The Best Idaho Homeowners Insurance Company
Idaho’s annual premiums for homeowners insurance are on the lower side — on average $692 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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In spite of recent wildfires that have ravaged the state, Idaho’s average homeowners insurance premiums remain among the lowest in the nation with an average of $692. That’s about $480 cheaper than the national average. And though claims are relatively rare in Idaho, the cost of those individual claims is increasing. Making it more important than ever to ensure that your home is adequately protected against disaster. After all, a cheap policy isn’t worth very much if it doesn’t pay the bills when you need it to.
The first step to finding coverage that suits your needs and your budget is to get quotes from several companies and compare them. There are many providers out there, but we recommend starting with the five listed below. When you’re ready to begin, enter your ZIP code into our quote tool and start exploring.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in Idaho
We found the best home insurers in Idaho by using a methodology similar to our nationwide review of homeowners insurance. We gathered a list of the top home insurers in the state by market share. Then, we checked with financial strength rating agencies like A.M. Best and Moody’s, to ensure that they were financially solvent. After that, we looked at available coverage options, endorsements, number and type of discounts, and online tools. Customer satisfaction also played a big role, and we looked to the most recent J.D. Power and Consumer Reports surveys to give us some insights into which companies consumers liked best. Finally, we tried their services out for ourselves by getting quotes and speaking to representatives.
Idaho Homeowners Insurance Reviews
Consumers have spoken and State Farm is their favorite company on this list. Of the most popular insurers in Idaho, it scored the highest in the J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey, earning a 4/5. Consumer Reports also rated it highly for customer service, the simplicity of the claims, process, and fairness of the payout. Hopefully you won’t need to file a claim, but if you do need to, State Farm’s straightforward claims handling will come as a welcome relief.
But that kind of customer service comes at a price. State Farm consistently scored the second-highest, after Farmers, in our quote analysis. And its rates ($75) were often double those of Allstate’s ($36) and Liberty Mutual’s ($37). If good customer service is worth the higher price, there are ways to balance those rates a bit. You can save by bundling your home and auto insurance, installing fire and burglar alarms, or updating your utilities. You can also opt for a higher deductible to get lower premiums. State Farm offers standard deductibles beginning at $2,000 or percentage-based deductibles ranging from one to five percent of your home’s value.
State Farm is the only company on this list that enables you to purchase a policy online. In order to do this, you must know the specific details of your home’s construction and any renovations or claims. But if you run into questions at any step along the way, you can always call a State Farm agent and ask for help.
Liberty Mutual’s rates came in second only to Allstate, and the difference between the two was rarely more than a few dollars. Like Allstate, much of this affordability comes down to its numerous discounts. It offers all the standard ones for early shoppers and remaining claim free. Uniquely, Liberty Mutual will also discount your price if you insure your home up to 100% of its value. And if you don’t want high out-of-pocket costs, you’ll be pleased to know Liberty Mutual’s deductibles start at as little as $500.
The company also stands out for its policy endorsements, which include scheduled valuables coverage, replacement cost, water backup, and ordinance and law coverage to pay for building code upgrades. Liberty Mutual is the only company to offer Inflation Guard too. This increases the value of your policy over time to keep pace with inflation, so you’re always fully protected.
Liberty Mutual enables you to buy your policy online, but you’ll have to enter detailed information about your home’s construction — like the age of the roof and the percentage of hardwood flooring. If you aren’t sure of this information or you have any questions about the policy, you’re better off picking up the phone and speaking to an agent. It’ll be able to explain all the policy options and help you choose the ones that are right for you.
Allstate consistently produced our most affordable quotes. Even its Premium coverage came out to be cheaper than State Farm’s standard coverage. In Meridian, we were able to get a policy for as little as $334 per year, a bargain in comparison to Farmers’ $1,290 quote. Allstate’s affordability largely stems from its huge selection of 14 discounts, the most of any provider on this list. You may be eligible for discounts like enrolling in autopay, being a new customer, and remaining claim-free. You can also save by bundling home and auto insurance and installing safety devices like sprinklers or deadbolt locks.
It’s a great place to start looking if your budget is tight, but you should note that there may be some tradeoffs. J.D. Power gave Allstate a 3/5 for claims payout, and it earned an 80/100 from Consumer Reports Readers. This isn’t a guarantee that you’ll run into problems, but it’s something to be aware of when comparing your options. It may be worth paying a little more for a company that consistently provides great customer service.
Allstate’s website is a great place to begin if you’re new to homeowners insurance and aren’t sure what you need. It walks you through the basic coverages and answers dozens of common questions. It also has a Common and Costly Claims Tool to show you what the most common claims are in your area. When you’re ready, you can get a quote online, but you’ll have to speak to an agent in order to purchase it.
Farmers Insurance appeals with its comprehensive coverage and endorsements, but the price gave us pause. Its policies were easily the most expensive, in one case it was almost $850 more than Allstate’s quote. And that’s just for the standard protection, which doesn’t include ordinance and law coverage. This pays for any unforeseen repair expenses necessary to bring your home up to new building codes. It’s pretty important, especially if you have an older home, but if you want it from Farmers, you’ll have to choose a higher tier of protection.
