Buying a home is a big deal. So is finding the proper homeowners insurance to protect it. Here at Freshome, we set out to find the best homeowners insurance providers in Idaho. We evaluated the contenders based on financial strength, coverage options, affordability, and customer service. We whittled down the list to a few standout companies we highly recommend.

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The Best Homeowners Insurance in Idaho

Freshome’s Top Recommendations: Amica, Liberty Mutual, State Farm

We went through a large list of insurance companies in your area to give you our pick of the top recommendations. We considered price, financial strength rating and expert recommendations to lead us to a list we think will best fit your needs.

The most popular insurance policy for homeowners in the U.S. is a HO3 policy. A HO3 policy is also known as a Special Forms Policy as it is a hybrid policy combining both open and named perils.

A peril is an event or disaster that causes damage and destruction your home and belongings. Fires, flooding and burglary are all things that qualify as perils, but may not be specifically covered in your policy. Under the HO3 policy, your home is covered under an open perils policy, which means your home is covered for any damages incurred by any peril unless it is specifically listed on the the exclusion list in your policy. Your belongings are covered under a named perils policy. A named perils policy only covers your possessions in the case they are damaged by the perils named in the policy.

Our sample quotes were based off a single-family, brand new, 2-story townhome in Boise with $200,000 of coverage with an HO3 policy. In order to obtain a sample quote, you need a variety of information on your home, but we will discuss that later. It is imperative to know that every case must be specifically curated to fit your needs. This means thorough communication with your agent and expecting a varying degree of quotes in comparison to the ones we provide.

Our Quotes
Amica$441 Per Year
State Farm$522 Per Year
Liberty Mutual$1,756 Per Year

Not only is it important to compare quotes when considering which insurance company to choose, but it is also necessary to see how they stand in financial strength ratings. Financial strength ratings reflect how able a company is to meet its policy and contract with a customer as well as pricing, policy offerings, how easy is it to navigate billing and payment, overall customer satisfaction and how simple it is to communicate with the insurer. Our suggestions met our criteria, which was a J.D. Power overall rating of 3 stars or more, A.M. Best rating of B+ or more and a high financial strength rating from Moody’s and/or Standard and Poor’s.

Our top choice for homeowners insurance in Idaho is Amica as they offer the best rates per our sample and had high financial strength ratings, boasting the top home insurance pick for J.D. Power in 2015. Additionally, we found State Farm and Liberty Mutual were among our top three choices as they met the standards of the financial strength companies we mentioned, as well as offered some of the most reasonable, competitive rates.

What You Should Know Before Getting a Quote

Now that you’re well-versed on what companies to look to for obtaining the best homeowners insurance in Idaho, you may want to know what information you’ll need to get started. Let’s get right to it.

Coverages to Consider

Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you will make, so it is important you ensure you get the correct amount of coverage for your home. We’ve already discussed a basic HO3 policy. But, what if you are concerned it won’t provide you with enough coverage?

If you are the owner of high value items (collectibles, jewelry, electronics, antiques) and feel a standard policy doesn’t give them as much protection as you would like, it may be wise to look into a HO5 policy. A HO5 policy allows for your personal possessions to be on an open perils policy, which means they would be covered under all of the perils that your home is covered under. Additionally, having these items appraised by both your insurer and an appraiser will ensure you are not underinsured if these items are damaged, destroyed or stolen.

It’s important to note that flood damage and sewer damage is not covered under a standard policy. We will get more into flood insurance below. It is your responsibility to keep your septic system up to date and cleaned. Rainstorms can cause sewer backups if your system is not properly taken care of, possibly causing you thousands of dollars in damage. If your home has an aged septic system, it may be wise to add on sewer-backup damage on your policy, as it will only cost $40-$50 annually to add onto your policy.

