The 5 Best Wisconsin Homeowners Insurance Companies
Wisconsin’s annual premiums for homeowners insurance are on the low side — on average $684 per year for an HO-3 policy, compared to the nationwide average of $1,132. That said, how much you’ll pay can vary a lot depending on your home’s size, your assets, and your address. Use our tool to find your best rates:
Enter your ZIP code to see the best rates in your area:
Let’s start with the good news: homeowners insurance in Wisconsin is among the most affordable in the nation. The average premium comes in at $686 per year — more than $400 below than the national average. Cheap homeowners insurance is worthy of celebration, but it’s important to understand that finding the best homeowners insurance requires considering more than just a low premium. You need to be certain that your policy includes coverage for the perils most applicable to your circumstances.
But it seems that mother nature always has something in store for Wisconsin homeowners. Summers bring wind, hail, and tornadoes, and winters can be especially harsh. In fact, Wisconsin suffered damage from six of the fifteen most severe winter storms in the United States in 2014. One homeowner even saw his driveway split in two by a frost quake. True story.
Use the quote tool below to compare rates and coverage options from home insurance companies in your area, and ensure your home is protected from the perils that matter most to you.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in Wisconsin
In order to find the best homeowners insurance in Wisconsin, we used a similar methodology to what we used in our nationwide review. We made a list of the largest providers in the state. We evaluated claims management and customer service, compared endorsements and discounts, and studied each company’s financial strength. When we had questions, we reached out to customer service and rated how friendly and knowledgeable the rep was. We also got quotes with each provider, experimented with digital tools and apps, and read through the educational resources offered by each provider. After the research was done, we analyzed the data and ranked each provider. The competition was close, but here’s how it all stacked up.
Wisconsin Homeowners Insurance Companies Reviews
Allstate stood out as one of the best homeowners insurance providers in Wisconsin for its discounts and digital resources. Of the five companies we evaluated, Allstate had the highest number of discounts available. Taking advantage of these discounts can lead to some serious savings. For example, if you bundle your home and auto policy with Allstate, you can save up to 30 percent on your premium, which is 10 percent higher than the multi-policy discount offered by American Family, and 13 percent higher than State Farm. Allstate is also the only provider of those we evaluated to offer a welcome discount, which gives you 5 percent off your premium for your first two years just for signing up.
Allstate also has the most impressive online tools and educational resources. For example, its Common & Costly Claims tool gives you insight into the types of claims that occur most frequently in a given zip code. If you’re new to an area or a first-time homebuyer, this tool can be a great starting place to help you determine what types of coverage are important. Allstate also provides an excellent home inventory app, which enables you to make a digital record of all your possessions. If you ever need to file a claim, you’ll be happy you catalogued your belongings, and no one makes it easier than Allstate.
Claims management is one of the most important aspects of a great homeowners insurance company, and this is where State Farm was able to edge out the competition. In Consumer Reports’ homeowners insurance survey, State Farm received a reader score of 82, which was the highest among the providers we evaluated, and a full five points higher than Allstate’s 77 (Reader scores are based on input from more than 90,000 Consumer Report customers and are a measure of overall customer satisfaction).
In our research, State Farm ranked third for discounts, but when we got a quote we saw our premium drop more than $30 when we bundled home insurance with an auto policy. That’s not quite as impressive as what Allstate offers, but in this case, it still means hundreds in savings each year. State Farm was the only provider we evaluated to receive an A++ from A.M. Best, which speaks to State Farm’s excellent financial health. A home is a long-term investment, and you want to make sure you select a home insurance company that will be there in the long run.
American Family Insurance
American Family Insurance is among the most well-rounded companies we evaluated, as it ranked second for claims management, customer service, and endorsements, and third for discounts. Among all these strengths, it was the customer service that really caught our attention. When we were researching policies, we reached out to American Family with a few questions via live chat. The representative we interacted was friendly and knowledgeable, and was able to answer most of our questions. If you have a quick question about a claim or a bill, skipping the automated phone menu and connecting with a real person via live chat is definitely the way to go, and American Family is the only provider we evaluated that offered this service (Acuity has live chat, but it’s only available during the online quote process).
American Family does have an online quote tool, but it instead of providing you with an actual quote, it just connects you with an agent. We recommend speaking with an agent before you purchase a homeowners insurance policy, but if you know what you’re looking for or just want a quick estimate, online quote tools are a great feature. We were able to receive and compare quotes completely online with every other homeowners insurance provider we evaluated.
Like American Family, Liberty Mutual also had a strong showing in several categories we evaluated as the company was ranked second for claims and discounts, and third for customer service and endorsements. In JD Powers’ U.S. Property Insurance Claims Study, Liberty Mutual received a 4 out of 5 rating for overall customer satisfaction, matching the score received by State Farm and American family, but besting the 3 out of 5 received by Allstate. In Consumer Reports’ homeowners insurance survey, Liberty Mutual received a reader score of 80, outranking both American Family and Allstate.
Liberty Mutual’s online tools and resources were not quite as robust as Allstate, but they do provide decent instruction on how to avoid water damage, including preventing frozen pipes — which may come in handy as you prep for the winter. And if you’re a do-it-yourself type of homeowner, keep an eye on their MasterThis content, which includes tips and advice on tackling home repairs. Educational resources probably shouldn’t be the main reason you select a home insurance provider, but they are a great bonus that can help inform your purchasing decision and simplify some of the challenges that accompany homeownership.
