8 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in California of 2022
Homeowners insurance will pay if your house is destroyed by fire. It will also pay to replace your personal belongings due to a burglary or due to a natural disaster.
Whether you live in a city like Los Angeles or a suburb like Bel-Air, homeowners insurance in California is not a necessity, according to state law.
But it is a necessity for California homeowners because the state is susceptible to constant wildfires, earthquakes, and hurricanes. If an earthquake rips your roof off, homeowners insurance will pay to replace it,
If you hadn’t had insurance, you’d be paying for a new roof out-of-pocket. Do you have money saved up to do that?
Most homeowners don’t, so when choosing a policy, it’s wise to shop around to get the most affordable rate possible.
Unfortunately, choosing the best home insurance company for you may take a lot of research. You need to evaluate coverage, discounts, add-ons, and customer service, to name a few.
We’ve done the work for you. Using the above factors, we chose the best homeowner insurance policies to give you an idea of what each has to offer. We’ve also looked into important things to consider when buying homeowners insurance.
Compare the coverage and cost of the best homeowners insurance providers in California picked by PropertyNest expert editors:
Best Homeowners Insurance in California
- Allstate: Best Homeowners Insurance for Affordable Rates
- Liberty Mutual: Best Homeowners Insurance for Convenient Website and App
- Amica: Best Homeowners Insurance for Optional Comprehensive Plan
- Farmers: Best Homeowners Insurance for Offering Policies for Every Budget
- Progressive: Best Homeowners Insurance for Discounts
- Travelers: Best Homeowners Insurance for Add-Ons
- State Farm: Best Homeowners Insurance for Optional Coverages
- Nationwide: Best Homeowners Insurance for Extra Coverage That Comes Standard
Allstate: Best Homeowners Insurance for Affordable Rates
Allstate is the leader when it comes to insurance products. Its large size means your claims will be processed faster and that you’ll get reimbursed promptly.
In California, Allstate offers the most affordable rates.
For Allstate, the average annual premium in California is $720 per year or $60 per month.
Those rates are significantly lower than the California state average, which is $935 per year or $80 per month.
However, keep in mind that Allstate’s affordability is based on many rating factors. These include:
- The materials your home is made of.
- The age of your home.
- The cost to rebuild your home.
- Your personal claims history.
- The claims history of your location.
- The fire rating of your location.
- The coverage amount and policy limits.
- Your deductible amount.
No two insurers look alike. That’s due to which factors are applied to you.
If you have an old house, you’ll pay more. That’s because insurers assume that your systems (like electrical or plumbing fixtures) and appliances (like refrigerators and washing machines) aren’t up to date.
But if you have a new home, you’ll pay less for Allstate’s policy.
Read a full Allstate homeowners insurance review.
What Discounts are Available Through Allstate?
- Save up to 25% by bundling home and auto.
- Save up to 5% by signing up for automatic premium payments.
- Being claims free.
- If home has alarm system or surveillance camera.
- New customers can save up to 10% annually by switching from another insurer.
- If home is newly constructed.
- Paying on time or in full.
Allstate Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- Local agents available.
- Optional digital identity tracking tool.
- Coverage to provide extra reimbursement for costly items like golf clubs, riding lawn mowers, and musical instruments.
- Offers coverage in every U.S. state, plus Washington D.C.
- Be reimbursed if identity is stolen.
- Optional Rate Guard to prevent your rate from increasing due to a claim.
- No replacement cost coverage in standard policy.
- More than the expected number of complaints to state regulators.
- Loss of use coverage is capped at a set percentage of the dwelling coverage.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||815|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A+|
|NAIC Complaint Index||2.05|
Liberty Mutual: Best Homeowners Insurance for Convenient Website and App
Nationally recognized Liberty Mutual is a good option if you want to manage your policy online or through its mobile app.
The insurer’s online quote tool is clean, quick, and easy to use, with helpful automatic quote defaults.
The website allows you to do several things:
- Get quotes for home, auto, and other insurance products.
- Tailor your coverage to fit your needs.
- Get quotes for bundling auto with home, condo, or renters insurance.
- File and manage claims.
