Compare Homeowners Insurance Rates

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What Is Homeowners Insurance?

A homeowners insurance policy, also called HO-3 coverage, is designed to provide protection against a variety of situations that could befall an owner and their property. If a covered event occurs while carrying a valid insurance policy, a homeowner can file a claim for the loss with their insurer.

Covered claims allow the homeowner to be financially protected, whether the damage is as small as a garage roof or as heartbreaking as a fire. An insurance company may step in to cover some or all of the loss endured, taking at least a portion of the burden off of the owners’ shoulders.

Of course, not all homeowners insurance policies are created equal. The types and levels of coverage available differ from insurer to insurer (and even from one policy option to the next), and some perils may not be covered at all.

It’s important to know what is available to you in your area, the types of coverage you need, and what you can expect to spend on a homeowners insurance policy before you even begin shopping around. That way, you can be sure to buy a policy that meets your biggest needs, while also paying a reasonable amount in premiums.

Average Homeowner’s Insurance By State (NAIC 2017 Study)

District of Columbia$1,284
New Hampshire$977
New Jersey$1,216
New Mexico$1,028
New York$1,309
North Carolina$1,037
North Dakota$1,236
Rhode Island$1,553
South Carolina$1,264
South Dakota$1,191
West Virginia$921
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How to Save Money on Homeowners Insurance

Saving money on homeowners insurance is easier than you might think. Because premium costs tend to go up a bit each year, even a few years of continuing with the same policy can leave you paying more than necessary.

To save money, compare your homeowners insurance with other policies at least once a year.

Another way to save money is to lower coverage limits. While this could reduce the payout in the case of a claim, it also reduces the premium you’ll pay.

For example, when your policy fills claims based on actual cash value (ACV) rather than replacement cost (RC), it reduces overall premium costs. Actual cash value is determined by an assessment of the structure or posession's market value. In many cases, the costs to rebuild, materials, and labor will be higher than the assessed value.

Many people opt to save up an emergency fund for smaller damages and only claim through their homeowners insurance for large damages. This enables them to choose higher deductibles. Higher deductibles reduce the cost of the premiums. Think of the deductible as the amount you'd be able to handle if your insurance wasn't going to pay out for the repair at all, and consider if raising that number would be worth the savings you gain.

Do You Need to Buy Homeowners Insurance?

If your home is mortgaged through a lender and you are still paying off the loan, chances are that you won’t even have a choice in the matter. That’s because nearly every mortgage lender will require a valid homeowners insurance policy for the duration of the mortgage loan, in an effort to protect the lender’s investment.

After all, until a home mortgage is paid in full, the house technically still belongs to the bank. In order to protect this pricey investment, homeowners insurance is almost always a mandatory part of the bank’s loan terms. The level of coverage required may vary, however, and owners are always welcome to purchase higher coverage limits to further protect their home and belongings.

But what if your home is paid off and there is no mortgage lender? In that case, homeowners insurance is not required but it is still highly recommended… even if a minimum coverage policy is all that’s purchased.

After all, can you afford to rebuild your home after a fire, out of pocket? Would it be financially devastating to replace all of your valuables after a burglary? Could you defend yourself (and your assets) if someone were to file a liability suit against you?

For the majority of homeowners, buying an insurance policy simply makes sense.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Depending on the policy type and coverage options chosen, there are different aspects of your home that may be covered by a homeowners insurance policy. Coverage is typically designed to protect a combination of:

The actual dwelling/property:
If a covered event were to happen to your home, homeowners insurance can help cover the repair or replacement of the dwelling itself.
Attached or detached structures:
Your personal belongings can also be covered by homeowners insurance, if you so choose, up to your preferred coverage amount. (Just be sure to pay attention to certain exceptions and special limits, as with high-value jewelry.)
Expenses related to displacement/loss of use:
If a covered disaster were to force you out of the home for a period of time, you may be able to have certain temporary living expenses covered, like hotel stays and even restaurant meals.
Liability of the homeowner and other covered persons:
If an incident were to occur on the property — or away from home, in some cases — for which a covered member could be held liable, homeowners insurance can be used to protect them financially.

The specifics of your policy will vary, depending on the insurer you choose and the actual configuration of your policy. Be sure to read the fine print to know what you’re protected against and what your limits are for coverage.

Three Sample Policies to Compare

Policy A - $Policy B - $$Policy C - $$$
Building Coverage$200,000$225,000$250,000
Loss of Use Coverage$40,000$80,000$125,000
Other Structures Coverage$20,000$20,000$20,000
Personal Property Coverage$60,000$80,000$100,000
Personal Liability Coverage$250,000$250,000$300,000
Personal Injury Coverage--$300,000

Choosing the cheapest policy simply because of the low cost isn't an effective strategy. It's more important to find coverage you really need and comparison shop for the best rates.

Compare multiple home insurance rates for free today!

Perils Covered by Homeowners Insurance

So, exactly what kinds of situations are covered by homeowners insurance?

