Wisconsin is an easy state for insurance companies. It’s not plagued by the same seasonal storms as the coastal states, it’s not on an active fault line and it isn’t located in tornado alley.
It does have one issue that pops up annually, though, and that issue is flooding. It’s either caused by slow moving storms, melting snow or ice-jams. Adding flood insurance and maybe sinkhole coverage can be valuable add-ons.
When shopping for Wisconsin homeowners insurance, you want to find both an acceptable price and top-notch service. We have done research into the best Wisconsin home insurance options to make your decision easier.
The top home insurance companies in Wisconsin
To determine the best insurance providers, we looked at which insurance providers have the largest market share in Wisconsin, and considered other variables such as J.D. Power & Associates, AM Best and Better Business Bureau ratings.
Here are some of the best Wisconsin homeowners insurance companies:
- Allstate: Allstate received a three out of five from J.D. Power in its most recent survey of home insurance companies. It also currently has an A+ rating from AM Best. Allstate offers auto, home, motorcycle, off-road, renters and term life insurance.
- American Family Insurance: American Family received three out of five J.D. Power and an A (Excellent) rating with AM Best. American Family Insurance offers auto, home, life, motorcycle insurance, RV, Boat, ATV and snowmobile insurance. It also offers farm and ranch, business, landlord, travel, health and identity theft insurance.
- Erie Insurance Group: Erie has one of the highest ratings from J.D. Power with a five out of five. From AM Best, Erie has an A+ (Superior). It offers auto, home, life and business insurance.
- Farm Bureau: This provider currently has an A rating from AM Best, which A.M. considers to be an excellent rating. Farm Bureau is also one of the few insurance companies to be accredited with the Better Business Bureau (many have ratings but aren’t accredited) and has an A+ rating with them. Members of Farm Bureau can insure their home, ranches and farms.
- State Farm: State Farm recently received a four out of five from J.D. Power and has an A++ rating from AM Best, which is the highest rating. You can currently get home, car, motorcycle, boat, off-road, motorhome, farm and ranch, life, health, disability and liability insurance through State Farm.
Here’s a breakdown of the best wisconsin homeowners insurance:
|Allstate||3 out of 5||A+||A+|
|American Family Insurance||3 out of 5||A||A|
|Erie Insurance||5 out of 5||A+||A+|
|Farm Bureau||Not rated||A||A+|
|State Farm||4 out of 5||A++||A+|
Average homeowners insurance cost in Wisconsin
The average cost of homeowners insurance in Wisconsin is $1,732, according to Insurance.com. That average price makes Wisconsin the twelfth cheapest state to insure a home within the United States. It is significantly less than the national average at $2,305.
What makes Wisconsin so cheap?
First, it’s not a coastal state, so it’s not subject to hurricanes from the coast.
Second, earthquakes are rare in Wisconsin. The last major earthquake it had was on May 6, 1947. It was a 4.0 and lasted for 40 seconds. Earthquakes are so rare that the USGS puts Wisconsin at a very low risk for future earthquake damage.
Third, Wisconsin has a relatively low crime rate compared to the rest of the United States. According to U.S. News, Wisconsin ranks as the 13th safest state.
Of course, Wisconsin does have a few things going against it. It is prone to sinkholes (primarily in the south and west and east). However, compared to other states dealing with sinkholes, Wisconsin’s are relatively tame and minor— most smaller than 10 feet.
The largest threats to Wisconsin are snowfall and flooding, but even this is not statewide and depends on what part of the state you’re in. On the whole, Wisconsin is a cheap state to insure your home.
Here’s how it compares to the ten most expensive states:
Home insurance coverage options in Wisconsin
If you’re insuring your home within Wisconsin, we recommend sinkhole protection, flood insurance and other structures coverage.
Flood insurance is sold through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is a U.S. government program. Though many companies may list flood insurance on their website, they are only liaisons. You can only purchase flood insurance through the NFIP, but it is easier to have your insurance provider sign you up if it offers that service.
To see if you need flood insurance, input your home’s address into a FEMA flood map, but know that this is only meant as a guide. If you are new to your home’s area, do some research on local flood history to determine if it is necessary.
When in doubt, purchase flood insurance.
Other structures coverage
With other structures coverage, any sheds, garages, greenhouses, barns, fences or lamp posts are protected. Flood insurance often only covers the primary residence. For the best protection for your home and property, consider also purchasing other structures coverage. This type of coverage is often included in most plans, but be sure to check.
Sinkhole protection may be necessary if you live in a sinkhole prone area in Wisconsin. Some areas in the eastern, southern and western parts of the state have dolomite and limestone beneath the surface. These two types of stone are soluble and prone breaking.
There are also a few other add-on options that you might want to consider:
- Water backup coverage: Should a pipe burst, water backup will cover the cost of repairs.
- Personal property coverage: This is a great option if you have any high-end items within your home. Most providers put on a limit on certain items such as art, jewelry and instruments. If you own items that together make up more than the limit in that category, extra personal property coverage can make sure your items are protected.
- Living expenses: Should your home be destroyed or damaged, living expenses coverage will cover the costs of living away from home while your home is repaired or rebuilt.
- Liability coverage: If someone who doesn’t live with you hurts him or herself, liability coverage will pay any legal or medical fees up to the policy limit.
Whether to add these additional options depends on how much protection you want and the potential from problems you see with your home.
Common causes of home insurance losses in Wisconsin
Throughout the United States, the most common insurance claims are:
- Wind and hail: 38.2 percent
- Fire and lightning: 35.1 percent
- Water damage and freezing: 19.5 percent
- Non-theft property damage: 4.4 percent
- Liability: 1.9 percent
- Theft: 1 percent
However, widespread insurance losses in Wisconsin all relate to flooding. It routinely happens every year, and there have been a few standout events that made the national headlines:
- In March of 2018, a single flood event caused over $1 million in damages.
- In 2008 in Southern Wisconsin, 31 counties were declared to be disaster areas. Around 40,000 homes and 5,000 businesses were severely damaged. The total damage added up to $1.2 billion.
- In 1993, the entire state experienced flooding. Taking into account residential damage, crop damage and business damage, the total damage was $877 million.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best homeowners insurance in Wisconsin?
The best Wisconsin home insurance in many cases is offered by Erie Insurance. It has a great online infrastructure, superb customer reviews and offers a variety of ways homeowners can save on their premiums. However, the best homeowners insurance for you might vary based on your needs and wants. Get several quotes and do research to decide which one is right for you.
How do I get homeowners insurance in Wisconsin?
To get homeowners insurance in Wisconsin, contact a company and get a quote (which can either be done online, over the phone or with an agent one-on-one). For the best chances of finding a good match for you, get several quotes.
Is flood insurance recommended for all of Wisconsin?
Though it’s difficult to give a blanket statement, flood insurance is likely a wise investment regardless of where you live in Wisconsin. Flooding can be caused by a variety of factors, all of which are possible throughout the entire state. You may also want to consider hazard insurance too.
Is homeowners insurance required in Wisconsin?
You are not legally required to purchase homeowners insurance, but your lender likely requires you to have it as long as you are making payments.