- View policy documents.
- Set up automatic bill pay.
- Get digital insurance cards.
- Find local agents.
- Rate calculator.
- Household inventory tool.
- The mobile app (for iOS and Android)
Has the same functions as the website. But one thing that makes the mobile app unique is that you can sign documents electronically, which can save you a lot of time.
Even though the website and mobile app are comprehensive and easy to navigate, Liberty Mutual gives you the option to speak with an agent if that’s what you need. Just enter your ZIP code on Liberty’s home page to find an agent near you.
Read a full Liberty Mutual home insurance review.
What Discounts are Available Through Liberty Mutual?
- If you insure up to 100% of the cost to replace your home as opposed to the home’s market value or sale price.
- Multi-policy (bundle home and auto).
- Going paperless.
- Being claims-free.
- Not filing a claim in three years.
- Safety measures like home surveillance cameras and burglar alarms.
- If you purchase a new home.
- Substantially renovating your home.
- New roof.
Liberty Mutual Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- Has the most robust website and mobile app.
- Good for those who want to manage policy and claims online.
- The Home Gallery App quickly creates inventory of your personal belongings to determine how much they are worth after a covered peril.
- Allows for owners of Amazon Echo products to get advice on common home topics.
- Complaints below industry average.
- Available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
- Relatively few extra coverage options (like increased dwelling).
- Hard to find local agent; most services available at national call centers.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||805|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A|
|NAIC Complaint Index||2.37|
Amica: Best Homeowners Insurance for Optional Comprehensive Plan
Amica started in 1908 and began issuing insurance in 1956. Today, the company has the most insurance policies compared to similar insurers and which include auto, home, life, renters, condos, boats, and motorcycle insurance.
The basic or standard homeowners insurance plan will only pay you up to its policy limits.
As such many people looking for insurance need additional coverage to protect themselves. But picking the coverages you need and piecing them together to make your policy more comprehensive can be an arduous task for those who lack the time.
That’s why Amica offers an insurance plan called Platinum Choice.
It covers the basic policy and adds in the best optional coverages that many people need.
Amica Optional Homeowners Insurance Coverage
Dwelling replacement cost coverage
- Increases dwelling coverage up to an additional 30%.
- Personal property replacement coverage.
- Pays to replace your personal belongings using replacement cost value. So, you’ll be paid for your damaged laptop at today’s prices, not the depreciated price.
- Valuable items coverage.
- Additional protection for high-value items like fine art or jewelry.
Home business coverage
Protects your belongings if you run a business out of your home or just work from home.
Water Backup / Sump Overflow
- This covers repairs following a septic system backup or sump pump failure that are not covered by a standard policy.
Special computer coverage
- Broader coverage for phones, laptops, tablets, TVs, and other smart devices against damage from power surges, water damage, and heat warping.
What Discounts are Available Through Amica?
- Installing security such as a camera, burglar alarm, and fire alarm.
- If your home can monitor temperature, gas, or water leaks.
- If you buy new home equipment such as an appliance.
- If you don’t make a claim in three years.
- If you bundle home with auto insurance or other policies.
Amica Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- Save when you sign up for automatic bill pay.
- Dividend program gives you money back at end of each year.
- Simple and efficient online claims filing and tracking.
- Great perks, like having network of contractors to rebuild your home.
- Doesn’t cover all states.
- Dividend programs only available in certain states.
- Fewer discounts available for home insurance relative to other companies.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||849|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A+|
|NAIC Complaint Index||0.32|
Farmers: Best Homeowners Insurance for Offering Policies for Every Budget
Farmers is one of the best-known home insurance names in the country. The insurer offers three different types of home insurance coverages. There’s one for every budget, and there’s one with the most protection you can get.
The three tiers help you save money since you are only buying insurance that you need.
- The standard or basic policy
- Enhanced Package - Higher policy limits than the standard and covers the cost of replacing your roof or belongings with brand-new versions and without depreciation.
- Premier Package - Offers even higher limits on property coverage than the enhanced policy. In some states, this package has guaranteed RCV, which will fully reimburse you for the cost of rebuilding your home regardless of your policy limits.
