The 5 Best Georgia Homeowners Insurance Companies
Sit back, relax, and enjoy a glass of iced tea on that porch of yours — this is Georgia. And if you recently bought a new home, you deserve a break. That is, until you have to start looking for homeowners insurance.
The best homeowners insurance in Georgia is likely to cost you an average $933 per year, not too far off from the national average of $952. But you’ll need to take a close look at the coverage you’re getting and if it suits the greater-than-average needs of homes in the state. An increasing number of homeowners insurance claims in the state are catastrophe-based, mostly due to geographical risks and increasing severity of storms such as tornados and hurricanes. Wind is the most common cause of home claims in the region, and hail is the most expensive – and don’t overlook the possibilities of flooding and even seasonal wildfires.
In your homeowners insurance, you want coverage for that wind and hail as well as the option for flood insurance which has to be added as a separate policy. You want a financially stable provider that can pay claims quickly and reliably when a large-scale catastrophe like a tropical storm hits. And you also want ways to save through Georgia applicable discounts for military affiliation, having storm shutters, and more. Depending on your home’s age and other features, you may qualify for even more discounts. Use the quote tool below to get a sense of what you can expect for your area.
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Keep enjoying that iced tea, though, because we did some of the legwork for you. We looked at the top providers of homeowners insurance nationwide, then we looked more closely at Georgia and the five top providers by market share. We researched, evaluated, and even tested the quote process ourselves. Here’s how each one stacked up:
Georgia Homeowners Insurance Reviews
An all-around crowd pleaser, Allstate was our top pick in almost all of the criteria we considered. It had solid financial stability ratings of “stable” from Moody’s, “A+” from A.M. Best and “AA-” from standard and Poor’s and plenty of endorsements for water damage, wind and hail, and other issues such as identity theft. All this comes with plenty of discounts, the second-highest number available of all the providers we checked, behind Liberty Mutual.
Where Allstate really shines, though, is customer service. The aesthetically-pleasing and intuitive website makes researching homeowners insurance less intimidating, with plenty of resources for us to learn as customers and see our coverage options (including wind and hail provisions) outlined clearly. There’s even an app to log our personal property as we mosey through the house. No other company makes it easier to prepare for submitting a claim in the event of a future catastrophe.
It was a tad disappointing, then, that we went through the entire quote process online only to be told that we couldn’t actually get a quote due to the age of our Atlanta home (1930’s.) Other sites didn’t seem to encounter this hiccup. Another word of caution: Allstate was our lowest performer when it came to claims processing and customer satisfaction therein. While a reader score like 77 from Consumer Reports is not bad per se, it did come in as the lowest next to 80 for Liberty Mutual and Travelers, 82 for State Farm, and a whopping 92 for USAA. This might serve as an excuse to explore our other fine options below.
As runner-up, Liberty Mutual also made us very happy as shoppers, with the most discounts available of any of our top picks as well as the largest number of endorsements available for some unique coverage. As an example, only Liberty offered us inflation guard protection so that our coverage could be adjusted for inflation. Very thoughtful of them. This is accompanied by positive customer reports on claims processing, snagging a four out of five from J.D. Power, tied at the top with USAA and State Farm.
With a likewise user friendly website, Liberty has great learning resources for both prospective customers and loyal fans. Its information was the most clearly displayed and most readily available of any of our five choices, and that’s a big leg up in this confusing and stressful customer experience. Like Allstate, the Home Gallery app will help you keep track of personal possessions for claims purposes, and fun educational resources like MasterThis, in partnership with HowStuffWorks.com, offers practical information on home maintenance in mini modules.
Liberty didn’t quite make it to gold status in financial security when placed next to our number one, with only an “A” from both A.M. Best and Standard and Poor’s. We also wished there was more information available on what specifically was covered, especially with respect to wind and hail. But the premium quote we got was the most reasonable of all, at $143 a month to insure our charming Atlanta bungalow, next to $167 per month with Travelers, so we’re still interested. Contacting a local agent could fill in the gaps and get us the coverage we need.
State Farm is another mighty fine option, with better financial stability ratings than our number one pick, garnering an “AA” from Standard and Poor’s and an “A++” from A.M. Best. In claims processing, State Farm is purportedly better than both Allstate and Liberty with a better Consumer Reports reader score and likewise great ratings from J.D. Power.
The website is a yawn, though, with none of the fancy informative tools of Allstate or Liberty Mutual save for an app for registering your personal property. This puts it a cut above USAA and Travelers, but still, it’s a bit of a let down. Speaking of let downs, we couldn’t secure a quote online — maybe for similar reasons as Allstate, but there was no explanation, so we’re left wondering. As customers of insurance, we’ve already done plenty of wondering and don’t appreciate more. Also, we could only find mention of three endorsements, and though surely there are more, having them in a clear list would be nice. If you don’t mind calling an agent for specifics, State farm would probably do quite well in the business of getting you your money when you need it most.
