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Wisconsin has a rich, authentic culture that attracts many people planning to move into this state or invest in the local real estate market. It's also home to some of the best cities to live in America.

Additionally, it's known as "America's Dairyland" thanks to all the things it produces, including cheese. Wisconsin is also famous for its beer and vibrant events, such as the Summerfest.

However, this state also experiences multiple natural disasters throughout the year. Therefore, Wisconsin residents and real estate investors should find a way to protect their properties.

Fortunately, a homeowners insurance policy can give you the peace of mind you deserve by providing financial protection against common events and hazards.

Do you know how to choose the best option? Don't worry! We've created this guide to help you pick the right company and purchase a comprehensive policy according to your needs and the risks in your area.

Understanding Homeowners Insurance in Wisconsin

First things first, let's define what "homeowners insurance" is before delving into the essentials to choose a provider.

A homeowners insurance policy is designed to provide financial protection in the event of a natural disaster or another covered peril, such as theft.

Rules, conditions, coverage options, and exclusions often vary from company to company. However, homeowners insurance often pays for damage and loss to structures and other items, including your belongings.

Is homeowners insurance required in Wisconsin?

Under Wisconsin laws, residents aren't required to purchase homeowners insurance. However, many lenders and financial institutes ask customers to acquire this type of protection if they finance their properties.

In addition, having a homeowners insurance policy in place means you'll have a financial safety net to pay for unexpected expenses caused by unforeseen natural events.

Average Home Insurance Costs in Wisconsin

One of the first things you should consider when choosing a homeowners insurance policy is the average cost of this type of coverage.

While we strongly recommend property owners and managers not choose the cheapest option if it isn't comprehensive enough, we understand that you should find a policy that fits your budget.

How much do Wisconsin residents usually pay for home insurance?

In this state, the average cost of home insurance is $890 a year for a policy of $250,000 in dwelling coverage. These figures show that premiums are lower in Wisconsin than in the other states.

The national average is $1,428 per year per $250,000 in dwelling coverage, for example. Other states have premiums that exceed $2,000.

However, home insurance costs in Wisconsin are lower because this state is relatively safe. It doesn't experience as many major natural disasters as other areas and has a low property crime rate.

Premiums may vary depending on the company you choose or the city where you live, though. In addition, most homeowners pay different rates because different factors influence these costs, including the following:

  • The likelihood of natural disasters and other hazards
  • The condition and age of the property
  • The value of the property and other items
  • Coverage limits
  • Additional coverage options
  • Construction time and costs
  • Homeowners' claim history
  • Properties' security or safety features
  • Discounts

If you want to pick the right policy to protect your property, you should consider these aspects and define your needs. Also, you should make sure that the option you choose suits your budget since failing to pay premiums can bring you even more financial problems.

Ask for more information from your home insurance provider, if necessary, to make a wise decision and choose the best option according to your particular situation.

Homeowners Insurance vs. Landlord Insurance

Besides taking a look at the average homeowners insurance cost, there's another essential thing you should learn to make a good choice ÔÇô How is this type of coverage different from landlord insurance?

Whether you're a real estate investor or just want to rent out a portion of your home, understanding the differences between these two types of insurance is essential. Luckily, that's what you can do here.

A homeowners insurance policy pays for damage to properties or belongings as long as it's caused by a covered event. It often covers the structure and valuable items.

However, this type of insurance isn't comprehensive enough for landlords. When you rent out a property, you need enhanced protection.

First, you should make sure you can pay someone else's medical bills, as you'll be responsible for injuries or accidents tenants might sustain on your property. This is known as "liability insurance."

Also, if you're a landlord, you have to protect your rental income. That's why you should consider a type of insurance with coverage against these monetary losses.

Since homeowners insurance doesn't include these types of coverage, people planning to rent out their homes or rental units should consider a landlord-specific policy.

However, home insurance might be a better option under the following circumstances:

Vacant Property

If you have to travel to another city or country, but you don't feel comfortable allowing someone else to live on your property, a homeowners insurance policy can provide the protection you need.

As mentioned, homeowners insurance covers the property structure and your belongings. This policy will pay for damages and losses caused by a covered event.

