Best Homeowners Insurance in California 2020

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To protect your home and personal belongings from earthquakes and wildfires, consider investing in a California homeowners insurance policy.

If you’re looking to purchase homeowners insurance in California and want more than just industry-standard coverage, you’ll have a wide range of options among potential providers. Because of the state’s susceptibility to natural disasters, you’ll want a policy that protects your home from all possible perils.

To see which companies offer comprehensive coverage, keep reading our review of the best homeowners insurance companies in the Golden State.

Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in California

We rated top insurance companies on coverage, benefits, customer service, and pricing. These are our picks for the best homeowners insurance companies in California.

1. Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual has close to 110 years of experience in the home insurance industry. While you receive comprehensive coverage for dwelling, other structures, personal property, loss of use, liability, and medical payments to others, Liberty Mutual premiums stay low because of 10 different discounts, like ones for having a new roof or safety features in the home.

Here are some other Liberty Mutual benefits:

  • Claims center that’s open 24/7
  • Up to $1 million of liability coverage
  • Earthquake add-on for earthquake-prone areas of California

2. Allstate

While Liberty Mutual and Farmers have 24/7 representatives only in their claims centers, Allstate allows you to contact them any time for any reason, whether it’s regarding claims, sales, billing, or policies. Additionally, you can review your policy or open claims within the customer portal and mobile app.

With an Allstate policy, you get to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Nine discounts, including ones for being a new customer or for being retired
  • Choice of 60% or 75% of dwelling for personal property coverage
  • Protection for valuable items like musical instruments, scheduled personal property, and extended coverage on jewelry, watches, and furs

3. Farmers

Farmers offers customizable coverage for other structures, personal property, and additional living expenses, unlike Liberty Mutual and Allstate which offer a set amount based on dwelling coverage. While Farmers protection is based on dwelling coverage, you can purchase up to 200% of dwelling coverage for other structures and personal property and up to 30% for loss of use.

Here are some other benefits of a Farmers insurance policy:

  • Offers up to $2 million of liability protection
  • Deductibles are split by peril
  • Provides an ordinance or law endorsement, which isn’t usually covered under home insurance

California Homeowners Insurance Coverage

There are six parts to a standard home insurance policy:

  1. Dwelling—This covers all of the built-in parts of your home, like the cabinetry, foundation, and heating and cooling systems. If an event were to destroy your home, this part of your policy would pay to rebuild it.
  2. Other structures—This covers the structures on your property that aren’t attached to the home, like fences and sheds. Most companies give you 10% of dwelling coverage for other structures coverage.
  3. Personal property—If a covered event damages your belongings, your provider will pay to replace them. This part of your policy not only covers your items while they’re in your home, but it also covers your items if you go on a trip or leave them in your car.
  4. Loss of use—Your insurance company will reimburse you for living expenses incurred if you have to live elsewhere during home repairs. This typically includes the cost of a hotel room, the cost of eating out for every meal, and the cost of doing laundry. Loss of use coverage is usually 20% of dwelling coverage.
  5. Liability—If you cause bodily injury or property damage, your insurance provider will cover the medical bills and replacement costs, along with any legal fees if you’re sued. While most companies offer as little as $100,0000 for this protection, we recommend purchasing at least $300,000.
  6. Medical payments to others—When a guest is injured in your home, your policy will cover some of their medical fees. A typical amount of this coverage is $1,000 per person.

How Much Does a Homeowners Insurance Policy Cost in California?

California homeowners insurance cost around $84 per month in 2017, according to the Insurance Information Institute. This price was lower than the national average, and California one of the least expensive states for home insurance in the country.

Factors to Consider Before Buying Homeowners Insurance

Consider these factors when looking for a home insurance policy:

  • Natural disasters—California is susceptible to a variety of natural disasters, but two of the biggest ones are earthquakes and wildfires. Fire is usually listed as a covered peril on a home insurance policy, but earthquakes are not. If you live along a fault line, consider buying an earthquake endorsement from Liberty Mutual, Lemonade, Geico, or Amica. If you want more comprehensive earthquake coverage, you can purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy from an insurance company like State Farm.
  • ACV vs. RCV—Personal property coverage is either considered actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cash value (RCV). ACV policies will replace your items with items of a similar value, while an RCV policy replaces your items with new ones. Most home insurance policies start out as ACV policies, but you can change them to RCV for an additional cost.
  • Dogs—If your dog is a certain breed, like a German Shepherd, or it has a history of biting people, an insurance company will either charge you more for liability coverage or deny you coverage altogether. If the latter happens, you’ll have to buy a separate pet insurance policy.

Condition of home—How well you maintain your home plays a role in how much your insurance rate costs. If your home is in poor condition and has an old plumbing system, leaky roof, or other faulty element, an insurance company will consider your home more risky to insure and increase your premium.

*Based on sample quotes our team received

Our Conclusion

Liberty Mutual, Allstate, and Farmers are some of the best homeowners insurance providers in California. Use our tool below to determine how much each company will charge to insure your home.

FAQs About Homeowners Insurance in California

Will a new roof lower my homeowners insurance?

Yes. A new roof lowers the risk of water damage caused by a leaky roof, which decreases the likelihood that your insurance company will have to pay a claim. Some companies, like Liberty Mutual, may even offer you a new roof discount on top of your already low premium.

Who has the most affordable home insurance in California?

Amica, AAA, Lemonade, and Travelers all gave our team members quotes that were lower than the industry average of $101 per month. However, your insurance rate could be higher depending on property features, like the age of your home and its proximity to a fire station, and personal information like your credit score and claims history.

Do I need homeowners insurance if my home is paid off?

No. The only time home insurance is mandatory is if your lending institution requires it. However, we recommend buying homeowners insurance because it will protect you from structural and property damage and liability claims.

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