The 5 Best Missouri Homeowners Insurance Companies
Missouri’s average annual premiums for homeowners insurance are right in line with the national average — $1,119 per year for an HO-3 policy, compared to $1,132 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:
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Missouri is home to some of the (arguably) best barbecue in the world as well as the famous St. Louis arch, but residents know that it’s also home to some serious storms. The tornadoes that struck Joplin and other areas in May of 2011 were the second costliest in history (costing around $7.3 billion in insured losses), and the deadliest since 1950. If your home escapes the tornadoes, you still have to deal with hailstorms. Missouri ranked sixth in the nation in 2015 with 252 major hailstorms.
All that being said, the average $1,199 paid for homeowners insurance in the state is only slightly more than what’s paid nationally. Since it’s still pretty pricey, shopping for a company that will give you great coverage at a competitive price is important in Missouri. You can start your search by using the tool below.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in Missouri
When you start your search for homeowners insurance, you will quickly realize that there are a lot of options. That’s why we did thorough research on the five biggest home insurers in Missouri, and ranked them based on a few key factors. Like we did in our national review, we first looked at each company’s claim satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, then we considered financial stability, customer service, website quality, and the availability of discounts and optional coverages. State Farm stood out as our favorite and Liberty Mutual is a great option as well.
While we can’t actually get homeowners insurance policies from five different companies to test them out for ourselves, we didn’t want to just base our review on what others had to say. That’s why we picked a home in St. Louis, and started applying for quotes. The way each company handled the quote process had a lot to say about its customer service as a whole. Below you can see what we were quoted for a $150,000 home in Valley Park, and then read each company’s review for a synopsis of what we learned.
Homeowners Insurance Company*
*We couldn’t get a quote from Shelter Insurance because it didn’t have an online tool, and the agent we spoke to never emailed us back.
Missouri Homeowners Insurance Reviews
State Farm barely edged out Liberty Mutual for our top spot due to it’s slightly higher Consumer Reports customer service score (82 reader score compared to 80), and its stellar customer service. Since State Farm is the largest provider of homeowners insurance (both in the state and nationally) its customers didn’t experience quite the rate spike after the Joplin tornadoes that customers of other companies may have. State Farm also has great online tools like an app to take a home inventory. State Farm’s website is intuitive and our online quote process was painless.
After being let down by a sales person that called us to talk about our online quote (he was an unfortunate blend of “sales pitchy” and unprofessional – he never emailed us the revised quote we requested), we contacted a local agent for a quote. When we told the agent about our negative experience, she did everything she could to make it right. Thankfully, a simple, accurate quote was waiting in our inbox within 20 minutes. She did a great job of clearly explaining our options and diagnosing our needs, while not pushing extra coverages on us that we didn’t want or need.
Since it’s likely that you will have some sort of homeowners claim if you live in Missouri long enough, we placed a big emphasis on what customers have to say about how State Farm treats them when they file a claim. State Farm not only has the customer service in place to deal with catastrophes big or small, but also the funds (it maintains an “A++” from A.M. Best for financial security). Those reasons are why we think you should call State Farm first.
While Liberty Mutual didn’t quite earn the top spot, it did earn our full endorsement as a great second option. Liberty Mutual had nearly identical scores to State Farm for claims satisfaction and general customer service from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. The company’s website also did a great job of clearly outlining its robust offering of discounts. For example, if you belong to certain credit unions or if you graduated from a major university, you may qualify for a discount.
Our quote experience can best be described as professional and painless. Both our online quote and our phone quote was simple and easy to get. After talking to a friendly agent at Liberty’s local office, we had a quote 15 minutes later. While everyone we talked with was polite and professional, the experience didn’t really stand out in our minds as the agent didn’t take time to really get to know us like State Farm’s and American Family’s did.
Overall, Liberty Mutual is simply an all-around solid choice. It’s very financially sound (it earned an “A” from A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s), and has a good track record of taking care of its customers in the event of a claim. For those reasons, Liberty Mutual could be the right choice for some, and it’s definitely worth your while to get a quote.
American Family has a well designed website that really lays out the basics of homeowners insurance. While the company only received a 3-star rating from J.D. Power for claims satisfaction (compared to State Farm’s and Liberty Mutual’s 4-star rating), it did tie Shelter for the highest overall score from J.D. Power. It also beat out Farmers and Shelter for Consumer Reports’ highest reader score.
Unfortunately, American Family doesn’t have a online quote tool for Missouri. Instead it has you fill out some basic info, and a local agent is supposed to email you with a quote. It’s not instantaneous like other companies’ tools, but in our situation it did work out just fine. An agent emailed us with a couple brief follow up questions and then sent us our quote. Our experience getting a quote over the phone was even better. It was a pleasant and easy process – we nearly enjoyed ourselves!
American Family doesn’t have quite the reputation that State Farm does, but it is a financially secure company (it received an “A” from A.M. Best), that treats its customer right. It’s only our third choice, but it’s definitely a viable option for homeowners insurance in Missouri.
Farmers had the best website by far. If you have a question about homeowners insurance in general, or about Farmers’ coverages and discounts specifically, chances are that you can get an easy-to-understand answer on its website. Farmers’ customer service and claim satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power were very similar to American Family’s – good, but not great.
When we called up a local agent’s office, we were struck by the lack of professionalism. In fact, there was several times when we were the ones having to explain some of the coverages to the representative. When the agent emailed us back the next day, we couldn’t make heads or tails of the quote – it was three pages of utter chaos (and we are pretty good at understanding quotes). When we replied to ask for clarification, the message we received didn’t make a lot of sense either. We finally gave up and did our best to muddle through what we were given.
Overall, Farmers is a solid, national company. While our personal experience was less than ideal, we only talked to one agent out of the dozens in Missouri. Since Farmers is a financially solid company and it got decent ratings from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, we think it’s a viable option for homeowners insurance in Missouri.
We simply don’t have a lot to say about Shelter. The company’s website doesn’t shed a lot of light on its coverage options and available discounts, and its online quote tool was a similar setup to American Family’s, except no one ever emailed us with a quote. The trend continued when we spoke to an agent who promised to email us back later that day. Three days later, we still hadn’t heard a thing.
What we do know is that Shelter got an “A” from A.M. Best for financial stability, and it tied with American Family for the highest score from J.D. Powers for overall customer service (it wasn’t scored on claims satisfaction, however). While we have no real reason to eliminate Shelter from consideration all together, it didn’t stand up to the others in terms of website quality and customer service.
Preparing for Natural Disasters
The tornadoes that devastated Joplin and the surrounding areas in 2011 were the deadliest since 1947 and left 7,000 houses destroyed and countless others without power. Obviously, you can’t adequately prepare for a disaster on that scale, however, there are some basic steps you can take to help you and your family be prepared should disaster strike.
The first step you need to take is to make sure your home is covered for common perils in your area. For instance, if you live in the St. Louis area, you may want to investigate earthquake insurance due to the proximity of the New Madrid Fault. If you live in an area that’s prone to flooding (you can check your area’s risk on the National Flood Insurance Program’s website), you will want to consider the benefit of flood insurance. Neither of those two disasters are covered by your normal homeowners insurance policy.
After securing the proper coverage, the Missouri Department of Insurance lists several other steps you can take. The first thing you should do is complete a home inventory – State Farm has a handy tool for just that purpose. Other ways to prepare include compiling an emergency kit and creating an evacuation plan.
The Bottom Line
No one insurance company is right for every person. Certain discounts that one company offers may not apply to someone else. Also, there may be certain optional coverages you need that cost an arm and a leg with one insurer, but are very reasonably priced with another. That’s why we strongly recommend that you get quotes from our top three choices. Based on our interaction with each company, we think you will at least experience some quality customer service along the way.
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