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Best Home Insurance Companies for 2016

We review the best cheap home insurance companies

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Best Homeowners Insurance Companies

Homeowners insurance is an important topic to think about, especially if you've found your dream home and think you'll be spending the next few decades residing in it. When shopping around for home insurance, don't forget to canvass the local insurance offices and brokers. Choosing the right policy is important. The average result of filing a claim is a 9% increase in your monthly premium.

You should also visit the websites of major homeowners insurance companies, who have demonstrated a superior level of service and have a proven track record readily available. The five home insurance companies reviewed here are known industry-wide for their exceptional operational ability, stellar customer service departments, and commitment to helping policyholders throughout the claims process.

Best Homeowners Insurance Companies: What to Consider

Home and auto insurance:Some companies like to offer the "home and auto insurance" combo, and I suggest you opt for it if you are in the market for both car and home coverage. That way, you save money because insurers typically give you discounts on premiums if you purchase an insurance bundle. Don't even hesitate to add more coverage types, such as life and health, if you are also in the market for those coverage options.

Compare the market: Compare, compare, and compare. When it comes to home insurance, you should figure out how each insurer stacks up against another. Don't limit yourself to state boundaries; most insurers generally have national coverage, so it makes sense for you to shop around within the U.S. to see what's out there in terms of home insurance, types of coverage, and premiums quoted. Contact your state's Insurance Commissioner's office to get more information about reputable insurance companies in your residence area.

Consumer reviews:Consumer reviews, like this one for instance, provide an abundance of data you can use to understand trends in the home insurance industry, how much insurers are charging, who is cheaper and who is pricier and why, and the different property types included in a typical home insurance policy.

Home and contents: Read your home insurance contract intently to understand the fine print as well as terms and conditions. Pay attention to the "Home and Contents" section, which specifies important elements that your policy covers. The thing is, some insurers like to sell home insurance separately from content coverage, so talk to your insurance agent to learn more about each option and what a combo would cost. In insurance lingo, "home" covers your house's structural integrity for key insured events, ranging from cyclone and storm to fire and flood. "Contents" refers to what is inside your house, that is, your personal belongings, cars, TV sets, computers, and tools.

How to Choose a Home Insurance Provider

This is a highly individual predicament, as the needs of homeowners change from one to the next. One of the most important factors is finding an insurance company that fits your budget, while covering everything necessary. It is so important to be an informed shopper and homeowner, and it is highly advisable to learn as much about the market, your area, the current trends, and what the majority of insurance companies are offering.

Meet the Top Homeowners Insurance Companies

Liberty Mutual Home Insurance Review

  • Pros
  • Informative website
  • Policy has helpful add-ons
  • You save money by purchasing multiple policies
  • Discounts if you install home-security devices
  • The company has a great financial rating
  • Cons
  • Premiums can be pricey
  • Can be inflexible with premium payments

Liberty Mutual is one of the most trusted names in the industry of homeowners insurance, and they make every effort possible to secure your investments; from your home itself to the valuables inside. In addition to your standard policy, Liberty Mutual includes Home Insurance Benefits as a part of all policies, which are a range of different perks that add up to major conveniences and time-savers, at no extra charge. It's also important to note that Liberty Mutual also makes every effort to remain competitive in the market, and they offer a variety of different options that can make your homeowners insurance fit within your specific budget.

USAA Home Insurance Review

  • Pros
  • Claims processing is fast and easy to initiate
  • Customer service reps are very helpful
  • Affordable premiums, good value for price
  • The company has a strong financial rating
  • Account opening can be done online
  • Cons
  • Only available to members of the U.S. military and their families.

USAA offers insurance for homeowners that is exceptional in every way. The only unfortunate aspect is that it is highly exclusive, and unless you are an active military member, or have a family member who is, you're not eligible for this coverage. One of the most attractive features from USAA is their full replacement cost coverage, which takes care of the cost of rebuilding your home at the current value of construction in the event of destruction. Other areas of coverage include your possessions and identity theft protection.

Progressive Home Insurance Review

  • Pros
  • Handy online quote tool
  • You can manage your policy/account online
  • Mobile apps available for account mobile tracking
  • Premium payment and billing process are flexible
  • The website is informative, easy to use
  • Cons
  • Lacking online help chat functionality
  • Claims processing can be tedious and lengthy

Progressive aims to take a progressive approach in handling the needs of homeowners, and their service offers a variety of options other companies do not, such as the option of flood insurance if you live in a flood zone. They focus on individual circumstances, and place a great deal of emphasis on offering an exceptional level of service. Completely in line with the modern homeowner, Progressive offers their customers plenty of ways to get in touch with them. In addition to communicating via standard phone lines, email, and through their online chat option, you can even contact Progressive on Twitter.

