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Earthquakes. Wildfires. Floods. California has its share of natural disasters, which means it’s important to find the best homeowners insurance to cover your home.
The average cost of homeowners insurance in California is $1,284 per year, or $107 per month. That’s less than the national average of $1,784.
NerdWallet analyzed rate and policy information from 28 companies to determine the cheapest and best insurance options in California. Our sample homeowner had $300,000 of dwelling coverage, $300,000 of liability coverage and a $1,000 deductible. Your own rates will be different.
The best cheap homeowners insurance in California
The following table lists companies with an average homeowners rate below the state average of $1,284 per year. Where available, we’ve included NerdWallet’s star rating for each company.
Average annual rate
NerdWallet star rating
Auto Club of SoCal (AAA)
Grange Insurance Association
Armed Forces Insurance**
*American Strategic is a subsidiary of Progressive.
**USAA and Armed Forces Insurance generally serve the military community. Their homeowners insurance policies are not available to everyone.
The cheapest companies on this list may not necessarily be the cheapest for your coverage needs, so we encourage you to shop around with multiple insurers. Here’s more information about a few of the companies in the list above.
The best affordable option: Travelers
Because it combines a high NerdWallet rating with a low average annual rate, we consider Travelers to be the best home insurance company in California for many homeowners. Travelers is one of NerdWallet’s best homeowners insurance companies, thanks to its financial strength, user-friendly website and broad range of coverage options.
Travelers offers a robust online experience. You can use the website to get a homeowners insurance quote, file and track claims, make payments and learn about insurance basics.
Its coverage offerings are similarly strong. For example, you can add extra coverage in case the dwelling limit on your home isn’t enough to rebuild your house after a disaster. One unique option is Travelers’ green home coverage, which pays extra if you want to use eco-friendly materials when repairing or rebuilding your home after a covered claim.
Learn more in our Travelers homeowners insurance review.
The cheapest option: Oregon Mutual
Based in McMinnville, Oregon, this company was founded in 1894 and sells policies in four states, including California. Aside from its affordable average rates, Oregon Mutual also offers several discounts worth asking about. For example, you could save by bundling your homeowners and auto policies or by having a monitored fire and burglary alarm system in your home.
Oregon Mutual has a solid slate of options for customizing your policy, including coverage for identity theft expenses, valuable personal belongings and damage from backed-up water.
However, the company drew more than the expected number of consumer complaints to state regulators for an insurer of its size, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. And its website doesn’t have all the features that you’ll get from bigger insurance companies. You can’t file a claim online, for instance, and you’ll need to speak with an independent agent to get a homeowners insurance quote.
Worth considering for military and veterans: USAA
USAA sells homeowners insurance to veterans, active military members and their families. If that description fits you, you may want to consider a USAA policy. That’s because the company’s homeowners insurance has certain features that may not be included by other companies.
For example, your personal belongings are automatically covered on a “replacement cost” basis. Many companies pay out only what your items are worth at the time of the claim, which means you may not get much for older items. USAA pays enough for you to buy brand-new replacements for your stuff.
USAA also covers military uniforms without a deductible for those on active or reserve duty.
Learn more in our USAA homeowners insurance review.
The best California homeowners insurance for different scenarios
Each California homeowner’s unique circumstances will affect the cost of their policy. For example, buying a new home may mean lower rates, while filing a claim means you’ll likely pay more for a few years. Below are the cheapest homeowners insurance companies in California for some common scenarios.
The best California home insurance for those who’ve filed claims
This table shows the most affordable rates for California homeowners who’ve filed a recent claim for wind damage.
Average annual rate
NerdWallet star rating
Auto Club of SoCal
*USAA homeowners policies are available only to active military, veterans and their families.
The cheapest companies for those with a recent water damage claim are slightly different:
The best California homeowners insurance for new houses
If you own a newer home, you’ll most likely pay less than the state average for homeowners insurance — in some cases, much less. Below are the most affordable options for homes built in 2021.
