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Choosing the Best Homeowners Insurance Company
Selecting the best homeowners insurance company ultimately comes down to price for most people, which includes getting the best discounts. National companies can generally offer more insurance bundling options in addition to comprehensive coverage, opening up the opportunity to save more. The top homeowners insurance companies also offer renters insurance, which is a separate policy that continues to increase in demand as renting becomes more popular.
Cheap Homeowners Insurance Companies
There are multiple factors to consider when trying to find the cheapest homeowners insurance. One thing that homeowners can do is find a home insurance company that offers a large number of diverse homeowner discounts. Ensuring the discounts match your specific circumstances is an important first step to finding cheap homeowners insurance. Further consideration should be placed upon whether the company provides flexible levels of coverage, which can lead to finding a cheap home insurance premium.
What Homeowners Insurance Features Matter and Why?
Home Insurance Coverage references the common insurance forms and the types of dwellings covered by the insurance company. A standard HO3 or an enhanced HO5 policy are appropriate for most homes and will be offered by the top insurance companies. For non-homeowners, ensuring the insurance company offers renters insurance will be important. In addition to these common types of coverage, the best insurance providers will offer dedicated coverage for condominiums, mobile homes, and farms as well as coverage for rental property owners. Home Insurance Coverage is important because homeowners must be sure that the insurance company they choose covers their specific dwelling.
- Condominium Insurance (HO6) - The insurance provider offers HO6 coverage for condos.
- Farm/Ranch - You can buy insurance to protect your farm or ranch.
- Mobile Home - You can buy insurance to protect your mobile home.
- Older Homes (HO8) - The insurance provider offers HO8 coverage for older homes.
- Premier Policy (HO5) - The insurance providers offers HO5 coverage that includes open perils coverage on personal property.
- Rental Property Insurance - You can buy insurance to protect your rental property.
- Renters (HO4) - The insurance provider offers renters insurance.
- Special Form (HO3) - The insurance provider offers HO3, open perils coverage.
Homeowner Discounts addresses the types of discounts offered by the insurance company that help reduce the policyholders premium. Common homeowner discounts include having multiple insurance policies with the same insurance company and a discount for remaining claims-free for an extended period of time. The best insurance companies will also offer discounts for newly purchased or renovated homes, or if the home has protective devices like smoke detectors or burglar alarms. Homeowner Discounts is a reasonably important category because it outlines specific ways policyholders can lower insurance premiums.
- Age of Construction Discount - Discounts based on the age of your home are available.
- Age of Insured Discount - Discounts based on the homeowner's age are available.
- Claim-Free Discount - You can receive a discount for remaining claim-free for a certain period of time.
- Multiple-Policy Discount - You can receive a discount for having multiple insurance policies with the same company.
- Newly Purchased Home - You can receive a discount if you recently purchased your home.
- New/Renovated Home - You can receive a discount if your home is new or recently renovated.
- Protective Device Discount - You can receive a discount if you have smoke detectors, fire alarms, burglar alarms, or other protective devices.
Perils Coverage refers to the types of perils that the insurance company covers. Perils that are covered by a typical insurance policy include things like fire, smoke damage, water damage, lightning, wind, theft, and more. Although most of the top insurance companies will cover the same set of fundamental perils, a potential policyholder should still take the time to ensure that perils most common to their geographical location are included in the policy.
- Aircraft - Damage to your home caused by an aircraft is covered.
- Explosion - Damage to your home caused by an explosion is covered.
- Fire - Damage to your home caused by fire is covered.
- Ice/Snow/Sleet - Damage to your home caused by ice, snow, or sleet is covered.
- Lightning - Damage to your home caused by lightning is covered.
- Plumbing - Damage to your home caused by a frozen, burst, or damaged water pipe is covered.
- Riot/Civil Commotion - Damage to your home caused by a riot or civil commotion is covered.
- Smoke - Damage to your home caused by smoke is covered.
- Theft - The home insurance company covers any loss or damage to your home due to theft is covered.
- Tornado - Damage to your home caused by a tornado is covered.
- Vandalism - Damage to your home caused by vandalism is covered.
- Water - Damage to your home caused by water is covered.
