When accidents occur or weather throws its worst at you, being adequately covered by a rock-solid homeowners insurance policy will soften the blow. Dealing with snappy insurance agents or a company that is unable to pay your claim, however, can be a major headache.

We set out to find the best homeowners insurance in Arizona, with an eye out for a few key qualities. We wanted companies who provided transparent coverage, affordable premiums, and insurance agents with the patience of an elementary school teacher. A sterling financial reputation was also critical. We found a handful of Arizona insurance companies who rose to the occasion.

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The Best Homeowners Insurance in Arizona

Freshome’s Recommendations: Amica, Liberty Mutual, State Farm, Allstate, Travelers, Nationwide, Farmers.

A major part of your research will inevitably involve gathering quotes from insurance agencies. Knowing which companies to contact is a major step towards finding the perfect policy to cover your new home.

We gathered quotes from the three top performing insurance companies in Arizona to give you an idea of what to expect. To get a quote, we needed a home. We chose a three-bed, one-bath home that had a total 1,246 square feet of living space.

This home also came with a pool in the backyard, a feature frequently found in some of Arizona’s more metropolitan areas.

The insurance policy we selected was an HO3 policy, one of the most common — and highly recommended — policies in the US. With this policy, your home will be covered against established perils, such as fire, theft, vandalism, lightning, and others; the policy also covers many other incidental accidents, such as a baseball going through the neighbor’s window, or the cost of repairing the damage done to your roof by a fallen tree limb.

Our Quotes
Amica$660 Per Year
State Farm$733 Per Year
Liberty Mutual$786 Per Year

In addition to these three companies, we found additional providers that have met a stringent set of qualifications, including a J.D. Power Overall Satisfaction rating of three stars or more, an A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating of a B+ or higher, as well as a high financial strength rating from another institution, including Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s.

What You Should Know Before Getting a Quote

With a general idea of what to expect when searching for homeowners insurance, you’ll be in a better position to find the right policy for your needs.

Homeowners insurance is a comprehensive policy that covers part or all of the costs involved with the replacement or repair of physical damage to your home, the medical costs of others injured on your property, and liability for you, family members, or pets.

Understanding how your coverages are broken down will help ensure that you will find the best homeowners insurance in Arizona.

Dwelling Coverage

Dwelling coverage contributes to the cost of replacing or repairing any structural damage to your home. Any detached structures on the property — such as a detached garage, a storage shed, or any other building — are typically covered for 10 percent of the coverage on your house.

When it comes to dwelling coverage, it is important to note that the value determined is not the market value, but instead the total cost of replacing the home. Most insurance companies will help you determine the assessed value of your home by taking into consideration the structure material, the siding and roof materials, and how old the property is, along with other considerations.

According to Gene Montemore, a realtor for Real Living Success Realty, the difference between the land value and the structure value is an important distinction to make.

“We have a lot of areas in Arizona where the land is very inexpensive and the structure is underinsured while the land in the policy is overvalued,” said Montemore. “We also have many locations in Metro Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley where the land is very expensive, so making sure the land/structure values are accurate is important.”

Personal Property Damage

When it comes to the contents inside your home, your homeowners insurance will cover the cost of replacing your possessions should they be damaged or destroyed. This includes furniture, clothing, and other personal belongings. Typical policies will provide an insurance amount of about 75 percent of the policy limit on your dwelling for personal property. Should some possessions be stolen or damaged when you are away from home, a common limited coverage of approximately 10 percent is provided to supplement the loss.

An incredibly helpful habit to adopt is an annual home inventory of your personal property. To do this, create a spreadsheet for every room in your home, including the basement and attic. Go room to room and list all the items contained within, including quantity of a particular item, the year it was made, the year it was purchased, and an estimated cost to replace it with a similar item.

This should include items such as kitchen equipment, clothing, rugs, lamps, artwork, furniture, televisions, appliances, curtains, and more. Taking a photograph or video of your possessions will also be a benefit. Should disaster strike, you will have a complete list of all your property that you can provide to the insurance company to have replaced. Updating this list annually will assure that as much of your personal property is covered as possible.

Personal liability coverage

If you, a family member, or a pet cause injury or damage to someone else or their property (not including automobile accidents), then your homeowners insurance should typically cover up to $100,000 for each occurrence — though the option to purchase a higher coverage value may exist. Personal liability is only applicable if the injury or damage was deemed an accident rather than an intentional action against someone else.

Medical Payments Coverage

If someone outside your household is injured at your home, regardless of fault, your medical payments coverage will provide assistance for reasonable and necessary medical expenses for that individual. Some policies may pay for the medical expenses of someone who is injured away from your property, but this is more limited and should be verified before assumed.

Additional Living Expenses

If your home is not habitable due to a loss covered by your insurance policy, the cost of temporarily moving into a motel or apartment will be paid for by the insurance company if determined to be reasonable and necessary. Generally, this coverage lasts for up to 12 months and will pay up to 20 percent of your policy limit on your dwelling for expenses exceeding the normal cost of your living expenses.

