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The Best Homeowners Insurance in New York for 2020

Renee Cherez

Renee Cherez

Shopping for home insurance involves more than just getting the lowest rates. Find out which are the best home insurance companies in New York for first-time buyers, best service, and much more.
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You've heard the saying "Life happens."

That's exactly why home insurance is an absolute must when becoming a homeowner, even if that home is in New York City.

As a matter of fact, your mortgage lender will require proof of a purchased policy at closing in order to close on your loan.

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

5 Best Homeowners Insurance in New York

  • Allstate: Best homeowners insurance for first-time homebuyers

  • Amica Mutual: Best home insurance for natural disasters

  • Chubb: Best home insurance for high-value properties

  • Liberty Mutual: Best home insurance for discounts and on-the-spot assistance

  • State Farm: Best home insurance for affordability, reliability, and consistency

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New York Home Insurance Coverage Options

The most common homeowner's 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.

Homeowner 3 Policies

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.

What to Look For in a Homeowners Insurance Policy

Not all insurance companies or policies are created equal. Here are a few tips to ensure that you're getting the best deal and the best coverage when you compare different policies.

Don't Just Opt for the Cheapest Policy

At the end of the day, we all want to save money. However, going with the lowest quote might translate into subpar coverage.

Should something happen to your home, you'll be the one who's paying.

A cheap policy could mean blackouts on coverage for damages, low limits, or high deductibles.

So read the fine print and ask questions.

While no one likes paying top dollar, you'll want to strike a balance between coverage and price.

Go Local With Your Policy

The big national insurance carriers might offer you convenience with their websites and call centers.

However, you might actually get a better and more customized policy if you contact a local branch or a local insurance company that is more knowledgeable of the intricacies of your neighborhood.

For instance, if you call one of the large insurance companies, they might quote you a much higher price simply because they are reading your area as a flood zone, even if your home is not in one.

A local insurance broker will know the difference and might be able to offer you a policy that does cover the potential damages that could affect you.

Consider What's More Important: Deductibles or Low Premiums.

Typically, when a lower premium is offered, it means higher deductibles and vice versa.

It's imperative to ask yourself if you have the savings or are even willing to pay high deductibles in the case of damage, loss, or theft.

Are you more likely to have to put in an insurance claim?

Do you live in an area prone to natural disasters, extreme temperatures, or a high crime rate?

Do you have a lot of mature trees near your house?

Look Carefully at the Rebuild Clause

The best coverage you can buy generally is an HO-3 policy, which should include a rebuild should your home be destroyed.

However, read the fine print carefully or ask an agent about what that entails.

Sometimes the policy will send you a check for a dollar amount, but this usually is calculated by the depreciated value of your home and personal possessions and can come up short.

Your best bet is to opt for a policy that includes a cause that covers the entire replacement and construction of your home.

Even then, many policies cap that amount at 120% (sometimes more) of the home's appraised value.

Always be sure to purchase extra coverage just in case the appraised value sounds low to you.

Also, if you'd recently done a remodel or added upgrades the value should go up, so make sure the policy is going to cover the added value.

Make Sure All Your Assets are Covered

Depending on what kind of property you own, standard coverage can be anywhere from $100,000-$150,000 for a typical co-op, more for a condo or a home at $300,000-$500,000.

If your home is large or very expensive, usually your premiums will be higher, but so should the dollar amount for a replacement.

If you have precious family heirlooms, artwork, pets, custom features or fixtures in your home and on your property or even a home business, you'll want to make sure that they'll be covered.

Experts usually recommend purchasing additional coverage in order to protect yourself, your family members, and household from lawsuits.

Flood/Earthquake Insurance is Separate

Don't expect most insurance carriers to include floods or earthquakes unless you separately purchase flood or earthquake insurance, especially if you live in a flood zone or earthquake zone.

Most insurance providers would never even sell this coverage to policyholders in flood-prone areas had it not been for government subsidization.

As a matter of fact, homeowners can purchase flood insurance directly from FEMA.

Make sure you know where your home is on the map, and what natural disasters normally befall the neighborhood or city.

Grab Discounts

Discounts are one of few ways you can save money on home insurance premiums so make sure you jump on them when you come across one.

Be sure to ask you broker or agent about any discounts or promotions the insurance provider may be running or offering.

Best Home Insurance for First-Time Homebuyers: Allstate

Allstate homeowners insurance

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.

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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 homeowners insurance

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

Chubb homeowners insurance

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 homeowners insurance

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 homeowners insurance

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.

Our Methodology

We took a close look at over the top 17 homeowners' insurance providers in New York, internet search traffic, and other factors; and other notable companies in the industry.

We rated them on criteria including Simplicity/Usability, Reliability, Affordability, digital experience, and more.

List of homeowners' insurance companies we surveyed: Allstate, Amica Mutual, Chubb, Liberty Mutual, State Farm, USAA, New York Central Mutual, Farm Bureau, Allstate, Travelers, AIG, Hartford, Esurance, Farmers, Progressive, Nationwide, Safeco, Erie.

How We Ranked and Picked the Best Homeowners 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 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 as quickly as possible.

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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