The Best West Virginia Homeowners Insurance Companies
West Virginia's annual premiums for homeowners insurance are on the lower side — on average $907 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:
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West Virginia has a lot to offer homebuyers. It boasts home prices half the national average — and if you’ve purchased a house here, your investment is only likely to grow, as markets in West Virginia are projected to hold their steady rise. Out of this realization comes the question, “How will I protect my investment?” Homeowners insurance is crucial for anyone living here. While West Virginia ranks as one of the lowest-risk states for natural disasters, state agency ReadyWV reports fire, heavy winds, winter storms, and floods among the common hazards encountered by West Virginians. So who can you trust to follow through with true protection for your home should the worst happen and you need to claim damages or loss?
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in West Virginia
We rounded up the five best West Virginia homeowners insurance and evaluated them according to metrics we set forth in our nationwide review of the best homeowners insurance providers. We looked for markers of excellent business health as reported by the top financial strength ratings, evidence of satisfactory claims experience and customer satisfaction, plus expansive coverage options to cover any issue a West Virginian might encounter. Finding the best coverage and price is ultimately a personal process due to the number of factors that will play into your specific policy, so we recommend securing as many quotes from as many companies as possible to ensure you’re finding your best options. But we think the five providers on our list represent the best place to start.
West Virginia Homeowners Insurance Reviews
Each of our five providers makes a strong case for being the best West Virginia homeowners insurance provider. But Liberty Mutual snagged the number-one position after we evaluated coverage quotes for an average home in West Virginia (three bed, two bath, and approximately 1,700 square feet). Liberty Mutual offered $89K more in dwelling coverage than our lowest quote from Nationwide and $80K more personal property value than our lowest offer from Allstate. The tradeoff is a higher premium: we were quoted about $400 more per year than our lowest premium quote (again, from Nationwide). But that’s about $30 per month for a huge jump in coverage. Should you encounter the unexpected, whether a rock or a mudslide, that extra coverage means you’re more likely to be able to restore your home without worrying about out-of-pocket costs.
Luckily, Liberty Mutual offers a wide array of possible discounts to help counteract its higher premiums, amassing more than any of the other contender but Allstate. Liberty Mutual is one of only two providers here that offer a dedicated app for homeowners insurance policies which can catalog personal items, contact your agent, and help you with the claims process.
A stock policy from Liberty Mutual will cover you for all of the major issues affecting West Virginia including fires, frozen pipes, and storm damages. On top of the basics, highly recommended endorsements like water backup protection and full replacement cost coverage (called Home Protector Plus) are readily available. Liberty Mutual also offers rare coverages like Inflation Protection, which will periodically adjust your rate to account for market value inflation.
Commercial appraising powerhouse JD Power and Associates gave Liberty Mutual an acceptable grade regarding the entire policy experience from quote to claim. More impressively, the company also landed among Consumer Reports’ top ten best companies for a smooth start-to-finish claims process, from stress-free first contact to a timely and fair payout. Only Nationwide and Hartford ranked higher, and only by slight margins.
Liberty Mutual holds “strong” and “excellent” financial evaluations from top insurance watchdogs like A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard and Poor’s, which means you can also rest confident in the knowledge that it has the financial stability to pay out when you need it to.
In terms of satisfaction ratings and customer surveys, Nationwide stands out. JD Power’s Claims Satisfaction Survey rates Nationwide with a coveted 5 out of 5 stars for overall claims satisfaction. Consumer Reports likewise gave Nationwide an outstanding evaluation in their claims experience survey, ranking the company 6th out of 15 of the nation's largest providers. Nationwide also claims some of the highest financial ratings of our finalists, obtaining one of A.M. Best highest ratings possible (A+) meaning superior financial stability and outlook.
Like Liberty Mutual, Nationwide offers a wide breadth of basic and additional coverages to fully protect a typical West Virginian home. This includes options like water and sewer backup, personal umbrella liability extending coverage for liability from injuries on your property, plus a rare offering in the insurance world: ordinance and law insurance, which covers the cost of bringing your home up to building code should damage occur to an older structure. Nationwide is the only one of our top five insurers to offer this coverage.
Nationwide has a few nice options for saving on your premiums. While not as expansive as Liberty Mutual’s or Allstate’s list of discounts, it's easy to take advantage of Nationwide discounts for things like the inclusion of deadbolts on exterior doors, keeping fire extinguishers handy, and even just being of retirement age. Nationwide also makes it quite easy to track down these discounts, which may be one reason they came back with the cheapest quote during our quote evaluation.
In short? While we would recommend looking into our other providers and comparing quotes and coverages, if you value smooth, painless interactions with your insurance provider, Nationwide has your back.
Allstate does not rank as highly as other providers for things like claims fulfillment and customer satisfaction. Don’t get us wrong, Allstate still offers top notch service as reported by the JD Power and Consumer Reports surveys. But they rank fifth out of the five allstars in our lineup. So why have we given them bronze?
