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Last updated on Sep 17, 2020

The Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in California

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    Life in Cali is pretty amazing. California ranks among the top states to live for its booming economy, great healthcare and natural resources.But living in the Golden State has many challenges, mainly because of high risks of natural disasters such as wildfires and earthquakes. 

    The best home insurance companies in California protect your property from damages related to natural disasters but also provide flexible policies, discounts, online resources, among other perks. Our list includes big national names such as Allstate, State Farm and USAA, but also local player Mercury Insurance. Some of these companies also made it to our national list of best homeowners insurance companies.

    The 4 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in California


    Providers
    Average PriceAM Best Financial StrengthJ.D Power Overall Customer Satisfaction
    Allstate$416A+814
    USAA$537.66A++878
    State Farm$537A++831
    Mercury Insurance$405A+837

    Information as of 09/02/2020

    Allstate

    Allstate’s strength is in the diversity of its offerings and discounts, which allow you to pick and choose the coverage that works best for your circumstances. It has a great website, with tons of useful information.

    Allstate

    Most Customizable

    Why we chose it

    Allstate’s discounts add up to lower premiums, making the company a good choice for anyone who’s looking to save a few dollars on their premium costs. Allstate is also generous in their coverage, providing up to $10,000 for accidental damage.
    • 4 Reviews Score
    • A+ AM Best Rate AM Best rates car insurance provider’s creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 814* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.
    • A+ BBB Rating The BBB rates companies based on trustworthiness and performance. The company uses a variety of factors, including how the company handles customer complaints.

    Why we chose it

    Allstate’s discounts add up to lower premiums, making the company a good choice for anyone who’s looking to save a few dollars on their premium costs. Allstate is also generous in their coverage, providing up to $10,000 for accidental damage.

    Pros

    • Diverse discount opportunities
    • Informative website and digital tools
    • Above-average customer service

    Cons

    • NAIC complaint index high
    • Financial strength ratings good, but not great

    Discounts available

    • Early signing discount
    • Home buyer discount
    • Hail-resistant roof discount

    Unique features

    Allstate’s discount list is longer than most national insurers. You could save up to 10% on your premiums if you sign up for your new policy at least 7 days before the current one expires.

    *J.D. Power 2019 Home Insurance Customer Satisfaction Survey, based on a 1,000-point scale

    Further Reading on Allstate:

    USAA

    Like Amica, USAA appears at the top of rating lists for its excellent customer service, comprehensive policies, and fair prices. The only catch is that you must be a current or former member of the military community to purchase a policy — but if you are, the company should be your first stop.

    USAA

    Best for Military Families

    Why we chose it

    USAA has earned a high reputation for quality and service within the military community. If you fit the demographic, getting a quote from USAA should be the first step in your search for great homeowners insurance.
    • 4 Reviews Score
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates car insurance provider’s creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 878* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.
    • N/A BBB Rating The BBB rates companies based on trustworthiness and performance. The company uses a variety of factors, including how the company handles customer complaints.

    Why we chose it

    USAA has earned a high reputation for quality and service within the military community. If you fit the demographic, getting a quote from USAA should be the first step in your search for great homeowners insurance.

    Pros

    • Outstanding customer service
    • Policies tailored to military family needs
    • Competitive pricing

    Cons

    • Only available to current and former military members and their families
    • Limited discounts

    Discounts available

    • Save 10% if you bundle with auto 
    • Claims-free 10% discount
    • Home security system discount

    Unique features

    USAA’s policies are written with service men and women in mind. This means they have details that anyone in the military can appreciate, such as full coverage for uniforms for active duty or deployed members.

    *J.D. Power 2019 Home Insurance Customer Satisfaction Survey, based on a 1,000-point scale

    Further Reading on USAA:

    State Farm

    State Farm offers above-average customer support along with competitive pricing and solid coverage options. For those new to home ownership, its Simple Insights blog can tell you everything you need to know about homeownership in general. 

