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When shopping for the best homeowners insurance, Massachusetts homeowners need to find a company that will provide the amount and type of coverage they need to protect both their home and their personal belongings. The best home insurance companies will provide a wide range of coverage that policyholders can customize to their needs, as well as make it easy to get a homeowners insurance rate quote and file a claim if needed. It’s also important for homeowners to look for homeowners insurance companies that are highly rated for financial strength through AM Best or a similar rating agency, which speaks to the company’s ability to pay customer claims.
- BEST OVERALL: Amica
- RUNNER-UP: MAPFRE Insurance
- BEST CLAIMS PROCESS: Lemonade
- BEST DISCOUNTS: Allstate
- BEST FOR SERVICE MEMBERS: USAA
- ALSO CONSIDER: Farmers Insurance
What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Massachusetts
The top home insurance companies will offer high coverage amounts so policyholders will receive the necessary funds to repair or replace their home after a covered loss. Homeowners will also want to look for companies that offer coverage for a wide variety of perils, make it easy to get a rate quote as well as file a claim, and offer discounts to maximize savings on their policy premiums.
If something happens to their home, homeowners want peace of mind their insurance will fully cover the cost to repair or rebuild the home. Therefore, it’s important for homeowners to look for insurance companies that will provide the amount of coverage necessary to ensure their home is adequately protected. This also is important for contents coverage so homeowners are able to repair or replace their damaged or destroyed items without having to pay out of pocket (besides their deductible). Homeowners will want to ask about each insurance company’s maximum coverage amounts to determine if the company can adequately cover the home and contents without any gaps in coverage. This is particularly important for homeowners who have expensive jewelry, sports equipment, or artwork and other high-value items.
The best national and local homeowners insurance companies will offer the same standard coverage with regard to protecting the home’s structure and contents. In additional, homeowners insurance policies will provide liability coverage in the event a homeowner or resident family member is found liable for third-party property damage or injury, medical payments to others coverage in case a visitor is injured while on the property (regardless of fault), and loss of use coverage, which covers living expenses if the home is uninhabitable following a covered loss. However, within this coverage there are some different options to consider. For instance, with contents coverage, homeowners choose between replacement cost coverage and actual cash value coverage. Replacement cost coverage means the insurance company will pay to replace items with similar ones at today’s prices, less the deductible. Actual cash value coverage means the insurance company will reimburse the policyholder for the item’s depreciated value, less the deductible. Typically, actual cash value coverage is less expensive than replacement cost coverage, but replacement cost coverage provides the policyholder with more money to replace lost or damaged items.
Insurance premiums are the payments policyholders make in exchange for their homeowners insurance coverage. Premiums are typically paid on an annual, semiannual, or monthly basis. If the homeowner has a mortgage on the property, the lender will likely require them to pay their homeowners insurance premium in monthly installments as part of their mortgage payment. The lender will then hold the money in an escrow account and pay the premium on behalf of the homeowner when it comes due each year.
The amount of the premium depends on a number of factors. These include the amount and type of homeowners insurance coverage purchased, the age and location of the home, and the policyholder’s claims history. The amount of the deductible also affects premiums. Generally speaking, the higher the deductible on the policy, the lower the premium and vice versa. There are ways to adjust the premium that could make the homeowners insurance cost lower, such as changing the deductible, leveraging discounts, and eliminating unneeded coverage.
In order to find the best homeowners insurance rates, it’s important to get rate quotes to compare pricing and coverage. As such, homeowners will want to look for insurance companies that make it easy to get an insurance quote. Many companies have an online rate quote tool wherein homeowners enter some personal information specific to their home and their choice of coverage, and the tool provides an estimated price for a policy. Homeowners will need to keep in mind this rate quote is an estimate, and the actual cost could change once the full policy is priced out. Speaking with an agent or company rep often provides customers with the best homeowners insurance quotes; given the agent or rep can collect more specific details on the property, the quotes are usually more accurate.
