Best Homeowners Insurance Companies In NY

New York Homeowners Insurance Companies

New York is a fantastic place to live, with picture-postcard scenery and big-city attractions all within easy reach. If you’re a homeowner in New York, all the culture, opportunity, and scenic vistas the state offers can come with some risks as well. New York also has the full gamut of the best and worst that nature can bring our way. From snow and ice that can burden roofs to wind and hail that can damage siding to floods or storm surge that can turn a family home into a memory, New York really does have it all.

It’s essential to find the right homeowners insurance coverage to protect your home and family — and to find home insurance at a price that still leaves you with some spare money to enjoy all the good things the Empire State has to offer.

Average homeowners insurance costs in NY

The cost of homeowners insurance in the Empire State can vary widely based on a number of factors. On the low end of the scale, there may be areas where you can insure a modest home for several hundred dollars per year. Moving up to areas where average home prices are higher or where greater risks due to nature may exist, you might find homeowners insurance rates to be nearly triple the rates found in the least expensive parts of the state.

In White Plains, for example, the average annual homeowners insurance cost is nearly $2,400 for a 2,000 square foot home. By contrast, the average cost of insuring a home in Buffalo, NY is just under $900. A big part of the disparity in pricing is the average insured value of homes. A more expensive home typically costs more to rebuild and often requires higher quality building materials. On average, NY homeowners can expect to pay just over $1,100 to insure their homes.

What factors determine homeowners insurance rates?

What makes your home insurance rate higher or lower than the rates for someone else in your neighborhood or someone in another part of New York State? Home insurance rates consider a number of criteria to arrive at a final number but some of the biggest factors are the insured value of your home and the likelihood of a claim. The latter of these is the more complex calculation because it examines not only risks in your area, such as weather-related risks, but also the risk you as a homeowner may bring. For example, some insurers offer a discount for non-smokers because the risk of a fire from a stray cigarette is reduced.

Homeowners Insurance Factors

Calculating the insured value of a home requires accurate information about your home’s construction but is a less complex calculation because it only considers the cost of rebuilding your home in the same location with the same quality of materials.

Other policy choices you make also affect your home insurance rates but usually to a lesser degree. If you chose a special rider that increases your coverage for equipment used in a home business, for example, your home insurance rates would be slightly higher to reflect the increased coverage.

Best homeowners insurance companies in NY

When considering the criteria for the best homeowners insurance companies in NY, we looked at some objective data, such as financial strength and overall consumer ratings, but we also considered agent experience in working with various insurers. With a consumer perspective in mind, some insurers may represent a better value — even if the costs are not the lowest available in New York State. In the end, you want the comfort of knowing that your home is insured with a secure insurer and that your policy eliminates as many potential gaps as possible.

Metlife

You might wonder why a company known for life insurance is listed as a preferred provider for home insurance. Metlife doesn’t just offer life insurance. Among the $63 billion company’s insurance products is its home insurance offering, in addition to the life insurance products for which it’s well-known and other products, like auto insurance.

The difference is in the details. Of note, Metlife offers guaranteed replacement coverage for both your personal belongings and your home itself. In an industry where it’s common for insurers to depreciate the value of personal belongings, this standard policy feature makes Metlife a standout and ensures that if you have a claim, you won’t be caught by surprise by a lower coverage amount for your personal property.

Among other policy features that make Metlife an attractive choice is the ability to bundle home and auto insurance with one shared deductible. If your home and auto policies are bundled with Metlife, you’ll only have one deductible if both your home and your vehicle are damaged in the same covered claim.

  • M. Best Financial Strength Rating: Not Rated
  • D. Power Overall Satisfaction Score: 3 stars
  • Online Quote Tool: No

Travelers

While many companies in the industry focus on a small group of policy offerings, Travelers is a full-service insurer, which means they offer nearly every type of insurance you can imagine. This is a benefit because sometimes we need more than just home insurance. It’s comforting to know that an insurer offers a complete insurance line and has been insuring its customers for well over 100 years.

Travelers’ home insurance policy for single-family homes is a standard HO-3 policy, which provides full replacement cost coverage for your home. Replacement cost coverage for contents is an affordable policy option and ensures that if you have a claim, you won’t be caught by surprise by lower-than-expected coverage for your personal belongings. Many home insurance providers don’t offer the option unless you choose scheduled coverage, a sometimes costlier or unviable solution.