Average annual rate
NerdWallet star rating
Armed Forces Insurance*
*Armed Forces Insurance serves mainly the military community and doesn't offer homeowners policies to everyone.
The best California homeowners insurance for higher deductibles
One way to save money on your policy is by increasing your deductible, the amount of a claim you’re responsible for paying. Below are the companies with the cheapest rates for policies with a $2,500 deductible.
How much is homeowners insurance in your city?
Although the average cost of homeowners insurance in California is $1,284 per year, that figure varies depending on where you live. You’ll pay a bit more in Los Angeles, for instance, but less in San Jose. Below are the average home insurance rates in some of California’s biggest cities.
Average annual rate
Average monthly rate
What you need to know about California homeowners insurance
Homeowners in California face unique circumstances that factor into decisions about home insurance.
California wildfires have caused billions of dollars of damage to homes and other buildings across the state over the past few years.
Most homeowners policies cover fire and smoke damage, but insurers may be reluctant to cover those in high-risk areas. California’s insurance commissioner has issued several moratoriums to keep insurers from dropping the policies of homeowners affected by recent fires. But once those moratoriums expire, you could find yourself scrambling for coverage.
If you have trouble finding a policy, you can turn to the California FAIR Plan, the state’s insurer of last resort. FAIR Plan coverage is currently limited, paying only for damage due to fire, lightning, smoke and internal explosions.
The insurance commissioner recently ordered the FAIR Plan to offer more comprehensive coverage, similar to a traditional homeowners policy. In the meantime, a “difference in conditions” policy can help fill the coverage gaps.
A standard home insurance policy doesn’t cover earthquake damage, so California residents should consider adding a separate earthquake insurance policy. Homeowners can get it through a private insurer or turn to the California Earthquake Authority for coverage.
California is prone to flooding throughout the state, and homeowners insurance won’t cover flood damage. To make sure costs related to flooding are covered, homeowners in California can purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurer.
How to get cheaper California home insurance
Here are a few of the best ways to lower your homeowners insurance premium in California.
Harden your home against wildfires. More than a dozen insurance companies offer discounts for California homeowners who have made efforts to reduce the risk of fire on their property, according to the California Department of Insurance. Such efforts could include things like rebuilding your roof with fire-resistant materials and limiting vegetation near your home.
Bundle your insurance policies. Many insurers offer discounts if you buy more than one policy, such as homeowners and auto insurance. Learn more about bundling.
Shop around. Every insurance company sets its rates a bit differently, so it’s always worth comparing prices for homeowners insurance. We recommend getting homeowners insurance quotes once a year from at least three companies. Make sure you’re looking at equivalent coverage limits and deductibles to get a fair comparison.
For more ideas, see how to lower homeowners insurance rates.
California Department of Insurance
If you want to file a complaint against your insurance company or get more information about your rights as a policyholder, the California Department of Insurance may be able to help. The department’s website has useful resources such as a list of companies offering discounts to those who harden their homes against fire. Assistance is available in English and Spanish at 800-927-4357.
Looking for additional insurance in California?
NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old homeowners from a variety of insurance companies in every ZIP code across the state. Sample homeowners were nonsmokers with good credit living in a single-family, two-story home built in 1997. They had a $1,000 deductible and the following coverage limits:
$300,000 in dwelling coverage.
$30,000 in other structures coverage.
$150,000 in personal property coverage.
$60,000 in loss of use coverage.
$300,000 in liability coverage.
$1,000 in medical payments coverage.
We used the same assumptions for all other homeowner profiles, with the following exceptions:
For homeowners with a claims history, we added a single wind or water damage claim.
To see the effect of changing your deductible, we raised the deductible from $1,000 to $2,500.
For homeowners with newer homes, we changed the year the house was built to 2021.
These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.
Star rating methodology
NerdWallet’s homeowners insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints, coverages, discounts and online experience. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our full homeowners insurance rating methodology.
NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2019-2021. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period. NerdWallet conducts its data analysis and reaches conclusions independently and without the endorsement of the NAIC. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.