8 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Washington DC of 2023
Your home is likely the most valuable asset you own and possibly the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy.
If you live in Washington, DC, your primary duty as a homeowner is to protect it.
That means you should have a homeowners insurance policy in place.
While homeowners insurance is not required in Washington, DC, if you have a home mortgage, your lender will require it to protect their investment.
To find the best homeowners insurance in Washington DC, you may want to consider how affordable a policy is, the insurer’s customer service ratings, if they have many coverage options, available discounts, and how easy it is to file a claim.
With so many considerations about homeowners insurance, how can you be sure you are getting the one that fits your needs?
Compare the coverage and cost of the best homeowners insurance providers in Washington, DC, picked by PropertyNest expert editors:
Best Homeowners Insurance in Washington DC
- Allstate: Best For Claims-Free Homeowners
- Amica: Best for High-Quality Contractors
- Liberty Mutual: Best for High-Risk Crime Rate Policy
- State Farm: Best Affordable Policy
- Travelers: Best For Comprehensive Coverage
- Erie Insurance: Best Policy for Coverages That Cost Extra with Other Insurers
- Lemonade: Best Charitable Policy
- Hippo: Best Policy for Quick Quote
Allstate: Best For Claims-Free Homeowners
Allstate has solid coverage, great financial standing, and cost-saving discounts.
Allstate also has the best claims-free policy that you can take advantage of if you take great care of your home.
If you don’t make a claim for a period set by Allstate, you become eligible for a nice discount.
And if you switched to Allstate and hadn’t filed a claim with your previous insurer, you can get up to a 20% discount on your premium.
Moreover, Allstate will lower your deductible amount for every additional year you stay claims-free and keep your homeowners insurance with them.
If that isn’t enough, Allstate also offers an option called Rateguard. This option allows you to file one free claim every five years without causing your premium to rise.
However, this coverage comes with an extra fee. So, if you don’t make a claim, you may have lost money.
Read a full Allstate homeowners insurance review.
Allstate Homeowners Insurance Discounts
Allstate offers homeowners many ways to save.
- Multi-policy discount: Save as much as 25% when you bundle home with auto.
- Trusted payer discount: If you have a good payment history or put your full premium in-escrow, you can qualify for a discount.
- Claims-free discount: Get 20% off if you haven't recently filed any claims.
- New/loyal customer: Qualify for 10% off if you are switching over to Allstate. Then, save 10% again each subsequent year you are an Allstate customer.
- New home buyer: Whether you purchased a newly constructed home or bought recently.
- Auto-pay discount: Get up to 5% off when you enroll in automatic payments.
- Protective device discount: You may be eligible for a discount if you have an anti-theft system or fire/smoke alarm installed in your home.
- Early quote discount: If you get a quote with Allstate seven days before your previous policy expires, you can save as much as 10%.
Allstate Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- HostAdvantage home-sharing coverage if you use AirBnB or Vrbo
- For green improvement, you can be reimbursed.
- Offers musical instrument and sports equipment endorsements.
- If you bundle your home and auto policies with Allstate, you can save up to 25%.
- Optional add-ons not typical of insurance companies.
- Personal property limit is lower than average in comparison to similar insurers.
- Rather than covering total loss, coverage is capped at a set percentage of the dwelling coverage.
- HostAdvantage not available in all 50 states.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||815|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A+|
|NAIC Complaint Index||2.05|
Amica: Best for High-Quality Contractors
If you need your home repaired after a covered peril, you know that it matters who the contractors are. You don’t just want anyone. That’s why some homeowners prefer to choose their own contractors, which Amica allows you to do.
But what if you don’t have a contractor in mind or have no time to research the best contractor? The last thing you want to do is visit multiple review sites to find a contractor after losing your home.
Amica takes out the guesswork. The insurer partners with “Contractor Connection,” a database listing more than 2,000 qualified contractors.
You can be sure the right professionals are repairing your home because all contractors undergo a strict vetting process to ensure they are properly licensed, insured, and financially stable.
The claims process is thus hassle-free because the insurer works directly with contractors to reach an agreed price on all repairs.
In addition, the insurer oversees your restoration process to ensure you are satisfied in case any problems arise.
And if there’s an emergency, Amica can send out the professionals within hours.
A five-year warranty ensures that all work completed by the contractors meets the standards of local building codes.
Amica Mutual Homeowners Insurance Discounts
Amica offers a generous number of opportunities for homeowners to rack up discounts. Offers may vary by state.
- Loyalty discount: This discount applies to customers who have been with one insurer for at least two years. Savings increase the longer you've been a loyal customer.
- Multi-policy discount: You can save as much as 30% when you bundle with other insurance policies like auto, umbrella, life, etc.
- Claims-free discount: You can be rewarded if you've been claims-free for the last three years.
- Auto-pay: Save money when you sign up for automatic payments to your premium.
- E-discount: Receive a discount when you enroll in paperless billing and receive your policy documents electronically.
- Alarm system discount: Get a discount if you have a burglar or fire alarm installed in your home.
- Automation detection discount: Various automated detection devices for temperature, water leaks, or gas leaks installed in your home may qualify you for a discount.
- New/renovated home: You may be eligible for this discount if you purchased a new or newly renovated home.
Amica Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- Dividend Policy refunds some money back to you that you’ve already paid to help offset your premium.
- Best-in-class claims handling and customer satisfaction ratings.
- Fewer customer complaints than the industry median relative to its size.
- Discounts for being claims-free.
- Discounts not available in all states.
- Limited coverage endorsements.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||849|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A+|
|NAIC Complaint Index||0.32|
Liberty Mutual: Best for High-Risk Crime Rate Policy
Washington, DC, has one of the highest crime rates in the United States.
Liberty Mutual has the best overall coverage for loss and damage caused by criminal activity.
Its homeowners insurance will protect you from property theft, vandalism, and burglaries up to your policy limits.
It also offers additional coverage for expensive items like collectibles and artwork.
You can also purchase blanket jewelry coverage so that these high-cost items are fully protected.
Liberty Mutual is your best choice if your home is located in a high-crime area. Not many companies sell high-risk homeowners insurance if you live in one of these areas, and those that do tend to limit coverage and have higher premiums.
So, because high-risk homes cost more to insure, Liberty offers plenty of discounts to help reduce your monthly premium.
Read a full Liberty Mutual home insurance review.
Liberty Mutual Discounts
- Multi-policy discount: Bundle policies and save.
- Security device discount: Adding security devices to your home, such as security cameras, fire alarms, burglar alarms, deadbolts, and fire extinguishers.
- Home protection devices: You'll also get a discount if you have water leak detection, shutoff devices, or sprinklers.
- New systems discount: If you just bought a new home or recently renovated your home and included all new electricals, plumbing, and HVAC systems and also added a new roof, your premium will be lower.
- Early quote discount: Homeowners who are insured by another company are eligible for a reduced rate if they get a quote from Liberty before that other insurance terminates.
- RCV discount: You qualify for a discount if you choose replacement cost to insure your home rather than ACV or actual cash value.
- Military discount: If you are an active military member or a veteran, you also get a discount.
Liberty Mutual Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- 10% off if purchase coverage online.
- Very affordable rates; one of the lowest in the industry.
- Takes only 5-10 minutes to file claim.
- Live chat to help prospective policyholders during the quote process.
- Inflation protection adjusts coverage each year to account for inflation.
- Claims can be made by video call.
- Easy to use website and innovative app.
- Higher premiums due to DC crime rate.
- 10% off available only in select states.
- 10% off only basic policy; endorsements not included.
- Above-average customer complaints.
- Coverage denied if own certain dog breeds.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||805|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A|
|NAIC Complaint Index||2.37|
State Farm: Best Affordable Policy
State Farm is one of the largest insurers in the nation. Even so, the company has some of the lowest rates for homeowners insurance in Washington, D.C.
State Farm’s average rate for $200,000 of dwelling protection costs $780 per year or $65 per month.
For Washington, DC., the average cost is $895, or $75 per month.
This makes State Farm cheaper than both the state and national averages.
State Farm has the most competitive premiums compared to all the insurance companies that made our list.
In addition, your already low premium can be even lower if you take advantage of State Farm’s many discounts.
