The 5 Best Idaho Homeowners Insurance Companies

The great news for Idaho residents is that the state boasts the absolute lowest home insurance rates in the country, with the average premium of $561 costing nearly half of the national average. What’s more, Idaho has some of the most varied geography in the nation, thanks to its location between the West Coast and the Rocky Mountains. This rare combination of low insurance costs and immense natural beauty make Idaho an excellent place to call home.

That being said, Idaho, like many states in the West, is prone to flooding, earthquake, and wildfire. When shopping around for a homeowners insurance policy, you’ll want to keep your risk of such inclement weather events in mind and possibly opt for additional coverage. To find and compare rates for your home, enter your zip code into the quote tool below.

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We researched and analyzed the five largest homeowners insurers in Idaho, based on market share, by applying a similar methodology to the one used in our countrywide review of insurance companies. Factors such as coverage options, financial strength, customer service, online tools, and available endorsements were taken into consideration. We also researched the most common and costly claims for Idaho to ensure we recommended companies that provide comprehensive coverage for your unique needs. That being said, costs will vary depending on your location within Idaho, so make sure to shop around using our rates comparison tool.

Idaho Homeowners Insurance Reviews

Allstate

Allstate is the leader of the pack when it comes to learning materials, discounts, and ease of use. The robust education center provides prospective and current customers with all the information they need to make informed decisions about their coverage, and the Common and Costly Claims tool gives insight into the most frequent, expensive claims made in a specified zip code. Beyond this, Allstate also offers a Digital Locker tool, which lets you track your valuable goods through your smartphone so you can speed up the process should you ever need to make a claim.

Allstate also offers an impressive array of discounts to its customers. A multi-policy discount will knock back your costs by 30 percent and you receive a 10 percent discount just as a “welcome” for signing up with Allstate. If you’re over 55 and retired, you’ll receive another 10 percent deduction, something we didn’t see offered anywhere else.

That being said, Allstate’s reader score in a recent Consumer Reports’ homeowners insurance survey was the lowest of the 14 providers included. J.D. Power’s more comprehensive US Household Insurance Study rated Allstate in line with the competition, however, which helped to secure its position in the top spot. Whatever issues consumers might have hit on in the Consumer Reports’ study, Allstate more than makes up for it with an easy claims process and comprehensive education center.

Liberty Mutual

Though its learning center isn’t quite as comprehensive as Allstate’s, Liberty Mutual still ranks high when it comes to online resources, discounts offered, and claims processes. What we really liked about Liberty Mutual were its above-and-beyond offerings, such as the Emergency Home Repairs service. Available around the clock, the service guarantees that a profession be sent to your home for repairs immediately after you report damage. While other insurers offer 24/7 claim support, Liberty Mutual is the only one that provides in-person assistance.

Furthermore, Liberty Mutual provides a solid online experience. Its discounts and endorsements are clearly listed and there’s an online quote tool available. Though we were instructed to call an agent when we attempted to use the tool, we still recommend Liberty Mutu

State Farm

State Farm tied with Liberty Mutual in J.D. Power and Associates’ claims experience ranking, earning an impressive four out of five. While State Farm offers fewer discounts that Allstate or Liberty Mutual, this satisfaction with the claims process is a good indication that any claim you file will be paid in a timely manner.

While the learning resources do a decent job of explaining insurance jargon and common coverage questions, it doesn’t quite stack up to Allstate’s education center. There is a State Farm app that can help you manage your policy and claims, including functions like a home inventory calculator. Overall, State Farm is a good option to consider if you’re okay forgoing some of the user-friendly services provided by insurers like Allstate.

Farmers Insurance Group

It’s hard to beat Farmers when it comes to the variety of discounts offered. You’ll definitely find the standard set of discounts, along with a few unique offerings, such as a deduction for LEED certified homes.

Farmers scored a 78 on the Consumer Reports’ homeowners survey, just narrowly beating out Allstate’s low score. Additionally, the online tools were a bit clunky and we weren’t able to obtain a quote online. For customers who prefer to interact with their provider through a desktop, Allstate and State Farm offer much better interfaces. The Farmers iClaim app, however, did have some important tools such as an in-app claims process.

Farm Bureau Mutual of Idaho

Farm Bureau Mutual of Idaho is a smaller, state-specific provider, meaning you’re not going to get the bells and whistles offered by national insurers like Allstate and State Farm. Still, there are major perks to obtaining a farm bureau membership, such as free identity theft protection and rebates on certain car brands. You could also receive discounted movie tickets and office supplies (among many other offerings). The details of the home insurance itself were not adequately explained on Farm Bureau Mutual of Idaho’s website, however.

If you prefer dealing with a local company over the bigger national brands, Farm Bureau Mutual of Idaho is a company to consider. Given the lack of online resources and technology, we can’t recommend it in confidence over the other major providers.

Find the best homeowners insurance in your area.

Get a quote by entering your ZIP code and start saving today.

What We Learned

Rates are low, but claim severity is increasing.

It’s true Idaho has the lowest premiums in the country, but claim severity is increasing at a pace higher than the national average. The average severity of homeowners insurance claims in Idaho grew from $2,538 in 1997 to $8,201 in 2012. A study conducted over 17 years found that claim severity in Idaho grew at an annualized rate of 9 percent, compared to the the countrywide annualized rate of 7.8 percent.

So why the spike in claims severity? It can partly be attributed to the increased size and complexity of new homes, the heightened severity of storms, and the rising cost of oil-based building materials such as asphalt.

April and May are prime times for floods.

Floods in Idaho are common during the seasonal snowmelt period of spring. Depending on where you live in Idaho, you may be at risk annually for severe flooding. For example, the Kootenai River Valley is especially susceptible, along with Snake River, located near Roberts and Menan.

Though wintertime floods are less likely, they do happen. You’ll want to talk to your insurance agent about your risk for flooding and purchase the appropriate coverage to protect yourself from sudden water damages. Most standard policies don’t include flood protection, so it’s important to ask about it if you think you might be at risk.

It’s important to prepare for wildfire season.

24.1 percent of Idaho households are at high risk or extreme risk to wildfires, the highest percentage in the country. Luckily, damage caused by fire and smoke are typically covered under standard HO-3 policies.

That being said, you’ll want to educate yourself about the dangers of wildfires as their likelihood is only increasing. In fact, the 2015 fire season set a new record for acres burned in the U.S. Rising temperatures and human error also contribute to the heightened risk of wildfires. Losses to property can be substantial, so make sure you understand your policy’s coverage.

The Bottom Line

Homeowners insurance policies in Idaho are the most affordable in the country. That means you can easily cater your coverage to fit your needs. If your home is vulnerable to flooding, you’ll want to opt for a slightly higher premium in exchange for full protection. Despite the low costs, insurance premiums will vary depending on where you live in the state, so enter your zip code in the quote tool below to start shopping around.

Find the best homeowners insurance in your area.

Get a quote by entering your ZIP code and start saving today.