The Best Utah Homeowners Insurance Company
Utah is rich with natural beauty, from its popular ski resorts to the Great Salt Lake. But there are some drawbacks to living in such a stunning landscape — namely, natural disasters, including earthquakes and landslides. Both are unlikely to be included in standard homeowners insurance policies, leaving the cost of an HO-3 policy relatively low at $673 compared to the nationwide average of $1,173.
Still, homeowners insurance in Utah fluctuates based on several factors, including your home’s geography, age, construction materials, and the value of its contents. That’s why we suggest you obtain quotes from three or more insurers before making a decision. Our quote tool above is a good place to start.
How We Found the Best Utah Homeowners Insurance Company
We employed a method similar to the one we used for our review of national providers to find the best homeowners insurance in Utah. We began by finding the top five providers in Utah by total market share, then carefully reviewed them based on factors such as standard coverages, discounts, and online educational materials.
From there, we looked at each company’s financial ratings from Moody’s, A.M. Best, and Standard & Poor’s, and customer satisfaction scores from J.D. Power and Consumer Reports. We also talked to a Utah realtor to get a better idea of local home ownership issues.
Finally, to compare each provider’s coverage and tools, we pulled insurance quotes for cities around the state, drawing on data from the Utah Insurance Department. Once we compiled all this information, we ranked the providers based on their performance in each category.
The 5 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Utah
Utah Homeowners Insurance Companies Reviews
Liberty Mutual’s top-notch claims service and attention to detail made it our top pick. Of our top picks, Liberty Mutual received the highest scores from Consumer Reports and the lowest complaint ratio, according to Utah Department of Insurance data.
Liberty Mutual’s website was also one of the best. It’s filled with helpful resources, ranging from an online quote tool and home insurance coverage calculator to step-by-step details on filing and tracking a homeowner’s insurance claim. It also utilizes technology via its RealTime Review offering, whereby claim representatives use FaceTime or Skype to view your property and complete an on-the-spot damage estimate for eligible claims. While we wouldn’t rank it at the top of our list — that honor goes to Allstate — Liberty Mutual’s site was not far behind.
We were similarly impressed with its coverage options. You can opt for 24/7 Emergency Home Repairs — something no other Utah home insurer offered — as well as inflation protection and Home Protector Plus, which provides additional living expenses if you need to live elsewhere while home repairs are performed. It even offers coverage for the full replacement cost for your possessions, not merely the depreciated value.
Even better: Liberty Mutual has separate flood insurance policies, which is a good idea for all Utah homeowners, but particularly those who live along the Wasatch Fault line or are highly susceptible to landslides.
Liberty Mutual is not without flaws, though. Primarily, the quotes we received were relatively high, an average of $777 across the state. That was backed up by J.D. Power’s survey, where it only received a 2/5 score for price. Still, its premiums were not the most expensive of the bunch, and the insurer offers 12 options for discounts.
State Farm writes the most policies of any insurer in Utah, and with good reason. Of the state’s top five insurers, State Farm received some of the highest financial ratings from A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s.
The company’s customer satisfaction ratings were also impressive. In fact, it received the highest overall score from J.D. Power among the big five providers, and next to Liberty Mutual, it had the lowest statewide complaint ratio. In other words, State Farm has earned a reputation for happy customers in Utah.
We also liked State Farm’s website, home to a useful FAQ section and plenty of helpful articles. What really stood out, though, was its online quote tool, which lets you to quickly update your coverage and see the effect on your annual premium.
So, where did State Farm fall short? First, cost. For the same homeowners insurance policy in four locations throughout the state, State Farm’s premiums were by far the highest at an average of $931, nearly $155 higher than Liberty Mutual’s, the second most expensive of the five. Premiums are subjective, sure, but we were surprised at just how much more we’d have to pay for the same coverage. That said, it received a 3/5 score from J.D. Power for price, so you may have better luck than we did.
