17 Min to Read

8 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Rhode Island of 2022

Learn about the best homeowners insurance companies in the state of Rhode Island, including details about costs, coverage options, discounts, and what is and isn’t covered.
Rhode Island

Your home is more than just a roof over your head. It may be your most valuable asset and one you likely can’t afford to replace out of pocket if an unforeseen disaster strikes.

That’s why getting homeowners insurance to protect your home can turn out to be your best move. While homeowners insurance is not mandatory, most of us who have a mortgage are required to have it.

But if you own a home in Rhode Island, homeowners insurance is a necessity. The state suffers from constant and severe hurricanes and heavy storms, which can cause serious damage to your house.

Homeowners insurance provides coverage in case a disaster like fire damages or destroys your home or personal belongings.

It can also pay out when you’re held responsible for an accident or injury that occurs in your home.

But the hard part is choosing the best homeowners policy that fits your needs. There are many insurers in Rhode Island, and you need to somehow narrow down your choices by looking at what each insurer has to offer.

For example, if you want your personal property to be paid in full without depreciation, you may want to look at insurers that have this kind of policy.

We’ve done the work for you. We chose the best homeowner insurance policies to give you an idea of what each has to offer so you know what’s on the market. With the right insurer, you can have the peace of mind that if your home and property are damaged in any way, you’ll always be protected.

Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Rhode Island

  • Allstate: Best for Rewards if You Not Making Claims
  • Liberty Mutual: Best for Many Discounts
  • Amica Mutual: Best for Personal Property Protection
  • Travelers: Best for Water Backup & Sump Pump Discharge Coverage
  • GEICO: Best Insurance for Flood Coverage
  • Progressive: Best Homeowners Insurance for Personal Injury Coverage
  • Nationwide: Best for Generally Known to Offer Some of the Lowest Rates
  • Chubb: Best for Extra Coverages That Come Standard

Allstate: Best for Rewards if You Not Making Claims

Allstate Homeowners Insurance Rhode Island
Editors star rating review
5.0
Editor's Rating (5 Stars out of 5)

It pays if you stay longer with the same homeowners insurance company.

That’s the case with Allstate.

Allstate will lower your deductible amount for every additional year you stay claims-free and keep your homeowners insurance with the insurer.

For many, it can be hard not to file a claim. But if you install security devices like cameras, smoke alarms, and more, and if you keep good care of your systems and appliances, and if you make sure your roof is in good working order, for example, then there should be no reason to make a claim.

Besides, making a claim will cause your rates to increase.

And if you want to be proactive and don’t want to see your rates go up, you can add on a coverage called “Rateguard” that allows you to file one free claim every five years without causing your rate to rise.

So, if you don’t make a claim for a period set by Allstate, you can get a discount.

Read a full Allstate homeowners insurance review.

Allstate Homeowners Insurance Discounts

  • Multi-Policy: Bundle home and auto and save up to 25%.
  • Payment Discount: Sign up for automatic payments and save up to 5%.
  • Security Devices: Security features and protective devices like surveillance cameras.
  • New Customer: New customers save up to 10% annually by switching from another insurer.

Allstate Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Very competitive rates.
  • Filed no claims with previous insurance and switch to Allstate gets you a 20% discount on your premium.
  • Local agents available.
  • Optional digital identity tracking tool.
  • Offers coverage in every U.S. state, plus Washington D.C.
  • Lots of discounts available.
  • Many ways to customize coverage.
Cons
  • No replacement cost coverage in standard policy.
  • More than the expected number of complaints to state regulators.
  • Loss of use coverage capped at a set percentage of the dwelling coverage.
How is Allstate Homeowners Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)815
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA+
NAIC Complaint Index2.05
BBBA-

Liberty Mutual: Best Homeowners Insurance for Many Discounts

Liberty Mutual homeowners-insurance Rhode Island
Editors star rating review
4.5
Editor's Rating (4.5 Stars out of 5)

Liberty Mutual is not known for its affordable rates, but the insurer offers many discounts that can significantly lower your premium.