However, you should inform your home insurance provider about the vacancy to avoid future problems with your coverage.

Temporary Absence

If you won't be home for a short period, renting it out could help you earn extra cash. Plus, that means someone will live on your property and take care of your belongings while you aren't there.

However, you also need a comprehensive policy to protect your property, your valuable items, and your tenants from accidents and other events. That's why purchasing a homeowners insurance plan is always a good idea if you'll be away temporarily.

Remember that you should inform your insurance company about the situation and make sure you have the right type of insurance according to your situation. Otherwise, your claims could be denied.

Transition Period

If you don't want to vacate your property until you find the ideal tenant, homeowners insurance can also provide you with comprehensive financial protection.

This type of insurance will pay for damages and losses caused by covered perils, such as natural disasters or vandalism, during this transition period.

However, you should switch to landlord insurance as soon as you find the ideal tenant and they move into your property.

Home Sharing

Do you plan to rent out just one room or area instead of your property as a whole? That's a great idea to earn extra income, especially if your home is big.

However, you also need homeowners insurance in this case. This time, your policy should include basic coverage options, which means it should pay for damage to your property and belongings.

Besides that, this insurance policy should include "home-sharing" coverage. It's crucial for homeowners who share their properties with other tenants or roommates.

Also, you'll become a landlord as soon as you rent out a room or portion of your property. Therefore, you'll need liability insurance.

Instead of the traditional liability insurance policy that covers guests' medical bills if an accident occurs on your property, you should choose an option that also protects tenants.

If you want to purchase a policy with comprehensive protection for rental units, you should also consider the potential loss of rental income and choose an alternative with this coverage.

How to Choose a Wisconsin Homeowners Insurance Company

Now, we'll go over other essential aspects of choosing the best Wisconsin home insurance company. These factors are state-related, so they address common hazards and natural events in your area.

Unique Needs for Wisconsin Homeowners Insurance

A comprehensive homeowners insurance policy should cover the things you're concerned about, including natural events that could damage your property.

Although Wisconsin doesn't experience as many natural disasters as other states, multiple events can put your property and belongings at risk. These are the most common:

  • Floods
  • Tornadoes
  • Blizzards and snowstorms
  • Wildfires
  • Heat waves and droughts
  • Earthquakes

Flood Coverage

Flooding is one of the most common natural disasters in Wisconsin. Therefore, your home insurance policy should include protection against rising waters if you want your property to be well-protected.

Damage caused by flooding can also amount to thousands of dollars. However, most standard policies don't cover these expenses.

Fortunately, many home insurance companies offer flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Windstorm Coverage

In Wisconsin, homeowners should also purchase an insurance policy with protection against wind-related damage. It's often caused by windstorms, tornadoes, or hurricanes.

This type of coverage varies depending on the company. Sometimes, each event is covered by a separate policy. Ask your insurer if your existing plan covers these natural disasters and ask for information about other options to add this coverage if necessary.

Wildfire Coverage

Since wildfires are also common in Wisconsin, you should choose a policy that protects against these events.

Although wildfire damage isn't often covered by standard policies, you can find many companies offering this type of insurance as an add-on.

Earthquake Coverage

Earthquakes can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage and losses. However, most standard home insurance policies don't cover this event.

If you want to protect your property from damage caused by earthquakes, choose a policy that includes this type of insurance or purchase it as an additional coverage option.

Other Factors to Consider When Assessing Wisconsin Home Insurance Companies

Do you think a homeowners insurance policy can protect your property and give you the peace of mind you deserve?

Before choosing a company, check these tips!

