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The best homeowners insurance in California (2021)

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California’s beautiful weather, nature sites and warm temperatures make it an ideal place for residents in Los Angeles, San Diego or anywhere in the state. However, the pleasant climate can come with disruptive natural disasters, potentially leaving you with damaged property or an unfit living space. To protect your home from these calamities, homeowners insurance policies are a must in the Golden State.

The Home Media team has reviewed the industry’s top providers, performing in-depth analysis and rating each company to help save you time during your search for the best homeowners insurance coverage.

Get a quote here or call 855-948-5219 to check prices from providers near you. To give you examples, we have listed sample premiums from each company. Our quotes are for a 1,400-square-foot single-family home in McKinleyville, Calif., with a value of around $250,000–$300,000.

Top homeowners insurance companies in California

1. Most accessible: Lemonade

2. Best overall: Allstate

3. Best for new homeowners: State Farm

4. Best coverage options: Nationwide

5. Best for military families: USAA

1. Most accessible: Lemonade

We found Lemonade to be the top homeowners insurance provider in California for the combination of affordable rates with low deductibles, comprehensive coverage, unique technological features and earthquake insurance add-on. Additionally, this company offers a swimming pool endorsement for only $9.75 extra a month.

Get a quote online to get check out what the company offers you based on your specific property details.

Pros

Cons

Artificial intelligence software for claims process

Last 4 digits of Social Security number required for quote

User-friendly mobile app for all policy needs

Only 5 years of experience in the insurance industry

Charitable donation program

Annual premium: $572.04 with a $1,000 deductible

Discounts: Home safety features, fire alarms, gated community, proximity to fire station and hydrants, building frame type

Additional coverage options: Unmarried significant other, water backup, swimming pool liability, specific coverage for high-value items including fine art, bikes, cameras and musical instruments

2. Best overall: Allstate

Allstate is our choice for best overall insurer across the nation for its comprehensive coverage, customer service availability, discounts and endorsement options. If you’re looking for generic coverage from a trusted provider, Allstate should be at the top of your list. Although the company’s online quote tool isn’t available for Californians, you can easily connect with local agents throughout the state to get a quote on your property.

Pros

Cons

Local agents available 24/7

Online quote tool not available in California

Included extra reimbursement for building structure

Separate deductible for wildfires

Liability coverage includes family members

Annual premium: $872 with a $1,500 deductible

Discounts: Loyalty, easy pay plan, responsible payment, claim-free history, protective devices, welcome discount for new customers, bundling with other policies

Additional coverage options: Building codes, roof surfaces extended coverage endorsement, water backup, green improvements, identity theft, jewelry, watches, furs

3. Best for new homeowners: State Farm

If you’re a new homeowner, State Farm is a great starting point, since it features helpful resources and educational elements throughout its online quote tool. When you get a quote from this insurer, you’re also connected with a local agent who helps answer your questions and manage your policy. Additionally, State Farm includes unique coverages for things like firearms, business property, silverware and fire department service fees if they’re dispatched to your home.

Pros

Cons

Sells earthquake coverage

Lowest deductible option is higher than the industry average of $2,000

Worthwhile bundling savings

Not many discount opportunities

Covers fire department service charge

Annual premium: $756 with a $2,500 deductible

Discounts: Claim-free history, roof type, security and fire alarm systems, multi-policy bundling with auto insurance

Additional coverage options: Earthquake protection, water backup, loss assessment for HOA charges, identity theft

4. Best coverage options: Nationwide

The extensive coverage options from Nationwide make it a top provider for California residents. An additional unique highlight from this provider is its smart-home program that offers premium discounts if you purchase a smart home monitoring system and set it up within 55 days of enrolling. This encourages homeowners to set up an in-home system that identifies potential issues like water leaks before they worsen.

Pros

Cons

Includes inflation protection

Separate deductible for personal property claims

Extensive list of add-ons

Customer service can be difficult to reach

Unique smart home discount

Fewer discounts

Annual premium: $1,088.46 with a $1,000 deductible

Discounts: Protective devices, construction or renovation age, claim free history, bundling

Additional coverage options: Replacement cost for personal property, tools, loss assessment, identity theft protection, water backup, building ordinance, better roof replacement, equipment breakdown, service line, landlord furnishings increased coverage for homeowners that have tenants

5. Best for military families: USAA

According to a study on active-duty service members by state in 2017 by state government research publication Governing, California had the highest population of U.S. military employees in the country at 184,540. Each of those members and their families can qualify for a membership with USAA and receive access to financial services including homeowners insurance, car insurance, banking, renters insurance and loan services. The company’s homeowners insurance policies are among the best in the country.

