The Best Connecticut Homeowners Insurance Companies
Connecticut’s annual premiums for homeowners insurance are on the higher side — on average $1,411 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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Homeowners in Connecticut know what it’s like to face weather extremes, from frigid Nor’easters to coastal summer floods. Connecticut faces unique seasonal property challenges that include frozen pipes, water damage, and hurricane-force winds, with memories of storms Irene and Sandy still fresh in many residents' minds. Thanks to these fluctuations, along with rising property values, the average homeowners insurance premium in Connecticut is higher than in many other states. In fact, the annual average premium for the state in 2015 was $1,441 — coming in at the eighth highest in the nation.
Of course, the age of your home and its specific location in the state can affect your individual premium. Property along the coast, for instance, accounts for 64% of all insured property in the state, for a whopping total of $675 billion. Due to more severe weather potential from storms and generally higher property values (hello, ocean views and beach access), average insurance premiums are higher in coastal areas. No matter where you live in Connecticut, however, it’s vital to do your research to find a policy that gives you the coverage you need at a price you can afford. To help you get started, we recommend using the quote tool above.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance Providers in Connecticut
We started by taking a careful look at Connecticut’s four largest providers by market share: Liberty Mutual, Chubb, Travelers, and State Farm. Then, just as we did for our national homeowners insurance review, we considered customer satisfaction reports from J.D. Power; financial scores from Moody’s, A.M. Best, and Standard & Poor’s; and discounts and quotes from the providers.
We ranked our top choices for their exceptional customer service, coverage, financial strength, discounts, and endorsements. We prioritized a seamless online quote process and the amount and quality of available discounts, and looked for the extras that helped a provider stand out, such as a particularly good mobile app or greater transparency in their coverage for special circumstances like hurricane damage.
Because it can be overwhelming to sort through all of the information and sales pitches when you’re researching homeowners insurance, we looked for companies that made it easy to find coverage and discount information. We preferred companies that provided a quality experience for their customers, which is just as important while researching insurers as it is when filing a claim.
When all was said and done, we preferred Liberty Mutual.
Connecticut Homeowners Insurance Reviews
As of the most recent data, compiled in 2016, Liberty Mutual continues to be the largest provider of homeowner’s insurance in Connecticut, with 11.7% of market share. We found Liberty’s website and online quote system to be the most detailed and easiest to use of all the providers we looked at. The questions on the online claim form go quite in depth, including details about improvements to the home’s utility systems, and lifestyle questions such as whether the property has a trampoline. This extra depth made us relatively more confident in the accuracy of Liberty’s online quotes.
Liberty Mutual has a nicely updated website and mobile app that are easy to navigate. Travelers, Allstate, Chubb, and State Farm also have mobile apps, sometimes multiple ones for specific uses, but we liked Liberty Mutual’s app the best because its clean, contemporary design made scrolling and filling out forms very easy even on a mobile screen, and the app was surprisingly thorough. You can use the app to make payments, submit claims, get a quote, and even view your ID card (in case you ever misplace it). We can see why it’s the highest-rated on the app store of the top insurers in Connecticut, with an impressive average rating of five stars.
Chubb is a premium insurer, and yet is hot on Liberty Mutual’s heels in terms of market share, coming in at 11.3%. Chubb designs its products to cover the affluent consumers, and its intended audience is clear from the website resources, which include information for vacation homes on top of the typical coverage rundown.
Chubb’s website and service are a little underwhelming: You can’t simply fill out an online quote form; you must speak to one of their representatives first. We called three Chubb agents in the Connecticut area, and found that it was difficult to get a straightforward answer as to the exact discounts provided, let alone get a full quote. When you’re shopping around, this lack of transparency is frustrating as it makes a quick comparison between quotes more difficult.
However, Chubb maintains high financial stability ratings from A.M. Best and Moody’s, and garners strong customer satisfaction ratings from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power — on par with Travelers, Allstate, and Liberty Mutual. It’s worth calling a Chubb agent if you fit its high-income profile, but keep in mind the company’s focus when you’re looking for the right fit.
Travelers has a well-designed website and a solid, standard list of discounts, on par with State Farm, Liberty Mutual, and Allstate. The quote process online was easy, with a clear step-by-step form that included standard questions about a property’s age, location, and features. Travelers’ online quote process didn’t include quite the same level of detail that Liberty Mutual’s did, but it’s worth noting that Travelers provided the lowest quote for our sample property by about $30 per month compared to the average premium of about $120 — good for a roughly 25 percent discount. Like Liberty Mutual, it includes a LEED certification discount for “green” homes, and it has high financial stability ratings.