  1. Define your needs: What type of insurance do you need for your property? What should your policy include to provide comprehensive protection in your area? Consider your preferences and state-specific factors to pick a convenient option.
  2. Research multiple Wisconsin homeowners insurance companies: If you're looking for a home insurance firm, you'll find many! Pick the best five or six and get detailed information about each one. This will help you pick a reputable one.
  3. Compare different policies and coverage options: You'll also find many policy and coverage options, but you should choose the one that suits your needs. Check the priorities you listed in the first step and compare the different alternatives available to pick the right one.
  4. Request information on costs and premiums: How much should you pay for your home insurance policy? Before choosing one, request quotes and pick the one that fits your budget. However, you shouldn't prioritize savings if it means you won't get enough financial protection. Make sure the option you choose is comprehensive.
  5. Evaluate the insurer's financial stability: If you take a look at a company's financial strength and availability rating, you'll know if it's able to make claims payouts. Find this information on AM Best's website.
  6. Find out if the company offers high-quality customer service: This step is also essential to find out if the insurer will offer a prompt response in case you have an issue or should file a claim. Check online reviews to learn more about the experience other policyholders have had with that firm.
  7. Request information about discounts: Many insurers offer discounts to help policyholders save money. Since this can help you find a comprehensive policy that you can afford, it's worth checking this information.
  8. Ask your family members, friends, and colleagues for recommendations: If you still haven't found a reliable home insurance company, remember that you can ask your loved ones or coworkers for recommendations. Perhaps, they've had an excellent experience with a firm and will be happy to help you find the best option.
  9. Check the policy again before purchasing one: Do you think you found the right policy? Before purchasing one, review its terms, conditions, rules, limitations, and other key aspects that may affect your coverage.

We know this process is time-consuming, but all the things mentioned above can help you make an informed decision to make sure your property and investment are safeguarded.

Best Home Insurance Companies in Wisconsin

Finally, we've reviewed the best Wisconsin homeowners insurance companies to help you pick a reliable one with the policies you need.

Here's our unbiased opinion on these firms and valuable information on their coverage options, discounts, benefits, and more!

1) Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance

Although founded in 1925, Erie Insurance is still one of the best homeowners insurance companies for Wisconsin residents.

Besides insurance products for homes and valuable items, Erie offers coverage options for multiple vehicles. In addition, this firm has alternatives for condos, rental units, and mobile homes.

Erie also offers generous discounts to help Wisconsin homeowners reduce their insurance costs and save.

Coverages and Features

This is what a standard policy from Erie Insurance includes:

  • Dwelling coverage
  • Personal property coverage
  • Personal liability coverage
  • Coverage for other structures
  • Loss of use or additional living expense (ALE) coverage
  • Coverage for valuable items
  • Gift card reimbursement
  • Coverage for animals, birds, and fish if they're injured due to a covered event
  • Cash and precious metal coverage

In addition, this company offers multiple add-ons for homeowners who want to customize their policies. These are:

  • Service line protection
  • Water backup and sump overflow coverage
  • Identity recovery coverage
  • ErieService Advantage Bundle (includes higher limits and protection against identity theft)
  • ErieSecure Plus Bundle (includes everything in the previous plan, plus higher limits on certain coverages, optional water backup coverage, and $10,000 for service line protection)
  • ErieSecure Select Bundle (includes everything in the previous plan plus higher limits, equipment breakdown coverage if you add water backup coverage, and criminal defense cost reimbursement)

Discounts

If you want to save on your premiums, Erie also offers a few discounts. These are:

  • Multi-policy discount (if you combine home and auto insurance)
  • Advanced quote discount
  • Home protection discount

Although other home insurance companies offer more discounts than Erie, this firm has the most generous multi-policy discount among all the options listed here.

2) American Family

American Family

Based in Madison, Wisconsin, American Family is another reputable home insurance company with excellent policy options for residents and investors looking for comprehensive protection for their properties.

This company offers multiple discounts for eligible policyholders who want to reduce their annual home insurance costs. However, American Family's insurance options include multiple types of coverage for optimal protection.

Coverage and Features

These are the coverage options that American Family's standard policies include:

  • Dwelling coverage
  • Coverage for other structures
  • Personal liability coverage
  • Temporary living expenses
  • Coverage for personal belongings

Also, you can customize your policy with these additional insurance coverage options:

  • Hidden water damage coverage
  • Credit theft protection
  • Equipment breakdown coverage
  • Matching siding protection
  • Sump pump and water backup coverage
  • Coverage for diminishing deductible

Discounts

Do you want to reduce your home insurance premiums to save money? American Family offers the following discounts:

  • Discount for policy bundling
  • Discount for customer loyalty
  • Generational discount
  • Discount for smart payments
  • Safe, secure, smart home discount
  • Discount for newer and renovated homes

3) Amica

Amica

Amica has served US homeowners and real estate investors for over 100 years. This company offers comprehensive policies with multiple coverage options and discounts to help policyholders reduce their insurance costs.

