The Best Massachusetts Homeowners Insurance Companies
Massachusetts homeowners insurance premiums are a bit higher than average — around $1,379 per year for an HO-3 policy, compared to $1,173 nationwide. 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:
It pays to shop around.
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What Does Homeowners Insurance Cost in Massachusetts
Average annual premium in Massachusetts: $1,379
Massachusetts has seen some nasty winters, resulting in heavy snow- and water-related damage to homes. On top of that, about 55% of the state's property is at risk for hurricane exposure — including around $511 billion worth of residential property. With so many risk factors at play, insurance companies aren’t always eager to start selling coverage here.
All this adds up to a unique homeowners insurance market in Massachusetts. National companies that are popular elsewhere (like State Farm, Farmers, or Nationwide) don’t write policies here, preferring to hedge their bets in safer areas. This is why Massachusetts’ biggest providers are names you may be less familiar with, like MAPFRE, Chubb, or Arbella.
Homeowners insurance is also more heavily regulated in Massachusetts than in other states. The result? Instead of listing coverage and offering quotes online, as they would elsewhere, providers in Massachusetts rely almost exclusively on agents to inform their customers. Instead of comparison shopping and checking prices online, homeowners should expect to work with an independent agent to learn about their options and find the best policy.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in Massachusetts
We took an in-depth look at the state’s five biggest providers by market share. Working with the methodology from our national review of the Best Homeowners Insurance, we rated each company on its reliability, quality of service, and coverage options.
Since most of the big-name providers in Massachusetts don’t offer quotes online — instead operating through independent agents — we weren’t able to venture into price comparisons. Your best bet is to find out which companies offer the coverage you need, then request personalized quotes to see who can offer you the best deal on your homeowners insurance.
The Best Homeowners Insurance in Massachusetts
- Liberty Mutual
- Arbella Mutual Insurance Co.
- Safety Insurance Group
Massachusetts Homeowners Insurance Reviews
As the third largest homeowners insurance provider in the nation, Liberty Mutual has an edge over the regional companies we considered. First, Liberty Mutual was the only company that didn’t send us to an independent agent. We simply plugged in our home address and got a quote within five minutes, making comparison shopping a breeze.
Liberty Mutual is also highly rated by every source we consulted. Across the board, it earned an A for financial backing; Consumer Reports gave it a “very good” for smooth claims processes and payouts; and J.D. Power rated it three out of five points, suggesting overall positive customer satisfaction.
On top of that, this company has some slick features that the others don’t. For example, you can file insurance claims 24/7 through its website or mobile app. The app even lets you create a home inventory complete with photos, which can be used as evidence if you need to file a claim. We like its MasterThis online courses, too, which teach homeowners everything they need to know about their insurance policy.
All in all, Liberty Mutual is a solid choice for homeowners insurance. And if you’re keen to shop on your own, rather that working with a broker, this is the place to start.
MAPFRE, an international provider based in Spain, is now the largest Massachusetts insurer by market share. The company has “A”-rated financials and holds its own for customer service — earning three out of five stars from J.D. Power, which is right on par with Liberty Mutual.
MAPFRE stood out for being more upfront about coverage and discount options than most other providers in the area. We found its website to be clearly laid out and more informative than Chubb, Safety, or Arabella’s. For instance, it was the only provider to explicitly offer discounts for AAA members, customer loyalty, and customers aged 55 and older.
In addition, MAPFRE is one of only two providers (next to Chubb) that clearly offered an endorsement for extended replacement cost. With this add-on, your policy covers your home for up to 150% of its replacement cost. This can be extremely valuable after a bad storm, when heightened demand pushes building materials far above their normal price.
All in all, we recommend MAPFRE for its respectable ratings, wide variety of coverage, and discount options. We especially like that its website is more user-friendly than other Massachusetts insurers', making it easier to understand your policy options without the hand-holding of a broker or agent.
Though Chubb is sparse with policy information, we did learn that its signature ‘Masterpiece’ policy is specifically geared towards wealthy homeowners — especially collectors. It includes special coverage for items like jewelry, furs, fine art, and silverware, along with compensation for kidnapping, stalking, hijacking, and air rage — among others.
If all this sounds like your cup of tea, Chubb has the financials to back it up. This company scored an “A++” from A.M. Best; the highest financial rating on our list. It also outshines the competition with an above-average J.D. Power rating: four out of five for its claims experience, which beat out MAPFRE and Liberty Mutual.
We also like that Chubb is among the very few providers to offer private flood insurance. This acts as a more convenient alternative to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), through which most homeowners have to purchase flood coverage separately.
Overall, we’re impressed with Chubb’s strong financial backing and its above-average claims experience. And if you’re worried about fine art, collectors items, or other high-value possessions, then Chubb is definitely the place to start your search.
Arbella Mutual Insurance Co.
Arbella Mutual is truly a regional provider, operating only in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and strictly through independent brokers. Its site touts the benefits of working with an independent agent, like custom-designed coverage, assistance navigating your policy, and a local perspective. If this type of face-to-face service appeals to you, then Arbella is a great choice for homeowners insurance.