Read a full Liberty Mutual home insurance review.

Liberty Mutual Homeowners Insurance Discounts

Here are some of the most popular discounts:

  • Claims-Free: Claims-Free for five years with another insurer before switching to Liberty Mutual.
  • Safe Homeowner Program: Policyholders who go three or more years without making a claim.
  • Early Shopper: Homeowners insured by another company who request a quote from Liberty Mutual before their current policy runs out get a discount.
  • Protective Devices: Adding security measures such as smoke alarms, deadbolts, fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and burglar alarms.
  • Insured to Value: When you insure your home at the replacement cost of up to 100% of the cost to remodel your home rather than at market value.

Liberty Mutual Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Easy to reach customer service: by text, social media, live chat, and phone.
  • User-friendly website and mobile app.
  • Get quote and file claim on website or app.
  • Flood insurance can be bought at same time as your Liberty Mutual policy due to its partnership with FEMA.
  • Customer service available on weekends.
Cons
  • Discount availability varies from state to state.
  • Limited extra coverage options.
  • Customer satisfaction is low.
How is Liberty Mutual Homeowners Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)805
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA
BBBA+
NAIC Complaint Index2.37

Amica Mutual: Best Homeowners Insurance That Protects Your Personal Property

Amica homeowners insurance Rhode Island
Editors star rating review
4.0
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

Amica Mutual is known for its many coverage options, but two stand out that are designed to protect your personal property.

Valuable Items Coverage

Your personal property insurance will only pay up to the policy’s limit if you have high-value items like jewelry and artwork. That means personal property coverage in a standard policy is often less than a valuable engagement ring. If you purchase coverage for valuable items, you’ll get additional protection.

Replacement Cost Value

If your laptop or smart TV were destroyed by fire or stolen, you’d probably want your insurer to pay for the full value of your items.

ACV, or actual cash value, will not pay you in full because it only offers you the depreciated value of your property.

It’s worth looking into replacement cost value (RCV). With RCV, your damaged personal property will be paid using today’s prices rather than its depreciated cost.

Amica Homeowners Insurance Discounts

  • Multi-Policy: Bundle home with auto.
  • Loyalty: If you stay with Amica for at least two years.
  • Extra Savings: Save if you renew your policy twice.
  • Alarm System: Safety features and home security systems.
  • Automatic Detection Devices: Discount for water and gas leak sensors.
  • New and Remodeled Homes: Discount for new or recently constructed homes.

Amica Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Great customer service.
  • Approved contractor program to help with claims.
  • Dwelling replacement cost increases dwelling coverage by up to an additional 30%.
  • Offers flood insurance.
  • High level of customer satisfaction.
  • Large number of add-on coverage options.
  • Easy to use and simple online claims filing and tracking.
  • Dividend program returns your money at end of each year.
Cons
  • Average set of discounts.
  • Doesn’t cover all states.
  • Dividend program only available in certain states.
How is Amica Homeowners Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)849
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA+
BBBA+
NAIC Complaint Index0.32

Travelers: Best for Water Backup and Sump Pump Discharge Coverage

Travelers homeowners insurance Rhode Island
Editors star rating review
4.0
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

If water backs up from a sewer or drain within your home, or if water discharges or overflows from your sump pump, what do you do?

Many homeowners believe that their home insurance will cover any damages if there is water backup and sump pump backup.

This is not the case. Water and sump pump failure is typically not covered under a basic policy unless you purchase coverage at an additional cost.

So, if you purchase water backup coverage from Travelers, this will cover damage from water that backs up, overflows, or discharges from sewers, drains, sump pumps, or related equipment.

For example, if your sump pump breaks down and water backs up into your basement, damaging your carpet, furniture, and belongings, the water backup coverage will pay for sewage removal and damage to your property.

But note that this coverage will not pay for water damage resulting from a flood due to a hurricane or storm because homeowners insurance never pays for damages caused by natural floodings. You need a separate flood insurance policy to cover you.