Allstate blows the competition out of the water with its digital convenience. A bevy of tools stand at your disposal as you figure out what kinds of coverages and insurances you might need. We loved the Common & Costly Claims tool, which lets you explore major risks specific to your zip code. In Charleston, WV (25303), for instance, you’ll see that wind, water, and physical damage make up the the most common damages, while liability claims create the bulk of costly claims in the area. Once you’ve investigated your specific area, you may find that the increase in premium for that extra liability umbrella coverage, or a scheduled valuables rider may be worth a few extra bucks every month. Allstate’s Premium Gauge lets you play with some of the variables used to determine your risk and projected coverage costs, letting you see how factors like the age of your home and your number of previous claims can change the amount you’ll be paying per year or per month. If you’re still at the very beginning of your purchase decision, Allstate’s Rent vs. Own Calculator can calculate whether you will save money by buying or renting over a certain period. To top it off, there are tons of informative articles found on their tools and resources page complimented by a full suite of FAQs. We believe this kind of dedication to customer education makes Allstate a great option for West Virginia homeowners insurance.
In JD Power’s assessment of overall experience, State Farm was the only provider to earn 4 out of 5 stars. All of our other top picks received an industry-standard 3 out of 5. State Farm also offers the most impressive financial strength: They’re the only insurer among our group to earn top ratings from all three top financial investigating facilities.
But State Farm falls in the middle of the pack in terms of available resources for current or potential customers, which is why we also placed them in the middle of our lineup. A couple of basic videos explain how to understand replacement and market value, and how to estimate your values. A smattering of helpful FAQs can walk you through basic questions you may have before, during, or after a policy is achieved. Without outstanding resources like those offered by Allstate or Liberty Mutual, State Farm relies on comprehensive coverages to make their name. A basic plan will have you covered better than most plans, since State Farm roles in water backup coverage without requiring you to add an extra endorsement.
You’ll also have access to typical add-ons like water-backup, identity theft protection — and even inflation protection (Liberty Mutual was the only other provider we looked at who offered this). Discounts, however, are not State Farm’s strong suit. A few are outlined, such as multiple account discounts and savings for installation of security systems., and State Farm does offer a comprehensive discount option for those with new or improved roofs. But if you’re looking for additional ways to trim your premium, go ahead and get quotes multiple providers, since many offer a more robust range of discounts.
The Hartford rounds out our list of the best homeowners insurance in West Virginia, but it’s in no way a last resort. Highly acclaimed by Consumer Reports for agent courtesy and timely/satisfactory payment, The Hartford offers customers excellent coverages and experience. Its Basic plans cover all the bases, with comprehensive dwelling, personal property, and personal liability coverage. And if you want to extend those coverages to create a more inclusive policy The Hartford makes it easy with ready-made packages. The company’s Home Advantage and Home Advantage Plus packages offer extra protection surrounding liability, personal items lost or damaged, and even ID fraud protection to cover all that live in your home. Unlike the a la carte options offered by most other providers, these packages require a little less legwork on your end. (The flip side, of course, is that they’re also less customized to your particular needs.)
While most of The Hartford’s coverages are found throughout our top five insurers, The Hartford alone shines a light into the relatively ambiguous market of Home Warranties: No basic home insurance policy will cover breakdowns or mechanical failures of any home appliance. However, you can add Equipment Advantage Protection from The Hartford to cover all the major appliance systems in your home, like a fridge on the fritz or an HVAC shutdown. While there are many options from independent companies for home warranties such as this, including this protection from The Hartford will give you that peace of mind that comes from a trusted source and a reputable name.
What to Know Before You Purchase West Virginia Homeowners Insurance
Here's how quotes compare from our top West Virginia homeowners insurance providers
No matter which provider you choose, it’s always a good idea to compare quotes — which is exactly what we did for our top providers. Below are our quotes for an “average” three bed, two bath house with approximately 1,700 sq ft based in Charleston, WV.
Consider these findings a reference point only. Even slight differences in house structure or materials, claims history, or zip code can affect your personal quote. And since every provider calculates risk a bit differently, it always pays to shop around.
*The Hartford requires a phone interview to complete a quote, which takes a bit more personal and sensitive information than we can replicate. We certainly advise giving them each a call before making your final purchase decision.
We were most impressed with Liberty Mutual’s evaluation of our hypothetical house. It offers nearly $80,000 more in dwelling coverage versus State Farm and Allstate, plus similarly generous coverage for personal property. On top of a competitively low deductible, we feel it’s worth paying an extra $10-30 more per month on your premium for full peace of mind.
All homes and homeowners are unique, of course, and some people may be most concerned about finding an affordable premium. In this case, Nationwide is likely to be an attractive choice. Although its coverages fall well behind Liberty Mutual’s, Nationwide nearly matches State Farm and Allstate— and again, at a competitively low deductible.
Strongly consider flood insurance.
According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, flooding is the most costly and fastest-growing natural disaster across the nation, and West Virginia is no exception. The overwhelming majority of land in West Virginia falls into the “100-year floodplain” as designated by FEMA, which means the chance of seeing a damaging flood within anyone’s lifetime is quite possible. Yet less than 5% of the state holds a flood insurance policy.
West Virginia’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management works to mitigate these kind of damages by employing Floodplain Management. This agency regulates issues like development of high-risk areas inspecting building practices such as elevating homes or building near or below Base Flood Elevations (BFE). Even with their dedication to creating a safer home environment for West Virginians in the most flood-prone areas, there are still risks.
It's also important to know that most private insurance providers, including all five of our best homeowners insurance companies, do not offer this coverage. You should look to FEMA and the Federal Government for protection against this type of water damage. You can investigate your availabilities with the National Flood Insurance Program, which covers “direct physical damage to buildings and/or personal property as a result of flooding.”