Best cheap homeowners insurance in San Francisco

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Owning a house in San Francisco is not a mean feat. Only 38% of the 874,961 people in the Golden City reside in their own houses, far lower than the national average of 64%. By 2030, San Francisco’s population is expected to reach one million people. Property prices are estimated to keep surging, making it harder to buy or maintain a house. And because of the low number of homeowners in the city, the cost of home insurance in San Francisco is much cheaper than the national average of $1,312. For a dwelling coverage limit of $250,000, the average annual cost of home insurance is only $982. Being insured is a wise choice as a homeowner, not only for covering your most expensive investment against unforeseen catastrophes but also for protecting your life’s savings from being drained in the event of a disaster.

Best cheap home insurance companies San Francisco

As the fourth largest city in California, San Francisco has an abundance of home insurance companies, but not all of them are cheap. Whether you are a new homeowner with no prior insurance or simply looking to switch providers, the following are the top five cheapest insurance companies in San Francisco based on pricing, coverage and discounts, customer service and third-party ratings.

Home insurance company Average annual premium for $250K dwelling J.D. Power score
Mercury $521 N/A
USAA* $572 889/1,000
State Farm $572 829/1,000
Travelers $661 803/1,000
Progressive $664 809/1,000

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

Mercury

The lowest home insurance rates in San Francisco come from Mercury, the national insurer known for its affordability and high customer satisfaction. Rates begin at only $521 a year, and aside from the basic dwelling, liability and personal property coverages, Mercury also has a large selection of add-ons, including extended replacement cost and identity theft protection. Some of the discounts offered are for policy bundling, a newly built house, safety features such as burglar and smoke alarms and living in a gated community. Mercury has a financial strength rating of A from AM Best, and has local agents all across the country. One of the downsides, though, is the lack of ability to file online claims. To submit a claim, you need to call the 24/7 customer service helpline.

USAA

If you are an active or retired member of the armed forces, USAA has the best home insurance policies for military families. Highly rated over the years for customer service, affordability and financial strength, USAA’s standard home insurance policy costs an average of $572 per year in San Francisco, and there are attractive add-ons such as home sharing coverage, earthquake insurance and valuable property coverage. Some of the discounts include military deployment, policy bundling, safe home and annual premiums paid in full.

State Farm

With 19,000 local agents all across the country and 18% market share, State Farm is not only the largest insurer in the U.S. but also one of the cheapest in San Francisco, with prices starting at only $572 per year for $250,000 in dwelling coverage. In addition to basic dwelling, personal property and liability coverage, State Farm lets you insure jewelry, art and collectibles, electronic gadgets such as cameras and computers, appliances, musical instruments and more. Homeowners get discounts for having an impact-resistant roof, safety features and bundling multiple policies. State Farm is a tech-forward company, so you can expect to get everything done online or on the mobile app without having to talk to people. Managing your policy and filing a claim is convenient, and should you ever need more help, your local agent is always around.

Travelers

At only $661 per year for a standard policy in San Francisco, Travelers insurance offers liability, dwelling and personal property coverages, and you have the option to choose different riders. Additional replacement cost, other structures, loss of use, jewelry and valuable items coverage, identity fraud protection and green home are some of your add-ons to choose from. Prices can be lowered with discounts for a new home purchased within a year, being claims-free, safe home features, LEED-certified green homes and policy bundling.

Progressive

A nationally-renowned, financially stable company, Progressive is a safe choice for affordable home insurance in San Francisco. Progressive also offers extended replacement cost as part of the standard coverage, and the online tools and resources make policy management and claims filing easy to do. However, Progressive does not underwrite its own home insurance policies, so you will be working with a different company if you ever file a claim. The mobile app is available only for auto insurance, and compared to competitors, Progressive has few add-ons.

Other San Francisco home insurance coverages to consider

Nowhere in the U.S. is it mandatory to have home insurance. But since your house is probably your priciest possession, keeping it insured against theft, vandalism and weather damage will bring great peace of mind to you as a homeowner and spare your savings from being spent on expensive home repairs. San Francisco is prone to wildfires, storms and earthquakes, and aside from the common coverages included in a standard policy, some additional coverages you may want to consider include:

  • Loss of use coverage: When you add loss of use to your home insurance policy, you can be assured about being financially covered if your property is damaged and rendered unlivable.
  • Earthquake insurance: Although not part of a standard home insurance policy, earthquake insurance can be purchased separately from any national insurer. If you are unable to get coverage from a private insurance company, you can look into the coverage options by California Earthquake Authority, which includes earthquake damage.
  • Home sharing coverage: Since San Francisco is a major tourist destination, it could be a practical choice to have your house covered against potential damage when you let out your property to guests. Home sharing coverage is available from several nationwide insurance companies and is turning into a popular coverage option for those who host guests in their house.

Home insurance discounts in San Francisco

Not all insurance policies are priced similarly. San Francisco is an expensive city and it is always economical to be able to lower your annual premiums by taking advantage of discounts. Although they may vary from one insurer to another, some of the most common home insurance discounts available from most companies include:

  • Safe home: If you have safety devices like fire and burglar alarms, and sprinkler systems installed in your house you may qualify for a discount.
  • Green home: If your house is built with sustainable, eco-friendly materials you may qualify for a discount.
  • Policy bundling: You may be able to procure a discount if you get your home insurance from the same provider as other types of insurance (auto, for example).
  • New construction: Having a newly built house may qualify you for a discount.
  • Claims free: If you go a certain number of years without filing a claim you may qualify for a discount because that makes you lower-risk.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best home insurance company?

Since insurance is highly personal and needs-based, no one provider can qualify as the best in this crowded market. However, some of the most reputed home insurance companies are the ones that have a history of consistently offering the most competitive rates, excellent customer service, and coverage and discount options. Our best home insurance companies list could help you get started.

How much does home insurance in San Francisco cost?

For a dwelling coverage of $250,000, home insurance in San Francisco costs an average of $982 a year.

How much home insurance do I need in San Francisco?

The coverage you need will depend on your geographic location, the climatic conditions you face, the cost and size of your house and your budget. Aside from the standard coverages, you may choose to add extra options to your policy for more security.

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 may be different.

Written by
Cynthia Widmayer
Insurance Contributor
Cynthia Widmayer has over two years of experience as an insurance and personal finance writer. She covers home, car and life insurance products for Bankrate, the Simple Dollar, and Coverage.com, among others.