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Best Affordable Homeowners Insurance in Massachusetts 2022 – Forbes Advisor

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Getting a good price on home insurance without sacrificing coverage is a priority for many homeowners. Shopping around is the best way to find the coverage you need at a reasonable cost. We review the average rates of home insurance companies in Massachusetts to help you find affordable home insurance.

Cheap Home Insurance in Massachusetts Cost Comparison

Related: The best home insurance companies

Homeowners Insurance Cost Factors

Finding affordable home insurance in Massachusetts will depend on several factors, including:

  • How much does it cost to rebuild your house
  • The amount of coverage and policy limits
  • The materials your house is made of
  • the age of the house
  • your location
  • The fire classification of your location
  • Your location’s claim history
  • Your own home insurance claim history
  • The deductible amount you choose

Related: 10 ways to get cheap home insurance

What does homeowners insurance cover?

A standard home insurance policy (called HO-3) covers your home if it is damaged by fire, rain, or wind, among other incidents. An HO-3 policy lists exclusions that are not covered, such as earthquakes, sinkholes, power outages, water damage due to flooding or sewer overflows, and wear and tear.

Your belongings (personal property) are covered for specific “perils” in a standard home insurance policy. Fires, tornadoes, thefts, vandalism and explosions are just some of the problems covered by home insurance.

If you are eligible to file a claim, these types of coverage are extended up to your policy limits:

  • Living place: If your home is damaged, homeowners coverage pays to repair or replace it. It also covers attached structures, such as a deck or garage.
  • Other structures: This pays to repair or replace structures that are not attached to your home, like a barn, fence, or shed.
  • Personal property: This pays to repair or replace your belongings after a problem like theft or fire. This includes items like furniture, clothing, rugs, jewelry, kitchen appliances, and other items.
  • Responsibility: Liability insurance pays for property damage and injuries you accidentally do to others. For example, if your dog bites someone, your liability insurance may pay a settlement or court judgment against you, as well as your attorney bills.
  • Medical payments to others: This covers small medical claims made by people who do not live in your home, regardless of who is at fault for the injury. For example, if a guest trips over a child’s toy and falls on her deck, medical payments coverage could pay for her urgent care visit. Coverage amounts are usually small, like $1,000.
  • Additional living expenses: If an issue covered by your policy (such as a fire) displaces you from your home, additional living expenses coverage pays for additional costs, such as hotel bills, restaurant meals, and other necessary services, such as pet boarding .

Related: How much home insurance do you need?

What does homeowners insurance not cover?

Common exclusions found in a standard home insurance policy include floods, power outages, earthquakes, wear and tear, vermin and insect infestations, and intentional losses.

Please read your policy carefully to understand what is excluded from coverage.

Most Common Disasters in Massachusetts

Not surprisingly, homeowners in the Commonwealth battle many storms, especially snowstorms. But hurricanes and floods are also among the top declared disasters.

Tropical storms often cause problems for Massachusetts homeowners, but hurricanes that make landfall in the state are rare. Still, several that stayed off the coast or directly hit nearby states have had a significant impact. In 1991, Hurricane Bob caused storm surges 10 to 15 feet above normal off the coast of Cape Cod, and the wind was blowing at 125 mph off the Cape coast. More than 60% of residents in the southeastern part of the state lost power, hundreds of homes were destroyed, more than a dozen people were killed and thousands had to evacuate Cape Cod.

Hurricane Irene also caused damage to the Commonwealth in 2011, with widespread flooding, storm surge, and 70 mph wind damage. Some 700,000 people were left without electricity. And in 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit Massachusetts with heavy rains that caused flooding and power outages for 380,000 residents.

Disasters by month in Massachusetts

March has historically been the busiest month for declared disasters in Massachusetts, followed by April, September, and October.

Disasters in Massachusetts by year

Massachusetts residents face an average of two declared disasters a year. While there have been severe snow storms over the years, nothing compares to the Blizzard of ’78, one of the most memorable and destructive storms in state history. It started on the morning of February 8 and after 32 hours it dumped up to 4 feet of snow amid gale-force winds and brought the state to a standstill for days.

While exchanging Blizzard of ’78 survivor stories is a favorite local pastime, 2011 also ranks high among memorable disasters. A series of six tornadoes touched down in central and western parts of Massachusetts on June 1, 2011, some reaching 160 mph. Four people were killed, hundreds were injured, 48,000 lost power, and the National Guard was deployed to help clear debris in the 19 affected communities.

Four months later, on October 29, 2011, came Northwest Halloween, also known as “Snowtober,” “Shocktober” and “Oktoberblast,” blanketing parts of the state with nearly 40 inches of snow. The snowstorm left 450,000 people without power, some for more than a week.

Flood Insurance in Massachusetts

Flood damage is not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. That means you may want to consider flood insurance if your property is at risk.

In 2018, the Bay State experienced more flooding than in any other year since the late 1990s. In January 2018, high winds from a winter storm combined with a high tide and a supermoon caused freezing water floods in communities around Boston and on Cape Cod. The tide gauge in Boston Harbor reached more than 15 feet, breaking the record set in 1978. The National Guard helped police rescue stranded drivers and evacuate residents of the flooded houses.

On July 14, 2018, more than 4 inches of rain fell in less than 24 hours, causing flooding of up to three feet in the central and western parts of the state.

Many areas in the US experience flooding that is destructive and costly, but may not have been declared a federal disaster. Here’s a look at the amount of recent flooding in Massachusetts.

Government financial assistance after a flood may be limited. It’s best to have your own flood insurance that you can trust. Most people who have flood insurance buy it through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federal program. Private flood insurance is also available.

FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program (IHP) can provide cash and direct assistance after a major disaster or emergency, if you qualify. This program helps people find housing after a problem caused directly by a disaster and is not covered by insurance or other sources.

Tips for buying home insurance

Whether you’re closing on your first home or switching insurance companies, you probably want coverage without overpaying. Here are ways to zero in on the best cheap home insurance in Massachusetts

  • Assess reconstruction costs. Ask your insurance company to estimate the cost of rebuilding your home with equitable materials, based on material and labor costs in your area. You want the amount of your homeowners coverage to be equal to this estimate.
  • Evaluate how much liability coverage you need. You must purchase an amount that matches the value of what could be taken from you in a lawsuit, or at least $300,000.
  • Consider additional coverage for your belongings. If you have high-value items, you may want to consider personal property scheduling for certain expensive possessions.
  • Think of replacement cost benefits rather than actual cash value. Consider replacement cost coverage for your home and belongings – you’ll get the amount you need to replace your home and items with new versions.
  • Assess coverage gaps. Some home insurance companies offer additional benefits, for example, to pay for damage from overflow water or to provide higher limits for landscaping such as trees and shrubs.
  • Ask about discounts. For example, you can get a discount on home security features or buy car insurance and home insurance from the same company.
  • Research financial ratings. Check financial strength ratings from rating agencies like AM Best or Standard & Poor’s. Some banks may not finance your mortgage unless your insurance company has at least an “A” financial strength rating.
  • Compare quotes from multiple insurance companies. The price of the same coverage can vary significantly between insurers. If you don’t shop around, you won’t know how much you can potentially save.

Methodology

Average home insurance rates were calculated using data from Quadrant Information Services. Rates are based on a policy with $300,000 homeowners coverage and $100,000 liability coverage.

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