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Kristine Lee

Manager, Content and Data

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

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Jean Lucey, CPCU

Faculty, IIAA Virtual University

  • CPCU, Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter

Jean Lucey has researched and written about insurance matters for well over 30 years. A current member of The Zebra's Insurance Expert Review Bo…

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Susan Meyer

Senior Editorial Manager

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Susan is a licensed insurance agent and has worked as a writer and editor for over 10 years across a number of industries. She has worked at The Zebr…

Home insurance quotes: everything you need to know

Homeowners insurance protects you and your house from covered losses. What is covered or not depends on what type of policy you buy. In this article, we will outline what information you need, how to pick your coverage and how to compare home insurance quotes from different companies.

Key Takeaways

  • A home insurance quote starts with your home’s total replacement cost. 
  • You do not need to know your replacement cost exactly but you need to know some information to get a homeowners insurance quote.
  • Comparing home insurance quotes from different companies is the best way to pick the right company and coverage for your home. The Zebra makes this easy by showing side-by-side home insurance quotes from different companies.
  • Rates vary by individual factors, but homeowners insurance premiums can cost in excess of $2,000 per year.

Search, browse and buy home insurance through The Zebra.

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How to get a homeowners insurance quote

We recommend starting, but not ending, your search for home insurance with your car insurance provider. This will allow you to bundle your policies and receive a discount. Keep in mind, this company won't always be your best or cheapest option.

To help you shop for homeowners insurance, follow these steps.


Step 1: Choose how you want to buy a homeowners insurance policy

There are three ways you can receive a home insurance quote. 

  1. Directly via a captive insurance agent - this method requires you to contact a home insurance agent online, over the phone, or even at an in-person office. This can be a good option if you want the personal help of an insurance agent. However, these agents typically can’t offer comparison home insurance quotes and can sometimes be more expensive. 
  2. Independent agents - independent agents are similar to captive agents but work with multiple insurance companies so they can offer you options to compare home insurance quotes. However, these agents are rare and still don’t allow you complete flexibility.
  3. Online comparison marketplaces - websites such as The Zebra allow you to compare homeowners insurance quotes side-by-side from multiple companies at once, saving you time and — very likely — money.

Regardless of which method you choose, you'll need to have certain information handy to get get homeowners insurance quotes.

Information needed to get a home insurance quote:
  • Full address
  • Number of full-time residents in the home
  • Is the home your primary, seasonal or secondary residence?
  • Year built
  • Square footage
  • Number of stories and bathrooms 
  • Presence of detached structures like a shed or garage
  • Roof and exterior wall materials
  • Presence of wood stoves or fireplaces
  • Pet information
  • History of home insurance claims
  • Notable renovations or updates
  • Presence of safety information like smoke detection, burglar alarms or security cameras

Step 2: Pick how you’re covered — named or open peril policies

Most homeowners insurance companies use the replacement cost of your home to build your quote.  Replacement cost, or value, is how much it would cost an insurance company to rebuild your home in the event of a total loss. Replacement cost is determined by labor and materials — not on the real estate market or demand. 

You do not need to know the exact dollar-value of how much home insurance you need since many insurance companies quoting software, including The Zebra’s, use the address of your home to auto populate some basic policy options. Some companies will also verify the amount of replacement cost coverage you have via a home inspection.

The main decision you need to make is how you want your home and your belongings to be covered. Your options can range from fairly basic, to better, and to best — with the price ranging from cheapest to most expensive. 

Types of Homeowners Insurance Policies
Policy Options Your Home Covered by: Personal Property Covered by:
BASIC: HO-2 Broad Form Named Perils Named Perils
BETTER: HO-3 Special Form Open Perils Named Perils
BEST: HO-5 Comprehensive Form Open Perils Open Perils
star in a blue circle
Named peril

Definition: All the hazards and threats to your property that are covered will be explicitly listed on your policy.

Available in: HO-2 for dwelling and personal property; HO-3 for personal property.

star in a blue circle
Open peril

Definition: All the hazards that are not covered will be listed.

Available in: HO-5 for both dwelling and personal property; HO-3 policy for dwelling only.

What is covered by a named peril policy?

