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The Best Homeowners Insurance in New York for 2020

Renee Cherez

Renee Cherez

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New York is the land of possibilities and it's best to keep this in mind when considering homeowners’ insurance because anything can happen.

Because of New York’s geographical differences, a one size fits all approach when choosing homeowners insurance won’t work.

If you purchase a brownstone in one of Brooklyn’s funky neighborhoods, your homeowner's insurance needs will be far different than what a dairy farmer in the far north would need if they purchased a farm.

Because of this, it is important to choose an insurance company based on your personal needs.

With homeowners insurance, you can have the peace of mind that if your property is damaged in any way, you’ll always be protected.

New York Home Insurance Coverage Options

The most common home insurance policy is a standard policy. A standard homeowner policy includes basic coverages like:

  • Supplementary living expenses cover costs acquired when your home is inhabitable and you must find other convenient alternatives
  • Personal property insures your personal belongings, like, furniture, jewelry, and clothing, and in the event, they are stolen or lost in an insured disaster.
  • The house keeps you covered in the event that your home is damaged due to fire, hail, lightning, hurricanes, or other insured natural disasters. Often, it does not include damage caused by earthquakes, flooding, or normal wear and tear.

The HO-3 policy is also an option for homeowners who need more than a standard policy. It includes:

  • The sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging of a steam or hot water heating system, an air conditioning unit or automatic fire-protective system
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Weight of ice, snow or sleet
  • Falling object
  • Damages caused by aircrafts
  • Damages caused by automobiles
  • Explosion
  • Wind and hail
  • Fire, smoke, and lightning
  • Freezing of a plumbing, heating, air conditioning or automatic, fire-protective sprinkler system or of a household appliance
  • Civil turmoil or Riot

What are the common causes of home insurance losses in New York?

Though New York is a large state there are still some common causes to home insurance losses.

  • Natural disasters: New York is exposed to a range of natural disasters, including hurricanes, blizzards, and even tornadoes. If your location is inclined to these weather systems, you should opt for additional insurance coverage.
  • Fire: Fire claims are filed less frequently but the damage they cause can be devastating, whether the loss is from flames or smoke alone. If your yard has lots of vegetation and overgrowth, you may be high-risk for fire damage to your home.
  • Burglary: In 2018 burglary was the third most frequently committed crime and New York ranks near the bottom in the nation when it comes to the rate of burglary. With that said, if you live in an area with above-average burglary rates, you may benefit from wider coverage, especially if you own lots of expensive items.
  • Vandalism: Vandalism is human-induced damage carried out against property or belongings. You may want to opt for this coverage if you live in a populated part of New York, where graffiti and vandalism are common occurrences.

Best Home Insurance for First-Time Homebuyers: Allstate

Allstate is the cheapest homeowner insurance for first-time buyers across the board in both New York state and New York City.

The company offers outstanding insurance options for first-time homebuyers and provide helpful resources like educational resources and discount opportunities specifically for those purchasing their first home.

Allstate offers generous incentives for bundling your home insurance with auto with discounts of up to 25%.

Their website is clean and easy to use, making the process of finding quotes simple.

Using Allstate’s Common and Costly Claims tool, new homebuyers can decide the type of coverage they will need by potential zip codes.

ProsCons
Great for first-time homeownersCustomer service ratings are average
Helpful resources and educational tools
A variety of discounts
Designable coverage options

Coverage

  • Manufactured mobile home coverage for coverage on mobile homes and manufactured dwellings.
  • Host advantage coverage on your personal belongings when you are sharing your home
  • Protection against large liability claims if/when you reach the liability limit on your policy under personal umbrella policies.

Discounts

  • Customers switching to Allstate with no recent claims receive a claim-free discount of up to 20%
  • Retiree discount for those over 55 years old.
  • New customers can save another 10% for signing up at least seven days before their old policy ends. Welcome and loyalty discounts also grants customers 10% off their premiums for switching to Allstate.

Best Home Insurance for Natural Disasters: Amica Mutual

Amica is one of the most highly regarded home insurance companies.

The company consistently scores high points for stellar customer service and goes above and beyond for its customers.

When Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, many people lost their homes and found out their home insurance did not cover flooding or natural disasters like hurricanes.

Amica Mutual offers some of the best benefits pertaining to natural disasters and in some areas, like Long Island which is prone to flooding and rising sea levels, it’s possible to add flood coverage to your home.

Additionally, Amica’s Platnium Choice policy offers up to 30% more coverage than a standard policy for your home.

Included extras like sewer backup coverage, replacement coverage for personal belongings without deductions for depreciation, and extended coverage for property in your home that is used for your business.

ProsCons
Great coverage for natural disasters like hurricanesOffer fewer discounts than other companies
Superb customer service and satisfaction
Affordable rates
The top-rated best overall home insurance company for 16 years

Coverage

  • Manufactured mobile home coverage for coverage on mobile homes and manufactured dwellings.
  • Host advantage coverage on your personal belongings when you are sharing your home
  • Protection against large liability claims if/when you reach the liability limit on your policy under personal umbrella policies.

Discounts

  • Customers switching to Allstate with no recent claims receive a claim-free discount of up to 20%
  • Retiree discount for those over 55 years old.
  • New customers can save another 10% for signing up at least seven days before their old policy ends. Welcome and loyalty discounts also grants customers 10% off their premiums for switching to Allstate.

Best Home Insurance for High-Valued Properties: Chubb

If your property holds a hefty price tag, Chubb is the home insurance company for you.

It is a top-tier insurance company offering a variety of protections needed to protect your home and its assets.

Insurance with Chubb is very expensive and intended for high-net-worth properties, especially those in high-risk areas such as properties by the water.

Additionally, with Chubb’s Masterpiece plan, an appraiser will visit your home, estimate its replacement cost, and help you determine how much coverage you’ll need.

It also covers the high-valued and collector’s items in your home like fine art, furs, and jewelry.

ProsCons
Standard policies include extended replacement cost coverage for personal belongings, the home, and other high coverage limits.One of the highest premiums in the industry.
Deductibles waived if the loss is greater than $50,000.It only ensures high net worth property.
Cash-out claim reimbursements if you decide not to replace or repair your damaged home or belongings.No quote finder option on their website.
Offers private flood insurance.

Coverage

  • Replacement cost contents coverage.
  • Unlimited loss-of-use coverage in most states.
  • Cash-out loss-settlement reimbursement option.
  • $25,000 in medical payments coverage.
  • Extended replacement cost coverage for your home and other structures on your property.

Discounts

  • Save up to 20% when you join home and auto policies, and an additional 5% if you purchase additional jewelry coverage or valuable articles coverage.
  • Save up to 15% with a Superior Protection discount if you have any combination: 24/7 security guard, a full-time caretaker, smart home devices, a perimeter gate, or a permanently installed backup generator.
  • You can save 5% if you’ve had a policy with Chubb for three or more years and haven’t filed a claim.
  • Save up to 25% if your home is less than 10 years old, and up to 17% if your home was renovated in the last 6 years.

Best Home Insurance for Discounts and on-the-Spot Assistance: Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual sets itself apart from other home insurance companies with unique resources like their Emergency Home Repairs service, which is available 24/7.

If something happens to your pipes it’s covered by your current policy, the company will send professionals to help you day or night.

Liberty Mutual also offers exclusive group discounts if you’re part of participating associations or groups.

In New York, the New York Public Employees Federation Membership Benefits Program and SUNY alumni groups offer very competitive premiums.

ProsCons
Feature 12 discounts and several credit opportunitiesAn excess number of complaints to state regulators than expected for its size
Emergency Home Repairs service is available 24/7Customer satisfaction ratings are average or below
Affiliated with many organizations and groups across New York making it easy to lock in competitive premiums

Coverage

  • With inflation protection, Liberty Mutual will automatically modify your coverage limits at renewal time to account for an increase and apply a discount to your premium, though some limitations apply.
  • Identity fraud expense coverage, will pay for lost expenses and provides a counselor if you’re a victim of identity theft.
  • Coverage for valuables, which pays for items such as jewelry, art or collectibles if they’re damaged or destroyed.