What Discounts are Available Through Farmers?
- Being claims-free for three consecutive years.
- Home security and protective devices
- Home less than one year old.
- If roof is made of impact-resistant materials.
Farmers Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- Available nationwide.
- Declining deductible takes $50 off deductible each year you remain a customer.
- Claim forgiveness prevents rates from increasing after first claim.
- Less common coverage options available.
- Eco-Rebuild provides up to $25,000 extra if you choose to rebuild damaged parts of your home with “green” materials.
- Fewer endorsements than competitors.
- Website is lacking.
- Rates can be expensive compared to national and state average.
- Not all discounts are available in all states.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||792|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A|
|NAIC Complaint Index||0.56|
Progressive: Best Homeowners Insurance for Discounts
Progressive has been in the insurance business since the 1930s and has many insurance policy options, including car insurance for a wide range of vehicles and mobile home insurance that’s usually excluded from similar insurance companies.
Progressive doesn’t have the cheapest rates, but when customers take advantage of the discounts it offers, your premium will be competitively priced.
Progressive Homeowners Insurance Discounts
Here are just some of the most popular discounts:
- Multi-Policy Discount - If you bundle home and auto or home and boat, or home and RV.
- Safety and Alarm - Installing security measures like video surveillance cameras, burglar and fire alarms, and deadbolts.
- Quote in Advance - If you get a quote at least ten days before your policy begins.
- New Purchase - If you purchase a new home (it doesn’t have to be newly built).
- New Home Construction - The newer your home, the larger the discount you could earn.
- Receive Documents Electronically
Progressive Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- Online quote tool to calculate replacement cost.
- Online tool to compare quotes from multiple providers of homeowners insurance.
- Website has online chat to answer questions.
- Available coverage for water backup that damages home and property within.
- Available nationwide.
- Single deductible available for car insurance customers who purchase homeowners insurance.
- Operates as broker, underwritten by third-party partners.
- Filing claim may mean you have to go through a third-party underwriter rather than Progressive.
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A+|
|NAIC Complaint Index||1.66|
Travelers: Best Homeowners Insurance for Add-Ons
Founded in 1864, Travelers offers solid coverage, reliability, and fewer than expected consumer complaints.
Plus, what makes Travelers unique is that it has several add-ons that you can purchase separately.
Having add-ons means you only buy coverage for what you need.
The best add-ons include:
- Special Personal Property Coverage - A standard policy doesn’t cover in full your personal belongings after a covered peril. This add-on increases your coverage so you can pay for replacements or repairs.
- Replacement Cost Value RCV) - This is the most important add-on that every homeowner should buy. Your belongings will be replaced using today’s prices rather than the depreciated value.
- Additional Replacement Cost Coverage - What if the cost to rebuild your home is more than your dwelling coverage limit? To get more funds, this add-on is needed so your damaged home can be paid in full.
- Identity Fraud - Covers identity fraud or if your personal information is compromised.
What Discounts are Available Through Travelers?
- If you bundle home with auto or other insurance policy.
- If you don’t make a claim for a certain period.
- If you bought a new home within last 12 months.
- If you install home security systems or protective devices.
Travelers Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- Bundling home with auto gives you a substantial discount.
- Online quote more thorough than others.
- Catastrophic response teams during disasters.
- Equipment breakdown add-on covers broken appliances.
- 24/7 customer service center.
- No wind damage coverage even though windstorms are considered covered perils.
- May have to complete buying a policy online via phone.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||794|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A++|
|NAIC Complaint Index||3.88|
State Farm: Best Homeowners Insurance for Optional Coverages
State Farm is America’s largest homeowners insurance company. You can do many things on the insurer’s website and app, such as get a quote, buy a policy, and manage your insurance.
If you prefer to talk to a live agent, you’re in luck. There are over 20,000 agents across the country, which means you’ll have an easier time reaching customer support.
State Farm blows the competition away when it comes to optional coverages. Some of them are unique to State Farm, and some of them may be necessities for you.
Read a full State Farm homeowners insurance review.