No one likes filing an insurance claim, but working with a good homeowners insurance company that has a streamlined claims process can make the task easier. Ideally, homeowners will want to look for an insurance company that allows policyholders to file claims in the manner they prefer. This could be online, using the company’s mobile app, by phone, or by talking in person with an agent. It’s also important for the company to make it easy for policyholders to get updates on their claims so they can find out where the claims stand. Working with companies that pay their claims in a timely manner also is crucial. When researching homeowners insurance companies, homeowners may want to check the company’s homeowners insurance ratings on sites such as the Better Business Bureau. Talking to friends and family who have used the company is also a good way for homeowners to find out what the claims experience is like.
A deductible on a homeowners insurance policy is the amount the policyholder is responsible for in the event of a claim. For instance, if the total claim is for $40,000 and the deductible is $5,000, the policyholder pays $5,000, and the insurance company pays $35,000. The amount of the deductible typically depends on the type and amount of coverage purchased. There also may be incident-specific deductibles, such as for hurricane or wind damage. Some companies charge a set deductible for a policy, while others charge a percentage of the policy coverage. Also, generally speaking, the higher the deductible, the lower the insurance premium. It’s important for homeowners to discuss all deductible options with the insurance company so they can choose one they can afford if they have to file a claim.
When shopping for the best homeowners insurance, many homeowners like to work with just one insurance company. This often is the same company the homeowner uses for car insurance. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to want to purchase all of their insurance from the same company. This includes car insurance, life insurance, pet insurance, boat and ATV insurance, umbrella insurance, and more. When speaking with insurance companies, homeowners will want to ask about the various types of insurance offered if working with just one company is desired. This can make managing their different insurance needs much easier for homeowners.
Every homeowner wants to find low-cost homeowners insurance. Discounts are a great way to maximize savings on insurance premiums. For instance, the best auto and home insurance companies will offer discounts for bundling these policies together. However, many companies offer a varied selection of discounts to increase savings and reduce rates. Examples include discounts for having home security systems, signing up for automatic payments and paperless billing, having a claim-free period of several years, renewing the policy before it expires, being a long-time customer, and, of course, bundling different policies together. Companies may not list all available discounts on their websites, so homeowners will want to ask for a complete list in order to take advantage of every possible discount.
AM Best Rating
Naturally, homeowners want to have complete confidence that their homeowners insurance company will honor their insurance policy and pay their claims. One way to do that is to check AM Best’s ratings for each homeowners insurance company. AM Best evaluates a company’s financial data and other information to determine the company’s financial strength, or its ability to pay claims. AM Best ratings range from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor), so homeowners will want to look for a company with a rating of A to A++, or even B+. It also doesn’t hurt to check homeowners insurance reviews to see what actual customers have to say about their experience with the company.
Our Top Picks
When looking for the best homeowners insurance in Massachusetts, we considered companies with factors such as high coverage amounts, good coverage options, an easy-to-use rate quote tool, and a streamlined claims process.
Why It Made the Cut: Amica has high coverage limits on extended dwelling coverage, personal liability, and water backup endorsement coverage, along with a wide variety of deductible options.
Amica customers in Massachusetts can insure their homes for up to $5 million, which is a very high coverage limit. Insurance companies often restrict coverage limits or require special policies for high-value homes, but this is not a concern with Amica. In addition, the company has a personal liability coverage limit for up to $2 million, which is quite high for this type of coverage. Amica also provides a water backup coverage endorsement with an uncommonly high coverage limit of $50,000.
When signing up for a new policy, homeowners will need to make an initial payment equal to 2 months of their insurance premium. This is a fairly high up-front expense that homeowners will need to budget for when getting an insurance policy with Amica. However, the company does have a wide range of deductible options, so homeowners can find the right balance between a lower premium and lower out-of-pocket costs when submitting a claim.
