USAA swept the customer satisfaction survey, earning top marks across all five of the categories about which The Zebra inquired.
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The cheapest home insurance companies
The average cost of homeowners insurance in the United States is $1,406 per year ($117 per month). Homeowners insurance is designed to protect a homeowner and their assets, including their home, personal property, liability, and more, from certain perils that could leave the homeowner financially underwater. Understanding homeowners coverage and knowing where to find an affordable policy are important first steps toward getting coverage.
The Zebra performed an in-depth analysis of thousands of home insurance rates from across the U.S. to find the cheapest insurance companies for homeowners in a variety of scenarios. Here's what we found.
Nationwide's average homeowners insurance rate is $103 per month.
A typical home insurance policy from USAA costs $103 per month.
Homeowners insurance through Progressive costs $113 per month, on average.
THE CHEAPEST HOME INSURANCE COMPANIES IN 2021
|Insurance Company||Annual Premium||Monthly Cost||Customer Satisfaction Rating (out of 5)|
The above rates were calculated based on a $200,000 dwelling replacement cost and a $1,000 deductible. Learn more about our data-gathering methodology.
While we recommend starting your search with these insurance companies, keep in mind our homeowner profile likely doesn't match yours precisely. Because myriad rating factors are taken into account when insurers calculate premiums, there is no “one size fits all” option for home insurance pricing.
Curious about what your homeowners insurance rate will be? Enter your ZIP code below and we can help you compare personalized homeowners insurance rates side-by-side. For more information on other important rating factors and how they affect premiums, along with the cheapest companies, continue reading below.
Compare rates and find the best homeowners insurance company for you.
The best home insurance companies
The Zebra surveyed more than 2,000 customers about their experiences with 15 America's top insurance brands, inquiring about customer satisfaction, claims satisfaction, ease-of-use and other important factors. The below companies earned the best overall grades in the study:
Erie customers reported solid ease-of-use in their experiences with the company, and indicated they would recommend the insurer to others.
American Family Insurance
AmFam was a consistently strong performer in the survey, with its online presence earning especially rave reviews.
The cheapest home insurance by replacement cost
The replacement cost of a home, i.e., the amount of money required to repair it in the event it’s damaged, is one of the most important factors used by insurance companies to set premiums. This is because dwelling coverage is the pillar of any homeowners policy, as it protects the home itself.
A home's replacement cost also dictates coverage limits for other parts of the home insurance policy. These are generally assessed as percentages of the total replacement cost:
If a home is insured for $250,000, this assigns $25,000 in coverage for other structures, $125,000 for personal property and $50,000 for loss for use.
This is another reason why it’s important to calculate replacement value as accurately as possible, including the cost of labor and materials at current market values. The policy premium will match the home’s replacement cost. This relationship is illustrated below, including the cheapest companies based on differing replacement costs.
AVERAGE ANNUAL INSURANCE PREMIUMS BY REPLACEMENT COST
Residents of high-value homes surpassing these dwelling coverage amounts should expect more expensive rates.
The cheapest home insurance by deductible amount
The deductible you choose for your homeowners insurance policy impacts how expensive your policy is. While it doesn’t have as much weight as replacement cost, it remains an important rating factor.
As with auto insurance deductibles, your premium and deductible carry an inverse relationship: lower deductibles raise your premium while higher deductibles lower your rate. This is because of the amount of financial responsibility you assume when you select your deductible amount. If your deductible is high, it means your claim payout will be less than had you chosen a low deductible. Insurance companies will charge cheaper premiums if you voluntarily opt to take a larger slice of financial responsibility in the event you need to file a claim.
Cheapest insurance companies by deductible
Common deductible levels
- $500 — Amica
- $1,000 — Amica
- $2,000 — Nationwide
- $2,500 — Amica
The table below shows how deductibles directly correlate to home insurance rates. A $2,500 deductible (or higher) results in the lowest premiums, no matter what company.
AVERAGE ANNUAL PREMIUMS BY DEDUCTIBLE AMOUNT
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First and foremost, insurance companies are risk-averse. The number of claims that are filed directly affects their bottom line via claims payouts. If a client’s rating factors indicate that they are more likely to file a claim, insurance companies make up for this likelihood by charging higher premiums.