    State Farm

    Best for Web Experience

    Why we chose it

    Providing a high-quality customer experience is only one of State Farm’s strengths. It also offers good policy coverages with add-ons to allow you to customize your policy.
    • 3.75 Reviews Score
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates car insurance provider’s creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 831* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.
    • A BBB Rating The BBB rates companies based on trustworthiness and performance. The company uses a variety of factors, including how the company handles customer complaints.

    Why we chose it

    Providing a high-quality customer experience is only one of State Farm’s strengths. It also offers good policy coverages with add-ons to allow you to customize your policy.

    Pros

    • Financially strong
    • Excellent web presence
    • 19,000+ agents nationally
    • Informative blog

    Cons

    • Limited discounts
    • Higher premiums

    Discounts available

    • Multiple policy discount
    • Fire, smoke, or burglar alarms discount
    • Impact-resistant roof discount

    Unique features

    State Farm’s comprehensive website makes it easy to get a detailed quote in minutes. You can also pay your bill, file and manage a claim, and handle most maintenance tasks either online or via the company’s app.

    *J.D. Power 2019 Home Insurance Customer Satisfaction Survey, based on a 1,000-point scale

    Further Reading on State Farm:

    Mercury Insurance

    Mercury Insurance has served the local community of California for over 50 years. Their homeowners insurance policy includes the traditional coverages, but you can also add coverages for modern-day problems such as damaged home equipment, identity theft and cyber attacks.

    Mercury Insurance

    Best Local Company in California

    Why we chose it

    We love the fact that the company was founded in California and solves the unique needs of the state’s residents. Its coverage includes property damage resulting from fire, lightning, windstorms, and more.
    • N/A Reviews Score
    • A+ AM Best Rate AM Best rates car insurance provider’s creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • N/A J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.
    • A+ BBB Rating The BBB rates companies based on trustworthiness and performance. The company uses a variety of factors, including how the company handles customer complaints.

    Why we chose it

    We love the fact that the company was founded in California and solves the unique needs of the state’s residents. Its coverage includes property damage resulting from fire, lightning, windstorms, and more.

    Pros

    • Great local service
    • Ride-share coverage

    Cons

    • Must call to file a claim
    • Earthquake insurance and flood insurance is an add-on

    Discounts available

    • Autopay
    • Multi Policy 
    • Protective device discount

    Unique features

    Mercury Insurance offers an extended replacement cost policy that provides additional coverage up to 150% of its dwelling protection. It also has additional living expenses coverage if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss. Feel free to invite people over, because if they get injured, they will be protected with its guest medical protection.

    **Some regional companies don’t have enough third party ratings to calculate a score.

    Further Reading on Mercury:

    Average Cost of Homeowners Insurance in California

    Even if California is a state prone to natural disasters, the average homeowner insurance premiums are $1,008, surprisingly about $200 below the national average, per the NAIC. Since 2017, this state has declared at least three natural disasters per year, with six in 2017, three declared in 2018, and five in 2019. A catastrophic loss or impact in each state might increase the rates on the average premiums, but it will vary depending on where in the state you live. There are other community and individual elements that incide in the cost of your premium, like crime rate in the neighborhood, the age of the house you live in, your age and even your credit score. So the cheapest homeowners insurance company for you might be different from what we found for this article.

    Home Insurance Add-Ons That Will Further Protect You 

    When deciding which is the best California homeowners insurance for you, consider your home location’s risks and find a policy that goes accordingly to protect your house and belongings. California specifically is prone to earthquakes, flooding, wildfires, landslides and mudslides. 

    Policy add-ons for events so unpredictable, such as coverage for floods or earthquakes, must be purchased separately. Without these add-ons, you can’t submit a claim to your insurance company and will end up paying for damages out of pocket. So make sure that your policy covers all the possible hazards in your area, because it could save you money in the long run.