- Quote process: Online, phone, agent
- Claims process: Online, phone, agent
- Deductibles: $500 to $25,000; Hurricane (optional): 1 percent, 2 percent, or 5 percent
- Discounts: Loyalty, multipolicy, claim-free, autopay, e-discount, protective devices, new or remodeled home, automatic detection devices
- AM Best rating: A+
- High dwelling coverage available of up to $5 million
- High personal liability coverage available of up to $2 million
- High water backup coverage available of up to $50,000
- Wide range of deductible options
- 2 months’ worth of payment due up front
Why It Made the Cut: MAPFRE Insurance has a special restoration coverage option for older homes, low insurance rates for Massachusetts properties, and an expedited home repair service for customers to use after a covered event.
For homeowners who own very old homes and want to preserve their historic charm and integrity, MAPFRE offers unique coverage options for antique homes requiring special materials, experienced craftsmanship, and skilled contractors to properly handle any repairs that may be covered by homeowners insurance. The company’s site states that even if repair costs exceed dwelling limits, customers who have selected the Guaranteed Restoration Cost endorsement will have those extra expenses covered. Also, customers can opt into the MAPFRE Select Home Restoration Program to take advantage of expedited repair services following a covered peril or event, so they aren’t left waiting and wondering when the work will be completed.
MAPFRE may offer relatively low insurance rates for Massachusetts properties, but it’s not entirely clear from looking at the website as the online rate quote tool doesn’t tell customers much beyond what their insurance premiums could look like. Reaching out to an agent will give a homeowner the opportunity to provide more details, which can result in a more tailored and quote that takes into account their specific needs. MAPFRE policyholders could also qualify for a discount unique to the state of Massachusetts. By taking and passing a Homeowner 201 course through the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance (MAHA), MAPFRE customers can qualify for a MAHA HomeSafe 10 percent discount, which helps lower their costs even further.
- Quote process: Online, phone, agent
- Claims process: Phone, agent
- Deductibles: Unknown
- Discounts: Multipolicy, MAHA HomeSafe, protective device
- AM Best rating: A
- Special restoration coverage for historic or antique homes
- Relatively low insurance premiums
- Expedited home repair service available
- Very limited online quote process
Why It Made the Cut: Lemonade can instantly approve claims in some cases, has a convenient mobile app for easy filing of a claim, and donates unclaimed money to different nonprofits.
Lemonade uses an AI-based claims system to initially review claims and flag potential instances of fraud. As a result, more straightforward claims can be approved instantly, and the company claims that policyholders can receive their funds in seconds in those cases. Although Lemonade is not rated by AM Best, this doesn’t mean the company is in poor financial standing. In fact, financial analysis firm Demotech gave Lemonade an “A” rating for financial stability, which the firm only awards to companies that have shown “exceptional financial stability.”
Lemonade’s mobile app is a focus of the customer experience, giving homeowners a convenient way to manage their insurance policy and file claims. Customers can add extra coverage to their policy and expedite the claims process by uploading photos and receipts for covered items. Plus, customers can easily submit a claim, document damage, and upload required documents through their mobile device.
While the company doesn’t offer many discounts on rates, it does donate up to 40 percent of any unclaimed money leftover at the end of the year to a nonprofit of the customer’s choice. This helps policyholders feel good that any excess funds are going to a cause that they care about.
- Quote process: Online
- Claims process: App
- Deductibles: $500 to $10,000
- Discounts: Multipolicy, protective device
- AM Best rating: Unrated
- Instant claim approval possible
- User-friendly policy and claims management via mobile app
- Leftover money from customers’ premiums is donated to a nonprofit of the customer’s choice
- Not currently rated by AM Best
- Limited discount opportunities
Why It Made the Cut: Allstate offers a high discount for home and auto bundles, the option to bundle multiple types of policies, and a wide variety of discounts available overall.
Allstate has several discounts that may be available to homeowners insurance customers, such as on-time payment, claim-free, new customer, loyalty, home buyer, automatic payment, protective device, and early signing discounts. Some of these discounts can be fairly generous, too, with customers potentially saving up to 25 percent off a home and auto bundle, up to 20 percent with the claim-free discount, and up to 10 percent with its welcome and loyalty discounts.
