The Best Wisconsin Homeowners Insurance Company
Wisconsin’s average annual premiums for homeowners insurance are below the national average — $750 per year for an HO-3 policy, compared to $1,173 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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With some of the world’s best cheese and shorelines on two Great Lakes, Wisconsin is a pretty appealing place to live. Even more appealing are the low housing prices: U.S. News & World Report ranks Wisconsin as the 15th most affordable state when it comes to buying a home. That said, it’s important to know that Wisconsin homeowners deal with their fair share of extreme midwest weather — tornadoes, thunderstorms, and heavy winter snow all make regular appearances in the Badger State.
It makes sense then that many recommend homeowners insurance, which can provide you with financial protection in the event of a disaster or accident involving your home. The good news is that, like its housing costs, premiums for homeowners insurance in Wisconsin are also among the lowest in the nation. Of course, insurance rates still vary depending on the age and state of your home, and shopping around will help you find the best coverage and rate. Our quote tool can help you start.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in Wisconsin
To find the best homeowners insurance in Wisconsin, we used a similar methodology to our review on nationwide companies. First, we gathered the five largest companies in the state by market share. We checked financial strength ratings with agencies such as A.M. Best to ensure that they had the financial stability to pay your claims. Then, we compared each company's coverage options, endorsements, discounts, and online resources. Finally, we evaluated customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power and Associates to see which company offered the best quote and claims experience. In the end, we had a few favorites.
Wisconsin Homeowners Insurance Reviews
Out of the five insurance companies we compared, State Farm scores the highest when it comes to financial stability and customer satisfaction during the claims experience. Its standard plans will reliably cover common Wisconsin claims including weather related damage from summer storms to heavy snow.
The company also offers the second most discounts and endorsements when compared to competitors, including offerings for utility systems and new roofs — great news for owners of older homes. More impressive is the fact that State Farm is the only company that offers an inflation guard endorsement that automatically adjusts coverage each year to keep up with the rising costs of building materials. Many insurance plans don’t adjust coverage as the value of your home or building materials increase, which can leave you drastically underinsured. We like that State Farm removes that risk.
In addition, State Farm has one of the more intuitive and informative websites we tested. Obtaining an online quote was quick and easy, and we especially liked the HomeIndex Inventory Tool — a tool that helps you keep track of your belongings in case you need to report damages or file a claim. You can even edit your inventory from your phone or tablet, which makes State Farm not only a thorough but convenient home insurance option.
When it comes to available discounts and customer service, Allstate is tough to beat. It not only has the largest number of discounts but is the only company that offers one for new customers. The company also offers discounts for home renovations and roof certifications like our top pick State Farm — an important inclusion for homeowners with older houses.
Overall, we also found Allstate’s website to be the most informative as well as easy to navigate. Going through the quote process is painless and includes an outline of various coverage options to help along the way. The website even provides a unique tool that identifies the most common and costly claims in your zip code, to help you determine the level of coverage you need. This makes Allstate’s website not only the most educational but also the most transparent, and we appreciate knowing exactly what type of coverage to look for.
With this attention to customer service in mind, it was no surprise to see that the company is rated just as highly as State Farm for satisfaction during the claims process and with timely claims payment. Why isn’t it our top pick? We liked State Farm’s coverage options a bit more, and we missed the inflation guard. But if you’re looking for some of the best rates possible and great customer service, Allstate is definitely worth a look.
American Family Insurance
American Family Insurance impressed with us with its strong online resources. You can expect clearly explained discounts and endorsements as well as a robust FAQ section to answer any questions you have about coverage options. The company even offers live chat with a customer service rep if you need additional help. Once you hold a policy you can also access the American Family Insurance app which lets you register your personal property to keep your coverage up to date with the value of what you own (a nice touch for easy policy management).
Among the few drawbacks we found with American Family Insurance is its online quote process. As great as its online resources are, we were unable to get a quick online quote. Instead, after filling out our information, we were told an independent agent would be in touch with a quote — which never showed up in our inbox. When it comes to building a policy the company had an endorsement list that was among the smallest we found. Endorsements are amendments to your policy that can offer additional protection that your policy might not cover (think: inflation guards or protection from sewer backups), and having more options ensures you aren’t left without protection you might need.
American Family Insurance also had the lowest financial stability ratings of the five companies we tested, and in some cases had no rating at all. That’s not to say the company has terrible ratings, but other companies will be better able to backup your claims. The company does offer discounts for renovations and customer loyalty (the only one that did) which makes them worth a look, but others like State Farm and Allstate will offer a more convenient quote process and a wider range of endorsements.
Finding out what Acuity’s plans cover was a bit of a mystery, because its website doesn’t do a great job of explaining what a standard homeowners insurance plan includes. While we were able to find out, the lack of basic information and resources earned the company low marks for transparency. Unlike the other companies we evaluated, we also weren’t able to find information about the company from other consumer advocacy sites like JD Power and Associates — the research company doesn’t have any claims rating for Acuity in its systems.
That said, it has one of the stronger online quote tools and we were able to get a quote quickly for our sample property. While it took us a while to find, Acuity also offers up to a twenty percent discount for bundling your insurance through the company and also discounts for home renovations. Add to that some notable endorsements such as coverage for guaranteed home replacement costs (even if it exceeds your policy limit), and a plan with Acuity could be a big money saver down the road or in the event of a disaster. You’ll have to pay a little more for the endorsement and put a little more effort into learning what your plan covers, but it’s worth getting a comparison quote.
West Bend Mutual
West Bend Mutual came up short for almost all of our criteria except one: it listed more endorsements on its website than any of its four competitors. While these endorsements are designed to offer the common kinds of coverage Wisconsinites need, it was hard to know what a basic plan offered — its website was lacking in information about its standard coverage options. We also couldn’t find any information about its claims ratings from JD Power, though to be fair, this is likely because West Bend Mutual is a small Wisconsin-based company.
We were able to find a financial stability rating, which while good, wasn’t the best out of the companies we compared. West Bend Mutual only offers quotes through independent insurance agents, no online tool, and if you get a quote, you might find it’s the right homeowners insurance company for you and your specific needs — after all, it has about the same market share in Wisconsin for homeowners insurance as Allstate which is a good sign for its reputation. But without a lot of information available online we can’t recommend it as the top pick.
Make Sure You’re Fully Covered When Shopping Around
Compared to the rest of the country, homeowners insurance premiums in Wisconsin are fairly affordable, but every home is different. For example, we found quotes for the same median-cost home in Milwaukee from three of our top five insurance companies.
Example Quotes for Wisconsin Sample Property
|Insurance Company||Monthly Premium||Deductible||Amount of Dwelling Protection|
As the chart above shows, the monthly premiums vary greatly depending on your deductible and the amount of coverage you choose to have. Some companies (such as State Farm and Acuity) allow you to customize the amount of protection when researching quotes, while others (like Allstate) automatically give you different levels of estimates. Shopping around can help you find a company that will fully insure you but also save you money on your premium. In any case, it’s a good idea to get a professional estimate of the replacement cost of your home to make sure you’re fully covered. You may end up paying a bit more each month on your policy to match the estimate, but if you ever need to rebuild your home, you’ll be glad you did.
Check Out Your Flood Risk
All that lakefront access means many Wisconsinites have an extra consideration when it comes to protecting their homes: flood insurance. If you’re in the market for a new home you’ll want to ask your realtor about whether flood insurance is a good idea, or you can check out the FEMA floodplain map to see if your home might be at risk. Most insurance companies, including our top five, don’t offer flood insurance as a part of basic coverage. But you still have the option of buying coverage as a separate policy, so we recommend asking your insurance agent or broker about how to do so.
Need an Insurance Adjuster? Tread Carefully in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is one of only five states in the U.S. where there is no licensing required for independent insurance adjusters. If you experience a serious catastrophe, like a house fire, these are the folks you hire to represent you and your claim — they ensure that you get paid for everything your policy covers. Consumer Reports suggests that if you live in Wisconsin, or one of the other five states where no licensing is required for adjusters, that you contact a local attorney you can trust who works with catastrophe victims to help you find an adjuster with a good reputation.
The Bottom Line
Wisconsin homeowners insurance rates are among the most affordable in the nation, but you'll still want to compare coverage options and quotes to find the policy that fits your needs. You can begin by using our quote tool. Just enter your zip code to start comparing.