Those who live in Idaho know it’s a great state to be in, and one of the things that makes it great is the low cost of Idaho home insurance, which averages $730 annually compared to a national average of $1,211. Nearly 70% of Idahoans are homeowners, leading to $2.8 billion in insurance premiums each year and $1.8 billion in claims.
Although Idaho homeowners insurance is not mandated by law, if you have a mortgage on your home then your lender will probably require it.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you shop for the best Idaho homeowners insurance:
- Think carefully about your deductible. A higher deductible means lower premium payments, but if it’s an amount you’d be hard pressed to come up with following a claim, then you should probably pick a lower one.
- Most national insurance companies will give you an online quote for your home, but it’s worth it to follow up with a call to a local agent who has knowledge of your region and may find discounts for you that the quote tool missed.
- When determining how much insurance you need, it’s better to look at what it would cost to rebuild your home rather than its market value, which may be considerably less, especially for older houses.
- Don’t discount smaller, regional insurers. When shopping around, it can pay to talk to them—often they have policies that are tailor-made for your region.
The top home insurance in companies in Idaho
To find the best homeowners insurance companies in Idaho, we looked first at those who are writing the most policies in the state. These companies have agents with the most feet-on-the-ground knowledge of Idaho weather and other perils.
We looked at consumer ratings organizations such as J.D. Power and the Better Business Bureau to find out how customers felt about the companies, and also explored AM Best to get a sense of how financially stable each company is.
Lastly, we looked at the company websites to see who was making it easiest for its customers to handle their insurance business, and gave bonus points to those who offer ways to learn more about the complexities of the insurance world.
- State Farm: Not only is State Farm the largest insurer in the U.S., but it also writes more policies in Idaho than anyone else, with more than 15% of the market. The company comes in fourth place in J.D. Powers Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking and is highly rated by AM Best, which assesses the financial stability of insurers. State Farm also has an excellent website. It’s easy to get an online quote, pay your bills and manage your policy, and the company’s Simple Insights blog is worth looking at even if you don’t buy your policy from them. State Farm offers a variety of home and property, life, health and vehicle policies.
- Allstate: Another of Idaho’s top insurers, Allstate scores well for customer service with organizations like the BBB and Consumer Reports. Allstate’s discounts are second to none, and can save you a significant amount of money on your premium, especially if you bundle homeowner and auto insurance. Like State Farm, Allstate has a user-friendly website that makes it easy to handle your insurance tasks online. The company has an extensive list of insurance types: in addition to homeowners insurance, they offer renters, condo, auto, motorcycle, business, life, pet and more.
- Farm Bureau Mutual: With headquarters in Pocatello, Farm Bureau Mutual of Idaho knows the state well. The company prides itself on personal, hands-on service, so if you’d like to be able to develop a relationship with an agent, it’s a good option. As a regional insurer, it’s not rated by J.D. Power and Consumer Reports, but AM Best gives it an A, so you know the company can pay out on claims even after a regional disaster. An A+ from the BBB indicates that it takes customer service seriously. The Farm Bureau website isn’t as comprehensive as some of the larger companies, but you can pay your bill or file a claim online. Farm Bureau also offers auto, motorcycle, RV, renters, life, umbrella, business and crop insurance.
- Liberty Mutual: Although Liberty Mutual writes more policies in Idaho than anyone other than State Farm, it rates a little lower with agencies that look at customer service, earning a 792 from J.D. Power. That’s not a terrible score, but it does indicate that you should be prepared to do a little more work when you are interacting with agents and customer service reps. The company offers standard discounts, such as a multiple policy discount, and amendments such as water backup, sump pump overflow and inflation protection—which is not common, but nice to have. In addition to Idaho home insurance, the company offers auto, renters and condo coverage.
- Farmers: Farmers scores in the middle of the pack in just about every ranking we reviewed. Its customer service is rated middle of the road and its financial stability is also good—even if it’s not as high as the others on our list. Farmers has a nice website, with a mobile app that can help you manage your policies quickly and conveniently, and it offers three levels of homeowners insurance: standard, enhanced and premier, depending on where you are financially and what level of coverage you’d like. In addition to home insurance, it sells policies for auto, life, business, recreational, motorcycle, umbrella, pet and renters.
|J.D. Power||Better Business Bureau||Insurance Information Institute (state ranking)||AM Best||Consumer Reports Reader Score|
|State Farm||831||A+||1st place||A++||85|
|Farm Bureau Mutual||NA||A+||4th place||A||NA|
|Liberty Mutual||792||A||2nd place||A||81|
Average homeowners insurance cost in Idaho
The average homeowners insurance premium cost in Idaho is a low $730, which ranks the state 49th in the nation.
|State||Average premium||National rank|
Although every insurer has its own proprietary formula for determining premiums, in general, Idaho ranks low across the board in premium cost. This is largely because the state is not prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes. States that rank high on the premium list are those such as Louisiana where hurricanes and other disasters happen regularly.
Sample coverage for a home in Boise with a market value of $275,000, an estimated cost to rebuild of $300,000, a $1,500 deductible and $300,000 in personal liability ranged from below the state average to a high of over $1,300:
|Farm Bureau Mutual||Farm Bureau Mutual doesn’t offer online quotes|
|Liberty Mutual||Social Security Number required to get a quote|
Home insurance coverage options in Idaho
Your policy contains several specific types of coverage. Some of these come standard with most basic policies, others are optional add-ons, or amendments, that you can purchase for an additional cost.
- Dwelling coverage: Sometimes called hazard insurance, this covers damage to the house itself, and may extend to structures attached to it, such as a garage or deck.
- Other structures protection: This covers detached garages, tool sheds, fences, gazebos and other detached structures, and may be optional.
- Personal property protection: This covers damage to your belongings, from couches to curtains to clothes. If you own items of particular value, such as jewelry or electronics, you may want to purchase an amendment to cover the higher value of these items.
- Liability: If someone is injured at your home, such as from falling down a flight of stairs, this type of insurance would cover their medical expenses.
- Additional living expenses: If your home is damaged in a named peril and you are unable to live there while it’s being repaired, this coverage will pay for hotels and food costs.
- Flood insurance: Coverage for water damage from flooding is not covered in basic HO-3 (the most common type) policies. Your insurer may offer you the opportunity to purchase additional flood insurance, which is managed by FEMA and underwritten by the federal government.
Common causes of home insurance losses in Idaho
As we mentioned before, Idaho is not known for the sort of disasters that make homeowners insurance so expensive in other states. However, that doesn’t mean the state is without its dangers. Idaho is one of the top ten states at high to extreme risk of wildfires. Fires are covered in most basic policies, but you’ll want to consider full replacement coverage in your policy to ensure that you’d be able to rebuild if your home is destroyed by fire.
Idaho, especially the northern areas, also sees its share of severe winter weather. This can lead to insurance claims for hail or snow damage to your roof or gutters; in the spring, snow melt may cause flooding problems. Even if you’re not near a large body of water, it’s a good idea to check out FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center to see if your home is in a flood zone. If it is, or if you have any concerns about flooding, ask your agent about the National Flood Insurance Program, which offers coverage for up to $275,000.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best homeowners insurance in Idaho?
There’s no one Idaho homeowners insurance company that offers the best coverage for everyone. Your best bet in finding the policy that is most suited to your needs is to do some research online, and then talk to several agents until you’ve found one who will work with you to provide customized coverage at a price you can handle.
How do I get homeowners insurance in Idaho?
Purchasing a policy for your home is simple. You’ll need to provide some personal information, as well as information on your home, such as its age, condition and other data. Getting an online quote generally takes only 5-10 minutes, and is a great first step.
Do I need flood insurance for my Idaho home?
Maybe. Even though Idaho is a landlocked state, if your home is near a lake, creek or other smaller body of water, you could be at risk of flooding, especially during times of spring snowmelt. Your agent can help you decide if it’s a worthwhile expense for you.
How can I get cheap homeowners insurance in Idaho?
Most Idaho homeowners insurance companies feature discounts, which can dramatically lower your premium costs. Common discounts include electronic pay, bundled policies and safety features such as smoke detectors.