Best Homeowners Insurance of September 2023

Our experts answer readers’ insurance questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess insurance products). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own.

A good home insurance company can reduce a family disaster to a small bump in the road. It could be as simple as a curling iron that was not unplugged or as big as a hurricane. No matter the cause, the destruction of your home and belongings doesn’t have to be so stressful.

Best Homeowners Insurance Companies

  • Amica homeowners insurance – Product Name Only: Best overall
  • USAA Homeowners Insurance – Product Name Only: Best for military
  • State Farm Homeowners Insurance – Product Name Only: Best for customer satisfaction
  • GEICO Homeowners Insurance – Product Name Only: Best for cheap home insurance
  • Island Insurance – Product Name Only: Best for Hawai’i
  • Umialik Insurance Company – Product Name Only: Best for Alaska
  • Allstate Homeowners Insurance – Product Name Only: Best for investors

Whatever the situation, quality home insurance coverage could be the difference between full recovery for your family and financial ruin after a home-based incident. A strong home insurance company will assess the damage and pay your claim quickly. Policies are clear, and many insurance companies will deploy agents to hold your hand and help you every step of the way.

Compare the Best Homeowners Insurance 

Our Expert Panel for The Best Homeowners Insurance

We spoke to a variety of experts to inform our picks for this best home insurance guide, and to give readers additional advice for finding the right policy. You can read what they had to say later in this guide, under the Experts’ Advice section.

Home Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

What is homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance is a policy to protect your home against common hazards for an annual fee. It’s required by mortgage lenders, and its primary function is to rebuild or repair the structure after a covered event. However, many policies also provide liability, personal property, and other coverage.

What is the 80% rule in homeowners insurance?

The 80% rule is a good faith rule. The homeowner has to carry dwelling coverage for at least 80% of the home’s replacement cost to qualify for full repairs or replacement after a covered event. Construction costs often exceed initial estimates. So paying for a flat 80% of estimated costs may leave you in a pinch. Your homeowners insurance agent can help you run the proper calculations.

What is the most popular form of homeowners insurance?

The most popular form of homeowners insurance on a single-family residence is dwelling coverage. Your insurance company may use names like HO3, HO6, or HO8. Some property owners also offer similarly named “dwelling” policies. However, some homeowners can choose between named perils and open perils policies. As the names suggest, a named perils policy covers only events named in the policy documents. An open perils policy covers everything that’s not excluded in the policy documents.

Who is the largest home insurer in the US?

State Farm is the home insurance company with the largest market share in the US. It’s also one of the highest ranked insurers in the JD Power Home Insurance Study – Product Name Only.

What are the most costly claims for home insurance?

Fire and lighting are the greatest risks for the average homeowner, and these two hazards also cause the most costly damage. Fire is one of the first covered perils in the average homeowners policy. However, insurers have exceptions (such as fire associated with lava).

Do most people have homeowners insurance?

Yes. If you have a mortgage, your lender will require home insurance. In most cases, your homeowners insurance invoices will be sent to your lender, and it will add costs to your monthly payments. Among homeowners who own their home outright, most still have insurance to protect them against the unexpected.

Is it better to have actual cash value or replacement cost home insurance?

Actual cash value takes into account depreciation, damages, and other factors that lower the value of your home. If you file a claim, your homeowners insurance company pays for your home based on all limiting factors. Replacement cost coverage costs more, but insurance will pay to replace your home based on the current costs to rebuild, period. This can apply to both the dwelling and personal property, and it ensures you don’t have to pay for replacements out-of-pocket.

Is it worth having an umbrella policy for home insurance?

An umbrella policy offers a boost in coverage for multiple policies with one premium. If you’re bundling your homeowners and auto insurance policies with one company, raising your liability limits on each policy could be costly. Whether you’re in an auto accident or your dog bites the mailman, the ensuing claim can be costly, especially if you don’t have sufficient liability coverage. 

