We evaluated 50 homeowners insurance companies to find the best options. We considered policy features, costs, discounts, company reputation, expert opinions and ratings in our evaluations. The homeowners insurance companies we ranked highest are SelectQuote, Progressive, Travelers, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide and MetLife.
This guide explains why homeowners need to insure their property, how homeowners insurance works and how much coverage to buy. We shared detailed evaluations of our top homeowners insurance companies, and you will find helpful frequently asked questions about the insurance later in this guide.
- Higher deductibles can help you save on premiums
- Coverage for large expenses resulting from disaster
- Take out enough insurance to completely rebuild your home at current costs in the event of a total loss
Tips for a Wise Buyer
Most people can’t afford to rebuild their home or replace belongings destroyed by fire, theft or extreme weather events. Homeowners insurance pays for repairs or to rebuild and replace your home’s contents. We explain homeowners insurance below, and you’ll learn about additional coverage you may need outside your policy.
Homeowners Insurance Basics
Homeowners insurance coverage breaks down into four primary categories. Most people are familiar with these coverages. However, many do not know this insurance covers liability costs and losses incurred off their property.
- Dwelling: Your home, foundation and outbuildings like a shed or detached garage.
- Personal Property Coverage: Jewelry, furniture, electronics and more. These items are insured even if you take them outside of your home. Coverage extends to guests in your home as well as family members.
- Liability: Protection from lawsuits for property damage or injuries caused by family members or pets. Covers court costs, fines and payments defined by policy limits. The liability portion of homeowners insurance covers you even when you’re away from home.
Know your homeowners insurance time or payout limits on ALE coverage.
- Additional Living Expenses: Pays for the cost of temporary housing, such as a hotel and meals, if your home is demolished. ALE coverage limits vary between insurance companies.
Perils Covered by Homeowners Insurance
Read excluded perils in homeowners policies before buying.
Homeowners insurance protects the insured against many perils or risks. The extent of covered perils depends on the form of insurance. HO-1 is very basic and doesn’t have all the coverages listed below. HO-3 is the most comprehensive. HO-6 covers the most perils for those living in a condo.
|Perils Covered by HO-3 Homeowners Insurance|
|Damage from faulty wiring||Theft or vandalism||Fire and smoke|
|Lightning||Windstorm and hail||Falling objects|
|Explosions||Weight of ice, snow, sleet||Civil disturbances, riots|
|Volcanic eruption||Vehicles and aircraft hitting the home||Freezing plumbing|
|Water damage from leaks or overflow due to broken or frozen pipes||Tears, cracks and burns in water heater, A/C, furnace or interior sprinklers||Perils caused by nature unless listed in exclusions|
What Homeowners Insurance Doesn’t Cover May Surprise You
Most people don’t know their homeowners insurance would not cover damage due to a flood outside of the home. Earthquakes, mudslides and many other natural disasters aren’t covered by a homeowners policy, either. The good news is you can add an endorsement or buy insurance separately to cover costs associated with these events. The cost of coverage depends on the chances one of these disasters will occur in your area.
|Typical Homeowners Insurance Exclusions|
|Sinkholes||Nuclear disasters||Wear and tear|
|Loss or damage from government seizures||Aggressive dogs based on breed or pet history||Flooding from external sources|
Know your homeowners insurance exclusions and buy additional coverage if needed.
Homeowners insurance won’t cover neglect. For example, your insurance company won’t pay for rain damage caused by an old leaky roof you should have replaced. If you have mice or termites, call an exterminator quickly because your policy doesn’t compensate for pest-related damage.
How Much Homeowners Insurance Should You Buy?
Before you start looking for homeowners insurance estimates, know how much coverage you need to protect your home. Your insurance shouldn’t pay for the full market value of your home. The land it’s built on isn’t replaced, so you only need to consider the house and its contents. Homeowners insurance needs to pay for the cost of rebuilding your home.
Inventory your belongings to determine how much homeowners insurance to buy.
Finding the level of dwelling coverage you need requires simple math. Multiply the square footage of your home by the local building cost per square foot. Consider the cost of unique fixtures, specialized appliances or high-value furniture and other belongings you would want to replace. The National Association of Home Builders offers a construction cost estimator that can be useful.
Limits, Deductibles, Discounts and Homeowners Insurance Premiums
Insurance companies use deductibles to shift some of the cost to the policyholder. You pay the deductible before insurance covers costs, usually $500 to $1,000. If a tornado does $12,500 worth of damage and you have a $500 deductible, the insurance pays $12,000 for repairs.