The Travelers app isn’t as user-friendly as Liberty Mutual’s, and seems in need of update, especially its Touch ID functionality with iPhones. If you’re an avid mobile app user, this might affect your decision-making process. But it’s worth noting that we found the agents we spoke to to be helpful. So whatever Travelers lacks in mobile design, it makes up for in human contact.
This national standby ranks solidly for financial stability and consumer satisfaction from JD Power and Consumer Reports, on par with Travelers, and slightly below Liberty Mutual. State Farm’s online quote process is straightforward, and its website features clear explanations of replacement cost vs. market value, and how to determine each. However, like many other insurers, its website isn’t as well-designed or easy to navigate as Liberty Mutual’s.
The quote provided by State Farm was slightly higher than the others we received, though its online process didn’t include as many detailed questions about the sample property. So it may be worth speaking to an agent directly if you’re in search of discounts.
Connecticut Homeowners Insurance Quotes
We requested an online quote from our five providers for a single-family suburban home; results varied by as much as $360 per year, showing just how important it is to shop around. There are a lot of factors that go into that number: Things like a property’s location mean that the same provider may offer a significantly different quote for the same type of home.
In Connecticut, the closer you are to the coast, the more a quote goes up because severe storms, including hurricanes, are more likely to cause damage there than inland. For example, a single-family home within five miles of the coastline was quoted an annual average of $500 more than an inland residence. This was true across the insurance providers we reviewed, with some small discrepancies; Liberty Mutual and State Farm only showed about a $420 difference with the coastal home, while Travelers’ was higher at $550 more than an inland property.
Insurance companies also provide discounts for a range of factors: For example, the presence of burglar alarms and various fire protections can reduce your premium by anywhere from 10% to 20%. Based on the average Connecticut homeowner’s insurance premium of $1411 a year, a home security system could shave $280 from your yearly cost. Certain insurers offer specialty discounts that may affect you, as well, such as the LEED certification discount for “green” homes from Liberty Mutual and Travelers. All homeowners insurance providers we reviewed also offer a discount if you bundle other types of insurance such as auto with your homeowners insurance.
For our sample property, we went with standard safety features and a mid-range market value. Each company asked different questions, but the basic features of our sample property included:
- $1,000 deductible
- 1,806 square feet
- 1960s construction
- Shingle roof
- Non-smoking residents
- No pets
- Burglar alarms
- A basement
- 2-car garage
- Fire extinguishers and smoke detectors
- Vinyl siding
- Storm shutters
- Electric heat
It’s important to remember that online quotes are not set in stone, and you’ll likely get different results by speaking to an agent directly. You’ll want to be sure to follow up after receiving quotes you like to determine the exact nature of the coverage and discounts for your particular property location and type. Be sure to ask detailed questions about discounts, because these can vary by provider. We placed a high value on the ease of the online quote process and the transparency of the quote process because this research phase is so vital.
Many Connecticut homeowners face a unique and troubling problem when it comes to their homes’ foundations. A few years ago, investigators discovered that a major supplier of building concrete in the state provided faulty concrete aggregate due to the presence of a mineral called pyrrhotite that destroys foundations over time. The state’s attorney general weighed in in 2016, and new protections for homeowners mean that an insurance company cannot cancel or refuse you a policy based on a deteriorating foundation. These laws also allow homeowners to re-assess a home’s value based on a foundation report.
What does this mean for insurance buyers? Be sure to speak to an agent about what their policies are regarding “duties after loss,” meaning, what you need to do after a damage or loss is incurred or discovered. Also, if you’re shopping for insurance for a home you have not yet purchased, be sure to get a foundation report and to speak to your prospective insurance company about how its results could affect your quote.
Take Note: Hurricane Deductibles
State law in Connecticut allows for hurricane deductibles, which can mean that you have to pay more for claims related to hurricane damages. For instance, the hurricane deductible on our sample property was $1,000 from Travelers. (The other insurance companies did not include this information online.) A hurricane deductible can be applied if the National Weather Service declares there are sustained winds of 74 mph or greater anywhere in the state.
Prior to 2014, insurance companies had included requirements for precautions like storm shutters before they’d cover hurricane-related damage, but the state has outlawed the practice. Connecticut has also put certain protections in place, such as capping the total amount of the deductible according to your distance from the coast. Even if you’re not a coastal property owner be sure to read the fine print about hurricane deductibles from your insurance company. (And if you are on the coast, we recommend reading it especially closely.)