You may be able to lower your costs significantly if you qualify for any of Farmers’ 13 discounts. Multi-policy and autopay discounts are available to everyone. There’s opportunity for additional savings for nonsmokers and those who haven’t filed a claim recently. If you’ve updated your utilities or roof in the last few years, you’ll earn discounts for that too.
As for customer service, you shouldn’t have to worry about any unforeseen complications. Consumer Reports gave Farmers and State Farm identical scores for claims handling, though State Farm did hold the edge in the J.D. Power survey, with a 4/5 compared to Farmers’ 3/5. It’s worth getting a quote from Farmers just to see what it can offer you, but you’d be better off going with the company that offers you the cheaper rate because the difference in customer service is negligible.
Farm Bureau Mutual of Idaho
Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance of Idaho is offered through the Idaho Farm Bureau. Its policies are only open to members, but any Idaho resident can sign up for $50 annually. In addition to its insurance, members also gain access to a variety of benefits, including discounts on goods and services.
The company’s website has little information about its homeowners policies, apart from a single page listing its basic coverages. If you want to know more, you’ll have to call your local Farm Bureau Mutual agent. You can get a quote if you’re not a Farm Bureau member, but you have to be willing to give up your Social Security Number. Most other companies require this information too, but they’ll give you an estimate without it if you don’t feel comfortable giving it out.
Because Farm Bureau Mutual of Idaho is a smaller company, it didn’t make it into Consumer Reports or J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction surveys. This makes it difficult to gauge how well it measures up to the other companies on the list, but in our own experience wasn’t favorable. Our agent promised to get back to us with more information about its policies, but he never did. That’s not to say that that will be your experience, Farm Bureau Mutual is one of the largest insurers in the state, and this wouldn’t be the case if it didn’t treat its customers well.
Claims may be rare, but their severity is on the rise.
Idaho’s home insurance premiums have long been among the lowest in the nation, and are poised to stay there as the frequency of homeowners claims in the state continues to decline. It’s already well below the national average of five claims per 100 insured homes, coming in at just 3.6 claims per 100 homes. And while this is great news, you don’t want to get too lax about your home insurance coverage. That same study found that claim severity has risen pretty consistently over the last few decades, with an average claim in 2013 (the most recent year of the study) costing $7,360.
Part of this rise has to do with people building bigger and better homes, which cost more to insure. The rising cost of building materials also plays a role. So what does this mean for you as a homeowner?
Repairing your home after a claim is likely to become more expensive, and if you haven’t updated your policy in a few years, you may find you’re not as protected as you thought. You should regularly review your homeowners insurance policy to ensure that its coverage is still adequate for your needs and the current economy. Hopefully you’ll never need to use your insurance, but if you do, you’ll be glad you took the time to make sure you were fully protected.
Spring floods are intrinsic to Idaho life, but not your home insurance policy.
Seasonal snowmelt brings regular floods to select parts of Idaho every April and May. If you live near the Snake River or in the Kootenai River Valley, you probably know what we’re talking about. The southeast and north central portions of the state have also been known to suffer flash floods on occasion. Such an obvious hazard to your home warrants some insurance protection, right?
Unfortunately, due to the costly nature of flood insurance claims, your traditional homeowners policy doesn’t protect against this type of damage. If you want this coverage, you’ll have to purchase a separate flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This government-led program offers flood insurance nationwide through a network of independent agents. When you’re looking for a new homeowners policy, ask your agent if they offer flood insurance as well.
The average flood insurance policy is $700 per year, though your premium will vary depending on the flood risk in your area. There is a separate deductible for this. They start at $1,000 and go as high as $10,000. Choose the amount that you’re most comfortable paying, but keep in mind that the higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be.
Watch out for wildfires.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, over 171,000 Idaho homes are at risk of wildfires. In 2016 alone, over 361,000 acres of forest burned and 2017 was even worse. It remains to be seen how this will affect home insurance premiums, but if insurers sense that the risk for wildfires in Idaho is increasing, premiums could rise accordingly.
You don’t have to purchase special insurance coverage for wildfires. It is one of the standard perils every HO-3 policy protects against. But given the destructive nature, it’s crucial if you live near a wildfire-prone area to make sure you insure for 100 percent of your home's value.
You should also take steps to prevent your home from wildfire damage during dry seasons. Clear vegetation and debris around your home, steps to prevent keep your yards well groomed, and make sure you know emergency procedures. If you have any questions about wildfires or how they affect your homeowners insurance, reach out to the Idaho Department of Natural Resources or the Department of Insurance for more information.
The Bottom Line
Idaho’s average home insurance rates are among the lowest in the nation, but you don’t want to settle for average. Use our quote tool to compare your options and see which provider offers you the best deal on the most coverage. Just enter your ZIP code to get started.