best home insurance companies
Our homes are the most expensive things most of us will ever own, so it stands to reason we should protect them. That’s where homeowners insurance comes in. With home insurance, if you ever experience a burglary, fire, hurricane, or some other disaster, you can rest assured that any damage to your home and possessions – along with your garage, backyard fence, and any other outbuildings and structures on your property – will be paid for. You’ll also have personal liability coverage if a visitor is injured, plus your extra living expenses will be reimbursed if your home is so damaged that you have to move out.
Similar to how some landlords require you to have renters insurance, your mortgage lender may require you to have homeowners insurance. However, even if you’re not required to buy a homeowners insurance policy it’s a good idea to do so. A homeowners insurance policy protects you from huge out-of-pocket costs in the event of a disaster. While you may not think damage from a weather-related event would affect you or a thief would target your home, home insurance is one of the best ways to protect your assets from unforeseen incidents. It’s important to note that home insurance is different from a home warranty, which will pay to replace major household systems and appliances that break or wear out.
Below, we list our Best Homeowners Insurance Companies of 2021 to help you choose the one that’s right for you. We also introduce you to what homeowners insurance provides, how much it costs, how to buy it, and other things a homeowner needs to know to find the most appropriate insurance policy for your needs.
Comparing the best home insurance companies
When buying a homeowners insurance policy, you may want to consider several components of each company, including average annual premiums, available coverage options, ability to handle claims and customer satisfaction. Bankrate utilized market share percentages, customer satisfaction ratings from the 2020 J.D. Power U.S. Home Insurance Study and the 2021 U.S. Property Claims Satisfaction study, as well as 2021 average quoted premiums from Quadrant Information Services to search for the best homeowners insurance companies.
Compare home insurance quotes
After you outline your coverage needs, you can start shopping for homeowners insurance. You’ll want to compare home insurance quotes from at least three companies to be sure you’re getting the cheapest policy you can.
Homeowners insurance costs an average of about $132 a month in 2021, according to a NerdWallet analysis. But rates can vary dramatically because no two houses are the same and each insurer uses its own formula to calculate premiums and discounts.
Research home insurance discounts
Most companies offer a standard set of home insurance discounts, such as savings for having multiple policies with the same insurer (for example, both home and auto insurance), installing safety and security devices in your home and avoiding claims for consecutive years.
Beyond those, you will see differences in both the number and type of discounts available. Matching the discounts your home is eligible to receive will ensure that you not only get the policy you want but also benefit from investments you have made in your home.
Consider financial strength
You’ll want to buy homeowners insurance from a stable company with enough money to pay claims. Financial strength is one way to evaluate whether an insurer meets that standard. You can check financial strength through a rating firm such as A.M. Best.
Insurer complaints methodology
NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020. To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer,