Homeowners insurance isn’t just another bill; it’s handy protection from the curve balls life can throw at you. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer, or a seasoned homeowner shopping for better coverage, there are many options to choose from in New Hampshire.

Choosing a specific policy might be personal, but what makes a good insurance company is universal — solid financial standing, affordability, no hidden “gotchas” in the coverage, and friendly insurance agents. Our top picks for best homeowners insurance companies in New Hampshire deliver on these promises.

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Our Top Recommendations for Homeowners Insurance in New Hampshire

Freshome’s Top Recommendations: Amica, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Travelers Insurance, Nationwide, Farmers

In order to find you the best homeowners insurance options we researched and received quotes from our top three recommended companies. There are many things that can factor into a quote and they can vary widely depending on the type of coverage you choose, and your home itself. We used a two-story, three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,765-square-foot, New England-style home in Concord, New Hampshire with an estimated reconstruction value of $260,000. For the purposes of the quote, we listed the home as having a security system and smoke detectors, and chose a $2,500 deductible.

Our Quotes
Amica$82 per year
Liberty Mutual$115 per year
State Farm$1,244 per year

We specifically chose an HO3 policy because we believe it offers the most comprehensive coverage at an affordable price. While HO1 and HO2 policies cost much less, they also cover much less than an HO3 policy, which includes coverage to both your house and your personal property within. An HO5 policy is very similar to an HO3, but it covers additional named perils, which also means that the costs will be higher. The bottom line is, when you’re making a long-term investment in your home, you want the best care possible at a price that will fit your budget for the foreseeable future, and that’s what an HO3 offers.

We also looked at financial strength when comparing companies and looked for those ranked at B+ or higher with financial ratings service A.M. Best, in addition to having a high rating from Moody’s. Lastly, we also took into account J.D. Powers Overall Satisfaction ratings, which are based on customer ratings of the company’s services; we selected companies that had a three-star rating or higher. It is important to choose a company with high financial strength to ensure that it will offer stable support for your home over time.

Amica ranks the highest across the board in both overall satisfaction and financial strength; it’s also the least expensive of the three quotes we received, which makes it highly recommended. However, every quote is unique and it may not end up being the least expensive when you factor in your own variables, like the condition of your home and your credit score. Before you purchase your own policy, you should compare several quotes based on your specific situation in order to determine the best price.

What You Should Know Before Getting a Quote

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to picking homeowners insurance. The best way to find the most extensive coverage and affordable rate for your home is by shopping around for several quotes yourself. Work with a local insurance agent or go online where most major insurance companies have simple tools you can use to calculate a quick rate. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you get started.

Why You Need Coverage

Homeowners insurance is not a requirement, although many mortgage lenders do require you to have it in order to secure a loan. It is, however, an important component to ensure the longevity of your home. In the event that your house suffers costly damage that’s covered by your policy, insurance offers hope and help when you need it most. With such a precious commodity riding on your policy, it’s important that you pick the best homeowners insurance company for you.

Why You Need Guidance

It can be challenging and confusing to determine what you truly need in your homeowners policy by trying to quote your own coverage online, says Susan Ogrodnik-Smith Chief Sales Officer, Personal Insurance at HUB International New England, an insurance brokerage firm. There are many small details that people simply might not know, like how to properly cover a home business or a rented unit above a garage.

“When shopping for homeowners insurance, seek the advice of an independent insurance broker. They are experts, familiar with all of the issues that are important and can help you determine how much coverage is appropriate for your home and what additional coverages you may need,” – Ogrodnik-Smith.

Which Type Of Coverage Is Best

A standard homeowners insurance policy covers not only the structure of your home, — including the plumbing, heating, and air conditioning — but also any other structures on your property, as well as loss of your personal property due to theft. It should also cover liability in case you are sued for injuries or damages sustained to someone else while on your property, as well as medical expenses for any injuries incurred to others in your home. An example would be your dog biting a visitor. The policy should also cover your increased cost of living while your home is being repaired.

What can vary, however, are the perils that cause the damage. Your coverage only applies to the perils that are defined in your policy. Freshome recommends an HO3 policy because it covers both open perils and named perils. Open perils coverage means the structure of your home is covered for any damage other than the perils that are specifically listed, which means most perils are covered. Named perils covers the contents of your home under a set of listed perils. HO3 policies are easily the most popular homeowners insurance policy.

“At least 80 percent of all homeowners insurance policies are written under the HO3 contract,” – Tom Minkler of Clark-Mortenson Agency, an independent insurance agency in New Hampshire.

