Best cheap homeowners insurance in Oakland

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In the last five years, Oakland median home prices have shot up from $625,000 to $900,000. While this is good news to homeowners looking to sell, new home buyers paying the higher prices may feel the squeeze in their monthly budget. They have more to worry about than a mortgage — property taxes and home insurance are other home-related expenses. Home insurance rates in Oakland are $1,021 per year on average for a $250,000 dwelling. While this is lower than the national average of $1,312, some homeowners may still find it hard to afford.

Fortunately, there are cheap home insurance providers in Oakland that beat the city average by nearly half. And if homebuyers know what discounts to take advantage of, the monthly home insurance bill should be a little less painful.

Best cheap home insurance companies Oakland

The following five carriers made Bankrate’s shortlist of best and cheapest homeowners insurance in Oakland. We reviewed coverage offerings and rates from the best home insurance companies in the area. After examining customer ratings from the J.D. Power home study and other sources, the top five carriers for the cheapest home insurance in Oakland are:

Home insurance company Average annual premium for $250K dwelling J.D. Power score
Mercury $588 NR
Travelers $632 803/1,000
USAA* $653 889/1,000
State Farm $712 829/1,000
Progressive $712 797/1,000

*USAA is not eligible for official ranking with J.D. Power due to eligibility restrictions

Mercury

Mercury Insurance is the cheapest carrier in Oakland, with average annual premiums that are almost half the city average. Mercury did not rank in the J.D. Power home insurance study, which takes policyholder reviews into account. It is likely the carrier is too small and regional compared to the national carriers to have made the list. However, the NAIC complaint database shows that Mercury Insurance had only three complaints last year. Based on the available information, it is safe to say that Mercury provides cheap home insurance and reliable customer service to Oakland homeowners.

Travelers

Travelers home insurance has a great digital presence, with a user-friendly app and easy-to-navigate website. New homeowners would appreciate Travelers Insurance’s online knowledgebase and tutorials about insurance. In addition, Travelers has unique special coverages you may not find from other cheap carriers, such as green home coverage. The option means you may replace lost or damaged systems, materials or items with energy-efficient or eco-friendly versions.

USAA

Despite the fact that USAA insurance is only available to individuals and relatives affiliated with the military, USAA still receives high marks in J.D. Power’s annual home insurance study. Respondents appreciate the carrier’s speed in handling claims and the extras that are included for free with an HO-3 policy, such as replacement cost and identity theft protection. USAA does not have physical offices or agents, but you can get coverage and handle your insurance needs over the phone, through the mobile app or on the USAA website.

State Farm

State Farm probably ranks high in Oakland due to its network of local agents and offices. Unlike the other carriers on the list, State Farm agents are not independent agents that sell a variety of carriers. They work for State Farm exclusively. Besides the local presence, State Farm aims to be innovative when it comes to home insurance. Residents in California can receive a free Ting device, which is a smart plug-in sensor that can detect an electrical fire before it starts and alerts you of the issue.

Progressive

Progressive and State Farm both tie in price based on average annual premiums in Oakland. However, State Farm has a higher customer rating than Progressive. But it is still worth getting a quote from Progressive. You may get a better rate than the average, based on the many factors insurance companies take into account to price home insurance. You could save time when comparison shopping by using Progressive’s Homequote Explorer tool. It will provide you with a quote from Progressive, as well as from several other carriers to compare.

Oakland home insurance considerations

Home insurance is not mandatory unless you financed your home, but it is a wise way to protect your investment. The annual cost of home insurance is far more affordable than paying to rebuild a home. A standard home insurance policy covers you for a number of perils including windstorms, theft and fire. However, two of the most serious perils are not included — earthquakes and flood insurance. You would need to purchase both coverages as extras.

Other optional coverages you may want to consider are:

  • Extended replacement cost: Extended replacement cost automatically increases your dwelling limit in case costs to rebuild are higher than you expected.
  • Green rebuild: If you need to rebuild, repair or replace items after a covered loss, having green rebuild coverage allows you to use more eco-friendly, efficient materials.
  • Personal property rider: An HO-3 has limits on how much it will cover for items such as jewelry or clothing. If you have designer clothing or jewelry valued at over $1,000, a personal property rider insures the items for their full value.

Home insurance discounts in Oakland

Most carriers have potential discounts for early payments, safety features or homeowners with no previous claims. Once you find cheap home insurance Oakland coverage, you could still save more by asking the carrier for discounts that apply to your situation. Consider:

  • New construction discount: Upgrading your home with newer electrical, plumbing or a new roof, or buying a newer-home may earn you a discount.
  • Claims free: Homeowners with no history of home insurance claims may be able to save money on their premiums.
  • Multiline: Adding auto insurance to your homeowners policy may help you save on both your premiums. Some carriers may even allow you to share the same deductible if you have a claim for both.

The multiline discount may be the most significant of the three. However, you may be able to stack discounts for a larger reduction by qualifying for as many as possible.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best home insurance company?

The best home insurance company depends on whether you are in search of the cheapest home insurance or a carrier with special coverages. It also depends on a variety of personal rating factors like your location, claims history and size of your home. Shop around to compare quotes, available discounts, available coverages and customer satisfaction ratings in order to find the best home insurance company for you.

How much does home insurance in Oakland cost?

Home insurance Oakland rates average $1,021 per year for $250,000 in dwelling coverage. The city’s rates are lower than the national average of $1,312.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on 40-year-old male and female homeowners with a clean claim history, good credit and the following coverage limits:

  • Coverage A, Dwelling: $250,000
  • Coverage B, Other Structures: $25,000
  • Coverage C, Personal Property: $125,000
  • Coverage D, Loss of Use: $50,000
  • Coverage E, Liability: $300,000
  • Coverage F, Medical Payments: $1,000

The homeowners also have a $1,000 deductible and a separate wind and hail deductible (if required).

These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes will differ.

Written by
Cynthia Paez Bowman
Personal Finance Contributor
Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance and business journalist who has been featured in Bankrate, Business Jet Traveler, MSN, CheatSheet.com, Freshome.com and TheSimpleDollar.com. She regularly travels to Africa and the Middle East to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development and works with select startups and women-owned businesses to provide growth and visibility.
Edited by
Insurance Editor