- Wildfire - Damage to your home caused by a wildfire is covered.
- Wind - Damage to your home caused by wind is covered.
Policy Coverage addresses the types of property and personal protection offered by the insurance company and whether the coverage is offered in at least 48 states. This includes coverage for dwellings, other structures like garages or sheds, personal property, liability, and medical payments. The best homeowners insurance companies will provide coverage for each of these features and will have national availability. Ensuring that the appropriate types of insurance are offered is an important factor when purchasing insurance, making Policy Coverage an important category.
- Dwelling - Coverage for the cost of rebuilding/repairing your home if it is damaged by a covered peril is available.
- Loss of Use - If your home is damaged or destroyed, the insurance company will cover living expenses while repairs are made.
- Medical Payments - Coverage for medical payments is available.
- Nationwide Availability - The insurance company is available in at least 48 states.
- Other Structures - Coverage for detached garages, sheds, or other structures on your property is available.
- Personal Liability - Coverage for lawsuits associated with bodily injury or property damage that you may be responsible for is available.
- Personal Property - The insurance company covers the cost of replacing your possessions if they are destroyed by a covered peril.
Additional Policy Protection includes the supplementary insurance options that can be added to a standard insurance policy. Examples include flood insurance, earthquake insurance, and scheduled personal property. The best insurance companies also provide a comprehensive umbrella policy option, as well as coverage for things like landslides, sump overflow, computer coverage, and identity theft. Many of these additional coverage options can be added as endorsements to the homeowners policy. However, depending on the insurance company and the state of residency, some coverage options may have to be added as an additional independent policy. For those looking for a little extra insurance protection, Addition Policy Protection will be an important category.
- Computer Coverage - You can add computer coverage to your insurance as an additional policy or as an endorsement.
- Earthquake Insurance - You can add earthquake coverage to your insurance as an additional policy or as an endorsement.
- Flood Insurance - You can add flood coverage to your insurance as an additional policy or as an endorsement.
- Identity Fraud Expenses - You can add identity fraud expense coverage to your insurance as an additional policy or as an endorsement.
- Landslide Insurance - You can add landslide coverage to your insurance as an additional policy or as an endorsement.
- Personal Umbrella Policy - You can add personal umbrella coverage to your insurance as an additional policy or as an endorsement.
- Scheduled Personal Property - You can add scheduled personal property coverage to your insurance as an additional policy or as an endorsement.
- Water Backup and Sump Overflow - You can add water backup or sump overflow coverage to your insurance as an additional policy or as an endorsement.
Claims refers to the tools and resources that assist a policyholder with filing a claim. Most of the top insurance companies will provide access to a 24/7 claims center or allow you to work directly with an agent. Depending on the complexity of the claim, many insurance companies enable policyholders to file a claim entirely online. The best insurance companies provide an online resource that allows policyholders to upload a photo inventory of personal property, allowing possession to be documented, which helps facilitates the claim process. The circumstances that warrant an insurance claim can be stressful, but solid claims tools and resources can help make the process much more manageable.
- 24/7 Claims Center - You can contact a claims center 24/7.
- Agent Claim Filing - You can contact an agent to file a claim.
- Deductibles - Flexible deductibles are available.
- Mobile Claim Filing - You can file a claim through a mobile app.
- Online Claim Filing - You can file a claim online.
- Online Photo Inventory - You can upload images of your personal property to an online location to document your property and help facilitate the claims process.
- Photo Upload - You can upload photos of damaged property to assist with the claims process.
- Telephone Claim Filing - You can file a claim via telephone.
Online Tools covers the features and capabilities the insurance company makes available via the Internet. Having the ability to receive a quote and purchase a homeowners policy online is a great convenience. For those that prefer to work directly with an agent, most of the top insurance companies also provide a tool to help locate a local agent. The best home insurance companies also provide a dynamic online account that allows the policyholder to view and modify the policy. Online Tools is not the most important category, but it will still be valued by those who prefer to get work done online.
- Locate an Agent - A tool is available online to help you locate an agent.
- Manage Your Policy - You can manage your insurance policy online.
- Online Policy Purchase - You can purchase a policy entirely online.
- Online Rate Quotes - You can get a quote on the company's website.
