A MetLife survey from a few years ago found that many Americans possess a “knowledge gap” when it comes to the ins and out of their home insurance coverage. It’s understandable, given that the insurance industry is known for its insider baseball jargon and clauses riddled with exceptions.

Here at Freshome, we’ve done some of the research for you. While it is important to realize that insurance policies can vary greatly from home to home, use the information we have gathered as a jumping off point to discover the best policy for your home’s individual needs. Investing just a little bit of time into considering all of your options will save you money in the long run.

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The Best Homeowners Insurance in Vermont

Freshome’s Recommended Homeowners Insurance Companies in Vermont: State FarmAmicaProgressiveGEICOAllstateNationwide

For a general idea of what you can expect to pay per year, we gathered quotes from Amica, State Farm, and GEICO. First, we needed a home. We determined the median home cost in the state of Vermont at $218,000. Then we found our home — a 1,312-square-foot ranch valued at $235,000. Keep in mind that quotes vary wildly based on numerous factors, including the location, building materials, age of the home, and more. Your quotes will likely differ from the ones we’ve provided below.

Our Quotes
Amica$666 Per Year
State Farm$708 Per Year
GEICO$893 Per Year

When collecting quotes, we filtered insurance companies through our strict criteria. Each company that we suggested had a J.D. Power Overall Satisfaction Rating of at least three stars. We only selected companies who maintained at least a B+ in financial strength. We encourage you to shop around and gather quotes from several companies based on the specifications of your home. As you can tell from the table, Amica provided the cheapest rates of the companies that we researched. However, the results may be different for you.

What You Should Know Before Getting a Quote

Homeowners insurance is not required by law in Vermont. However, if you are opening a mortgage on a home you can expect the lending bank to require the protection of insurance. Even if it’s not mandated by law, you will rest easier knowing that your biggest asset is protected. Adequate protection is not only affordable in Vermont but also fairly extensive.

The HO3 insurance policy is the most commonly used and covers your home, its contents, and personal liability should an accident occur on your property. The policy covers damages from incidents like:

  • Hail
  • Wind
  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Weight from ice or snow
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Falling objects
  • Smoke

The only accidents that the HO3 policy doesn’t cover are those that are explicitly stated as not covered. Examples of such incidents are:

  • Earth movement
  • Neglect
  • War
  • Settling or shrinking
  • Wear and tear, or deterioration

In addition to covering the accidents listed above, the liability portion of your policy will protect you in the event that someone gets injured on your property. Whether someone falls down the stairs or your dog bites a guest, you will be covered. One of the major risks that isn’t covered in a typical HO3 policy is flooding. If you live in an area where flooding is probable, it is a good idea to talk to your insurance agent about a flood endorsement.

When opening an insurance policy, many new homeowners tend to unintentionally undervalue their home. For adequate dwelling coverage, it is important to predict the replacement costs rather than use the actual value of the house. Some industry experts recommend using the square foot cost for residential construction in your area to get an accurate representation of what it would cost to rebuild your home if it were destroyed.

There are several other major factors that can raise your insurance premiums. The age of your home and its materials are two big ones. Older homes tend to have more issues than newer homes and therefore cost more to insure. Additionally, if your home is made of more delicate or flammable materials, such as wood, your premium will be higher.

Certain features of your home will greatly impact your annual premium. If you have a swimming pool or playground equipment, your rates will increase. On the flip side, if you take extra precautions like installing a security system or deadbolt locks, then your rates may be lower. Homes located further away from fire departments — or situated in areas where many claims are made — will cost more to insure.

Why Are Vermont’s Rates So Low?

The average national homeowners insurance rate is $952 per year. The average rate in Vermont falls 19 percent below this number, at $770 per year. While the winters in this region can be harsh and full of snow, Vermont isn’t a state that experiences too many extreme natural disasters. That is one reason why the insurance premiums remain relatively low. The average home value (less than $200,000) is also reasonable, which is another contributing factor to lower-than-average insurance rates.

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FAQs

What are common coverage gaps?

There are several coverage gaps to be aware of when opening a homeowners insurance policy. For example, if you left your home unattended for a long period of time during the winter and failed to drain your pipes, you may not be covered if they freeze and burst. It is also important to note that insurance companies factor in depreciation of your home and its possessions. So, if your home were to burn down, you may not have as much coverage as you think.

What about flood insurance?

Many new homeowners may not realize that a typical insurance policy does not protect them in the event of a flood. If you home isn’t located in an area prone to flooding, that detail may not seem like a big deal. However, if you live close to a major waterway, you could find yourself in a bad situation if you fail to add flood coverage. A flood insurance endorsement must be purchased from the National Flood Insurance Program, and your insurance agent can guide you through the process.

Should I complete a home inventory?

When you purchase a home insurance policy, it is highly recommended that you complete an up-to-date home inventory. If you ever have to file a claim, the process will be much easier with documented records of your home and its contents. Take pictures of your most valuable items like jewelry, artwork, family heirlooms, and electronics. You can also take a video of each room of your home to create an accurate representation of all of your possessions. Once you have completed an inventory of your home, make both digital and hard copies. Store the digital copies on your hard drive and place the hard copies in a fireproof safety box.

How should I value my home?

When determining the value of your home for coverage purposes, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Research the most recent building codes associated with your area. If your home were to be destroyed, you would likely be forced to rebuild in compliance with those codes, which can be more expensive. It is also important to increase the limit of your policy if you perform renovations or make any kind of improvements that enhance the value of your home.

What is a deductible?

Your deductible is the highest amount you will pay in the event of an accident. Anything beyond that (up to your coverage limit) would be covered by your insurance company. You can usually choose between a percentage deductible and a flat deductible. The percentage deductible option is based on a percentage of the dwelling’s value while the flat deductible is a set amount. If you select a higher deductible, your monthly premium will likely be slightly lower, and vice versa.

Take Action

Now that you have a general understanding of homeowners insurance, it’s time to shop around. With the information presented in this article, you should feel equipped with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision. Don’t be hesitant about contacting many different companies to find the best homeowners insurance in Vermont.

Freshome’s Recommended Homeowners Insurance Companies in Vermont: State FarmAmicaProgressiveGEICOAllstateNationwide

Compare Homeowners Insurance Rates

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

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