8 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies of 2020

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If you’re looking for the best home insurance companies in the industry, keep reading our guide to compare coverage specifics, pricing, and customer service between eight top-rated homeowners insurance providers.

A homeowners insurance policy protects you from having to pay unexpected repair or replacement costs out of pocket when an event damages your home or personal belongings, or when you’re responsible for bodily injury or property damage to someone else. To help you in your home insurance search, the This Old House Reviews team created a guide that walks you through the best homeowners insurance companies in the industry.

Best Homeowners Insurance Companies

  1. Allstate: Best Overall
  2. Amica: Best Customer Service
  3. State Farm: Best Endorsements
  4. Liberty Mutual: Best Discounts
  5. USAA: Best Membership Perks
  6. Travelers: Most Experience
  7. Farmers: Most Customizable Coverage
  8. Lemonade: Best Valuable Coverage

Allstate: Best Overall

  • Provides 24/7 customer service for all claims, policy, billing, and sales questions
  • Offers customers the choice of 60% or 75% of dwelling for personal property coverage
  • Has a claim rate guard endorsement that won’t increase your premium if you file a claim

Why We Chose Allstate

Allstate has the best homeowners insurance in the industry because of its customer service, customizability, and affordability. While most insurance companies have a claims center open 24/7, but limited hours for policy, sales, and billing questions, Allstate has 24/7 customer service for all insurance questions. If you prefer self-service over talking to a customer service representative, you can use the online portal or mobile app to manage your policy and file a claim.

While dwelling, other structures, personal property, and loss of use coverage is determined by the rebuilding cost of your home, you get to determine your liability, medical payments to others, and deductible amounts. You can also further customize your policy with more than 10 endorsement options. To keep premiums down, Allstate offers nine homeowner discounts.

Amica: Best Liability Coverage

  • Offers liability coverage between $25,000–$1 million
  • Has an endorsement for natural disasters called catastrophic coverages
  • Provides a mobile app, online chat, and customer portal for self-service

Why We Chose Amica

Amica offers the most liability options out of the providers in this review. While most companies offer between $500,000–$1 million worth of liability coverage, Amica lowers that limit to $25,000, which allows customers to purchase the right amount of protection for their situation.

State Farm: Best Endorsements

  • Offers 11 endorsements to customize your policy
  • Provides affordable coverage for homes that cost $400,000 or more to rebuild
  • Liability coverage for dogs is determined by the history of aggression, not the breed

Why We Chose State Farm

State Farm offers just over 10 endorsements to help you customize your policy to fit your home protection needs. The company has common endorsements like water backup, full replacement cost, and earthquake, along with unique ones like service line, home systems protection, and personal injury.

Liberty Mutual: Best Discounts

  • Offers 10 discounts to lower the price of your premium
  • Has over 100 years of experience in the insurance industry
  • Received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

Why We Chose Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual has been providing affordable home insurance to customers for over 100 years. The company is able to keep its policies affordable because of its 10 discounts that cover everything from being claims-free and having a new roof to using paperless billing.

USAA: Best Membership Perks

  • Offers a variety of membership perks, like USAA banking and shopping discounts
  • Created to help military members, veterans, and their families
  • Credit card and forgery, supplemental loss assessment, and business property coverage are included in base policies

Why We Chose USAA

USAA is available only to current or past military members and their immediate family members. If you’re eligible for USAA home insurance, you’ll receive perks like discounts on car rentals and ADT home security systems. Another unique USAA feature is that base policies include three additional types of insurance coverage, while other home insurance companies require you to purchase add-ons for that type of protection.

Travelers: Most Experience

  • Has over 160 years of experience providing insurance
  • Offers a deductible of up to $50,000
  • Provides up to $10,000 per person of medical payments to others coverage

Why We Chose Travelers

Travelers is the oldest company in the home insurance industry, with more than 160 years of experience providing auto, home, and renters insurance products and services. While its home insurance coverage options aren’t as extensive as Farmers home insurance, it still allows you to customize other structures, personal property, and loss of use protection.

Farmers: Most Customizable Coverage

  • Provides more dwelling, other structures, and personal property options than the other providers in this review
  • Offers up to $2 million worth of liability coverage
  • Deductible is broken down by peril, with at least five deductible options per peril

Why We Chose Farmers

Farmers offers the most customizable homeowners insurance out of the providers in this review. Most home insurance companies offer a set amount of other structures, personal property, and loss of use coverage based on your dwelling coverage amount, but Farmers allows you to decide how much protection you want for each area of coverage. This includes up to $2 million of liability coverage and more than 20 deductible options.

