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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.
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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
|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|
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.
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:
- Windstorms and hail
- Damage caused by vehicles
- Damage from aircraft
- Weight of ice, snow and sleet
- Freezing of household systems
- 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:
- Freezing pipes and systems in vacant dwellings
- Damage to foundations or pavements from ice and water weight
- Theft from a dwelling under construction
- Vandalism to vacant dwellings
- Latent defects, corrosion, industrial smoke, pollution
- Settling, wear and tear
- Damage caused by pets, other animals and pests
- Weather conditions that aggravate other excluded causes of loss
- Government and association actions
- Defective construction, design and maintenance
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
- Power failures
- Neglect (failure to take reasonable steps to protect your property)
- 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.
|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.
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.
Let The Zebra deal with insurance companies for you!
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.
- Policy type: HO-5
- Deductible - $1k
- Dwelling - $286.2k
- Personal liability - $300k
- Policy type: HO-5
- Deductible - $1.5k
- Dwelling - $286.2k
- Personal liability - $300k
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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|
|Liberty Mutual||2/5||A||Below Average|
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.
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.
In our example, Nationwide has the lowest deductible and the lowest premium.
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.
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.
|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.
How many quotes should I get for homeowners insurance?
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.
How can I find the best home insurance rates when comparing quotes?
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.
Are home insurance quotes negotiable?
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.
Should I consider bundling my home insurance with other policies?
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.
Which homeowners insurance companies are the most expensive?
Comparing home insurance quotes
Have a specific question regarding home insurance? Ask The Zebra's experts!
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.