9 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies In Pennsylvania of 2021
It’s great to be a homeowner in the Keystone State.
It’s one of the few affordable places to own a home in the Northeast, full of natural beauty, and home to two quintessential major American cities--Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
However, Pennsylvania is so much more. Owning a home in Pennsylvania is a unique experience and comes with its own unique challenges.
As a homeowner in PA, you’ll need home insurance coverage from a company that not only serves your state but also understands the individual challenges, conditions, and climate you face.
The Best Homeowners Insurance Companies In Pennsylvania
- Allstate: Best Home Insurance For Homeowners On A Budget
- Lemonade: Best Home Insurance For Fast Online Service
- Chubb: Best Homeowners Insurance For Flood-Prone Properties
- State Farm: Best Homeowners Insurance For Bundling
- Nationwide: Best Homeowners Insurance For Straightforward Coverage
- Branch Financial: Best Newcomer Home Insurance Company
- USAA: Best Homeowners Insurance For Veterans
- Erie Insurance: Best Home Insurance For High Customer Satisfaction
- Farmers Insurance: Best Home Insurance For Homeowners Who Want to Go Green
Allstate: Best Home Insurance For Homeowners On A Budget
Across the board, a lot of people who are highly impressed with the overall results of this company. They’re good for most groups.
With Allstate, it’s a good idea to take a look at their supplemental riders. It can make a huge difference in what you get when a disaster hits.
With that said, long wait times for disbursement have been reported.
So, if you’re worried you’ll need your money yesterday, it’s time to take a look at other options.
|Lowest rates||Can have lots of waivers|
|Good reviews from clients||Approval and disbursement complaints|
|Traditional coverage with in-person agents|
One of the ways Allstate helps homeowners save is by offering a number of discounts.
Below is a list of typical discounts you can expect from Allstate.
|Multi-policy discount||Save money when you get more than one type of coverage. For example, bundling a car insurance policy from Allstate with your homeowners insurance.|
|Responsible payment discount||Policyholders can save money when they pay on time and/or type of payment. For example, if you pay your premium in full or put it monthly in escrow.|
|Claim-free discount||Policyholders who have not previously filed claims can get a discount.|
|Loyalty discount||A discount for switching over to Allstate and renewing insurance with them year after year.|
|New homebuyer discount||Discount available for recent homebuyers and homebuyers of new construction.|
|Auto-pay discount||Get up to 5% off for enrolling in automatic payments.|
|Security device discount||Discounts for fire preventing and home security system installation.|
|Early sign-up discount||Policyholders save when they sign up at least 7 days before their current policy expires.|
Lemonade Insurance: Best Home Insurance For Fast Online Service
Are you a fan of everything mobile-related? If you’re the type of person who wants to have a good handle on everything via an app, you’re going to love Lemonade.
This well-designed app will give you instant quotes, let you add on to your policy, and even file a claim.
Admittedly, they are still hammering out issues with customer service as options to speaking to a live person are limited.
However, the vast majority of people have great experiences especially when it comes to filing a claim and fast turnaround for payment disbursements.
|Affordable||Difficult to speak to an agent.|
|Tech-Reliant||No flood coverage option.|
|High-Quality Customer Service|
Lemonade's already low-cost insurance offers a few additional discounts for policy holders.
|Bundling discount||Having multiple policies with Lemonade helps you save.|
|Construction Material discount||Homeowner get a discount if their homes are constructed with fire-resistant materials.|
|Home Protection discount||Discounts are available for homeowners with security devices and smoke detectors.|
|Fire Protection discount||Having extinguishers or a sprinkler system can get you a discount.|
|Gated community/security discount||Extra security such as living in a gated community qualifies for an additional discount.|
Chubb: Best Homeowners Insurance For Flood-Prone Properties
Chubb is a name that most people recognize, especially in the Pennsylvania area.
This is one of the highest-rated insurance companies for homeowners who demand a good amount of coverage.
Amazingly, this includes matters involving floods—an increasingly costly and difficult-to-obtain choice.
Chubb might just be the best choice for flood-prone people.
It’s one of the only insurance companies to offer flood insurance as a complementary part of its coverage.
Chubb also offers their Masterpiece coverage for homeowners with valuable assets such as a home that is worth a lot.
It's considered some of the very best coverage you can get.
This is important because some insurance companies are actually not able to insure homes over a certain value.
|Traditional Insurance Style||Higher Premiums|
|High-Quality Customer Service|
|Flood Insurance Is Part Of Premium|
Chubb's Masterpiece policies not only offer extensive coverage but also offers an extensive list of discounts.
|Multi-policy discount||Save 10% for bundling homeowners and auto insurance. Get another 10% for purchasing additional cover for jewelry or valuables.|
|Superior protection discount||Qualify for up to 25% discount when you employ means and devices that maximize security and disaster prevention such as a CCTV system, motion detection, 24-hour security, perimeter gate, water leak detection, automatic water shutoff valve, etc.|
|Additional discounts for fire and security||Additional discounts for additional measures such as sprinkler system, living in a gated community, alarms routed to a central station, homes built with non-combustible materials, etc.|
|New construction or renovation discount||Get a discount if your home is 7 years old or younger or if it's been renovated in the last 6 years.|
|New home loyalty discount||A discount if you purchased insurance for a new home and had insured another home with Chubb for 3 years.|
|No-claims discount||If you haven't filed a claim in 3 years with Chubb get up to 105 off.|
State Farm: Best Homeowners Insurance For Bundling
State Farm doesn't score a perfect 10 when their customers have something to say but overall they have good customer service as well as decent quality of coverage.
With homeowners insurance, they also avoid having too many waivers in their basic packages.
What really sets them apart from others is their bundle discounts.
If you already use them for car insurance or insurance on specific items, then it’s a no-brainer.
You can save almost up to $1,000 a year. That's no small sum!
They do offer a unique bonus that is the full replacement cost of your roof with standard coverage--no extra deductible is required.
|Traditional Insurance Style||Higher Premiums Overall|
|Decent Quality Customer Service|
|Good Bundling Discounts|
Obviously since we've named State Farm as best for their bundling discount, this is certain a major discount offered by the insurance giant.
However, they do offer a few other discounts that might help save big.
|Bundlng discount||Save up to $965 dollars when you bundle home insurance with car insurance!|
|Home security discount||One or more home monitoring systems such as fire, smoke, or security can qualify you for a discount.|
Nationwide: Best Homeowners Insurance For Straightforward Coverage
Are you looking for all-around good coverage without too many bells and whistles?
If so, then you are going to appreciate Nationwide.
Everything about this insurance company is made to make your needs for basic coverage a cinch.
Nationwide is on your side when you don’t necessarily need anything too extreme, but still want a good deal. Besides, they have some pretty neat discounts.
|Traditional Insurance Style||Some Complaints About Disbursement|
|Easy Customer Service|
|Affordable to Average Pricing|
Nationwide offers a few of the popular discounts you might see being offered by other insurers.
|Bundling discount||Like with most other insurance companies you can find savings with Nationwide when you bundle policies.|
|New home purchase||This discount applies to policyholders who've purchase their home within the last 12 months.|
|Protective device||Discounts for devices such as smoke detectors, home security systems, fire alarms, etc.|
|New switch-over customers||This discount is available for new customers who have switched over from a different carrier.|
|Claims-free||Potential discounts for homeowners who have not previously filed a claim.|
|Gated community||Homeowners who live in a gated community with either security personnel, keycards, or other locking devices can get a discount.|
|Home renovation||Discounts for renovating your home's plumbing, heating and cooling system, electricals, etc.|
|Roofing material||Find savings based on your roof's age and surface material.|
Branch Financial: Best Newcomer Home Insurance Company
While Branch is not one of the typical national heavyweights we thought they were worth a mention. Similar to Lemonade, Branch uses tech and automation to save their policyholders money.
In fact, Branch's whole model and origin story have entirely to do with saving customers money and bring savings and community into the insurance game.
Branch is currently only offered in 13 states, Pennsylvania being one of them.
In many states, Branch is able to save members by underwriting and covering through their reciprocal insurance company called Branch Insurance Exchange.
Think of it as insurance coverage owned by the subscribers who pool their money together and is simply managed by Branch Insurance Exchange.
|Average homeowners who switch save a lot of money||Young company with little known about their claims track record.|
|Bundling and umbrella insurance options available|
|Strong financial rating and partnerships with housing industry entities|
|Very user-friendly site and app|
Branch was designed as a low cost insurance company. However, there are still additional ways to save/
|Bundling discount||Homeowners can bundle home and auto for savings.|
|ADT partnership discount||Savings of up to 29% is possible with installation of ADT along with homeowners, auto, or umbrella bundle.|
USAA: Best Homeowners Insurance For Veterans
If you are a member of the US Armed Forces, then you have a ton of options that other people might not—especially when it comes to homeownership.
USAA is one of the only companies out there that exclusively caters to people in the forces and their families.
Their rates are low, their customer service is legendary, and they have lightning-fast disbursement. You really can’t get better than that.
USAA Bank also offers financial services and insurance coverage to family members of veterans and active-duty members.
Just make sure that you have a USAA membership card if you’re a family member of a serviceperson who wants to share the wealth with you.
|Extremely low rates||Armed forces families ONLY|
|Good reviews from clients|
|Traditional coverage with in-person agents|
|Highly acclaimed customer service|
USAA has some classic discounts that can help members and families of the U.S. Armed Forces save.
|Bundling discount||Save when you also insure your car with USAA|
|Protective device discount||As with many other insurance companies, having smoke detectors and home security monitoring devices can qualify you for a discount.|
|Claims-free discount||Discounts are offered for policy purchasers who haven't filed a claim in 5 years.|
Erie Insurance: Best Home Insurance For High Customer Satisfaction
In most cases, homeowners tend to have at least one or two reasons to go for a national chain as far as their insurers go.