Second, State Farm does not offer flood insurance, a helpful addition for Utah homeowners. Flood insurance isn’t required for all homeowners, only those with federally backed mortgages in high-risk flood areas. Flooding is still extremely common in low- and medium-risk areas, though — people outside of high-risk flood areas file more than 20 percent of the National Flood Insurance Program’s claims. Plus, homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.
Allstate is also an excellent option for Utah homeowners, thanks to its robust website and affordability. It’s also important to note that Allstate offers separate flood insurance policies for its customers, which is helpful for Utahns dealing with landslides and other inclement weather conditions. In fact, Allstate holds the largest market share of flood insurance in the entire state.
The insurer’s site was the best of the five, too, as it clearly outlines policy features, optional coverage, discounts, and claims information. Beyond the basics, however, the site offers a few unique tools. Take the Digital Locker, a cloud-based home inventory app, and the Common and Costly Claims tool, which lets you enter their ZIP code to view its most common claims and their average costs. And if you want to get even more granular, check out Allstate’s GoodHome home report, which plays a Google Street View video of your home as it lists potential risks and information on local hazards and prevention tips.
Allstate was also among the most affordable, with an average premium of $733. Keep in mind, that cost doesn’t include the insurer’s discounts — including up to 5 percent off when you arrange for automatic payments from a checking or savings account and up to 30 percent off when you bundle your home and auto insurance.
Farmers premiums just edged out Bear Mutual as the cheapest in the state. Plus, Farmers offers flood and earthquake insurance, making it a great one-stop shop for Utah homeowners.
Farmers also stands among Allstate and Liberty Mutual for having one of the best websites of all our top picks. In particular, we liked its online quote tool, which details three levels of coverage along with the pros and cons of purchasing each.
The site is also home to a wealth of resources, including Clickable House, which guides you through a virtual home where you can click on household items and learn more about potential claims and coverage options. Clicking on the kitchen stove, for example, will inform you that your policy includes coverage for fire and smoke damage, and clicking above the living room curtains tells you that a professionally installed interior sprinkler system may qualify for a discount.
Farmers customer satisfaction ratings were also solidly above average, and the insurer received the same A.M. Best scores for financial stability as Liberty Mutual and State Farm .
Unfortunately, Moody’s gave Farmers a Baa2 rating — the lowest of any of our picks — meaning it is subject to moderate credit risk. When it comes to insurance, we want as few risks as possible.
Bear River Mutual
If you’d rather go with a local provider, Bear River Mutual is your best bet. Not only was Bear River founded in Utah, it only insures homes in the state. Plus, as a mutual company, there are no investors or shareholders seeking company profits, so Bear River Mutual offers some of the lowest rates in the state.
So, why is it at the bottom of our list? Well, being a small regional mutual company can be a double-edged sword. Because of Bear River Mutual’s size, there was limited information on its financial strength (A.M Best gave it an A- rating, and it wasn’t included in Moody’s and S&P’s ratings). There also wasn’t any information on customer satisfaction available from J.D. Power or Consumer Reports.
The only customer satisfaction information we did find was Bear River Mutual’s complaint ratio, which was the highest of any insurer in the state. And because Bear River Mutual does not sell insurance directly, but rather through agents, it simply isn’t possible to obtain an online quote.
Bear River Mutual’s website was also the most bare bones of the insurers we evaluated, offering significantly more information on the company itself than the insurance it provides. We would be remiss, though, if we didn’t note that Bear Mutual was the only website to call out earthquake coverage, further proving its local expertise.
Ultimately, lack of information and stiff competition means we can’t confidently recommend Bear River Mutual. Still, it’s worth a look if you’re set on finding the cheapest coverage available.
USAA caters exclusively to both active and retired service members, which is we why did not include a quote. However, if you’re one of the 3,979 active service members in Utah or have recently retired from it, you may want to check them out. USAA has an impressive 92/100 customer satisfaction score from Consumer Reports — the second-highest in the survey. It also nabbed the top spot from J.D. Power with 891/1000, a full 30 points higher than second place. In addition, USAA maintains impeccable financial standing with an A++ from A.M. Best.
Homeowners insurance policies provided by USAA cover most weather-related events. USAA also offers coverage for the damage caused by earthquakes that can be added to a standard homeowners policy.
Guide to Utah Homeowners Insurance Companies
Standard homeowners insurance does not cover landslides
A landslide is considered an “earth movement” event, so it’s excluded from standard homeowners insurance policies. However, as the Insurance Information Institute explains, you can obtain comprehensive landslide insurance coverage through a Difference in Conditions policy, which is sold by surplus lines insurers — companies that insure risks traditional companies may decline or only provide at a high price with many exclusions or a high deductible.
Mudflow caused by heavy rainfall is covered by flood insurance
flood insurance is also a separate policy available through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program as well as some private insurance companies, including Liberty Mutual and Allstate. Homeowners can also obtain earthquake insurance coverage, but those policies are limited to landslides caused by earthquakes.
Utah earthquakes are increasingly likely
Utah’s Wasatch Fault line may not be as well known as California’s San Andreas, but it still has the potential to wreak havoc on the surrounding area and cause immense damage to your home and personal property. Experts estimate that, in addition to killing and injuring thousands, a magnitude-7 earthquake in Utah would cause $33 billion in damage.
And the likelihood of a Utah earthquake is increasing. A 2016 study estimated there is a 43 percent probability that a magnitude-6.75 or higher earthquake will strike along the Wasatch Front within the next 50 years. Smaller earthquakes are even more likely. The same study found there is a 93 percent chance of a 5.0-magnitude quake and a 57 percent chance of a 6.0-magnitude quake to occur during the same period.
To protect against the damages resulting from this increasingly likely natural disaster, homeowners should purchase earthquake insurance. While it is rarely advertised, this separate policy is available through most insurance companies and each of our top picks.
Utah Homeowners Insurance Companies FAQ
How do I find the best homeowners insurance company in Utah?
You need to consider a bevy of factors regarding your home from its age to the location. You also need to take the local climate into account. While landslides and earthquakes are expensive natural disasters, their policies are separate from homeowners insurance. Still, it is important that Utah homeowners seek out an insurer with a strong financial outlook and high levels of customer satisfaction, especially when it comes to the claims process. In addition to these qualities, homeowners should find a well-priced policy. The best way to do that is by comparing coverage options and premiums from multiple providers.
Should I be concerned about landslides in Utah?
The state is no stranger to landslides—the Utah Geological Survey counted more than two dozen between the years of 2001 and 2013 alone and found that many areas throughout the state are highly susceptible to landslides.
Utah’s combination of steep natural slopes — think of all those ski resorts — and areas in or at the mouths of drainages — canyons such as Flaming Gorge, Horseshoe, and Kingfisher — make it uniquely vulnerable to landslides.
“We’ve had landslides up in Farmington and down in Draper because they’re building on the sides of mountains where there’s no stability,” says Sandy Straley, a 40-year Salt Lake City real estate veteran, “When they’re building too high up on the mountain, it’s gonna slide.”
Straley is right. Landslides generally occur as a result of heavy precipitation combined with steep slopes. So Utahns should be on the lookout after heavy rainfall and during wet winters and springs, especially if they are located in those steep-sloped and canyon areas.
Utah homeowners should also pay attention to the addition of water due to manmade/superficial forms, like irrigation, roof downspouts, poor drainage, and broken water lines. With this in mind, homeowners can reduce the likelihood of landslides by minimizing these risks using common-sense tactics, such as draining water in areas away from unstable slopes and landslides.
How much is flood insurance in Utah?
When it comes to flood insurance, the average cost of a policy can come to about $700 a year. Bear in mind that premiums will likely vary depending on the flood risk in your area. In Utah, some areas may be less susceptible. For example, parts of Tooele county furthest from any rivers or streams may be less at risk of flooding than any towns situated by the Great Salt Lake. Take some time to shop around and speak with an agent to get a clearer picture of the cost of flood insurance in Utah. Take some time to shop around and speak with an agent to get a clearer picture of the cost of flood insurance in Utah.