The weather in the Grand Canyon State is as beautiful as it is unpredictable. One minute, there’s not a cloud in the big desert sky, and the next, you’re experiencing what locals call “monsoon season.” Add in sporadic, but costly hail storms, dangerous flash floods, wildfires fueled by scorching temps, and the occasional tornado, and researching insurance options can feel downright overwhelming. Whether you’re a native or a newcomer, finding the best homeowners insurance in Arizona should be easy and — dare we say it — affordable.
Good news: The average homeowners insurance premium in Arizona ($810) is considerably cheaper than the national average ($1,173). You can compare rates for your area using the quote tool above.
How We Found the Best Homeowners Insurance in Arizona
We modeled the approach after our review on nationwide homeowners insurance companies. First, we determined the largest home insurance companies in Arizona, then we took a look at their available discounts, add-on coverage opportunities, financial fitness, and how well they handled claims. We called them up, corresponded with agents via email, and requested more than a few online quotes. Here’s how they stack up.
Arizona Homeowners Insurance Reviews
Liberty Mutual nudged out Allstate and State Farm to take the top spot thanks to its consistent overall performance. Navigating the website was a breeze — we appreciated the state-specific resources and easy-to-use tools, like the basic coverage calculator.
Behind Allstate, it offers the second highest number of discounts, giving customers a break after purchasing a new home, or after installing security and safety devices like deadbolts and fire alarms. Additional coverage options (often referred to as endorsements) range from building code upgrades to identity theft protection.
Liberty Mutual shines when it comes to attentive customer service. Of the five companies we considered, Liberty Mutual received the highest reader score in Consumer Reports’ national homeowners insurance survey, earning top marks for a timely payout following a claim, and accurate estimates of damages. Its emergency home repairs service offers round-the-clock support, on call 24 hours a day all 365 days a year (so if you find yourself standing in 2 feet of water at 3 a.m., you can have someone on-site before breakfast).
Its one flaw? The company isn’t as financially sound as some of its competitors (we’re talking an “A” compared to State Farm’s “AA” on Standard & Poor’s rating scale). Still, its rating was strong and given customer’s satisfaction with claims payout, it’s clear it has a proven track record.
When it comes to bells and whistles, there’s no match for Allstate. The company is particularly forthcoming about discounts and the exact amounts you can save (more on this in a minute).
Our favorite feature — and one we recommend checking out regardless of the provider you choose — is the Common & Costly Claims tool. Using your zip code, it pulls the top five most common claims and expensive perils in your area, helping you to fill coverage gaps and avoid spending hard-earned money on mishaps (like $10,000 for burst pipes following a winter freeze).
Unlike Liberty Mutual’s Home Gallery app, which is only available for Apple users, Allstate’s free Digital Locker works for iOS and Android, making it easy to upload, categorize, and store your home inventory.
Allstate is the leader when it comes to discounts, offering 18 different ways to save plus an endorphins boost when you count all the money saved on your quote — it was almost enough to distract us from the amount we still had to pay.
It’s also the only provider we surveyed that offers a welcome discount (10% off your premium for your first two years) and while others were hesitant or unable to share exact percentages, Allstate was refreshingly transparent. It matched Liberty Mutual when it came to available endorsements, and were one of the first providers in Arizona to offer home sharing coverage through HostAdvantage.
We were eager to hand the trophy to Allstate until we discovered that the company’s claims experience isn’t as stellar as its online presence. It tied with American Family for the lowest Consumer Reports’ reader score and customers rated its awarded damage amount as “good” instead of “excellent.”
However, Allstate did fare better with JD Power’s consumer survey, scoring a 3 out of 5 (the same as Liberty Mutual, American Family, and Farmers). Given its financial rating is the second highest score (just behind State Farm), we still feel good about giving it second place.
Another great option, State Farm has earned a reputation for its solid financial footing and knowledgeable agents (Hi, Jake!). It was the clear favorite among Moody’s, A.M. Best, and Standard & Poor, receiving scores of “Aa1,” “A++,” and “AA” respectively. State Farm was also the only company in our group to receive a 4 out of 5 from JD Power for overall customer experience (with 5 being the absolute best score), and it tied with Farmers for the second highest Consumer Reports’ reader score.
On two different occasions, we called because we couldn’t find the answer on the website, and in both instances our wait was less than 5 minutes. The agents we spoke to were eager to help and never pressured us into getting a quote.
On the flip side, its online user experience could be improved. It was hard to find a substantial FAQ section and the company doesn’t offer a home inventory app (you can log valuables via its online HomeIndex tool, but it’s not as convenient). In terms of endorsements, it was on par with Allstate and Liberty Mutual, but had noticeably fewer discounts (the largest came from bundling your home and auto policies).
While the company may not be the most digitally adept, State Farm is reliable and easy to reach, making it perfect for people who prefer to speak with an actual person and first-time home buyers who need additional guidance.
In theory, Farmers is well rounded, but in reality it didn’t quite live up to the standard set by our other picks. Its discounts were average, except for a few niche options like a business or professional group discount and a retired military discount (although if you have military ties, we’d suggest looking at USAA, which ranks a full 10 points higher in Consumer Reports’ reader score).
The Farmers website felt slightly outdated and it doesn’t offer a home inventory app, but its virtual home tool was educational and fun to use. By clicking on items in the home, it answered questions we didn’t even know to ask, like, “In the event of a power outage, is the food in my refrigerator covered?” (Answer: Yes!). As far as financial stability goes, Farmers garnered an “A” rating from both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor.
Despite receiving an average score of 3 out of 5 from JD Power for overall customer experience (the same as Liberty Mutual and Allstate), our initial interaction was second-rate. The first time we called, we spent a good chunk of time conversing with a computer and were forced to listen to a laundry list of disclosures (this wasn’t the case when we called other providers).
When we finally got to talk to an agent, he seemed annoyed by our questions and, at one point, even asked if we were calling from another insurance company (i.e. if we were gathering intel on the competition). He hung up before we could thank him for the help.
We called a few days later and spoke to another agent who was friendlier, but we couldn’t shake our earlier experience. In a competitive market, that kind of behavior can be a big deciding factor.
We likely would have ranked American Family higher had we been able to glean more information. It tied with Allstate for a Consumer Reports’ reader score of 80, received a 3 out of 5 overall from JD Power, and fell between State Farm and Liberty Mutual when it came to financial security.
American Family is one of the few providers that offers an online chat feature (although it’s only for existing customers) and its DreamVault home inventory tool is available on iOS, Android, and via an online portal.
If you’re into home automation (think smart phone-controlled thermostats and doorbell cams), you’ll love its focus on having a “Smart Home” and could save up to 5% on your premium. It also offers a unique generational discount if your parents are existing customers.
However, the company’s endorsements are overall pretty limited — added coverage for particularly pricey valuables (like a wedding ring) and extra coverage in case of sewer backup are noticeably missing.
American Family’s downfall lay in how difficult it was to get answers to some of our most basic queries. Online quotes are only accessible if you enter your social security number (not ideal for security reasons, especially without a contract in place). So, we gave them a call.
The first customer service agent was nice, but unable to answer straightforward questions like, “Do you offer a discount for bundling multiple policies?” (We later learned the call center only handles renters and auto insurances). She referred us to a local agent, but said we’d have to call the next day because the offices were already closed. We reached out the following afternoon, but went straight to voicemail and the agent never called back.
Pay attention to the coverage offered in your quote — not just the overall price.
Upon first glance, two quotes we received on a $173,000 home in Tucson appear to be within close range of each other. State Farm and Allstate even quoted us the same monthly premium. But after taking a closer look, it’s clear each quote varies significantly in coverage and price.
Property Coverage (Dwelling)
The property coverage amount included in Allstate’s $66 monthly premium is $3,000 short of the home’s current value (replacing a home after a fire or natural disaster can cost even more). And while State Farm offers $30,000 more in property coverage at the same monthly premium, it also offers $100,000 less in personal liability cover.
The deductible is also $1,000 higher than Allstate’s. Upon closer examination, we noticed that State Farm’s quote didn’t factor in our multi-policy discount (Allstate’s did). When adjusted, State Farm actually offered the cheapest quote at $43 a month or $515 annually.
The takeaway? Online quotes are convenient and give you an idea of the types of questions the provider is likely to ask — What kind of dog do you have? When was the last time your roof was replaced? Do you own a fire extinguisher? — but when it comes to accuracy and being able to easily customize your quote, nothing beats a good old fashioned phone call.
Arizona is in for a particularly dry year, which could bring possible wildfires and flooding.
Last year was a hot one for Arizona. In Phoenix, flights were canceled due to sweltering 120-degree temps, Tucson reported its hottest year on record, and mailboxes reportedly melted in Mesa. So, what’s this got to do with homeowners insurance?
Extreme heat often goes hand in hand with drought, and then it only takes one wayward spark or bolt of lightning to ignite a wildfire capable of torching half a million acres (see 2011’s Wallow Fire, which resulted in the evacuation of nearly 6,000 people and the loss of 32 homes.) Following a burn, a lack of vegetation and soil erosion makes it so that the earth is unable to absorb rain and runoff, thus leading to an excess of water with nowhere to go.
Even areas that are typically low-risk are susceptible. The Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs estimates that up to 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from low-risk areas, and this NASA study specifically calls out Phoenix, where monsoon season is getting worse.
Two months into 2018 and scientists are predicting extreme droughts in southern and central Arizona. According to National Weather Service meteorologist Carl Cerniglia certain fuel level moistures are even drier than the record-setting wildfire year of 2011.
If you’re anything like us, your first reaction might be to Google whether damages incurred from wildfires are covered under most homeowners insurance policies. Unsurprisingly, our top pick, Allstate, addresses the issue in depth. According to its website, the answer is (usually) yes:
|“Standard homeowners policies generally help protect against specific perils, or certain causes of loss, such as theft and fire, but coverage may vary by geographic location and by policy. You may also find that some insurers do not sell homeowners policies in areas where wildfires are common.”|
Double check with any prospective providers before you sign on the dotted line, and while you’re at it, ask about their flood insurance coverage. Liberty Mutual, Allstate, and Farmers offer their own, while State Farm and American Family partner with the National Flood Insurance Program.
The Bottom Line
Liberty Mutual is our provider of choice due to its accessibility, quick response time, and consistent customer satisfaction. But the most important thing is finding a policy that suits your coverage needs — including wildfire and flood — and the best way to find your perfect match is to shop around.