Homeowners insurance is one of the only things you buy that you hope you never have to use. But if you do need to file a claim, it’s important to know you’re working with a reputable insurance company that offers robust coverage. A good insurance agent will take the time to walk you through your policy so you fully understand what’s covered and what’s not. Most insurance companies cover only certain types of disasters. If a non-covered disaster strikes your home,  you may be up a creek without a paddle — and hopefully not literally.

That’s where we come in. After sifting through reviews and ratings, we found Liberty Mutual to be the best choice for homeowners insurance in Iowa, due to its well-trained agents, transparent coverage, and affordable premiums.

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The Best Homeowners Insurance in Iowa

Freshome’s Recommendations: Liberty Mutual, Amica, State Farm, Allstate, TravelersDiscover Property & Casualty Insurance, Metlife, American Family Insurance.

To help you find the best homeowners insurance in Iowa, we spent hours researching and interviewing experts. We analyzed the rating and reviews of different insurance companies to identify the top three companies for you, based on coverage, satisfaction, and affordability.

We scoured through J.D. Power rankings and final strength ratings to find the best providers that also met our stringent criteria, which were:

Besides hours of online research, we also spoke to an experienced real estate agent to get a firsthand opinion on the different aspects you should consider while buying home insurance.

Along with this research, we procured online quotes from the three top home insurance companies in Iowa. For each quote, we used a 3,600-square-foot house with four beds and three-and-a-half baths in the city of Ankeny, Iowa. Built in 2015, this single-family home comes with two floors and a detached three-car garage. The details of the coverage for this quote include:

  • Dwelling coverage worth $487,400 (100 percent replacement cost based on the market value of the house)
  • Other structure coverage worth $20,000
  • Personal property coverage of $150,000
  • Loss of use is $60,000
  • Deductible is $1,000
  • Liability coverage of $300,000
  • Medical payments of $5,000
  • No extra protection for water backup, sump overflow, and identity frauds
  • This quote is based on the assumption that there are no existing alarm systems in the house

The above coverage are for an HO3 policy, the most comprehensive policy for single-family homes. This policy covers the owner-occupied dwelling, private structures connected with the home, personal liability coverage, and medical payments. All HO3 policies cover physical damage or loss caused by 16 different perils including vandalism, theft and fire. Further, losses to personal property are paid on an actual cash value (ACV) basis while losses to the dwelling are paid based on the replacement cost basis. These payments tend to cover most of the loss, and this is why it’s a preferred choice for many homeowners.

Our Quotes
State Farm$1,890 per year
Amica$1,66 per year
Liberty Mutual$1,039 per year

Among the different providers of an HO3 policy, we found Liberty Mutual to be the best homeowners insurance in Iowa in terms of affordability and coverage. It costs a lot less for the same coverage when compared to our other picks. However, keep in mind that quotes vary based on your home’s specific features, so while our home had the cheapest quote with Liberty Mutual, it may not be the case for you. It’s best to find the right quote for your home based on your required coverage and your home’s features.

In general though, Liberty Mutual’s website has a comprehensive suite of tools that make it easy and convenient to buy the insurance online. Also, you can tailor the coverage to meet your individual needs by choosing from a wide variety of choices such as identity fraud, earthquake coverage, and sump pump overflow coverage.

Besides the affordable cost, Liberty Mutual also provides good customer service with agents standing by to answer all your questions. Many customers have stated that they process claims quickly for any repairs that come up due to any of the disasters covered under the policy.

Our second choice is Amica, both in terms of cost and the features it offers. Besides providing a great online tool, Amica is the only company that has a separate program called the Home Repair Assistance Program. Under this program, Amica offers access to pre-qualified and licensed contractors who can complete your home repairs quickly and efficiently. Also, the many add-on choices and prompt claim payments make Amica the second best preferred choice for home insurance in Iowa.

Our third pick is State Farm, as it comes with well-trained agents, professional customer service, and a reputation for honoring claims quickly. Though a tad more expensive than the second choice, State Farm is nevertheless a solid player in Iowa’s home insurance market.

What You Should Know Before Getting a Quote

A home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so it naturally follows that you’ll want the right insurance to protect it from natural and manmade calamities. With most policies, you’ll pay a monthly or annual premium. Each insurance company will assess how risky it is to insure your home in order to determine your premium. In general, you’ll pay more if the risk is higher.

“There is nothing more important than a good, safe and secure home.” –  Rosalynn Carter

While assessing this risk, home insurance companies take into account many factors such as the size of home, date of construction, add-ons like swimming pools, neighborhood crime rates, market value, and the likelihood of severe weather conditions and natural disasters in your area. If you live in a high crime area or in an area that is prone to natural disasters, your premium will be high.

Fortunately, you still have some control over the premium you pay and the coverage you get. While shopping for the best homeowners insurance in Iowa, here are some things you should keep in mind.

