The Best Wisconsin Homeowners Insurance Companies
Wisconsin is an awesome place to live (and not just because of the cheese). From beautiful forests and lakeside properties to bustling city life, Wisconsin has a lot to offer homeowners. What’s more: Insuring your home in Wisconsin is very affordable. In fact, the state’s average home insurance premiums are about $450 less per year than the national average.
Of course, a low price isn’t all that matters when it comes to homeowners insurance. Your policy also needs to offer well-rounded coverage, reliable claims handling, and, ideally, great customer service. We took a close look at Wisconsin’s five biggest home insurance providers to see how they’d perform in these areas.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Wisconsin
We evaluated the five largest home insurance providers in Wisconsin, using our review of the best national homeowners insurance as a guide. For an unbiased review of each company’s support channels and claims process, we turned to customer reviews from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power. We also checked in with A.M. Best, an independent financial ratings agency, to make sure each insurer had reliable financial backing. We finished with a deep dive into coverage and discount options to see which companies had the most diverse offerings.
The Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Homeowners Insurance Reviews
State Farm really stands apart for its customer service. Of the five Wisconsin insurers we compared, State Farm scores highest with J.D. Power for overall customer satisfaction. It also takes home solid marks from Consumer Reports, which means customers can expect a smooth and fair claims process.
This company is a solid choice for Wisconsin homeowners. Its standard plans cover the state’s most common claims, including weather-related damage from summer storms to heavy snow. It also offers a wide selection of discounts and endorsements compared to the competition. More impressive is State Farm’s inflation guard endorsement, which adjusts coverage each year to keep up with the rising costs of building materials.
In addition, State Farm has one of the more intuitive and informative websites we tested. Obtaining an online quote was quick and easy, and we especially liked the Home Inventory Checklist, which helps you keep track of your belongings in case you need to report damages or file a claim. You can even edit your inventory from your phone or tablet, making State Farm a thorough and convenient home insurance option.
When it comes to pricing, Allstate is tough to beat. It has the largest total number of discounts we’ve seen, even offering one for new customers. Homeowners can also save by renovating old construction or updating their roof — an important inclusion for those with older houses.
We appreciate that Allstate’s website is especially informative and easy to navigate. Its quote process is very thorough, letting customers explore various policy types along the way. We also love the company’s Common and Costly Claims tool, which identifies the most frequent claims in your zip code so you know what coverages you should look for.
With this attention to customer service in mind, it’s no surprise that Consumer Reports rates Allstate just as highly as State Farm for customer interaction and claims satisfaction. So why isn’t it our top pick? We liked State Farm’s coverage options a bit more, and we missed the inflation guard. But if you’re looking for some of the best rates possible and solid customer service, it’s definitely worth getting a quote from Allstate.
American Family Insurance wowed us with strong online resources. Coverage and discounts are clearly explained, and its FAQ walks customers through the insurance process in plain language. American Family even offers a live chat feature, making it easy to get one-off questions answered during the shopping process. After purchasing a policy, you’ll also have access to the American Family Insurance app. This lets you keep an up-to-date registry of personal property, which hugely simplifies the claims process if you need to recoup losses.
The only thing American Family doesn’t offer online is quotes. After filling out our information, we were told an independent agent would be in touch with a quote. This makes comparison shopping a little more time consuming than it is with, say, State Farm or Allstate. In terms of pricing, we did learn that American Family offers standard safety discounts and savings for renovated homes. Plus, it’s the only company on this list with customer loyalty discounts.
It’s worth noting that American Family has fewer policy endorsements than other top companies in Wisconsin. Specifically, we missed inflation guard protection and coverage for sewer backups. Still, the company has rock-solid financials (“A+” from A.M. Best) and a respectable 3/5 customer satisfaction points from J.D. Power. It’s worth getting a quote to see whether American Family’s coverage and pricing are competitive for your home.
Acuity is a local provider — headquartered in Sheboygan, Wis. — which comes with certain benefits. Locally-based companies generally have a deep understanding of the state’s coverage needs, and can help tailor your policy to your location. Smaller insurers are also known for having strong in-person customer service, and Acuity seems to uphold that reputation. Though not large enough to be rated by Consumer Reports or J.D. Power, Acuity tends to receive positive reviews from customers online.
We’re also pleased with Acuity’s discount opportunities. For example, homeowners can save up to 20% with this company simply by bundling their home and auto insurance. On top of that, Acuity offers some noteworthy endorsements, including guaranteed coverage for home replacement, even if rebuilding costs exceed your home’s actual cash value.