Read a full State Farm homeowners insurance review.
State Farm Homeowners Insurance Discounts
- Roof: If you upgrade your roof using weather-resistant and impact-resistant roofing materials.
- Fire Safety Program: Policyholders may be eligible for a free electronic component that monitors your house’s electricals and alerts you to any problems before your system can cause a fire in your home. If you use the component, you’ll get a discount.
- Multi-Policy Discount: Save money when you purchase more than one policy under State Farm.
- Home Alert Protection: If you install a fire alarm, a burglar alarm, or a fire protection device, you’ll also save.
- Higher Deductible Discount: If you increase your deductible an extra $500, $1,000, or $5,000, your premium will be lower.
State Farm Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- Features “Increased Dwelling Limit” coverage.
- Multiple resources and calculators make insurer great for first-time homebuyers who are unfamiliar with insurance jargon and the ins and outs of homeowners insurance.
- Website and app make it easy to file a claim or get a quote online.
- Website has “find an agent” tool that can quickly connect to a local agent
- You don’t get a discount if you never file a claim, unlike most insurers.
- No new home discount.
- Policies not available through independent agents.
- Online quoting system assigns local agent to assist with policy but not necessarily the one located closest to your property address.
- Options for home policy deductibles may be more limited than that of other insurers.
- The online quoting system may not be available for mobile or manufactured homes.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||829|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A++|
|NAIC Complaint Index||1.77|
Travelers: Best For Comprehensive Coverages
- Multi-Policy Discount.
- Loss-Free Discount.
- Protective Device Discount.
Travelers has many coverage choices that can make your basic or standard policy more comprehensive and have broader protection.
The following coverages can be added to your homeowners insurance without difficulty.
Special Personal Property Coverage
Offers broader protection for your personal property after a covered loss and can cover more in most situations than your homeowners insurance policy.
Contents Replacement Cost
If your personal property is damaged by a covered peril or because of theft, Travelers will replace it using today’s prices with no deduction for depreciation.
Additional Replacement Cost Protection Coverage
Additional replacement cost coverage kicks in to helps repair or rebuild your home if your dwelling coverage is not enough.
Travelers Valuable Items
This provides higher limits and expanded protection for high-value items like jewelry and artwork.
Green Home Coverage
Green home coverage provides additional protection that can help cover the costs to repair, replace or rebuild your home after a covered loss using green materials.
Travelers Homeowners Insurance Discounts
Travelers offers a number of ways homeowners can save.
- Multi-policy discount: You can save as much as 12% if you bundle home with auto, and three other policies.
- New home buyer discount: You may qualify for a discount if you purchase your home less than 12 months prior to purchasing your policy.
- Loss-free discount: Homeowners with no claims or losses within a specified period of time may be eligible for this discount.
- Protective device discount: Smoke detectors, fire alarms, home security systems, sprinkler systems, or other security alert systems can help you save.
- Green home discount: If your home is LEED-certified green, you may receive up to 5% off.
Travelers Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- Green company.
- Personal property replacement cost coverage is subject to applicable policy limits and deductibles.
- Easy to find features on website and app.
- Offers water backup and sump pump discharge or overflow as add-on.
- Must speak to a rep if you want additional coverage.
- Replacement cost isn’t covered in standard policy and must be purchased for an extra cost.
- Though windstorms are considered covered perils, there is no additional wind damage coverage available.
- Doesn’t insure mobile or manufactured homes.
- Policy is paid annually; no monthly payment option.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||794|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A++|
|NAIC Complaint Index||3.88|
Erie Insurance: Best Policy for Coverages That Cost Extra with Other Insurers
Erie homeowners insurance in Washington D.C. stands out for offering coverages that most insurers charge extra for.
Erie offers replacement cost coverage as standard in its policy, which most companies charge extra for as an add-on.
Replacement cost means you can get reimbursed after a covered peril for the full amount you paid and using today’s prices rather than ACV (actual cash value), which only offers a depreciated value.
Replacement cost also allows you to have your home rebuilt in the same style it was before it was destroyed rather than having to compromise its style because of receiving a depreciated amount.
