Buying a home is an exciting process, but once the deal is done, there’s more to shop for than new furniture. Homeowners insurance isn’t the most glamorous purchase, so it’s understandable if you’re less than thrilled about beginning your search. Purchasing home insurance will protect your property and your belongings in the event of a disaster, so it’s important to dedicate some time to choosing the right provider and policy.

Our top picks for homeowners insurance companies in Ohio had a suite of qualities in common — each was in good financial standing, offered comprehensive coverage at affordable prices, and employed agents who were both friendly and patient.

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The Best Homeowners Insurance in Ohio

Freshome’s Recommended Homeowners Insurance Companies in Ohio: State FarmAmicaLiberty MutualAllstateTravelers InsuranceAmerican FamilyChubbGEICO

Whether you’re in the process of buying your very first home, or just reviewing your insurance options to make sure you have a fair rate, the best way to get started is to gather quotes. You can get a quote online, over the phone, or in person with a local agent. Online is the quickest and easiest, so in your initial search, start there. Each quote will take you about 10 minutes, and you should collect a bunch of quotes to compare.

Once you’ve narrowed it down to a few options, give each provider a call to ask more questions, refine your quote, and get a feel for their customer service. You can visit a local insurance office if you’d like, but it’s not necessary.

We pulled a few quotes to show you the range of prices on the market, but don’t put too much stake in these — insurance quotes vary from person to person, and each company looks at different variables when determining a rate. That means that our cheapest option could be your most expensive, or you could find a great deal with a provider who gave us an astronomical rate.

To apply for our sample home insurance quotes, we said we were buying a 1,500-square-foot home in Cleveland, valued around $180,000.

Our Quotes
Liberty Mutual$693 Per Year
State Farm$720 Per Year
Amica$986 Per Year

There are tons of insurance providers to choose from in Ohio, and there’s no reason not to get as many quotes as possible. Getting a quote for homeowners insurance won’t affect your credit, and the only way to be sure you’re getting a good deal is to check out plenty of options.

The one thing you need to be really sure of is that your insurance company has a good financial outlook. Why? Because if your home is significantly damaged and you file a claim, your provider needs to be able to pay up. So go for a reliable company that has a solid fiscal future ahead of it. We’ve gone ahead and vetted the following companies, so if they’re on this list, they meet the following qualifications:

What You Should Know Before Getting a Quote

How do Ohio’s rates compare?

Living in the Buckeye State comes with plenty of perks, and home insurance rates are no exception. In fact, Ohio residents pay an average 30 percent less than the national average for homeowners insurance premiums. Low rates could be due to Ohio’s low natural disaster rate.

“Scared of hurricanes, tornadoes and fires? Head to Ohio. Three of the top 10 cities in the U.S. least likely to be destroyed by a natural disaster are located in the state.” – CBS News

While the national average is a whopping $1,096 per year, annual charges in Ohio average just $763. That puts home insurance in Ohio among the very cheapest in the nation.

What do I need to prepare?

Keep your home’s listing sheet within reach when you start applying for home insurance quotes. While some companies just ask a few basic questions to determine your insurance rate, others require details you may not know offhand. You’ll frequently be asked for information on building materials and styles, and you’ll also need to know when major systems in your home were most recently checked or repaired.

If you don’t know all of the answers your first go-around, it’s no big deal. You can make educated guesses when applying for online quotes, and then revisit your answers when it’s time to narrow things down and speak with an agent.

Is a low deductible worth the cost?

When deciding on your deductible, keep in mind that you should only file a claim with your insurance if you absolutely need to. While it’s frustrating to pay good money for a service that you’re discouraged from using, your insurance provider can and will raise your rates if you make a claim too often.

So consider what your finances will look like in the event of a home disaster. If your house is ravaged by a fire, will you be able to afford several thousand dollars in out-of-pocket costs? If so, it’s probably a good idea to choose a plan with a high deductible. After all, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium.

If you don’t have that much cash at the ready, it’s okay to pick a lower deductible and pay a higher annual rate. But you may also want to consider opting for a mid-range deductible, and then putting the money you save in an emergency fund, which will hopefully outpace the cost of a deductible within a short time.

Will my credit score affect how much I pay?

Your age, marital status, and history of insurance claims all help determine how much you’re paying for homeowners insurance in Ohio. But one of the biggest factors is your credit score. If you’re applying for a mortgage, you probably already know that a low credit score can wreak havoc on your long term finances. While a few states prevent insurance providers from using your credit score against you, Ohio isn’t one of them. In fact, a small drop in your credit from “Excellent” to “Fair” will increase your home insurance rate by approximately 51 percent. That’s nearly $400 per year, on average. If your credit’s in bad shape, you may want to reconsider applying for homeowners insurance until your score is in better standing.

What else is covered under my homeowners insurance policy?

