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Last updatedNovember 2021

Best Homeowners Insurance 2021

Cover your home & everything in it

Enjoy peace of mind knowing your home and belongings are covered. Compare top providers and choose the best home insurance for your every need.
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BestMoney’s editorial team researches and reviews financial products based on factors such as: range of products and services offered, ease-of-use, online accessibility, customer service, special awards, and more. Each brand is then given a score based on the offerings in each parameter. The specific parameters which we use to evaluate the score of each product can be found on its review page, which is updated every 3 months. If the editorial team cannot locate information relevant to a brand's Products & Services Score, it will not be included in its calculation.

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United States Insurance

United States Insurance

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Choosing the Best Home Insurance Company

When the worst happens, you want to know you've got one of the best, most reliable insurance companies around covering your home. There are a few important factors to consider when choosing a home insurance company—price, deductibles, add-ons—which can vary depending on your needs. What everybody should note, regardless of what kind of plan they’re looking for, is how a company handles claims and what kind of coverage it offers.

The claim is your request to the insurance company to reimburse you the costs of unexpected damages. It’s good to know if the company pays the full claim amount upfront, or doles it out in portions; whether your plan covers all items, or just those you’d replace; as well as the company’s general reputation for managing claims. Price and deductible, the amount you pay upfront in an emergency before coverage kicks in, are also important factors, and it’s wise to check the financial stability of the company. Finding the right home insurance policy depends on various factors specific to your situation, but remember to take the time you need to find the right insurance.

TermsWhat's Covered?
The structure of the house
Separate Structures
Separate garage, gazebo, tool shed, etc.
Personal property (furniture, electronics, clothes, etc.)
Loss of Use
Additional costs of living away from home if you can't live there due to covered damage
Lawsuit expenses and damages 
Medical Payments
Medical coverage in the event that someone is hurt on your premises

Types of Home Insurance Policies

There are 8 types of home insurance policies in the US, numbered HO-1 through HO-8. The most common is HO-3, a “broad-form” policy that covers what’s known in the industry as the “16 perils.” Think of a peril as damage-causing act that your insurance policy will cover, for example a fire, break-in, or explosion. The 16 perils covers a broad spectrum of damages that range from natural causes (fire, hail, wind damage) to human-related (theft, vandalism), to equipment (a hot water system burning).

The other 7 plans differ in the number and type of perils they cover, or else apply to those with specific living conditions such as tenants, condo owners, or residents of a mobile home.

The Basic Plans

A basic home insurance plan covers 4 types of ‘damage’ or costs associated with the disaster:

  • Dwelling coverage: covers damage or loss of the home itself
  • Content coverage: covers damage or loss of personal belongings inside the home
  • Personal liability: covers liabilities such as injuries to people inside the home
  • Living expenses: covers costs of temporary living conditions if the home is uninhabitable

To sum it up: if a fire breaks out in your kitchen, a basic plan would likely cover the cost of rebuilding the walls, replacing the furniture, appliances, decor, etc, treating any people injured in the fire, and paying hotel costs if the house is temporarily unlivable.

The Add-Ons

It’s important to note what perils are and aren’t covered in your plan. Common perils such as lightning or fire are included in basic plans, while others, notably earthquake insurance, require an add-on policy. It’s best to consider the environment you live in and what common weather patterns exist there. Then you can decide if it’s worth it to add. Here’s a list of some common add-ons.

  • Earthquake: Not for everybody, of course, but it’s a critical factor for those that need it. Earthquakes are never covered by standard insurance policies. Some companies offer earthquake coverage as a stand-alone policy or as an add-on (California law, for example, requires it). But it’s not uncommon to have to buy a stand-alone policy from a partner of the insurance company or special provider. Assess whether earthquakes present a big enough risk for you; if so, companies that offer affordable and streamlined earthquake coverage could factor into your decision-making process.
  • Flood: This is another peril not included in basic plans, so again, assess the degree of risk and need. Some insurance companies offer flood-and-earthquake bundles that are worth looking into if relevant.
  • Replacement costs: Replacement costs refer to the way the company decides how much to reimburse you. The actual cash value (ACV) is standard and factors in the age and depreciation of your claim, meaning premiums might be less, but so will your reimbursement. You can upgrade to a replacement cost value option (RCV), which uses the market value to determine the value of your possessions. This way your claim will be replaced by a new or similar item regardless of its age.
  • Water backup of sewer or sump pump malfunction: Plumbing malfunctions that lead to damage and floods are protected by this optional add-on, but it’s important to note that it doesn’t cover flooding itself, only incidents related to the plumbing system.

How to Save Money on Home Insurance

Bundling deals are a good way of saving money on insurance. Depending on your provider, you may be able to bundle your home and auto plans. Bundling can be cheaper, more convenient, and may make you less at risk of being dropped by a provider for high-risk factors, though it’s important to make sure the bundle offers you everything you’d need from each separate plan. Preventative technology in your home can lower prices as well. Companies often offer special discounts for homes equipped with security systems, smoke detectors, deadbolts, and other measures that minimize hazards.

Regulation Information and Underwriting

Like other forms of insurance, home insurance is regulated by state rather than federal law. Regulation can vary from state to state, so it’s important to be knowledgeable of your state’s regulation policies. In general, the underwriting process for home insurance is similar to that of other insurance policies, though for a home, the risk-factors an underwriter might consider are location and relevant natural disaster risk, the type of structure, any history of past damage claims, and, in certain cases, the types of pets you own or any potentially dangerous amenities on your property, such as swimming pools, guns, or trampolines.