- California homeowners pay 22% less for home insurance than homeowners nationwide, on average.
- USAA and Allstate have some of the cheapest premiums on our list, with both companies below $700 per year.
- For California homeowners, purchasing additional coverage for flood and earthquake damage may be especially useful.
How Bankrate chose the best homeowners insurance in California
California residents have multiple insurers to choose from, several of which offer more affordable premiums for homeowners insurance than the state average. To help you find the best home insurance company for you, we calculated a Bankrate Score to analyze each company across several categories. The rating sections include average annual premiums from Quadrant Information Services, available coverage, discounts and policy features. We also reviewed 2021 J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings to indicate how satisfied customers are with their company’s service and AM Best ratings to assess financial stability. The higher a company ranked in each category, the higher its overall Bankrate Score. The highest score was 5.0 out of 5.0.
Best home insurance companies in California
Our research revealed that five carriers are among the best for home insurance in the Golden State. If you’re shopping for home insurance in California, you may want to consider these companies:
|Company||Bankrate Score||Average annual premium*||J.D. Power score||AM Best rating|
*Rates are for annual policies with $250,000 in dwelling coverage
**Not officially ranked by J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions
We have confirmed that these carriers are currently writing homeowners insurance policies in California. However, coverage may be limited to certain areas of the state or homes with certain damage-mitigation features.
USAA earned 882 out of 1,000 points with J.D. Power for overall satisfaction. However, because it is only available for members of the military and their immediate families, it is not eligible for official rankings by J.D. Power. For those eligible to become USAA members, the company is often one of the most affordable. It also has unique options beneficial to military members, like coverage for uniforms damaged in a covered loss.
Learn more: USAA Insurance review
State Farm earned 835 out of 1,000 points from J.D. Power for overall satisfaction and several other categories, including policy offerings, billing and interaction. State Farm is the largest home insurance carrier in the U.S., so homeowners looking for an established company with a local agency presence might enjoy this carrier. However, compared to other carriers, State Farm may have fewer discount opportunities for home insurance.
Learn more: State Farm Insurance review
Auto-Owners — which sells auto, home, life and other insurance products in 26 states — might be best for homeowners looking for a long list of discounts. You might be able to save on your premium with a water shut-off system discount, a mortgage-free discount or an automatic backup generator discount. In addition to its extensive list of savings, Auto-Owners also earned an above-average J.D. Power score and has a Superior AM Best financial strength rating. Coverage is sold through a network of local independent agents. However, Auto-Owners isn’t available nationally, so if you move out of state and want to keep the same insurance company, you may have to switch carriers.
Learn more: Auto-Owners Insurance review
Nationwide offers several endorsements, including the unique Better Roof Replacement option. If you qualify and add this option to your policy, you’ll have robust coverage for roof damage. If your roof is damaged in a covered loss, Nationwide may pay to replace your roof with stronger, safer materials. Additionally, the company may help California homeowners obtain earthquake and flood insurance. However, the company does have a lower-than-average J.D. Power customer satisfaction score.
Learn more: Nationwide Insurance review
Allstate offers a list of coverage options for homeowners in California. From the standard coverage options like dwelling coverage, liability protection, personal property and guest medical protection to the not-so-common options like flood insurance coverage and yard and garden coverage, Allstate offers plenty of coverage types to meet your needs. While Allstate performed well in a number of categories, its complaint score in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Complaint Index indicated that it received more complaints than the expected baseline.
Learn more: Allstate Insurance review
How much is homeowners insurance in California?
The average cost of homeowners insurance in California for $250,000 in dwelling coverage is $1,084 per year. Although this is below the national average cost of homeowners insurance of $1,383 per year, the insurance premium for every home may be higher or lower than both of these averages depending on the home’s size, age and location, coverage options, and other individual rating factors.
Common causes of claims in California
When purchasing property insurance in California, it helps to know more than just the average cost of homeowners insurance. Given the hazards posed by natural disasters and other geographical risks, homeowners in California have unique considerations for ensuring their home insurance protects what could be their largest asset.
California is a large state, and every region faces different risks. However, some causes of loss are common throughout the state. These include:
- Fire and lightning: Fire is a major concern for California residents, even for those who don’t live in designated wildfire zones. Lightning strikes can quickly escalate to fire hazards, as seen in the August Complex fire that burned over 1 million acres in 2020, according to Cal Fire. Ensuring that your dwelling coverage is enough to cover the reconstruction costs of your home in the event of a fire loss is crucial.
- Earthquake: Many active fault lines run through California, but earthquake coverage is excluded from most standard homeowners policies. Because of this, the risk of earthquakes does not impact home insurance rates. However, knowing your home’s level of risk could help you prepare an emergency plan.
- Theft: In 2020 alone, California’s Department of Justice recorded 145,377 instances of burglary and 527,748 instances of larceny. Crime rates in each ZIP code affect the homeowners insurance rates of each neighborhood, another reason why individual homeowners insurance quotes vary from the state and national average. It can also help to review your personal property coverage in your homeowners policy to ensure it is enough to replace your belongings.
Home insurance coverage options in California
In a state prone to wildfires, mudslides and earthquakes, asking insurance companies specific questions about what your policy does and does not include is important. For instance, even though California is prone to earthquakes, home insurance companies do not typically include coverage for such incidents. Due to common natural disasters, many insurance experts recommend these coverage types for California homeowners:
- Earthquake coverage: Due to its position along the San Andreas Fault, California is one of the most earthquake-prone states in the country. You can usually purchase California earthquake coverage as a separate policy. Some private insurers sell coverage, but many recommend that you get a policy from the California Earthquake Authority.
- Flood insurance: California is considered a flood-prone state due to its valleys and coastal land areas. However, most homeowners insurance policies will not include damage caused by floods. Instead, flood insurance can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and some private flood insurers.
- Fire insurance: Although coverage for some fires is included in basic homeowners insurance policies, Californians are at an increased risk because of the high probability of wildfires. If you live in an area where finding home insurance coverage is difficult because of the involved risk, you may consider purchasing a separate policy like the FAIR Plan. California FAIR Plan (CFP) recommends only getting coverage through its association as a last resort, but it could offer fire insurance for your home.
- Scheduled personal property: If you own high-value items, like artwork or jewelry, these may not be fully covered by the personal property coverage on your homeowners policy. Some solutions can be to increase your personal property coverage or purchase a scheduled personal property endorsement as additional coverage. Because each insurance company may have different guidelines in how it approaches expensive belongings, it can help to speak to an insurance agent to see what the best solution is for you.
Frequently asked questions
- What you need to know about wildfire insurance in California
- California flood insurance
- Best renters insurance in California
- First-time home buyers insurance
- Earthquake insurance
- How to protect your home from wildfires
- High-value home insurance
- Largest home insurance companies