When something major goes wrong with your home—a fire, a hurricane, or even a major theft—it strikes right at the heart of your feeling of security.
Our homes really are our castles, and while we can’t prevent every crisis, we can at least get a home insurance policy. Finding the best homeowners insurance can mean the difference between handling a disaster with minimal issues versus struggling for recovery.
Choosing the best home insurance policy starts with choosing the right carrier. The best home insurance companies offer services and features that will allow you to build a policy to meet your needs for both now and the future. It’s also important to choose a carrier with a reputation for excellent customer service, so that if something goes wrong you can count on them to fix it quickly and with minimal hassle. Finally, look for an insurance company with great financial stability—if a wide-ranging crisis occurs, such as 2017’s spate of hurricanes, you want to be sure that your home insurance carrier can afford to cover all those claims, including yours.
With that in mind, Insurify set out to analyze all major homeowners insurance companies and rank them with a single, multi-point score. The result was the Insurify Composite Score—a number that gives you an easy way to see which carriers are the best for you before you need to use your policy. This scoring system makes it simple for you to find the right carrier and purchase the right policy, both for you and for those who count on you for financial support.
The Insurify Composite Score is calculated by analyzing multiple factors that reflect the quality, reliability, and health of an insurance company. Inputs to the score include financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch; J.D. Power ratings, Consumer Reports customer satisfaction surveys, mobile app reviews, and user-generated carrier reviews. Insurify’s data scientists took these variables, weighted them, and combined them into a single, easy-to-understand numeric score for each carrier.
After crunching the data, these 10 home insurance companies stood out as consistently providing excellent policy options, strong customer service, and financial strength and stability. Purchasing a home owner’s insurance policy from one of these 10 companies will help to ensure that you’ll get the support and compensation you need to rebuild after a disaster.
Company name: COUNTRY Financial
Founded in: 1925
Number of customers/policies: Over $3.5 billion in revenues
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: Country Financial sells homeowners policies with basic coverage (for major catastrophes like fire, theft and the like), premier coverage (which adds in coverage for things like spilled paint and countertop burns) and combination coverage (which provides basic coverage on belongings and premier coverage on the home itself).
Available discounts: Country Financial offers multi-product, safe heating system, and home alarm system discounts on home insurance policies, among others.
Company name: United Services Automobile Association
Founded in: 1922
Number of customers/policies: 11.9 million members
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: USAA is a financial services provider that accepts members only from military and ex-military households (widows, spouses and other family members of USAA members can also join). Many of the company’s benefits are geared towards military personnel, such as uniforms coverage for active duty or deployed members.
Available discounts: USAA offers loyalty, multi-product and home construction material discounts, among others.
Company name: Allstate Insurance Company
Founded in: 1931
Number of customers/policies: 16 million households
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: Allstate has homeowners, condo, landlord, renters and mobile home insurance policies. Specific coverage options vary by state—for example, California homeowners can get a separate earthquake insurance policy attached to their basic homeowners policy.
Available discounts: Allstate offers new home, claim-free, and multi-product discounts, among others.
Company name: Shelter Insurance
Founded in: 1946
Number of customers/policies: 2.1 million policies
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: Shelter Insurance offers both homeowners insurance and what it calls “dwelling insurance,” which provides basic, cash-value coverage for your home and belongings. The company also has policies for mobile homes, apartment buildings, and condos.
Available discounts: Shelter Insurance offers new home, claim-free, and alarm system discounts, among others.
Company name: Amica Mutual Insurance Company
Founded in: 1907
Number of customers/policies: 1.6 million policies
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: Amica has three different levels of home insurance coverage: standard (which includes structure, property and detached structure coverage); extended (which lets you tack on additional coverage such as home business or valuable items coverage); and premier (with even more options, including credit card and computer coverage).
Available discounts: Amica offers alarm system, loyalty, and multi-product discounts, among others.
Company name: Chubb Limited
Founded in: 1882
Number of customers/policies: $36 billion in premiums
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: Chubb has homeowners, renters, and condo insurance policies. It also provides extra coverage options, such as equipment breakdown and flood insurance policies. Chubb has a HomeScan program, which sends a thermographer with an infrared camera to scan your home for potential issues.
Available discounts: Chubb offers multi-product, alarm system, and fire protection discounts, among others.
Company name: American Family Insurance
Founded in: 1927
Number of customers/policies: 10.2 million policies
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: American Family has homeowners, renters, mobile home, and condo insurance policies. You can also add coverage for home businesses, sewer back-ups, and identity theft, and other potential problems not included in the basic policy.
Available discounts: American Family offers multi-product, renovated home, and alarm system discounts, among others.
Company name: Liberty Mutual Insurance
Founded in: 1912
Number of customers/policies: $5.87 billion in premiums
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: Liberty Mutual has homeowners, renters, landlord, mobile home, and condo insurance policies. The standard home insurance policy includes structure, personal property, liability, and living expense coverage (meaning the cost of living elsewhere while repairs are made). You can also buy extra coverage options such as valuables coverage and inflation protection.