All the hazards and threats to your property that will be covered will be explicitly listed (i.e., named) on your policy. This is considered a less robust type of homeowners policy because anything that damages your home outside of the events listed below might not be covered. 

In a named peril policy, the damage caused by the following events will be covered:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Windstorms and hail
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Damage from aircraft
  • Weight of ice, snow and sleet
  • Freezing of household systems
  • Riots
  • Explosions
  • Falling objects
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Water damage: overflow or discharge
  • Damage from artificially-generated electrical current
  • Sudden tearing, cracking or bulging of home


What is covered by an open peril policy?

An open peril policy, sometimes known as an “all peril” policy, will provide coverage against all perils except those explicitly listed in your policy. This is a much more robust form of coverage than a named peril policy.

For this type of policy, all perils will be covered except for the following:

Depending on your insurance company, you might be able to add additional coverage options for some of these excluded perils if you desire.


What is never covered by home insurance?

Whether you have an open peril or named peril policy, the following are never covered by homeowners insurance:

  • Enforcement of building codes and similar laws
  • Earthquakes
  • Flooding
  • Power failures
  • Neglect (failure to take reasonable steps to protect your property)
  • War
  • Nuclear hazard
  • Intentional acts


Step 3 (Optional): Adjust defaulted home insurance coverage

As we stated, most home insurance policies will create your coverage amounts based on the replacement cost of your home. Below is the standard breakdown most insurance companies will default to.

Typical Coverage Limits for a Homeowners Insurance Policy
Coverage Type
What it Covers
Typical Limit of Coverage
Coverage A: Dwelling Your house + attached garage Varies
Coverage B: Other structures Any stand-alone structures — like a carport or tool shed — not attached to the home.  10% of Dwelling Coverage
Coverage C: Personal Property Coverage can be on a replacement cost or Actual Cash Value basis 50% of Dwelling Coverage Limit
Coverage D: Loss of Use Cover the cost of temporary relocation in the event the home is unlivable due to covered losses. 20% of Dwelling Coverage Limit
Coverage E: Medical Payments Covers medical costs incurred on the property by those not listed as residents of the household, regardless of fault. Custom
Coverage F: Personal Liability Covers the costs of another party's injuries as well as claims against an insured for property damage Custom

We recommend thinking through a few questions to understand what, if any, modifications you should make to your home insurance quote.

The Zebra Asks: do you need to increase the defaulted amount of coverage?

Depending on you and your home, the defaulted coverages above are not ample enough coverage. If you have valuable personal property, such as the items below, you should consider adding an endorsement. An endorsement is any change to an insurance policy — whether adding coverage or removing it. 

If you have these items and their value is greater than the coverage limit, consider adding an endorsement. 

  • $200 limit on money, gold, coins
  • $1,500 limit on jewelry, watches, furs
  • $1,500 limit on watercraft, trailers
  • $2,500 limit on firearms
  • $2,500 limit on silverware
  • $2,500 limit for on-premises business property
  • Variable limit on electronics

This is also similar for your personal liability and dwelling coverage. We recommend having liability limits be equal to or greater than your household’s net worth. This coverage is designed to protect your assets if you’re ever sued. By setting this limit high, you can avoid exhausting your insurance coverage and having to forfeit assets to pay legal fees. 

For your dwelling coverage, many insurance companies will give you coverage to a certain percentage — 100-150% of the replacement cost of your dwelling's value. As long as it's equal to greater than 100%, you should be sufficiently covered. 

Additional information:


The Zebra Asks: is your personal property covered on a replacement cost or actual cash value basis?

Actual cash value, or ACV, is the amount it would cost to replace an item according to current worth. Replacement cost would give you the amount needed to replace the item for its current market value. To understand this better, let’s look at a claim for a 5-year-old TV.

A homeowners policy with ACV reimbursement would give you the value of what your 5-year-old TV is currently worth today. Given TVs depreciation value of as much as 40%[1] every year, the amount you would receive would not be sufficient to cover a new TV. 

Under a replacement cost reimbursement, an insurance company would cover the cost to get a new (but similar) 65 inch TV. Because of the likelihood of paying out of pocket, we typically recommend insuring your personal property with replacement cost coverage rather than ACV.


Ready to start comparing home insurance quotes?