Coverage is more extensive in comparison to other insurers and also has fewer exclusions.
Not only covers theft, but also lost or misplaced items.
Larger limits on jewelry, watches, precious stones, and firearms.
Gift Card/Gift Certificate
Reimburses customers up to $250 for remaining balances on gift cards or gift certificates if they can no longer be redeemed at indie, locally owned, or mom-and-pop owned stores and businesses due to business closures.
Animals, including birds and fish, are covered up to $500.
Includes things like deeds, passports, bills, and more.
It’s worth pointing out that Erie offers, at an additional cost, home-sharing coverage when you rent out your house using Airbnb or Vrbo, eliminating the need to buy additional coverage.
Erie Homeowners Insurance Discounts
Erie Insurance has three main ways some homeowners can save.
- Multi-line discount: You may qualify for a discount if you add on one of Erie' life insurance products.
- Early quote discount: You may be eligible for savings if you get a homeowners insurance quote 7-60 days before your previous policy expires.
- Protective device: Get a discount for having a burglar alarm, smoke/fire detector, or sprinkler system in your home.
Erie Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- Offers up to 25% discount for bundling and additional discounts if you install security devices such as automatic sprinklers, smoke detectors, and burglar alarms.
- Provides 100% guaranteed replacement cost.
- Many add-ons include liability coverage, home-sharing coverage, identity recovery, and service line protection.
- Standard policy covers damage caused by falling trees or branches.
- Standard policy covers loss caused by mold or dry rot up to $10,000; exclusive to insurer.
- Erie’s level of customer complaints is lower than expected given the company’s size.
- Limited state availability.
- Offers only home insurance and condo insurance, which means no bundling discount.
- Doesn't have face-to-face customer support.
- No online claims.
- Not rated by most third-party rating sites.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||835|
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A+|
|NAIC Complaint Index||0.65 (Average)|
Lemonade: Best Charitable Policy
Lemonade Insurance is an online-only insurance company that uses AI (artificial intelligence) to provide notably fast home insurance quotes and claims payment.
The insurer can provide a quote in just a few minutes.
All you need to do is fill out a form on Lemonade’s website and choose the coverage amount you want.
It also makes the claims process fast, and the insurer states that it can reimburse you after a claim in a matter of minutes.
But what we most admire about Lemonade is its charitable contributions called the Lemonade Giveback.
When you get a Lemonade renters or homeowners insurance policy, Lemonade takes a flat fee, and you choose a cause to support with your leftover premium.
Once a year, Lemonade calculates the unclaimed premium and gives it back to the charities its community members chose.
Read a full Lemonade home insurance review.
Lemonade Homeowners Insurance Discounts
Here are a couple of ways Lemonade let's you save on your homeowners insurance premium.
- Bundling discount: You may be eligible for a discount if you pair your homeowners with another policy like pet coverage.
- Protective device: Lemonade rewards homeowners with added security from a burglar alarm, smoke or fire detection system, etc.
- Full payment discount: In some states, Lemonade may offer a discount if you pay your annual premium in full.
Lemonade Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- Lemonade handles 30% of claims instantly; in most situations, claims can be paid in as little as three minutes.
- Flat fee for administration, in addition to low monthly premiums.
- 10% bundling discount when combining home insurance with pet insurance.
- Has coverage matching tool to help homeowners compare prices between home insurance companies.
- Offers a unique endorsement for swimming pool coverage.
- Company built for online use only.
- No live agents.
- Doesn’t cover every state.
- Can be more expensive than its quoted rate found on its website.
- Few discounts to lower premiums.
|J.D. Power (out of 1,000)||870|
|NAIC Complaint Index||1.94|
Hippo: Best Policy for Quick Quote
Getting a quote for homeowners insurance in Washington DC from Hippo is fast. You can get a quote in as quickly as a minute.
In turn, it takes only five minutes to become a policyholder or receive the policy.
For those who are tech-savvy, Hippo’s online process is ideal.
Using technology means you can do everything online, such as buy extra coverage, and you can do this any time you want due to Hippo’s intuitive and easy-to-use website.
Besides its efficient technology, Hippo is also known for protecting homeowners by providing optional safety measures.
