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What is the best way to compare homeowners insurance companies?

Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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HouseThe best way to compare home insurance companies involves getting feedback on the companies from reliable sources, investigating the policy specifics that meet your needs, getting discount information and comparing offers.

More information on how to approach each of these four components of comparing home insurance providers follows below.

Once you review the specifics you will be in a good position to decide which insurer can best protect your most important tangible asset: your home.

Read on to learn all about comparing homeowners insurance companies online and then of course be sure to put your new found knowledge to good use by entering your zip code in and comparing free home insurance quotes!

Using Customer Feedback to Compare Home Insurance Companies

When you look for information on insurance providers you want to put a lot of emphasis on the sources that you accept your information from. Friends, company websites and independent rating companies all offer their own assessments of the numerous home insurers.

Talking to friends and family is a great way to get first hand information on a company’s claims and customer service. You do need to take this with a grain of salt. Your brother’s experience with Allstate may not be fully representation of what is it like to work with this company. Still, if he is someone you respect, it is a good place to start.

You can also go online to look up complaints and comments. Expect that every insurer will have some complaints lodged against them. The red flag to be aware of is if the same complaint crops up for the same provider again and again. Often your state insurance commissioner will have a record of complaints against each company.

Using Company Websites to Compare Homeowners Insurance Companies

Most every home insurance company today has a website that offers information on the policies offered by that insurer. For national organizations you may find that the information is rather generic; or you may find a local website that focuses on the needs of home owners in your area.

You want to get as specific information as you can because the needs of someone living in a flood zone area like the Tidewater area of Virginia will have different needs than someone living in an inner city neighborhood with a high crime rate. This is why so many home insurance quotes start with the request for your zip code. So use those company websites to get a feel for the provider and policy offerings.

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Investigating a company website is a great way to figure out if the provider offers the type of insurance coverage that you are seeking. Knowing the policy specifics you need is critical. Home insurance coverage can range from extremely basic to those that add on protection for valuables and specific occurrences. Not all providers offer all coverage.

Obviously, every company website is biased in that they are designed to make the company look good. This isn’t a bad thing. It just means, as with your brother’s opinion above, that you need to take the information at face value.

Using Independent Ratings Sites to Compare Home Insurance Companies

Homeowners Insurance Company RatingsOne of the least biased sources that you can look to for a comparison of home insurance companies is the independent ratings companies. Groups like A.M. Best, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s all assign ratings to insurance companies based on criteria such as financial stability and credit and debt ratings. These are important because you want to select a provider that will be able to pay out your claims when needed.

Each works a little bit differently. For instance, A.M. Best requires you to sign up for a free registration to access the information. Then you simply sign in and click on the ratings tab. Then you can put in your brother’s recommendation for Allstate. Your search may reveal that the Allstate Mutual Insurance Company in Texas has an A+ and a stable rating, whereas Allstate New Jersey Property and Casualty gets an A- and stable rating. It’s simple to run Liberty Mutual or any other company that you are considering with this type of system.

What Ratings and Feedback Cannot Tell You

Once you have gotten recommendations, reviewed websites and ratings you still need to look at your personal needs. No online review will tell you the rate of coverage that a specific provider will offer for your home, in your community with your personal financial history. You will also need to investigate a bit further to uncover the discounts that each provider is willing to offer.

Discounts can vary greatly and this alone may be the final criterion that allows you to choose one home insurance company over another.

Home insurance companies offer discounts for added security and safety features in the home, upgrades to structures, multi-line policies and many other criteria. Never agree to any policy until you have asked about discounts that you are eligible for. This is a commonly overlooked step that can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

Comparing Home Insurance Offers with a Rate Quote Tool

Just as the independent ratings above are the least biased method of getting information on insurers, there is an easy and unbiased way to compare prices. Online rate quote tools are offered by each company and by independent third party providers. By using a comparison tool you can get rate quotes from several providers in your area and you only have to input your relevant information one time.

This is an excellent way to instantly look at rate quotes side by side. Plus, you know they are comparable because you send the same data to all of them. Of course, you will still want to follow up with questions about discounts before you make your final choice.

Once you have gotten references from people you trust, you may decide to run a rate quote prior to doing a ratings and website review. This will tell you which providers are active in your area and which appear to offer rates that meet your budget needs. Use our rate quote tool, enter your zip code and start comparing home insurance companies today!

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