Now that you’ve learned how to get insurance, let The Zebra do the home insurance comparison shopping for you!

We work with top home and auto insurance companies across the US as an independent insurance broker. Starting with your ZIP code, our product pulls home insurance quotes from our partners and lets you pick your favorite. 

Only with The Zebra's home insurance comparison tool can you:

  • Save time by getting multiple home insurance quotes at once
  • Compare rates, homeowners companies and coverage options side-by-side to get the best coverage
  • Ask questions directly from from our licensed in-house agents
  • Buy your favorite home insurance quote directly through us!

Best of all, we never ask for a phone number, send you any spam or push you to buy a home insurance quote you don’t need. These services are 100% free to you.

Don't just take our word for it

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Let The Zebra deal with insurance companies for you!

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How to compare homeowners insurance quotes 

After you’ve decided how to insure your home, you can start comparing home insurance quotes.

Below is an example of personalized quotes you can get using The Zebra’s comparison tool. Read below to determine which of these homeowners quotes is best for you based on each company’s coverage, reputation, price and deductibles.

The Zebra Home Insurance Product Results

Real image of The Zebra's product — individual results may vary.

Home insurance quote from Nationwide
Home insurance quote from Nationwide: $1,485/year
  • Policy type: HO-5
  • Deductible - $1k
  • Dwelling - $286.2k
  • Personal liability - $300k
Home insurance quote from Mercury
Home insurance quote from Mercury: $1,524/year
  • Policy type: HO-5
  • Deductible - $1.5k
  • Dwelling - $286.2k
  • Personal liability - $300k
Home insurance quote from Liberty Mutual
Home insurance quote from Liberty Mutual: $1,680/year
  • Policy type: HO-3
  • Deductible - $2.9k
  • Dwelling - $286.2k
  • Personal liability - $300k

Step 1: Compare homeowners insurance rates

As you shop for homeowners insurance, cost is probably the first thing that will grab your attention. While it's important to fit your homeowners insurance into your budget, remember that the cheapest policy isn't necessarily the best one. If a quote is exceedingly low, make sure that it actually provides the coverage that you need. 

However, we understand the need to save where possible — in our example, Nationwide offers the cheapest home insurance quote.

Winner for cheapest homeowners insurance quote: Nationwide
Winner for best rate: Nationwide

Nationwide's policy was $39 cheaper than Mercury and $195 cheaper than Liberty Mutual.

Below shows average annual and monthly home insurance premiums for top companies. Bear in mind, these rates are averages — you and your home’s insurance premium will depend on a number of factors, including where you live, the average cost of building materials, claim history and even your credit score.

Average Home Insurance Costs by Company
Company Avg. Annual Premium Avg. Monthly Premium
Allstate $1,561 $130
American Family $1,764 $147
Amica Mutual $2,843 $237
Farmers $1,871 $156
Nationwide $1,231 $103
State Farm $1,484 $124
Travelers $2,674 $223
USAA $1,385 $115
Updated: 09/28/23.

Homeowners insurance data methodology

The homeowners insurance rates published in this guide are based on The Zebra's analysis of the cost of home insurance in every U.S. ZIP code. These rates are based on a sample user profile: a 45-year-old married homeowner living in a 2,500-square-foot single-story home built in 2011 with these coverage levels:

  • $200,000 for the dwelling
  • $20,000 for other structures
  • $100,000 for personal property
  • $100,000 for personal liability
  • $1,000 deductible

To generate pricing for particular rating factors, we adjusted the homeowner profile based on common pricing factors used by major home insurance companies. These factors include location, coverage limits, claims record and others.

Zebra Tip: Pay close attention to a company’s claims satisfaction record

Save the cheapest insurance companies for your car — not your home. While important, price should not be the only factor for insuring your home and your assets. After a claim or total loss is not the time to learn you’re not properly covered or your insurance company has a terrible claims record.

Step 2: Look at company reputation

The reputation of your home insurance carrier should be considered when choosing a policy. It's important to go with a trusted insurance company that is responsive and able to resolve claims in a positive and timely manner.

Winner for best home insurance company: Nationwide
Winner for best company: Nationwide

Nationwide's overall rating was higher than Mercury and Liberty Mutual.

