The 5 Best Maine Homeowners Insurance Companies
Maine’s annual premiums for homeowners insurance are on the low side — on average $811 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:
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Homeowners in Maine know all too well the downsides of residing in the northernmost state in the continental US: lots of snow and ice. Ice dams can build-up at the edge of the roof and result in water damage to homes from the melting snow. The perils don’t stop there, however. Since an estimated 15 percent of all homes in Maine are seasonal residences, there’s an increased chance of theft or vandalism to vacant homes. But the news isn’t all bleak. Despite those factors, you don’t pay a whole lot for homeowners insurance — Maine’s average cost runs $811 a year (compared to $1,132 nationally).
Although homeowners insurance is relatively inexpensive, it’s important to find an insurer that you can count on to provide you with the coverage options you need – all at a reasonable price. Comparing quotes between insurers is the best place to start, and you can use the tool below to get started.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in Maine
Since choosing the right homeowners insurance isn’t just about finding the cheapest premium, we put in the work to find out which of the five largest home insurers in Maine stand out. How a company treats its customers when they have a claim is of utmost importance, so we set out to test each company on that, and other factors – including customer service, online education and quote tools, and financial stability. We also looked at each company’s available discounts and endorsements (bonus points for those with more than standard offerings). After testing the quote process both online and by phone, we awarded State Farm with our top pick. Liberty Mutual and Allstate weren’t far behind either.
When getting a quote, we picked an average home in Portland that was for sale and got a quote for homeowners insurance. We used the same info for each quote to even the playing field as much as possible. However, you can see that there’s still a big difference between the three premiums that we quoted.
Here’s how our quotes stacked up:
Homeowners Insurance Company
*Since the independent agents we were working with never got back to us, we were unable to procure a quote from The Hanover or Concord.
Maine Homeowners Insurance Reviews
State Farm didn’t get to be the largest provider of homeowners insurance in Maine by accident. It’s superior customer service and dependability are what stood out to us, and big-name analysts agree. State Farm tied Liberty Mutual for the highest J.D. Power scores for customer service and claim satisfaction, but it’s Consumer Reports rating was slightly higher than Liberty Mutual’s.
Throughout our interaction with State Farm, each local agent was friendly and personable while not wasting our time with too much chit-chat. For instance, when we called up an agent in Portland, we spent 5 minutes on the phone and had a quote in our inbox 30 minutes later. For those that prefer shopping online, State Farm has a quality, easy-to-use tool. However, the quote we got online did vary somewhat from what we got when we talked to an agent. That said, we recommend using online quotes for comparison purposes only.
State Farm’s website didn’t give us as much information as Allstate’s did, but the agent we dealt with quickly emailed us back and answered our additional questions. At the end of the day, it wasn’t too hard to choose State Farm over Liberty Mutual and Allstate. Even though both of those companies are solid choices, State Farm’s superior blend of customer service and reliable claims process cemented it as our number one choice.
Liberty Mutual comes in as a close second to State Farm in terms of marketshare for homeowners policies in Maine, and we tend to agree with Maine residents’ choice. Since our personal interaction with Liberty Mutual was great, and it tied State Farm’s four-star rating from J.D. Power for its claims process, we feel confident in naming it our runner-up.
When we called up Liberty Mutual to get a quote, it felt a lot more like calling a corporate office than a local insurance agent. However, the personability and friendliness of the agent we spoke to quickly made up for the necessity of dealing with a phone tree. When we got an online quote we were pleasantly surprised to find that it was nearly identical to the quote we got over the phone.
For us, the premium was 25 to 50 percent more expensive than Allstate and State Farm. Since this really depends on a variety of factors that change from person to person, we recommend getting a quote for yourself. If nothing else, we trust that you will have a great customer service experience.
Allstate boasts a quality website that doesn’t cut corners – it clearly explains the company’s policy options and discount offerings, and it even has a handy tool that allows you to see the common and costly claims in your area. However, we were disappointed when we weren’t able to use the online quote tool for homeowners insurance policies in Maine.
The local agent we talked to got us a quote and was very forthcoming with all the Maine-specific details an out-of-state homebuyer would want to know. He made sure we knew it was a good idea to have an endorsement for accidental water damage and that our policy would cost 35 percent more if we didn’t bundle our car insurance.
Although our personal experience with Allstate was on-par with State Farm and Liberty Mutual, our inability to get a quote online and Allstate’s slightly lower claim satisfaction rating from J.D. Power (3-star rather than State Farm’s 4-star) didn’t allow us to rank it higher. All that being said, we still think Allstate is a solid third choice and would be worth your time to consider.
As a smaller insurance company local to the New England area, The Hanover doesn’t have an online tool for getting quotes. It also doesn’t have local agents in Maine. Instead, it utilizes independent agents to sell its policies. While there are some benefits when dealing with an independent agent, it can also result in a seriously inconsistent customer service experience. Unfortunately, ours wasn’t great, as the agent we wound up with wasn’t as friendly as our top three choices. She also didn’t get back to us the next day with our quote as promised.
Since financial stability can be an issue with smaller companies, we paid special attention to what financial researchers like A.M. Best had to say. Hanover received an “A” rating with both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. Interestingly enough, Hanover got a great 4-star rating from J.D. Power for how it handles customer’s claims, but only had a two-star rating overall. Overall, The Hanover is a solid option, but doesn’t quite compare to the likes of State Farm and Liberty Mutual.
Concord Group Insurance
Concord didn’t stand out amongst the competition. In fact, the more we researched, the more unanswered questions we had. Concord is similar to The Hanover in that it doesn’t have an online quote tool. And since getting a quote and finding out detailed information wasn’t possible online, we decided to call a local agent for ourselves. Unfortunately, Concord uses the same setup as The Hanover, and the website simply directed us to a list of independent agents in our area. Once again, we were let down as we weren’t impressed by our customer service experience, and didn’t get our quote back in a timely manner.
Another major concern is that, due to it’s size, we couldn’t find out a lot of information about how Concord handles customers’ claims (it wasn’t rated by J.D. Power or Consumer Reports). Due to our personal experience and the lack of verifiable information available, we recommend exhausting your other options before choosing Concord.
Did You Know?
Radon gas is a problem.
Consider this troubling statistic from an article published by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS): One in three Maine homes has a build-up of “worrisome” levels of radon gas.
Radon is a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer – the risks are especially high for smokers. Uranium is released when it breaks down in the soil, rocks, and water and can get trapped and concentrated inside of homes and other buildings.
In an interview with the Bangor Daily News, Dr. Roger Inhorn, the director of oncology and hematology at Mercy Hospital in Portland, said, “While radon has been proven to cause lung cancer, health experts fiercely debate how many lung cancer deaths the gas contributes to. You can read very different numbers depending on which study you’re looking at.” However, the major health organizations, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Lung Association, and the American Medical Association, all agree that are many preventable deaths due to lung cancer caused by Radon.
Since Radon levels in Maine are among the highest in the nation, it’s worthwhile to get your home tested – especially if you are buying, selling, or renovating your home. Recently a state law was passed requiring landlords to test their renters’ homes for Radon. To find out what to do if your home has unsafe levels, read this tip-sheet published by the Maine DHHS.
The Bottom Line
While the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence, it does pay to know your options for homeowners insurance. Don’t just settle for the first company you call – we recommend getting a quote from our top three choices for homeowners insurance in Maine, then you can get back to eating your world-famous blueberries and fresh lobster!
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