Though you’ll want to contact an agent to learn about coverage options, Arbella is forthcoming with discount information. The company cites savings up to 15% for things like auto-home bundling, installing burglar, fire, and smoke alarms, and completing a Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance Workshop.
We also like Arbella’s MyHomeWorks feature. This separate website, which is free for policyholders, provides useful tools for protecting your home and saving money. For instance, it has tips on increasing energy efficiency and maintaining home systems like burglar alarms.
The only real downside to working with Arbella is a lack of customer resources. You’ll have to walk through everything hand-in-hand with an agent instead of researching and comparing policies on your own. Like we said, the thoroughness and expertise of an agent is often a good thing — but those who prefer a DIY approach shouldn’t start here.
Safety Insurance Group
Safety’s website, like Arbella’s, gives a brief overview of its coverage options: damage, property replacement, and liability, primarily. It has a thinner list of discounts (five to Arbella’s eight and Liberty Mutual’s 13), mentioning a few things like auto-home bundling, e-pay discounts, and discounts for burglar, fire, and smoke alarms.
Also like Arbella and Chubb, Safety leaves a lot of the heavy selling to agents. You can’t request a quote online, and you’ll have to work with an independent broker to find out how much a Safety homeowners policy will cost you. Safety isn’t rated by J.D. Power or Consumer Reports either, although it holds a slightly higher financial strength rating than Arbella (“A” from A.M. Best).
Safety is the third largest homeowners insurance provider in Massachusetts by market share, so we know it provides reliable coverage to policyholders. We recommend having your independent agent source a quote from Safety along with the others on our list, so you can see how premiums stack up for your home.
Guide to Homeowners Insurance in Massachusetts
Prep before contacting an agent or broker
Since most Massachusetts insurers don’t sell policies directly, you’ll likely end up working hand-in-hand with a broker or independent agent as you search for your policy. This has its benefits: Brokers often partner with multiple companies and have a deep understanding of the local market, so they’ll be able to help you find the right fit for your needs.
That said, you should always come well prepared to your first meeting with a sales agent. We recommend starting with your neighbors — ask who their insurers are and how their experience has been. After that, put a checklist together of major details on your house. Think about things like square footage, the age of your roof, and quirks of the setup. If you’re familiar with your home’s particular requirements, you’ll be fully prepared to talk shop with your agent so they can’t oversell you.
Make sure you’re covered for flood damage
Counter to what you may expect, flood insurance is not included in most homeowners insurance policies. Only one of the top Massachusetts providers, Chubb, offers private flood insurance to its policyholders. This comes as a surprise, considering that floods are the “most common and most costly” natural disasters, according to FEMA.
To protect against flood damages, many homeowners will have to sign up for separate coverage through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It’s worth noting that this coverage can’t be bought by individuals: You’ll have to apply for it through a licensed agent. If you're not already working with a private agent, you can contact the NFIP for a referral.
Having trouble finding coverage? Try MPIUA’s FAIR plan
Providers are often hesitant to sell homeowners insurance in high-risk areas, which — as we said — is much of Massachusetts. It can be especially hard to secure private insurance if you live on the coast, where damages are much more likely. To make up for the lack of traditional insurance across the state, Massachusetts instituted its own option: the FAIR Plan from the Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association (MPIUA).
MPIUA is a non-profit that guarantees coverage to people in high-risk areas — including those with seaside homes on the Cape and in areas of high crime. It’s worth noting that this is considered an “insurer of last resort.” Before homeowners can be insured under the FAIR plan, they must prove that they’ve made a good-faith effort to obtain private coverage.
Massachusetts Homeowners Insurance FAQ
How much is homeowners insurance in Massachusetts?
Thanks to a number of risk factors — from heavy snowfall in the winter to potential hurricanes in the summer — homeowners insurance in Massachusetts tends to be pricey. Annual premiums in the state average around $1,379, which is a step above the national mean 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. Your best bet is to work with an independent broker who can help you compare prices and coverage from multiple companies before you buy.
Should I renew my Massachusetts homeowners insurance policy?
In Massachusetts, after you have had policy for one year, you’re not technically required to renew it. This gives you freedom to contact your insurance broker and ask them to shop around for cheaper rates. We recommend doing so every year or couple of years.
What is an HO-8 policy?
Massachusetts is home to many historic buildings, including plenty of long-standing homes. In fact, the state’s median age for houses is 53 years — the second oldest in the nation, after New York. What does that mean for homeowners? Unfortunately, it may mean a harder time finding insurance. Older homes are less resistant to weather damage, which increases liability for providers and makes them less inclined to insure.
If you do have an older home, we recommend looking into an HO-8 policy. The HO-8 was specifically designed for houses 40-plus years old and is more lenient when it comes to upgrade requirements for electrical, HVAC, and roofs. Older homes typically have trouble meeting those requirements on more common policies, like an HO-3.