The quality of the primary asset you are insuring — your home — definitely matters to your insurer. Depending on the level of disrepair or quality of materials, insurance companies may even deny coverage. This is because a home that hasn’t been maintained over the years is far more susceptible to damage.
Here are some examples of home conditions, materials and age used by insurance companies when they price policies:
- Construction type: The use of wood over harder, drier materials like brick, stucco or stone makes the home more flammable
- Roof type: The quality, condition and age of the roof and roofing materials
- Age of the home: Older homes may be more likely to be degraded or constructed from flammable materials
See the below tables to see how construction type and roof materials can affect your rate.
If you live in a wood frame home (as opposed to something fire-resistive), expect to pay an extra $152 in premium per year to account for the flammability of your home's construction materials. The same idea holds true for wood roofs, which costs an extra $131 a year to insure over slate roofs:
ANNUAL AVERAGE PREMIUMS BY ROOF TYPE
Regular maintenance and upkeep is a great way to earn cheaper home insurance rates.
Home insurance and swimming pools
Outdoor features like pools, hot tubs, playgrounds and trampolines are known as attractive nuisances. While these are nice to have on your property, these can pose serious liabilities. Having attractive nuisances makes it more likely that someone can injure themselves, thereby increasing the likelihood of having your insurance company step in to defend your liability. Having any of these features will increase your rate to account for the elevated risk.
- Cheapest for new homes
Progressive is the cheapest home insurance company for new builds.
- Cheapest for homes 10 to 50 years old
Amica is the most affordable company for insuring a home between 10 and 50 years old.
AVERAGE ANNUAL INSURANCE RATES BY HOME AGE
|Insurance Company||New Construction||10 Years Old||20 Years Old||30 Years Old||40 Years Old||50 Years Old|
How do claims affect home insurance?
You may have trouble finding a car insurance company willing to insure you if you’ve racked up too many claims in the past. The same concept applies to homeowners insurance.
The below table shows how a fire or weather claim can affect your homeowners rate with some of the top homeowners insurance companies:
AVERAGE ANNUAL HOME INSURANCE PREMIUMS BY CLAIM HISTORY
|Insurance Company||No Claims||Fire Claim||Weather Claim|
The cheapest insurance company after a fire claim is State Farm. Following weather-related insurance claims, the most affordable companies were USAA and Nationwide. Compared to Allstate's 37% increase after a fire, and American Family's 17% rate hike post-weather claim, State Farm, USAA and Nationwide stand out as appealing options.
A longer-than-average claims history is a red flag to insurers. Historical data indicate policyholders who have filed at least one claim are more likely to file another one. Thus, home insurance companies will charge higher premiums if you’ve had a covered loss in the past. Some insurers may even refuse coverage for drivers with more than one claim within a specific range of time — usually three years. Home and car insurance claims stay on the national property claim database for five to seven years.
This is a crucial reason why knowing when and when not to file a homeowners claim is important if you’re looking for cheap home insurance. See more comprehensive information and detailed rates on how much you can expect your premium to increase in our guide to homeowners insurance after a claim.
Compare home insurance rates online.
Location and homeowners insurance rates
Insurance companies keep track of the number of claims that are filed in your area. This number correlates to how much risk a certain area represents. If the location of your home has had a history of claims — such as hurricane-related losses or a high degree of burglaries — insurers will charge higher premiums in that ZIP code to anticipate more claims filed in the future.
The same applies to your location’s fire protection rating. This measures the distance between your home and the nearest water source and fire department. For instance, if you live in a rural area susceptible to wildfires, and the closest fire station is miles away in the next town, this will unsettle insurance companies to warrant charging you a higher rate. Some home insurance companies will deny coverage altogether to avoid the risk.