Hippo offers homeowners kits, such as one that includes smoke, CO2, and water-leaker detectors that cost $64, and another that adds 24/7 monitoring of your home. There is also an emergency dispatch service that costs $91.
If you agree to install either, the company states you can save an average of $64 a year on your premium.
Like other safety features and devices that other insurers would like you to install and use, Hippo is trying to protect you in the event a covered peril destroys your home. With safety devices, you have less of a chance of your home burning down because you have a fire extinguisher and a smoke alarm.
It's also protecting your house to protect itself; you are less inclined to make a claim, and the insurer saves money if you don’t.
Hippo Homeowners Insurance Pros & Cons
- Protect appliances and electronics at no extra cost.
- Many discounts to lower your premium.
- Some discounts are exclusive to the company, such as getting a reduced rate if you install storm shutters.
- Home-Care Expert program offers referrals to contractors and other providers.
- Discounts only available if homes have access to digital and smart systems.
- Unlike other insurers, Hippo only offers home insurance and condo insurance; thus, there is no bundling discount.
- Doesn't have face-to-face customer support.
- Not available in many states.
- Not rated by most third-party rating sites.
|A.M. Best - Financial Strength Rating||A-|
Is It Mandatory to Buy Home Insurance in Washington, DC?
Homeowners insurance isn't mandatory by law.
However, if you have a home mortgage, the lender will likely require it to protect its investment.
Even if you own your home outright, you can save a lot of money on out-of-pocket costs with homeowners insurance if your house is damaged or needs to be rebuilt due to a covered peril or if your personal property is destroyed.
Homeowners insurance will pay to have your home rebuilt and will replace your belongings.
If you are on the fence about buying homeowners insurance, ask yourself if you have enough money to repair or rebuild your home if it was destroyed by fire or damaged by high winds.
What is Covered in Homeowners Insurance?
Every homeowners insurance has a basic policy you must purchase before applying for discounts or adding on additional coverage.
The basic policy typically covers the following:
If your house is damaged or destroyed due to a fire, natural disaster, or a covered event that you could not have predicted, your insurer will cover the cost of rebuilding your home.
If you cause bodily injury or property damage to another person unintentionally or through neglect, your insurance will pay for any medical bills that the injured person racks up.
If the injured person ends up suing you, rest assured that your liability coverage will pay for any legal fees and legal representation.
This policy pays if someone is injured on your property and needs medical treatment, regardless of who’s at fault. Also pays if you, a family member, or a pet like a dog injures someone elsewhere.
This pays to repair or replace your personal belongings that are stolen or damaged in a covered peril, whether that happens in your home or while you are on a vacation or a business trip, basically any place where you are not at home or far from home.
Loss of Use
If your home is destroyed and you can’t possibly live there due to health reasons or because it’s simply unhabitable, loss of use pays for basic living expenses, such as hotel stays and meals.
What is a Covered Peril?
Homeowners insurance protects us from many emergencies that we couldn’t have predicted, such as a covered peril.
A covered peril is when the insurer agrees to reimburse you after you file a claim.
Covered perils include fire, lightning, windstorms, hail, the weight of snow, ice, theft, and vandalism.
What is the Determining Factor that Will Increase Your Homeowners Rate?
The insurer’s goal is to keep costs down. As such, the insurer would like to spend as little as possible.
That’s why an insurer doesn’t look favorably on a homeowner who makes a claim because it believes that such a homeowner is more likely to make additional claims.
And if there are multiple claims from many homeowners in one area, the need for the insurer to have financial strength is critical.
For example, if a fire destroys multiple homes in your area, the homeowners will most likely be filing claims at the same time.
Because the amount in which to repair these homes back-to-back can be catastrophic, the insurer may not be able to fulfill its financial obligations.
This is why an insurer prefers to cover homeowners who rarely or never make a claim and even gives you a claims-free discount to award you for not doing so.
But you can’t predict covered perils, and often they come when least expected. So, you may have no choice but to file more than one claim, which will raise your premium.
Yes, you pay for homeowners insurance to help cover financial losses in the event of unexpected damage or loss, but your insurance company will view a frequent claims record as a big red flag.
