You might not think much about homeowners insurance—at least not until something happens at your home. The 29 tornadoes that destroyed lives and property across the Deep South in January 2017, for instance, might have made you wonder whether you were properly covered.

To find out which homeowners insurance companies are best, we surveyed 7,418 of our subscribers who filed a claim in the previous 3.5 years. We wanted to know how quickly their carrier responded and paid for repairs, among other things.

Amica tops our latest homewners insurance ratings, with USAA, Erie, MetLife, and Auto-Owners also among the most highly rated providers.

Before you buy a policy, check our homeowners insurance buying guide and ratings.

Top Companies Go Above and Beyond

What separates a top insurer from the rest? Talk to Fred Wescoe, a tax preparer who insures his home with USAA. 

After Wescoe's southeast Kentucky home burned down to its foundation in April 2016, it took USAA only eight days to deposit the insurance payment into Wescoe's bank account. The replacement value of the structure and the contents of his home, as well as the cost of debris removal, were all covered. Wescoe was impressed when USAA also paid for nine months of temporary housing and living expenses.

Wescoe says USAA's "extraordinary" handling of the claim helped lessen the trauma. "They worked through the numbers and asked if it was satisfactory and if I had any questions," he says. "They told me I could challenge the amount they were paying."

Wescoe also says that phone messages he left were answered promptly and that he was kept advised of the status of his claim every day along the way, through calls, texts, and emails.

Our homeowners insurance ratings reflect that kind of service. USAA got top scores for ease of reaching an agent, simplicity of the process, prompt response and attentiveness, courtesy, damage estimates, and timely payment. (USAA serves only people with direct ties to the military—members of the U.S. military and their families, honorably discharged veterans, and descendants of USAA customers.)