It’s not entirely clear how much homeowners will save initially because Allstate’s online quote tool is not available in all ZIP codes. In addition, the company does not offer coverage for homes built prior to 1799, which could be a roadblock for some Massachusetts homeowners. Allstate does offer a variety of other insurance, so customers can bundle their homeowners insurance with motorcycle, ATV, and life insurance, for example, to make it easier to manage their insurance needs with one insurance company.
- Quote process: Online, phone, agent
- Claims process: App, online, phone, agent
- Deductibles: Unknown
- Discounts: Multipolicy, protective device, responsible payment, claim-free, loyalty, new customer, home buyer, automatic payments, early signing, smoke-free
- AM Best rating: A+
- Relatively high and competitive 25 percent discount on home and auto bundles available
- Wide range of discount opportunities
- Ability to bundle multiple policy types
- Coverage not available for homes built before 1799
- Online quote not available in all ZIP codes
Why It Made the Cut: USAA has standard replacement cost coverage with every homeowners insurance policy, an exclusive contractor network to help members find a qualified contractor in their area, and a high A++ AM Best rating.
Available only to current and former members of the military and their families, USAA offers replacement cost coverage as a standard policy term, something most other companies charge for as an additional coverage option. This means that the company will not factor in depreciation when determining the value of covered items when reviewing an insurance claim.
Another benefit is USAA’s Contractor Connection, which helps members find local contractors who are qualified to handle a wide variety of jobs, including making repairs following a covered event or doing home renovations. This service can take the headache out of finding a contractor since USAA will take care of that for customers.
Also, USAA’s A++ AM Best rating is the highest possible grade an insurance company can receive from the credit rating agency. As such, homeowners may feel greater peace of mind knowing that their insurance provider has the ability to pay out claims without delay.
- Quote process: Online (for USAA members), phone
- Claims process: App, online, phone
- Deductibles: Unknown
- Discounts: Multipolicy, protective device, connected home, loyalty, claim-free
- AM Best rating: A++
- Standard replacement cost coverage
- Exclusive contractor network
- A++ AM Best rating
- USAA membership limited to service members and their families
Why It Made the Cut: Farmers Insurance makes high extended replacement coverage available to customers, offers the declining deductible to all customers, and provides claims forgiveness in certain scenarios.
With Farmers homeowners insurance, customers can purchase extended replacement coverage on their home that’s worth up to 150 percent of their property’s replacement value. This could help homeowners avoid paying out of pocket if they need a complete rebuild following a covered event.
While Farmers may have higher rates for Massachusetts properties (and customers will need to pay a separate deductible on wind and hail or hurricane damage), the company does offer ways to save. For example, Farmers Insurance policies come with a declining deductible, which goes down $50 each year a policy remains in effect.
Also, customers who stick with Farmers for 5 years and never file a claim are eligible for claim forgiveness. This means that if they do need to file a claim after that time, Farmers will not raise their premium, which could help customers save money on their homeowners insurance in the long run.
- Quote process: Online, phone, agent
- Claims process: Online, phone, agent
- Deductibles: $1,000 to $10,000; 0.5 percent, 1 percent to 5 percent; Wind/Hail: 1 percent, 2 percent, 5 percent; Hurricane: 2 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent
- Discounts: Multipolicy, protective device, nonsmoker, preferred payment plan, claim-free
- AM Best rating: A
- Up to 150 percent extended replacement coverage available
- Standard declining deductible included
- Claim forgiveness available after 5 years
- Relatively high insurance premiums
- Separate wind/hail and hurricane deductibles
Amica is our Best Overall pick thanks to its high coverage limits on certain coverages, plus customers can choose the deductible that works for them. MAPFRE Insurance is our choice for Runner-Up because it has low insurance rates and a special restoration coverage option for older homes.
