The Best Pennsylvania Homeowners Insurance Companies
Pennsylvania’s annual premiums for homeowners insurance are on the lower side — on average $913 per year for an HO-3 policy, compared to the nationwide average 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. Use our tool to find your best rates:
Enter your ZIP code to see the best rates in your area:
Currently, Pennsylvania homeowners get the benefit of relatively low insurance rates; the National Association of Insurance Commissioners reports that homeowners in the Quaker State pay roughly $900 per year, compared to the national average of $1,132. However, climate change means these rates are likely to go up; one Pennsylvania insurer has already started increasing its premiums to account for the state’s increasingly severe weather.
Finding the best homeowners insurance in Pennsylvania is about evaluating what your home needs now and what hazards it might experience in the future. How likely is it that your pipes will burst next winter? Do you think your roof could handle a flood-level downpour? You’ll want to make sure you have coverage for all reasonable threats to your home. The best Pennsylvania homeowners insurance companies offer a range of tools to get you started.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in Pennsylvania
We evaluated the five largest homeowner insurance providers in Pennsylvania using the same methodology and metrics we developed for our nationwide homeowners insurance review. We checked A.M. Best’s financial security ratings to determine whether the insurers were stable enough to pay off their claims. We evaluated consumer responses at JD Power and Consumer Reports to see whether people were happy with the insurers’ customer service and claims processes. We also looked at the range of coverage each insurer offered and tallied up the number of common discounts they offer.
Pennsylvania Homeowners Insurance Reviews
Erie Insurance is the second-largest provider of homeowners insurance in the state — beaten only by State Farm — but we’re putting it at the top of our list due to its comprehensive coverage options. Simply put, Erie’s standard insurance policy includes coverages that other insurers make you pay extra for. They offer 100% guaranteed replacement cost coverage of your home, for instance: Some insurers only pay part of what it costs to rebuild your house, but Erie pledges to cover the full replacement cost. As part of its base policy, Erie Insurance includes valuables coverage for items such as art and jewelry, as well as coverage for damage to the home caused by animals. Other insurers include these types of coverages as add-ons, if they offer them at all (Most insurers don’t cover animal-related damage).
This isn’t the only reason we liked Erie Insurance. It received an A+ rating from A.M. Best, meaning it is financially stable and able to follow through on its claims. It received a rare 4 out of 5 points from JD Power on both its overall consumer experience and its claims process. Consumer Reports also gave it an “Excellent” rating for both the claims process and timely claims payment. JD Power and Consumer Reports rankings are derived from real consumers’ responses, so this is a pretty strong indicator that people are happy with Erie’s service.
To save money on your insurance policy, you can get discounts for having fire and burglar alarms, for installing sprinklers, or for opening up a multi-line policy. You can also get a discount if you request your quote 7 to 60 days before your policy renews. Still , Eie doesn’t offer as many discounts as some insurers on our list — specifically Allstate and Liberty Mutual — so you might want to get a quote from at least one other insurer before deciding whether Erie is right. Erie also doesn’t offer a mobile app (though their website states they’re working on improvements to online services). If you’re an all-mobile-all-the-time person, this provider may not be the most convenient option. Otherwise? We’d suggest starting here in your search for homeowners insurance.
State Farm is the largest homeowners’ insurance provider in Pennsylvania, with the highest financial stability rating from A.M. Best: A++. It’s also earned customer satisfaction ratings very similar to Erie Insurance: JD Power gave State Farm 4 out of 5 points for overall consumer experience and 3 out of 5 points for its claims process. Consumer Reports gave the provider a “Very Good” rating for its claims process and timely payments.
The only reason we’re putting State Farm second on our list is because its basic homeowners’ insurance policy is not as comprehensive as Erie’s. With State Farm, you have to pay extra for valuables coverage, for example. State Farm also offers slightly fewer discounts than Erie does, although you can lower your cost by opening a multi-line policy or installing fire or burglar alarms.
State Farm does have a mobile app, though most of the features you’ll want to use — like the home inventory builder or the ability to upload photos of damaged items — are actually done through your online State Farm account, not the app. (If you love apps, you’ll want to consider Allstate or Liberty Mutual.)
We’d suggest getting quotes from both Erie and State Farm, so you can compare rates and the coverage options side by side. If Erie’s quote is higher and you don’t have a high number of valuables (or pets that might cause home damage) — State Farm may be your best option.
Allstate is the third largest homeowners’ insurance provider in Pennsylvania, and it also comes in third on our list. It received an A+ financial stability rating from A.M. Best and 3 out of 5 points from JD Power in both overall experience and claims process. Consumer Reports rated its claims process and payment speed as “Very Good.” In other words, Allstate is very highly ranked… but not quite as high as Erie or State Farm.