Insurance limits are the highest amount the insurance company will pay for damages. A sensible limit depends on the value of your home and its belongings and the amount of liability coverage you elect.
All insurance companies offer discounts for keeping your home safe. This may include installing smoke alarms, home security systems or sprinkler systems. Insurance companies offer these discounts because the insured is less likely to file a costly claim. These discounts can offset the cost of the protection you buy for your home.
Your insurance premium is the cost of the insurance, which varies by ZIP code. The premium is also determined by the age and size of the home, your claims history and even your credit score. Take a higher deductible to save money on your premiums.
Pay less for your premium with higher deductibles and lower limits.
Those who need higher limits due to the cost of reconstructing the home will pay more to insure their homes. Some people pay for the premium in one sum, and most insurers will divide the cost into quarterly or semiannual payments.
Our Search for the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies
1. We searched for an extensive list of 50 homeowners insurance companies
2. We evaluated these companies based on our expert-guided buying criteria: policy features, costs and savings, company reputation and expert opinions and ratings
3. We provide you with the best homeowner insurance companies for consideration
Homeowners Insurance Company Reviews
Recent statistics show there are nearly 800 homeowners insurance companies in the United States. Researching that staggering number is almost impossible, so we did the hard work for you. Our in-depth homeowners insurance analysis focuses on each company’s industry reputation, responsiveness to claims and other criteria.
We researched the top 50 homeowners insurance companies, then narrowed the list to our top six based on specific criteria we set by extensive research and consumer and financial information. The result is a list of six of the best homeowners insurance companies.
After our evaluation, we chose these best homeowners insurance companies: SelectQuote, Progressive, Travelers, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide and MetLife. Each of these companies stood out above the competition.
Great Savings |
SelectQuote is a pioneer in the direct insurance marketing to give consumers choices quickly while they save money. SelectQuote customers save an average of $437 per year on insurance.
Shopping for insurance with SelectQuote can start online or over the phone. Either way, licensed agents assist customers with impartial advice. Quotes are customized to provide the proper level of homeowners insurance. Agents answer all questions at a time that’s convenient for the customer. Consumers receive rates from up to 16 top insurance carriers to find the best coverage at the lowest cost.
SelectQuote’s insurance partners are all financially stable with decades of industry experience. Customers get quotes from companies like Chubb, AIG, The Hartford and others. SelectQuote agents work on the customer’s behalf to keep rates down.
Great Online App |
Progressive offers some of the lowest premiums for homeowners insurance, but HomeSite Insurance underwrites homeowners policies and not Progressive. Progressive’s primary product is auto insurance, and like other insurance companies, consumers save when bundling auto and homeowners insurance.
Progressive provides an excellent online tool for finding and comparing policies called HomeQuote Explorer. The app eases entering the correct information for a faster quote. There’s less chance for confusion when answering a question about, for example, the shape of your roof. The app is available online through Progressive’s website, or via the company’s mobile app.
Enter your address into Progressive’s HomeQuote Explorer, and the app pulls in information from public records about your home. Select your home’s roofing materials, countertops, flooring and other items using photos to help you provide the correct information. HomeQuote Explorer then reveals three or four options for homeowners policies side-by-side for comparison.
Great Discounts |
Travelers has been in business for over 160 years. Over 13,000 independent agents and brokers represent the insurance company in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. Travelers is a good fit for people who prefer to work in-person with an agent when buying multiple insurances.
Along with basic homeowners insurance coverage, Travelers offers specialized coverage for property and casualty, green homes and full home replacement. The optional contents replacement covers losses at replacement cost with no depreciation.
Travelers’ discounts include one for new homebuyers, up to 5% savings for environmentally-friendly green homes and multiple policy discounts. Customers who make no claim over a specified period receive a discount. Install smoke detectors, smart home systems or internal sprinkler systems, and you’ll receive a discount from Travelers.
Liberty Mutual Review
Great Variety |
Home isn’t always a house, and Liberty Mutual Insurance provides options to cover just about any dwelling you call home. Liberty Mutual is one of the few insurers that adjusts policy limits to account for inflation each renewal period. This prevents customers from becoming underinsured.
Liberty Mutual condo insurance covers appliances and improvements made to the condo. This policy also pays for damage repairs and includes liability coverage. Adding coverage for electronics and jewelry is an option. More retirees are taking long trips in RVs or are exchanging their houses for the RV lifestyle. Liberty Mutual offers insurance for RVs from motorhomes to trailers.
Those who own rental homes can take advantage of Liberty Mutual’s Landlord Insurance. This policy covers physical structures and premises liability with 24-hour claims assistance. Customers can extend the standard homeowners insurance with coverage for valuables, inflation protection and water backup and sump pump overflow.
Great Replacement Coverage |
Nationwide is a mutual insurance company owned by policyholders. Nationwide sells many types of insurance, annuities, retirement funds and provides loans, checking accounts and other banking products. We found Nationwide offers some excellent options for replacement value coverage, including ordinance insurance in the basic policy.
Some communities have building ordinances requiring a home damaged by 50% or more be torn down and rebuilt to the latest codes. Nationwide homeowners insurance basic coverage includes ordinance insurance to cover required upgrades should you find yourself in this predicament.
Nationwide’s Better Roof Replacement option provides a stronger roof than the original. The new roof will better withstand high winds, torrential rains and hail. The Brand New Belongings coverage pays for insured items at today’s value, not what you paid for them.
Great Bundles |
MetLife sells several types of insurance, such as life, auto, dental, homeowners and others. We like MetLife’s Combo and GrandProtect bundled policies because they simplify coverage, deductibles and payments.
MetLife Combo bundles up to 11 types of insurance. Combo eliminates multiple bills and insurance forms, and provides one coverage start date and deductible across all policies. You can make MetLife Combo payments via payroll deduction. Consumers also can receive some discounts and switch coverage with one application. The bundle includes identity theft and credit card protections.
GrandProtect is for consumers with greater coverage needs and high-value assets. This bundle offers all the conveniences of MetLife Combo with a higher blanket property limit. GrandProtect also includes $25,000 in reimbursed identity losses or expenses. GrandProtect can cover motorcycles, RVs and motorhomes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Homeowners Insurance
Do I need homeowners insurance if I paid off my mortgage?
If you’re still paying on a mortgage, your lender requires homeowners insurance. If you have no home loan and can afford to replace the house, you still need this coverage. Consider how homeowners insurance pays for medical expenses, accidents on your property, your belongings and more. It is highly unlikely you can go without this essential insurance.
Does homeowners insurance cover rotting wood on my home?
Unless you can prove the rot occurred due to a covered peril, your homeowners insurance won’t cover rotting wood. The insurance company will likely consider the damage to be due to neglect since it takes time for wood to rot.
What is umbrella insurance, and do I need it if I have a homeowners policy?
Umbrella insurance pays out after you reach the limits of your homeowners and auto insurance limits. A personal liability umbrella policy pays for costs if someone files a lawsuit against you.
The Insurance Information Institute reports that $1 million umbrella coverage costs from $150 to $300 annually. The next million is $75 on average, then $50 for each additional million. Umbrella insurance is relatively inexpensive, so this coverage is worth considering.
I have a home warranty. Do I still need homeowners insurance?
Home warranties are an excellent option for repairing and replacing home systems and appliances. These warranties should be used to complement homeowners insurance and not as a replacement. A home warranty will not cover damage or loss to your house or belongings due to theft, weather or fire. Only homeowners insurance covers personal liability and expenses when you are forced out of your home because it’s been destroyed.
What is replacement cost coverage on a homeowners insurance policy?
Always get replacement cost coverage if you can afford it. Replacement cost pays today’s value for replacing your home and belongings. Cash value is the alternative and won’t replace anything in today’s dollars. Say your fish tank leaks and destroys a 20-year-old credenza and 10-year-old carpeting. With cash value, your homeowners policy only pays for the cost of an old credenza and decade-old carpeting. You will not be covered for the cost of new replacements.
Concluding Thoughts on Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance is a necessary expense
You can reduce the cost of your policy with deductibles, limits and discounts. Just about everyone needs the protection of homeowners insurance to prevent a financial disaster. Our picks for the best homeowners insurance are excellent companies to get the right coverage.
The Best Homeowners Insurance Companies
|Homeowners Insurance Company||Best For|
|2||PolicyGenius||Great One-stop Shopping|
|3||Progressive||Great Online App|
|5||Liberty Mutual||Great Variety|
|6||Nationwide||Great Replacement Coverage|