call

Best California Home Insurance 2022

Living in the Golden State has tons of perks — warm beaches, great hiking spots and Disneyland, to name a few. But as a homeowner, you're vulnerable to earthquakes and wildfires. Costing $1,044.34 per year, on average, for a home with $350,000 dwelling value, homeowners insurance protects you, your home and your belongings.

Price, however, isn't the only factor to consider. Below, we've compiled our recommendations for the best homeowners insurance in California based on price, customer satisfaction and more.

Best Home Insurance Companies in California

When choosing our top picks for the best homeowners insurance companies in California, we considered third-party scores, customer satisfaction and insurance rates. The California homeowners insurance rates listed for each carrier are based on quotes for a home with $350,000 in dwelling value.

Company

Best for

Score*

Allstate

Best for cheap rates

829

State Farm

Best for fire protection

835

Nationwide

Best for customer satisfaction

812

USAA

Best for military families

882

*Companies were chosen based on reviews and JD Power scores out of 1,000.

As a California homeowner, you're vulnerable to earthquakes and wildfires

Best for Cheap Rates: Allstate

Our research showed that Allstate offered the most affordable home insurance premiums at $934.97 per year, on average. This is a little over 10% savings when compared to the state average of $1,044.34 per year. Beyond homeowners insurance, Allstate also sells car insurance (you enjoy up to a 25% discount if you bundle home and auto with Allstate).

  • Discounts: Bundle; automatic payments; home security systems; early renewal

Best for Fire Protection: State Farm

Costing $1,231.11 per year for a homeowners insurance policy through State Farm, new and existing policyholders will now enjoy Wildfire Response Endorsement to their California customers, completely free of charge. To facilitate this service, State Farm has teamed up with Wildfire Defense Systems Inc., a wildfire risk mitigation company. These firefighting professionals will deploy a team to protect State Farm policyholders during an active wildfire assessing possible risk mitigation methods, like installing temporary sprinkler systems, monitoring and extinguishing hotspots and removing combustible materials from around the house.

  • Discounts: Bundle with another policy; home security systems; impact-resistant roofing

Best for Customer Satisfaction: Nationwide

California residents can expect to pay $1,375.60 per year, on average, for homeowners insurance from Nationwide. The national carrier was ranked among companies with the highest overall customer satisfaction scores in a 2021 U.S. home insurance study by J.D. Power. Nationwide also scored a 0.86 on the NAIC complaint index, indicating that the number of complaints received based on their size is below average. This suggests that Nationwide customers are satisfied with their insurance policies.

  • Discounts: New homeowner; bundle; home security systems; home system renovations; roof rating

Best for Military Families: USAA

Over 1.8 million former service members live in California — the largest veteran population of any state in the U.S. If you're a veteran, active military or directly related to somebody who is, then you may qualify for homeowners insurance through USAA. Costing $1,148.58 per year, on average, USAA is slightly above the statewide average. Still, this homeowners insurance company offers several perks, including personal property coverage worldwide and waived deductibles on your military uniform or equipment for covered claims while you are deployed.

  • Discounts: Bundle with auto; home security systems; claims-free history

Cost of Homeowners Insurance in California

The average cost of homeowners insurance in California is $1,044.34 per year for a home with a $350,000 value. Keep in mind that this figure is only an approximation and your actual price can vary per  insurance company, your home's dwelling value and the county you live in.

Average Cost by Insurance Company

We collected quotes for California homes with $350,000 dwelling value from nearly two dozen insurance companies. Allstate offers the lowest premium at $934.97 per year, on average, followed by Mercury at $1,060.34 per year. The Hartford and Encompass charged the highest premiums, costing $3,019.48 per year and $3,905.86 per year, respectively.

The wide range in premium prices ($900 to $4,000) is largely due to the different calculations that insurance carriers use to determine home policy premiums. While price is certainly important, you should also consider a company's insurance policies and services to make informed insurance-buying decisions.