    The Cheapest Homeowner Insurance Companies in California 

    Largest Companies by Market Share in CaliforniaAverage Annual Premium 
    Mercury Insurance$405.00
    Progressive$409.00
    Allstate$416.00
    Armed Forces Ins Exch$458.00
    Garrison Prop & Cas Ins Co$484.00
    State Farm$537.00
    USAA$537.66
    Travelers$605.00
    Interins Exch Of The Automobile Club$608.00
    Universal N Amer Ins Co$629.00
    Aegis Security Ins Co$660.00
    CSE Safeguard Ins Co$737.00
    Grange Ins Assn$789.00
    Safeco$793.00
    Nationwide$817.00
    Eagle W Ins Co$817.00
    Farmers Insurance$824.33
    Metropolitan Insurance$864.00
    First Amer Prop & Cas Ins Co$937.00
    MAPFRE$1,026.00
    The Hartford$1,143.00
    Twin City Fire Ins Co$1,143.00
    Sentinel Ins Co Ltd$1,200.00
    Trumbull Insurance$1,232.00
    Cincinnati Ins Co$1,293.00
    AIG Prop Cas Co$1,468.00
    Chubb$2,948.00
    Encompass$4,077.00
    Privilege Underwriters Recp Exch$4,865.00

    Cost of Homeowners Insurance by Age of Home

    Age of Home (years)Sample Annual Premium 
    5$1,063
    20$1,372
    35$1,441
    50$1,425

    The Cheapest in the state

    • Mercury Insurance – $405 average annual premium
    • Progressive – $409 average annual premium
    • Allstate – $416 average annual premium

    The Most Expensive

    • PURE Insurance – $4,865 average annual premium
    • Encompass – $4,077 average annual premium
    • Chubb – $2,948 average annual premium

    Helpful Resources for California Homeowners

    Knowing the ins and outs and your rights as a consumer is key to getting the most value out of your homeowner’s policy. The California Department of Insurance has a website with useful content to help residents understand how residential insurance works and which insurance best protects your family, your home, and your possessions.

    United Policyholders also created a helpful guide of legal rights you have when purchasing insurance in California. And if your insurer drops your coverage, this nonprofit has a step-by-step plan on where to go for help.

    Homeowners Insurance FAQ 

    Is Homeowners Insurance Required in California?

    Homeowner insurance is not required by California law. But if you have a mortgage, your lender might require you to have one, as properties in California might be considered a higher risk.

    What is the Cheapest Homeowners Insurance in California?

    The cheapest option in terms of the average annual premium for home insurance was Mercury starting at $405. The next two most affordable homeowners insurance was Progressive with a yearly premium of $409, followed by Allstate with a $416 average annual premium. However, you need to get an individual quote to find the most accurate price based on your unique circumstances. 

    How Can I Lower my Homeowners Insurance in California?

    Some companies are willing to give discounts to decrease your premium payment. Factors such as construction materials, age of the property, and disaster-prone areas could increase the price in California. But if you are looking to lower the cost, you can install protective devices, such as burglar alarms, smoke alarms and detectors and fire extinguishers. If you look for multi policies, you might get a discount for having your car or other types of insurance with the same company.

    Methodology

    We evaluated the companies based on their customer rating and experience, financial stability, and coverage to determine the best providers. To compare home insurance companies across the board, we then calculated a Reviews.com score based on the following:

    • Customer Ratings — Customer ratings are an indication of satisfaction with the process of filing a claim. We measured this using J.D. Power Homeowners Satisfaction ratings.
    • Coverage — As there isn’t one company to fit everyone’s needs, we evaluated companies by the amount of coverage options and add-ons available. 
    • Confidence — It is extremely important for insurance companies to fulfill customers’ claims. Companies with sound financial strength will not have issues paying out claims, regardless of the amount. However, companies with weak financial strength might not be able to pay out claims. We measured this using AM Best’s ratings, which specializes in assessing the financial strength of insurance companies.
    • Customer Experience — The amount of complaints a company receives is an indicator of the overall customer experience as it expresses dissatisfaction. We have based this measure on the NAIC National Complaint Index.

    About the Authors

    Nina Rodríguez-Quirós

    Nina Rodríguez-Quirós Feature Writer

    Nina is a feature writer for Reviews.com since October 2019. She writes about finance, banking, and broadband. Nina holds a Master’s Degree in Theory and Research of Communications from the University of Puerto Rico. When she is not playing with words, she takes pictures and spends time with her loved ones.

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