State Farm Homeowners Insurance Coverage Options
Here are the coverage options:
- Energy efficiency upgrade coverage - If your HVAC system or water heater experiences damage due to a covered loss, State Farm will provide you with more energy-efficient models.
- Increased Dwelling Limit - Automatically extends replacement coverage up to 20%. You are covered if you’ve insured your home at least up to its estimated replacement cost.
- Backup of sewer or drain coverage.
- Earthquake coverage as an add-on. This is the most popular coverage in California due to the state being continually exposed to earthquakes.
- Liability coverage for nurses and for those providing in-home child or adult care.
- Coverage for structures outside your home, such as a detached garage.
- Coverage for homes that are rented out more than 30 nights a year.
- Liability coverage for libel and slander.
- Service line coverage for underground utility lines that have been damaged.
- Coverage to replace a damaged water heater, air conditioner, or heating unit with more energy-efficient models.
- Coverage for theft or vandalism if a home is left vacant for more than 30 days.
What Discounts are Available Through State Farm?
- Multi-policy discount.
- Security features: if you have a home security system, a smoke detector, and a fire alarm, for example.
- Being claims-free.
- Lower your premium by selecting higher deductibles.
State Farm Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- Local agents.
- Useful digital tools.
- User-friendly online resources.
- Covers all 50 states.
- Agents offer personalized service.
- Low customer complaint ratio.
- Fewer discounts compared to other companies.
- Policies not available through independent agents.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||829|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A++|
|NAIC Complaint Index||1.77|
Nationwide: Best Homeowners Insurance for Extra Coverage That Comes Standard
Nationwide is a trusted name in the insurance industry and is one of America's oldest insurers.
The company has many coverages, most of which are optional.
However, its basic policy comes with coverages that you don’t have to pay extra for.
Nationwide Homeowners Insurance Coverage Options
Besides coverage options for new roof replacements, Nationwide’s basic policy includes:
Ordinance or law insurance
This pays for any additional costs of bringing your home up to current building code standards after your home is destroyed or damaged in a covered loss.
Loss of use
If your home is uninhabitable after a covered loss or if you can’t live in it while repairs and reconstructions are being made, loss of use will pay for your living expenses, including meals, hotel stays, and other necessities. Loss of use comes standard in a basic insurance policy, but with Nationwide, the payments aren’t capped.
Credit card coverage
This pays for unauthorized transactions or fraud on your credit card or bank account.
What Discounts are Available Through Nationwide?
- If you have protective devices such as smoke detectors and alarm systems.
- If you are claims-free.
- If you have new plumbing and new heating, cooling, or electrical systems.
- If your roof is new.
- If you purchase your home within the past 12 months.
- If you live in a gated community protected by security guards.
Nationwide Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- Pays to replace personal property that is damaged or stolen with newer versions.
- Gives you money to replace damaged roof with better materials.
- Good selection of discounts.
- Coverage for valuables and personal property is excellent.
- Large network of more than 26,000 agents.
- Must talk to an agent to purchase a policy.
- Limited customer service hours for sales and service.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||816|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A+|
|NAIC Complaint Index||0.88|
How We Ranked and Picked the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in California
To determine the best companies that provided homeowners insurance, we looked at several factors. These are:
We narrowed down our focus to those companies that had the most discounts. Discounts can lower your premium and allow customers to get the lowest possible rate.
We looked at homeowners insurance policies based on how much coverage they offered.
A range of coverages is important for a company to have because it can customize a policy or tailor it to a customer’s need. Coverage can also offset policy limits so that when you make a claim, you will be reimbursed in full.
If a company’s website and app allow you to manage most of your insurance needs electronically or if both are easy to use even for the technophobe, then that’s a company we considered.
We looked at many insurance review sites that offered vetted customer reviews to also narrow down our options. The ones with the most positive reviews were more favorable to us.
In particular, we looked at scores offered by JD Powers and AM Best to back up what consumers are saying about their insurers.
Homeowners insurance shouldn’t break the bank. Pricing needs to be fair and competitive, and a company should also have enough discounts to make a policy affordable to most people.
If the insurance company had a rate below the national average or below the state average, we put that company on our list.
How Homeowners Insurance Works?
Homeowners insurance is a type of property insurance that pays for losses or damages to your home and its contents in the event of a covered peril.
If you don’t have homeowners insurance, you will have to pay out-of-pocket for your damaged house or your destroyed belongings.
Is It Mandatory to Buy Homeowners Insurance in California?
The state of California does not require homeowners insurance.
However, if you have a mortgage, most lenders will require you to purchase it as a condition of your loan and to protect their investment.
What is a Covered Peril?
A covered peril is an event your insurer agrees to reimburse you if you file a claim.
Covered perils include:
- Fire, wildfire, and smoke damage.
- Weather conditions like lightning, hurricanes, windstorms, hail, and the weight of ice, snow, or sleet.
- Theft, vandalism, and malicious mischief.
- Damage from an aircraft or a car or another type of vehicle.
- Water damage unrelated to natural floods.
What is Covered in Homeowners Insurance?
A standard policy covers the following:
If your house is damaged or destroyed due to a fire or a natural disaster, or a covered event that you could not have foreseen, your insurer will cover the cost of rebuilding your home.
If you cause bodily injury or property damage to another person unintentionally or through neglect, your insurance will pay for any medical bills the injured person needs, as well as any legal fees and legal representation if you’re sued.
This policy pays if someone is injured on your property and needs medical treatment, regardless of who’s at fault. It also pays if you, a family member, or a pet like a dog injures someone elsewhere.
This pays to repair or replace personal belongings that are stolen or damaged in a covered peril whether that happens in your home or on a trip.
Loss of Use
If your home is destroyed or damaged and you can’t possibly live there due to health reasons or because it’s unhabitable or is being rebuilt, loss of use pays for hotel stays, meals at restaurants, and other necessities.
What Natural Disasters are Not Covered in a Standard Homeowners Insurance Policy?
The two most common exemptions are floods and earthquakes.
All homeowners insurance policies exclude floods and earthquakes
and other natural movements of the earth.
What Natural Disasters Will Affect My Premium?
The state of California experiences several natural disasters, such as fire, wildfires, severe storms, floods, and earthquakes.
Fire is the most common natural disaster in California, with over 250 incidents in the last 65 years.
According to the US Geological Survey, California has more damaging earthquakes than any other state, with around 200 potentially dangerous faults.
Since earthquakes happen frequently, it’s extremely important to get earthquake coverage as an add-on or as a separate policy to your homeowners insurance.
California also experiences extreme storms.
While an insurer may cover water damage if your roof leaks due to a hurricane, or if there is a plumbing failure like leaking pipes, it won’t cover flood damage from the same hurricane.
So, if you experience a property loss due to water damage caused by flooding, you will not be covered at all.
To be on the safe side, Californians may want to buy their own flood insurance policy through private insurance.
Insurance is needed for natural disasters where damage or loss is likely to be too expensive to cover out-of-pocket.
If you live on a fault line or if a wildfire breaks out, your insurer will consider your house as being in an at-risk zone and will give you a high premium.
Still, homeowners living in high-risk areas have the option of purchasing supplemental insurance to cover natural disasters. This specialty insurance will cost more because of the increased risk.
However, due to the increasing devastation of wildfires in California, some insurance companies are no longer offering home insurance at all.
Homeowners can get coverage for their homes in high-risk areas through the Fair Access to Insurance Requirement (FAIR) plan. This provides coverage for such homes.
But this is only a temporary plan. It is intended to give owners the chance to find a more traditional insurance policy that covers high-risk homes.
Why Are Earthquake and Flood Insurance So High?
Earthquakes and flood deductibles are high because the damage from them tends to be catastrophic, making them a higher risk for insurers.
To cover costs, insurers need to make deductibles high.
What Factors Determine My Premium?
Several factors determine your premium and which in some cases you can’t control. Your home and your personal information are how insurers assess your premium.
If you live in a safe neighborhood that’s not prone to constant serious natural disasters.
Age of Home
Older homes are more likely to need improvements. You’ll pay a higher rate if your systems and appliances are out of date and if you have never updated your HVAC and plumbing systems.