Well, most often you’ll find that a policy will protect against loss caused by natural disasters and common events. These include fire, smoke, vandalism, theft, hail, wind, and/or lightning. Explosions and rioting often make the list, too, as does water damage (though there are often strict rules there regarding the cause of the water damage and how long it has been present).

In regards to liability coverage, a homeowners policy will typically protect against instances such as your dog biting a passerby, a visitor slipping and falling in your kitchen, or even your kid hitting a baseball through your neighbor’s window. As always, be sure to read your own policy’s terms to see what is — and is not — included in your coverage.

Types of Coverage Included with Homeowners Insurance

There are two categories of coverage that your homeowners insurance may provide: named perils and open perils.

Named perils are, as you may already guess, explicitly named. This means that your policy will only protect your home and your family against the events that are specifically named in your coverage documents.

These might include things such as fires, hail or wind storms, explosions, theft, or vandalism. Your policy may also name perils such as earthquakes or floods, if you choose that coverage option. As long as the peril is listed and named in your policy, you can usually count on a related loss being covered by your insurer.

Unfortunately, though, if something happens that isn’t named, your named peril insurance coverage is unlikely to foot the bill.

Open peril coverage, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. With this type of homeowners insurance, you are generally covered by any peril that isn’t specifically named as an exclusion.

You are likely to find that many homeowners insurance policies include a mix of open and named peril coverage. Most often, dwellings are protected by open peril coverage while personal property falls into named coverage territory. However, this truly may vary from one insurer to the next.

Dig Into The Details to Compare Policies

  • Are there add-ons that increase the value of your policy?
  • Consider which named perils covered - how many kinds of damage are covered?
  • Is reimbursement made based on actual cash value or replacement costs?
  • What is excluded, like floods and earthquakes?
  • What is your deductible?

How to Compare Home Insurance Quotes

While cost is the primary concern for many homeowners, there are a few other things you should consider when comparing home insurance quotes.

First of all, be sure your coverage is comprehensive enough to adequately protect your family and your investment. Set realistic limits for personal property, purchase additional coverage types (such as flooding or earthquake insurance) if you’re in an area where that’s a concern, etc. Compare coverage limits first and foremost, eliminating those policies that don’t properly protect you.

Policy forms can range from more basic coverage, such as HO-1 and HO-2 forms, to the standard HO-3 policy type and HO-8, which is well-suited to older or historic homes. Some of the same factors that change the costs of insurance, such as the value of your home, also influence which kind of policy form you’ll receive.

Average Premiums for Type of Policy and Level of Coverage

Type of Policy$125,000-$149,000$200,000-$299,999$300,000-$399,999

HO-1 (basic form), HO-2 (broad form), HO-3 (special form, most common insurance policy), and HO-8 (aimed at older homes, usually).

Next, you can take a look at the cost. Here are a few key factors that go into calculating homeowners insurance rates, or premiums. These include:

Value of the home and included structures
Policy deductible
Location (state, county, and even ZIP code can matter)
Personal property limits chosen
Certain risk factors involving the homeowner(s)

You may be able to save money on your homeowners insurance premiums by raising the deductible, bundling coverage with another policy type (such as auto insurance) through the same insurer, or even reducing/eliminating certain risk factors.

Of course, using an online platform like Gabi can help you shop around for the best possible rates, even if you already have coverage. We can help you bundle your homeowners insurance with your auto insurance to save even more.

What Are Typical Homeowners Insurance Rates?

According to a recent study by the Insurance Information Institute, the cost of the average homeowners insurance policy across the country was $1,249 in 2018.

Of course, that number doesn’t tell the full story, and your own homeowners insurance rates are likely to vary based on key personal factors. For example, the cost of coverage fluctuates between each state, and even moving to a neighboring ZIP code can impact your premiums.

Your own policy cost will be impacted by your home’s value, as well as the value that you placed on your personal belongings if and when opting for that coverage. The lower your deductible, the higher you’re also likely to pay.

Want to see how much you could expect to pay for homeowners insurance coverage, or check whether your current policy is competitively priced? Gabi can help. Simply link your existing insurance policy or upload a PDF of your policy declarations page to get a quick and detailed comparison.

How to Buy Homeowners Insurance

If you approach a single insurance company, they will likely provide you with a policy that they believe fits your needs. They might even offer ways to modify the price of the policy up or down by adding or removing coverages. However, they have no reason to tell you if their insurance is more expensive than the policies provided by other companies. It is time-consuming to visit multiple individual insurers and request a quote from scratch each time.

Comparing multiple quotes through a comparison tool like Gabi can save you time and money. Here’s how to get it done:

1. Consider your home and your personal possessions: if a disaster struck, what would you need to be able to move forward?
2. Input your coverage needs or upload a PDF of your current homeowners insurance declarations.
3. Gabi looks for policies that match your coverage needs. You see the premium amounts and get to read the fine print to make sure you are satisfied.
4. Purchase your policy with Gabi’s help. It’s that easy.