Your home insurance covers more than just the structure of your home — it covers everything inside it, too. Make sure you take inventory and register any valuables with your insurance company, so you can rest easy knowing they’ll be replaced if stolen or damaged. Most insurance covers your possessions even when they’re not in your house. You may have to pay a little more to add items like wedding rings or expensive accessories, but the peace of mind is often worth the small cost.

If your home is seriously damaged by a natural disaster, your insurance will cover many after-the-fact expenses, along with damage to your property. Here’s what’s covered, courtesy of the Ohio Department of Insurance:

  • Additional Living Expenses: Room and board (e.g., staying at a hotel or motel) while you are unable to use your house
  • Trees and Shrubs: A set amount for damage to specified items
  • Temporary Repairs: Boarding up windows or other temporary repairs to minimize additional damage
  • Fire Department Charges: Some communities charge a fee for emergency response; some policies provide reimbursement for up to $500
  • Debris Removal: Removing damaged property from the premises after a loss
  • Property Removed: 30-day coverage for personal property stored at another location while your house is being repaired (covers property at stored location, does not cover cost of storing)

Your home insurance policy also includes liability insurance, in the event that you’re sued for an injury that occurs on your property. It also covers medical expenses (up to a certain amount) if a visitor is hurt in your home, even if it wasn’t your fault.

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FAQs

What type of policy should I look for?

There are HO3 policies, and then there’s everything else. An HO3 policy covers everything except for a specific list of exemptions. This means you know exactly what situations won’t be covered, and there won’t be any surprises. There are no good surprises when it comes to insurance coverage.

Most quotes that you get will default to HO3, but before you commit, confirm that this is your type of policy by speaking with an agent, either in person or over the phone.

How much insurance do I need?

If you’re buying a new home with the help of a mortgage, your lender will require you to secure homeowners insurance for at least the amount of your loan. But it’s best to look for coverage that will cover the cost of completely rebuilding your home in the event of a catastrophic disaster. Sometimes that amount is slightly higher than what you paid for your property.

Whatever you do, make sure you’re not significantly underinsured:

“If the replacement value of your home is $100,000, the minimum coverage a policy may require is 80 percent or $80,000. If you are covered for $60,000, the insurance company will pay only 75 percent of the repair costs for any damage. You are responsible to pay the rest. If a storm, for example, causes $1,000 in roof damage, the policy will cover 75 percent, or $750. The company will then subtract the $250 deductible and pay you only $500 for repairs. The remaining $500 will be your responsibility to pay. These percentages hold true as the cost of the claim rises and you remain underinsured.” – Ohio Department of Insurance

What are common gaps in home insurance coverage?

While your homeowners insurance covers most of your possessions, there may be exceptions if you haven’t specifically outlined all items in your policy:

“Most policies’ hazard coverage doesn’t include business equipment, damage caused by natural disasters, or loss of art or jewelry over a certain amount. You will want to purchase additional insurance if your house is in a high-risk area for fire, floods, earthquakes, or other natural disasters or if you have expensive art, jewelry, or business equipment at home.” – Nolo.com

Most insurance companies will provide quotes that don’t include any water backup/sump pump overflow coverage. This is a common cause for home damage, and it might be smart to add it to your coverage, depending on the cost. You’ll have a few levels of deductible and coverage dollar amounts available in this category, so you’re free to pick the one that’s right for your home.

Your home insurance policy isn’t the same as your home warranty. The former covers things like fire and natural disaster, while the latter covers faulty wiring and malfunctioning appliances. For more clarification and a guide to finding a home warranty, check out this article.

How do I get flood insurance?

If you live in a floodplain, you’ll need to purchase flood insurance separately. This isn’t provided by any independent insurer, so you’ll have to get it through the federal government. You can get covered for flooding even if you don’t live in a floodplain, but whether the extra expense is worthwhile will depend on your unique situation. Talk to your real estate agent or another trusted professional to find out if it’s a good buy for your home.

How can I lower my premium?

Every insurance company conducts business in a different way, but there are certain variables that will almost always raise or lower your premium. Let’s start by going over some things that could cause you to pay more for insurance:

  • Swimming pool
  • Pets
  • Trampoline
  • Playground equipment
  • Smoking
  • Previous claims on your home insurance
  • Low credit score

On the flip side, here are ways you can save money on your homeowners insurance policy:

  • Install deadbolt locks
  • Smoke detector that reports to fire station
  • Burglar alarm that reports to police station
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Indoor sprinkler system
  • Getting LEED certified
  • Bundling home insurance with auto insurance

Take Action

Hopefully after reading this guide, you’re feeling informed, prepared, and motivated to start shopping for homeowners insurance. Remember, the best way to get a good deal is to shop around and gather plenty of quotes to compare. So go ahead and get started with the insurance providers we’ve vetted.

Freshome’s Recommended Homeowners Insurance Companies in Ohio: State FarmAmicaLiberty MutualAllstateTravelers InsuranceAmerican FamilyChubbGEICO

Compare Homeowners Insurance Rates

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

Enter Your ZIP Code: