The Best Arkansas Homeowners Insurance Company
Arkansas’ annual premiums for homeowners insurance are on the higher side — on average $1,312 per year for an HO-3 policy, compared to the nationwide average of $1,173. 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:
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Because of the state’s inclement weather, the best homeowners insurance in Arkansas takes into account risk factors from potential storm damage, all while being affordable and easy to work with. Proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and “Tornado Alley” creates region-specific hazards like hurricanes and tornadoes, which can rack up costly damages and claims. Because of this, premiums in Arkansas are slightly higher than on average in the US. That said, premiums for homeowners insurance depend on many different factors, so shopping around and getting quotes from multiple companies is the only way to find the best (and cheapest) insurance for your specific situation.
To find our top Arkansas homeowners insurance companies, we used a similar methodology to that in our review on nationwide providers, with an eye toward what makes buying homeowners insurance in Arkansas unique. We started with the top five providers of homeowners insurance by marketshare in Arkansas and evaluated each of them based on their coverage options and discounts, paying special attention to the options Arkansas homeowners in particular would be interested in: coverage from tornadoes, hail, rain, and wind damage.
Then we determined how each company’s online resources, tools, and educational materials stacked up. We prioritized detailed and informative websites, easy to use online tools, and a breadth of customer support options online and over the phone. We also looked at the companies’ financial stability ratings from independent agencies A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s, plus customer satisfaction and claims process rankings from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power. Finally, we put ourselves in the shoes of a prospective buyer and went through the quote process for a sample property in Arkansas to judge how easy it was to get an estimate.
In the end, we ranked the top five based on how well they performed in each of these areas. That said, the best coverage for one homeowner might be totally different for another, since coverage rates vary based on what kind of home you’re insuring, where you live, and what discounts or endorsements apply. We recommend using this review as a guide as you begin shopping around for your best.
Arkansas Homeowners Insurance Reviews
We highly suggest starting your search for Arkansas homeowners insurance with State Farm. Most State Farm basic coverage plans will cover Arkansas homeowners for the most common claims, like wind, hail, and lightning. It shines for its financial stability ratings, hitting top marks with both A.M. Best and Standard and Poor’s — higher than any of the other companies we looked at. Their reputation with customers is also great, earning a 4/5 from J.D. Power’s overall satisfaction ratings and a “Very Good” from Consumer Reports (the second-highest rating possible) for claims experience and timely payment of claims. Not only will State Farm be there for you as you create your policy, but it comes with the confidence that your claims will be paid promptly and reliably in the future.
State Farm also stands out for the endorsements it offers, including coverage for sewer and water backup, as well as identity theft coverage and inflation guard; you’ll have lots of options to customize your policy to fit your personal needs. State Farm’s website outlines several potential discounts, as well — second only to the number offered by Allstate — including discounts for holding multiple policies with State Farm and having safety features like deadbolt locks in your home.
In terms of online tools and educational resources, State Farm lacked the same wealth of options as Shelter Mutual, Allstate, and Farmers. However, the online experience is redeemed by the online quote tool process, which offers up a lot of the information missing from the rest of the site. This highly-customizable tool allows you to enter your personal amount of dwelling protection to see how different endorsements and discounts will affect your monthly premium. It’s a handy feature, and one we didn’t see anywhere else.
We love Allstate’s website, which includes information specific to your region and educational pages that outline how the company handles specific claims — like damage from severe storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes. It’s still important to check your policy thoroughly and/or speak with an agent about your potential coverage for those types of damage; while most policies cover damage from wind and hail, some contain a separate deductible for hurricane- or tornado-specific claims. However, we appreciated the depth and breadth of Allstate’s educational materials, which takes some of the legwork out of your insurance research.
Allstate ranks just below State Farm in terms of financial stability, with good to excellent ratings from A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s. Allstate’s Consumer Reports and JD Power customer satisfaction ratings are also just slightly lower than frontrunners State Farm and Shelter Mutual. However, the company tops all other contenders in terms of discounts, including one for new customers, one for having your account set to auto-pay, and one for customers 55 and older. While Allstate doesn’t offer quite as many endorsements as State Farm, it does include some important ones, like one for sewer and water backup.
The clincher? Allstate’s online quote tool is quick and easy to use; it even uses the address you input to auto-populate information about the property you’re looking to insure, like square footage and number of bathrooms, so you can save even more time while you shop.
With high ratings and a wealth of online resources, Shelter Mutual is also worth looking into. Its website is incredibly informative, with an FAQ section and clear information about its coverage options. The number of endorsements it lists is second only to State Farm, making it one of the most customizable policies around. And though Shelter Mutual doesn’t list quite as many discounts as the other companies we looked at, it offers the basic ones: multi-policy discount, claims-free discount, and discounts for added safety features to your home, like alarms and locks.