With thirteen military bases across the state, chances are you have an affiliation to someone in the service, present or past. If so, you could tap into the insurance powerhouse that is USAA, Georgia’s top dog in financial stability (an astounding “A++” and “AA+” from A.M. Best and Standard and Poor’s, respectively) and claims processing. Consumer Reports readers ranked USAA the highest among our options, with an unheard of rating of “excellent” for timeliness. A four out of five from J.D. Power seals the deal: USAA can be counted on to get the job done.
That said, if you do not have the requisite military connections, USAA is sadly not a possibility for you. In fact, we couldn’t even get a quote without an account which requires military service information. We guess we’ll never really know how much we’re missing out on because the website is rather sparse in terms of information on coverage, discounts, and educational resources. But if you have access to the reputedly excellent capabilities of this provider, please check it out and let us know how much homeowner’s insurance fun we’re missing.
Travelers brought up the rear of our rankings, held down by mediocre website lacking in cool tools and resources. Even information on what exactly is covered and discounts we can use to help us save is lacking, and that’s not inspiring. Even with our quote, the coverage options were not outlined, and the quote itself was a bit higher ($167, compared to $143 from Liberty), and though lower premiums are not a great measure alone, we’d like to balance that with knowledge about what we’re getting, and this is noticeably absent. In fact, in the FAQ section topic of discounts, the answer is simply to call your agent to figure out which discounts are available, but we’d like to avoid that as much as we can.
Travelers seems quite financially stable, though, with ratings that mirror State Farm’s at a solid second place below USAA in that category. Its reputation for processing claims is only slightly above bottom-ranked Allstate for that category, so overall, it seems like Travelers could fulfill their duties and cover our Atlanta abode in the event of a tropical storm (more on that below.) Travellers could be a roll of the dice or a good option for you, pending more research. Check the quote tool below to see if there are any other options in your area.
Did You Know?
How to get the most out of your policy.
So you’ve done all the hard work to decide on a homeowners policy that works for you, and you even got it done in advance of hurricane season. Now what?
Make sure that you can make your policy actually work for you in the event of a Georgia-style hurricane, tornado, or any other covered natural disaster (we don’t think Sharknados are covered.) Here are some hot tips to how to make that happen:
Make copies of your policy and other important documents such as passports
Have them on hand if and when you need to evacuate your home. This will ensure that you have the information you need to start the claims process as soon as possible and from wherever you are.
Take advantage of those sweet home inventory apps from State Farm, Liberty Mutual, and Allstate
Track your belongings and their value before they’re covered by ten feet of storm surge. This will make the claims process slightly less awful when you need that information to cash in your coverage.
If you need to evacuate, budget for emergency living expenses such as hotel bills and meals while you’re waiting out the storm.
Check to see if your policy has coverage for this — many, like Allstate, do — though it is defined as coverage for “necessary” living expenses. Read the fine print or get in touch with your agent in advance so you can use this coverage effectively.
You may need to make quick repairs on a damaged home to prevent further loss, such as putting a tarp over a wind-damaged roof.
Note that Allstate has emergency home repair services to cover work like that in the case of a covered loss. This can help you quickly access the resources you need to halt further damage.
If you need to do further re-building, be careful of scammers who show up in disaster-stricken areas to pull a fast one on desperate people.
Be wary of contractors who pressure you into making a quick deal, demand money up front, or don’t have proper insurance of their own to show. State Farm’s premier service program can help you find legitimate contractors in your area for work such as floor repair and save you lots of headaches.
Keep abreast of the best common sense behavior for your given disaster.
This may be as simple as perusing your provider’s website and resources. For example, Liberty has great practical tips on hurricanes and other natural catastrophes, such as a warning that even six inches of moving water can sweep you away while investigating a flooded home.
Don’t be tempted to commit insurance fraud. Just don’t.
This can include staging incidents or falsifying documents, and sometimes agents are in cahoots. But in the State of Georgia, insurance fraud is a felony, and that came come with a price tag of up to $10,000 in fines and possibly combined with a prison sentence of two to ten years. Wouldn’t you rather be enjoying a warm Georgia evening on that pretty porch of yours than scrubbing toilets in prison? We thought so.
The Bottom Line
Allstate is probably going to offer the all-around best policy, but that shouldn’t stop you from getting quotes from all of our top picks. The more you get, the better chance you have at snagging the cheapest premium. Use our quote tool to get started!
Find the best homeowners insurance in your area.
Get a quote by entering your ZIP code and start saving today.