How much does a home insurance policy cost?

A home insurance policy for a condo could be as little as $200 annually depending on coverage. A homeowners policy for a single-family detached structure on a beachfront could be $5,000 or more annually. With so many factors to consider, a licensed insurance agent is the best resource for customized plans to meet individual needs.

How do I find home insurance?

You can find home insurance online, over the phone, through captive agents, and through broker agents. Each method is free unless you bind a policy, at which point you would pay the premium and all other parties are paid by the insurer. No matter what method you use, be prepared to answer personal questions for home insurance quotes.

Can I file a claim if I buy a damaged home?

No, you typically cannot file a claim for damage that occurred before you bought hte house. Once you buy a house, your coverage applies to events that occur after your policy becomes active. Particularly with issues of neglect, buyers may end up on the hook for the entire cost of repairs regardless of if it was a known issue before. For that reason, use the tools available to you: Get an experienced home inspector to look for signs of mold, termite damage, etc. 

How much home insurance coverage do I need?

At a minimum, homeowners need replacement coverage for the structure. In short, your insurance company runs a cost assessment to estimate the construction cost for replacing your home if it were completely destroyed. More importantly, check your coverage exclusions, add-ons like water backup coverage, and personal property coverage limits. Even if you have limited personal belongings, furnishing a house could quickly reach $100,000 or more.

Where do I find a home insurance agent?

Some homeowners run a Google search to find an insurance agent near them. We recommend checking with family, friends, or others around you to see which agents they used and why they like that agent. If you’re working with captive agents (Allstate, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, and GEICO), reach out to another agent to get at least three home insurance quotes for comparison. Then check Yelp and other reviews to find an agent who will assist with all your insurance needs.

Does homeowners insurance cover HVAC?

If your HVAC system is damaged by fire or another covered hazard, repair or replacement would be covered under your home insurance. If the HVAC issues (and any related damage) are due to wear and tear or neglect, it would not be covered. Insider recommends regular inspections of HVAC and other systems to avoid these types of mishaps.

Which home insurance company has the highest customer satisfaction?

J.D. Power’s latest Home Insurance Study – Product Name Only study shows Amica Mutual has the highest ratings for customer satisfaction. However, some companies may perform better as most homeowners insurance companies only offer coverage in certain states.

What is the best high-risk homeowners insurance?

If live in a high-risk area or home, or you’ve been denied by home insurance companies, your local insurance agent may have alternative home insurance options. A broker can run quotes through standard carriers like Liberty Mutual, local companies, and surplus lines. Surplus lines generally come into play only after homeowners have been denied coverage, and the rates are significantly higher.

To limit risk, many of these companies might cover only a few states. So it’s best to talk to a local agent to review your options. Some high-risk properties and homeowners may only qualify for coverage through state programs.

Homeowners Insurance Company Reviews

Amica Homeowners Insurance – Product Name Only

Amica homeowners insurance tops the charts with industry resources like J.D. Power. In business since 1907, Amica Mutual offers standard and platinum policy options. Some policies offer dividend payments of up to 20% of annual premiums for qualified individuals in participating states. The company also has some of the most affordable homeowners insurance rates. While satisfaction and performance are high, it does not offer coverage in Alaska or Hawai’i. Amica was ranked first in the 2021 and 2022 J.D. Power home insurance studies.

Amica Homeowners Insurance Review

USAA Homeowners Insurance – Product Name Only

USAA Homeowners Insurance plans are exclusively available to military members and their immediate family members. But like its other products, USAA Homeowners Insurance maintains a tight grip on the homeowners insurance market for that select population. Its plans offer both the cheapest home insurance and the best coverage available to US military members. When combined with car insurance, bank accounts, and other products, insured parties may qualify for even lower prices.

