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Best Homeowners Insurance in California (2024)

Published on:
Content was accurate at the time of publication.

Travelers has the cheapest homeowners insurance in California, charging rates that average $901 a year. Although Nationwide is slightly more expensive, its combination of price and customer service ratings make it the state’s best overall home insurance company.

Find the Cheapest Home Insurance Quotes in Your Area

Here’s how the best homeowners insurance companies in California compare to each other on key factors like price and ratings.

Travelers offers the cheapest home insurance for most Californians. Its rates for a typical home average $901 a year, or $75 a month. That’s 28% less than the state average of $1,260 a year.

USAA’s rates are cheaper than Travelers, but only current and former members of the military and their families can buy coverage from USAA.

CompanyAnnual rate
Travelers$901
AAA Southern California$1,108
Mercury$1,149
Nationwide$1,194
AAA Northern California$1,261
State Farm$1,304
Farmers$1,614
Chubb$2,343
USAA*$799

Rates are based on non-binding estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.
*USAA is only available to the military community.

The following homeowners insurance companies stand out as the best in California, based on factors including price and ratings.

CompanyAnnual rateOverall satisfactionComplaint rating
Best overall: Nationwide$1,194812 (Average)1.47 (Below Average)
Best rates: Travelers$901790 (Poor)2.27 (Poor)
Best in SoCal: AAA$1,108810 (Below average)1.34 (Below average)
Best for military: USAA$799881 (Excellent)0.52 (Good)
Best complaint rating: Chubb$2,343801 (Below average)0.03 (Excellent)

Ratings include satisfaction scores from J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Home Insurance Study and 2022 complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Best overall homeowners insurance in California: Nationwide

Nationwide stands out as the best overall home insurance company in California because its customer service ratings beat most competitors with comparable prices.

Pros

  • Discounts available for bundling, home renovations and avoiding claims.
  • Nationwide’s smart home program includes free devices that monitor your home for break-ins, water leaks and fire.
  • Optional identity theft coverage includes credit monitoring and only adds $45 to your annual rate.

Cons

  • NAIC complaint rating indicates that the company has nearly one-and-a-half times as many complaints as expected for its size.

Best cheap home insurance in California: Travelers

Along with low rates for standard homeowners insurance, Travelers offers many ways to save. For example, you can get a homebuyer discount if you bought your home within the past year.

Pros

  • Travelers has the cheapest average home insurance rate in California.
  • Add-on coverages for sewer backups and valuables let you customize your coverage.
  • Discounts available for LEED-certified “green” homes.

Cons

  • Travelers’ complaint rating indicates that it has more than twice as many confirmed complaints as expected for its size. A confirmed complaint is one that leads to a finding of fault.

Best home insurance in Southern California: AAA

AAA is better known for its towing services, but it also provides reliable insurance at an affordable price. In Southern California, AAA’s home insurance rates work out to less than $100 a month, even after you factor in its cheapest membership fee, $52 a year.

Unfortunately, AAA Northern California’s insurance agency charges more for home insurance than its counterpart in Southern California.

Pros

  • Bundling policies with AAA Southern California can save you up to 20% on home insurance and up to 15.7% on car insurance.
  • A discount for mature homeowners saves you another 12% if you’re over 50.
  • Other discounts are available for new homes, fire-resistant roofs and older homes with new plumbing.
  • Joining AAA gives you roadside assistance anywhere in the U.S. or Canada.

Cons

  • You have to pay AAA’s annual membership fee to get AAA insurance.

Best home insurance for military families: USAA

USAA checks most of the boxes for the qualities you need in an insurance company, including low rates and high ratings. If you’re an active-duty service member, USAA’s insurance protections extend to your uniforms and military equipment.

Pros

  • USAA offers the cheapest overall home insurance rates in California.
  • J.D. Power gives USAA its highest score for overall customer satisfaction.
  • Discounts available for bundling home and auto insurance, installing a smart home monitoring system and avoiding claims.

Cons

  • USAA is only available to current and former members of the military and their families.
  • You don’t get your own insurance agent with USAA. This leaves you speaking with a different agent each time you call for help.

Best complaint rating: Chubb

Chubb caters to customers with high-value homes. The company’s NAIC complaint rating shows that it has an extremely low number of confirmed complaints.

Pros

  • Standard policies include features that usually cost extra, such as extended replacement cost coverage for your home.
  • Customers get a free home appraisal with advice on how to reduce security and fire risks.

Cons

  • Chubb’s rates are 86% higher than the state average.

How much is home insurance in California?

The average cost of home insurance in California is $1,260 a year, or $105 a month, for a typical home. The actual price you pay depends on several factors, including:

  • Your home’s age and construction features
  • Your neighborhood’s fire risks, crime rate and exposure to severe weather
  • Your insurance history
  • The amount of coverage you need
  • Any discounts you may be eligible to receive

Each insurance company weighs these factors differently and offers different discounts.

When you compare quotes from multiple companies, you can find the one with the best rate for your needs and situation.