How We Chose the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Massachusetts
When deciding on which insurance providers to include in our roundup of the best homeowners insurance companies in Massachusetts, we looked at the coverage terms and options available to residents in this state. That includes both standard coverage terms that come with every policy and other options available as extra endorsements. We also looked at cost factors, including premiums, discounts, and deductibles, to get a sense of the total cost of coverage with each company.
The quote and claims processes were also important factors that were weighed, as they can have a major impact on the overall customer experience. The financial well-being and status of each company was an important consideration as well, since companies in good financial standing may be more likely to pay out claims in a timely manner and continue providing insurance coverage for years to come.
Before You Choose One of the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Massachusetts
Although our research showed the insurance companies featured here offer the best homeowners insurance, Massachusetts homeowners will want to do their own due diligence and research homeowners insurance companies to find the best one for their needs. It’s possible other companies may offer more customized coverage and better rates. A good starting point is for homeowners to check with the insurance carrier that currently handles their car insurance or other policies. Because they are already customers, their current insurance company may offer more in the way of specialized coverage, additional options, and more discounts. Asking friends and family members for referrals also may yield good leads on a great homeowners insurance company.
Cost of Opting for One of the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Massachusetts
Finding the cheapest homeowners insurance will take some time and research, and basing a decision solely on price isn’t necessarily the way to go. Even if a homeowner is considering one of the best homeowners insurance companies in Massachusetts listed here, it’s important to get at least three different rate quotes for comparison. They should provide the same information to each company and request a quote for the same coverage and deductible so the comparison is fair. Also, because rates frequently fluctuate, it’s important to get rate quotes on the same day. Shopping around for homeowners insurance is one of the best ways to ensure homeowners find the most affordable homeowners insurance for their needs.
The Advantages of Opting for One of the Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Massachusetts
There are many advantages to choosing one of the best homeowners insurance companies in Massachusetts. Homeowners insurance provides policyholders with the assurance that their home and belongings will be protected if they are damaged or destroyed by a covered event. Although the best homeowners insurance company for one customer may not be the same for another, these companies have several important characteristics in common, such as the following:
- Various ways to get a rate quote and file a claim to suit a wide range of homeowners;
- A variety of deductible options so homeowners can find one that meets their needs and fits their budget; and
- Strong financial ratings from firms such as AM Best and Demotech.
When shopping for the best homeowners insurance, Massachusetts homeowners can find the process confusing. In turn, they may have a lot of questions regarding what their homeowners insurance does and does not cover. These are some of the most frequently asked questions and their answers.
Q. What is the average cost of homeowners insurance in Massachusetts?
The average cost of homeowners insurance in Massachusetts is $1,199 per year for $250,000 of dwelling coverage. This is slightly less than the national average cost of homeowners insurance, which is around $1,428 for $250,000 of dwelling coverage.
Q. Is homeowners insurance required in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts has no laws requiring homeowners to purchase homeowners insurance. However, a mortgage lender will likely require a borrower to have house insurance in order to approve the loan.
Q. Does Massachusetts require special homeowners insurance coverage?
Homeowners are not required to have homeowners insurance under Massachusetts law. However, it’s recommended to have a homeowners insurance policy to help policyholders protect their assets.
Q. Is homeowners insurance expensive in Massachusetts?
Homeowners insurance costs vary by homeowner, though the average cost in Massachusetts is $1,119 per year for $250,000 of dwelling coverage. The exact cost depends on several factors, including the replacement value, age, and construction of the home; the deductible amount; the policyholder’s financial history and marital status; and the presence of any potentially hazardous features like a pool or a wood-burning stove.
Q. Do I pay homeowners insurance monthly or yearly?
Homeowners will work with their insurance companies to set up premium payments, which could be due monthly, yearly or twice a year. If the homeowner has a mortgage on the property, they will likely pay their insurance premium in monthly installments as part of their mortgage payment; the premium will be kept in an escrow account and paid by the lender when it comes due.