On the downside, Acuity’s online resources are scant compared to nationwide providers like State Farm and Allstate. We found it very difficult to learn about its policies and coverage options without jumping on the phone with an agent. This means it’ll take a little more effort on your part to learn about Acuity while comparison shopping, Still, this company is worth a look for its great coverage and discounts.
West Bend Mutual
West Bend Mutual truly impressed us with its coverage options, offering more endorsements than any other company on this list. What’s more, many of these coverage add-ons are tailor-made for Wisconsin homeowners. For example, we love the option to cover sport and hobby equipment or golf carts — a perfect add-on for your home up north.
We were also impressed that, though it’s a small, local company, West Bend Mutual owns almost the same market share as Allstate in Wisconsin. The company’s popularity is a good indicator of reliable coverage and service; though, like Acuity, West Bend Mutual is too small to earn official ratings from Consumer Reports or J.D. Power.
It’s worth noting that West Bend Mutual doesn’t offer home insurance quotes online. To find out whether West Bend Mutual is the best provider for you, you’ll have to phone an agent and let them walk you through the quote process one-on-one.
If you’re a member of the U.S. armed forces, you will be eligible for coverage under USAA. Even if you’re not personally a member of the military, having a member in your immediate family will qualify you as well. USAA is worth checking out, as it is one of the top 10 insurers in the state and it consistently ranks incredibly high for its customer service. In fact, the company scored a 905/1000 according to J.D. Power and 95/100 according to Consumer Reports. They also prove to have a great financial track record, scoring the best rating possible at A++, so you can be sure of your investment in a homeowners policy with USAA.
The only main negative about USAA is its limited scope of service, eligible only to military members and their immediate family. Unfortunately, since we didn’t qualify, this means we weren’t able to undergo the process of getting a quote online or through an agent.
Guide to Homeowners Insurance in Wisconsin
Look for snow and ice coverage
Wisconsin winters can be brutal for residents – especially those living in snowbelt areas in northern Wisconsin. These regions, known for heavy snowfall caused by lake-effect snow, receive an average of over 10 feet of snow per year. Although this snowfall doesn’t occur overnight, the damaging effects of repeated heavy snow and ice on your home can really weigh on your roof and your budget.
Structural damage due to snow and ice is typically covered by homeowners policies, but definitely keep an eye out for language that excludes it. Usually, insurers want to make sure you’re taking steps to prevent something as serious as a roof collapse with regular maintenance, upkeep and replacement when necessary.
Protect yourself from water damage
Frozen pipes can also be a huge problem when the winter storms hit your home. A common source of household flooding in colder climates is due to frozen pipes that burst. Depending on the circumstances (like leaving your house without the heat on), a water damage claim might not be covered by your homeowners insurance. Make sure you’re protected in this scenario by looking for “sudden/accidental water coverage” in your policy.
America’s Dairyland might need extra coverage
Wisconsin is famous for its booming agriculture industry. According to U.S. News, “agriculture accounts for more than 350,000 jobs in the state, with 77,000 farms averaging 195 acres.” If you run a family farm, have a barn with livestock or have additional outside structures that need to be insured, you might need additional coverage. However, you should check your homeowners policy for coverage that extends to “outbuildings,” which include additional structures on your property like sheds, barns or detached garages.
Definitely discuss all insurable structures when pricing out your policy with an agent. Even fencing and shed contents can be protected with a homeowners policy. Like any insurance policy, you’ll need to be informed on the limits of your coverage and the potential risks of leaving farm equipment and structures uninsured.
Wisconsin Homeowners Insurance FAQ
How much is homeowners insurance in Wisconsin?
The average Wisconsin homeowner will pay around $750 per year for their insurance policy. This is well below the national average of $1,173 per year. That said, your own premium will depend on where you live, the size and cost of your home, and your assets. Every insurer evaluates these pricing factors differently, so the only way to find the cheapest policy for you is to request quotes from multiple companies and compare.
Do I need flood insurance?
Wisconsin’s many lakes and rivers are a big part of the state’s charm. Unfortunately, they’re also prone to flooding, which is considered a big risk by home insurance companies. Most providers won’t even cover flood damage, meaning that homeowners in flood plains will have to purchase this coverage separately. If you live near a river or lake in Wisconsin, chances are you’ll need to purchase flood insurance in addition to your homeowners insurance policy. Start by entering your address in this interactive flood plain map from FEMA. It’ll help you assess the risk of flooding where you live so that you can choose the proper level of coverage for your home. If you do need flood insurance in addition to your homeowners policy, you can purchase it through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.