Getting a quote requires setting up an eligible membership and providing personal information. If you don’t qualify or don’t want to deal with the hassle, you can use this tool or call 855-948-5219 to find other providers in your area.

Pros

Cons

Features affordable rates for members

Fewer discounts

Membership comes with unique benefits

Only available for service members and their families

Offers additional coverage for earthquakes

Annual premium: Depends on personal information and eligibility — membership is required

Discounts: Auto insurance policy bundling, payment history, weather-resistant roofing, new building or renovations, home protection devices

Additional coverage options: Earthquake insurance, military uniform replacement, identity theft, flood insurance, increased coverage limits for personal property and dwelling

The bottom line

Our top recommendation in California is Lemonade. It offers the lowest premiums in the state based on the sample quotes we received, a helpful mobile app with an AI function that can make instant decisions on claims and an earthquake insurance endorsement for those that want extra protection.

To get a quote from Lemonade, visit the website and click through the easy sign-up tool. We also suggest getting a few quotes from other providers to compare what’s offered on your specific property. Fill out this form or call 855-948-5219 to find companies that serve your ZIP Code.

Things to consider about California home insurance

Although the weather in most of California is beautiful year-round and attractive for many residents, the state can experience damaging natural disasters. Wildfires and earthquakes are important to consider when looking for a homeowners insurance policy in the Golden State. Luckily, wildfires are typically included in your policy, but earthquakes require extra coverage.

To make sure your house is protected from damaging earthquakes, speak to your agent about your endorsement options. In many cases, your insurance provider will sell underwritten policies from the California Earthquake Authority (CEA). This organization has detailed resources online for what’s typically covered under an earthquake insurance policy. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Earthquake dwelling coverage limits reflect the same amount from your regular home insurance policy

  • Deductibles fall between 5% and 25% of dwelling coverage

  • Typical exclusions include pools, masonry and other structures like fences or storage sheds

  • Personal property limits can fall between $5,000 and $200,000

  • Loss of use or additional living expenses between $1,500 and $100,000 are included with no deductible

Earthquake insurance policies are a worthwhile consideration alongside homeowners insurance for many California residents. In fact, according to the California Department of Insurance (CDI), more than 11.9 million residents purchased earthquake insurance on their house, condo, mobile home or rental unit in 2019.

Frequently asked questions

How do I know if I need home insurance?

You may need to purchase a homeowners insurance policy on your property if you have a mortgage. Many lenders expect borrowers to have a policy with certain minimums for coverage limits to be sure that the home doesn’t lose value in the event of an unexpected peril. Even if a policy isn’t required, it can still be a smart investment to protect you from property damage and loss.

Does homeowners insurance cover earthquakes?

Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover earthquakes under a standard policy. However, many California home insurance companies offer extra coverage as an add-on to your policy.

Does homeowners insurance cover wildfires?

Wildfires are typically covered under your homeowners insurance as standard policies include damage to your building or personal property from fires in your home. Some policies may have a specific deductible for wildfires or separate coverage amounts, so be sure to check over the details after getting a quote to verify your protection.

How much does home insurance in California cost?

During our research, we received sample quotes from many companies that offer homeowners insurance in California. We found that average insurance costs in the state are typically around $800–$1,100 a year.

Our methodology

The Home Media team at MarketWatch surveyed dozens of home insurance providers and created a scoring system to judge each company’s quality and service. We reached out for sample quotes, both over the phone and on the internet, to simulate a real customer experience. Here are the factors accounted for in our provider reviews:

  • Coverage (20%)

  • Customer service (15%)

  • Technology (15%)

  • Reputation (15%)

  • Additional benefits (15%)

  • Cost (20%)

Companies with the best customer service exhibit 24/7 availability, educational resources on their website, useful digital tools and a seamless claims-filing process. To score reputation, we compared data from each company’s Better Business Bureau page, customer reviews, registered complaints and years of experience.

Additionally, we dug into specific quotes and policy details to determine the value that each company offers in coverage, cost and additional benefits. Providers that offer extensive discount options, endorsements, customizable coverage options and unique features score significantly higher than those that don’t, putting them toward the top of our recommendations to readers.

Source: on 2021-04-21 10:37:30

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