The Best New Jersey Homeowners Insurance Companies
The best homeowners insurance in New Jersey should have well-rounded coverage backed by the financial strength necessary to settle your claims. Since the Garden State is considered a fairly high-risk state for homeowners insurance, you want to make sure you’re dealing with an insurer with the policies that will give you the most bang for your buck.
Here’s the good news: Unlike most high-risk states, New Jersey’s insurance premiums have stayed fairly low. In fact, they’re right on par with the national average (around $1,100 per year). The downside is that insurance providers hedge their bets by including hefty hurricane deductibles on New Jersey homeowner policies — usually around 5% of the home’s total value. That’s why we’ve taken the time to evaluate the top six insurers in New Jersey to help you shop for a policy, while also providing you with tips for finding the best homeowners insurance in the Garden State.
The Best New Jersey Homeowners Insurance Companies: Summed Up
|State Farm||Allstate||Liberty Mutual||Chubb||New Jersey Manufacturers||USAA|
|Our review||Our review||Our review||Our review|
|Compare rates||Compare rates||Compare rates||Compare rates||Compare rates||Compare rates|
How We Found the Best New Jersey Homeowners Insurance Companies
We evaluated the six largest homeowners insurance providers in the state by market share. Aside from reasonable deductibles, we looked for well-rounded coverage, strong financial backing, great customer support, and ample discount opportunities.
Each New Jersey provider was held up to the same strict criteria that we developed for our review of the best homeowners insurance providers. For an unbiased look at their credentials, we turned to financial scores from the independent agency A.M. Best, as well as customer ratings from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power.
The 6 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in New Jersey
State Farm earns solid praise across the board, taking home an A from A.M. Best for financial stability, as well as decent customer satisfaction scores from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power. Besides strong ratings, there’s a lot to like about this big-name national provider.
For instance, State Farm makes policy shopping painless. Policy and coverage information is clearly listed online, and it only takes a couple of minutes to generate a detailed quote with customizable components. We especially like that State Farm’s site lets you adjust deductible amounts to see how that will impact pricing.
State Farm also offers decent discount opportunities. Homeowners can save on their coverage by bundling home and auto insurance, installing fire, smoke, and burglar alarms, selecting a higher deductible, and making sure that their roof is up to code.
It’s worth noting that New Jersey homeowners will have to pay a separate hurricane deductible. With State Farm, this can be either 2% or 5% of your home’s total value — but either way, it must be higher than your standard deductible. State Farm was the only company we encountered that lets you choose the amount; we liked that homeowners have a say in their rates.
We particularly like Allstate for first-time homeowners. Its website is sharp, with countless resources and calculators to help get you started, and its coverage options are vast and customizable — not to mention affordable.
Part of the reason Allstate’s quotes are so low is that many discounts are applied automatically. The company will cut rates for bundling home and auto insurance, maintaining a smoke-free home, staying claims-free, setting up autopay, and more. By our count, Allstate has the most discounts available of any provider on this list.
Allstate also carries slightly higher deductibles. Its cheaper Standard plan has a $2,000 all-peril deductible, while the higher-tier plans have all-peril deductibles of $1,000. For all three options, the hurricane duration deductible is 5% of your total dwelling protection. Unfortunately, Allstate doesn’t give you the option to select a unique hurricane deductible like State Farm does.
Ratings-wise, Allstate is pretty much on par with our other front-runners. It scored “about average” in J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction survey and slightly lower than State Farm from Consumer Reports. It has rock-solid financial backing, too, with an A+ rating from A.M. Best.
Overall, Allstate’s rates are appealing, but we suggest caution if you’re looking at one of the company’s cheaper plans. Though they appear to save you money, they come with higher deductibles that may hurt after a disaster.
According to a Liberty Mutual agent we talked to, the company took a few years to re-enter the New Jersey market after Hurricane Sandy. We could sense its hesitancy: Liberty Mutual has an online quote system for homeowners insurance, but it wouldn’t allow us to use it for New Jersey, instead directing us to call an agent.