Coverages and Features

This insurer has two options for homeowners looking for insurance plans. Let's see what each includes.

Standard Choice

  • Repair and reconstruction coverage for dwellings
  • Loss of use or additional living expense (ALE) coverage
  • Personal property coverage
  • Liability coverage

Platinum Choice

  • Dwelling replacement cost coverage
  • Liability and medical payment coverage
  • Coverage for valuable items
  • Loss assessment plan coverage for condos and gated communities
  • Personal property replacement coverage
  • Credit card coverage
  • Special computer coverage
  • Water backup or sump overflow coverage

Discounts

Amica policyholders may be eligible for the following discounts:

  • Claim-free discount
  • Multi-line discount
  • Loyalty discount
  • E-discount
  • Discount for properties with alarm systems
  • Discount for homes with automatic detection devices
  • Discounts for new or remodeled homes
  • Autopay discount

4) Chubb

Chubb

Besides being one of the largest homeowners insurance companies in the US, Chubb has earned an A++ financial stability rating from AM Best, a trusted independent rating agency.

This company offers policies with unique coverage options and has created its own coverage for flooding as an alternative to the NFIP, which is the one most insurers use.

Coverages and Features

A standard home insurance policy from Chubb includes the following:

  • Coverage for homes
  • Coverage for other structures, such as pools
  • Coverage for homeowners' belongings
  • Guest medical and personal liability protection
  • Loss of use insurance
  • Water backup coverage
  • Wildfire defense (only available in a few states)

Also, you can customize your policy with the following add-ons:

  • Earthquake Coverage
  • Flood coverage
  • Extended replacement cost coverage for valuable items

Discounts

Chubb offers the following discounts to reduce home insurance costs:

  • Multi-policy discount
  • Backup generator discount
  • Claims-free discount
  • Discount for new or renovated homes
  • Discount for properties with fire and security features

5) State Farm

State Farm

State Farm has gained immense popularity in Wisconsin thanks to its affordable premiums and unique but comprehensive policy options. This company partnered with Trupanion in 2020 and now offers pet insurance and other attractive add-ons.

Coverages and Features

This is what a standard State Farm policy includes:

  • Dwelling coverage
  • Coverage for other structures that aren't permanently attached to the property
  • Personal property coverage
  • Additional living expenses (ALE) coverage
  • Medical payment coverage
  • Personal liability coverage
  • Extended replacement cost coverage with protection against depreciation (optional)

Also, you can customize your policies with the following add-ons:

  • Ordinance or law insurance
  • Inflation guard (extended coverage if construction costs rise)
  • Coverage for valuable possessions
  • Identity restoration coverage
  • Cyber ÔÇőÔÇőEvent, Identity Restoration, and Fraud Loss Coverage (CEIDR)

Discounts

State Farm also has some discounts for homeowners who want to save on their premiums. These are:

  • Roofing discounts
  • Claims-free discount
  • Multi-policy discount
  • Home security discount
  • Discount for houses with automatic sprinkler
  • Utility rating plan

Other Notable Wisconsin Home Insurance Companies

Besides the options we listed above, there are other Wisconsin home insurance companies with excellent plans, coverage options, and discounts. These are:

  • USAA
  • Progressive
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Lemonade
  • Nationwide

Conclusion

When it comes to protecting your property and hard-earned money, a homeowners insurance policy is one of the best options.

Wisconsin doesn't experience as many natural disasters as other states, so it's less risky. However, certain events can cause extensive property damage, which often results in huge expenses.

Luckily, a comprehensive homeowners insurance plan provides financial protection if an unforeseen event damages your property, paying for loss, repair, and replacement costs depending on your policy.

If you want to choose the best Wisconsin home insurance company, consider your needs, common hazards in your area, and your budget. You should also research multiple firms and compare options to choose the right one.

Need help? Remember that this guide contains great tips and valuable information!

David is the co-founder & CMO of DoorLoop, a best-selling author, legal CLE speaker, and real estate investor. When he's not hanging with his three children, he's writing articles here!

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