Discounts

  • Not filing a claim with your previous insurer for five years.
  • A new roof.
  • Early shopper discounts for those receiving a quote from Liberty Mutual before their current policy ends.
  • Not filing a claim with Liberty Mutual for three years.
  • Bundling home and auto coverage.
  • Save money if you are insuring a home that is newly purchased, newly built or recently renovated.
  • A veteran or active military service member.

Best Home Insurance for Affordability, Reliability, and Consistency: State Farm

State Farm is the largest and most popular insurer in the country.

Its success is due to its vast network of agents, excellent online resources and digital tools, and its financial strength within the industry.

With over 18,000 agents, there’s a chance you’ve seen that flashy red logo in your neck of the woods.

State Farm is not one of the insurance companies with several policy tiers and extensive discounts, however, the company prides itself on its reliability, consistency, and affordability.

ProsCons
Holds down high ratings with top rating agencies S&P and Moody's as well as an industry-best A++ rating with A.M. BestLimited discounts
Great for first-time homebuyers
Insurance claims network is available 24 hours a day, online or by phone
A quick application process that can be done online

Coverage

  • Medical payments coverage.
  • Personal property coverage covers your personal property both inside and outside the home for up to 75% of your policy’s dwelling limit.
  • Legal and medical bills are covered if you’re held liable for accidental injury or personal property damage to others. You have the option of $100,000-$500,000 in coverage.
  • Loss-of-use coverage will pay for hotel expenses, raised costs from eating out, and travel expenses incurred while your home is being repaired or rebuilt after a disaster. Your coverage limit is up to 20% of your dwelling limit.
  • Dwelling Coverage protects the structure of your home, floors, countertops, and built-in appliances within the home up to the limit specified in your policy. Included is a 20% extended dwelling option in your policy that automatically increases your dwelling limit 20% if you go over your coverage limits in a claim.

Discounts

  • Multiple line discounts
  • Roofing discount
  • Home alert protection discount (burglary alarm).

What is the Average Cost of Homeowners Insurance in New York?

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average cost of homeowner insurance in New York is $1,309 with the national average being $2,305.

Because the five boroughs are so different, the insurance rates will vary by zip codes.

The amount of your home insurance will depend on the following for homeowners in New York:

  • Your home’s age, size, and build.
  • Your roof type.
  • Your basement type (and whether it’s finished or not).
  • Your insurance score.
  • If you’re eligible for any discounts.
  • If you have storm shutters and/or hurricane-resistant laminated glass doors or windows.
  • How much coverage you have, and whether you need additional insurance for floods, hurricanes, or earthquakes.

What Do Homeowners Insurance Policies Cover?

Every policy is different as it adheres to homeowners' needs.

Most contain coverage for personal property, dwelling, additional living expenses, and liability coverage.

The option is available to add-on options based on coverage needs.

How We Picked the Best Home Insurance in New York

New York is a geographically diverse state, and homeowners' needs are different depending on their location within the state. Because of this, we gathered information from various trusted sites in insurance like Policy Genius and the websites of insurance companies, and narrowed our search down with the needs of New Yorkers prioritizing the following:

Simplicity/Usability

Home insurance can be difficult to navigate so we wanted to choose companies that prioritize simplicity. Simplicity in their messaging of their products, their website, and mobile application features. The jargon of insurance can be tricky to understand, so it was important that we chose companies that prioritized the needs of their clients.

Reliability

The reason for home insurance is to ensure your home is covered in case of unforeseen damage like flooding due to hurricanes, fire, or even a tree landing in your living room from high winds. We chose home insurance companies that were rated high in reliability because if a tree does end up in your living room, you’ll have an insurance company that will do everything possible to help you not only the same day but in a few hours. The home insurance companies on our list are all top-rated for customer service satisfaction.

Affordability

We chose home insurance companies for all types of buyers including high-end buyers to first time home buyers. Whatever your budget and type of home buyer you are, this list made affordability a priority. All the insurance companies on our list have varying discounts and specials to ensure that their clients are saving and getting the most bang for their buck.

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