Other factors that can significantly impact your rate include theft, water damage, and dog bite claims.
Are There Other Factors That Can Impact Your Rate?
In DC, home insurance costs differently for each homeowner.
That’s because many factors can determine your rate.
As we said, the largest factor that insurers take into consideration is how likely you are to file a claim. But there are other factors to consider as well. These include:
The Location of Your Home
Wildfires can spread and damage your home if you live in a dry area near forests.
If you live in an area where natural disasters like hurricanes and high winds are prominent.
If either or both apply to you, you’ll pay more for your policy since the risk of insuring your home will be higher.
But you will pay less if your neighborhood has a low crime rate, which many in Washington DC don’t.
Your marital status can also affect your rate.
Because married couples statistically file fewer claims than those who are not married, insurers give them a lower rate.
The Age of Your Home
Homeowners insurers will take into consideration how difficult it would be to repair or rebuild your home to determine your rate.
You will also pay higher premiums if you live in an older home because insurers believe your home may not be up to code, such as your electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems.
But if your home has these things and they are in good working order or are brand new, then your rate will be lower.
Your Policy Deductible
Your policy deductible amount also will impact your rate.
Your deductible kicks in after you make a claim and is what you must pay before your insurer will cover the remainder of your covered loss.
To lower your rate, increase your deductible.
But increasing your deductible can backfire if you can’t afford it after your home is damaged or burglarized.
Certain dog breeds, like a German shepherd, a pit bull, a Rottweiler, or another breed that is commonly known for being dangerous, are statistically more likely than others to attack and bite humans or other dogs.
According to the III (Insurance Information Institute), dog bites can cost over $50,000 per claim, which poses a problem with your insurer.
That’s why many homeowners insurance policies will exclude dangerous dog breeds from coverage or charge you higher premiums.
A homeowners insurance company will run a credit check to determine if you are likely to pay your monthly premium. If you have good credit, this means you won’t skip payments, and your rate will be lower.
But if your credit is poor, you are considered a higher risk, and are more likely to file a claim in the eyes of the insurer. As a result, you’ll pay a higher premium.
How Can I Lower My Premium?
Is your premium too expensive? It may be, but your insurer can offer you many discounts to lower it.
Most of them save you a small percentage off your premium.
If you can get more than one, they can add up.
Here are the most common home insurance discounts to ask for.
If your insurance has multiple products, you can bundle your homeowners insurance with your auto policy or with your life insurance from the same insurer. If you do, you will get a bundling discount.
This discount is the most important one you should have because it takes the biggest percentage off your premium.
You can save up to 30% when you bundle under a single insurer.
The added benefit is that you only need to deal with one insurance company to manage all your policies.
If you live less than 100 feet from a fire hydrant or close to a fire station, you’re eligible for a discount because those can help contain a fire in your home.
And if you make your home safe or if you live in a gated community, you’ll get a discount.
A few things that make your home safe is installing surveillance cameras, having sprinklers, deadbolts, fire extinguishers, and many more.
You are least likely to have a burglary and thus least likely to make an insurance claim if you have home security devices.
An insurer will favor that and, as such, will reward you with a discount.
Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors
Fire damage is the most common reason why homeowners make a claim.
The average fire claim costs more than $70,000.
Your insurer would rather not reimburse you for such a large claim.
That’s why your insurer will give you a discount for installing the simplest fire protection detail, a smoke or fire alarm.
Placing several smoke detectors throughout your home can cost you an insignificant amount, below $100, and yet this low-cost protection will prevent you from making a high-cost claim.
If your roof is brand new, if you replace an old roof with a new roof, or if you upgrade your roof using impact-resistant roofing materials, you lessen the chance of hail damaging it and other natural disasters like windstorms.
Because a new roof lessens the chance of making a roof-damage claim, your insurer will give you a discount.
New Home Construction or New Homebuyer
If you are a first-time homebuyer, or if you buy a newly constructed home, you’ll get a discount.
That’s because it’s assumed that the interior and exterior systems in your new home, like your HVAC and plumbing and electrical systems, will be brand new.