THE CHEAPEST HOME INSURANCE COMPANY IN EACH U.S. STATE
|State||Company||Average Annual Premium|
|Indiana||Indiana Farmers Mutual||$786|
|Iowa||West Bend Mutual||$1,080|
|Michigan||Michigan Farm Bureau||$662|
|Mississippi||Southern Farm Bureau||$1,542|
|New Hampshire||Vermont Mutual||$467|
|New York||NYCM Insurance||$525|
|North Carolina||North Carolina Farm Bureau||$1,092|
|North Dakota||North Star||$981|
|Oklahoma||Oklahoma Farm Bureau||$2,557|
|South Dakota||North Star||$1,214|
|Wisconsin||West Bend Mutual||$486|
The cheapest insurance companies for homeowners with aggressive breed dogs
Furry friends can result in higher homeowners insurance rates. Insurance companies maintain lists of dog breeds considered “aggressive” or “restricted.” Keep in mind this is very company-specific, and some are more dog-friendly than others. Some companies care less about the breed and more about the individual dog's history of biting or aggressive behavior.
The Zebra's data suggest owning an "aggressive breed" dog does not move the insurance pricing needle too much (only about 1%). Below is a snapshot of average premiums from popular insurance companies with a restricted breed as a rating factor.
AVERAGE ANNUAL PREMIUMS WITH AN AGGRESSIVE BREED PET
|Insurance Company||Average Annual Premium|
The cheapest home insurance company with an aggressive dog in the household is Allstate, offering average monthly rates of about $116.
How to find the best cheap homeowners insurance
There are a number of ways to get affordable homeowner insurance. Here's a look at the most common.
- Local agents: Some homeowners prefer having a local agent with a brick-and-mortar location. While some of these agents are appointed to sell from multiple different carriers, others are what's called "captive" agents and only sell through one company. This can limit your choices and impact potential savings.
- Insurer websites: Most insurance companies have online quoting tools. While this can allow you more convenience than shopping with individual agents, it can be time-consuming as you will have to input your personal information for each company.
- Comparison sites: These sites — like The Zebra — allow you to compare home insurance quotes from the top homeowners insurance companies all in one place. As opposed to individual carrier sites, you only need to input your information once to get quotes.
How to save money on homeowners insurance
Below are a number of ways to shop for affordable home insurance coverage.
Compare homeowner quotes
Getting quotes from many different insurers is the best way to compare coverage options and pricing.
Get an accurate estimate of your home’s replacement cost
The replacement cost of your home significantly impacts your rate. Every few years, have your insurer assess its replacement value to ensure you’re not paying for insurance coverage you don’t need.
Choose a higher deductible
If you accept a larger portion of financial responsibility (i.e. paying more out of pocket after a claim), you'll pay a lower premium. Learn more about how to choose a deductible.
If you already have an auto insurance policy with one company, consider bundling it with your homeowners insurance. Most companies offer multi-policy discounts.
Be smart with your claims
Even having one recent claim on your record is a warning sign for insurance companies. Knowing what kinds of losses are worth insurance company involvement will save you money, time and hassle.
Below are common home insurance cost-cutting measures:
- Payment methods: EFT, paperless, automatic, or pay in full
- New home construction
- Senior discount
- Home security systems
- Fire prevention systems
- Roof upgrades
The best cheap homeowners insurance: summary
Certain rating factors affect your home insurance risk profile than others, so it’s important to choose your replacement cost and deductible wisely. It's also prudent to practice good habits that ensure your home holds its value: maintain the structural integrity of your home by making upgrades, improve your credit score and understand your coverage to avoid filing claims that may end up hurting you in the future.
It’s also beneficial to research specific companies before choosing a policy. Look for customer satisfaction and financial strength ratings from J.D. Power and AM Best to get a sense of how insurers treat their policyholders — especially during the claims process — and to ensure they have the financial stability to pay out for losses. Learn more by reading The Zebra’s reviews of top home insurance companies. The best way to save money and find the cheapest home insurance coverage is to compare rates from as many insurers as possible. Every company weighs rating factors differently and there are a variety of reasons your homeowners rates might be expensive.
The Zebra can help you compare home insurance quotes from insurers across the United States in just a few minutes — simply enter your ZIP code below to start comparison shopping.
Compare homeowners insurance rates, bundles and coverage options.
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.