Travelers Homeowners Insurance Discounts

  • Multi-Policy: Home with auto or other products.
  • Claims-Free: Making no claims can lead to decreased rates,
  • New Home: If you bought a new home within the previous 12 months.
  • Home Security: If you install protective devices or home security systems.
  • Going Green: Get up to 5% for having A LEED-certified “green home” as the US Green Building Council determined.

Travelers Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Wide range of extra coverage options.
  • Umbrella insurance helps protect you from unexpected events.
  • User-friendly features on website and app.
  • Provides broader protection for personal belongings in the event of covered loss.
  • Add-on provides higher limits for high-cost personal property.
  • Offers personal articles floater.
  • Offers RCV, which insurer calls “contents replacement cost.”
Cons
  • Coverage in only 45 states and Washington, DC.
  • Hard to reach customer service when filing claim.
  • Doesn’t insure mobile or manufactured homes.
How is Travelers Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)794
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA++
BBBA
NAIC Complaint Index3.88

GEICO: Best Homeowners Insurance for Flood Coverage

GEICO homeowners insurance Rhode Island
Editors star rating review
4.0
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

Hurricanes remain the #1 natural disaster that often occurs in Rhode Island. While hurricanes are covered under a basic homeowners insurance policy, flooding is never covered by GEICO or any insurer in the US.

GEICO has your back if you live in a flood area like Rhode Island. Flood insurance is a separate policy with additional protection to a homeowners policy, protecting you from more severe types of water damage like heavy rain, melting snow, or severe coastal storm.

Whether you're required to buy flood insurance or just want additional protection for your property, GEICO can help insure your greatest asset—your home—from flooding that comes into your house from a natural disaster like a hurricane.

GEICO suggests that you buy a policy if you know beforehand that a hurricane or storm will be approaching.

You can use your flood policy immediately if you've purchased a new home and the closing is in less than 30 days.

Unfortunately, for the rest of us, most flood insurance policies require a 30-day waiting period before the coverage is effective.

GEICO Homeowners Insurance Discounts

  • Multi-Policy: Bundle home and car.
  • Home Security Systems: Safety features like alarm systems and security cameras.
  • Fire Safety Features: Smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Bonus if you live near a fire hydrant or fire department.

GEICO Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Impressive array of endorsements for added coverage beyond standard policy.
  • Interactive features on the website’s contact page help customers find the most efficient way to reach out to the company.
  • Most active and retired military members and federal employees can save money through GEICO’s discounts for these groups.
Cons
  • Discounts are relatively limited compared to competitor offerings.
  • Matches customers to other underwriters rather than insuring them directly, which can result in a wide range of policy prices.
How Is GEICO Homeowners Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)869
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA++
BBBA+

Progressive: Best Homeowners Insurance for Personal Injury Coverage

Progressive homeowners insurance Rhode Island
Editors star rating review
4.0
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

We chose Progressive as one of our top-rated insurers due to its comprehensive personal injury protection coverage.

Personal injury protection is coverage not seen by many insurers.

With Progressive, you are covered for expensive lawsuits and other related situations.

For example, you send a massive-wide e-mail to your co-workers at work that damages your boss’ reputation. So, your boss decides to sue you.

Personal injury may cover your lawyer, court fees, and any damages you may have to pay.

Without this coverage, you’d have to hire your own legal team or counsel out-of-pocket. Can’t afford that? Then this policy is for you.

But that’s not all that personal injury covers.

In addition to slander or libel lawsuits—something you say or write that damages a person’s good reputation or business—personal injury also covers your legal fees and additional damages from:

  • Malicious prosecution.
  • Wrongful eviction or wrongful entry.
  • False arrest, detention, or imprisonment.

Progressive Homeowners Insurance Discounts

  • Multi-Policy Discount: Bundle home and auto and save 5%.
  • Safety Devices: Install burglar, fire, and smoke alarms.
  • Quote in Advance: Get a quote at least ten days before your policy begins.
  • New Purchase: Purchase a new home or a recently constructed home.

Progressive Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Discounted price on covered repairs when hiring a contractor from Progressive’s contractor network after a claim.
  • Offers sinkhole insurance and landslide and mudslide insurance.
  • Available coverage for water backup that damages home and property.
  • Available nationwide.
  • Single deductible available for car insurance customers who purchase homeowners insurance.
  • Discount for installing video surveillance cameras and door and window sensors.
Cons
  • Doesn't underwrite its own policies.
  • Homeowners insurance offered by third-party companies.
  • Filing claim may mean you have to go through third-party underwriter rather than Progressive.
How is Progressive Homeowners Insurance Rated?
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA+
NAIC Complaint Index1.66

Chubb: Best Homeowners Insurance for Extra Coverages That Come Standard

Chubb homeowners insurance Rhode Island
Editors star rating review
4.5
Editor's Rating (4.5 Stars out of 5)

Chubb Insurance is available for a distinct few. The company caters to the rich and covers homes with its homeowners insurance policy that are above one million dollars.

While its rates are exorbitantly high, Chubb offers the most coverage in its basic policy that you don’t have to pay extra for.

Replacement cost value, water or sump pump backup coverage, and identity theft all come standard; with other insurers, these are add-ons that you must pay extra for.

In addition, the standard policy also covers tree removal after a storm, restoration of electronic data destroyed by a computer virus, and lock replacement if your keys are lost or stolen.

The insurer also has something called HomeScan, which can reveal leaks, missing insulation, and faulty electrical connections before damage happens.

Chubb will also replace upgraded appliances and personal belongings at today’s cost without deduction for depreciation. This is RCV, but RCV for appliances is coverage not offered by many insurers. The real kicker here is that the insurer doesn’t require you to get replacements; you can walk away with a cash settlement instead.

And if your home is destroyed by a fire or other covered loss, Chubb will rebuild or repair your home even if the cost exceeds your policy limit.

Chubb Homeowners Insurance Discounts

  • Multi-Policy Discount: Bundle home and auto.
  • Valuable Articles: Purchase $25,000 or more in valuable articles coverage.
  • Security Alarms: Install a central station burglar alarm and central station fire alarm.
  • Storm Shutters: Have eligible storm shutters covering all exterior glass or other windstorm protections on all exterior glass and skylights.
  • Gated community: Live in a gated community that requires identification to enter, announces visitors, and protects the gate either with a guard or a lock.

Chubb Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Cash settlement, up to policy limit, if decide not to have home rebuilt.
  • Rebuild home up to current building codes.
  • Has its own flood insurance as alternative to National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • Complimentary Wildfire Defense Services help homeowners recover after wildfires and hurricanes.
  • “Risk consultants” visit home to make sure you are fully protected.
  • Replacement cost value (RCV) comes standard.
Cons
  • Prohibitively expensive.
  • Not for people who want cheap rates.
  • Doesn’t sell insurance policies through website or central call center.
  • Sold through local agents only.
How is Chubb Homeowners Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)809
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA++
BBBD-
NAIC Complaint Index0.21

Nationwide: Best Homeowners Insurance Generally Known to Offer Some of the Lowest Rates

Nationwide homeowners insurance Rhode Island
Editors star rating review
4.0
Editor's Rating (4 Stars out of 5)

Nationwide is one of the ten largest home insurance companies in the US. It is noted for its outstanding coverage that would cost you extra when compared to a similar insurer.

It is also the most affordable.

Nationwide provides homeowners insurance that is well below the nationwide average.

Allstate, Farmers, and Travelers are also generally known to have one of the best rates, but, on average, Nationwide beats all three insurance titans.

However, your rate will differ from another customer’s rate due to certain factors. The location of your home, its size and age, claims history, credit score, and more can impact your rate with Nationwide.

