Looking for the best homeowners insurance? Be aware of all aspects concerning your insurance policy, including geographic locations.
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Home Insurance Rates
|Average Annual Rate||$1,271|
|Average Monthly Rate||$105|
Property Crime Statistics
|Odds of being victim||1 in 37|
Most home insurance policies cover similar risks to your home, as well as providing other coverages, but insurers approach these coverages in different ways. Not all home insurers are created equal, nor do their home insurance policies always provide coverage in the same ways.
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The 7 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies
- Amica: Most Affordable
- State Farm: Best Customer Service
- Allstate: Best for Young Parents
- Hippo: Best Overall
- Liberty Mutual: Best for Claims Service
- 21st Century: Best for Online Services
- MetLife: Best for Experienced Homeowners
What is a Homeowners Insurance Policy?
A homeowner’s insurance policy is for most single-family homes. Major coverages will include:
- Dwelling Coverage, which insures the house and attached structures
- Personal Property Coverage, which insures your belongings
- Personal Liability Coverage, which pays toward personal liability claims and legal defense costs
Basic Form vs. Broad Form vs. Special Form Coverage
It’s important to understand that home insurance coverage comes in three variants: Named Form, Broad Form, and Special Form. You can think of a “peril” as a risk to your home, something that might happen to your home which causes damage. A basic form policy covers the following perils:
- Windstorm or Hail
- Aircraft or Vehicle Collision
- Riot or Civil Commotion
- Sinkhole Collapse
- Volcanic Activity
A broad form policy covers all perils in a basic form policy plus these additional perils:
- Burglary/Break-in damage
- Falling Objects (like tree limbs)
- Weight of Ice and Snow
- Freezing of Plumbing
- Accidental Water Damage
- Artificially Generated Electricity
Of note, damage from falling trees or tree limbs would be covered by a broad form policy but not by a basic policy. Both basic form policies and broad-form policies are “Named Peril” policies, meaning the policy only covers claims for the perils specifically named in the policy. If the coverage isn’t specifically named, you’re not covered if you suffer a loss due to that peril.
A special form policy works differently than a named-peril policy. A special form policy covers all perils except those specifically excluded. This is the good stuff if you can get it. Most home insurance policies available from major insurers are broad-form policies. A special form policy typically excludes the following perils:
- Ordinance of Law
- Power Failure
- Nuclear Hazard
- Intentional Acts
The above exclusions would also apply to basic and broad-form policies because these policy types only cover named perils.
It’s important to note that none of the above policy types cover damage from floods. Flood insurance is a separate product. If your home is in a low-lying area or close to a source of flooding, a separate flood policy may be a wise choice to protect your investment.
Flood damage is different from water damage as defined in an insurance policy’s fine print, which can often be confusing.
Does Geographic Location Matter?
Insurance companies are notoriously secretive about all the elements that go into determining premiums, but some are common knowledge, and some of those are common sense. Geographic location can and does play a role in home insurance premiums.
Two identical homes, one located inside a housing development a half-mile from the fire station, and the second home located on a rural road six miles away from the fire station, will have different home insurance premiums if all other rating factors are equal.
The risk of a total loss due to fire is higher for the second home located further away from the fire station. Insurance premiums are a reflection of risk as determined by the insurer. A higher risk will lead to a higher premium.
Areas more prone to wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, or other risks can also expect higher premiums than areas that have less frequent occurrences of these risks.
Home Insurance Rates
Given that the risk from storms plays a large role in premiums, some states are generally more expensive for home insurance. Exposed to incoming storms from three sides, Florida tops the list with rates doubled or higher when compared to some other states.
Other states with exposure to hurricanes, tropical storms, or tornadoes also scored in the top most expensive states for home insurance. Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Alabama are all among the most expensive states in which to insure a home. Most of these states line the Gulf Coast or are more prone to tornadoes.
States that are more rural, which often coincides with a greater distance from fire departments, can also expect higher rates based on higher risk.
7 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies
It’s important to do your own research when you select a homeowners insurance company. Benzinga has compiled a few top-rated companies you should explore.
While much of the company’s business is handled by phone or online, customers are overwhelmingly pleased with the service offered, including claims satisfaction.
As a mutual company, Amica treats its customers to a dividend when there is an excess of premium after claims and expenses have been paid. This helps to reduce the cost of a home insurance product that already offers discounts for bundling and a level of value unmatched by other nationwide competitors.
2. State Farm
Some customers like to do business face to face with an agent. Customers in most areas are likely to find one or more agents nearby. While focusing this review on home insurance companies, many customers prefer to keep all their insurance business with one company.
Most of the insurers in our review offer the most common types of insurance, but State Farm stands out as having a complete insurance product offering, all underwritten by the company itself.
At Allstate, customers can expect quality coverage, local agents, and discounts.
They offer a multi-policy discount, claims-free discount, and 5% savings when you sign up for automatic payments and 7 more unique discounts.
Coverage is offered in all 50 states with 24/7 claims availability. Allstates mobile app makes it very easy to view policy documents, file a claim and reach a representative.
Hippo offers traditional home insurance coverage, with a twist. In addition to all the necessities Hippo also offers more coverage than the average insurer for computers, home office equipment, appliances and electronics, and they even insure your babysitter.
You can get a quote in as little as 60 seconds. Take advantage of their smart home upgrades to prevent potential issues and have peace of mind with their full replacement costs coverage.
5. Liberty Mutual
The standard coverage at Liberty Mutual comes with everything you need and nothing you don’t: dwelling, personal possessions, liability and additional living expenses. They offer discounts like bundling, claims-free, safety devices and if you’re buying a new home you get a discount for that as well.
Liberty Mutual is also one of the few companies that offer a military discount to their customers. You can file a claim quick and easily online, through their mobile app or by calling a representative to walk you through the process.
6. 21st Century
One of the great things about 21st century is that they offer a significant discount when you bundle home and auto with them – 10%.
Their claim of hassle-free, online customer service holds true and they can be reached 24/7.
You don’t even have to call an agent or representative to get a quote, their online quote feature makes getting a quote fast and stress-free. Get the basics and leave the worry behind.
MetLife is praised for their excellent, 24/7 customer service and claims center. Not only do they provide great coverage options but hey strive to educate their customers on the home insurance buying process so that you can make a better, more informed decision. They offer bundling discounts in addition to employer discounts and are considered one of the more affordable providers in the nation.
Where to go from Here
Price can be a big consideration in many households and low price is certainly among the top marketing messages for insurance companies. However, home insurance can be a complex contract and coverage choices or policy limitations can play a huge role in the real value of a policy.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Q: How long will it take for my homeowners insurance claim to be processed?
It depends on the company, but you can expect an initial response between 24 and 48 hours.
2) Q: What does home insurance cover?
Most modern home insurance policies cover your home for nearly all risks. However, every policy has exclusions, among which you’ll find things like neglect, wear and tear, and ordinance or law. Land movement, including earthquakes, and floods are excluded as well but can be insured with a separate policy. Personal property and liability coverage is also part of most home insurance policies. Get the best policy quote here.
3) Q: What are the most common types of home insurance claims?
Wind and hail claims top the list with nearly 40% of all home insurance claims due to these two acts of nature. Fire and lightning are the second most common, but claims due to fire tend to much bigger than claims dues to other types of risk. The possibility of a total loss is why it’s so important to insure your home for the full cost of rebuilding. Get a custom quote today.