Other standout coverage features include “Additional Replacement Cost Protection Coverage”, which can extend your coverage limits if rebuilding costs exceed your standard coverage due to cost overruns, and             “Green Home Coverage”, which can help cover the cost of rebuilding with green materials in the event of a covered claim.

  • M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A++
  • D. Power Overall Satisfaction Score: 3 stars
  • Online Quote Tool: Yes

Progressive

Progressive’s home insurance products are underwritten by Homesite, an insurer known for affordability and with a strong financial strength rating through A.M. Best (A rated). Home insurance premiums can be reduced further by bundling homeowners and auto insurance, paying in full, or receiving policy documents by email. Additional discounts are available for new home purchases, new home construction, alarms or safety devices, and for getting a quote at least 10 days prior to starting your policy.

Inflation Guard, available as a policy add-on, helps to ensure that your coverage amount keeps pace with the rising cost of materials and labor needed in the event of a covered claim.

As an added bonus, you also have the option to add personal injury liability coverage to your policy, an option not usually available through many other insurers without purchasing a separate umbrella liability policy and which covers real-world risks like slander and libel, important considerations in today’s online world.

  • M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A+
  • D. Power Overall Satisfaction Score: Not Rated
  • Online Quote Tool: Yes

Farmers

With three distinct and customizable home insurance packages, Farmers has you covered when it comes to homeowners insurance, with a home insurance package designed to fit nearly any budget. You’re probably familiar with Farmers’ often-humorous commercials, illustrating ways homes or cars can be damaged due to life’s unexpected mishaps. Having been in the business  for 90 years, it’s likely that their tagline is true when they say, “We’ve covered that.”

A number of policy features or optional add-ons make farmers a popular choice among consumers in New York for homeowners insurance. Declining deductibles mean that your deductible is reduced by 50 dollars every year and claim forgiveness prevents premium increases if you’ve been claims-free with farmers for five years.

Like some other insurers in our roundup, Farmers offers the option to provide full replacement cost coverage for your personal belongings, an option that is sometimes difficult to find, even with some nationally-known home insurance providers. Additionally, Farmers customers enjoy a claims-free discount if they’ve been claims-free for at least 3 years — even if you’re coming to farmers from another insurer.

  • M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A
  • D. Power Overall Satisfaction Score: 3 stars
  • Online Quote Tool: Yes

PURE Insurance

Unlike some other home insurance providers that target the broad market, PURE insurance focuses its coverage on high-net-worth families with valuable assets to protect, often including high-end homes. PURE offers guaranteed replacement cost for rebuilding your home — even when rebuilding cost exceed your chosen coverage limits. PURE members also have the option of choosing a cash settlement in the event of a total loss, whereas most competitors do not provide the option and customers are effectively forced to rebuild — even in high-risk areas.

Many homeowners may not be aware, but most home insurance policies do not cover drain or sewer backups unless you purchase a separate rider. PURE includes this essential coverage by default because a well-structured insurance policy should cover most common risks.

PURE insurance is also known for no-hassle claims, complete with a member advocate who can assist during and after the claim with items such as temporary housing, replacement of lost items, and connecting you with local contractors and vendors.

  • M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A-
  • D. Power Overall Satisfaction Score: Not Rated
  • Online Quote Tool: No

Kingstone Insurance

This New York-based insurer the traces its roots back to 1886 and is centrally located in historic Kingston, New York. Unlike some well-known national insurers, Kingstone focuses on a highly localized market and only writes business in three states. Kingstone’s specialization is high-value homes, coastal homes, and seasonal or secondary homes.

Building coverage of up to $5 million is available, enough to cover all but the most exclusive of homes. Attractive policy coverages or enhancements include coverage for back up to sewer and drains, and service line coverage, the latter of which is a rare find in a home insurance policy.

Policies are available for primary homes, secondary homes, or for income properties, providing you with essential protection if you are a landlord.

  • M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A-
  • D. Power Overall Satisfaction Score: Not Rated
  • Online Quote Tool: No

The Hartford

The Hartford, based out of Hartford, Connecticut, is another favorite amongst new york homeowners. As the only homeowners insurance provider endorsed by AARP, the Hartford prides itself on easy-to-understand coverage and policy options that help ensure full coverage.

With an A+ rating for financial strength from A.M Best, you can be assured that The Hartford has the financial strength to weather whatever storms come your way but claim service is also a top priority. The Hartford earned 4.7 out of 5 stars in a recent customer survey done by Insure.com.

