The Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Georgia
From rolling green hills in the north to balmy beaches and port towns in the south, Georgia offers a lot of diversity for homeowners. Of course, that makes insurance a diverse landscape too. Where you live determines potential risks to your home, the types of endorsements you should look for, and how much you’ll ultimately pay for your policy. For example: Coverage for a $200,000 house in southwestern Randolph County could cost more than twice as much as it would in Gwinnett County in the Atlanta region.
No matter where you live, though, it’s important to look for comprehensive homeowners insurance. Your home should be protected from top to bottom, with a policy that will pay out whether you experience wind damage to your roof (the most common claim nationwide) or flooding in the basement. We evaluated the best providers in Georgia, digging into fine print and company ratings, to see how they’d perform if you ever need to file a claim.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Georgia
We sized up the top four providers in Georgia by market share, following the same criteria we developed for our national homeowners insurance review. In short: We looked for rock solid financial ratings (meaning the company is able to pay out on any claim), as well as excellent customer service, well-rounded coverage, and a generous list of discounts.
The Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Georgia
Georgia Homeowners Insurance Reviews
State Farm is Georgia’s biggest homeowners insurance provider, holding 28% of the market. It puts up a good showing for ratings: Consumer Reports scores State Farm 82/100 (“very good”), and J.D. Power gives it four out of five stars. The company scored especially highly for responsiveness, customer support, and timely claims payouts — a nice assurance that it will be easy to work with if you ever need to file a claim. On top of that, State Farm earned an “A” from A.M. Best, meaning it offers sound financial backing for your policy.
We also like State Farm’s comprehensive online quote tool. It’s easy to get a personalized quote in just minutes and see how State Farm’s prices measure up to the competition. Note that it does ask for your social security number at the start of the process — but that’s an optional step, and experts generally recommended that you avoid sharing your number unless necessary.
One thing that sets State Farm’s quote tool apart is a feature called 360Value, which helps determine the replacement value of your home. Replacement value isn’t the same as sale price or your mortgage rate. Rather, it’s the estimated cost to rebuild your house at today’s prices.
Allstate offers a great range of discounts, making it a solid choice for those pinching pennies after buying a house. Our sample quote, for example, netted nine discounts — saving a total of $336 per year. The quote process is exceptionally thorough, too. For comparison’s sake, Allstate gives you three quote options (standard, choice, and premium) which you can tinker with to see how different coverage levels affect price. It even includes a live chat feature, making it easy to reach a rep for one-off questions and accurately refine your quote.
As for ratings, Allstate falls a little behind State Farm. It earned a Consumer Reports reader score of 80 — the lowest of our top four, but still in the “very good” range. J.D. Power ranks it “about average” for claims, service, and overall satisfaction. On the plus side, Allstate is very financially sound (scoring an “A+” from A.M. Best) so you won’t have to worry about its ability to pay out on claims. It just might be a little slower to do so than State Farm.
Overall, Allstate isn’t quite on par with State Farm for customer service or claims satisfaction, but it is likely to be an affordable option for Georgia homeowners. We recommend starting here if getting a good deal is your first priority.
One of Liberty Mutual’s strengths is its customer service, and we can see why: This company offers some awesome support tools we didn’t see anywhere else. For instance, policyholders have access to a 24/7 repair service, as well as a “catastrophe rapid response” unit that will help you find alternate housing and settle your claim quickly in the event of a disaster. Liberty Mutual’s unique helpfulness is reflected in its Consumer Reports score (83), which was the highest of any company on our list.
That said, superior service does come at a price. Our quotes from Liberty Mutual were the most expensive we received — almost $300 more than the nearest competitor, State Farm. This price reflects four discounts, including claim free, recent home buyer, and insured to value (i.e., replacement cost rather than purchase price).
Our quote also included something called “Home Protector Plus,” which comes standard with Liberty’s policies, and beefs up coverage amounts. We were able to save about $120 by opting out of this endorsement. The quote tool lets you edit your coverage, so we’d suggest trying it both ways to see which version you’re more comfortable with.