USAA Homeowners Insurance Review

State Farm Homeowners Insurance – Product Name Only

State Farm Homeowners Insurance remains one of the most recognizable names in insurance, particularly in homeowners and car insurance. The company works exclusively with captive agents (i.e., agents can only quote and sell State Farm or State Farm partner products). So if you don’t like your quote, want to compare home insurance quotes, or don’t qualify for coverage, you’ll have to talk to at least one more insurance agent. But its agents can get you the most competitive quotes with all applicable discounts for State Farm products.

State Farm agents can quote and bind policies for most single-family residences, condos, etc. However, you may run into trouble for multi-units with more than four legal units or in high-risk (but insurable) areas such as higher lava zones or areas affected by wildfires.

State Farm Homeowners Insurance Review

GEICO Homeowners Insurance – Product Name Only

GEICO Homeowners Insurance home insurance is often bundled with auto insurance through GEICO. For homeowners working with a mortgage lender, GEICO has a separate department to assist in binding and finalizing the details of your home insurance. Particularly for small homes and condo insurance, GEICO offers cutthroat pricing.

Compared to many other discount home insurance companies, GEICO also offers friendly service, easy underwriting approval, and quick claims processing. In the event of a claim, the payout may not be what you’d expect from companies like State Farm, Allstate, or Amica Mutual. Depending on where you live, you may also have to call its toll-free line to get home insurance quotes.

GEICO Home Insurance Review

Island Insurance Homeowners Insurance – Product Name Only

Island Insurance is one of two major insurers in Hawai’i, and it picks up where many large national insurers disappear. Some larger companies do not cover Alaska or Hawai’i specifically. Island Insurance is a small, local company known for strong customer service and a thorough understanding of local needs. While its rates are not always the lowest, premiums are steady upon renewal barring claims or other circumstances that increase rates. The company also offers flexible underwriting to insure real estate and more in Hawai’i.

Customer reviews indicate some other companies may offer lower rates that increase dramatically upon renewal. Some cheaper home insurance companies also have difficult underwriting processes. Regardless, Island Insurance has the advantage of specialization, which allows them to make things like the distribution of lava zones on Hawai’i island simple.

Umialik Homeowners Insurance – Product Name Only

Umialik Insurance Company offers specialized home insurance coverage for Alaska residents. Home insurance premiums vary widely across Alaska due to weather, limited access in some areas, and more. So Alaska residents should expect higher premiums for more customized coverage plans to fit the local landscape. Local Umialik Insurance Company agents are also there to help with local contractors, vendors, and other partners during the claims process.

Once policies are approved, insured parties can call Umialik or use its company website to manage policies. However, independent agents are also paid to continue to offer support as needed.

Allstate Homeowners Insurance – Product Name Only

Allstate Homeowners Insurance is known for the character “Mayhem.” Mayhem, played by actor Dean Winters, plays out real claims scenarios Allstate has paid in entertaining commercials. Allstate offers a range of home insurance products including plans for investors to cover the structure and liability associated with having tenants. Renters should supplement with renters coverage, but Allstate plans are highly customizable. Like State Farm, Allstate is only quoted through the company’s captive agents, and they do not insure structures with more than four units.

Allstate Homeowners Insurance Review

What Home Insurance Won’t Cover

While uncommon, some homes are uninsurable. This would include homes in certain fire zones and lava zones. Beachfront properties (depending on the distance to the ocean) can be insured, but only with higher premiums for lower coverage limits. Not all insurers offer coverage for high-risk areas.

The exact rules vary between policies. This is why it’s critical to work with an insurance agent you trust and review your policy documents. An all perils home insurance policy will cover damage caused by anything that’s not specifically excluded in the policy documents. With decades of claims and underwriting experience, insurers list exclusions from lava and hurricanes to riots, war, nuclear hazards, and government action. So read carefully before assuming specific incidents will be covered under your home insurance.

