Kansas is no stranger to natural disasters — after all, it’s home to the most famous fictional tornado in the world (which makes you wonder if Dorothy’s family had a good insurance plan). Tornadoes, severe storms, hail, and floods are a common occurrence here, and so is extreme heat and drought during the summer months.

Here at Freshome, we’ve researched a range of different insurance companies and pitted their coverage against one another in order to find our top picks for homeowners insurance in Kansas.

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The Best Homeowners Insurance in Kansas

Freshome’s Recommended Homeowners Insurance Companies in Kansas: State FarmAmicaLiberty Mutual

We spent more than 30 hours scouring reviews to find insurance companies that have a solid reputation in providing homeowners insurance in Kansas. We also spoke to an expert to get his insight on some of the key aspects of home insurance. We filtered our top picks through J.D. Power and financial strength ratings to weed out companies that weren’t up to snuff. In order for us to recommend an insurance company, it had to meet the following criteria:

  • J.D. Power Overall Satisfaction rating of three stars or more
  • A.M Best Financial Strength Rating of B+ or more
  • A high financial strength rating from Moody’s and/or Standard & Poor’s

Next, we zeroed in on the top three providers to determine the best homeowners insurance in Kansas. To this end, we analyzed a sample quote from three of the companies. First, we needed a sample home. We chose a 1,611-square-foot home with three bedrooms and one bath. Constructed in 1941, this stone house also comes with an attached garage. The quotes for this home include the following coverage:

  • Dwelling coverage or coverage A is $287,400
  • Coverage for other structures or coverage B is $28,740
  • Coverage E for liability is $300,000
  • Coverage F for medical payments is $1,000
  • Deductible is $1,000
  • It is assumed that there are no smoke alarms, deadbolts, or security system in the house.

We found Liberty Mutual to be the lowest at $1,440 per year, followed by Amica at $1,874 per year. Personal property coverage at Amica is higher at $215,550, compared to Liberty Mutual’s coverage of $143,700. Also, loss of use limit is higher with Amica as it offers $86,200, against Liberty Mutual’s offer of $57,480. However, it’s important to remember that your quotes will vary greatly, based on factors such as your home’s size, location, and building materials.

The above quotes are for an HO3 policy, the most comprehensive and popular among all homeowners insurance policies. An HO3 policy is a combination of an “open perils” policy for your property and a “named perils” policy for your possessions. A peril is an event that can cause a loss, such as wind or fire damage. An open perils policy means that you will be covered for any type of perils, except those explicitly listed. When it comes to home insurance, transparency is a good thing. Your possessions are covered by a named perils policy; this means they are only covered for the perils explicitly listed in your policy.

Our Quotes
Liberty Mutual$1,440 Per Year
Amica$1,874 Per Year
State Farm$3,249 Per Year

All these companies have extensive experience in this line of business. Liberty Mutual, in particular, is not only the cheapest option but also has extensive coverage. The company even has a program called “Emergency Home Repair Service” that will help you find an emergency service vendor in the event of a loss. Also, the “Loss Forgiveness Program” is unique to Liberty Mutual; it ensures that your premium won’t go up after your first loss. Top-notch online tools and excellent customer service are a few more reasons to consider Liberty Mutual.

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What You Should Know Before Getting a Quote

Here’s what you need to know before you begin gathering quotes.

Finding Ideal Coverage

Before buying a homeowners insurance policy, it’s important to know what your ideal level of coverage is. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, as each house — and a homeowner’s personal preference — is different.

To a large extent, the level of coverage you choose determines your premium. One of the most important things to note is that your level of coverage should be for the replacement cost — how much it would cost to rebuild your home, including labor — and not your home’s actual value. There are two types of replacement costs, namely:

  • Guaranteed replacement cost coverage. The insurer will pay to rebuild your home, regardless of the cost. This type is hard to find in today’s insurance market.
  • Extended replacement coverage. In this option, the insurer will cap the replacement cost at 125 percent of the home’s insured value.

In addition to these two choices, you can also opt for something called Inflation Guarantee of Guard that ensures that your home’s insured value gets updated based on the market value.

Choosing the right option is essential to safeguarding your home. Many people choose to insure their home only for the amount they paid, although the cost of rebuilding can be significantly higher in the event of a loss. Mortgage lenders require you to purchase a policy that is just enough to cover their interests — not necessarily the amount to rebuild — which could leave you with a huge financial burden when a disaster strikes. To avoid getting into such financial catastrophes, it’s best you understand what your policy covers.