Lemonade: Best Valuable Coverage

  • Offers endorsements for valuable items
  • Has a Giveback program that donates unused policy money to charities
  • Approves and pays most claims instantly

Why We Chose Lemonade

Though Lemonade is relatively new to the home insurance industry, the company has strived to create a unique insurance experience for customers. Some ways the company does this is by offering individual endorsements for jewelry, fine art, bikes, cameras, and musical instruments, and allowing you to determine how much coverage you want for each valuable item.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Homeowners insurance policies typically include six areas of coverage—dwelling, other structures, personal property, loss of use, liability, and medical payments to others. Most insurance companies also offer additional endorsements to help you customize your policy.

Here’s a quick overview of the difference areas of insurance coverage:

  • Dwelling—This coverage protects the structure of your home and covers parts like your interior walls, exterior walls, foundation, and cabinetry. Consider buying enough dwelling coverage to cover the cost of rebuilding your home as new.
  • Other structures—This covers detached structures on your property like a garage, fence, or shed. It’s usually 10% of the dwelling coverage.
  • Personal property—This part of the policy protects the personal belongings in your home. If a covered event were to damage them, your provider pays to cover their depreciated value though an actual cash value policy or pays to cover new items with a replacement cash value policy. You usually get at least 50% of dwelling coverage for this type of protection.
  • Loss of use—If an event like a fire forces you out of your home for repairs, your policy will pay for any living expenses during that time. For example, if you usually spend $300 on food every month, but you spent $400 this month because you had to eat out for every meal, your provider will reimburse you for the $100 difference. This type of coverage is usually 20% of dwelling coverage.
  • Liability—If you’re responsible for an accident that causes bodily injury or property damage to someone else, your policy will cover the cost. For example, if your dog bites a neighbor and they get stitches, your insurance provider will cover the costs. Insurance providers usually recommend purchasing at least $300,000 worth of this coverage.
  • Medical payments to others—If a guest is injured in your home, your policy will cover their medical bills. A standard amount of this coverage is $1,000 per person.
  • Endorsements—Most companies offer at least one endorsement to make your policy more comprehensive. Common endorsements include coverage for identity theft expenses, earthquakes, valuable personal property, and water backup.

Covered Perils

For your claim to be approved, the damage must be caused by a covered event. In an HO-3 policy, which is the type of home insurance policy most companies use, you’ll be protected from the following events:

  1. Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging
  2. Volcanic eruption
  3. Sudden and accidental damage from an artificially generated electrical current
  4. Frozen plumbing
  5. Theft
  6. Smoke
  7. Damage from vehicles
  8. Damage from aircrafts
  9. Vandalism
  10. Windstorm and hail
  11. Fire and lightning
  12. Civil commotion
  13. Falling objects
  14. Weight of snow, sleet, or ice
  15. Explosion
  16. Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam

How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, a home insurance policy cost $1,211 per year, or about $101 per month, in 2017. The overall cost of your insurance premium will depend on the following factors:

  • Claims history
  • Credit score
  • Cost to rebuild your home
  • Square footage of your home
  • Number and type of pets
  • Proximity to a fire station and fire hydrant
  • Level of susceptibility to natural disasters in your area
  • Safety features in your home

How to Find the Best Homeowners Insurance

Before beginning your search for a home insurance policy, ask yourself these questions:

1. How much does it cost to rebuild my home?

The rebuilding cost may be the most important factor of your homeowners insurance policy because it decides the amounts for four out of the six areas of coverage. You can find out how much it would cost to rebuild your home in one of three ways.

The first way is to use the estimate given to you by an insurance provider when requesting a quote from the company. After answering questions about your home, like what type of roof you have and how many bedrooms and bathrooms there are in the home, you’ll receive an estimate for how much it would cost to build the same home.

Your second option is to estimate the rebuilding cost yourself. You can do this by purchasing $100 to $155 worth of protection per square foot. Your last and best option is to talk to a local appraiser who has intimate knowledge of the real estate market in your area and will be able to give you an accurate estimate.

After determining the rebuilding cost of your home, you can use that number for dwelling coverage, and a percentage of that number will be used for other structures, personal property, and loss of use coverage.

2. Are there ways I can save on my policy?

Home insurance is more expensive than other insurance policies, like auto insurance and renters insurance. The best way to save money on your policy is to look for discounts. Many insurance companies offer discounts for bundling home and auto insurance, being claims-free, having home safety features, and setting up automatic payments. Check to see if you’re eligible for these discounts because, oftentimes, they can save you up to 25% on a policy.

Another way to save is to choose a higher deductible. When you choose a deductible higher than $1,000, the cost of your policy will decrease. This lowers the amount you pay each month in exchange for a higher deductible that you may or may not ever have to pay.

3. What kind of customer service experience do I want?

If you prefer to talk on the phone, choose a company that has 24/7 customer service or a claims center that’s open 24/7. If you like handling issues yourself, choose a company that has an online portal and mobile app.

4. Are there other events or items not in the policy I will need coverage for?

If there are certain areas of coverage that your policy lacks, you may want to consider endorsements or separate insurance policies. For example, if you have valuable belongings, you may want an endorsement that covers the full cost of those belongings. If you live in an area that’s susceptible to natural disasters, you may want to get an earthquake endorsement or separate flood insurance policy.

Comparison of Top Homeowners Insurance Companies

While all of the providers in this review offer comprehensive homeowners insurance, we recommend Allstate, Amica, and State Farm above the rest. Take a look at each company’s policy details below.

*Based on quotes our team received for houses in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

**Based on a quote from The Zebra

Our Conclusion

Amica, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Allstate, Travelers, State Farm, USAA, and Lemonade offer some of the best home insurance policies in the industry. Before choosing a company, use the tool below to compare quotes from several companies at once.

Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparency and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations.

With that in mind, we created an objective rating system to score each home insurance company. Here’s what that review process looked like:

  • We analyze the information on each company’s website. This allows us to determine what products and services are offered by each home insurance provider.
  • We get a sample quote from the companies by either talking to a sales representative or by using the online quote tool. This tells us what a policy looks like and costs.
  • We test customer service by talking to a company representative, finding out their hours of operation, and determining what technological features are available for customers.
  • We update all of this information on a continuous basis, storing it in a proprietary database that allows us to compare dozens of home insurance companies against each other.

With this data, we created a rating methodology to score each home insurance company. Our rating system is a weighted, 100-point scale based on the following factors:

  • Coverage (30): We rated home insurance companies higher if they offered the six main types of homeowner protection—dwelling, other structures, personal property, loss of use, liability, and medical payments to others coverage.
  • State availability (7.5): Companies scored higher if they covered more states than their competitors.
  • Customer service (15): This factor is based on our communications with the company representatives, as well as the companies’ claims and quotes processes, availability throughout the week, and customer service information found on their websites.
  • Technology (12.5): Technology can increase the efficiency of filing and tracking home insurance claims. Companies scored higher if they had technology options like mobile apps and online chat functions.
  • Reputation (20): We gauged trustworthiness based on years of experience and Better Business Bureau ratings.
  • Additional benefits (15): Companies that offered optional features, like discounts and endorsements, scored higher than competitors that didn’t.

The This Old House Reviews team has a full-time researcher who collects and regularly updates data points from every company to help us compare them on key factors such as coverage, service, and dependability.

Frequently Asked Questions About Homeowners Insurance

Is homeowners insurance required?

Homeowners insurance is not required by law. However, in almost all cases, lending institutions will require you to purchase a policy in order to receive a loan to buy a home. Check with your lending institution before purchasing a policy to make sure you meet its coverage requirements.

Who has the cheapest home insurance?

Amica, Lemonade, and Travelers gave us some of the most affordable quotes, coming in below the national average of about $101 per month. AAA and Geico are other home insurance providers not listed in this review that are relatively affordable compared to the industry average.

How does homeowners insurance work?

Most companies allow you to get a quote online or over the phone by providing information about you and your home. After getting your quote, you can purchase a policy and start coverage the following day.

When you cause bodily injury or property damage to someone, or a covered event damages your home or property, file a claim with your insurance provider immediately. You can do this over the phone, through a customer portal, or on the company’s mobile app. It usually takes 48 hours for the company to approve or deny your claim.

If your claim is approved, you pay your deductible and talk to the insurance agent assigned to your claim about the next steps to take.

What is not protected by homeowners insurance?

The list of events and items that aren’t covered by your insurance policy will depend on the type of policy you have and the company you buy from. In general, home insurance policies won’t cover the following:

  • Natural disasters
  • Ordinance or law
  • War
  • Nuclear hazard
  • Intentional loss
  • Governmental action
  • Mischievous acts
  • Water damage from flooding
  • Pests

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.

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