If you choose a named-perils policy, you may get the cheapest home insurance rates available to you. As you might expect, insurers only cover damage associated with perils listed in the policy documents. So the risk of unpaid claims is higher. In short, if your named perils policy covers damage from fires, lightning, and explosions, you would not be covered if a car crashed into your home unless it caused an explosion.

Similarly, you decide what property coverage you want up front. Dwelling coverage (the cost to repair or replace your home if destroyed) is a constant, particularly if you have a mortgage. Many other coverages are optional. Homeowners who want the cheapest home insurance rates when shopping for homeowners insurance might skip personal property coverage. Investors renting properties out might also skip personal property coverage while increasing liability coverage. If a covered peril damages your home, though, you would then be responsible to replace furniture, clothing, electronics, and any other personal property.

Home Insurance Companies Won’t Cover Neglect or Intentional Damage

The exact breakdown of coverage varies between home insurance companies. No matter where you buy, there are two exclusions with no exceptions.

  • Neglect: Neglect is one of the most common reasons for denials of claims. If you have a leaky toilet that goes unchecked, it could slowly leak for months or years. This would lead to floor rot, mold, and other long-term damage. Insurers expect homeowners to maintain the property and prevent damage where possible. This is why many companies will not cover vacant homes. Vacancies mean no one is on location to catch major incidents or small leaks.
  • Intentional damage: A home insurance company may refuse coverage for certain types of vandalism and destruction. This is specific to homeowners and legal residents. As a general rule, policyholders are not meant to profit from insurance plans. Insurance should restore what was lost to its state prior to the claim. When homeowners or residents intentionally damage or destroy the property, insurers view it as an attempt to profit and an extra hazard. This leads to greater scrutiny and can escalate to claims being denied. Particularly if you have renters or boarders, make sure to discuss coverage with your agent.

How to Find The Most Affordable Home Insurance for You

Mortgage lenders require borrowers to buy a homeowners policy covering the cost to rebuild your home. This estimate is based on the appraisal or your insurance agent’s estimated replacement cost matrix. Some homeowners are also required to pay for regional coverage such as flood, hurricane, or earthquake.

Unless you specify otherwise, the lender will then collect a small amount each month to pay your premium for you once a year. Keep in mind, all insurance notices will be sent to you automatically. So if prices go up or you want to switch for any reason, you have control over your homeowners insurance.

The cheapest home insurance is not always the most affordable. Homeowners insurance quotes give buyers a preview of what they may pay each year. But this doesn’t account for the cost of claims or how much you could pay out of pocket if your claims are denied or your insurer drags out the process. When shopping for home insurance, we balance cost with performance and coverage.

Homeowners Insurance Companies with the Highest Customer Satisfaction

Homeowners insurance company BBB grade
Amica Mutual A+
State Farm A-
Island Insurance A+
Umialik A+
Allstate A

The Better Business Bureau accepts a company’s customer complaints and reviews advertising and transparency about business practices. Once a complaint is submitted, companies can respond and resolve the issues.

The BBB ranking does not guarantee great rates or that you’ll love the company. That’s why we also looked at average rates, reviews from sites like TrustPilot, and sample plans to compare coverage options. However, a company with a high BBB rating is more likely to stay above board and address consumer issues.

USAA’s limited availability makes it impractical for organizations like JD Power or the BBB to rank it alongside companies that sell to a more diverse range of users. However, many of our top home insurance picks maintain the BBB’s highest ranking. When combined with strong JD Power, AM Best rankings, reviews from real homeowners, and advice from our expert panel, we feel confident saying our top picks are also trustworthy home insurance companies for the average consumer.

The Experts’ Advice on Choosing The Best Home Insurance for You

We worked with a realtor, homeowners insurance agent, and mortgage loan originator to discuss what buyers should consider when buying home insurance. You can find their full commentary below.

What do you believe are the most important things to look for when buying home insurance?