What to expect

Prices vary from policy to policy as each case is specifically curated to fit that customer’s needs. With that said, Idaho’s rates are among some of the most affordable in the states with an average rate of $547 annually. However, if you have a $2 million dollar home with an in ground swimming pool and expensive furnishings, you can expect to pay a higher premium. The age of your home, your past home insurance claims and even your credit score are all things that could affect your premium. Insurance companies use your credit score to evaluate the risk that you will default on a payment or make more claims than a person who has an average or high credit score.

If your home insurance company offers car insurance as well, it may be a good idea to look into bundling these two policies together. Doing so can provide you with savings and the hassle of dealing with two separate insurance companies.

Information to Have on Hand

In order to apply for a quote that will accurately estimate the type of prices you’ll be dealing with, you will need to have a lot of information about your home in your back pocket ready to go. To ensure this is an easy process for you, we’ve compiled a list of the bare basics you should know:

  • Age of home
  • Square footage
  • Construction details (roof, structure, basement, siding)
  • Number of bathrooms and bedrooms
  • Distance from closest fire station, police station, and hospital
  • Distance from nearest fire hydrant
  • Presence of smoke and burglar alarms
  • Amount of wood-burning stoves
  • Past home renovations
  • Personal home insurance claims made within the past 5 years

It’s also important to have an itemized list of your personal possessions to ensure they are adequately covered. If you have possessions that are heirlooms, artwork, jewelry, antiques or any other high value item, it is wise to get them appraised by an appraiser and your insurance company, which will guarantee you are not underinsured.

Idaho Regulations/Laws

As most states in the U.S., homeowners insurance is not required by law in Idaho. It is, however, probably required by your lender. Typically, your lender will require your home to be covered under at least the amount you borrowed to purchase your home.

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Why are Idaho’s rates so low?

At an average annual premium of $544, Idaho’s homeowners insurance rates are extremely affordable. With a low crime rate and being located in an area that doesn’t receive many of the more extreme natural disasters it gives Idaho some of the cheapest premiums in the nation. This is great for your wallet as it gives you a little cushion in the case you want to add extra insurance policies onto your home for other things such as expensive landscaping or even a pool, which can stack up the price in other states where premiums are well above if not twice the Idaho average.

FAQs

What are common coverage gaps?

Some natural disasters, mold, and flooding (as discussed below). If you live in an area affected by natural disasters such as mudslides, earthquakes and man-made circumstances (such as the Teton Dam Collapse), you should talk to your agent about obtaining additional coverages. Mold remediation is no joke. It is costly, annoying and can involve destructing parts of your home for removal. Experience extreme humidity in the summers or live in an area where moisture is an issue? Mold coverage is an option, affordable and should be considered if you believe you are at risk.

What about flood insurance?

Flood insurance is not included in a standard HO3 policy. If your home is located in a flood plain, it is of your best interest to look into a flood insurance policy as you run into a high risk of dealing with potential flooding and excessive rain damage. The NFIP [National Flood Insurance program] was created by the government to protect homeowners from flood damage and is also who you can purchase your flood insurance policy from. Unsure if your home is located in a flood plain? Check out this map from FEMA, which will give you the history of flooding in your area as well as the present risk.

How much liability coverage do I actually need?

You can expect to have a standard amount of $100,000 of liability coverage on your homeowners insurance policy. This coverage can provide financial relief for damages and defense (attorney fees and beyond). There is, however, the chance that you feel you may need more coverage than what is being offered on your policy. By easily adding a personal umbrella policy, you can be provided with an additional blanket of protection. This umbrella policy can add anywhere from $1 to $5 million in liability protection.

Take Action

You have all of the necessary information to go forth in finding the best homeowners insurance for your home. If you think there are any steps you need to review in the overall home-owning process, check out this article as it provides ample information on every step of the journey. This is one of the last big leaps to take for getting prepared to settle in the home of your dreams. Gather the necessary information, compare quotes and use this article as a guide to finding the best fit for you and your future.

Freshome’s Top Recommendations: Amica, Liberty Mutual, State Farm

Compare Homeowners Insurance Rates

To quickly find and compare rates in your area, enter your ZIP code below.

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