By Clark Howard
A new ranking of home insurance companies shows that just focusing on what you pay in premiums isn’t necessarily the smartest idea.
A May 2016 update from Consumer Reports names the best and worst home insurers in the business. Now, keep in mind that the best does not necessarily mean the one with the most affordable premium.
Highest ranked home insurers
In the top spot, you have Amica Insurance followed very closely by USAA, two of my longtime favorites. Just a hair behind them are Auto-Owners Insurance and Erie Insurance Group, two companies that have never much been on my radar.
Amica and USAA may not have the best premiums. But remember my rule, homeowners insurance is only for use in a catastrophic situation.
To lower the cost of going with a top-rated insurer, I recommend you take as high of a deductible as you can swallow and your mortgage holder will allow you to have. Do not go with the $500 deductible of yesteryear.
Lowest ranked home insurers
On the flipside of the rankings, the lowest rated insurers in the country are Allstate Insurance and Farmers Insurance, in a near tie. Just a hair above them were American Family, California State Auto Group, Liberty Mutual, and Travelers.
Firmly in the middle of the pack you have State Farm, Hartford Financial Services, Metlife Auto & Home, and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.
Meanwhile, here’s some info on the best and worst auto insurers.
What things won’t your homeowners policy cover?
Yahoo! Finance recently had a list of weird exclusions some insurers are now doing. Some make sense – like dog attacks. But other things are unexpected, like trampolines not being covered.
Other exclusions include expensive jewelry (you will need additional rider if you have a large amount of jewelry). On the question of mold, that’s no longer covered by many homeowner insurance policies. Mold became a big issue, particularly in Florida, and it’s been cut out of the picture step by step, insurer by insurer.
Sewer backup is often not included in homeowner insurance policies. I always recommend that you buy the inexpensive rider from your insurer and add it to your policy. If it does happen to you, you want to know you are in fact covered.
Fire is still covered. That seems to be a constant year over year, which is why people sometimes refer to homeowners policies as “fire policies.”