Allstate Home Insurance Review

  • Pros
  • Easy claims process
  • Quote tool
  • Online account management
  • Customer service is available 365 days a year
  • Extensive learning resources
  • Cons
  • Premiums typically are higher
  • Claims processing can be lengthy

Allstate aims to offer a great deal of services in addition to their insurance coverage. They have earned a reputation for their dependability and offering an incredible amount of options. Being an extremely large company, they have the know-how and the expertise to handle a wide array of needs and serve the many needs of homeowners. They are also known for offering very affordable coverage, along with an assortment of different discounts and perks. Allstate agents can be found throughout the country, and they are highly knowledgeable about the array of services offered, as well as how to accommodate the individual insurance needs of homeowners.

Farmers Home Insurance Review

  • Pros
  • Several excellent discounts
  • Helpful and informative site
  • Identity theft protection features
  • Innovative app available
  • Cons
  • Home insurance can't be purchased online

Farmers Insurance has been around for decades, and they have lasted in this industry because they have managed to evolve with the times to fit the needs of homeowners. It's also because they have structured their policies to fit a broad range of coverages, and they thoroughly understand what people need to protect their homes, which for many is their single largest financial investment. With a plethora of options to choose from, a steadfast commitment to customer service, and great savings across the board, Farmers aims to please customers on an individual basis because everyone's requirements vary. They keep it simple yet fully accommodating, so if your home is faced with the unthinkable; be it a natural disaster or a break in, they will take care of you and your home.

Who Needs Renter's Insurance?

Anyone who owns a home should automatically consider homeowners insurance a necessity. Typically, if you financed your home, the lender will require homeowner's insurance coverage. Having legitimate protection on your home and all of your possession and belongings, in the event of the unexpected occurring, such as a fire, theft, an occurrence of vandalism, or a weather-related catastrophe, at least you can rebuild with the peace of mind knowing the financial brunt of the damages are covered. In the event of a major emergency, having the backup of insurance is a well-spent security blanket that can make recovering much easier. And considering the financial investment of accumulating your possessions, why risk them to chance unnecessarily?

What Kinds of Coverage Do You Need?

While individual needs vary, home insurance should cover your basic needs, extending to the structure of the building itself and the items held within it, in the event of a natural disaster, weather-related incidents, theft, vandalism, et.

Best Homeowners Insurance Coverage Basics

The standard homeowners insurance policy will cover these basics types of coverage:

  • Dwelling: Covers damage and/ or destruction on your house plus any separate structures and buildings like garages, storage sheds, and fences.
  • Personal Property: This takes care of your possessions within your house, and it includes your clothing, furniture, and appliances, should they be stolen, damaged, or destroyed.
  • Liability: This coverage will protect you financially if you find yourself in a situation where you are sued and found to be legally responsible for injury or property damage unto someone else.
  • Medical Coverage: This covers the medical bills in the event someone gets hurt on your property. Medical Payment coverage can also pay for injuries in some cases that may occur away from your home, i.e; if your dog bites someone.
  • Loss of Use: This covers the cost of additional living expenses that can arise if your home is unlivable during repairs. The general coverage on standard home insurance will pay 10% - 20% of the amount of coverage on your dwelling.

What Isn't Typically Covered

General homeowners insurance policies most likely will not cover natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, windstorms, and hail. In addition, nuclear accidents and destruction that comes on account of war are typically not covered. For such uncontrollable circumstances, purchasing hazard insurance may be to your benefit.

Best Homeowners Insurance Companies: Things to Keep In Mind

There are a lot of different companies in this market and it is highly advisable to know about those in your price range and what your options are. A company that offers knowledge, insight, and one that presents information readily to keep you informed are extremely helpful; staying on top of your coverage and understanding how you are covered is so important.

Individual circumstances, such as where you live and what kinds of risk factors involved will be taken into account to get you the best and most appropriate coverage.

Choosing the Right Premium for Your Budget

There are multitudes of ways to find a quote for homeowners insurance that will meet your budget. You should plan accordingly and be diligent in conducting your research to get an idea of the best companies, which are popular in your area and why, and what your particular needs are.

