Allstate: Cheapest for Beginners
Summary of ratings
S&P Credit Rating: AA
J.D. Power Consumer Rating: 822 out of 1,000, 3/5
ACSI Customer Satisfaction: 78%
- Available in 51 U.S. States
- Has plenty of online tools
- Offers the most discounts
- Above-average consumer ratings
- Optional green improvement coverage
- Has mobile app with complete access to Allstate services
- Missing a quick quote option
Allstate takes the top spot on our list. Available in all 51 states, it certainly lives up to its name. They've got a plethora of online tools which makes it possible to know everything about home insurance. Allstate also has the most number of discounts - even more than highly-acclaimed Amica Mutual!
You'll surely love their Common and Costly Claims Tool. It provides common claims and customized homeowners insurance rates by state. You can use the GoodHome Tool to identify potential risks to your home. Both allow you to choose a policy that suits your budget and needs.
You can get anywhere from 5 to 30% worth of discounted rates for:
- The first two years after sign-up
- Buying home insurance before your policy expires
- Insuring a newly built home
- Bundling home and car insurance
- Setting up auto payments
- Protecting your home against common perils (i.e. fire, burglary, storms, hail)
- Retired home insurance buyers
- Switching to Allstate with zero insurance claims from your previous insurer
One of their most interesting and least known feature is the Green Improvement Reimbursement. It is an optional coverage that gives higher payouts if you use energy-efficient materials to repair or replace damages.
Customers attest to their friendly and accommodating staff, as well as their fast and efficient claims process. Our only qualm is their lack of a quick quote option online. Given its features, we highly recommend Allstate for your first-time home buyer's needs.
Farmers: Best Value
Summary of ratings
S&P Credit Rating: A
J.D. Power Consumer Rating: 819 out of 1,000, 3/5
ACSI Customer Satisfaction: 79%
- Great coverage for the price
- Offers decent discounts
- Above-average consumer ratings
- Agent finding tool connects you with agents in your area
- Has mobile app with complete access to Farmers' services
- Limited availability (only serves 37 U.S. States)
- Lower deductibles
Farmers comes at a close second as the cheapest home insurance company. Unfortunately, their home insurance policies are only available in 37 out of 51 states. What they lack, they make up for by giving you bang for your buck. Farmers also offers special discounts for customers who work to ensure the safety of their homes and properties.
They're the perfect company for people wanting great coverage at affordable prices. Customers who have switched from State Farm say that Farmers offers the same policies but with lower deductibles. They also make a good choice if you're looking to insure your vehicle and your home.
Farmers offers discounts for:
- Customers who insure their own homes
- Home maintenance (i.e. roof replacements, renovations on electrical, heating, or plumbing systems)
- Bundling car with home insurance
- Senior drivers
- Insured vehicles equipped with safety equipment (i.e. anti-lock brakes, restraint systems)
People are generally satisfied with Farmers. Their agent finder tool makes it easier to connect with agents in your area. Some aren't happy with recent price increases, but the company continues to have a loyal following. We recommend Farmers for buyers who want the best value for their money.
Liberty Mutual: Best Discounts
Summary of ratings
S&P Credit Rating: A
J.D. Power Consumer Rating: 797 out of 1,000, 3/5
ACSI Customer Satisfaction: 80%
- Available in 51 U.S. States
- Offers unique add-ons and sizeable discounts
- Improved customer satisfaction
- Can protect against price inflation
- Has mobile app with complete access to Liberty Mutual's services
Liberty Mutual serves all 51 states. But in terms of financial strength, the company didn't perform as well. Unlike Allstate, it received a lower S&P credit rating, although it received the same A rating as our second choice, Farmers. So why did we rank them third on our list?
For starters, it's one of few companies to offer protection against inflation. It's an add-on that adjusts your annual policy limits based on inflation rates. This includes covering for any cost increases in labor and materials. Should you need repairs or renovations, you don't have to worry about home insurance. Of course, you'd have to pay a premium for this feature.
Liberty Mutual is also one of the few companies to offer discounted rates for buyers who fully insure their home's replacement cost. Customers who remain claim-free for 3 years, set up auto payments, or pay online get discounts. Their discounts rival larger competitors including Allstate, State Farm, and Nationwide.
You can get further cuts on your average homeowners insurance cost by:
- Buying home insurance for the first time
- Requesting a quote from Liberty Mutual before your policy from another provider expires
- Signing up for more than one policy
- Installing safety devices in your home (i.e. smoke and burglar alarms, sprinklers)
- Switching to Liberty Mutual with zero claims from your previous insurer for at least 5 years
- Insuring a newly purchased, built, or renovated home
- Getting insurance for a home with a new roof
While not exemplary, customer service has improved these last few years. They've become known for their friendly staff and efficiency at handling claims. The company received the highest ACSI customer satisfaction rating on our list.
On the down side, pricing seems to be a persistent complaint. Long-time customers have left due to their constantly increasing prices. It's no wonder that J.D. Power gave this insurer a lower score of 2/5 based on how consumers rated the company's pricing and experience interacting with an agent, call center representative or the company's website.
Despite some hiccups, Liberty Mutual is great choice for cheap homeowners insurance. Its discounts and statewide availability make this insurance company worthwhile.
Progressive: Best All-Around on a Budget
Summary of ratings
S&P Credit Rating: AA
J.D. Power Consumer Rating: N/A
ACSI Customer Satisfaction: 78%
- Accessible homeowners insurance
- Extensive protection against price inflation
- Useful online tools for getting personalized quotes and comparing rates
- Offers watercraft insurance
- Has competitive rates
- Doesn't have limits on discounts
- Impressive customer service
- Has the least availability (only serves 34 U.S. states)
- Insurance policies vary across states
- Mobile app limited to car insurance holders
Progressive is the most underrated home insurance provider. While not widely available, it does have a lot up its sleeve. From extensive coverage and unique policies to unlimited discounts, the company takes every bit of good from competitors and offer it as their own.
However, if there is anything that Progressive should be known for, it is their dedication to make home insurance accessible. Progressive lets you buy homeowners insurance premiums on an installment basis. It will cost more than paying upfront, but it's useful if you need to space out your monthly expenses.
The company also has various online tools which allow you to choose policies that are suitable for your budget. One such tool is Name Your Price. Depending on the price you state, you'll get a list of available coverages for that rate. Their website features a home insurance comparison tool as well. It gives you an overview of Progressive's rates for a given policy, and compares them with competitors. Chances are, you'll find their rates better than most.
You can opt-in for an endorsement that dynamically protects your coverage against inflation. What makes this add-on great is that it also insures attached structures such as fences, garden sheds, and pools at no extra cost. Buyers who own small watercrafts like motor boats and sailboats can extend their coverage with a watercraft endorsement.
Progressive is quite generous with their discounts, and you can get as many as you want! Here are some things that can qualify you for cheap home insurance costs:
- Requesting an online quote from Progressive
- Bundling home with car insurance
- Insuring more than one vehicle (applies to bundled home policies)
- Buyers who own property or real estate
- Buyers who sign documents online
- Paying for the full home insurance cost upfront
- Setting up automatic monthly payments
Progressive adequately rewards loyalty. Renewing your policy gets you bigger discounts the longer you stay. Agents are very helpful and well-informed, and always ready to assist you. The only drawback? Their offered services vary across states. So be sure to talk to a local agent to know more about your options.
If you want the most comprehensive but cheapest homeowners insurance you can get on a budget, you can't go wrong with Progressive.
Esurance: Best on the Rise
Summary of ratings
S&P Credit Rating: N/A
J.D. Power Consumer Rating: N/A
ACSI Customer Satisfaction: N/A
- Offers quick quote option
- Great consumer ratings
- Cheaper than Allstate
- Mobile app provides access to most Esurance services
- Limited availability (only serves 34 U.S. states)
For a company that hasn't been rated by S&P, J.D. Powers, and ACSI, you might be curious as to why we included Esurance Insurance Services on our list. One good reason is that it was recently acquired by Allstate. This is not to say they have similar offerings. Esurance does have a few stand-out features, including some that are better. However, its biggest advantage is the added financial security that Allstate provides.