Buying homeowners insurance doesn’t have to be complicated or frustrating. Learning about the basic kinds of coverage that you need, as well as evaluating the options available from multiple insurance providers, puts you in a position to get a good deal on great coverage.

For many homeowners, purchasing an insurance policy is a requirement from their mortgage lenders. For others, it may simply be a wise financial product to consider.

Either way, buying homeowners insurance is an important step in owning and protecting the things that mean the most to you. By purchasing the right policy, you can not only ensure that your home and belongings are covered, but that your family is protected from any number of financially devastating situations.

How to Choose the Best Homeowners Insurance Provider

Price for your premiums is important, and may be the major factor you consider in choosing a homeowners insurance policy. However, there are a few other elements to consider:

Unusual coverage options:
While most options are fairly standard, some companies may offer higher or lower limits and claim options that fit your unique needs.
Support reviews:
How do their customers feel about their process for making a claim? Reviews from customers can tell you more about the claim process and how it works.
How do customers feel when it's all said and done? The claim process is a big part of customer satisfaction with an insurance provider, but other factors, from pleasant representatives to available customer education information, may sway you between your top options for coverage.

Questions to Ask As You Purchase Homeowners Insurance

When evaluating your current insurance and making a plan to get new quotes, ask yourself a few key questions in order to make sure you get a policy that really offers the coverage you want. You can ask yourself:

Have my personal property insurance needs changed since I last chose coverage? Does my current coverage limit cover everything I own?
Do I have any valuables, like jewelry, that exceed current policy limits, and would I want a different limit in a new policy?
If I needed to use my personal liability protection, would it cover all of my assets as they currently stand?

Once you’ve answered these questions for yourself, knowledgeable insurance agents at Gabi can help you more if you learn more about our offerings. Here are some great questions to ask them during the purchase process to hone in on what you want most.

Are there any relevant special deductibles for natural disaster damages that are common in my area - hail, wind/tornado, and hurricane?
Am I eligible for further discounts at this time?
Can you run me through the relevant coverage exclusions in the policy under discussion?
Does the state I live in have any particular exceptions or exclusions from particular types or parts of home insurance coverage?

Why Trust Gabi to Help You Compare?

We’ve created an easy-to-use website that lets you compare homeowners insurance policies from multiple insurers.

First, we ask some basic questions and offer you common options for key elements of the policy. We’ll learn what you’re looking for when it comes to elements like dwelling coverage, loss of use, personal property, and more.

Then we connect you to competitively priced coverage that fulfills your needs. We show information about each insurance provider in our easy-to-read interface, including satisfaction ratings from their customers, so you can compare comprehensively.

We also connect you to other insurance providers so that you can find exactly what you’re looking for. Finding the right coverage for the most competitive price helps you feel secure even as you save money.

And you don’t have to use us only once! Visit Gabi to make sure you have the right insurance for your needs periodically, as your life and home change over time.

See why customers love Gabi.

Compare home rates across 40+ top insurance companies today!

Home Insurance FAQs

Is homeowners insurance required?
Homeowners insurance isn’t a legal requirement, but many mortgage lenders will require it in order to grant your loan.
How do I compare homeowners insurance quotes?
Gabi makes it easy to look at multiple policy options from excellent insurance companies. You’ll see what the coverage limits are as well as the cost of each coverage item, letting you choose the combination of competitive pricing and strong coverage availability.
What does home insurance cover?
Home insurance offers personal property protection, personal liability coverage, and building coverage, as well as other options like personal injury coverage and loss of use coverage.
How much does home insurance cost?
Insurance costs vary widely by size of house, location of house, and many other factors, but the Insurance Information Institute reported that an average homeowners insurance policy across the country cost $1,249 in 2018.
All content is reviewed by a licensed insurance agent. It is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal or financial advice.
⊛ Customers who switched saved $961 on average. The average savings was calculated by comparing purchasers’ new policy with the prior policy. Results may vary and some may not see savings.
Data for average premiums by state and average premiums by type of coverage was sourced from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) study, “Dwelling Fire, Homeowners Owner-Occupied, and Homeowners Tenant and Condominium/Cooperative Unit Owner’s Insurance Report: Data for 2017.” Key information about the structure of and coverages included in homeowners insurance sourced from the Insurance Information Institute, NAIC, as well as Gabi’s own Insurance Blog.
Written by
Jessie Jordan
Jessie is a Marketing Specialist at Gabi. As a licensed insurance agent, she has been helping Gabi customers buy and understand auto, home, renters, landlord, and umbrella insurance in a digestible way since she joined the Gabi team in 2020. Before joining Gabi she was a globally recognized Senior Account Executive for UPS- trusted with advising top brands on how to grow and streamline their business.
Reviewed by
Robbie Boddy
Robbie is the Vice President, Head of Sales & Customer Experience at Gabi. As a licensed insurance agent, he has more than 15 years of experience in the insurance industry, joining Gabi after working with Liberty Mutual as the Assistant Vice President and Site Leader, Direct Sales and Innovation. Robbie is a member of the Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters society and has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Grand Canyon University.