Nationwide Homeowners Insurance Discounts

  • Multi-Policy: Bundle home with auto.
  • Protective Device: Making your home safe.
  • Claims Free: If you’ve never made a claim, you can get a discount.
  • Home Improvement: Improving or updating your home’s electrical, heating, and cooling systems, electrical systems, and plumbing.
  • Gated Community: Living in a gated community or your entrance has security guards.

Nationwide Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Additional personal property insurance provides higher coverage levels for jewelry, art, and other valuables that might exceed limits of a standard policy.
  • Cash-out option if house is destroyed and you decide not to rebuild it.
  • Equipment breakdown coverage for appliances and household systems.
  • Has pet insurance.
  • No banned dogs.
  • Credit card coverage pays for unauthorized transactions.
  • Roof damage from covered peril will rebuild roof with stronger materials.
  • Offers flood insurance and earthquake insurance as separate deductibles. (some insurers don’t offer these policies).
Cons
  • Despite its name, Nationwide is not actually nationwide and only covers 44 states.
  • Complaints are above the industry median.
  • Add-ons can make your rate cost more.
How is Nationwide Insurance Rated?
J.D. Power (out of 1,000)816
A.M. Best - Financial Strength RatingA+
BBBA+
NAIC Complaint Index0.88

How We Picked the Best Homeowners Insurance in Rhode Island

We looked at several factors to determine the best companies that provided homeowners insurance. These are:

Discounts

We narrowed down our focus to those companies that had the most discounts. Discounts allow customers to get the lowest possible rate.

Coverage

We looked at homeowners insurance policies based on how much coverage they offered.

A range of coverages is important for a company to have because it can customize a policy or tailor it to a customer’s need. Coverage can also offset policy limits so that you will be reimbursed in full when you make a claim.

Technology

If a company’s website and app allow you to manage most of your insurance needs electronically or if both are easy to use even for the technophobe, then that’s a company we considered.

Customer Reviews

We looked at many insurance review sites that offered vetted customer reviews to also narrow down our options. The ones with the most positive reviews were more favorable to us.

Price

Homeowners insurance prices should be fair and competitive, and a company should also have enough discounts to make a policy affordable to most people.

If the insurance company had a rate below the national average or below the state average, we put that company on our list.

Is It Mandatory to Buy Homeowners Insurance in Rhode Island?

You aren’t required to buy homeowners insurance, and it’s not mandatory by law in Rhode Island.

But most homeowners have a home mortgage; in that case, your lender will likely require a policy to protect its investment.

The lender will want coverage equal to at least the value of your loan.

What is Homeowners Insurance?

Homeowners insurance protects your home and your personal property from the financial impact of unforeseen or unexpected disasters.

The insurance will pay to have your home repaired or rebuilt after damage from fire, heavy winds, hurricanes, and other natural disasters if your policy covers them.

In addition, if your personal belongings in your home are stolen or destroyed, homeowners insurance will replace them.

Homeowners insurance usually covers interior damage, exterior damage, and injury that arises while on the property.

Every homeowners insurance policy has a liability limit, which determines the amount of coverage the insured has should an unfortunate incident occur.

What Does a Basic Homeowners Insurance Cover in Rhode Island?

Dwelling

This covers damage to your house. So, if your home is destroyed due to a fire or other covered event or peril, your insurer will cover the cost of rebuilding your home.

For example, a severe thunderstorm uproots a tree that falls onto your home, crushing part of the roof and attic. You’d pay your share of the repair cost — that’s your deductible — and then the insurer would pay the rest up to the limit of your dwelling coverage.

Medical Payments

This pays if someone is injured on your property and needs medical treatment, regardless of who’s at fault. It also pays if you, a family member, or a pet like a dog injures someone elsewhere.

For example, if a guest visits your home and slips in the shower, causing the guest to break her hip, medical payments will provide coverage for the guest’s medical bills.

Personal Liability

This pays for medical bills, repair, or replacement costs if you are held responsible for physically hurting someone or damaging his or her personal belongings. Personal liability also handles legal fees if that person sues you.

For example, if that guest slipped in the shower and broke her hip and ends up suing you, your personal liability will cover you.

