Best Cheap Homeowners Insurance In New York – Forbes
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Updated: Dec 14, 2021, 7:00am
Finding a good home insurance policy for a fair price is a top priority for many homeowners in New York. The best way to find the coverage you need at a reasonable cost is by comparison shopping. We evaluated the average rates for large home insurance companies in New York to help you find an affordable policy.
Related: Best home insurance companies
Your ability to get cheap home insurance in New York will depend on several factors, including:
Related: 10 ways to get cheap homeowners insurance
A standard home insurance policy is also known as an HO-3. It covers your home for any problem that’s not excluded in the policy. Common exclusions include sinkholes, earthquakes, floods, power failure, wear and tear, and insect and vermin infestations.
Your personal property is covered for specific “perils” in a standard home insurance policy. Tornadoes, explosions, fire, vandalism and theft are examples of the types of problems covered by home insurance.
Here are the main coverage types found in a standard home insurance policy:
Related: How much home insurance do you need?
A standard home insurance policy excludes several problems from coverage, including floods, sinkholes, earthquakes, power failure, nuclear hazard, intentional loss, vermin and insect infections and wear and tear.
It’s worth your time to read your policy closely to understand what’s excluded from coverage.
New York homeowners have to contend with several types of disasters, including snow, severe storms, hurricanes and floods.
Many New Yorkers will recall massive floods in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy (October 2012) and Hurricane Ida (September 2021). While both storms resulted in dramatic scenes of flooded New York City streets, tunnels and subways, thousands of homeowners outside the city were also faced with flooded homes and evacuations.
While March has historically been the busiest month for declared disasters in New York, the span of months from July through October saw an average of 12 declared disasters since 1953.
New Yorkers over the past two decades have dealt with an average of 2.4 declared disasters per year. On Sept. 1, 2021, between the hours of 9 and 10 p.m., remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped 3.15 inches of rain on New York’s Central Park, a record for the highest one-hour rainfall total, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm resulted in more than 15 deaths in New York and at least 28 more in surrounding states. Thousands of homes were damaged by the floods and the area experienced widespread power outages.
A standard home insurance policy won’t cover flood damage. Given New York’s history with flooding, homeowners would be wise to consider adding flood insurance.
While the massive damage left behind by Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Ida are headline-worthy, less-publicized prolonged periods of rain can also lead to major problems. For example, heavy rains that hit New York from May 2 to Aug. 6, 2017, resulted in flooding and was a declared disaster.
But many areas in New York experience flooding that’s destructive and costly that may not have been declared a federal disaster. Here’s a look at the number of recent floods in New York.
Financial help from the government after a flood may be limited, which is why it’s a good idea to have your own flood insurance to rely on. Most people who buy flood insurance get it through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federal program. You can also consider flood insurance options through the private market.
FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP) can provide financial and direct assistance after a major disaster or emergency, if you are eligible. The IHP helps people find housing after a problem directly caused by a disaster, provided it’s not covered by insurance or other sources.
When you think about earthquakes, New York is likely not one of the first states that comes to mind. But they do happen.
On April 20, 2002, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake rattled the ground near Plattsburgh, New York. The quake was not only felt in Buffalo but as far away as Boston and Baltimore. New York homeowners reported shattered glass, and cracked ceilings and chimneys.
Most of New York is at a moderate risk for earthquakes, according to the long-term national seismic hazard map published by the U.S. Geological Survey.
If you want coverage for earthquakes, you’ll need to buy a separate earthquake insurance policy. A standard home insurance policy won’t cover damage from earthquakes.
Earthquake insurance typically covers:
Earthquake insurance may have a separate deductible from your home insurance, usually between 10% to 25% of the dwelling’s policy limit.
Whether you are a longtime homeowner who’s looking to switch to a new insurer or you are buying your first house, you want to find the right coverage for a good price. Here are some home insurance buying tips:
Average home insurance rates were calculated using data from Quadrant Information Services. Rates are based on a policy with dwelling coverage of $300,000 and liability coverage of $100,000.
Jason Metz is a writer who has worked in the insurance industry since 2007. As a former claims handler and fraud investigator, he’s seen a lot, and enjoys helping others navigate the complexities and opaqueness of insurance. He has a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Kutztown University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of California Riverside, Palm Desert.