For all of the spectacular scenery in The Cowboy State — from Yellowstone National Park to the windswept plains — our natural elements can be pretty unforgiving on the old brick and mortar. High winds, hail, and flooding can all play a large factor when you’re looking to insure your Wyoming home. We’ve dug around to make sure that you’re fully prepared when choosing the most suitable and affordable insurance policy for your home.

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The Best Homeowners Insurance in Wyoming

Freshome’s Recommendations: AmicaState FarmLiberty MutualFarmersSafecoNationwide

To provide an overview of what the home insurance market looks like in Wyoming, we narrowed in on what we consider the average home in the state, and ran its specifications by our top three recommended insurance providers: Amica, State Farm, and Liberty Mutual.

We deduced that the average home in Wyoming looks something like this: a roughly 1,700-square-foot, three bedroom, two-bathroom, single-story home with a garage. Its market price is $210,000 (although Realtors.com says the average home price in Wyoming is $185,000, our experts said in their experience, it’s actually nearer $230,000. We decided to go with something in the middle).

The amount the home is insured for, also known as the “replacement cost” of rebuilding it in the event of something catastrophic like a fire, varies between different insurance providers (we explain how that figure is calculated during our FAQs). Using our example Wyoming home, the “replacement cost” among our recommended insurance providers varies between $192,000 and $219,700.

Oh, and because this is Wyoming — a veritable paradise for beloved pets — we factored a dog into the equation.

Another thing: we decided to look only at Homeowners 3 (HO3) policies. This is because the HO3 policy, the most commonly purchased home insurance policy, is arguably the most comprehensive and affordable for the average homeowner (again, we’ll go into this in greater detail in a bit).

Here, it should be noted that insurance quotes, which depend on so many variables, should be approached on a case-by-case basis. One home might have a basement, while another home might not. One might be a log cabin with an open fireplace, while another might be a central-heated brick mansion. One home might sit on the banks of a swollen river, while another might be perched precariously on the top of a mountain. Insurance providers take all of this into consideration, and so, don’t think the prices we’re quoting here are the definitive word on who provides the best homeowners insurance for your particular home in Wyoming.

Our Quotes
Liberty Mutual$665 per year
State Farm$1,184 per year
Amica$1,215 per year

Lastly, using expert advice as well as some of the best financial ratings tools around — J.D. Power, A.M Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s — we’ve selected another three insurance carriers for you to take a look at. Remember, it pays to shop around; don’t feel as though you’re obligated to go with the first company who offers you a quote (even if you strike up an instant friendship with the person on the other end of the phone).

Here, we’ve broken down each quote for you, and explained what some of the more frequently used terms mean.

Personal property coverage: Estimated cost to replace all personal items in your home

Replacement cost of building: Estimated cost to completely rebuild your home in the event that it is totally destroyed

Deductible: How much you’ll pay out of pocket each time you make a claim

Liability limit: Coverage for bodily injury and property damage sustained by others for which you or your family members are legally responsible

Medical payments: Per person payment of necessary medical expenses for guests who are accidentally injured on your property

Company Breakdowns

Amica

  •      Personal property: $126,750
  •      Replacement cost: $219,700 total ($169,000 plus 30 percent buffer for fluctuating cost of repairs)
  •      Deductible: $1,000
  •      Liability limit: $300,000
  •      Medical payments: $5,000

Liberty Mutual

  •      Personal property: $120,000
  •      Replacement cost: $192,000 total ($160,020 including 20 percent home protector plus package)
  •      Deductible: $1,000
  •      Liability limit: $300,000
  •      Medical payments: Up to $1,000

State Farm

  •      Personal property coverage: $160,500
  •      Replacement cost of building: $214,000
  •      Deductible: $2,140 (a deductible calculated at 1 percent of replacement cost)
  •      Liability limit: $300,000
  •      Medical payments: Up to $5,000

As you can see, Liberty Mutual appears to provide the best homeowners insurance in Wyoming in terms of cost effectiveness. But what do our experts have to say? According to Jamie Pederson, a Wyoming-based realtor who is president of her local realtor membership base, you need to be calling around many different providers the minute you sign on the dotted line with your home.

“I tell my clients to start calling around right away, because rates can vary greatly from company to company,” said Pederson.

And make sure your insurance provider offers the personal touch, said Ashley Soffe, who has worked in real estate in Wyoming for 10 years.

“I really think that it boils down to the individual representing the company,” said Soffe. “I know that with my own personal homeowners insurance, I have a representative here that will help me with any questions I might have rather than sending me to a 1-800 number. And that’s who I usually recommend to my clients: local people who take the time to explain everything to their customers, rather than sending them to a website saying, ‘Hey, just start filling out the form.’”

Note: of the smaller, more local companies, our experts suggested trying American Standard, Wyoming Financial, Wyman Financial Insurance, and the Bon Agency — companies that aren’t rated with any of the standard financial ratings tools, however.

What You Should Know Before Getting a Quote

Wind Damage

As we mentioned, Wyoming is often on the receiving end of some pretty grizzly weather patterns. Just one example is the 1949 “Storm of the Century” that saw 65 mile-per-hour winds rip through the state, killing 12 and bringing mountains of snow along with it. As such, Soffe said, “We have to pay a lot of attention to our roofing materials, the type of roof, and also what kind of roof rating they have.”

But here’s the catch.

Many residential buildings in Wyoming are fitted with T-lock roofing shingle, which was the strongest, most durable, and most popular roofing material used in the state for a period of time. However, by the mid-2000s, manufacturers stopped making this specific type of roof shingle, which has had a tremendous impact on homeowners, especially as so many Wyoming houses are still fitted with T-lock shingles. If and when these roofs suffer damage, it’s almost impossible to find replacement materials. When T-lock shingle roofs break, their unique design necessitates that they’re ripped out and completely replaced — no paltry expense, by any means (and one of the reasons why manufacturers stopped making them).

And the kicker? Not all insurance providers in the state cover the repair of T-lock shingle roofs. So, what does this mean for homeowners in Wyoming?

If your insurance policy offers full “replacement cost” coverage for roof damage —i.e., if they cover the entire cost of replacing the roof, including those made from T-lock shingles — then you’ve got nothing to worry about. However, some insurance companies only offer “actual cost value” or “non-replacement cost” coverage for roof damage, which means they cover the depreciated value of the roof, and not the entire replacement cost.

What’s more, some insurance providers simply don’t offer any coverage for T-lock shingle roofs whatsoever. Here’s how the issue plays out among our recommended insurance providers:

Amica: Amica doesn’t offer any kind of coverage for T-lock shingle roofs.

Liberty Mutual: Liberty Mutual covers T-lock shingle roofs at “cost replacement,” which means that you’ll be fully covered if your T-lock shingle roof comes off during the next big storm.

State Farm: State Farm covers the “cost value” of replacing a T-lock shingle roof, meaning that they pay for the depreciated value of the roof rather than the whole cost.

Safeco: Safeco does insure T-lock shingle roofs. However, whether the policy would cover the “cost replacement” or “cost value” of the roof depends upon a number of factors, including the location and age of your home.

Farmers Insurance: Like Liberty Mutual, Farmers covers T-lock shingle roofs at the “cost replacement” of the roof.

Nationwide: Nationwide does not offer coverage for T-lock shingle roofs.

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Flood Protection

Just as storms batter homes in Wyoming from above, floods can destroy them from below. Some parts of Wyoming are vulnerable to flash flooding — a problem that has historically cost the state millions. Indeed, the costliest example in Wyoming’s history came in 1985, when flooding caused $65 million worth of property damage.

In order to protect your home from flood damage, you’ll have to purchase separate flood protection through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But don’t worry — your insurance provider can walk you through purchasing this separate policy at the same time you purchase your homeowners insurance.

Soils in Wyoming tend to be clay-heavy, and the expansion and contraction of clay-soils in time of excess rain or drought can also damage the concrete sub-slabs on which houses are built, said Pederson. Speak with your agent about this problem, and ask what kind of coverage his or her company provides for that particular issue.

Zoning

According to Soffe, some residential homes in Wyoming were built in zoning districts that were subsequently altered to something other than residential (e.g., industrial purposes). In the event that your home is catastrophically destroyed, zoning restrictions might prohibit you from rebuilding it for residential purposes.

“You want to make sure that the residence could be rebuilt as a residential structure,” said Soffe. So, if you believe that the home you want to buy might fall under non-residential zoning restrictions, make sure you broach the issue with your insurance broker, as it might affect your premium.

Be Patient

Here’s another heads up for when you go to get a first-time quote on a home in Wyoming: expect to designate a good 15–20 minutes providing details with each insurance provider, and don’t be surprised to have to wait for a phone call later in the day with the quote. While some states have streamlined and automated the whole process, not so in Wyoming, where insurance brokers still input information manually.

Why Are Wyoming’s Rates So Low?

Despite wind, rain, hail, and snow, insurance premiums in Wyoming are some of the cheapest in the nation. Why is that? If you ask Soffe, she said that it’s because Wyoming doesn’t suffer many of the larger natural disasters that afflict other states. “We don’t have the earthquakes and the tornadoes like they do elsewhere,” she said. Plus, Wyoming is one of the safest states to live in the nation, with relatively low crime rates and generally high income rates across the populace.

FAQs

How is the “replacement cost” calculated?

The amount you insure your home for — the “replacement cost” — should be enough to completely rebuild your home in the event that it’s totally destroyed. Be sure to factor in fluctuating building costs. This figure is calculated using a general rule-of-thumb: multiply your home’s square footage by the prevailing cost of building materials in your area.

What are the different types of policies available?

Just as no two homes are exactly identical, no two insurance policies are exactly alike. And policies come in many more varieties than just the HO3. This article does a great job at detailing the most common home insurance policy options, but we will summarize the information here:

HO1:

Not available in every state, but still offered in Wyoming (though not by every insurance company), the HO1 offers very limited coverage. The sorts of damages covered by an HO1 policy are fire, lightning, smoke, wind, hail, burglary, theft, vandalism, and bodily injury.

HO2

This insurance policy covers everything listed in an HO1 policy — fire, lightning, smoke, wind, hail, burglary, theft, vandalism, and bodily injury — as well as the following: falling objects, heavy ice and snow, damage from a leaky plumbing system, electrical damage, and damage due to ruptured water heaters and/or other heating systems.

HO3

This extensive policy is best for single-family homes and covers all perils except those that have been explicitly excluded.

HO4

Commonly referred to as “renters insurance,” this policy protects renters against damage to the contents of an apartment. It also provides personal liability coverage against injuries sustained in the apartment.

HO5

Essentially an extended HO3 policy, the HO5 also covers personal possessions in the event of physical loss, barring its exclusion in the policy.

HO6

This policy offers almost identical protections to the HO4 policy, only this one is designed specifically for someone living in a condo.

HO7

Pretty much identical an HO3, only this policy is geared towards mobile and manufactured homes.

HO8

Very similar to an HO3, with additional provisions relevant to older homes, taking into account the added cost of repairing older homes.

Can I save money on my premium?

Absolutely. There are any number of ways that Wyoming residents can save money on their insurance premiums, such as upgrading old electrical or plumbing systems, remaining claim-free for any length of time, installing fire safety equipment like smoke detectors and alarm systems, and using safer building materials during remodeling projects. Of course, the kinds of discounts differ from company to company, so make sure you discuss available discounts with each provider.

Some providers provide discounts to clients who also have other insurance policies — like car insurance — with them. Ask your agent if his or her company offers a bundling discount, but always read the fine print. For example, say you’re thinking about lumping your car insurance in with your home insurance, it may be that the new car policy offered by your home insurance provider isn’t as comprehensive as your current car policy.

Take Action

Through our research of the best homeowners insurance in Wyoming, we deduced that for an average home, Liberty Mutual provides the best homeowners insurance in terms of cost effectiveness. But our other recommended insurance providers — State Farm, Amica, Farmers Insurance, Safeco, and Nationwide — each provide services that might suit your specific situation. At the end of the day, the most important thing to keep in mind is to get as many quotes from as many different insurance providers as possible. A little diligence on your end could pay dividends in the long-term.

Freshome’s Recommendations: AmicaState FarmLiberty MutualFarmersSafecoNationwide.

Compare Homeowners Insurance Rates

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