Company

Average Annual Premium

Allstate

$934.97

Mercury

$1,060.34

USAA

$1,148.58

First American Corporation Group

$1,213.06

State Farm

$1,231.11

National General

$1,297.47

Nationwide

$1,375.60

Auto Club

$1,426.59

Capital Insurance Group

$1,427.94

CSAA

$1,631.69

Average Cost by Dwelling Value

Higher dwelling values are typically paired with higher home insurance premiums due to the extra rebuilding costs after your home is damaged under a covered event. We compiled average figures for homes with dwelling values ranging from $150,000 to $450,000. 

Californians with homes of $150,000 dwelling value pay, on average, $538.75 per year. On the highest end of our research, homes with $450,000 dwelling value typically cost $1,303.37 per year in premiums.

average annual premium by dwelling value for california

Average Cost by County

We researched quotes for homes with a dwelling value of $350,000 across 58 counties. Based on our research, San Benito County offered the most affordable premiums, on average ($710.10 per year). On the highest end was Mono County, costing $1,384.80 per year, on average.

County

Average Annual Premium

Alameda

$1,007.83

Alpine

$1,330.56

Amador

$1,046.39

Butte

$1,173.88

Calaveras

$1,122.85

Colusa

$1,121.70

Contra Costa

$958.04

Del Norte

$1,006.68

El Dorado

$1,092.38

Fresno

$964.27

Glenn

$1,150.72

Humboldt

$961.95

Imperial

$1,114.88

Inyo

$1,193.50

Kern

$1,075.75

Kings

$968.40

Lake

$1,073.55

Lassen

$1,327.80

Los Angeles

$1,085.04

Madera

$1,172.85

Marin

$939.89

Mariposa

$1,115.78

Mendocino

$1,050.37

Merced

$909.56

Modoc

$1,262.16

Mono

$1,384.80

Monterey

$887.08

Napa

$928.34

Nevada

$1,182.50

Orange

$1,056.87

Placer

$998.12

Plumas

$1,174.03

Riverside

$1,146.62

Sacramento

$959.20

San Benito

$710.10

San Bernardino

$1,159.05

San Diego

$996.62

San Francisco

$990.19

San Joaquin

$859.99

San Luis Obispo

$795.01

San Mateo

$887.67

Santa Barbara

$823.61

Santa Clara

$871.20

Santa Cruz

$956.20

Shasta

$1,125.29

Sierra

$1,261.56

Siskiyou

$1,182.24

Solano

$945.90

Sonoma

$849.24

Stanislaus

$947.97

Sutter

$933.71

Tehama

$1,077.13

Trinity

$1,214.37

Tulare

$962.18

Tuolumne

$1,217.41

Ventura

$970.63

Yolo

$863.69

Yuba

$909.55

Compare Home Insurance Rates in California

Homeowners Insurance in California

Standard homeowners insurance will cover California homeowners for multiple natural disasters, including wildfires (which the desert state is particularly prone to). As with most policies in any state, earthquake insurance is not included as standard insurance coverage in the fault-line state — you will need to purchase a separate policy.

When doing your research, keep in mind the coverages available to you. Below, we summarized the most common protections, as well as some additional coverage options worth considering.

Coverage

Description

Dwelling

Pays for the cost to rebuild your home after it suffered damages due to a covered event. 

Additional structures

Covers other structures besides your dwelling, such as fences, detached garages and sheds.

Personal property

Pays to replace your personal property if damaged or lost under a covered event. Standard compensation for your personal possessions is typically paid at actual cash value (your item's value, minus depreciation).

Liability

Covers legal fees that arise from being sued after somebody suffered an injury or property damage while on your property.

Medical payments (for others)

Optional coverage that covers medical payments for another person after they suffered an injury while on your property.

Loss of use

Coverage D covers additional living expenses if you're temporarily displaced from your home. For example, this coverage pays for your hotel stay while your home is undergoing repairs for fire-related damages.

Flood damage (separate policy)

Pays for flood-related damages and losses to your property. While flooding is not as common as in other states, flood insurance can still be worth considering in a coastal state, like California.

