Earthquakes, floods, fires, robberies, and vandalism — you may not want to believe it, but any and all of these things could happen to you. If you own a home or are looking to buy a new house or apartment, getting homeowners insurance to protect your dwelling, belongings, and even cover medical and legal fees in the event of an accident or other uncontrollable event is an essential step. But navigating the various insurance companies and coverage options can be tricky and complicated.
Is Homeowners Insurance Actually Necessary?
Given all of the paperwork and research it entails, you may be asking yourself if home insurance is even necessary. We’re here to tell you that getting home insurance is a definite yes, and we’ve created this guide to help you make the right choices. We all know that life happens, and no amount of caution or planning will help you prevent the unpreventable. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 1 out of every 20 homes will need to file a claim every year¹. Experiencing any kind of damage to your home is difficult enough, but it will be exponentially worse if you don’t have insurance. Don’t get caught in the worst of situations with the least coverage. It’s important to think ahead and make sure you are covered before it happens to you.
What are the Best Home Insurance Companies?
According to U.S. News, the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies of 2020 are Amica, Erie Insurance, Auto-Owners Insurance, Allstate, and USAA². But there are also other companies, like Travelers, Metlife, and Statefarm, which consistently rank well across the board. Let’s break down the results of 3 of the top homeowners insurance companies to see why.
According to one review, Amica is one of the best insurance companies because it has incredible customer service, and ranks well when it comes to the diversity of coverage options it offers, a helpful claims experience, and clearly outlined and organized billing³. The downside of Amica is that, compared to other insurance companies, it ranges on the more expensive side. Moreover, it is not available in every state.
If you are interested in finding the best discounts on homeowners insurance, you can count on Allstate to provide the best ways to save on insurance premiums. They are especially helpful if you want to bundle multiple types of insurance policies with them.
You may already be familiar with State Farm’s hilarious television commercials. Even if you decide not to go with this company, the commercials are well worth a quick search on Youtube. Not only does State Farm have great commercials, they also provide extensive coverage for homeowners insurance and are known for the user-friendly experience they provide. This includes giving their clients access to some of the best educational resources on insurance policies that you can find in the industry.
What does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Once you have decided on the company that is best for you, it is time to decide what exactly you need to get covered. Do you live in an area that is prone to flooding or earthquakes? Do you own valuable possessions that you need to make sure are protected in the policy? If so, you may need to customize your plan to fit your needs. The basic homeowners insurance plan generally only covers 3 things: the dwelling, personal property or possessions, and personal liability.
Damage to the interior or exterior of your house or any attached structures as caused by hurricanes, lightning, fire, vandalism, and any other disasters covered by your policy are included in the dwelling coverage clause. This means that the insurance company will pick up some of the cost of repairs needed to your home, depending on the square footage of your home and the extent of the damage.
Personal property coverage.
If the contents of your house, including furniture and electronics, are damaged or stolen, your insurance company may also be able to pay for some of the replacement costs. This type of coverage is called personal property coverage, and each insurance company will have a different policy or coverage limit that you will have to discuss with your representative.
Personal liability coverage.
Personal liability coverage is an underrated aspect of homeowners insurance. It may cover the cost of medical expenses, repair costs and legal fees resulting from accidental damage to someone else’s property. Depending on the policy, it may even cover the damage incurred by your belongings – such as a pet – on another person.
If you require greater coverage than what is offered by the basic plan, you can usually request specific add-ons. These additions vary by company and can include additional living expenses, earthquake insurance, other structures coverage, guest medical protection, and flood insurance, among others.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to get home insurance. Be sure to do your research on the different companies and the various types of coverage they offer until you find the one that is right for you. Protect yourself, your family, and your home with homeowners insurance before it is too late.
 Insurance Information Institute. “Facts + Statistics: Homeowners and Renters Insurance.” 2020. https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-homeowners-and-renters-insurance
 Jim Travers. “Best Homeowners Insurance Companies of 2020.” U.S. News, 4 October 2019. https://www.usnews.com/360-reviews/homeowners-insurance
 Pat Howard and Fabio Faschi. “The Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in 2020.” Policygenius, 6 January 2020. https://www.policygenius.com/homeowners-insurance/best-homeowners-insurance-companies/