Your home is one of your largest and most meaningful investments, so it’s only right to be picky about the company you choose to insure it.
Naturally, you’ll want the best price — but you also want the right mix of coverage from a company that can afford to pay your claim if disaster strikes. Reliable customer service is a plus, too. Here’s how to take all those factors into account as you choose the best insurance for your home.
The best homeowners insurance companies
These insurers earned the top score of five stars out of five in our ratings of the best homeowners insurance companies in 2020:
- State Farm
*USAA is open only to active military members, veterans and their families.
These ratings, compiled from data for several large home insurance companies, are only a starting point. They’re based on consumer complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, or NAIC, financial strength grades from A.M. Best, coverages and discounts available, and the overall consumer experience. However, they do not consider price, which can vary widely. Smaller, regional insurance companies are also worthy of consideration in many areas.
Top homeowners insurance companies
|Note: Not all insurers available in all states.|
|*USAA is available only to active military, veterans and their families.|
More about the best home insurance companies
Nationwide stands out by offering ordinance or law insurance in its standard homeowners insurance policy. This means if you have a covered loss and need to update your home to meet current building codes, your insurance may cover the costs.
Nationwide also earns high marks for its consumer experience. Policyholders can easily file and track claims online or by phone, and the company’s website has a large library of consumer-centric content.
» MORE: Nationwide insurance review
Founded in 2015, Hippo emphasizes technology and user experience. Hippo offers policies through its subsidiary Spinnaker Insurance — which Hippo acquired in August 2020 — and can provide a 60-second “instant quote” for easy comparison.
Hippo’s high-tech focus is evident in some of the extras that come with its policies, such as a smart home monitoring system and virtual connections to home maintenance advisors.
Several of Hippo’s discounts focus on home safety. Features such as fire extinguishers and living in a gated community will save consumers on their premiums.
Chubb targets owners of expensive homes, tailoring much of its experience toward well-to-do clients. It offers a substantial number of coverages, including atypical ones such as HomeScan, which helps uncover issues with your home that require attention before they can cause damage. Chubb also offers extended replacement cost for dwelling and replacement value for contents as part of its standard policy, another unusual benefit for consumers.
Chubb has significantly fewer complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size, according to three years’ worth of data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
» MORE: Chubb insurance review
Travelers’ optional Green Home Coverage helps cover extra costs of using environmentally friendly construction materials when rebuilding after a covered claim. Carrying that theme even further, Travelers offers customers a discount if their homes are certified as “green” by the Leadership Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, organization.
Travelers’ website allows for easy submission and tracking of claims, and it provides educational materials on basic homeowners insurance questions.
» MORE: Travelers insurance review
State Farm offers several additions to the standard homeowners policy. Its “increased dwelling limit” add-on does not cost extra and automatically extends the replacement cost coverage up to 20% as long as the home has been insured up to its estimated replacement cost. A variety of other options can be included in a homeowners policy for an additional cost.
State Farm has also rated well with the NAIC, registering fewer consumer complaints than expected given the size of the company.
Its website offers an intuitive interface and easy access to file claims, get a quote and access information about your policy.
Although the name might suggest otherwise, Auto-Owners offers an array of homeowners coverage. Its Homeowners Plus package bundles together several less-common options, including coverage for property damage caused by appliance leaks and food spoilage from power failures.
Auto-Owners also offers several discounts that most companies do not, particularly for customers who have invested in home upgrades such as a water shut-off system or an automatic backup generator.
» MORE: Auto-Owners insurance review
In 2020, Amica took the top spot in J.D. Power’s annual Property Claims Satisfaction Study for the ninth consecutive year.
Amica offers a Home Repair Assistance Program, which in the event of a covered claim helps pair customers with licensed and insured contractors. The company also has discounts for:
- Staying with an insurer for at least two years.
- Insuring a new or remodeled home.
- Receiving bills electronically and paying automatically each month.
» MORE: Amica insurance review
NJM Insurance only serves Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but if you live in those states, you will find a streamlined online experience that allows for easy management of the claims process. In addition, seniors and nonsmokers receive discounts on their premiums.
Complaints to state regulators about NJM’s homeowners insurance are far lower than expected for a company of its size, according to the NAIC.
» MORE: NJM insurance review
With Farmers’ Smart Plan Home policies, regardless of which level of coverage you select, you will receive:
- Claim forgiveness, which prevents your premium from increasing after a claim if you have been claim-free with Farmers for five or more continuous years.
- Declining deductibles, which reduces your deductible by $50 each year your policy is in force.
- Cosmetic damage repair, which pays to replace undamaged parts of your home, such as siding or shingles, if needed to match repairs made in a covered claim.
Farmers also offers several uncommon optional coverages such as Eco-Rebuild, which provides up to $25,000 for extra costs to rebuild with green materials after a claim. A partnership with alarm company ADT can earn customers in certain states earn a discount on their policies.
» MORE: Farmers insurance review
Erie Insurance offers policies to residents of 12 states and the District of Columbia. Erie’s level of customer complaints is lower than expected given the company’s size.
Erie’s standard homeowners policy includes several coverages that make Erie stand out, such as coverage for theft or loss of personal belongings. Guaranteed replacement cost coverage, which is also included, pays the full cost to repair or replace your home if it’s destroyed or damaged, even if the expense exceeds the face value of your policy.