Should disaster strike, a well-rounded policy that adequately covers your home or your property is the best protection against unexpected disasters.

“Know what is in your policy,” said Don Matheson, founder of The Matheson Team of realtors for Re/Max Fine Properties. “Ask yourself, what is actually covered in my specific policy. Look at whether it includes flood insurance, if it covers mold. What the liability coverage is and if it is enough.” Having a strong grasp of your specific homeowners insurance policy is key to ensuring there are no unwelcome surprises.

Additionally, it’s important for you and your insurance agent or broker to have an open and honest discussion about what possible perils your home may face, and what coverage you will need. Sometimes, the least expected conditions can actually be a very large risk, as detailed by Carmen Brodeur, J.D., a realtor for Trillium Properties with a background in real estate law.

“A lot of Scottsdale is in a flood zone,” said Brodeur. “This comes as a surprise to a lot of clients since it’s in the desert.” In order to combat any unexpected flood damage, Brodeur connects her clients with a knowledgeable insurance broker that will help search for a variety of excellent insurance companies that suit their needs.

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Why Are Arizona’s Rates So Low?

Compared to the rest of the 50 states, Arizona’s average annual premium is actually pretty low, according to the Insurance Information Institute. On average, the cost of homeowners insurance in Arizona is $724 per year, which makes the state the sixth lowest in the country.

That being said, a recent report in KTAR News noted one significant condition that may drastically affect your insurance rate: your credit score. According to the article, residents of Arizona with a credit score that has dropped from “Excellent” to “Fair” may be subject to a rate increase of more than 50 percent, “making it one of the worst in the nation for these types of rate increases.”

Additionally, Arizona residents may experience rate hikes after their first claim, according to the Phoenix Business Journal. While Arizona’s average premium may be one of the lowest in the country, filing a single claim can result in about a 17 percent increase in your rate. As a result, typical homeowners must consider whether or not the rate hike will be worth it in the end before filing a moderate claim.

While this news may make you feel hopeful or discouraged, there are many ways any homeowner can reduce premiums. Installing local fire and burglar alarms, increasing your deductible, and having bundled coverages under one company can help save you money every year.

FAQs

What are common coverage gaps?

Knowing what is and what isn’t covered in your policy will save you from financially stressful situations should disaster strike. According to the 2014 Homeowners Guide from the Arizona Department of Insurance, there are a slew of common exclusions and limitations that you may find missing from your policy.

Some of the most frequent exclusions include:

  • Loss of animals, birds, fish, or automobiles
  • Damage caused by flood, surface water, overflow of a body of water, or spray from any natural water source
  • Water damage due to backed-up sewers or drains
  • War, nuclear hazard, neglect, earth movement, or power failure damage
  • Property used for any business purposes
  • Mold, fungi, wet rot, and dry rot
  • Damage caused by continuous or repeated seepage or leakage of water or a stream over a period of time

Most basic homeowners insurance policies will also limit the coverage of the following:

  • Cash, securities, jewelry, furs, and stamp and coin collections
  • Firearms
  • Computers
  • Antiques or art objects

Some insurance companies will allow you to extend coverages, for an additional cost, if you feel your property can benefit. Speak with your insurance broker or agent to learn more about what is available to you.

What types of natural disasters are common for an Arizona home?

As a general rule, you get what you pay for when it comes to insurance. Being protected against natural disasters that threaten your home can mean the difference between a quick recovery and a lengthy one.

According to the US Insurance Agents, a company that helps consumers compare insurance rates, Arizona is prone to a variety of natural disasters, including earthquake, flood, hail, tornadoes, hurricanes, and wildfires.

Is flood insurance covered in my policy?

Typically, flood insurance is excluded from a homeowners insurance policy; however you can add this coverage at an additional cost.

While some insurance companies may offer their own flood insurance, more often than not the coverage is provided by the National Flood Insurance Program if your property complies with federal guidelines for flood prevention.

As mentioned earlier in this article, flooding is usually an unexpected disaster in Arizona given the arid environment throughout the state. Handy tools online can help you find out whether your home is in a flood zone and the potential risk it faces.

Take Action

You now have a good idea of what to expect when gathering quotes, determining the coverages of your policy, and what to consider when discussing with your insurance agent. Shop around and find out what certain companies provide compared to others. Consider the risks your home faces and discuss ways to cover it should disaster strike. The best homeowners insurance policy is out there. With the tools and understanding you’re now equipped with — and a little bit of time — you’ll easily be able to find it.

Freshome’s Recommendations: Amica, Liberty Mutual, State Farm, Allstate, Travelers, Nationwide, Farmers.

Compare Homeowners Insurance Rates

To quickly find and compare rates in your area, enter your ZIP code below.

Enter Your ZIP Code:

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