Homeowner's insurance (HOI) protects your home from the most common perils, such as fire, theft or vandalism. If you own any property of value you'll most likely want to protect your investment by purchasing a homeowner's insurance policy. There are numerous insurance providers that offer this type of insurance, and even more policies available. The actual coverage you receive varies from policy to policy and it's important to review your options carefully before you make a final decision, as the wrong choice could cost you a great deal if disaster strikes.
When you apply for a mortgage you may be required to get homeowner's insurance. However, getting only the minimum insurance needed to get financing may not be the best option. Why? In many cases the amount you pay for a property may be much less than what it would cost you to actually rebuild the house or structure if, for example, it were destroyed by fire. For real peace of mind you may want to get a current estimate from a building contractor stating what it would cost to rebuild the property, and get insurance coverage to match.
As with many other types of insurance, HOI is not comprehensive. If you want your home to be protected from damage caused by flooding, you should consider flood insurance. If earthquakes are a concern, you may want to look into earthquake insurance. You may also benefit from another type of insurance: umbrella insurance. This type of insurance covers costs of damages or liability above the coverage you get from your homeowner's insurance.
GEICO offers some of the lowest car insurance rates available, and if you have a GEICO car insurance policy you can get a multiple policy discount if you insure your home with GEICO too. You can save on homeowner's insurance with discounts when you install a monitored alarm system, add deadbolts to your doors, install a sprinkler system, or get your home set up with smoke detectors. You can protect your possessions with additional personal property coverage to make sure all your valuables are fully covered.
Find out more in our full review of GEICO.
State Farm provides homeowner's insurance that covers your home and possessions against fire, lightning, theft, pipes freezing, hail and windstorms. You can get discounts by installing a fire alarm or anti-theft devices. You can also get a discount if your home is equipped with an impact-resistant roof. If you also get your car insured by State Farm, you can get discounts on both policies. The Premier Service Program can help make your life easier by putting you in touch with participating repair contractors. You can then pay your deductible directly to the contractor and State Farm pays the rest. No need to fuss about with reimbursement or deductibles added to your insurance bill.
Farmers homeowner's insurance provides some interesting options in addition to coverage against fire, theft, liability, and windstorms. Cosmetic damage coverage can cover the cost of making your home look beautiful again. Medical coverage will help pay the cost of medical care for visitors who happen to hurt themselves while on your property, even if you aren't liable. Unlike many other insurers that only insure your personal possessions that are in your home at the time of being lost or damaged, Farmers offers worldwide coverage for your possessions. This means that you could be compensated if your valuables are stolen while on vacation or are damaged in your second home outside of the US. The identity theft coverage from Farmers can cover up to $1,500 of expenses incurred by fraudulent use of your identity. You also get a benefit of up to $28,000 towards the cost of recovering your stolen identity.
USAA provides you, as a US Army service member, with full replacement cost coverage if your home is badly damaged or completely destroyed. This homeowner's insurance covers most weather-related hazards, as well as theft, vandalism and fire. You also get coverage for your belongings up to 75% of your homeowner's benefit. If your policy covers your home up to $200,000 for example, you could get up to $150,000 in payouts for damaged or stolen possessions. Most insurers have much lower limits for personal property coverage. You also get some coverage (up to $5,000) for identity theft. This can help cover the legal costs of recovering your identity. If you have served in the U.S. military service, a veteran who has honorably served or an eligible family member, then this may be the right insurer for you.
Read our review of USAA here.
Allstate provides homeowner's insurance with benefits such as Claim RateGuard which keeps your premiums from going up after you make a claim. Non-smokers will appreciate the special discount offered if nobody living in your home smokes. Coverage includes temporary accommodation reimbursement. This means that if your home becomes unlivable after a fire or another covered hazard, Allstate will cover the costs of a rented property or hotel stay up to certain limits (depending on your policy). Another benefit is that you will get up to 5% back if you don't make a claim during a policy period. You can extend your coverage to include multiple structures on the same property, which is good news if you have a garden house, guest cottage, etc. Allstate also provides landlord insurance in case you plan to rent your home out.
Find out more in our full review of Allstate.
Esurance homeowner's insurance provides building codes coverage as an option, in addition to fire, theft, vandalism and other more standard coverage. Getting building codes coverage can save you a lot of money (5% - 20% of your total benefit) if you ever have to restructure or rebuild your home. If you have several houses on your property, you could benefit from the extended premises coverage offered, as this can provide coverage for several same-property structures. If you rent out cottages or flats, this additional insurance can also cover injuries to the renters.
Find out more in our review of Esurance.
AARP. If you are an AARP member, there are some good reasons to get this homeowner's insurance. This homeowner's insurance is issued by The Hartford, which receives high customer satisfaction ratings. The 100% protection plan covers the actual cost of rebuilding your home if a hazard strikes. While most insurers will only pay out up to the limit of your benefit, AARP can cover up to 150% of your policy limit to replace your badly damaged or destroyed home. That's 50% more coverage than most insurers offer. With the optional ProtectorPLUS coverage, you can get up to $5,000 of your deductible waived for claims of $25,000 or more. You can also get optional replacement coverage for your possessions.
Find out more in our review of AARP.
Progressive offers a number of different homeowner's insurance policies to suit different needs. The basic package covers 11 common perils (fire, lightning, hail, theft, etc.) while the more extensive policies provide coverage for additional perils (freezing, falling objects, steam damage, power surges, etc). You get medical liability coverage up to certain limits with every package. You get loss of use coverage that can help pay for your temporary accommodation while your home is being repaired. Medical liability coverage covers medical expenses and legal damages if a visitor is injured while on your property. Optional coverage includes sewer backup coverage and building code upgrade coverage.
Nationwide homeowners insurance gives you full cost replacement coverage for damaged or stolen possessions. One nice benefit is better roof replacement coverage, which can replace your badly damaged roof with a roof built with stronger materials. There is a lot of leeway in choosing the amount of coverage you want for your different belongings. You also get liability protection and medical cost coverage (for visitors injured on your property). Your home and belongings are covered in the event of theft, fire, storms, drain or sewer backup and other common perils. You can also get optional earthquake insurance, flood insurance, and umbrella insurance added to your policy. The primary benefit Nationwide offers are solid discounts. You can get up to 30% off your premiums if you own a new house. Combining homeowners and car insurance on one policy saves you as much as 20%. Other discounts are 15% off if you're over 60, up to 15% off if you install a burglar alarm, smoke detector or fire alarm. If you are married or widowed, you can get an extra 5% off.
MetLife. In some states this insurer offers replacement coverage for your home. That means you will be covered for the full cost of rebuilding your home even if that cost is higher than the benefit provided by your policy. This is one of the few insurers that offers structure replacement coverage above the total policy benefit. Another interesting policy it offers is the GrandProtect® policy that bundles homeowners, car, RV, and personal excess liability insurance. Like an umbrella insurance, excess liability insurance provides additional cover above what's covered by your primary insurance. The only difference is, it only extends liability coverage and not your homeowners or car insurance. If you can get their full-cost replacement coverage in your state, then you may find this homeowners insurance rewarding.