Coverage

Coverage is probably the single most important factor you should consider while shopping for the best homeowners insurance. In Iowa, here’s how the coverages break down:

  • Coverage A – Dwelling: This coverage protects against damage to your home and other attached structures like garages. It also includes protection to plumbing, wiring, heating systems, and air-conditioners.
  • Coverage B – Other Structures: This coverage protects structures that are not connected to the house such as detached garages, guest homes, and tree houses.
  • Coverage C – Personal Property: Under this coverage, the insurance company will compensate the owner for the value of personal belongings that were lost or damaged due to theft and natural disasters. However, most insurance companies have an upper limit on this coverage, and this will be stated in the terms and conditions.
  • Coverage D – Loss of Use: If you’re unable to stay in your home due to loss or damage, then the insurance company will cover your living expenses like food and hotel stay.
  • Coverage E – Personal Liability: If you’re found legally liable for another person’s injuries or damages, then this coverage takes care of that.
  • Coverage F – Medical payments to Others: This coverage takes care of all medical costs of anyone injured on your property

The amount of coverage you choose in each of the above categories determines the cost of your premium.

Location

Another factor that determines the coverage and cost is the location of your home. According to Tim Lehman of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Professionals, “The cost of insurance depends on how close you’re going to be to a fire department. The closer you are, the lower is your cost.”  Also, Lehman recommends exercising caution while buying homes located in floodplains, as mortgage owners mandate additional flood insurance for such properties.

Understand Replacement Cost

One important aspect that determines your premium is the replacement cost. This is the cost of replacing or rebuilding your home in the event of a loss due to natural and manmade disasters. This is not the market value or resale price of your home, though the market value will play a role in the calculation of replacement cost. However, it does not consider the mortgage owed or the purchase price of the home.

In today’s market, it’s hard to determine the exact value of replacement, and this is why many insurance companies have their own formula to calculate the replacement costs. It’s best to talk to your agent to understand how the company calculates this cost before deciding which is best for you.

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Consider Going Beyond a Basic Policy

A basic, inexpensive insurance policy may seem like the best bang for your buck in the immediate future. However, it can prove to be a costly mistake in the event of a loss, as much of the financial burden will fall on you if the home is not fully covered. This is why it’s best to opt for a comprehensive HO3 policy along with add-ons like sewer protection. Also, consider a policy that would cover a good portion of your personal assets inside the house.  If you live in a flood-prone area, add flood coverage to your policy as standard policies do not pay for damages due to floods.

Lower the premium cost

There are some things you can do to lower the cost of your premium. Installing safety devices like motion-sensitive lights, burglar alarms, a security system, and surveillance cameras can bring down the premium without affecting the coverage. Improving your credit score may also help in some cases. Plus, bundling car and home insurance can help you save some money. “Typically most customers who come to us already have a car insurance, so they get an extra discount when they buy home insurance from the same company,” said Lehman.

Why are Iowa’s rates so low?

Iowa homeowners pay an average of $779 per year for home insurance; that’s almost $255 lower than the national average of $1,034. Nationally, Iowa has the 10th lowest average home insurance premium, and much of this can be attributed to the low value of its homes. A typical house in the state is valued at $124,300, which is $52,400 lower than the U.S. average of $176,700. No wonder more than 71 percent of homes are occupied by the owners, as against the national average of 55 percent.

Though these rates are lower than the national average, they are not the lowest in the country because Iowa is prone to natural disasters year round.

Iowa’s temperatures vary widely during the year, as this state experiences hot summers, wet springs, and cold winters. Such a humid continental climate creates an increased risk of damage to your property due to severe weather events. In fact, Iowa has experienced 38 presidentially declared natural disasters since 1990, with the lead hazards being snowstorms, tornadoes, high winds, blizzards, heavy rains, and flooding.

FAQs

What are common coverage gaps?

Most homeowner insurance policies do not cover damages caused by floods, surface water run-off, sewer water backups, nuclear damage, war, and earth movement. Also, these policies cannot be extended to animals, fish, birds, automobiles, or business properties.

What about flood insurance?

Flood coverage is excluded from most homeowners insurance policy. If you live in a flood-prone area, it’s best to buy a separate flood insurance policy.

Why do I need an inventory?

In the event of loss or damage, the insurance company is obligated only to pay for the items that you can prove you owned at the time of loss. This is why it’s a good idea to keep your updated inventory in a secure place. Taking pictures of each room frequently also helps to prove your ownership.

Take Action

In short, Iowa is a state prone to natural disasters year round. Unfortunately, if a natural disaster strikes your home, the cost of rebuilding can be a huge financial burden. This is why it’s best to insulate yourself from such a loss by choosing the right home insurance policy. Shop around and get your quotes today in order to protect your home.

Freshome’s Recommendations: Liberty Mutual, Amica, State Farm, Allstate, TravelersDiscover Property & Casualty Insurance, Metlife, American Family Insurance.

Compare Homeowners Insurance Rates

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

Enter Your ZIP Code: