Owning your own home is a big part of the American dream, and like all dreams, it must be protected. What would you do if wild animals got into your home? How would you fight rising sea levels threatening your piece of paradise? Though you may be prepared for severe weather damage and fires, it’s a good idea to know all the potential threats your home faces.

We dove headfirst into finding the best homeowners insurance in Virginia. We obtained sample quotes, researched insurance law, and spoke with experts. In the end, we narrowed down the field to a handful of top-notch companies that scored high in honesty, transparency, friendliness, and affordability.

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The Best Homeowners Insurance in Virginia

Freshome’s Recommended Homeowners Insurance Companies in Virginia: State FarmAmicaLiberty MutualFarmersTravelers InsuranceCountry Financial

National companies are the easiest options when it comes to homeowners insurance, but smaller, more regional companies may offer benefits that national companies do not. Freshome recommends Amica, State Farm, and Liberty Mutual for national companies, and Farmers, Travelers, and COUNTRY Financial for smaller, regional companies.

Even though your greatest concern will be obtaining the most coverage for the lowest cost, there are a few other aspects you should consider. If a major disaster strikes, is your current insurance company capable of paying out dozens of claims at once? The ability to handle whatever financial burden falls on it is what comprises a company’s financial strength rating. The companies Freshome has recommended all have high financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s, as well as a J.D. Power Overall Satisfaction rating of three stars or more.

Methodology

Our fictional insured is a nonsmoking, 30-year-old male seeking insurance on his first home. He is looking for an HO3 policy with $120,000 of coverage for his 1,183-square-foot home.

In order to give the most fair representation, we opted for as few discounts as possible. The following quotes had a few dollars knocked off for the presence of deadbolts and fire extinguishers within the home, but almost nothing else. Later in the article, we will address the plethora of available discounts.

Why an HO3 Policy?

There are multiple types of homeowners insurance policies, including HO2, HO3, HO4, HO5, HO6, and HO8 policies. However, HO3 policies provide broad spectrum coverage against a large number of potential threats. They are known as “open perils” policies, which mean they cover all threats to your home except those specifically excluded from the policy.

This type of policy is completely opposite from a “named perils” policy which covers only what is named in the policy itself. As a rule of thumb, it is a good idea to obtain both types of policies in order to provide your home with the most coverage possible.

The standard homeowners insurance policy is divided into six distinct areas. These six coverage areas each provide a different form of coverage but are all part of a standard policy.

Coverage A is dwelling coverage. This is the type of homeowners insurance you’re most familiar with; it provides coverage in the event of damage or destruction of your home. This coverage amount should be 110–125 percent of the value of your home to cover not only the material cost, but also the labor costs.

Coverage B is extended dwelling coverage. This type of coverage protects detached structures on your property away from your home, such as fences, storage sheds, gazebos, and more. This coverage amount is typically capped at 10 percent of Coverage A.

Coverage C is personal property coverage. This provides coverage for the contents of your home; after all, if a storm destroys your home, it’s likely going to destroy everything within the home, too. This coverage amount sometimes stops at 50 percent of Coverage A but is often 75–80 percent. However, if you have items of notable value, such as fine jewelry, rare paintings, or other collectables, then it is a good idea to take out individual policies on each of these items.

Coverage D is loss of use protection. If your home is damaged severely enough that it must be repaired or rebuilt, you’ll need a place to live during the construction. This coverage area provides you with the funding for that; however, whether your insurance policy pays the entire cost of accommodation or just a percentage depends on the policy itself.

Coverage E is personal liability protection. If you are the subject of a lawsuit, your personal assets may be at risk. This coverage area creates a buffer between the lawsuit and your personal assets. However, if you want more protection, consider an umbrella policy.

Coverage F is medical payment coverage. If someone is injured on your property, this coverage helps cover their medical bills. This type of coverage is paid out automatically, whether you are at fault or not; in doing so, it shields you from liability for their injury.

Example Quotes

Amica provided the lowest premium rates at $67 per month for a period of 10 months or $670 annually. This rate is accompanied by a $2,500 deductible and $120,000 in dwelling coverage, $12,000 in extended dwelling coverage, $90,000 in personal property coverage, $24,000 in loss of use coverage, $500,000 in personal liability protection, and $5,000 in medical payment coverage. Amica routinely provides the highest amounts of Areas E and F coverage at the lowest rates compared to the other providers.

Our Quotes
Amica$670 Per Year
State Farm$769 Per Year
Liberty Mutual$927 Per Year

State Farm gave the second lowest rates at $64 per month or $769 per year. This is accompanied by a $2,000 deductible and $120,000 in dwelling coverage, $12,000 in extended dwelling coverage, $90,000 in personal property coverage, $100,000 in personal liability protection, and $1,000 in medical payment coverage. State Farm doesn’t provide loss of use estimates in online quotes but usually pays the actual loss value.

Liberty Mutual was the highest of the three with rates of $77 per month and $927 annually with a $1,000 deductible. Liberty Mutual provides $120,000 in dwelling coverage, $12,000 in extended dwelling coverage, $90,0000 in personal property protection, $300,000 in personal liability protection, and $1,000 in medical payments coverage. They also pay the actual value for loss of use.

Keep in mind that each of these quotes are highly personalized and will vary based on a variety of factors. Don’t take our word that a certain company will be the cheapest; use these examples as a comparison and do your own research, entering your personal information to find out what company will provide you the most coverage at the best value.

What You Should Know Before Getting a Quote

While you should seek out coverage for all possible threats, there is one aspect of homeowners insurance you simply cannot afford to ignore: you need full replacement coverage. Many insurance policies only cover around 80 percent of your home’s value; however, that means you only have enough to rebuild 60 percent of your home at most. After all, you have to pay for labor costs as well as materials. Keep in mind that the purchase price of your home is not necessarily the value of your home; the initial purchase also contains the value of the land it is found on. If you aren’t sure of the value of your home, hire an appraiser to give you a more exact estimate.

You should also look for an HO3 policy or better. Freshome recommends an HO3 policy because it balances coverage and value; while slightly more expensive than other policies, its broad threat protection gives peace of mind. Virginia is prone to severe weather; between the hurricane risk on the coast and the risk of tornadoes further inland (with 578 tornadic events occurring between 1950 and 2007), there are a number of risk factors to consider.

The average cost of insuring a home in the state of Virginia is $67 per month or $805 per year. All variables considered, this is a relatively affordable rate.

You should also keep in mind that Virginia insurance companies are required by law to offer water and sewage backup coverage, as well as building ordinance coverage. While you are not required to purchase this type of insurance, it’ll be available to you.

Obtaining an Accurate Quote

Before you seek out a quote, there are several pieces of information you should have on hand.

  • Your Social Security number
  • The total finished square footage of your home
  • The construction material of your home
  • The age and condition of your home and roof
  • Details concerning any recent renovations
  • Details of any prior insurance claims
  • How long (and with whom) your home has been insured

Having this information nearby, whether seeking a quote online or over the phone, will make the process proceed much more smoothly. Estimates given over the phone are often more accurate than online quotes, but they take a longer amount of time.

A note concerning Social Security numbers: when entering your Social Security number into a quote estimator, be prepared for it to generate an inquiry in your credit report. While this inquiry won’t affect your score, too many inquiries in a short period of time will generate questions from lenders if you try to get a loan.

You should also keep in mind that your initial choice for homeowners insurance doesn’t have to be a life-long decision. According to Esther Camarotte, and owner of Your Tech Savvy Broker, “You can shop your homeowners insurance, and I would advise people to shop their homeowners insurance every two to three years. I’m licensed in six states, and every state is actually going to fluctuate. If you’re going to use AllState, State Farm, or any insurance company that’s nationwide, their rates may be better in Virginia than in Florida. Insurance is a state-by-state situation. Every state has its own guidelines. You can change your homeowners insurance any time you want in the course of your mortgage.”

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What can I do to lower my rates?

If you want to reduce your premiums, consider the number of discounts available to you. By lowering the the amount of Area B and C coverage, you can reduce your overall premiums; however, take care not to lower your insurance too far. Many people underestimate the value of their personal possessions.

You can also bundle your auto insurance with your home insurance. When working with the same company, you can often see savings up to 30 percent on both premiums.

Finally, you can ask. Your agent will be able to evaluate your individual situation and let you know of potential discounts that may be applicable to your unique situation. If you have tried everything else, consult with your insurance agent.

Why Are Virginia’s Rates So Low?

Virginia’s average homeowners insurance rate is just $67 per month or $805 annually. This comes in at 15 percent below the national average. Although the coastal areas may see higher rates due to the hurricane risk, the inland areas fall into a barrier zone created by the Appalachian Mountains that reduces the risk of severe weather. These areas have lower rates due to their reduced risk, resulting in a much lower average overall.

FAQs

What are common coverage gaps?

The most common coverage gaps are flood and earthquake insurance. However, some policies may not cover sump pump backups, frozen pipes, and other common nuisances that can result in large amounts of damage.

What about flood insurance?

Whether you live along the coast or very far inland, you’re not immune to flood damage. Coastal areas in Virginia are at risk of flooding due to rising sea levels, hurricanes, and other threats. Inland homes may be in floodplains. Even if you aren’t at risk of flooding from natural threats, burst pipes may still flood your home and are likely not be covered under your standard policy.

Flood insurance is available from the National Flood Insurance Program.

How often should I evaluate my policy?

Any time you make renovations on your home, you should evaluate its worth against your coverage amount to ensure you still have enough coverage for a full replacement. You should also evaluate at least once per year and account for any major changes such as inflation.

Take Action

Failing to insure your home can result in a total loss. No matter where your home is located, it faces risk from a variety of sources. Don’t wait until disaster strikes to discover you aren’t covered; seek out coverage now. Even if you already have home insurance, speak with your agent to make sure you have enough.  

Freshome’s Recommended Homeowners Insurance Companies in Virginia: State FarmAmicaLiberty MutualFarmersTravelers InsuranceCountry Financial

Compare Homeowners Insurance Rates

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

Enter Your ZIP Code: