Homeowners insurance provides protection for what is the biggest investment many of us will make in our lives, and can help pay the costs of damage from fire, theft, a severe storm, or a lawsuit if someone is injured on your property. That makes choosing the right insurance company and homeowners policy critically important. With our Best Homeowners Insurance Companies of 2023 ratings, we’ve compared premiums, coverage plans, policies, and available options from major insurance companies, to help you identify the best company and policy for your needs.
Lemonade: A relative newcomer among insurance companies, Lemonade is also somewhat different in the way it does business. Founded in 2015, Lemonade operates entirely online, and is incorporated as a public benefit corporation. Lemonade takes a fixed percentage of premiums after claims are paid, and lets customers choose a charity that receives up to 40% of whatever is left. Another benefit is that Lemonade includes replacement coverage with a standard homeowners policy, unlike some companies in our rating that make it an extra-cost option. On the downside, Lemonade is more expensive on average than other companies in our rating. It’s also available in just 27 states and Washington, D.C.
Read more in our full Lemonade review.
USAA: Founded in 1922, USAA provides an array of financial and insurance products to members of the U.S. military, veterans, and their families. The San Antonio-based provider offers homeowners, renters, and small business insurance, along with policies for autos, life, health, pets, and personal property. Standard homeowners policies with USAA include some coverage options that other insurers typically charge extra for, including dwelling replacement and identity theft coverage. USAA also writes policies for policyholders who list their homes for short-term rentals for extra income, and policies include coverage for military uniforms. USAA is also No. 1 in our Best Home and Auto Bundles of 2023 rating.
Erie Insurance: Headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania, Erie Insurance got its start in 1925 as a regional provider of auto insurance. Its portfolio has grown to include policies for homeowners, motorcycles, boats, and recreational vehicles, along with insurance for renters, condo owners, and mobile homes. Erie also offers life insurance, retirement planning, and financial services. While Erie has expanded beyond the borders of Pennsylvania, availability of homeowners policies is limited to 12 states and Washington, D.C.. Erie includes dwelling replacement coverage with a standard homeowners policy, something other companies in our ratings charge extra for. One potential drawback: You must work with a local agent in order to buy a policy.
Read more in our full Erie Insurance review.
Bundling Homeowners and Auto Insurance
Many insurance companies will give you a discount if you buy more than one type of policy from them, such as home insurance and auto insurance. This is called insurance bundling or a multi-policy discount. This is worth it to the insurance company because it generates more revenue per customer and helps promote customer loyalty.
Insurance bundling doesn’t always save money. For example, an auto insurance company may offer lower rates than companies that sell several different types of policies, according to Amy Bach of the consumer advocacy group United Policyholders. Bach says that a company that specializes in auto insurance may also offer benefits not available in an insurance bundle from another insurer, such as ticket forgiveness or claims-free discounts.
For more information, see How to Bundle Home and Auto Insurance and Best Home and Auto Insurance Bundles of 2023.
How To Buy Homeowners Insurance
- Determine how much insurance coverage you need. To estimate the coverage you need, take a home inventory. A home inventory is a detailed account of all of your personal property both inside and outside your home. Calculate the cost to rebuild your home after a disaster. (Ask a real estate agent for building costs in your area.) Determine if you need additional coverage for earthquakes, floods, or a high-risk item, like a swimming pool. If you have trouble determining how much home insurance you need, the Insurance Information Institute (III) can help walk you through the process, as can a licensed insurance agent or real estate agent.
- Decide if you want replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage.
When buying a policy, you’ll likely have the option to select how you’re reimbursed should you make a claim.
- Replacement cost policies issue claim payments without factoring in depreciation. For instance, if your home is damaged in a fire and must be rebuilt, your policy would cover the costs of materials that are similar in quality, even if the price of materials has increased since your home was built.
- Actual cash value policies issue payments based on the depreciated value of the damaged item. Using the same example as above, your insurer would reimburse you for the cost of materials minus depreciation, which may be less than the actual costs to rebuild your home.
- Narrow your search to several home insurance providers. As you review your options, it’s helpful to factor in:
- Coverage types and features
- Policy management options (e.g, online, mobile app, agent)
- Additional types of coverage you may need, such as auto insurance
- Professional and consumer reviews
- Gather quotes. Once you have chosen a few companies, use the estimate tool on their websites to get an idea of how much it will cost for the coverage you need. It can be helpful to talk to an agent in person or over the phone at this point for additional help. Get quotes from several companies, but be sure to compare policies that offer similar coverages.
