Best Homeowners Insurance Companies of 2024

1. Determine how much insurance coverage you need. To estimate the coverage you need, take a home inventory. A home inventory is a detailed account of all of your personal property, both inside and outside your home. Calculate the cost of rebuilding your home after a disaster. Ask a real estate agent for building costs in your area. Determine if you need additional coverage for earthquakes, floods, or a high-risk item, like a swimming pool.

If you have trouble determining how much home insurance you need, the Insurance Information Institute (III) can help walk you through the process, as can a licensed insurance agent or real estate agent.

2. Decide if you want replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage. When buying a policy, you’ll likely have the option to select how you’re reimbursed should you make a claim. 

Replacement cost policies issue claim payments without factoring in depreciation. For instance, if your home is damaged in a fire and must be rebuilt, your policy would cover the costs of materials that are similar in quality, even if the price of materials has increased since your home was built

Actual cash value policies issue payments based on the depreciated value of the damaged item. Using the same example as above, your insurer would reimburse you for the cost of materials minus depreciation, which may be less than the actual costs of rebuilding your home.

As a result, most insurance experts recommend a replacement cost policy, even though premiums are somewhat higher.

3. Narrow your search to several home insurance providers. As you review your options, it’s helpful to factor in:

  • Coverage types and features
  • Policy management options (e.g, online, mobile app, agent)
  • Additional types of coverage you may need, such as auto insurance
  • Professional and consumer reviews 

Considering these things up front can help you eliminate companies that don’t meet your specific needs.

4. Gather quotes. Once you have chosen a few companies, use the estimate tool on their websites to get an idea of how much it will cost for the coverage you need. It can be helpful to talk to an agent in person or over the phone at this point for additional help. Get quotes from several companies, but be sure to compare policies that offer similar coverages. 

5. Contact the company and begin the application process. As mentioned in the previous step, how you contact the company will vary.

Some home insurance companies may require a home inspection to confirm the condition of your home and ensure you have adequate coverage. If a home inspection is required, the insurance company will send an inspector to your home.

Due to COVID-19, many insurance companies have updated their inspection process to follow safety precautions, including wearing PPE and social distancing. Some inspections will not require you to be present because the inspector only will focus on the exterior of your home, including the roof, and any potential hazards in your yard that could cause damage to your home in the case of a severe storm.

However, some companies are still completing interior inspections, focusing on the condition of your home’s electrical systems, ventilation, fireplace, plumbing, heating, and air conditioning systems. When purchasing home insurance, check the requirements of the insurer you are considering to determine their home inspection practices.