When we finally got a quote over the phone, we weren’t super impressed with Liberty Mutual’s rates. It quoted us higher annual costs than State Farm or Allstate, with a rigid 5% hurricane deductible. Our agent did mention that we could save $300 by bundling home and auto insurance, but it didn’t quite make up for the difference.
One thing that did stand out was Liberty Mutual’s 20% extended replacement coverage. This add-on — which allows you to insure your home for more than its selling price — is important for old houses, whose replacement costs may exceed their actual cash value. We also like the option to include Home Protector Plus, which helps cover the cost of alternate housing and settle claims quickly in the event that your house gets damaged.
Liberty Mutual’s coverage is backed by solid financials, rated A by A.M. Best. However, we didn’t love Liberty Mutual’s customer service, and it seems we weren’t alone — J.D. Power gave the company a score of three out of five for overall satisfaction and a two out of five in the “interaction” category. At the end of the day, Liberty Mutual is a reputable provider, but it wouldn’t be our first choice for New Jersey homeowners insurance until it regains some footing in the state’s market.
Chubb’s Masterpiece policy demonstrates the company’s main focus: high-end clients and homes. It includes coverage for things like fine art and newly acquired valuables such as furs, cameras, musical instruments, and collectibles. Says a pamphlet: “As one of the world leading insurers of fine homes and possessions, Chubb gives you more than just a typical policy.”
Then there’s the optional Family Protection Policy, which Chubb touts as one-of-a-kind. It offers protection for kidnappings, ransom, stalking, and incidents of “Air Rage or Road Rage.” Chubb also grabbed headlines for being the first major insurer to include “cyberbullying insurance” on its homeowner policy (covering therapy for victims of cyberbullying, up to $60,000).
If any of these coverage options are important to you, Chubb has the financial reputation to back them up. It has some of the highest credit ratings of any company we evaluated, scoring an A++ from A.M. Best.
Chubb also gives discounts for bundling your auto and home insurance, but its website is generally scant about pricing information and doesn’t provide an online quote tool. You’ll have to check directly with an affiliated independent agent to see if your home is eligible for Chubb Insurance.
New Jersey Manufacturers
The first thing to know about New Jersey Manufacturers (NJM) is that it sells insurance on a membership-only basis. However, it casts a wide net; coverage is available to public and government employees plus spouses, and to anyone working for a company in the New Jersey Business and Industry Association. If you’re interested, check out the full list of eligibility requirements to see if you qualify.
If you do, NJM is a great choice. For starters, it has a robust coverage selection compared to other top companies. Boaters will love the optional coverage for watercraft, which includes cruiser boats, jet skis, and pontoons through a partnership with American Modern Insurance. It’s also the only company aside from State Farm to offer an optional coverage for mandated building code upgrades.
NJM even offers a few interesting perks that the competition doesn’t. Foremost is its dividend program: If the company posts positive financial results for the year, policyholders are “typically credited” with a dividend payment that goes toward paying their annual premium. NJM’s site states that the company has paid dividends annually since 1918.
In addition, NJM is one of a handful of private companies offering flood insurance. Most flood policies must be purchased as a separate plan through FEMA. NJM still sells them through a subsidiary company — New Jersey Re-Insurance — but we liked the convenience of using one website to manage both policies rather than having to jump over to FEMA.
Whether or not you’re considering NJM, we suggest checking out its downloadable buyers’ guide, which talks plainly about hurricane deductibles, how to storm-proof your home, and how to shop for homeowners’ insurance. It’s a great resource for shoppers.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: USAA is not for everyone. If you are not an active duty service member, a veteran, or a spouse to any of these, then you are not eligible. As a result, it was very difficult for us to get an idea of what you might pay in premiums. Even the online quote tool was locked behind a membership log-in.
However, if you are eligible for USAA, you’ll find a company that tied with Chubb for the highest financial strength rating of A++ and skyrocketed past the rest in overall satisfaction with J.D. Power. USAA received five out of five scores in overall satisfaction and every other category including price, policy offerings, and claims experience. It also received the highest marks of all our top picks from Consumer Reports.
Information on USAA’s site is a little sparse, with the listed coverages limited to the standard fare such as theft, fire, and vandalism, along with an oddly vague protection against “most weather-related events.” Exactly what that entails will have to be disclosed by an agent and, again, most likely only if you’re eligible. Advertised discounts were also a little light, though the company does offer military-relevant discounts, such as coverage for your uniforms in the event of loss. Since a full Army combat uniform can cost over $100, this might be worth considering.
There aren’t many insurance providers with these kinds of financial strength and customer service ratings that cater specifically to the military. If you’re eligible, USAA is definitely worth checking out.
Guide to New Jersey Homeowners Insurance
Keep an eye out for high hurricane deductibles
Hurricane deductibles are a standard part of all New Jersey homeowners insurance policies. They’re how insurance companies mitigate risk and payout when a destructive tropical storm hits. It’s important to note that hurricane deductibles are separate from standard “all-peril” deductions; in the event of hurricane damage, you’ll pay between 1% and 5% of your home’s total replacement cost on top of your policy’s normal deductible.
Although you can’t escape them completely, you can avoid hurricane deductibles that are unreasonably high. A 5% deductible is fairly standard, though some companies will go a little lower. State Farm is the only company we’ve seen that lets you choose the amount (either 2% or 5%), but it must be higher than your standard deductible. Just remember — anything more than 5%, and you’re overpaying.
Make sure you have some type of flood insurance
Hurricane Sandy exposed a common misconception about homeowners insurance: Most policies don’t include flood coverage. You must buy it separately from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or from a handful of private insurers. Chubb and NJM are the only providers on this list that sell flood insurance directly.
We also recommend keeping an updated home inventory at all times. In the event of flood damage, a current inventory with photos and item values makes it much easier to recoup losses with your insurance company. Some of our favorite insurers, like Allstate and Liberty Mutual, even include home inventory apps that make it easy to put a registry together.
Consider upgrading an old roof before you buy
One independent agent we spoke with informed us that roofs are “the single-most important part” of getting an accurate insurance quote. Once a roof reaches 15-plus years, “companies will start to shake you down for rates,” and, in rare cases, may refuse to sell you a policy at all.
You’ll want to make sure that your roof is up to snuff before applying for quotes. It may be easier to find coverage, and prices are likely to be cheaper. Plus, many companies will even cut you a policy discount for insuring a home with a brand new roof.
New Jersey Homeowners Insurance FAQ
How much is homeowners insurance in New Jersey?
The average New Jersey homeowner will pay around $1,149 per year for an HO-3 policy. This is right in line with the national average of $1,173. Of course, how much you’ll pay can vary a lot depending on your home’s size, your assets, and your address. We always recommend checking quotes from multiple companies before buying a policy. That way, you can be sure you’re getting the best deal on the coverage you need.
What homeowners insurance companies are in New Jersey?
When we put together our list of the best New Jersey homeowners insurance companies, we looked at market share and consulted with the Insurance Information Institute. However, the State of New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance lists a plethora of insurers that write homeowners insurance policies in the Garden State. These include ones we’ve discussed, as well as several others, such as:
- American Family
- Hanover Insurance Group
- Mercury General Group
- Plymouth Rock
When shopping for the best homeowners insurance, it doesn’t hurt to gather as many quotes as possible.
What is New Jersey Manufacturers home insurance?
New Jersey Manufacturers is one of the state’s largest home insurance providers by market share and one of our favorite companies. But here’s the rub: It’s membership-only. To qualify for insurance, you must be either a government employee or affiliated with the New Jersey Business and Industry Association. Not sure whether you qualify? You can view a full list of the company’s eligibility requirements here.