The 5 Best Mississippi Homeowners Insurance Companies
Mississippi’s annual premiums for homeowners insurance are on the higher side — on average $1,447 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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For Mississippi, 2005 was a bad year. Since then, experts describe the homeowners insurance industry in the state as “volatile.” Hurricanes Katrina and Rita had a tremendous impact on the state’s rates, and the the situation is getting better, not worse. According to a publication by the Mississippi Insurance Department in August of 2015, premiums have slowly been recovering from the giant rate-spike in 2006.
The average premium in 2014 was $1,447 which is $300 more than the national average of $1,132. Since there is a great deal of risk involved with insuring homes in Mississippi, premiums and requirements can change a lot from person to person. That’s why we recommend getting three or more quotes before you make your choice. You can use our quote tool below to quickly compare multiple rates.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in Mississippi
Getting quotes for home insurance in Mississippi isn’t just about who offers you the cheapest premium. Many residents discovered this first-hand when dealing with the aftermath of major catastrophes. In that moment, how well your insurance company handles your claim is the single most important factor. That’s why we put the companies that scored well for “claims satisfaction” from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports at the top of the list when we evaluated the top five insurers (by market share) in Mississippi.
Similarly to how we evaluated home insurance companies on the national level, we looked at a variety of other factors as well, including: customer service, financial stability, online tools, and the availability of discounts and optional coverages. When all was said and done, Liberty Mutual and State Farm tied for our top pick – Nationwide and Allstate weren’t too far behind either.
After looking at the data available from third party evaluators, we started testing the customer service and quote process of each company for ourselves. We got quotes online from the companies that offered them, and then called a local agent from each company. Although we weren’t just trying to find the cheapest company, you can see below what we were quoted for a 2,000 square foot home that was on the market for around $150,000.
Homeowners Insurance Company
*We weren’t able to procure a quote from Southern Farm Bureau as the agent never emailed us back, and the company doesn’t provide an online quote tool.
Mississippi Homeowners Insurance Reviews
Liberty Mutual tied State Farm and Nationwide with a 4-star rating from J.D. Power for the quality of its claims process, and it boasts a sleek website and its online quote tool is easy to use. Liberty Mutual also has a wide variety of unique discounts to choose from. For instance, if you belong to a credit union or if you graduated from certain universities, you may be eligible for a discount.
Our first impression with Liberty Mutual wasn’t the best. The quote was $1,000 more expensive than everyone else’s, and when we called the closest agent to Jackson (which turned out to be in another state), we were instead connected to a national call center in Arizona. The rep we spoke with was friendly and professional, and 15 minutes later we had our second quote. It wasn’t until a day later that we were really impressed. An agent from the Memphis office called us back and offered to run another quote. Our interaction with her was so good that it completely redeemed our overall experience. It also helped that the quote she gave us wasn’t too much more expensive than the competition.
If sitting down in your agent’s office is important to you, Liberty Mutual won’t be your top choice – it doesn’t have any offices in Mississippi. Despite that, it still writes almost seven percent of all the homeowners policies in the state. Because Liberty Mutual really went the extra mile in making sure we had an accurate quote, and that all our questions were answered, we chose Liberty Mutual as one of our top recommendations.
As we noted earlier, State Farm tied Liberty Mutual in J.D. Power’s ranking and had a slight edge in Consumer Reports’ overall “reader score.” As the largest provider of homeowners insurance in Mississippi (and in the U.S.), State Farm is equipped to take care of it’s customers in the event of a large scale catastrophe.
Our interaction with State Farm was excellent from start to finish. Our only complaint was that we couldn’t get a quote online in Mississippi, perhaps due to the huge variety of factors that need to be considered. However, the agent we talked to gave us the least of amount of hassle, and explained the policy options and available discounts incredibly well. For instance, he recommended getting a monitored home security system which resulted in a 6 percent discount on our policy.
Since State Farm’s website doesn’t provide quite as much information as its competitors, and its quote tool doesn’t work in Mississippi (that could change in the future), we couldn’t declare it the outright winner, but we can highly recommending it right along side of Liberty Mutual.
Nationwide’s “problem-free claims experience” was rated by Consumer Reports as “very good” compared to everyone else’s “good” rating. Along with a quality website and a simple online quote tool, Consumer Reports’ rating is what kept Nationwide in second place – even though our customer service experience wasn’t the best.
Our initial impression of Nationwide was great, but when we called up the agent we were disappointed by the lack of friendliness, and the poor customer service. In fact, the first agent we spoke to never emailed us back with a quote after our initial conversation. Thankfully, we did get a follow-up email from another agent’s office. The second agent we spoke with was friendly enough and, after clarifying some details from our online quote, quickly provided us with an accurate quote on the spot.
Since Nationwide got such good reviews by J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, we are hopeful that your customer service experience will be better than ours was. At the very least, you can take advantage of Nationwide’s quick and easy online quote tool.
Allstate’s biggest strength is its vast compilation of online educational materials – it does a great job educating its customers about the in’s and out’s of homeowners insurance. Its discount offerings are comparable with Liberty Mutual’s, but it’s claims rating from J.D. Power wasn’t up to par.
When we were evaluating Allstate’s quote process, the great customer service that we experienced at first only lasted for about 24 hours… and we were never emailed with the final details of our quote.
Due to the lack of follow-through by the local agent, and the company’s lower claims score, we couldn’t bump up Allstate any higher in the rankings. Overall, the company is still a solid choice – you just might have to make an extra call or two.
Mississippi Farm Bureau
There’s a lot that we don’t know about Mississippi Farm Bureau. That’s partly due to the fact that it’s local to Mississippi so it wasn’t evaluated by the big name researchers that investigate the national companies. The minimal information available on its website also left us with a few question marks.
One concern with smaller insurance companies is how they will hold up in the event of a large-scale disaster. The question is whether they will be able to pay out on all of their customers claims. Thankfully, A.M. Best (one of the three institutions that we consult to determine insurers financial stability) gave Mississippi Farm Bureau an “A+,” meaning it has plenty of money in the bank to fund customer’s claims.
Overall, we can’t recommend Mississippi Farm Bureau to you due to a lack of information, and because the local agent we called never emailed our quote to us. We don’t know what your experience will be like, but ours definitely wasn’t the best.
Preparing for Natural Disasters
Unfortunately for residents of Mississippi, hurricanes aren’t the only menace to homes in the state. For instance, you might not think that residents would have much to fear from wildfires, but the state actually had the 10th most wildfires in 2015. Of course, flooding is always possible as well, depending on where you live. If all those potential disasters aren’t enough, the state’s 63 tornadoes in 2015 ranked fifth in the nation.
While most of these natural disasters are out of your control, you can make sure that your home has the right coverage should you experience a loss. Your home should always be covered for wildfires and wind damage, but earthquakes and floods may be another matter. Earthquake insurance is an optional coverage that you have to pay extra for, and flood insurance is provided separately through the National Flood Insurance Program (this website has a great tool for determining your area’s risk of flooding).
After you make sure you have the proper coverage for your home by talking to a local agent (or several to be safe), the Mississippi Insurance Department lists a few other steps you can take to make sure you are prepared for national disasters. Maintaining an emergency kit and locating your nearest storm shelter are two great ways to get started.
The Bottom Line
We recommend getting multiple quotes for homeowners insurance, even if you’ve been with the same company for 20 years. Since the coverage options and premiums vary between companies and from year to year, diligent shopping is the only way to make sure you have the best coverage at a competitive price.
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