The Best Homeowners Insurance in California

California homeowners have it made — beautiful beaches, bustling metropolitan areas and sunshine all year round. Nearly 40 million people live in the sunshine state, but the homeowners are few and far between. Data shows that only about 54.8% of California residents own a home — a much lower rate than the U.S. average of 63.9%.

Find the Best Home Insurance in California

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    In this article

      Owning a home in California isn’t cheap. In fact, California is often ranked among the most expensive states to live in. If you own a home in the Golden State, having a robust home insurance policy is important. But how do you find the best California home insurance company?

      To make the process easier, we reviewed California home insurance companies using the SimpleScore method, which looks at discounts, coverage options, customer satisfaction, support and website accessibility for the major providers. Keep reading to see which companies we recommend for California homeowners.

      [ Read: How to Find Cheap Homeowners Insurance ]

      The best home insurance in California

      Best for discounts – Amica

      Homeownership is expensive, but with an insurance policy from Amica, you can get comprehensive coverage that won’t break the bank.

      J.D. Power Rating
      5/5
      AM Best Rating
      A
      Standard & Poor’s
      N/A
      SimpleScore
      4 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore Amica 4
      Discounts 2
      Coverage 5
      Customer Satisfaction 5
      Support 4
      Accessibility 4

      Amica offers a variety of discounts that can help California homeowners lower their premiums. Bundling your home and auto insurance policy with Amica carries a discount of up to 20%. Most of the discounts are commonly found across the industry, but a majority of homeowners will be able to take advantage of at least one savings opportunity. In addition, Amica is one of the few insurance providers that offers dividend policies, which means you can get back up to 20% of your premiums each year.

      Best for retired homeowners – The Hartford

      If you’re retired and a member of AARP, a policy from The Hartford offers top-notch coverage and discounts.

      J.D. Power Rating
      4/5
      AM Best Rating
      A+
      Standard & Poor’s
      N/A
      SimpleScore
      3.8 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore The Hartford 3.8
      Discounts 3
      Coverage Options 5
      Customer Satisfaction 4
      Support 3
      Accessibility 4

      The Hartford is our top recommendation for retired homeowners in California. In order to get coverage from The Hartford, you must be a member of AARP, which is available for anyone over age 50. The Hartford offers a wide variety of coverages, including some unique options, like green rebuilding and assisted living care coverage. The company also offers discounts that can lower your premium, including special savings for homeowners who are retired or work less than 24 hours a week.

      Best for optional coverage – Allstate

      Everyone’s insurance needs are different, and with Allstate, you can build a policy that covers your specific concerns.

      J.D. Power Rating
      3/5
      AM Best Rating
      A+
      Standard & Poor’s
      AA-
      SimpleScore
      4.4 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore Allstate 4.4
      Discounts 4
      Coverage Options 5
      Customer Satisfaction 3
      Support 5
      Accessibility 5

      Allstate is a good choice for homeowners who want to customize their coverage with add-on policies. The company offers a variety of endorsements that fill gaps in standard home insurance coverage and provides higher coverage limits for things like valuables, musical instruments and sports equipment. However, you’ll still need to purchase separate policies for flood or earthquake coverage. Allstate doesn’t offer as many discounts as some other providers. However, the discounts they do offer come with significant savings between 5-20%.

      Best for earthquake insurance – AAA

      Every California homeowner should consider earthquake insurance, and AAA has one of the best policies.

      J.D. Power Rating
      4/5
      AM Best Rating
      A
      Standard & Poor’s
      N/A
      SimpleScore
      3.3 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore AAA 3.3
      Discounts 3
      Coverage Options 3
      Customer Satisfaction N/A
      Support 4
      Accessibility 3

      You probably know AAA from its popular roadside assistance program, but the company also sells a variety of insurance policies, including home insurance. AAA home insurance is relatively basic, with limited coverage options and discounts. However, AAA is our top choice for California homeowners who need earthquake insurance. AAA’s earthquake insurance policies include dwelling coverage, personal property coverage and loss of use coverage. The average policy costs $850 per year.

      Best for online resources – Mercury

      First-time home insurance buyers can use Mercury’s online resources to learn about available coverages and find the best policy for their needs.

      J.D. Power Rating
      N/A
      AM Best Rating
      A
      Standard & Poor’s
      AA-
      SimpleScore
      4.3 / 5.0
      close
      SimpleScore Mercury 4.3
      Disconts 3
      Coverage Options 4
      Customer Satisfaction N/A
      Support 5
      Accessibility 5

      Mercury Insurance is a local California insurance company. Its home insurance policies offer mostly basic coverage, with a few options for additional coverage. Mercury Insurance stands out for its online resources, which makes it a great option for first-time home insurance buyers. The website contains a glossary of common home insurance terms, detailed overviews of coverage, tips on protecting your home from earthquakes and wildfires, preparation quizzes and more.

      [ Read: How to Pick Your First Homeowners Insurance Policy ]

      Find the Best Home Insurance in California

      Save money on home insurance with our simple comparison tool.

      Matching you with providers.
      We found results in
      Click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.

        America’s top-rated home insurance

        • Policies starting at just $25/month
        • Sign up in seconds, claims paid in minutes
        • Zero hassle, zero paperwork

        Choosing your provider

        When choosing a home insurance provider, it’s a good idea to compare local and national carriers. Oftentimes, these companies differ in terms of price, coverage options and customer service. Here are the pros and cons of national and local insurance companies.

        Local carrier

        Pros 

        • Often has better customer service.
        • Agents understand risks in the area.
        • Claims handling is more efficient.

        Cons 

        • Policies can be more expensive.
        • Fewer digital tools, like online quotes and claims.

        National carrier

        Pros

        • Policies are usually cheaper than local providers.
        • More coverage options and discounts.
        • Many companies have online tools and a mobile app.

        Cons 

        • Customer service is not as good.
        • Claims handling can be slow.

        California minimum insurance requirements

        Home insurance is not legally required in California. But if you have a mortgage on your home, it’s likely that your lender will require you to buy home insurance before approving your loan. In any case, getting a homeowners insurance policy is always a smart investment. California homeowners should also consider a few additional policies.

        Flood insurance

        Flooding is not uncommon in California, especially in lowland coastal areas. Data suggests that one in five Californians are vulnerable to flood damage. Standard home insurance doesn’t cover floods, so you’ll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy or endorsement. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program, but some private providers sell their own policies.

        Earthquake insurance

        Earthquakes are a common occurrence in California, and residents are always prepared for “the big one” to strike at any moment. Standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover earthquake damage, which is why every California homeowner should consider earthquake insurance. Earthquake insurance usually includes dwelling, personal property and loss of use coverage. It’s available through many national insurance providers and some regional carriers.

        How much does home insurance cost in California?

        The average California homeowner pays $1,008 per year for home insurance, which is less than the national average rate of $1,211 per year. However, every homeowner pays a slightly different rate based on a number of factors. Your ZIP code, age, credit score, claims-history, the size of your home, the condition of your home, and your home’s value can affect your premium. If you purchase additional coverage, like flood or earthquake insurance, your rate will also increase.

        [ Read: The Average Cost of Home Insurance ]

        California homeowners insurance FAQs

        No, homeowners insurance is not legally required in California or any other state. However, having homeowners insurance is a good idea. Without it, you’re financially responsible for making home repairs, replacing personal items or even rebuilding your house out-of-pocket.

        Standard home insurance policies include dwelling coverage, personal property coverage, medical payments coverage, liability coverage and loss of use coverage. Homeowners in California should also consider purchasing flood and earthquake insurance to fill gaps in coverage. Most insurance companies also offer optional coverages, like identity theft insurance, water backup/sump pump overflow insurance and replacement cost coverage.

        There are many ways that California homeowners can save money on their insurance. First, make sure you’re taking advantage of discounts. Most insurance companies offer savings for being claims-free, paying your premium in full, having an anti-theft and fire alarm system and enrolling in automatic payments. Improving your credit score and raising your deductible can also lower your rate.

        We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the home insurance providers we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

        Methodology

        SimpleScore

        The SimpleScore is a proprietary scoring metric we use to objectively compare products and services at The Simple Dollar.
        For every review, our editorial team:

        • Identifies five measurable aspects to compare across each brand
        • Determines the rating criteria for each aspect score
        • Averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore

        Here’s a breakdown of the five aspect scores and their rating criteria for our reviews on home insurance.

        Why do some brands have different SimpleScores on different pages?

        To ensure the SimpleScore is as helpful and accurate as possible, we developed unique criteria for every category we compare at The Simple Dollar. Since most brands offer a variety of financial solutions, their products and services will score differently depending on what we’re scoring on a given page.

        However, it’s also possible for the same product from the same brand to have multiple SimpleScores. For instance, if we compare State Farm’s home insurance according to our criteria for the best home insurance, it scores a 3.8 out of 5. But when we compare State Farm according to the criteria for the best auto insurance, it scores higher, since the features the company offers can vary by the type of insurance.

        Discounts

        We looked at the number of discounts each company offers – more discounts mean a higher score.

        Coverage Options

        We awarded higher scores to the companies that offer more coverage options.

        Support

        We awarded higher scores to companies with the most channels for customer support.

        Customer Satisfaction

        We leveraged the J.D. Power 2019 Home Insurance Satisfaction Study℠ to see how customers rated their experience with each company. (If a company wasn’t included in J.D. Power’s study, we skipped this aspect and averaged the four remaining aspect scores.)

        Accessibility

        We looked at the level of accessibility of each company – the more resources they have the higher their score

        Elizabeth Rivelli

        Contributing Writer

        Elizabeth is a contributor to The Simple Dollar, where she reviews insurance providers and policies. She has more than three years of experience writing for top online insurance and finance publications, including Bankrate, Coverage.com and Reviews.com.

        Reviewed by

        • Nashalie Addarich
          Nashalie Addarich
          Insurance Editor

          Nasha Addarich is an editor at The Simple Dollar and a former attorney who specializes in home insurance, auto insurance, life insurance, and savings. She is a former contributing editor to Reviews.com.