Payment Management and Going Paperless
If you pay your premium in full for the policy period, set up automatic payments, make payments electronically, and go paperless and receive important documents via email, you get a discount.
How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost in Washington, DC?
If you are looking for the cheapest homeowners insurance in Washington DC, bear in mind that the cost differs for each homeowner and depends on how much coverage you buy.
That said, the average cost of homeowners insurance in DC is $895 annually, or about $75 per month for $200,000 dwelling costs.
The national average is $1,395 per year or $115 per month with the same dwelling coverage.
So, homeowners insurance in DC is cheaper than the national average.
Ultimately, your rate will vary based on the amount of coverage you buy, your deductible, discounts you may qualify for, and how an insurer determines your risk.
Do I Need Additional Coverage?
Since your standard policy can only pay for property damages up to the policy’s limit and not at full cost, most homeowners are more likely to purchase additional coverage.
Additional coverage is an added cost on top of your basic policy and is often called an add-on or an endorsement.
If you have expensive belongings like jewelry and a first-edition book collection, it’s most likely that your insurer will not pay in full if these items are damaged or destroyed due to a covered peril.
That’s why an add-on is important to have for those high-cost items.
It allows homeowners to expand existing coverage where they need it most.
Similarly, you can schedule your high-priced belongings.
Scheduling means you can enlarge the coverage amounts of your insurance to protect that rare book collection fully.
If you schedule, you can fully cover that collection.
But scheduling is different than add-ons or endorsements.
Scheduling personal property has the added benefit of reducing or even eliminating the deductible.
Keep in mind that add-ons, endorsements, and scheduling, can be expensive and will raise your premium in a significant way.
However, they all give you peace of mind. If a disaster strikes, you won’t need to worry or panic because you know you are fully covered.
Extra coverage is not just about increasing your policy limits to protect your personal belongings.
Extra coverage also includes natural disasters and home issues that are excluded from the basic policy because they are often catastrophic in price to repair or replace, and an insurer doesn’t want to shoulder the responsibility.
That said, in DC, the natural disasters that occur often include earthquakes, floods, hail, windstorms, and severe winter weather conditions.
In the winter, homeowners are susceptible to frozen pipes.
In the summer, storms and hail can damage property.
So, living in DC means you need protection from natural disasters.
The basic policy covers hail, windstorms, and winter conditions.
This means you don’t need to pay extra for these natural disasters.
But for earthquakes and floods, you need to take out insurance policies.
Some examples include:
While some home insurance companies may include sewer backup protection in their basic policies, most don’t.
So, you need an endorsement that will protect your house from water damage due to sewage backup, septic systems, and drains.
The basic homeowners insurance policy never covers water damage resulting from floods.
For coverage, you need to add flood insurance to your policy.
An example is that while a policy may cover water damage if your roof leaks due to a hurricane, it won’t cover flood damage from the same hurricane.
Or, if the flood hits the ground first before damaging your interior, you will not be protected.
Washington, DC, has areas prone to heavy floods, so residents should purchase a flood insurance policy.
The basic policy also never covers earthquake damage. So, if you live on a fault line, it’s in your best interest to purchase earthquake insurance to cover both the destruction of your home and the contents within.
Hailstones can cause serious damage to your roof, gutters, and windows.
While hail is covered under the basic policy, some insurers will exclude it if you live in an area that is susceptible to significant hail. If that happens, you can take out an additional policy for hail.
Home-Based Business Endorsement
If you work at home, you’ll probably have home office electronics like a
computer, a smartphone, a copy machine, and a scanner, to name a few.
You should consider purchasing a home-based business endorsement to protect your business property.
This will cover your home office products and can replace them if they are damaged or stolen by way of theft.
This endorsement also pays for medical bills resulting from accidents and injuries to business visitors who drop by.
How Do You Find the Best Homeowners Insurance That Meets Your Needs?
Homeowners in Washington, DC, must evaluate all their potential insurance options to ensure they are finding the best rate.
But finding the best rate shouldn’t be your deciding factor.
In fact, there are many factors you should consider before purchasing a policy.
Understanding which type of home insurance is right for you, which optional coverage types you need, what policy limits are best for your situation, and how well a customer service agent performs can help you find the best possible insurer and which will help prevent you from over-or under-insuring your home.