Lina Roby, Former Insurance Editor with Personal Finance Insider

Homeowners should take into account both coverage and price. Critical riders like water backup coverage cost you as little as a few dollars per renewal period while saving you thousands in the event of a claim. When calculating your monthly mortgage costs, the right homeowners insurance ensures your home also fits your budget.

Stephanie Andrews, Realtor with Keller Williams Hawaii Dream Homes

Homeowners should have complete coverage without too many stipulations or exceptions.

Jeremy Yang, Homeowners Insurance Agent with IFG Insurance LLC

Details of the policy are important. Ex:Replacement Cost vs Actual Cash Value coverage/endorsement like water backup coverage.

Chelsie Sorino, Mortgage Loan Originator with CF Home Loans LLC

I believe is most important to look for when buying homeowners insurance is making sure that your coverage is truly comprehensive. A named peril policy provides coverage ONLY for the select types of damages listed in the specific policy. On the other hand, a comprehensive peril policy makes getting insurance to cover any incident much easier.

How should I set my deductible amount?

Lina Roby, Former Insurance Editor with Personal Finance Insider

Consider how much you can afford to spend in the event of a claim? If you cannot afford to spend $1,000 out of pocket to deal with a major flood, for example, a $1,000 deductible may lower your monthly premium, but it’s too high.

Stephanie Andrews, Realtor with Keller Williams Hawaii Dream Homes

Your deductible should match your income and available cash on hand. Having a larger deductible will save you money, but if you can’t afford to pay a large deductible when you need the insurance, then the extra savings don’t matter.

Jeremy Yang, Homeowners Insurance Agent with IFG Insurance LLC

Your deductible should be based on claim history & affordability. If you have no claims history and are not likely to file claim, you can raise your deductible. But understand that the deductible will be the out-of-pocket amount if any claim are filed.

Chelsie Sorino, Mortgage Loan Originator with CF Home Loans LLC

Low deductible plans require higher monthly premiums but lower out of pocket expenses. High deductible plans provide lower monthly premiums but higher expenses in the event of an insurance claim. You should choose a deductible that balances out your monthly and out-of-pocket costs in the event of a claim.

What are the most common things buyers miss when buying home insurance?

Lina Roby, Former Insurance Editor with Personal Finance Insider

Many homeowners underestimate the importance of riders. All they see is extra costs. The bulk of your monthly premiums is spent on dwelling coverage, personal property, and other key parts of homeowners coverage. The devil is in the details, especially when it comes to homeowners insurance riders.

Stephanie Andrews, Realtor with Keller Williams Hawaii Dream Homes

Not getting enough coverage for a complete rebuild, not checking for specific coverage like flood or hurricane, and not looking at the conditions of the insurance.

Jeremy Yang, Homeowners Insurance Agent with IFG Insurance LLC

Most buyers will choose the cheapest insurance, which might leads to homeowners being underinsured. Getting insurance with not enough coverage is like driving a car with a drawing of a seatbelt on your shirt.

Chelsie Sorino, Mortgage Loan Originator with CF Home Loans LLC

Equipment breakdown coverage is something that I see buyers missing when buying homeowners insurance. This is an easy & affordable rider. Common examples of covered equipment being air conditioning systems, furnaces, heat pumps, heaters, and kitchen & laundry appliances.

Why You Should Trust Us: How We Chose the Best Home Insurance Companies

Sites like J.D Power, user review sites, and other sources play a role in our reviews, as do policy documents. While we cannot look at every policyholder’s documents, most home insurance companies have specific coverage limits and benefits applicable to all standard policies. To come up with our list of the best home insurance companies, we also considered common exclusions and the impact on the average homeowner compared to average premiums.

We take into account customer experience and the claims experience. While homeowners hope to never experience a partial or full loss of their home, most do. Finally, we factor in financial stability. Regardless of size, insurance companies walk a tight line between premiums coming in and claims payments going out. We look for insurers likely to be around for the foreseeable future. For a full breakdown of our insurance rating guidelines, click here.

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