This guide provides an overview of the homeowners insurance companies that serve certain states in the U.S. Not all types of homeowners coverage is available everywhere, so when you’re looking for an insurer, you need to know what’s available where you live. These pages are designed to help you with that.
What Is Homeowners Insurance?
For most homeowners, their home is by far their most valuable possession, and having it destroyed or damaged can lead to unimaginable financial losses. That’s why a homeowners insurance policy is so important. Standard home insurance policies cover the physical structure of the home itself, as well as its contents, in the event of damage from a covered event like severe weather, fire, theft, or vandalism.
A typical homeowners policy will also provide you with loss of use reimbursement to help pay for alternate lodging and meals if you can’t inhabit your home while it’s being repaired. Another standard feature of homeowners insurance is liability coverage, which financially protects you against lawsuits if a visitor is injured while on your property.
There are two main types of homeowners insurance policies. The most common is an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy, which provides you with the amount it will cost to replace your item, minus depreciation. That means if you have a three-year-old refrigerator that’s damaged by a fire, the insurance company determines your reimbursement by pricing a similar fridge and subtracting three years’ worth of depreciation.
The other option is a Replacement Cost Value (RCV) policy which gives you the dollar amount you need to replace your house or personal property, without deducting for wear and tear or depreciation. Some insurance companies cap this at your policy limit unless you opt for an extended replacement cost policy.
And speaking of options, there are almost unlimited “tweaks” you can make to your homeowners policy so that it better fits your needs and circumstances. For example, if you have a pool or trampoline you can increase liability coverage in case someone gets hurt. Likewise, if you’re a collector of high-end items like jewelry, artwork, or antiques, you can up your valuable possessions coverage.
Unlike auto insurance, homeowners insurance isn’t required by law. However, if you are financing your home your lender will require it to protect its investment. Aside from that, home insurance is a good idea even if you own your home outright to avoid significant financial outlays following an event that causes a lot of damage.
The Best Homeowners Insurance Companies of 2021
How to Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Costs
Certain factors that impact your insurance costs, like your ZIP code and how old your house is, aren’t subject to change. But there are steps you can take to lower your premiums.
You can often lower your homeowners insurance costs by bundling multiple types of insurance, like home and auto, for a multi-policy discount. You can also sometimes get discounts for installing security and safety equipment, like alarms and deadbolts. A recently renovated home also can lead to lower premiums. Some insurers give discounts for applying a certain amount of time before you need the policy, whether you’re a first-time homeowner signing up or switching from another carrier, so make sure to start your insurance search early. Staying with the same insurer for a long period of time can also lead that company to cut your premiums. Some also give discounts for not filing claims.
Cutting back on the level of insurance you carry can also lower your premiums. Decide how much liability coverage and other add-ons you need. Consider whether you want to specially insure your high-value items to get the full replacement cost if they’re damaged or stolen. If you get rid of any items, make sure you’re not still paying to insure them. In general, decide the minimum level of insurance that doesn’t feel like too high a risk to you.
Taking a higher deductible, or the amount you have to pay before insurance kicks in when you file a claim, can also help lower your premiums. Only choose that option if you can afford to pay more in the event of a claim.
If you work with a company that has agents, talk to an insurance agent about other discounts that may be available.
Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Companies of 2021
If you’re looking for a good rate, look at our rating of the Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Companies of 2021 and consider reaching out for a quote.
For more information on Homeowners Insurance please visit our other guides:
- How To Buy Homeowners Insurance
- How to Bundle Home and Auto Insurance
- How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim
- What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
- How Does Homeowners Insurance Work?
- How To Buy Homeowners Insurance
- Cheapest Homeowners Insurance Companies 2021
- Top 10 homeowners insurance companies (2021)
- Homeowners Insurance Quotes