Allstate’s basic homeowners’ insurance policy is similar to State Farm’s basic policy. Allstate’s additional coverage options include protection from water and sewer damage, valuables insurance, identity theft insurance, and electronic data recovery insurance (if you need to pay to recover data from a damaged laptop, for example). Allstate does offer about twice as many discounts as Erie and State Farm, including discounts for autopaying your premium or maintaining a smoke-free home.
But it’s Allstate’s online tools that really set it apart from the competition. Allstate’s Common and Costly Claims tool helps you determine which additional coverages are worth buy for your home: in Philadelphia's Mt. Airy neighborhood, for example, the most costly claim is for fire damage, which is generally covered in a basic homeowners’ insurance policy — but the most common claim is for water damage, which means you might want to pick up some of that optional water damage coverage. Input your zip code to learn about the most common and costly claims in your area.
Allstate’s mobile app lets you manage your insurance policy and upload photos of damage; its Digital Locker app helps you build a home inventory that you can use to calculate the value of your personal property in advance of future claims. (When your property is damaged, insurers use home inventories to help determine how much money you’re entitled to receive.)
We had to rank State Farm and Erie Insurance higher thanks to their stronger A.M. Best and JD Power ratings, but we still highly recommend Allstate as an insurer, especially if you value mobile convenience.
Liberty Mutual received the lowest A.M. Best rating of any of our providers, but its A rating still reflects a solid level of financial stability. Like Allstate, Liberty Mutual earned 3 out of 5 points for overall experience and claims process from JD Power, and “Very Good” ratings from Consumer Reports on both claims process and payment speed.
Where Liberty Mutual shines is in its discounts — you can get discounts for multi-line policies, burglar/fire alarms, insuring your home to 100% of its value, installing sprinklers, renovating your home… you can even get discounts for having attended certain colleges or universities or being employed by certain corporations.
We also loved Liberty Mutual’s apps: its mobile app lets you manage your policy and file claims, and its Home Gallery app lets you build a home inventory and track the value of your personal property.
Liberty Mutual’s basic homeowners policy includes both dwelling coverage and personal property coverage, and you can purchase additional coverage for valuables. If you’re interested in learning more, we’d suggest getting a quote and taking a look at available discounts.
Nationwide actually got slightly higher customer satisfaction ratings than Allstate and Liberty Mutual. It received an A+ rating from A.M. Best, a 3 out of 5 on overall experience and claims process from JD Power, and “Very Good” and “Excellent” ratings for claims experience and claims speed respectively from Consumer Reports.
We’re putting it in fifth place on our list because it can’t compare in terms of discounts or online tools. Although Nationwide does offer discounts for a multi-line policy and for burglar/fire alarms, you’ll get many more options with Allstate or Liberty Mutual. Nationwide’s mobile capabilities also lag behind: If you’re looking to build a home inventory, the company suggests making paper copies that you put in a safe deposit box — or, if you’re technosavvy, using a digital camera and saving your inventory to a thumb drive. A digital camera might have been a cutting edge suggestion in the 90s, but our cameras are on our phones now. (And competitors like Allstate ensure that so are our home inventories.)
Nationwide’s basic coverage isn’t as expansive as Erie Insurance’s coverage, and its Brand New Belongings coverage — which pays the replacement cost of damaged personal property — is optional. While it’s not a frontrunner in any of the areas we looked at, it’s still a solid, reliable provider. To cover all your bases, we’d suggest at least getting a quote.
Tips for Customizing Your Pennsylvania Homeowners Insurance Coverage
Make sure you have adequate liability coverage.
Pennsylvania winters are often hazardous, and if someone slips and falls while on your property, you could be liable. And if you don’t have enough liability coverage, you could end up paying for your friend’s medical costs out of pocket. Whichever provider you choose, talk to you insurance agent about liability coverage, and make sure you feel comfortable with the coverage offered (especially if you plan to host ice skating parties in your backyard).
Don’t forget about flood insurance — even if you don’t live near a river.
In 2016, Pennsylvania got enough rain to flood roads, which means it also got enough rain to damage homes. Unfortunately, most insurance policies won’t cover water damage from flood-level rains; the standard water damage policy only covers damage from leaky or burst pipes. Adding flood insurance to your policy protects your home from flood-level downpours, whether the damage comes from rising waters or leaky roofs. Talk to your insurer about whether you should get flood insurance; if they don’t offer their own policies, they can help you get insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has tools to help you build your home inventory.
Before an insurer will pay out on a personal property claim, they need to know how much property was damaged and how much the property was worth. This means you need to be responsible for creating and maintaining a home inventory. A basic home inventory includes photos of the items in your home along with each item’s cost, and some insurance providers include apps to help you quickly create and update your inventory.
If your insurance provider does not offer a home inventory app, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department has a checklist to help you create your own home inventory — and they also suggest using the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ MyHome Scr.APP.Book app to help get the job done.