Luke Thompson of Coldwell Bankers Griffith and Blair said it’s important to know what natural disasters are covered in the policy and the extent of the coverage. He encourages you to ask the right questions to insurance agents before making a decision on which policy to buy. “People should ask questions like, ‘What happens when there is hail?’ and ‘Does the insurance company cover the full replacement value of the roof or only the depreciated value?’” advised Thompson. Such questions can go a long way toward making sure you’re fully covered in the event of a loss.

Insuring Valuable Items

Do you own a lot of valuable items like original art pieces, fine jewelry, and heirlooms? If so, you need a policy that would replace the entire cost of these high value assets. First, you’ll need to get your pieces appraised, either by the insurance company or an outside appraiser. Then, you need to ask your insurance agent to bump up your coverage to include these special pieces. In insurance parlance, this is also called “scheduling.”

What about flood insurance?

Standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover floods or damages due to stormwater drainage issues. Hence, you’ll have to buy a separate flood insurance from an agent working with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a program offered by the federal government. It’s a good idea to consider flood insurance even if you’re house is not situation in a floodplain, as floods have caused damages worth millions of dollars in the state of Kansas.

Include Liability Insurance

Your homeowners insurance should also protect you against possible lawsuits related to any injury that happens on your property. For example, if your dog bites your mailman on your property, your insurance should cover any legal fees or other damages that you may have to pay.

In short, be sure to have ample coverage for the replacement cost of your home, any high value items, liability insurance, and flood insurance. Work with your insurance company to choose the coverage that is right for you.

Why Are Kansas’ Rates So High?

The average homeowners insurance premium in Kansas is $1,213 per year, almost $200 more than the national average of $1,034. This higher rate can be attributed to the following factors:

  • Age of homes. The average home in Kansas is 39 years old. Since it costs more to repair older homes, your premium will be higher if you live in an older structure.
  • Crime rate. The crime rate in Kansas is 6.8 per 1,000 people, which is slightly higher than the national average of 5.2. To make up for this higher crime rate, insurance companies charge more premium.
  • Natural disasters. The most significant reason the premiums are higher in Kansas is the number of natural disasters that strike The Sunflower State every year. Kansas is situated in a corridor known as “Tornado Alley,” due to the frequent tornadoes that tear through this part of the country. Other natural occurrences such as high winds and hail also drive up the cost of insurance.

The rates of homeowners insurance have been rising in Kansas over the last decade. In 2006, the average cost of home insurance was $658 per year; in 2014, it had jumped to $1,050 per year, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Going forward, these rates are only expected to go up as insurance companies are filing for rate increases to make up for their losses due to frequent weather hazards.

To tide over these higher costs, try bundling home insurance with other types of insurances (like auto) to get a discount. Additionally, you can also consider investing in good alarm, deadbolt locks, and security systems, as these safety measures help to bring down the cost as well.

FAQs

What are the common coverage gaps?

Many homeowners insurance policies do not offer tornado coverage, so this is something you’ll have to check before signing the dotted line. In Kansas, you may have to purchase tornado coverage from a specific company that deals with high-risk insurance, or from a special insurance pool where all homeowners participate. This is an important coverage gap, and one that can cause a significant dent in your finances — especially considering that an average of 127 tornadoes hit Kansas every year.

What about hailstorms, earthquakes, and wildfires?

Hailstorms are common in Kansas, but fortunately, they are covered in the wind damage section of most policies. Earthquakes are not a major threat in Kansas, despite the state having a fault line crisscrossing it. Wildfires should also be covered in your policy, but be sure to ask your specific agent. .

Which is better: actual cash value or replacement cost?

Actual cash value (ACV) is a type of pay-out that entitles the owner to get an amount equal to the depreciated value of the property. Replacement cost, on the other hand, is the reimbursement needed to replace the property based on the prevailing prices. In Kansas, replacement cost is a better choice as this state is highly prone to tornadoes and hailstorms.

What can I do to lower the cost of my insurance premium?

To lower the cost of your premium, you can:

  • Increase your deductible. If you’re willing to pay a higher deductible, your monthly or yearly premium will likely decrease.
  • Improve your credit score. Insurance companies assume that people with lower credit scores will make more claims; thus, they charge people with lower credit scores a higher premium.
  • Look for discounts. Some insurance companies over discounts for being a member of a certain group.
  • Review your policy often to ensure that you’re paying only for the coverage you want.

Take Action

In short, homeowners insurance is a necessary financial investment needed to protect your home from the natural disasters that strike Kansas frequently. It’s important to understand what’s covered in your policy, so you’re not stuck with an unexpected gap in coverage in the aftermath of a disaster. Talk to an insurance agent and get quotes from several different companies before deciding which works best for you.

Freshome’s Recommended Homeowners Insurance Companies in Kansas: State FarmAmicaLiberty Mutual

Compare Homeowners Insurance Rates

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

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