Payment Options addresses the different ways insurance policyholders can make a payment. Having the ability to pay by mail and online is a must. Many of the top providers allow policyholders to schedule automatic payments, make a payment with a debit/credit card, or have the payment amount debited directly from a checking or savings bank account. The best homeowners providers also offer flexible payment options, allowing policyholders to pay up front in full or make payments based on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis.
- Automatic Payments - Payments can be scheduled automatically.
- Credit Card Payments - You can make a payment with your credit card.
- Flexible Payment Options - Flexible payment terms over different periods of time are offered.
- Mail Payments - Payments can be mailed.
- Online Payments - Payments can be made online.
- Pay by Bank Account - You can make a payment directly from your bank account.
- Phone Payments - Payments can be made over the phone.
- Prepayment - Policies can be prepaid in full, often at a discount.
Support identifies the different ways policyholders can contact the insurance company and get questions answered, or address any problems or concerns. Phone and an email/ticket system are the most common options, but the best homeowners insurance companies also offer a live chat option, a quick and easy way for customers to reach out and get questions answered. Although these resources are typically accessed infrequently, Support is particularly important during the purchasing process or when filing a claim.
- Email/Ticket - An email or ticket system dedicated to support is available.
- Live Chat - You can contact the company through live chat.
- Phone - You can contact the company by phone to get support.
- Social Media - You can contact the home insurance company with questions through social media websites.
Financial Strength utilizes ratings from popular economic and investor service organizations to indicate the overall financial health of the insurance company. Financial strength ratings are drawn from AM Best, Moodys, and S and P, providing a clear picture of how financially stable the insurance company is perceived to be. A home is a large and important investment and it is crucial to ensure the insurance company protecting this investment is financially stable.
- A.M. Best Excellent or Better - The company has an A.M. Best rating of "A" or better.
- ICR Rating Stable - The company has an A.M. Best Credit Rating rating of "Stable" or better.
- Moody Rated Very Strong - The company has a Moody's rating of "Aa3" or better.
- S&P Rated Very Strong - The company has an S&P FSR rating of "AA-" or better.
Learning Materials refers to the resources provided by the insurance company that assist interested and existing policyholders in learning more about the industry. Many insurance companies provide blogs, FAQs, forums, and extensive industry glossaries that help policyholders make better-informed home insurance decisions. Learning Materials is a less important category, but when it comes to getting questions answered and gaining a better understanding of insurance, these resources can be very useful.
- Blog - The company provides a blog with relevant insurance information.
- FAQs - The company provides a list of answers to frequently asked questions.
- Forum - The company provides an interactive forum where users can post questions and answers.
- Glossary - The company provides a glossary of common industry terms.
- Knowledge Base - The company provides a knowledge base of detailed help articles.
- Video Tutorials - The company provides video tutorials.
Mobile addresses whether the insurance company provides a mobile application and discusses the features and functionality included in the app. Forward-thinking companies provide applications for Apple- and Android-based devices that allow the policyholder to access their account, file a claim, and make a payment. The best home insurance companies also provide access to websites that are designed specifically for mobile phones and tablets. Mobile is a less important category, but for those who are always on the go, having the ability to manage a homeowners policy on a mobile device is a great bonus.
- Android - An Android app that allows you to access your home insurance policy is available.
- Claim Details - You can update your home insurance claim details through a mobile app.
- Connect with an Agent - You can connect directly with an agent through a mobile app.
- Edit Policy - You can edit or change your policy details with a mobile app.
- Favorable Mobile App Store Reviews - The company has a combined 3.5 stars or greater for their iPhone and Android apps.
- File a Claim - You can initiate or file a new claim through a mobile app.
- iPhone - An iPhone app that allows you to access your home insurance policy is available.
- Mobile Website - A mobile-specific website is available.
- Pay Premium - You can pay your premium through your mobile app.
- Tablet - A tablet-based app is available.
Homeowners Insurance Quotes By State
Homeowners insurance quotes will vary by state so it's a good idea to view the rates in the state where coverage is needed. In addition, some of the large national homeowners insurance companies don't offer coverage in all states. Each of the states listed below has its own set of top home insurance companies that are state-specific.