» MORE: Erie insurance review
Country Financial offers coverage that protects against household mishaps such as countertop burns, paint spillage, and power surge damage to appliances. In most states, Country Financial offers guaranteed replacement cost coverage that pays the cost of standard new construction materials and labor if you need to rebuild your home, with no limits.
Customers can get safety-focused discounts for features such as:
- Newer electrical wiring.
- A safe heating source.
Given its size, Country Financial sees fewer complaints to regulators than expected regarding its home insurance, according to the NAIC.
The Hanover’s home insurance policies offer many optional extras, some of which are generally not offered by other companies.
For example, let’s say a tree falls on your house and car during a storm. If you hold both a home and auto insurance policy with The Hanover, you will have only one deductible for all of the damage.
Another atypical coverage from The Hanover is siding and/or roof restoration coverage. Here, if you need to repair your roof or siding as part of a covered claim and the right materials aren’t available, you could receive up to $20,000 in some cases to replace undamaged areas as well.
» MORE: The Hanover insurance review
The Hartford offers homeowners insurance in partnership with AARP. Although you do not have to be an AARP member to get a quote, you will need to be a member to get a policy in most states.
The Hartford’s standard Home Advantage package includes:
- “New for old” protection that pays to replace your possessions with new items, regardless of the old possessions’ age or condition.
- Reimbursement for replacing locks (after a $100 deductible) if a key is lost or stolen.
- Coverage that helps pay for damages from a libel or slander claim, which standard liability coverage typically does not.
In its Home Advantage Plus package, The Hartford offers a disappearing property deductible that reduces your deductible by $50 for every three years you don’t file a claim, along with coverage for the breakdown of appliances, electronics and other home systems (with 125% repayment if you go with a “green” replacement).
» MORE: The Hartford insurance review
USAA is open only to active military members, veterans and their families. For those who qualify, USAA provides several coverages standard that many other insurers do not:
- Identity theft coverage (with a $5,000 limit) in some states to help with expenses if you are the victim of identity fraud.
- Military uniform coverage for those on active duty or deployed, which provides full reimbursement without a deductible if a uniform is damaged or stolen during a covered event.
- Replacement cost coverage, which pays the cost to replace items rather than providing only the depreciated value.
USAA has fewer complaints to state regulators for homeowners insurance than expected for a company of its size, according to the NAIC.
» MORE: USAA insurance review
How to compare homeowners insurance
Decide how much coverage you need
Finding the best homeowners insurance for you starts with making sure you’re shopping for the right coverage. A standard policy covers your house and other structures, but the amount of coverage you need depends on how much it would cost to rebuild your home.
You’ll also have several options to consider, including the amount of your insurance deductible (the amount you pay out of pocket in the event of a claim) and whether you need extra insurance for valuable items. You might also want policy upgrades to cover earthquake damage or to ensure you can replace old belongings with new ones after a loss, rather than being paid for their depreciated value.
By figuring out what you need before you compare home insurance companies, you can be sure each policy you’re considering provides the same level of coverage. You can also eliminate companies that don’t offer the options you want.
Compare home insurance quotes
After you outline your coverage needs, you can start shopping for homeowners insurance. You’ll want to compare home insurance quotes from at least three companies to be sure you’re getting the cheapest policy you can.
Homeowners insurance cost an average of $101 a month in 2017, according to the latest data from the NAIC. But rates can vary dramatically because no two houses are the same and each insurer uses its own formula to calculate premiums and discounts.
You can shop for quotes online or by phone, or you can work with an insurance agent or broker to find the cheapest home insurance for you. Whichever route you choose, make sure to compare policies with similar coverage and deductibles.
Also, be aware that a home insurance quote is only an estimate. Your price may change if an insurance company checks out your house and determines you need a different amount of coverage.
Research home insurance discounts
Most companies offer a standard set of home insurance discounts, such as savings for having multiple policies with the same insurer (for example, both home and auto insurance), installing safety and security devices in your home, and consecutive years without a claim.
Beyond those, you will see differences in both the number and type of discounts available. Matching the discounts your home is eligible to receive will ensure that you not only get the policy you want but also benefit from investments you have made in your home.
Check customer satisfaction and complaints
If you choose a home insurance company that’s known for making its customers happy, you can feel more confident that you will have a good experience.
To see whether previous customers have been satisfied, you can look at studies on home insurance and property claims satisfaction from J.D. Power, which surveys thousands of homeowners annually. Consumer Reports also surveys its members about their experiences with homeowners insurance, but comparing the scores requires a paid membership.
The NAIC website is another source of information about how insurance companies have performed. You can find out how many complaints were filed against an insurer with state regulators, the reasons for the complaints and whether there were more complaints than expected for a company of its size.
Consider financial strength
You’ll want to buy homeowners insurance from a stable company with enough money to pay claims. Financial strength is one way to evaluate whether an insurer meets that standard. You can check financial strength through a rating firm such as A.M. Best.
NerdWallet typically recommends considering insurers with ratings of A- or higher. Any company with an A.M. Best rating of B+ or higher has a “good” ability to meet its obligations, in A.M. Best’s opinion. Companies with ratings below that may not be quite as safe a bet and often have higher rates of complaints relative to their size.
METHODOLOGY: HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE RATINGS
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, online experience and more. 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 editorial guidelines.
METHODOLOGY: INSURER COMPLAINTS
NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2016-2018. 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. Ratios are determined separately for auto, home (including renters and condo) and life insurance.