is easy to access, navigate and choose notifications. Policyholders can securely log into the app using Fingerprint or Touch ID. They also can set up automatic payments using the Pocket Agent. Most of the other State Farm mobile applications, like CarCapture, Driver Feedback, Steer Clear and Drive Safe & Save Mobile, are focused on the time policyholders spend on the road.
Honorable mentions: The Make Safe Happen app by Nationwide is actually owned by Nationwide Children's Hospital and creates a home safety checklist for parents when they input details about their children.
The Home Gallery app by Liberty Mutual is probably the best version of an app or tool that many others insurers offer. It helps users create a digital inventory of their personal belongings – something every homeowners should do in the event of a loss. In addition to storing photos of the item, users can add details about price, the date the item was purchased and attach digital copies of the receipt.
Know Your Stuff is another app and online software tool that helps homeowners keep a database of their belongings and details about them. It is offered by the Insurance Information Institute, so anyone can use it, no matter what homeowners insurance they have or if they are a renter.
Out of the 27 homeowners insurance companies included in the 2016 J.D. Power report, only Amica Mutual was considered “among the best” for policy offerings – meaning, the variety of coverage options available to consumers and how well the coverages met their needs.
In addition to the standard coverages that nearly every homeowners insurance policy includes, Amica Mutual offers a number of ways to customize coverage. Customers are able to purchase what Amica Mutual calls Automatic Dwelling coverage, which increases the replacement cost limit of a policy up to 30% when the cost to rebuild or repair your home exceeds the original limit. Like other carriers, Amica Mutual will also schedule a wide variety of personal property. Items with values that exceed claim limits for their category or per item can be insured through Amica Mutual, such as jewelry, furs or fine art.
Amica Mutual’s Platinum Choice Home policy includes bonus coverages that would be additional costs with other insurance companies. The Platinum homeowners insurance extends coverage to computers, water and sump pump backup, increased personal liability and medical payments to others. It will also cover business property kept at home and up to $5,000 for loss damage assessments. In the end, the Platinum Choice Home coverage might cost about as much as similar levels of coverage with other carriers, but it is certainly one of the most comprehensive.
Honorable mentions: The majority of homeowners insurance companies offer at least some set of optional coverages that policyholders can use to bolster their protection. But many are not equipped or willing to offer endorsements, schedule or write specialty insurance policies for certain parts of home or personal property – especially things of extremely high value.
In those situations, AIG and Chubb are companies that a policyholder might need to consult. The two tend to have more expensive homeowners insurance policies but, historically, they are willing to underwrite risks other companies won’t. Some examples include a high-value art or wine collection, or sports memorabilia.
The United States Automobile Association (USAA) has the best homeowners insurance for those in the U.S. military and their family members, the two groups that qualify to be policyholders.
USAA’s homeowners insurance tends to be more affordable than policies from other carriers and has been covering military members and their families for years. For those reasons, it is usually advantageous for those groups to insure their home through the company. Members also get, essentially, the same coverage offered by most other home insurance companies: coverage for their home, personal property, liability protection and loss of use. It will also pay for the loss or damage to uniforms belonging to active or reserve duty policyholders without charging a deductible.
Choosing a homeowners insurance company based solely on the cost of premiums is ill-advised. There are many reasons why one carrier might be better suited for a policyholder than another, hence the reason different companies are categorized above. The same philosophy should be considered when choosing the best renters insurance company.
The average cost of homeowners insurance in the U.S. is $952 but the average cost in each state can vary dramatically, as well as the quotes by individual insurers. Studies across states using the same sample policy and home showed the cheapest company in one state was not the cheapest in others.