- Contact the company and begin the application process. As mentioned in the previous step, how you contact the company will vary.
Some home insurance companies may require a home inspection to confirm the condition of your home and ensure you have adequate coverage. If a home inspection is required, the insurance company will send an inspector to your home.
Due to COVID-19, many insurance companies have updated their inspection process to follow safety precautions, including wearing PPE and social distancing. Some inspections will not require you to be present because the inspector only will focus on the exterior of your home, including the roof, and any potential hazards in your yard that could cause damage to your home in the case of a severe storm.
However, some companies are still completing interior inspections focusing on the condition of your home’s electrical systems, ventilation, fireplace, plumbing, heating, and air conditioning systems. When purchasing home insurance, check the requirements of the insurer you are considering to determine their home inspection practices.
For more information, see How to Buy Homeowners Insurance.
How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim
To file a homeowners insurance claim:
1. File a police report, if needed. The Insurance Information Institute recommends filing a police report in instances of burglary, theft, and vandalism. Be sure to retain a copy of the report you file and make note of any and all law enforcement officers you speak with. Some cities, such as Austin, Texas, will allow you to file a police report online.
2. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible. This can be done online, via the company’s mobile app, or over the phone, depending on your policy and the insurer. This will facilitate your claim and help ensure that you’re compensated promptly.
3. Document damages. Whenever possible, take photographs or a video documenting damages. And, if you’re filing a claim due to theft, make a detailed list of everything that was stolen. It’s also helpful to write down any other information that may be pertinent to your claim. If you have security cameras, collect and share all footage with your insurance provider.
4. Make any urgent repairs. After the damage is documented, make any emergency repairs or those necessary to prevent further damage to your home, assuming you can do so safely. The III recommends retaining receipts for any materials you purchase and keeping damaged materials you replace until your insurance company adjuster has examined them. Avoid making permanent repairs until after the adjuster views the damages.
For more information, see How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim.
What is homeowners insurance?
A typical standard homeowners insurance policy provides coverage to repair or rebuild your home after damage from smoke, fire, theft, vandalism, a fallen tree, or a weather event such as lightning, wind, or hail. If you need to move out while repairs are made, homeowners insurance can pay for alternate food and lodging.
In addition to the primary structure, standard policies typically cover heating and cooling systems, appliances, furniture, clothing, and other personal belongings in the home. Guest medical and liability coverage is also included, to protect you if a visitor is injured on the property. Most standard policies include coverage for a detached garage, shed, or other outbuilding, or a permanent structure such as an outdoor fireplace, swimming pool, fence, or wall.
It’s important to note that homeowners insurance is not the same as home warranty coverage, which typically covers failed appliances, heating and cooling systems, and can offer protection against damage from termite and rodent damage.
Do I need homeowners insurance?
Most homeowners should purchase home insurance even if it isn’t required by their mortgage lender. Many mortgage lenders will require you to get homeowners insurance to financially protect themselves, but home insurance is also among one of the best ways to protect your largest investment: your home.
Even if you can afford to rebuild or replace all of your possessions in the event that your house is destroyed or robbed, homeowners insurance is an inexpensive way to avoid having to pay the huge out-of-pocket expense.
To learn more, see our What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover? guide and find out the best homeowners insurance in your state by reading our guide on Local Homeowners Insurance Companies.
What does homeowners insurance cover?
Homeowners insurance covers your assets in the case of unforeseen events. A homeowners policy will pay to repair or rebuild your home or outbuildings, like a garage, if something unfortunate or even catastrophic happens to it, such as theft, vandalism, storm damage, water damage, or fire. Your policy will also cover your personal possessions that are stored in your home or on your property, such as clothing and furniture.
Insurance will also provide liability coverage if a guest is injured on your property. Coverage includes paying their medical expenses and your legal fees if they sue you. If your home is uninhabitable because of a covered event like a fire, a typical homeowners policy will also cover living expenses like a hotel room and meals out.
Finally, home insurance can even cover items like a swimming pool that increase a homeowner’s liability risk or high-value items like fine jewelry, although these often require a higher premium to insure.
When purchasing an insurance policy, you should speak to an insurance professional from the company to ensure that you receive a policy that meets your specific needs at the best possible price.
For more information, see How Does Homeowners Insurance Work? and What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover? guides.
What does homeowners insurance not cover?
Most standard homeowners insurance policies do not include earthquake or flood coverage, which may or may not be required or necessary in your area. Earthquake coverage is generally available as an option with most insurers, but most only offer flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). One exception is Chubb, which does offer its own flood insurance policy.
Water damage from a clogged sewer drain or leaking pipe is another thing not included in most standard policies, but is available at an extra cost. Additional options you may want to consider are coverage for identity theft, dwelling replacement to cover the full cost of repairs regardless of inflation and other factors, and green rebuilding to make your home more efficient after a loss.
Most policies also allow customization to increase specific coverages, such as higher limits for valuables if you own collectibles or jewelry, or increased liability if you have a swimming pool. Talk to an agent or company representative if you’re not sure what coverages you need.
How much does a homeowners insurance policy cost?
For the companies in our rating from which we were able to obtain quotes for our sample policy, the monthly premiums ranged from just under $100 for a policy with Erie Insurance to almost $170 for a policy with Allstate. There are a number of variables involved in getting homeowners insurance quotes such as the location of your home, square footage, and amount of coverage offered. For more information on quotes visit our guide to Homeowners Insurance Quotes.
Does homeowners insurance cover damage from flooding?
In general standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flooding. For information on whether or not your home is at risk for flooding, you can look up your home’s location on the FEMA Flood Map Service Center’s website. You can purchase flood insurance through the NFIP from many of the companies in our rating.
Does homeowners insurance cover damage from fire?
Most homeowners insurance policies will cover your home in the case of fire damage. This coverage generally extends to damage caused by wildfires. If you live in an area with a high risk of wildfires you will want to review your coverage.
If you’re unsure if your home is at risk from wildfires, you can look it up on the Wildfire Risk to Communities website. This resource was developed by the USDA Forest Service.
Does homeowners insurance cover earthquake damage?
Damage from earthquakes is typically not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. To cover damage resulting from an earthquake, you need will need a separate policy. Several companies in our rating, including some of our top-rated companies, like State Farm and Amica, offer earthquake as an add on coverage for an additional premium , although Lemonade only offers earthquake insurance in California.
You can review FEMA’s Earthquake Hazard Maps to see the earthquake activity in your region.
Does homeowners insurance cover storm damage?
The answer to this will depend on both your specific policy and how the damage was incurred. In general, damage from lightning, hail, and wind will be covered by a standard policy. However, if the damage is from flooding as a result of a storm (think the storm surge in a hurricane) then it will likely not be covered by a standard policy and would be covered by a flood insurance policy instead.
Though many policies cover storm damage, some may exclude or require a higher deductible for damage caused by windstorms. This is particularly true for homes that are located in coastal areas prone to hurricanes.
Does homeowners insurance cover mold?
Whether or not mold is covered by your insurance policy often depends on the circumstances that created it. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), mold usually isn’t covered unless it’s caused by a covered peril, such as a burst pipe. Even then, coverage isn’t guaranteed. The best way to determine if your homeowners insurance policy covers mold is by thoroughly reviewing your insurance agreement or contacting your insurer.
Is homeowners insurance tax-deductible?
Homeowners insurance is not tax-deductible if the policy is for your primary residence, according to the IRS. However, you can take a tax deduction for home insurance policies on any rental properties you may own. You may also be able to deduct a percentage of your home insurance premiums if you work full-time from a dedicated home office, depending on your policy. Likewise, you may also be able to take a tax deduction if you have a roommate or tenant on your property.
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There’s a lot more to learn about homeowners insurance, including how it works, what it covers, how to file a claim, and how to bundle homeowners with auto insurance to save money on both. For more on these topics, see the guides below.
- Best Homeowners Insurance Companies of 2023
- Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Companies of 2023
- Best Home and Auto Insurance Bundles of 2023
- How To Buy Homeowners Insurance
- How Does Homeowners Insurance Work?
- What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Homeowners Insurance Companies
Other Ratings From 360 Reviews
- Best Home Warranty Companies of 2023
- Best Renters Insurance Companies of 2023
- Cheapest Renters Insurance Companies of 2023
- Best Life Insurance Companies of 2023
- Cheapest Life Insurance Companies of 2023
- Best Pet Insurance Companies of 2023
- Best Moving Companies of 2023
- Best Small Business Insurance Companies of 2023
- Best Workers’ Compensation Insurance Companies of 2023
360 Methodology for Homeowners Insurance
Why You Can Trust Us: 30 Homeowners Insurance Companies Researched
At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Hospitals, Best Colleges, and Best Cars to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. Our 360 Reviews team draws on this same unbiased approach to rate the products that you use every day. To build our ratings, we researched more than 30 homeowners insurance companies and analyzed 15 third-party reviews. Our 360 Reviews team does not take samples, gifts, or loans of products or services we review. All sample products provided for review are donated after review. In addition, we maintain a separate business team that has no influence over our methodology or recommendations.
The following describes our 360 approach to researching home insurance to guide prospective consumers.
1. We researched the companies and products people care most about.
U.S. News analyzed and compared a variety of publicly available data, including internet search data, to determine which companies Americans are most interested in. We found 30 homeowners insurance companies that stand out in terms of volume of searches and research among consumers, as well as across the different rating sources. After conducting a thorough analysis, we were able to condense the initial list to the 10 best home insurance companies. With the companies determined, we conducted comprehensive research on their features to create a general layout of what consumers should know to assist with their purchasing decisions.
We compared available coverages from top homeowners insurance companies across several criteria, including cost, coverage limits, policy features and availability. Research shows that these criteria are among the most important considerations to people shopping for homeowners insurance. We compared cost across different companies using an archetype that, as much as possible, represents a standard American home: a 2,400-square-foot . townhome in Naperville, Ill., with an estimated market value of $450,000, equipped with a home security system and fire alarms, belonging to a non-smoking, four-person family with no pets. We built a standard plan that includes coverage for the home itself, personal property, personal liability, loss of use/additional living expenses and guest medical protection, with a $1,000 deductible and comparable coverage amounts.
2. We created objective 360 Overall Ratings based on an analysis of third-party reviews.
U.S. News’ 360 Reviews team applied an unbiased methodology that includes opinions from professional reviews as well as consumer reviews.
Our scoring methodology is based on a composite analysis of the ratings and reviews published by credible third-party professional and consumer review sources. The ratings are not based on personal opinions or experiences of U.S. News. To calculate the ratings:
(a) We compiled two types of third-party ratings and reviews:
- Professional Ratings and Reviews. Many independent homeowners insurance evaluating sources have published their assessments of homeowners insurance companies and products online. We consider several of these third-party reviews to be reputable and well-researched. However, professional reviewers often make recommendations that contradict one another. Rather than relying on a single source, U.S. News believes consumers benefit most when these opinions and recommendations are considered and analyzed collectively with an objective, consensus-based methodology.
- Consumer Ratings and Reviews. U.S. News also reviewed published consumer ratings and reviews of homeowners insurance providers. Sources with a sufficient number of quality consumer ratings and reviews were included in our scoring model.
Please note that not all professional and consumer rating sources met our criteria for objectivity. Therefore, some sources were excluded from our model.
(b) We standardized the inputs to create a common scale.
The third-party review source data were collected in a variety of forms, including ratings, recommendations, and accolades. Before including each third-party data point into our scoring equation, we had to standardize it so that it could be compared accurately with data points from other review sources. We used the scoring methodology described below to convert these systems to a comparable scale.
The 360 scoring process first converted each third-party rating into a common 0 to 5 scale. To balance the distribution of scores within each source’s scale, we used a standard deviation (or Z-Score) calculation to determine how each company’s score compared to the source’s mean score. We then used the Z-Score to create a standardized U.S. News score using the method outlined below:
- Calculating the Z-Score. The Z-Score represents a data point’s relation to the mean measurement of the data set. The Z-Score is negative when the data point is below the mean and positive when it’s above the mean; a Z-Score of 0 means it’s equal to the mean. To determine the Z-Score for each third-party rating of a company, we calculated the mean of the ratings across all companies evaluated by that third-party source. We then subtracted the mean from the company’s rating and divided it by the standard deviation to produce the Z-Score.
- Calculating the T-Score. We used a T-Score calculation to convert the Z-Score to a 0-100 scale by multiplying the Z-Score by 10. To ensure that the mean was equal across all data points, we added our desired scoring mean (between 0 and 10) to the T-Score to create an adjusted T-Score.
- Calculating the common-scale rating. We divided the adjusted T-Score, which is on a 100-point scale, by 20 to convert the third-party rating to a common 0-5 point system.
(c) We calculated the 360 Overall Score based on a weighted-average model.
We assigned “source weights” to each source used in the consensus scoring model based on our assessment of how much the source is trusted and recognized by consumers and how much its published review process indicates that it is both comprehensive and editorially independent. The source weights are assigned on a 1-5 scale. Any source with an assigned weight less than one was excluded from the consensus scoring model.
Finally, we combined the converted third-party data points using a weighted average formula based on source weight. This formula calculated the consensus score for each product, which we call the 360 Overall Rating.