While Shelter Mutual is only rated by one of the three companies we used to analyze financial stability (A.M. Best), they earned an “Excellent” rating: the second-highest rating offered, and an assurance that it will be able to pay up on claims if the time comes. Shelter Mutual is also not rated by Consumer Reports, but it did earn a 4/5 for overall satisfaction and a 5/5 for claims experience by J.D. Power scores — higher scores than any of the other companies we analyzed. Because of its high ratings and detailed coverage options, we definitely recommend taking a look to see if Shelter Mutual is right for you. Keep in mind, though, that you will need to wait for a specific agent to reach out to you after filling out the online quote tool, as Shelter Mutual doesn’t provide a premium estimate upfront.
Farmers may not have the same ratings and endorsements as our other top picks, but it’s still a solid option as you shop around for quotes. We found Farmers’ website to be among the most educational and easy to use of our five contenders, ranking just as high as Allstate’s site and better than the other three. We loved the the detailed FAQ section that covers questions we didn’t even think to ask, including the fact that Farmers will cover your living expenses (up to a limit) if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss. It also sets itself apart with a super easy to use online quote tool which, like Allstate’s, auto-fills a lot of the information about a property once you input an address.
State Farm and Shelter still have Farmers beat on number of optional endorsements, but it has just as many as Allstate and Farm Bureau Mutual. Farmers also lacks the sheer quantity of discounts as Shelter or Allstate, though it includes popular ones for having multiple policies with the same company, as well as those for safety measures like deadbolt locks, and alarms. Depending on your situation, it’s likely that you’ll be able to find some way to save money with Farmers.
Its financial stability ratings are also good; but, again, not as great as Allstate’s or State Farm’s. It’s similarly right in the middle of the pack when it comes to J.D. Power customer satisfaction and claims experience ratings — earning a 3/5 for both — and a Consumer Reports reader score of 82/100.
Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. of Arkansas
Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Arkansas is one of the top five writers of homeowners insurance policies in Arkansas, but it’s difficult to rate it alongside our other four picks. This is largely because of its membership requirements: To get insurance from Farm Bureau, you have to become a member of a county Farm Bureau agricultural organization.
As a smaller company, Farm Bureau lacks some of the convenience and assurance that comes along with national brands. You won’t find an abundance of educational tools and resources, like clear details of the coverage options or a customer service FAQ section, that are standard with larger companies. It also isn’t rated by J.D. Power or Consumer Reports for customer satisfaction, and it’s rated by just one financial ratings company: A.M. Best. Though in the past Farm Bureau didn’t receive the same strong financial strength ratings as our top picks, A.M. Best recently upgraded it from a “Good” to an “Excellent.”
Farm Bureau doesn’t offer an online quote tool, but if you’re a member of a Farm Bureau organization or want to know if their coverage might be right to you, it could be worth it to find an agent and get a quote while you shop for homeowners insurance. It offers a similar number of endorsements and discounts as our other picks, and though it may not have as many convenience features, there’s a chance it could offer you the lowest premium.
Premiums Change Based on Company and Location
The most important thing to keep in mind as you choose your homeowners insurance is that it pays to shop around. As seen in the table above, monthly premiums can vary widely by company and location. For a sample property in Little Rock, for example, Allstate gave us the most expensive quote, but it was one of the cheapest for a sample property in Mena. The best coverage for you and your property will depend on where you live and what kind of home you have. Premiums will also differ depending on the discounts you qualify for and the endorsements you need. It’s not enough to determine the best homeowners insurance based on your previous insurance company or the provider your neighbor uses — it’s critical to get quotes for your specific situation to figure out the cheapest and best coverage option for you.
Extreme Weather Raises Costs for Arkansas Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance rates in Arkansas are a bit higher than the country on average, largely due to the number of catastrophic events that can happen in the state. Big storms every few years mean big payouts; for reference, in 2011, homeowners insurance companies paid an average of $1,043 in claims for every insured home in Arkansas. That’s 67 percent more than the $625 paid on average in the whole country, according to the Insurance Research Council. As a result, premiums rise, making Arkansas the 14th most expensive state for purchasing homeowners insurance.
When it comes to this kind of catastrophic coverage, it’s crucial to think ahead. Most insurance companies require endorsements for specific types of coverage for catastrophic damage, like that caused by tornadoes and hurricanes. Be sure to ask your agent about the wind coverage in your policy to see if you’ll need an endorsement or if you’ll have a separate deductible for hurricane- and tornado-related wind damage.
And remember: Because flood insurance is only sold through the federal government, all insurance companies require you to buy a separate policy from FloodSmart.gov. A lot of damage from tornadoes and hurricanes comes with the flooding caused by heavy rains along with the storm, and that damage won’t be covered unless you have supplemental flood insurance. The average cost of flood insurance is $700 per year, but that can vary dramatically based on property value and risk areas — adding this into your estimate as you shop around can save you from unexpected sticker shock later.