Homeowners Insurance in California

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Best Home Insurance and Cheapest Rates in California

Allstate has the cheapest home insurance rates in California, at an average $660 a year, according to our research. Auto Club of Southern California is the best-value home insurance company in the state.

With wildfires devastating hundreds of thousands of acres every year, California homeowners need no reminder of how important home insurance can be. But finding the best company and rate for you can be difficult. We ranked the top companies in California based on affordability, customer satisfaction ratings and policy coverage. This article will detail:

Auto Club of Southern California: best-value home insurance company

Auto Club of Southern California provides the best value for home insurance in California, with fair rates and above-average customer service. Auto Club is an AAA insurer, meaning you’ll need an AAA membership to qualify. Becoming a member unlocks many benefits, like roadside assistance and travel discounts.

Auto Club’s average homeowners insurance rate is $791 a year in California, according to our research, which is $227 below the California average. Those reasonable rates get you industry-standard coverage, and you also have the option to add additional coverages or reduce your rates with discounts. For example, Auto Club advertises up to 15.7% savings on auto insurance and 20% on homeowners insurance when you bundle the two.

Auto Club received 820 out of 1,000 in overall satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2020 home insurance study, putting it in the top 15 companies in the nation. That indicates a high level of customer service. The combination of fair rates, high customer satisfaction scores and member benefits makes Auto Club of Southern California a great all-around insurer.

Allstate: cheapest rates

Allstate has the cheapest homeowners insurance rates in California, at an average $660 a year. That puts Allstate’s rates 35% below the state average. Allstate’s rates remain affordable across many of California’s most populated areas, as the table below shows.

 

Find cheap home insurance in California by comparing quotes from companies like Allstate.

Finding low-cost homeowners insurance doesn’t matter unless you get the coverage you need. Comparing companies is one of the best ways to save money on your homeowners insurance premiums while making sure you get the coverage you need.

State Farm: best for bundling home and auto

If you want to bundle your homeowners and auto insurance, we recommend State Farm because of its consistent service across both types of insurance. State Farm's overall customer satisfaction rating for homeowners insurance was 829 out of 1,000 in 2020, according to J.D. Power.

State Farm says customers who switch save up to $965 a year by bundling home and auto insurance. In addition to substantial savings, bundling can be a great convenience, as it puts both of your insurance policies under one roof.

USAA: best homeowners insurance for military families

USAA’s services, including homeowners insurance, are only available to military personnel, veterans and their eligible family members. We recommend USAA as the best home insurance option for those who qualify, as it offers best-in-class customer service and coverage at an affordable rate.

USAA’s average rate is $780 a year, which is $238 below the California state average. At that price, customers also receive an excellent customer service experience. USAA had a 889 out of 1,000 in overall satisfaction in the 2020 J.D. Power home insurance study, the highest score in the report.

California is home to more than 1.8 million veterans — more than any other state. USAA meets the large population of veterans’ unique insurance needs by providing specialized coverage. For example, USAA covers military uniforms and equipment if you are on active or reserve duty. USAA also knows that service members’ living situations can change quickly, so it allows you to easily adjust your coverage.

Average cost of homeowners insurance in California

We compiled quotes for every ZIP code in California from 10 insurance companies to get average rates. We found that the average cost of home insurance is $1,018 a year in California. That's $708 lower than the national average of $1,726.

How much home insurance costs in California
  California U.S.
Yearly rates $1,018 $1,726
Monthly rates $85 $144
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

Your deductible affects your home insurance premium. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Increasing your deductible from $500 to $2,000 will drop your monthly premium by nearly 20%. Below are average home insurance rates for different deductibles in California

California homeowners insurance rates by deductible
Deductible Yearly rate
$500 $1,131
$1,000 $1,018
$1,500 $975
$2,000 $911
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

The average cost of homeowners insurance in California also differs considerably based on the amount of dwelling coverage you have. Below are the average homeowners insurance rates for different levels of dwelling coverage.

 

Cheapest homeowners insurance companies in California

The cheapest home insurance companies in California are Allstate, USAA and Auto Club, according to our research. The table below shows average rates for some of the top home insurance companies in California. Premiums vary widely between companies, which is one reason why comparison shopping is important.

Cheapest home insurance in California
Company Average annual rate Overall satisfaction rating out of 1,000* (higher is better)
Allstate $660 829
USAA $780 889
Auto Club of Southern California $791 820
Mercury $814 -
State Farm $827 829
Farmers $1,033 814
CSAA $1,065 825
The Hartford $1,126 832
Chubb $1,497 778
AIG $1,588 809

Compare quotes from California's best and cheapest home insurance companies.

For information on these insurers, check out our study of the best homeowners insurance companies in the U.S.

Homeowners insurance rates in California by city and county

Average home insurance premiums vary by city and county in California because they have varying risk factors according to their location. For example, homes in areas that are historically prone to wildfires may see higher rates than other areas.

