Homeowners insurance can provide peace of mind by helping to protect your home and personal belongings if something unexpected happens. Of course, once you choose a policy, you may have it for a few years—or even longer—so it’s a good idea to compare your options and find the coverage you need at a price that fits your budget. To get you started, here are some tips for getting the best quotes on homeowners insurance.
- Homeowners insurance covers your home, personal belongings, and liability claims.
- The average homeowners insurance policy in the U.S. costs about $1,200 a year.
- You can get quotes online or by working directly with a home insurance agent.
- Plan on getting at least three quotes to make sure you find the best policy for your budget.
How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost?
Nationwide, the average premium for homeowners insurance is $1,211 a year, according to a report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Of course, your rate could be higher or lower than that average, depending on details about you and your home, including its location. Here’s a breakdown of the average homeowners insurance premium by state, based on data from the same report.
|Average Homeowners Insurance Premiums by State|
|District of Columbia||$1,284|
Which Variables Affect Homeowners Insurance Quotes?
Homeowners insurance quotes are specific to each applicant—there is no one-size-fits-all price. Instead, insurance companies look at a variety of personal and property-related factors to determine rates, including:
- The coverage limits and deductibles you pick
- The age, construction, and condition of the home
- The home’s replacement cost (not the same as what you paid for it)
- The home’s location (rates are higher in areas prone to natural disasters) and how close it is to a fire station (rates are typically lower if you’re close to a fire station)
- Local crime rates (rates may be higher in areas prone to burglaries)
- The breed(s) of dog(s) you have, if any
- If you have a home-based business
- If you recently remodeled or renovated the home
- Security features, such as smoke detectors and dead-bolt locks
- If the home has a wood-burning stove, swimming pool, or hot tub
- Your marital status, claims history, and credit history
As each insurance company takes a different approach to weigh these variables, quotes vary from one company to the next, even if the details about you and your home remain the same.
How to Get a Homeowners Insurance Quote
To make sure you get the best policy for your money, compare at least three quotes before making any decisions. For an apples-to-apples comparison, be sure each quote is based on similar coverage limits, deductibles, and endorsements.
When you’re ready to shop, you have a few options for getting homeowners insurance quotes:
- Request a homeowners insurance quote online or by phone
- Work with a captive insurance agent
- Work with an independent insurance agent or broker
Request a Homeowners Insurance Quote Online or by Phone
Many insurance companies offer a free online quote request form. Depending on the company, you may have to speak with an agent over the phone to finish the quote—or to clarify anything you don’t understand.
To save time and effort, you can get multiple offers at once using one of the home insurance comparison sites. Insurify and Policygenius are two of the more reputable sites that advertise real-time, accurate quotes.
Some online quotes are estimates that may not be as accurate as quotes you get from an agent or a broker.
Work With a Captive Insurance Agent
A captive insurance agent is one who represents a single insurance company, such as Amica Mutual, State Farm, or USAA. These agents can help you determine your coverage needs and explain your policy options, but your choices are limited to what that one company offers. If you don’t like or don’t qualify for that company’s products, the agent may not be able to provide any alternatives.
Still, as captive agents represent just one insurance company, they tend to know those products really well—something that not all independent agents and brokers can claim.
Work With an Independent Insurance Agent or a Broker
An independent insurance agent or a broker is a smart choice if you want more home insurance options. Because independent agents and brokers work with multiple insurance companies, they can present a wider range of policies from which to choose.
One thing to keep in mind is that independent agents and brokers can’t quote policies from insurance companies that only use captive agents. So just because you work with an independent agent or a broker doesn’t mean you will hear about all of your options.
How to Save on Homeowners Insurance
No matter what company and policy you choose, there are a few ways to make your premium more budget-friendly. Here are a few things to try:
- Raise your deductible—The higher your deductible, the lower your premiums (and vice versa).
- Bundle your policies—Most companies offer a discount if you combine your home and auto policies.
- Insure to rebuild, not to buy—The cost to rebuild your home is not the same as what you paid for it (the purchase price includes the value of the land). Base your coverage limits on rebuilding costs, as the land isn’t at risk from fire, theft, and the like.
- Ask about discounts—If you’re age 55 or older, retired, working from home, a nonsmoker, or a new homebuyer, you might be eligible for discounts. Likewise, you might get a price break if your home has certain safety devices (such as smoke detectors and dead-bolt locks) or if you have updates that make your home more resistant to disasters.
The Bottom Line
Getting the best quotes on homeowners insurance takes some work, but it could be well worth the effort, as you may have the policy for several years or even longer. Still, while price is an important consideration, it’s good to also focus on finding a dependable insurer that offers the right coverage for your home and rates well for customer service. That way, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you can count on your policy if you ever do need to make a claim.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "Dwelling Fire, Homeowners Owner-Occupied, and Homeowners Tenant and Condominium/Cooperative Unit Owner's Insurance Report: Data for 2017." Pages 35 to 136. Accessed Aug. 19, 2020.
Insurance.com. "16 factors that affect homeowners insurance premiums." Accessed Aug. 17, 2020.
Insurify.com. "Home Insurance Quotes Comparison." Accessed Aug. 21, 2020.
Policygenius.com. "Compare quotes and get home insurance right." Accessed Aug. 21, 2020.