As for resources, we love Liberty Mutual’s MasterThis blog, which includes helpful information on home repairs, moving tips, and gearing up for bad weather. You can also download an app for iPhone or Android to file and track claims electronically.
Travelers offers two homeowners insurance plans: basic and better. We recommend the “better” policy. It protects everything that “basic” does, but with increased coverage levels for personal property that are more in line with what other companies offer. If you’re stretched for cash, the basic plan may suffice — or, alternatively, Travelers gives you the option to increase your deductible from $1,000 to $2,000. Doing so dropped our annual premium to a seriously affordable $460.
In addition to affordable coverage, Travelers pulls through with solid customer support. It scored an 82 (“very good”) from Consumer Reports, coming in close behind Liberty Mutual. J.D. Power respondents give it three out of five stars, which breaks level with Allstate and Liberty Mutual. Policies are also backed by “A++”-rated financials, confirming that Travelers will be able to recoup your losses in the event of a disaster.
As for customer tools, Travelers’ website doesn’t have a lot of bells or whistles. Many questions on the FAQ page simply direct you to “call an agent,” which is much more time consuming than finding information online. The site also told us that we “may be eligible” for 15 discounts, but its discount page only lists five. State Farm, Allstate, and Liberty Mutual all had more informative websites that simplified policy shopping and comparison. Still, Travelers is fairly priced and may still be your best bet — we recommend requesting a quote from all four companies to compare your options.
Guide to Homeowners Insurance in Georgia
Make sure you have flood insurance
Georgia ranks as the seventh rainiest state in the U.S. What does that mean for you as a homeowner? That water-related disasters, from floods to roof leaks, are going to play into your insurance policy — so you definitely want to have flood insurance.
Unfortunately, the majority of homeowners policies are severely lacking when it comes to flood coverage. Most won’t pay for flooding from a storm, or the mold and mildew damage that can proliferate when waters recede. Take a close look at your policy: If it doesn’t protect you in these situations, you may need to consider alternate flood insurance. We recommend checking out the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) from FEMA. This program provides flood coverage to owners and renters in high-risk areas, who can’t get it with their standard policy.
Know that location affects price
The old real estate adage, “the three most important things to consider are location, location, location,” rings true when shopping for homeowners’ insurance. From hurricanes, to tropical storms, to tornadoes, different parts of Georgia are subject to different natural events that could damage your home — and therefore, will affect policy prices.
Though you can tinker with price by changing coverage levels and deductibles, location will ultimately have the biggest impact on what you pay. Want to see what we mean? The Georgia Office of insurance offers a Homeowners Insurance Rate Comparison tool that lets you compare premiums across 14 regions in the state. This should help you understand how your region ranks, and shed some light on why prices might potentially look higher or lower than expected.
Not covered by our top picks? Consider alternative coverage
Some homeowners considered to be “high-risk” might have trouble finding coverage with a private company. Those considered high-risk are generally homeowners that have made multiple claims in the past or live in areas ripe for natural disaster (hurricane and earthquake zones, for example). If you find yourself in this situation, we recommend taking a look at the Georgia FAIR plan.
The FAIR plan was developed to bring homeowners insurance to “high-risk” individuals as a last resort. It’s primarily directed towards coastal areas — which are at greater risk for windstorms and tropical storms — but could apply in other situations as well. If your initial quote requests with private companies come up dry, try requesting a FAIR plan quote through the Georgia Underwriting Association.
Georgia Homeowners Insurance FAQ
How much is homeowners insurance in Georgia?
Georgia’s average annual premium for homeowners insurance is right in line with the national average: $1,152 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. We recommend requesting quotes from all four of Georgia’s top providers to see how prices stack up. Each one offers an online quote tool, so finding the best deal on your homeowners insurance only takes a few minutes.
Do I need flood insurance in Georgia?
Most likely, yes. Because Georgia has high annual rainfall and lies in an area at risk for tropical storms, you’ll want to be sure that your house is covered for flood- and water-related damage. If you’re on the fence about whether you need flood coverage — or how much you should purchase — one thing you can do is find out whether your home is located in a floodplain. Check out this flood map program from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources; it’ll to help you understand the likeliness of flooding where you live.