Some aspects to consider in regard to how much and what kinds of coverage for you may need for your home:

  • Actual Cash Value: Covers the cost of valuables lost and damaged property at their depreciated current market value.
  • Replacement Cost: Covers the cost of valuable items without considering depreciation, limited to a capped maximum dollar amount.
  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost: Not available in all states, this coverage will take care of the full cost of replacing damaged property, with no deduction on depreciation and no maximum dollar amount. Most home insurance companies limit this type of coverage to 120% of the rebuilding cost.

Are Your Needs Being Met?

Your needs are ultimately what's at play here. Don't ever sell yourself short opting for a cheap quote. Some of the big things to look for in a home insurance company that will give an indication as to how they will handle an emergency include offering easy access to your account online, having 24/ 7 telephone assistance, and the ability to customize your needs into your policy. Insurance companies that allow for flexibility, enable you to tailor your plan specifically, give the option of adding on additional coverages are those who are showing that they are capable of handling your needs.

Discount Bundles

Loyalty can save you; many companies are quick to offer bundled services for lower rates. This can easily get overlooked, but again, your business is really valuable. To an insurance company who specializes in a range of different services, customers who opt to purchase multiple policies for different levels of coverage (such as auto, home, renters, etc) will often be eligible for bundled packages and discounts for being repeat customers. If a company offers to give you lower rates for multiple services and their coverage meets your needs and expectations, by all means, take advantage of it!

Support Offered

Customer service is beyond necessary. If you are in a situation that requires urgent attention, a clear path to communication for support is essential. If an insurance company cannot be reached when you need attention, how can you trust they will be able to take care of your needs in an emergency, without a hassle? A homeowners insurance company needs to offer reliable 24/7 telephone support, with backup options as well. Email support and a reliable website with easy to find information should be on your list of priorities.

Best Homeowners Insurance Advice

It can be tempting, to grab the first cheap quote you see, but its important to learn as much as you can about the industry before buying. Even if it seems within your budget, and doesn't seem outrageous, still search around a bit. Get to know what other companies in the same market are offering. It really does pay to shop around a bit, because your business is truly valuable. Companies are often willing to compete for it, so make sure you go with a company who not only fits your price range, but takes care of your needs as well. Read through our advice section to learn more about home insurance.

Best Home Insurance Companies Review Recap

When it comes to home insurance, you have a multitude of different choices, but just remember that your best option may not be your local insurance company. Cast a wider net in your search and consider companies that operate nationally and have a good financial rating. Another thing to consider is claims processing, especially how long it takes your insurer to review, investigate, and reimburse you for any claim you file. The best home insurance companies typically have excellent customer service, an informative website, affordable quotes, and effective account management options.

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Questions & Answers About Best Home Insurance

What is the value of my home?

For most people, a house is the largest purchase they make as an individual and home insurance is the best way to protect such a large investment. When purchasing insurance, the trick is to get as much coverage as possible without paying more than you can afford. Any premium can be useful but if you miscalculate the value of your home you could be left paying the difference in the event of a disaster. There are several factors to consider when determining the value of your home:

  • The cost of construction in your area
  • The square footage of the house
  • The style of construction and the materials used
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Special features like a garage or a fireplace

All of these factors contribute to the overall cost of your home and you should have a premium that can cover it if something happens.

Be careful, there is a huge difference between the market value of a home and the cost of replacing a home. Many insurance contracts say they will cover the "market value" of a home. That sounds good right? If I need a new home, the money my old home was worth will be provided. But the market value of a home is almost always lower than the cost of replacing it. You've probably heard the old say that a car depreciates in value as soon as you drive it off the lot. The same thing happened to a house that has been lived in for a few years. Things like depreciating value and fluctuating market costs can contribute to you paying for a large portion of a new home, which can be an awful thing to deal with in the wake of a disaster. Look for the words "replacement cost" on your contract and consider that this only applies to the cost a contractor would need to rebuild a home not the actual price of the land.

Do I really need homeowners insurance?

Unlike driving a car, you don't legally need to insure your home. So why pay for something that you will ideally never use? If something were to happen to your house no one is affected by your lack of coverage, accept for you and your family. However, if something does happen to your home, it's better to have insurance to alleviate the burden of a disaster than to wait until it is too late.

But I don't live in the path of any natural disasters.

