The Best Delaware Homeowners Insurance Company
Big things can come in small packages and this is especially true when it comes to the country’s second smallest state: Delaware. From picturesque beaches and state parks to historic estates and gardens, the First State is bursting with wonder. However, Delaware’s ambiance can also pose a challenge to Delawareans with inclement weather including nor’easters and hurricanes — both of which are important considerations when purchasing homeowners insurance.
While homeowners insurance provides financial protection in the event of a disaster or accident involving your home, we suggest obtaining price quotes from various companies before you buy. After all, everything from the age and location of your home to its construction materials and contents have an effect on your premiums. Shopping around can help you find the best coverage and rate. Our quote tool can help you start.
How We Found the Best Delaware Homeowners Insurance Company
To find the best Delaware homeowners insurance, we used a method similar to our review on national providers. We started by finding the top five homeowners insurance providers in the state by total market share. Then, we compared them based on factors including standard coverage options, discounts and endorsements, and online resources. We also checked financial strength ratings with agencies such as A.M. Best to ensure they have the ability to pay your claims. We then compared customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports to see which company offered the best customer service.
Finally, we utilized the Delaware Department of Insurance rate calculator to compare insurance quotes for cities throughout the state. Doing so gave us a better idea of pricing trends for each insurer. In the end, we found a few solid recommendations.
The 5 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Delaware
- Liberty Mutual
- State Farm
Delaware Homeowners Insurance Reviews
With excellent customer satisfaction ratings, Nationwide is our top choice. Put simply, the company outperforms the competition when it comes to the claims experience — arguably the most important aspect of customer service. More specifically, the Consumer Reports homeowners insurance survey rates Nationwide as “excellent” for timely claims payment, ease of reaching an agent, and promptness of responses.
In addition to its top-notch claims service, Nationwide offers coverage options that go above and beyond the competition. For example, the company offers coverage for brand new belongings and even roof replacements. If your roof needs to be replaced due to a covered event, Nationwide will pay for the cost of materials that can better withstand rain and strong winds — two issues that go hand in hand with the strong wind and storm conditions of Delaware’s nor’easters. In other words, Nationwide not only offers thorough protection but will help to keep your home safe in the future.
Of course, Nationwide isn’t perfect. Most notably, the insurer does not offer flood insurance. Flood insurance is a separate policy that is often required of homeowners in high-risk flood areas. While Delaware does not require flood insurance, the state’s heavy rain makes it susceptible to flooding. The National Flood Insurance Program reports that more than 20 percent of flood claims come from people outside of high-risk flood areas. That means Nationwide customers may want to invest in flood insurance elsewhere, which is a bit of a hassle.
That said, Nationwide provides a wide range of online tools and discounts that make up for the inconvenience. The Nationwide website even provides a helpful glossary of homeowners insurance terms, and its online quote tool features detailed descriptions of your coverage. In short, Nationwide is a reliable provider that will prepare you for common types of inclement weather.
Along with USAA, Allstate is one of two Delaware insurers to offer both flood insurance and roofing discounts, making it an excellent choice for Delaware homeowners. Affordability also makes Allstate a great pick: It gave us the cheapest quotes of the five insurers in our tests, with an average premium of $633.
The insurer’s financial ratings are also solid, and it holds above average customer satisfaction scores from both JD Power and Consumer Reports. However, they were slightly lower than Nationwide’s — an 80/100 overall compared to Nationwide’s 86/100 from Consumer Reports.. Customer satisfaction during the claims experience is a critical part of homeowners insurance, so Allstate didn’t take top spot.
Still, the insurer is no slouch in several other important categories. For example, the Allstate website is our favorite. It provides clearly outlined policy features including coverage options and claims information. The site also provides several educational tools, such as the Common and Costly Claims tool, which allows you to enter your ZIP code to view the average costs of the most common claims in your area. For even more detail, Allstate’s GoodHome home report will play a Google Street View video of your home while listing potential risks as well as tips on how to prevent and mitigate them. Aside from providing a close-up look at your current or potential home, this tool can help you guard against common claims and find a policy that saves you money.
Liberty Mutual proves that preparedness is key when it comes to homeowners insurance providers. For example, a standard coverage plan with the company includes 24/7 emergency home repairs which means you can expect assistance day or night in the event of a natural disaster or accident at your home. In addition, the company has high financial strength ratings with agencies like A.M. Best. In short, the company is well-prepared to handle the details and costs of your claims at all times.
If you do have to file a claim, Liberty Mutual makes the process as seamless as possible with step-by-step instructions. Thanks to the company’s RealTime Review, claim representatives can even use FaceTime or Skype to view your property and complete a damage estimate on the spot — a nice touch that ensures you receive an accurate estimate and coverage quickly. You can also expect options such as inflation protection and coverage for additional living expenses. The latter is offered in a standard homeowners insurance policy and provides living expenses if you need lodging during repairs and replaces the full cost of your possessions, not just the depreciated value. In short, your claim will be speedy but also thorough.
That said, Liberty Mutual’s online quote process is a bit intensive. You’ll need to know specific details like the percentage of carpet, tile, and wood flooring in your home. Fortunately, that effort is likely to pay off: Based on data from the Delaware Department of insurance, Liberty Mutual’s premiums are among the most affordable in the state at an average of $885 — and that doesn’t include its many discount options. The actual cost of your plan will depend on your home, so we recommend using our quote tool for an estimate. In any case, Liberty Mutual is worth a look.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, State Farm writes 26 percent of the Delaware’s homeowners insurance policies — and for good reason. The company received some of the highest financial ratings from Moody’s, A.M. Best, and Standard & Poor’s, as well as excellent customer satisfaction ratings from Consumer Reports and JD Power.