Most of the time, it’s because it’s a name they recognize particularly from advertising.
However, smaller companies shouldn’t be overlooked because they might also have a lot of value to add to a homeowner’s experience.
Erie Insurance is based out of Pennsylvania and that’s a good thing for Pennsylvanians.
It's true that Erie is now offered in over 10 states but oftentimes, it’s the local insurance companies that understand local needs best.
Their customer service, payouts, and rates are absolutely phenomenal.
|Traditional Insurance Style|
|Excellent Quality Customer Service|
Erie Insurance's stance is that they start from a place of savings but policyholders are offered high value compared to their competitors.
Nonetheless, Erie still has some discount programs designed to save their customers more money.
|Protective device installation||Customers can get credit for the installation of fire alarms, burglar alarms, or sprinkler systems.|
|Multiple policy discount||It's the usual discounts offered to customers who need more than one type insurance coverage.|
|Early bird discount||If you get a quote for a new policy 7-60 days before your old policy renews, you can qualify for a discount.|
Farmers Insurance: Best Home Insurance For Homeowners Who Want to Go Green
Farmers Insurance is another reputable national insurance company known for their excellent customer service and fast turnaround for claims processing.
However, they aren't known for the lowest premiums when it comes to insurance, especially in comparison to some other large competitors.
What you get in turn, is great coverage and access to knowledgeable local agents.
Farmers Insurance also knows how important it is to go green and offers a unique option.
For policyholders who've want to replace damaged areas of their home with new "green" or environmentally-friendly materials or appliances can receive up to $25,000 more in claims payouts.
It's a huge plus and makes sense for an insurance company to help combat climate change.
|Traditional Insurance Style||Some Complaints About Disbursement|
|Easy Customer Service||Slightly Above Average Price|
Some special perks few companies offer are "Claims Forgiveness", credit towards your deductible, and extra cosmetic coverage.
If you've been claim free with Farmers for 5 years, you won't get penalized for filing a claim.
Furthermore, for every year you renew your policy, Farmers credits $50 towards your deductible.
Lastly, standard with their coverage comes extra coverage for cosmetic damage when a policyholder files a claim for functional damage.
Farmers offers many different types of discounts that vary from region to region so, be sure to inquire exactly what discounts are available for our area.
Here's a list of a few of the standard discounts they offer.
|Claims-free discount||Get a discount for being claims-free for three or more years.|
|Multi-policy discount||Discounts for having multiple policies covered by Farmers. These include auto, umbrella, life, recreational, and business insurance.|
|Smoke-free discount||Qualify for a discount if no one in your household smokes.|
|Protective device discount||As with many other insurance companies, you can get discounts when you install protective devices such as fire/ burglar alarms, etc.|
How We Selected Our Homeowners Insurance Companies
Choosing the right company for homeowners insurance is rough, let me tell ya. We decided to take a look at the following issues.
A home that’s destroyed is not going to be an inconvenience. It’s a life-destroyer. When you have a major calamity, you do not have time to wait on a payout. You might not even have a place to live without money. Speed definitely a critical factor.
Handling of Claims
The whole purpose of a good insurance company is to ensure that you can rely on them when you need them. When you have an urgent incident that can traumatically affect your life you want to know that your insurance company is working hard for you. While investigating insurance fraud is a serious matter you also don't want to feel like your insurance company is scrutinizing every penny before they hand it over.
Customer service is a huge deal, too. We’ve all heard of bad customer service that involved a lot of arguments, begging, or awkward calls. Let’s try to avoid that, right?
Different companies are going to charge different rates for the same coverage. Don’t ask me why, but it’s a thing. With that said, we’re going to have to make sure that the price actually matches the coverage.
Finally, there’s the most obvious issue: client reviews. We want to make sure that people are happy using that service. Bad reviews are a clear sign something is wrong.
We've researched and compared the home insurance averages and data in Pennsylvania's largest cities such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Reading, and more.
Do You Need Homeowners Insurance?
If you have a mortgage, then the answer is generally yes.
If you don’t, you aren’t legally required to purchase insurance but it would be unwise not to have insurance coverage for your home.
Homeowners insurance is what pays for repairs when natural disasters occur, or when someone decides to drive their car right into your home, or when leaky pipes cause water damage.
As a matter of fact, even if you are a renter you should seriously consider getting renters insurance if you haven't purchased a policy already.
Your landlord is not obligated to compensate you for any damage or loss due to natural occurrences.
Important Insurance Coverage for Homes in Pennsylvania
Understanding the environment you live in is integral to getting the right coverage for your home.
Climate change is creating more scenarios in the Northeast that would increase the number of insurance claims being filed.
Pennsylvania is experiencing warmer and wetter weather over time according to Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection.
This means certain areas are now far more vulnerable to flooding.
Even if you don't live in a potential flood zone, it could also mean more instances of fallen trees, tornadoes, and power outages in your area.
Flood Insurance Should Be On Your Mind
Since the Northeast is now experiencing a lot more flooding, purchasing flood insurance should be a critical consideration for any homeowner in Pennsylvania.
Most standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage from floods, and only water damage cause by non-weather-related flooding.
Why Doesn’t Homeowners Insurance Typically Cover Floods?
Flooding is one of the most devastating things that can happen to your home, and unfortunately, it’s also one of the most common.
If you live in a flood zone, your home is a high liability to insurers since filing a claim might be inevitable.
So, in order to maintain affordability, most insurers opt-out of covering it.
If you need flood insurance, then you are going to have to buy it separately and specifically through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
What Is the National Flood Insurance Program?
The NFIP was set up by the Federal government in order to help American homeowners in flood-prone areas to purchase flood insurance.
If it were up to the private sector flood insurance would probably not be available and if it was, not at any kind of affordable rates.
Floods can cost an insurmountable amount of damage and the claim payouts can be high.
FEMA underwrites the flood insurance policies offered through the NFIP.
Why Do You Need Flood Insurance If FEMA Gives Grants For Damaged Homes?
Homeowners without flood insurance can apply for a FEMA grant post-flood incidents through the Individuals and Households Program (IHP), however, the payouts are small compared to what you might get with full flood and home insurance.
While a grant can be as much as over $30,000, the average grant payout is from $7,000-$8,000.
This is very small compared to the average national flood insurance claim according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), which was over $40,000 just a few years ago.
And depending on the year and the damage done, the average can go over $90,000.
If your home and property are damaged in a flood, $8,000 would be a drop in the bucket.
To put it in perspective, after Superstorm Sandy hit Pennsylvania the average payout from flood insurance was over $66,000 (that's basically double the maximum FEMA could grant you).
What Factors Go Into Homeowners Insurance Pricing?
The size and value of the home are the two biggest.
However, the area that you live in, your credit score, as well as the local environmental risks can all play key factors.
Below is a table of the most important considerations most insurance companies make when determining your total cost.
|Credit Score||In some states, insurers are allowed to use your credit score to complete an "insurance score". Others use it to determine if you'll pay your premiums on time.|
|Location||Where your home is is one of the top factors in determining price. It doesn't just have to do with climate but also the terrain, safety, and the average claims filed in that area.|
|Size of Your Home||The insurance companies not only look at the square footage but also the number of rooms/areas and types.|
|Your Home's Age and Last Renovations||Insurance companies want to know how old your home is and what condition the home and parts of your home are currently in. The owner of an older home would be more likely to file a claim.|
|Materials Your Home is Constructed With||High-quality materials used for your home's structure, foundation, and roof would mean a more solid construction and perhaps lower risk of claims being filed.|
|Deductibles||Deductibles directly affect your premium. The higher your out-of-pocket costs, the lower the premium.|
|Extra Coverage/Policies||Extra coverage means higher premiums.|
|Cost to Replace Vs. Cash Value||Cost to replace will result in a high premium but you would be able to rebuild your home in the case that it's destroyed versus cash value. Cash value will give you the cash value of your home plus depreciation.|
|Bundling||Bundling your home insurance with other policies like auto, boat, etc. can help you save money.|
|Usage||If you are operating a business out of your, depending on what it is, it can affect your premiums. Also, insurance for vacation homes are typically higher in cost.|
|Family Members/Pets||Liability coverage for the number of family members, children, and types of pets can affect your estimate.|
|Value of Your Possessions||Standard policies cover your possessions, however, if you have highly valuable possessions you should let the insurance company know you want cover or purchase extra insurance for them.|
|Discounts||Different insurance companies offer different types of discounts that can save you money. So, you'll need to check with each one. Some companies don't offer any discounts.|
Why Do Mortgage Lenders Require Homeowners Insurance?
Mortgage lenders and banks can legally require you to show proof of insurance coverage for your new home-to-be before closing on your home.
The reason lenders are allowed to do this is because they are making an investment into the property with you. There is a lot of risk they are buying into.
If the home is damaged or destroyed they need to ensure that you will be able to continue to pay your monthly mortgage payment and that they not interrupted because you're busy paying for repairs.
Secondly, because they hold a lien on your title, it's not in their best interest if the value of property goes down should they need to foreclose and sell the home.
If you stop paying for homeowners insurance while you still have a mortgage, then they may have the right to foreclose on your home or add penalties to your mortgage price.