California’s most populous city, Los Angeles, has an average rate of $1,188 a year — $170 above the state average. On the other hand, other populous areas like San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego all enjoy rates slightly below the state average.

Home insurance rates in California, by city
City Average annual rate
State average $1,018
Anaheim $1,046
Bakersfield $960
Chula Vista $950
Fontana $1,117
Fremont $950
Fresno $999
Irvine $1,063
Long Beach $1,001
Los Angeles $1,188
Modesto $893
Oakland $1,056
Riverside $1,146
Sacramento $948
San Bernardino $1,148
San Diego $942
San Francisco $976
San Jose $862
Santa Ana $997
Santa Clarita $1,152
Stockton $955
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.
Home insurance rates in California, by county
County Average annual rate
State average $1,018
Alameda $975
Contra Costa $941
Fresno $1,014
Kern $1,027
Los Angeles $1,120
Orange $1,065
Riverside $1,160
Sacramento $941
San Bernardino $1,168
San Diego $1,015
San Francisco $977
San Joaquin $948
San Mateo $887
Santa Barbara $817
Santa Clara $873
Solano $918
Sonoma $827
Stanislaus $889
Tulare $986
Ventura $868
Average rates are based on non-binding estimates provided by Quadrant Information Services. Your rates may vary.

California wildfires and home insurance

Homeowners insurance typically covers damage from wildfires. However, reasonably priced home insurance policies are becoming more difficult to come by, as insurers charge sky-high rates or do not renew policies.

There are more than two million homes in California at high to extreme risk of wildfire damage, according to Verisk Analytics – more than any other state. One of the ways insurance companies determine how great the fire risk is to a home is by using a Public Protection Classification (PPC) by in the Insurance Services Office (ISO).

ISO ratings are determined by many factors including the size of the local fire department and water supply systems. Lower classifications are better and indicate better fire preparedness.

 

California’s fire preparedness is superior to the nationwide average: 47% of communities in California are class three or better, compared to 15% nationally. 83 percent of communities in California are rated class five or better, where only 56% of communities nationally are class five or better.

While having a strong ISO classification can give you some peace of mind, it is important to remember how frequent and severe wildfires in California can be. 2018 was a particularly devastating year, with the Mendocino Complex and Carr fires raging through the state. And the August Complex fire of 2020 has eclipsed was the largest fire in California history. 

California FAIR plan

For homeowners who have tried to get coverage but can’t, there’s the California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plan (FAIR Plan). The California FAIR Plan provides fire insurance to homeowners, but it is limited compared to traditional homeowners insurance. Therefore, you should exhaust all of your private market options before turning to the FAIR Plan.

The California FAIR Plan protects your home from fire, but coverage from wind and hail requires extended coverage that will raise your premiums. Furthermore, FAIR Plan insurance is capped at a lower coverage limit than traditional homeowners insurance companies, meaning it may not meet every homeowner's needs.

Because FAIR Plan insurance excludes much of the coverage that standard homeowners insurance includes, like coverage for theft, water damage and liability, you may have to purchase an additional Difference in Conditions policy (DIC). DIC policies fill in the gaps in FAIR Plan insurance. Together, a FAIR Plan and DIC policy approximate the property coverage that you’ll find through regular homeowners insurance.

California earthquake insurance

Homeowners insurance does not usually cover damage from earthquakes, although some companies may let you add coverage to your existing policy for an added premium. If you cannot get earthquake insurance through your homeowners insurance policy and want coverage, you’ll have to purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy.

Homeowners in California should strongly consider having protection from earthquakes. According to FEMA, there are $3.7 billion in annualized losses due to earthquakes in California alone. The probability of suffering a major loss due to an earthquake in a given year may be low, but when earthquakes do hit, they can be devastating.

Frequently asked questions

Q: How much does home insurance cost in California?

A: The average cost of home insurance in California is $1,018, according to our study.

Q: Who has the best home insurance in California?

A: Home insurance is not one-size-fits-all. However, our study of homeowners insurance in California found that Auto Club of Southern California is a great option for many people.

Q: Does home insurance cover flood damage?

A: Flood damage is not covered by homeowners insurance. For protection, you'll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.

Q: What is the California FAIR plan?

A: The California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan provides insurance of last resort. FAIR Plan insurance is for homeowners who cannot find coverage through the voluntary market.

Methodology

We aggregated thousands of quotes from every ZIP code in California. We used the following policy specifications:

  • Dwelling coverage: $275,000
  • Personal property coverage: 50% of dwelling ($137,500)
  • Other structures coverage: 10% of dwelling ($27,500)
  • Loss of use coverage: 20% of dwelling ($55,000)
  • Liability coverage: $100,000
  • Deductible: $1,000, unless otherwise noted

Finally, all demographic, geographic and market data was sourced from S&P Global.

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