People who have bought insurance in the past can get a quick quote from the website's Express Lane. All you have to do is fill in details like your name, birthdate, and address. Esurance will then give you an estimate based on your previous insurance policies; a feature that Allstate sorely misses out on.
If you want more affordable home insurance, you can get price cuts and discounts with the following:
- Getting your new home insured within the first 12 months of purchase or completion
- Downloading the Esurance mobile app and performing DIY home inspection within 20 days that your policy starts
- Installing safety equipment into your home (i.e. burglar alarm, smoke detector, water safety system)
- Equipping your home with storm shutters or hail-resistant roof
- Non-smoking households
Customers who manage to be claims-free for at least a year get discounts as well. The longer you don't file for claims, the bigger the price cuts. Some customers even go as far as saying that Esurance has yearly home insurance costs comparable to Allstate. To top it off, the company is well-reviewed for consumer satisfaction. Esurance is hands-down the best rising homeowners insurance company, and a great alternative to Allstate.
Methodology: How We Made Our Picks
We didn't just want to show you companies with the best homeowners insurance rates. So while we considered them for cheap pricing, it wasn't the only factor we considered. Neither should you. As the buyer, you need to ask the right questions...
- Will I be able to afford a home insurance company?
- How reliable is a home insurance company?
- How well does a home insurance company handle claims?
- How much coverage can I get from a company's home insurance policies?
- What else can a home insurance company offer me?
We picked the top homeowners insurance companies by answering these questions. This way, you can easily choose from them based on five key factors: affordability, reliability, consumer satisfaction, value for money, and extra features.
Looking for a bargain? We compared different providers and their average home insurance costs. Then, we selected those with the lowest rates.
The financial state of your insurer indicates how well you can rely on them, even during economic crisis. Insurers with good financial standing are usually more reliable. They'd be able to back your claim when you need them most.
3. Consumer Satisfaction
How a company treats customers speaks volumes. From the moment you request a quote and compare policies, up until the time you file for claims - a home insurance agency must be able to guide you. The best home insurance companies have agents that communicate kindly and effectively throughout the process. This will reflect accurately on customer satisfaction.
4. Value for Money
A cheap home insurance policy won't always give you the best value for your money. Oftentimes, you get poor coverage for cutting costs. To help you avoid this pitfall, we didn't just compare home insurance rates based on affordability. We also checked companies for their standard policies and coverages included.
5. Extra Features
A standard policy can protect your home and belongings from most perils. But it won't get you complete coverage. That's why we reviewed companies for add-ons such as riders and endorsements. Providers that offer discounts and bundled insurance policies were also considered.
It is no question that it is equally as important to find the right insurer as it is to find the best rates around. We listed our recommended top 5 insurers that we researched to be a strong company that gives affordable quotes. Furthermore, we made the most comprehensive list out there of 25 tips to help you save and find the best deals around. Read more below for the insightful tips we've compiled.
25 Tips for Finding Cheap Home Insurance
The cost of home insurance stops many people from purchasing a policy. Fortunately, there are ways to cut costs and save money while finding cheap home insurance coverage that protects your home and your possessions. We’ll share tips here, along with a rundown on what type of coverage is available, and how to figure out what policy is right for you.
Not all plans are affordable, and not all are worth the cost. Depending on where you live, how old your home is, and other factors, you might be surprised by your options. Here are our top tips for finding affordable homeowners insurance that is a good deal in terms of value.
1. Shop Around and Compare Quotes
Purchasing a policy with your existing insurer may seem like the easiest and least expensive route. But depending on your insurance needs, another company may provide lower rates. Don’t be afraid to shop around and source quotes from a few companies before making a choice.
The easiest way to compare house insurance providers online is through our free comparison tool. Input your Zip code in the form above and find a list of most-recommended insurers in your area. Then you can obtain an online quote from companies that fit your needs.
2. Check for Bundling and Other Discounts
Although you won’t always find the best deal with your current provider, it’s possible that they offer bundle discounts that can save you money. If you already have car insurance or previously took out a renters insurance policy, you could save money by sticking with your existing provider for homeowners coverage too.
Other discounts may apply, such as a clear claims history, your status as a non-smoker, or the fact that you are married or even widowed. Some companies also give new customers a discount for switching to their services. Similarly, a good payment record with your other obligations can help bolster your qualifications when it comes to qualifying for the cheapest house insurance. Ask whether a positive payment history can help your case.
3. Set a Higher Deductible
A deductible is the amount you pay before your insurance provider will take responsibility for any damages. The higher your deductible, the more you pay out of pocket if disaster strikes. However, a higher deductible also means lower monthly costs, an important consideration when calculating the overall price. If you can raise the deductible and pay less per month, it might be a better deal than continuing to pay higher premiums.
4. Install Emergency Devices
Depending on your insurer, you may be eligible for discounts on emergency preparedness. Between storm protections such as roof repairs or storm shutters, and other additions, you could receive valuable discounts in exchange for planning ahead.
5. Earn Fire Preparedness Discounts
Functioning early warning equipment like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential in every home, but did you know that installing a fire protection system can earn you discounts on home insurance? Some systems notify fire personnel remotely, but even sprinkler setups reduce the odds of a fire disaster in your home.
Look to the declarations section of your home insurance policy to find the deductible, which will either be an amount in dollars or a percent of the total amount of the insurance plan.
6. Take Advantage of Home Security
Another advance protection that can reduce costs is a home security system. Along with sensors and alerts, adding deadbolts to your home’s doors, and other protections, you reduce the chances of experiencing a break-in that could cost you and your insurer money. A burglar alarm is a relatively small price to pay in terms of savings over time on insurance costs.
7. Ask About Other Discounts
If you have an existing policy with your insurer, you’ll want to ask about multi-policy discounts. But whether you are sticking with your current provider or shopping around, ask about any other discounts they may offer. For example, some companies offer discounts to unions or employees of specific companies. Many insurers also give senior or military discounts.
8. Do Your Research
Although referrals from friends or family are helpful and online search tools help narrow your choices, it’s worth performing background research before agreeing to the terms. Consider looking up the company you have chosen on the Better Business Bureau website. You can find out if the carrier has any pending litigation, customer complaints, or other issues.
9. Take Care of Credit
Like any other large purchase, it helps to have good credit when applying for insurance. However, maintaining decent credit over the long term will help save you money. Check regularly to ensure that your credit score is in good standing and ask your agent if any discounts apply if it increases.
10. Research the Home and Property
If you are about to purchase a home and want to know what to expect when it comes to costs, you can save money by doing a little research before buying. Find out whether the home you want to buy lies in a floodplain or has other questionable history. Homes that have weathered a few heavy storms may incur more considerable insurance costs, whether in the form of higher premiums or higher deductibles, if not both. A property that is in an area with a high crime rate may also cost more to insure.
If you already own your home and it’s in a high crime rate area or a floodplain, consider whether you can use other money-saving tips to reduce costs elsewhere in your policy.
Flooding is not covered in most basic homeowners insurance plans so you may have to pay for extra coverage if you live in high-flood risk areas.
11. Get the Right Coverage
Like homes in floodplains, your home may have unique qualities or vulnerabilities that require additional insurance. For example, a storm could cause flooding in your home due to the property layout and features. Even if you don’t live in a flood zone, your house could sustain water damage.
12. Think About Home Features
Before you install an in-ground pool or order a hot tub, consider the impact those features will have on your insurance costs. Pools are a liability for homeowners because of the drowning risk they pose to not only the inhabitants of the home, but also visitors. The higher the risk, the higher the premium for your insurance plan.
13. Know the Property Risks
Depending on your home’s location and local regulations, you may have to purchase additional insurance beyond a standard homeowners policy. Flood insurance, for example, is mandatory in many areas that experience flooding. It’s helpful to know your home’s flood risk before buying, as flood policy add-ons may raise your costs significantly.
14. Concentrate On the Roof
Because the roof is your home’s primary protection against water damage, its condition affects your overall insurance costs. Consider performing repairs on the roof or replacing it if possible. The up-front cost may be high, but the long-term savings on your insurance and the protection a new roof gives your home are worth it.
15. Remove Unused Sheds and Outbuildings
Although pools and hot tubs are common risk factors, other property features can cause your insurance rates to rise. For example, old buildings on your property, although uninhabited, create additional hazards. Plan to remove any old storage sheds, garages, or outbuildings before signing up for your plan.
Your mortgage lender will most likely require you to purchase a home insurance policy though you can legally own a home without one.
16. Carefully Consider Claims
Having a homeowners policy is reassuring when something goes wrong in your house. However, you should think carefully before submitting a claim. Insurers may refuse to pay if they see multiple similar claims from a client, or if they suspect that any claim is fraudulent. This can cause problems later if a larger issue comes up that you can’t pay for on your own.
17. Use Automatic Payments
Automatic payments are a convenient way to guarantee you never miss a billing cycle, but many companies also give discounts if you pay automatically. Discount amounts vary, but you could save 5% or more each month. Signing up for your company’s autopay feature is one of the easiest ways to get the most low cost homeowners insurance possible.
18. Think About Government Programs
In some cases, government programs for properties in high-flood risk or other potentially dangerous areas can help bring down the cost of your premium. However, the opposite can also prove true. Carefully compare the terms of both types of plans before you commit.
19. Review Terms Periodically
Although you sign a contract for insurance, just like any other service, it pays to revisit the terms occasionally. Whether you start a new job, make upgrades to your property, or bumped your credit score up a few points, you may be leaving money on the table by keeping your policy as-is.
20. Check Coverage Amounts
Because the cost of your plan depends on what it would cost to rebuild your home after a disaster, you may not necessarily use the price tag amount to determine coverage needs. The rebuild costs can also vary depending on the market value of your home, so this is worth checking out before you renew your policy.
A little research will go a long way. Find out as much as you can about potential insurers before signing a contract through independent online reviews or insurance magazines.
21. Plan for Pets
If you are considering adopting a pet, check whether your existing or prospective insurance carrier has limitations on pet species or breeds. Many carriers blacklist particular breeds of dogs, especially those with a reputation for being vicious. However, some carriers also list dogs that most pet owners do not consider a risk. Check ahead and put off adopting a pet until you can confirm it won’t affect your rates or insurability.
22. Insure Valuables Separately
Although homeowners policies require itemization of many big-ticket items, insuring those items separately can save you money. If you have valuables such as jewelry or expensive electronics in your home, taking out another type of insurance on those items can reduce your overall insurance costs.
23. Understand the Plan
If you’re purchasing a new home, it can be difficult to wade through all the paperwork, including insurance-related information. However, it’s important to read through your plan and understand your responsibilities. For example, many new homeowners think that homeowners insurance covers home systems, like heating and air or other major appliances. The higher price of a plan isn’t so palatable when you realize it doesn’t cover the interior or appliances of your home.
24. Maintain the Home and Property
A homeowner’s worst nightmare is finding out that an insurance policy won’t reimburse them for the loss of their home due to the property owner’s negligence. Unfortunately, if you don’t perform regular maintenance on your home, an insurance company can refuse to pay out and accuse you of neglect. Conditions like mold, termites, leaking or broken pipes, or sewer disasters are mostly preventable, so odds are, your insurer won’t cover them.
25. Pay Off the Mortgage
If you already own your home outright, your insurance costs will likely be lower than if you are making payments. Confirm that your company or agent knows that your home is paid off to see if you qualify for a lower rate. If not, consider shopping around to see if another insurance company will give you a discount for outright home ownership.
Cheapest and Most Expensive States for Home Insurance
If you’re shopping for a new home, comparing the most affordable and most expensive states for homeowners insurance might help you narrow down a geographical location. If you’re moving across state lines already, choosing an area with lower costs is a smart way to save money. Regardless, knowing how your state measures up can indicate how expensive your premiums will be.
Which States Have the Cheapest Rates?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost of homeowners insurance is about $1,192 per year. However, within the US, rates vary widely.
At an average of $659 per year, Oregon holds the number one spot as the cheapest state for homeowners insurance in the nation. Utah and Idaho are comparable choices at an average of $700. Conversely, Louisiana is the most expensive overall. The average costs there are $1,967 per year, alongside Texas and Florida, where premiums are just over the $1900 mark.
Overall, the top five states with the lowest rates were:
The five states with the highest rates were:
At first glance, it might not make much sense that some states have nearly double the homeowners insurance costs as others. However, states like Florida and Texas commonly experience flooding and hurricanes. Oklahoma and Kansas are more susceptible to fires and earthquakes.
Still, not all cities in each state have the same calculated risk. Averages are helpful in determining trends, but your quote may not match up exactly with what your state’s average is. Relatively affordable home insurance is available nearly everywhere, as long as you know where to look and how to save money.
Home Insurance Guides State By State:
What Factors Influence Home Insurance Rates?
In general, the value and location of the home and the property it sits on will dictate the value and therefore cost of your coverage. However, there are other factors affecting home insurance quotes that are less visible.
Natural Disaster Risk
Many areas in the United States are at higher risk of natural disasters than others. For example, Florida is more prone to flood-related disasters than landlocked states. Along with the fact that many areas of Florida are densely populated, its exposure to the sea means more residents there experience hurricanes, mudslides, floods, and more.
Property conditions can also influence home insurance rates. For example, if your home has sinkholes or seasonal flooding, your risk of a disaster may be higher than average for the area. That means your premiums are higher than average, too.
Other factors like construction costs can also affect the cost of your insurance plan. If you live in a state with higher construction costs, you can expect to pay more in premiums because the insurer will have to pay more for related claims. Areas with lower construction costs often have lower insurance rates, despite the potential presence of environmental hazards.
Construction costs vary based on where you live and how much labor costs, but materials can affect the bottom line as well. If your house is wood, you may pay a higher premium than if your home is mostly brick, cement, or stone. Homes that are wood have a higher risk of damage than more sturdy construction, meaning your house is less of a risk to the insurance company if it’s brick or stone.
Although the location is a significant factor because of the odds of a natural disaster affecting your home, your proximity to emergency services is also crucial. Homes that are further away from fire hydrants or firehouses are more likely to sustain worse damage in a fire than homes that are close to water sources and personnel.
You know that having a wood burning fireplace is more dangerous than a typical HVAC system, but did you know it could affect your home insurance rates? Even if you purchase smoke detectors for every area of your home and equip yourself with fire extinguishers, your rates may be higher if your property has one or more fireplaces.
Other hazards that can affect people’s safety are trampolines, pools, and potentially aggressive pets. The age of the home and the presence of old pipes or electrical systems can also affect premium amounts.
Types of Home Insurance Coverage
Comparing homeowners insurance coverage options can easily become a headache. There are categories for different types of coverage, so you need to know which ones cover what occurrences before you purchase. Each policy’s name begins with HO, which is short for homeowners insurance.
Types of Homeowners Insurance Policies:
The most common type of policy in the United States. HO-3 covers the home as well as personal property. Learn more...
This policy is very similar to the HO-3 policy. Extensive coverage is the highlight of this policy. Learn more...
Mobile Home Insurance
Like standard homes, mobile homes qualify for home insurance. Additional risks are considered due to the unique design of a mobile home. Learn more...