Your deductible is the amount you agree to pay out of pocket if you file a claim. If you choose a higher deductible, this will decrease your premium.
Doing so means that your insurer will pay less if you file a claim, which can lead to a lower premium.
Add-ons, endorsements, and increasing your personal property limits can help if, say, your precious artwork was stolen during a burglary. However, every coverage you add to your standard policy will cause your rate to rise.
If you have a high credit score, the insurer will assume that you are more likely to pay your premium on time each month and that you won’t file a claim. A poor credit score will see your rates increase.
If you file a claim, the insurer will believe you are more likely to make another claim and will increase your rates to keep costs down.
What Are the Types of Homeowners Insurance?
There are two policies you can choose: actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost value (RCV)
Replacement cost value (RCV) is about getting full coverage.
If your personal belongings get damaged, RCV will pay for them in full and at today’s prices.
Replacement cost will pay the actual cost of rebuilding your home after it is damaged, even if there are increases in labor and building materials, to name a few.
For actual cost value, if your possessions are stolen or destroyed, this insurance will not replace them at their full cost but rather at their depreciated value.
In short, RCV will pay you in full while ACV will pay you a depreciated cost.
Do I Need to Purchase Extra Coverage?
If you have expensive items like a diamond ring that needs coverage, the standard insurance will not give you a reimbursement up to the full value of your most prized possession or will only cover you up to the policy’s limit.
The best way to get fully protected is to add an endorsement (also called a rider) to your personal property coverage.
An endorsement allows customers to increase the overall coverage of their home insurance for particular categories.
For example, if your diamond ring costs $5,000, you can set your rider with a limit of at least $5,000 to ensure you will be paid in full if your ring gets damaged, destroyed, or stolen.
Keep in mind that it is wise to select coverage limits that are high enough to protect your belongings in full.
If you want full and complete protection from anything that could happen to your high-priced items, then purchasing an endorsement is a must for you.
Lower coverage limits might save you money on your premium, but they might also leave you with insufficient coverage when you need to make a claim.
How Can I Lower My Homeowners Insurance Premium?
The two most popular ways are to get quotes from different insurers and apply for discounts.
Get quotes from as many insurers as you can.
A quote is an estimate of your premium cost. If you compare multiple quotes for the same coverage from different companies, you may likely find the best insurer for you.
You can get home insurance quotes online or over the phone.
Many insurers offer discounts. If you can take advantage of many of them, your premium will drop.
The most important discount is the multi-policy discount because it takes a good percentage off your premium. So, if you bundle home with auto, for example, you’ll see your rates dip.
Other discounts include making your home safe (setting up surveillance cameras, burglar alarms, and fire alarms), buying new appliances such as a refrigerator, getting new plumbing, heating, cooling, or other electrical systems, and purchasing a new roof that’s more environmentally friendly.
How to Buy Homeowners Insurance
Determine how much coverage you need. Once you find a company you like, research it thoroughly to see what coverage it has, what coverage it doesn’t have, and what coverage you need to have.
To ensure you have sufficient personal property coverage, take stock of your belongings. Don’t just include your high-value items. Include everyday items like furniture, clothing, and household items.
You’ll arrive with a cost for all of your belongings once you price each item out using receipts, estimates, and comparisons you may find online.
Make a Fair Comparison
When evaluating rates, make sure each insurer is offering the same limits and deductibles.
Check Consumer Complaints
Use vetted customer reviews from insurance review sites to see how many consumer complaints each insurer has before you choose a policy.
Website and Mobile App
Choose a company that has a useful and easy-to-use website and mobile app. If you can do many of your insurance business online, from buying a policy to submitting and tracking a claim, that means you can save time and don’t have to be on hold while attempting to contact an agent.
How Much is Homeowners Insurance in California?
The average annual premium for homeowners insurance in the United States is $1,250 per year or about $105 per month according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) report.
The average cost of homeowners insurance in California is $1,565 per year or $130 a month, making it slightly higher than the US premium rate.
In comparison, the cheapest insurer in California is Allstate, which has an annual rate of $720 per year or $60 per month. This is significantly lower than the California average.