Policy extras with The Hartford include full replacement cost up to 125% of your coverage limits or even 150% of coverage limits in some areas. For larger losses, The Hartford will waive your deductible for qualified claims of over $27,500 if you choose their ProtectorPLUS Zero Deductible Benefit. Full replacement cost for personal property is available as well.

  • M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A+
  • D. Power Overall Satisfaction Score: 3 stars
  • Online Quote Tool: Yes

NYCM Insurance

As its name suggests, NYCM is another New York-based home insurance provider. The company boasts a 75-year-long A+ rating from A.M. Best and New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company has been protecting New Yorkers, including their homes and assets since 1899.

With over 1000 agents servicing the company’s New York customers, you’re virtually assured hands-on service when choosing to insure with NYCM.

Generous discounts of up to 25% are available for bundling home and auto insurance, with an additional 10% discount available if you also purchase an umbrella policy which extends your liability coverage for both home and auto. Discounts are also available for homes in gated communities, alarm and safety features, claim-free status, and there’s even a retirement discount for retired people 55 years or older.

  • M. Best Financial Strength Rating: A+
  • D. Power Overall Satisfaction Score: Not rated
  • Online Quote Tool: Auto only

Common homeowners insurance discounts

Home insurance discounts are often based on bundling, meaning purchasing two or more qualifying policies from the same insurer, or based on safety-related criteria. For example, claim-free discounts are common in the industry, another reason to be careful in and around your home.

Not all insurers offer the same discounts and the amount of a given type of discount can vary widely from one insurance to the next. Discounts can be a great way to reduce the overall cost of your premiums but you what you really want to consider is how well your home is protected and are you paying a fair price for the coverage you choose.

Among some of the more common discounts for homeowners insurance are:

  • Multi-policy discount
  • Pay in full discount
  • Alarm discount
  • Safety feature discount
  • New home buyer discount
  • Welcome discounts for new customers
  • New construction discount
  • Claim-free discount

You’ll also commonly find that rates are more attractive if you’ve been continuously insured for 3 to 5 years if you’ve owned a home during that time.

Beware of discounts that expire, like welcome discounts. Over time, as these discounts phase out, the great price you got on your home insurance can become higher than you expected.

Understanding homeowners insurance key coverages

Home insurance can seem difficult to understand but once you’ve got a handle on the key coverages included in a standard homeowners insurance policy, you’ll be well-equipped to make more educated insurance buying decisions. The coverages below reflect the primary coverages found on an HO-3 homeowners insurance policy. Condo or renters insurance policies are structured similarly, with the primary difference being in how the dwelling coverage applies.

Coverage A – Dwelling Coverage: Your dwelling coverage is insurance for your house itself, as well as any attached fixtures, including carpeting, cabinetry, plumbing, wiring, heating or cooling systems, etc. Most home insurance policies provide dwelling coverage for all perils, with a specified list of exclusions, which typically include damage due to wear and tear, insects and vermin, neglect, and intentional acts.

Work closely with your agent to determine an accurate coverage amount for your dwelling coverage. From an insurance perspective, the market value of your home has little significance in establishing a coverage amount for your home. The rebuild cost, which is what you’re insuring for, may be higher or lower than the market value of your home at any given time.

Coverage B – Other Structures: Coverage B provides coverage for other structures on your property, such as sheds, gazebos, detached garages, and similar structures. Typically, your coverage limit for coverage B defaults to a percentage of the coverage limit you’ve chosen for coverage A. If you need a higher coverage limit for other structures, be sure to discuss this with your agent.

Coverage C – Personal Property: Your personal property is the insurance term that refers to your personal belongings, including appliances, furniture, clothing, or most of the other physical things we own and that aren’t attached to the house. Any vehicles you may own typically require a separate insurance policy.

Discuss your coverage options for personal property with your agent. Many home insurance policies limit coverage for valuables and it’s common for home insurance providers to depreciate the insured value for other items. There are, however, ways to provide full coverage or more complete coverage for your personal property.

Coverage D – Additional Living Expense: In the event of a covered claim you may find yourself displaced temporarily while your home is being repaired. Coverage for additional living expenses can help cover the extra cost of hotels or other accommodations while you are unable to use your home.

Coverage E – Personal Liability Coverage: Your home insurance policy also provides personal liability coverage, which can pay for your legal defense in personal liability lawsuits and cover judgments up to your chosen coverage limit. Note that most policies come with a minimum of $100,000 in personal liability coverage. Much like a basic automobile policy, you may find that the minimum amount of coverage doesn’t provide as much protection as you’d like. Fortunately, raising your liability coverage limit is one of the more affordable changes you can make to your policy.

Coverage F – Medical Expenses: A fixed amount of coverage for medical expenses is included in a standard homeowners insurance policy, which can pay for medical expenses for persons outside of your household, regardless of legal liability.

Flood Insurance Coverage: It’s important to note that flood damage typically is not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. In recent years, many homeowners sought coverage for flood damage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Recent changes in rules by the NFIP now make seeking flood insurance coverage through alternative private market providers easier and more affordable than it has been in past years. Be sure to discuss your flood insurance options with your insurance agent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Homeowners Insurance FAQs

What are New York home insurance rates like?

Home insurance rates vary based on a number of factors, including the cost of rebuilding the house itself as well as the types of risks that are inherent in the area. For example, you can expect to pay a premium for homes near the water or for homes at higher risk from other acts of nature, like wildfires. Because insurance is regulated at the state level, rates also vary from state to state.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the countrywide average homeowner’s insurance premium was just under $1,200 in 2015. Average premiums for homeowners in New York came in slightly higher at just under $1,300 per year.

What is the best home insurance for Long Island?

Which home insurance provider is best for you depends on your specific needs. The needs of a family with a 2,000 square foot home may vary from those of a family with a 10,000 square foot home or a home neat the water.

Best for high-value homes: PURE Insurance, AIG’s Private Client Group or Cincinnati’s Executive Capstone Program.

Families with a high net-worth or high-value homes have a lot to protect.  Pure insurance, AIG’s Private Client Group and Cincinnati Insurance are focused on the needs of affluent households, with specialized products that address the unique concerns of families with high-value homes.

Best for affordability: Progressive or Farmers

Progressive insurance, through its partnership with Homesite, and Farmers insurance often both provide exceptional value at affordable rates. For some consumers, rates can be a bit higher depending on claim history, insurance score, and other similar individual criteria.

Best for customer service: NYCM or The Hartford

With roots in New York and an unwavering commitment to customer service for its New York customers, NYCM is a great choice for new yorkers who value a personal touch. The Hartford also scores well in regard to customer service, with a 4.7 out of 5 star rating for customer service awarded by its own customers in a recent survey.

What is the best home insurance for a home near the water?

Fortunately, New York has several home insurance providers that can provide excellent coverage for homes near the water. Some also provide flood insurance as well. If your backyard view includes sparkling waves, you’d do well to consider one of these home insurance companies:

  • Kingstone Insurance Company
  • Ocean Harbor Casualty
  • Narragansett Bay
  • Mountain Valley
  • Adirondack
  • US Coastal
  • UPC

Benefits of Buying Insurance Online

Buying home insurance online should be easy. However, there’s an easy way to shop online and a less-easy and possibly frustrating way to buy insurance online. Many home insurance providers offer an online quote tool. The challenge with using an online quote tool is that you need to input your information several times if you want quotes from several home insurance providers. The end result is often that the quote isn’t accurate and that you’ll have conversations with several home insurance providers.

The easier way to buy insurance online is to find an independent agent that you trust and let that agent do the shopping for you. An experienced independent agent will know what questions to ask to ensure an accurate quote and, in many cases, most of the process can be handled by email or with a quick phone call. You’re no longer limited to agents in your town and can easily work with an agent you trust even if they are in another part of New York State.

How to find an insurance agent you can trust

Trust is a subjective thing but there are some key elements you’ll probably want to look for when shopping for an insurance agent. First, it’s important to understand the distinction between a captive agent and an independent agent. A captive agent represents one primary company and typically can’t provide you with multiple quotes. This limits your choice or creates additional work because you’ll have to do your own shopping to compare rates and policy features. An independent agent is able to quote and bind coverage for a number of insurance providers. This provides the opportunity to easily compare policy features and rates without feeling rushed for time.

Industry experience has immeasurable value in nearly every business. Look for an agent who is experienced in home insurance or who specializes. Much like there are different types of doctors, insurance agents often specialize in certain types of insurance. Also, consider working with an independent agent. Insurance coverage for your home and family is too important to leave to a single option provider. An independent agent can help you choose from your best options to find a policy and provider that matches your unique needs.

By | 2018-11-27T14:46:45+00:00 November 26th, 2018|Blog, Homeowners Insurance Info, News|0 Comments