Both Liberty Mutual and Nationwide have similar customer satisfaction ratings but Nationwide’s financial strength and compliant score are better.

Note that Mercury is only available in a handful of states in the US and thus isn’t nationally ranked by many third-party sources. In the states it is available, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has Mercury rated as “Poor” in customer complaints.

Below shows some third-party ratings for some of the biggest insurance companies in the country.

Best Home Insurance Companies
Home Insurance Company J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Rating A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating NAIC Customer Complaint Score
State Farm 4/5 A++ Very Good
Allstate 3/5 A+ Good
USAA 5/5 A++ Very Good
Liberty Mutual 2/5 A Below Average
Farmers 3/5 A Good
Travelers 2/5 A++ Good
American Family 3/5 A Good
Nationwide 2/5 A+ Very Good
Chubb 2/5 A++ Very Good
Erie 5/5 A+ Very Good

Step 3: Compare levels of homeowners coverage

The HO-3 policy from Liberty Mutual isn't as good as the HO-5 offered by Nationwide or Liberty Mutual. Nationwide and Mercury’s quote is based on the “best” policy because it covers both your home and personal belongings against anything except what is explicitly excluded. This gives you peace of mind as long as the excluded perils did not cause the damage, you will be covered.

Winner for best coverage: Nationwide
Winner for best coverage: Nationwide

Nationwide offers the best policy offering at the best rate. 

Step 4: Compare your deductibles

A big contributor to how much you pay per month on your homeowners insurance is the cost of your deductible. Increasing your deductible typically lowers your overall premium because your insurance company is taking on less financial responsibility in the event you file a claim.

Remember to be careful not to set your deductible so high that you may struggle to meet it should you need to file a homeowners claim. Also, make sure to consider whether there are separate deductibles for perils such as hurricanes or windstorms.

Winner for best deductible: Nationwide
Winner for best deductible: Nationwide

In our example, Nationwide has the lowest deductible and the lowest premium.

Zebra Tip: Deductibles for home insurance are not the same as car insurance

With home insurance, your deductible is deducted from your claim payout and can be percentage or dollar-value based. 

  • Dollar-value based - a claim causes $5,000 worth of property damages and your deductible is $1,000, you would receive $4,000 and be responsible for covering the remaining amount. 
  • Percentage based - if your dwelling is valued at $367,000 and your wind and hail deductible is 1%, your deductible would be $3,670.

Which home insurance quote should they choose?

Comparing all three company's reputation, coverage, and price, Nationwide provides the best option.

Nationwide provided the broadest coverage by insuring both the home and its content under a Open Perils policy, while having the most consistent review scores. Furthermore, Nationwide had the lowest deductible with the cheapest total premium.

If you want to see your own personalized quotes like our example above, let The Zebra do the home insurance comparison shopping for you!

We search and compare top home and auto so you don’t have to.

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Find home insurance in your state

Where you live is a big indicator for how much you will pay for home insurance. Each state has its own set of risk factors (such as wildfires, tornadoes, floods or other natural disasters) that make home insurance state-specific.

Below we’ve listed average home insurance rates by state as well as each state’s cheapest provider to help you get started.

