Best insurance rates for home and auto
Amica is our top pick overall — it’s just an all-around competitor. It’s the only company to earn all five power circles from J.D. Power in all six survey categories: overall satisfaction, policy offerings, pricing, billing and payment, contacting the insurer, and claims. Amica received top marks in customer satisfaction from Consumer Reports as well.
Amica’s only flaw is that it doesn’t fare quite as well as the competition when it comes to discounts. For example, you won’t get a break in your rates for adding deadbolts (common with other insurers) or upgrading your home’s major risk factors (getting a new roof, getting LEED certified, etc.).
An interesting note about Amica: It does not have local insurance agents. Instead of working with one assigned agent, you’ll deal with company representatives. It’s a lot like calling up the phone company; whoever answers is there to help you, but if you call back, you’ll probably talk to someone else. This may help the company offer its lower rates because it doesn’t spend money on costly commissions. However, if you value the personal service that a local agent can provide, even if it means you pay a bit more, you shouldn’t go with Amica.
And since it bears repeating again and again: There’s no guarantee that Amica will offer the lowest rate for you, which is why you’ll need to shop around for quotes. You can get a quote from Amica online, but you may be required to call for others. Do it: It’s worth the small talk.
Best for New Homeowners & Best Discounts
Allstate stood out in our general review of the best homeowners insurance companies for its comprehensive educational tools. It’s a great place to start if you’re new to the game of homeownership, and it also earns a spot on our list of cheap homeowners insurance companies for its humongous list of discounts. Whether you want a price break for bundling, setting up automatic premium payments, securing your home with deadbolts and burglar alarms, or making recent renovations, Allstate has you covered — and it doesn’t stop there. It even gives you a “Welcome” discount just for being a new customer.
Allstate doesn’t fare quite as well as Amica when it comes to customer satisfaction. You may get a cheap(er) quote, but customers have mixed views as to whether they get their money’s worth. Allstate offers online homeowners quotes, and the process only takes a few minutes. Of course, you can also opt to call one of its local agents, which is a great choice if you prefer the more personal service.
While MetLife makes you work a little more for your quote — you have to call an agent — you shouldn’t let that dissuade you.
The company scores well in Insure.com’s survey on “value for price, ” and it’s second only to Allstate in number of discounts offered. Those price breaks include the not-so-common ones: discounts for seniors 55 and over, having a membership in groups like AAA, and home improvements such as new roofs. Even storm shutters will save you some cash!
In the military or from a military family? You might qualify for USAA, which insures active and retired US military members and their families. USAA consistently draws high praise for its customer service and its low rates, so if you are eligible, we highly recommend getting a quote.
What puts MetLife over the edge for its value is that it offers a rare type of policy: guaranteed replacement. It’s one of the most comprehensive types of coverage available. With this policy, you’re covered for the actual replacement cost to both your home’s structure and everything inside, even if your belongings have depreciated over the years.
We weren’t wowed by MetLife’s customer service, and its single-page website certainly didn’t impress us, but its high standard of coverage puts the company in our top list. File MetLife under: definitely getting a quote.