Q. Is homeowners insurance cheaper without a mortgage?
No, the cost of homeowners insurance is not dependent on whether or not a policyholder has a mortgage.
As an insurance expert with extensive knowledge in the field, I would like to provide a comprehensive analysis of the concepts mentioned in the article about the best homeowners insurance companies in Massachusetts.
1. Coverage Amount:
- Homeowners are advised to seek insurance companies that offer high coverage amounts to ensure adequate protection for their homes and belongings.
- Consideration should be given to coverage for a wide variety of perils, enabling policyholders to customize coverage to their specific needs.
- The article emphasizes the importance of covering valuable items such as jewelry, sports equipment, and artwork.
2. Policy Options:
- Home insurance policies typically cover the structure, contents, liability, medical payments, and loss of use.
- There is a choice between replacement cost coverage and actual cash value coverage for contents, with a discussion on the pros and cons of each.
- Homeowners are encouraged to inquire about maximum coverage amounts to avoid gaps in coverage.
3. Insurance Premiums:
- Premiums are payments made by policyholders for their homeowners insurance coverage.
- Factors influencing premiums include coverage type and amount, home age and location, claims history, and deductible amount.
- Adjusting the deductible, leveraging discounts, and eliminating unnecessary coverage can help lower premiums.
4. Quote Process:
- Homeowners are advised to obtain rate quotes from insurance companies to compare pricing and coverage.
- Many companies offer an online rate quote tool, but it's important to note that the provided estimate may change once the full policy is priced out.
- Speaking with an agent or company representative is recommended for more accurate quotes.
5. Claims Process:
- A streamlined claims process is crucial when filing an insurance claim.
- Ideally, homeowners should choose companies that allow them to file claims through various methods, including online, mobile apps, phone, or in-person with an agent.
- Timely payment of claims and the ability to track and receive updates on claims are highlighted as important factors.
- The deductible is the amount a policyholder is responsible for in the event of a claim.
- Higher deductibles generally lead to lower premiums, and homeowners are encouraged to discuss deductible options with the insurance company.
7. Additional Policies:
- Many homeowners prefer to consolidate their insurance needs with a single company, such as car insurance, life insurance, pet insurance, and more.
- Inquiring about the types of insurance offered by a company helps homeowners manage their various insurance needs more efficiently.
- Discounts play a significant role in maximizing savings on insurance premiums.
- Bundling policies, having security systems, automatic payments, claim-free periods, renewing policies, and loyalty are some examples of potential discounts.
- Homeowners are advised to request a complete list of available discounts from insurance companies.
9. AM Best Rating:
- Checking the AM Best rating is recommended to assess a company's financial strength and its ability to pay customer claims.
- Ratings range from A++ (Superior) to D (Poor), and homeowners are encouraged to choose companies with ratings of A to A++, or even B+.
10. Top Picks:
- The article provides a list of top picks for homeowners insurance companies in Massachusetts based on factors such as coverage amounts, options, quote process, and claims process.
11. How We Chose:
- Criteria for selecting the best homeowners insurance companies include coverage terms, cost factors, quote and claims processes, and the financial well-being of the companies.
12. Before You Choose:
- Homeowners are advised to conduct their own research and due diligence to find the best insurance company for their needs.
- Checking with their current insurance carrier and seeking referrals from friends and family are suggested starting points.
13. Cost and Advantages:
- While cost is a consideration, homeowners are reminded that basing decisions solely on price may not be the best approach.
- The advantages of choosing the best homeowners insurance companies include various ways to get rate quotes, a variety of deductible options, and strong financial ratings.
- The article addresses frequently asked questions about homeowners insurance in Massachusetts, covering topics such as average cost, legal requirements, coverage options, and payment frequency.
In summary, the article provides a comprehensive guide for Massachusetts homeowners seeking the best insurance coverage, covering key concepts such as coverage options, premiums, quotes, claims processes, and the importance of financial ratings.