Annual Home Insurance Rates by State
Home Insurance Rates by State Cheapest Home Insurance Rates by State
Alabama: $1,947 USAA: $1,452
Alaska: $1,011 USAA: $926
Arizona: $1,410 USAA: $815
Arkansas: $2,143 Farmers: $1,665
California: $791 Mercury: $564
Colorado: $2,271 American Family: $1,878
Connecticut: $1,411 State Farm: $896
Delaware: $716 Nationwide: $544
Washington, D.C.: $940 Allstate: $885
Florida: $1,572 State Farm: $1,261
Georgia: $1,196 State Farm: $250
Hawaii: $349 Allstate: $283
Idaho: $1,034 Farmers: $990
Illinois: $1,673 State Farm: $690
Indiana: $1,343 Erie: $961
Iowa: $1,302 Nationwide: $933
Kansas: $2,862 USAA: $1,984
Kentucky: $2,001 USAA: $1,099
Louisiana: $2,037 State Farm: $1,545
Maine: $695 State Farm: $876
Maryland: $1,042 Travelers: $796
Massachusetts: $916 Amica: $1,278
Michigan: $1,098 AAA: $567
Minnesota: $1,411 AAA: $1,167
Mississippi: $1,929 Allstate: $1,792
Missouri: $2,185 AAA: $1,544
Montana: $2,074 Foremost: $876
Nebraska: $2,813 USAA: $1,890
Nevada: $841 Farmers: $553
New Hampshire: $722 State Farm: $706
New Jersey: $706 Chubb: $661
New Mexico: $1,203 Foremost: $1,081
New York: $980 State Farm: $692
North Carolina: $1,661 Nationwide: $1,591
North Dakota: $1,682 AAA: $1,904
Ohio: $979 Erie: $747
Oklahoma: $3,102 Farmers: $2,676
Oregon: $876 State Farm: $760
Pennsylvania: $1,004 Erie: $565
Rhode Island: $1,087 Amica: $1,097
South Carolina: $1,556 Allstate: $1,139
South Dakota: $2,004 Farmers: $1,599
Tennessee: $1,872 Erie: $1,145
Texas: $2,387 State Farm: $2,719
Utah: $740 Farmers: $325
Vermont: $593 Allstate: $562
Virginia: $1,294 Erie: $885
Washington: $878 Allstate: $690
West Virginia: $1,331 USAA: $834
Wisconsin: $876 American Family: $1,020
Wyoming: $1,164 USAA: $641

Comparing home insurance: Frequently asked questions

Homeowners insurance is complicated. Below are a few answers to frequently asked questions about how much home insurance is necessary, what homeowners insurance covers, and some other common terminology.

It's recommended that you get as many quotes as possible when comparing homeowners insurance. Getting multiple quotes allows you to compare both the cost and the coverage being offered by various home insurance companies. Use home insurance comparison sites like The Zebra to easily compare hundreds of quotes in minutes.

Only by comparing rates from as many companies as possible can you ensure you get the best coverage at the cheapest price. But remember, the cheapest rate may not be your best option. Have a budget in mind as you shop around and then find the company that offers the best coverage at that price.

In short, no you cannot negotiate your homeowners insurance quote. However quotes will vary from company to company, and can change drastically depending on where you're located, so the best thing to do is compare rates and shop around. You can also lower the amount you pay by doing things like maintaining a good credit score, installing protective devices, paying premiums in full, and more.

While it may not be advisable in every situation, bundling your home insurance with other policies (most likely auto) from the same carrier could provide savings and make managing your policies easier. Many insurance companies offer cheaper rates to customers who are willing to bundle their policies together.

According to The Zebra's research, on average Amica Mutual and Travelers have some of the highest home insurance premiums. If price is important to you, shop around until you find a rate that fits your budget. Companies like Allied are Nationwide are usually some of the cheaper options.

Comparing home insurance quotes

Have a specific question regarding home insurance? Ask The Zebra's experts!

My musical equipment stolen from friend's house covered by insurance

This can be tricky. From my experience, most home insurance policies will cover stolen property even if it's not the property of the named insured (your friend) but I would consult their policy declarations page to be sure. The tricky thing has to do with the value of the assets. If your music…
Jun 21, 2018 El Paso, TX

Does the name on my insurance policy need to match the name on my mortgage loan and deed?

Generally speaking, that shouldn't be an issue for your homeowners insurance company. For the sake of avoiding any sort of confusion down the road, however, it may be beneficial to update your existing accounts with your mortgage provider. In the event of a claim payout there could be a delay …
Jun 24, 2017 Elyria, OH

Can a townhome be covered under an HO-6 insurance policy?

That depends on what parts of the property you are responsible for. If the townhouse shares walls and you are not responsible for the outside of the property but own the townhouse (like a condominium) then you qualify for an HO6. If you own the outside structure, you may need a regular homeowners p…
May 9, 2019 Miramar, FL

Cost of sinkhole coverage in Tampa, FL

Florida currently requires homeowners insurance policies and by extension insurance companies to offer coverage for what they call “Catastrophic Ground Collapse,” which may not actually cover damage caused by a sinkhole. Catastrophic Ground Collapse coverage differs from sinkhole insurance by requi…
Aug 1, 2018 Tampa, FL
  1. TV Depreciation

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.