Home insurance rates by coverage amounts

The amount of home insurance coverage you need is among the factors that determine your rate.

For example, a policy with $450,000 in dwelling coverage costs 26% more than a $350,000 policy. The difference amounts to $288 a year, or $24 a month.

Your policy’s dwelling coverage pays to repair damage to your home from a covered peril such as fire or fallen tree.

Dwelling limitAnnual rate
$350,000$1,121
$400,000$1,260
$450,000$1,409

Rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

If you have a mortgage, your lender will likely make you insure your home at its replacement value. This is the estimated cost of rebuilding your home, which is usually lower than its market value.

You can insure your home for a lower amount if you have a low mortgage balance or own the home outright. However, doing so can leave you short on funds to repair or rebuild after a disaster.

In California’s largest cities, home insurance rates range from $1,087 a year in San Jose to $1,466 in Los Angeles.

A typical home in San Diego costs an average of $1,168 a year to insure, while the average price of home insurance in San Francisco is $1,174 a year.

CityAnnual rate
Anaheim$1,269
Bakersfield$1,181
Chula Vista$1,197
Fresno$1,253
Irvine$1,352
Long Beach$1,186
Los Angeles$1,466
Oakland$1,334
Riverside$1,439
Sacramento$1,187
San Diego$1,168
San Francisco$1,174
San Jose$1,087
Santa Ana$1,235
Stockton$1,186

Rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

Standard home insurance does not cover earthquakes or floods, but separate insurance is available for each of these risks.

California earthquake insurance costs and coverages

The average price of earthquake insurance for California homeowners is $1,284 a year, according to the California Department of Insurance.

Although earthquake insurance is not required by law or for a loan, California’s widespread earthquake risks make it worth considering in most parts of the state.

Earthquake insurance typically covers:

  • Structural damage to your home, or dwelling
  • Damage to other structures on your property, including sheds, retaining walls and paved walkways
  • Your belongings, or your home’s contents
  • Loss of use, or temporary living expenses while your home is being repaired

The nonprofit California Earthquake Authority (CEA) offers earthquake insurance at relatively affordable rates. You can buy CEA policies from 22 participating companies, which include most of the state’s major home insurers.

Chubb, GeoVera and Palomar are among the other companies that offer earthquake insurance in California.

How much is flood insurance in California?

The average cost of flood insurance in California is $838 a year for policies issued through the government-backed National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Flood insurance is not required by law. However, if you apply for a mortgage for a home in a high-risk flood zone, your lender will require it. Flood insurance is also worth considering if you own your home outright and/or live in an area with low or moderate flood risks.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps flood risks in communities across the nation. If you’re not sure of your home’s flood zone, or the flood zone of a home you want to buy, you can find it online in FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center.

NFIP flood insurance includes up to $250,000 coverage for your home and up to $100,000 for your possessions.

Several private companies also offer flood insurance in California. Private flood insurance companies often offer more protection than you can get through the NFIP.

For example, some private flood insurance companies offer loss of use, which is not available in NFIP flood insurance. Loss of use covers temporary living expenses if flood damage leaves your home uninhabitable during repairs.

What is the California FAIR Plan?

The California FAIR Plan is an industry-supported program that provides basic homeowners insurance for homes with particularly high fire risks.

You can usually get FAIR plan insurance if standard home insurance companies consider your home too risky to insure.

FAIR plan policies only cover fire, smoke and internal explosions. You have to buy a difference-in-conditions policy for protection from other risks.

The average cost of a FAIR Plan policy with difference-in-conditions insurance is about $3,200 a year.

If you avoid claims with a FAIR plan policy, you may eventually qualify for standard home insurance, which is usually cheaper.

Homeowners insurance is not required by law in California. However, lenders typically require it for a mortgage, and homeowners associations also often require it.

Catastrophic wildfires and other disasters have made it hard to get homeowners insurance in California. Insurance companies blame these events for creating financial hardships for them. Many have raised their rates, and some have pulled out of the state.

Yes. You can get a home insurance quote before you buy a home in California. Getting an insurance quote before you submit an offer allows you to see how much it may cost to insure the home — or if it even qualifies for insurance.

Methodology

The rates shown in this article are based on non-binding quotes collected from Quadrant Information Services. Average rates were compiled from rates in every California ZIP code.

Unless otherwise noted, quoted policies contain the following:

  • Dwelling coverage: $400,000
  • Other structures: $40,000
  • Personal property: $200,000
  • Loss of use: $80,000
  • Personal liability: $100,000
  • Guest medical payments: $5,000
  • Deductible: $1,000

Rates are provided for comparative purposes only.

Overall satisfaction ratings were obtained from J.D. Power’s 2023 U.S. Home Insurance Study. The agency’s scores are based on customer surveys that rate insurance companies on factors including price, policy offerings and claims.

Complaint ratings are based on NAIC Complaint Index data from 2022. A company with a 2.0 Complaint Index score has twice as many confirmed complaints as expected for its size. A company with a 0.5 rating has half as many.