The HO3 policy is very comprehensive, especially when compared to the less broad coverage contained in HO1 or HO2 policies, however, it also provides coverage for other unforeseen causes of damage except for named exclusions, Minkler explained.

How Much Coverage You Really Need

There is no common standard for how much coverage you need. “Each home has its own replacement cost value, its own contents based on the lifestyle of the occupants, and unique possessions, so there is no one right answer,” said Minkler. There are many factors to consider when determining your level of coverage. Here are a few that you may overlook:

  • You will need to calculate the reconstruction cost of your home. This is not the same as the market value of your house, but rather how much it would cost to completely rebuild; don’t forget to include labor costs of the employees hired to rebuild. It’s critical that this figure is accurate or you risk being underinsured. Your agent can help determine the correct amount.
  • If you have a nanny or other caretaker in your home, they will not be automatically covered and will require an addition to your policy.
  • If you have a home-based business, you will need an additional endorsement to your policy or you may not be covered.
  • Items like boats and ATVs that are housed on your property are not automatically covered under your personal possessions.
  • If you rent out any portion of your house or another unit on your property to a third party, they are not automatically covered.
  • Make an inventory list of your special items, like jewelry and art, and have them appraised to determine how much additional coverage they require.
  • You will also need to decide if you want to include flood or earthquake coverage, which are not included in your regular policy.

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Why Are New Hampshire’s Rates So Average?

There are several factors that contribute to insurance premiums, including a state’s economy, climate, and geographical terrain. The average homeowners insurance premium in the United States in 2013 was $1,096, according to a February 2016 study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. New Hampshire’s average in the same year was $885. The quotes we received averaged around $1,073.

Although New Hampshire is facing an aging population (which can affect the growth of the state’s economy), the housing market has been steadily rising in recent years. Both of these variables help to balance the insurance premiums and keep them at an average rate.

The climate of a state can also have a big impact on the cost of homeowners insurance. New Hampshire has weathered many severe natural disasters in recent years, including hurricanes, tornadoes, and ice storms. “Any homes located on the coast of New Hampshire may see limitations with available home insurance companies,” said Ryan Molloy, Assistant Vice President, Private Client Group at HUB International New England, an insurance brokerage firm.

The location of your home can also make a difference. New Hampshire has many remote locations, which means rates will be higher for the homes that do not have a full-time fire department within five miles, or access to a fire hydrant. If you are buying a home in a very rural area, carefully research the response time of a fire department and the availability of water that can be used to extinguish a fire, warned Molloy.

FAQs

What are some coverage gaps that are overlooked?

Most common coverage gaps include water damage caused by backups or slow leaking, flooding, and earthquake damage, which you can cover by adding an additional premium to your policy. However, there are some coverage gaps that might not be so obvious. “Many people don’t realize that they need adequate coverage limits for their contents and that you need to specifically schedule valuable items, like jewelry and antiques,” said Ogrodnik-Smith. Additionally, if you have owned your home for awhile and made upgrades over the years, it’s important to review your coverage and make sure it includes any renovations or additions.

Are additional coverages necessary?

New Hampshire faces the gauntlet of natural disasters, from flooding and tornadoes to hurricanes and even earthquakes. “Earthquakes in New Hampshire happen more often than people think,” said Molloy. While most quakes tend to be small, there’s always the possibility of a larger one that could do a great deal of damage. Flood and earthquake insurance are not covered under most standard policies, so if you live in a flood zone or you prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to earthquakes, you should consider including these additional coverages.

What deductible should I choose?

A deductible is the dollar amount you will be responsible for paying out of pocket before your insurance company will pay out a claim. The best option is to choose the deductible that you know you will be able to afford. Keep in mind that homeowners insurance isn’t meant to be a maintenance policy; it’s meant to protect you from paying large amounts of money out of pocket in the event of a claim, said Molloy.

How can I save money?

There are many ways you can lower your insurance premium, like adding a home security system or making sure you have working smoke detectors. Many companies also offer discounts for certain circumstances, such as combining both a car and a home policy with the same company. “Take advantage of packaging as many policies the same insurance company as possible. Combining your home insurance with your car insurance can save up to 25 percent on both the home and auto policies,” said Molloy.

Take Action

A homeowners insurance policy is an investment in your future, so you shouldn’t settle for a cookie-cutter option. Research several companies and take advantage of the resources and knowledge an insurance agent can provide to find the best homeowners insurance policy for you.

Freshome’s Top Recommendations: Amica, State Farm, Liberty Mutual, Travelers Insurance, Nationwide, Farmers

Compare Homeowners Insurance Rates

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

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