Acuity fell behind the competition in nearly every category we measured, but one area where it did perform well was financial strength. As the third largest home insurance provider in Wisconsin, the A+ it received from A.M. Best was second only to the A++ received by State Farm. And Acuity may not offer as many discounts as Allstate or Liberty Mutual, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great opportunities for savings. For example, in one quote we received for a home in Kenosha, we could have saved 13.5 percent if we paid the annual premium of $1,032 in full. That’s a savings of $139. And if we added an auto policy, we could have saved up to an additional 20 percent — which is just as good as the multi-policy discount offered by American Family, and better than what you’ll get from State Farm. As you can see, even though Acuity fell behind some of the larger nationwide providers, there’s still a lot to love about its offerings.
Did You Know?
Want to save money on your homeowners insurance premium? Compare quotes from multiple providers.
Admittedly, purchasing a home insurance policy can be an unpleasant chore. But if you’re willing to put in a little extra effort and compare rates from more than one provider, you can save some serious money. You’ve probably heard the advice to “shop around” before, but unless you see the actual numbers, finding the motivation to call multiple providers can be tough. To demonstrate just how real the savings can be, we got quotes from four providers for a $120,000 home in three cities across Wisconsin. As you can see in the sample rates below, failing to compare rates can be a costly mistake.
Premium / Mo.
Premium / Mo.
Premium / Mo.
Premium / Mo.
A few observations:
- The same home, significantly different rates. The most obvious example of saving money by comparing rates is in Kenosha, where premiums ranged from $60 - $127 for the exact same home. Liberty Mutual offered a particularly low rate of $60 per month, which was $216 per year cheaper than the next closest quote (State Farm), and $804 per year lower than Allstate. These are the types of savings that make the little extra work worth it.
- It’s best to compare rates from more than two providers. If you live in Appleton and received quotes from State Farm or Acuity, you might assume that monthly rates are going to be roughly $80. But if you look at quotes from all four homeowners insurance companies, the monthly premiums range from $67 - $82, which is a $15 difference. That may not sound like much, but over the course of five years you’d save $900 if you went with Liberty Mutual over Allstate. Comparing rates from two companies is a good starting place, but your chances of finding a lower premium are better if you get quotes from at least three or four providers.
- Moving to a new city is a great time to compare alternative providers. If you lived in Kenosha and had homeowners insurance through Liberty Mutual, the $60 per month premium is an incredible deal. But if you moved from Kenosha to Madison, Liberty Mutual is now the most expensive provider and you’d be paying $25 per month more than the cheapest option (State Farm). Making the switch would keep $300 per year in your pocket. Moving to a new city or into a new home is a great time to shop around and see what else is out there.
Finding the right coverage is more important than finding the cheapest homeowners insurance policy, but as we’ve pointed out, by comparing quotes from multiple providers you can often find similar coverage at a far more affordable rate.
New to the area? Here’s the coverage you should prioritize.
If you recently moved to a new city or are a first-time homeowner, knowing what types of coverage you should prioritize can be challenging. Chatting with a local insurance agent can definitely help, but Allstate’s Common & Costly Claims tool is a great place to start. By simply entering your zip code into the tool, you can see the five most common and costly claims in your area. To give you an idea of some of the most common claims, we gathered data from zip codes in five different cities throughout Wisconsin. Here’s a quick look at the top three in each city.
Top 3 Most Common Claims
With Wisconsin’s inclement weather, it’s no surprise that climate-related claims (wind, hail, water damage, lightning) show up most frequently. It’s important to note that water damage refers to destruction caused by things like a broken water pipe or a failed drain. Most insurance policies include coverage options for sewer backup and accidental discharge, but if you’re looking to protect your home from a flood, you’ll need a whole separate flood insurance policy. If you live in an area susceptible to floods, talk with your agent about the additional coverage.
And here’s a look at the most costly claims in the same cities:
Top 3 Most Costly Claims
Fire is by far the most costly, with an average claim amount of $40,852 in these five cities, but liability from accidents and dog bites (more on this later) is not far behind with an average of nearly $35,000. Knowing which types of claims are most common and costly in your area can help you make more informed insurance decisions and help ensure you’re getting the right type of coverage for your home.
If you have a dog, be mindful of your liability limits.
For the past three years, Wisconsin has been ranked in the top 10 for number of insurance claims associated with dog bites. In 2015, the number of claims jumped 35 percent, which bumped the state up to number 8 in the nation. The average cost per claim also increased by more than $7,500 relative to the previous year.
Most homeowners insurance policies include liability protection that covers accidents that occur on your property, including dog bites. The home insurance quotes we received above included $100,000 of liability coverage, which is a standard amount and would easily cover the cost of an average dog bite. However, take a look back at the most costly claims in the table in the previous section, and notice the $150,400 liability claim associated with a dog bite in Milwaukee. If you only had $100,000 of liability coverage, you’d bee on the hook for the additional $50,000. If you have a large or aggressive dog, you may want to consider bumping your limits up to a higher amount.
The Bottom Line
Wisconsin homeowners can take solace knowing that their homeowners insurance rates are among the most affordable in the nation. But a cheap policy can come at a cost if your home isn’t sufficiently protected. Comparing rates and coverage options from multiple providers can you find the lowest rates and the best policy, and ensure your home is protected from the perils that matter to you.
Find the best homeowners insurance in your area.
Get a quote by entering your ZIP code and start saving today.