In addition, if you’re faced with legal fees for accidents for which you or someone else on your policy are at fault, once again, personal liability will cover you.

But note that personal liability only covers injury to other people, not yourself, and not to people listed on your policy.

Other Structures

Covers stand-alone outdoor structures on your property like fences, sheds, detached garages, driveways, pools, or anything not attached to your home.

For example, if a fire burns down your She Shed, your other structures coverage will pay to rebuild it.

Personal Property

Covers the actual cash value to replace your personal belongings if your house was robbed or burned down. Covered personal property often includes furniture, clothing, electronics, everyday items like kitchenware, as well as high-cost valuables like jewelry.

For example, if your home is burglarized, your personal property coverage will pay to replace any items stolen.

Loss of Use

If a covered event destroys your property to the point that it is unhabitable, loss of use will pay for your temporary living expenses.

For example, if a fire destroys your home, loss of use will pay for dwelling coverage, such as staying in hotels or motels or eating at restaurants. Insurers usually try to find similar accommodations for you to stay and which resemble your damaged home.

What Events Does a Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover?

A covered peril is an event your insurer agrees to reimburse you if you file a claim.

Covered perils include:

  • Fire or lightning.
  • Smoke.
  • Windstorms and hail.
  • Explosions.
  • Theft.
  • Vandalism.
  • Weight of ice, snow, and sleet.
  • Sudden damage from a power surge.
  • Volcanic eruptions.
  • Falling objects.
  • Water overflow or discharge from household systems like plumbing, air conditioning, and appliances.
  • Sudden tearing, cracking, or bulging of a hot water system, steam system, air conditioning, or fire protection system.
  • Riots.
  • Damage from aircraft.
  • Damage caused by vehicles.

What Factors Determine Your Homeowners Insurance Rate?

Your rate will be different from another person’s rate due to certain factors that can lower or increase your rate. These include:

State and ZIP Code

Your rate will be lower than average if you live in a safe neighborhood that’s not prone to constant natural disasters.

Construction of Home

How your house was built can affect your premium in a few ways. Some construction types are more resistant to certain types of damage, like wind or fire, which can lower your premium.

Age of Home

Newer homes are generally up to code and less likely to experience damage from a variety of causes, such as weather or plumbing issues.

But the building materials used in older homes may not conform to current building standards, meaning additional work may be needed to repair or replace them. Expenses to update materials could drive your premium up.

Distance To Nearest Fire Station

The closer you are to a fire station, the more likely emergency responders can be able to put a fire out faster than if you live farther away, which could minimize damage.

Deductible

Your deductible is the amount you agree to pay out of pocket if you file a claim. If you opt for a higher deductible, the insurer will pay less if you file a claim, which is good.

Coverage Options

If you purchase optional coverages to add to your policy, the more you will likely pay.

Credit Score

In most states, your credit score affects your home insurance premium, as homeowners with lower credit are statistically more likely to file a claim than homeowners with higher credit scores.

Read more: How to Check Your Credit Score Rating.

Claim History

Your rate may skyrocket if you have filed a claim within the last three to five years. Even if you change insurers, your new carrier will be able to see any past claims and may charge you accordingly.

How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost?

As you can see above, several factors can increase or decrease what you pay in terms of premiums.

Larger homes will cost more to insure than smaller ones because the former requires more labor and materials to rebuild them.

A newer home is usually cheaper to insure than an older one because you can expect fewer problems to arise. New homes come with new plumbing and electrical fixtures, as well as new HVAC systems and new appliances.

This may sound unfair, but your rate will most likely be higher if homeowners near you or in your town have filed a lot of claims over the years.

A home in an area prone to flooding, like Rhode Island, will cost more to insure due to greater exposure to wind, storms, and erosion.

Finally, if you live in a home tricked out with security measures such as alarms or security cameras or if you live in a safe area where the crime rate is low or if you live in a gated community with security guards or keycode entrance, you’ll pay less for your rates.