Even if you don't live in an area that is typically affected by things like hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and earthquakes, it is advisable to have some home insurance. First of all, nature is often unpredictable and bad storms can happen anywhere but home insurance doesn't just cover you when nature is at fault. Humans can be just as unpredictable as nature and just as damaging to a home. It is good to be covered in the event of man-made destruction like fire, vandalism or theft.

If I do need it what kind is necessary?

There are three basic archetypes of homeowner's insurance coverage: basic form, broad form and special form. Basic form is the bare minimum coverage that every homeowner should have. This covers damage from fire, lightning and internal explosions, which are all things that can happen anywhere.

Broad form is the next level up and extends to cover things like riots, hail, theft, vandalism, falling aircraft, and even volcanic eruptions. This is much more comprehensive and protects you from more things that may come from outside your house and man-made damage.

Special form is the most comprehensive coverage and extends to things like chemical spills, broken glass, plumbing overflow, structural collapse and interior damage from melting ice and snow.

Depending on the cost of the coverage with different agencies, special form is the one you should aim for, especially if the difference in the premium for each form isn't that much. Of course, you should only pay for insurance coverage that you can comfortably afford.

What do I consider when getting homeowners insurance?

Some companies will offer both home and auto insurance in one. This is good because you can obtain a discount when purchasing both coverage options from one company. Some insurance companies will also allow you to add even more coverage such a life and health insurance to your policy so that you are completely covered by on provider.

Should I compare insurance companies?

Prior to going with an insurance company, it is important that you compare companies to see which one offers exactly what you need. Make sure to compare the types of coverage and the premiums they offer. Your states Insurance Commissioners office will have a list of trustworthy insurance companies within your area.

Will reading consumer reviews help me?

Reading consumer appraisals will give you a detailed idea of how the insurance company deals with issues and whether or not they were helpful to the consumer. Consumer reviews will also give you insight into how much insurers are charging, why some are more expensive than others, and the various property types that home insurance policies cover.

Will home insurance cover the contents of my home as well?

The details are in the fine print – be sure you are aware of exactly what the coverage option you go with covers. The 'Home and Contents' section of your policy will lay out what is covered in the chance that something were to happen to your home. Policy coverage differs from each provider to the next so it is important to take your time and read over the policy in detail. Home insurance companies can be sneaky and sell home insurance separately than content coverage if you would like your home to be covered and the contents within it – TV's, computers, etc. – make sure you purchase both home and content coverage.

How do I go about choosing an insurance provider?

The wants and needs of the consumer will depict which insurance company is chosen. A vital factor in finding the perfect insurance company for you, are making sure the budget is right and manageable for you and the coverage is what you need.

What are some top insurance providers?

Some of the top insurance providers in the United States are USAA, Liberty Mutual, Farmers Insurance, All State and Progressive. These companies have proven to have dependable and reliable service as well as top-notch consumer reviews. These corporations offer a variety of tailored options to make your homeowners insurance the perfect fit for your budget.

What are some coverage basics that I should look out for?

Average homeowners insurance coverage should include dwelling, personal property, liability, medical coverage and loss of use. These are the bare basics that any homeowner's insurance policy should cover at a minimum.

What typically is not covered?

In the chance that there is a natural disaster, typical policies will not cover that. This includes windstorms, floods, earthquakes and hail. In the chance that you want that coverage available to you, you can certainly purchase hazard insurance, which also includes destruction due to war and uncontrollable circumstances.

What else should I keep in mind when choosing insurance?

It is important to do detailed research in an effort to educate yourself on the various insurance companies and their policies and coverage. Companies that can offer you awareness and knowledge, as well as presents themselves as informed and reliable, are definite bonuses. BE sure to evaluate your location of residence as well as what kind of factors you are at risk for prior to purchasing insurance. The coverage and policy will vary depending on your location – those who live in Florida might opt for flood insurance while those in high altitudes may not need such coverage.

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Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.

Advertiser Disclosure

In order for MoneySavingPro to remain a consumer free service, many of the companies covered in our industry reviews compensate MoneySavingPro for new sign ups.

However, the results of our comparison tools, the rankings of the providers and the information presented is not affected by compensation. Indeed, many of these companies approach us for an advertising partnership after we have already written a published their reviews.

While we try to research and review as many providers as possible in the 100+ industries we cover, we have not reviewed every company available.

Our rating system is independent of compensation and reflects our true understanding of the industry and the company based on a variety of factors. The companies that receive the highest rating will always be the providers that we believe offer the best value to the consumer.