Available discounts: Liberty Mutual offers multi-product, new home, and claims-free discounts, among others.
Company name: Auto-Owners Insurance Group
Founded in: 1916
Number of customers/policies: 2.7 million policyholders
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: Auto-Owners has homeowners, condo, renters, and mobile home insurance policies. It works solely through independent agents, arguing that this ensures a local, friendly face will be there to help out in case a customer needs to file a claim.
Available discounts: Auto-Owners offers multi-product, good payment history, and protective devices discounts, among others.
Company name: State Farm
Founded in: 1922
Number of customers/policies: 83.4 million policies
Awards and rankings:
Product highlights: State Farm sells homeowners policies as well as condo unit and renter’s insurance. It’s possible to apply and file claims online through the company’s website; State Farm also has local agents in brick-and-mortar offices.
Available discounts: State Farm offers multi-product, home alert, and roofing discounts, among others.
Not all home insurance policies include exactly the same things, but most will cover the following types of home-related issues. However, it’s a good idea to check your policy and confirm exactly what it includes before you sign up.
Dwelling coverage protects you from losses related to damage to the house itself. It usually also covers damage to parts of your homes infrastructure, such as wiring and plumbing systems.
If someone is injured on your property, they may decide to sue you for damages. For example, if the mailman trips on your front porch, falls and breaks his leg, you might end up in an expensive legal situation. Liability coverage can help cover the costs of defending yourself from such a lawsuit; oftentimes, such coverage will also kick in if you damage someone else’s property. Home insurance policies will generally let you decide how much liability coverage you need (the higher the coverage limit, the more expensive it will be, of course). Pick your coverage limit based on the value of your home and other assets.
Someone who is injured on your property may be willing to forgo a lawsuit, but still have medical expenses related to the injury. Guest medical coverage will kick in in this case and help cover the cost of those medical bills and related expenses. Like liability coverage, guest medical coverage comes at a set limit, often $1,000 per person—although some policies allow you to buy coverage at a higher level if you think it’s necessary.
Your house likely isn’t the only structure on your property. You might also have a garage, a fence, and even a shed or two. Detached structure coverage will cover any losses to these parts of your property.
If your house is damaged in a fire or flood, your possessions will probably also be damaged or destroyed. Personal property coverage covers the cost of furniture, clothing, and that big screen TV you’re still making payments on if they are damaged in an event that’s covered by your home insurance policy. However, to make the most of such coverage, it’s a good idea to prepare lists of your most valuable possessions in advance. Many insurance carriers have tools and checklists on their websites to help with this process.
Severe damage to your home usually means that you’ll have to live elsewhere for a while, at least until your home is repaired enough to be livable again. Loss of use coverage, also sometimes referred to as living expense coverage, helps pay for your housing expenses until you can return to your home.
As helpful as the best homeowners insurance policies can be, they don’t cover everything. In fact, you may be surprised by some of the most common gaps in the typical home insurance policy. The good news is that many carriers allow you to buy extra policies as add-ons to cover these gaps.
Many home insurance policies give you the option of water damage coverage, but such coverage only applies to water damage related to the home itself, such as a leaky washing machine or burst pipe. Home insurance policies don’t cover water damage related to flooding from heavy rains and overflowing rivers. If you live on a floodplain or are otherwise at high risk for such flooding, consider getting a flood policy either from your home insurance carrier or from the National Flood Insurance Program.
Earthquakes, landslides, and sinkholes can all cause severe damage to your home, but this damage is not included in home insurance policies. In some cases, you can add an endorsement to your home insurance policy to protect you in the case of such a disaster. Ironically, in California, you can’t get an earthquake endorsement—even though it’s the state where you’re most likely to need it! You also may be able to get a separate earthquake (or other disaster-related) policy.
If you live in a part of the US that’s frequently subject to hurricanes, it’s a safe bet that your basic home insurance policy will not cover wind damage. In that case, it’s an excellent idea to get a wind damage endorsement on your policy or even get a separate hurricane policy.
Sometimes your home will get hit by two different types of damage at once. For example, an earthquake might also cause a nearby river to shift its course and flood your home. The danger of such an event is that your insurance policy might cover one but not both types of damage, and if the adjuster attributes most or all of the damage to the type that wasn’t covered, you could be out of luck on getting any sort of reimbursement.
Damage to your home that’s caused by typical wear and tear or maintenance-related issues is generally not going to be covered by a home insurance policy. Common examples include sewer and septic tank issues, mold, and pest infestations. In some cases, insurance will cover one part of the related expenses but not another part. For example, if a pipe bursts and you have water damage coverage in your home insurance policy, then the insurance company will cover the cost of repairing the water damage to your home but not the cost of fixing the pipe.
Hopefully this will never be an issue for you, but should a nearby nuclear power plant suffer an accident that causes damage to your property, your homeowners insurance policy won’t cover the resulting costs.
Another unlikely scenario that may nevertheless worry homeowners is the possibility of damage caused by a domestic terror attack, which is considered an act of war and therefore probably not covered by home insurance. Terror-related explosions may be covered, since home insurance policies do typically include damages caused by smoke, fire, and the like.
Statistically speaking, some dog breeds are more likely than others to injure people. Home insurance carriers are aware of this and may charge you higher premiums if your dog belongs to one of these breeds or may even refuse coverage in some cases. Check with your insurance carrier before getting a policy to make sure that you’ll be covered if your dog bites someone on your property.
Certain factors may raise or lower the premiums you’ll pay on your home insurance policy. Some of these things are not entirely within your control (for example, those related to your home’s construction). However, if you are aware of these factors, you can take them into consideration the next time you’re shopping for a home.
Older homes are more likely to have issues related to their infrastructure, such as problems with electrical wiring. As a result, your home’s age may affect the cost of your home insurance policy.
Similarly, your home’s construction can affect your risk of certain disasters. For example, using premium roofing materials can better protect your home and get you a discount on your premiums.
Houses in areas prone to natural disasters or located far from the nearest fire department may be more expensive to insure than the average home.
Like many insurance products, you can expect to pay more for home insurance if you file multiple claims per year.
Certain home-specific factors can increase the odds of a claim and therefore make you look riskier in the insurance carrier’s eyes. For example, having a swimming pool on your property increases the risk of someone getting hurt, so it will likely raise your premiums.
Insurance carriers typically look to credit score as a way to measure your overall trustworthiness, so having an above-average or below-average credit score can definitely affect your home insurance rates.
The deductible on your insurance policy is the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance coverage will kick in. A high deductible means you’ll be shouldering more of the financial burden if you have to file a claim, so setting a high deductible will typically reduce your premiums, whereas a low deductible will raise them.
The higher the coverage amount you select on your home insurance policy, the higher your premiums will be.
Discounts vary quite a bit from one carrier to another, but here are some of the most common discounts and how to qualify for them.
|Discount||How it works|
|Multi-product discount||Many insurance companies sell other products besides home insurance: auto insurance, life insurance, and so on. Buying more than one type of policy from a carrier can get you a package rate.|
|Protective device discount
||Having an alarm system, smoke detectors, deadbolts, and other protective devices may get you a discount.|
||If you've never filed a home insurance claim, you may be eligible for a discount.|
|Exclusive group savings||If you belong to certain organizations, such as AARP, or are a member of certain professions, you may be eligible for a discount.|
|Newly purchased home discount||Having recently bought your home may earn you a discount—be sure to ask your insurance carrier.|
|New / renovated home discount||Buying a brand-new home or extensively renovating an existing one may get you a deal on your insurance premiums.|
|Early shopper discount||Start shopping for home insurance before your current policy expires, and you may get this discount.|
|Insured to value discount||Setting your coverage level to 100% of the cost to replace your home may make you eligible for a discount.|
Filing a home insurance claim is a stressful experience. First, if you’re filing a claim it’s because something’s gone wrong with your home. And second, dealing with the paperwork and red tape often involved with insurance companies can be quite a hassle. That’s one reason why it’s so important to stick with insurance carriers that get high marks in customer service. These carriers make it as easy as possible to get through the claims process and get on with your life.
One option to consider is setting your home insurance policy deductible as high as possible. This will reduce your claim stress because it won’t be worthwhile to put in any claims for small damages, just ones that are so major they’ll exceed your high deductible. In effect, it turns your home insurance policy into a catastrophic coverage policy. However, it also means you’ll likely pay far less in premiums, which can save you money in the long run.
Whenever you get a new home insurance policy or renew an existing one, it’s important to look at your coverage level and confirm that it’s high enough to cover the cost of rebuilding your home. Should you face a total loss, at least you won’t end up homeless because you don’t have the money to rebuild. If you’re not sure how much coverage you’ll need, check with your insurance carrier—many have calculators and other tools available on their websites to help you figure out the best coverage level for you.
The more money and assets you have, the more vulnerable you are to lawsuits. While typical home insurance policies do offer liability coverage, those coverage levels may be unrealistically low for high net worth individuals. In that case, consider picking up an umbrella policy for extra coverage. An umbrella policy basically sits on top of your existing home insurance policy and kicks in where the basic policy’s coverage runs out. For example, if your home insurance policy covers liability expenses up to $100,000 and you get an umbrella policy with coverage up to $1 million, then the home insurance policy will pay for the first $100,000 in lawsuit expenses and the umbrella policy will cover everything from $100,001 to $1 million in lawsuit expenses.
Now that you’ve made it this far, you understand the basics of how homeowners insurance works and which insurance companies are the best carriers. That means you know enough to make a smart financial decision about home insurance. The next step is to collect quotes from some of those top-ranked carriers and see what levels of coverage they’ll offer you for the price.
Remember: premiums, fees, and coverage options can vary widely from one carrier to another. Because different carriers ask for different information from applicants, the same type of policy and coverage level could cost way more from one carrier than another. Getting a range of quotes on the best type of home insurance policy from the best carriers in the market helps guarantee that you’ll be getting a great deal on protecting your home.