State Farm’s discount and endorsement offerings are equally impressive. Its multi-policy savings are standard, but what really stood out were State Farm’s home alert protection discounts. By installing items such as smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, burglar alarms, or any other home monitoring system, you could be eligible for a discount. Furthermore, installing certified weatherproof roofs allows homeowners to not only reap the benefits of a safer home but additional financial savings, too. If damage does occur, State Farm’s coverage options will offer additional financial protection with coverage for everything from sewer backup to damage from snow. Considering Delaware’s most common claims involve water damage, this is an important point to keep in mind when shopping around.
There were a few areas, however, where State Farm didn’t stack up. Its website includes an intuitive quote tool as well as informative articles and infographics, but it still wasn’t as robust as Allstate, Liberty Mutual, or Nationwide’s sites. The insurer’s premiums were also among the highest in the state averaging around $1,270 — and that’s without add-ons such as flood insurance, which State Farm also doesn’t offer. While it didn’t take our top spot, getting a quote from State Farm is still worth the time.
It’s important to note that USAA is only available to current and former members of the US military and their families. If you qualify, however, you should definitely consider purchasing homeowners insurance with USAA.
For starters, USAA earned the highest financial strength ratings of all five insurers. The provider also excels with customer service, and its satisfaction score of 92 from Consumer Reports is the highest out of the insurers we compared. The J.D. Power 2018 Property Claims Satisfaction Study also reported a high level of satisfaction with water-related claims, which are common in Delaware.
USAA also offers terrific flood insurance policies — a coverage option that even our top pick lacks. But even without flood insurance, the provider’s standard coverage is exemplary. For example, up to $5,000 of identity theft coverage is automatically included with each policy, and USAA’s replacement cost coverage includes your home and personal belongings with no depreciation factored in.
There were a few important factors, however, that bumped USAA down from the top spot. It is simply too exclusive, and although USAA offers 24/7 claims access, it does not have any Delaware locations where you can meet with a representative in person. The price you pay for USAA’s coverage is also likely to be high. Based on premiums from the state insurance department, a USAA policy comes in as the second most expensive with costs slightly below State Farm’s. That said, USAA is considered a gold standard in the insurance industry, and if you qualify, it’s worth getting a quote.
Guide to Delaware Homeowners Insurance
Prioritize flood insurance and water damage coverage
nor’easters and hurricanes, nor’easters, and inland flooding are three of the Delaware’s most common natural disasters. While a hurricane has not made direct landfall in Delaware since 1851, the storms can cause damage even when located 50 miles away. According to the Insurance Information Institute, Delaware was affected by Superstorm Sandy and Hurricanes Ivan and Irene — three of the top 10 most significant flood events by National Flood Insurance Program payouts.
Flood insurance also protects you from more common storms like a nor’easter. These cyclones produce heavy rains which can cause significant erosion and coastal flooding. Passing on flood insurance means there is a chance you will have to foot a large bill — the average flood insurance claim is $43,000. Rather than worry about a large financial risk, signing up for flood insurance will offer peace of mind throughout the year.
Premiums vary widely throughout the state
How much you will pay for homeowners insurance will effect on your premiums in the First State. To show just how much annual premiums differ, we used the Delaware Department of Insurance rate calculator. The numbers below reflect average premiums (rounded to the nearest multiple of 5) across five locations for an H0-3 policy on a 10-year-old home with a frame construction, a $1,000 deductible, and $250,000 in coverage — the average characteristics of a relatively new home.
Average Premiums Across Five Locations
The results show that State Farm and USAA generally have the most expensive premiums, while Nationwide and Allstate have the cheapest. That said, the cost of premiums varies widely across Delaware’s 2,489 square miles. For example, northern locations like Wilmington have low premiums that average around $740. Premiums jump up slightly as you move farther south to Dover and Georgetown to averages of $780 and $980, respectively. The general trend? The closer you are to the south or coastline, the higher the prices will be. But we recommend using our quote tool for an accurate estimate of premiums in your specific location.
Look at your current auto policy
Many auto insurance companies provide more than just coverage for your car. Some, like our top picks, also offer you the opportunity to save some money when you bundle your auto and home policies. If you already have auto insurance and you’re thinking about moving into a home and getting coverage, check to see if you can opt for a multi-policy discount.
Delaware Homeowners Insurance FAQ
Which Delaware home insurance companies offer flood insurance?
You’d think it would be easier to find home insurance companies offering flood coverage in such a high-risk area. However, we found that availability of this coverage was rare in the First State. Of the top 10 writers of homeowners insurance in Delaware, we found flood coverage offered by the following:
If you have a preferred homeowners insurance company that does not offer this coverage, you can also look to the National Flood Insurance Program. This FEMA-run organization helps to provide affordable policies property owners, renters, and businesses.
How much is homeowners insurance in Delaware?
On average, Delaware residents pay $780 in annual premiums when it comes to homeowners insurance. However, this number can vary depending on a variety of factors including the age of the home, location, construction materials, and contents within. We recommend getting as many quotes as possible and using our top picks as a starting point. You can also get an accurate rundown using the Delaware Department of Insurance rate calculator.
Is homeowners insurance mandatory in Delaware?
No, but we can’t recommend it enough. The prevalence of severe weather, including nor’easters makes homeowners insurance a crucial investment for Delaware residents. You should look for an insurer with a strong financial outlook and high levels of customer satisfaction, particularly when it comes to the claims process. You should also be sure your policy includes coverage for wind and water damage and consider purchasing a flood insurance policy. And before deciding on an insurer, you should shop around, comparing coverage options and premiums from multiple providers. You can start by entering your ZIP code in our quote tool.