To do this:
Compare Multiple Home Insurance Quotes
Shopping around and reviewing homeowners insurance quotes from different companies could help you find the one with the most competitive price.
You’ll find that rates vary greatly from each insurer.
Many in the industry recommend you get at least three quotes.
But we recommend getting as many quotes as possible so you don’t miss a top insurer with great rates.
You compare quotes by going on an insurer’s website.
Research Insurance Companies
After you get a few quotes, you should research each company.
Look for those that offer multiple discounts to reduce your monthly premium.
Determine how easy it is to make a claim with a particular insurer and how fast it is for the insurer to reimburse you.
Also, look at the company’s website to see if it is easy to navigate and get important policy information.
Website and App
If you can’t get a quote online or if you need to speak to an agent to get a quote, this may not be an insurer you want to work with.
Finding the perfect insurer also means that you should pay attention to whether one has a robust online presence and an app that will save you time, especially if you don’t feel like speaking with an agent.
Finding the right policy often involves determining whether you can do all your insurance business online, such as filing a claim, adding additional coverages, and paying your monthly premium, for example, so that the homeowners insurance process is very convenient for you.
Determine How Much Coverage You Need
The amount of homeowners insurance in Washington DC you need depends on how much it will cost to rebuild your home, and whether construction and material prices stay the same.
How much coverage do you need to protect your valuables?
This involves going around your house and listing all the items that are meaningful to you, are valuable to you, and which you can’t live without.
Use a spreadsheet to keep track of your items.
To determine the cost of each item and determine how much coverage you need, find out each item’s cost.
If you have receipts, that’s the best scenario. But often many people don’t, so you can check the price of your item by going online and finding the exact match, or if the item is no longer available or no longer being made, find a similar item.
Determine how easy is it to reach a customer service rep.
In so doing, you can learn a lot about a company by talking to a rep or agent.
If an agent has these qualities and more, then you can usually determine how helpful they’ll be if you file a claim.
If an agent has these qualities and more, then you can usually determine how helpful they’ll be if you file a claim.
The most established and trusted sources come from AM Best, JD Power, the Better Business Bureau, and the NAIC.
AM Best rates a company’s financial stability.
JD Power and BBB both measure customer satisfaction.
The NAIC complaint index lists out how many complaints were filed for an insurer, the reason for the complaints, and whether there were more complaints than expected for an insurance company of its size.
Let’s look at AM Best to give you an example.
If AM Best gives a homeowners insurance company an A++ rating, that is how high the rating company goes, which means that the insurer is “excellent.”
That praise is determined by how financially stable a company is.
In finding the right insurer, you should always check its financials because that determines whether the company can reimburse you after a claim on time.
Especially a prohibitively expensive claim, such as repairing your home after a fire.
How We Decided
When it came down to finding the best insurer in Washington, DC, we looked at a company’s customer reviews, its affordability, its many coverage options, whether it has enough discounts to lower your premium, and more.
We narrowed our focus down on companies with the most unique or easy-to-qualify discounts that could bring down the price of your premium.
We looked at homeowners insurance policies based on how much coverage they offered.
Because the standard policy offers limited coverage, it was important to us that an insurer had a range of coverages to customize a policy or to make it more comprehensive.
We also watched out for additional coverages that came standard in your basic policy and that normally come as an added cost with an insurer.
In particular, we looked at insurers that offered replacement costs as standard in its policy.
Most didn’t, so we paid attention to replacement cost coverage that you had to buy as an add-on.
It’s wise to choose RCV because your home will be rebuilt as it was before a covered peril destroyed it.
And your damaged personal property will be reimbursed at current market prices rather than be subjected to depreciation.
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 that we considered.
Bonus points were given for a company that can quickly give you an online quote and responds to claims in a timely manner.
We looked at many sites offering customer reviews to narrow our options. The ones with the most positive reviews were included on our list.
In addition, we also turned to the NAIC to see how many complaints were filed for an insurer.
We also looked at companies that had affordable premiums. If the insurance company had a rate below the national average and below the average cost of homeowners insurance in Washington, DC we put that company on our list.