How Fast Do Insurance Companies Process Claims?

Most home insurance providers are able to process and settle claims in a timely manner. In general, the average time frame is within 30 days.

However, if the claim involves injuries or catastrophic losses, like numerous homes in a clustered area getting damaged at the same time due to wildfire spreading, it may take longer to receive a payout on your claim.

What Will Homeowners Insurance Not Cover?

A standard homeowner insurance policy never covers flooding or earthquakes.

Earthquakes

While earthquake damage is typically excluded, if you live on a fault line or an area susceptible to this natural disaster, it’s a necessary coverage to purchase. An earthquake policy can be expensive, but it’s easy to add as an endorsement. Or you may need to take out a separate policy on top of your basic plan.

Flooding

If a storm results in a deluge of flooding and the water comes into your home, homeowners insurance will not pay for any damages.

In general, if the flood is a result of a natural disaster, your insurer won’t cover you.

The only time an insurer will pay for flooding is if it is the result of

water that backs up, overflows, or discharges from sewers, drains, sump pumps, or related equipment.

In Rhode Island, homeowners who experience flooding due to a natural disaster like a hurricane should purchase a flood insurance policy, although a few homeowners insurance companies offer flood coverage as an endorsement or rider.

Because Rhode Island is at risk from excessive flooding, residents here pay higher premiums.

What Are the Types of Homeowners Insurance?

There are two basic types of homeowners insurance: actual cash value (ACV) and replacement cost value (RCV).

RCV comes as an add-on, although there are a few companies in which RCV comes as standard.

The main difference between the two is that RCV will pay you in full while ACV will pay you a depreciated cost.

Replacement Cost Value

RCV is about getting full coverage for your belongings and home if destroyed.

If your personal belongings get damaged, RCV will pay for them in full using today’s prices.

RCV will also pay the actual cost of rebuilding your home after it is damaged, even if there are increases in labor and building materials, to name a few.

Actual Cost Value

For ACV, if your possessions are stolen or destroyed, this insurance will not replace them at their full cost but rather at their depreciated value.

Unlike RCV, ACV can leave you short of funds if you need to rebuild your home in the event of a total loss.

Other options available:

Extended Replacement Cost Value

This coverage will pay out more than your dwelling coverage, up to a specified limit, if that’s what it takes to repair your home. This gives you a cushion if rebuilding is more expensive than you expected.

Guaranteed Replacement Cost Value

This coverage pays the full cost to repair or replace your home after a covered loss, even if it exceeds your policy limits. Not all insurance companies offer this coverage.

How Much Insurance Do I Need?

The amount of home insurance you need depends on your personal property and how valuable it is.

To determine how much home insurance you should get, you’ll have to do a home inventory of all your personal property.

The better your documentation, the easier it will be to file a claim should you need to.

Here are the steps to make the process easy:

  • Go through your entire home and keep a record of all your belongings that you find by taking pictures or filming a video.
  • Make an estimate of what each property costs if you need to file a claim and replace your belongings. To figure out the cost of an item, use receipts. If you don’t have them, find comparable items online.
  • Don’t overlook anything. Say you are wearing expensive clothes. Just because you wear them always doesn’t mean they’re exempt from your inventory.

Kitchen and bath items like bed sheets, duvets, linens, silverware, and dishware collections should be included, as well as items stored in the attic or garage, such as your bike or that $3,000 faux Christmas tree you bought from Frontgate.

Be sure also to include your expensive items like collectibles, musical instruments, and sporting equipment, as well as outdoor furniture and equipment such as a barbecue grill.

  • Note when and where you purchased the items, particularly expensive ones.
  • Consider what it would cost to replace each item with an equivalent new item, not what you paid for it initially.

Replacement costs can change quickly; even a two-year-old appliance might be considerably more expensive today than when you bought it.

  • Once you've taken a thorough inventory of your belongings, you'll know how much homeowners insurance you need.
  • Depending on the value of your belongings, you can opt for higher coverage limits for various parts of your policy.

For most homeowners, this usually includes high-cost valuables, such as jewelry and pricey artwork, that can’t be covered in full by your standard policy.

Do I Need Extra Coverage for My Valuables?

The personal property coverage in a standard homeowners policy pays up to a certain limit for damaged or stolen belongings.

So, if you own high-value items, like jewelry, fine art, or musical instruments, the amount of coverage provided in your basic policy may not be enough to replace them if you have to file a claim.

For example, if your engagement ring is stolen, there may be a cap of $500 or $1,000 or more to replace it, depending on the insurer, and you could be subject to your policy’s deductible.

To make sure your expensive jewelry is insured to its full value, you should schedule it.

Scheduling your personal property means you’ll list it for its full value. So, if you schedule your engagement ring, for example, it will be removed from your personal property limits and insured separately.

How Can I Lower My Homeowners Insurance Premium?

The three most popular ways are to get quotes from different insurers, increase your credit rating, and apply for discounts.

Shop Around

Get quotes from as many insurers as you can, although those in the industry suggest three quotes from three different insurers is sufficient.

A quote is an estimate of your premium cost. If you compare multiple quotes for the same coverage from different companies, you may likely find the best insurer for you.

You can get home insurance quotes online or over the phone.

Increase Your Credit Score

Maintaining a good credit rating can significantly reduce your rates.

Some ways that should improve your credit-based insurance score include:

  • Order your full credit report and check your report for mistakes and dispute them.
  • Pay bills on time.
  • Pay more than the minimum due on your credit cards.
  • Pay off a credit card in full.
  • Forego hard inquiries, so your credit score doesn’t drop.
  • Use credit responsibly.

Your premiums likely won’t reduce themselves overnight, but if you can improve and maintain a higher credit rating, your credit-based insurance score might also improve, which could lower your rates.

Discounts

During the quote process, ask each company if any discounts apply to you. Taking advantage of home insurance discounts is one of the easiest ways to lower your premium.

The most important discount is the multi-policy discount because it takes a good percentage off your premium. So, if you bundle home with auto, you’ll see your rates drop.

Other discounts include making your home safe, getting new plumbing, HVAC, and other electrical systems, as well as purchasing a new roof made from sturdier materials to make it less vulnerable to wind damage or the weight of heavy snow.

How to Buy Homeowners Insurance

Coverage

Determine how much coverage you need.  Once you find a company you like, research it thoroughly to see what coverages it offers, what coverages it doesn’t have, and what they need.

Make a Fair Comparison

When evaluating rates, ensure each insurer offers the same limits and deductibles.

Check Consumer Complaints

Use vetted customer reviews from insurance review sites to see how many consumer complaints each insurer has before you choose a policy.

Website and Mobile App

Choose a company that has a useful and easy-to-use website and mobile app. If you can take care of most of your insurance needs online, from buying a policy to submitting and tracking a claim, that means you can save time and don’t have to be on hold while attempting to contact an agent.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I lower my home insurance premiums?

The three most popular ways to lower home insurance premiums include: getting quotes from different insurers, increasing your credit rating, and applying for discounts.

What are the two types of home insurance?

There are two basic types of homeowners insurance: actual cash value (ACV) and replacement cost value (RCV).

What is the difference between ACV and RCV coverage?

The main difference between the two is that RCV will pay you in full while ACV will pay you a depreciated cost. For ACV, if your possessions are stolen or destroyed, this insurance will not replace them at their full cost but rather at their depreciated value, while RCV is about getting full coverage for your belongings and home if destroyed.

How fast do insurance companies process claims?

Most home insurance providers are able to process and settle claims in a timely manner. In general, the average time frame is within 30 days. However, if the claim involves injuries or catastrophic losses it may take longer to receive a payout on your claim.

Is homeowners insurance required by law in Rhode Island?

You are not required to buy homeowners insurance in Rhode Island. However, if you have a mortgage, your lender will likely require it to protect its investment.