Earthquake

Covers earthquake-related damages. Separate policy purchasable and definitely worth considering in a fault-line state, like California.

Wildfire

Pays for damages suffered from a wildfire. Fortunately, fire damage is already a covered peril in standard homeowners insurance.

Standard homeowners insurance will cover California homeowners for multiple natural disasters, including wildfires.

What California Homeowners Need To Know

While California is often loved for its weather and entertainment, there's a lot that homeowners need to watch out for, including earthquakes, wildfires and floods.

Floods

Every county in California has been declared a flood risk area at least once each year since 1992. While floods are not as common as in other states, like Florida, the resulting damages are still considerable. The 2017 Oroville Dam crisis, for example, resulted in catastrophic flooding and the evacuation of 200,000 residents. 

Flood insurance coverage is not included in standard homeowners insurance but may be worth purchasing if you live in a high flood-risk area.

Earthquakes

With numerous fault lines running through the golden state, your city may be especially vulnerable to heavy earthquake damage. As mentioned, basic or even comprehensive coverage would not cover earthquakes. If you choose to purchase earthquake coverage, you'll typically enjoy the same coverage limits as the dwelling coverage in your standard policy. Keep in mind, however, that earthquake insurance policies still have some exclusions and would NOT cover:

  • Fire damage caused by an earthquake.

  • Damage to your land (e.g., sinkholes).

  • Damage to your vehicles (you would need to discuss this coverage with your car insurance provider).

  • Water damage caused by an earthquake (typically covered by flood insurance).

Wildfire

Many areas in California are vulnerable to destructive wildfires, partly due to poor forest management practices. Just recently, the 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County burned down over 18,000 structures, resulting in $7 billion in insured losses. Fire insurance is included in a basic homeowner's insurance policy.

How To Find Homeowners Insurance in California

National carriers, like State Farm, Allstate and Nationwide, are popular options among California homeowners. Due to their large sizes and budgets (State Farm specifically was rated A++ for financial strength by AM Best), these homeowners insurance companies have the reserves to fulfill claims for their California customers.

Beyond basic insurance coverage, you may also want to consider earthquake coverage. All homeowners insurance companies in California must offer their customers earthquake coverage every other year. The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) is the most popular choice among California residents. You can also buy insurance from national carriers that are members of the CEA, including:

  • Allstate

  • Amica Mutual Insurance Company

  • Automobile Club of Southern California (AAA)

  • Farmers Insurance

  • Liberty Mutual

  • Nationwide Insurance

  • USAA

  • State Farm

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the cheapest homeowners insurance companies in California?

Allstate offers the cheapest homeowners insurance, costing $934.97 per year, on average, for a home with a $350,000 dwelling value. The second cheapest is Mercury, costing $1,060.34 per year, on average.

What is the average homeowners insurance cost in California?

The average homeowners insurance cost in California is $1,044.34 per year for a home with a $350,000 dwelling value.

Why is homeowners insurance so expensive in California?

The costly claim payouts related to the increasing number of wildfires have contributed to the rise in home insurance premiums in California. In fact, some insurance carriers even refused to renew certain homeowners insurance policies, prompting Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara to directly contact insurance carriers to offer some relief to policyholders in 2018.

How much should I pay for homeowners insurance in California?

The amount you should expect to pay will vary by your home's value and location. For example, the average price will vary if your home's dwelling value is $150,000 ($538.75 per year); $250,000 ($799.71); $350,000 ($1,044.34 per year); or $450,000 ($1,303.37 per year). Other factors will also affect your rate, like the county the home is located in.

Find the Best Home Insurance in Your City

Living in California, you can enjoy warm weather, cool ocean breezes and tons of entertainment options year-round. Just don't forget there are also earthquakes and wildfires to contend with as a homeowner. Homeowners insurance can help ensure you and your property are covered after an unexpected disaster.

Whether you're in Norcal or Socal, SmartFinancial can help you find the right homeowners insurance policy at the right price. Get a free home insurance quote from one of our 200+ insurance partners by entering your zip code below.

Get a Free Home Insurance Quote Online Now.