The 5 Best Nebraska Homeowners Insurance Companies
Nebraska’s average annual premiums for homeowners insurance are right in line with the national average — $1,226 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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At $1,226 per year, the average homeowners insurance premium in Nebraska in 2014 hovered just above the national average of $1,132. The slight increase may be due to Nebraska’s propensity for tornadoes in the summer and snowfall in the winter. It also had one of the worst years ever for homeowners insurance pay-outs in 2014, thanks to a damaging hailstorm and tornado. That means rates are even higher now. Inclement weather is simply a reality of living in Nebraska, so you’ll do well to prepare yourself with a solid homeowners insurance policy — even if it is a bit expensive.
If you live in Nebraska, you may or may not be located in tornado alley, which could affect the type of add-ons you’ll need in your policy. At any rate, wind damage is one of the most common and costly claims across the state, so it’s essential you educate and protect yourself against this specific peril. To get a rough idea of what homeowners insurance might cost you, enter our zip code in the quote tool below to get started.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in Nebraska
To select the best home insurance company in Nebraska, we first selected the five largest insurance companies in the state, based on market share. Applying a similar methodology to the one used in our review of national companies, we then evaluated each company by comparing financial strength, claims processes, discounts offered, and endorsements. We took Consumer Reports reviews into consideration along with professional rankings such as those determined by J.D. Power and Associates. All collected data points were assigned a number value and the cumulative scores were used to rank each company. Read on to learn more about the winners.
Nebraska Homeowners Insurance Reviews
With a leading score in Consumer Reports’ homeowners survey and a 4-star J.D. Power claims rating, Nationwide is a hugely popular insurer with a satisfied customer base. That’s likely due in part to its easy-to-use online quote tool and commitment to covering all types of losses. The Brand New Belongings program, unique to Nationwide, can be added to any plan and guarantees any damaged or destroyed valuables will be replaced with brand-new equivalents.
The online quote tool provided us with the fastest rate of any company we evaluated. While that process is great for obtaining a rough quote, you’ll want to talk to an agent to ensure you’re receiving all the needed endorsements and available discounts (of which there are many). That being said, Nationwide offered useful educational resources through its website and mobile app to better inform you of your policy needs. Given its comprehensive coverage and ease-of-use, Nationwide easily secured the top spot for insurers in Nebraska.
Liberty Mutual ranked high in our evaluations thanks to unique customer benefits and a solid online experience. Of particular note is the Emergency Home Repairs service, available 24/7, which guarantees a professional will be sent to your home to begin repairs immediately should your residence be damaged in any way. Knowing you have that kind of assistance, not offered by any other insurer we surveyed, can provide priceless peace-of-mind.
Furthermore, the endorsements and discounts are easily located on Liberty Mutual’s website and coverage options are clearly outlined. The discounts offered also run the gamut, including everything from a multi-policy deduction to a group discount available through over 14,000 employers. Just be aware that we were instructed to call an agent when we attempted to use Liberty Mutual’s online quote tool. If picking up the phone doesn’t seem like a problem to you, this company is a great option.
In regards to claims experience, State Farm just narrowly missed out the top spot to Nationwide in the Consumer Reports’ homeowners insurance survey. These high marks strongly indicate that customers are happy with the reimbursement they receive in the claims process, which is important, as this is why you have insurance in the first place.
State Farm’s standard policy covers sewer backup, freezing, and damage from the weight of snow, which offers reassuring protection through the cold Nebraska winters. We also were impressed by State Farm’s education center, which included an online quote tool, 24/7 customer assistance, and a home inventory calculator.
Farmers Insurance Group
Customer satisfaction for Farmers Insurance Group ranked lower than Nationwide and State Farm in the Consumer Reports survey, but the premiums are so affordable that it’s worth your while to get a quote. That’s thanks to an impressive array of discounts available to Nebraska residents. It’s one of the few providers to offer a discount for UL approved roofing material and LEED certifications.
The website does a good job of explaining coverage options, includes a glossary of terms, and has an easy-to-navigate and useful FAQ page. The Farmers iClaim app also allows you to start the claims process and submit photos of damaged belongings via your smartphone. This convenience is invaluable in streamlining the claims process.
Travelers offered a solid variety of discounts, though it doesn’t quite compare to Allstate or Farmers. Like Farmers, Travelers does discount for green-certified homes, a relatively rare deduction. You’ll also save money by bundling your policy and signing up for auto-pay, which all make Travelers worthy of consideration for the budget conscious.
That being said, Travelers doesn’t offer ordinance and law coverage for residential homes worth less than $1 million. Many Nebraska homes cost far less than $1 million and were built in the 1970s—not ancient but no spring chickens either. That means you may not be fully covered when your home needs upgrades to meet new ordinances and laws. We’d recommend going with State Farm, which does offer ordinance and law coverage, if you have an older home.
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What We Learned
You should take an annual home inventory.
To ensure you’re receiving the appropriate level of coverage, the Nebraska state government recommends taking an inventory of your belongings once a year. Officials advise you go into as much detail as possible when cataloging your inventory to ensure you’re covered for the cost of your valuables. They also warned residents of over-insuring your home: You do not need to insure yourself for the value of the land that your home sits on, though you should insure any outdoor structures located on the property.
Additional coverages are important.
Floods are a persistent danger in Nebraska, whether you live in the bustling center of Omaha or on the outskirts of a rural community. Thunderstorms and lightning are all deadly risks in Nebraska as well, so we recommend adding sudden and accidental water damage to your coverage plan. Also, tornados are a common occurrence, with over 26 occurring in 2015 alone in Nebraska.
Talk to an agent to better understand what sort of additional coverage options you’ll need to protect yourself from the most common severe weather in Nebraska. It’s essential to know the risk of both flash floods and tornadoes in your area to properly safeguard your property.
You should investigate your home’s replacement value.
When shopping around for homeowners insurance, it’s important to know the difference between “actual cash value” and “replacement cost” coverage. Actual cash-value coverage will reimburse you for the cost of property at the time you file a claim after your deductible has been subtracted. Depreciation is taken into account in this coverage option, meaning you may receive a lower claim payment. Replacement cost coverage, however, reimburses for the full value of a brand-new version of your belongings. You’ll likely pay a higher premium, but the claim coverage may be worth it should you ever have to file a claim.
The Bottom Line
Nebraskans are no strangers to inclement weather, and the increasing severity of storms in recent years means insurance premiums may be higher in the state than elsewhere in the U.S. It’s crucial you protect yourself against the weather risks common to where you live, whether it be tornados, flash floods, snow storms or all three. To start shopping around, enter your zip code into the quote tool below.
Find the best homeowners insurance in your area.
Get a quote by entering your ZIP code and start saving today.